Best festival tents 2020: hassle-free festival camping starts here

Stay sheltered, dry and happy with these comfortable festival tents for every budget, style and group size

Best festival tents: a group of friends sit outside their festival tent on a music festival campsite

Regardless of what type of music, sport or hobby you're into, chances are there will be a festival celebrating it. If you plan on camping at a festival this year, you'll no doubt be looking for one of the best festival tents to sleep and relax in. These are more compact and cheaper than other tents for camping, making them ideal for casual use.

Some festivals stretch into multi-day events, with the campsites opening a day or two before the festival officially begins. If you fancy making a holiday out of the one you're attending, you'll need a more spacious and well-ventilated weatherproof festival tent to help you live comfortably outdoors for longer.

Luckily, these types of tents don't cost the earth, and if you're savvy with your purchase you can snap up a festival tent that's good enough to be used for regular camping weekends away the rest of the year too.

So festival tents don't have to cost a fortune, but they do need to be reusable and not the kind of super-flimsy canvas shelters you're tempted to leave behind on the festival site after use. Not only is that bad for the environment, those types of tents are a recipe for a miserable sleeping experience.

Yes, we know you'd rather not spend a fortune on a festival tent – and instead keep your money for a camping mat, food, beer and, er, face paint... – but as you'll discover below, there are some great options to be had and some of them come in at well under £100. If you want an even easier time of it, check out pop up tents too.

So what do the best festival camping tents look like, what kind of features do they have, and how much should you be spending on one? Well, it depends on what types of festivals you go to, how many of you will be sleeping in the tent, and a few other considerations you’ll need to make. We'll take a closer look at those below...

What makes a good festival camping tent?

Blackout fabric, blackout fabric, blackout fabric. Did we mention blackout fabric? Nothing sucks more than being woken up at 5am by blazing sunshine... When you're still drunk from the night before.

Many of the new breed of festival tents offer blackout material, which is an excellent scheme if you plan to be awake well into the small hours – and even if you don’t plan to! Sunrise in a tent is not only very early (pre 5am), but also surprisingly bright and hot, so blocking that out is a vital part of getting sleep. Good sleep will help you deal better with any hangovers and keep you feeling energised for the rest of the festival.

Finally, a festival tent needs to be waterproof enough to deal with rain, which can appear in full monsoon style during festival season. This also means a good groundsheet is important, as well as good ventilation to stop your belongings smelling like a wet dog. 

While we're on the subject of cruddy weather, never trust the weatherman—torrential rain and freak storms love partying at festivals as much as you do.

Best festival tents: Coleman Blackout 3 Festival Tents are set out in rows at a music festival

Choosing the best festival tent for you

Before we run you through our top picks, there are some other things you need to keep in mind. Space is perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing the best festival tent for your needs, but balanced with the fact that you’ll have to carry your tent – even if only from the carpark – and also put it up relatively easily. 

Festival campsites are always tight on pitch space anyway, especially in those areas containing the best spots. Some festivals also specify a maximum tent size, so make sure you check this on your chosen festival’s website before you buy a tent so that you know what size you’re looking for.

A generous porch space or awning provides a chill out space, and more robust versions keep the party going even if the rain or intense sun comes. Why sun? Well, the festival you're heading to could fall on a sweltering hot weekend. A porch area helps you stay cool – and still be on speaking terms with your festival squad come the end.

Due to the explosion in the number of festivals around the world, festival tents are now as easy to buy as toilet paper. The bad news is that it's hard to tell which are the good ones and which are the duds. To save you research time – time that could be spent looking into more pressing matters, like how to buy body glitter or LED wellies – we've come up with this star-studded list of the best festival tents for summer… 

The best festival camping tents to buy now

Best festival tents 2019: Coleman Blackout 3 Festival Dome Tent

1. Coleman Blackout 3 Festival Dome Tent

The best festival tent for couples who love to lie-in

Type: Semi-geodesic
Sleeps: 3
Weight: 5.1kg
Fabric: Polyester, PU coated
Reasons to buy
+Sun-blocking Blackout interior+Weatherproof+Easy to pitch+Three-season use

The Coleman Blackout Festival 3 festival tent is a lot of tent for the money, delivering plenty of space and innovation for not much cash. Ok so the spec isn’t as stellar as some of the more expensive tents featured below, but for festival camping this is well worth a look. 

Coleman's 3-person geodesic-style tent is a great mid-point between feeling constrained in a smaller space, and the enormousness of full-fledged family tents. One of the best parts is that the Blackout Festival 3 includes Coleman’s ingenious Blackout fabric tech. 

This cuts light by up to 99 per cent so that you get less of the 5am summer wake-up. It also traps heat in the day, resulting in a cooler daytime interior (5 degrees) and a 1 degree warmer night. 

The 10-minute pitch time might not be as speedy as the Decathlon tent below, but with this one you get a lot of features including a roomy porch top off a robust offering. It’s a cute and cosy little tent for couples who want a touch of extra space to chill in-between band sets and to get dressed without feeling cramped. 

