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BEST CAMPING TENTS OF 2019

Roomy, easy to use, and highlight rich, tents for outdoors are made for a moderately sumptuous involvement in the outside. Huge numbers of these behemoths offer enough space to set up bunks or even seats and a table for games on a stormy day. Most of vehicle campers take just a couple of excursions a year, more often than not during the pinnacle summer months, and even the least expensive tents on this rundown will perform well for this sort of utilization. For harder climate conditions or as a long haul venture, consider jumping on a superior manufactured and progressively costly model. For more data, see our correlation table and purchasing exhortation beneath the picks. To finish your unit, we've additionally expounded on the best outdoors camping beds and sleeping cushions.

Best Overall Camping Tent
1. REI Co-op Kingdom 6 ($469)
REI Co-op Kingdom 6 camping tentsFloor area: 83.3 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 21 lbs. 6 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P, 8P
What we like: Spacious and can be divided to create separate rooms.
What we don’t: Super tall construction isn’t ideal for windy weather, although the new pole design helps.

For a quality form from an organization that knows some things about outdoors, the REI Co-operation Kingdom is our top tent of 2019. Above all, you get a huge amount of reasonable space and pretty much the majority of the highlights we search for. The hubbed shaft configuration makes close vertical dividers, so the pinnacle tallness of 75 inches is delighted in all through the vast majority of the tent (conventional vault style tents are just spacious in the extremely center). Further, the Kingdom has been astutely planned with a lot of inside capacity, a middle divider to make separate rooms, huge entryways on the two closures, and a rainfly that is one of our top choices available.

The REI Kingdom was refreshed for 2019, so what changed? The floor territory and pinnacle stature remain precisely the same, yet you get a studier post structure, more work for better stargazing, a considerably increasingly adaptable (and more splendid) rainfly, and a cost increment of $30. For the individuals who need extra space, REI is currently selling another "Mud Room" for $100 and a bigger "Patio" for $199. We enjoyed the old "Carport" connection for the Kingdom, which was pretty much a blend of the two, yet the two choices offer added inclusion to suit different outdoors needs...

Best Budget Camping Tent
2. Coleman Sundome 6 ($90)
Coleman Sundome 6 (green) camping tentFloor area: 100 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 16 lbs. 10 oz.
Capacities: 2P, 3P, 4P, 6P
What we like: Bargain basement price.
What we don’t: Questionable build quality and limited rainfly coverage.

Realistically, a healthy number of people only go camping once or twice a summer in good conditions, and don’t need all the bells and whistles of the tent above. If this sounds like you, give serious consideration to the Sundome 6 from Coleman, which isn’t made from the fanciest fabrics but likely will got the job done. Most importantly, the price that's often around $90 is a steal compared to some of the fully featured tents on this list that are five times that much.

What do you sacrifice by going with such an inexpensive tent? We've found the materials feel pretty cheap, including everything from the clips and poles to the tent walls. Also, the rainfly covers the main portion of the tent body but leaves part of the sides exposed. This shouldn’t be an issue in mild conditions, but we do prefer full coverage for even moderate rain and blowing winds. However, the roominess, durability, and weather protection all exceed what we would expect at this price point, which is why we have the Sundome so high on this list... Read in-depth review
See the Coleman Sundome 6


Best Crossover Camping/Backpacking Tent
3. REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Plus ($329)
REI Half Dome 4 Plus tentFloor area: 58.7 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 7 lbs. 10 oz.
Capacities: 1 Plus, 2 Plus, 3 Plus, 4 Plus
What we like: Great crossover camping and backpacking tent for families.
What we don’t: $30 price jump from the previous model.

REI redesigned its signature Half Dome line last year with a big emphasis on interior space. To start, they now only offer “Plus” versions, which traditionally were longer and wider variations of their standard-sized models. The other major change was a new pole design that stretches the walls to be nearly vertical, giving the interior an even more open and airy feel. And good news for those who have owned previous editions: the current Half Dome retains the build quality, durability, and feature set that has made it a long-time favorite.

One downside of the Half Dome 4 Plus is that it costs $30 more than the old four-person option, which puts it in the same ballpark as REI’s Kingdom 4 ($399) above. If you strictly plan on car camping, we recommend spending up for the Kingdom’s superior livable space and easier entry/exit. But for families that want a single tent for camping and backpacking—at less than 8 pounds, it’s easy to divvy up the carrying duties—the Half Dome 4 Plus is an excellent option.
See the REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Plus



Best Rooftop Tent
4. Tepui Tents Kukenam Sky 3 ($1,500)
Tepui Tents Kukenam 3 rooftop tentFloor area: 37 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 130 lbs.
Capacities: 2P, 3P
What we like: A functional and easy to use rooftop tent system.
What we don’t: Expensive, heavy, and bulky.

