10 Best Tent Brands for Camping in 2022

When buying a tent, choosing from one of the best tent brands is important to keep you safe from the elements on your explorations outdoors (and avoid waking up in a puddle)!

Overview

How to Select the Best Tent Brand for You

dave hoefler a3e7yEtQxJs unsplash 1

Type of Tent

There are a few types of tents to select from, primarily based on how many people you need to pack inside and how you’ll be getting to your campground. Almost all of these brands make both car-camping tents and more specialized backpacking tents. Backpacking tents will prioritize shaving weight down by saving space and reducing peak heights while car camping tents will be more spacious, taller, and will likely be heavier given the extra materials.

Weight Needs

While lighter might always sound nicer, if you are going to be car camping most of the time – you may be completely fine with a mid-weight option. Weight needs should be prioritized for backpacking but families don’t need to worry as much unless you have a long trek from the trunk to the site! The best tent brand for you will fit your specific needs.

Capacity Needs

The easiest way to filter down all of the options available within each brand is to consider how many people you’ll need to fit in the tent! Don’t forget to add at least one extra ‘person’ to consider your gear

Service Options

If you use your tent regularly, it is highly likely that you will need to repair it at some point for small rips or tears. If you are comfortable working to patch your tent up on your own, then you should be ok! Otherwise – Be sure to consider what the repair or return policy is for each brand. Some of the best tent brands have a better brick-and-mortar presence (like REI or the widely distributed Coleman & Kelty brands) compared to online-only brands and retailers (like NatureHike and Backcountry.com)

Differences Between Premium & Budget Brands

The main surface-level difference between a premium and budget brand is going to be their price. Budget brands have a price floor starting at $100 or under while budget brands’ most basic tent will usually be $200+. The tradeoff of spending half the price is usually going to be less reliability and longevity. The best premium tent brands should be able to hold up to tough circumstances, heavy storms, and offer more spacious interiors at lower weights. You’ll be paying for higher-quality materials that are strong and shave off ounces.

Beginners are certainly ok going with any of our favorite budget tent brands below while anyone looking to use a tent for more than a couple of years in a row should stick to the premium brands for the best results and bang for your buck.

Best Camping Tent Brands

Premium Tent Brands

Premium tent brands will run a bit more expensive but they are backed by impeccable customer service improving their long-term value. Unless you want to change your type of tent up, you can probably buy one premium tent and keep it for over a decade. These are the six best tent brands for those looking to buy a forever tent!

Big Agnes

2560px Me and Agnes Flickr snowpeak

Best For

Backpacking & Backcountry campers

Available Capacities

1 – 8

Cost Range

$200 – $1,300

Big Agnes is our favorite premium tent brand due to their high quality, superior customer support, and great value that you can find across their tent models. Built primarily for backpackers, Big Agnes offers a wide range of tents from normal backpacking models down to their ‘crazylight’ line for those who want to shave every ounce off on their next trip!

Quality is always most important to protect you against the wind and rain and Big Agnes has you covered with strong taped seams and a repair program that is seemingly more focused on customer happiness than the bottom line. Whether they replace your tent for free or end up charging one of their low-price repairs – getting your tent back to 100% should be less than $20 at Big Agnes instead of buying a whole new tent. This commitment to quality and service is what makes Big Agnes rise to the top of our favorite tent brands.

REI Co-op

Mountain View REI

Another brand known for their service and quality commitment – REI is one of the most popular outdoor retailers in the country for a reason! With a very flexible return policy and great pricing for the size and quality of the tents they produce, REI should be one of your first picks for anyone looking to grab one of the best tent brands around.

Both a retailer and a manufacturer, the REI house brand is perfect for beginners and weekend campers as any employee will be happy to help answer questions at locations across the United States. Most manufacturers don’t have their own locations so this can be especially helpful if you run into a repair need mid-trip. With a cost range from $140 – $600, the REI brand has great mid-range pricing for premium quality.

Personally, an REI backpacking tent (the Passage 1) kept me safe during plenty of downpours hiking a month in Appalachia and their Grant Hut (discontinued) is our current car camping tent for everyday weekend use.

Best For

Backpackers, Beginners, & Weekend Campers

Available Capacities

1 – 6

Cost Range

$140 – $600

MSR

MSR

Founded to improve the safety of climbing equipment, MSR is a tried and true brand that excels at developing high-quality equipment that stands the test of time. If you need a refresh after a few years – the MSR repair team will patch up holes, repair zippers, and replace tent poles at almost no-cost.

While they have expanded beyond mountaineering, MSR is still one of the best tent brands for backpacking and mountaineering. If you are looking for a premium 4-season tent brand, MSR is the best place to start.

Best For

Backpacking & Backcountry campers

Available Capacities

1 – 6

Cost Range

$200 – $850

Marmot

Another great premium tent brand option is Marmot. Marmot makes tents focused on backpacking and tent camping at mid-range prices. This price difference usually means an extra few ounces and maybe a bit less space compared to a Big Agnes tent but Marmot tents will still keep you well protected against the wind, rain, and sun like any good tent brand on this list will.