Best festival tents: Decathlon Quechua 2 Seconds XL Tent

2. Decathlon Quechua 2 Seconds XL Tent

What’s the best festival instant tent? You just found it

Type: Semi-geodesic
Sleeps: 2
Weight: 4.3kg
Fabric: Polyester, PU coated
Reasons to buy
+Super-fast to put up+Sun-blocking Blackout material

In many ways, this is the ultimate festival tent due to its lightning fast pitch time of two seconds, making it a tent for anyone who wants to rock up late and still grab a great pitch on the festival campsite. It’ll even pitch without pegs if you’re really in a rush, although we wouldn’t recommend you do that otherwise your tent may blow away in a light breeze.

The downside of this kind of instant wizardry is that it can take a bit of practice to reverse the process, especially with a hangover. And in high winds the tent shape can be a bit unstable. To be fair to Decathlon, though, when properly guyed out the Quechua 2 Seconds XL can stand a Force 6 gale, which is a pretty solid claim.

There are a lot of extra positives here too, with Fresh & Black fabric blocking the worst of the rising sun’s rays (99 per cent dark even in full daylight), as well as night-time revelry. With this type of tech on your side, hopefully you’ll be able to get an extra few hours of quality snoozing… 

Regatta Malawi Pop Up Tent

3. Regatta Malawi Pop Up Tent

A no-frills festival tent that leaves plenty of cash for beer

Type: pop up
Sleeps: 2
Weight: 2.5kg
Fabric: Hydrafort 190T
Reasons to buy
+Insanely fast pitch time+Snug and cosy inside

If you’re not fussed about luxury and just need somewhere to lay your head after a long day of partying, then this cheap festival tent will do just the trick. 

With pretty much zero pitching time, Regatta's Malawi Pop-up Tent comes straight out of the bag and simply needs pegging... Leaving you and your loved one to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the festival.

Another compact and lightweight choice for our best festival tents round-up, Regatta's offering sports mesh ventilation points to aid breathability. A sewn in groundsheet will keep you and your belongings cool and dry.

Best festival tents 2019: Vango Sky 300

4. Vango Skye 300

This smart festival tent is a dream for organised campers

Type: Tunnel
Sleeps: 3
Weight: 5.65kg
Fabric: Polyester, PVC
Reasons to buy
+Sewn-in groundsheet+Covered porch area+Fully weatherproof+Lights Out inner

The Vango Skye 3-man tent is a bit of a little gem for the intensive festivaller travelling by car, giving you all the key festival camping points (full height, blackout bedroom area, a porch) wrapped into a relatively robust weatherproof package. Not only that, but it’s keenly priced too. 

The side entry might look a bit cumbersome, but it actually provides maximum space inside the windowed porch area, so pitching a few camping chairs inside is totally do-able if the weather turns dire on you. 

There is less space to play with than you’d find in the Coleman Pinto, but there’s enough here to still be friends with your tent mates after a long weekend partying.

A 15-minute pitch time is decent enough, and colour-coded poles and an all-in-one pitch reduce the stress involved at the beginning and end of the festival weekend. Proper groundsheet and taped seams (as you’d expect from Vango) means the rain and any collecting ground water stays on the outside.

If you’re the type of festival camper who likes everything to be neatly its place, you’ll love the lantern, washbag and fairy lights hanging points, plus the handy built-in pockets to keep your phones and other small items from being trampled and out of sight.

Coleman Instant Dome Tent

5. Coleman Instant Dome Tent

The best festival camping tent for fast pitching

Type: Dome
Sleeps: 5
Weight: 5.95kg
Fabric: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Fuss-free pop-up design+Pre-attached frame+Water-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Fabric feels thin in places

Although this is billed as a five man tent, we'd recommend it for sleeping four people comfortably. That way you maintain a little space between you, which is handy when you're all trying to get dressed around each other for another day at the festival. 

The Coleman Instant Dome Tent is water-resistant and will hold up fine in drizzle and light showers. We'd recommend beefing it up with a fly sheet to make it properly waterproof, though. 

The biggest selling point about this pop-up festival camping tent is that the frame is pre-attached, so you can pitch it super quickly... And get on with the more important business of firing up your portable Bluetooth speaker or cracking open the drinks cooler.

Best festival tents: Snugpak Journey Trio

6. Snugpak Journey Trio

This hard-wearing tent will serve you through multiple festivals

Type: Semi-geodesic
Sleeps: 3
Weight: 4kg
Fabric: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Quick to put up+Lightweight yet robust+Fully waterproof

The Journey Trio is an ideal solution to the disposable tent culture. A robust and roomy 3-man tent that’ll keep you warm, dry and happy on any campsite, this will last for years. Best of all, this proper tent design will stand up long after the cheap ones have been flattened in high winds, and it’ll shrug off a monsoon - so standard Glastonbury festival conditions, essentially.  

