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
Magellan (Academy Sports)
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
Bergans Compact Light 2
The zipper on the rainfly split after the second use, but I had also drawn it too taut when I set it up in a full blown storm. It did, however, provide excellent shelter in adverse conditions, even with my humble repairs on the zipper. Loved it the first use here in Colorado, where we had rain, and some sleet. We took it up to the Snowy Range in Wyoming, where the winds were sustained and we had rain, sleet and snow. The zipper on the rainfly split near the top of the tent. We battled that one out,… Full review
Tentsile's Flite tree tent is the company's lightest version of its hammock-tent hybrids. Combining the comfort of a hammock with the structure of a 2-person tent, the Flite is a novel idea that just does not execute very well. Although I like the concept of the Flite, the cons are significant enough that it would be hard for this reviewer to honestly recommend it to others. First let me say, I have written and read enough reviews to know that when someone dismisses a product many people will vehemently disagree… Full review
LightHeart Gear Duo
Sweet combination of low weight, durability, storm-worthiness, and room for two large people! I have owned over 20 tents in the last 25 years, and I have my new favorite. All LightHeartGear tents are now made in North Carolina too!! TVThis is not my first tent, but it may be my last!!! I needed to get a true two-person tent, and I decided to sell my LightHeartGear SoLong6, as it is more of a 1 1/2 person tent. I loved it, but I am 6'1" 295# and I like to bring my son, who is 6'4", so we needed a… Full review
UnderGround Quilts Zeppelin 20°F
The 66 inch "7/8 length" 20-degree under quilt is a weight and space savings option for the not-too-tall hammock camper. At 5'8" I find that I get almost full length coverage. http://www.undergroundquilts.com/uq/default.html Suffice to say, I'm a big fan of Underground Quilts Outdoor Equipment! Over the past 4 or 5 years I've bought five tarps, three under quilts, and one top quilt from them. That's enough to have a good grasp of the company and the people behind it, their product lines, their quality… Full review
Texsport Hasting Square Dome Tent
You get what you pay for. You give up a lot when looking for a low cost solution. I purchased an earlier version of this tent and I'm writing this review due to the exceptionally poor customer service I have received from Texsport. Overall the design is OK... and the tent is fairly easy to set up. I will admit that when I purchased the tent, I was taken by a sale and the low cost. The first trip out, we had a nice rain for a couple days and the tent proved to be untreated for waterproofing. (all… Full review
REI InCamp 4
Bought this tent last week for car camping to replace old leaker. Bought this tent last week for car camping and I'm very happy with it. Slept in it five nights, two rainy and three windy with no problems. First I had the Kaiju 4 and sent it back as the pole diameter was too small. The brow pole was stressed to a point on snapping. Purchased the InCamp 4—great vertical space and thick poles with pre-bent sections. Happy camper!!!!!!! Full review
Magellan (Academy Sports) Bryce Canyon Cabin Tent
I've owned tents this size from other brands that have lasted years even with abuse from teen groups, an occasional snowstorm, and one or two storms while left outside in the backyard (it was Jeep brand). I've used this tent about once a year for the last five years. With light use, no snow... But one solid wind storm, this tent is worthless. The fiberglass poles are not nearly as durable as they should be. The metal poles have no key to secure them to the nylon straps, and the rain flap, the size… Full review
Outstanding and fully free-standing. The Allak's combined qualities of being fully free-standing (including lobbies), having an all-in-one pitch (including footprint), and managing true four-season endurance is pretty irresistible; especially to those like me, who—only too often—find they have to pitch their tent fast in weird inhospitable places in fading light and driving rain. I chose the Allak above Hilleberg's Staika (same sort of thing, heavier, even stronger) and Soulo (very similar specifications… Full review
Eureka! Equinox 6
I purchase six of the Equinox 6 tents for a Girl Scout 5-day trip to Canada. Very roomy 10'x11' slept eight 9-year-olds per tent, 15 years later still in great shape. Purchased these six tents from L.L. Bean in 1998 for a Junior Girl Scout trip to Quebec, Canada. 23 8 to 11 year olds. Very sturdy and easy to put up even for 8 year olds. The only problem is that the floor weather stripping needs to be resealed, but easy to do. The floor material is very water tight (we once filled one with 8 inches… 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.