Best Tents for Camping in 2020 | Expert Advice

If you quickly want to find out which is the best tent for camping, I’d recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent.

Choosing a camping tent isn’t easy.

You need to factor a lot of things like weight, size, tent space, performance in all seasons, price, etc.

Well, it can get you quite puzzled. Don’t worry, we have put together some good solid buying advice for a camping tent, and some of the best tents for camping.

By the end of the article, you’ll find it a lot easier to pick one.

We’ll be reviewing the below products in this article:

  1. ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent (Best overall )
  2. Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room (Best in the under $200 category)
  3. Big Agnes Big House 4 Camping Tent (Best for space & comfort )
  4. NTK INDY GT 4 to 5 Person Tent (Best pick for money)
  5. Marmot Limestone 4 Persons Tent (Best for quality, room space & ease of set up)

How to choose the best camping tent?

Weight & Size

Choose the size of the tent depending on the number of kids and adults. Most 4 person tents cannot accommodate 4 adults in real time, so look out for the dimensions before you choose.

If you are car camping, be generous on the tent space and lenient on the weight. If you are backpacking, try and get a good balance between weight, comfort and price.

Tents with super quality materials make it lightweight, but are heavy on the pockets.

Ease of Setup

Tents with freestanding poles are easier to set up and can be moved around easily. But they are heavy.

Setting up the tent with stakes takes a little extra effort & some expertise, but it’s much faster to setup once you are used to it. They are also lighter in weight and it’s easy to split the tent weight between two people. The tent and the stakes can be in separate packs.

Both ways, I’d highly recommend you to try set it up once at home a week before your trek.

Weather Resistance

A picture of a tent with water drops on it

The weather resistance of a tent is acquired from a various of factors. Some of them are:

Hydrostatic head measurement

In simple terms, it’s a measure of how water resistant your tent material is. The higher the hydrostatic head value, the more waterproof a tent is, and the more water it withstands from leakage.

For good water resistance, look for a tent with 2500..+ mm coating.

Fabric

The fabric & the weave of the tent material is a direct measure of how weather proof a tent is. Good polyesters work well in this case.

Meshes

Liberal use of mesh in the tent body ventilates well in warm or muggy weather. You might want to check for windows with meshes.

Design of the tent

The design of the tent also decides how protected the tent is, from rains and winds.

Comfort

The idea of comfort varies depending on the type of camping and the campers involved.

Someone looking to camp at the beach would prefer a ventilated tent with sun protection. Someone who is planning to camp in the wild might prefer a more sturdy and strong tent. A family would prefer a spacious tent with enough vestibule space.

Choose your tent accordingly.

Ventilation

This depends on where you’ll be camping at, and the number of people you’re with.

Say you are going to camp by the beaches, or in the spring when the sun’s up and you want to welcome some fresh air into the tent. In such cases, you should be looking if the tent is well ventilated.

If it’s going to be the winters or rains, just enough ventilation to not make you feel suffocated will do.

You can decide this by the number of windows a tent has.

Rainfly

Rainfly is the floorless, waterproof outer layer of a tent. Think of it as a layer that keeps out wind, rain and mist.

A person setting up a tent rainfly

It comes of help in all weathers – UV protection in the summers, exhausting rain drops in the rainy days and makes sure you don’t overly cold in the winter nights.

Fabric

The most popular materials for tent fabrics are Polyester or Nylon.

Nylon is lightweight & more hydrophilic than Polyester. Nylon tents usually are coated additionally for UV protection.

Polyester, on the other hand is more hydrophobic, resists abrasion and is more durable in bad weathers – heavy rains or strong winds.

For the tent floors, polyester is generally padded with a Polyurethane coating for durability.

If you are looking at a camping tent for bad weathers, look for this double coating or welding in the floors. If not, get a footprint or a tarp to extend the durability of it.

