Best Tents Of 2023: Top 5 Camping Shelters Most Recommended By Experts

Camping is one of the most popular outdoor activities for people of all ages – enjoying nature is a family-friendly way to unwind. Whether you are an experienced hiker, a weekend adventurer, or a family looking for a fun-filled vacation, a reliable and comfortable tent is essential. Tents have come a long way in recent years, with technology that makes them more weather resistant, and portable than before. The best tents should hold up well against the elements and be an investment that lasts for years. From minimalist one-person shelters to spacious family-sized cabins, there is a tent out there to suit every need and budget. 

Did you know that taking up camping as a hobby can be beneficial to your health? That’s because spending time in the great outdoors will expose you to no shortage of calming sounds from a babbling brook to birdsong to the rustle of leaves in the forest. Research shows that the sounds of nature can decrease pain, lower stress, improve mood and enhance cognitive performance. In the study, dozens of students at Colorado State University (CSU) identified different types of sounds in recordings. It comes from more than a decade of collaboration between CSU and the National Park Service. The team says the sounds of water were most effective at improving positive emotions and health outcomes. Bird sounds combat stress and annoyance.

Many people don’t get the chance to go camping, with factors like cost, getting vacation time, or getting the right reservations for spots coming into play. Yet, according to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association, Americans still spend $167 billion on camping gear, accessories, and trip-related expenses each year. Disposable income is going to be scarce this year, but if you’re looking to spend money on camping gear, make sure you’re investing in the best tent for your budget and needs.

Whether it’s affordability or easy set-up you’re after, we have you covered! StudyFinds did the research for you by consulting 10 expert websites to find the best tents for camping in 2023.

The List: Best Tents, According to Outdoor Experts

1. REI Co-op Base Camp 6

The REI base Camp 6 will cost you $546, so it isn’t cheap, but it has everything you need to go camping with you and your friends for years to come. Once fully staked and erected, this tent is impervious to rain and wind. GearJunkie mentions “Useful features like pockets, a three-point ventilation system, and reflective trim that shines in the light of a headlamp make this tent the place you’ll want to hang out when the weather is fair or foul.”

REI Co-op Base Camp 6
REI Co-op Base Camp 6

Switch Back Travel says, “Sitting near the top of REI’s camping lineup for 2023 is their Base Camp 6, which takes cues from mountaineering designs for a sizable boost in weather-worthiness.” 

This tent model is moderately sized and can sleep up to six people comfortably with 84 square feet of floor space and large doors so you can easily access the space without cramping your tent mates. “A longtime favorite for group camping, the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 features easy-access double doors, strategic ventilation, two vestibules and interior pockets and hang loops for organizing everyone’s gear,” adds Popular Science.

2. REI Half Dome SL 2

This tent is the perfect choice if you want the convenience of a smaller tent that’s easier to travel with. It’s not extremely spacious, but still roomier than your average backpacking tent at its price point. “The Half Dome is a solid tent that feels comfortable, comes at a great price, and performs well in any weather,” adds CleverHiker.

REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint

The REI Half-Dome translates well to car camping, and its stable walls and low profile will keep you comfortably protected from the elements. It will cost you $329, but is covered by REI’s warranty. Adventure Alan writes “No matter where and how you choose to camp in the back or front-country, this large backpacking tent will keep you comfortably protected.”

GearJunkie names this model the best for those who are backpacking and camping all in one. “With a minimum trail weight of 5 pounds, 14 ounces, it’s possible to pack this in…The double doors and vestibules provide space for gear and make it easy to come and go.”

3. North Face Wawona 6

The North Face’s Wawona line offers an open interior and massive vestibule for four to eight people at a good value. There is plenty of space to stand up or house your pets along with your family. The tent offers multiple organization pockets to keep your gear tidy. Outdoor Gear Lab says “We love the extra large outer vestibule and find it very handy for storing larger gear like bikes or a fishing pole and tackle box, so there is more room inside for sleeping.”

North Face Wawona 6
North Face Wawona 6

According to Switchback Travel, “the biggest shift was to a hybrid double-wall construction (the prior generation used a less breathable single-wall build), and they also retooled the pole structure to make setup easier.” The new material makes the tent much more comfortable in different types of weather and much less prone to collecting moisture.

Even the brand’s previous model, the Wawona 4, makes for a great tent. “We greatly appreciated the breathability built into the Wawona on a night camping in Washington’s San Juan Islands — where moisture from the sea can be heavy and keeping air moving is a priority,” writes reviewers on GearJunkie.

4. Marmot Limestone 4P Tent

The Marmot Limestone houses 4 people in a tent that weighs 11.2 pounds and covers 59.2 square feet. It features 2 easy to access doors and color coded poles to make setup easy. “The vestibule is also large enough that you can store plenty of gear to keep the interior clean and cozy,” says Forbes.

Marmot Limestone 4P Tent
Marmot Limestone 4P Tent

According to REI, “When you only want a single shelter for backpacking and car camping, the Marmot Limestone 4P minimizes the compromises you’ll need to make for both.“ This tent does well in the backcountry amongst different weather conditions, and packs down to the size of two soccer balls for easy transportation.

Clever Hiker raves about this design, but says it can be hard to get: “The Limestone is a great, high-quality tent. We love the two giant doors, the stout poles, and the relatively compact packed size.”

5. Coleman Sundome

The Coleman Sundome is easy to set up within 10 minutes with four durable poles, and is beginner and budget friendly. You can grab it in the two, four and six-person capacity, but we recommend the roomier models if you want to be comfortable. Wirecutter explains “This no-nonsense, single-door tent is intuitive to set up, has sufficient windows, includes a partial rain fly that’s easy to put on and stake out, and is cheery-feeling inside and out.”

Coleman Sundome
Coleman Sundome

If you’re worried about the elements, this tent was designed with WeatherTec-welded flooring and inverted seams to help you stay dry, and poles that can withstand winds up to 35 miles per hour. “The camping tent was designed with extra-large windows and ground ventilation to keep you cool in the summer heat,” says Men’s Health.

Clever Hiker cuts to the chase: “If you just need a simple and cheap tent for a few nights of fair weather camping here or there, the Sundome will do a fine job.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

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