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, there are a lot of great companies making high quality tents right here in the USA. These tents ranged from common canopy tarps to heavy duty all-weather camping tents and everything in between. We researched each one and found the 7 companies that are producing the best tents out there. Take a look at our top picks below!

Top Recommendations

Best Tent Best for:
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Ultralight Shelter All-Purpose Camping
Springbar Highline 6 Person Canvas Tent 10′ x 10′ Families
Clark NX-270 Four-Season Camping Hammock Hammock
Warmlite Climbers Three Person Tent Weather Resistant
Tarptent StratoSpire 1 and SideCar You and Your Pet
Yama Mountain Gear Silpoly Net-Tent Bug Shelter
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 All-Purpose Camping Tent

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Ultralight Shelter


Protective and light, the Echo II tent from Hyperlite Mountain Gear is a great one-person option for your next camping trip, and many others after that. It comes with the protective tarp, detachable mesh insert to keep out bugs, and a “bathtub” floor to keep out water and insects. They use Dyneema composite fabrics to build the tarp, which is not as durable (in the long term) as some other materials, but is very protective against harsh weather and very lightweight. Weighing in at about 1.8 lbs, you’ll barely even notice it’s there when you throw this tent in your pack. We found the bug shelter insert that goes inside the tarp to be especially easy to set up and it also does a good job of concealing the bugs when they land on it – you can barely see them. Overall, great lightweight tent option for anyone.

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Things we like:

  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Protective against light/medium rain and wind
  • Keeps bugs out

Things we don’t like:

  • Slightly susceptible to tearing if you don’t treat it properly

 

Best Tent for Families

Springbar Highline 6 Person Canvas Tent 10′ x 10′


The Springbar Highline 6 Tent is the ultimate family car camping tent for pretty much any season. This thing is huge – at 100 square feet, it can sleep 6 people comfortably and has a standing height of over 6 feet, so you can easily move around while you’re in it. The tent is also incredibly easy to pitch – you can do it with one person, but we found that it’s a little less hassle if you have a couple of extra hands. The Highline is made from a Hardyduck canvas material, which is super strong, water resistant, and also helps prevent mold and mildew. Bottom line, you won’t need to purchase another tent for a very long time. The windows that you see on the front are great for ventilation, and they also have a mesh cover so you don’t let any bugs in. The tent comes with a shade awning, stakes, storage bag, and ropes to tie everything down with. Remember, this is a car camping tent – it’s too large and weighs way too much to try and fit in a backpack.

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Things we like:

  • Size
  • Ease of setup
  • Durability
  • Awning

Things we don’t like:

  • Only a limited lifetime warranty – will offer repair options and replacement parts, but full replacements are tough to come by if you have any issues (we don’t think you will though).

 

Best Hammock

Clark NX-270 Four-Season Camping Hammock


The Clark NX-270 hammock was the best we saw on the market today, primarily because of it’s protection, breathability, strength, and ease of setup. It has a couple of layers of protection on the top of the hammock, starting with a No-See-Um mosquito netting that keeps you well protected and is great during the summer months. For colder conditions, you can easily zip the WeatherShield layer on top of your netting to provide additional protection and warmth. We found that is easily held up to rainy and snowy conditions. The interior of the hammock is roomy and lined with 6 pockets where you can store gear and also double as insulators when it’s chilly outside. The ropes used to tie up the hammock are water repellent and very sturdy (1,700 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
  • Well insulated
  • Easy to set up and sturdy
  • Comfortable and roomy interior

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

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 Tent for You and Your Pet

Tarptent StratoSpire 1 and SideCar


Sewn in Seattle, Washington, the Tarptent StratoSpire 1 is a great 1-2 person tent, and comes with an attachable “side car” that is still underneath the tent’s protection and perfect for any dog you bring camping with you. It took us just over 2 minutes to get it set up and attached to the larger tent – it can fit in either vestibule (opening) on each side of the tent. We also really liked the StratoSpire shelter itself – 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).

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Things we like:

  • SideCar easy to put together
  • Stays protected underneath main tent structure
  • Roomy interior
  • Holds up well during bad weather

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Bug Shelter

Yama Mountain Gear Silpoly Net-Tent


The Silpoly Net Tent from Yama Mountain Gear is great for anyone needing a bug shelter on a camping trip where you know you’ll have some nice weather. The No-See-Um netting keeps the insects out and the tent comes with a nice (thicker) flooring that keeps moisture out from the ground below. The netting is very breathable and easy to get in and out of. Setup is also simple – all it requires is a trekking pole, or the optional tent poles if you don’t have one. If you’re looking for more of a full shelter system, you can also get the 1P or 1P+ Cirriform from Yama Mountain Gear, which pairs well with the Silpoly Net Tent so you can have some options for different seasons of the year.

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Things we like:

  • Breathable
  • Effective at keeping bugs and moisture out
  • Easy setup
  • Interior pockets in case you need them
  • Can transform into full shelter with some other Yama gear

Things we don’t like:

  • Requires stakes which aren’t included

 

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


Related articles: Best backpacks 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.

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.