Rooftop tents have gone from niche to mainstream in only a few short years. The appeal is obvious: a tent attached to the roof of your car expands camping and road tripping opportunities exponentially, not to mention you’re sleeping elevated off the ground. Yakima makes a number of quality options—the 4-season-ready SkyRise HD is particularly impressive—but we think Tepui Tents’ Kukenam Sky 3 offers the right combination of price, usability, and weather protection. The three-person model is comfortable inside with an integrated 2.5-inch foam mattress, set up is relatively simple (watching Tepui’s online videos will help), and the strong aluminum poles and rainfly perform admirably in moderate rain and wind.

The biggest impediments with a rooftop tent of any type are the associated cost and bulk. At $1,500, the Tepui Kukenam 3 is one of the more affordable waterproof models, but the price doesn’t include a roof rack system (you may need to upgrade from the standard rack included with your vehicle). In addition, the tent sits on top of your car (or pickup bed) and takes up most of that space, so there’s no room for attaching skis, bikes, or a roof box. But with the ability to set up camp just about anywhere, the unique Kukenam 3 gets a spot on our list for 2019. And for beefed-up versions designed for overlanding adventures and rough weather, see Tepui’s Ruggedized Series.
See the Tepui Tents Kukenam Sky 3



Best of the Rest
5. Marmot Limestone 4P ($359)
Marmot Limestone 4 camping tentFloor area: 59.7 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 11 lbs. 11 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P, 8P
What we like: High-quality construction and enough tent for most campers.
What we don’t: Not as storm-ready as the Marmot Halo.

The livability of the REI Kingdom above is tough to beat, but Marmot offers another quality set-up in the Limestone. This camping tent includes ample space for four, is easy to pitch, and reasonably weather resistant thanks to a full-coverage rainfly and taut DAC pole design that stands up well to moderate wind. And while the peak height of 61 inches on this four-person dome-style tent isn’t anything to write home about (the higher capacity versions have taller ceilings), the poles effectively stretch the walls outwards to create a roomier-feeling interior. It’s true that the Kingdom 4 is taller and more spacious, but the Limestone costs $40 less and is a better performer when the wind picks up.

For those who camp only on warm summer days, which is a high percentage of folks, the Limestone is ideal. Its mesh-heavy design, vents, and near-vertical walls make it comfortable even with the fly on. That said, those looking for an even more storm-ready design should check out Marmot’s Halo. This tent has a beefed-up pole structure and less mesh in the tent body that adds about 1.5 pounds in weight and $100 to the price tag, but it will stand up to the elements much better. In the end, both are solid options from one of our favorite camping brands, but the Limestone gets the edge as a better value.
See the Marmot Limestone 4



6. Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model 6-Person ($450)
Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model 6-person tentFloor area: 90 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 33 lbs.
Capacities: 4P, 6P, 8P
What we like: A very strong, weather-worthy design.
What we don’t: Heavy and doesn’t have as much usable space as the REI Kingdom.

For camping in rough weather, Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model is a proven winner. With a strong six-pole hexagonal design, full-coverage rainfly, thick polyurethane floor and fly coatings, and tough fabrics, the tent is capable of handling brutal wind (it’s rated for 50 mph gusts), rain, and even snow. Importantly, it’s also comfortable in mild temperatures and rich in features. Mesh vents and windows can be opened to encourage airflow, the front vestibule is generously sized, and you get enough pockets along the interior to keep gear organized. The REI Kingdom above has better organization and more mesh for warm weather, but the Alaskan Guide is the better option for hunkering down in a storm.

What are the downsides of Cabela’s Alaskan Guide tent? First, its hexagonal floor design doesn’t use space as efficiently as the tunnel-shaped Kingdom. Further, at this $450 price point, we’d prefer to see it offered with aluminum poles rather than fiberglass. The tent’s burly construction should limit durability issues, but fiberglass is more prone to breaking under stress than aluminum (it’s worth noting that Cabela’s does sell replacement poles if you need them). The Alaskan Guide also is very heavy at 33 pounds, but it’s a reasonable tradeoff if you need a weather-worthy build for 4-season camping adventures.
See the Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model 6-Person

7. Kelty Discovery 6 ($200)
Kelty Discovery 4 camping tentsFloor area: 97.5 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 16 lbs. 4 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P
What we like: Good price and a nice overall design.
What we don’t: One door and thin, delicate materials.

Kelty’s Discovery line offers a competitive mix of features for value-oriented campers. At $200 for the six-person model, it’s affordable but includes a number of upgrades from cheap tents like the Coleman Sundome above. First off, you get a full-coverage rainfly and vestibule for rainy and windy conditions. Kelty also uses quite a bit more mesh in the construction so the tent makes it easier to keep cool in the summer heat. We would prefer a second door for easier access and more storage, but it’s not a deal breaker at this price point.

