Best Summer Tents
One of the best things about summer vacation is the ability to enjoy some great camping adventures. Out of all the equipment that should be on your list for the next trip, a quality summer tent is a must-have. Thankfully, whether you’re shopping for a solo trip, or bringing along the whole family, there are a lot of great choices available. Here are a few of our favorites.
Our Top 3 Picks
10 Best Summer Tents
LUXE TEMPO BACKPACKING TENT
The Luxe Tempo Backpacking 2 Person Tent, as the name suggests can easily accommodate two average size adults. The tent foot print once set up measure approximately 30 square feet in size, and measures about 3.5 feet at the highest point in the tent. So while two people wouldn’t be able to necessarily stand up in the middle of the tent, they will have plenty of room for sleeping.
Quality of Construction
One of the many areas where this summer tent outshines the others available is through the quality of the materials used and the construction. The fabric is comprised of high-denier rip-stop polyester for increased rugged durability, and it’s also coated with polyether, which adds to the ability to keep you safe from the elements. Finally, the zippers, fiberglass poles, and guy-lines are designed specifically for their strength and durability. Even the flooring itself is made from the same durable polyester material. The only drawback is that the ground tarp, often used to add another layer of protection, is not included in the tent as purchased.
This tent provides plenty of ventilation with two zippered doors, and a canopy of 210T Breathable Polyester No-see-um B3 Mesh. Essentially, the canopy offers both privacy and the ability to allow air to flow in and out of the tent.
While it may seem like the wind and the rain would be your sleeping buddings during the night, the truth is the solid construction of this summer tent and durable poles make it easy to withstand even the fiercest summer storm. In addition, the easy to use rain-fly can easily be implemented to create two large vestibules perfect for gear storage and keeping you dry and comfortable.
Another great feature of this summer tent is the very budget friendly cost. Considering the quality construction and ability to keep two people comfortable while camping, the moderate price is truly a great investment.
While not the most expensive or expansive summer tent on this list, the Luxe Tempo Backpacking 2 Person Tent offers just the
right combination of protection, roominess, and ease of use for a great price.
- Plenty of ventilation
- Sturdy materials and construction
- Plenty of room for two people
- The additional ground tarp is not sold with the tent
BATTOP CAMPING TENT
Generally speaking, this summer tent will be able to fit two adults comfortably, or four children. Three adults can also find sleeping room, but it is a bit cozier than some might enjoy. However, the overall size – approximately 42 feet – gives you plenty of room to work with.
Quality of Construction
Although it’s not quite as rugged and dependable as the first entry on this list, this summer tent doesn’t shy too far away from being one of the most well made tents in this price range. The poles are constructed of strong yet lightweight fiberglass material, and the flooring, walls and ceiling are made of a durable yet lightweight polyester material that has been treated for waterproofing.
The two large mesh roof vents and the two windows offer great ventilation, even when the tent is fully occupied.
When fully set up, and the included hooped fly frame is used, there is actually very little chance of the rain or snow making its way into the tent. While you may get a little condensation around the entrance, for the most part, this tent will keep you relatively comfortable and dry.
This tent is moderately priced, but still relatively inexpensive, considering how many times you and your family will be using it during this summer.
If you’re looking for a great tent for a small family, the Battop 3-4 Person Water Resistant Camping tent can be a good, affordable choice. Not only is the tent fairly easy to use, but it also offers superior protection from the elements at a great price.
- Can accommodate a small family easily
- Easy to set up and take down
- Not durable enough for intense use.
THE NORTH FACE TADPOLE
While the tent is rated for two people, it would certainly be a tight fit for two average-sized adults. Instead, the North Face Tadpole 2 Tent is a great choice for solo adventures.
Quality of Construction
This summer tent is not only designed to be strong, but also very lightweight. The aluminum poles offer a decent amount of strength, and the nylon material offers superb breathability without sacrificing protection from the elements. Also, the color-coded webbing and hubbed poles make set up fairly easy. The only disappointment we saw concerned the Velcro tent closures, which often got dirty during use, leading to a loss of effectiveness.
