Camping & Hiking Tents

The Best Expedition Tents

A tent is quite possibly the most critical piece of gear for travelers who are on expeditions like motorcycle touring, canoe camping, kayak camping, bicycle touring, winter camping, overland off-roading, or even stealth camping. When looking for the best expedition tents, we recommend focusing on safety and comfort and think they should be top considerations along with weight. It is also important to understand that there are no industry standards for tent sizes. Yes, technically a one person tent fits 1 person and gear, but that can be a little tight. Be sure to consider how much space makes you comfortable. If you want the extra space, choose a tent with an extra 1 person capacity. We have researched all the options for expedition tents, with weight, comfort and safety as the highest priorities, and below recommend a selection of tents that fit your touring activity.

The Best Expedition Tents


The Best Motorcycle Tent for Camping

Mountainsmith Tents

Mountainsmith Backpacking TentTrail Weight: 4 lbs. 11 oz. – 6 lbs. 9 oz.
Packed Weight:
5 lbs. – 6 lbs. 14.5 oz.
Floor Area:
35 sq. ft. – 56 sq. ft.
Tent Sizes:
2 Person / 3 Person / 4 Person

The Mountainsmith Line of Tents are a great valued tent. Many people who are looking for a motorcycle tent are looking for a great tent that fits their budget. Their are expensive motorcycle tents that provide sleeping quarters and a huge vestibule to park your motorcycle, but these tents often run in the $600 – $1,000 range. Others provide just enough space to get a motorcycle in but it can be a struggle to fit a motorcycle in the space. We recommend the Morrison Tents because they are budget friendly, durable, free-standing, and easy to setup and breakdown. 

The Mountainsmith Tents are three season, freestanding tents that includes 7000 series aluminum alloy poles, side entry doors with decent sized vestibules for gear storage, and multiple interior pockets for storage including a gear loft. With the largest floor areas of any of the tents we reviewed here, the Mountainsmith Tents are very spacious tents for the weight. A freestanding tent can be pitched in most locations even on concrete without having to worry about staking points. You can use rocks or anything heavy to hold down the guy lines if you need to add the fly. When you are motorcycle camping, you are constantly on the move. Having a nice, lightweight tent that can be setup and taken down in minutes is a must.

The manufacturer description for these products state the tents “performs way beyond it’s price tag.” We feel that is a very accurate statement. The tents hold up to intense weather including hard rain and winds but make sure to follow the instructions printed on the stuff sack with particular attention to the rain fly. No-See-Um Mesh wall panels don’t seem to restrict airflow, reduces condensation and the tents handle hot weather well with great ventilation.
Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Tent for Canoe Camping or Kayak Camping

Big Agnes Blacktail Tent Packages

Blacktail Canoe and Kayak TentTrail Weight: 4lbs. 8oz. – 8 lbs. 4 oz. (Depending on Tent Size)
Packed Weight: 5 lbs. – 8 lbs. 15 oz. (Depending on Tent Size)
Floor Area: 29 sq. ft. – 66 sq. ft. (Depending on Tent Size)
Tent Sizes: 2 Person / 3 Person / 4 Person

The Big Agnes Blacktail Tent Package Tent is the best tent for canoe camping or kayak camping. A canoe or kayak tents needs to be lightweight, easy to portage, durable, pack down small, setup easily, and protect from all kinds of weather and bugs. The Blacktail Tent does all of the above! What we especially like is the value this tent brings with the included footprint. When canoe camping or kayak camping, you are usually camping on rocky, pebbly, or sandy shorelines. Having a footprint protects the bottom of the tent from tears. This tent also comes with a bathtub floor which extends the waterproof tent bottom and raises the seams a few inches above ground, keeping the inside tent floor dry.

The Blacktail is part of Big Agnes’ Backpacking tent lineup which is a selection of tents that are not only lightweight but also durable. The free standing tent is easy to pitch and does include a few stake points for the rain fly and vestibules. When you are canoe or kayak camping, you are constantly on the move. Having a nice, lightweight tent that can be setup and taken down in minutes is a must. The tent also includes superlight poles and stakes, two side door entries with decent sized vestibules for gear storage, and good floor area for extra space.

