Best tent 2024 to get closer to nature

We rank the best tents, from simple 3- and 4-person shelters to luxurious tents for the whole family

Best tent 2024: Quick links

On the hunt for the best tent for your camping adventure? We're here to help. A tent can easily make or break a camping trip, so before you invest, take a little time to choose carefully. There is a vast array of options on the market, ranging from surprisingly cheap to astonishingly expensive and teeny-tiny and ultra-packable to downright palatial. 

Perhaps you're on the hunt for the best 3-man or 4-person tent? Or something more luxurious that'll happily house the whole family, even if it rains solidly for the entire trip? Our guide includes a wide range of options at price points to suit everyone; however, we'll focus more on family and casual group trip tents here. For specialised adventuring options, head to our best backpacking tent or the best pop-up tents guide instead.

Best tents to buy right now

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Best overall

Outwell Pinedale 6PAT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)

1. Decathlon Quechua Air Seconds 5.2 Fresh & Black

Best tent overall

Specifications

Sleeps: 5
Poles: inflatable
Weight: 21.8kg
Seasons: 2-season
Pack size: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Spacious and airy
+
Design flourishes galore
+
Blackout bedrooms
+
Easy to erect
+
Attractive colour scheme
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
It doesn’t come with an air pump
-
Otherwise nothing to grumble about

If you’re in the market for a large family tent that’s a breeze to pitch, the Quechua Air Seconds 5.2 Fresh & Black is your best bet. This tent stands out for its effortless setup, requiring just 17 minutes with the help of a quality hand pump (sold separately). Its inflatable air beams and superior design make assembly a cinch, even for beginners. 

The tent boasts a spacious 31 square meters of interior living space, featuring two blackout bedrooms and a large lounging area. The blackout feature ensures a good night’s sleep by keeping the rooms cooler and darker. The tent's light-coloured exterior reflects sunlight, keeping it cooler during the day. 

Designed with high-quality materials, the Air Seconds 5.2 can withstand harsh weather, including heavy rain and strong winds, thanks to its robust construction and well-thought-out design. Ventilation is top-notch, with large mesh openings and adjustable vents, ensuring a comfortable interior climate.

With thoughtful details like ample storage pockets, a durable groundsheet, and an integral clothesline, this tent is perfect for family camping trips. While it’s not ideal for long treks due to its 22kg weight, it’s perfect for car camping and promises a comfortable, hassle-free camping experience.

Read our full Decathlon Quechua Air Seconds 5.2 Fresh & Black review.

Also consider: the Outwell Pinedale 6PA tent offers ample living space, excellent ventilation, and great value for money. Ideal for summer camping, it’s easy to pitch and perfect for families, providing a spacious, airy living area and cosy bedrooms.

Best for couples

The North Face Homestead Domey 3-Person Tent review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

2. The North Face Homestead Domey 3-Person Tent

Best tent for couples

Specifications

Sleeps: 3
Poles: Colour-coded aluminium
Weight: 3.2 kg
Pack size: 68cm x 19cm x 28cm

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent two-door design
+
Two metres of headroom
+
Huge living space
+
Large dark bedroom
+
Wind-defeating straps
+
Light and compact to carry

Reasons to avoid

-
Groundsheet not sewn in
-
Ventilation could be improved

One of the best festival tents, The North Face Homestead Domey 3-Person Tent offers exceptional comfort and spaciousness, making it ideal for outdoor adventures. Despite its lack of vestibules, its durable construction, ample headroom, and numerous storage options set it apart.

The setup is straightforward with colour-coded poles, and its waterproof design performs well even in rainy conditions. With thoughtful features like multiple doors, mesh windows, and a skylight for ventilation, it provides a comfortable camping experience for up to three people.

While slightly pricey, its quality and functionality make it worth the investment for couples or small groups seeking roomy accommodations. The Homestead Domey's sturdy pole structure ensures windproofing, and its generous interior space rivals that of larger tents.

Read our full The North Face Homestead Domey 3-Person Tent review.

