Buying Guide | Camping Tent

The Best Camping Tents in 2021 – Buying Guide

After 16 hours of researching 53 camping tents, we believe the MSR Access 2 is the best camping tent for regular hikers facing different climates. This four-season model is resistant to all weather conditions. In addition, it is light and easy to assemble. Its interior is designed for two people while remaining very spacious. Finally, it benefits from optimal ventilation while offering excellent insulation.

<strong>MSR Access 2</strong>

MSR Access 2Our Pick

  • Lightweight
  • it is also easy to assemble and transport, offering the best quality / price ratio
Quechua 2 seconds camping- 3 people

Quechua 2 seconds camping- 3 peopleCheap

  • Despite its low price, it offers a large waterproof interior space. 
  • In addition, there are storage spaces and an efficient ventilation system
Coleman Coastline 3 Plus

Coleman Coastline 3 PlusBest Mid-Range

  • Very resistant, it is very ventilated and has a small entrance useful for storage.
Coleman BlackOut 4 Festival Dome

Coleman BlackOut 4 Festival DomeMid-range alternative

  • Essential for festival-goers or families with small children who need to take a nap

Our Pick: MSR Access 2

Amazon Best Seller

MSR Access 2

4 seasons, it can accommodate 2 people and provide waterproofness and insulation even in extremely cold conditions. 
Lightweight, it is also easy to assemble and transport, offering the best quality / price ratio.

This model for two people is designed to withstand all four seasons. It shows good wind resistance and is completely waterproof. The living space is large and well insulated. It uses mosquito nets to create drafts and has clips to place your things. It is useful for hiking because it is light and easy to assemble and disassemble. 

The MSR Access 2 tent is a dome tent. As its name suggests, it is designed to withstand any time of the year, so even in the middle of winter. With a weight of less than 2 kg, it is easily transportable. 

If the installation is often problematic for some tents, it is set up in just 10 minutes. Likewise, disassembly is also done quickly. Nevertheless, there is always the eternal problem of folding and storing in the bag. Note also that you have only eight sardines and that they are very light. 

It has a particular structure, with a nylon flysheet and a raised ground sheet. These elements ensure absolute impermeability. Despite everything, the ground is a bit fragile and sensitive to scratches.

Easton® Syclone ™ poles are wind resistant composite materials. However, we advise you to orient the home in the direction of the latter to avoid any unnecessary risk. 

Inside, it’s quite spacious. There are two doors and two apses guaranteeing everyone a personal living space. The inner chamber is made of full fabric, which gives you excellent insulation. As for mosquito nets, they manage the air inside the tent. 

Finally, there are three ceiling clips for hanging a lamp or other personal effects. However, there is no pocket available to slip some belongings in. 

Note that it also exists for three people. In this version, it is indeed possible to have three people, provided you put some of your belongings in the apses.

The best inexpensive camping tent: Quechua 2 seconds – 3 people 

Best Cheap Camping Tent

Quechua 2 seconds camping- 3 people 

This tent can be set up in seconds by tossing it in the air. 
Despite its low price, it offers a large waterproof interior space. 
In addition, there are storage spaces and an efficient ventilation system.

This model stands out above all for its simplicity and speed of installation. Waterproof and spacious, its interior accepts three people and their mattresses. Landlords appreciate its storage pockets, the protection it offers against insect invasions, and its ventilation system.

This free-standing three-season tent is designed for occasional campers or for evenings with teenagers. In terms of its transportability, know that it weighs 3.6 kg.

Its name “2 seconds” determines the time it takes to mount it. Indeed, its installation is summed up in a jet in the air used to deploy it. 

However, folding can sometimes be difficult. But, once apprehended, it takes place automatically. The equipment is then stored in a round polyester cover. The latter has a diameter of 77 cm and a capacity of 41.9 L. 

The structure has a double wall resistant to heavy downpours and winds up to 50 km / h. The chamber made of polyester is waterproof while the floor is designed with polyethylene. The hoop is made with fiberglass. The manufacturer also supplies nine sardines and seven shrouds. 

The interior area is quite spacious. It can accommodate three people (or more). Each of them is therefore 60 cm wide and can even place a mattress. Storage pockets are accessible to store your things.

The entrance is not covered but the bedroom acts like a mosquito net. On the other hand, some emphasize its lack of darkness in the face of the sun’s rays. 

Fresh technology ventilates the back of the tent. In addition, there are spaces between the flysheet and the floor favoring better condensation. However, some traces of humidity are sometimes visible. 

Finally, different variants are also available such as the Air Seconds 5.2 Fresh & Black for five people (with living room) or the 2 Seconds Easy Fresh & Black , smaller, for two people.

The best mid-range camping tent: Coleman Coastline 3 Plus

Best Mid Range

Coleman Coastline 3 Plus

This tent for two to three people is ideal for a stopover or for short trips by car or motorhome. 
Very resistant, it is very ventilated and has a small entrance useful for storage.

For two to three people, this tent is ideal in a temperate climate. If it is heavy and bulky, it is nevertheless very practical and includes two compartments. There is a good seal and the general quality of the materials guarantees good resistance. In addition, its two ventilation windows give it excellent breathability.

The Coastline 3 Plus is a 7.2 kg spring / summer model. Its substantial weight testifies to a certain robustness but also somewhat hinders its transportability. It is therefore more interesting for those traveling by car or motorhome and making stages or escapades, rather than for a hiker.

Easy to assemble, it is 50 cm long with a diameter of 20 cm. When folded, it has dimensions of 66 x 18 x 18 cm.

