Best 3 Person Tents
How many people do you need to sleep for your next hiking or camping adventure? Truth be told, you have probably already answered this question before you even read it. When buying a new tent that is the underlying question that always needs to be answered. But, it does not tell the whole story. For example, who is to say you could not buy a three-person tent to sleep, two people? It would provide you with more breathing room and space for your gear if needed. This also addresses a very noteworthy fact that not all three-person tents will properly fit three people of any size or age. Some may realistically fit two adults and a kid, or simply an adult and two kids. Either way, if you are in the market for this type of a tent then it is highly advised that you keep on reading.
- MH Vision 3
- Seam taped
- Easy assembling
- Nemo Dagger
- Dual-stage stuff sack
- Multiple doors
- Marmot Force
- Structural sound design
10 Best 3 Person Tents
Mountain Hardwear Vision 3
The tent is constructed of 40D nylon rip-stop fabric while the canopy is crafted of 20D nylon mesh. In addition to this, the fly can be rolled back to gaze at the stars and the seams are taped to ensure waterproofness.
Inside of the Vision 3 are four mesh pockets and these can be used to store all types of gear and accessories. Plus, there are two dry-entry full-size vestibules that sport dual-sliders.
At just under six pounds, this is certainly not the lightest three-person tent in the world. Now, six pounds may not sound like much but if you are going on a multi-day trip on foot, small amounts can add up very quickly.
Set Up and Structure
For quick and easy pitching of the tent, the hubbed pole system sports reflective starter alignment tabs. As for the tent itself, there are twin widescreen doors for easy entry and exit and the aforementioned vestibules.
Thanks to the full mesh canopy and the oversized mesh doors, proper ventilation of the Vision 3 is not difficult to achieve. Plus, with the mesh walls, you can experience a 360-degree view of the outdoors.
Not too many tents can compete with the Vision 3; no matter how many people they claim to hold. The extra weight can be seen as a disadvantage for backpackers but the phenomenal ventilation and construction make up for it.
- It is seam taped for waterproofness
- You can roll back the fly for an unprecedented view of the sky
- The hubbed pole system assembles in minutes
- It is on the heavy side for lugging on foot
The fly in combination with the bathtub floor design provides a foundation to keep water out. Now, one user did take issue with the plastic clips used to connect the rainfly to the tent; noting they could break easily.
First off, the vestibules provide an ample amount of space for your gear. But, the overhead light pockets and built-in privacy panel only add to the interior storage.
While the packed weight by itself, which is well under five pounds, is lightweight enough for portability you can even shed some weight by only using the poles, fly, and footprint. Plus, a drawstring stuff sack comes with the Dagger.
Set Up and Structure
All you need to do is anchor the pole tips to the grommets, which have been reinforced for strength, and then clip the tent to the frame. It really is as easy as that, folks.
Nemo designed the Dagger with advanced technology and the result is a tent that is able to maximize the total amount of space it has without adding unnecessary bulk. On top of this, there are mesh panels for ventilation.
Only a fool would pass on the Nemo Dagger; or someone who felt too sketchy about the plastic clips. Either way, the Dagger Tent is top-notch quality personified and 100 percent recommended.
- Comes with a dual-stage stuff sack
- It is engineered for comfort with its multiple doors
- Uses advanced technology to minimize bulk and maximize space
- The plastic clips used to connect the rainfly are a bit fragile
The catenary-cut floor with a twin-tip design increases the durability of this tent as a whole. Adding on to that is its seam-taped construction and full-coverage fly.
When you need in the middle of the night, there is a dedicated lampshade pocket that can securely lock in headlamps. Plus, there are also more interior pockets that can hold small gear and accessories.
As it stands, the Force 3P Tent clocks in at around four pounds and five ounces. Now, this can be reduced if you invest in the optional footprint as you can use that, the rainfly and the poles for a minimalist design.
Set Up and Structure
Even though the clips and poles are color-coded, one user did note the set up could have been easier. As there are plastic washers that need to be snapped into place each time, the set up can be finicky at times.
