10 Best Tents of 2024 (2024)

Best Overall Camping Tent


The North Face Wawona 6


REASONS TO BUY

Great use of space

Family-friendly

Quality construction

REASONS TO AVOID

Single entry

Questionable bag storage

SPECIFICATIONS

Max Inside Height 6' 4"
Measured Weight 21.9 lbs
Floor Dimensions 10' x 8'
Floor Area 86.1 sq ft
Seasons 3-season

The North Face Wawona 6 is our favorite option for family camping trips. The roomy interior has plenty of standing height, easily sleeps a family of 4 and two dogs, and has good pockets for storage and organization. The outer vestibule is huge enough to store large gear like bikes or a fishing pole and tackle box, freeing up space in the sleeping portion. This roomy outer area adds nearly 1/3 to the usable space. It is great for gear storage, but if you pack light, we enjoy it just as much for hanging out in the shade to take in the view. The sturdy build and well-vented construction keep you comfortable in most types of weather, whether hot, cold, wet, or windy. The latest update to the Wawona 6 brings a double-wall design to the upper part for increased storm protection and breathability.

While not the biggest beast we've had to tackle, the setup and take-down process for the Wawona 6 is more involved than we'd like. The poles fit very snug, and we found getting the last one into its proper slot challenging. The rain fly attaches via a ring and pin system that holds the fly securely but seems disproportionately challenging to operate. If ease of use is a priority, check out the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3. Lastly, we weren't impressed with the storage bag, which has a drawstring opening that never fully closes. Although these things make setup and take-down a bit more complicated than other options, it's not enough to prevent us from loving this model. The Wawona's high-quality build and materials make this a sturdy option that will last through years of family camp trips. Scoring just behind the Wawona is the MSR Habitude 4, which is a little more weather-resistant and easy to use but less spacious, comfortable, and family-friendly.

Read more: The North Face Wawona 6 review


Best Tent for Camping on a Budget


REI Co-op Skyward 4


REASONS TO BUY

Tall interior

Large built-in vestibule

Great value

REASONS TO AVOID

Rainfly isn't great

Fabric isn't very breathable

Carry bag is tight

SPECIFICATIONS

Max Inside Height 6' 6"
Measured Weight 11.0 lbs
Floor Dimensions 8' 4" x 7' 3"
Floor Area 60 sq ft
Seasons 3-season

The REI Co-op Skyward 4 expertly balances features, space, ease of use, and value. It is lightweight for a camping model without scrimping on the 6'6" ceilings. The built-in 19.5 square foot vestibule with optional awning capability is also a game-changer. It is a great option for family camping or a spacious model for two. Ample storage and adequate ventilation are essential for a comfortable camping experience. The Skyward got an update in 2022, which simplified the design, lowered the weight, and lowered the price. The newer version uses more burly and weather-resistant materials than the old.

On the flip side, this is an entry-level model, and it's not without a few flaws. The tiny hat of a rainfly is troublesome to attach, and the bag is too small to fit the tent back in without really working at it. However, looking past these issues, you get a great value with the potential to outlive many others at this price point. Overall, we recommend the Skyward 4 for anyone looking for a high-quality shelter that won't break the bank. If you want a cheaper option, you must sacrifice quality and features. For example, the Kelty Tallboy 4 is about half the cost but scores lower in every metric. The Tallboy might get you through the occasional excursion in moderate weather, but if you want more comfort and to be prepared for rain, we recommend the Skyward 4.

Read more: REI Co-op Skyward 4 review


Best Form and Function


NEMO Aurora Highrise 6


REASONS TO BUY

Huge interior

Massive front door

Stylish and fun design

REASONS TO AVOID

Setup is hard without two people

Window design is disappointing

Not many pockets

SPECIFICATIONS

Max Inside Height 6' 5"
Measured Weight 18.9 lbs
Floor Dimensions 8' 4" x 10'
Floor Area 83.3 sq ft
Seasons 3-season

The Nemo Aurora Highrise 6 is the complete package, with loads of space and features packed into a stylish and functional design. You can easily fit a twin and two singles inside. The ceiling stands 6'5" —your kids (and possibly you) will have room to do cartwheels in this spacious tent. The dual vestibules, super large front door, great privacy options, and fun floor design make it one of our favorites, and it's unlikely you'll come across many shelters that balance all these features better. Over the years, the Highrise has evolved to provide more headroom and use better weather-resistant materials.

