These days when it comes to camping and trekking there exists a great number of tent options on the market. Prices and quality vary considerably and knowing which one to choose can be a bit daunting.
The following guide will attempt to shed some light and help you select the best all-weather tent for your budget and needs. We have selected seven of the best all-weather tents currently on the market in a varying range of sizes, quality and price.
Best All Weather Tents – 3Season and 4 Season
- Marmot Crane Creek Tent – Best Ultra-Lightweight Tent
- Black Diamond Fitzroy Tent – Best 4 SeasonTent For 2 person
- North Face Triarch Summit Gold – Best 1 Person Tent
- Eureka Assault Outfitter – Best Tent For Car Camping
- Nemo Firefly Tent – Best For Backpacking
- Kelty All Inn Tent – Most Versatile Tent
- Eureka! Suma Tent – Best For Breatheability
1. Marmot Crane CreekTent
Best Ultra-Lightweight Tent
Type: 3 person tent – 3 seasons
Specs: Aluminum poles (7000 series), Full coverage weatherproof (seam taped) rain fly, Dual overhead vestibules and dual d-shaped doors
Area: 41.5 sq. ft.
Weight: 4lbs. 5.5oz.
Pros: Ultra-lightweight, Spacious construction, Double doors with internal mesh panels, Full rainfly
Cons: Not ideal for 3-person occupancy (2 will be more comfortable)
Description: This tent has a pre-bent construction which creates vertical walls for a more spacious interior and also the clips have been spaced strategically to allow for more headroom. Many tents have slanting walls which actually makes the space inside the tent feel much smaller especially when sharing the tent with someone else. The double doors are also a great addition.
This tent is a good quality option for a two people party on hiking or trekking trips where you are carrying your own gear. It’s also a good all-around tent for car camping where packing space is also limited.
2. Black Diamond Fitzroy Tent
Best 4 SeasonTent For 2 person
Type: 2 person tent – 4 seasons
Specs: Single-walled, Easton 7075 aluminum poles, Waterproof Todd-Tex fabric
Area: 36 sq. ft
Weight: 3.2kg (average packed weight)
Pros: Very strong and sturdy design, Waterproof and breathable, Low profile, 4 seasons
Cons: Does not include the vestibule but can be purchased separately, Costly
Description: This tent is made with high quality materials and is designed to withstand brutal weather conditions (high winds, rain, snow etc.). If you are planning to go on mountain treks or are going to be out in severe adverse weather, then this is good tent to consider.
This tent is designed for more extreme weather conditions therefore if you are planning a trekking trip at higher altitudes or in very adverse weather, you may want to consider this one if you can make the bigger investment. If you are planning a more casual camping trip, then other high-quality but more affordable tents are available.
3. North Face Triarch Summit Gold
Best 1 Person Tent
Type: 4 seasons / 1 person
Specs: Single door side entry, Aluminum poles, Footprint included, Vaulted head area and foot box
Pros: Lightweight, Compact and very sturdy (can resist strong weather conditions), Good ventilation options, Small but made with a spacious design
Cons: Small Vestibule
Description: There are multiple fly setup configurations that help adjust the necessary ventilation. Lots of tabs inside for hanging gear. Also has vertical sidewalls and a vaulted head area for maximum use of space.
This is a nice sturdy and durable tent for solo trips or trekking. North Face is one of our favorite brands as they have been making gear for over 50 years, and know what they are doing.
4. Eureka Assault Outfitter
Best Tent For Car Camping
Type: 4 seasons – 4 person
Specs: Based on U.S. Marine Corps design, Ultra sturdy, Full coverage Storm Shield rain fly, Aluminum poles, 2 vestibules
Height: 4.8 ft
Area: 63.8 sq. ft.
Weight: 16.8 lbs
Pros: Huge inner space, Very sturdy and weather resistant (built to withstand hard rain and stormy weather), Good adjustable ventilation (‘High/Low’ system), Tall ceiling
Cons: A heavier tent (ideal for car camping)
Description: Eureka tents are known for their ‘High/Low Air Exchange’ ventilation systems and the Assault Outfitter is no exception. This system keeps airflow moving and helps reduce moisture inside the tent. The full rainfly has a 15000 mm fabric coating and extends into two ample vestibules for storing gear and taking off footwear.
This tent is a good choice if you are doing some car camping or more stationary camping and is an example of a very spacious, comfortable and well-made tent. Ideal for small families or for sharing with one other especially for multiple-night camping trips. Eureka! is a company that has been around since 1895 and is known for its long-lasting, weather-resistant high-quality tents.
