Are you looking for the Ideal Camping tent you can purchase from 2020? Want to stretch your camping dollar as far as you can without sacrificing quality? Look no further. We’ve researched over 30 camping stalls and analyzed 16 top models – alerting them to all from Pacific Northwest rainstorms into Oregon’s high desert, coastal California, Joshua Tree National Park, and even a few chilly fall Tahoe nights. All the time , we paid attention to the many critical features in each tent. Continue reading to see which are our favorites and specific recommendations for individuals on a budget who want a seriously waterproof outdoor shelter. We’ve added a collection of smaller family camping tents because we know that not everyone is searching for a palatial estate in the forests.
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REI Kingdom 6
The REI Kingdom 6 remains on another year as our Editors’ Choice award winner, but it certainly has some close competition. The Kingdom stayed at the top of the podium due to its unique, spacious, and well thought out layout. Hooped poles through the middle of the tent provide it more of a barn shape and a great deal more room than your typical dome tent, and greater head clearance throughout. It was also amazingly wind-resistant. Usually taller equals less stable in high winds, but the Kingdom stayed strong and also kept us dry in torrential rains. The adjustable (and zippable! ) ) Room divider is a great feature, as is the fact that one end of the tent is primarily net while another is primarily good fabric, providing you options for both privacy and ventilation.
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There are two doors, but there is not much of a vestibule at the Back doorway. It’s not a deal-breaker, given that there is a whole lot more to appreciate about the Kingdom, however anything you’d like from these components had better find its way in the tent or under the expansive vestibule front. You can purchase a few different variations on a vestibule to your back door, but they all come at an extra cost, adding to an already reasonably spendy tent.
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All these are, of course, small issues, the bottom line is that That the Kingdom has enough dimensions, quality, and thoughtful bits to impress even the most specialist campers. REI also makes the Kingdom in four- and eight-person versions.
Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6
The Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6 has a large vestibule included. (You have to purchase the REI Kingdom 6 vestibule separately). It’s also made with quality materials with a company that has a long record of outstanding tents. In both these ways, it is very similar to this Wawona. It sets itself apart with the versatility of its vestibule. The Tensleep provides dual vertical zippers on the vestibule, meaning you can zip the vestibule apart into three separate sections and then configure them to fit your needs. It can be directional, using one side open and the other side closed (think side end and afternoon sunlight ). It can be available in the center and still up on the sides, giving you a little privacy while still maintaining your view. Once it takes a little practice (and your hiking poles), you can even pull on the front flap upward veranda-style and enjoy an afternoon cocktail at the shade of your vestibule. Even the Tensleep also has large net ceiling, giving a brilliant perspective of the nighttime sky on warm, clear nights.
The only complaints we can conjure up are that the interior Pockets orient to one tent doorway only and that the vestibule’s veranda configuration can be troublesome to set up. Again, the Tensleep and the Wawona are extremely similar, and if you are interested by one, we would recommend reading through the two testimonials. They are both great tents, and what sets one apart in the other will likely come down to a personal preference.
The North Face Wawona 6
The North Face Wawona was the first tent to Challenge the Kingdom 6 dominance in a long time. The new Tensleep is also creeping up in the ranks. While The Kingdom and Tensleep edged ahead in our overall scoring, the Wawona impressed us in all our testing metrics. It has great ventilation, with two large picture windows and vents at the top, and its weather resistance was also strong. Setup was fast and easy, and we’re able to perform it using only one individual, that is impressive to get a larger tent, and key if one parent needs to be wrangling children while the other is setting it up. Greatest of all is its vestibule, which is almost as tall as the tent, very spacious, and has a huge door.
We did have issues venting the vestibule when we tried to cook in there in bad weather. The only solution is to open the door, but you don’t want to do that when it’s raining hard. Even the Wawona also lacks a few of the creature comforts located at the Kingdom, such as, for instance, a room divider. However, that the TNF Wawona saves you a little within the Kingdom 6 and Tensleep and contains the Outstanding vestibule.
The North Face Homestead Super Dome 4
In terms of smaller, four-person family tents, The North Face Homestead Super Dome 4 offers a distinctive and fascinating option. Unlike any of the other smaller family tents we analyzed, the Homestead is a real dome shape, with two sides around the floor. We discovered this allowed for people to spread more and sleep better in less uniform rows. It also lends itself into one of the favorite features on this jar, the three doors. You know when you have to get in the middle of the night, but you do not want to wake up your tentmatesworse yet hazard tripping over them on your way to and out of the doorway? Worry no more, with three door, you’re never far from that late-night bathroom break.
The Homestead Super Dome is certainly a bit of an experimental Tent in that it doesn’t conform to exactly the same ideas and designs that are deeply rooted at the camping game, but that does not have to be a bad thing. If you are comfortable with change and innovation (and likely some passerby conversation if you go with the floral print), then the Homestead will not let you down.
REI Co-op Camp Dome 4
The REI Camp Dome 4 is not likely to impress you with its own innovation. Words that kept coming up in our tests were things like,”Old School,” and”Classic,” and that’s not a bad thing. The Camp Dome isn’t trying to be the latest fad. It is sticking with a successful and time-tested design and making it at a high level. The classic dome shape with just two crisscrossing poles means the Camp Dome 4 goes up so easy. Many will swear that they can get it done and/or in their sleeping. Two large doors need to make getting everything in and outside of this tent a cinch. Together with 60 square feet of floor space, the Camp Dome is larger than our favorite overall four-person tent, the REI Half Dome4 Plus. Although to be fair, the walls at the Camp Dome do slant in more than the Half Dome (as standard dome tents are not to do), meaning you eliminate a bit of that inner volume. The material quality of this Camp Dome stood out to people. Thick flooring and fly fabric that will withstand rips and tears, seam taping to keep out the wet, and sturdy sticks that should stay straight and true for many a season make this a very functional tent.
We did discover that, while the fly does a nice job on the sides of The tent, on front and back, there is just an protracted overhang. No Vestibule or actual fabric coverage down the length of the doorways. The overhang Is enough to keep dripping rain off front and rear of the tent. So long as You do not experience sideways rain frequently, this should not be an problem. In the End, it is the price tag and quality construct of this Camp Dome 4 that make it a great value.