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
SMC
REI
Sierra Designs
MSR
Vargo
Nite Ize
Reliance
Gossamer Gear
Lawson Equipment

Genders

Unisex
Men's
Kids'

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

Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip

rated 4 of 5 stars I have used the Hennessy since 2010. I have suggested to the manufacturer 5 relatively easy modifications that would make this very comfortably hammock almost perfect, but none have been implemented; I did have it on a canoe trip one fall in Upper New York. Very strong rain storm filled the hammock with a gallon of water, and I and sleeping bag were drenched. If the rain is coming straight down, it is fine, but if blowing sideways, you will get wet. BUT there is any easy fix. I also had it for two… Full review

REI Taj 3

rated 5 of 5 stars Incredible Tent If you are having problems setting it up, it's operator error.  If you think its too small for three, you don't buy a three person tent for three people -- you buy a four person tent.  Come on.   It's got great ceiling height, it's long for tall people (as I am), it's got more than adequate vestibule space, it allows good air circulation, and it's bullet proof in rain and wind.  It's hard to beat for the price.  Too bad it was discontinued. Full review

Sierra Designs Flashlight 1

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Lightweight roomy tent with some cool innovations. Not easy to set up and suffers from condensation issues. This was my first backpacking tent. I bought it primarily for its low weight and for the fact that I could use my trekking poles to set it up. I used it on a week long backpacking trip on the PCT in Oregon and came away with mixed feelings about it.  Setup can be easy if you find yourself camping in soft loamy dirt. Like all single wall tents, the Flashlight relies on tension to keep it standing. Full review

Easton Rimrock 1

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Inexpensive well made tent that packs well. Slightly confusing pole setup, but becomes easier with practice. I bought this tent on clearance from REI for $100. I had previously used single wall tents for backpacking but was tired of struggling with guy lines and interior condensation issues so I decided to go with a free standing tent. When I saw this one on clearance, I decided to give it a try. What I like most about the tent is that it packs small. With a compression sack it's only slightly bulkier… Full review

ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3

rated 5 of 5 stars This tent is the smartest tent out there with mesh walls, factory sealed fly and floor, #8 zippers two vestibules, and a door on each side. I'm back into scouting and this fits my style perfectly as it is extremely light and stands up to the harsh New England weather without failing! I highly recommend this 3-4 person tent to anyone who takes camping to the next level. This tent is super easy to set up even in low/dark light because of the one-pole framing. The fly is full coverage and has roomy… Full review

Eureka! Apex 2XT

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Good product for day hiking and resting at night. Recommended for weekend or longer canoe adventures. Super easy to pitch and dries fast. Took this tent to Boundary Waters for 10 days and other weekend camping. The tent is easy to set up and has plenty of room for two with gear in the vestibule. If you are solo, all of that room is yours.   Was stable in some wind and survived 6" Ohio snow one night. Never got wet with a ground tarp. It vents very well and it never seem to be moist. It packs up… Full review

Marmot Limelight 3P

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Very easy setup, pretty durable, it survived two kids playing in it all weekend. Well made, great value for the price. Got it on sale for $260, regular price is $325 (in Canada). Very satisfied with purchase. This is a free standing tent that is super easy to set up. The two poles have a hub in the middle that make it possible to set up with one person (although I did knock down several pictures on a table in my living room, don't tell my wife!). The tent pitches very well and is taut, making it… Full review

EMS Velocity 2 Tent

rated 1.5 of 5 stars Beautiful looking tent with a major design flaw in the zippers / mesh. Caution! The tent is beautiful looking, lightweight, and sets up and takes down easily. The problem? You have to be so careful with the zippers. They are prone to catching the mesh from the tent and after very few uses, I've managed to rip holes in the mesh (one is about 3 inches long). This is a real pity. I've used many tents (EMS, Nemo, LL Bean) and have never had this issue to this extent. It is a design flaw, and I'm waiting… Full review

Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip

rated 5 of 5 stars Excellent! Comfortable, rain-proof, bug-proof, easy to set up and take down. Me: 210 lbs. Female, 30 y/o. You don't have to be old to want to sleep soundly in the wilderness. I used the entire setup as intended. I did pay attention to wind direction when choosing trees and setup. The asymetrical design made it very easy to point it in a wind-resistant position every time. Depending on wind, the lines to stabilize the fly work best staked and stakes aren't included (though I always find a free stake… Full review

Top-Rated Tents and Shelters

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

Coghlan's ABS Tent Pegs Stake
$1
 
Coghlan's Cord-lok Tent Accessory
$1
SMC Sheet Tent Stake Stake
$2
REI Aluminum Hook Tent Stake Stake
$2
Sierra Designs Hex Peg Stake
$2 - $14
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (12)
MSR Groundhog Tent Stake Stake
$2 - $19
REI Snow Stake Stake
$2
 
Vargo Aluminum Summit Tent Stake Stake
$16
Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightener Tent Accessory
$2 - $6
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Nite Ize CamJam Cord Tightener Tent Accessory
$2 - $6
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
MSR Mini Groundhog Stake Stake
$2 - $17
Coghlan's Mini Stretch Cord Tent Accessory
$2
Coghlan's Stretch Cord Tent Accessory
$2
Reliance Power Peg Stake
$2
Coghlan's Nail Pegs Stake
$2 - $3
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Nite Ize Figure 9 Carabiner Tent Accessory
$2 - $9
Gossamer Gear Tite-Lite Titanium Tent Stakes Stake
$3
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Lawson Equipment Titanium Tent Stake Stake
$3 MSRP
Vargo Titanium Tent Stake Stake
$4 - $19
Eagles Nest Outfitters Hammock Repair Kit Hammock Accessory
$3
 
Coghlan's Tarp Holder Tent Accessory
$3
Coghlan's Aluminum Tent Pegs Stake
$3
Coghlan's Skewer Pegs Stake
$3
Snow Peak Solid Stake Stake
$4 - $11
Liberty Mountain Para Cord Tent Accessory
$4
MSR Blizzard Stake Stake
$4
Ultimate Survival Technologies Emergency Survival Bag Bivy Sack
$4 - $5
 
Vargo Titanium Ascent Tent Stake Stake
$24
Vargo Titanium Crevice Stake Stake
$24
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Vargo Titanium Nail Peg Stake
$27
 
Coghlan's Steel Tent Stakes Stake
$4
 
Coghlan's Braided Nylon Cord Tent Accessory
$4
Coghlan's Tent Whisk & Dust Pan Tent Accessory
$4
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Nite Ize Gear Tie Tent Accessory
$4 - $25
MSR Cyclone Stake Stake
$5 - $24
Eagles Nest Outfitters Ridgeline 2 with Prusik Knots Hammock Accessory
$5
Eagles Nest Outfitters DripStrips Hammock Accessory
$5
 
Texsport Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarp Tarp/Shelter
$5
NRS River Wing Spare Plastic Stakes Stake
$5
Sea to Summit Accessory Carabiner Set Tent Accessory
$6
Gear Aid Strap Tender Tent Accessory
$6
 
Coghlan's LED Nail Pegs Stake
$6
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Dutchware Ridgeline Biners Hammock Accessory
$6 MSRP
 
Evernew Titanium Peg Stake
$6
Sierra Designs Internal Guy Kit Tent Accessory
$7
Liberty Mountain Perlon Accessory Cord Tent Accessory
$7 - $124
NRS River Wing Spare Metal Stakes Stake
$7
MSR Night Glow Zipper Pulls Tent Accessory
$7 - $9
MSR Universal Zipper Pulls Tent Accessory
$7 - $9
Sea to Summit Tent Pole Bag Tent Accessory
$8
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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.