Tents and Shelters
Ready for a night out? Whether you’re an ultralight alpinist, family of backpackers, devoted hanger, or comfort camper, you'll find the best tents, tarps, and hammocks for your outdoor overnights right here.
Check out our top picks below—including price comparisons—to shelter you in any terrain, trip, or season: winter mountaineering, three-season thru-hiking, warm weather car camping, hammock hanging, alpine bivys, tarps, and emergency shelter.
Or you can browse our thousands of independent tent and shelter ratings and reviews by product type, brand, or price. Written by real-world hikers, backpackers, alpinists, climbers, and paddlers, Trailspace community reviews will help you select a dependable, field-tested, outdoor abode just right for your next adventure.
3-4 Season Convertible
Tarps and Shelters
BrandEagles Nest Outfitters
Priceless than $25
$25 - $49.99
$50 - $99.99
$100 - $199.99
$200 - $299.99
$300 - $399.99
$400 - $499.99
$500 and above
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 2
Awesome, light weighted tent Awesome, light weighted tent Loved it during my backpack hiking to Humboldt peak, colorado Full review
Six Moon Designs Deschutes
This tarp is well made, spacious, and not difficult to pitch. It's essentially the more popular Lunar Solo, but without a floor/net. I've used this tarp on a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail, and in various trips in the Rockies, Ontario, Quebec, and the eastern U.S. It is easy to pitch, requiring one pole, and is well sewn so it's not terribly difficult to manage a taut pitch. It packs down very small, about the size of a Nalgene if necessary. Like all single-wall shelters, condensation can build… Full review
Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy
Great bivy sack! I own the OR Advanced Bivy, which I purchased at REI in 2003. I LOVE it! It came with me on a four-week backpack of the Hotsprings Trail in Central Idaho (Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness). On this trip, I used it inside the REI Quarter Dome for a few more degrees of temperature warmth, and rolled the whole shebang up (plain blue foam sleep pad, 0 degree bag, bivy), and strapped it to the bottom of the pack inside a black plastic bag. It really helped keep this girl… Full review
Kelty Noah's Tarp 12
Excellent versatile tarp that is extremely rain and wind resistant. Every camper/backpacker should own at least one of these! I own this tarp in the 12' and 9' size and love them so much. They can be set up in so many different ways. There are guide loops along one diagonal seam if you want to string a rope through them. There are also loops along the edges to create a shelter in any situation. There are poles that can be purchased separately to prop up one or two corners to create a raised shelter… Full review
Reading the list of warranty exclusions on the website seems to indicate to me that the tent is actually not fit for purpose. Very poor stitching and webbing etc. is not hot cut or edge sealed The fabric is not breathable at all; the original Oz-Tent made from Australian woven poly/cotton Coredux canvas was very breathable and therefore comfortable in most weathers. It retails for a premium price and it is certainly quite expensive for the quality of the manufacture. As manufactured it is missing… Full review
The Solplex is the most functional and spacious tent at around 1 pound. It has been my #1 favorite piece of gear for several years and my treasured home for two thru-hikes, going on three. If you are seeking a truly ultralight but full-protection shelter, this is it. Conditions: I purchased my Solplex spring of 2016. I have slept in it over 100 nights and it has been in my pack the length of New Zealand’s Te Araroa, the Colorado Trail, and approximately 10 days on both the Appalachian and Florida… Full review
REI Half Dome 2
Terrible Quality Control. BAD RUNS IN NETTING THROUGHOUT TENT. Same situation with runs found on three different tents purchased "new" from store stock. Same problem but fewer runs on a 2017 model tent. I heard that returned defective tents were being returned to general merchandise stock. REI staff responded to situation with something between ignorance of the problem and indifference. Staff short-changed me on issuing a cash return. This review was posted on the REI website. They took it down… Full review
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3
This tent is cool for backpacking, especially if you go with others who will share it and share the load. It is super easy to set up and take down, though a little difficult to fit everything back into the bag. However I would only buy this for the purpose of backpacking with others to share the load cause it is UL and so sort of fragile. It is really well ventilated and the design is otherwise great. Full review
LightHeart Gear SoLong 6
I was on my 82nd day of my thru hike of the Appalachian Trail when I had to leave the trail due to a death in the family. I will return to finish my hike on the Appalachian Trail after trail days in 2019 at mile marker 771. During this time, I learned more about my favourite pieces of gear starting with my tent, the LightHeart SoLong 6. This tent weighs 24oz supported by two 130cm trekking poles, has 10-inch bathtub base walls, two air vents on top of the tent, small and large vestibules with the… Full review
Top-Rated Tents and Shelters
What’s the “best” tent or shelter for you? Consider your personal outdoor needs, preferences, and budget:
First, and most important, in what seasons, conditions, and terrain will you use your tent, tarp, or hammock? Choose a shelter that can handle the conditions you expect to encounter (rain, snow, wind, heat, humidity, biting insects, an energetic scout troop), but don’t buy more tent than you truly need, and don’t expect one tent to do it all.
Tents are typically classified by sleeping capacity (i.e. one-person, two-person, etc). However, a tent's stated sleeping capacity usually does not include much (or any) space for your gear and there’s no sizing standard between tent manufacturers. Some users size up.
Will you use the tent as a basecamp or is it an emergency shelter only? To determine if you and your gear will fit, look at the shelter’s dimensions, including floor and vestibule square areas, height and headroom (including at the sides), plus the number and placement of doors, gear lofts, and pockets, to assess personal livability, comfort, and footprint.
- Weight and Packed Size:
If you’ll be backpacking, climbing, cycling, or otherwise carrying that shelter, consider its weight, packed size (and your pack it needs to fit in), and its space-to-weight ratio before automatically opting for the bigger tent. Paddlers and car campers have more room to work with, but everyone should consider how the tent and its parts pack up for stowage.
Tents come in various designs. Freestanding tents can stand alone without stakes or guy lines and can be easily moved or have dirt and other debris shaken out without being disassembled, though they still need to be staked out. Rounded, geodesic domes are stable and able to withstand heavy snow loads and wind. Tunnel tents are narrow and rectangular, and large family cabin tents are best for warm-weather campground outings.
- Other features and specs to consider include single versus double-wall, ease of setup, stability, weather resistance, ventilation, , and any noteworthy features.
- Read more in our guide to tents.