For those looking to step up from a Coleman tent, the Discovery is a nice option. However, it’s still a relatively cheap build—the tent body and floor fabrics are thin and lower in quality than the REI, Marmot, and Cabela's models above. Additionally, the tent is fairly snug inside due to its old-school X-shaped pole structure and sloped walls. Finally, its fiberglass poles aren't made to hold up well to rough use or serious weather. But these are sacrifices we’ve come to expect at this price, and the Discovery remains a good mid-range option.
See the Kelty Discovery 6



8. REI Co-op Base Camp 6 ($449)
REI Co-op Base Camp 6 camping tentsFloor area: 84 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 20 lbs. 10 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P
What we like: Sturdy structure, ease of use, and full-coverage rainfly.
What we don’t: Not as roomy as the Kingdom 6.

The Base Camp from REI is the sturdier cousin to our top-rated Kingdom tent, and shares the same excellent mix of quality materials, organization, and design features. The dome shape means the walls aren’t as vertical as the Kingdom, but with an updated pole structure for last year, it’s still very easy to move around inside. Other notable changes include more mesh along the tent body and additional rainfly vents, which address some of the airflow issues of the prior model. Importantly, the Base Camp remains a strong performer in the wind with its overlapping five-pole system (it’s rated for 3+ season use, meaning the tent can hold its own).

We’re not convinced that all of the Base Camp’s updates are for the better, however. The interior floor space has been reduced by nearly 3 square feet, although this is partially offset by the more open pole structure. Further, the vestibules are smaller than before, which limits outside storage. But these are relatively small nitpicks, and the Base Camp remains a well-thought-out and versatile camping tent... Read in-depth review
See the REI Co-op Base Camp 6



9. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8 ($650)
Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe camping tentFloor area: 140 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 79 lbs.
Capacities: 4P, 6P, 8P
What we like: The canvas build is ultra-tough and weather resistant.
What we don’t: Expensive, extremely heavy, and overkill for most casual campers.

All of the other tents on this list are made with varying thicknesses of nylon and mesh, but the Kodiak Flex-Bow takes it to the next level with a unique canvas build. What does this mean for you? Canvas is known for being super tough: it can withstand heavy winds (the steel frame on this tent helps too), serious precipitation, and rough handling. Further, it does a good job of both trapping warmth when it’s cold and breathing when it’s warm. The Kodiak is also nicely appointed with large doors on each side, a relatively high 78-inch peak height, and decent ventilation. Simply put, the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow is a very solid all-season camping tent that can hold its own in most conditions.

There are, however, a few notable downsides to canvas. First and foremost, this eight-person tent weighs a hefty 79 pounds and will take up a ton of space in your trunk or truck bed. It’s also one of the most expensive tents on this list at $650. Given these drawbacks, the Kodiak Flex-Bow certainly isn’t for everyone. That said, the tent is a favorite among the hunting crowd in particular, which makes sense given its build and feature set. But considering its roomy interior and weatherproof design, it’s an intriguing option for families and base campers too.
See the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8



10. REI Co-op Grand Hut 4 ($299)
REI Co-op Grand Hut 4 camping tentFloor area: 59.7 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 14 lbs. 2 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P
What we like: Very roomy interior and great price.
What we don’t: Cabin-like shape and pre-bent poles can’t withstand heavy winds.

In the world of camping tents, REI just gets it: their designs are spacious, well-made, and competitively priced. The latest addition to their lineup is the Grand Hut, which features a cabin-like shape that maximizes livability, a tall peak height of 75 inches for the four-person version (78 in. for the 6P), and a $299 price that undercuts the brand’s popular Kingdom and Base Camp by about $100. Importantly, you still get quality materials that have good all-around durability, including the 150-denier floor. Plus, its pre-bent poles and hubbed system make it quick and easy to set up and take down. For anything from music festivals to beach trips, the Grand Hut is well worth considering.

Unsurprisingly given its price, the Grand Hut 4 comes with a couple notable downsides. First, wind protection is pretty poor due to the upright walls and simple X-shaped pole design (it does better in rain with a full-coverage fly). If you’ll be out in even moderate wind, it’s probably worth upgrading to the sturdier Kingdom (or dome-style Base Camp for even greater protection). Further, the plastic triangular hub that connects the poles at the top of the tent strikes us as a point of vulnerability to cracking and failing over time. That said, most campers head out in good conditions, and the Grand Hut’s mesh-heavy build, generous storage, and roomy interior add up to a fun summertime option.
See the REI Co-op Grand Hut 4



11. Caddis Rapid 6 ($280)
Caddis Rapid 6 camping tentFloor area: 100 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 25 lbs. 8 oz.
Capacities: 6P
What we like: Fast set up and quality materials.
What we don’t: Only partial coverage rainfly and very large packed size.

