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.

Learn more about how to choose a tent/shelter below »

Categories

Four-Season
3-4 Season Convertible
Three-Season
Warm Weather
Bivy Sacks
Tarps and Shelters
Hammocks
Accessories

Brands

Coghlan's
Sierra Designs
SMC
REI
Vargo
Nite Ize
MSR
Eagles Nest Outfitters
Snow Peak
Texsport

Price

less 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

Black Diamond HiLight

rated 5 of 5 stars I was in a rain storm from 3:00 am to 10:00 am (7 hrs), I expected to be wet and my gear soaked. On the contrary, I stayed dry during a 7 hr down pour of rain. I did not want to get out of the tent, because temperatures were in the mid-30's. I was afraid if I got soaked, hypothermia might set in. I stayed warm and dry during this down pour. Further up the trail I ran into snow. I'm glad I had the Black Diamond hi-light tent to keep me dry and warm! I was out doing a solo backpacking trip when I… Full review

Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT

rated 4 of 5 stars Basic shelter at a basic price. The Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT sets up with trekking poles, which means it is light, about 2 pounds, and packs into a small, compressible bag. There is plenty of room inside for two hikers and their gear. At just over a hundred dollars it costs much less than most options on the market. The I set the the shelter up it took for ever and was frustrating. This is what you get from reading the instructions on the side of the stuff bag. I watched Mountainsmith's… Full review

Northwest Territory Family Cabin 8-Person Tent 14' x 14'

rated 4 of 5 stars Love this tent. Hate that the zippers and hooks are corroding and falling apart. They should be made of something besides what they are made of. Awesome concept otherwise. This tent is easy to set up and take down. Packs up nicely! Big plus there! Plenty of room. Tall enough for my tall boyfriend! Love this tent. Trying to repair the breaking hooks and preserve the zippers. Don't want to lose this awesome tent. Full review

Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent

rated 2 of 5 stars I will never buy a Coleman product again. They use to be the number one name in outdoor stuff. Now nothing lasts. Used the tent twice before two corner joints broke. Bought two air beds, both lost air in a matter of a few hours.  Full review

L.L.Bean Mountain Light XT 3-Person Tent

rated 5 of 5 stars We actually have a prior year's model (rust and light grey), which supposedly has been improved for this year's green model. Hard to imagine how they could improve it, but apparently it is a slightly stronger fabric, and is actually $50 less expensive! The design is the same, and so our review would be useful for this, or prior year's model. This free-standing tent is easy to assemble, goes up quickly, and also can be taken down with ease. In our family, it is usually put up by one person, without… Full review

Hillary 3 Room 13 x 8

rated 4 of 5 stars This tent is easy to set up and only has 4 poles. Does not leak. Good for a family to go camping in. I bought this tent four years ago. I love it. We are a family of five and this tent is big enough for all of us plus our air beds. We camp all of the time and for days at a time in all sorts of weather and I have never had a problem with it leaking when it rained. The poles are a little weak and break easy. When the time comes and we need another tent, hopefully this tent will still be available… Full review

The North Face Tadpole 2

rated 3.5 of 5 stars This tent is based on the ever popular Tadpole. The design is a definite improvement over the regular Tadpole mostly in the weight dept. It is also designated as a "featherlight" weighing in at a respectable 3 lb. 15 oz. Also the font vestibule offered an extra almost 9 sq. ft. of gear space. This tent in my opinion is a great overall 2-person tent. Great for the overnight trek/camp, or even any multi-day camp experience. Love it. It packs down small and light, and I still have plenty of room for… Full review

Sierra Designs Electron RC 2

rated 3.5 of 5 stars It's a very well designed tent, but I find that sometimes the quality of the materials aren't too great. I had to patch the window with duct tape, and one of the door zippers wouldn't close. The tent is very easy to set up, and it's very easy to figure out in darkness and pouring rain because you can pitch the rainfly first, then attach the body. I find that the tent is fairly stable, and I saw very little condensation inside the tent. Full review

The North Face VE 25

rated 5 of 5 stars Represents a legacy of quality and customer satisfaction that I've maintained for over 35 years. My first NF tent was the original Oval Intention which came out in 1976. I purchased mine a year later as a freshman in college. From that time the tent had been to six continents until I retired in sometime in 1988 when NF replaced it with the updated Pole Sleeve Oval. They never charged me a dime. I kept that second tent until 2010 when I replaced it after an episode involving one — possibly two… Full review