Best roof tent

TentBox Lite XL review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney)

3. TentBox Lite XL

Best roof tent for car camping

Specifications

Sleeps: 4
Poles: lightweight aluminium frame
Weight: 62kg
Pack size: 83 x 120 x 25 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of room inside
+
Faster to set up than a regular tent 
+
Lots of handy features
+
Water and wind-proof
+
Looks cool

Reasons to avoid

-
A climb to get in and out
-
Tent poles are a faff
-
Interior zips can be fiddly

The TentBox Lite XL offers an innovative car-camping solution with spaciousness and durability. Compared to other tents, it requires more effort to set up, but its generous interior space justifies the extra time. With room for up to four adults, it's ideal for families or couples seeking a lofty basecamp.

While the initial cost is substantial, it provides a faster setup than traditional tents and offers protection from water and wind. The tent's design features durable materials like 600D polyester PVC and a lightweight aluminium frame, ensuring stability and weather resistance.

Performance-wise, it withstands various weather conditions, providing comfort and ample room for sleeping and storage. Optional accessories like the KitchenBox enhance camping convenience, albeit at an additional cost. Overall, the TentBox Lite XL offers a convenient and spacious rooftop camping experience, perfect for adventurous families or couples seeking comfort and versatility on the road.

Read our full TentBox Lite XL review.

Best beginner-friendly

Sea to Summit Ikos TR 3 review

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
Best beginner-friendly tent for two

Specifications

Sleeps: 3 (or two more comfortably)
Packed weight: 3,168 grams
Pack size: 200 x 500 mm
Seasons: 3

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent build quality
+
Waterproof and breathable materials
+
Roomy interior for two

Reasons to avoid

-
Too heavy to work for lightweight backpacking
-
A snug fit for three people

In 2023, Sea to Summit added to their range of adventurous camping equipment with two tents aimed at car campers and beginner backpackers. These models are simply new takes on the ever-popular cross-pole dome tent design – the ‘TR’ in the tents’ name stands for ‘Tension Ridge’ – with an added third inverted pole that offers extra head height and breathability to the final structure.

Part of this new range is the Sea to Summit Ikos TR3, which ticks lots of boxes – it's easy to pitch and use, very comfortable to sleep in, is weatherproof and bugproof and isn't prohibitively bulky when you're on the go. It's a pity it's a shade too heavy to be a true backpacking tent, but if you already own a small featherweight backpacking tent and want something roomier to share with a buddy on more relaxed camps, this would be an excellent choice. 

Read our full Sea to Summit Ikos TR 3 review.

Best fast-pitch

Quecha 2 Seconds Easy Fresh & Black popup tentT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
Best fast-pitch tent

Specifications

Sleeps: 2
Packed weight: 4.7kg
Packed size: 59 x 20 x 20cm
Seasons: not stated

Reasons to buy

+
Super quick pitch time
+
Great value
+
Functional design and shape

Reasons to avoid

-
Might not last the longest

If you're looking for a quick-pitch option, the Quechua 2 Seconds Easy Fresh & Black (2-person) is perhaps the most faff-free tent we've tested. It sits right at the top of our pop-up tent guide (linked in the intro), and with good reason. Pitching is a simple matter of pegging out the four corners, then pulling on two red drawcords until they click into place, and thanks to some kind of interior witchcraft, you're pretty much done.

If you want, you can add two more pegs to create little porches on either side of the sleeping compartment (great for keeping muddy boots away from your sleeping bag), and if it's windy, you can also pop on some guy ropes for security. There are two layers, which means no morning condensation issues, but it's all connected together, so you can easily put it up in the rain without the interior getting wet. Blackout fabric means you don't have to wake up with the dawn, and it's great value too.

Read our full Quechua 2 Seconds Easy Fresh & Black (2-person) review.

