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Best Camping Shelters 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated December 1, 2018
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Billy JacobsHi there, I’m Billy Jacobs. One of the most important sections in the article – the comparison charts for best camping shelters in 2018!

Just read here for my top 3 recommendations. Why are these 3 camping shelters on top of my list? Well read on… You see I’m an average member of the public just like you and the main reason I decided to publish a review website on camping shelters is because I was looking for one not so long ago.

Best Camping Shelters of 2018

I review the three best camping shelters on the market at the moment. I am going to specify each good-to-buy feature as much as possible for your references.

I must say I am quite a fan of camping shelters, so when the question “What are the best camping shelters available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable camping shelters. The best camping shelters will make your fairytale dreams come true!

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
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Awards 1
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№1 – Rain Fly Tarp The WiseFly by Wise Owl Outfitters

Rain Fly Tarp  The WiseFly by Wise Owl Outfitters

BETTER THAN ALL other rain tarps – Guaranteed!
SUPREME STRONG QUALITY RIPSTOP NYLON rainfly will keep you dryer, longer with unparalleled weather protection and water shedding ability. NOT cheap and unreliable polyester.
NEVER GET WET! The heavy duty ultimate Wise Owl WIseFly rain tarp is bigger than the ENO ProFly tarp so you will stay dry. It’s 11 ft long by 9 ft wide but packs down to just 5” x 9”, making it extremely easy to take with you. Will easily cover a Singlenest, Doublenest, SinlgleOwl, DoubleOwl & any other brand on the market. It’s a survival essential.
Everything is OK.

Why did this camping shelters win the first place?

I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse.












№2 – [#1 Hammock and Tent Tarp] Ultralight Hammock Rain Fly and Shelter perfect for waterproof camping

[#1 Hammock and Tent Tarp] Ultralight Hammock Rain Fly and Shelter perfect for waterproof camping

✅ 30 DAY TRIAL OFFER – If you don’t love our gear, get a FULL refund. We’ll even cover shipping!
100% Waterproof ripstop nylon, not like other cheap & flimsy polyester tarps!
Weatherproof & Durable. Stay dry and camp on even in the biggest storms. The waterproof nylon keeps the rain and snow off your head. Perfect for completing a hammock shelter, or used as a standalone ultralight camping shelter.
Design is a turn off for some users.
A bit bulky.

Why did this camping shelters come in second place?

This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price.












№3 – Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter Waterproof lightweight Hammock Camping and Survival Tarp Shelter

Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter Waterproof lightweight Hammock Camping and Survival Tarp Shelter

ROLLING THUNDER. When the sky turns dark and the thunder rolls in, you’ll rest easy knowing that you have a survival tarp stored away in your backpack, no matter where you’re at. Sure, the rain may put out your fire, but it won’t dampen your mood.
ULTRALIGHT & COMPACT. Made of quality polyester with a PV waterproof coating, this is a durable, waterproof, compact and lightweight tarp. It’s the perfect camping tarp that will act as a sunshade or a rain tarp. Even when a storm comes through, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors.
Small size.
The clamp could be of better quality.

Why did this camping shelters take third place?

I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.












Camping Shelters Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy camping shelters, right? No!

Tent Material

Tents are still the most popular means of camping though camping pods are becoming more popular. They are commonly made of fabrics like cotton (canvas), nylon or polyester. These materials are suitable for different types of tents and all have their advantages and disadvantages. Indeed manufacturers often combine mixtures of these materials in order to combine the benefits.


Unlike nylon polyester made tents can withstand long periods in the sun. It is also slightly thicker and more durable than nylon. Do look out for those that specify they include a breathable coating to keep water out but allow air flow otherwise they can suffer from condensation build up and also be stuffy inside.

There are numerous tent shapes you should be aware of. Which you should choose will depend on your intended use and the type of weather you plan to use the tent in. For example a family tent would generally be larger and taller for full height access whereas a season tent for winter use would be lower and more aerodynamic in order to stand up to the elements.

Dome-shaped tent

Windy conditions will always pose a problem for campers particularly when it comes to erecting a tent. To make life easier in terms of camping in windy or snowy conditions consider a dome shaped tent. These are really simple to assemble and generally stable due to the 2, or pole system they employ. The poles criss-cross and pass through the center of the roof creating an arched ceiling with a square, hexagonal or octagonal footprint. At head height this creates lots of room because of that they are one of the most popular purchased tents on the market. Some models also offer separate sleeping rooms or a porch for storage.

