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Best Tents

There are so many different types of tents available today, each catering to slightly different needs – whether it’s a huge canvas tent you need for a car camping trip or the lightest tent possible for your next backpacking adventure. And it’s tough to find the ones that are truly made in America. We did the research to break it all down for you and find the manufacturers that are making the best American-made tents. Check out our recommendations below, along with full details on each of our top picks, what we liked and didn’t like about each one, and all of the factors that went into our research.

Our Findings

On the whole, we found 5 great options for tents made in the USA. These tents ranged from common canopy tarps to heavy duty all-weather camping tents and everything in between. This is a tough category in particular to find products that are sourcing 100% of their materials in the USA (some nylon threads are particularly difficult to find American manufacturers for), but all of the companies below have 70% or more of their raw materials sourced here and we noted where some brands have a couple imported materials. Take a look at our top picks below!

Top Recommendations

Best Tent Best for:
Warmlite Climbers Three Person Tent Weather Resistant
Hummingbird Hammocks Hammock
Tarptent Scarp 1 You and Your Pet
Seek Outside Cimarron Pyramid Tent Teepee Tent
Bear Paw Wilderness Designs – Catenary Cut Ridgeline Tarps Canopy

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Take a deeper look at details for each of our recommendations, along with what we liked and didn’t like about each one.

Best Tent for Harsh Weather

Warmlite Climbers Three Person Tent


If you’re going to be doing some bad weather camping or climbing trips, the Warmlite Climbers tent will serve you well. We did really in-depth research and testing to see which tents would hold up against the harshest conditions, and this Warmlite tent shined above the competition. The shape of the tent is very aerodynamic, allowing it to hold up well against windy conditions. The tent material is made out of silicon-coated ripstop nylon, which we found held up well against rain, snow, and other weather. Its longevity and lifetime access to any needed repairs are two of the things that customers love most about their tents, says Kim Cunningham, an awesome manager at Warmlite. “We have customers who use our gear for 20 or 40 years and can come back decades later and have us repair gear. We believe in our product, our designs, and our customers. We want our customers to be happy with their gear, we want them to create amazing memories and experiences while on expeditions, and we want to do everything we can do get them there. Customers want their gear to work and to last and they know they can get that from us.”

This Warmlite tent is also really easy to set up, even in bad conditions. All you need is the two curved poles and three stakes, which are all provided with the tent and easily slip into where they need to go. The adjustable ventilation system is also nice – it really helps control the temperature of the tent, especially since it’s a bit warmer than most to begin with.

We also spoke with Kim on why they love manufacturing in the U.S.: “We believe in this country, we want to keep the entire company as domestic as possible. Even our materials, from the fabrics to the zippers, are manufactured in the US. We want to support American manufacturing, American jobs, American families and the American economy. We at Warmlite® feel that our nation is great and we want to help keep it that way.”

Keep up the great work, Warmlite!

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Things we like:

  • Aerodynamic design
  • Sturdy material
  • Easy to set up in harsh conditions
  • Temperature control

Things we don’t like:

  • Slightly expensive, but typically these types of tents are reserved for your serious alpine climbers.

 

Best Hammock

Hummingbird Hammocks


Hummingbird Hammocks were the best we saw on the market today, primarily because of it’s protection, breathability, strength, and ease of setup. It has a durable bottom layer and you can pair it with one of their bug nets that keeps you well protected and is great during the summer months. For colder conditions, you can pick up their Puffin Underquilt to provide additional protection and warmth. We found that Hummingbird Hammocks easily held up to rainy and snowy conditions. The interior of the hammock is roomy and felt really comfortable. The ropes used to tie up the hammock are water repellent and very sturdy (1,500 lb test). Overall, a great choice for hammock camping during any season.

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Things we like:

  • Strong materials
  • Protective against bad weather
  • Can be well insulated
  • Easy to set up and sturdy
  • Comfortable and roomy interior

Things we don’t like:

  • Have to purchase insulation and other add-ons separately

 

Best Tent for You and Your Pet

Tarptent Scarp 1


Sewn in Seattle, Washington, the Tarptent Scarp 1 is a great 1-2 person tent, and comes with a very wide interior that is also perfect for any dog you bring camping with you. We actually used to have their Stratospire tent in our top picks as well, but recently found out that they moved production for that model overseas. However, the Scarp 1 is still made in the USA. It only takes a few minutes to get the tent set up – even with the optional crossing pole that helps the tent stand up to harsher weather. It uses a dual trekking pole support that doesn’t interfere with a pretty spacious interior and the exterior holds up well to inclement weather. It is very easy to set up and the interior barely gets wet when setting it up or taking it down (if it’s raining). You and your companion should sleep very warm and dry in this tent. I personally have a Cloudburst 3 from Tarptent and love it if you want something for 2-3 people.

