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 March 26, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
I bought one in a charity shop in New Zealand in the late nineties for NZ$5. Yes, five. At the time that was less than£2 !!!!!!!! Mint condition and amazing still today. It is heavy with poles, but I often suspended from trees pole-less which reduced the weight a lot. I have a few tents—mostly new synthetic ones as they generally are—but it’s great to get under canvas. It breathes and is non-toxic and this tent is super lightweight for a canvas tent and even with poles is acceptable if two… Full review
Overcoming the fear of the lightweight material. I have had this for about seven years and purchased on sale at REI and wanted weight savings since my North Face Bullfrog began leaking (loved that tent for over 20 years). I was super skeptical about the material resistance to tears since often have to pitch in interesting conditions. I made a Tyvex floor for a ground cover after getting some tears on the floor both by the rocks and a 90-pound Lab. The tears were repaired with that invisible tape… Full review
A nice, lightweight winter tent that will stand up to tough weather. It was designed as a winter tent and in that environ it performs great I've used this tent a couple of dozens of times the last couple of winters and while not perfect, is a very solid winter tent. I've had it in strong winds and heavy snow and it does a good job of handling both. It's listed as a two person tent and while two could use it in a pinch, it's much better when used as a solo shelter. With one there is plenty of extra… Full review
I had the Clip Flashlight CD for probably around 25 years. Seriously, I did! Gave it to a friend today. It's never let me down. Not once did it ever leak with the fly on, but you do need to get it just right to cover all the corners. I have always used the ground cloth, and make sure, it's tucked under the tent. So, I just now bought a new tent, because I just wanted something new. I hope I'm not too disappointed! Full review
The Copper Spur HV UL2 and UL2... A Tale of Two Tents. Big Agnes has been around for about twenty years. Should you require it, their outstanding customer service could not possibly be improved upon. Their stated goal is to produce the best gear possible to help folks get outside and chase their dreams. I think they stand true to that goal. You can learn more about them here: https://www.bigagnes.com/our-story. Copper Spur is the name of this product line. UL stands for ultralight [weight] and 2… Full review
Suspended tree tent that support 1-2 people. Heavy durable bottom and heavy duty straps and ratchets. It has an adjustable strap that can make it a two-person or a one-person undisturbed sleep. Easy to install rain fly that's designed to hug under the tent to keep rain spray out. I really love camping but ground sleeping left me sore and very tired the next day, so I upgraded to a hammock, which was fantastic. I woke up refreshed and comfortable. Only drawback is my life partner couldn't sleep in… Full review
Surprisingly high quality, and decent design. A true four-season tent for people on a tight budget. Just replace the stakes and you're good to go. I own a Walrus Rapide XV winter mountaineering tent and it's a bomb shelter. But the tradeoff is poor ventilation, low internal volume, and low height. So I went looking for something in the same weight range that would address those issues. I also didn't want to pay a fortune. I found the, "Gonex winter camping tent," on Amazon and its specs looked good,… Full review
This tent is basic, but works wonderfully. I have taken it on several two- and three-day backpacking trips. I am a 5'5" female and there is plenty of room inside, and it is light and fits inside my pack very well. I would definitely recommend it for any solo backpacker who is on a budget but wants a quality tent. It is great in the spring, summer, and fall. I have not gone camping with it in the winter yet. This tent is easy to set up. It is color-coded to attach the fly correctly, and the poles… Full review
Eureka! Rainier—the perfect trail companion! Everyone has covered this tent very clearly in reviews, all to my agreement. I just want to add that mine was purchased somewhere around 1992! Yes, from Dick's or perhaps the chain they bought out in the late nineties. Anyway, I broke it out this afternoon in preparation for Patagonia, always waiting for it to crumble out of the bag. NOPE, still well intact, very pliable, and pops right up into place! It's been with me to the big parks (Yosemite, Yellowstone,… 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.