Finding the right tent can be a bit of daunting task sometimes, especially if you are unsure about where you will be camping, how you are going to get there, and what weather is going to be waiting for you.
We have made a comprehensive guide of all the best tents and brands, as well as what to look for when purchasing a new tent. We have left no stone unturned, and hopefully, this guide will send you in the right direction.
- Leading Brand
- Best Solo Tent
- Best 2-Man Tent
- Top 4-Man Tent
- Best 8-Man Tent
- Best Tent for Backpacking
- Best Family Tent
- Best Tent Brands Comparison Table
- Best Tents for 2018 Reviews
- EUREKA! Copper Canyon 4 Review
- Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent Review
- Paria Outdoors Bryce Two-Person Ultralight Tent Review
- Napier Enterprises Backroadz SUV Tent Review
- ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent Review
- MSR Hubba Hubba NX Review
- Kelty Salida Tent Review
- ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Review
- Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person Tent Review
- Coleman Hooligan Tent Review
- CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent Review
- Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent Review
- Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent Review
- Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent Review
- Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent Review
- Tent Buyers Guide
- Tent Features
Coleman has been a leader in outdoor gear for years, and that carries on with their range of tents. The same quality that they are known for is seen throughout their line of tents, whether it be their small 2-man tents or their huge 8-person castles.
They have tents that are suitable for big family getaways, as well as solo hikers looking to climb somewhere unique for another night under the stars. Coleman has a tent for everyone, and it’s no surprise that they are at the top of food chain.
Best Solo Tent
Our top pick for the best solo tent goes to the Alps Mountaineering Lynx. This incredibly lightweight and compact tent is ideal for solo hiking and camping missions and can fit into any pack, no matter the size.
It is easy to pitch and transport, and can be used in an emergency shelter situation, as well as on any ground you decide to make camp on for the night.
Best 2-Man Tent
Our favourite 2-man tent is the Coleman Hooligan. It is designed with the same high-quality material and craftsmanship that Coleman is known for while staying lightweight and easy to transport.
The heavy-duty floor and welded seams ensure it can stand up to the elements with ease, as well as allowing you to set up camp anywhere, no need to stick to the maintained campsite.
Top 4-Man Tent
Our favourite 4-man tent is the Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent. Like with the Hooligan, Coleman excellence shines through here and it is a great tent for family camping.
With a setup time of only 10 minutes, and snag free pole sleeves, it is a quick and efficient tent to pitch that doesn’t sacrifice durability or versatility.
Best 8-Man Tent
The Coleman 8-Man Red Canyonis our favourite 8-man tent. The classic shape and design will be known to campers, allowing you to set it up relatively quickly and with ease.
The massive floor space can easily and very comfortably fit 8 people, as well as their gear, and the three-room dividers are a big plus for us, giving you privacy if you are sharing with another family or couple.
Best Tent for Backpacking
We chose the Alps Mountaineering Meramac 2-Man Tent as our favourite for backpacking. Yes, it may be a bit heavier than most backpacking tents, but that weight is equalled out by the incredible quality and build.
On the inside, it has all the features and pockets you may need, it is well ventilated, and the fly is water and UV resistant, ensuring you can use this tent for 3 seasons, for many years to come.
Best Family Tent
Our favourite family tent has to be the Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent. the tent is designed to be pitched in a minute or less, and there is ample room to set up a home away from home on the inside.
The thick walls and waterproof walls not only protect you incredibly well against the elements but also stop serious damage from happening if your kids decide to rough house inside. Brilliant for families with grown children and toddlers alike.
Best Tent Brands Comparison Table
|EUREKA! Copper Canyon 4||4||$$||8.5/10|
|Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent||4||$$||8/10|
|Paria Outdoors Bryce Two-Person Ultralight Tent||2||$$||8/10|
|Napier Enterprises Backroadz SUV Tent||2||$$||8.5/10|
|ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent||2||$||9/10|
|MSR Hubba Hubba NX||2||$$$||8/10|
|Kelty Salida Tent||2||$$||8/10|
|ALPS Mountaineering Lynx||1||$||9/10|
|Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person Tent||2||$$||9.5/10|
|Coleman Hooligan Tent||2||$||7.5/10|
|CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent||9||$$$||8/10|
|Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent||4||$||9/10|
|Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent||2||$||9/10|
|Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent||8||$$$||9/10|
|Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent||8||$$||9.5/10|
Best Tents for 2018 Reviews
EUREKA! Copper Canyon 4 Review
The Eureka! Copper Canyon 4 is a spacious and durable 4-man tent designed to comfortably and easily fit a family of 4. The strong and sturdy frame and material can withstand strong winds, while still keeping the tent relatively lightweight.
