Reviews You Can Rely On

The 7 Best Camping Tents of 2022

We tested the best car camping tents from Marmot, The North Face, REI, MSR, and more to help you fully enjoy your time in the great outdoors
Best Camping Tents of 2022
The 2021 lineup of camping tents ready for testing and some outdoor family fun.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke
By Rob Gaedtke ⋅ Review Editor
Wednesday October 12, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Looking for the perfect camping tent? We've got you. Since 2012, our team has reviewed close to 250 tents, including the top 16 in this review. See which ones stood up to our rigorous testing as we take you on a deep dive into the inner workings of the tent market. We put these tents to the test across some pretty rugged terrain and, most recently, the complicated environment of a family, teenagers, and two moderately trained dogs. With the help of our years of experience, we've gathered all the information you'll need to pick the perfect tent for your next outdoor adventure.

Our in-depth reviews also encompass all the camping gear you need to set up the ultimate base camp. Starting bright and early, we have you covered with a portable camp stove and a top-rated coffee maker to get breakfast cranking. While this review focuses on car camping, we have also tested some of the best backpacking gear for those interested in ditching the car and the crowds. To find more tents, see our review covering the best tents.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on October 12th, 2022, to add in two new unique options from REI Co-Op and Mountain Hardwear.

Top 16 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 16
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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $809 List$500 List
$500.00 at REI
$699 List
$698.95 at Amazon
$549 List
$549.00 at REI
$560 List
$419.93 at REI
Overall Score
86
85
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82
Star Rating
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Pros Quality materials, solid protection, good ventilation, loads of featuresSpacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high valueMassive floorspace, 22 pockets, tall ceiling, room divider, awning capableHuge doors and large vestibule, lots of pockets, highly weather resistantQuality materials, great height, perfectly sized vestibule
Cons Smaller vestibule, very expensiveNot the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bagSmall vestibule, longer pitch time, awning poles not includedRuns warm, views are a bit more restrictedHubebd poles, single door, awkward bag
Bottom Line One of the most well thought out tents in our line up, but you’ll have to pay for itThis tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gearIf you are looking for a high-quality, family friendly 8-person tent, look no furtherAn excellent mountaineering-inspired tent that is ready for both inclement weather and summer funAn ultra high-quality 4-person tent that makes great use of space with quality components
Rating Categories Marmot Torreya 6 The North Face Wawo... Marmot Limestone 8 REI Co-op Base Camp 6 MSR Habitude 4
Space and Comfort (35%) Sort Icon
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Family Friendliness (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Quality (10%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Marmot Torreya 6 The North Face Wawo... Marmot Limestone 8 REI Co-op Base Camp 6 MSR Habitude 4
Weight 22.3 lbs 21.9 lbs 21.2 lbs 20.6 lbs 12 lbs
Max Inside Height 6' 8" 6' 6" 6' 5" 6' 2" 6' 1"
Floor Dimensions 11' .5" x 8' 10.5" 10' x 8' 6" 8' 4" x 15' 7" 9' 2" x 9' 2" 7' 11" x 7' 11"
Floor Area 93.4 sq ft 85 sq ft 130.2 sq ft 84 sq ft 62.4 sq ft
Seasons 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-4 season 3-season
Windows 4 2 Mesh top Mesh top 2
Pockets 19 6 22 14 7
Number of Doors 2 3 2 2 1
Room Divider No Yes Yes No No
Vestibules 2 2 2 2 1
Vestibule Area (total) 32.5 sq ft 44.7 sq ft 32 sq ft 40 sq ft 23.5 sq ft
Packed Size 26" x 12" x 12" 9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5" 28.3" x 16.6" x 11.7" 11" x 24" 23" x 9" x 9"
Floor Materials Polyester, Taffeta, 107g/sqm 150D polyester 150D PU coated nylon Polyester DWR 68D polyester taffeta
Main Tent Materials Polyester, Tafferta, 60g/sqm 150D polyester 40D polyester no-see-um mesh Polyester 68D polyester ripstop, DWR, PU
Rainfly Materials Polyester, Pipstop, 75g/sqm 75D polyester 68D PU coated polyester Polyester 68D polyester ripstop, DWR, PU
Number of Poles 4 4 5 5 3 hubbed
Pole Material DAC aluminum 14 mm aluminum DAC DA17 aluminum 14.5mm Aluminum 7000-series aluminum
Extras Gear loops across entire front entrance, awning poles included Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop Room separator 4-season Porch light


Best Overall Camping Tent


The North Face Wawona 6


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 9.0
  • Weather Resistance 8.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Family Friendliness 9.0
  • Quality 9.0
Inside Height: 6' 6" | Floor Dimensions: 10' x 8' 6" (85 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Huge front vestibule
Great in the wind and rain
Amazing value
REASONS TO AVOID
Updated detached fly makes pitching unintuitive
Back window pockets obstruct views
Only one door

Are you a camper with a hobby? Then this is your camping tent. The North Face Wawona 6, a long-standing favorite in this review, is the perfect basecamp for mountain bikers, rock climbers, anglers, hunters, or anyone packing lots of gear that needs to be protected. Why? The vestibule is like a two-bike garage. The main tent packs an additional 85 square feet, creating a truly remarkable living space. The Wawona has you covered, and all for a very fair price.

