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
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Flat Tarp
This is a phenomenal product. Light, exactly what one would expect, and very strong. This is a great product. It does exactly what one would expect a flat tarp to do. Multiple tie outs for guylines. Extremely lightweight cuben fiber. Extremely strong. I've used this on multiple trips, for sun shade and rain protection. It pitches as one would expect — in any fashion you can imagine. If you make the pitch taut, it stays that way through wind, rain, etc. I wish it were available in more sizes,… Full review
Big Agnes Triangle Mountain UL 2
Good, light tent. Simple setup. Pretty standard 2-person tent though, perfect for one, and I'll put two in when I have someone I want to spoon with. Picked this up off REI Outlet. Couldn't find any reviews or real information online, so took it strictly on faith. I've used another Big Agnes UL tent the past couple years that's been great. Lost it in the divorce, unfortunately. I've used this in one overnight to date, and will be carrying it on a 14-day, 150-mi hike in central Oregon this month. Full review
Umm it leaks?? Really? I see the price has gone up since 2011. I paid $140 from their webby. It's a good tarp except for one thing. Umm it leaked first time I used it in ADK (that's kinda the point of it is to stay dry) from the stitching for the pullouts just below the ridgeline. So I emailed. Brandon responded right away. A for customer service. He told me to put some sylicone on the stitching. (WHAT? Not a mistake which would have been acceptable...but they know?) Again...Umm at $140 I assume… Full review
Coleman Outdoorsman Tent
Has been one of the best tents I have ever owned! 13 years and still does not leak a drop! I purchased this tent back in 2002 when the Ames Department store was going out of business. Believe it was 70 or 75% off original price. Could not pass up the deal, even thinking it was probably not a very good tent. Boy was I wrong. Have been using this tent for car camping for almost 13 years now. Must have slept in this over 100 times, probably more? I have maintained it well, sealing seams every year,… Full review
REI Quarter Dome UL
Great tent. Easy setup and good design. The only problem is the polyurethane coating used on the fly and low sidewalls deteriorates within two seasons and becomes a sticky mess! It should be a warranty issue, but it usually occurs after two years and not the one year "we got your back" "satisfaction guarantee". My Eureka car camping tent, my ancient North Face VE, and even a 1990's Walrus have none of the sticky crap issues. Full review
Black Diamond Megamid
Simply an outstanding shelter. Perfection. First purchased around 1986. Never owned a "tent" until going well above tree-line in snow for mountaineering. First Megamid lasted about 10-15-years. The zipper failed. My second Megamid was only recently replaced (only months ago). The inside waterproof lining began to fail allowing more water to breach the nylon skin. Still never a problem. Condensation and any similar water simply drains down the sides of the tent and seeps into the ground. This is… Full review
Glacier's Edge Bandom Dome 3P
Dry weather use only. This tent will leak heavily, and don't expect to be able to put it back in the stuff sack. I bought a couple of these for $24.99 since I've had a very good experience with a Glacier's Edge tent in the past. This time, though, not so much. Most of my camping is in good weather, I'm a summertime car camper, but I've definitely been caught out in a deluge or two and know the value of a dry tent. So now, whenever I buy a tent, I give it a water test. After setting one of these… Full review
NEMO Hornet 2P
Quality, design, and the benefit of lightweight equals win. Bought my new Hornet a couple of weeks ago and when I received it I was pleasantly surprised at just how light it was. Total weight (minus bags) was 2 pounds 3.3 ounces. The footprint (I bought separately) came in at a whopping 6.7 ounces; over a pound lighter than my last shelter. Of course I had to go and set it up immediately. Sadly though I had to wait until the weekend. When I set it up though I took my time slowly setting it up in… Full review
Wilderness Logics Tad Pole
The Tad Pole is amazingly easy to use, very light, and most importantly waterproof. It covered my 9' hammock and kept me bone dry on a recent trip when the skies opened above me. This is an American made product from a small company, which I try to support whenever feasible. There are options (poles, additional pulls,etcetera) which I didn't use, but it's good to know they are available. UL backpackers will like the near weightlessness, and kayakers will like how it takes up virtually no space in… 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.