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Best Dome Tents

last updated May 01, 2019

Going camping? Dome tents are one of the most popular types of tents because they really fit the bill for a lot of different types of campers. This is due to their ease of use, size, and variety of choices on the market. If you’re looking for a dome tent we’ve taken hours of research and reviewed many, many options. For simplicity and popularity, we’ve chosen best dome tents that fit at least 3 or 4 people comfortably and some can fit even more than that easily.

We’ve narrowed our favorites down to a top ten to make your shopping task easier so you can pick one, pack up, and get out there and camp. Whether you’re looking to hike and camp alone or spend a long weekend with the whole family, we’ve got an option for you, your needs, and your budget.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research

icon
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4
97.8/100 our score
Water Resistance
98
Water Resistance
98
Ease of Use
98
Size
98
Weight
97
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4
Why is it better?

Very, very easy to set up

Full fly for extra water protection

UV resistant

Two vestibules for extra storage

Wind resistant

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4
Test Winner: Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4
Researched Sources
37
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
12k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sami Kritz:

The peace and serenity of the outdoors is something that everyone should have the chance to enjoy. This list of top-rated dome tents has something for everyone and every budget. In this update, we have added more buying links and updated the FAQs and expert tips. With our new interactive format, you can vote on which criterion is most important to you and then re-order the list accordingly!

Sorting Options
Water Resistance Ease of Use Size Weight Weather Resistance By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Water Resistance
98%
Water Resistance
98%
Ease of Use
98%
Size
98%
Weight
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$148.19
$199.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Weather Resistance
98%
Water Resistance
96%
Ease of Use
96%
Size
97%
Weight
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$309.41
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Weather Resistance
98%
Water Resistance
99%
Ease of Use
89%
Size
95%
Weight
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$154.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Weather Resistance
98%
Water Resistance
98%
Ease of Use
89%
Size
94%
Weight
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$129.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Weather Resistance
93%
Water Resistance
96%
Ease of Use
97%
Size
95%
Weight
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$85.50
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Water Resistance
90%
Water Resistance
88%
Ease of Use
93%
Size
89%
Weight
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$91.11
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Weather Resistance
90%
Water Resistance
84%
Ease of Use
90%
Size
90%
Weight
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$139.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Weather Resistance
89%
Water Resistance
83%
Ease of Use
88%
Size
90%
Weight
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Weather Resistance
88%
Water Resistance
87%
Ease of Use
87%
Size
84%
Weight
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$106.23
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Weather Resistance
87%
Water Resistance
80%
Ease of Use
82%
Size
82%
Weight
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.05.19)
$127.46
$139.95
See Deal
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4
  • Coleman 10 person Darkroom
  • NTK Colorado GT8
  • NTK Cherokee
  • Coleman Sundome
  • Cedar Ridge Rimrock 4
  • Coleman Evanston
  • Wenzel Pine Ridge
  • Longs Peak Fast Pitch
  • Eureka! Tetragon
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4
Water Resistance
98
Water Resistance
98
Ease of Use
98
Size
98
Weight
97
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Very, very easy to set up

Full fly for extra water protection

UV resistant

Two vestibules for extra storage

Wind resistant

Cons:

Might be too heavy for backpacking

Alps Mountaineering makes a lot of great outdoor products. They claim that the Lynx 4 is one of their best selling products and we believe it. The Alps Lynx is designed to comfortably sleep 4 people, is lightweight, and offers good protection and easy setup.

Read more

Weather Resistance

When you think of weather resistance in tents, you might picture wind and rain but this tent also protects you from the harmful effects of the sun. The polyester fly protects from UV rays. If you camp in open sunny areas, like the beach or the desert, this will be a winning feature for you.

Many users have used this tent in full-blown storms with high winds and heavy rains and the tough little tent stood its ground. Some people suggest investing in higher-grade stakes and guy lines after years of use, though.