All this space does make a few things less straightforward. Setting up the rain fly and garage in the moderate wind isn't as intuitive as it could be. The North Face went with a pin-and-circle locking mechanism that requires some effort to lock, and because of the height and length of this tent, the guylines are a requirement unless you enjoy watching your tent sail away into the sunset. That said, once this tent is set up, it is massive, comfortable, and withstood some howling winds and rainy nights in Joshua Tree with ease. With some of the best usable space and an excellent price point, the Wawona has been an award winner year after year with good reason.

Read more: The North Face Wawona 6 review

best overall camping tent
Cooking up dinner in the Wawona's covered and spacious vestibule.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Best Bang for Your Buck


Kelty Wireless 6


73
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 7.0
  • Weather Resistance 7.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Family Friendliness 8.0
  • Quality 7.0
Inside Height: 6' 4" | Floor Dimensions: 9' 10" x 8' 10" (86.9 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Spacious
Dual vestibules
Great value
REASONS TO AVOID
Fiberglass poles
Poor ventilation

The Kelty Wireless 6 takes your budget further than any other camping tent in our lineup. With a large sleeping area, dual vestibules, and 6' 4" of headroom, your family will have plenty of space to sprawl out. Setup is easy with well-designed pole pockets and quick twist connectors. Dark fabric covers just over half of the tent, with tight, easy-to-see-through mesh covering the rest. This provides both privacy and amazing star gazing capabilities.

But there are some downsides to this budget tent. Most notability, less durable fiberglass poles, and poor ventilation with the rainfly attached. The side pockets are also fairly cheap fabric, and clipping the top clip during setup requires someone 5'10" or taller. But overall, the Wireless 6 is a solid choice for those looking for a quality three-season tent at a budget price.

Read more: Kelty Wireless 6 review

camping tent - best bang for your buck
The view from above showcases the spacious and open footprint of the Kelty Wireless 6.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Feature-Rich Luxury


Marmot Torreya 6


86
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 9.0
  • Weather Resistance 8.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Family Friendliness 9.0
  • Quality 9.0
Inside Height: 6' 8" | Floor Dimensions: 11' 0.5" x 8' 10.5" (93.4 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Countless features
Great in all kinds of weather
Very family friendly
REASONS TO AVOID
Smaller vestibule
High price point

Get ready for the best of the best camping tent. The Marmot Torreya 6 is the highest-scoring tent in our lineup and is a sound choice if you are looking for a premier camping tent. With nearly every feature found in our lineup, this tent continues to impress. Some of the highlights include T-handle zipper pulls, 32 gear loops over the front door, exterior pockets, a floor mat, and included awning poles. And that's just the beginning.

The size of the Torreya is perfect. Coming in at 93.4 square feet with a max height of 6' 8", it fits the family with a little extra room but isn't so large as to be unwieldy. Marmot also tossed in high-end stakes, a carry bag that will likely outlast the tent, and a shape that handles the elements amazingly. About the only flaw you will find with this tent is the price tag.

Read more: Marmot Torreya 6 review

camping tent - feature-rich luxury
We loved everything about this impressive tent except the price tag. That said, you won't be disappointed if you decide to take the plunge.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Best For Large Families


Marmot Limestone 8


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 9.0
  • Weather Resistance 8.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Family Friendliness 9.0
  • Quality 8.0
Inside Height: 6' 5" | Floor Dimensions: 8' 4" x 15' 7" (130.2 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Massive footprint
Room separator
High-quality material
REASONS TO AVOID
Small vestibule
Long pitch time
Awning poles not included

The Marmot Limestone 8 is hands down our best pick for a large family. This tent fits two twin air mattresses and two singles with ease. It has 22 pockets, a room divider with a separate door, and even has awning capabilities. Add to that a max height of 6' 5" and a footprint of 130 square feet, and you'll see why this tent is made to sprawl out.