On the other hand, the Aurora Highrise can be a bit complicated to set up for the first time, though it does get easier once you get the hang of it. We also wish there were more pockets and better-designed windows. The windows are the classic Nemo flap, which isn't very effective at keeping the wind out — we keep hoping for weather-tight zippers. If you don't need a model this size, check out the MSR Habitude 4, one of our favorite 4-person options offering better weather resistance.

Read more: Nemo Aurora Highrise 6 review


Best Tent for Bad Weather


REI Co-op Base Camp 6


REASONS TO BUY

Highly weather resistant

Great cross breeze

Vehicle connector attachment

Lots of storage pockets

SPECIFICATIONS

Max Inside Height 6' 2"
Measured Weight 20.8 lbs
Floor Dimensions 9' 2" x 9'2"
Floor Area 84.3 sq ft
Seasons 3-season

The REI Co-op Base Camp 6 is marketed as a 3-season tent, but it has waterproofing and wind-resistant features that rival some of the 4-season options we have tested. It is a top scorer in our weather resistance metric thanks to its lower overhead height and full-length pole sleeves that allow it to better withstand gusty weather. To test waterproofing, we mimicked a heavy downpour with our garden hose for a full 5 minutes. “Despite our efforts,” says lead tester Jason Wanlass, “the tent's interior was bone-dry.” Aside from great weather performance, we appreciate the comfort features of the Base Camp 6; it has pockets and gear loops galore. At 84.3 sqft, it is average for a 6-person tent, but with the addition of the vehicle connector attachment, you can nearly double the amount of useable space and have a direct line to your car that is out of the sun or rain. The cherry on top is the build quality. The materials and construction of this tent speak to this, and Jason says that “after weeks of testing, the entire system has our seal of approval for being well-made and built to last.”

Some of the weather-resistant features of the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 make it a little less user-friendly. Setting up takes a bit longer because of the full-length pole sleeves, and we found it cumbersome, although still manageable, to do with just a single person. Additionally, the zippers on both doors do not glide as easily as we would like. We often noticed that they needed a little finagling to get them all the way shut rather than flow smoothly from end to end. If ease of use is important to you, but you still need a tent to withstand the weather, the MSR Habitude 4 is a good alternative to consider, although it is not as roomy, so it is better for smaller groups. These small caveats aside, if you like to push your camping trips far into shoulder season or live in a place with unpredictable weather, the Base Camp 6 is one of the best tents you can buy.

Read more: REI Co-op Base Camp 6 review


Best Backpacking Tent


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3



REASONS TO BUY

Comfortable layout

Impressive weight

Lots of headroom

REASONS TO AVOID

Tight for three people

Pricey

Poles and fabric are a bit fragile

SPECIFICATIONS

Measured Floor Area., sq ft 39.20
Measured Total Packaged Weight 3.81
Interior Floor Area to Weight Ratio, sq ft per pound 10.29
Measured Headroom Area, sq ft 25.04
Interior Headroom Area to Weight Ratio, sq ft per pound 6.57

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 ran away with top scores thanks to its comfortable, roomy layout and surprisingly low weight. The 3-person version of the Copper Spur weighs less than many 2-person tents in our lineup and on the market. Not only that, the UL3 packs down just as small as the Spur HV UL2, making it a compelling option for those who want something that can fit two or three people (or two people and a large dog). The vestibules are large, with many internal pockets and a huge ceiling gear hammock. Vents in the ceiling help with temperature and condensation, and external guylines are ready to go for outings with heavy wind. You can even make the rainfly into an awning with your trekking poles. Overall, this is our favorite backpacking tent for a reason.

There's not a whole lot we don't like about the HV UL3. That said, we should note that while it's a 3-person tent, the space is tight for three adults. The tapered footprint makes head-to-toe sleeping awkward and limits the amount of interior space for extra gear. The poles and fabric are also lightweight, so it's best to be mindful. The impressive weight may feel great in your backpack, but the materials aren't as robust. Using a supplemental footprint is highly recommended but will increase the total cost. Still, we love this tent if you want to vary the number of people or pets in your group from trip to trip. If you are shopping on a budget and want roomy space for two, the Nemo Aurora 2 is a comfortable option offering ample headroom.

