the 15 best camping tents - 1

The 15 Best Camping Tents of 2023

3602 words|Published On: September 4, 2023|

Camping is a fantastic way to connect with nature, unwind from the daily grind, and create lasting memories with loved ones. To make the most of your outdoor adventure, it’s crucial to have the right camping tent that suits your needs and preferences. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the 15 best camping tents available, offering insights, tips, and recommendations to help you choose the perfect shelter for your next excursion into the wilderness.

1. Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 Tent with Footprint

mountain hardwear mineral king 3 tent with footprint

The Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 Tent stands out as the top choice for couples seeking a car-camping tent. It offers all the essentials for three-season camping and boasts the added benefit of being lightweight enough to serve as an occasional backpacking tent. Despite its “3” designation, intended for accommodating three individuals, we’ve found that its 42.5 square feet of space makes it cozier and more practical for two people, along with their gear and possibly a medium-sized dog. This classic polyester dome tent utilizes two top-notch pre-bent aluminum poles, effectively maximizing head and shoulder room. As a result, it feels notably more spacious compared to other dome tents we evaluated. With two generously-sized doors, it ensures easy ingress and egress, while each door’s vestibule, akin to a “mudroom” in camping jargon, provides substantial sheltered storage. Moreover, the Mineral King 3 boasts a complete rain fly that can be partially rolled up or entirely removed for an unparalleled stargazing experience. Additionally, it includes a groundsheet, also known as a footprint, to safeguard the tent floor.

2. Kelty Wireless 6 Tent

kelty wireless 6 tent

The Kelty Wireless 6 Tent offers an impressively roomy tent that’s exceptionally simple to assemble, all while providing dependable weather resistance and durability at a budget-friendly cost. Similar to the Mineral King 3, it boasts a straightforward dome-style design that maximizes comfort and minimizes any potential hassles. With its 87 square feet of interior space and an additional 28 square feet of vestibule space, this polyester tent comfortably accommodates four adults or two adults along with two or three children, offering ample room for gear storage and muddy boots. Despite its designation for six people, we would not recommend attempting to fit that many individuals inside. The Wireless 6 features two substantial doors and a complete rain fly. It’s worth noting that, like many tents in its price range, the Wireless 6 utilizes more budget-friendly materials, including fiberglass poles (two, along with a “brow” pole supporting the two vestibules) and stakes that are somewhat lightweight for their size (two of them bent during testing). However, it sets itself apart by being functional, sturdy, and a delightful shelter in various weather conditions. One thing to keep in mind is that the rain fly may take a bit longer to dry compared to others we tested, so be sure not to stow it away while it’s still damp to prevent mildew. When it’s time to pack up, it conveniently fits into a duffle bag with a handy shoulder strap, weighing approximately 17 pounds – a manageable weight for most individuals when carrying short distances. Like most six-person tents on the market, this tent’s footprint is sold separately.

3. Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent

marmot tungsten 4-person tent

While the Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent may not have the versatile fly found on the Mineral King 3, which greatly simplifies access and protection from the elements, it compensates by offering more interior space and an equivalent level of protection against the elements. The tent features a complete rain fly with user-friendly color-coded clips that cover the tent body and includes two generously sized vestibules. Similar to the Mineral King 3, the Tungsten also boasts aluminum poles that are interconnected at the top, allowing for rapid setup, and they are pre-bent to enhance the headroom within the dome-shaped tent.

Distinguishing itself from the Mineral King 3, the Tungsten 4 incorporates pentagonal doors and a fly supported by two brow poles, rather than just one. This design provides exceptional defense against multidirectional wind and rain, provided that you carefully follow the setup instructions. However, it’s important to note that the Tungsten 4’s poles have a more acute angle and are closer to the ground, which can result in the tent collapsing in windy conditions if you fail to secure the poles to the fly using the Velcro tabs located beneath the seams.

