Camping isn’t just great fun. It’s also one of the cheapest forms of accommodation you’ll find!
And that’s a winning combination if you ask me.
Unfortunately, I was forced to part ways with my much-loved camping tent a while back and haven’t had a chance to replace it yet.
But that can’t go on forever.
So, with a new year upon us, and no end to the rain in sight, I decided to look into the best waterproof tents for camping I could find to see if there were any that tickled my fancy.
…Turns out there were plenty of them! Want to see what I came up with?
Keep reading to learn all about 10 of the best tents for camping and outdoor adventures on the internet right now!
[Last Updated: January 2021]
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
The Best Waterproof Tents for Camping – Summary Table
How to Choose the Best Waterproof Tents for Camping
Any old tent will do, right?
Unfortunately not! Levels of waterproofing vary, ease of assembly differs, and many are heavy and cumbersome….
It makes all the difference to have a good quality tent for camping.
Sure, you could go out and buy the first thing you see. But it’s far better to take a moment to consider its specifications. The following considerations will mean you’re more likely to find the best waterproof tent for your needs.
1. The Level of Waterproofing
First off, the waterproofing standards.
Many tents claim to be fully waterproof, but they’re not! In light showers they may be fine. But extended periods of getting heavy rain on a tent can render them useless. Anyone who has been rained on during the night know this isn’t pleasant!
Now, this is less of an issue in this buying guide. Each tent I’ve included should be more than adequate in terms of rain-proofing. However, if you’re looking elsewhere, be sure to check the waterproofing levels of the tent in question.
Taped and welded seams are important. Stitching may keep some water out, but over time it’ll get through. Fully-sealed seams do a much better job.
Likewise, it isn’t just the rain fly that’s important here.
The base of the tent should be made from strong, waterproof, tarp-like material. After all, wet ground can mean a wet tent floor. And that’s never fun. The best bases extend this in ‘bath tub’ style around the tent’s lower walls as well.
Money doesn’t always amount to a better product.
But, in terms of waterproofing, the more you spend, the better the chance you have of staying dry in a storm!
Looking for other gear to help you stay dry in a downpour? Check out the best waterproof ponchos for backpacking.
2. The Weight of the Outdoor Tent
Weight is almost always a factor to take seriously.
There’s no point lugging anything more than you need. A 4 person tent would obviously make no sense for a solo backpacker!
Weight is less of an issue for larger-scale, family-style camping trips though. Most of the time you’ll be in a car or van. You transport all the camping stuff you need in the trunk, or a trailer.
If that’s what you need the tent for, then worry less about the weight! However, for backpackers and hikers, the lighter the tent, the better.
That said, sometimes an extra bit of weight amounts to higher-quality materials. It’s about weighing up (no pun intended!) the pros and cons.
Likewise, don’t assume that smaller tents will be lighter. This is often the case. But there are definite exceptions! Heavy 1 person tents can weigh the same as light 3 person tents, and so on.
I’ve tried to include all the weights here to help with your decision making.
3. The Size of the Tent for Camping
I hate it when I don’t have enough space in a tent.
I feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s hard to stretch out and sit up without pushing the dry interior against what’s often a wet rain fly. When the weather’s bad and you’re forced to stay ‘inside’, it can quickly become unpleasant!
Indeed, many people feel a little claustrophobic when sleeping in a tent anyway. Opting for a larger option may make for a more enjoyable experience.
Picking the right size is vital.
I once slept 5 people in a 3 man tent and it sucked! I was on the outside, pressed against the wall. I couldn’t even turn over I was so jammed in place. It was proper sardines-in-a-tin style camping.
It’s funny now, but at the time it wasn’t fun!
Think about how many people your tent needs to sleep. Think about how much space you need to be comfortable. Then proceed accordingly.
It sounds basic. But it’s all too easy to underestimate. Some tents claim to sleep 3, but they really only sleep 2 people comfortably, and so on. Likewise, overestimating the space you need can lead to carrying more weight than you need.
Top Tip: Check out the tent’s measurements before making a purchase. Then, get home and set it up. Get inside and see what it’s like. If it’s too small, then take it back and exchange it for a new one!