Size and comfort aren't where this tent stops — it also comes in as one of our highest-quality tents. The poles are strong and buttery smooth, the clips and stakes are bomber, and the guylines and bag are all premium grade. Considering the size, the Limestone 8 does take longer to pitch, and, sadly, awning poles aren't included in the hefty price. But if you're ready to spread out in style with the kids and the dogs and maybe a friend or two, this is a great choice.

Read more: Marmot Limestone 8 review

camping tent - best for large families
A spacious tent with loads of features make this the perfect tent for a large family.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Best for Weather Resistance


REI Co-op Base Camp 6


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 8.0
  • Weather Resistance 9.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Family Friendliness 8.0
  • Quality 8.0
Inside Height: 6' 2" | Floor Dimensions: 9' 2" x 9' 2" (84 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Built for stormy weather
Huge doors and large vestibule
14 pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Not as ideal in warm weather
Less mesh for sky-gazing

The REI Base Camp 6 is a great choice for those looking to dip their toes into colder, windier, and rainier adventures. With a sturdy 4-pole structure and thick, strong materials, this tent is ready to take on the harsh world of both teenagers and bad weather camping. And thanks to a 27-square-foot front vestibule, you'll have options to cook and store your gear safely out of the elements. You can always count on REI tents to have boatloads of pockets, great headroom, and a clean aesthetic style — the Base Camp boasts all of that and more.

Unlike most REI tents, though, the Base Camp 6 sides and doors are not open mesh. This means no nice views while lying down, and you can expect to be fairly toasty on warm days if you're hanging out inside. There are, however, some half-zip coverings on the doors to give you a little extra view. All in all, this is a great option for those needing a well-priced weather-ready shelter. Snag this tent for your next stay in the rainy Pacific Northwest or the thunderstorm-prone Rocky Mountains.

Read more: REI Co-op Base Camp 6 review

camping tent - best for weather resistance
Camp life with the REI Co-op Base Camp 6.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Best 4-Person Tent


MSR Habitude 4


82
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 8.0
  • Weather Resistance 9.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Family Friendliness 7.0
  • Quality 9.0
Inside Height: 6' 1" | Floor Dimensions: 7' 11" x 7' 11" (62.4 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Built tough
Tall interior
Perfect size vestibule
REASONS TO AVOID
Only one door
Harder to pitch

Looking for a spacious and high-quality camping tent but don't want a massive setup? The MSR Habitude 4 is a great choice. This stylish tent is not only light (12 pounds) and compact, it's also built with top-of-the-line materials and is both tall (6' 1" in the middle) and spacious (62.4 square feet). On top of that, it features unique touches like a porch light, a large vestibule, and great ventilation.

Although there are many positives to the Habitude 4, it isn't perfect. Some flaws include a single door that requires two zippers to open, a light that doesn't come with a battery, and an awkward bag. Those minor things aside, this tent outscored all other 4-person tents in our lineup.

Read more: MSR Habitude 4 review

camping tent - best 4-person tent
The MSR Habitude is a very spacious and tall 4-person tent. Fitting a twin air mattress and individual pad left room to spare.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Most Versatile


Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3


77
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Space and Comfort 7.0
  • Weather Resistance 8.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Family Friendliness 7.0
  • Quality 8.0
Inside Height: 4' 0" | Floor Dimensions: 7' 6" x 5' 8" (42.5 sq ft)
REASONS TO BUY
Very lightweight
Quick to pitch
Amazing views with or without the fly
Extremely versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Small interior
Low ceiling
Guyline stakes not included

The Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 is the perfect choice if you are looking for a versatile tent that can be used at the campsite or lugged up a hill for a short backpacking trip. It's also great as a solid backup, sitting in the garage ready to toss into the car with a moment's notice. We pitched it in an impressive 4 min 30 seconds and have improved on that time as we've learned the design. This tent has an all-mesh build for fantastic views, and the fly can be configured in multiple ways allowing for both scenery and quick protection from the weather at any time.

The included footprint adds additional value to this well-constructed tent. The mesh is 40D polyester, the tub floor is 68D ripstop polyester, and the poles are DAC Pressfit aluminum. The interior square footage is small, but dual vestibules help to keep everything you don't need for sleeping in its own area. And while very lightweight, you'll sacrifice headroom in the tradeoff. Overall, this tent is small but mighty and a great addition to any campers toolbox, depending on your needs.

