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
A relatively inexpensive quality tent that is robust and can be used in much tougher conditions than you might expect. If you are mostly alone and don't have a quiver of tents this is a trusty one stop shop. Like others mentioned it is roomy enough for most, especially if you are organised. Full review
Sierra Designs High Side 1
The Sierra Designs High Side tent is a good compromise between weight and space with a low profile, roomy if low interior, and intuitive setup. The 2-pound tent comes with poles and does not require trekking poles. The High Side 1 tent is a new tent from Sierra Designs, a company that is known for innovative designs at a reasonable price. This one-person, non-freestanding tent is lightweight, compact and intuitive to set up. The packed size is smaller than most due to the short length of the included… Full review
Sierra Designs Moken 4
The Moken 4 is a mammoth and possibly misunderstood tent. It is advertised as a 4-person tent but really, it sleeps upwards of 8 persons. Setup The setup is pretty intuitive, nevertheless, the tent comes in a backpack style carrying case with setup instructions sewn onto the inside wall of the pack. You stake down the corners, add the mega hub cross pole in the center of the tent, add the two auxiliary poles, and then clip it all together. The central pole hub fulfills a big job since six poles… Full review
MAC-Gear 40 Degree Down Top Quilt
Terrible customer service and total false advertising. I got the 35 degree down top and underquilts. When I was thinking about purchasing them I emailed the company through the website and got a response back within minutes. A few days after making my purchase I heard nothing about shipping or when I'd receive my order so I emailed them... Nothing. I emailed again, nothing. I called, nothing. I texted, nothing. I found their Facebook page and sent a message, nothing. I made a post on the page that… Full review
My Trail Tent UL 3
Very light tent rated to three people. Easy to pitch and take down. Great for backpacking with two people. Recommended. When my daughter and I were looking for a tent to start section hiking the AT, we ran into some common problems—space (footprint), weight, and price. We had been to several known backpacking supply stores and couldn't find anything that met our needs in all three areas. I saw a story online about how My Trail Co. had bought out one of the old ultra light brands and had redesigned… Full review
Hilleberg Kaitum 4
The Hilleberg Kaitum 4 is a two-door, two-vestibule, four-person, four-season tent that comes in at a more than respectable 8 lbs 10 oz (that’s a lot of numbers) designed to maximize roominess while minimizing weight. The best part is that is manages to do both, without sacrificing weather proofing or durability. I’ve been unable to find any flaws with the Kaitum and have no doubt this tent will last through years of the hardest abuse. SETUP Even when setting up the tent alone it can be done… Full review
Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2
A non-freestanding tent that has room for two, and a well sized vestibule, but not much livable interior space. Setup: The Clip Flashlight is a fairly easy tent to set up. It’s a two-arched pole design. First, stake down the base of the tent. Then place the pole ends into the grommets at the base of the tent and then use the clips to fasten the the tent to the poles. The signature “clips” that create the tent’s namesake are four twistable clips that lock the pole into the clip so there is… Full review
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2
My favorite backpacking tent has become my favorite use tent. Lightweight and easy to set up by myself. Quick and easy to pitch by myself, this is a great tent and solid free standing unit. I love the fact that there are no zippers, instead using hooks and loops. Pitches taut and stable in a myriad of conditions. Packs well and is lightweight, so lends itself to backpacking. Full review
Eureka! Wind River 2
Loved the tent. How can you rehab it and clean it? Was bought new, used around five times many moons ago. Former assistant scoutmaster till my knee got blown out in 1990s. I had the knee replaced finally a few years back. The tent cost me $300-350 new. I have come down with "camping fever." Like to listen to hf radio and dx'er too. The customer service folks were able to get me some information about the tent. They answered my e-mail in just a few days. That is real customer service. Can't… 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.