Tents and Shelters
The best tents and shelters, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on May 26, 2019. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
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.
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
Ozark Trail 12 x 14 Screen House
I’m selling the majority of a this tent for parts. I bought 2 of these tents new last year from a yard sale. The were never opened by the seller. We have only been using one since. After a pretty bad storm at the beach, a few of the poles broke... so we are moving onto the next new one and selling the first for parts. We have the majority of the parts, including the screen room still intact- all comes with the original bad that still looks new. Contact me at DEPICTME (at gmail dot com) Let me… Full review
Eureka! Alpine Meadows
30+ years and going strong My father bought me this tent as a teenager over 30 years ago. The two of us spent countless nights on the Appalachian Trail, Foothills Trail and various other trails across the Southeast over the following 10 years. It's a bulky tent, and on the heavy side for backpacking, so we eventually upgraded to a smaller, lighter tent. This tent sat in storage for probably 10 years, but last weekend, my girlfriend and I went camping and since we were't hiking in, i opted… Full review
MEC Nunatak 2P
Hard core tent, not light but can be split up for backpacking trips amongst the group. Not recommended for solo trips. Strong, durable, and great for two people with gear. Cross drafts are easy with the vestibule slightly open. I have used this at 6,000 feet (-25°C) for a week of skiing, hunting trips in the mountains, and also several three-week trips of fly-in canoeing near the Arctic Circle. Currently my unit is over 20 years old and still being used with my family now and performs "as new." Full review
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1
This is a high priced tent with horrible weak tent poles that will eventually crack. It is like a ticking time bomb. This is a high priced tent with horrible poles that will crack. It is like a ticking time bomb. Has ruined two backpack trips. They have a design defect where the pole connects to the hub. The hub peg inserts into the pole, but the pole wall isn't strong enough to bear the load and eventually snaps. Sure you can send it in to Big Agnes, but they replace it with a pole that seems to… Full review
Eureka! Tetragon 8
Great tent if you're not walking far... I got this tent for about $199.99 CAD on sale plus tax between 2015-2016, and it was marked down 75 percent on Clearance. I am saying this because I look up to the other comments of under $100 and the MSRP listed of $139.99 (I think it isn't shown on this page). Even if that is USD I still paid way more than everyone else. Either tariffs are high on camping gear from the US or I should have done my research. Either way I am not so much disappointed as it is… Full review
You MUST seal the seams. This is 100% mandatory. Also it may be favorable to use a light "cover" or bivy sack inside the tent, as would as a matter of course when using a tarp for many. I've used this specific product for four nights, one of which produced light rain. I used a highly similar product years ago, for more than 100 nights over a period of several years. In a nor'easter in Nova Scotia once, the previous product leaked. In a heavy, wet and foggy April snowstorm in New York, melting snow… Full review
A good tent for long-distance walking trips. I find the Akto easy to pitch, even in high winds. Very stable and strong. I take the extra pole in snow, but I've never needed it as the tent can take a load on top without trouble. Very easy to adjust. A wee bit clammy, but I leave the end vents open winter and summer and it's not so bad. I love the big porch and I invested in the footprint, which pitches with the tent, and doesn't add too much more weight for the value of getting gear off the wet ground. Full review
Naturehike Cloud UP 2
This tent is very cheap priced, but don't let that fool you in quality. Naturehike makes the best cheap 1-2 man tents for backpacking. They are very light, durable. I have used the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 for every hiking trip I have ever done. The tent has YKK zippers and does not leak even in a heavy downpour. It comes with very strong aluminium stakes and all the guy lines are reflective so you can see them easily in the dark. It is easily taken down while staying dry. The tent I have is getting… Full review
Tarptent StratoSpire 2
Lightweight, very sturdy, and roomy. Awesome tent. We have the fabric inner and the tent weighs about 2 3/4 pounds. It is incredibly sturdy and uses robust fabrics. Compare this tent to flimsy, for example, Big Agnes tents that use thin poles and thin/fragile fabrics and there is no comparison. Because the tent uses trekking poles it is incredibly sturdy. And, the floor of the tent actually measures as wide as the manufacturers spec (52"). Most tent companies exaggerate the dimensions of the tent… 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.