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.
3-4 Season Convertible
Tarps and Shelters
BrandEagles Nest Outfitters
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Priceless than $25
$25 - $49.99
$50 - $99.99
$100 - $199.99
$200 - $299.99
$300 - $399.99
$400 - $499.99
$500 and above
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
Hike-N-Light Tyvek tent footprints
An inexpensive alternative to tent manufacturer's nylon footprints, but not set up for a fly-first or fly-only pitch. Some assembly required, and hard to keep clean. I figure TS folk ought to know about the pros and cons of this cheap alternative to manufacturer's tent footprints... The cons (mainly weight) and pros (mainly protection) of tent footprints are much debated here on TS and other backpacker's sites. They seem to be a good idea if you can afford the weight or may be pitching your tent… Full review
Mountain Hardwear PCT 1
Superb. If you can find a used one, buy it. I've been using this for motorcycle touring for three years now having bought a secondhand one at a high, but reasonable price. Has coped flawlessly in all weather. Used examples now hard to come by, as owners love them and keep hold of them. Newer designs from MSR, Macpac, TNF etc are lighter, but in my opinion not as strong. If you can find one, if you don't mind side entry, if absolute featherweight isn't an issue (it's still very light and compact),… Full review
MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes
Ditch those cheap stakes that came with your tent, and replace them with these bomber stakes! If you've ever bought a tent, you know the drill. You open it up and they've got those cheap wire stakes which are a waste of time. After one or two uses, they may be bent so badly you can't even use them. The stakes in the picture below came came with my new REI Camp Dome 2, and this was their condition after two uses. The ground wasn't that hard, and they still didn't hold up. Ditch those old stakes,… Full review
Marmot Starlight 2P
The two-person is a nice tent with lots of screen area for ventilation and visibility to outside. Four stakes (use Groundhog model and not those provided) and two hoops to set up and you are good to go! Rainfly is an issue, even with thorough drying after use, the coating has become sticky and tacky and cannot be replaced or repaired. Marmot will provide me with a discount coupon and accept the tent as a return. I do like the designs; if I use the tent in dry weather, I can live with a defective… Full review
Marmot Twilight 3P
It is an amazing tent that lasts, and lasts, and lasts. We have been using this tent for 10+ years now, and still are hesitant to get a new one. This Marmot hosts us with ultimate confidence even in very harsh conditions, where I have seen more expensive tents around leaking (and cheap ones half-filled with water and/or flown away entirely). We were always warm and dry. What else would you ask from a tent? Setup is extremely fast and easy, with no ugly fitting of poles into soft holes, which I see… Full review
Zpacks Z-Line Dyneema Cord 1.2 mm
Very light weight makes this a good addition to one's kit, but it cannot replace conventional cord/rope in certain applications. The UL qualities of Dyneema cord and similar tech fiber cords are amazing. I like Dyneema cord for its weight/strength ratio, but it has certain limitations and considerations worth noting. As Vladimir commented, the cord is rather stiff, which is why it is easy to untangle—good—and untie—not so good. In fact knots in dyneema cord may have the tendency to untie… Full review
The North Face Mountain 24
Had to give a send-off for my North Face Mountain 24 that has been sold to a new owner. Guy was going to camp in Sequoia and was going to buy the North Face Assault 3 that I bought recently and realized I didn't need. I offered him the Mountain 24 instead and she is off to Sequoia! Full review
NEMO Losi 3P
This is my favorite tent to bring if I am not backpacking—feels so spacious! This is my favorite tent to take when I am not backpacking or kayak camping because of the ease of setup and the comfort that comes with all of this space. I have used this tent with torrential downpours and up to 60MPH gusts of winds and stayed mostly dry, and in 110 degree muggy environments and been as comfortable as possible in a tent as I could be. Any time I am going to be experiencing extreme weather, or I am wanting… Full review
Hilleberg Guy Line Runners
Probably the best available guyline tensioners on market. They fit a variety of guylines (not only those supplied by Hilleberg), very easy to tighten and release with single hand, never slip off the line. Originally available under Clamcleat Line-Lok brand. These guyline adjusters came with both of my Hilleberg Kaitum 3 tents (in 3-mm size), also I received a handful with my Fjallraven Abisko Lite 3 tent (in 2-mm size). Finally I purchased two more scores in 2-mm size from original manufacturer… Full review
Top-Rated Tents and Shelters
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.