The ventilation points on this summer tent are located near the top and the bottom edges of the tent, which allows for superior air circulation.
This is one area where the North Face Tadpole 2 Tent really shines. Everything about the design of the tent is made for keeping the weather outside, and you inside safe and dry. Short of setting up camp in the middle of a river, or surviving a flash flood, there is little that would cause water to enter the interior of this tent.
The price is a bit steep for effectively a single person tent, so this isn’t something to buy on impulse.
While this may be one of the more expensive one-person summer tents on the market today, the superior protection and relatively easy set-up make it a great choice for those who love testing their skills against the great outdoors.
- Proven superior protection from the weather
- Lightweight and easy to set up
- Plenty of interior space for a solo adventurer
- A little bit more expensive than others on the market
- Velcro fasteners can wear over time and use.
BIG AGNES FLYING DIAMOND
This is perhaps one of the roomiest tents on this list. It can easily house eight average-sized adults in two separate rooms with space to spare.
Quality of Construction
The people who designed this summer tent managed to find the balance between lightweight ease of use and protection from the weather outside beautifully. The lightweight aluminum frame is relatively easy to set up, and the combination of nylon fabric and plastic shielding allow for both great ventilation and protection. The one complaint we had was the overall quality of the zippers associated with the polyester outer layer. We feel that they could be of better quality.
The two large doors with zip up mesh or full polyester shielding offer a good deal of ventilation when fully used.
The large size and overall shape of this summer tent not only offers great protection from the wind and rain, but also easily shields the occupants from the rays of the harsh sun. While we wouldn’t suggest it for a day at a windy beach, for the most part, this tent will keep the weather outside where it belongs.
This is by far the most expensive example on our list. However, all it has to offer, it is not unreasonable.
The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 4 certainly lives up to its name and reputation by making it easy for a large group of people to enjoy a summer tent with reservation. If you’re willing to make a sizable investment, and you have a large group, this is certainly one to consider.
- Easily accommodates 8 people
- Very easy to set up and take down.
- Protects from the sun, wind and rain easily
- A bit pricey
- Zippers at the entrances could be improved.
KELTY GRAND MESA 2 TENT
This summer tent is rated for two people, but for the most part it is more comfortable for one person who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.
Quality of Construction
This lightweight backpacking tent is perfect for surviving and thriving during a summer camping trip. The compact aluminum poles and easily foldable tent material make it easy to store the tent in the backpack, leaving plenty of room for other essentials. The mesh body is designed for both ventilation and privacy, and the zippers are easy to use and easily last through many uses. And finally, the free-standing set up makes it so that you don’t have to rely on the environment to set up a place to rest.
Instead of having a few vents here and there, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent uses the entire canopy as a source of ventilation by using a tightly woven no-see-um mesh material that allows for great air flow while still providing for privacy. There are also a number of additional ventilation panels for stargazing and enjoying the warm summer breeze.
The guy-lines help the tent to provide great stability against the stronger winds, and the non-stretch polyester fly offers a great way to re-direct any precipitation that may fall in your vicinity.
Another great factor in this choice is the overall price. It is extremely reasonable considering the quality of the material and ease of use.
The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent is a great choice for those backpackers who want to enjoy a warm summer evening in the great outdoors. The combination of great ventilation, ease of use, and the compact nature is a great one indeed.
- Easy to use
- Affordable price
- Great ventilation
Poles could be stronger
MARMOT TUNGSTEN 3P TENT
This tent is one of the few that actually delivers on its boast of being able to house 3 people with room to spare. The tent has been designed to maximize the livable space, with two distinct areas, either for sleeping or gear storage. The two doors make entering and leaving the tent quite easy.
Quality of Construction
This tent is designed specifically to withstand the harsh elements that can happen, even on a summer evening. The use of a seam taped, 68-denier polyester fabric on the floor and fly of the tent offers great protection, while the mesh canopy offers a great view of the sky, while keeping the bugs at bay. Add to that a convenient lampshade pocket for your headlamp or flashlight, and those late-night map readings for the next day will be easier than ever.