Water Resistance

The 1500mm polyester fly and the 2000mm polyester floor provide a lot of protection against rain and tent flooding. The factory sealed seams are strong and tight and really helpful with water resistance.

Ease of Use

One of this tent’s best features is how easy it is to put up. It has clips instead of sleeves for the poles, which are a breeze to use. Most users can set this up solo in less than 10 minutes. We also love how the double doors make getting in and out of the tent quick and easy.

Size

This is a 4 person tent. The base is 7 ft 6 inches by 8 ft 6 inches. At the center, the height is 52 inches. Users find it pretty roomy and have had best comfort success with two adults, an adult and two children, an adult and a dog, or even two adults and two large dogs. These users had room to spare.

Weight

The total weight is under 8 lbs and it comes with a duffel-style bag. It’s a little too heavy for long backpacking treks. It’s possible to use it as a backpacking tent (you could strap it to your pack for comfort) but most users find the weight of it more suited for car camping.

Value

We fully think this tent is well worth its very reasonable price. If you’re looking for a good tent that will sleep 2-4 people and pets comfortably, protect you from strong natural elements, and take very little time to set up, then we definitely recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4.

2. Coleman 10 person Darkroom

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Coleman 10 person Darkroom
Weather Resistance
98
Water Resistance
96
Ease of Use
96
Size
97
Weight
96
best offer for today
$309.41
Pros:

Great, roomy size

Room divider for privacy or storage

Room darkening

Cooler nights

Cons:

Heavy

Not completely waterproof

If you’re camping with a big group and really don’t want to wake up with the sun, check out the Coleman Darkroom. It has darkroom technology that blocks 90% of the light from the sun and helps keep the tent cool at night for a more comfortable slumber.

Read more

Weather Resistance

Coleman claims the tent can withstand winds over 35 miles per hour, which is pretty impressive and users have had no complaints in this area. This tent has proven to stand up to some intense storms.

Water Resistance

This tent has a bathtub or tub style floor structure that comes up several inches instead of the seems being directly at a wall/floor angle. This helps keep water from seeping in from below. In extremely heavy rains, some users had had leakage.

Ease of Use

This tent is a big one, but it’s still easy to put up and take down and can be done by one person in a matter of minutes. We really like the light reflective guy lines for making it easier to put the tent up in the dark and for safety reasons.

Size

This is one of the biggest tents we looked at. It’s a 10 - person tent. You can easily fit a queen size mattress in there with room to spare. The tent measures 4 feet by 10 feet at the base and in the very center there’s enough room for someone over 6 feet tall to stand comfortably.

Weight

It weighs over 20 pounds, so this is a car camping tent for sure. It comes in a typical rectangle-shaped carrying case.

Value

If you need a tent that fits several people or pets, or you really need extra space to move around (especially when the weather is bad outside), you’ll find a lot of value in this choice. We think the darkroom technology really, really adds to its worth because sometimes you just don’t want to wake up with the sun.

If you frequently camp in bad weather, this might not be the tent for you, but there are waterproofing options if you love everything else about it.

3. NTK Colorado GT8

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
NTK Colorado GT8
Weather Resistance
98
Water Resistance
99
Ease of Use
89
Size
95
Weight
95
best offer for today
$154.99
Pros:

100% Waterproof

3 Seasons

UV protection

Lots of room (two queen mattresses fit easily)

Cons:

Not simple to set up for beginners or solo campers

NTK makes great tents and the Colorado GT8 is no exception. This well-reviewed tent is beautiful to look at and comfortable to live in. It has one door, plenty of room, and lots of storage.

Read more

Weather Resistance

Colorado is a 3-season tent and it stands up well to snow, rain, and heavy winds. The fiberglass poles with strong chrome connectors and hardware.

Water Resistance

NTK says this is 100% waterproof and users agree. Even in heavy rainstorms, the inside of the tent stayed nice and dry, thanks to the 2500mm rain fly and bathtub style bottom.

Ease of Use

This isn’t the easiest tent to set up and that’s one of the only reasons this one isn’t our top choice, to be honest. Users found the instructions to be confusing and needed more than one person to set the tent up efficiently. If you’re a tent pro, this might not be a problem for you.

Size

NTK calls this an 8-9 person tent but as we know that means sardine-style for most tent guidelines. Real life experience says this one comfortably fits a family of 4 or 5 with children or pets. You can fit two queen size air mattresses side by side. The height is 6 ft in the center of the tent.

Weight

It’s a 20-pound tent to carry but it comes with a sturdy bag with good handles.

Value

We think the only reason this tent might not be right for you is if you camp alone or with children who aren’t able to help you set it up. Though, if you’ve set up many tents, you should be fine.

Otherwise, the price for this is fantastic and well worth it for the waterproofness and comfort.

4. NTK Cherokee

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
NTK Cherokee
Weather Resistance
98
Water Resistance
98
Ease of Use
89
Size
94
Weight
95
best offer for today
$129.99
Pros:

3-4 people

100% waterproof

Strong fiberglass poles

Micro mosquito mesh

3 seasons

Cons:

Not as simple to set up as other similarly priced tents

The Cherokee is another NTK masterpiece. It’s a 5 person quality tent with great waterproofing and elements protection.

Read more

Weather Resistance

The Cherokee has held up for users in pretty violent storms and we feel safe saying this is a really, really sturdy 3 season tent.

Water Resistance

The 2500mm Fly and bathtub style floor make this 100% waterproof. Even in storms with heavy downpours and flooding, campers stay dry.

Ease of Use

For all of the wonderful features and benefits of NTK tents, they seem to struggle with the ease of setup. For some campers, this is an obstacle they’re willing to deal with for that 100% waterproof, 3 seasons, camping the tent provides. For solo campers or beginners, this is something to think about, though.

Size

This is technically a 5 to 6 person tent. Users comfortably fit 3-4 people or a queen and twin size mattress with some room to spare for gear. The tent measures 9.8 ft by 9.8 ft and in the very center has 5.9 ft in height.

Weight

The Cherokee comes with a nice carrying bag and weighs about 15 pounds.

Value

If you’re looking for a roomy tent for up to 4 people, want protection from the elements for a good night’s sleep, and aren’t concerned with a slightly higher learning curve when it comes to set up, this tent is absolutely worth the already great price.

5. Coleman Sundome

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Coleman Sundome
Weather Resistance
93
Water Resistance
96
Ease of Use
97
Size
95
Weight
88
best offer for today
$85.50
Pros:

E-port for electronics

Very water resistant

Extremely easy to set up

Cons:

So breezy it might not be great for colder weather

Coleman is a trusted name when it comes to outdoor recreation and adventure. The Sundome is an airy, roomy, sturdy 6 person tent. It comes with a lot of storage and an e-port.

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Weather Resistance

The Sundome is designed to withstand pretty tough winds with strong hardware and durable polyguard material.

Water Resistance

The Sundom uses a technology called Weathertech that consists of welding-like connections at the seams for great water resistance.

Ease of Use

This tent is really, really easy to set up, mainly due to its “continuous pole” design so you only have to feed the pole through the sleeve one smooth time. Most users can set this one up in less than 10 minutes.

Size

The Coleman Sundome measures 10 ft by 10 ft and 6 ft high in the center. Coleman says it fits two queen mattresses. Users found it comfortable with 2 adults and 3 children, or similar combinations.

Weight

This tent comes with a nice carrying bag and weighs around 20 lbs so it’s more of a car camping tent than a hiking or backpacking tent.

Value

This is a pretty affordable tent for its features. If you’re looking for an easy-to-setup tent with room enough for a small family or you and your pets, you’re going to get a lot for the price on this one.