Moreover, for those seeking privacy, the tent body features a tall polyester wall on one side, allowing you to set up the tent without the fly while maintaining some level of seclusion. Much like the Mineral King 3, this tent includes a footprint as part of its package.

4. Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent

coleman sundome 6-person tent

The Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent, a best-selling option, boasts a larger footprint at 100 square feet compared to our top family tent choice. However, it can feel somewhat smaller due to its lower ceiling, lack of a vestibule, and the presence of only one door. Nevertheless, it comfortably accommodates four individuals and offers ample space for two. This straightforward tent is easy to set up, features mesh on the upper sections of two walls for ventilation, includes a convenient partial rain fly that can be easily attached and staked out, and exudes a cheerful atmosphere both inside and out.

It’s worth mentioning that we do not recommend the smaller version of this tent for couples considering taking it on the road, as it proved too flimsy in our tests. Additionally, please note that this tent does not come with its own groundsheet. Coleman suggests that the tent doesn’t require one, likely because its floor is made of a crinkly but sturdy tarp-like polyethylene material, rather than the taped-seam polyester found in our other recommended choices.

5. The North Face Wawona 6 Tent

the north face wawona 6 tent

While The North Face Wawona 6 Tent comes at a $200 premium compared to the Wireless 6, it justifies the price with its exceptional blend of spaciousness, intelligent design, and robust, high-quality materials like aluminum, heavy-duty polyester, and mesh. Notably, its rain fly extends to create an expansive front vestibule capable of storing large items such as bicycles or even accommodating a table and chairs. This tent allows adults over 6 feet tall to stand upright comfortably, thanks to its nearly vertical walls that readily accommodate beds, cribs, and cots, both inside the tent and within the vestibule.

Furthermore, we were impressed by the tent’s construction, which strikes a balance between effective ventilation (with mesh sections on the upper part of the canopy walls) and maintaining campsite privacy (the mesh areas are concealed by the fly, which extends only halfway down the tent on the back and sides). Setting up and packing down this tent is a breeze, especially considering its size, and it even comes with a convenient carrying bag featuring duffle-style handles.

When it comes to value, it’s unlikely you’ll find a tent of similar size that matches the Wawona’s quality and features for a lower price point. Most comparable tents we tested were significantly more expensive. However, please note that, like most six-person tents, the Wawona 6’s footprint is sold separately.

6. REI Co-op Base Camp 4 Tent and 6 Tent

rei co-op base camp 4 tent

For car campers braving harsh weather conditions, the REI Co-op Base Camp 4 Tent offers superior strength and protection. Unlike our other selections, which rely on two primary poles with some support from smaller brow poles, the Base Camp takes a different approach. It incorporates four full-size aluminum struts interwoven throughout its structure, resembling a basket, along with an additional brow pole that frames the front entrance and supports the larger of the two vestibules. Additionally, the Base Camp provides greater privacy in comparison to our other choices, whether or not you use the rain fly. Notably, the tent features two broad doors that can be partially opened from either side or fully opened, and you can tuck these doors into “roof pockets” to keep them out of the way. This versatility transforms the tent into a useful beach tent or sunshade.

For families who frequently set up camp in rainy areas, a tent with wind resistance and a spacious vestibule for storing wet gear, along with a full rain fly for enhanced weather protection, is essential. The larger version of REI’s Base Camp, the Base Camp 6 Tent, offers the optimal combination of space and features among the six tents we tested that meet these criteria. With nearly 45 square feet of vestibule space and the added stability of four criss-crossing poles, it excels in providing a sheltered and roomy environment. Please note that a separate footprint is available for each of these models, sold separately.

