Outdoors

Best Camping Tent

Camping is an incredible pastime that is enjoyed by many. Picking the right camping tent for your and your family is, possibly, the most important decision you will have to make. We recommend the Coleman Eight Person Red Canyon tent to take with you on your next camping excursion. Now, there are a lot of factors and elements to take into consideration when picking a tent. We will go into detail about this further into the article. We found that the Coleman Red Canyon design combined all the best aspects of top tier camping tents. All Coleman tents are made with the Coleman patented WeatherTec System that will keep your family safe and warm through the night. The tent is also manufactured in such a way that pitching is a breeze and can take less than thirty minutes.

coleman 8 person red canyon 
Top Pick: Coleman Red Canyon Eight Person Tent

Coleman is dominating the camping tent industry, and for good reason. Their tents are durable, made to last and also are incredibly easy to set up. The Red Canyon has incredible reviews across the board and even the most avid campers have praised its glory. Of course, the price makes one think that there must be a catch, but, thankfully, there is not. The tent is incredibly well made and will keep you safe and dry all evening. The tents poles are reinforced and shock corded in order to maintain stability and integrity. What shock corded poles do is maintain stability during inclement weather. This tent can accommodate up to eight campers and has dividers, should you wish to create separate rooms for campers or for storage. This tent is known for all the adjustable ventilation ports to keep the air dry and fresh all throughout your camping trip. You also never have to worry about losing the instructions because Coleman sews them onto the inner seams.

Step-Up Pick: Coleman WeatherMaster Six Person Screened Tent

coleman weathermaster 6 person
Coleman WeatherMaster Six Person Tent

If an eight person tent is not for you, or you want to look for a step-up model, you may want to consider the Coleman WeatherMaster Six Person Screened Tent. This tent would be a great choice for places where the weather is a bit finicky. It has a modified dome design making it slightly more stable and durable in high winds. While a bit smaller, this tent can comfortably sleep up to six people and has a separate floor-less area that is screened off. Sleeping under the stars without the threat of nasty insects is like a dream in this tent. We praised the high quality screen material to keep even the smallest of bugs way from us. The interior is very comfortable and has an adequate amount of air flow. The secondary screened area can be used as a storage area as well. What makes this tent unique is the upgraded WeatherTec material that is proprietary only to Coleman and cannot be replicated by any competitors.

Again, a larger tent just may not suit your needs. Perhaps its just you and your spouse, friend, child or pet who are on a trip. Or maybe you’re a backpacking adventurer and need a tent that you can pack up and carry with you. If this is you, then you may want to consider the Wenzel Alpine Tent for three people.

Wenzel Alpine 3 Person Tent is a modified dome design with some interesting features. This tent is one of the only ones we found that had a built in mud mat and drainage system to keep the interior dry and clean. This is great for any adventurer who may be trekking in a muddy forest. No one wants their home to be damp and dirty, so this is a great choice for any die-hard adventurer.

Perhaps you’re planning an epic hike up a mountain on your own or with a friend, or you may be at a music festival, and you treat your tent only as a place to sleep. If you need something small, versatile and very inexpensive, you should definitely look into an instant tent, better known as a pop up tent. Coleman once again trounces the competition with their ten second set up instant tent, the Coleman Pop Up Tent. It is spacious enough to snuggly fit two people and light enough to be carried on your back. This would be the affordable Coleman PopUp Tent. This tent is great for keeping you safe and dry and allowing you to move around freely while on your adventure. What is unique, aside from the ten second set up, is that it packs flat for easy transportation. Consider also the best camping backpack to make sure you can carry everything you need with you comfortably.

Table of Contents

How We Picked

We picked and reviewed our choices based on Amazon reviews and customer testimonials. We read through the reviews to determine what customers loved and didn’t love about our top picks. While we would have loved to go out into the field for extensive testing, time just didn’t allow for an extended vacation. We figured consulting with the most avid and die-hard campers would be the best way to determine the topmost camping tents on the market.

What is the purpose of a Camping Tent?

We began our research with a very basic question: what is the purpose of a camping tent? What kinds of tents do people need based on their trip? Since it will be your home away from home for the duration of your trip, you will want it to be as cozy, comfortable and homey as possible. We consulted the experts at REI Co-Op, who specialize in open air activities and they caution campers to educate themselves on different fabrics as some of the heavier fabrics, although bulky, are much more durable than the lighter, cheaper ones. Also, seam tape and high-denier fabrics on tent floors reduce the odds of leakage” REI . It is for this reason that they recommend in purchasing some add ons, such as sealant tape and a treatment to keep your tent long lasting and durable. Another thing that we considered were different shapes, construction and floor space. USA today had written an article about camping and choosing the right tent and, on this subject, they explained that a tent size describes two adults sleeping shoulder to shoulder. To that end, campers should consider things like gear, children and even pets when looking for a tent. It is for that reason that you may need to move up a size of tent as noted in USAToday . We also considered another very important fact; camping is, typically, done outdoors. While the great outdoors are wonderful, the weather can be a bit of a tricky thing to maneuver around. One day can be sunny and wonderful, and the next can be storming and miserable. You do not want to be in a tent that will let all the water in, ruin your equipment and leave you cold and exposed. The best waterproof tent guards against this. This something that applies to family campers staying in one location, to lone hikers moving from location to location every day.

