Do you want to stay dry on your next camping trip?
Camping sure sounds fun but you need to have the right accessories to make the most of your exciting travel spree. A good waterproof camping tent is not your typical tent in the market with a standard brand tag. The degree at which a tent offers waterproofing and warmth for your tarpaulin will largely depend on the type of brand you select.
Whether you are searching a multipurpose spacious tent with multiple rooms for a family or a compact version for a solo adventure, here’s what you should consider.
Best Waterproof Tents for Camping – Buying Guide
Here’s a list of the key features that you should consider before investing in a new camping tent.
Water Resistance: The highlight of a quality tent is water resistance and its ability to be fully watertight. For a camping tent to save you from a drenched sleeping bag and a soggy & dripping tarpaulin, make sure the brand you choose offers a high level of water protection. Top brands usually manufacture tents with a waterproof fabric, created to offer resistance against penetration. To check the water resistance, find out how much rainwater it can protect you from and the amount of dryness it can deliver inside.
Aesthetics, Size & Room – If you’re looking for something colorful with an aesthetically pleasing design, then look for your desired hues along with the room’s layout in select brands. The size and amount of space usually depend on your ad-hoc requirements. You can find 4-person domed styles, 8-person cabin style vertical tents, single room tents, and multiple room concoctions. Other features you may want include extendable porch sections, storage compartments, sleeping quarter space, and vestibules. Before investing in one, make sure you have a clear idea of your camping needs.
Camping Valley has a comparison of 6 man tents: https://campingvalley.com/best-6-person-tents/
Air-flow – Since waterproof camping tents are built to offer leak prevention & rain resistance through sealed seams, these can actually lead to unnecessary condensation, especially when there’s little ventilation. A camping tent with sealed seams can affect proper ventilation, particularly when you have more than one person sleeping in it. A good idea is to buy a tent equipped with dedicated ventilation points that you can keep open without water seeping in. For better air-flow inside, opt for a tent with zippered mesh panel windows & doors.
Protection: Aside from waterproofing, you need to have a camping tent that offers good protection against inclemency and undesirable weather conditions like blizzards and storms including cold temperatures. Before buying, make sure your tent’s stakes, poles, and guy rope system are strong enough to tackle difficult camping conditions. Opt for a hardcore three season tent offering cold temperature resistance and that can withstand moisture levels. For summer & spring seasons, go for 2-season tents. They provide much warmth during nights as well as good airflow.
Best Waterproof Tents for Camping
So, which particular brand you should choose for your camping adventure? Here’s a roundup of the best waterproof tents for camping in 2019.
1. Teton Mountain Ultra
This one is my favorite. The 4.75 pounds Teton Mountain Ultra is another best waterproof tent for camping featuring a sleek look appropriate for backpackers looking for a minimalistic design. It is lightweight, portable, highly efficient and easy to assemble offering accommodation for 1-4 people. Its impressive slew of features include 4 different sizes, highly durable 66D Ripstop, PU coated nylon with a 3000mm rating, bathtub floor, and 150D Oxford polyester footprint and mesh construction for the inner layers. The highly durable tent offers great protection against harsh weather conditions. Additionally, the profound mesh top with waterproof rainfly featuring built-in cut away vents, add to its ability to provide good airflow for seamless camping.
· Great waterproofing
· Buying options include 4 sizes
· Lightweight, portable and compact
· Durable construction
The design does not include any windows;
2. MSR Mutha Hubba NX Waterproof Tent
This 4 pound MSR water-resistant tent is Ultra-lightweight and perfectly portable, built to offer comfortable overnight stay for at least three people. The Mutha Hubba NX is a freestanding tent that is more spacious with a profound floorplan. It will allow you to manage your living area well and easily get access to stored stuff and doors. A quick assembly camping gear, this particular tent is equipped with stay dry doors, built in rain gutters, excellent waterproof features, and a cross-ventilating rain fly. Built with a canonical design, it boasts a unified hub, improved headroom and pole system with color-coded clips along with increased ventilation feature. A must-have for trekkers and hardcore travelers!
· Excellent waterproofing abilities
· Sturdy construction and quick assembly
· Lightweight, efficient and portable
· Spacious rooms that accommodate up to three campers
· A bit expensive
· Does not include storage compartments
3. Coleman Sundome 6 Dome Waterproof Tent
I own this tent, it is roomy, perfect for 1-2 people with lots of stuff. I can set it up solo in 15 minutes.