Best for glamping

Robens Yukon Shelter tentT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
Best tent for glamping

Specifications

Sleeps: 3
Poles: steel
Weight: 17.2kg
Pack size: 91 x 25cm

Reasons to buy

+
Great quality material
+
Good and roomy

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one bedroom
-
Poor pitching instructions

Looking for something a little more spacious than the average backpacking tent but don't want to go all-in on an extravagant glamping option? The unusual-looking Robens Yukon Shelter might just hit that sweet spot for you. Inspired by simple wood refuges found around the Scandinavian countryside, its boxy design stands out from the usual glamping tents you might come across, and it gives you plenty of room with standing height in part of the bedroom and a decent-sized porch.

It's well-made with plenty of attention to detail, including reflective guy lines, insect-repelling mesh screens and solid toggles for tying up the main door. Putting it up for the first time could be a challenge, thanks to frankly inadequate instructions (we ended up watching an online video to figure it out). Once it's up, it's a roomy and breathable shelter that's ideal for summer camping holidays or for putting up in your back garden as a sun shade or playhouse.

Read our full Robens Yukon Shelter review.

Best inflatable

Vango Rome II Air 550XL tentT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis / T3)
Best inflatable tent

Specifications

Sleeps: 5
Poles: air
Weight: 31.7kg
Pack size: L78 x H44 x W54cm

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to inflate
+
Blackout bedrooms
+
Generous living space

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two bedrooms
-
Large and heavy to store

As a low-fuss tent suitable for a family of four's summer camping holiday, Vango Rome II Air 550XL is a tough one to beat. Just the right size for two adults and a pair of kids, this air tent has plenty of living space, it's easy to pitch thanks to its inflatable poles, and as it's made of recycled fabrics, it's an eco-friendly option, too.

Unlike most large inflatable family tents, this Vango genuinely is quite easy to pitch; once you've found your spot, it's a matter of pegging out the corners, inflating the poles with the included pump, and then pegging the main and side tent into place. Vango reckons it takes 12 minutes; expect it to take a bit longer, especially on your first try.

There's lots of room inside, including two blackout bedrooms with standing room, plus a well-sized living area and porch with room for a dining table and loungers. However, we found that the storage space was just a little on the small side; don't count on being able to use it as a spare bedroom.

Read our full Vango Rome II Air 550XL review.

Best premium

coleman weathermaster air tentT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
Best premium family tent

Specifications

Sleeps: 4
Poles: air (fibreglass also available)
Weight: 30.4kg
Pack size: 78 x 58 x 48cm

Reasons to buy

+
Loads of space
+
Blackout bedrooms
+
Super easy to put up

Reasons to avoid

-
There are cheaper Coleman tents that are almost as good

The Coleman Weathermaster Air 4XL is an outstanding family tent. The living space is roomy, light and airy, with a spacious porch area and mesh door layers you can close up at night if you want airflow without the bugs. The all-important blackout bedrooms are very effective: not only do they block out the evening and early morning light, but they also help regulate the temperature inside the sleeping compartment. 

An all-in-one design and air poles mean this tent is extremely quick and easy to put up, so you can get on with your holiday as quickly as possible (let's face it, wrangling with a tricky tent after hours in the car can be fraught at the best of times, let alone with grumpy kids in tow). At a push, one person could even do it on their own – let's say if the younger family members aren't cooperating at the time. In short, the best family tent for comfortable and relaxed family camping, whatever the weather's doing. 

Read our full Coleman Weathermaster Air review.

Best eco-friendly

Decathlon Forclaz Dome Tent in a fieldT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
Best eco-friendly tent

Specifications

Sleeps: 2
Poles: aluminium
Weight: 1.95kg
Pack size: 39 x 12 x 12cm

Reasons to buy

+
Quality material
+
Quick and easy to pitch

Reasons to avoid

-
Lets in sunlight
-
Won't look white for long

If you've ever had trouble finding your tent at a festival, that's not a problem you're likely to run into with the Decathlon Forclaz Trekking Dome Tent. It comes in one colour option – a dazzling white – which should make it easy to find at any time, although the downside is that after a few outings, it's likely to have settled into a grubby grey with hints of grass stains.