The Blacktail tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using waterproof seam-sealing, good design, a tight pitch and waterproof fabrics in the rain fly and floor. The tent body is breathable nylon, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with great ventilation. To keep weight down, the tent material is a very good balance between weight and durability. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Runner Up: Best Canoe Tent or Kayak Tent

ENO JungleLink Hammock Shelter System

ENO JungleLink Backpacking Hammock TentWeight: 3 lbs. 12 oz.
Height Limit: 6 ft.
Capacity: 400 lbs.

The ENO JungleLink Hammock Shelter System is not only a great value for camping hammock tents, it should seriously be considered if you are looking for a canoe tent or a kayak tent. Hammock tents can be setup anywhere there are trees. When you are canoe camping or kayak camping, the perfect camping spot can be hard to find. The ground near shorelines are often rocky, steep, or uneven so pitching a traditional ground tent can be difficult. If you canoe or kayak camp often, you really should at least try a hammock tent on one of your trips. They’re very well priced and you might find you like them more than a standard tent.

The JungleLink Shelter System includes the 29 oz. JungleNest hammock with a zippered, integrated bug net. Besides the convenience, the integrated bug net saves on weight when compared to pairing hammocks with a heavier separate net. The hammock is made from one panel of lightweight 210D Nylon Taffeta Ripstop fabric, creating a seamless, comfortable night’s sleep.

Also included is a Pro Fly tarp for weather protection, upgraded, lightweight polyester Atlas Straps, ENO stakes, and a lightweight stuff sack. These additions make this whole setup a very versatile hammock tent built for camping. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Bicycle Touring Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent

Big AGnes Copper Spur HV UL TentTrail Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz. – 5 lbs. 3 oz. (Depending on Tent Size)
Packed Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz. – 5 lbs. 10 oz. (Depending on Tent Size)
Floor Area: 20 sq. ft. – 57 sq. ft. (Depending on Tent Size)
Tent Sizes: 1 Person / 2 Person / 3 Person / 4 Person

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent is not only the best backpacking tent for sale, we think it should be your top pick if you’re looking for the best bicycle touring tent. It offers a great combination of comfort and durability while remaining lightweight. The tent was designed to provide maximum comfort while being as lightweight as possible.  Their are expensive motorcycle tents that provide sleeping quarters and a huge vestibule to park your bicycle, but these tents often run in the $600 – $1,000 range. Others provide just enough space to get a bike in but it can be a struggle to fit a bicycle in the space. We recommend the Copper Spur because they are budget friendly, durable, free-standing, and easy to setup and breakdown. 

The Copper Spur is part of Big Agnes’ Ultralight tent lineup. The free standing tent is easy to pitch and does include a few stake points for the rain fly and vestibules. A freestanding tent can be pitched in most locations even on concrete without having to worry about staking points. You can use rocks or anything heavy to hold down the guy lines if you need to add the fly. When you are bicycle camping, you are constantly on the move. Having a nice, lightweight tent that can be setup and taken down in minutes is a must. The tent also includes superlight poles and stakes, side door entries with decent sized vestibules for gear storage, and near-vertical sidewalls for extra space.

The Copper Spur tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using waterproof seam-sealing, good design, a tight pitch and waterproof fabrics in the rain fly and floor. The tent body is breathable nylon, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with great ventilation. To keep weight down, the tent uses 20D rip stop nylon which isn’t an ultralight material but it is a very good balance between weight and durability.

Upgrades: The Copper Spur HV UL with mtnGLO® tent light technology includes an ambient LED lighting system that is not just a gimmick. It provides a real convenience for everything from reading before sleep to being able to easily finding your tent after leaving for a bathroom break. The lights have a dim setting which doesn’t disturb other campers in your area.

Buy the Copper Spur HV UL Footprint to help protect the tent floor and increase durability.

Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Winter Tent for Backpacking or Expeditions

Hilleberg Nallo GT Tents

Hilleberg Nallo TentTrail Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz. – 7 lbs. 1 oz.
Packed Weight:
6 lbs. 6 oz. – 7 lbs. 15 oz.
Tent Sizes:
2 Person / 3 Person / 4 Person

Few, if any, backpacking tents can match the versatility of the Hilleberg Nallo GT. At a respectable weight for this size backpacking tent, it’s considered “bombproof” which is not a term loosely thrown around by backpackers, and other sportsmen in need of a tent that can handle any weather condition.