6. Cedar Ridge Rimrock 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Cedar Ridge Rimrock 4
Water Resistance
90
Water Resistance
88
Ease of Use
93
Size
89
Weight
89
best offer for today
$91.11
Pros:

Bug-free mesh

Rain and moisture resistant

Lots of storage space

Affordable price

Cons:

No awning

The Rimrock is a 4 person tent with a tub-style bottom and lots of well-designed storage space. It also comes in at a really affordable price range.

Read more

Weather Resistance

The fiberglass poles and high-quality material allow users to feel safe in windy situations in the Sundome.

Water Resistance

The tub style bottom keeps water from coming in, even in downpours. The fly is really effective at keeping the rain out. Just make sure you close the mesh!

Ease of Use

It uses a two pole setup system that is incredibly quick and easy.

Size

This spacious tent is roomier than it appears on the outside. It measures 8 and a half feet by 7 and a half feet and is 60 inches tall in the very center. Users very comfortably fit two adults and a child, two adults, or an adult and two kids or dogs with room for storage. The elevated storage loft really helps with this!

Weight

The most popular option is the black easy-to-recognize Joe Jacket with the white brand text but we found a lot of really cool designs to choose from, too! They come in fun, bright colors, neutrals, and all sorts of designs and prints. The best part? Pet lover? They have a ton of animal prints you’ll want to check out.

Value

The tent weighs just over 10 pounds so it’s not quite backpacking weight but it’s not super heavy for transporting either. It comes in a handy carrying bag.

7. Coleman Evanston

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Coleman Evanston
Weather Resistance
90
Water Resistance
84
Ease of Use
90
Size
90
Weight
88
best offer for today
$139.00
Pros:

Screened in porch area

Main tent area is waterproof

Very easy to set up

Lower price range than similar tents

Cons:

Screened in porch is not waterproof in heavy rains

It’s not surprising that Coleman has now made our list three times. They really stand behind their products and usually put out great gear. The Evanston model tent is a room 6 person tent with a separate screened in area. It’s pretty affordable, too.

Read more

Weather Resistance

Like the other Coleman tents on the list, the Evanston uses Weathertech technology and welding-like seams for strength.

Water Resistance

The main part of the tent is extremely water resistant, easily holding up to storms and downpours. However, the screened in part is not as waterproof.

Ease of Use

Like the Sundome, the Evanston uses the easy single pole sleeves and clip-on design. Most users should have no problem setting the tent up, fly included, in 15 minutes.

Size

The Evanston is 10 ft by 9 ft with a 5 ft 8-inch height at the very center. The screened in porch area is 10 ft by 5 ft. All in all, it’s a pretty roomy tent that can easily fit 4 kids, or 2 adults and a couple of small children, etc. with plenty of space for gear or pets.

Weight

It weighs about 20 pounds in total and comes with a decent carrying bag.

Value

The best part of this tent other than its durability and water resistance is definitely the space and the extra screened in room. If you’re camping with family and want a place to hang out and play cards or eat without leaving the tent completely (or hiding from the rain), this affordable choice is a good one for you.

8. Wenzel Pine Ridge

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Wenzel Pine Ridge
Weather Resistance
89
Water Resistance
83
Ease of Use
88
Size
90
Weight
89
best offer for today
Pros:

Optional room divider for storage or privacy

Waterproof material with weld-like seams

Bathtub bottom

Extremely easy to set up, even solo

Cons:

Zippers can catch

The Wenzel Pine Ridge is a 2-room family-friendly tent with lots of ventilation and a sturdy structure.

Read more

Weather Resistance

The Pine Ridge has really sturdy shock cord fiberglass poles and stands up well to inclement weather.

Water Resistance

Wenzel uses something called Weather Armor technology and a polyurethane coating that keeps you really dry in the rain. The fly is very effective. Just make sure you get the zippers all the way closed as they can sometimes get caught in the door flaps.

The bathtub bottom keeps water from seeping in from below.

