Camping Tents & Backpacking Tents

Use a beach tent for a bit of shade when visiting the shore, or use a pop-up tent to quickly set up a kiosk at a company function. Canopy tents and screen houses are great ways to create food preparation areas as well, so consider taking one with you on your next camping trip. Even though the pole was bent, I finished setting up the tent and got the rainfly over the top.

It was one of the few that didn’t have rain incursion overnight. And it was surprisingly dark on the interior, so much so that the couple who slept in it managed to stay asleep until nearly eleven on the second day of camping. In addition to packed size, assembled size, ease of set up, and weather protection, I also considered each tent’s price when making a final determination. We found that company representatives are reluctant to estimate the lifespan of their tents. When pushed, most of the reps we talked to estimated five to 10 years, though the actual lifespan will vary widely depending on care and frequency of use (for more advice, read REI’s excellent tips).

This outdoor cabin tent features innovative Dark Rest technology that blocks sunlight. Multiple skylights with interior ceiling panels allow you to customize the light and can be rolled back for stargazing or for extra interior illumination. This Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent features eight large windows for lovely views of the outdoors. The included removable room divider allows you to create two separate living spaces and comfortably fits two queen airbeds or up to 10 campers in sleeping bags on the floor. Keep your things organized with the included hanging organizer and deluxe gear pockets.

Throughout all our testing, we wanted to know how it felt to be inside the tents for long periods of time. If we had to spend a day in the tent during a storm, would it be comfortable? After first removing the models that failed the structural tests, we slept, watched the stars, and ate our meals in all of the tents, as well as planned hikes from them. I had high hopes for the Eddie Bauer Olympic Dome, but unfortunately this tent did not live up to my expectations. It started off well with some unusually excellent directions, which I appreciated having just come from the Coleman tent and its attached poles. As family friends started to trickle in over the course of the evening and following morning, they started to claim various tents.

And I typically find that color coding the poles and the connection points and sleeves is the easiest way to communicate what goes where. This is great for avoiding potential exposure to hazardous chemicals, but you should pitch the tent well away from any open flames. The 2 room dividers turn it into a 3-room tent – one divider is even made with silver-coated fabric so it works as a movie screen. There are also two strings of LED lights hanging inside the tent, an E-port to power your tech goods, and a mud mat.

ozark trail instant cabin

But with this tent, you have to neatly fold the pole inside the tent body to have a hope of getting the whole thing back in the carrying sack. But the bigger issue is that one of the plastic pieces that holds the pole into place on one side broke. Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

Underneath the fly, the Mineral King 3 has a full mesh dome with a waterproof, tape-seamed bathtub-style polyester floor. The tent doors are nearly wall-sized, and after you unzip them, you simply stuff them into pockets, rather than having to roll and toggle-tie the fabric. Another two hanging pockets plus loops for a ceiling hammock provide simple yet effective interior storage. Temperatures ranged from the 50s at night to the 80s during the day. Its fly extends into a huge front vestibule that can store large items like bikes, or even accommodate a table and chairs. Adults over 6 feet tall will be able to walk upright inside this tent—which has almost-vertical walls that can easily accommodate beds, cribs, and cots—as well as in the vestibule.

In conducting research for this guide, we heard multiple tales of careful campers who had been using the same tent for 15 years or more. The Wawona 6’s side-walls are high and straight, but the structure stays very stable in wind thanks to a final pole that wraps around the front and sides—and thanks to the absence of any acute angles in the poles. We were skeptical about the vestibule’s ability to handle wind, since it’s big and supported by a single pole, but it stood fast in 30 mph oceanside gusts and 15 mph hilltop winds. That mesh also keeps the tent feeling airy and cool in hot climates. A senior staff writer at Wirecutter, Kit Dillon has written about everything from backpacks and cooking gear to luggage and road-tripping. During my research on this tent I watched several YouTube videos on how to set up tent by yourself or with two people.

Everyone who tested this tent loved it, and it’s not hard to understand why. With plenty of interior space, near-vertical walls, and a gigantic vestibule that could accommodate a golf ozark trail instant cabin cart, the Wawona feels more like a tiny home than a tent. The biggest material difference between the Sundome and our other picks is its crunchy, tarp-like polyethylene floor.