What Is a Good Camping Tent?

Camping vacations provide the fun of travel at a fraction of the cost. A good camping tent will make or break the experience so care must be taken when choosing the right tent.
Backpack or Car Camping

The first decision is whether the vacation will be a backpack or a car camping trip. Car camping allows for a larger, heavier tent, while backpacking requires a lightweight, easily compacted tent.

How Many Campers

The next consideration will be how many people will sleep in the tent. Backpackers will usually sleep one or two to a tent, while car camping can provide room for more. Family tents sleep four or more. Car camping options include cabin-style tents, dome-style tents, and sun shelters and screen rooms.

Backpack Tents

Backpacking tents range from extremely lightweight with minimal comfort standards to a heavier tent with more features such as more space, more inside pockets and sufficient length. Three-season tents are not intended for use with snow, while four-season are weatherproof.

Car Camping Tents

Cabin-style tents offer easy access and high walls with lots of space. Dome tents are designed to be strong and withstand wind. Shelters and screen rooms add a bug-proof space, along with more room.


Vestibules are shelters that attach to the tent for the purpose of removing and storing items such as day packs or hiking boots. It might come as part of the tent options or might be added separately but can be a convenient extra space.

Tent Options

The best tent for family or backpacking vacations will boil down to individual choice and preferences. Weight, size, price, comfort features and access priorities help define the best tent for the camper.

Robin Priestley has been a freelance writer for over 20 years, with additional newspaper experience. She has been published in The Los Alamos Monitor, Devo'Zine, The Upper Room, and Discipleship Journal, as well as online.