Plenty of camping gear comes straight from your house but your blanket fort ain’t going to cut it when the rain starts to fly. You’re going to need to buy a tent for camping.
With camping on the rise post-COVID, we’ve pulled together some of the best and latest options for camping at your favorite spot, or just in the backyard.
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 Queshua (Decathlon) is called the 2 Second Easy because it actually sets up in two seconds. And it’s not just 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 the 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.
The 2 Second Easy tent will be available August 14.
REI Passage 2 Tent
If you need a solid tent on a budget, REI is the place to go. The Passage 2 is one of the highest value tents out there for camping, backpacking, overlanding, or anywhere you may need to spend the night.
The rainfly extends all the way to the ground for those long storms. Two doors and two vestibules give easy access for each person and a dry area to store gear outside. Clips, not finnicky pole sleeves, make setup quick and easy.
And even though it’s only $159, it still only weighs just over 4 pounds.
MSR Habitude 4 Tent
MSR has a long history of building some of the best tents you can buy. From backpacking tents to motorcycle tents, the brand has an option for you. Until recently though it didn’t have a family option you could stand up in.
The MSR Habitude 4 (available in 6-person as well) meets MSRs strict requirements for quality and materials but lets you stand up with a peak height of 73 inches. Easily load gear through the massive front door. The one large vestibule on the front is 23.5 square feet, covering anything that’s dirty or won’t fit in the tent. A battery-powered porch light is included to make it easy to find your way home.
Inside, the floor is 8 feet by 8 feet, plenty of space for a family of air mattresses. Setup with four poles is easy and even easier if you have a little helper.
Marmot Guest House 6 Tent – $857
Between air mattresses, gear, clothes, and toys for the wee ones, space inside tents is at a premium. Sometimes the 2-person tents that really mean “just barely two people” are not enough.
Marmot makes solid tents for backpacking and camping and know how to make a massive tent. The Guest House 6 sleeps at least that many in its three different rooms. A removable divider can be rolled up out of the way or rolled down for two separate spaces. Outside the front door, mesh surrounds a “porch” perfect for taking in the view without the bugs or, if the kids have taken all the room inside, spending the night.
Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent – $80
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 rain 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.
Big Agnes Salt Creek SL3 Tent – $350
Some backpacking tents can feel claustrophobic inside with only two small doors. The Salt Creek SL3 from Big Agnes changes that to include three doors.
The two side doors include vestibules to keep gear dry like most backpacking tents. What’s new is the head end of the fly can be unzipped and pitched out like an awning for well ventilated dry space to cook or enjoy the view. The large D-shaped door rolls down and out of the way so you can throw your air mattresses and gear straight in.
When it’s time to close up, a massive mesh shelf over the foot end uses up dead space in the tent and provides plenty of room to store water bottles, headlamps, and dry clothes for the next morning.
UST Highlander 2 – $279
UST Gear or Ultimate Survival Technologies made a name 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 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.
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