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
The North Face VE 24
The VE24 has proven itself to be able to handle very adverse weather conditions with durability to last year after year. Whether holding out in an Alaskan blizzard or Tropical Storm you can count on the VE24 to hold its own against the elements. I purchased my VE24 in 2012 from an avid trekking couple that purchased it new in '78-'79. I listened to their stories of the many years of adventures in Alaska, the many blizzards, snow and rain storms they weathered through in this tent. Including weathering… Full review
Northwest Territory Olympic Cottage Deluxe Cabin Tent
I fell in love with the look of this tent so I bought one. On the first night of camping it got windy and the pole hubs broke, three of them to be exact. This made the tent unusable. It ruined our trip. Nothing in a tent frame should be plastic...EVER! If the tent is remade with everything metal on a frame, I would buy it. Full review
Kelty Salida 1
Well made, good materials. Very nice looking. Just received it and set it up indoors. Very easy to pitch. A major complaint: no fly vent. With the high walls, the lack of upper fly vent will make this tent hot in summer. I wanted a high wall solo for early spring and late fall, so it will work for me. Mesh on tent body is only near top of tent. Rectangular tent bag is different; had to add ties to tent body and fly to keep size down when packed. Not lightweight, but not heavy either. A very well… Full review
A minimalist, 2-person, non-freestanding shelter best suited for lightweight backpacking in mild weather. As with most any single wall shelter, maximum venting is desirable (as much as weather allows) and with this particular design, considerate campsite selection is key. I do not recommended it for high winds and extended heavy rain. About the product: The manufacturers product page is here. Here is an interesting reference to it in the review of another product by MSR staff. (This reference states… Full review
Hilleberg Nammatj 3 GT
This is the bad weather, big guy, kitchen sink guy, sky falling, Taj Mahal of tents. I wanted this tent since getting into backpacking about 10 years ago. Finally got it couple of years ago and wow. Used it 3 times. Super easy setup and the vestibule is beyond your best hopes. Two times it rained hard on these trips (both on Art Loeb Trail, N.C.), great place to hole up and lay around. I have three other tents — REI Half Dome 2 Plus, Kelty Gunnison 2, and a Kelty 4 A-frame — and it beat them… Full review
Fantastic and innovative product. I have the NX-250 with their largest tarp and hoop poles. I love it. Made area change to it that really helped. Took out rope and put in climbing loops with carabiners and tree straps from ENO. Goes up in less than a minute and carabiners do better job stopping water running down straps. Tarp would be better if it was about one foot longer and two foot wider, but it is unbeatable like it is. Hoop poles just a bonus. Goose, hope these help. I didn't put up tarp… Full review
Northwest Territory Big Timber
Great space. I have had 4 men and a boy comfortably fit in this tent without crowding. Also was in some pretty hard rains with no leaking. Not really available since it has been discontinued, but it was definitely a great tent and the envy of many of my group outings. The Northwest Territories Big Timber tent is a fantastic tent. It is a tri-section tent with three doors instead of the standard two opening tent. Beside the three doors the main body has a larger door that serves as the main door… Full review
Alpine Design Mesa 8 Tent with Screen Porch
Good design...poor execution. I bought the tent new. Following the instructions, tried to erect the tent. One of the corner brackets broke. Even though this unit doesn't use standard tension rods, the theory of the support is similar. Unfortunately, the brackets are plastic, and cannot take the tension as designed. The store wouldn't take it back saying I had done something wrong. Factory replacement parts seem unavailable, as customer service is non-existent. Buy something else! Full review
Mountain Hardwear Skyview 3
This tent has been to Yosemite, Adirondacks, Zion, Catskills, Colorado Rockies, the Utah desert, Canada, everywhere. Four seasons for sure. I've carried it on my own for every trip and haven't had a complaint. It's been with me since I was 8, and although I've replaced every other piece of gear I've owned, this has never gone out of date. It's repelled rain, sand, snow, and a bear. It may also be resistant to small arms fire, I just can't bring myself to test the theory. 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.