4. Storage Space in Your Camp Tents
Many tents peg out to create ‘vestibules’.
This is usually in front of the entranceway to the tent. The rain fly pulls out a few feet further and pegs into place. It creates a space, under cover, for you to put bags, shoes, food, and so on. With the fly zipped into position, everything should stay dry during the night.
Some tents have more space than others.
Be sure to have enough! Some tents don’t have any vestibules. They usually compensate with more internal space for your things. However, when those things are wet everything inside gets wet too! Outside storage space is always better.
Adequate storage will depend again on how many people are in the tent. Be sure to take everyone’s stuff into consideration if more than just you will be sleeping inside.
5. No. of Doors to Your Outdoor Camping Tent
The number of entranceways to a tent is another important buying consideration.
Now, it isn’t as important as something like waterproofing. However, it’s absolutely worth keeping in mind.
I always find 2 door tents preferable. It just makes a whole lot of sense.
Now, 1 man tents can generally get away with just one door. After all, it’s just one person going in and out.
But that changes when more people are inside! With just one entranceway, you have to climb over people in the middle of the night to get outside.
Having two doors makes life easier for everyone. There’s no treading on fingers and toes on your way in and out of the tent.
Furthermore, two doors generally means two outside vestibule storage compartments as well: one on each side. That can be incredibly handy when you’re carrying lots of stuff.
6. Ease of Assembly
People say you can tell a lot about a couple by the way they put a tent up together.
I can fully believe it!
It’s one of those things that inevitably causes a bit of conflict. At the end of the day, the easier a tent is to put up, the better.
Keep in mind that tent instructions are notoriously awful! Too many poles, pockets, holes and straps are confusing. When you’re tired and it’s raining, even a few minutes difference in assembly time can be important!
Look for tents that don’t take a genius to put up.
Love hammock camping too? Read my guide to the best mosquito net hammocks!
The Best Waterproof Tent Reviews & Buying Guide
With all that in mind, here are my reviews of the best waterproof tents on the market.
The Best 4 Person Waterproof Tent
Let’s start with people looking for the best quality tents for slightly larger trips. Here are my picks for the best 4 person tent:
1. The Coleman Sundome (Best 4 Person Backpacking Tent)
9’ x 7’ floor space
4’ 11 inch height
Coated polyester fly and walls
Interior storage pocket
Shock cord fibreglass frame
Includes stakes and carry cases
Zippered pocket for power cord
Description (Coleman Tent Review)
The Coleman Dome tents are arguably the most popular tents online.
They’ve been bought thousands of times and are exceptionally well-rated. The 4-man option is no different. It’s easy to see why…
For one thing, it’s an absolute bargain. The Coleman is arguably the best 4 person backpacking tent you’ll find at this price point!
I haven’t found another 4 man tent for this price point. Likewise, it’s got most things covered. Easy to put up, good ventilation system, sufficient space, ‘welded’ seams (for waterproofing) and durable materials.
There are some nice features too. For instance, there’s a zippered electronics port to allow AC power into the tent if needed.
One down-side I can see is that the fly doesn’t extend all the way to the floor. It only extends far enough to cover the non-waterproof upper section of the tent itself. I can’t help but feel that would be an issue in major downpours for extended periods of time.
That said, the materials of the tent’s lower section and fly are coated polyester.
This means you’ve still got a solid waterproof camping tent! Likewise, the floor is similar to tarpaulin material (and extends upwards from the base in a ‘bathtub’ style), helping matters from the underside.
Equally, each Coleman tent review I saw raved about its waterproof capabilities!
More importantly for me though, that short fly means no vestibule space outside the tent! I.e. there’s on sheltered storage space. All bags and so on must be brought inside to stay dry.
And that’s often annoying when you’ve got lots of people, smelly shoes and giant bags…
Overall though, the Dome seems like a brilliant all-rounder for a miniscule price.
Love Coleman products? Click here to all about the 12 best Coleman tents on the market!
