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 January 15, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
The Nallo 3 is a well suitable tent for weight-conscious trips in severe conditions, offering comfort, weather resistance, and durability in a reasonably lightweight package. It's probably the best “compact” tent for my personal tasks. But the best tent isn’t good enough—I cannot get to become friends with its entrance. Also the living space is rather limited for three occupants. Background Me, my wife and son (he’s almost 5 at the moment of me writing this) enjoy year-round backcountry… Full review
Nice picture on package, but poor quality on materials and craftsmanship. Metal clips that hold tent to poles break easily. Not worthy of your time or money. Full review
I've been building with this each winter, 1-2 per season, since 2012 in Banff National Park. Great tool once you've learned the fine details! Ideally you'd build this with three people—a form packer, form loader, and snow supplier/conditioner. I've done it solo, but of course it takes much longer and requires some innovation. Most important notes I have to offer users of this: Build the 7-foot model for your first attempt. You can ELIMINATE snow condition issues by making piles of snow and packing… Full review
14 years old and still going strong. I bought this tent in '06 and it's still going strong. New seam seal and waterproof on year 10. It's heavier than today's UL tents, but more reliable. I have slept in 28-degree weather comfortably. It does well in high winds. Taking back BA Tiger Wall UL and going back to the CF for my upcoming through hike of the Colorado Trail. Warm, easy set up in dark, long, so have room for pack or dog at feet, even with two people. Durable. Only tent left standing… Full review
This tent is a lightweight beast! Completed my AT thru hike and tented well over 120 nights. Easy and quick to set up. Stands up to storms well. With practice I reached the point I was able to set up the tent in about 5 minutes. My tent came without stakes. I bought MSR Groundhog stakes and felt they were a good choice. One of the "luxury" items I carried was a long shafted cheap screw driver to help find spots to set the stakes and it was soooo worth the extra ounces. The AT is full of rocks and… Full review
It’s a bit big and may not fit into the campsite that you want, which is a con, but once you fit it in the big size becomes a pro. The Keron 3GT is an amazing all-around tent that when put into its environment performs amazing. When it rains the big vestibule is a big plus and if you have way too much gear you can enter and exit from the smaller vestibule. In bad weather you can put your stuff in the smaller vestibule and hang out with your friends in the bigger one. Another cool feature is… Full review
If you want the absolute best and don’t mind spending the money. Best quality, best of everything, this is the tent for you. I made a review of the Hilleberg three-person Saivo tent a while back. Because I have already done all the research, when I was looking for a second tent I went right to Hilleberg without hesitation. I chose the Jannu, and as in the past I made the right choice. To recap: I did a lot of research into the choice of tents, as a matter of fact a couple of months or more. At… Full review
Hyke & Byke thought about the little things with this tent. I find it to be an amazing value for the price. It comes with lightweight ground cover, which has grommets for the tent poles. This allows for a lightweight option, but more importantly, the ability to erect this tent in the rain. This is a single pole tent system. I love this tent for many reasons. Perhaps most of all due to the price, and the amount of space I have. It feels like camping in a condo. The price is amazing! Almost too… Full review
Excellent tent, no complaints at all. Took it to the UK in my luggage, first camping trip was at the International Mini Meet, 40mph winds and heavy rain. Over 500 tents were lost due to the wind but the Big Agnes 6 stood like a champ. The only issue was a little water that got past the rain fly and through the mesh presumably from the driving rain. It was a very small amount. The tent took less than 10 mins to set up the first time. We bought the optional groundsheet, which worked great. When set… Full review
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.