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 August 3, 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
The ultimate, bomb proof, high mountain tent. I've now owned my VE25 for about 20 years, bought it to replace an Ultimate Quasar, and not regretted it. This tent has been everywhere, from alpine passes (over 3500m) to tundra, Scottish summers and winters too. It's never let me down, still looks great, and is 100% proof from everything the world throws at it. It wasn't cheap, but now it's 20, the cost/year is nothing. To have a tent that yon know will stand up to anything is amazing—I have the… Full review
The Goldilocks of tarps—not too big, and definitely not too small—it's just right!! Having bought my Snugpak 3m tarp around 20 years ago I honestly didn't expect it to be still going strong, but there it is, some things are just made to last! However, it's not small, and it's not particularly light, exacerbated by the additional rings/carabiners and cords that I have attached, but it's certainly been a trusty bit of kit. However, as I've moved toward lightweight camping, and having owned a couple… Full review
I've had this tent since 2007 and used it plenty of times through many conditions during those years. Overall, one of the better tents I have owned. Can be set up in less than 5 minutes, staked and rainfly included. I've had very little leakage that only happened during a pretty torrential rain. The only repairs I have made were to sew the loop back on the very top of the tent and replace one segment of pole this entire time. Full review
Good entry-level tent as a starting point to overnight hiking without paying big $$. Simple and rugged design, but not for the serious overnight hiker. Bought this tent as an entry-level option when starting overnight hiking and it is serving its purpose to date. Overall design is simple; quality and functionality is good, however the poles are poorly designed for sleeves, catching often and generally making setup and pack-up a bit of a PITA, especially at the end of a long day hiking. The polyethylene… Full review
Way too heavy for solo backpacking but an absolute palace for a couple car-camping over several days. Exceptionally well thought out, doesn't matter which way you pitch, the doors are diagonally opposed, so there'll always be one facing forward. Sags a little in the centre and doesn't shed the rain as efficiently as the Nallo 2 or the Nallo 2GT (both previously owned) but would definitely recommend, particularly with a footprint to reduce the condensation. My first Hb was a Nallo 2 which I used… Full review
Have used the Macpac Microlight for over 20 years. There are lighter alternatives, however, this is a tried and tested "bomb proof." Have used it through winter snows and mountain "hoolies." You won't go wrong with this tent. Simple and quick to put up. Bomb proof design and top quality fabrics and components. Treat it well and it will look after you for a lifetime of adventures. Full review
Poorly made. Panel design is subpar. Leaked unmercifully first night. I purchased this tent while on a four-month bicycle tour to replace a Marmot Tungsten 2P. After five hard years of cycletouring it failed. I was in Rotterdam and pick this up at a local sporting good shop. I had done my research and this was the only one they had that met my needs. They did not have the Marmot one. So I purchased this and the first night I set it up in my hotel room to test. Everything looked OK. I was a little… Full review
The Rogen feels like a Tardis. Being a dome it has an excellent area of good headroom. The long sides of the inner are vertical because of the two porches and each porch is a generous 1.0 m2. On a recent trip we comfortably sat three people for evening drinks; there would have been room for a couple more too. There is space for a 55 L rucksack, boots, waterproofs, and cooking gear in each porch. With cooking gear put to one side, each of you can enter through your own door so you can get in quickly… Full review
I love this tent. I have put it through the ultimate test and it survived. My tent is 6 years old. Has survived Burning Man and camping in a northern California rainstorm for a weekend. During the rain I had no leakage, however we made sure we were camping in a suitable area that drained downward and we waterproofed and used plenty of tarps. As far as Burning Man goes, I would not recommend this tent for the Playa but our tent got ruined by a dust storm and this was the backup. It did well. It needed… Full review