Season Tents

This type of tent is perfect for any condition. Whether you get rain in the evening and hot sunlight at noon, these are for variety of seasons including winter. These are structured to handle strong winds with mesh and ventilation-type walls that keeps you protected from insects but still gives you good air circulation when inside. One of its most common types is the summer tent, which is designed to have great air-circulation or ventilation inside. It features large net bindings that give free air circulation when uncovering its fly. This spares you from being bugged out during summer seasons, too. Also, this is best for rainy days since it is built with a strong skeletal system and full-coverage rain flies that can withstand weather like summer thunderstorms

Convertible tent

If you are the type of a camper who explores camping grounds in any type of condition, you must therefore be a perfect match for this convertible tent. Whether you are on a summer trip or on a stormy adventure, this gives you options with the following features like poles, vestibules and a rainfly. It features solid nylon panels and mesh windows on its walls that you can zip up. It is heavier in weight, thus making it sturdier and more versatile than the other types.

Tarp tent

Bug protection is also sacrificed. Many use a tarp tent in conjunction with a bivy tent or hammock beneath. They use the tarp simply for overhead protection from exposure to sunlight or rain.

If you’re planning a trip up Everest or Kanytime soon then chances are you’ll want to take a Geodesic tent. These are generally the most stable designs on the market. Support poles criss-cross over the surface creating a triangular panel type structure. For windy or extreme weather conditions these are your best bet. Geodesic or semi-geodesic designs are for those who take camping seriously and perhaps go it alone or with a friend, so not really suited to the family camping market.

Key Features

Floor Material – The floors of this person tent are made of the same material as the panels. The floors are constructed with even stronger welding and inverted seams applied to the floor to keep the floors from getting damp or cold.

Doors – It’s easy to get in and out of this tent with the two large doors located on the front and the back of the tent. Like the windows, the doors have roll down covers to provide a bit more protection, and can be easily opened for more air flow in the tent.

Windows – Four windows are strategically placed around this tent. When all the windows are rolled down, the tent easily fills with sunlight and plenty of fresh air.

Design – This tent has a classic vestibule design that is attractive and functional.


It will sleep eight people, but that is only if the people are roughing it in sleeping bags. If you use air mattresses, you won’t fit near as many people in this tent.

It is heavy to carry around in the field. Definitely not a backpacking tent.


If you thought that dome style tents were only for hardcore survivalists and the rough outdoors-men of the world, the Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent just may change the way that you think about these tents. With enough space to sleep eight campers in sleeping bags, and the ability to divide the tent up into three separate sleeping/camping areas, the Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent may very well be the best dome tent that we’ve seen to date.

The Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent is designed to be friendly to newbie campers and seasoned campers alike. With Coleman’s WeatherTec system, this is one dome tent that’s sure to provide a dry, comfortable camping environment, even when the storm clouds are breaking loose torrential downpours. And with plenty of windows and a smart ventilation system, you’ll be able to sleep in cool comfort or toasty warmness no matter what type of weather comes your way.

As we mentioned earlier, the Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent is a dome tent. Unlike popular vestibule style tents, dome tents are known for being a bit easier to put up on virtually any type of camping terrain. Typically, though, dome style tents are one or two person models that are meant to be used by backpackers. The Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent breaks tradition and offers families and large camping groups to experience the thrill of camping in a dome tent.

Dimensions & Weight

The center is the highest point of this Coleman dome tent – measuring in at 7inches high. The overall footprint dimensions are 1feet by feet. This tent allows you to have plenty of coverage without taking up a huge amount of ground space on the campsite of your choice. This tent weighs in at just 2pounds, so it’s not too hard to carry to the campsite.

Consumer Ratings

For those of you looking for a roomy, easy to set up tent, you can’t go wrong by ordering the Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent.

The Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent is designed for hikers, backpackers and campers who like to travel light. This super portable tent may be small and compact, but it still provides plenty of room for two campers to sleep comfortably. As they say, good things come in small packages, and the Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent is proof positive that Mountain Trails has gone the extra distance to make a very functional two person tent that is every bit as portable as it is protective against the elements.

The first thing we took note of while researching for this Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent was just how easy this tent is to carry around. There are a lot of tents that are supposed to be backpacking tents that still weigh in at well over pounds. At just 3.pounds when folded up, the Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent proves itself to be amongst the most portable and practical tents for people who want to save their energy for hiking and other high energy outdoor activities.

The Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent, as the name implies, is a dome style tent. These tents are ideal for setting up on established campsites or for impromptu set ups on the side of the trail. People who like to head out with a buddy or spouse for some hiking, fishing or outdoor camping experiences, without all the heavy baggage, will find this tent to be easy to carry and a snap to set up. And best of all, you don’t sacrifice protection from the elements, as the Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent is weather resistant and leak proof.

Consumer Ratings  

Aside from being a bit cramped – as most backpacking tents are – we couldn’t find many other negative remarks from real life customers. And with such a low price tag, it would be hard to find another tent that offers you the portability and shelter that you get from the Mountain Trails Current Hiker 6-Foot by 5-Foot 2-Person Dome Tent.

The Mountain Trails South Bend 9- by 7-Foot, 4-Person Sport Dome Tent, from Wenzel, is the tent of choice for hikers and serious campers. With enough room inside to sleep four adults, families and solo campers alike will enjoy the spacious interior of this dome style tent. And with its shock –corded fiberglass poles and pin-and-ring system, it’s easy to set up this tent in a flash.

Many people simply end up with more tent than they really need; assuming that more than one or two people means having to purchase a full sized, vestibule style tent. But the Mountain Trails South Bend 9- by 7-Foot, 4-Person Sport Dome Tent proves that you can have plenty of room for sleeping and protection from the elements with a classic, compact dome tent.

We’ve seen plenty of backpacking style tents attempt to put themselves over as functional tents for the whole family, but the Mountain Trails South Bend 9- by 7-Foot, 4-Person Sport Dome Tent is the first model that really provides enough sleeping space for more than two people to comfortably sleep with adequate protection from the elements.

As we’ve already mentioned, the Mountain Trails South Bend 9- by 7-Foot, 4-Person Sport Dome Tent is a dome style tent. By design these tents are a bit more compact and designed pretty much only for sleeping, resting and getting some much needed protection from rainy conditions. Families, fishing enthusiasts and especially hikers will enjoy the ability to carry around this lightweight tent, while still providing plenty of shelter for multiple campers. This tent would suffice as a three season tent, but lacks the serious insulation needed for extreme cold weather outings.


Other than the carrying bag, you don’t get many accessories with the Mountain Trails South Bend 9- by 7-Foot, 4-Person Sport Dome Tent. But being as this tent is designed for people to travel as light as possible on their outings, that is actually a good thing. Everything you need is included to get this tent set up quickly at any camp site you happen to encounter along the way.

Wenzel Alpine 8.X 8-Feet Dome Tent

The Wenzel Alpine 8.X 8-Feet Dome Tent is a dome style tent – to be specific it is a pentadome (five sided dome.) This tent is adequate for three season camping. You would want something with a bit more insulation and protection for extreme cold weather camping. However with its strong design and top notch materials, you could easily camp in most settings with this tent from early spring until late autumn. In some,warmer environments, though, you could easily use this tent for year round camping fun.


It is large: The fact that it has enough space to accommodate up to average persons shows how it provides you with the maximum space you need.

It is highly durable: Having made of durable materials, you can rely on this camping tent to serve you for years.

Weight:  27.lbs

This high-quality camping tent only weighs 2lbs making it easily movable from one place to another. It provides a perfect shelter for up to persons; you and your family can now enjoy a night outdoor! It is made of weather-repellant polyester that keeps you safe from the dangerous UV rays when still offering great resistance to rain water. Moreover, it features a double-staked power corners that for maximum stability.

Weight:  24.lbs

This is a highly durable camping tent that is made from high-quality polyester. It features a cabin design and specially-angled windows that provide maximum ventilation when still keeping rain out even when they are opened. They are ideal for the car campers, scout leaders or even extended camping trips. The hinged door is large enough for easy entry and exit while the electrical access port allows you to bring technology into the tent!

Who this is for

Put a canopy tent (shown here: Coleman’s Mountain View 1× 1Screendome Shelter) over a picnic table to provide shade and, if necessary, protection from bugs and other critters. Photo: Dan Koeppel

A canopy tent is a purchase most regular car campers consider after stocking up on the basics. After all, you can find plenty of smaller and less-expensive items to help you fight bugs, guard against the sun, and shrug off rain. However, if you love camping but hate worrying that you’ll be making and eating your morning pancakes in the rain—or in a swarm of mosquitos—a canopy tent that protects you from the trifecta of bugs, sun, and sudden showers (within reason) could provide the shelter you seek.