The tent is made with a hybrid steel/ fibreglass frame. This means that you get the reliability and strength that comes from steel poles but without the heavyweight. The factory sealed floor and fly ensure you stay dry even in the heaviest rain.
There may only be one door, but the four large windows allow for an enormous amount of ventilation, keeping you cool in the summer months. The shock cord poles attach with a combination of clips and sleeves that make setting up quick and hassle-free.
The straight walls of the tent maximise the interior space and being 7 foot high, there is no need to crouch while inside. The tent is also fitted with an E! Power Port which allows you to run an extension cord through the tent.
- Very spacious
- Strong and durable
- Easy to set-up
- Lightweight poles for easy transportation
Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent Review
The Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent is a 1-4 person backpacking tent that is ultra lightweight and designed to be set up and ready to go by one person in a quick and easy manner.
The tent is made to hold up against rugged conditions, whether it be on a maintained campsite or out in the countryside. The 150D Oxford footprint protects the bottom of your tent against any uneven or damaging terrain.
The tent itself is designed to be extremely durable, with reinforced heat taped seams and anchor points. The floor of the tent is a bathtub design, this ensures groundwater and rain can’t seep into the tent.
The tent comes with a removable, clip-on rainfly to protect you against rain, as well as ensure a level of privacy. The rainfly has pass-through ventilation, which keeps the tent free of condensation.
- Ultra lightweight
- Very quick and easy to set up
- Floor design keeps water out
- Rainfly protects against rain and clears any condensation
Paria Outdoors Bryce Two-Person Ultralight Tent Review
The Paria Outdoors Bryce Two Person Tent is an incredibly lightweight tent designed for hikers and bike-packers. It is very compact and can easily fit into your hiking pack, ready to be set up whenever you need it.
The tent is fitted with two-way inner and outer zippers, mesh pockets, a back vent with a kickstand, a pole repair splint, 12 Y-stakes and Dyneema guylines, taped seams, and 5000mm silicon/PU waterproofing.
The tent is very versatile, and using the footprint, poles, and fly to quickly set up a minimalist shelter if you are in a bind. If you pack the tent without the fly and footprint, the tent can weigh as little as 2 pounds.
The tent may be lightweight, but it doesn’t skimp on quality and durability. The fly is made of 20D ripstop silnylon/PU, 40D ripstop silnylon/PU footprint and floor, 20D mesh and 7000 series aluminium alloy poles and stakes.
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy set-up
- Minimalist design
- High-quality materials
Napier Enterprises Backroadz SUV Tent Review
The Backroadz SUV Tent is designed to be used on the back of your SUV or truck. It allows you to sleep off the ground and not need a proper campsite to set up. It also means you don’t need to risk damaging your tent on the unmaintained ground.
The tent has a sewn-in floor and is also incredibly easy to set up, no need to fuss with a mountain of poles and attachments. The tent is suitable for three seasons, and can comfortably hold two people.
The tent and rainfly are made of polyester taffeta. The floor of the tent is made of polyethene. The tent is fitted with 4 shock-cord fibreglass poles. These poles keep the tent lightweight and easy to transport.
- Great for camping on the go
- Fits onto the back of most pickup trucks and SUVs
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent Review
The ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent is an easily assembled, free-standing two pole design with shock-cord fibreglass poles. The fibreglass poles are durable, and also lightweight.
The tent is made with a 75D 185T polyester fly with 1500mm coating which resists UV damage and stays taut. The fly and seams are factories sealed to keep rain out. The poly taffeta floor is made of 75D 185T with a 1500mm coating.
The actual tent material is uncoated to ensure maximum ventilation when the fly is on. The fly uses a pole in the top which gives you a type of awning above the door for rain protection even when the door is open.
The tent is fitted with two easy entry doors with single zip operation. The tent is fitted with mesh pockets for extra storage, two easy entry doors with single zip operation and windows to allow for more ventilation. The windows have mesh panels so you can open them without letting any bugs in.
- High-quality materials
- Premium ventilation
- Mesh panels to keep insects out
MSR Hubba Hubba NX Review
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a 2-person, 3 season freestanding tent that is ideal for backpacking. It packs really small and is great for hiking, no need to carry around a heavy set-up.
The geometry of the pole design maximises space in the compact tent. It has 29 square feet of floor space and a peak height of 39 inches. You may not be able to stand up, but it is still a very comfortable height.
The complete set up weighs just 3.8 pounds and when packed, only measures 18.6 inches. If you just want to use the minimalist set up, which is the footprint, poles and rainfly, the tent weighs in at just 3.1 pounds.
