Best Camping Tents 2021

Tents make or break any outdoor experience. You finish a long day of hiking (or driving) out to your campsite, finally set your bags and gear down, only to struggle through setting up a poorly made tent. Or find that it has a new tear in its shabby material. But going through a top 10 camping tents list could have saved you all that trouble.

But this isn’t your average collection of excellent tents. Every item on this list will serve you well outdoors. However, each tent comes with its pros and cons, and our list covers a range of sizes as well. You will be sure to find a camping tent among these that will not only protect you from the elements (and absurd amounts of mosquitoes!) but will last multiple trips, have straightforward setup, and look good all the while.

#1 Marmot Limestone 6P Tent

Marmot Limestone 6P Tent

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive setup
  • Quality materials
  • Perfect family size
  • Large openings with smooth zippers
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Somewhat restricted height
  • Rear door is not mesh, limiting ventilation

The Full Picture

For family camping, this high-durability tent can’t be beat. With easy setup and its versatility, it’s the perfect choice for campers with any level of experience. Try putting other tents up as a family and you are in for some tension and frustration. Not with the Marmot Limestone 6P tent! Hop out the car, plow right through setup, and within minutes you will have a spacious tent that is ready to go.

The two large openings allow easy access from either side of the tent, and you’ll never see another tent zipper move as smoothly as this one. Not a single snag on the fabric! However, we would have preferred for the back door to be mesh instead of fabric, as the ventilation is hindered by this small oversight. Otherwise, this is the tent of choice for family trips or even camping with a group of friends.

#2  Kelty Wireless Car Camping / Family Camping Tent

Kelty Wireless Car Camping Family Camping Tent - 2, 4, or 6 Person

Pros:

  • Best value tent
  • Wicked fast setup
  • Waterproof (tested in a heavy storm!)
  • Great for backpacking or car camping

Cons:

  • Bit weightier than ideal
  • Thinner tent floor

The Full Picture

For value seekers, the Kelty Wireless is the play. You pay less, but you still certainly get more with this versatile tent. It is available in three sizes, so it works for anyone from solo campers to a family packed into a minivan. However, since the weight is a bit above what we’d like, we recommend it more for shorter day or weekend hikes.

Many tents claim to be waterproof, but not all of them pull through when it is pouring for hours on end. But the Kelty Wireless does. And with two doors entering into a spacious interior, you will never feel cramped or uncomfortable. Finally, with its Kelty Quick Corners you get a setup that is hassle-free and takes only a few moments so you can start enjoying the outdoors right as soon as possible.

#3 REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent

REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent

Pros:

  • Plenty of interior storage
  • Spacious interior
  • Comfortable height
  • Center Divider
  • Intuitive setup

Cons:

  • Not ideal for windy climates

The Full Picture

Plenty of large tents can “fit” people in them, but fewer can let taller folks stand in them. The Rei Co-Op Kingdom tent truly lives up to its name with its rectangular structure creating space in every direction, including up. However, that added height and unique shape come with added vulnerability to wind.

Where this tent truly stands out, besides the sizable interior, is its unique color-coded system. Such a simple idea, but it absolutely makes setup a breeze. Other tents of this size can be a nightmare to deal with, and we can admit to having even broken a tent or two during those initial stages. But even if this is your first tent, we imagine setup should be a breeze (just make sure you don’t camp anywhere with winds beyond a breeze!).

#4  Coleman Skydome 6-Person Tent

Coleman Skydome 6-Person Tent

Pros:

  • Pitched in under 5 minutes
  • Durable frame for high wind resistance (up to 35 mph)
  • Easy storage
  • Plenty of ventilation

Cons:

  • Only one door
  • Not the easiest setup

The Full Picture

Even though the Skydome only has one door, it still offers plenty of ventilation with its mesh sides and back side. The tent manages to be spacious with its wall structure without sacrificing durability, allowing it to hold fast under winds up to 35 mph.