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Things we like:

  • Easy to put together
  • Interior stays dry
  • Roomy interior
  • Holds up well during bad weather

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Teepee Tent

Seek Outside Cimarron Pyramid Tent


Seek Outside is a great outdoor brand that is making some very cool teepee tents for camping. The Cimarron Pyramid Tent is my favorite because of its durability, easy setup, and size. This teepee tent can fit up to 4 people pretty comfortably and if you’re just camping for two people then you’ll have a lot of room for equipment. Seek Outside also has tent stoves (also made in the USA) that you can tote along with you for cooking a great meal. The complete weight of the entire tent comes in at 3 lb. 7 oz. which isn’t terrible for backpacking trips. The fabric is very durable as well, made from 30 Denier Cordura Nylon. If you like the teepee feel, definitely check out the Cimarron Pyramid Tent from Seek Outside and some of their other tents if you need something a bit bigger or smaller.

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Things we like:

  • Durable
  • Easy setup
  • Comes with sod skirt
  • Dual doors with rain flaps
  • Vent for stove

Things we don’t like:

  • Seam sealing is extra

 

Best Canopy Tarp

Bear Paw Wilderness Designs – Catenary Cut Ridgeline Tarps


Perfect for minimalist campers, canopy tarps are simple – keeps you dry from any potential rain or snow from above, and you’ll take care of the rest. The Catenary Cut Ridgeline tarps from Bear Paw Wilderness Designs are the best we’ve found and a great example of the versatility and strength that you need in a A-frame tarp setup for your camping trip. They can be used for a simple on-ground setup (like shown in our photo) or used above ground for some additional protection over your hammock. Overall, these are a really high quality line of tarps that shined for their material strength and ease of setup.

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Things we like:

  • Durable
  • Versatile, can easily configure for multiple setups
  • Quick to pitch
  • Lightweight

Things we don’t like:

  • None

Recap: Best Tents Made in the USA


YouTube Video: How to Find Tents Made in the USA


Factors We Considered

Strength

Material strength and durability was a big factor for us in our research. After all, this is camping we’re talking about – your tent needs to be able to weather the elements and a bit of rough treatment every once in a while. This comes down to not only what material is used, but how the tent is sewn as well.

Setup

We made sure to choose tents that are easy to set up, especially when weather conditions are not the best. You also need to be able to set it up by yourself if you’re in a pinch and don’t have anybody else to help out. With so many different types of tents out there, most come down to three different types of setups:

  • By tent pole
  • By trekking pole
  • By rope or strap (hammocks)

Weather Resistance

Your tent needs to be able to withstand the elements when you’re out camping. We looked at a few different factors in this category that help prevent bad experiences when you have rain, snow, wind, or other inclement weather. Here are some of them:

  • Design – an aerodynamic configuration helps minimize wind resistance
  • Base material – certain types of fabrics are more water resistant than others
  • Coating – a water tight coating on the exterior of the tent will help wick away water
  • Fly – the fly on the tent will help prevent water from coming in, regulate warmth, and also help provide some wind resistance
  • Bathtub floor – helps prevent water and debris from getting through the bottom of the tent

Size

Size is really important, not only for how many people sleeping in your tent, but also for gear, pets, and just general comfort. We really liked tents that had a roomy interior while minimizing weight. Remember, you should typically subtract one person from what the tent says it can actually hold. So, if it’s a two person tent, typically pretty comfortable for one person and their gear. We picked a wide variety of sizes to make sure you have some good options for your specific camping needs.

Weight

The weight of your tent can make or break how comfortable your gear is on your back. We looked for tents that use durable, lightweight materials that you can count on. Typically, a manufacturer is going to list three different weights for a single tent:

  • Fast pitch: the weight of your poles, footprint, and fly
  • Trail weight: this is all of the pieces of the tent minus items like stakes, stuff sacks, and other accessories
  • Packaged weight: this is what you should really look at – it’s the full weight of the tent and all accessories, and it’s the closest measurement to what you’ll experience on the trail

Ventilation

A tent with bad ventilation can be like sleeping in a plastic bag. The materials used to make them is so focused on strength and weather resistance, that tent manufacturers really pay close attention to the overall design and layout of the tent to help with ventilation. Here are some of the common tent features that help with air flow:

  • Mesh layers or windows
  • Fly cover
  • Vestibules
  • Chimney system

Value

Of course, we want to make sure you’re getting the best tent for your money. After all, we’re consumers too! We eliminated several tents where we felt like the quality of the product did not live up to its expensive price tag.

For more camping gear recommendations, check out our research on the best backpacks made in the USA and best sleeping bags made in the USA.

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