Easy to assemble
Value for money
Only one entry point
Fly doesn’t cover entire tent
2. The ALPS Mountaineering Tent - Taurus
8.6 x 7.6 foot floor space
4.3 feet high
2 ‘vestibules’ for storage
Poly taffeta floor
Includes stakes and carry case
The Taurus is another top performing tent online. It’s also my pick for the second best 4 man tent on the net!
That means more 5* ratings and reviews from happy customers.
It’s another reasonably priced tent (though double the Coleman price!) that, for intents (no pun intended) and purposes, packs great bang for the buck.
The materials are good quality and put together well. There are two points of entry, which makes a big difference when lots of people are in the tent (there’s nothing worse than crawling over people in the middle of the night to get outside!).
It also creates additional storage space for bags in the ‘vestibules’ created on either side.
I love the gear loft feature. This nifty mesh compartment at the top of the tent means safe stowing of anything you want out of the way. That’s good news when there are up to 4 people in a tent!
A slight downside I noticed comes from the stakes. They’re provided, which is a great. But they’re meant to be a little flimsy. That’s fine for soft ground. But they might struggle in firmer stuff.
Another positive is the customer service though. There are reports of swift response times and effective resolution of any problems.
Overall, this seems like another ideal option for a 4 person tent at a good price.
Entry from two sides
Lots of storage space
Smaller than the Coleman
Stakes may bend
The Best 3 Person Tents
On to slightly smaller tents designed for 3 people. Here are my picks for the best 3 person tent.
3. Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent (Best 3 Man Tent)
7.5’ x 6.5’ floor space
4 feet high
Comes with footprint
Fully waterproofed seams
Bathtub-style waterproof floor
Full mesh tent
The Teton Sport seems like a perfect choice for the best 3 man tent. It seems to tick all the right boxes.
For one thing, it’s a good bet for anyone short on space in their backpack and in need of a lightweight camping solution. The tent packs up small (1.9’ x 0.6’ x 0.6’) and weighs very little for a fully loaded 3 person tent.
Likewise, the ventilation doesn’t get much better. The tent itself is literally all mesh (apart from the base…obviously). This makes it great for anyone who likes star gazing on warm nights!
However, it also means you have to get the fly on quickly when it rains. And the lights go out when the fly goes on! According to some, the lack of windows make in the fly can make it quite dark.
In all other ways it’s hard to fault though. It’s straightforward to put up and made of high-quality materials.
It also comes with a footprint included. This is essentially a waterproof tarpauling to lay on the floor under the tent. It’s a nice touch for a tent that’s already good value for money.
You can see why people rate it so favourably online!
Lifetime warranty (limited)
Packs up small
No windows in fly
The Best Two Person Tent
Here’s my pick for the best camping tents for two people:
4. The MSR Hubba Hubba (Best Two Man Tent)
29 square foot floor space
3.25 feet high
17.5 sq. ft. vestibule
Packs to 18”x6”x6”
Hub and pole system
Specialist ‘syclone’ poles
3 year limited warranty
The MSR Hubba Hubba is arguably the coolest looking and sounding tent on this list.
I’ve seen one of these in real life and they’re very cool. The poles are designed to maximise the floor space. And, at 29 sq. ft it’s clearly worked.
Thankfully, it isn’t just a pretty face! The Hubba boasts many great features that make it a super high quality 2 person tent. The hub and pole system is a fancy element that facilitates swift assembly. The poles themselves are made from premium materials that resist breaking in extreme winds.
It does the basic stuff right too. There’s lots of ventilation in the fly, masses of storage space thanks to a large vestibule, and special waterproofing to boot.
A cool design feature is the ability to put up the tent using only the poles and fly. AKA, you don’t need the tent itself! Instead, you have a minimalist waterproof shelter. You can buy a footprint separately to avoid sleeping directly on the ground.
This would be epic when needing to travel ultra-lightweight and in warmer climates.
All that good stuff comes at a price though. The Hubba isn’t cheap. That said, sometimes the extra money is worth it. You buy a tent that’ll last and (literally) weather the storms ahead.