Due to the fact that the structure of this tent has been optimized for volume, the result is more livable space inside. You will be more than satisfied with the extra headroom and foot room.
It is hard not to be enamored with the design of the Force 3P Tent. As soon as you are able to master the setup, which should not require too many attempts, you will be marveling at the greatness of this tent.
- Delivers a great balance of weight and roominess
- Extremely structural sound design
- All the seams have been taped for waterproofness
- One reviewer noted that it was not very easy to set up
Big Agnes Cooper Spur
The proprietary rip-stop nylon fabric that Big Agnes utilizes in this tent is 20 percent stronger for enhanced durability. Additionally, all the seams have been taped with solvent-free polyurethane.
There are storage pockets everywhere, literally. You have four interior mesh pockets, media pockets above the sleeping area and eight superlight J stakes gear loft loops.
What is shocking is the extra durable fabric does not weigh this down. In fact, at just under four pounds, it is one of the lighter tents on this list despite being one of the most durable, as well.
Set Up and Structure
Velcro tabs are used to connect the fly to the pole structure and there are even pre-cut guy lines and tensioners attached to the fly. Also, thanks to the plastic clips that attach the tent body to the frame the intuitive set up is made even easier.
Both the spaciousness and ventilation of this tent are above-average. In areas where you need it most, the breathability has been prioritized.
Even if you wanted to fit more or less than three people, Big Agnes makes this tent in versions for one to four people. No matter how many you need to sleep, though, the Cooper Spur UL Tent is never going to be a bad choice.
- All the seams have been taped
- The large dual-zipper door allows easy entry and exit
- Built with a random rip-stop pattern nylon
- The logo on the rainfly is rather ridiculous
- The door angle does not match up flush with the rainfly
The fabrics on the Fortress have been treated to better repel rain. In addition to that, this comes with a full canopy to even better be ready for oncoming storms.
With a lampshade pocket that can hold headlamps for ambient light, multiple internal pockets for small gear, and two vestibules for even more gear placement, you should have no issues finding a place for everything.
There is no getting around the fact that this is a heavy tent. Now, you can disperse it amongst three people to even the load; but, still, it almost weighs six-and-a-half pounds.
Set Up and Structure
Instead of only one entry point, this sports two D-shaped doors for multiple escape and entry points. As far as the physical set up goes, the color-coded clips attach to the aluminum poles.
Both the vertical walls and the pre-bend design aid in the interior spacing. Because of these integrations, you can comfortably sleep yourself and two other buddies.
Yes, there are other lighter alternatives out there. But, you may not find many other three-person tents that can top the Fortress’s waterproof construction and incredibly spacious interior.
- Both the rainfly and the floor are treated with a water repellent
- Guy outs and a canopy are included
- Very robust and spacious interior design
- Over six pounds in weight; making it a little heavy
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3
Big Agnes designed both their fly and the floor to be waterproof by coating it with a 1200-millimeter polyurethane coating. In addition, the seams have been taped with a solvent-free polyurethane tape.
Sold separately are gear loops that can add to the storage space but as it sits, the UL3 Fly Creek sports five interior mesh pockets, two media pockets, and a dry-entry vestibule.
Much like with their other tent that was featured on this list, this model sports a rather minuscule weight of only three pounds and five ounces; making it ideal for multi-day treks.
Set Up and Structure
With only one pole, 11 aluminum J stakes, and pre-cut guy lines, this tent is ready to pitch right away. As a plus, the angle SF hub on the pole system creates steeper walls and an increased amount of interior space.
As for the tent itself, it is crafted of a breathable nylon and mesh polyester. However, fitting and sleeping three people comfortably may not be feasible. Depending on the size and age of the occupants, it may or may not work for you.
Do not get fooled, this is still an awesome three-person tent. However, those three people may either need to be two adults and a child or three small adults. Do not expect to fit three burly guys in this tent, in other words.
- Features a one-pole setup
- Velcro tabs connect the fly to the pole for enhanced stability
- Engineered for waterproof protection
- It may not fit three adults comfortably
Even though they rips-top nylon fabric appears to be thin, it is actually quite durable and can hold up to strong gusts of wind. Overall, you will be surprised at how much the FreeLite Tent can withstand.