Read more: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 review


Best Budget Backpacking Tent


NEMO Aurora 2


REASONS TO BUY

Great headroom

Quality build

Well considered storage

REASONS TO AVOID

Heavy for backpacking

Water can sneak in

SPECIFICATIONS

Measured Floor Area., sq ft 30.33
Measured Total Packaged Weight 5.51
Interior Floor Area to Weight Ratio, sq ft per pound 5.50
Measured Headroom Area, sq ft 25.28
Interior Headroom Area to Weight Ratio, sq ft per pound 4.59

The Nemo Aurora 2 is incredibly comfortable and spacious and offers a large area you can sit up in without hitting your head. It's also a well-made tent backed by an excellent warranty, and all for a very fair price. The Aurora comes with a footprint, something many tents don't, and you can even upgrade the interior with a Pawprint if you want to increase both durability and coziness for your four-legged friend. Vents, pockets, and vestibules add to the livability of this well-priced shelter.

The Aurora fared well in our wet weather testing — three days in a rainstorm — though we did experience a little water sneaking near the tent's head when we didn't fully deploy the guylines. Once we deployed guylines, the water stayed out. This is not a big deal, but other tents are more waterproof without requiring full guyline deployment, which takes more time and means you have to be more careful not to trip when walking around the perimeter. Part of the tradeoff for such a good price point is weight — the Aurora tips the scales at 5.5 pounds, which is quite heavy for backpacking unless you're splitting the load with a buddy. But this is a great option if you aren't going out too far and want a solid base camp. If you want to spend even less, the REI Co-op Trailmade 2 gives you less headroom but plenty of floor space and is super simple.

Read more: Nemo Aurora 2 review


Best Rooftop Tent


Roofnest Sparrow EYE


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REASONS TO BUY

Incredibly easy conversion

Good interior and exterior storage

Comfortable

REASONS TO AVOID

Bulky shape to lift

Significant investment

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight 130 lbs
Seasons 4
Max Inside Height 44 in
Pockets 1 detachable
Windows 2 side

The Roofnest Sparrow EYE is our top rooftop recommendation. The ease with which it can go from travel mode to camping mode and back again is mind-blowingly quick, and the process is almost as simple as lifting the hatchback on the back of your car. The initial rooftop install is nearly as easy. The tent doesn't require assembly; lift the entire box onto your roof rack and tighten the bolts. An overhead cargo net and two side pouches provide storage and organization for the interior, and in case you need even more storage, the hard shell top can accommodate up to 50 lbs of gear. Even in travel mode, there is still enough room inside the closed tent to leave pillows, sleeping bags, and other bedding inside, further simplifying the setup process when you arrive at your campsite. Should you upgrade if you have an older version of the Sparrow EYE? It depends. The newest model is bigger, more durable, and easier to operate. It also has more pockets and an LED light. If your older model is holding up, we would stick with it.

We are impressed with how spacious and comfortable the EYE feels for a two-person model, but it still does not compare with the other three-person models we tested. It also lost a few points for durability due to the lightweight 320G polyurethane-coated polyester/cotton blend that makes up the canopy. Other tents use a more robust 600D ripstop material that is inherently more durable. Our only complaint with the installation is that the bulky box may be too much for two people to lift on their own, and you may find it more manageable with 3-4 sets of hands. Otherwise, the Roofnest Sparrow EYE provides a luxurious rooftop camping experience that is hard to find anywhere else. If you want more space, comfort, and durability, we recommend the Thule Approach M. However, the Sparrow EYE is much easier to use and set up, which gave it the edge in our scoring.

Read more: Roofnest Sparrow EYE review


Best Budget Rooftop Tent


Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander


REASONS TO BUY

Spacious and comfortable

Good quality

Durable canopy material

REASONS TO AVOID

Longer setup time

Heavy

Inconvenient travel cover

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight 154 lbs
Seasons 3
Max Inside Height 51 in
Pockets 5
Windows 3 side, 2 roof

Want a rooftop tent but have a smaller budget? Check out the Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander, which is a nice improvement over the first generation. The biggest upgrade is a telescoping ladder on the GEN2, which not only makes initial installation much easier but also lets you adapt the tent much better when the terrain around your vehicle is not flat. The GEN2 also has an improved rainfly, which is more weather-resistant and gives better visibility to your surroundings. This improves comfort, morale, and boredom on storm days. It is one of the most spacious and comfortable tents we have used, with enough overhead room to allow campers to easily change clothes or comfortably sit up and enjoy the view from one of its many windows. Included perks like an LED light strip and hanging boot bag outside the tent make it more livable and pleasant for longer trips. The ladder is extra wide and feels sturdy when bringing gear, kids, or pets up to roof level for the night. And don't let the lower price tag fool you into questioning the quality of this tent. The Overlander uses durable 600D polyurethane material to weather gnarly storms. If you have an earlier model of the Overlander, you will notice many differences. The latest model is larger, has a second door, and is much burlier. It also has more storage and an LED light.

