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, 2021. 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 tent is not for everyone. It’s heavy at almost 10lbs with everything, and bulky. However, it’s an amazing tent for car-camping, short backpacking trips/hike ins, and if you split carrying it with a partner. It’s super well made, incredibly durable, almost 100% waterproof, and can withstand high winds consistently. Set up in CNF right before heavy rain/hail. Had to jury-rig the front vestibule as the stakes kept ripping out as the soil was super loose and wet. Ignore the messy… Full review
Robust yet lightweight three-season solo tent. Space inside and especially in the porch is excellent. Headroom OK for those up to 6 feet. Enan next to Angle Tarn, Cumbria These are my initial thoughts on the Hilleberg Enan, something which I see as a "Mark 2" to the popular Akto. For those wanting to skip to the executive summary—after 20 nights it seems to be great tent for my needs (This initial review is based on my first two nights, but nothing I've learned since contradicts my initial… Full review
Had a Timberline four years ago. It was a great family camper, but could not handle strong winds. This was the Timberline 4, which is basically a smaller version of the Timberline 6. It was fine for car camping, easy to set up, roomy, and waterproof. Easy to get in and out of, bugproof, and overall a nice family tent which we used for a couple of years. Until strong winds arose. We were camping when a thunderstorm with strong gusting winds came up. The poles buckled and I spent the next hour or… Full review
A pretty bomber winter tent, at a nice light weight. I've got several nights out in this tent and so far I'm pretty impressed. It's definitely a winter tent, very little mesh so wouldn't fare well in warmer weather. The tent is not quite full on bomber, but for most winter duties, it's going to work just fine. It handles snow loads and wind pretty well. Expect some condensation, but it's been pretty minimal for me. You're probably not going to find a lighter one-person, double-walled winter tent. Full review
What can you say about this tent? It looks perfect when you take it out of the car, and when you set it up at a car camping spot—I think the other ones give you respect what do you think? It doesn't look like any new-fangold dome tents. It's like when Snoopy went to take a ride on the river and put inner tubes under his raft, and then he used an A-frame tent. But then you hear about how this thing holds up to nature and the elements. Then you also understand this thing being under 18 lbs for… Full review
Lifetime warranty is a lie. Mountain Hardwear refused to do anything about a lightly-used Trango 2 fly with massive delamination. The tent itself performed well early on, seeing use high on Longs Peak and Mount Whitney. It's very heavy for what it is, the stakes are of poor quality, and the guy lines are easily tangled. However, it's a sturdy, very roomy 4-season tent. Unfortunately, Mountain Hardwear does not honor their warranty. I recently noticed that the fly was flaking laminate everywhere… Full review
The MSR Thru-Hiker 100 Wing can be used with a shelter or by itself to create a spacious two-person environment. Two trekking poles or sticks are required to set this product up. The MSR Thru-Hiker 100 Wing is a great tarp option to use by itself or with a shelter like the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2. This tarp is ideal for arid climates where you won't have to worry about the spitting rain. It's compact, easy to carry, and great in a variety of different setups. Camping with the MSR Thru-Hiker… Full review
The MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House offers a lightweight two-person shelter that requires the use of two trekking poles. It's compact yet spacious. Finding a lightweight backpacking shelter that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg can be a tricky process. But MSR’s Thruhiker Mesh House 2 offers a great solution to this problem. As a shelter that’s designed to fit two people, the interior is spacious, giving users 30 square feet of floor space. When packed down, it’s just 10 by 4 inches in size. Backyard… Full review
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