A solid hydrostatic head of 4000mm rating and a bathtub style groundsheet means that water should stay firmly on the outside, while an included footprint to minimise groundsheet damage will also be very handy on a festival site. However, there’s no blackout here, so remember the eye-mask!

A pair of adjustable vents will help to keep you cool as the sun rises (vital for the best lie-in possible), and a roomy porch area has plenty of room for wellies and paraphernalia aplenty. All this in a hiking-weight tent means this could be the only tent you need for all occasions... 

ProAction 4 Man Dome Tent

7. ProAction 4 Man Dome Tent

The best festival tent if you're on a super-tight budget

Type: Dome
Sleeps: 4
Weight: 3.8kg
Fabric: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Mega cheap price+Taped seams for better water-resistance

Ok, so this ain't a looker, it doesn't have blackout tech, and it certainly isn't inflatable. But for those of you who want a standard festival camping tent, and you don't care if it gets wrecked during the course of the weekend, this does the job just fine.

The lightweight ProAction 4 Man Dome Tent sports a porch area for storing muddy wellies, plus a built-in mosquito net for keeping bugs and beasties out. The dark flysheet will cover a multitude of festival floor sins, too.

That black and red colour scheme should also help you pick it out from a sea of green tents, no matter how many gins you've had on the way back. Although in the pitch dark of night, that could be a different matter altogether. Perhaps stick a high-vis flag on the top of it, yeah?

Vango Santo Air

8. Vango Santo AirBeam

Enjoy a home-from-home vibe with this camping royalty favourite

Type: Dome
Sleeps: 5
Weight: 5.95kg
Fabric: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Lights Out fabric blocks harsh sunlight+Sturdy and fast inflatable design+Fully waterproof and breathable
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive compared to other festival tents

If outdoor gear had a royal family, Vango would surely be part of it. Renowned for its sublime camping tents, super-snug sleeping bags and ultra plush outdoor furniture, Vango gear rarely disappoints. 

Waterproof and highly breathable, you won't get any build-up of nasty festival pongs inside this inflatable tent. Nor will the sun be able to bust in on you at 4am, as Vango has outfitted the tent with a Lights Out blackout inner. Yes sunlight will filter through, but in a beautifully dappled, gentle way. 

There's plenty of room for you to stand up fully in the full-height living room, and you'll have your pick of two king-size bedrooms to snooze in. Or, if you want more of a communal camping vibe, knock both bedrooms into one.

Best of all, the three-beam structure means you can unpack and pitch the tent in minutes. In short, if you want a home-from-home vibe for your next festival camping experience, step this way.

Best festival tent: Coleman Pinto Mountain 5 Plus XL

9. Coleman Pinto Mountain 5 Plus XL

The best festival tent for big groups of friends

Type: Tunnel
Sleeps: 5
Weight: 23.5kg
Fabric: Polyester, PU coated
Reasons to buy
+Buckets of space for longer festivals+Blackout bedrooms+Separate living area+Enclosed porch

Compared to the rest of the models in our best festival tents round-up, the Pinto Mountain 5 Plus XL is massive and is therefore suited to car camping. But at a festival this is actually a very helpful thing. It’s full-height, so you won’t need to stoop or bend to get into it, and it’s big enough to sleep five people in comfort. 

That comfort is also enhanced by BlackOut bedrooms that block out 99.9 per cent of light and keep temperatures 5⁰C cooler in the day and 1⁰C warmer at night. 

There’s an extended enclosed porch for partying and chilling when the weather closes in, and also a rather neat drop down section that gives a totally flat entrance. That’s pretty ideal for not tripping over when you’re feeling slightly merry after all that festival cider. 

Elsewhere on the spec sheet you’ll find taped seams as standard, and additional rain skirts to keep the floods out. 

Boutique Camping Bell Tent

10. Boutique Bell Tent

The best festival tent for glamping and luxe partying

Type: Bell
Sleeps: 6
Weight: 29kg
Fabric: Polycotton canvas
Reasons to buy
+Zipped-in ground sheet+Tons of room to sleep and party
Reasons to avoid
-Cream fabric shows up everything-Its expensive compared to other festival tents

Many festivals now offer glamping experiences, so don't worry about getting laughed out of the field if you pitch up with this. That said, we're not sure we'd be brave enough to pitch a bell tent at a metal festival, so perhaps pick your venue wisely.

Although pricey and tricker to erect (guy ropes are included), this gorgeous luxury camping shelter features in our best festival tents round-up because of the ample space it provides. And, yes, because of its glamorous good looks. 

If you're turning your festival visit into a longer holiday, you could outfit this bell tent with glamping luxuries such as rugs, pillows and an inflatable mattress.

A zipped-in groundsheet protects you from dewy grass, and the sides of the tent can be rolled up to let a fresh breeze in. Be warned, though, some idiots will probably mistake your open-sided bell tent for a trendy pop-up bar. Well, we guess that's one way to make back the cost of your festival ticket...