As the weather warms up and the great outdoors beckons, it’s time to start planning your next camping adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or new to spending nights under the stars, having the right tent is key to camping comfort. Consumer Reports recently tested and rated dozens of tents across a variety of categories and price points to determine the top performers. From three-season backpacking models built to withstand summer rainstorms to spacious car-camping tents outfitted with all the bells and whistles, Consumer Reports has got you covered for your next mountain getaway or weekend family trip. Read on for their recommendations on the best tents to fit your needs and budget this camping season. Their rigorous assessments looked at criteria like durability, water resistance, ease of setup, packed size, and more so you can find your perfect home away from home.
Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 Tent as the best camping tent for two people:
For couples looking to travel light on their outdoor getaways without sacrificing comfort, the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 scores top marks for a two-person shelter. With its dome-style build providing plenty of head room and 31 square feet of floor space, there’s enough capacity inside for two campers plus minimal gear storage. The waterproof fly and bathtub floor constructions make this tent reliably weather resistant, keeping couples dry and cozy in up to three seasons of use. The free-standing design makes the Mineral King quick and hassle-free to pitch, while two dual zipper doors allow easy ins and outs from either side of the tent. Other thoughtful touches include pockets to stow small items and lantern loops to hang ambient lighting. Testers with various publications praise the Mineral King’s livability versus packed weight and size, awarding it high scores for space, features, and overall value as a superbly packable couple’s tent.
Between optimal capacity for two campers, protective weatherproofing, simple setup, and backpack-friendly carrying size, the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 offers prime functionality for partners seeking shelter off the beaten path. Its reliably balanced performance across the criteria recreational campers value makes this durable dome tent a great choice for two.
Kelty Wireless 6 Person Tent as the best camping tent for families:
When camping with the whole crew, the Kelty Wireless 6 delivers an ideal balance of spaciousness, ease of use, and reliability for family campouts. Sleeping up to 6 people with its roomy 98 square feet of floor area, the Wireless 6 offers ample capacity for parents and multiple kids without feeling cramped. The snap pole assembly allows for remarkably fast and simple setups, while the freestanding design means no frustrating rain fly first pitches. An adjustable visor keeps rain drizzle out of the large D-style door, which also includes convenient carry handles. Mesh wall panels enhance airflow while an integrated gear loft and multiple pockets allow for organized storage. Various expert testers have awarded the Kelty Wireless top marks for livability, citing the standing height headroom and handy features like wall pockets as family-friendly perks. With reviews also praising this tent’s weather protection and hassle-free setup process for groups, the Kelty Wireless 6 offers the right mix of sleeping capacity, quick pitching convenience, and reliable construction to keep families comfortable at camp.
Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent as the best budget tent:
For campers seeking ample sleeping capacity without a premium price tag, the Coleman Sundome 6-person tent delivers reliable performance on a budget. Providing 100 square feet of floor area with 6 feet of peak headroom, the Sundome fits up to six sleepers or allows for extra gear storage. The heavy-duty WeatherTec system with patented corner welds and inverted seams helps keep rain and winds at bay in moderately inclement weather. Two storage pockets keep small items organized and a ground vent boosts airflow. While not loaded with fancy extras, test teams praise the sturdiness and habitable size of the Coleman Sundome for family and group trips on a budget. The included expandable carrying bag also makes this bulky but portable tent fairly packable for car campers. For an affordable price, the Coleman Sundome 6 supplies enough capacity and weather protection for budget-focused groups who don’t mind a straightforward setup. As one top gear site puts it, for the money, “none can beat the livability per dollar value of the Coleman Sundome 6.” When price matters most, this functional six-person tent excels at the basics for cheap camping comfort.