The tent itself has 2 doors with mesh panels for extra breathability without letting any insects in. It is also fitted with solid panels to keep you warm in colder weather. The set includes a unified hub and pole system, rainfly, stakes and guy lines.
- High-quality materials
- Lots of space
- Very lightweight and compact
- Very breathable
Kelty Salida Tent Review
The Kelty Salida is a specifically designed tent for 3 season use. It was also the winner of the 2011 Backpackers Editors Choice Award. Kelty is known for being leaders in the outdoor gear department, and this tent proves it once again.
The tent itself has 10 square feet of vestibule space, a surprisingly roomy interior and a higher sidewall construction. This is a great 3 season tent that offers you maximum comfort no matter where you set up camp.
The tent has backpack-friendly, compact folding poles, a roll top cube carry bag as well as a colour-coded clip and fly attachment to make the already quick set up even faster. This tent may look small, but it can easily fit two people comfortably.
The tent is very durable and strong, with a fully seamed tape construction. The tent has one easy entry D door, internal storage pockets, gear loft loops, and fabric and mesh tent walls to protect you from the elements as well as keeping the tent ventilated.
- High-quality design
- Maximum space
- Very compact and lightweight
- 3 season tent
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Review
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is an ultra-compact 1-man tent that is perfect for hiking and solo missions. The tent is also a dream to put up, as set up is very fast and painless. The two-pole design makes it even easier.
The tent may be small, but the polyester fly, which is UV and water resistant, adds another vestibule of storage space. Once again, the aluminium poles are lightweight but sturdy and make the tent even easier to carry.
The tent itself has walls that are almost completely mesh, this improves the ventilation of the tent, brilliant if you are camping somewhere warm. The fly and floor seams are factory sealed, and the floor has a 2000mm coating to stop any water from entering the tent.
- Very compact
- Incredibly lightweight
- Simple design that maximises storage space
- Coated floor to protect against water and rain
Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person Tent Review
The Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person Tent has a Clip-pole attachment which keeps the weight of the tent down, and also allows for quick and easy setup. The tent fly has panels that allow for maximum ventilation.
The tent is quite spacious, with 35 square feet of interior space, which is more than enough to accommodate two adults. The tent has two doors for easy entry and exit, as well as two vestibules for extra storage space.
Like we mentioned above, the 35 square feet of interior space allows for a comfortable sleeping arrangement, as well as extra space for your gear. The peak height of the tent is 43 inches, allowing for the tent to feel even roomier.
The pitching instructions can be found on the stuff sack, no need to constantly remember to bring the instruction manual along. The tent is also fitted with a removable gear loft, as well as interior mesh pockets for extra storage space for smaller pieces of gear.
- Very easy to set up
- Very well ventilated
- Can comfortably sleep, two adults
Coleman Hooligan Tent Review
The Hooligan Tent by Coleman is 2-person backpacking tent designed to be lightweight and durable, suited for conventional camping on a site, or out in the wilderness. The setup of the tent takes between 10-20 minutes depending on experience.
The tent is designed with protected seams. These seams are inverted and protect against inclement weather by putting the sewing holes on the inside of the tent. The fly seams are factory taped for extra protection.
The tent has a heavy duty 1000D polyethene bathtub floor for extra durability and protection against rain and water, and the welded leak-proof seams add that extra bit of protection.
The tent body and fly are made from polyester with a 450mm coating. This prevents it from stretching or sagging when wet. The tent also has great UV protection, and one large door for easy entry and exit.
- Lightweight and durable
- Inverted seams for extra protection against weather
- Heavy-duty bathtub floor
- The body of tent won’t sag or stretch when wet
CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent Review
The Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is an enormous instant pop up tent that can easily and comfortably sleep 9 people and is able to fit two queen size air mattresses. The centre point is also a brilliant 78 inches high.
The tent is fitted with H2O Block Technology. This means the seams are heat sealed from the fly, all the way down to the ground to keep water out. The telescoping poles come pre-attached to the tent for quick erection.
The tent has a unique feature called Cool Ventilation. This system draws in cool air from the adjustable vents on the ground, while forcing hot air out of the large mesh ceiling. A brilliant feature for when you are camping in the summer months.
This huge tent has a massive front door for easy entry and exit, and you can easily bring your all your gear in and take it out again. The tent also has a room divider for some privacy if you are sharing with another couple or family.
- A huge amount of space
- Blocks water from entering the tent
- Brings in cool air and expels hot air
- Centre room divider for privacy
Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent Review
The Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent is a dome-shaped tent. This classic shape from Coleman can easily and comfortably sleep 4 adults, with a large door for easy entry and a hooded fly for ventilation even during rain.
The tent also has a large rear hooded window and vents on the roof provide even more cross ventilation. The floor is made of 1000D polyethene and is a bathtub design to protect you against groundwater and rain.
The whole tent has welded seams for extra protection against the weather, and also adds to the overall durability of the tent. The walls and fly are coated polyester which is extremely rugged and durable.
The tent has a shock-cord fibreglass frame or quick and easy setup. It also has an electrical access point for running power cables through the tent. The polyester fly is also tough enough to not stretch, even with water on it.
- Classic shape
- Heat sealed, reinforced seams
- Bathtub floor to stop water coming in
- Very quick and easy to pitch
Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent Review
The Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent is a classic dome shape design with a lot more room on the inside, compared to other 2-person tents. The pitching system is quick and efficient, allowing you to set up in 10 minutes or less.
To pitch the tent, it is fitted with continuous pole sleeves, which means you only have to feed the poles in once, and being snag-free, this cuts the pitching time down substantially compared to other dome tents.
Ventilation isn’t a problem with this tent, it has two large windows and a ground vent. Opening this ground vent pulls cold air in from the outside, while the windows quickly and effectively expel the warm air.
The tent has a Weathertec System floor. This bathtub design has patented corner welds and inverted seams, giving you maximum protection against groundwater coming in. The hooded rainfly also stops rain coming in when the windows are open.
- Quick set up time
- Very spacious
- Very well ventilated
- Protects you from rain and groundwater
Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent Review
The Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent is a massive tent that you are able to set up in one minute. It is designed with the poles already pre-attached, all you have to do is pop the tent open and it does the rest.
Like with the other Coleman tents, the 8-person instant is made with inverted seams, which hide the needle holes inside the tent, adding an extra layer of protection against rain. The zipper cuff is also made of weather resistant material.
The tent is made with Coleman’s exclusive Weathertec System. This system gives the tent much thicker walls, and a welded floor, once against protecting you from strong rain or standing groundwater.
The tent measures 14 by 10 feet, and the highest point measures 6 feet and 5 inches, giving you ample space and room to move around. It also has 2 doors and 7 windows for superior ventilation, as well as a room divider for privacy.
- Set up in a minute or less
- Protects against strong rain and groundwater
- Thick walls protect you from the elements
- Huge living area and ground space
Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent Review
The Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent is another massive tent from Coleman, but with a more traditional design. It isn’t part of their instant set up range, so pitching can take somewhere between 10-20 minutes depending on experience.
Like the other Coleman tents, it is fitted with inverted seams that put the seams and sewing holes on the inside of the tent, protecting you against rain and keeping you dry. The zipper also has a protective cuff.
Even though this tent may suffer a bit in very strong winds and adverse conditions, the poles are designed to move with the wind to prevent buckling. The floor of the tent is welded and strengthened, to allow it to stand up to unmaintained surfaces and rain.
The tent measures 17 by 10 feet, allowing for ample room even with 8 people in it, and the 6 foot high centre point means you don’t have to spend all your time crouching. The tent also has 3 dividers to create 3 separate rooms for privacy.
- Classic and reliable design
- Protects against rain
- The floor is welded and strengthened
- Huge living area
Tent Buyers Guide
There are some important aspects you need to take into consideration when you are buying a tent. The weather, the number of people who are going to be using it, the material of the tent, as well as optional extras you may need for your trip.
One of the most important aspects by far is the weather. No, we don’t mean you having to predict the weather, but this has more to do with the season you are going to be camping during.
If you are a year-round camper, you will most likely need two different tents, one for cold weather and one for warm weather. These tents will most likely be made from different materials and have different features.
If you are going to be camping in the summer months, any tent that isn’t specifically designed for cold weather will do the job. If you get rainfall in the summer, ensure the tent is fitted with a rainfly to prevent you and your gear from getting drenched.
Winter tents can be a bit tricky as not all manufacturers specifically state that the tents are made for harsher conditions. Winter tents are more durable and stronger, they hold in heat better and can withstand strong wind conditions.
There are some tents that are made for all weather, but remember that they may not perform as well as a tent designed for one specific type of weather. These tents can do the job in regular conditions, but for extreme heat or cold, purchase something more adept at handling that specific type of weather.
The size of the tent and why it is important may seem a bit obvious, but there are reasons we are mentioning it. It is very easy to buy a tent that is too big for your needs because you think you are going to be sacrificing comfort if you get one that is smaller.
Whether you buy a one-man tent or a family sized one, comfort is still easily found. All you really have to consider is whether or not getting the bigger tent is necessary. If two of you are sharing a tent, a 5-man tent may be a bit too much.
