12 Best Camping Tents To Explore The Great Outdoors

2014 Picks

With camping season right around the corner, it’s time start getting your gear affairs in order. First up on the list? Let’s find you the absolute best camping tent on the market. Tents have become increasingly specialized over the years, and while that has been a great thing on one end, it’s also lead to countless hours wasted on the internet trying to track down the best tents out there. If there’s one thing we’ve learned through our rigorous testing and research, it’s this – don’t skimp when it comes to choosing your tent. You really do get what you pay for. The construction materials vary wildly, and there’s nothing worse than finding out that “deal” you got on your tent really wasn’t that great. Finding yourself stuck in a puddle of rain water in your “weather proof” tent, poles bending, and zippers getting snagged are just a few of the mishaps we have experienced on our quest for finding the “best deals” on tents. And, there is no worse way to end a family camping trip than you improperly preparing.

You want a tent that’s not only going to stand-up against the elements, but also stand against the test of time. You’re looking for a high quality tent that will last for many years, and many camping trips to come. With that being said, we strongly suggest that you consider spending a bit of coin on a quality camping tent. You won’t regret it. Whether you’re looking for a 4-season or family tent, we’ve got a lit of bit everything to help you find the best option for you and yours. Check out the 10 best tents for your next camping trip below – in no particular order.

REI Kingdom Tent

REI Kingdom Tent

Capacity: 4, 6, 8 Person
Type: 3-Season Family

When you’re looking for a large base camp area for your camping adventures, this is the tent for you. With the ability to to create 2 separate rooms (or 1 large living space), the Kingdom Tent features a minimum trail weight of 19 pounds 14 ounces (8-person) with the dimensions measuring in at 12 ft. 6 in. x 8 ft. 4in. (104 square feet floor area), and a peak height of 6 ft. 5 in. The canopy is constructed from nylon taffetta, while the rainfly is made from a coated polyester taffeta to ensure you keep dry during a rainy night. The freestanding tent also features 2 doors for added convenience during those middle of the night bathroom breaks. [Purchase]

Mountain Hardwear Trango Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango Tent

Capacity: 2, 3, 4 Person
Type: 4-Season

When you’re looking to hit the great outdoors during the winter season, you need a tent that can help protect against the elements. Having been tested in some of the highest altitude locations of the world under harsh weather conditions (1,200 inches of rain in 24 hours), the Trango is one tough shelter. The freestanding, double-wall tent features 2 doors, 2 vestibules, and a minimum trail weight of 8 pounds 14 ounces (2 -person). The manufacturer guarantees the nylon ripstop constructed tent for life, so you better believe that this thing was built to the highest quality standards. [Purchase]

Coleman Instant Tent

Coleman Instant Tent

Capacity: 4, 6, 8 Person
Type: 3-Season Family

While camping is one of the greatest vacations a man can embark upon, no one wants to waste precious time pitching a tent. Most tents take about 10-15 minutes to setup/teardown (although you can run into issues that will adversely affect that), but Coleman offers up a solution that can be assembled in just 60 seconds. The secret lies in the single frame pre-built system. The poles already come pre-attached to the tent, so set up is literally pulling the tent out of the bag, unfolding the tent, extending the poles until you hear the click, and you’re ready to roll. The tent includes a front and back door, hanging divider for partitioning the space into 2 rooms, and 7 windows for ventilation – and taking in the views of course. The tent is made from polyester mesh, features a proprietary WeatherTec System to keep you dry, and a wind strong frame for when Mother Nature just isn’t on your side. The center of the tent measures in at 6 feet tall (6-person) and spans 10 feet by 9 feet wide, enough room for two queen air mattresses. This is also our pick for the best bang for your buck family camping tent on the list. [Purchase]

Marmot Limelight Tent

Marmot Limelight Tent

Capacity: 2, 3, 4 Person
Type: 3-Season

For some people, it might be worth investing a little bit of extra money to pick up a 4-season tent, but 3-seasons certainly have their advantages. Not only do you save some cash, you also shed some weight as well. The Limelight tent has a minimum trail weight of just 5 pounds 15 ounces (3-person), is crafted from ripstop polyester, includes 2 doors, and has a peak height of 46 inches. The tent features 93 x 66 inches of floor space, and while it is just a 3-season tent, the UV-resistant, seam-sealed polyester rain fly will help you out in those light rain situations. [Purchase]

