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.
The best tents and shelters, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on May 23, 2022. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
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.
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
Great tent with major flaws. I owned 2 of these (Bibler and BD) --and used them heavily over 20 years. I loved them until the sleeping in a pool of water spoiled the fun.The tent is great until the DWR bites the dust and it starts to leak. The Toddtex will pull water through the tent from outside to inside once the DWR finish wears off. It took years to happen, but once it was shot, it was impossible to fix. I renewed the DWR with -top rated products, several times, and it kept leaking anyway.My… Full review
Handled 50 mph wind gusts during winter trip in the Sierras. Rugged / somewhat light /inexpensive/ simple enough for most backpacking trips. And it has windows. Glad I have it and would buy it again, even as a backup/loaner. I am an intermediate backpacker who was looking for a 'lighter' 1-person backpacking tent for my "collection," saw this and couldn't pass it up for the price (see pros above for list of what I was looking for). I figured I could reduce weight with titanium stakes, fewer/thinner… Full review
Figured out how to rig a 6x9' footprint into a water resistant, ventilated, and flying insect-resistant tarp bivy using hiking pole, tent pegs, a little para cord, and a light mesh. 6x9’ Tarp Bivy I used this groundcloth for bivouacking on nights before me and my buddies hiked the next morning. First time there was a lonely fly that kept buzzing around my head unless I pulled it over me reducing ventilation. The second time no fly buzzing, but I was soaked from the condensation, including my sleeping… Full review
Probably the lightest solo tent on the market, but definitely not light in its performance. I've used this tent for the last three years on numerous backpacking trips and all seasons (save winter) and it's a winner! The Aeon Li is a single-wall solo tent constructed of Dyneema (.51 in the tent and 1.0 in the floor). It's a full feature tent (not tarp) that weighs just over a pound all in (19 oz including guy lines and states). This svelte tent packs a lot of punch into its light weight. Full… Full review
Quality tent that I have used for five seasons. Has held up well throughout the time of use with no issues. Highly recommend this tent for three-season use. More than enough livable space for one person. Could be a little tight for two people depending on the size of group.Large headroom, easy to change clothes in. The tent is a little heavy compared to some of other products out there. Definitely not an ultralight tent. This tent is durable! Full review
Great tent design but not as durable as the older models. Timberline 4 I'm a huge fan of A-frame Eureka tents, but the modern construction of the standard Timberline model is a little suspect. I initially bought this as a backup to the wonderful Timberline 6 Outfitter, so this sat for a number of years unused. Recently I started bringing it out so I didn't have to backpack the larger version to the campsite. After camping in this for at least 6-8 nights, I can say it's pretty solid and definitely… Full review
I was brand new to hiking and everyone kept telling me about going light, so I bought my Big Agnes because it was supposed to be light and roomy. Since I bought my Scout I have found it to be perfect for my usage. My first hike with my Scout was a SoBo of the Appalachian Trail—it worked great. It's lightweight and it kept me dry through my share of storms. I've done two hikes of the Appalachian Trail with it and one hike each of the Pacific Crest and the Continental Divide Trails. I liked being… Full review
Very light and compact tent. Easy to set up. Very light and compact. Excellent three-season tent for extended backpack trips. It has two vestibules, one with a full size door for getting in and out, and the other with a small "door" for putting gear in and out. It is a very reasonable size for folks I would say up to 6'3" with some space at the head or foot for things you want to keep access to—flashlight, water bottle, etc. It can be set up as a complete double-wall tent, or the two parts can… Full review
The Dutchware Beetle Buckle mounted on the strap of your choice makes for fast and easily adjusted connections to the continuous loops of your gathered end hammock. Even with a hammock on the end they can be easily moved up and down the strap, yet hold solidly in place exactly where you set them. Two-part buckle separated for demo As you can see in the pic above, the Beetle Buckles are actually two tiny, unconnected bits of titanium. Together they create a connection point for a hammock that… Full review