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 November 21, 2020. 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
This is a quality tent. Sets up easy and keeps off the rain. I take it on two- and three-day backpacking trips. It is my go-to tent. You can not beat it for value. I wish it were two pounds lighter. Quality tent. Easy setup. Full review
This tent is very lightweight and compact and sets up easily, but it leaked catastrophically on its third outing and very first exposure to rain—basically, a small rainfall inside of the tent. The manufacturer requires the original purchase receipt and photo/film documented evidence of 'defect' in order to apply the 'limited lifetime warranty' (extremely limited, as it turns out). Warranty fulfillment, if it occurs, is a discount on another tent purchase. Very disappointed. Full review
A great lightweight solo tent. Tungsten Ul 1 I own numerous solo tents, I keep going lighter and smaller, and this tent is great. It weighs a little over 2 1/2 lbs, and packs down very small. I carry its parts seperately, and compress the body and fly into a Sea to Summit ultra-sil compression sack. Sea to Summit Traveller 50 degree bag, poles, Tungsten Ul 1, stakes, Nemo Tensor pad The tent has a bathtub floor, and completely mesh upper. It has a vent, a headlamp lampshade pocket, and mesh storage… Full review
I bought it based on it being lightweight at 28 ounces, ease of setup, and low investment at $200. Thanks, Dan for bringing this to market. It's now my go-to shelter on the one or two backpacking trips I squeeze in a month in mostly Ohio and West Virginia. I'm an avid, but not hardcore, hiker who likes a lightweight pack while enjoying the outdoors. I've backpacked and camped with this tent a dozen times over the last year. It has travelled well for over 300 miles in dry and wet, hot and cold conditions. Full review
Excellent value in an innovatively designed, lightweight, and well thought-out solo tent by UL hiker Dan Durston. This solo tent is a good option for folks seeking a good balance of light weight, space, simple/fast pitch, and strength in various conditions. I think the design is very innovative, allowing poles to be placed to the side so that entry/exit is not obstructed by poles. The floor has a diagonal shape inside a rectangular-based fly. The separate mesh inner clips into the fly at the… Full review
Compact and easy to erect. Can use as a fly or with inner and outer. I love my Minaret, but sadly it now has to be retired. In storage for a good number of years the fly has now delaminated but the remainder is in good working order, like new. Maybe I can just replace the fly. Of the early 1990s vintage it has done many tramps keeping us dry and warm. It was the tent of choice amongst my friends and we pitched on Mt Ruapehu, sleeping on the snow is never comfortable. Mt Tongariro on the rock in… Full review
Great tent! Lightweight yet can handle a strong rainstorm with no problem! Easy to set up. Great backpacking tent! This is far and away the best tent I've ever owned. I had the opportunity to use this tent during a weekend of heavy rain. The remnants of a hurricane impacted the Carolinas while I was hiking the Appalachian Trail. I was pounded with heavy rain throughout the night. Because of a poor location choice, mud ended up flowing between my footprint and floor. I remained dry! This tent is… Full review
Easy setup. Other reviews here suggest this tent is difficult to set up and needs practice. I have to disagree... I just bought this tent, and set it up for the first time. I had no problem whatsoever (and I am not an engineer). Very self-explanatory. And I am a newby backpacker who hasn't set up a tent in over 10 years. The vestibule space is very roomy compared to others I researched. Recommend the carbon poles for the vestibule. Full review
ALL GRIP NO SLIP "There are many guy tensioners in the world, these ones are mine." There are a vast array of guy tensioners in the world: bushcrafty knots, weird aluminium hooks that appear designed for hunting alien fish, wooden bolts so you can cosplay as a Mongolian Head-of-the-Yurt. Some of them can be invaluable in specific circumstances, e.g. some alloy tensioners can easily and temporarily connect two separate guys together. However, for a standard backpacking tent nothing more than a Line-Lok is… Full review