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
Marmot Bise 2P
Nice tent, compact. Used this tent camping several times. Setting up in a downpour in the Cascade Mountain range was less than ideal as the mesh inner tent gets terribly soaked then the fly goes on top — Hillebergs are far superior in this respect. However once set up thank goodness for its excellent ventilation as the tent dries out (inside) relatively quick. Okay, now over snow. Camping north of Pemberton BC during snowy conditions followed by -20 degrees C days. Snow load on tent caused… Full review
MSR Elixir 3
Wonderful tent! Having been in Boy Scouts for many years and majoring in Wilderness Leadership in college, I have used many different styles and brands of tents — this one blows all of them away hands down. I also have worked in Outdoor Retail for the past 4 years and I have used it backpacking and front country car camping and have always been pleased. Great job, MSR! The headroom is great and setup is very easy. Great bang for your buck! Full review
Actual weight is heavier than the stated weight. Tarptent lists the weight as 27.5 oz. The actual weight of the tent, four stakes, and the stuff sack is 32 oz. If you get the Tyvek ground cloth add another 5 oz. I'm not sure how much weight the seam sealing will add to the weight of the tent. Full review
Mountain Hardwear EV 2
Great single wall tent for real!! Winter season. Keep this in mind: This tent is designed for high altitude and winter season (especially under freezing). Not for trail hikes. If someone has experience in winter season backpacking, with snow and strong wind, will know how construction of tent is important. Normally in strong winds, tent skin can touch the face through night, but EV2 never does. And we do not need bug screen in the snow field. If you check details of this tent, easily now this is… Full review
Sierra Designs Zia 3
Great tent for car camping. Not the lightest tent. I bought my Zia 3 as my first backpacking tent. I have carried it mainly on weekend trips but last year bought a Clip Flashlight due to the lighter weight. I still use my Zia 3 when both of my boys go with me on trips or when I car camp. It has withstood strong winds in the Ouachita Mountains as well as rain and thunderstorms. It has never leaked and been very roomy even with three people inside. Full review
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2
Extremely lightweight and easy setup highlight this great little tent. I've been using a Marmot Limelight 2 for a few years now and absolutely love it. But I wanted to get something a little bit lighter in weight. After a lot of research, I purchased the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 and overall I'm quite pleased with my choice. I tend to backpack solo 99% of the time so weight was definitely a big consideration. The SL2 is about 1/2 the weight of the Limelight 2 and packs down smaller and very easily. Full review
Sierra Designs Gamma
Simple, durable, lightweight tent. Used it many times for bike trips, kayaking, and hiking. I would almost consider this tent irreplaceable, just because I could never find something as usable for the same money. It's everything I could ask for in a 3-season tent...pitches quickly and easily, is stable, has kept me dry in heavy rain, packs light and is fairly compact, has a nice, big side entrance and decent vestibule for gear, has a couple mesh pockets inside and a little drink tray that I've used… Full review
Superb tent, easy to use, tough, elegant, roomy, cozy. I am grinning at the guy who found this hard to set up. It is ridiculously easy to set up. I can get inside in the dark and have it up in minutes. Very stable though high wind on the broadside will send it reeling. Stake it down or put heavy stuff inside to windward. Not a biggie for me. Breathes well, but walls get damp inside if too closed, humid and cold. Toddtex is meant to wick moisture, no surprise..normally stays nice and dry. Mine is… Full review
Mountain Hardwear EV 2
Windproof, light, and warm. It's shelter from the storm. Top notch one-man, one-season tent. I have lived in Alaska for 35 years now, and I have REI QuarterDomes for three seasons. I love them. Please understand the Mountain Hardwear EV2 is a ONE-SEASON tent! That one season is winter, and by winter I do not mean rain like a California winter. I mean ice, snow, and wind. Honestly, I don't know it this tent is rainproof. I have had six inches of snow dumped on it without a problem. (Although… 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.