Ease of Use

You should have no issues tent setting this up in a matter of minutes. Two beginners could easily get it up in 10 minutes or so.

Size

This is a roomy tent at 10 ft by 8 ft with a 5 ft high center. You can fit 4 adults or a similarly sized group easily with a bit of room to spare. The storage pockets help keep gear off the ground, out of your way, and easy to find in the dark.

Weight

The Pine Ridge comes in a carrying bag and weighs just under 12 pounds so it’s one of the lighter options on our list.

Value

If you’re looking for a budget tent that sleeps like a pricier version, this is a good choice. We really like the extra storage pockets, the easy setup, and the room divider.

9. Longs Peak Fast Pitch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Longs Peak Fast Pitch
Weather Resistance
88
Water Resistance
87
Ease of Use
87
Size
84
Weight
80
best offer for today
$106.23
Pros:

Great look and colors

Withstands pretty high winds

6 ft high center

Inverted seams for extra water resistance

Mesh cover on zippers to reduce leakage

Cons:

Heavy

Longs Peak is actually a Coleman brand. They call it Fast Pitch because of its improved system of set up that makes it super quick and easy. We also think this one just looks really great style-wise!

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Weather Resistance

While this tent is a sturdy one, it didn’t hold up quite as well as others in extreme winds. In normal summer storms with 20+ or so winds, it holds its ground pretty well, though. Users found that grabbing some extra stakes helped improve this.

Water Resistance

With the waterproof fly, Weathertech system that Coleman tents have, and its welded seams, you’ll stay dry in the Longs Peak Fast Pitch. We especially like the zipper cover that keeps that area from leaking.

Ease of Use

This is a ridiculously easy tent to set up. A solo camper could easily set it up in 5 minutes. At most, you might prefer two people just for getting the fly pulled down on both sides. The two-pole system with the criss-cross feature at the top means you only have to attach twice.

Size

This is a very, very roomy tent for a 6 person dome. It’s 10 ft by 10 ft with a 6 ft high center. If you like being able to move around in your tent but still want a smaller dome, you’ll like this choice. You can easily fit two queen size mattresses in it and not feel too cramped.

Weight

This is not a lightweight tent and many users find it unnecessarily heavy for its size due to the two pole system. Others think it is worth it for the easy of the said system when setting up quickly.

Value

If you want a tent that looks really cool in the great outdoors, for a decent price, and the easiest setup we’ve seen, go for the Longs Peak Fast Pitch.

10. Eureka! Tetragon

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Eureka! Tetragon
Weather Resistance
87
Water Resistance
80
Ease of Use
82
Size
82
Weight
83
best offer for today
more shops
$127.46
$139.95
See Deal
Pros:

Very ventilated

Easy to set up alone in just minutes

E-media mesh and TPU plastic holder makes using electronics really convenient

Cons:

Fly does not go all the way down to the bottom

Eureka has been around since 1895 so they’ve had over a century to perfect their outdoor gear. This three-season Tetragon is a lower mid-priced tent with decent room, a lot of ventilation, no-see-um mesh for bug protection and easy setup.

Read more

Weather Resistance

The extremely sturdy fiberglass poles and clip system plus fly make it a very durable tent, even in high winds. It has great ventilation for hot days, too. The no-see-um mesh keeps the mosquitos and tiny pests out while letting the air in.

Water Resistance

The seam-taped seams and bathtub style floor, along with the waterproof fly keep you dry during rainstorms. However, the fly does not go all the way to the bottom.

Ease of Use

This is a very easy tent to set up. Even beginner users, setting up a tent alone for the very first time, have no issue setting it up in minutes.

Size

The Eureka Tetragon model tent measures 9 ft by 9 ft with a 6 ft height at the very center. You should easily be able to fit one adult and 3 kids, three adults, 4 or 5 children, and various similar combinations without feeling to snug and squeezed in.

Weight

The Tetragon is a fairly lightweight car camping (or possibly backpacking?)tent for its size, coming in at around 12.5 pounds and including its own carrying case.