For those that want a fast set up, tents that have the poles permanently attached can cut down on the total time substantially. Caddis isn’t the only company to use this quick pitch design but we think it’s the best on the market. Unlike the popular Instant Tent from Coleman below, the hallmark feature of the Rapid 6 is the quality of materials. True, the poles are heavy steel, but everything else stacks up very well at this price point. It’s also massive inside, with 100 very usable square feet thanks to near-vertical walls.

What's not to like with the Rapid 6? The most significant is the rainfly, which only provides full coverage on two sides and doesn’t have any vestibule space. For fair-weather camping, however, this shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Another downside is the very large packed size, and at 50 inches in length, it can be a challenge fitting into a full trunk. But if you want a tent with a fast set up and few compromises, the Rapid 6 is a great choice.
See the Caddis Rapid 6


12. Nemo Losi 4P ($450)
Nemo Losi 4P tentFloor area: 60.6 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 9 lbs. 4 oz.
Capacities: 2P, 3P, 4P
What we like: A true camping/backpacking hybrid.
What we don’t: Has compromises for both activities.

The MSR Papa Hubba and REI Half Dome on our list are true backpacking tents that can be used for camping, but Nemo has made a very interesting adaption with its four-person Losi. This tent is a true hybrid: the 4P Losi builds off the success of the two and three-person backpacking models, but adds significant interior floor space and height that is more akin to a camping tent. At under 10 pounds total, you can use this tent for car camping and it’s light enough to bring on backcountry adventures as well (not ideal, but light enough, and especially if you split up the components).

Other good news is that Nemo’s build quality is very impressive. Compared to a tent like the Big Agnes Big House below, the Losi has better poles, more rigidity, and a higher-end feel. At 60.6 square feet of interior space and with a peak height of 60 inches, this is not the ideal tent for those who like to spend significant time under cover, but it’s cozy, well-built, and the only true hybrid on this list.
See the Nemo Losi 4P



13. Big Agnes Big House 6 Deluxe ($400)
Big Agnes Big House 6 Deluxe camping tentFloor area: 75 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 13 lbs. 11 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P
What we like: Tall walls and airy feeling inside.
What we don’t: Less weather worthy than the competition.

Aptly named, the Big Agnes Big House Deluxe offers excellent interior space at a competitive price. The Big House was updated a couple years ago, and Big Agnes switched from a dome shape to a cabin style for improved roominess. The design is quite tall, with the sidewalls sloping upward aggressively to a peak height of 78 inches in the six-person model. Keep in mind that this extra real estate creates a sail-like effect in the wind, so make sure to stake the tent out completely and use the included guylines.

Offsetting mesh and polyester ripstop panels on the tent body make it a good ventilator, and with two doors on all versions, the Big House is a solid bargain starting at $400 for the six-person. You do miss out on a vestibule at that price, as the standard rainfly does not cover the front door. For extra storage, pick up the accessory vestibule that creates a front garage, similar to the REI Kingdom's system. Overall, we prefer the more weather-worthy designs from REI, Marmot, and Cabela's above, but the Big House is still a compelling tent for those that camp in mild conditions and prioritize interior space.
See the Big Agnes Big House 6 Deluxe



14. The North Face Wawona 4 ($299)
The North Face Wawona 4 camping tentFloor area: 58.1 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 13 lbs.
Capacities: 4P, 6P
What we like: Open interior at a good value.
What we don’t: Single-wall construction isn't as versatile as double wall.

Products from The North Face languished in quality for years, but we’ve seen a noticeable bump in design and innovation of late. From their camping tent lineup, we like the Wawona for its mix of price, ease of use, and durability. Offered in four- and six-person capacities, the tunnel-like design is reminiscent of the REI Co-op Kingdom above and offers a generous amount of livable space. But where it really stands out is value: the Wawona 4 undercuts the Kingdom 4 by $100 without compromising in storage or wind and rain protection.

Why has the Wawona landed here on our list? The main culprit is its single-wall design. Instead of a separate tent body and rainfly like most of the options above, the Wawona is a single unit. This makes it relatively lightweight and easy to set up and take down, but the interior is prone to collecting moisture in humid or rainy weather, plus you can't remove the fly for stargazing. Further, the tent has a relatively small footprint (11 sq. ft. less than the REI Kingdom 4) and it can’t match the Kingdom in height at 68 inches (the REI is 75 in.). All told, we think the Kingdom’s added versatility and space make it worth the extra investment.
See the North Face Wawona 4



15. MSR Papa Hubba NX ($700)
MSR Papa Hubba NX tentFloor area: 53 sq. ft.
Doors: 2
Weight: 6 lbs. 7 oz.
Capacities: 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P
What we like: Lightweight and great for family backpacking.
What we don’t: Expensive and cramped inside compared to true camping tents.

Most of the tents on this list are strictly of the car camping variety, meaning they’re heavy enough that you won’t be carrying them more than a few steps from your vehicle. However, there is a whole different world of lightweight family tents that also can be taken into the backcountry. If you don’t mind sacrificing on things like interior space and thinner fabrics, a backpacking tent is a viable option for camping that could save you in the long run—no need to buy a separate backpacking tent when the time comes.

