The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

11 Best Camping Tents That Can Withstand The Elements

If you’re already counting down the days to spring, you’re not the only one. Weekend camping trips are right around the corner and choosing the perfect tent has the opportunity to make or break your trip. The changing seasons will bring a whole new set of obstacles. Get ready for longer days, warmer weather and definitely more precipitation. This article is going to examine how to make the best decisions that will keep your trip going as planned.

With social-distance-friendly vacations likely to remain popular for the foreseeable future, you can count on the campsites being busy again this year, so we recommend beating the crowd and making plans to buy your gear now. Regardless of what part of the country — or world — you’re in, here are some of the best tents to buy this spring.

Quechua 2 Second Easy Tent

Quechua 2 Second Easy Tent

When you roll into the campsite late the last thing you want to do is play with a spiky jigsaw puzzle of tent poles. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just push a button and the tent would set itself up? The latest tent from Quechua (Decathlon) is called the 2 Second Easy because it actually sets up in two seconds. And it’s not just a kids’ pop-up tent for the beach.

The 2 Second Easy has an umbrella-like structure on each end. Unroll the tent with poles already inside where you’d like to set up. Grab the setup rope and pull through the plastic mount on one end until it clicks. Do the same on the other side. Now your tent is set up in the speed it takes you to walk from one end to the other. If you have a second person, do it at the same time and it literally will take 2 seconds. Inside the new Fresh&Black fabric blocks out any light to keep it cool and dark. Sleep in as long as you want. Take it down by pushing the button on each end. Easy.

REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+

If you’re looking to save money while losing out on none of the quality, REI is the place to go. Coming in over a pound lighter than its predecessor, the new Half Dome SL 2+ tent can even be used for backpacking with a partner. The 3 lbs. 15 oz. set-up contains pre-bent poles that boost living space and provide generous head and shoulder room. While its side windows can open to help create a draft during muggy nights, they can also be quickly rolled down in the (more than likely) event of a pop-up spring storm.

Mountain Hardwear Outpost 4-Season

Mountain Hardwear is one of the most trusted brands in the outdoor industry. Founded in 1993, the brand has been at the forefront of innovative design, including pioneering the use of Gore-Tex XCR in 2000 as well as using some of the first ever OutDry 3D lamination technology for glove improvement.  

If you’re planning on going camping anywhere near the Rocky Mountains this spring, there’s a chance you’ll run into snow. Stay warm and dry from the elements in one of Mountain Hardwear’s most protective tents. The heavy-duty double-wall design will provide insulation for you and another person until the very last day of winter.

Coleman Sundome 4-Person

Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent

Whether you need a basic tent for the kids, a festival, or as a quick replacement in the middle of a road trip, Coleman is a good name to turn to. The Sundome 4-person is a simple, reliable partner in the campsite. While the fly doesn’t go right to the ground, it will keep you dry through short rains and keep the bugs out.

The waterproof floor keeps you out of the puddles and mesh panels keep the heat down inside. If you are set up near power, you can run an extension cord through the small E-Port in the front corner to charge up overnight.

UST Highlander 2

UST Gear or Ultimate Survival Technologies made a name for themselves by building quality survival equipment like compasses, fire starters, and knives. To expand its brand and reach out into other outdoor equipment like tents, sleeping pads, and cooking gear, the company has completely updated its look to fun, bright colors and has launched entirely new products like the Highlander 2 tent.

A lightweight backpacking tent at heart, the Highlander 2 can be used anywhere, anytime. It features a unique single-pole structure spanning one corner to the other. The rest is pitched out with short tent poles. You can leave two of the poles at home and just use the trekking poles you already have. Opposite the one large door, a smaller opening into a dry vestibule lets you store gear out of the way but still have access to it. The bright colors will make it easy to find at the campsite and at night.

Marmot Limestone 6

Marmot Limestone 6

One of the biggest differences between $100 tents and $500 tents is the waterproof fly. Basic tents just have a small water-resistant roof on top, but lack full rain-proof coverage. The Marmot Limestone 6 is 76 inches tall inside with a massive fly to cover it all to the ground. It’s got two large doors for easy exits in the middle of the night after all those hot toddies.

Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2

If you’re on the move or just want to get off the ground, a rooftop tent is the way to go. From small lightweight units to beefy behemoths that can sleep the whole family, Tepui makes some of the best rooftop tents. The Ayer 2 Tent features a built-in foam mattress that will make a cozy nest for you and a partner. The tent’s extensive rain-fly system and its mold-resistant fabric make this tent a no-brainer for those looking to camp in the Pacific Northwest.

Read more: Rooftop Tent Buying Guide

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2

MSR Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2

When it comes to full-size, free-standing tents that are ultralight, Big Agnes is pushing the limits of what’s possible. Gone are the days when ultralight backpacking meant leaving the tent at home. The Tiger Wall UL 2 uses thin fabrics and DAC Featherlite poles to make a two-person backpacking tent that actually has room inside for two people, and weighs just over 2 pounds. There’s also a carbon and Dyneema version priced a bit higher weighing 1 pound 6 ounces.

MSR Papa Hubba NX

MSR Papa Hubba NX

MSR has long defined backcountry comfort with their Hubba tent series. There are one-, two-, three-, and four-person models, with the two-person Hubba Hubba included on many best tent lists. The same materials and tech go into the four-person Papa Hubba. Don’t worry about breaking the super durable Easton Cyclone MAX poles. And don’t worry about water leaking in with the longer-lasting Xtreme Shield System on the fly. There’s really nothing to worry about but finding the best campsite with the Papa Hubba NX.

Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo

Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo

After you’ve ditched your noisy tent mates, you can ditch the big tents, too. The Lunar Solo from Six Moon Designs is just enough for one person and weighs only 26 ounces. The 8.5-square-foot vestibule can store your pack and keeps you dry getting ready when it’s raining sideways. Use the optional carbon fiber pole to pitch or just an adjustable trekking pole that you’re already carrying with you.

North Face Bastion 4

North Face is taking its own “Never Stop Exploring” motto quite literally with this shelter. The Bastion 4 has earned the brand’s special designation of “Summit Series” — a division of North Face that is dedicated to extreme cold weather and alpine environments. The tent is rated for temperatures as low as -60°F/-51°C and even comes with Glow-in-the-dark, color-coded zipper pulls for low visibility conditions. If you find yourself out in an early spring polar vortex, you’ll be glad you had the Bastion between you and the storm.

What Is the Best Camping Tent Brand?

There is more than one great camping tent brand. The outdoor clothing and gear industry has a wealth of extremely talented designers right now, who are all working to continuously improve gear. Brands like Mountain Hardwear, REI and MSR all cater to certain areas of the market and do a pretty good job at it.

However, North Face has been doing this for a while, and by a while we mean since the 1970s. Their iconic Geodome was first designed in 1975 and remains to be one of the most recognizable shapes in the outdoor gear world. There’s something to be said for 40 years of continuous innovation and legacy, and to us, that sets them apart in the tenting space. Also, be sure to check out some of their other outdoor gear, like the L5 FUTURELIGHT Jacket.

What Is the Best Waterproof Camping Tent?

As spring showers begin to draw closer and closer, you’ll want a tent that will keep you dry as well as warm. The Lunar Solo from Six Moon Designs stood out to us as a particularly waterproof option due to its hexagonal design and steep, sloping sides that help repel winds, rain, and snow. Users have reported using the tent in moderate-to-severe rain conditions to great success.

To offer an added level of water protection, this award-winning tent has the option for the user to further seal its seams with a sealing material. A tube of the sealant only costs $7.50 on Six Moon’s website, so it’s a no-brainer.

What Are the Best Tents?

How well your tent works greatly depends on where you plan to use it. For instance, if you plan on spending a lot of time in the Colorado front-range this spring, you’ll likely want something that can withstand colder temperatures and sizable snowfall. Try North Face’s Bastion 4 or the Mountain Hardwear Outpost 4-Season. Wanting to take some time to explore the Pacific Northwest? Maybe stick to either the Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 or the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo for maximum protection from rainy conditions.

Looking for even more tents for camping? We’ve also found the best camping chairs and camping tent deals to help you find the right one for you.

Editors' Recommendations