The Smittybilt's lower price tag is likely due to its DIY assembly. This is one thing that was not improved in the transition from the first-generation model to the second-generation model. The initial installation is more complicated than average. It is heavy and only comes with a basic tool kit. Most components come unassembled, and the whole thing takes longer to complete. Once you have it properly mounted, converting it from travel mode to camping mode also takes longer than average, although luckily, it is not too difficult. This is one of the big differences between this and more expensive models like the Yakima Skyrise that are much easier to install. Our final gripe is that there is no convenient place to store the travel cover. It removes completely from the tent, so you'll have to fold it and find a place to stash it. On most other models, the cover attaches so you can roll it and hangs on the side of the tent. If you're prepared to devote a little more time to setup and teardown each trip, the Smittybilt Overlander is an excellent way to adventure on a tighter budget. If you are okay with spending a little more, the Roofnest Falcon 2 is much easier to use. However, it doesn't have the same space and comfort. Note that the first generation Smittybilt Overlander is still available at a lower price than the GEN2, but we feel that the ladder issue mentioned above is significant, and we highly recommend the GEN2.

Read more: Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander review


Best Double-Wall 4-Season Tent


Hilleberg Jannu


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Read the Review

REASONS TO BUY

Stormworthy

Very resistant loading from snow

Fast pitch from the outside

Excellent ventilation

Can be set up multiple ways

REASONS TO AVOID

Small zippers

Not as much headroom as other models

A bit heavy

Expensive

SPECIFICATIONS

Floor Dimensions 93 x 57 in
Minimum Weight (only tent, fly, poles) 6.17 lbs
Peak Height 40 in
Measured weight (tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag, stuff sacks) 6.87 lbs
Type Double wall

We've camped across the world in all kinds of weather, in every season, and the Hilleberg Jannu is a highly impressive tent. It is ideal for mountaineers and alpine climbers. The Jannu is versatile and truly expedition-worthy, yet also light enough to warrant going on easier adventures closer to home. Our testing team has used this tent for over a decade, and it remains a go-to for a reason. We love the incredible storm protection, the easy exterior setup, and the decent weight.

The Jannu isn't flawless (but what is, right?). It's not as cozy as tents designed for multi-week expeditions, and it's heavier than truly lightweight models. It will also leave a dent in your wallet. And yet, if you want a dependable stormworthy product and a streamlined setup, this is an excellent option all around. If your drizzly adventures only require a single wall construction, you can save some weight with the Samaya2.0.

Read more: Hilleberg Jannu review

10 Best Tents of 2024 (28)


Best Single-Wall 4-Season Tent


Samaya2.0


REASONS TO BUY

Waterproof single-wall design

Handles condensation well

Lightweight

Small packed size

High-tech quality design

Simple setup and breakdown

Extra vestibule can be purchased

REASONS TO AVOID

Not as roomy as other models

Poles can catch on sleeves during setup

High cost

SPECIFICATIONS

Floor Dimensions 87 x 43 in
Minimum Weight (only tent, fly, poles) 2.94 lbs (no vestibule)
Peak Height 39 in
Measured weight (tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag, stuff sacks) 3.61 lbs (without optional vestibule)
Type Single wall

The Samaya2.0 is cutting edge. This is one of the lightest 4-season tents on the market that is also truly waterproof. Some readers will know that single-wall tents are notorious for poor performance in the rain. But the Samaya2.0 changes that narrative, thanks to impressive constructive, a good design, and high-caliber materials. We found the Samaya2.0 exceptional in pretty much any condition, and it's a great size if you need to fit into a smaller footprint.

The Samaya2.0 is a little tight for two folks and will cost you a pretty penny. And yet, if the conditions require a smaller shelter, your extra bucks won't go to waste on this impeccably-made and very protective tent. If you're searching for a snug home for your next great adventure, the Samaya is a great option we highly recommend you consider. But if you want something more roomy for you and a partner, consider another model like the stormworthy Tarptent StratoSpire Ultra.