Read more: Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 review

camping tent - the most versatile tent in the lineup happens to have stunning views...
The most versatile tent in the lineup happens to have stunning views to boot.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
86
Marmot Torreya 6
marmot torreya 6 camping tent review
$809
Top Pick Award
85
The North Face Wawona 6
the north face wawona 6 camping tent review
$500
Editors' Choice Award
84
Marmot Limestone 8
marmot limestone 8 camping tent review
$699
Top Pick Award
83
REI Co-op Base Camp 6
rei co-op base camp 6 camping tent review
$549
Top Pick Award
82
MSR Habitude 4
msr habitude 4 camping tent review
$560
Top Pick Award
79
The North Face Sequoia 4
the north face sequoia 4 camping tent review
$399
77
Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3
mountain hardwear mineral king 3 camping tent review
$350
Top Pick Award
76
Big Agnes Bunk House 6
big agnes bunk house 6 camping tent review
$600
75
Marmot Limestone 4
marmot limestone 4 camping tent review
$390
74
REI Co-op Wonderland 4
rei co-op wonderland 4 camping tent review
$499
73
Kelty Wireless 6
kelty wireless 6 camping tent review
$270
Best Buy Award
72
NEMO Wagontop 6
nemo wagontop 6 camping tent review
$700
69
Eureka Copper Canyon LX 6
eureka copper canyon lx 6 camping tent review
$315
63
Kelty Tallboy 4
kelty tallboy 4 camping tent review
$150
58
Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup
coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review
$160
52
Coleman Evanston Screened 6
coleman evanston screened 6 camping tent review
$200

camping tent - three of our top preforming tents enjoying a evening under the stars
Three of our top preforming tents enjoying a evening under the stars
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Why You Should Trust Us


To get ready for this review, we scoured the internet, read personal accounts, and dug into bloggers' and YouTubers' thoughts on the best tents on the market. After selecting the most promising options, we purchased 16 of the best camping tents on the market and got to work. We measured, weighed, and inspected each before carting them out to the woods and desert for proper testing. We tested them side-by-side in various Lake Tahoe area locations, in the hot and harsh conditions of Joshua Tree National Park, and in the ripping wind of Reno, NV. Our team conducted more than 60 individual tests to help you find the perfect tent to match your needs and budget.

Our in-depth testing process of camping tents breaks down into five rating metrics:
  • Space and Comfort (35% of overall score weighting)
  • Weather Resistance (25% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (15% weighting)
  • Family Friendliness (15% weighting)
  • Quality (10% weighting)

The center of any great outdoor adventure is basecamp. And having the best camping tent is a crucial part of that (in addition to good food and good people.) Our head tester Rob Gaedtke put these tents to the test so that you can choose your next home-away-from-home with confidence. Rob is no stranger to the outdoors or adventure. He has raced across India, done an IronMan in Mexico, and Jeeped through the African safari. He is also a rock climber, backpacker, and avid camper. Over the past 20 years, Rob has set up hundreds of basecamps across various terrain. We took this experience, coupled with a rigorous and detailed testing plan, and got to work finding a diverse set of tents for consideration.

The hub setup on the REI Grand Hut.
The hub setup on the REI Grand Hut.
Enjoying a rest in the Basecamp 6.
Enjoying a rest in the Basecamp 6.
Getting close to my max reach and I still have higher clips to go!
Getting close to my max reach and I still have higher clips to go!

Analysis and Test Results


We put these camping tents up against the elements, battling kids, wind, dogs, dirt, heat, and a very opinionated husband and wife team. From setup and breakdown to weather resistance and durability to the quality of the space for both hanging out and sleeping, we put these products through a lot to help you find your best match.


Value


Value here is all about getting the most tent for the least cash — or at least what feels like a fair amount of cash. We like to see a solid balance of performance and price. As a general rule, when the price goes up in the tent world, so does the performance, though there are some notable exceptions.

A notable contender for value in the 4-person tents goes to the Marmot Limestone 4, which performed well yet still falls on the lower end of the price spectrum. But the real standout is the Kelty Wireless 6. We rarely find a quality 6-person tent at a price point this low. If you're able to spend a bit more, though, The North Face Wawona 6 is an incredible balance of price and performance.

camping tent - great design, quality materials, and a low price point. the wireless...
Great design, quality materials, and a low price point. The Wireless 6 is a high value choice.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

On the flip side, if you are looking for a small but extremely versatile tent, the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 packs tons of value into a little package. And when you consider that this one tent can be used for both short backpacking trips and car camping, the value just increases.

camping tent - the mineral king is the perfect tent for a quick father-daughter...
The Mineral King is the perfect tent for a quick father-daughter campout on Noble Canyon Trailhead, California
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Once you step down into the lower price ranges, things start to get a little more complicated. We would be remiss if we didn't give a huge value nod to the Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup. This little tent is cheap, sturdy, and a great option to put up with only a moment's notice.

camping tent - value is important, and the wawona 6 has lots of it.
Value is important, and the Wawona 6 has lots of it.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Space and Comfort


This is arguably the most important category when it comes to car camping. When your campsite is only a few yards away from your trunk, a little extra weight in exchange for better comfort and space is an easy choice. For this metric, we looked at the overall footprint of each tent, including the vestibule space. We checked the height and headroom, doors and windows, and the general airflow with and without the rainfly. And finally, we looked at pockets, clips, and storage options.


Let's dive into The North Face Wawona 6 first. When you combine the spacious and tall interior (6' 6" max height and 85 square feet of floor space) with the large double-doored vestibule (and additional 44.7 square feet), you have a comfortable masterpiece. The new design also allows the Wawona to be used without the vestibule, adding a great option for warm-weather camping. We also love the tall, full-sized door feature that allows you to enter without ducking.

camping tent - the giant vestibule of the north face wawona 6 is by far one of the...
The giant vestibule of The North Face Wawona 6 is by far one of the most comfortable to relax under.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Marmot Limestone 8 has the largest floor footprint in our camping tent lineup and fits a pile of kids, dogs, and then some. It also comes in with a whopping 22 pockets scattered throughout the tent. As if that wasn't enough, Marmot also added a removable room separator with a private door — perfect for when you need that extra bit of privacy.

camping tent - the limestone 8 sleeps more and fits more than any other in our...
The Limestone 8 sleeps more and fits more than any other in our lineup.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

While not quite as large as the others, the Marmot Torreya 6 still shines in the comfort area. This tent has more comfort features than any other tent in this review. An external floor mat, external storage pockets, gear loops, and included awning poles are just a few.

camping tent - the torreya is a beautiful tent, both to look at and to use. feature...
The Torreya is a beautiful tent, both to look at and to use. Feature rich and smartly-designed, we love this tent.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

There are a few other tents that scored respectability in this category. The Big Agnes Bunk House 6 has a max height of 6' 9" and offers a unique shelter option giving you more versatility. But the tallest tent in our lineup is the Eureka Copper Canyon LX 6 with a 7' tall clearance. And, thanks to the near-vertical sidewalls, that height isn't just in the center.

camping tent - the shelter mode feature with the bunk house 6 makes for an awesome...
The shelter mode feature with the Bunk House 6 makes for an awesome covered eating area.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The REI Co-op Base Camp 6 is notable for its roomy vestibule and large, well-designed interior space. These tents make great use of space while providing outstanding comfort.


We don't often see a 4-person tent score so high in this category, let alone two. The MSR Habitude 4 and The North Face Sequoia 4 both have just enough room, features, and comforts to rise to the top. The Habitude 4 offers 62.4 square feet of floor space, a perfectly sized vestibule, and seven pockets, making this tent worth a look for those not interested in the setups for 6+ people. The Sequoia 4 has a 6' 3" height profile and a larger than normal vestibule, making the 58.1 square foot space feel large. And when you prop up the awning, it feels even better.

camping tent - the north face sequoia 4-person tent is built to feel bigger than...
The North Face Sequoia 4-person tent is built to feel bigger than its footprint.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Floor Plans


Be sure to review the floor plan images for a tent before committing. If you are like us, you have air mattresses and chairs that you would like to use inside, so the floor plan can help you map it out. And remember, most of these tents say they sleep a particular number, but that is usually elbow to elbow.

Both the Big Anges Bunk House 6 and The North Face Wawona 6 have massive outside storage areas. These tents offer great storage and covered cooking and cleaning stations, and they are plenty big enough to handle loads of gear.

camping tent - the bunk house 6 has the biggest vestibule in our lineup, offering...
The Bunk House 6 has the biggest vestibule in our lineup, offering plenty of room for covered hangouts.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke


Weather Resistance


Getting wet, poles breaking in the wind, and roasting in the hot sun. These are all deal-breakers when camping, especially if you have children. So for the weather resistance category, we considered all of the following: hot day options, cold day options, rainfly coverage, aerodynamic-ness, stakes, poles, and guylines. We tested these in a mix of real-world situations and fabricated ones, thanks to a sprinkler rig and backpack blower. We got these tents hot, cold, wet, and winded. Here is how they stood up.