To provide some context, the MSR Papa Hubba NX included here weighs less than 7 pounds for the four-person model, which is a fraction of many other tents on the list. Our top pick, the REI Kingdom, weighs over 20 pounds, and the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe comes in at a whopping 79 pounds. One sacrifice in cutting weight is interior space: with a peak height of just 44 inches and a relatively meager 53 feet of floor area, you’ll be using this tent more for sleeping and less for socializing. Finally, it’s worth noting that the fabrics on backpacking tents are much thinner, which is how they are so light, but this also means you have to take better care to avoid snags and tears. But for those looking for multiple uses out of their tent, we like the Papa Hubba NX.
See the MSR Papa Hubba NX



16. Eureka Copper Canyon 6 ($215)
Eureka Copper Canyon 6 tentFloor area: 100 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 26 lbs. 8 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P, 8P, 12P
What we like: Almost like a second home.
What we don’t: Not ready for bad weather.

The Copper Canyon excels in one key area: its size. This mansion-like 3-season shelter is big enough for a group of six-foot adults to walk around in comfortably. All this space make it a prime choice for cot sleepers, festival goers, and families with kids. And with a full mesh roof, air circulation is excellent in the Copper Canyon even with the rainfly on.

The Eureka Copper Canyon is water resistant and the windows and doors zip up, but the rainfly only covers the mesh roof and doesn’t extend much further. Accordingly, those that might see sustained rainstorms like in the Pacific Northwest will want to opt for more protection (it's not that good in light rain either). The tent walls also are essentially vertical, so it looks like a house—but one that’s been made of polyester fabric and fiberglass and steel poles. Use the guylines if the wind picks up to keep everything in one piece.
See the Eureka Copper Canyon 6



17. Coleman Instant Tent 6 ($129)
Coleman Instant TentFloor area: 90 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 25 lbs. 8 oz.
Capacities: 4P, 6P, 8P
What we like: Cheap and easy to set up.
What we don’t: Really should include the rainfly from the start.

At the budget end of the spectrum, the Coleman Instant Tent offers ease of use and ample space for a family. The Instant Tent name comes from its pre-attached poles and incredibly basic set up—simply take the tent out the bag, make a few adjustments, and stake it in. For summer camping where wind and rain aren’t factors, this tent performs reasonably well and is a good value.

The Instant Tent’s welded floors and inverted seams help keep water out and the tent now comes with a rainfly (the previous version did not), which is a welcome addition. That said, the fly barely covers the top of the tent, functioning more like a hat than a comprehensive weather barrier. Among our budget options, we prefer Coleman’s Sundome, which is lighter and less bulky to pack, includes a more useful feature set, and costs about $40 less. But if convenient set up and take down is a determining factor—and the Caddis’s $280 price tag is too steep—the Instant Tent is worth a look.
See the Coleman Instant Tent 6



18. Hilleberg Altai ($1,075)
Hilleberg Altai yurtFloor area: 106 sq. ft.
Doors: 1
Weight: 11 lbs. 4 oz.
Capacities: 6P
What we like: Living the yurt life.
What we don’t: Low on the practicality scale for most car campers.

Just about every camper goes for a classic dome or cabin-style tent, but why not a yurt? Legendary Swedish tentmaker Hilleberg has created an intriguing and offbeat option with the Altai XP, which essentially amounts to a lightweight and portable yurt for a little over $1,000. And if you know anything about Hilleberg—they make some of the finest backpacking tents on the planet—it’s going to be very well thought out and built to last.

Caveat emptor: We don’t want to play up the Hilleberg Altai too much. It’s a specialty tent designed mostly for basecamping in alpine conditions and is not something you’ll often see around your average state park campground. Moreover, the $1,075 price tag is only for the exterior tent. The inner tent—which you’ll certainly want for any real weather—is a $410 add-on and the floor is another $200. But around $1,685 all-in isn’t all that bad for such a cool set-up. If you feel the urge to be different, buck the trend and go for a yurt.
See the Hilleberg Altai

Camping Tent Buying Advice
Camping Tent Types
Interior Space: Floor Dimensions and Tent Height
How Many People Actually Fit in These Tents?
Doors
Build Quality
Weather Resistance
Ventilation
Storage Space: Vestibules and Garages
Weight and Packed Size
Ground Size
Footprints
The Rest of Your Camping Kit

Camping Tent Types
Premium Camping Tents
Premium may seem like a generous term for a tent, but considering the price and feature set, they’ve earned the billing. Tents at this price point have the benefit of more extensive R&D and access to advanced materials, which leads to a more thoughtful design. To start, tents in the mid and high-end category make the most of their livable space—near-vertical walls, dividers, and spacious vestibules are a few examples.
Camping Tents (premium REI Kingdom)
Camping with the premium REI Co-op Kingdom

Liberal use of mesh in the tent body ventilates well in warm or muggy weather, and built-in vents in the rainfly help keep moisture from collecting on the inside. In addition, most of these tents can withstand wind and wet weather far better than budget options. Nearly all premium models have a full-coverage rainfly (or at least the option) and a strong pole design. It’s true, a tent like our top-rated REI Co-op Kingdom can become prohibitively expensive (the eight-person model is $549), but for the family or group that heads out a number of times a year, even in bad weather, the long-term investment is a worthwhile decision.