With the two large doors, and the mesh canopy, air circulation won’t be a problem with this particular tent.
The design and polyester material used makes for great protection from the weather, although condensation near the doorways has been known to happen with frequent use in humid environments.
The price of this summer tent is a bit steep, but not unreasonable considering the roominess and comfort that it provides.
The Marmot Tungsten 3p tent provides great protection and comfort for you and two of your friends during your next summer camping trip. Although in a slightly higher price bracket than some others, it’s still worth the investment.
- Roomy three person tent
- Relatively easy to set up
- Mesh canopy offers great ventilation
- At the higher end of the moderate price bracket
- Some condensation can occur near the entrances.
- The strength of closures could be improved.
NEMO HORNET TENT
With an overall floor area of twenty-one square feet, and a maximum ceiling height of about three and a half feet, this is one tent that is clearly designed for single occupancy. So if you’re a solo adventurer, and you are pressed for space at your summer campground, this might be a viable option for you.
Quality of Construction
While the tent may be a bit small for some people, the quality of the construction and the features included make up for it. A large side door makes for easy entry and exit for you and your gear, and the volumizing guy lines allow you to maximize the available space. Add to that the true tub floor construction, and the sealed seams mean that water will be hard pressed to get in.
Ventilation in this tent is achieved through a large side door and breathable fabric. While air circulation is not as good as it could be, there is more than enough for a single person to sleep comfortably.
While the tent itself offers a little protection from the rain and wind, attaching the included rain-fly makes it nearly impossible for the rain to reach the tent itself. Also, if the tent is put up correctly, it should be elevated from the ground slightly, which can protect the user from the dampness of the morning dew.
The tent is a bit on the expensive side for a one person tent, but it is solidly put together, and should give the user years of enjoyment.
If the great outdoors calls to you like nothing else for a solo adventure, the Nemo Hornet 1P Tent is a great choice. Roomy enough for one person and their equipment, it’s a great compact way to protect yourself from the element.
- Well constructed
- Compact, easy to store
- Easy to put up and take down
- Very small, for one person only.
- Fairly expensive
MSR MUTHA HUBBA NX
While this summer tent can technically fit three people, it is much more comfortable with only two people. With two people, there is plenty of headroom and leg room, even with the standard camping equipment kept inside the tent.
Quality of Construction
This tent is solidly built and designed to withstand many of the rigors of camping life. The tent walls, flooring and rain-fly are constructed of strong 20-denier high-tenacity rip-stop nylon polyester blend. It may not be as strong as some materials on this list, but for most situations it is more than adequate.
Strategic ventilation ports in the canopy and the two large doors allow for adequate airflow when properly deployed.
While this summer tent can easily withstand the warm winds and dampness from the ground, there have been some reports of the rain-fly not keeping all the water away during a strong thunderstorm. So if you have sensitive equipment, it’s probably best to keep those pieces in waterproof containers just in case.
Considering the construction and overall ease of set up, the moderate price is fairly reasonable.
This tent is designed with the weekend warriors in mind. The relatively strong materials used, the roominess, and the ease of use make this a solid choice if the weather doesn’t include a torrential downpour.
- Roomy for two people
- Rip-stop materials help prevent tears
- Reasonable Price
- Rain-fly can get overwhelmed by heavy downpour
ZOMAKE POP UP TENT BEACH CABANA
The tent easily fits 2-3 people, with equipment.
Quality of Construction
This tent is one of the easiest to set up based on the fiberglass framing and hoop design. Simply take it out of the carry bag and allow to put it on the ground and watch it unfold. The flooring is made from a heavy tarp material, which is easy to clean and protect you from rocks and sharp items on the ground.
Two doors, two windows, and a ventilated top/skylight area provide adequate air flow, even in the warmest of situations.