We put the Marmot Limestone 4 up against the wicked hot days of the southern California desert and the windy nights of Reno, NV. Its shape held up perfectly to both, and the full-covered rainfly kept everything dry. Two extra poles on the tent's roof add just enough extra height to feel open without turning it into a flat-walled sail.

camping tent - privacy meets open-air with the limestone 4.
Privacy meets open-air with the Limestone 4.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The REI Base Camp 6 is the only tent in our lineup rated for 4-seasons, so, as you might imagine, this tent packs that extra girth needed for winter camping. The classic dome shape, paired with two extra poles for strength, instills confidence that, should the worst come, you are in good hands. But this tent isn't just good in cold weather — ditching the rain fly exposes adequate star gazing, and the door covers can be zipped down halfway for more airflow. That said, we wouldn't plan on taking this tent anywhere too hot.

camping tent - the base camp 6 is a stout-looking tent that will stand firm through...
The Base Camp 6 is a stout-looking tent that will stand firm through inclement weather.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Breaking the dome shape mold but still scoring top points is the MSR Habitude 4. This tent is very capable in both hot and cold weather. And while a touch on the broadside, the included guylines and slanted vestibule face make this tent very wind worthy.

camping tent - happy campers looking out at happy dogs. a great view thanks to the...
Happy campers looking out at happy dogs. A great view thanks to the large vestibule door on the Habitude 4.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Several other tents scored among the best in the weather resistance category. The Wawona 6 rainfly only covers the side mesh a little bit, allowing for moisture to sneak through in windy situations, but it remains a burly tent in every other way. One of the more surprising tents to score so well in this category is the very tall REI Co-op Wonderland 4. Thanks to a ridiculous amount of stakes and guylines, this tent holds strong in bad weather, and with the large mesh top and large side vents, the tent breaths quite well.

camping tent - loads of guylines and stakes hold the massive 4-person wonderland...
Loads of guylines and stakes hold the massive 4-person Wonderland tent securely to the ground.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Torreya 6 has an asymmetric shape that helps it deflect wind and a great awning area with included poles so you can enjoy the outdoors while being protected from precipitation. The Limestone 8 is similarly well-conceived (both being Marmot products) with fantastic guylines, high-quality thick materials, and a large awning — though you'll have to bring your own poles, they're not included with this one.

camping tent - lots of space and a smart design mean the limestone 8 is great even...
Lots of space and a smart design mean the Limestone 8 is great even if the weather outside is not.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Stake It Out


Wind resistance often comes down to how well you stake down a tent and use the guylines to keep it taught. Unless you're assured of a balmy, windless night, staking out the guylines as you set up is a good habit to get into as it will keep you from scrambling around (and likely getting soaked) if bad weather hits. We highly recommend buying an extra cord, burlier stakes, and a mallet for most tents.

camping tent - the stance of the habitude 4 is as robust as the quality materials...
The stance of the Habitude 4 is as robust as the quality materials inside
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Ease of Use


Setting up and tearing down camp can make or break your trip. We have all been there, rolling into camp at 11 pm, tired and ready to relax — the last thing you want is a fight with your tent or your partner about the tent. We took one for the team here and got the frustration out so you can be prepared. We also noted whether each tent easily fit back into its bag, the total packed size, and the packed weight.


Before digging in further, we should point out that any tent you pitch enough times will get easier. However, we made it a point to judge the first pitch, as many folks only use their tent once or twice a year, and who knows what you will and won't remember after most of a year has passed. Especially if you happened to throw out the directions.

The Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup scored the highest here. This thing went up in under 60-seconds and came down nearly as fast. But ease of use isn't just about setup and tear down — we took one point away here due to its weight being on the heavy side for a small 4-person tent and the struggle required to fit the tent back in the bag. We also hope the mechanisms that make this tent so quick to set up stay smooth and easy to use over time. But if you're looking for a tent you can toss up after a few beers or in the dark, check this one out.

camping tent - relaxing after pitching the coleman cabin in 43-seconds. plenty of...
Relaxing after pitching the Coleman Cabin in 43-seconds. Plenty of time left to look off at the other campers still unpacking their tent.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 not only went up fast but also was a snap to tear down and get back into the bag. Add to that the simple fly deploy, perfectly sized bag, and intuitive center clip, and you have a hassle-free tent. While not our favorite, the hub also allows for easy solo pitching.

camping tent - the mineral king has a very fast pitch thanks to an intuitive hub...
The Mineral King has a very fast pitch thanks to an intuitive hub and clip system.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Though nothing will compare to the setup time of an instant or a small 3-person tent, the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 had an impressive setup and teardown speed for a 6-person tent, and the Marmot Limestone 4 was simple and super light at only 11.3 pounds.

camping tent - the simple and sturdy clips go on quickly and easily, making...
The simple and sturdy clips go on quickly and easily, making pitching the Marmot Limestone 4 a snap.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Additionally, the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 is one of the most intuitive tents we have ever put up. It has poles that snap together almost independently and glide through the fabric supports easily. We pitched the Base Camp 6 in just over 7 minutes. A great time for a 6-person tent with a vestibule you can sit in.

camping tent - the snaps on the base camp are extremely well engineered and very...
The snaps on the Base Camp are extremely well engineered and very easy to clip.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

We would be remiss if we didn't share two features of the Kelty Wireless 6 that speak directly to ease of use. Kelty added what they call Quick Corners to aid in solo setup. These are essentially pockets on all four corners that make the poles stand erect without needing to hold them. They also have just a single side color-coded. While this seems strange, having only one color to look for versus two is a great simplification that we hope other brands copy.

camping tent - the kelty quick corners make pitching this tent a breeze, even when...
The Kelty Quick Corners make pitching this tent a breeze, even when solo.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

While this category of tents is focused mainly on car camping, weight still factors into the equation. Lugging a heavy tent across a field or a few campsites away can add up when you are hauling over 20 pounds.


