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
Sierra Designs Meteor 2
A 2-person tent best suited for those that value livability a little more than shaving ounces. Sierra Designs touts it as good for car camping or backpacking and I agree; this really is that rare 'tweener design. This is a great couples tent for those milder weather trips. Though marketed as a 3-season tent, I would avoid using it during the edges of shoulder seasons or winter for reasons listed below. The manufactures page can be found at this link. But here are the primary specs: Minimum… Full review
Eureka! Zeus 2EXO
A very good shelter I have traveled the PCT from end to end three times using a Zeus 1. I love this tent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is easy to put up under any conditions and is light. I have spent time in this tent through really bad rain and wind storms. I wish I could find a new one, but because of the butthead management of Eureka they no longer make them. Will Smith, Dallas, Oregon Full review
Cooke Custom Sewing 1.9oz Silicone Tundra Tarp
Sturdy materials well put together make the Tundra Tarp perfect for applications where lighter materials might be a liability. Custom made in two weights (1.1 oz and 1.9 oz) and a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors Cooke gives you a lot of options to fit your needs. The numerous tie out loops and flat shape let you get really creative in your setup with lots of options at your disposal. Cooke Custom Sewing is a small family business well known in the paddling community for their shelters, packbags,… Full review
A four-season, plus two you never knew existed, tent. Absolutely bomb proof design, but a trifle on the small side for two. My son who works in Fiordland, NZ, has owned one for a number of years and this tent has never let him down winter or summer. It is heavy at just short of 6 lbs, but the weight is worth it when the going gets really tough. On a trip out to Pysegur there were force 12 hurricane winds and torrential rain, a little inland and in a more sheltered site we spent two days tent bound. Full review
Black Diamond HiLight
Bought this tent for solo winter camping and for emergency shelter. It weighs 2.8 lbs and is described as a 1-2 person. In the den it was a challenge, but in the wind it is downright frustrating. The tent is like a parachute because you have to go inside to install the poles. I'll be spending some time practicing setting up the tent. This tent is a one-person tent! I have a 6-foot Western Mountaineering sleeping bag rated for -25 degrees. It took 3/4 of the tent and it would almost touch the tent… Full review
The standard by which other tents could be judged. Capable of keeping you dry and sheltered in gale force winds and torrential rain—this, after all, is what a four-season tent is all about. The first Minaret I ever used was loaned to me by a good friend for a trip into the central North Island sub alpine country in summer. That was over fifteen years ago. This version was over 10 years old and was pretty faded but it still did a good job. A few years later I purchased another one secondhand that… Full review
Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy
I used this very often for three years and then infrequently for the next eight years. It worked great. Bivy use has its pros and cons, but I will leave all that to the experts and just tell what I know about this product. I used this with a poncho tarp as my primary shelter for three years of hard use. It was great. The only issue I had was condensation in temps below 20 F degrees in the Southeast. I took my Western Mountaineering Alpinlite down to 9 degrees with this bivy and, it was cold,… Full review
The North Face Peregrine
18 years old, and I still love this tent!! Weathered severe thunderstorms/tornados in Wisconsin in August, 1999, and then later on trips in Kansas and Missouri. Despite severe winds and torrential downpour, we always stayed dry and didn't get blown away. Couldn't hear several kids singing at the top of their voices in another tent three feet away during part of the storm in Oshkosh... But here it is 18 years later and it is still holding up very well. I've had to re-apply the weather proofing a… Full review
The North Face Oval-25
What a great tent, but not much information or any reviews but one or two. I picked this old bird up from a local Salvation Army for $5. It was a mess from poor storage and high mileage. After giving it a bath and removing the duct tape from the hole in the fly and screen I sewed the screen and patched the fly hole. Rear door zipper was knackered and separating while zipping up, so the previous owner decided to sew all the way around the door to the tent body. This is an easy fix after taking all… 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.