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
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
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
Northwest Territory Big Timber
Very large family tent. We've had this tent for over 15 years. Very reliable, strong tent. Last year,on a beach, a rogue wave flooded about 100 tents. Most got collapsed and ruined. Our NTBT was flooded and filled with over a hundred pounds of sand and hundreds of gallons of sea water. Everything was soaked but the tent stayed up and was fine. the layout of the tent allows for breezes to flow thru. Nice and airy. The shape is unusual and is very distinct. You do not mix it up with others. … Full review
The North Face Stormbreak 2
Price vs performance = excellent I have approx 25 days in tent, every month, every year in Norway, which have all kind of weather, spanning from 20 degrees Celcius to minus 20C in the winter. I own three other tents from Hilleberg/Black Diamond/MSR , all MUCH more expensive. For down to maybe 1/5 for price of these other tents, it works nicely. Stay dry in heavy rain (tested one time in 18hours constantly rain), works fine in wind (not tested in really heavy wind), nice space, ok weight. Full review
HammockGear Incubator 20°
I own 13 quilts. Hammockgear.com has the best design and manufacture of them all. They have the best price-to-value ratio and the best service I've found. Period. I own 13 quilts. Hammockgear.com has the best design and manufacture of them all. They have the best price-to-value ratio and the best service I've found. Period. Full review
Tarp ridgeline hardware. tension your tarp line in no time. Very light and well designed. Dutch's customer service is excellent. The wasp is a tarp suspension hardware item made by Dutch. I use it with a dutch hook to tension the main suspension line for my hammock tarp. They are a little pricey for a little piece of milled titanium, but they are worth it. Full review
HammockGear Incubator 20°
Light. Warm. Excellent quality. Includes stuff sack and cotton storage bag. Built to order options for colors, materials & over-stuff. Great customer service. I purchased an Incubator 20 short with 1 oz of overstuff, so it is probably more in the 15 degree range as far as rating goes. I have used this quilt down (with a 20 degree HG under quilt with 1oz. overstuff)to a damp 10 degrees and been comforatble (YMMV I am a warm sleeper). The quilt is light enough that it is my go to for most of the… Full review
NEMO Hornet 2P
Good but a few drawbacks. Nice tent, I just used it for a week in the White Clouds Wilderness in Idaho. It works well but there is a learning curve to the set up. It is cramped for two people but that's the price you pay for weight reduction. Speaking of that, the true trail weight of the tent including the footprint (which you must use), all the stuff sacks for poles, stakes and footprint is 2 pounds 11.7 ounces measured on an Ohaus lab-grade triple beam balance accurte to half a gram. As a comparison,… Full review
replacement tent poles
Tentpole Technologies 360-260-9527, was very helpful to me in seeking replacement poles for my old Mountain Hardware Tri-Light 2 tent. They are a great source for hard-to-find tent poles Tentpole Technologies 360-260-9527 seems to be a very good source for hard-to-find replacement poles. They apparently have specs for poles for many, many (all?) tent styles. Telephone access only; you get right to a very knowledgeable person. 8-4 M-F Pacific Time. Unfortunately they were unable to make replacements… Full review
REI Chrysalis UL Tent
This oddly shaped tent somewhat reminiscent of the Flatiron building in New York might look interesting but it's not practical. Set up: It looks intuitive and is intuitive but the asymmetrical pole configuration makes you question whether you're doing something wrong during the set up. The tent relies on a circular try-pole hub. The engineering of the hub is not that great in my opinion. If you fail to completely insert the pole through two holes in the hub, it adds too great of stress to the… Full review
Terra Nova Super Quasar
Bought my first (Wild Country) Quasar in 1990 and still have it. It survived a ferocious (force 10+) New Year's night on An Teallach. Although I've still got it, I've since bought another which I'm sure will last another 25 years. A truly remarkable tent which I would highly recommend. Easy to set up even in poor conditions. Extremely stable even in the most extreme weather. The trip to An Teallach on a New Years day 1992 was no doubt foolhardy. Having pitched in the snow as the light was going… 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.