Materials

To answer some burning questions and to touch and test some of the material, I sought the advice of experts in shops specializing in camping and open-air activities. Experts all said that protection from the elements is the most important thing to look for in a tent as it can be crucial to survival in a desperate situation. I learned that you can find expensive tents made from cheap material that will not hold up against a storm. Likewise, you can find inexpensive tents made with great material and actually be a reasonable price. Even when looking at all of our options, we found that tents, for the most part range from as little as $15 to over $300 and are of varying quality Camping .

We have found that looking for a tent that is made of a combination of polyester and polyurethane is your best bet for durability and protection. The coating on the tent makes it waterproof and weather proof; meaning that it will keep you dry and warm through the night. Polyurethane is an excellent material for tents as it is often used to seal tents and can be used as a weatherproof coating over the polyester. Polyurethane is a type of plastic and is manufactured to suit all kinds of different products Polyurethanes . Polyurethane is a plastic that is found everywhere. For instance, your shoes may have some in it in order to keep your feet dry when it is raining. This versatile material is a great thing to use in tents and you should definitely be keeping your eye out for it when searching for a tent. If you need to carry your tent with you on an extended camping trip, consider getting the best ultralight tentbest hiking tent or best backpacking tent.

Ventilation

Another key aspect to look at when searching for a tent is ventilation. Having enough ventilation ports is very important because it keeps your tent cool, comfortable and smelling fresh. To be frank, if you’re camping out in the woods, you don’t always have access to a shower. This can make body odour an issue, especially if you’re camping with others. Also, our bodies produce heat, and if you’re in a closed off tent, it can create condensation on the inside, which will lead to dampness, stale air and unpleasant odours Section Hiker 2016. This is why looking for a tent with a lot of ventilation is important. The air ports and windows will circulate the air and ensure that fresh air is always coming through and stale air is leaving. Some tents have basic ventilation ports that are effective but very basic. Others come with adjustable ones or even additional windows to keep everything fresh and clean.

If you’re concerned about having open windows or vents during a storm, then fear not, all the tents we found for you have vents that won’t allow any more moisture in. Some will be slanted or even covered with a mesh to keep the air in but not the rain or the bugs.

Size and Shape

Another thing that is important to consider when purchasing a tent is its size and shape. Families require larger tents with more floor space, while hikers and backpackers require something smaller and more portable. There are three basic shapes to consider when looking at tents: cabin, dome and backpacking. There is also another section that is dedicated to combination tents that combines key features and luxuries of different tents. Each have their own unique features and things to consider.

Cabin

A cabin tent looks exactly like a cabin instead of a conventional tent. It has vertical walls and a higher centre height, making it a lot easier to stand up and move around in. This tent is great for family campers on campgrounds, for hunting trips or even for long vacations. These tents are designed to be your home away from home and have all of the amenities and space needed to do so. These tents tend to be much larger and have more overall floorspace. Often, these tents come with dividers or sectioned off areas for an additional room (or two). Most cabin style tents come equipped with electrical access ports so that you can safe run electricity through the tent. This tent design maximizes comfort and tend to be the least expensive of the tents. If you are camping with kids, consider getting the best family tent which is also nicely designed.

Depending on how many people you need to fit, consider getting different sizes of tents:

Dome

The dome design is, perhaps, the most popular kind of tent. These tents are great because their set up is, perhaps, the easiest. They’re ideal for novice campers to seasoned backpackers. The dome design share the space and comfort of a cabin design while having the weight and ease of a backpacking tent. While dome tents are ideal for smaller camping trips and a bit of backpacking, and typically found in the best backpacking tent. These tents are still slightly heavier than backpacking tents, but are still easy to carry. The nice thing about dome tents is that they can fit bigger air mattresses in them, which will make your stay much more comfortable.

Backpacking

If backpacking and hiking are your passion, then you definitely want to consider a backpacking tent. These tents tend to be a bit pricier as they are a smaller design, but a bit more complex as they are made to be a bit more resistant to rugged weather. The thrill and adventure of backpacking is the unknown, and a backpacking tent will ensure that you’re always ready. These tents are easy to set up on even the most rugged terrain and are incredibly light. While there is not much standing room, that i not necessary in a backpacking tent, as you are not spending your time in there. These tents cover the basic needs to a camper: a safe and dry place to sleep and eat. Pitching and taking these tents down are a breeze and can often be done in ten minutes or less.

