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
BrandsEagles 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
VauDe Campo XT 5
The Campo XT5 seems to be a quality tent that should last for a good number of years. I just received my Campo XT5 from Campsaver after much thought. I have camped for 50 years and very much enjoy it. My wife does not because of the inconveniences my smaller mountaineering tents pose for her. Basically if I am going to get her to join me on outings I needed a bigger tent. I also considered options from Big Agnes, Kelty, Marmot, REI, and Redvers. For comparison, my other tents include an original… Full review
Big Agnes Burn Ridge Outfitter 2
A great mid-weight, affordable backpacking tent. I can set up the tent in 2 minutes after a few setup experiences. I love the fact that it is free-standing and rarely use the pegs (this also allows me to hold the upper pole and shake out the tent before packing). The quick-clips are far superior to sleeved poles. By exchanging the included pegs with titanium, I shed several ounces. I also use a Mylar footprint (emergency poncho) which costs $1 each and is recyclable at the end of the trip. It is… Full review
Cabela's Alaskan Guide 8-Man
Good for standing up against strong wind and not getting wet from hard rains. Bad for being warm. I have camped in this 8-person guide tent numerous times. As far as being sturdy in a strong wind or being waterproof this tent cannot be beat. However for cold weather camping it falls a bit short. This is the first time i have used it in very cold weather meaning no snow with wind, rain and temps in the teens. I am not sure how you can stay warm in a tent that has three open roof vents that cannot… Full review
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1
Some help with your decision whether to purchase the UL1. And it is freestanding! First start with the specs: Fly 9 oz; Inner 10.2 oz; Poles 6.9 oz; Tent Stuff sack 0.56 oz; Pole stuff sack 0.4 oz; Stake stuff sack 0.1 oz; Replaced 11 original stakes 4.4 oz with 8 titanium stakes 0.56 oz (cost $10); Replaced 3.7 oz groundsheet (which was free with purchase) with 1 oz mylar (Cost $1). Total tent price after 21% off sale $260. Total weight 1 lb 12.7oz. The Platinum is a lighter option which weighs… Full review
Sierra Madre Research Pares
A really comfortable hammock for tall people, the quality from Sierra Madre is great and the Pares hammock is built with durability in mind. The fabric is different from any other hammock I've tried, and at 10.75' in length and 6.5' in width it really has a great diagonal lay! The unique stuff sack really compresses the Pares hammock down nicely, almost to a softball size. Product: Pares Hammock from Sierra Madre Research or SMr Color: Green Chives I am 6' 2" at approximately 195lbs Setup: Because… Full review
Eureka! Spitfire 1
The best tent I have ever owned, when times used, ease of setup, pack-ability and cost are factored in. I have nicer two-person tents, but for backpacking this my favorite. I have used my Spitfire for years, and it still performs well. Not freestanding but very easy to set up. Still waterproof, and well ventilated. Will want to replace the Eureka stakes with a more sturdy stake, I added the Kelty No-Bendium. I am 6'1", and I fit nicely in this tent. Recently went hiking in Harriman State Park,… Full review
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2.0
A great tent for the price. Packs down smaller than my Sierra Designs Electron 2. Slightly narrower near foot, and a little less vestibule space. I bought with the deal flyer discount from Sierra Trading Post. A great low cost tent. Used it for the first time beach camping on Fire Island. A freestanding tent is necessary when pitching on sand. You'll also need sand/snow stakes. I used MSR stakes I got at REI. Tent performed great. Full review
A little heavy, but man what a tent. It's been up in blizzards no one should be in. I've used it for over twenty years and maybe thirty but I now need a pole section replaced. I found this site while looking for parts. I don't know when or how the sleeve of the pole split. I went out with it, found it broken, and splinted it to finish my camp trip. It is pretty old and had been through three blizzards, one with winds in excess of ninety mph, and as many as fifty other trips. The last use before… Full review
Kelty Noah's Tarp 12
The Kelty Noah 12 is a huge tarp perfect for year round use, if you are not worried about weight. It can be set up in many different configurations and has plenty of tie-out points. I bought this Kelty Noah 12 used for use over my hammock when backpacking. It provides more than enough cover for my hammock and gear to be kept out of the elements. I've even used it to cover my hammock and daughters 1-person tent while out camping and it provided plenty of coverage. I mostly use this on a diagonal… 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.