5. Nemo Firefly Tent
Best For Backpacking
Type: 2 person – 3 season
Specs: Two doors, two vestibules, Unique design, Aluminum poles, extra features, Life time warranty
Weight: 1.32 kg
Pros: Lightweight, Ingenious added designs and perks, Study and durable, Well designed trapezoidal vestibules, Divvy Sack stuff sacks, Lifetime warranty
Cons: is a bit small for two people but good if you don’t mind being snug
Description: Asides from being sleek looking, it is sophisticated in its design and includes many added perks and features. The floors are tapered to save on overall weight but increased room is created at the head. The tent mesh allows for full night visibility (for stargazing) but limits visibility into the tent for more privacy
The Poles are color-coded and webbing is matched, for an easy and straightforward setup. Overhead light pocket made of light diffusing material giving an even glow to your lighting. Divvy Sack stuff sacks allow the packed-up tent to be split two ways (with your hiking partner).
The Nemo Firefly 2 brings tent design to the next level and offers you a number of perks. It is an easy tent to assemble and is ideal for backpacking or trekking adventures.
6. Kelty All Inn Tent
Most Versatile Tent
Type: 2 persons – 3 seasons
Specs: 2 doors, 1 vestibule, 40D siliconized nylon ripstop/1500mm, Vertical and outward leaning walls, Aluminum poles
Pros: Lightweight, Easy setup and packup, 2 doors, Very stable and can withstand a good storm, Good ventilation, Kelty Standard Limited Lifetime Warranty
Cons: Not ‘ultra-lightweight’ as it claims but light enough
Description: Another example of a well thought out and well-made tent. Innerspace is maximized due to a special pole configuration and build. Walls are vertical and even outward leaning. The quality of the materials used is also top of the line and includes 40D siliconized nylon ripstop/1500mm.
This is another top-quality tent that is ideal for backpacking and camping as it is fairly lightweight. Kelty has been around for a long time and continues to improve and include ingenious and well thought out features. This tent also comes as a three-person tent with similar specs but includes two vestibules and a third door.
7. Eureka! Suma Tent
Best For Breatheability
Style: 3 seasons – 2 person tent
Specs: Aluminium poles, One door, 1 large vestibule, 100% No-See-Um mesh canopy
Weight: 3 lbs, 13 oz.
Area: 30.6 sq. ft.
Pros: Quick setup, Affordable price, No-See-Um mesh, Very durable and good quality materials, Stable tent in adverse weather
Cons: A bit small for two people (better to get the 3 person model)
Description: The minimalist structure of this tent keeps it very lightweight and makes for a very quick and easy setup. The full mesh canopy is also great for sleeping under the stars during warmer summer nights and also makes it a versatile tent for use in more tropical climates.
This tent is a good option for solo backpacking, camping or trekking. Can squeeze two people in but would be just that, a squeeze. It comes at an affordable price and presents all the top quality specs of a Eureka! tent.
A Guide To Finding The Best Tent Money Can Buy
It is important to ask yourself a few key questions to help better determine what type of tent you need.
- What will you be using the tent for and where will it be used?
- What type of climate do you plan on using it in and for how long?
- What time of the year will you be camping out?
- Are you on a solo mission or will you be sharing the tent and if so how many people are in your party?
- Do you plan on going car camping or are you on a trekking expedition up in the Himalayas for example?
These are all really important questions to ask since the tent you select will vary in weight, size and quality based on the projected weather and climate conditions as well as whether you are packing your own gear and how far and how long your trek or trip will be.
Five Major Elements to Consider
There is not a huge variation in the different layers of comfort that you will find in different styles of tents. Your comfot will mainly be influenced by how much room there is in the tent, if its big enough, if its waterproof, and is made by good enough materials that you won’t have to suffer from a rip of leak.
The size of the tent will depend on if you are going at it solo, or if you are looking for a two or three person (or more). Usually a two person tent is ideal, even if you are single, as it allows space for your gear and it is still small enough to be easily packed away.
At the same time you can squeeze another person in if you are going on a trip. Avoid smaller tents, not only if you are above 6 feet, but also having extra space for your gear, dog, or signifianct other is something nice to have.
If you are in the market to buy a tent, there really is not much use in getting a 2 season tent, as 3 season and 4 season tents will allow you the possibility to go on trips higher in the mountains and in different times of year.
