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
Kelty Crestone 1
Kelty Crestone 1 I bought my Crestone 1 back in 2009, used it while hiking the AT in 2010. It stood up to high winds and heavy rain through my whole hike. Plenty of room for me 5' 8" and I have also had my Shi Tzu dog in it with me on a few hikes. Plenty of space in vestibule for my boots and bag. And had no problems sitting up in tent. I would suggest to anyone that is over 5' 10" to possibly look into a different tent, for it will probably not be as perfect for you as it has been to me. Full review
REI Mountain 3
I bought this tent in 2010 and used it every single weekend 51 week a year for three years. It gets the job done. I've owned a few four season tents and at MSRP price point this one is the best. It's shame it was discontinued. I've camped this tent in every season here in Colorado. For a few years there it was out 51 weekends a year. From that I can tell you that it's really durable. I can also tell you that from 50+mph winds to 12" of wet snow to driving rain it will come through like nothing… Full review
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2
Well made, good quality for the price but those tent poles need a rethink. I bought this tent from the REI outlet online (now "the garage"). I actually got this tent sort of accidentally. I already had a four-season, three-person tent which is an REI Mountain 3. My Kelty Flight 2 finally died and I was looking for a replacement. REI advertised this as a three-season tent rather than a four-season and put it on a pretty nice sale, so I grabbed it. I was pleasantly surprised upon actually getting… Full review
My tent lasted for over 10,000 backpacking miles. It experienced snow, ice, driving rain and hot desert sun. The size I think was perfect. I could even put my backpack at my feet. Super easy to set up and take down. If wet it will dry off quickly in the sun and the breeze. Folded up nicely. I would highly recommend this for any serious lightweight backpacker. I like this over a lightweight trap because I feel more comfortable being able to seal the tent at night and not worry about invading insects… Full review
Paha Que' Wilderness Rainfly for Hammock
A very good tarp for the price, although probably not for the ultralight crowd. This is a good inexpensive tarp (going for about $30 on Amazon as of this writing). It has good coverage, and goes up relatively quickly. This tarp a bit wider than the ENO and other more expensive hammock tarps, and is a bit heavier as well. It will also take up more space in your pack. The attached carry pouch is sewn on in an odd configuration—when the tarp is put up the carry pouch faces outward and can collect… Full review
Equinox Sprawler Ultralite Bivi
A well-made (in the USA), breathable bivy with a waterproof bottom. This is my first bivy and it went with me on my first tarp trip. I squeezed in a four-day trip on the Ice Age Trail in mid-November, just before deer season. Trying tarp camping for the first time I ordered this a week before leaving and it was at my door with days to spare. Temperatures dipped to 37 and the woods were damp from earlier rain. The first two nights I pitched the tarp with the sides pegged to the ground. I was amazed… Full review
SlingFin CrossBow 2 Footprint
This factory footprint is functional and lightweight, helping protect the valuable bathtub floor of the CrossBow 2 tent. Simplicity of design makes this footprint easy to use, allowing one to focus on the horizon ahead, and not the gear. This footprint is best for those who want the perfect fitting accessory for all SlingFin CrossBow 2 tent configurations. SlingFin’s accessory tent footprint is simply a no-brainer! Four clips attach the the tent body, whether one is using the CrossBow 2 StormPak,… Full review
SlingFin CrossBow 2 Mesh Drop-In
This accessory is designed for the CrossBow 2 StormPak, allowing the user to be well protected from insects, while minimizing weight with the bare-bones setup of the CrossBow 2. For those who want a strong tent that is easy to customize, the SlingFin CrossBow 2 is a lightweight way to do it! When using the StormPak configuration, the tent user has the option to modify this open-air setup by adding the Mesh Inner Drop-In. This accessory is a hybrid between a tent inner, and an open-bottomed centrally… Full review
SlingFin CrossBow 2 R/S
The SlingFin CrossBow 2 R/S is the solid bodied, ripstop four-season tent in the CrossBow 2 family. Two backpackers and ALL OF THEIR GEAR can comfortably wait out the storm without being cramped. This tent is ideal for a backpacking duo that does not want to compromise shelter strength in cold weather conditions. Not every new tent builder has more experience than the big dogs… A quiet afternoon in the forest, all to myself. Although SlingFin may be a relatively new name to the tent world, 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.