Read more: Samaya2.0 review


Best Double-Wall Ultralight Tent


Tarptent StratoSpire Ultra


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REASONS TO BUY

Confidently stormworthy

Roomy interior

Generous length for tall people

Removable mesh

REASONS TO AVOID

Involved pack-up

More difficult stake out

Heavier

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight With All Components 39.5 oz
Type Double wall tent w/ removable floor and bug netting
Measured Weight of Included Shelter Parts Total 39.5 oz; Fly: 21.2 oz; Inner mesh: 14.7 oz; Stuff sack: 0.7 oz; Tent peg sack: 0.2 oz; Stakes: 2.5 oz; Accessories: 0.2 oz
Stakes Included? No
Trekking Poles Needed for Set-up? Yes

The Tarptent StratoSpire Ultra is an excellent middle ground between featherlight tents that leave much to be desired when it comes to creature comforts and weather protection and more conventional tents that have desirable features but weigh you down on the trail. What we absolutely love about the StratoSpire is how it's both roomy enough inside for two people to sleep comfortably, and also absolutely bombproof when the weather turns sour outside. The asymmetric pyramid design grants you one of the biggest footprint areas for the materials used, meaning a weight saving design that doesn't compromise comfort. Excellent ventilation, generous double vestibules, and double doors round out some of the bigger features you'll find. But the magic is in the details: Tarptent's patented “Pitchloc” corners make the tent even stronger and lighter, while also giving you a little more interior space and ventilation.

We think this model is great for folks transitioning from a more conventional tent into ultralight territory. Just know there may be some growing pains, as the StratoSpire Ultra doesn't include tent poles — you'll most likely use your own trekking poles to pitch. Therefore, you should factor in a bit of practice time to get everything set up right before you take off on your next great adventure. Also, repacking into the included stuff sack requires some trial and error, as the embedded carbon poles and advanced materials need to be carefully folded in together and stowed, which may be surprising to owners of heavier nylon or polyester tents. However, the new Ultra material used is more cost-effective than the Dyneema Composite Material (DCF) other ultralight tents of a similar fashion are constructed from, with many of the same exceptional characteristics — though it is heftier. If you want a model built for a storm with an easier setup, check out the Hilleberg Jannu.

Read more: Tarptent StratoSpire Ultra review

10 Best Tents of 2024 (35)


Best Single-Wall Ultralight Tent


ZPacks Duplex Flex Upgrade


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REASONS TO BUY

Good weather resistance

Included comfort features

Spacious

REASONS TO AVOID

More involved setup

Average weight

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight With All Components 28.3 oz
Type Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor
Measured Weight of Included Shelter Parts Total (tarp + upgrade): 28.3 oz; Tent: 18.1 oz; Stuff sack: 0.3 oz (Flex upgrade: poles: 9.8 oz, pole bag: 0.1 oz)
Stakes Included? No
Trekking Poles Needed for Set-up? Yes w/o flex kit
No w/ flex kit

The ZPacks Duplex Flex Upgrade is an A-frame tarp-style tent with features that set it apart from similar models. Added perks such as a durable bathtub-style floor and sewn-in bug netting make a complete package, and the mesh walls provide excellent ventilation for a completely enclosed structure. A large footprint and comfortable head height make this tent feel much more spacious than other ultralight options we slept in –- it feels very livable, even for two people. Double doors and large vestibules on either side make it easier to manage two people and their gear. The Duplex is also more weather-resistant than comparable models. Extended sidewalls and a 6-inch high bathtub floor protect against rain and resulting muddy conditions, and we felt stable in high winds, although it can still get a bit drafty at times. This tent has evolved over the last decade. The latest version is the lightest yet and has more vestibule space than earlier models.

The weight of this tent falls in the middle of the pack, which may be surprising for a top ultralight tent. However, the bathtub floor and bug netting are convenient features worth the extra ounces, and many campers pack them anyway. Remember, most models with lighter-listed weights do not have this type of protection. It is also not freestanding, which means you can't get away with leaving stakes and guylines at home, and it can be more challenging to set up in tight terrain. The design requires either two trekking poles or two additional flex poles, which you must purchase separately. Our take? Although expensive, the ZPacks Duplex is worth it for its high overall performance and convenient added features. If you need more room, better storm-worthiness and more head space, check out the very unique Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2. Setup is a little more involved and it's also more expensive, but it's also sure to help you get an incredible night's sleep.

