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
Big Agnes Fishhook UL 2
Does the job in all kinds of weather. I have used this in the snow, in the swamp, and on the trail in wind and rain, and don't forget the sunshine. The neat thing is this tent is lightweight and has no zippers. Sets up easy, just remember to have the pole system right side up so you can set the crossbar on top. Easy to stake and pitches taut and tight. Stable in all conditions. Tends to accumulate moisture rather than repel it, but have never had a leak. Just a hassle to try and wait for it to dry… Full review
REI Quarter Dome 2
A nice, lightweight tent for backpacking with ample space for two. Packs smaller than most other tents we have tried. The fabric may feel flimsy, but so far this tent has held up to 50 mph+ winds without bending a pole! We recently took this backpacking in Zion, Bryce, Arches, and the Grand Canyon. Pole setup took a little bit to get the hang of, but once you've done it a couple of times it gets easier. We were impressed that during a severe wind/sand storm at Arches, this tent held up better than… Full review
Grand Trunk Single Parachute Nylon Hammock
A luxury item that is well worth the weight. After a night sleeping on a hard shelter floor I looked for alternatives and hammocks seemed like a good idea. Those really nice high end backpacking hammock systems with netting and flies were what I wanted, but I couldn't justify the cost. I bought the Grand Trunk lightweight hammock, but it was just a bit small so I upgraded to this hammock. I only use it during warm weather but I've slept very comfortably under the stars on dry nights and hanging… Full review
Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock
This affordable hammock is great if you are looking for a compact, lightweight, bug-free system. I've used this hammock in as low as 30° with a tent footprint overhead (not included) + Therm-a-Rest, and most recently in a camping trip to the Florida Keys. The screen kept the tiny (and annoying) no-see-ums out and was great for catching a breeze at night. I sit in it like a swing chair during the day and am going to start bringing it to picnics. Pair it with a lightweight tarp and couple of quick… Full review
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3
This is a great tent! It is surprisingly lightweight given how spacious and well-vented it is. Two exits with two vestibules allow plenty of storage and ease of entry/exit. I got this tent for backpacking with my 9 and 12 y.o. sons. Though I wanted the space for three people, I didn't want to carry a massive tent. The Copper Spur UL3 really has absolutely no compromises for the usage that I've intended for it. Usage & Conditions: I've used the tent for about 6 backpacking trips totaling about… Full review
Terra Nova Solar Photon 2
This is a great tent for people who require reliable protection from the elements and are willing to trade interior space for weight. It's been amazing in all weather conditions we've put it in. Don't be fooled by the amazingly light fabric; the seams are well sewn and the fabric is tougher than it feels. On hot buggy nights, the tent (without fly) provides skeeter protection while still allowing a silhouetted view of the sky. This tent performs well in Pacific Northwest weather: we've used it on… Full review
Sierra Designs Flash 3
This is a high quality, long life, and satisfying investment. You want a tent for most of your camping life...this is it. NOTE: This review is for the FLASH 3 model. It could also apply to the FLASH 2. I got the 3, even though it was used for just two people, because of added room and recommendations by others. Purchase: I was given a trade-up discount after calling Sierra Designs to find out how to fix the peeling coating on my 30-year-old Sierra Designs Quad Mountaineering tent. I always feel… Full review
NEMO Obi 1P
Great quality, lightweight, easy to use. I wanted a lighter solo tent, and love this Nemo Obi 1. I knew Nemo offered a great product and I was not disappointed using it for the first time. At 5'8", I could sit up fully in the high end, with extra room in the tapered end for storage. The side entry makes it easier to unpack, and entry/exits are easier too. The vestibule was roomier than I expected, and I was delighted to see just how much gear I could stow there. The tent is all seam-sealed and… Full review
Black Diamond Ahwahnee Ground Cloth
A nice, light, durable ground cloth. Sadly, I am too good at leaving these hanging to dry when I head down the road on my bike. :P Not much to say about a ground cloth. This is a good one, but a cheaper one will serve as well. 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.