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 4, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
The La Siesta Colibri Double Travel Hammock is lightweight and compact, so it's great for camping. I liked the fact this hammock comes with EVERYTHING you need in the travel bag. The La Siesta Colibri Double Travel Hammock is lightweight and compact, so it's great for camping. I liked the fact this hammock comes with EVERYTHING in the travel bag, including tree-friendly straps and an easy to adjust German-designed suspension system. The weatherproof instructions and the travel bag are both sewn… Full review
I had my tent for 10 years. If I could find another one I would. Best tent I've every owned. Big nice divider in the center. Excellent product. I just love this tent. the pole holder came off after 10 years. It could have been resewn. Full review
Idiot-proof ridgeline setup. Great for kids to use or someone extremely new to knots/hanging ridge lines. I bought these last minute to make it easy for my son to hang his tarp over his hammock. It really does not get any easier. Just a loop in one end and the hook end on the tarp tether. It takes no time. I can’t remember the total weight of these, but it was just a few ounces total in the plastic version. They also make an aluminum version for something a little more heavy duty. You just pull… Full review
Hilleberg the Tentmaker brought back the Anaris name on a new design for 2020 with a new tent supported by trekking poles and incorporating the latest materials. Light, but not UL, this two person, ridge tent is designed to withstand anything nature can throw at it other than heavy snow loads. A palace for one, but plenty of room for two plus gear. Reliability for those on extended excursions into the back country, but comfy enough to appreciate camped next to the car. Hilleberg the Tentmaker is… Full review
A very light, double wall, pole supported solo tent of Dyneema from an innovative tentmaker. Tarptent is a high quality American tent company that started small and has grown quite a bit in its offerings in the past 20+ years. At this writing I have now owned five Tarptents, including the Notch Li and every one was good in design and quality. The Notch Li gen.2 is now made in China at a premier tent making company and you can see the improvements in build quality such as reinforcement bonding and… Full review
Best screen room. Withstood wind, rain. Kept outer flaps down at night and first thing in morning would go in to make coffee. Nice place to keep warm in the early morning or a damp day. Love my screen room, held up in the wind and rain. It's an easy setup. With the sides down in the early morning or on rainy day when using the stove would hold the heat. Nice place to sit to keep warm. Lots of room for table with benches and lawn chairs Full review
I have been using this tent for 20 years. It's been in two hurricanes 90 plus winds it has never been treated and has never let one drop of water in. Setup: Easy Stability: Great even in 90 plus winds Weather Resistance: 20+ years has never leaked a drop Ventilation: Vents real well Room: Plenty for two people (three would be real tight) Packability: I use a compression sack (not included). It fits snug in the bottom of my pack and the polls with six stakes go to the side of my pack. Full review
This is a great tent if you regularly experience heavy wind and/or storms. If not it's probably overkill. It sets up extremely quickly, and keeps the interior dry even if you set it up in a storm. Even though I'm not an overnight mountaineer or even much of a winter camper (not one for snow camping at least...) I have been using four-season tents for backpacking for the last fifteen years. The main reason is in the Mountain West USA, conditions are often very windy with pretty extreme weather, and… Full review
The Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 UL tent delivers on its promise of light weight and comfort. Take care of your tent and it will take care of you. Setup: The setup uses a single pole. The pole has a two hubs; one in the front for stability, and one in the middle to splay the tent for room. The back of the tent has one pole that runs down the spine. For setup, you lay the tent out, place the three pole ends into the grommets (two in front, one in the back)and then attach the cross pole on the top to the… 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.