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
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
VauDe Hogan Ultralight
This tent will handle just about anything Mother Nature can throw at you. I have had this tent for about 8 years. It has gone through pretty much every weather event with great results. I won't hesitate to purchase another now that it is almost time to replace this one. It has had extensive beatings from the New Zealand Southern Alps and it has kept myself and my gear dry many times. I have even had three adults in it in a storm when the other guys' gear couldn't take the beating. Last trip was… Full review
Tarptent StratoSpire 1
The Stratospire 1 is lightweight, able to withstand severe weather, roomy, and well-constructed. An ingenious design brings together many of the benefits of multiple shelters including a tarp and tent (a well-named product). It needs seam sealing and takes practice to get the pitch right, but gets easy. For a three-season solo plus shelter, extending into the fourth season with a solid inner, it is tough to find a better or more versatile option in the same weight class. Testing Conditions I spent… Full review
Moss Tents UNK
Help ID this Moss Tent Works Camden Main label.. Didn't know what section to post this. I found this fairly beaten Moss two hoop pole tent, no poles small fly with the recognized tan Moss rip stop material. Dark brown floor and pole sleeves, top is a lighter tan than the fly blue doors and White YKK zippers. It has been stored improperly so you can only guess what it looks and smells like. Never the less of all the years i have done Moss Tent research i have never come across this particular style… Full review
LightHeart Gear Solo
Solid lightweight option, price effective. Tent holds great promise, but ultimately falls short of potential. Withstood PCT through hike with minimal signs of wear. When I first bought this tent I thought it would be the ultimate shelter with the weight savings of a single-walled tent, and the strength of a double-walled tent. While the tent is full of good ideas, it ultimately falls short of what could be a phenomenal product. I would recommend this product for anyone who is exploring backpacking… Full review
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy
Great shape and design with functioning waterproof breathable (WPB) material, but just not enough of it. I bought the blue-yellow-black 2017 long sized model online, on sale for 35% off normal retail price. Overall, at that price point, I give this bivy a grade “good”, but NOT “very good”. Had I paid full retail price, I’d give it a lower grade due to top yellow patch not being breathable. The wet spot the yellow patch created on my bag was more noticeable, and took longer to dry than… Full review
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 6
Best bang for the buck. Great car camping design. I've owned my ALPS Meramac 6 about 13 years. I'd guess I've used it on at least 15 camping trips, several days each trip. I have used the tent May through September in the Midwest US. I even took it to Bonnaroo in sweltering Tennessee heat. This tent has never let me down. I think the design and materials are excellent. Quality: This is not a low quality family tent you might find at Target. This is more of a high quality tent you'd find at REI. Full review
REI Geo Mountain 4
I have owned my Geo Mountain tent for over twenty years. Yes, with four adult men it's somewhat tight regarding space. The number of pockets is fine. My number one activity is snow camping. Having all four people facing the same way will cause you to wake up with water drops falling on your head. Air circulation is fine when two of the campmates have their feet at the door and the other two have their feet in the opposite direction. When my children were young I carried the tent by myself on my… Full review
UGQ SilPoly Rectangular Cat Cut Tarp (10x12)
Light silicone coated polyester panels held together with sewn tape edges and ridge line make this tarp an easy to carry, yet sturdy shelter. Well designed and constructed by a self described cottage company located in Michigan well known in the hammock community for their quilts. Drying out after a storm at the 13 Falls camp in the Pemi with some laundry on the line. Underground Quilt (UGQ going forward) is a small cottage maker of quilts and other hammock centric gear based in Jackson, Mississippi. Full review
Sierra Designs Convert 2
Amazing all-around tent for three-season and four-season backpacking. I love this tent! I was in the market for a four-season tent, but I do a lot of backpacking and wanted something of a decent weight. Any four-season tent that is light, is single-walled and has poor ventilation (what I found in my research). The Convert allows me to have a four-season tent, light enough for packing, and still usable during the summer too. I've used this tent around the world in different rainstorms, snowstorms,… 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.