Setup is relatively easy with multiple people, but it can be a challenge if only one person is handling the task. What about takedown? Sometimes you just don’t have the energy left to fold your tent perfectly to get it to fit into its bag. We are not ashamed to admit we’ve just skipped the bag entirely before and tossed a folded-up tent into our car’s trunk. With the Skydome’s expandable bag, you won’t run into this problem.

#5 REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent

REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent

Pros:

  • Solution-dyed mesh is more eco-friendly
  • Color-coded poles and sleeves simplify setup
  • Two doors with solid and mesh options on both

Cons:

  • On the heavier side (almost 21 pounds)
  • Storage can be tricky

The Full Picture

A trait we really liked were the reflective details and trim that lets you easily spot and pick out your tent at night. After a long day out on foot, we can admit our attention isn’t at its peak returning to base, and we’ve certainly walked past our tent before. This one solves that problem.

Both the front and back doors allow you either a solid door or a mesh option, providing the option for switching between extra ventilation or extra privacy.

While the Base Camp 6 does weigh in at a hefty 21 pounds (just about), you gain plenty of durability for that extra couple pounds. Still, packing it all up afterward takes patience and discipline to get it all in its heavy-duty bag.

#6 REI Co-op Grand Hut 6 Tent

REI Co-op Grand Hut 6 Tent

Pros:

  • Lighter weight for large capacity
  • Low door sills for easy in-and-out
  • Plenty of standing room (78 inches at the top!)
  • Excellent ventilation

Cons:

  • No visibility with the cover on
  • Opening/closing the door is not all that intuitive

The Full Picture

This roomy, lightweight tent turned out to be perfect for mild weather camping. However, the added height sacrifices stability in high-wind conditions. We found that it was best for drier, warmer climates, especially since the unique ventilation design provides plenty of airflow during balmy days. For rainy days, it keeps water out; however, the fly does not extend quite far enough. So, you need to be careful when opening up or water can drip down into the tent.

The size-to-weight ratio is what sold us on the REI Co-op Grand Hut. It is hard to find another tent with the same roominess in all directions that weighs less than this one. Even if you are over six feet tall, you should be able to stand up easily in this tent.

#7 Coleman Sundome Tent

Coleman Sundome Tent

Pros:

  • Keeps you dry even in intense conditions
  • Amazing ventilation (however, this is a Con in colder weather)
  • Variety of sizes (2, 3, 4, & 6-person options)

Cons:

  • Setup instructions are not very detailed
  • Tent stakes could be better quality

The Full Picture

What we love about this tent is how it suits camping trips with multiple groups or a large family. While you could go with the 6-person option, we found instead using two or more of the smaller sizes made our trips more enjoyable. Each tent comes with a low price tag for the quality, so splitting our group up into two 3-person tents gave us extra privacy (and made hauling the tents around far easier).

The Sundome lives up to its name and is brilliant in warmer climates, providing excellent ventilation in multiple directions. The material also proved capable of keeping out water without a single drop inside. However, if you are going somewhere cold or with chilly winds, we may recommend a better-insulated tent, as the ventilation bites you in colder climates.

#8 CAMPROS 8-Person Tent

CAMPROS Tent-8-Person-Camping-Tents, Waterproof Windproof Family Tent

Pros:

  • Multiple colors to fit your aesthetic preference
  • Super spacious with middle partition for two rooms
  • Easy setup (especially given the size)
  • Can’t beat the price value

Cons:

  • Sacrifices sturdiness for interior space
  • Less headroom than ideal

The Full Picture

Big family or group? Not a problem with this behemoth tent! Space is more important than you think at first, as rubbing elbows with siblings or parents too often can turn the tide of a camping trip. So even though this tent sleeps 8, we found it the perfect size for a 5–6-person family. With the screen in the middle, you can turn it into a two-room tent, with one side for parents and another for the kids.

