Comparisons of the Best Tents for Camping


Typically, a tent is the first piece of equipment an experienced backpacker or hiker packs. It’s also the first piece of equipment a beginner researches and purchases when starting their outdoor recreation journey.

The following list compares the five best tents on the market in 2021, and takes a look at the outright best performing tents in the following five categories: family camping, budget, rough weather, backpacking, and rooftop. Notable brands include REI, Coleman, and The North Face.


Best Family Camping Tent

REI Co-op Base Camp 6


Image Credit: REI

Often, a family camping trip includes exposing small children—and maybe a dog or two—to the joys of camping…and the elements. So, when it comes to family camping, space and comfortability are almost as important as ease of use.

The REI Co-op Base Camp 6 tent is the best family camping tent on the market in 2021. This tent is easy to set up and use, which will keep the whole family enthusiastic about camping.

The tent is also spacious enough to fit 6 individuals, and includes a protective rain fly.

In addition to the 6-person setup, options include a 4-person version. The tent can also be paired with a designed footprint, sold separately, to increase the tent’s durability against heavy foot (or paw) traffic.

Learn more here.


Best Budget Camping Tent

Coleman Sundome 6

For occasional campers, the Coleman Sundome 6 is ideal. Not only is this tent one of the cheapest 6-person tents on the market, but it also performs well and is rather easy to set up—so the Sundome is easy on your wallet and your patience.

This dome-shaped tent is constructed out of polyester and fiberglass poles. The Coleman Sundome 6 performs best in dry and sunny conditions, but also will stand up to frequent rain showers.

Learn more here.


Best Rough Weather Tent

The North Face Mountain 25


Image Credit: North Face

Planning to camp in rough weather? You’ll need the best tent for rugged mountain adventures.

Whether facing hail, snow, heavy winds, or blinding rain, The North Face Mountain 25 is up to the task. The tent is equipped with dual doors and a poled vestibule. Additionally, it features a fully taped nylon bucket floor, reflective guylines, and glow-in-the-dark zip pulls.

Price-wise, the Mountain 25 is a hefty investment. However, if you’re ever stuck inside the mountains in a severe weather event, you’ll find every cent worth it.

Learn more here.


Best Backpacking Tent

REI Co-op Half Dome


Image Credit: REI

When it comes to backpacking, the weight of a tent is just as important as its overall performance. The REI Co-op Half Dome weighs in at 3 pounds and 14 ounces, which is light enough to carry on even the longest of trails.

In addition to its stellar weight, the REI Co-op Half Dome is a worthy investment in terms of ventilation, rain protection, and overall performance.

The half-dome also is equipped with a number of helpful and clever storage pockets, which will allow backpackers to keep several items within arms reach without leaving the tent.

While it’s listed as a 3-season tent, reviews show it holds up well even in the early stages of winter in many regions.

Learn more here.


Best Rooftop Tent

Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Tent

Cartop tent for camping off the ground.

Price: $1,749

Thule exceels when it comes to producing rooftop camping tents and accessories. Their latest production, the Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3, is a durable camping tent that can accommodate up to three people.

The tent is designed to be used year-round, and can keep campers comfortable in the middle of summer or in the dead of winter.

The Tepui Explorer is equipped with a single door, ladder system, and a number of helpful organizational pockets.

Its body is manufactured from polyester, cotten, and ripstop, whereas the poles are produced from welded aluminum. The tent is also designed to be compatible with most roof rack systems.

Learn more here.


A blue tent set up in the desert under the stars with the sunset in the distance.

Leaking or drafty tents can completely ruin otherwise amazing camping trips. Likewise, warm and comfortable tents provide moments of solace and peaceful tranquility to salvage even the worst excursions. Before you set out on your next adventure, make sure you’re well-protected and equipped with the best tent for your hiking or camping needs.

For more travel recommendations, check out the coolest places you can visit in 2021, how to plan your first-ever bike tour, or these amazing day trips out of NYC.