Hands down, the Mineral King 3 takes the cake here. And it better, seeing as it's the only 3-person tent in the lineup. Coming in at only 7.1 pounds for the full package and a trail weight of 6.2 pounds, this tent is light enough to trek a few miles into the wild.

camping tent - the smallest and lightest tent in the lineup slides snugly into a...
The smallest and lightest tent in the lineup slides snugly into a 65L pack, just don't plan on bringing the kitchen sink, it won't fit.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Don't Forget the Footprint


Consider buying a ground cover — a.k.a. "footprint" — for your camping tent and laying this out first. It helps keep moisture and mud off the underside of your tent (thus making re-packing a much more pleasant task). It also helps your tent last longer because it protects it from abrasion. Most manufacturers sell a footprint separately (usually made of the same material as the tent) designed to fit your model tent's exact floor size. Despite the extra cost, it's a great thing to take along. The savvy camper's alternative is a cheap plastic tarp, like something you'd throw down to paint your living room. You can often pick one of these up for a fraction of the cost of an official manufacturer's footprint, though it won't have features like rivets to accommodate your stakes.

camping tent - tyvek &quot;home wrap&quot; is our favorite footprint for car camping and...
Tyvek "Home Wrap" is our favorite footprint for car camping and basecamping because it's waterproof, highly puncture resistant, and exceptionally durable. We prefer clear polycro plastic groundsheets for weight conscious applications.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab

Family Friendliness


Family Friendliness doesn't just mean actual family — it means how useful is the tent if you want to camp with more than just yourself? Can you bring two dogs and a friend or three and still be comfortable? We looked at how comfortably each tent could fit at least four people, whether it had phone/jewelry storage options, if it provides a space to clean your feet before entering, if it has multiple room options for privacy, and if it is dog/animal friendly — among other things. Though some of these aspects do fall under other categories, we felt it was important to our readers to look at them again but with this viewpoint in mind.


This is where the NEMO Wagontop 6 shines. This is the largest 6-person tent we reviewed and boasts a mudroom, a small room, and a living room. Oh yeah, and it has a good-sized vestibule too! The Wagontop is also the tallest tent, at a whopping 6' 8" of headroom. This tent fits two full mattresses with some room to spare and plenty of dog bed space. The only thing not ideal about the Wagontop in the family-friendly category is the storm factor. This is a fair-weather tent and didn't hold up well in our wind and rain tests, thanks to windows that don't zip and a 7-foot vertical wall (a.k.a. sail). That aside, if you are a beach camper looking for some room to sprawl out, you found your soulmate here.

camping tent - the massive four-section interior of the wagontop 6.
The massive four-section interior of the Wagontop 6.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The North Face Wawona 6 checks most of the family-friendly boxes, easily sleeping a family of four with great height, storage, and covered outside space. Because of the large, tall vestibule, we were able to set up a camp shower for a quick rinse after a sweaty day of climbing. Just remember not to ask your kids to take the fly off, as the locking mechanism requires some serious force to get out.

camping tent - chilling out in style. take note of the open floor in front which...
Chilling out in style. Take note of the open floor in front which can easily extend the sleeping area.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Marmot Limestone 8 scores high marks for family-friendliness too. What isn't more family-friendly than a room separator, 22 pockets, and enough floor space to bring whatever you want? The additional door for late-night bathroom breaks is a nice touch as well.

camping tent - a twin and three single air mattresses, dogs, gear, and there is...
A twin and three single air mattresses, dogs, gear, and there is still room for more in the Limestone 8.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Torreya 6 is another top-scorer here, mostly because of the features. Not only is space inside ample, but there are 32 gear loops and 19 pockets. One secret of happiness when you have a bunch of folks in a small space is easy organization. No one will trip, break something, or lose the car keys with everything neatly tucked away.