Read more: ZPacks Duplex Flex Upgrade review

10 Best Tents of 2024 (39)


Best Budget Ultralight Tent


Durston X-Mid 1P Gen 2


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REASONS TO BUY

Quality build

Good weather protection

Versatile use

REASONS TO AVOID

On the heavier side

Less adaptable

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight With All Components 31.3 oz
Type Twin pole structure w/ removable bug netting
Measured Weight of Included Shelter Parts Total: 31.3 oz; Fly: 17.9 oz; Inner: 10.9 oz; Stakes: 1.9 oz; Stuff sack: 0.4 oz; Stake sack: 0.2 oz
Stakes Included? Yes
Trekking Poles Needed for Set-up? Yes

With 30% additional inside capacity and minor design changes to the entry doors, top mesh pockets, and vents, the Durston X-Mid 1P Gen 2 builds upon its immediate predecessor while maintaining the tent and fly's lightweight combined weight of 1.8 pounds. The X-Mid 1P is one of our top one-person tents for the money, despite the availability of less expensive ultralight models on the market. The rainfly's unique feature is how easy it is to set up and how well it protects against the elements. Even when there is a tempest raging outside, you will feel fairly cozy in the inner mesh if you are fully staked in. As the external fly barely touches the interior, condensation is low.

Starting with its weight, the X-Mid 1P tips the scales somewhat higher than normal for the ultralight category. Although the 20-square-foot area is smallish, the internal mesh area in this version is greatly improved. The X-Mid 1P is a terrific option for staying comfortable in various situations at a low price, which is just what you need when starting cross-country excursions. If you want a lighter version for a similar price, check out the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo, which scored only slightly lower due to lower weather resistance and ease of setup.

Read more: Durston X-Mid 1P Gen 2 review


Best Overall Canopy Tent


Eurmax Standard 10x10


REASONS TO BUY

Fast to set up

Great weather resistance

Sturdy construction

Great roller bag

Height adjusts easily

REASONS TO AVOID

Heaviest in test

Not cheap

Large and bulky

SPECIFICATIONS

Measured Peak Height 11.0 ft
Measured Weight 51.2 lbs
Pole Material Steel
Number of Poles 4
Floor Dimensions 120"L x 120"W

The Eurmax Standard 10x10 is the most sturdy canopy tent in our tests. It uses hefty, high-quality materials that make it super durable and solid during wind and rain. The max height of 11 feet means you can bury the legs in the sand and still have plenty of room to walk around. Despite its heft, it is relatively easy to set up and take down, even with just one person. We have been long-term testing a model for over five years and have seen no durability issues other than having to tighten the wheel on the carrying case.

The big disadvantage is how heavy and large this tent is. It's a lot for one person to pick up and load in a car, and your car needs a big storage area. While it is fast to set up and take down, it is still heavy and requires some strength, especially if you are solo. If you want something much lighter and cheaper, see the Caravan Canopy V-Series, roughly half the weight and cost. However, if you use your canopy tent frequently, the extra durability and weight of the Eurmax will pay off over time.

Read more: Eurmax Standard 10x10 review

10 Best Tents of 2024 (46)


Why Trust GearLab


Our team consists of people who love to be outdoors, so much so that they don't want to go home at the end of the day. That may mean carrying a tent into the most remote corners of the Alaska Range, piling everything but the kitchen sink into the back of the car for a family weekend on the lake, and everything in between. To test and evaluate such a wide range of outdoor shelters, we sought out multiple experts with unique knowledge in their fields. Our lead tent testers include a collective of outdoor junkies, all of whom have spent countless nights under the stars.

Ross Patton is an avid snowboarder and all-around thrill seeker whose adventures often take him far into the backcountry. He grew up camping around the western U.S. and spearheaded our rooftop tent review. Ross spent multiple summers researching and evaluating rooftop tents and using them in day-to-day life on camping trips around Southern Utah and California in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and across the Great Basin. Brian Smith is an internationally certified IFMGA/UIAGM Mountain Guide based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He has been sleeping in tents in the nearby Wind River Wilderness, as well as other mountain ranges around the world, for more than 25 years and leads our best 4-season tent review. Insight for our backpacking tent testing comes from Clark Tate, whose expertise includes 15-day raft trips on the Colorado River to perform fieldwork during a 7-year stint as a river restoration ecologist. On top of that, she has spent thousands of hours sleeping outside while guiding whitewater trips and doing thru-hikes just for fun. Rob Gaedtke is a seasoned outdoorsman who has dipped his toes in a wide variety of escapades. He loves to set up base camps in locations worldwide and heads up our camping tent review. In addition to these four camping and backpacking experts, our team of testers expands to include a full spectrum of fastpackers, thru-hikers, and backyard campers who collaborate to give you a comprehensive selection of the best tents for your activity of choice.

