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
Eagles 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
The ZPacks Triplex tent combines wonderfully lightweight and compact packing with roominess for two (and adequate for three). It would work very well for a solo hiker as well given its light weight. It appears to be plenty durable for extended hikes such as the long thru-hiking trails. While during sunny days, the inside of the tent got somewhat warm, the thorough ventilation kept this tolerable (you should be on the trail hiking then, anyway), and provided plenty of dry shelter during the huge… Full review
REI Half Dome 2
Great design, not waterproof. I like the design of this tent as it is really roomy for its size. However if you expect wet weather conditions do not buy this tent. I experienced a heavy rainstorm and had approximately a half inch of water in my tent. I was very disappointed as I was mislead from reading how good this tent was. Please don't make the same mistake as I did. Full review
NEMO Hunker 2P
Well built, but incredibly small. This shelter seems to be well built and of good quality. I purchased this with the expectation that I would use it in the event of an unplanned overnight stay or getting caught in a bad storm for a few hours. While I believe you could easily ride out a short storm with this shelter, which is apparently one of its main purposes, It would not work well for emergency overnight stays. The dimensions, even though they may be accurate, are very deceiving. You will not… Full review
Sierra Designs Stretch Dome 3
Why read a review of a tent no longer being manufactured? It may very well help you decide what to buy on the current market. Though no longer being manufactured, this was/is one of the best free-standing 4 (+ 1/2) pole free standing designs. 360 deg. -wind resistance, snow (load) burry proof vent, breathability/condensation, in slope pitch (free standing). The Sierra Designs Stretch Dome AST (1992/2001-2005 variants) was one of the most innovative tent designs ever with x frame and two transverse… Full review
Eureka! Timberline 4
Great motorcycle/car/canoe tent have had mine for over 20 years. A few years back I got a Timberline 6. Don't like it nearly as well the extra height makes it much slower to set up. I have had a Timberline 4 since 1987. Camped in all kinds of weather way wetter and colder than I would now. It always performed well. Just watch placement. Don't set up so wind is blowing in your fly. It is a great all around work horse. It may not be the best at any one thing, but it does a lot well. Setup is easy… Full review
The North Face Flint 2
Simple, well-made. The most important word describing this tent has been omitted. FREESTANDING. No stakes needed. Try driving stakes in the Rocky Mountain West. They will come out about the same time the coyotes do: 2 a.m. I own a few freestanding tents, will never buy anything else. Full review
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
Excellent ultralight shelter that does what it is intended for. I am a Master Registered Maine Guide and enjoy extreme backpack hunts in Alaska/Canada that test equipment and one's endurance. I subjected this ultra-light tent to a SE Alaska backpack goat hunting trip ... something it was not exactly manufactured for. I am 5'9" 150 lbs and used the UL2 — gave me just enough room for gear/pack/gun and food lasting 7 days. Would not have wanted more room, or another person in the tent! Just… Full review
Marmot Earlylight 2P
High expectations, disappointing results. I have been canoe tripping and wilderness hiking for 33 years and needed a new reasonably lightweight two-person tent. When I purchased the Marmot Earlylight I was expecting a better quality tent. It certainly is a higher quality tent than a Kelty or a Eureka brand, but that isn't saying much. After a little practice this tent is easy to set up. The fly doesn't extend too far from the main body, which makes it easy to set up in tight wilderness locations. Full review
EMS Velocity 1 Tent
Great tent for when you have to sleep alone. I bought this tent to add to my backpacking arsenal because I was tired of carrying around a 2-person tent when most times I end up going solo. By doing so I shed over 2 lbs and reduced the volume it took up in my pack. It is only available at EMS as it's their store branded product. SO if you are not near an EMS and unable to review a unit before purchase that might be an important consideration. (I strongly recommend seeing a demo or at least a packaged… 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.