Hilleberg describes the tent on their website: “this tent is an ideal choice for those needing the roomiest, lightest tent that still offers all-season, all weather functionality. This includes wilderness photographers, professional climbers, hunters, and other adventurers who have to carry large amounts of gear, as well as long distance hikers, who want to get more out of carrying less. Given its remarkably low weight, even solo hikers who want truly palatial quarters can justify taking the Nallo GT. Those who hike with their dogs also love the extra space – the Nallo GT has to offer.”

Clearly the Hilleberg Nallo GT was designed to hold up to intense weather including hard rain, high winds, sleet, hail, and even snow. The tent’s tunnel shape provides not only stability in extreme weather, but also an easy pitch and nice space inside. It’s the only tent to make our list that is a true year round, all season tent. The balance of weight with durability and performance make it ideal for backpackers looking for one truly versatile tent.

Upgrade: Buy the Nallo GT Footprint to help protect the tent floor and increase durability.

Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

The Best Winter Tent for Camping

Big Agnes Flying Diamond Tents

Big Agnes Flying Diamond TentsFew, if any, camping tents can match the versatility of the Big Agnes Flying Diamond. This is not your standard camping tent. Big Agnes lists this tent as a 3+ Season, Free Standing, Deluxe Car Camping/Base Camp Tent. If you’re not backpacking during the winter, this is a better option than our top pick above, the Hilleberg Nallo.

If you need a family tent for more of an adventure type of camping, this is the best option for you and your family. With a 2 room design, the smaller back room is perfect for camping with kids or to use as a mud room for gear. This tent was designed to stand up to inclement weather, including rain storms, wind, and even snow.

We feel this tent has a very specific use for adventure families. Adventure families camp when and where they want and spend most of the day exploring and hiking the area around their base camp. They spend time only in their tent to sleep or ride out storms. It is a great sleeping tent for families and the weather resistance stands out for riding out bad weather. So if you need a tent for camping in the outdoors, but just use your tent for sleeping, then this is the tent for you and your family. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Overland Tent for Camping

Tepui Explorer Series Kukenam 3

Tepui Explorer Series Kukenam 3 Roof Top TentOpen Tent Size: 96″W X 56″ L X 52″ H
Sleeps:
2-3
Weight: 
130 lbs.
Mattress: 2.5″ high density foam mattress with cotton cover
Ladder: 8ft-6in Telescoping Aluminum Ladder

The Tepui brand is synonymous with Overland and Off-Roading camping. They are a pioneer in the roof top tent industry. 

The Tepui roof-top tents are the best option for overlanders who camp year-round.  The Explorer Series Kukenam 3 comes with quick release clips on the rain fly and 2 operational SKY panels in the roof.  Both panels are made from 260g ventilate coated canvas, including no-see-um mosquito netting and water resistant YKK zippers in case you need to close the hatch for an unexpected rain storm.

Tepui makes a solid roof top tent, which always puts the brand in the lead with the top selling roof top tents, especially for off-roaders and overlanders. We feel the tent is a better fit for larger SUVs, pickup trucks, or Jeeps with big rack systems. If you own a car and are looking for a roof top tent, there are others we recommend on our list of roof top tents. We make it our top pick specifically for overland camping. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Stealth Camping Tent

Marmot Tungsten Tents

Marmot Tungsten TentTrail Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz. – 5 lbs. 13.5 oz.
Packed Weight:
3 lbs. 12 oz. – 6 lbs. 4.5 oz.
Tent Sizes:
1 Person / 2 Person / 3 Person

The Marmot Tungsten Tent is the best stealth camping tent. A stealth tents needs to be lightweight, easy to carry, durable, pack down small, setup easily, and protect from all kinds of weather and bugs. In addition, it needs to come in a color that is muted like a dark green or gray.  Many contemporary tents are using light and brigh colors, but the Marmot Tent is a nice dark green color that is perfect for a stealth camping tent. In addition to the color, it meets all the other needs for a stealth camping tent.

The free standing tent is easy to pitch and does include a few stake points for the rain fly and vestibules. When stealth camping, you are constantly on the move. Having a nice, lightweight tent that can be setup and taken down in minutes is a must. The tent also uses a Zone Pre-Bend construction that creates vertical walls, and a more roomy sleeping area and greater head room.

The Tungsten tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using waterproof seam-sealing, good design, a tight pitch and waterproof fabrics in the rain fly and floor. The tent body is breathable, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with great ventilation. To keep weight down, the tent material is a very good balance between weight and durability. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon