Whether you're planning a backpacking expedition into wilderness or just a casual car camping jaunt, the first thing on your checklist remains the same—your tent. And because weekends are invaluable and your time's better spent outside, we've put together a list of the best ones out there, broken down into categories that'll actually be useful for what you're trying to do. Check it out and find your next home in the great outdoors.
The only tent under $100 on the list, this little number from Eureka! is a compact wonder for those who only need the space to lay down. Perfect for the solitary backpacker on a budget, it also has an open mesh top for some solo stargazing while you're out on the trail.
Easton Mountain Products Rimrock 1
The Rimrock 1's main draw is its size. It's a bit larger than the Solitaire and eight inches taller. Additionally, it has a special mesh with superb ventilation but can still keep prying eyes out.
Sierra Designs Flashlight 2
The Flashlight 2 manages to fit enough room for two doors and two gear compartments into a package that weighs only 3 pounds 6 ounces. Plus, the setup is trekking pole compatible, meaning you can ditch a couple tent poles and use your trekking poles to hold it up for the night (for those looking to shed 6 ounces off their pack).
Hilleberg Anjan 2
Made by the Swedish tent masters at Hilleberg, the Anjan 2 is an award-winning masterpiece with room for two that weighs in at just 3 pounds 8 ounces. Don't think its ultralight weight means it's weak, though—its development team pitched it in a wind machine, set it to full blast for eight hours, and came back to a tent that hadn't moved an inch.
Black Diamond Mesa Tent 2
The Mesa Tent 2 is meant for three-season use and comes equipped with a double-wall design for braving whatever elements you encounter. And when the storm passes? Its mesh top will open up to give you a 360-degree view of the heavens.
Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2
This three-season staple from Big Agnes is built to withstand spring, summer, and fall storms, with waterproofed seams, fly, and floor. And just because you're out roughing it doesn't mean they forgot about your need to have some kind of electronics close to you at all times—there are dedicated media pockets above the sleeping area to stow all your stuff and "enable clean ear bud cord routing from phones or other devices."
The TN2 may be a backpacking tent at heart, but its easy setup and award-winning design make it a perfect choice for less involved car campers. With super compact packaging, it won't take up much room in your ride and'll free up even more space to bring that portable hot tub everyone said you couldn't fit.
TICLA TeaHouse 2
The TeaHouse 2 is definitely a warm weather tent—which is perfect, because who goes car camping in the cold? It's optimized for "the camper who likes views and ventilation" with see-through mesh housing (even with the rain flap on), and features the TICLA G.O.O.D. easy breakdown and packaging system for quick setup and storage.
Coleman WeatherMaster Screened 6
A family camping staple, Coleman's massive option gives you a spacious tent with room for everyone, and patented weather protection for when the rains come. A separate porch area and windows give the rig some variety and separation, which you'll be thankful for when you're sleeping out in the middle of the woods with five other people.
REI Kingdom 6
Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without a selection from the king of all outdoor stores, REI. The Kingdom 6 has a center divider that creates two huge rooms within the tent, so you can find a little privacy or sequester your dirty gear.
Mountain Hardware Trango 2
When you need a truly all-weather tent, you're probably going to be pitching it in the mountains somewhere. Therefore, it's probably good to go with one from a company with "mountain" right in the name. With doors that tuck away and a bathtub-style floor for better weather protection, you're ready for the snow.
Exped Venus III
The Venus III is all about having a refuge from the elements once they turn harsh. Two separate vestibules for gear and double doors makes it easier to spread out when you're stuck inside.
Heimplanet The Cave
The Cave is hands down the coolest looking tent on this list and definitely the only one that we think could be staked on the moon. Its distinct look comes from its design: rather than using typical metal poles and multiple separate pieces, it's just one piece of inflatable lunar looking tent tech that goes up in minutes.
The North Face Bastion 4
As is fitting for an iconic outdoor brand, the Bastion 4 from The North Face is a no frills summit basecamp tent. Made from sturdy materials—like Kevlar—it comes with specialized fabric snow stakes for when you make it all the way to the top.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor. Let's all get our camping plans together and get out there, k?
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