Budget Camping Tents
In theory, camping is a way to simplify life and just disconnect for a while. In that spirit, budget camping tents are basic but fully functional options for fair-weather campers. There isn’t a clear line where a tent goes from mid-range to budget, but we’ve found for six-person options, it happens around $200. Typical budget tents use heavier fabrics, which make them bulky and adds weight to the bottom line, but they’re also durable and resist moisture. Weather protection is their downfall. When a storm blows through the campsite, more often than not, the budget tents are the ones with soaked interiors or are in a heap of broken poles. If camping is a new thing or you keep it casual in the summer, a budget tent will serve your needs just fine. Just don’t expect anything heroic if the weather turns sour.
Coleman Sundome (camp site)
The budget-friendly Coleman Sundome

Hybrid Camping/Backpacking Tents
As you’ve probably deduced, even tents in the budget category can be a significant investment. And if you’re thinking about both camping and backpacking, the math quickly gets out of hand. For those only planning on doing both activities a couple times a year with the family, it may be worth considering a hybrid camping and backpacking tent. Depending on your space needs, you could get a design like the REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Plus, which will fit four pads side-by-side (and is very roomy for two or three people). It’s small and light enough to manage on an overnight backpacking trip but still has enough space to make most campers happy.

To be clear, tents that are trying to appeal to both parties will have some sacrifices. For campers, the Half Dome 4 has a low 48-inch peak height (for reference REI's Kingdom 4 is 75 in.) and is built with lightweight and less durable fabrics to make it easier to pack down. And backpackers may cringe at its 7-pound 10-ounce weight (dividing up carrying duties helps). But if you need something to pull double-duty, a hybrid camping/backpacking tent like the Half Dome 4 or MSR Papa Hubba NX is a great pick up.
Camping Tent Styles
A hybrid camping/backpacking design (right) compromises interior space

Rooftop Tents
An up-and-coming category in the car camping world is rooftop tents. The concept is fairly simple: a folded tent attaches directly to the roof rack system on top of your vehicle or pickup bed, and when you arrive at your chosen destination, you simply unfold it, climb the ladder, and go to sleep. Compared with standard camping tents, the rooftop design gets you off uneven ground and makes it easier to set up camp just about anywhere (within reason). Moreover, most rooftop tents include a cushy built-in mattress, which is a notable upgrade from a standard sleeping pad.

There are, however, a few downsides of rooftop tents to be aware of. First, they are very expensive—often $1,000 or more—and this price doesn’t include a roof rack system if you don’t already have one (even if you have a roof rack, we recommend using the fit guides provided by the tent manufacturers). Storing the tent at home also can be an issue. The Tepui Tents Kukenam 3 above, for example, weighs 130 pounds and is wider than a full-size mattress. Further, rooftop tents take up a ton of space while mounted, often eliminating the possibility of also utilizing a cargo box or bike rack. But Tepui did recently release the HyBox 2 for 2019, a hybrid roof box and tent that may solve that issue.

Canvas Tents
Canvas tents, like the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow mentioned above, have a dedicated following and for good reason. Canvas is much more durable than nylon and other synthetics and also offers impressive weather protection. That said, it also weighs and costs significantly more. For example, the eight-person Flex-Bow weighs a whopping 79 pounds and comes in at $650 (our top pick, the REI Co-op Kingdom 8, is a little over 25 pounds and $549). But the good news is that if you’re set on canvas, you likely won’t have to buy another tent for a very long time.


Interior Space: Floor Dimensions and Tent Height
Nearly every tent on the market will provide information about floor dimensions (or floor area) as well as peak height. This is helpful for understanding the basic design of the tent—the peak height in particular is an indication of whether or not you’ll be able to stand upright—but it only tells a part of the story. In general, tents with similar sleeping capacities will have similar total floor areas (80 to 90 square feet for a six-person model), and most car camping-style tents have a peak height of around 72 inches.
Camping Tents (peak height)
REI's Base Camp 6 has a 74-inch peak height

Where the tents will differ is their true livable space, which is dependent on the slope of the walls and pole design. Dome tents with simple x-shaped pole structures only allow you to enjoy that peak height at the middle of the tent. On the other hand, a tent with a more advanced pole system can create nearly vertical walls for walking around. This is one of the main reasons we love the REI Kingdom and Marmot Limestone: both ends of the tents have vertical walls, and the pole designs truly opens up the interior. The cabin-style Eureka Copper Canyon, REI Grand Hut, and Big Agnes Big House are other standouts in maximizing interior space.
Camping Tents (interior Coleman)
Cheap tents often compromise usable space

How Many People Actually Fit in These Tents?
The tents above are given a “_ person” capacity, which typically ranges from four to eight people. This listing is based on the number of standard adult sleeping pads that can be laid (usually side-by-side) inside the tent. For example, the six-person REI Co-op Kingdom is 120-inches long, so six standard pads (20-inches wide) technically will fit. But this doesn’t mean you necessarily want to max out your tent.