Storage compartments are not overflowing in this tent but the two vestibules do provide a great place to rest all of your gear and equipment.
If need be, the weight of this already light tent can be reduced by creating a more minimalist set up. However, as is, the FreeLite lives up to its name and is well under four pounds.
Set Up and Structure
One buyer did note the set up is not exactly intuitive but all in all, the entirety of this tent is its body, the rainfly, and one Y-shaped pole. Within a few tries, you should have the set up down pat.
MSR brilliantly designed the FreeLite in terms of its ventilation. Because the rainfly and the mesh canopy have an adequate distance from one another, heavy condensation does not build.
Yet again, this is another tent that could be pushing it with its three-person label. Of course, the lightweight nature and ventilation capabilities of the FreeLite should have already sold you.
- Sports a subtle color scheme to blend into the environment
- The ventilation is excellent
- Built with 15D nylon rip-stop fabric
- As the walls cave in, it can be hard to sleep three adults
The Tungsten is built with fabrics that have been treated to handle downpours. Plus, Marmot has also constructed their tent with sturdy velocity poles that can withstand gusting winds.
There are interior storage compartments that can accommodate small gear, two vestibules that allow you to store your dry gear, and a lampshade pocket for ambient lighting included in the Tungsten.
While you can reduce the overall weight of this tent by using the included footprint, fly, and poles, it is around six pounds if you set it up normally. Indeed, it is not exactly light.
Set Up and Structure
For a quick set up, the clips are color-coded. Also, there are two D-shaped doors that provide more than one entry and exit point.
First off, the no-see-um mesh material utilized keeps bugs out while still delivering fresh air. Thanks to the aforementioned zone construction, in addition, the interior space is enhanced.
If you like to only look at the glass half-empty, the extra weight of this tent may be a killer. Still, most adventurers will appreciate the interior space and robust fabrics that have been utilized.
- Both the waterproof fly and floor keep rain out
- A footprint is included for your convenience
- The zone construction enhances the interior space
- Not the lightest of tents at just under six pounds
- Only sold with six pegs
Big Agnes Rattlesnake
This is built to handle inclement weather that is for sure. Not only are the seams taped with solvent-free polyurethane but the floor and fly have been treated with a 1200-millimeter waterproof polyurethane coating.
Outside of the interior pockets for media and other small items, the true wonder is the integrated lights of the Rattlesnake. LED lights have been built into the seams and they can be powered by any USB source.
This is an absolute beast when it comes down to it. The packed weight is over seven pounds and if you want to backpack with this, you may consider buying the separate footprint to reduce this weight.
Set Up and Structure
Big Agnes simplifies the setup process with their DAC pole structure with its lightweight hubs and Pressfit connectors. On another note, the Quick Stash makes it very easy to stow the unzipped door.
To create a more breathable atmosphere for you to sleep in and be in, the Rattlesnake has been made with a breathable nylon fabric.
Clearly, the most talked about point of the Rattlesnake is its integrated LED lights. The trade-off to this convenience, however, is the extra weight. You really need to ask yourself: are these lights worth the extra weight on your back?
- All the seams have polyurethane tape
- There are media pockets above the sleeping area
- LED lights are integrated into the tent seams
- Not listed well at all on Amazon; could lead to confusion
MSR Mutha Hubba NX
Both the lap-felled seams and the infinity bar tracks have been reinforced for extra durability. Past this, the tent is made of durable high-tenacity nylon and Durashield coated for waterproofness.
To be honest, the compartments are lacking in the NX and it can be difficult to organize anything inside.
This model is lighter than the previous one MSR designed and as a bonus, it does come with a stuff sack for transport.
Set Up and Structure
What is nice about the NX is it sports a freestanding design with a bathtub-style floor. On top of this, there are two doors that are equipped with side-entry zippers. Of course, there was a buyer who questioned the freestanding nature of this when setting it up.
The updated frame configuration does increase the headroom but one buyer also noted that condensation is an issue unless the vestibule is left open.
Are there notable issues with the NX? Yes, there are. But, the good outweighs the bad significantly and that is what truly matters.
- Features a revised floor plan
- The updated frame configuration expands headroom
- Can be set up in two ways
- One user noted the breathability could be improved
- Another user pointed out the set up was not very freestanding
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
The Overall Durability and Waterproofness
When you are buying a home, one of the primary components that you need to consider is how structurally sound it is. The same goes for a tent and to be honest, there are two primary factors to consider. One is how durable the tent is as a whole and the second is its ability to repel and protect you from the rain. For most tents, they will be made with what is known as rip-stop nylon. Basically, this refers to a special reinforcing technique that makes the fabric all-but resistant to tearing and abrasions. The poles should also be strong enough to withstand decent winds and should not collapse at a small gust of wind.
As far as the waterproofness goes, there are a number of factors that come into play. For starters, are the seams taped? With taped seams, the tape will be melted over the seams and it will seal them shut. Also, are the fabrics treated with a waterproof coating? Next, does it comes with a rainfly and is it treated against the rain? All these design integrations can keep you dry during rainstorms; so keep them in mind.
The Interior Storage Compartments
Depending on how you plan to use your tent, you may need to either store a lot or a little gear. If you are at a campsite and are only using your tent to sleep, you may not find interior storage compartments of use to you. Then again, backpackers may find them absolutely critical to hold all their accessories and equipment. Either way, it is never a bad thing to have some dedicated locations for items. For starters, some tents will sport interior mesh pockets or small gear pockets. These can be ideal for electronic devices and smaller items. Also, some may integrate lampshade pockets and these can be used for headlamps allowing you to have access to some ambient light.
Of course, perhaps the most important storage compartment of a tent is its vestibule. Think of a vestibule as the mudroom of the tent as it provides extra space for your gear. As vestibules are built in the front and on the sides, they can be used to keep your gear dry.
Their Portability and Overall Weight
There are going to be a plethora of questions to ask yourself before you buy a three-person tent. But, one of the most important is where you plan to use it? In other words, are you going on a hiking trip or merely to a campsite with your vehicle? The difference is paramount because if you are trekking with a tent, the overall weight is an astronomically important detail. What is the big deal? A six-pound tent is only three pounds bigger than a three-pound tent and that is not that much, right?
Well, perhaps it is not but when you go head out on a long distance trek, every small amount of weight counts. You need to remember, it requires much more than a tent and small items can add up fast. Now, with a tent, you can always split it up amongst your friends to disperse the load but the point remains. In addition, you can also look to see if a dedicated stuff sack or storage sack comes with your purchase.
The Ease of Set Up and the Structure as a Whole
Raise your hand if you enjoy spending 30 minutes setting up a tent. Assumingly, zero people raised their hands as not too many people will enjoy when a tent takes longer than a few minutes to assemble. Now, practice does make perfect and over time, you will get faster and more efficient at setting it up. Still, it should not be a convoluted process, to begin with. The set up should be as intuitive as possible and easy ways to do so are with color coding and as few steps as possible. Of course, you can always assemble the tent in your backyard to get the hang of it first; this not being a bad idea at all.
As for the structure of the tent, you can look for simple features such as how many doors you want and how large you want them to be.
The Room Provided and the Ventilation
If you have done any research on tents in the past or have owned quite a few, you probably know that you can’t always trust that a specified number of people will fit in a tent that is marketed as such. In other words, that a three-person tent will not comfortably fit and sleep three people. This is a reality that buyers must face and it is a little frustrating, to be perfectly honest. As such, it will require a bit more digging on your part. Look for tents that optimize the amount of space they have. As an example, look for vertical walls that do not slant in horrendously.
By the same token, you need to also assess the ventilation of the tent. No matter what season you are using your tent in, condensation build-up can be a disaster and you want the air to be breathable. Clearly, mesh panels can assist with this as air passes easily through the mesh. But, some tents will be made with breathable nylon which can also assist in breathability.