There's a good reason for this eye-catching look: it avoids the use of dyes, which reduces CO2 emissions and avoids water pollution in manufacturing, making it a much more eco-friendly tent. It's easy to put up and has plenty of room for two people, as well as two porches for keeping your gear dry and four pockets for storing gear; it also packs away nicely. We found it to be good and waterproof even in heavy rain, and its low profile means it'll stand up to high winds too.

Read our full Decathlon Forclaz Trekking Dome Tent – Minimal Editions review.

To save on the cost, make sure you check our Decathlon discount codes

How to choose the best tent for you

Choosing the perfect tent for your outdoor adventures is a bit like picking the ultimate camping buddy – you want someone who fits just right and can handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

First up, think about your camping crew size. Are you rolling solo or bringing the whole squad? Remember, it's not just about bodies but also gear space – nobody likes a cramped tent.

Next, consider your camping style. Are you cruising in with your car, setting up shop next to it, and calling it a day? Or are you planning a backpacking odyssey where every ounce counts? Your tent choice will definitely reflect your adventure vibe.

Then, there's the weather to think about. Will you be battling rain, wind, or blazing sun? Look for a tent that can handle the elements like a pro – nobody wants a soggy sleep or a windblown shelter.

Setup should be a breeze, not a battle. Opt for a tent that's as easy to pitch as a beach umbrella – because ain't nobody got time for wrestling with tent poles when you could be roasting marshmallows.

Features are the cherry on top of your tent sundae. Think room dividers for a little privacy, gear vestibules for stashing your stuff, and windows for catching those scenic views.

Durability is key – you want a tent that can take a beating and still come out swinging. Look for tough materials that can handle rough-and-tumble camping adventures.

Last but not least, don't forget your budget. You don't need to break the bank to find a great tent, but remember, you get what you pay for in the camping world.

With these tips in mind, you'll be snuggled up in your perfect tent in no time, ready to conquer the great outdoors with style and comfort. Happy camping!

How we test the best tents

Testing a tent is like trying on a pair of walking shoes – you've got to make sure it fits just right! First off, we give it a good visual inspection. We check for any tears, loose seams, or broken zippers. Then, it's time to set it up. We pay attention to how easy or complicated it is to assemble. Nobody wants to wrestle with a tent in the middle of a storm!

Once it's up, we hop inside and give it a shake. We channel our inner wild bear and see if it holds up to a little roughhousing. We also assess how spacious it feels. Can you stretch out comfortably or are you rubbing elbows with your camping buddy?

Then there is ventilation – nobody likes waking up in a sweat lodge! Finally, we spend a few nights in it to ensure the tent is suitable as an outdoor shelter. If it passes all these tests with flying colours, we add them to our tent guide!

FAQ

What are the different types of tents?

Modern tents for camping, backpacking, hiking and general outdoor living come in a range of shapes and sizes. The most popular ones are basic ridge tents, dome tents, geodesic and semi-geodesic, inflatable tents, bell tents, teepees and tunnel tents.

Some of the major brands you’ll come across in your journey to find the best tent for you include Big Agnes, Vango, Coleman, MSR, Terra Nova, Outwell, Decathlon, Hilleberg and The North Face. There are lots of newcomers entering the (muddy) field, too, with innovative designs coming from brands such as Tentsile, with its sublime floating tree tents, and Cinch, with its nifty pop-up modular tent.

What's the best HH rating for a tent?

HH stands for Hydrostatic Head, and it's a measure of how waterproof a fabric is. It's given in millimetres; the higher the number, the more waterproof. You should look for a bare minimum HH of 1500mm for a tent. 2000 and above will be fine for even the worst UK weather, and 5000 and above is getting into specialist territory. Here's more on what a HH rating is

How can you tell if a tent is good quality?

To assess a tent's quality, examine its materials, construction, and weather resistance. Look for durable, waterproof fabrics, reinforced seams, and sturdy zippers. Consider design features like a bathtub-style floor and ample ventilation. Easy setup with colour-coded poles is essential. Research brand reputation and read reviews for real-world feedback. A quality tent should withstand various weather conditions and offer reliability and durability for outdoor adventures.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.

With contributions from