If you use wide, 25-inch+ sleeping pads or air mattresses, or just want a little space to move around, we highly recommend sizing up. From our experiences, nobody wants to sleep in a tent that is jammed to capacity, so it’s best to order a slightly larger size than the actual number of people you have in your party. For example, a group of four should sleep comfortably in a six-person tent, leaving enough living space for playing cards, waiting out a storm, and spreading out while sleeping. And many couples and those with pets prefer a four-person model, which gives you plenty of room to stretch out.
Camping Tents (pads side-by-side)
A four-person tent only has space for four occupants side-by-side and nothing more

Doors
For a large capacity camping tent, we unabashedly prefer two doors. The additional access is convenient if you have a full house, and zipping it open is another way to encourage airflow in summer heat. A single door build is one of the notable downsides of budget-oriented models like the Kelty Discovery, Coleman Instant Tent, and Coleman Sundome. Stumbling and crawling over your tent mates in the middle of the night isn’t the best way to keep everyone happy. The very large openings on these tents do alleviate a little of the annoyance, but it’s still a compromise that’s worth considering when looking at a cheap tent.
Camping Tents (doors)
Two large doors make getting in and out much easier

Build Quality
Simply put, the differences in build quality are noticeable between budget and premium camping tents. Spending more gets you higher quality materials that are stronger relative to their weight, and in theory, should have a longer lifespan. But a good number of campers only make it out once or twice a year—and often in nice weather—which makes spending $400-plus unappealing. There’s a reason campsites are often dotted with Coleman tents: they’re affordable, roomy inside, and simple to set up and use.
Camping tents (interior storage)
Premium tents typically include excellent interior storage

If you do plan to camp a lot, are looking for a long-term investment that should last for multiple years, or prefer quality gear, we recommending going for a premium camping tent. Upgraded features like a full-coverage rainfly, large vestibules and lots of interior pockets for gear storage, and strong aluminum poles increase a tent’s functionality and weather resistance. A tent like our #1 ranked REI Co-op Kingdom is the whole package—we have a first generation Kingdom that has been through the wringer and still is going strong. But those who plan on camping only infrequently can get away with a budget model like the Coleman Sundome just fine.


Weather Resistance
As we touched on in the section above, a weather-worthy tent is one of the main reasons to upgrade to a premium camping model. In most cases, the pole materials (aluminum is better than fiberglass) and designs are more robust, seam sealing and waterproof fabrics improve in quality, and the inclusion of full-coverage rainflies help keep out blowing rain. It's good to keep in mind that the weather can still get plenty rowdy in the summer, particularly in the mountains (and some national parks).
Camping tent rainfly setup
Partial coverage rainflies fall short in inclement weather

Two of the strongest tents on the list are the REI Co-op Base Camp and Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model, which utilize advanced pole designs that are inspired from mountaineering tents. The Cabela's can even be used for snow camping in less extreme conditions (for designs meant to withstand serious winter weather, check out our article on the best 4-season tents). For most 3-season trips, any tent from our premium camping list should do the trick, if it’s been properly staked out (and if the wind picks up, take the time to align the tent and guylines to brace against the wind).
Camping Tents (around the fire)
Camping in Washington's Methow Valley with the sturdy REI Base Camp

Ventilation
Weather resistance isn’t simply about withstanding wind or rain—the hot summer months bring their fair share of challenges. A tent that is hot and muggy at night can be just as miserable as a rain soaked tent—and either way, don’t expect much sleep. For a tent to perform well in these conditions it needs to ventilate well, so look for healthy swaths of mesh. While a lot of mesh impacts privacy with the rainfly off, the increased airflow is without a doubt worth the tradeoff. If you need to use the rainfly, look for features like roof vents that help expel heat (and the moisture from your breath) or the option to roll up the sides when the rain isn't coming at you sideways to keep your occupants reasonably comfortable.
Kelty Trail Ridge camping tent (rainfly)
Rolling back the rainfly greatly improves ventilation

Storage Space: Vestibules and Garages
A full-coverage rainfly that protects the door(s) of a tent creates a space in front of those doors, referred to as a vestibule. We’ve found a wide range of uses for a vestibule, but a few highlights include a spot to store gear away from rain and putting on/taking off shoes. If you don’t have a car close by to store your stuff, a vestibule should be on your must-have list. And note that vestibules most often come with mid-range and premium camping tents (budget tents with partial rainflies go without).