Top-Rated Tents and Shelters

Sort by: name | rating | price | availability | recently reviewed

Coghlan's ABS Tent Pegs
Coghlan's
ABS Tent Pegs
Stake
$1
Coghlan's Cord-lok
Coghlan's
Cord-lok
Tent Accessory
$1
Sierra Designs Hex Peg
Sierra Designs
Hex Peg
Stake
$1 - $11
Sierra Designs J Stake
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Sierra Designs
J Stake
Stake
$1 - $15
SMC Sheet Tent Stake
SMC
Sheet Tent Stake
Stake
$2
REI Aluminum Hook Tent Stake
REI
Aluminum Hook Tent Stake
Stake
$2
REI Snow Stake
REI
Snow Stake
Stake
$2
Vargo Aluminum Summit Tent Stake
Vargo
Aluminum Summit Tent Stake
Stake
$13
Coghlan's Stretch Cord
Coghlan's
Stretch Cord
Tent Accessory
$2
Nite Ize Figure 9 Carabiner
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Nite Ize
Figure 9 Carabiner
Tent Accessory
$2 - $10
MSR Blizzard Stake
MSR
Blizzard Stake
Stake
$3 - $4
MSR Mini Groundhog Stake
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
MSR
Mini Groundhog Stake
Stake
$3 - $17
MSR Groundhog Tent Stake
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (12)
MSR
Groundhog Tent Stake
Stake
$3 - $19
Vargo Titanium Tent Stake
Vargo
Titanium Tent Stake
Stake
$4 - $22
Eagles Nest Outfitters Hammock Repair Kit
Eagles Nest Outfitters
Hammock Repair Kit
Hammock Accessory
$3
Coghlan's Tarp Holder
Coghlan's
Tarp Holder
Tent Accessory
$3
Coghlan's Aluminum Tent Pegs
Coghlan's
Aluminum Tent Pegs
Stake
$3
Coghlan's Skewer Pegs
Coghlan's
Skewer Pegs
Stake
$3
Snow Peak Solid Stake
Snow Peak
Solid Stake
Stake
$4 - $9
Vargo Titanium Nail Peg
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Vargo
Titanium Nail Peg
Stake
$23
Vargo Titanium Ascent Tent Stake
Vargo
Titanium Ascent Tent Stake
Stake
$24
Vargo Titanium Crevice Stake
Vargo
Titanium Crevice Stake
Stake
$24
Coghlan's Steel Tent Stakes
Coghlan's
Steel Tent Stakes
Stake
$4
Texsport Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarp
Texsport
Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarp
Tarp/Shelter
$4
Coghlan's Nail Pegs
Coghlan's
Nail Pegs
Stake
$4
Coghlan's Braided Nylon Cord
Coghlan's
Braided Nylon Cord
Tent Accessory
$4
Coghlan's Tent Whisk & Dust Pan
Coghlan's
Tent Whisk & Dust Pan
Tent Accessory
$4
Nite Ize Gear Tie 3"
Nite Ize
Gear Tie 3"
Tent Accessory
$4
Nite Ize Gear Tie 6"
Nite Ize
Gear Tie 6"
Tent Accessory
$4
Eagles Nest Outfitters DripStrips
Eagles Nest Outfitters
DripStrips
Hammock Accessory
$4
Nite Ize Gear Tie 24"
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Nite Ize
Gear Tie 24"
Tent Accessory
$4 - $5
Nite Ize KnotBone Adjustable Bungee
Nite Ize
KnotBone Adjustable Bungee
Tent Accessory
$5 - $9
MSR Cyclone Stake
MSR
Cyclone Stake
Stake
$5 - $24
Nite Ize CamJam Cord Tightener
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Nite Ize
CamJam Cord Tightener
Tent Accessory
$5
Nite Ize Gear Tie 18"
Nite Ize
Gear Tie 18"
Tent Accessory
$5 - $6
NRS River Wing Spare Plastic Stakes
NRS
River Wing Spare Plastic Stakes
Stake
$5
Black Diamond Pole Link Converter
Black Diamond
Pole Link Converter
Tent Accessory
$5 MSRP
Sierra Designs Night Glow Disc Attic
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Sierra Designs
Night Glow Disc Attic
Gear Loft
$5 - $24
 
Evernew
Titanium Peg
Stake
$6
Coghlan's LED Nail Pegs
Coghlan's
LED Nail Pegs
Stake
$6
Gear Aid Strap Tender
Gear Aid
Strap Tender
Tent Accessory
$6
Dutchware Ridgeline Biners
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Dutchware
Ridgeline Biners
Hammock Accessory
$6 MSRP
Nite Ize Gear Tie 32"
Nite Ize
Gear Tie 32"
Tent Accessory
$7
DAC J-stake
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
DAC
J-stake
Stake
$7
NRS River Wing Spare Metal Stakes
NRS
River Wing Spare Metal Stakes
Stake
$7
Reliance Power Peg
Reliance
Power Peg
Stake
$7
Nite Ize Big S-Biner Plastic
Nite Ize
Big S-Biner Plastic
Tent Accessory
$7
Sea to Summit Tent Pole Bag
Sea to Summit
Tent Pole Bag
Tent Accessory
$8
Black Diamond Replacement Tent Stakes
Black Diamond
Replacement Tent Stakes
Stake
$8 MSRP
MSR Night Glow Zipper Pulls
MSR
Night Glow Zipper Pulls
Tent Accessory
$8 - $9
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What’s the “best” tent or shelter for you? Consider your personal outdoor needs, preferences, and budget:

  • Conditions:
    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.
  • Capacity:
    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.
  • Livability:
    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.
  • Design:
    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.