Combination Tents

While doing our research, we also found some combination tents. What we mean by this is we they would take aspects of one tent and fuse it with another. The most common that we found was the modified dome tent. For instance, if someone is looking for the room and comfort of a cabin tent, but the weight and versatility of a dome tent then they will look at a cabin style modified dome tent. These tents come with, perhaps, a higher centre height than a dome tent, and extra rooms that jut out the sides of the tent. Perhaps this can be used as a storage area or even as a spare bedroom. Either way, this tent has the comfort of a cabin style tent, but the versatility and ventilation of a dome tent.

Alternatively, some people may be looking for a bit more room in their backpacking tent, and may want to look for a backpacking modified dome tent. You will still get the protection, weight and durability of a backpacking tent, but some extra space and ventilation from the dome tent. This will make your adventure much more enjoyable and the extra room is a nice addition.

At the end of the day, you need to consider what kind go camping you’re going to be doing when picking a tent size and shape. If you are backpacking, you’re going to want to be looking at tents made of the lightest materials possible. If you’re going to be staying on a campground, or are on a hunting trip, you can look into models that are a bit heavier and taller.

An interesting specialized tent you may want to check out as well is the best car camping tent.

Flaws but not Deal Breakers

Depending on the type of tent that you buy, there may be a few things to consider. During the course of our research, we found a lot of experts saying how the material on some of the higher end tents could dry out if they were not properly taken care of. If the material dries out, then it is at a higher risk for tears and could shorten the longevity of your tent. However, this can be easily avoided by purchasing the treatment or sealant that is provided on the company’s websites. While this may cost you a bit more, it will definitely benefit you in the long run.

Some customers have noted also, that when looking at tent sizes to consider a few restrictions. For example, if a tent description says it can sleep up to eight people, you need to understand that they mean eight people sleeping shoulder to shoulder. If comfort and space are important to you then you may want to look at these tent and reduce the number of guests by one or two. What we mean by this is that if you see an eight person tent, think that it will comfortably fit six to seven people so that you can have that extra space.

Some tents are clear in saying that they are easy to set up on your own, but many customers find that having a second set of hands to pitch, perhaps, the centre pole, can be quite beneficial. Some things are tricky to pitch on your own, even with the most organized of tents. The same can be said for instant tents, while, yes, you can pitch them on your own, you need to be a bit more careful when taking it down to avoid breakage. The best instant tent will also be very durable however.

Lastly, it is important to consider extending your warranties on the tents. As you are out in nature and the weather can be unpredictable, it would be wise to extend your warranty past the manufacturer’s date. Your tent is an investment, it is your home away from home and you want to treat it as such.

Coleman Instant Eight Person Tent

coleman instant 8 person 
Coleman Instant Eight Person Tent

We found that the Coleman Instant Eight Person Tent is another excellent choice and a worthy competitor for our top pick. This tent is ideal for shorter camping trips, festivals, family reunions and other smaller events. What makes this tent great is that the poles are pre-attached at manufacturing, ensuring that the tent can be pitched in no time at all. That way, you can begin your vacation sooner and not have to worry about struggling with poles.

As with all Coleman Tents, it features the impressive WeatherTec system that will ensure that no water gets into your tent during a storm or heavy rainfall. That way, you and your belongings will stay safe and dry even in the most vicious of weather. This tent has two access points and seven windows to ensure maximum ventilation. This tent is great for small groups of two to larger groups of eight. The divider can also be removed to create a large open space. Consumers have noted that, for an instant tent, it is incredibly durable and can hold its own even in strong winds. The tent is very light and easy to take down at the end of your trip. As with any instant tent, be sure to take down the tent carefully so as to avoid bending or snapping any of the poles. This extra precaution will ensure that your tent remains easy to pitch and has a long, healthy life.

Coleman Sundome Three Person Tent

coleman sundome 3 person 
Coleman Sundome Three Person Tent

Another great tent that you can own is the Coleman Sundome Three Person tent. This tent is ideal for two adults and a child, or two adults and a pet to live comfortably on their excursion. This tent clears a five foot two centre height and has one entryway. This tent also features a mesh roof that allows for a lot of ventilation and is great at keep rain out. The floors and walls are coated with polyester to make the material rugged and long lasting. This will also make cleanup a breeze before you pack up. You can literally just dampen a cloth and wipe down the whole floor. There is also an electrical access port to make it easier to run power cables safely through the tent. This is also another thing that is incredibly important to consider when purchasing a camping tent; where will you run the electricity? Just because you’re enjoying the wilderness or the great outdoors does not mean you should compromise on basic necessities. A unique feature on this tent is that it has a flashlight loop installed into the ceiling which makes it easy to grab when needed. Some consumers have noted that adding an extra coat of sealant is beneficial and extends the life of the tent. This is something that should be considered universal with all tents. You don’t want to be buying one every year or two; making the investment in sealant is an investment in your tent.