Another best waterproof camping tent, 10 square foot, this 6-man waterproof gear is a highlight of Coleman’s colossal collection. Having won the Best Value badge of honor by GearHungry, this includes spacious accommodation for 4 campers featuring the brands popular WeatherTec System, welded & sturdily constructed 1000D PE floors, high-quality waterproof fabric and durable 1000D polyethylene. It also comes equipped with a discreet and secure zippered electrical access point along with a 59” center height. The tent weighing 1.36 kg is built to keep your space dry and offer good ventilation even with 3-4 people staying in for a great camping adventure. With its patented ventilation system designed with Cool-Air vented ports and Vari-Flo ventilation, you do not have to stress about any water leaks or soggy sleeping gear.
· Zippered electrical port panel for plugging in devices for charging
· Internal storage compartments
· Strong welded floors and lightweight construction
· Rain fly partially covered
· Half meshed doors, not much privacy on 2 sides
East – West has mesh screen walls you can see through. North – South has full covering for privacy. I guess you can add the rain fly for privacy.
4. Eureka Copper Canyon
The Eureka Copper Canyon is a cool vertical cabin style tent that can accommodate up to 4 campers easily for a perfect family camping holiday. With a large 7 feet of tent height and 13 foot by 10-foot floor space for living, Zippered E! Power Port for internal electrical supply and Vertical calls organized for enhancing internal space, this is your go-to tent for a family camping trip. With a cabin style, the tent boasts all features found in a usual three season gear. Weighing 23lbs, it includes the Stormshield polyester fly for the roof cover, High-stash pockets to store belongings off the floor and overhead hammock-style mesh storage to easily access your stuff. Appropriate for novice campers, this quick assembly tent offers peaceful stay and living.
· Features near-vertical walls that provide resistance & good space
· A good height & floor area measurement
· Durable construction with a steel frame
· Weighs a lot heavy for backpacking
· Does not include internal sections
5. Coleman Evanston Dome Waterproof Tent
Another great camping product by Coleman, this durably constructed tent includes enough living area to accommodate at least 6 people. Aside from its impressive patented Weather Tec system with welded floors and a rainfly that takes 15 minutes only for assembly, it boasts a bug-free lounge space. Weighing 20.9 pounds, it is great for beginners and experts alike. The meshed windows & doors, weather-proof cuffs that protect the zippers from getting wet and durable aluminum alloy poles help offer great ventilation and water resistance.
· Expansive porch space
· Quick assemble rainfly
· Meshed windows for good ventilation
· Patented Weather Tec system
· Does not include features for inclemency
6. Amagoing 2-3 Person Tents for Camping Automatic Pop Up Waterproof Tent
7. TOMOUNT 8-Person Tent – Easy & Quick Setup Camping Tent, Professional Waterproof
8. Zenph Waterproof Pop Up Tent
9. HENGTONG Camp Tent 3-4 Person Family Tent Waterproof
10. Bravindew Waterproof Tent X-Large Instant 5-6 Person Pop Up Dome Tent
11. ALLBEYOND Ultralight 3 Season Waterproof Backpacking Tent
12. Bessport Camping Tent 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent Waterproof
13. Dream House Luxury Outdoor Waterproof Four Season Family Camping
14. BATTOP 3-4 Person Tent for Camping Double Layer Family Camping Tent
15. Victostar Instant Pop Up Family Camping Tent,Double Layer Waterproof
16. MIER 3 Person Camping Tent Lightweight Outdoor Backpacking Tent with Footprint, Waterproof
17. Qisan Large Dome Tent Camping Tent Waterproof
18. Hewolf Camping Tents 2-4 Person [Instant Tent] Waterproof
19. NTK Oregon GT 8 to 9 Person 10 by 12 Foot Outdoor Dome Family Camping Tent 100% Waterproof
20. Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent 2 3 4 Person 3 Season Weatherproof
21. Toogh 5-6 Person Camping Tent Waterproof
Some tents are waterproof. Some are water resistant. All tents leak a little. Water can condense on inside of tent making it wet.
The waterproofing on a tent can last for up to 3-4 years if you take care of the tent. This period depends on various factors like material, UV, wear-and-tear, and coating.
An expensive tent is worth the money. It will last longer, be roomy, keep you warm, be lightweight and waterproof.
You can buy a tent with no chemical flame-retardants but they are difficult to find. You can also make your own tent from untreated fabric.
The rating is called the Hydrostatic Head (HH). Different hydrostatic head levels correspond to different waterproof levels. The minimum level of HH to be waterproof is 1000 which is only helpful for light showers. If the level is upped by 500 to 1500, it will also be good for light showers, and a little more, but it won’t be able to withstand heavy rainfall and leakage. Level 2000 is very common among 3 season tents as it can outlast heavy rain and winds. Lastly, level 3000 is the most resistant, it keeps you dry in all conditions, including extreme weather such as rainstorms, and hefty winds.
Finding a well-priced and good quality tent is the universal problem of camping enthusiasts all over.
