Buying a tent is like buying a home, in miniature. A great one will have amenities that complement your outdoor ambitions, plus enough real estate to be comfortable. The best tent for you will balance weight, space and features appropriate for the adventures ahead.

Choose an ultralight tent for backpacking and a compact one that’s easy to attach to your rig for bikepacking. If you venture out in rainy climes, a gear vestibule or two can mean the difference between a soggy pack and a dry one.

Good ventilation is key to sound sleep for most people. Your tent should be able to withstand the weather where you’re using it. That’s not just rain and wind, but also heat.

With those simple guidelines in mind, here are some of our favorites.

Best Overall Tent

Backcountry Gear
Big Agnes Tigerwall UL 3 Solution Dyed Tent
$519.95

This super-light three-season backpacking tent sets up with a single pole, but it still has room to sleep three. Dual doors each have gear-storing vestibules, and internal space is enhanced with structured foot-end corners for more usable space between your feet and the tent wall. Media pockets hold phones and other devices, while oversized additional ones hold everything else. The planet-friendly, solution-dyed fabric is UV fade-resistant, and all seam taping is waterproof and solvent-free.

Trail weight: 2.75 pounds
Pack size: 6" x 19"
Floor area: 38 square feet
Sleeps:
3

Best Upgrade Tent

Tentsile
Tentsile Connect 2-Person Tree Tent (3.0)
tentsile.com
$549.00

A double-bay platform sleeping area that hangs from the trees, Tensile’s Connect is a tent, a hammock and a tarp in one. Its bug mesh dome can be fully unzipped, though it also comes with a rainfly to keep out the weather. Numerous internal and under-tent pockets organize gear, while three attachment points ensure doesn’t sag. The full mesh is cool while the full tarp is protective, and the hanging nature makes for great views. Caveat emptor: appropriately spaced trees not included.

Trail weight: 20.8 pounds
Pack size: 22" x 13" x 9.85"
Floor area: 52 square feet
Sleeps:
2

Best Budget Tent

Coleman
Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent
Coleman amazon.com
$59.51

You can’t beat the price of the made-for-summer Sundome. Oversized windows and a ground vent keep fresh air circulating. When you’re hiding from a squall, the rainfly, welded corners and inverted seams will keep the water out. The two-person version shown here fits a queen-sized air bed. There's no vestibule, but there are also 3-, 4- and 6-person options for stashing extra gear or accommodating larger groups, with the biggest one as cheap as $99 if you aren't picky about color.

Trail weight: 6.38 pounds
Pack size: N/A
Floor area: 35 square feet
Sleeps:
2

Best Solo Backpacking Tent

MSR
MSR Hubba NX Solo
$379.95

This ultralight freestanding tent squeezes in some elbow room and headroom, with a big side-entry vestibule for gear storage. Its super-strong composite poles are integrated into a unified hub and pole system for a lightning-fast setup. Superb cross-ventilation creates best-in-class airflow even with the rainfly battened down against a summer squall.

Trail weight: 2.5 pounds
Pack size: 18" x 6"
Floor area: 18 square feet
Sleeps:
1

Best for Bikepacking

Nemo
Nemo Dragonfly Bikepack Tent
amazon.com
$389.95

Made from light, tough materials with a weight-saving tapered floor and a tub-style vestibule that keeps gear out of the mud, the DragonFly packs into a rolltop stuff sack you can attach to handlebars, under the seat, on the top tube or any rack. Poles are cut short to fit between brake hoods, while the webbing daisy chain makes a nice clothesline.

Trail weight: 2.25 pounds
Pack size: 14.5" x 6"
Floor area: 20.3 square feet
Sleeps:
1

Best for a Big Crew

Eureka!
Eureka! Kohana 6 Person Tent
New johnsonoutdoors.com
$349.95

With enough space to pack in a pile of friends or an extended family, the six-person Kohana keeps you shielded from the weather (thanks to an included full rainfly) and from bugs, and it keeps you organized. Two oversized vestibules and six internal pockets store gear. The tent’s easy-to-assemble aluminum-pole dome frame is durable though heavy, so this tent is best for car camping and base camping.

Trail weight: 13 pounds
Pac size: 9" x 27"
Floor area: 83.3 square feet
Sleeps:
6

Best Rooftop Tent

REI
Thule Tepui Foothill Tent
rei.com
$1,799.95

The two-person Foothill is easy to set up, with telescoping internal poles, and it deploys compactly so there’s space on your roof rack for bikes, kayaks and cargo. At half the width of other rooftop tents, this streamlined approach has a soft cover and a weight-saving base strong and stable. A wide door paired with a broad rear window and dual skylights enhance airflow and stargazing.

Trail weight: 108 pounds
Pack size: 83" x 24" x 9.5"
Floor area: 27.4 square feet
Sleeps:
2

Best Tent for Social Hangs

Moosejaw
Kelty Rumpus 4 Person Tent
moosejaw.com
$199.95

Kelty redefines the tent vestibule with the massive porch offered by the Rumpus. It’s big, tall, and ready for happy hour, or to store mountain bikes, a cooler and other gear. This tent is not exactly loaded with features, but the porch complements spacious sleeping quarters, and a color-coded fly matches the tent body so you don’t try to set it up sideways.

Trail weight: 12 pounds
Pack size: N/A
Floor area: 60.25 square inches
Sleeps:
4

Quickest Pitch

Quechua
Quechua 2 Second Tent
Quechua amazon.com
$152.89

Pull this tent out of its storage sack, tug pull-cords on each end, and in seconds, it's all set up. With an integrated rainfly, this tent is heavy enough that you wouldn't take it backpacking, but it's a fast and fun car camping option, even if it takes another two minutes to pound in the stakes. The durable, waterproof base doesn’t need an additional footprint.

Trail weight: 6.83 pounds
Pack size: 23.2" x 7.9" x 7.9"
Area: 32 square feet
Sleeps:
2

Best Tarp Tent

Backcountry
Marmot Agate 2-Person Tent
avantlink.com
$213.95

With more features than a tarp but less weight than a tent, Marmot’s no-frills shelter can be stripped down to less than a pound. It sets up with trekking poles or a tent pole to shelter you while you sleep. The lean-to-shaped structure has an eve at the front to deflect water if it rains, but no bug netting.

Trail weight: 13.5 ounces
Pack size: 20" x 4"
Floor area: 34.5 square feet
Sleeps:
2