7. REI Co-op Skyward 4 Tent

rei co-op skyward 4 tent

The REI Co-op Skyward 4 Tent strikes an excellent balance between features, space, and user-friendliness for its price point. It offers a lightweight design while still providing generous 6’6″ ceilings. Additionally, it comes equipped with a spacious built-in vestibule measuring 19.5 square feet, and there’s even an optional awning available. These features make it an ideal choice for families or couples seeking a roomy camping experience. Furthermore, the tent offers ample storage solutions and adequate ventilation, ensuring a comfortable stay. It’s worth noting that this tent is produced by a well-established brand known for its quality products.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that this remains an entry-level tent and is not without its flaws. The rainfly is relatively small and can be challenging to attach, and folding the tent back into its storage bag can be a bit cumbersome. If you can overlook these issues and a few other minor drawbacks, you’ll discover a tent that delivers great value and is likely to outlast many others in the same price range.

8. MSR Habitude 4 Tent

msr habitude 4 tent

In search of a roomy and high-quality camping tent without the bulk? The MSR Habitude 4 Tent offers a superb solution. This sleek tent not only boasts a lightweight design, tipping the scales at just 12 pounds, but it also incorporates premium materials. With a lofty interior height of 6 feet 1 inch at its peak and a spacious area spanning 62.4 square feet, it offers ample room. Moreover, the Habitude 4 includes thoughtful features like a porch light, a generously-sized vestibule, and efficient ventilation.

Despite its numerous merits, it’s essential to acknowledge that the Habitude 4 is not without its flaws. These drawbacks consist of a single door that requires the use of two zippers to open, a light that doesn’t come with a battery, and a somewhat cumbersome storage bag. Nonetheless, these minor issues aside, this tent outperformed all other 4-person tents in our evaluation.

9. NEMO Aurora Highrise 6 Tent

nemo aurora highrise 6 tent

The Nemo Aurora Highrise 6 Tent is the complete package, offering an abundance of space and features within an attractive and functional design. This tent comfortably accommodates a twin mattress and two singles with room to spare, and its impressive maximum height of 6 feet 5 inches allows for activities like morning indoor camp exercises. However, the list of its merits doesn’t end there. It boasts dual vestibules, an exceptionally large front door, excellent privacy options, and an engaging floor design. It’s genuinely challenging to find a tent that combines both style and functionality as effectively as this one.

On the flip side (as every coin has its two sides), setting up the Highrise can be a bit complex for first-timers, although it becomes more manageable with practice. For the initial setup, having two people is advisable. We’re not particularly fond of the window design on this model, and additional storage pockets would be a welcomed improvement. Perhaps Nemo will address some of these issues in a future update, but even if they don’t, this remains a fantastic tent that we believe you’ll be highly satisfied with.

10. REI Co-op Wonderland 6 Tent

rei co-op wonderland 6 tent

The North Face’s Wawona 6 Tent offers a favorable blend of affordability and spaciousness, but when it comes to features, REI’s new Wonderland 6 Tent (replacing the highly popular Kingdom) takes the lead. Much like the Kingdom, this luxurious tent boasts near-vertical walls, extensive mesh for ventilation and stargazing (including strategically placed triangular windows), and a tunnel-like design that maximizes livability.

For families and larger groups, the six-person version is particularly outstanding. It offers ample headroom and ample space for spreading out, streamlines the setup process with color-coded components, and features a central divider that allows you to separate sleeping quarters from daytime areas. True, the Wonderland comes with a relatively high price tag of $599, marking a notable $100 increase over the Kingdom 6. However, it remains competitive with alternatives like the Big Agnes Big House and MSR Habiscape. Plus, if you join REI’s member program for a one-time fee of $30, you can receive a 10% rebate on the tent if purchased at full price.

So, what changes did REI introduce when replacing the Kingdom with the Wonderland? Despite sharing an identical floor area and peak height, the Wonderland now includes narrow awnings above each door that provide limited protection from the elements. For those seeking more coverage and increased storage space, REI offers a separate Mud Room attachment priced at $125, though it does add another 100 inches to the already sizable footprint of the tent.

The scalloped rainfly also exposes a significant portion of the tent’s sides to moisture. However, it’s worth noting that REI addressed a vulnerability by eliminating the top roof vents that were present on the Kingdom. Additionally, the Wonderland features a storage layout that is less functional and trades the convenient backpack-style stuff sack for a smaller and more basic design.

Despite these changes, the Wonderland still excels in livability and maintains its reputation for high-quality construction, making it an appealing choice for families and large groups.

11. Marmot Limestone 6 Person Tent

marmot limestone 6 person tent

The TNF Wawona and REI Wonderland offer outstanding livability, but Marmot also delivers quality with their Limestone camping tent. This tent comfortably accommodates six people (or four if you prefer extra space), sets up easily, and provides reasonable waterproofing thanks to a full-coverage rainfly and well-tensioned DAC pole design. In addition to its generous 76-inch peak height (slightly lower than the Wawona and Wonderland at 80 and 78 inches, respectively), Marmot’s poles effectively extend the walls outward, creating an even more spacious interior. While the Limestone does come with a price tag of $529, it remains more affordable than the Wonderland and offers the advantages of being lighter and more compact.

For those who primarily camp in warm summer conditions, the Limestone is an excellent choice. Its mesh-heavy design, vents, and near-vertical walls ensure comfort even with the rainfly in place. However, it falls short of matching the sturdier pole configuration of the REI Base Camp and is susceptible to bowing in moderate gusts due to its upright shape. Marmot’s own Halo presents a more weather-ready alternative with reinforced pole structures and less mesh in the tent body, although the six-person model may not be available at the moment (the 4-person version can be found through a few retailers).

Ultimately, the Limestone may not excel in any single category – be it price, interior space, or weather protection – but it stands as a reliable all-around option from a reputable brand.

12. REI Co-op Trail Hut 4 Tent

rei co-op trail hut 4 tent

The next tent is REI Trail Hut 4 Tent, which competes directly with Marmot’s Tungsten 4P as a versatile choice suitable for both car camping and backpacking. When compared to the Tungsten, the Trail Hut is slightly lighter by just over 1 pound, provides a bit more floor space (an extra 2.3 square feet), and comes at a notably lower cost, saving you $100. It’s important to highlight that the Marmot tent features a peak height that is 4 inches taller and a more spacious design, qualities that may be attractive to families. In contrast, the REI tent has a basic pole structure that doesn’t significantly elevate the walls. Nonetheless, the Trail Hut remains another excellent value option from the Seattle-based brand.

However, as previously mentioned, there are inherent trade-offs when using a single tent for both camping and backpacking. For camping, the Trail Hut offers less room and comfort compared to taller and more premium alternatives like the Snow Peak Alpha Breeze or the four-person version of our top-rated Wawona. Conversely, when embarking on backcountry journeys, you have the option to substantially decrease the weight by selecting a dedicated backpacking tent such as the previously referenced Big Agnes Copper Spur. Alternatively, smaller groups can opt for the $199 Trail Hut 2, which weighs in at 5 pounds 15 ounces. REI also offers a lighter-weight option in their Half Dome SL series, although it has a maximum capacity of “3+” people (providing 48.75 square feet of floor space and weighing 5 pounds 11.7 ounces). Nevertheless, if you’re passionate about camping and seek an affordable way to venture into backpacking, the Trail Hut serves as a perfectly functional entry-level choice.

13. Big Agnes Big House 6 Tent

big agnes big house 6 tent

The Big Agnes Big House 6 Tent offers an abundance of interior space within a thoughtfully designed package. Boasting 89 square feet of floor area (a recent increase of 6 feet over the previous-generation model), it competes head-to-head with premium designs like the Wonderland 6, Limestone 6P, and Wawona 6 mentioned earlier. Notably, the Big House stands impressively tall, with its sidewalls sloping sharply upward to reach a peak height of 80 inches in the six-person model. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that this extra space can act like a sail in windy conditions, so ensure that you fully stake the tent and utilize the included guylines.