Ease of Transport
This aspect ties in with size and how easy your tent is to transport can make or break your trip. If you are driving up to a campsite and can park nearby, a heavier and larger tent isn’t a problem as you can easily get it from your car to where you want to pitch it.
If you are hiking or cycling though, this is where size and weight become important. You won’t be able to carry a massive 6-man tent on your back, and even if you could, it isn’t the best start to your trip.
If you are needing to bring a big tent on your trip, make sure you know in advance where the campsite is going to be and how you are going to get there. This may seem like a bit of effort, but it is better than pulling your back out of place 20 minutes into your trip.
Versatility will tie into the weather capabilities and size of the tent, but there are also notable features that should be considered. If you are a hiker and camp in strange spots off the beaten track, you will need a tent with a sturdy bottom.
This bottom will protect you against snow, rocks, and anything else you may not find in a maintained campsite. These types of features are important to remember if you aren’t always sure about where you will be setting up camp.
With everything, the price will determine which tent you will finally end up purchasing. You always need to remember that you get what you pay for. Whether it be size, materials, extras, anything really, it all comes at a price.
If you are a serious camper, you will know what you do and don’t need from a tent, but if you are a first-time camper, or haven’t bought a tent before, doing more research is a necessity. Paying too much for an average tent is never a good way to go.
Clearly, there are specific features of a tent that they all have, and they all have their own importance to the overall set up of the tent and your experience. We’ll break down each feature for you and explain why they are important.
Tent poles are the backbone of your tent. They are the things that keep the material up and provide the actual shelter. There are 3 different types of tents poles namely, aluminium, carbon composite and fibreglass.
Aluminium poles are the strongest and the most durable, but they are also the most expensive and the heaviest. Aluminium poles are almost a necessity if you are planning on camping in high-wind areas.
Carbon composite and fibreglass poles are cheaper and lighter, but they can’t stand up to strong winds. They will buckle, crack and break easily, but they will be perfectly suited if the weather is calm.
The importance of choosing the right poles also varies depending on where you will be camping. Once again, weight is an important factor. Aluminium poles are far more durable and longer-lasting, but heavier, therefore you need to remember this if you are going to be hiking with your pack and tent.
The material your tent is made from is one of the most important features. This material will determine whether you stay warm and dry and protected from the outside. It is most certainly not something that can be overlooked.
Many cheaper tents are made from nylon. Nylon is a much cheaper material and often fails at keeping you warm, keeping you dry when the weather changes, and unfortunately is prone to tears, even from the smallest of things like leaning on the tent posts or opening your tent door too vigorously.
The much better alternative is ripstop nylon. Ripstop nylon isn’t the most expensive material either, and will easily protect you against rain, wind and any other harsh elements. It is also great for families with kids, who aren’t always as careful.
Ripstop nylon can easily hold up against shoes, and any pressure placed on points of tension like the tent poles and the opening of your tent or the windows. It is definitely the prefered choice for many campers.
Another feature that should be looked into is reinforced material. This type of material may be more expensive, but it is most definitely worth it. Reinforced means the material has been made stronger on all the stress points, such as around the tent poles and openings.
Investing in a tent that has multi-layered material should always be the first choice. Look into tents that have 4 or more layers, cause quite simply, the more layers of material, the more durable, strong and protective the tent shall be.
A strong and reliable rainfly is essential for any tent. These are the things that are going to not only prevent the rain from sitting on your tent, but also keep you and your gear dry. Rainfly’s have always been superior compared to roof-on style tents.
A removable rainfly also allows you to look up and watch the stars at night. Most rainfly’s have a mesh bottom half that allows for ventilation, even when the rainfly is on, great for any hot days that have some unexpected rain.
Straps are very useful and important in the overall feel and comfort of your tent. These straps allow you to keep your tent poles in place, and hold back your window and door flaps. These straps also help prevent the window and door flaps from getting pulled too hard in strong wind and potentially ripping.
Straps also allow you to make temporary repairs to your tent in the event of a rip. Let’s say your door zipper rips or gets stuck open, you can easily use a strap to close it up until you can fix it properly.
Smaller aspects such as pockets can be particularly useful if you are going to be camping for an extended period of time, you can store many different things in them, from toiletries to matches and torches. Some tents have a loop at the top that allows you to attach a lantern.
We hope we have been able to give you some incredibly valuable insight into what makes a tent great, the best tent for a particular area or weather conditions, as well as what to look for when making your purchase.
We always advise you to make sure you find out as much as you can about where you will be camping and the conditions you should expect, cause nothing will ruin a brilliant family camping trip like some unexpected rain, or a tent you have no idea how to pitch.