Summer is the most popular time to pack up the family or meet some friends for a fun weekend of camping. After all, what’s better than hanging out by the fire, roasting up some s’mores and other delicious camping snacks, then settling in to rest your head under the stars? Speaking of, you’re going to need somewhere decent to sleep.
The best camping tents (especially for beginners) are lightweight, easy to set up, large enough to house your stuff (including an air mattress or camping cot), waterproof and easy to roll back up. That may sound like a tall order, but there are plenty of tents on the market targeted at those who are either just getting into the activity or who have finally decided to tackle it for the first time.
In fact, there’s an entire category of easy-to-assemble tents that can be set up in minutes (or less!) and have plenty of space for the entire family. These tents won’t keep you warm if you’re biovacing in a remote mountain range, but if you don’t know what “biovac” even means, then they’ll do just fine for your weekend getaway.
Keep reading to see the best tents for 2022, with plenty of beginner-friendly options.
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The Best Camping Tents for Beginners
Chances are you also don’t want to spend too much money on your first tent. After all, who knows whether the kids really are too young or if anyone will even sleep? Or maybe you’re just looking for something to get you started as you and your friends head out into the wilderness (read: a local campsite) for a good time and a few laughs. Whatever your reasons or budget, if you’re planning a few days away with kids or friends, we’ve got you covered with some sweet camping tents for beginners.
1. Coleman Sundome Camping Tent
This roomy tent is Amazon’s top pick, with more than 40,000 reviews giving it a 4.7-star rating. This tent was heavily discounted for Prime Day, and it’s still extremely affordable. Coleman makes this dome in 2, 3, 4 or 6-person models, so there’s a size for any needs. No matter which size you choose, these tents are fabricated with a Weathertec system to keep you dry and comfortable in any weather; plus, once properly pegged down, this tent withstands winds up to 35 mph.
The large windows and ground vent give you the best possible ventilation (which comes in handy when the campsite gets a bit stinky); it’s super simple to set up. It even comes with an “e-port,” so you can snake an extension cord inside and inflate your air mattress.
2. Extremus Mission Mountain Camping Tent
This two-person tent is an excellent choice for packed cars or those who want to travel light because it only weighs 4.8 pounds, which is very doable for a night or two out with the elements. This tent is waterproof and has an easy setup, which can be done by one person (handy if the other person is watching the kids or making a snack). It’s also made from UV-resistant material and will keep you dry and protected from the sun or rain, making it another valid, well-rounded option.
3. Coleman Skydome Camping Tent
BEST TENT FOR FESTIVALS
Campers eager to make it to the site before sunset will appreciate the easy setup of this tent. Here at SPY, we’ve taken our families out in this tent with plenty of success. It comes with attached poles that snap together for a five-minute process that’s a life-saver for all kinds of relationships (especially if you’ve got younger kids running around). You can use it with or without the attached rainfly, and there is a nifty organization compartment inside. It’s roomy, waterproof and comes in its own little carrying bag, plus it comes in multiple sizes, making it a great option for singles, families and medium-sized groups.
If you’re searching for the best tents for music festivals and similar events, this is another great option. You can choose the exact size your party requires, and setup is super beginner-friendly. Plus, it’s another super affordable tent.
4. REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 Tent
FOR JOINING THE GROUP
Whether you’ve got one or two campers, this small but mighty offering from REI is a no-muss, no-fuss option that offers a decent shelter at a reasonable price. The three-season tent weighs just over 4 pounds and is simple to launch, making it a great addition to a group trip. The small size and sturdy, D-shaped opening also make it a good tent for kids who are old enough to sleep on their own; plus, we’re fans of the internal mesh pockets and gear loops that help to keep essentials organized and close.
5. Mountain Summit Gear Campside 3-Person Dome Tent
Whether you’re heading on a weekend away with a significant other or as part of a group, this sturdy dome tent is a nifty option that’s easy to set up, lightweight (just over eight pounds) and comes with bonus extras like interior storage pockets and a power port. It’s one of REI’s top-rated options, with reviewers raving about the tent’s durability and ability to keep people and contents dry during storms. Another bonus? The bag it comes in is big enough to easily slide the tent back into after your camping trip is done.
6. Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room
BEST SCREEN ROOM
Another Amazon top pick, the Coleman Dome Tent, is ideal for families with young children because of the screen room alone. The secure area helps keep young ones away from rain and muck while you put on those shoes and helps keep the interior of your tent cleaner for longer. This one does take a little longer to set up (roughly 15 minutes), but it features the same waterproof materials and easy carrying bag as the other Coleman tents on this list. It’s also roomy and fits two queen air mattresses so you can have a cushier-than-usual camping experience.
7. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup in 60 Seconds
If you’re looking for the easiest possible setup, it doesn’t get much simpler than this Coleman cabin tent. Just one (very tall) person can get it together in about a minute, although you’ll probably want two people on it if you need things to go even faster. In terms of the structure, we like this beginner tent for families because it’s got lots of room for standing up and changing in, plus lots of windows for ventilation. The integrated rainfly can take some getting used to, but this is another Amazon fave: more than 17,000 reviewers give it a collective 4.4-star rating.
8. Core 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent
If you’re looking for the biggest option possible, the Core 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent is the winner. An optimal tent with enough room for all your closest friends, this tent is sturdy, reliable and easy to assemble. It boasts a shocking 60-second setup and enough room for two queen air mattresses, although reviewers say it’s more like a three to five-minute setup for one person (which is still great!).
Coming in under $300, it’s also a killer deal for the amount of room you get. Be cautious of the material and how long it’ll last; tents rip easily with that many people around, and it may not be worth it to get it fixed. At a staggering 27 pounds, this is the ultimate car camping tent. But if you’re in for a party at a reasonable price, this is a great option.
Read More: The Best Inflatable Tents for Outdoor Fun
9. Half Dome SL 2+ Tent
This cozy, two-person tent is our favorite option for a smaller, lighter tent when your car is already stuffed, or you want more room for adult beverages. At 3.6 pounds, it still packs an impressive 34 feet of floor space and reaches almost four feet in height, making this a very comfortable tent to spend time in.
One of the best features, aside from all the space and storage pockets, is the zipper opening from the inside instead of the outside. This comes in handy when it’s raining and offers easier access to the entryway where you store your shoes. An overall top pick for a two-person tent, the Half Dome SL 2 Plus is great for cozy camping.
10. Homestead Super Dome 4 Tent
Sometimes the best part of camping is when everyone has settled in for the night, and you’re left to the stars. Make the most of that experience with this star-gazing tent, which comes with a mesh canopy. When it is raining, this four-person tent comes with a sturdy rainfly to keep you nice and dry. Plus, it has an internal hang line for wet clothes and big pockets to keep small items organized. We also like how it comes in an easy-to-carry duffel bag for easy transport, plus there are three (three!) doors to make entering and exiting a breeze. Add in a single vestibule for that always coveted gear storage, and this tent is worth the splurge.