Pull Quote

On our second camping trip to test the canopies, violent wind gusts sent all of our picnic shelters hurtling into the nearby woods—the best testing conditions we could have hoped for!

Our second trip, in early March, was to the oceanside Sycamore Canyon Campground (PDF) near Oxnard, California, where we encountered mild temperatures in the 50s and 60s. During this trip, we experienced a light dinnertime rain that had us cooking and eating under the canopies, a pelting early-morning downpour, and violent wind gusts that sent all of our picnic shelters hurtling into the nearby woods—the best testing conditions we could have hoped for! A later check of the weather at nearby Point Mugu Naval Air Station confirmed top recorded wind gusts of 40 miles per hour. We later used the shelters on group trips at Wheeler Gorge Campground near Ojai, California, and at the La Jolla group campsite at Point Mugu, as well as on a trip to the El Mirage Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert.

In between trips, we turned a neighbor’s large, flat yard into an ad hoc camping-gazebo testing ground. We erected our shelters just in advance of a 24-hour rain and checked for leaking and rainy-day ambience midstorm. We also timed how long it took for one person to set up each shelter and how long it took for one person to break each structure down and get the tent back into its bag. We repeatedly zipped and unzipped doors and windows, looking for annoying snags.


Since you’re going to be fair game on the hiking trails, when you lay down at night to sleep, you might as well keep yourself sheltered against those pesky mosquitoes. Mosquito Shelters do just that. They are a netting designed to fit over your sleeping bags.

They are propped up to give you a solid barrier between you and the insect. They vary in sizes to accommodate multiple sleeping bags or even a tent.

Mosquito Shelters are also great for hammocks. If you find yourself in the backyard relaxing and there are mosquitoes about then you can use a Mosquito Shelter to enjoy the outdoors bug-free.

Family and Car Camping

These are your bigger shelters. When you’re tailgating and want to set up an area to hang out, these Shade Shelters are the way to go. They are also great for car camping when you pull off into a camp site and want to set up a place to cook dinner or not get too hot standing in the sun.


Not all Shelters are designed for all seasons. • Season – You’ll get the best use out of these shelters in the Spring, Summer and Fall. They will protect against the sun but not cold winds and very chilly temperatures. • Season – These are shelters designed for year-round use and are better equipped to handle wind and snow – like all shelters, they will keep you protected, not warm.

This is important when you’re taking it on a camping or hiking trip where every inch of space in your backpack needs to be considered.

How high will it go? Will it cover what you want covered or, if you’re using a Shade Shelter to block the sun or rain from ruining your outdoor plans will you be able to stand up inside of it?

Shelters are those extras that become life-savers. Whether you’re in your backyard sleeping on a hammock or in the middle of the forest hunkering down for the night, a Mosquito Shelter can seem like a miracle. Blocking the sweltering sun from hitting the picnic table in the park during a family outing makes everything more comfortable. Giving your self a place to hide from the sun at the beach makes a Shade Shelter all worthwhile.

It lasts for long

The sturdy rainfly is made of quality material that can last for a long time. That means once you have it, you are set, and you will not worry about replacing the rainfly from time to time. Apart from being durable, the rainfly is also waterproof and is thus the safest tent that can prevent you from rains and also from the harsh weather conditions. This feature makes the product to be suitable for being used as a camping tent and for picnic purposes among other things.

Easy to set up

Another significant benefit that comes from this great tent is that it can be assembled quickly. There is no technical knowledge required to make up this tent, and thus you can easily set without any hassle. The reason why it is called instant tent is that you can set it up quickly in just less than 60 seconds.

Spacious enough

The tent space is just enough and can accommodate up to eight persons and that great achievement that answers the camping questions. The two rooms that are available in this tent makes it unique with the doors and windows. Of course, if you are looking for such a space, then this is the right tent for your choice. Apart from being spacious, the tent can still be found at an affordable price, and that makes it even best for everyone to acquire.

Lightweight design

The design that comes with this excellent product allows it to be carried easily from one place to another. This feature is thus helpful when it comes to transportation. Another feature that is related to this and that ensures easy transportation is the fact that it folds up flat thus making it easy to carry or even to store when not in use. This excellent feature is beneficial and thus making this product the best for choice. Of course, you can always find it affordable.

