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
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
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2
GREAT tent if under 100 USD. Recommended, but warning if you plan to use in heavy rain. I'm a hammock camper, but I needed a backup shelter for when there's not hammocking possible, but it had to also fit my gf. I purchased the Alps Mountaineering's Zephyr 2 on July 2018 from Steep&Cheap. The measurement specs do not lie, it's all as stated on Alps' website. I like that a lot. Only set up a few times in the park and did a few personal tests for water resistance there. I will update my review… Full review
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
Two is really one. I have the two-person and really it is only comfortable with one person. Glad I did not buy the one-person. Handy little tent, been in several drenching rains/hail and has kept me dry. It is interesting in that the vestibule does have some sag in it, will hold a small puddle no matter how tight the pegs are, and the zipper while it has not failed me, seems frail. Great piece of kit. I have used on several wildland fire deployments. I have had great luck with Big Agnes products. Full review
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3
A great lightweight, three-season backpacker's tent: tight for three, roomy for two, light, easy to pitch, plenty of headroom, dual side entrances with vestibules big enough for gear storage but not cooking or large dogs. Sticky zippers are one drawback. This is my third review of a Big Agnes (BA) Copper Spur (CS) series tent. In 2016 I posted a reviewed the CS UL2, now called the CS UL2 Classic, and last January I reviewed the Copper Hotel HV UL2, supplied to me courtesy of BA via the Trailspace… Full review
Hillary 8-Man Tent
OMG, I love this tent. Yes, maybe for nostalgic reasons, and quite possibly because I know nothing else. Nonetheless, I love the tent. Dad bought it in 1976 when he bought a jet boat, so it was only meant for summers by the river, but recently (since Dad gave it to me) it has been used in the mountains and extremely high winds with rain downpours and did great. Dad probably scotchguarded it at some point. Being that this tent is over 40 years old and not even a hole, just one broken pole that I… Full review
Eureka! Spitfire 1
A lightweight 1-person shelter with adequate room for the average person and gear, with very durable materials that appear to be a long-lasting product in a very affordable 1-man shelter. Very weatherproof and quick setups and a small footprint to fit in tight spots!! The number one reason that backpackers will carry the extra weight of a tent is for rain and snow protection. The Eureka Spitfire does just that and with an affordable price and it does it very well with a respectable packing weight… Full review
Sierra Designs Superflash
I own one—bought new, and still in phenomenal shape. Love it. Easy to set up and withstands the weather. Used over several summers working in Yellowstone and sadly hasn‘t been used much recently. If anyone has any parts, I’d love to have some on hand just in case... Full review
MAC-Gear 35 Degree Down Top Quilt
Terrible customer service! Paid for four quilts...two 35-degree underquilts and two 35-degree top quilts. Kept asking for tracking info when they shipped as have problems with packages being delivered to wrong address in neighborhood. Never received tracking. I called and emailed several times. Finally received an "Order Complete" email. A week went by, two weeks, three weeks, a month, and still no quilts or tracking information. Finally five weeks after order was supposedly complete I received… Full review
Cabela's XPG Expedition 4P
It's built like a brick poop house. Great tent. I have taken this to Alaska on a motorcycle trip, camped in Yellowstone, Mt. Rainier, Airventure at Oshkosh (I'm a pilot), and Glacier. It's built like a brick poop house. It is little complicated to set up and takes a while, which can be a pain after a long day of hiking or riding, but I see very few tents I like as much as this. Full review
The North Face VE 24
Benchmark design, tent making paradigm shift for the time. Bought ours at the North Face factory store in Berkeley, CA, as a second, great discount! Problem was that one of the low side wall panels was turned inside out, big deal, I'll take the discount! Agreed with all the reviewers, awesome tent. My con is how heavy it is! Compared to today's tents, it is a barge, but then again those other lightweight tents are timed for destruction, will not take the wear and beating of the VE24. Beware of the… 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.