Taking the concept of a vestibule to the extreme is REI’s Kingdom Mud Room. The palatial pole-supported structure extends out for an additional 61 square feet of space, enough for a card table or area to store bikes. Also, you can zip up the entry door and roll up the sides to create an open and airy shelter from the sun or light rain. On extended camping trips or in large groups, this is a valuable add-on.
Camping Tents (vestibules)
A spacious vestibule is valuable for storing gear

Weight and Packed Size

A speedy take a gander at the table above demonstrates a wide range in the complete load of our suggested outdoors tents. On the lightweight end is a hiking benevolent structure like the MSR Papa Hubba NX at 6.5 pounds, while an enormous six-or eight-man outdoors model will effortlessly break 20 pounds. For vehicle outdoors, the additional weight doesn't mean a ton (exemptions incorporate the 79-pound Kodiak Flex-Bow), however in case you can't drive up to your campground, it merits thinking about all out weight. What's more, in case you're searching for an across the board half breed outdoors and exploring model, we suggest picking a tent that gauges under 10 pounds. Partitioned between a couple of individuals, that is a worthy measure of weight for easygoing end of the week or medium-term exploring trips.

The stuffed size of the tent will commonly line up with its weight. Cross breed hiking and outdoors tents pack down the littlest (the Papa Hubba measures 7 x 21 inches), while a tent like the Coleman Instant Tent will top off an extra-enormous duffel sack and take up a decent segment of a vehicle trunk. Once more, in the event that you have the space to store it and take it around, this is definitely not a major drawback, yet on the off chance that either are including some hidden costs, we prescribe an increasingly reduced half and half structure.

Outdoors Tents (Kingdom sack)

REI's rucksack style sack makes it simple to store and ship the tent

Ground Size

When picking between tent models, it's a smart thought to consider the complete impression or ground size of the tent—a portion of the six and eight-man models are totally enormous. Figuring in a portion of the enormous vestibules or "carports" that can be attached as far as possible of a tent, there's a solid probability that it will reach out past the size of the raised cushions at some national parks or campgrounds. On the off chance that you originate from an exploring foundation, numerous vehicle outdoors tents require an a lot bigger swath of room.

It's normal for a raised outdoors cushion to be 10 or 11 feet in length, which is a difficult situation for a tent like the REI Kingdom 6 (10 feet excluding the vestibule). Regularly, be that as it may, most areas have enormous cushions accessible, so we wouldn't prescribe cutting back your tent out of dread of not finding a reasonable space. Yet, it is anything but an impractical notion to look at the elements of the campgrounds you plan on visiting and move up to a greater space if conceivable. What's more, on the off chance that you have any questions or need to utilize your tent in littler spots, we prescribe going with a half breed or exploring model that has a littler impression.

Exploring Tents (set up)

Ground size can shift broadly relying upon tent style and limit

Impressions

While not a prerequisite, it's frequently a smart thought to utilize some kind of impression or ground material when outdoors. The additional layer makes it simpler to tidy up in case you're exploring nature on soil or mud and shields the tent's floor from harm (along these lines broadening the tent's general life expectancy). Be that as it may, do you have to spend gobs of cash and get the one explicitly made for the tent? In many cases those are upwards of $50, which feels like a ton for a solitary sheet of texture and some webbing. The benefit of utilizing the impression explicitly intended for the tent is that it's precut to the correct measurements and the grommets will join to the tent shafts legitimately. It's a coordinated framework that you don't have to stress over.

On the other hand, a better than average covering can get the job done for ground insurance as long as there's still space to store it in your vehicle. They are commonly very huge, and in the event that you would prefer not to cut them up, you'll have to layer or stuff the abundance material under the tent floor, making some awkward irregularities. Another famous decision for making a nonexclusive ground fabric is getting mass Tyvek. This moderately slim and packable material is modest and offers adequate insurance. Regardless of your decision, in the event that you choose to trim the ground material, try to gauge in a couple of creeps in all measurements to promise you don't have texture hanging out the sides of the tent floor. This additional material standing out can gather and pool downpour water and bargain your waterproof sanctuary.

The Rest of Your Camping Kit

Since you're basically setting up a home away from home, outdoors can be substantial on apparatus. Tents are regularly your greatest buy—both in cost and size—trailed by things like outdoors cushions or beddings and hiking beds. Contingent upon where you'll be enjoying the great outdoors and for to what extent, different fundamentals incorporate a gas-consuming stove, cooler, and outdoors seats. The magnificence in the majority of this is similar rules that apply to outdoors tents exchange to the remainder of your rigging. You can go modest and still have an incredible time, however you'll seldom lament spending extra for included solace, execution, and life span.

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