Price

You obviously have a budget for your tent. There are two types:

Premium Camping Tents

These come with a wide range of feature set, and are priced accordingly. They are designed top-notch, have high end technologies implanted in them for water/weather resistance, a strong pole design and are made of the best quality materials.

If you are planning to camp multiple times in a year, and under different weather conditions, invest in one of these.

These stand as heavy duty products for years on end.

Budget Camping Tents

They come under the below $200 range( for a 6 person tent ), and have a good balance of weight, feature sets and performance.

They aren’t as heavy duty as the premium ones, but are a highly functional solutions. Most of the products that we recommend, fall into this category.

Top 5 Best tents for Camping

1. ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent

Pros

  • Free standing two pole design, fiberglass poles
  • Great value for money
  • Two vestibules for storage space
  • Fly is made of good quality Polyester
  • Great ventilation – two mesh roofs and a window
  • Rain fly completely covers the tent
  • Durable in snow, wind, rain and sun

Cons

  • Fiberglass poles make it bulkier
  • A tarp or a footprint extends the life of the tent floor

Bottomline

Chosen for good functionality at a reasonable price.

>> Check 4P Tent Prize on Amazon <<

>> Check 6P Tent Prize on Amazon <<

2. Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Separate screen room as additional sleeping area
  • Fast pitch setup
  • Weathertec system for waterproofing – withstands rains and stays dry
  • Spacious and comfortable interiors for 4-5 adults
  • Two windows on each sides for cross ventilation

Cons

  • Back mesh panel can be covered only with the rainfly on
  • Small storage bag
  • Not for cold weathers

Bottomline

A great tent for mild weathers at a decent price.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

3. Big Agnes Big House 4 Camping Tent

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Made of high quality materials – Polyester, with a 1500mm PU coating
  • Performs well in all weathers – wind, snow and rain
  • Enough spacing for 4 adults to sleep comfortably
  • Keeps you very warm inside
  • Two screened panels for cross ventilation
  • Includes rainfly
  • Has an add-on vestibule for storage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • More headroom would have been good

Bottomline

Chosen for good ventilation, 4 seasons, tent space, comfort, storage space and warmth.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

 

4. NTK INDY GT 4 to 5 Person Tent

Pros

  • Sturdy poles.
  • Double chamber for storage & sleeping.
  • Retains heat very well.
  • Front vestibule – wonderful storage space.
  • Easy to setup & take down.
  • Keeps the water out very effectively.

Cons

  • Not enough ventilation in the sleeping area.
  • Gets hot inside in warmer weathers.

Bottomline

This tent represents excellent value for money. If you are looking at a tent that can accommodate 2 adults and 2-3 children comfortably in this price range, look no further.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

5. Marmot Limestone 4 Persons Tent

Pros

  • Comes with a full coverage rainfly
  • Super easy setup & take down
  • Comes with a footprint
  • Has hanging organizers and storage pockets inside
  • High quality zippers
  • Dual vents for cross ventilation
  • Stable in high winds & keeps dry in rains

Cons

  • Additional stakes might be needed for the setup

Bottomline

Chosen for good quality, room space & easy setup.

> Check Prize on Amazon <<

If you are going backpacking, it’s a good idea to cut pack weight. Tents being one of the four heaviest items in your backpacks, is an ideal place to save some weight. Check out this list of some of the backpacking tents we have found to be the best till date.

Conclusion

Our pick from the 5 is the first one – ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent.

It has most of the features that makes a tent invaluable. It’s also not overly priced. The ventilation and the roomy tent space is worth all the price you pay for it.

Which one did you pick? 🙂 Was this article helpful? Let us know in the comments.

We hope this guide justified finding the best sleeping bag to fit your needs. Thanks for reading and happy hiking!

 

Mark Bennett
 

I have a serious thing for travel, outdoors and wilderness. I grew up in Oregon and camping outdoors with my father was one of the fondest memories of childhood. I enjoy camping and hiking and love to share what I've learnt over these years.