Setting it up isn’t a hassle either. With only two people, you should be able to get it up within 5 minutes (or 10 if you take a water break in the middle, because it was incredibly hot out when we tested it). However, the interior space comes with two sacrifices: the height is less than we wanted and the sturdiness won’t handle more than a mild breeze.

#9 Coleman Octagon 98 Full Rainfly Signature Tent

Coleman Octagon 98 Full Rainfly Signature Tent

Pros:

  • Unique shape maximizes height
  • Privacy wall allows option for multiple rooms
  • High ceiling for standing room throughout the tent

Cons:

  • Hard to fit back in the bag
  • Can leak in some conditions

The Full Picture

If you are tall, you usually can only stand right in the center of a tent without issue, if that even. Not with the Coleman Octagon! We are over six feet and felt more comfortable moving around in this tent than we have in years. Its octagon shape allows for a pleasing geometry and really maximizes its 82-inch height.

However, the unique shape can make setup a bit tricky at first if you are used to dome tents. That also means there is a learning curve to getting it back into the bag. Despite this, the height and spacious interior make this one of our personal favorites for a group or family trip, especially with that removable privacy wall. Still, we advise against taking it to windy areas where the height and size can be detrimental.

#10 Coleman 8-Person Tent

Coleman 8-Person Tent Instant Family Tent

Pros:

  • Ventilates like a dream
  • High central height
  • Screened windows for an all-around view

Cons:

  • Heavy packed weight (about 40 pounds)
  • Rods lacked in quality

The Full Picture

This is, simply put, a bread-and-butter tent. Don’t expect anything flashy or incredibly stand out about it, but it gets the job done for a family camping trip. With its 40-pound weight, this tent is really only good for car camping. Just drive to your site, lug this fellow out of your trunk, set it up, and you are good to go. The spacious interior and mesh windows make it incredibly comfortable to sleep in without overheating or building up a sweaty stink!

However, we highly recommend giving this tent a test setup before taking it out for a trip. One of our poles gave us some trouble. So we exchanged it for a replacement and the new tent worked just fine. We also recommend using some other stakes, as the ones that come with the tent aren’t quite up to par for the durability needed to hold up such a large tent.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right tent requires considering all sorts of different factors. Even the way a tent looks should play into your decision (staying in an ugly tent sucks, trust us). If you are still on the fence about which tent to choose, check out the below considerations to help you get a better idea of what kind of tent will suit your next outdoor excursion.

Setup

While this isn’t truly the most important tent factor, it is still crucial. After all, what good is a tent that doesn’t get set up properly? Especially if you are new to camping or backpacking, having a tent with an easy setup can make everything move smoother. Remember, when setting up, follow ALL the instructions for your tent and don’t make assumptions based on past experience. Also, always use the guy lines!

Ventilation

You want airflow. Period. If you don’t have airflow and you have six people in a tent: stench builds up and you can’t breathe. If you don’t have airflow and it is hot out: you boil and everything sucks. Check for mesh doors or windows, even a mesh ceiling, before making a purchase. However, too much ventilation might be a negative for camping in colder, windier climates.

Size-to-Weight Ratio

Big tents are great. And tents you can stand up in are even better! But make sure the weight is right for you. Some tents might fit your family, but could be too heavy to pull them out of the trunk without getting a hernia. Seriously, understanding the right weight tent for you is a crucial factor in a successful camping trip.

Consider All Dimensions

A tent might be labeled as having an 80-inch height, but that only is the highest point. For a domed tent, that means most of the tent is well below that height. Think similarly about the width of a tent. In other words, don’t take a tent’s dimensions at face value, rather think about what the dimensions actually imply about its space and if that will work for you.

Stay Safe and Enjoy

Whatever tent you choose, the goal is to have a safe and enjoyable experience. So we always stress how important it is to choose a tent that provides the most safety for your trip while also not detracting from enjoyment. Pick your favorite color or shape, but be sure that it matches the climate and conditions of your trip! Once you have a camping gear chosen, we wish you success, safety, and adventure!