It comes with adequate light

Of course, you will need lighting during the dark or night. Therefore, this impressive feature that comes with this tent makes things even much easier. That means there is no more need to look for fuel that could give you light since the built-in magnet can provide you with the lighting that you need for the tent. Despite this excellent feature being beneficial that much, the tent is still valuable and comes with a competitive price, and you can find it on the market.

Easy setup

Of course, just like the other tents that we have just described in this review, this fantastic tent is easy to set up and can only take a matter of seconds, and everything is set. You do not need a whole day to have your tent set, and that is the reason it is called an instant tent. It means you can set up quickly. This feature makes the tent more friendly to users since there is no point that you will get frustrated in the setting process thus making this product excellent for choice.

Coleman Tenaya Lake Person Fast Pitch Instant Cabin Camping Tent


The best material for a tarp shelter should be waterproof thus providing protection to the users against weather elements like the rain. The material should have a dual coating material which provides the ultimate protection for family members resting under the tarp.


Camping equipment needs to be packed and transported from one location to another. As a family, travelling in one car, this helps to reduce expenses. When selecting the best tarp shelter, it is important to look for one that is lightweight.

Size​ ​The larger the tarp shelter, the better it is for a family. When attached to the tent, it can provide shelter to the family during the day. A by foot tarp is great for a small and medium sized family.

Eagles Nest Outfitters Camo Profly

It is designed with the polyurethane treated 210D rip stop nylon. The material not only offers long lasting service but it also has great water shedding capabilities. It helps to ensure that the occupants stay bone dry during rainy weather.

The tarp is available in camo version which features a camouflage pattern that helps users blend with the environment.

It has the ProFly’s six guy points which provides a streamlined shape ideal for with standing weather such as sudden downpours. It is light and easily portable. It only weighs 2ounces plus it comes with a stuff stack making it convenient to take on trips or store when not in use. ​Eagles Nest Outfitters – Dry Fly Rain Tarp

As part of the Eagles Nest brand, it is also designed with polyurethane treated nylon taffeta rip stop which offers a long lasting wear with excellent water shedding capabilities. This helps to ensure that water does not pool on the top side making it sag.

It covers a large area thanks to its unique shape which helps to keep you, your family members and your equipment dry. It offers a spacious interior with adequate head room making it a perfect area to rest during the day. ​It comes with a built in stuff stack which is ideal for storage during transportation and when not in use. It is light and portable making it easy to transport. It is ideal for many uses for example sheltering equipment, clothes and back country kitchen.

Ultimate Survival Technologies BASE Tube Tarp

As one of the best tarp shelter, it is ultra lightweight and compact making it suitable for transportation in a car to the camping site or storage when not in use. It does not occupy a lot of space in the car or at home.

It can be used as a sleeping tent or an all weather tarp. It is colored orange on one side which is actually a safety feature. In case one is lost in the mountain, the orange side makes it easy to be spotted.

It is aluminized on the other side which helps with thermal insulation. During the sunny weather, the tent remains cool during the hot weather. The aluminized side helps to increase reflectivity. This is done to improve on signaling.

Rolling Fox Camping and Survival Tarp Shelter

The tarp can stretch to cover 360 cm by 280 cm making it ideal as a tarp shelter and hammock. It is a lightweight alternative to tents making it useful for camping, bush craft, survival, sports events, boating and kayaking.

It is designed with 1tie off points attached which makes it flexible for different configurations. stakes with guy lines are fitted making it the ideal starter up kit.

It has taped seams which help to stop water penetrating through the stitches and soaking the occupants. The tarp can be used to for making different types of shelters for protection from rain, wind and sun. It comes in cream color making it highly visible.A stuff sack is available which is used to store the tarp when not in use or when being transported in a car.​

Himal Waterproof Sunshade Tarp

It comes with six guy points which helps to give it a streamlined shape making it ideal for sudden downpours or for building a water front base camp. It is designed with lightweight material making it portable for transporting in the car or for backpacking.

It weighs only 1.pounds plus it comes with a stuff sack. The stuff sack is used to store the tarp in preparation for transportation or when not in use.

It is made with 190T rip stop nylon material which ensures the tent is long lasting with excellent waterproof capabilities. It comes with a lifetime limited warranty which protects the customer.