Value

This is a fairly priced tent that’s about in the mid-range of our top 10 list of domes. It’ll be worth it to you if you want an easy to set up a tent that will keep your family dry and cool on hot summer days or in downpours. We really appreciate the micro mesh for keeping out even the tiniest of pests.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Weather Resistance

A big wind can pick up anytime. Be prepared!

We want you to find a tent that you can feel safe in. No one wants to worry that the wind might be picking up and could take your tent with it. We chose tents that could withstand very strong winds. Several of our tent choices were made to withstand 35 mile per hour winds or stronger! We checked things like pole and line strength, fly materials, and other user experience to come up with tents that will keep you safe even if things get a little windy.
Speaking of safety, protect yourself from the sun! Not everyone even knows that tents can be UV protected or that it’s even important. Tents are not made of very thick material and they are often not great reflectors of sun rays. Tents, and usually their fly, can now offer UV protection. This is especially important to consider if you’re out camping in the desert, on the beach, or a campground without a ton of tree cover.

Water Resistance

A good tent should have no issues keeping you dry.

You never know exactly what the weather will be when camping. It’s really stressful to try to plan an outdoor adventure vacation knowing a downpour could ruin everything. We only chose dome tents that would keep you dry, even in fairly severe storms. We especially like bathtub bottoms and waterproof flies but found other cool technology like inverted seams and zipper covers we had never even thought about before.

Ease of Use

No one wants to struggle for a long time just to set the tent up.

We came across some really great tents in our research that we simply could not include because they were way too difficult and timely to set up. We had to narrow down our choice to only ten, so we only included tents that took a reasonable amount of effort and skill to set up. Once you arrive at your camp spot, you want to set up as quickly a possible. If you are exploring a new destination and arrive later than expected, setting up your tent in the dark can be a difficult task. Easy efficient set up is also really important for correct use and safety.

Weight

Some tents are too heavy to carry for long hikes. Plan ahead.

The reason you need to consider weight is that you might want to take your tent hiking or cycling or you might just have a long walk to your site. Our choices ranged from around 8 pounds to over 20. 20 pounds might not sound like a lot if you’re not used to backpacking with gear, but that 10 pounds can make a huge difference. Most of our tents are honestly better used as car campers instead of backpack campers. We included these weights though so you could be aware and make that decision yourself.

Value

Altogether, the features need to be worth the money.

We took all of these things together; weather and water resistance, ease of use, size, and weight, along with any cool features or lack thereof and came up with what kind of value each tent would hold for the average user. Of course, everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to camping, so we made sure to explain why we thought a tent would or would not work for certain types of campers.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Water Resistance
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Weather Resistance
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Ease of Use
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Zippers

Add a zipper pull to your tent’s manufacturer provided zippers. They can often break easily or simply be hard to find in the dark or in a crowded tent. This is a small annoyance but it can also be a real safety issue. You can easily attach anything from a ribbon to a paracord to a strong keychain to the zipper for extra visibility and longevity.

Ground Covering

We rave about bathtub bottom tents because they’re really good for keeping water out. They make sturdy bottoms for tents. However, you should still invest in a good tarp to lie underneath so you don’t get holes in your tent from twigs and rocks. If you have dogs, lay down a thick blanket or outdoor rug to keep their little nails from poking through the fabric.

Ventilation

Once you have arrived at your campsite and are ready to set up your tent, take a moment to check out how the wind is blowing. For optimal airflow, you should set up the tent with the door, or window at least, facing the direction of the wind. This will allow you to receive great airflow throughout the tent and stay cool.

Other Factors to Consider

Breathability

Tents vary a lot when it comes to windows but it’s important to consider what your choice has to offer for ventilation. You might worry that more windows mean more bugs or water, but most well-made tents will have waterproof flaps for the windows and micro mesh to keep the bugs out.