This tent is designed for protection from the sun and wind, but offer little protection from heavy rain. It really is a perfect summer tent for a nice day at the beach.
This is perhaps one of the most economical choices when it comes to summer tents on this list.
The Zomake Pop Up Tent may not be suitable for every campground, but it does provide a great shelter for a day at the beach.
- Very easy to set up
- A very budget friendly price
- Protects from the sun and wind well.
- Roomy 2-3 person tent
- Not suitable for wet conditions
SIERRA DESIGN FLASHLIGHT
Generally speaking, this tent can accommodate two people comfortably.
Quality of Construction
This summer tent is designed for efficiency and ease of use. The one-pole setup design easily complement the mesh hybrid material, and the zippered entrances and vestibule divisions are easy to use one handed.
Air flow in this particular summer tent is achieved through the material used to create it. The hybrid mesh material allows for great airflow without allowing too much moisture to get in.
For the most part, this tent easily prevents moisture, sun and wind from affecting the user in any measurable way. However, it should be noted that the rain-fly cannot be removed, and therefore may cause problems if it becomes damaged with use.
This tent is moderately priced, and considering the quality of the materials used and the ease of use, it’s not unreasonable.
If you’re looking for a summer tent that is easy to use and take along the trail, this is a great choice at a very reasonable price. While it does have a few issues when it comes to the attached rain-fly, it is by far a viable option.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Moderately priced
- Offers superb ventilations
- Attached rain-fly can malfunction if damaged slightly
Criteria for Evaluation
What is the number of people it can accommodate?
When it comes to using a summer tent, it can often be a group affair. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that everyone staying in the tent can have enough room to move and toss around as they see fit. The amount of room provided in each tent varies greatly, and it’s a good idea to take a close look at how many people the tent is rated for and go from there.
The Quality of Construction is Critical
Tents, even ones used during the summer months have to hold up to serious amounts of abuse. Let’s face it, camping adventures aren’t exactly for the faint of heart. Animals, other people, and especially the weather can all play a factor. Making sure that your tent is strong enough to withstand the rigors of your adventure is very important. Some tents, like the Luxe Tempo and the MSR Mutha Hubba, are made from materials that are designed to resist tears and holes. Others, such as the Zomake Pop up tent is a bit more lightweight but still can offer a good amount of protection.
Adequate air flow in and around the tent is also important. After all, trying to sleep in stale air can make for a long, and sleepless night. Most of the tents on this list solve this problem through the use of mesh windows, doors or canopies, or a mesh hybrid material that allows air to pass through it, without allowing moisture or insects to get in.
One of the main purposes of a tent is to protect the user from inclement weather or to shade them from the heat of the sun during the hot summer days. While each of these tents offers a measure of protection from the elements through the use of such things as rain-fly or shields, water resistant materials, and the ground tarps and footprints to protect the user from the cold ground.
Of course, the overall cost of the summer tent is another important factor to consider when buying one. Depending on the size of the tent, and the materials used to create it, the price can be relatively cheap to moderately expensive. Chances are there would be a summer tent that fits into your budget.
More to think about when purchasing your next summer tent
How and when will you use it?
As stated earlier, one of the main purposes of a summer tent is to offer protection from the elements and the environment. Therefore it’s important to understand that different tents are designed to be used in different types of environment. Therefore, if you know that you will be primarily using your tent in a beach environment, a tent which is lightweight and offers superior ventilation would be a great choice. If, on the other hand, you know that your summer adventures include time spent in the woods or in the mountains, having a tent that will protect you from animals, and the weather may be a better option.
How many people will be using it?
Each tent is rated for the number of people that can use it. For the most part, tents are rated for a single person, two people, three to four, or even eight or more. So it is important to take into account the number of people that will be using the tent at one time. If your adventure is a solo one, then a tent rated for one or two people should provide more than enough. If your adventure involves a group, then it’s a good idea to get a tent that will accommodate one person more than what you’re expecting.
How much room do you need?