camping tent - putting some of the torreya&#039;s 32 gear loops to good use. no...
Putting some of the Torreya's 32 gear loops to good use. No accidentally stepped-on sunglasses in this tent.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The only 4-person tent to score among the top in family friendliness is the The North Face Sequoia 4. With its tall and open interior, flexible and large vestibule, included footprint with a built-in doormat, and nine pockets, the Sequoia is a great smaller option.

camping tent - the north face sequoia 4 is the only tent in our lineup to sport an...
The North Face Sequoia 4 is the only tent in our lineup to sport an attached doormat, helping keep the dirt outside.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Kelty Wireless 6 fit two adults, two kids, and two dogs comfortably inside, and the dual vestibules allow for even more storage and organization. Add in the ease of setup, a nice carry bag, and wonderful star-gazing capabilities, and you have a solid tent. And given the bargain price of the Wireless 6, it's hard to pass it up.

camping tent - getting ready to start a new day after a cozy night in the wireless 6.
Getting ready to start a new day after a cozy night in the Wireless 6.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Every Family is Different
Sometimes the most family-friendly tent isn't the biggest or the most feature-rich. Instead, it is a wonderful mix of ease of use, features that speak to your family and pet situation, and an ideal build for your typical camping environment.


Quality


For this metric, we looked at the materials used, the general feel of the poles and stakes, and details like how the stitching and seams are constructed. We also tap into our experience and knowledge to judge overall quality and potential long-term durability. But let's face it, when it comes to buying long-lasting gear these days, the age-old saying does hold: you get what you pay for.


Several of our tents scored well in this category. But the Marmot Torreya 6 is at the top of the food chain. Every detail was well thought out, from the DAC aluminum poles to the high-end stakes and crazy durable bag. Add to that a polyester/taffeta tent and ripstop polyester fly. And if that isn't enough, they added some fancy zipper pulls and a plush awning with included poles.

camping tent - high-end stakes, color-coded poles, and fly clips make the torreya a...
High-end stakes, color-coded poles, and fly clips make the Torreya a breeze to set up.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The MSR Habitude 4 checks every box for quality materials. From the 7000-series aluminum poles to the DWR 68D polyester taffeta on the floor — everything down to the guyline tighteners is top-notch. The only complaint you will have in the quality department is the included porch light and bag, but these are minor issues.

camping tent - quality materials can be found throughout, from the floors to the...
Quality materials can be found throughout, from the floors to the poles, the Habitude is built to last.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The REI Base Camp 6 is a step above in quality over your typical REI tent. It has a 150-denier polyester floor that is both abrasion and puncture-resistant. Thick aluminum poles, fabric, seams, and zippers all look and feel top-notch. The Wawona 6 is a long-standing champ in our review for many reasons, not least of which is how well it's withstood the test of time. The main tent is made out of 150D polyester taffeta, the floor out of 68D polyester, and the poles are DAC MX — strong and light. And, of course, all seams are seam-sealed with a tub-style floor. The Sequoia 4 is built nearly identically to the Wawona 6, with just a few differences in the poles and stakes.

camping tent - a stout and beautiful looking tent made of high-quality material.
A stout and beautiful looking tent made of high-quality material.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Of note: if you are looking to set up anything with feet in your tent and don't want to puncture the base, the NEMO Wagontop 6 has a 300D polyester floor, and the Marmot Limestone 4 and Coleman Instant Setup sport 150D polyester material floors.

If you are looking for a budget camping tent, the single best upgrade to your durability is swapping out the fiberglass poles and getting a set of aluminum ones. Poles and mesh are where the budget tents fail. Except for the impressive Kelty Wireless 6, the mesh areas on the budget tents we reviewed are at least twice as large as the other tents and feel significantly cheaper in quality. Get better poles and be cautious around your mesh, and a budget tent can last you for years.

camping tent - exposing the high quality mesh top after a warm nights sleep in the...
Exposing the high quality mesh top after a warm nights sleep in the Kelty Wireless 6.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Consider the Long-Term Investment


Unless you're only planning on going camping once or twice a year on an idyllic beach, it's worth taking the long view when it comes to the quality of your tent. We are fans of quality gear that performs well season after season, which often means investing more upfront.

camping tent - both vestibule doors open on the wawona allows for a great view...
Both vestibule doors open on the Wawona allows for a great view while still getting coverage from the sun.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Conclusion


A camping tent is the most important item you will buy when it comes to camping, so picking the right one is key to a successful adventure. Think about the type of camping you intend to do and what you find most important in a shelter. Innovations are happening all the time, so if there's a feature you want, you'll likely be able to find it. Now, go get yourself a tent and get outside!

camping tent - panoramic views from the nemo wagontop 6 make for very happy campers.
Panoramic views from the NEMO Wagontop 6 make for very happy campers.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Rob Gaedtke


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