Some of their larger models will hold up to 6 people for families looking for a new tent but their backpacking tents cap out at 4 people. Similar to other manufacturers, these recommended capacities still run a little small when you take gear into consideration.

Best For

Backpackers or family campers looking to shed weight

Available Capacities

1 – 6

Cost Range

$200 – $850

Gazelle

8152PmrhacS. AC UX679

Gazelle is a unique brand known for their luxury T4 pop-up tent (pictured above). This tent uses a specialized pole design to go from bag to tent in about a minute! This kind of convenience does come with a price but family campers looking for the simplest set-up possible will want to give this tent a hard look.

Gazelle does not make any backpacking tents so give this brand a pass if you plan to cart this more than a quarter-mile to your campsite!

Best For

Family Camping, Beginners, Weekend Campers

Available Capacities

4 – 8

Cost Range

$200 – $600

NEMO

NEMO

Slightly less well known, NEMO is a fun and unique tent brand that pushes the limits of innovation when it comes to developing backpacking tents. NEMO tents have different designs apart from the classic dome or backpacking tent styles to create more spacious interiors without increasing weight.

NEMO tents are great for almost any type of camping, with backpacking tents being constructed to split between two packs and their larger wagontop model being one of the only 8-person tents available at a premium brand. Check out NEMO for the best tent brand with fresh takes on backpacking and car camping tents!

Best For

Backpacking & Backcountry campers

Available Capacities

1 – 8

Cost Range

$300 – $900

Budget Tent Brands

Not ready to drop $200+ on a tent for your first weekend trip? No worries – these four budget brands are the best tent brands to get outside without breaking the bank! You’ll still be well protected from the elements but may not have as many bells and whistles (aka pockets and zippers) as the premium tent brands. These tents will also need a bit more upkeep to keep them waterproof and in good order for more than a few trips.

Coleman

coleman

Coleman is one of the oldest and most well-known outdoor value brands you can find and their tents are no exception. With one of our favorite beginner tents, the Coleman Sundome can usually be picked up for under $100 and will hold up for a whole summer of trips for the average camper. Coleman tents won’t be the lightest you can find but that weight sacrifice is put directly into their prices without sacrificing fabric, stitch, and zipper quality.

Coleman prices are almost too good to be true but we’ve seen the Sundome in a storm more than once without issues and recommend it as the best tent brand for entry-level campers. Coleman cabin tents are a bit less stable but still the cheapest way to get a few dry nights outdoors for up to 12 people!

Best For

New Campers, Family Campers

Available Capacities

1 – 12

Cost Range

$70 – $700

Kelty

kelty

Kelty is another great value camping tent brand that offers high-quality backpacking tents at a low price. Kelty tents will have a more comprehensive rain fly than most Coleman tents and can take a few more hits than other value brands. If you take a look at the Coleman photo in the last section, you can see how the rain fly only covers the very top of the tent. This is common for Coleman tents while Kelty rainfly are closer to full-cover for more reliable protection in high wind storms.

Kelty tents are known to be sturdy; with the right upkeep, you can go hundreds of miles on these budget tents!

Best For

Backpacking & Backcountry campers

Available Capacities

1 – 6

Cost Range

$100 – $500

Eureka

Camping spot the First

Eureka is another step up in the world of value tent brands. Eureka tents got my entire scout troop through years of camping when I was growing up and the brand hasn’t changed much since! Featuring similar coverage and quality as Kelty, Eureka offers more varied capacities and options for family and car campers looking for a tent to get them through the next few years of the big summer camping trip!

Best For

Car Campers & Family Campers

Available Capacities

2 – 12

Cost Range

$125 – $600

NatureHike

Naturehike is a European brand that focuses on offering budget options for backpacking tents. Designs are virtually indistinguishable from premium brands like MSR without a significant quality dip. The tents feature full-cover rain flys and lightweight options only a few ounces more than the higher-value tents.

New backpackers should definitely consider trying out the hobby with a Naturehike tent.

Best For

Budget Backpacking & Backcountry campers

Available Capacities

1 – 6

Cost Range

$120 – $250

Words of Warning

Avoid buying tent brands from unknown brands that you can’t find much information on or ultra-cheap store brands. There are many ‘brands’ on Amazon that use poor quality stitching and materials and will not hold up to the slightest breeze. Another skippable brand is Ozark Trails – commonly found at Wal-Mart. See our list of 4 tent brands to avoid for full details!

Learn More

Still not sure which tent is best for you? Check out all of the different types of tents, or our favorite models!

About the Author

Photo of author

Robbie

Robbie is a Co-Founder and editor at Midwest Camping. Robbie has backpacked over three hundred miles of the Appalachian trail, visited seventeen national parks, and camped regularly for the last two decades.

Use our packing list for your next camping trip!

We want to keep in touch! Subscribe to stay up to date on the BEST that the midwest has to offer and we'll throw in a free packing list so you don't forget the matches next time you head into the great outdoors!