It can get hot in a tent depending on when and where you camp. We often think about keeping warm at night after the fire is out with layered clothes and high-tech sleeping bags and pads but if you’re camping in really hot temperatures there’s only so much you can do to cool off and a hot night leads to a miserable sleep. Having more than one window and cross ventilation will really help keep the air moving.

While camping is all about the great outdoors and fresh air, there are some things to consider that might stink things up a bit! If you use bug spray, sunscreen, etc. these fumes can really seem emphasized when everyone is snuggled up in a closed up a tent. Sitting by the fire can really leave a smokey smell lingering in your clothes and hair, too. Good ventilation will help clear that out of your sleeping air for a breezier sleep.

Safety Hazards

There are some things to consider when it comes to camping safely in your tent. We’ve already gone on and on about weather resistance but let’s talk about a few other concerns. We like tents that have easy exit doors. Some bathtub style tents might have an extremely high bottom when you open the door, so be mindful of that. A trip could cause unexpected injuries. It’s also good to be able to get out quickly, in case of an emergency. Recall our tip about putting visible, durable zipper pulls on your factory zippers.

Tents are often coated with chemicals that keep them less prone to catching and spreading the fire. This can obviously be a good thing and something to consider when looking for the right tent for you. However, this coating does not mean the tent is now safe to cook in, use candles in, or keep heaters going in. A tent can very quickly become engulfed in flames. This is another reason we like easy exits but the best way to avoid this is to use common sense camping safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why would I want a dome tent over other types?

a:

A dome tent is one of the most popular types of tents for several reasons. The dome shape and the interlocking poles at the top give it a square or rectangle bottom with more room and decent headroom. This clever design gives you a decently roomy tent without the price tag of a giant cabin tent. Dome tents are usually incredibly easy to put up, even for solo campers.

q: Why do you keep calling the tent a bathtub tent?

a:

This term is just a way to describe the shape of the bottom of the tent and how and where it’s seamed together. If you look at the bottom of some tents, the outer wall will meet the ground cover right at the ground. This could lead to some serious water issues from below!

A bathtub or tub-style tent looks different at the bottom. You’ll notice that the “bottom” meets the wall a little higher off the ground and the seam is there instead of at the ground. So if you have a tub bottom and the seam where it hits the rest of the wall is 10 inches off the ground, it would take a lot of water to rise up there and come in through the seams.

q: What is the fly? What is a guy line?

a:

The fly is the part of the tent that goes over the main dome tent. This helps it with weather resistance. Some flies even have an overhang that works as an awning outside your door. Basically, if you picture a very simple, primitive tent with no walls and just a triangle shape unattached to anything else, that’s kind of like the fly. With modern tents, however, the fly is thrown over the top and held down with sturdy stakes.

A guy line (which some people mistakenly call a guideline) is simply the ropes or cords you see coming from the tent into the stakes in the ground. These give tension to the tent and help support the tent beyond just the poles of the structure.

q: Which materials should I look for in a tent?

a:

Most tents are made from Polyester, Nylon, or a blend. These two materials are great for tents because they are lightweight and fairly weather and abrasion resistant. They are two of the fabrics that are known for drying quickly, therefore they are less likely to grow mold or bacteria. However, these fabrics are not well-known for their breathability. For a tent that is made from these fabrics, you should take a good look at the windows and door to determine if you will get decent airflow.

There are some tents that are made from canvas or cotton. These styles tend to be a bit heavier and bulkier, but also have their redeeming qualities. Cotton is more resistant to UV rays and is also more breathable. Be it in the day or not, the temperature changes will not be extreme. On the other hand, cotton absorbs water and will need to be fully dried out before being put away to avoid the growth of bacteria.

Sources

  1. Staff, Best Dome Tents, Review
  2. Lisa Maloney, What is a Rainfly, Article
  3. Staff, Staying Safe, Article
  4. JV, 29 Best Dome Camping Tents in 2019, Camping Blog