10 Best Tents of 2024 (47)
10 Best Tents of 2024 (48)
10 Best Tents of 2024 (49)

The most important metrics when evaluating tents include livable space, comfort, weight, durability, and weather resistance. All of these factors are weighted differently depending on the category. We consider category-specific evaluations, such as an ultralight tent's adaptability or the ease of converting a rooftop tent from travel to camping. We use every tent in various climates and locations to test its ability to handle various weather conditions. We set up, tear down, zip zippers, and spend multiple nights in each model to ensure we know the ins and outs and can compare them fairly.

10 Best Tents of 2024 (50)


How to Pick the Best Tent for You


We've listed the best options above, but how do you know which is right for you? Your camping style, setup times, prices, and comfort levels are all worth looking at. There are many different types of tents, all tailored towards a specific kind of camping. Knowing the differences between each style can help you determine which one will serve you best.

Types of Tents


When looking for a tent, the options are endless, and different models excel at different activities. The first essential step is identifying where you will be going with your tent. If you're driving to the campsite and pitching your tent near your car, a spacious model with ample room will be most comfortable. If you are setting up a basecamp to easily make climbing trips to nearby crags, you will want a larger one with better gear storage options and more liveable space. Going on an expedition to Alaska or the Himalayas? You'll want a tent that can withstand high winds and snow loading. Or, if you are a fast and light alpinist, you'll want to shave as many ounces as possible by choosing a lightweight tent that can still handle mountain weather. If you are fastpacking or doing overnights on your long-distance run, you will want to carry as little as possible and will probably appreciate an ultralight model. Knowing your flavor of outdoor activity will help you narrow down the style that makes the most sense for you.

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Camping Tents


Often called a camping tent or a family camping tent, this type is a feature-heavy shelter with a spacious interior that is sometimes tall enough for an adult to stand inside. A top-rated camping tent is perfect for scenarios where you can drive to the destination and plan to stay for a while. They can comfortably accommodate multiple adults, children, pets, or large amounts of gear, sometimes all of the above. Some vestibules are even large enough to set up your ideal camp kitchen right outside the door. The most significant tradeoff for this space and convenience is a higher weight and larger packed size. This is not the one you'll want to carry for long distances, and it typically will not fit in a backpacking pack. As you can see in the ratings below, we have tested many models in our best camping tent review where we go into a lot more detail and have individual reviews for most models.


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Backpacking Tents


Backpacking tents are built with long thru-hikes and overnight backpacking trips in mind. They often compromise between keeping the load light and offering a few creature comforts while on the trail. Out of necessity, backpacking tents should be easily packable in your favorite backpacking backpack, adequately weatherproof, and durable enough to withstand days of use in the backcountry. Even among the top backpacking tents, there is a wide variety of styles. Location, climate, and the length and frequency of your trips inform which tent is best for your activity level and how much you should invest. All of the models listed below are included in our exhaustive review of top backpacking tents.


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Rooftop Tents


Imagine the brainchild of a popup camper and a camping tent, then set it 6 feet above the ground and make it portable; the contraption is a rooftop camping tent. Our favorite rooftop tents are feature-heavy and bring many luxuries to your camping experience that you may otherwise leave at home. Because they sit perched on top of your vehicle, they are more portable than their traditional counterparts. Because weight is less of an issue, rooftop tents can offer more homey touches and luxurious components than regular camping tents. After the initial installation, they can be (but are not always) easier and faster to set up for the night. They include comfy memory foam mattresses, and some models offer additional gear storage and interior lighting options. They come in hardshell and softshell varieties, and configurations, square footage, and components differ from model to model.

However, these tents mount semi-permanently to the roof of your car or truck and can only go as far as your vehicle can take them. They are very heavy, and you must have a specific rack system on your vehicle that properly distributes the tent's weight and the people and items inside during use. It is also important to remember that you must climb on and around your vehicle to install, set up, convert, and use these tents. They may not be ideal for those with disabilities, small children, large pets, or those who feel unsafe climbing a ladder for any reason. They can be quite pricey, and you should seriously consider the pros and cons of this type of camping tent before making a purchase. Despite all this, a rooftop tent can feel like your home away from home and is a great option for those who like to tackle long, gnarly 4x4 trails and spend their nights in comfort.