The Big House features offset mesh and polyester ripstop panels on the tent body, providing effective ventilation (ideal for stargazing). We appreciate the presence of large doors and dual-closure windows. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that both models lack a vestibule because the standard rainfly does not cover the front door. Big Agnes does offer a compatible vestibule as a separate purchase, although it comes at a relatively steep price of $199, raising the total cost to a substantial $799.

Alternatively, Big Agnes offers the Bunk House 6, priced $100 higher than the Big House, but it includes a full-coverage fly and an awning-style door that serves as an oversized vestibule or gathering space and can be staked out separately as a sunshade. Another option is the $500 Spicer Peak 6, which also comes with a full-coverage fly, although it cannot be staked out as a standalone shelter. If you’re looking for more budget-friendly choices, the Dog House 6 features a single-wall construction and just one door but offers significant savings at $220 less.

14. Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent

snow peak alpha breeze tent

Snow Peak, a Japanese brand, is making a significant entrance into the U.S. market, emphasizing minimalist designs that excel in both aesthetics and performance. The Alpha Breeze tent from Snow Peak perfectly reflects the brand’s innovative approach. In contrast to the more conventional models mentioned earlier, the Snow Peak tent boasts a unique A-frame-inspired shape that excels in maximizing livability and headroom. To put it in perspective, with a spacious 77.4 square feet of floor area, it stands as one of the largest four-person tents available, and its impressive 73-inch peak height rivals many six-person designs in this category. Noteworthy features include an extendable vestibule that can be converted into an awning and the convenience of four doors, ensuring easy access from all sides. Moreover, the build quality is exceptional, with a UV-resistant finish on the rainfly and an ultra-thick (300D) floor that eliminates the need for a separate footprint.

Despite our admiration for its generous dimensions and meticulous craftsmanship, the Snow Peak Alpha Breeze falls short in a few key aspects when compared to its competitors. Weight and price are the two primary drawbacks: weighing in at over 24 pounds and priced at a steep $500, it surpasses most other options here in both weight and cost, despite many of them being larger with six-person capacities. For larger families and groups, alternative choices will be necessary, as the Alpha Breeze is only available in a single four-person model. Snow Peak does offer the Land Lock, a castle-like tent capable of accommodating up to six adults, but it’s a premium and specialized option with an exceedingly high price tag of nearly $2,000. On the other hand, the $330 Vault Dome provides increased wind resistance but sacrifices some interior space and peak height. The Alpha Breeze falls in the middle and undeniably boasts a sleek design, yet its comparatively lower value places it lower on our list.

15. Caddis Rapid 6 Tent

caddis rapid 6 tent

For those seeking a swift tent setup, having poles permanently attached can significantly reduce the overall setup time. While Caddis is not the only company employing this quick-pitch design, we believe it offers the best option available. Unlike Coleman’s popular Instant Tent (not featured here), the standout feature of the Rapid 6 is its superior material quality. Indeed, the poles are sturdy steel, but all other components fare impressively well within this price range. Additionally, the tent provides ample interior space, offering 100 square feet of highly usable area thanks to its near-vertical walls.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider with the Rapid 6. The most notable is the rainfly, which only covers two sides fully and lacks any vestibule space. Nevertheless, for fair-weather camping, this should not pose an issue for the majority of campers. Another downside is the tent’s large packed size, measuring 50 inches in length, which can be a challenge to fit into a fully loaded trunk. Nevertheless, if you prioritize a tent with quick setup and are willing to make a few concessions, the Rapid 6 stands as an excellent choice. For an alternative pop-up design with remarkable livability, be sure to explore Gazelle’s Hub series.


Choosing the right camping tent is a critical decision that can significantly impact your outdoor experience. Whether you’re embarking on a family camping trip, a solo backpacking adventure, or a romantic getaway, there’s a perfect tent out there for you. Consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget, and use our guide to find the ideal camping tent that will keep you comfortable and protected during your outdoor escapades.

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