ODOLAND Sunshade Tarp Shelter

It is made with lightweight 210T embossed polyester material which is strong enough and resists tears. The material is waterproof too which helps to keep the occupants dry.

The PU5, 000mm water resistant polyester offers long lasting wear with excellent water shedding capabilities. It comes with a cord adjuster that helps to reduce tension when needed.

The tarp has multiple uses namely boating, camping, backpacking, sporting events and festivals. In the package, you will find a tarp shelter, ground stakes and nylon ropes with adjusters to ease tension.

History and design

Bell tents have been around for a long time, ever since Henry Hopkins Sibley patented the first bell tent in 1858!  The design was originally based on the North American Indian tipi, with the bell tent featuring side walls, a higher doorway and guy ropes.  Bell tents have been used by scouts, guides, soldiers and more over the last century, because of their durability, ease to pitch and elegant design.

Bell te nts are generally 2.5-metres high at the central point.  This gi ves plenty of head room to move about inside the tent comfortably.

They ordinarily feature four (or more) half moon windows in the side walls. These are unzippable, and include mesh screens.

The side walls can easily be rolled up if you have a zipped-in groundsheet, allowing air to flow through the tent, and giving the visual impression the tent is ‘floating’.


Authentic bell tents are made from 100% cotton canvas, with some also available in a lighter polycotton mix.  Canvas grades are measured by weight, in grams per square metre.  Many standard bell tents are made from 285gsm canvas, however the more durable and longer lasting bell tents are made with a slightly thicker canvas, which withstands harsher weather conditions much better.  We recommend a minimum of 320gsm canvas in Australia. 

The lighter the canvas weight, the lighter the tent is to carry.  However the heavier the canvas weight, the more durable the tent will be.

Groundsheets are made from ripstop PVC, and also come in various thicknesses/weights.  Groundsheet weights generally start at 480gsm and go up to 640gsm.  We recommend a minimum of 540gsm for your groundsheet.  Obviously the heavier and thicker the groundsheet, the more it will withstand tougher conditions.

Groundsheets also vary in how they are attached to the bell tent.  There are generally three kinds… sewn-in groundsheet (SIG), zipped-in groundsheet (ZIG), and pegged-in groundsheet (PIG). 

Whilst the sewn-in groundsheet will be more watertight in the event of flooding, it is generally harder to clean because the tent and groundsheet are all one piece. 

A zipped-in groundsheet allows you to roll up the side walls to let air flow through on warm days.  It also allows you to pack and clean the groundsheet separately to the tent.  The tent can also be used as a shelter without the groundsheet attached. 

The most recent bell tent models also feature a secondary inner mesh wall that is zipped in to the groundsheet (but can also be rolled up).  This brilliant feature means that when the outer side walls are rolled up, the inner mesh wall stops unwanted critters coming in!  When camping in Australia, you definitely want this feature! 

Many bell tents are now made with pre-proofed canvas for waterproofing, mouldproofing and fire retardant, however it goes without saying that common sense prevails when caring for your bell tent, both when it’s pitched and when it’s packed away.  This will ensure its longevity.

Part of the appeal of bell tents is their versatility.  They provide a great space for camping, because of the head room available, the short time they take to pitch and the durability of the canvas. 

Because of their aesthetics, bell tents are often used for many purposes other than camping.  You can set your bell tent up in the back garden as a temporary room for guests, or as a personal relaxation space.  They look fantastic scattered with cushions, and with the side walls rolled up for a chill out space, or an all day beach shelter.  Bell tents are also a great solution for children’s parties too, adorned with bunting, fairy lights and other gorgeous decorations! 

A bell tent really is a blank canvas to create a space that you can stamp your own personality on!  You may even choose to decorate the exterior of your bell tent with weather-proof paints and turn it into a work of art! 

The rise in popuarity of bell tents is also seeing a growing industry in d out by metre, so when pitching the tent rem ember that a metre bell tent requires sqm of space, a metre bell tent will need 7sqm and a metre bell tent will need 8sqm.

Weight and transport

Because they are made from thick cotton canvas, bell tents are not the lightest of tents.  If you have any physical lifting limitations, we would not recommend you purchasing a bell tent, unless you have someone else that can carry it for you.  They need to be lifted in and out of your mode of transport and carried to your pitch.  These are important considerations.  They are not hiking tents!  The entire weight of a bell tent and pegs starts from 25kgs+ and goes up to almost 50kgs for a metre tent.