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Four Season Tents


If you don't like to let the weather hold you back, all you need is one of the warmest sleeping bags and a a sturdy 4-season tent. As their name implies, these tents function year-round, but they excel at cold-weather camping. More robust materials and fewer ventilation options make them better suited to rugged, windy, and snowy conditions than fair-weather camping. This description may bring to mind typical winter weather, but 4-season tents are also great for shoulder season camping at high altitudes (above treeline) or in the extreme north or south. They vary in their sturdiness and measured weight, so it is essential to closely examine the specs and capabilities of each model before choosing one for your adventure of choice. You can get a double-walled 5-pole model that provides more space, warmth, and wind resistance for expeditions into extreme alpine environments. Alternatively, a single-walled 2-pole bivy-style tent is a good choice for fast and light travel but is better suited to milder weather. Many options combine different features depending on how you would like to prioritize weight savings and camp comfort.

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Ultralight Shelters


Ultralight shelters are not for the faint of heart. This type is for fast-moving minimalists who are prepared to head out into the backcountry with less protection than a traditional tent. However, if shaving ounces off your pack weight is the top priority, ultralight is the way to go, as the top ultralight tents often weigh as little as 2 lbs. As in other tent categories, you can find an ultralight shelter that best suits your camping style, and the tradeoff for less comfort and protection is a super low weight. Some models include a tarp and guylines, relying on a great pair of trekking poles to complete the structure. Others have bathtub-style floors that help protect you and your gear against bad weather. Many tents accept aftermarket purchases, such as mesh bug netting or extra poles. In this way, you can tailor your tent to fit your exact preferences and you can have more flexibility regarding how much you want to spend. Our favorite models are more versatile and can be set up in various configurations and used in unconventional ways, potentially multitasking to eliminate the need for packing other gear items. Because of the technical weight-saving materials used in constructing these tents, they can be pretty pricey, but they don't have to be. A lower price may come at the cost of added weight, but even the budget models will likely provide some weight savings over a traditional backpacking tent.

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Other Things to Consider

Now that you are familiar with your options, here are a few considerations that may make it easier for you to narrow them down:

  • Camping style - Does a weekend camp trip involve packing up the whole family, bikes, your favorite fishing rod, and comfy pillows? Or do you prefer to enjoy nature in solitude, far off the beaten path, bringing along only what you can carry on your back? Some tents can do a little of both, depending on how big your family is and how much you are willing to carry on your back. However, figuring out your primary camping style is the biggest guide as to which tent you should buy.
  • Does it make sense to own more than one tent? - You can take one tent on different camp trips, but you will likely make some sacrifices. For example, if you split your time between backpacking and campground camping, you can get away with owning just a backpacking tent. However, you will either sacrifice the comfort and space of a bigger tent when camping or pack more weight than is necessary when doing overnights on the trail. If you truly want to get the best use out of your tent and the best experience out of your trip, it is worth considering owning different tents for different occasions.
  • Ease of setup - How much time and energy are you willing to put into pitching your tent? Some of us (you know who you are) are in the habit of arriving at a site after dark and setting up camp by the light of a trusty headlamp. If you fall into this category, ease of setup is paramount and something you will want to consider when tent shopping. More punctual campers may not have this problem and can prioritize other features.
  • How much money should I spend? - The frequency of your trips should dictate how much you invest in your shelter. Almost any tent will get you through 1-2 summer camp trips every year, and if this is as much as you plan to use it, you'll have a great time in a budget model that covers all the necessary bases but won't break the bank. However, if you sleep outdoors almost every weekend, rain or shine, you may want to stay in a tent with better features and more durability. After all, you will spend a lot of time inside, so investing in your comfort is worthwhile.

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Conclusion

Whether you are just beginning your journey into nights spent closer to nature or you're a seasoned outdoor enthusiast wanting to dip your toes into the wonderful world of ultralight equipment, the tent market has expanded to include suitable options for every type of camper. Ultimately, every tent on this list has earned its place, and they are all great choices. It comes down to how you choose to enjoy the outdoors; your gear is simply a tool to help get you there.

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