A decent tent costs about $100. The prices of tents can range from just a few tens of dollars to a few hundred dollars. The pricing can also change with seasons, offers and clearance sales.
Before you jump the gun on buying a tent, it is important to know a few different factors that can affect the price.
- Seasonal tent: You can either go for a two-season tent (summer and spring), three season (summer, spring, fall) or a four-season (summer, spring, fall and winter) which is the most heavy-duty of the three.
- Car camping: If you are looking for a large family tent, it is likely that you want a spacious tent with no concerns of weight. These types of tents will cost more.
- Backpacking: Any backcountry enthusiast can tell you that your tent needs to durable, compactly designed and light. A professional tent with many features can crank up the cost.
This type is the universally known structure of a tent. Shocking this is one of the least popular types of tents. There can be problem with the head and shoulder room. However, this is a good family tent choice, coming in sizes for 2 to 4 people. It is practically indestructible, can be set up anywhere. It typically is priced from $100 to $200 but smaller sizes can be found for cheaper.
This is the ultimate type of tent for families. It is large and roomy and can be split into separate rooms. It can accommodate up to 12 people. It is essentially a collapsible house. Despite the heavier weight, this remains a popular recreational camper’s choice. Moreover, its nearly vertical walls allow it to be less susceptible to wind. The prices here can range from $200 to $700 depending on the accoutrements the tent has.
This is the most common type of tent bought. It can accommodate 1 to 3 people. Despite the less head room, it is popular choice with hikers due to it’s lightweight and compact design. It is also a good multi-season tent due to its waterproof qualities. These can cost from $70 to $400. The prices can increase or decrease depending on additional parts such as rain covers or mattresses.
These are the tanks of tents. Small, light and durable, geodesic tents can be pitched in harsh terrains like mountain tops. Their strategic structure, made of multiple criss-crossing poles, makes them the most stable tents on the market. They can withstand the toughest of storms and shrug off high winds, being a popular choice with adventurous hikers. If you are looking for find stable shelter that is easy to carry you should opt for this type of tent, ranging from $200 to $800.
This is one of the most spacious types of tents in the market with fantastic head room. It is a good option for families, group campers or individuals who will be camping a long time. Unlike the cabin tent, this can not be divided into private sections.
The size to weight ration of the tunnel tent is unbeatable. It is quick and easy to set up and can easily accommodate up to 8 people. It is also very stable and durable. The price on these changes also with the material of the frame. An aluminium frame is considerably cheaper than a steel frame. These can range anywhere from $400 to $600.
Maybe setting up a tent is not your forte. Then the instant tent would be the perfect fit for you. They come in a variety of sizes and style with fiberglass poles that instantly pop open. They may not be as roomy as similar sized dome tents however they have multiple windows and doors and heat-regulating mesh. These can range most commonly between $100 and $300 but the price may change drastically with size.
These are just a few common types of tents. Some honorable mentions are inflatable tents, bathroom tents, suspended tents, backpacking tents, rooftop tents, bell tents, pyramid tents and tepees.
A thing worth noting is that a lot of factors can affect the price of a tent such as the time when you buy your tent. It is recommended to do research before hand on both; the type of tent you want and sales or offers in your area. Keeping such things in mind can be a serious help to your wallet. Happy camping!
Here are some terms that you need to know:
- Fly: this is a waterproof cover that helps trap the heat inside the tent and even protects it from violent winds.
- Vestibule: this is the area between the tent’s “ceiling” and the fly that can be used for storage.
- Stakes: these support the tent by tightly pulling it to the ground. It keeps the fly and tent intact from winds.
- Guy-lines: these are bundles of ropes that are attached to the stakes and another intact object, such as a tree.
- Ground cloth: this is pretty much the material you put between the “floor” of the tent and the ground.
Hydrostatic head or the hh is the measure of the water which your tent can repel. In short, it is the meter that depicts how water resistant your tent material is. The hydrostatic head tells us how high a column of water a tent can hold before the water seeps through the tent.
2. Makes of tents
When choosing a tent, it is imperative that you know all options for choosing the most effective one for your purposes. Here are some types of tents:
- Single Layer tents are waterproof without the need for a fly and the walls are protected against rain and snow. However, the little mesh causes a lack of ventilation.
- Double Layer tents include a mesh with panels, along with a fly as it isn’t protected on its own.
- 3 Seasons tents are designed for spring, summer, and fall. Its weight is quite light, but the quality is less durable than the 4 seasons tent.
- 4 Seasons tents are designed for all seasons. It includes flies that go until the ground, solid poles, and extremely durable especially against strong winds and heavy snow. However, these tents are quite heavy to carry.
Pop up tents are good. They save you setup time, taking only a few minutes from start to finish.