General care

Canvas becomes more watertight once it has got wet for the first time, as this helps ‘seal’ the canvas.  Do not panic when your bell tent gets it’s first lashing of rain, this is a blessing!  You may even want to pitch it in the garden and spray it with the hose before its first outing (remember to zip everything up first)!

If you have to pack your bell tent down whilst it’s still wet, make sure you unpack it as soon as possible when you get home and put it out to dry either in the sun, or in a room with a dehumidifier, to remove all moisture from the canvas and groundsheet. 

We recommend having the bell tent professionally cleaned once every years to retain its optimal use.

Treat your bell tent as an additional member of the family, with love and care, and it will pay you back tenfold in the enjoyment and pride it will bring you.

Bell tents are an investment in camping adventures that you will cherish for years to come.  They are not a throw away festival tent by any stretch!  Bell tents are built to last, and once you become hooked on camping in one you will realise that they are worth every cent spent.

Family Camping

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Pop Up Tent

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Tahoe Gear Ozark Large Family Tent

7. Ozark Trail 15-Person Room Split Plan Instant Cabin, Teal

6. Ozark Trail 1Person Room Split Plan Instant Cabin Tent

4. Palm Springs x 30 Foot White Party Tent Gazebo Canopy with Sidewalls, 50 or 20 Person Tent

Tahoe Gear Ozark 3-Season Family Cabin Tent, 1or 20 Person Tents

Tahoe Gear Ozark 3-Season Cabin Tent

Your search for a large and functional tent will be over once you get this large family tent. Designed for as many as 1adults, this tent is not only spacious but also very comfortable. It’s made out of 1200mm polyester fabric that is revered for strength and reliability and features pin-and-ring systems for quick assembly.

It comes with a high center free movement inside and sturdy shock-corded poles for firm support and stability. The floor is comfortable and sturdy thanks to the polyethylene binding and strong side stitching.

Key Features

To have a wonderful time outdoors when using a 20-person tent, you need to give the following things special attention:

Setup Ease: it’s vital to choose an accessory that can easily be setup and also brought down. It shouldn’t require too much effort, lots of stakes/poles, or many people.

Capacity: Yes, it may be marketed as a 20-person tent. But it’s necessary to actually confirm that 20 people will comfortably fit inside. They shouldn’t be too squeezed.

Weather Friendliness: Just like any other tent, it should be designed to withstand different weather and climate. The more versatile it is the more suited for different climates.

Seasonality: Tents are usually classified as or seasons. The earlier type is much lighter than the latter and is suitable for fall, summer, and spring. A 4-season tent is much thicker and sturdier and is suitable for all the seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter).

Portability: Despite its large size, the tent should be easy to carry and not too bulky. Important issues include the thickness of material, design, the number of poles or stakes, and weight.

Brand reputation: Like other products, tents also have a reputation and it’s important to choose the ones that are well-known for quality, good performance, and reliability.Other features are the usual ones which include peak height, material, ventilation, floor length, doors, and poles.

Size And Weight

The main reason why people opt for a bivy is to reduce the weight you have to carry on your back as well as to cut down on the bulk of what you have to pack. For this reason, it makes sense to go for a bivy that provides the lightest and most packable option.

There are other features that might mean you choose a slightly heavier or larger bivy but you should consider the size and weight of the bivy you want to buy in relation to the advantages gained from other features.

Our Rating

The Chinook Summit bivy has a top made of waterproof, breathable fabric, a bottom made of waterproof ripstop nylon and it features a facial ventilation system using aluminum poles. Its dimensions are 17”x32”x91” and it weighs 2lbs.

I really like this bivy for a couple of reasons. First, it’s very spacious inside and with the facial ventilation, it’s not too claustrophobic. Once you’re inside, there’s plenty of room to move around and change position.

The hood is well designed and works well open in light rain. This bivy is light and small when packed up making it easy to transport and the mosquito net works well. One of the biggest positives is that with all these great design features, it’s still very affordable.

If I have one niggle about this bivy, it’s that there is no way to close the mesh vent at the top. There is no problem with rain coming in but it does allow a certain amount of wind to pass and you can lose some of your heat this way.

Overall a light but spacious bivy that performs well in most conditions and all for a reasonable price. Perhaps not suitable in cold and windy conditions, but even then, I think it would probably be ok.





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Camping Shelters wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Camping Shelters



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