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
The North Face
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
Force Ten Helium 2
Lightweight two-person tent which pitches all in one. Cramped for two but excellent for a solo hiker. The Force Ten Helium 2 is a single-hoop tunnel tent which pitches all in one. The inner is connected to the flysheet but has its own zipped doors. You can get in and out of the tent from either side. Each of the inner doors is part solid and part mesh. The bathtub-style groundsheet is an integral part of the inner. View of the inner with part-mesh doors Setup is easy enough once you've tried it… Full review
The North Face Stratos
No leaks or wear visible after 18 years, 2-3 trips per year. Once slept 5 (2 shorter adults in middle of 4; slimmest lying at 90 degrees with hip and shoulder in space yielded this way). Four could backpack fine at ave of 1.2kg (2.5lbs) each. Love this—would buy again. Baking hot, snow, hiking, car booting, campsite, wild camping... all accomplished with ease. Anyone who says too heavy, note you can sleep four, unless all large, even five average adults at a squeeze, by moving all kitbags into… Full review
The North Face Talus 33
Solid, dependable tent. I bought this model of the Talus in 2000 (different color). It has only ever served as a 3-season tent for me (lower fabric is not suitable for snow). It survived in a hot attic for a couple years when I wasn't backpacking — the seams on the fly de-laminated and the elastics in the poles became increasingly less elastic, but neither failure was catastrophic. The tent itself was unaffected. I have incurred some damage on the pole sleeves (mostly by poking the poles too… Full review
Ozark Trail 3 Room Family Tent
Large roomy tent, useful for occasional use. Has two room dividers, but has no hook & loops for the windows when opened and only one door. I am very disappointed with my new tent. I am surprised Ozark Trail made a tent like this one. It just has so many less than desirable features or lack of. There are no hook and loops for the windows or the door. When opened they just flop down and look very sloppy and unkempt. Plus, my dogs walked all over them. I finally stuffed them into the bottom… Full review
Kelty Vortex 2
Great tent for bicycle touring. I purchased an early version of this tent around 1998 for about $200 new, and in 2011 found a used Webforce version in mint condition on Ebay for $50. All of my camping has been bicycle touring. The tents were used on trips on the West Coast through Oregon and California (six trips altogether), the Erie Canal in New York, The GAP-C&O Canal in Maryland, several multi-week trips through Pennsylvania, and two trips to New Zealand. Absolutely fantastic tent. Never… Full review
Sierra Designs Lookout CD
Abused for over 16 years. Abused is the correct terminology. It's been buried in the snow...not talking about the crap videos online, but rather 4 feet of snowfall without shoveling!!!!! Yeah. Packed through the Lost Coast......pissing rain with over 10 years of abuse in the Trinity Alps, NNF, throughout the Sierra, Mt Whitney to Mt Hood. Trinity Alps through winter, on and on and on and on and on. Anyone that tells you that this tent is for the birds hasn't used it. Yes......one time, ohhhh I forgot… Full review
Tentsile X3 Giant Pegs
Tentsile's Giant Pegs are a quick and easy solution to placing stakes in hard soil when a rock or hammer is not readily available. This reviewer found these pegs so handy, he is left wondering why screw-in tent stakes are not more common. Recently, I tested and reviewed the Tentsile Flite for Trailspace. While I did not care much for that product, I did find the stakes that came with it to be superior to the cheap J-stakes that normally come with a tent or tarp. In fact, I felt these X3 Giant… Full review
Eureka! Alpine Meadows
Best camping tent I have seen or used over 30 years in 4-season use: monsoon downpours, snow, high wind, both 2-man and a 4-man. Never had the problems others had with their wide variety of tents. I pine for its discontinued presence. With some of the improvements made for tents today, they could be applied to the Alpine Meadows design: snaps instead of hooks, faultless zippers, maybe in the polyester fiber makeup. If I had known this tent was to be discontinued, I'd have bought six more to pass… Full review
Ozark Trail 9 x 9 Sport Dome Tent
Nothing bad to say about the product. I purchased the tent back when Hurricane Katrina came through Mississippi. The problem now in 2016 is I cannot find my dome rods, any suggestions? 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.