3. Tent Features
Tents, these days, aren’t just a piece of cloth above your head anymore. They have got many features. Some could be crucial for you, and others could be of no use. Before buying a tent, you must know the features for your dream tent.
- Poles: everything has variety, even poles. The most common types of poles are fiberglass and aluminium. Fiberglass is known to be more fragile and likely to break, in contrast to the very sturdy aluminium ones. However, fiberglass is light and used more often for backpacking tents, unlike aluminium.
- Fly: Some flies only cover the top of the tent, but it is more advised to get a tent with a fly that covers the whole, so you are sure to be well protected during rainy and snowy weather. Also add privacy for on screen panels.
- Seams and Stitching: This is one of the most important features as it ensures no leakage. A tip for noobs: if the material can be pulled from both sides and you can see through stitches, it is going to leak.
- Tub Floor: This is a cloth that soaks all liquid on the floor and keeps the tent dry. It is very effective for cold rainy weather.
- AC Port: It is for an air conditioner, here are some examples.
- Proper guy-lines: Guy-lines are available in many sizes, so you need to be sure how long you want the rope to be. This usually depends on where you would settle, how far from any solid tree to hold you down.
- Stake loops: These are loops at every corner of the tent to hold down stakes. There are two varieties; plastic and metal. Metal is usually preferred as it is stronger, and plastic is lighter but is prone to breaking.
- Roof vent: If you are staying for long, it is recommended that you get a roof vent for better air circulation.
- Zippers: It’s good for frequent use, and safety is doubled with good zippers.
- Waterproof: To keep you dry.
Q: Are waterproof tents really waterproof? A: Well, they’re not like magical force fields against rain, but a good waterproof tent will keep you drier than a desert lizard’s belly.
Q: How do waterproof tents work? A: Waterproof tents are made from materials with a waterproof coating or laminated layers. It’s like wearing a raincoat for your shelter, minus the fashion statement.
Q: Can I use a waterproof tent in heavy rain? A: Absolutely! A waterproof tent is designed to withstand rainstorms that could make Noah consider building an ark. Just make sure you zip it up tight, unless you want a surprise indoor swimming pool.
Q: Are all tents waterproof? A: Not all tents are created equal. Some are as waterproof as a tissue in a downpour, while others could handle a monsoon without flinching. It’s all about choosing the right tent for your adventures.
Q: How can I make sure my tent stays waterproof? A: Treat your tent with care and love. Avoid dragging it on the ground, clean and dry it properly after use, and periodically reapply waterproof coatings. Give it the TLC it deserves, like a fancy spa treatment for your shelter.
Q: Can a waterproof tent protect me from thunder and lightning? A: Sorry, but no tent is going to transform into a lightning rod or protect you from Zeus’s wrath. When it comes to thunderstorms, it’s best to seek shelter indoors, preferably with a roof that’s not made of fabric.
Q: Can I swim inside a waterproof tent? A: While a waterproof tent can keep you dry in the rain, it’s not a submarine. Please, no synchronized swimming routines inside the tent. Leave that for the pool.
Q: Can I test the waterproofness of my tent at home? A: Sure, you can conduct a DIY test. Set up your tent in the backyard, grab a garden hose, and let the water flow. Just be careful not to flood your neighbor’s garden or create a slip ‘n slide for unsuspecting squirrels.
Q: Can I fix a leak in my waterproof tent? A: Absolutely! Small leaks can often be fixed with seam sealer or waterproof tape. It’s like performing a delicate surgery on your tent. Just be gentle and precise, like a surgeon with a roll of tape.
Q: Will a waterproof tent keep me dry in a hurricane? A: While a waterproof tent is impressive, it’s not a hurricane-proof fortress. In extreme weather conditions, it’s best to seek proper shelter and leave the tent for calmer camping adventures.
Q: Can I dance inside my waterproof tent during a rainstorm? A: Of course! Embrace your inner Gene Kelly and dance like nobody’s watching. Just be mindful of the limited space, so your dancing doesn’t turn into a comical tent-tumbling routine.
Q: Are there any downsides to waterproof tents? A: Well, they might not be as breathable as a hammock, and condensation can be a pesky visitor. It’s like having a sauna surprise party inside your tent. But hey, at least you’re dry!
Q: Can I use a waterproof tent in snowy conditions? A: Absolutely! Many waterproof tents are designed to handle snow as well. Just be sure to brush off the snow from the roof to prevent an unexpected tent cave-in. Snow inside the tent is not the best decoration.
Q: Can I use a waterproof tent for camping on a sunny day? A: Absolutely! A waterproof tent is versatile, ready to protect you from sudden downpours or to offer shade on scorching summer days. It’s like having a portable shade tree with walls.