Q: What Actually Defines a Waterproof Tent?
The waterproofness of a tent was already documented in-depth so you may be asking yourself why this question is even coming up. Well, the main reason is it is a very intriguing question that you may be curious about the answer to. Indeed, what does define a waterproof tent? A true waterproof tent is one that has its seams factory-taped, most of the time with a polyurethane coating, to seal them. In addition to this, they will also sport a waterproof coating on the fabric itself.
Of course, this leads to another thought and that is what the “mm” rating for a waterproof coating really means. For example, you may see a 1200mm coating or 1500mm coating. This number is indicative of the level of waterproofness that a fabric possesses. To elaborate, take for example 1200mm. Essentially, this would withstand a 1200mm column of water for more than a minute.
Q: What Are the Quickest Ways to Kill a Tent?
Taking care of a tent really is not that hard but you need to understand, you can very quickly become the death of your tent. The manner in which you care for it can either prolong its life or completely destroy its effectiveness. Here are a few mistakes to avoid as if you fall victim to them, your tent is going to suffer. First off, and this is common sense, stake down your tent as it will blow away if you do not. It seems stupidly obvious but it also can be easy to forget. Also, avoid storing food inside of it as this will draw critters and perhaps even wild animals.
Oh, another thing, never store it when it is damp or wet. Proper storage will be alluded to in a brief while but this is an important note to bring up anyway. Storing it wet can cause mold and mildew to grow due to the moisture build-up. Lastly, keep it out of the sun for extended periods as it can suffer from ultraviolet light damage.
Q: Why Should You Invest in a Footprint?
Sometimes but not always, manufacturers will include a footprint with their tent. If they do not, though, it may be in your interest to look into them. Footprints are used underneath tents and it not only keeps the bottom of the tent clean but it can also protect it from abrasions and tears. As if this was not enough to convince you to buy them, they can also be a great minimalist alternative to the actual tent itself.
By utilizing the footprint, fly, and poles, you can decrease the weight of the overall tent but still be provided with the shelter you need. Not all tents can do this but some can and it is a great idea for backpackers looking to save as much weight as possible.
Q: What Do Season Ratings Mean?
This is actually something that has not been addressed yet and while it is important, it is not as critical as you might think. First off, you will see a season rating when you are looking at a specific tent. Typically, it will either be a three season tent or four season tent. If it is a three season tent, that means it is designed and optimized for spring, summer, and fall. Whether the poles are aluminum or fiberglass is sort of irrelevant as neither is sufficient to handle the rigorous nature of winter.
That would then mean that four season tents are made for all four seasons, right? Well, they are designed to handle winter weather that is for sure. But to say they are designed for all four seasons is not accurate. Due to their weight and rugged nature, they are not ideal for summer use. Their ventilation capabilities are not great and they will not be light in the slightest. For the most part, four-season tents are really only good for one season, ironically.
Q: Can You Re-Treat Fabrics?
It is worth noting that just because a tent has been coated with a waterproof repellent, does not mean it will last forever. Due to the general wear and tear, and factors such as the rain, wind, and sun, the fabric is going to weaken over time. The performance of the coating is going to diminish as time goes on but thankfully, you can re-treat your fabrics.
This will restore the water repellency and add protection against UV damage. You should be able to find proper waterproof repellents online or at certain retail stores.
Q: How Should a Tent be Stored?
As you already know, you should never store a tent when it is damp. Doing so can cause mold and mildew to grow because of its exposure to moisture. However, how should you store it? Besides not storing the tent wet, do not do so when it is dirty either as this can affect the performance of the waterproof coating.
What you should do, instead, is to find a dry and cool location in your home to store the tent. However, you want the tent to physically be stored in a compartment that is breathable and provides protection. An ideal bag would be a mesh duffel bag, for instance.
Remember, you should not limit yourself to three-person tents if you are looking to sleep, three people. Some will not be able to live up to your expectations and as such, it is important to assess how much interior space you will actually have in your tent. Among other things, such as the durability, weight, and storage capabilities, this is vitally important to ensure you get the tent you are actually looking for.