Best All-Weather Tents

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
453 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best all-weather tents

Last Updated December 2019

An all-weather tent, also known as a four-season tent, is a tent that provides comfort and protection from the weather regardless of what season it is. These kinds of tents are designed to protect you from rain, keeping out moisture during a downpour. They are strong enough to withstand the weight of wet snow during the winter months. All-weather tents are also designed to withstand fierce winds. Whereas a regular tent would blow over in an unexpected gust, an all-weather tent needs to stand as sturdy as a wood or brick house.

In other words, all-weather tents are portable cabins. If you’re going deer, elk, or moose hunting — or if you’ll be spending more than just a night or two out in the woods — you need a strong tent to protect you from unpredictable elements.

How do you find a tent that will adequately protect you from wind, rain, sleet, hail, and snow? Our guide to all-weather tents will answer this question and more. Read on to learn about these versatile tents and how to find one that’s perfect for your needs.

Hinged doors, built-in storage areas, ventilation flaps, zippered windows, and fiberglass poles are just some of the innovations that have improved tents in recent years.

Questions to ask before purchasing an all-weather tent

How much does the tent weigh?

Tent weight is a specification you should definitely take note of before you make a purchase. A heavy-duty eight-person tent made of canvas can weigh up to 85 pounds. A nylon tent for one person may barely tip the scale at three pounds. If you’re going backpacking, tent weight is particularly key. Most backpacking experts recommend carrying between 30 and 35 pounds. If you’re driving to your camping spot, however, the weight of your tent isn’t likely to be as big of a deal because you’ll be carrying it in your truck or car.

What is the interior height of the tent?

Do you want to have the ability to stand upright inside your tent? Having to stoop over when you’re inside can make you feel like a Neanderthal, whereas being able to stand up straight is a relief on your back and makes you feel like a civilized human being. To avoid an aching back, consider purchasing an all-weather tent with a comfortable standing height.

What is the square footage of the tent?

Closely related to interior height is the amount of square footage inside the tent. As a general rule, tents that are tall enough to allow you to stand upright have a large footprint, too. Most of these tents are rated to hold six or more people at once.

How much storage space do you require?

Many smaller tents don’t have built-in storage. You simply store your equipment in any part of the tent you’re not using. Larger, pricier tents may have overhead storage — a hammock or hanging pockets — where you can store small toiletry items, books, maps, and so on. The longer you intend to camp out, the more likely you are to appreciate a tent with built-in storage.

How easy (or hard) is tent setup?

Going camping doesn’t mean you want to spend all your time messing around with the tent. In fact, you likely want to spend your time on other things: hunting, fishing, relaxing by the fire, or just enjoying the great outdoors. If this sounds like you, find a tent that is quick and easy to set up.

Does the tent purchase include poles, ropes, or stakes?

Some manufacturers leave out the tent poles to save on weight, price, or both. That’s fine if you’re going camping in a wooded or forested area; you’ll be able to find plenty of sticks or branches to use as tent poles. If you’re hiking in the desert, however, you’re not going to find many trees. The same holds true if you’re going hiking in the mountains, above the timberline. Before you order an all-weather tent, make sure it will ship with the infrastructure you need.

Heavy-duty Canvas

This eight-person tent offers superior protection from weather extremes thanks to its 100% cotton duck canvas construction. It breathes to prevent condensation inside but is tightly woven and treated to make water bead up and roll off of it. It has plenty of headroom when you’re walking around inside it, plenty of storage pockets, lantern straps, and mesh windows front and back. It has both a floor and roof for the porch, making it a portable “cabin in the woods.”

Features

Hinged doors and windows

Unheard of only a few years ago, hinged doors and windows are becoming more popular on larger tents. These features gives the tent a true cabin-like feel. If you’d rather go in and out through a swinging door than ducking under a flap, consider an all-weather tent with hinged features.

Porch flaps

Many tents have a “porch” where you can take your shoes or boots off before entering the tent. This is often seen in the form of a ground cover beside the tent. Larger tents may have an overhead roof flap above the ground cover to protect you from the rain while you’re going in and out.

Be aware that some porch roof flaps are very small and don’t offer much protection. The photographs of a tent that you look at before ordering can help you decide if having a covered porch is important to you.

Lantern holders

This is a feature found almost exclusively in larger tents that hold six people or more. The top center portion of the tent will have a series of support straps you can use to hang a lantern or battery-powered lamp. Some campers really appreciate having the overhead light, especially in the dark of night.

Tent cover

A tent cover acts as an additional layer of protection from the sun. Tent covers are normally found on nylon tents, as nylon can get very hot when it’s in direct sunlight.

