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 July 1, 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
Poorly made. Panel design is subpar. Leaked unmercifully first night. I purchased this pen while on a four month bicycle tour to replace a marmot tongston 2P. After 5 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 get my needs. They did not have the marmot one. So I purchased this and the first night I said 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
Hanging High Soft Shackles are soft carabiners made from 7/64” Amsteel (Dyneema) cords with a ridiculous 1,600lbs tensile strength for a measly 0.13oz (2g) weight per piece. They can be used to hang hammocks, attach stuff to backpacks, and various other ends. HHH Soft Shackles in red. They also come in Blue and Grey, and can be made in custom lengths as well. I came across Hanging High Hammocks (HHH) when searching for a Spectra/Dyneema fixed ridgeline to replace the flimsy bungee cord on my hammock/sock… Full review
Great hammock if you are a small person. I like this hammock. I am 5'10" 168 pounds with broad shoulders. Lying on my back there is a slight shoulder squeeze. Not enough to bother me, but if I was any broader in my shoulders the shoulder squeeze would bug me. BTW, side sleeping is GREAT in this hammock. Love everything about this hammock although I wish there was a carbon fiber spreader bar option. You can get one of these for 130 dollars without bug net which IMHO is a heck of a deal. FYI I also… Full review
Amazing little tent! Camp 2019 This was my second solo tent (my first was a Eureka Backcountry 1 in 2002) after a lot of research and not willing to shell out 400 bucks. I bought a Stormbreak 1 in the summer of 2013. I have used it extensively over the past 9 years. It has accompanied me on many canoe and backpacking trips (at least 100 nights). From 4 to 10 days in length. I used it as my guide tent leading 2 to 3, 6-day canoe trips every summer for 5 years. It is easy to set up, well thought… Full review
A 2-person lightweight tent that combines freestanding structure, durable floor and fly, and a lot of space while keeping a sane price tag. But it compromises on not being ultralight, having asymmetric vestibules, and full mesh inner walls. I’ve been needing to lighten up my gear and a tent is one of the heaviest items in my bag. My requirements for a tent were a 2-person tent for versatility, maximum weight of 1.7 kg, freestanding as I usually camp at places where it’s hard to place stakes,… Full review
Read the reviews—shoddy product and poor customer service! Read all PahaQue product reviews—they all have a common theme. Terrible product (usually poles) and very poor customer service. That is exactly what I experienced. The pole fell apart right out of the box. The vendor I purchased through was great and apologetic but the PahaQue rep I eventually spoke with never apologized and became combatant and rude. At one point he insisted that no one ever complained about the poles (obviously not… Full review
The most popular and perhaps the best one-man bivy-tent, especially for tactical purposes. The Ionosphere has a longstanding tradition among the military, survivors and bushcrafters. It’s not the lightest, but it’s spacious, well built, super-stable, easy to assemble and take down, stealthy, and will last forever even if abused. It can hold two in an emergency and doesn’t cost a fortune. I consider the Ionosphere a sleep-only shelter. I only get into it to rest, or when forced by the weather… Full review