All told, it earns its impressive 4.6/5* rating.
Small packed size
Large floor space
Large vestibule area
High quality waterproofing
Footprint sold separately
Looking for a different type of tent? Check out this guide to the best canopy tents for camping and outdoor use.
The Best One Man Backpacking Tent
Now, on to the smaller side of things! These 1 person tents are the best bet for lone hikers and backpackers. Here are my picks for the best small tents on the net:
5. The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx (Best Solo Backpacking Tent)
Another Alps tent! For this level of quality at such an incredible price, I’ve labelled it the best backpacking tent under 100 bucks on this list.
7’6 x 2’8 floor space
3 feet high
2 pole design
Poly taffeta floor
This one person tent is an absolute bargain.
It has to be one of, if not the, best backpacking tent under 100 bucks.
All the ratings and reviews would imply this is the case. It averages 4.7/5 over almost 1000 reviews. That’s insane! It’s rare to find products with those credentials.
The Lynx boasts a mass of great specs and features the earn those ratings.
It seems to excel in every way. It assembles easily thanks to two aluminium poles. The fly is waterproofed to the rafters. There’s great ventilation. It’s spacious too, and has lots of storage capacity (including to cool gear loft I like!).
The only slight downside I can see is its weight.
At over 4lbs, it’s heavier than the 2 person tents! Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what adds the extra weight. It could be the stakes/pegs. But it’s hard to tell.
That said, it’s still far from heavy. Anyone heading for a lone trip will be able to transport it with ease.
All told, this is an epic tent for one person.
Multiple storage pockets
6. The Hyke & Byke Yosemite Tent Review (2nd Best One Man Tent for Backpacking)
7.3’ x 2.9’ floor space
3.5 feet high
16” x 5” x 5” packed dimensions
Aluminium alloy poles
2 entry points
This Hyke & Byke one-person tent is another definite contender for best tent under 100 bucks.
The only reason I didn’t label it as such was its slightly lower ratings to the Lynx.
In all other respects, it’s a top-quality choice. I love its two door design (even though it’s for one person!) and simplicity in terms of assembly. Just two (aluminium, again) poles that slot into the tent corners.
Other noteworthy features include the gear loft and free footprint. Both of these add extra bang for the buck.
Again, all the same old positives apply: fully waterproof, durable materials, high ratings, lots of storage space, lightweight, packs up small…the list goes on.
Oh, and there’s a lifetime warranty too. Any issues, send it back and get your money returned.
You literally can’t go wrong!
Lightweight and small
Risk-free purchase (lifetime warranty)
None that I could see or came across in reviews!
The Best Camping Tent Under 100 Bucks
Now onto the budget options. Here are my picks for the best backpacking tent on a budget.
7. 2-Person Bessport Tent Review (Best Cheap Camping Tent)
7.3’ x 4.1’ floor space
3.7 feet high
2 entry points
Welded floor design (waterproofing)
The award for the best cheap tent goes to this Bessport camping tent. You’ll struggle to find a 2 person tent with better reviews for this price point.
At under 80 bucks, the Bessport is awesome value for money. At with an average rating of 4.8, it’s clearly doing something right!
Again, it’s hard to fault.
For a cheap camping tent you get a lot for your money. Aluminium poles are often the reserve of more expensive options. Likewise, its quality waterproofing will keep you safe in any downpour.
Its floor space leaves more than enough room for two people. And, having two doors, there’s easy access and multiple storage areas of bags and gear. Finally, the design lends itself to straight forward assembly.
One slight downside (relative to other options on this list) is the weight. At 5.2lbs it’s on the heavier side. That said, it’s meant for two people. Split between two and it would be light as a feather!
Any issues whatsoever? No worries. The no questions asked warranty means you can send it straight back. Get a new tent, or your money returned, just like that!
The Bessport is arguably my top pick of the best tent for heavy rain on this list. It just seems like the perfect all-rounder, at a great price too.
2 door entry
Good value for money
No questions asked warranty
No gear loft
Alternative Tents Under $100
Just in case the Bessport didn’t take your fancy, here are two more good tents under $100 (roughly £80). These might not be the best camping tents, but they’d be ideal for fun in the outdoors for the whole family.
8) Pacific Breeze Beach Tent (Best Beach Tent)
Floor Space: 7.3’ x 3.9’
Weight: 6.2lbs (2.8kgs)
9) Zomake Pop Up Tent (Best Waterproof Pop Up Tent)
Size: 3-4 person
Floor Space: 7.9’ x 5.9’
Weight: 5lbs (2.3kgs)
Both of these tents vary in functionality from the options before them.
The Pacific breeze is intended for the beach. It’s also one of the only camping tents you can stand up in on this list! The Zomake is designed for quick and easy assembly (it simply pops up) but sacrifices some of the quality standards of the others.
Honestly, I wouldn’t take either with me on a serious outdoor adventure. However, they’d be ideal for festivals, beach days and as casual outdoor camping tents!
And, at well under 100 bucks, they’re great value for money.
10. The Luxe Tempo 2 Person (Best 4 Season Tent)
6.9’ x 4.6’ floor space
3.6 feet high
2 entry ways
Looking for a tent to use all year round? Here’s my pick for the best 4 season tent: the Luxe Tempo.
It’s a great 4 season, 2 person tent, and an absolute steal for the price tag.
It’s got all the features you could ask for: 2 doors, taped seams, first-rate waterproofing, lots of storage and so on.
Even better, as the best all season tent on this list, it’s well-suited to all weather conditions. You can use it all year round, regardless of the what’s going on with the weather. Oh, and it’s super affordable compared to 4 season tents sold by bigger name brands!
For what you pay, you get a great all-rounder that’s surely one of the best tents to buy for year-round use.
The only downsides I came across seemed to be ‘dainty zippers’.
If you’ve got giant hands, then they might be a little awkward to handle. Likewise, big hands might mean you’re extra tall (over 6’). And this tent may be on the short side if that’s the case.
Finally, it’s fairly heavy too. Between two people it’d be fine. But by yourself you might struggle/not want to hike or backpack with it.
In all other respects, the Luxe has you covered…literally.
Aluminium poles and stakes
Taped seams for waterproofing
Lots of storage space (including gear loft)
People over 6 foot may struggle
11. Kenty Salida 2 Person (Best 3 Season Tent)
30.5 square foot floor space
3.6 feet high
13” x 15” Packed size
Compact folding poles
Taped seams for waterproofing
Last but not least is the Kelty Salida. It’s another highly rated and popular tent online, and it’s easy to see why:
It ticks all of the right boxes and is my pick for the best 3 season tent on this list.
The Kelty would provide everything that the majority of people would ever need from a tent. It’s spacious, easy to put together, and has quality waterproofing.
Capable of effective use in 3 seasons, you’ll be able to get the most of it throughout the year too.
It’s a solid, well-made tent with high-quality materials. If you listen to the reviews, then it won’t let you down.
I personally like the mechanism used to keep the poles together where they cross. In typical tent fashion, the two poles cross one over the other when in place. A little clasp binds and stops them moving around.
I’ve used tents that did the same job, but with string to tie a knot. The string ended up breaking, which made it hard to secure the poles in position at the top of the tent.
It’s only a little thing, but it’s often these minor details that have a big impact.
Unfortunately, it’s only 1 door entry. This isn’t ideal, but it’s far from the end of the world. The Salida makes up for that by being fairly lightweight, making it well-suited for backpackers.
It also comes as a 1 person and 4 person tent if you need more, or less, space.
Compact poles good for backpackers
Only 1 door
Time to Find the Best Waterproof Camping Tent
There you have it: my definitive buying guide to the best waterproof tent on the market.
Camping is awesome. I love everything about it.
However, it’s important to have a good quality waterproof tent. Don’t, and the experience has the potential to take a very soggy turn for the worse!
Hopefully, the information in this post has helped you find one that’s right for you.
Which one did you like best? Let me know in the comments!
And please subscribe to the blog too! I’ll keep you up to date with more posts like this, as well as all the interesting things I come across on the road!