Color

Some manufacturers offer the same tent model in different colors, such as orange, brown, or green. Others make two-toned tents that are tan and white or tan and gray. Still others make light blue or bluish-gray tents. The color of your tent should make you happy. Some people prefer something brightly colored, so they can spot it from a distance. Others prefer earth tones.

DID YOU KNOW?

Nylon tents are lightweight, inexpensive, and generally easy to set up. They dry out quickly and have a high resistance to water.

DID YOU KNOW?

Canvas tents offer superior protection from temperature extremes, and they “breathe” to prevent condensation. What’s more, they don’t flap in the breeze.

All-weather tent prices

An all-weather tent for one or two people could cost as little as $50 or as much as $100. These basic tents have one entrance and no storage space (other than any unused space in the tent). They are usually made of nylon and intended only for sleeping.

An all-weather tent in the $100 to $200 price range will likely be for two to four occupants. These tents are usually made of nylon with a rainfly to protect against rain and sun. They might have hanging storage pockets and a porch roof flap. They are usually too short to allow you to stand up in them, but they have good ventilation.

Higher-end tents cost $200 or more. At about the $500 mark, you’ll begin to see all-weather tents that sleep eight or more people with six feet of internal clearance. These pricier tents may have hinged doors, extra storage space, built-in support for lanterns or LED lights, and porches. Some are made from canvas, which offers great protection against weather extremes.

Lightweight backpacking tent

This two-person nylon tent is perfect for backpacking because of its ultra-low weight (under three pounds). This is a classic pup-tent style that has survived the test of time. Setup requires tree branches you find along the way (this saves on weight), though you can also get a model that has poles. If you forego the poles, the whole tent folds up into a little square about the size of a football. There’s plenty of storage space inside if you use it as a one-man tent along with good ventilation front and back. A backpacker’s dream!

Tips

  • Canvas tents need to be “seasoned” before using them for the first time. The process involves applying water to the canvas so any remaining holes in the fabric swell and seal. This helps ensure that the tent is waterproof.

  • If you put a ground tarp under your tent, make sure it is a few inches smaller than the tent itself to avoid trapping water in it around the tent.

  • Never put your tent under a large tree. Heavy wind could knock branches down on top of the tent, crushing it and you.

  • Get a tent that is rated for one or two more people than you intend to put in it. This will avoid making you feel cramped and will allow plenty of extra room to move around and store your gear.

  • LED lanterns are the preferred way to light tents. Fuel-burning lanterns (white-gas, propane, butane) create vapors that must be properly ventilated to avoid asphyxiation.

  • Put your tent on the most level piece of ground you can find. If you camp on a slope, you may find yourself sleeping on top of your tent-mates by the end of the night.

  • Dig a shallow rain trench all the way around the tent, with a long straight trench to drain water away from it. This keeps water from pooling under the tent or seeping into it along the bottom seams.

Other products we considered

There are other tents available that didn’t quite make our list. One of them is the Tenaya Lake Lighted Fast Pitch Cabin Tent, an eight-person tent that includes a built-in closet and an overhead LED light The closet has shelves and a bar for hanging your clothes. It comes with a rainfly to keep rain and sun off the tent. There is also a hinged door for easy access in and out.

Another tent we really like is the NTK Laredo GT 8-Person Tent. This spacious tent is made from waterproof polyester that has been laminated with polyurethane. It has hanging storage pockets and an O-ring for hanging a lantern. A rainfly to protect against sun and rain also provides some protection over the door.

During the summer, ventilation flaps and screened windows are an absolute must if you don’t want to broil inside your tent. Even in winter, your tent needs some ventilation to let out the humidity and moisture from your breath.

FAQ

Q. What is “seasoning” a canvas tent?

A. Canvas tents are tightly woven and treated to make them waterproof, but you have to take an additional step, called seasoning. To season a canvas tent, set it up and soak it until it is dripping wet. This causes the fibers to swell with water. Let the tent dry completely; the fibers will become interlocked to the point of preventing any water movement in or out of the tent.

Q. Why are nylon tents so hot?

A. Nylon and other manmade materials are naturally airtight. They don’t breathe at all. When hot air gets inside, it has no way out; it’s trapped, making the tent feel much like your car when it has been parked in the sun all day. That’s why tent ventilation is so important.

Q. What can I do to enhance my tent’s ventilation?

A. Before you set up your tent, toss some grass or leaves into the air, and watch which way the wind takes them. Do this several times to establish the direction of the prevailing winds. Then, set your tent up so the ventilation flaps and windows are aligned with the direction of the wind. When it blows, it will blow through your tent and cool it off.

The team that worked on this review
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    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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