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Canvas Tent

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Canvas Tent

Capacity: 4, 6, 8 Person
Type: 3-Season Family/Cabin

This cabin style tent is made from an ultra durable Hydra-Shield, 100% cotton duck canvas that is unlike any of the materials used on the other tents on the list. This high quality material provides watertight protection while still being breathable, but as a result, it is much heavier than the other tents. The pack weight for this tent is 68 pounds (6-person), which includes the stakes that weigh in at 6.5 pounds total. Measuring in at 10 feet by 10 feet, with a ceiling height of 6 feet 6 inches, this is one of the roomiest options on the market. It truly is a home away from home – as far as tents are concerned at least. [Purchase]

Kelty Parthenon Tent

Kelty Parthenon Tent

Capacity: 4, 6, 8 Person
Type: 3-Season Family

Kelty has been building reliable outdoor gear since 1952, and to this day they continue to embrace the outdoor lifestyle with offerings like the the Parthenon. This mansion style tent offers up 143 square feet of living space (8-person) with mesh wall panels for improved ventilation. The tent is constructed from polyester, and includes an organizer wall, gear loft loops, and noiseless zipper pulls on the list of conveniences. The freestanding tent features 2 doors, has a minimum weight of 26 pounds 5 ounces, a floor area of 143 square feet, and a peak height of 6 feet 4 inches. [Purchase]

Marmot Thor Tent

Marmot Thor Tent

Capacity: 2, 3 Person
Type: 4-Season

Equipped with 2 D-shaped doors, two large vestibules, bomber construction, and plenty of living space, the Thor tent lives up to its name. The minimum trail weight is 7 pounds 10 ounces (2-person), while the living space measures in at 38 square feet. The Thor is made from nylon ripstop, and features a seam taped full coverage fly complete with vents, jingle-free nylon zipper pulls, optional footprint, welded velcro attachments, internal guy system, and a whole lot more. The interior height measures in at 43 inches tall. This tent is also equipped with a lifetime warranty. [Purchase]

Black Diamond Mesa Tent

Black Diamond Mesa Tent

Capacity: 2 Person
Type: 3-Season

Winning multiple awards over the years, this 2-person double-wall design tent from the team at Black Diamond is one of our favorite 3-seasons on the list. It features a 360-degree view mesh canopy, double doors, and 2 integrated vestibules. The Mesa has a minimum weight of 4 pounds 9 ounces, and includes 32.5 square feet of living space. [Purchase]

Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT

Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT

Capacity: 2, 3 Person
Type: 4-Season

While the typical Nammatj 2 is enough to withstand any kind of weather conditions Mother Nature can dish, the GT includes the added of bonus of an extended vestibule. This tent was created specifically for “extreme” users, particularly people who are looking to shed weight on their expeditions without sacrificing the ability to withstand the harsh weather conditions the winter season brings with it. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice for a nice weekend getaway in the local hills. This tent features a minimum weight of 6 pounds 9 ounces (2-person), an inner height of 38 inches, and a Kerlon 1800 outer tent fabric that’s ready for war (with the elements of course). In case you were wondering, the word “Nammatj” is the Sami word for a lone mountain standing at the head of a valley. [Purchase]

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

Capacity: 2, 3, 4 Person
Type: 3-Season

The folks at MSR have decided to reinvent their already popular Hubba Hubba tent in this NX series. The series includes the Hubba Hubba (2-person), Mutha Hubba (3-person), and the Papa Hubba (4-Person). The Hubba Hubba is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 3 pounds 7 ounces, while still providing 2 large StayDry doors along with 2 vestibules, built in rain gutters along the zippers to keep water out, and kickstand vents on the rain fly for even more improved ventilation. There are a couple of pockets in the tent for storage, and the color coded system makes setup easy as can be. The tent has a peak height of 39 inches, and 29 square feet of floor space. [Purchase]

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