The only time you are likley going to want to two season tent is if you are in a place like Arizona camping in the summer, where its over 100 F during the days and still blazing hot at night. In that case a 2 season tent will likely give you more mesh and ventaliation.
This is going to depend on what you plan on using your tent for. Generally speaking lighter is always better. Often though, 3 and 4 season tents will be heavier, unless you get a higher priced tent.
Having a lighter tent is nice as if you decide to go on a backpacking trip you will not have to buy a new one, or feel weighted down by the bulk.
Quality and price many times go hand in hand. Luckily though you can get a quality tent that will not be to expensive.
These are five major elements to consider when purchasing a tent and they need to be balanced with your specific needs and budget if you have one.
Other Things to Look Our For
A well-made 4-season tent that is larger in size is an all-around good choice. It will usually be equipped with better materials, such as, more sturdy zippers and the tent will be double-walled (inner wall and a full rainfly on top).
The tent material itself may be thicker and more waterproof. There will be more ventilation and more storage options such as having a double vestibule.
A tent-like this is a wonder and is highly recommended if you are in a multi-person party and plan to spend many nights camping. Of course, such tents are drastically heavier and bulkier, so what your mode of transportation will be really matters and needs to be established.
If you have to pack and carry everything you need yourself, then such a sizeable tent is not going to be an option but if you are driving up to your campsite or it is only a short distance away then the ‘palace’ option (larger tent) will be the way to go.
Two more important elements that make a tent even more resilient in adverse weather conditions are having a good groundsheet and a good tarp overhead.
The groundsheet is often not included with the original tent purchase and the tarp is definitely extra but both are well worth the short setup time and financial investment since they guarantee greater protection against the elements for your humble dwelling.
A ground sheet is sometimes not included when you purchase your tent and therefore it is something that you are going to want to purchase separately. A sheet is essential for keeping much of the moisture and cold from penetrating below and it also helps to protect the floor of your tent from getting torn or pierced on roots or rocks that might have remained below the tent when you set it up.
A practical tip is to get a sheet that is just slightly smaller than the total tent floor area, in this way it will be tucked under and won’t catch and draw any rainwater underneath the tent.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on one, even a budget sheet of plastic from your local hardware store will do, provided it is thick enough. Most tent brands do sell their own custom tent footprint and these will often be of a higher quality and custom made to fit your tent.
Another addition that will greatly increase weatherability is setting up a tarp above your tent. If you are planning to use your tent for extended periods of time then investing in a decent tarp is definitely recommended.
It will also help prolong the life and waterproofness of your tent since tent fabric can wear down quite fast when exposed to the strong u.v. light of the sun. There exist numerous ways to set one up and of course getting the appropriate size to cover your tent is also important.
An elevated tarp above your tent can also create some shade and help mitigate the heat from a hot mid-day sun. If weight is not a restriction then you can also get a much larger one and create a larger shade area outside your tent for sitting out during the day or when it is raining. Lastly, a tarp can really ensure that you stay dry in big downpours and harsh weather.
Caring for your Tent
Remember that even the best quality tent will be susceptible to a process of wear and tear over time. One of the primary threats to the weatherability or waterproofness of a tent is the strong u.v. rays of the sun.
Therefore unless you are doing some ultralight backpacking and even if you are, you may want to consider using a tarp overhead as was mentionned in the introduction to this guide.
You may also want to reinforce the seams of your tent, both inner and outer, with some kind of seam sealer, even if they have been taped by the manufacturer. Of course this is optional and can depend from one tent to another but it can prolong the waterproof quality of your tent in the long run.
Moreover, always make sure to dry your tent out properly before storing it for longer periods of time. This is a good way to avoid any mold formation which can damage parts of the tent over time and give it an unpleasant smell.
Investing Wisely in your Home away from Home
When it comes down to choosing the right tent for you, make sure to properly weigh all the important factors mentioned earlier (comfort, size, weatherability, weight and quality).
Moreover, if you are sharing a tent, make sure the tent will be big enough for the two or three or even four of you. And when in doubt, if weight is not an issue, buying a larger size tent is the way to go.
All in all, carrying a little extra weight and paying a little extra can ensure you have a spacious and highly weather-resistant tent which can drastically improve your camping trip or trek experience.
The tents presented in this guide, when cared for properly, will usually last you quite a few years, so it is well worth making a little extra investment. Treat them like your home, your second, or perhaps third or fourth home. Happy tenting!