As discussed earlier, smaller tents are lightweight and great for adventurers who are moving to different locations. One of the best ones that you can get is the Coleman Sundome Three Person tent. This tent is ideal for two adults and a child, or two adults and a pet to live comfortably on their excursion. This tent clears a five foot two centre height and has one entryway. This tent also features a mesh roof that allows for a lot of ventilation and is great at keep rain out. The floors and walls are coated with polyester to make the material rugged and long lasting. This will also make cleanup a breeze before you pack up. You can literally just dampen a cloth and wipe down the whole floor. There is also an electrical access port to make it easier to run power cables safely through the tent. This is also another thing that is incredibly important to consider when purchasing a camping tent; where will you run the electricity? Just because you’re enjoying the wilderness or the great outdoors does not mean you should compromise on basic necessities. A unique feature on this tent is that it has a flashlight loop installed into the ceiling which makes it easy to grab when needed. Some consumers have noted that adding an extra coat of sealant is beneficial and extends the life of the tent. This is something that should be considered universal with all tents. You don’t want to be buying one every year or two; making the investment in sealant is an investment in your tent.

Coleman Instant Tent

coleman 6 person instant tent 
Coleman 6 Person Instant Tent

They set up in a minute or less and are incredibly affordable. We found that the Coleman Instant Tent for six people was an ideal choice for an instant six person tent. The tent is very basic, but incredibly spacious. While it does not have a divider to create individual rooms, the tent fits two queen sized air beds comfortably. Some have even put in a one double sized queen mattress and enjoyed the luxuries of a large, open space. As with all Coleman tents, it is created with the patented WeatherTec material and has inverted, treated seams to keep the elements out and keep your family dry. A distinctive feature of this tent is the fact that the guy lines, which attach to trees to keep the tent upright, are coated in a reflective coating to increase visibility at night. This is great to notify other campers, rangers and even animals that you are your family are nestled in this area. This would bring greater peace of mind to newer campers, or anyone camping in a new area as it brings about a greater sense of security. The tent pitches in less than a minute and comes in one piece. All you have to do is take it out of the protective bag and, with a bit of help, pull the tent into shape! Some clients have noted that, for longer stays, you should invest in ordering a rain flap from the Coleman website. The tent currently does not come with a rain flap, which may shock you. Coleman sells all sort of accessories on their website for very affordable prices, so purchasing this rain flap will not send you over your budget. Instead, it will allow you to sit outside during the rain and enjoy nature without being doused. This will enhance your experience and ensure that your entry way is clear from rain.

The Runner Up

As mentioned earlier, Coleman dominates the camping tent industry. They are an established and well known company that have been around since 1905. They have a very solid customer base and high client retention. However, there are some up and coming companies that should be on your radar when you are looking for a new camping tent. Wenzel has been around for 120 years and have established themselves as worthy competitors for Coleman.

Wenzel Eight Person Klondike Tent

wenzel klondike 8 person
Wenzel Eight Person Klondike Tent

The Wenzel Eight Person Klondike tent has received over 660 stellar reviews on Amazon and clients are raving over the versatility of this modified cabin/dome tent. While this tent is more expensive than our top pick, the price is worth it as you’re getting a much larger tent that has the comfort of a cabin tent and the weight of a dome tent. It features two doors and weighs a light twenty-nine pounds. Some clients have noted that this is one of the few tents that comfortably fits eight people and even a couple of pets. Some have even hailed this tent as a “camper’s dream”. Who would not want to live in luxury while out camping?

The Budget Pick

Wenzel Alpine Three Person Tent

wenzel alpine 3 person
Wenzel Alpine Three Person Tent

Wenzel Dome Five Person Tent

Wenzel Dome 5 Person Tent 
Wenzel Dome Five Person Tent

If price is an issue, Wenzel has a great selection of affordable tents that fits into every budget. The Wenzel Dome Tents and Alpine tents comfortably fits between three and five people. This is great for anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of camping while not breaking their budget.

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Wrap Up

The absolute best tent on the market is, hands down, the Coleman Red Canyon Eight Person Tent because it combines quality with an affordable price point. It combines all the comfort and space a family would need on a trip. Even if you just wanted to go on a trip with your spouse or a friend, you could it a double height queen sized bed to feel like you were staying in an hotel. It may be a bit heavy to carry if you’re planning on backpacking, but our runner up model could prove to be an excellent alternative. That would be the Coleman WeatherMaster Six person tent. It would be a great addition to your next excursion and is easy to take with your on your back.

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