If its canvas is made of 100% polyester, it still benefits from protection against the sun’s rays. Its groundsheet is made with polyethylene while the poles are made of fiberglass. In case of rain, know that it is waterproof. However, the groundsheet in the hall may have a few drops of water.

The interior is relatively spacious. It has a surface area of ​​8 m² of which 4.2 m² are reserved for sleeping space. While the manufacturer claims it is a three-person tent, users believe that for optimal comfort it is best to sleep two. 

The quick-pitch tunnel is in fact the entry area. Its size allows it to store a few things. Once inside, you will notice the good ventilation of the room thanks to its two ventilation shutters.

In addition, if you go on vacation in a larger committee, it is also available for four or eight people.

A mid-range alternative: Coleman BlackOut 4 Festival Dome

Top Pick

Coleman BlackOut 4 Festival Dome

With BlackOut technology, this tent obscures the light so you can sleep even when the sun is shining. 
It is therefore essential for festival-goers or families with small children who need to take a nap.

This four-person all-weather tent offers strong materials and good waterproofness. The width is well thought out for this number and the awning allows you to store your belongings to be comfortable in the interior canvas.

The overall dome design is good. The groundsheet rolls up to the sides to keep the interior dry. Fiberglass poles are very flexible and light. In addition, the stakes are included.

Once the assembly is done (quite quickly), the tent offers a beautiful space of 340 x 260 x 130 cm. The interior has 5.5 m 2 to accommodate four people. The width being 260 cm, it is easily possible for you to gather there with several on floor mats. 

However, the inflatable mattresses are often wider, it is possible that this configuration is more correct.

In addition, the large 2.4 m 2 awning offers the possibility of storing your bags and personal effects.

With all this, the weight takes a little bit because here we are over 6.5 kg. This makes it more pleasant to take on a campsite or festival than on a hike or bivouac.

As said before, it has good waterproofing and UV protection (SPF50). Regarding the blackout technology, users are delighted. They readily admit having known how to sleep longer than in a traditional tent with which the light wakes them up earlier.

The only downside they note is that it is sometimes too dark. But rest assured, a simple flashlight can counter this minor problem.

Honorable mentions 

  • Coleman Sundome 4 Dark Room ($216.01): very popular in the US, this model announced for four people is more interesting for two and their belongings since no space is available outside the tent under the tarpaulin. On the other hand, it has the advantage of being blackout to be able to enjoy a few additional hours of sleep in the morning or evening despite the presence of the sun and thus has more freshness than a classic tent. However, it is offered at a much higher price than in the US, making it less attractive to us.
  • Marmot Limestone 4 ($350.35): This freestanding, three season model admits up to four people. It has thick walls providing good insulation. It is waterproof and its four arches resist the wind. Very spacious, its interior includes two doors and two vestibules. In addition, there are some pockets on the floor and on the ceiling as well as a mosquito net. On the other hand, if it is ideal for camping holidays, it takes a little time to assemble and is quite heavy to transport. In addition, it generates a little condensation.
  • Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 ($357.04): This three-season model is suitable for hikers traveling in areas protected from the wind. Easy to assemble and disassemble, it is waterproof and well ventilated. Its storage areas increase its comfort. If its interior space is reduced, you still have the necessary waterproofing and good condensation. Finally, its small practical size is optimal for transport in a backpack, during treks or bike rides.

How did we make our choice?

Whether you are an adventurer or an occasional camper, choosing a tent is a real challenge as there are so many models on the market. However, how you use it has a big influence on the ideal choice. Entry-level models are often designed for summer, while prices have to go up for more protection. 

Before starting this selection, we established the criteria determining the quality of a camping tent:

  1. The basic structure : a tent is made up of different elements, such as the inner canvas ensuring insulation, the poles influencing stability, the flysheet to avoid the risk of condensation, and the groundsheet providing comfort and impermeability. 
  2. Weight : for a hike, a light tent is preferred so as not to weigh down your legs. For camping, you can take a heavier model as long as it is easily transported by car or whatever. Generally, the heaviness of a tent is due to its larger size, therefore offering more space.
  3. A 3 or 4 season tent : the three season tent can be used from spring to fall. The four-season tent, as its name suggests, can be used all year round, since it resists the cold and the weight of the snow. Be careful, however: some entry-level models claim three seasons when in reality they are not resistant to wind or rain.
  4. Capacity : Each tent has a specific capacity. However, this concerns sleeping alone (count 55 to 60 cm per person). Thus, two people, if they want to store luggage in the tent, have every interest in opting for a tent of three or four people.
  5. Strength in the face of bad weather : the structure is decisive. To offer good resistance to wind and bad weather, the ideal is to opt for crisscrossed poles, made of good quality materials, flexible and solid. The waterproofing is also to be taken into account and, to do this, you must look at the groundsheet as well as the reinforcement of the seams. 
  6. Ventilation : the presence of windows better prevents condensation. The location in which you install the base can also generate more or less humidity. In this case, we advise you to move away from water points such as lakes or rivers and above all, to place yourself under the rays of the sun to dry the tent quickly. 
  7. The mosquito net : not only does it protect you from small animals, but it can also help evacuate condensation.
  8. Assembly and disassembly : with new technologies, it is sometimes possible to assemble it in no time at all, by assembling its components or simply throwing it in the air. The shape usually has an influence on the speed of installation. Thus, dome tents are often easy to set up, thanks to their self-supporting structure.
  9. Storage spaces : usually there are pockets to place your gadgets, apses to store your backpacks and shoes and / or ceiling ties that can accommodate flashlights. Their location and number can therefore be decisive for your comfort.

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