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
Sea to Summit
Eagles 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
The North Face Tephra 22
The Tephra 22 is a reliable tent that is well built. It just has such extensive competition in the modern tent era that it becomes lost in the shuffle. This review is for the older Tephra 22 model. The newer model has made a number of changes. The Tephra looks pretty sharp in my opinion. The side view is somewhat reminiscent of the Big Agnes Seedhouse or the Fly Creek. In essence, it is similar with some slight variations that cause some extra weight (4lb 13oz trail weight). Set up: The tent has… Full review
Terra Nova Ultra Quasar
Bomb proof, 20 years old, all poles replaced, outer replaced twice, inner feeling a little sorry for itself, but after 20 years is still intact and in fairly good nick. At the time, a shade under 500 quids seemed one hell of a lump of cash to lay out on a tent. I have been on 3 x 6 month solo bike rides with this fabulous tent. The inner survives to this day since 1998, the outer has been replaced twice due to UV damage. It's also been to a few festivals too and has been bombproof and such a well… Full review
Eureka! Alpine Meadows
I've owned this tent for 30 years and just realized it this summer. I have never even thought about getting a different one. I've used it for backpacking, canoeing, hunting, and scouting trips over those 30 years and it has never let me down. Except I would like to get a new bag for it, the old one is sticky from the waterproofing. It's held up in all four seasons and is always reliable in the wind and rain. I've only sealed the seams once that I can recall. I don't know why it was discontinued,… Full review
MSR Papa Hubba NX
Quick setup, tons of room, perfect for my son, daughter, and I with room to spare. I have had an Elixir 2p for several years that I soloed with and my son joined me in, but now that my daughter is finally big enough to join us, we needed more space. We took this into Garibaldi Lake last week for my daughter's first three-day trip to Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk. It was fantastic. Our Exped double mattress plus one BA single fit with room to spare and it held all of our gear inside as well. The… Full review
Zpacks Duplex Tent
This tent provides amazing space and livability in an ultralight package. It provides everything tents weighing three times as much do without really sacrificing anything. Very impressive. The Zpacks duplex is a two-person single-wall cuben fiber (now Dyneema?) shelter that weighs about 22 oz (without stakes or poles—but with all guylines). The amount of room you get for a tent this light is pretty amazing. It is a two-man tent - an like most ultralight two person tents, it would be a tight fit… Full review
Mountain Hardwear Light Wedge 2
Loved this tent, spent a good portion of the last 12 years in it. Twelve years, a few hundred nights, more than a few hundred miles, tons of memories and good times.A final adieu to an old friend... After all that, a few reseal jobs, and some duct taped accidents, she finally gave up the ghost after remnants of Hurricane Nate were her match. Moisture seeping through the floor, recently resealed fly still leaking, a pole snapped. But with all that, and an emergency poncho over the pole hole, I still… Full review
The North Face Trailhead 4
A very satisfactory 3.5-season tent for car camping. Good headroom. Good ventilation. Good privacy. Good quality. I have now camped for five years in the Trailhead 4. I have experienced weather extremes, from 20 above zero to 95° heat and humidity. Lots of thunderstorms and frontal passages. A few all day rains. In all cases, the tent interior has been dry, stable, and secure. Lots of screened area for the hot days. Everything buttons up for the cold nights. I either have two full-sized army cots… Full review
Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Asym Zip
Comfy centerpiece of a four-season hammock rig. I have had this hammock for about five years now and have spent many (50? 60?) nights in it. The most impressive feature is the durability of the stitching and the zipper on the bug netting. When you enter this style of hammock, with the integrated zippered bug net, there is stress put on both the zipper and the stitching connecting the zipper to the hammock fabric. However, I've never had an issue with them failing. When you lie slightly sideways,… Full review
Eureka! K-2 XT
Great all around tent, in wind and rain. I've had this tent going on 20 years, mostly used in canoeing. A little heavy for backpacking, but the comforts outweigh that issue. I have always loved tents, had several including a close Sir Edmund Hillary, but this is my favourite. Camping here in Newfoundland, Canada, can bring all four seasons in one day, and the Eureka K-2 XT can handle it. 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.