While this may seem like asking how many people it can fit in a slightly different way, it’s actually somewhat different. Summer tents will have many different footprints and maximum heights available. It’s important to make sure that you get one that fills your needs adequately. For example, if the tent is going to be used primarily by children for a play fort in the back yard on a summer evening, you might not have to worry about getting one that has a good vertical extent. However, if the parents are involved, one where the father can sit up without taking the whole tent down with him might be important.
Another aspect of the interior space is taking into account how much room you need to store your equipment. While you’ll probably have less things to carry with you during your summer adventures, there will be some– such as cooking utensils, a canteen, a compass, and perhaps some changes of clothes and a camp shower. Thankfully, many of these summer tents list here have designated areas for equipment storage that are both roomy and easy to use.
Q: What summer tent size do I actually need?
A: The size of the tent needed depends greatly on the number of people using the tent, as well as the amount of gear used during the camping trip. For the most part, an adult human needs at least a total of ten square feet to sleep in comfortably, and another five to ten square feet to adequately store such things as a backpack, cooking utensils, and hunting equipment if needed. There are exceptions of course – some people require more or less room, or don’t have as much equipment.
Therefore, a tent that has about 40 square feet of floor space can comfortably accommodate two average adults and their equipment. A smaller tent, such as the Nemo Hornet 1P tent has just enough room for one person and a small amount of equipment. However, a larger tent, such as the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 4, which has sixty-three square feet of space, can comfortably fit six to eight people depending on the amount of gear included.
Q: What kind of maintenance does a summer tent need?
A: Summer tents, just like tents used in other seasons need to be kept relatively clean and dry, and the framework, and tent canopy needs to be inspected on a regular basis to make sure there are no broken or missing pieces. Usually, the best way to make sure your tent stands up to years of adventure and abuse is to give it a good cleaning at the end of your camping trip and allow it to air dry before putting it away.
It’s also important to make sure you put away the tent correctly, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While it may be tempting to simply shove the tent and the poles into the box or bag at the end of the day, in the long term that can lead to some serious damage.
Q: I keep hearing about three-season versus four-season tents – what is the difference?
A: Simply put, tents are basically divided into two different broad categories. The first, and most common are known as three season tents. These tents are built to be used during the summer, spring and fall weather, when the chance of the temperatures going below freezing is minimal. All the summer tents on this list fall into this category. The second category, called the 4 season tents, are designed to be used year round. They are usually a lot more rugged, have thicker walls and floorings, and offer a bit more insulation when needed. They also tend to be a bit more expensive than three season tents.
Q: What exactly is a free-standing tent?
A: As the name implies, a free standing tent is one that does not need to rely on the environment to be erected. Some summer tents, unlike the ones listed here require the use of trees, rocks, or vehicles to act as an anchor point for their guy lines to make sure that the tent remains erect.
However, a free standing tent requires no such additional support. This is accomplished by using such things as tension filled framing, or tent stakes that are placed in strategic locations around the tent.
How can I keep animals, such as bears, coyotes or snakes from trying to get into my tent while I’m sleeping?
The first thing to remember is that animals will rarely try to get close to humans. When a wild animal stops to investigate you and your summer tent, chances are it is looking for food, a shelter of its own, or is simply curious about this new thing in its territory.
In each case, prevention and planning is the key. First, make sure that any food is kept outside of the tent, preferably in a place that the animal can’t reach it. Most people tie up their food in trees or use bear proof containers or coolers. Second, make sure that the doors to the tent are secure. And finally, while a bear might not be a concern where you’re camping, small animals such as mice or squirrels just might be. Be sure to keep your camp as clean as possible, even from small crumbs or pieces of left-over food. You’d be surprised at what something as simple as a piece of broken candy will bring into your campsite.
A quality summer tent will not only provide a place of shelter and equipment storage during your next camping adventure, but it also provides a great place for friends and family to gather. Or, if you prefer, a sanctuary of solitude. This list is a great way to find the tent you need at a price that fits easily into your budget.