Coleman Sundome Tent as the best overall 4-person tent:
For versatile camping groups of four seeking an ideal blend of features, the Coleman Sundome tent comes out on top for all-around performance. Constructed with Coleman’s rugged WeatherTec system and continuous pole sleeves to stand up to the elements, the Sundome provides proven rain protection and wind resistance. The floor space measures a comfortable 87 square feet for four campers, with room dividers allowing customizable sleeping arrangements. Multiple zippered windows and mesh roof panels optimize ventilation, while an electrical access port allows for running a convenient power cord inside. Testers praise the Sundome’s quality construction and livability for both weekend family trips and longer duration travel, as well as its impressive weather reliability within an affordable price tier. The snag-free Insta-Clip pole attachments make pitching the tent fairly hassle-free after just a couple practices. All factors combined, from storm-tested performance to convenient portability around 18 pounds packed weight, OutdoorGearLab calls the Coleman Sundome “a leading contender for one of the best all-around tents.” For 4-person groups prioritizing well-balanced camping security and practicality over luxury frills, the Coleman Sundome delivers prime livability at a palatable price point.
Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 2 Person Tent as the best overall 2-person tent:
Offering an optimal mix of livability, ease of use, and backcountry-tested durability, the Mountainsmith Morrison EVO emerges as a leading pick for dedicated adventure couples. Its 35 square feet of floor area provide cozy yet uncrowded capacity for two, with storage pockets and dual vestibules allowing organized gear organization. Setup and takedown is swift thanks to the unique easy-entry hubbed pole system with color coding, while the waterproof bathtub style floor and full-coverage rain fly keep weather extremes at bay. Testers praise details like the micro mesh tent ceiling for excellent ventilation and visibility along with the multitude of guyout points and sturdy stakeout loops to withstand high winds. Weighing in at just over 5 pounds trail weight, Backpacker Magazine lauds the Mountainsmith Morrison EVO as their Editor’s Choice for balance of livability, packable size, and rugged construction. For couples who put supreme priority on performance for ounce-counting backcountry excursions, the Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 2 delivers prime functionality in one heck of a burly two-person shelter.
Comparing the top rated camping tents consumer reports:
|Ease of Setup
|Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3
|31 ft2 floor area, 42 in center height
|4 lbs 9 oz trail weight
|2 dual zipper doors
|Waterproof fly and floor, built for 3 season use
|Very easy, intuitive pole connections
|Kelty Wireless 6
|98 ft2 floor area, 72 in center height
|18 lbs 5 oz
|1 D-shaped door w/ carry handles
|Waterproof fly, adjustable visor
|Shock corded fiberglass poles
|Very easy “snap pole” assembly
|Coleman Sundome 6
|100 ft2 floor area, 72 in center height
|9 lbs 8 oz
|1 standard door
|WeatherTec system w/ patented welded floors
|Continuous pole sleeves
|Easy w/ Insta-Clip attachments
|87 ft2 floor area
|1 standard door, ground vent
|Rugged WeatherTec system
|Shock corded poles
|Easy w/ Insta-Clip setup
|Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 2
|35 ft2 floor area, 45 in center height
|5 lbs 1 oz
|2 doors with zippered vestibules
|Waterproof bathtub floor & fly, venting canopy
|Hubbed pole system for easy setup
|Very easy, color coded pole system
The Mountain Hardwear Mineral King strikes an ideal balance of interior spaciousness, low weight, and reliable weather protection for a two person tent. While the extra large Coleman and Kelty models offer more room for groups and families, the Mineral King provides an impressively livable interior that still remains lightweight and packable for just two campers.
When selecting the perfect tent for your next camping adventure, it’s important to consider who you’ll be bunking with and what elements you expect to encounter. The top-rated Mountain Hardwear Mineral King strikes gold for couples seeking an easy-pitching and packable yet protective shelter designed with just two sleepers in mind. Families on a budget will appreciate the Coleman Sundome’s affordable price and ability to sleep crowds. And outdoor enthusiasts prizing technical performance over all can rely on the bomber construction of the Mountainsmith Morrison to withstand extreme alpine environments. No matter if you’re heading to popular car camping areas or embarking deep into the backcountry, keeping your planned activities and priorities in mind when choosing your temporary abode can lead you to your ideal home-away-from-home tent. But for pairs looking to travel far together without excess weight on their journey, you’d be hard pressed to find a tent better suited than the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3. The Goldilocks-approved combination of space, cozy comforts, and trail-tough engineering makes this tent “just right” for two.