“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”
These words couldn’t be any truer, and with the right waterproof tents, these words could also prove to be quite comforting, exciting and cozy. If you’re anything like us here at All Things Waterproof, we consider a tent our home away from home. It’s your first line of self-defense, it’s your personal quarters, and it’s your shelter, protection, and comfort when you’re in the great outdoors, so you don’t want to sell yourself short when it’s time to choose the best waterproof tent.
A good, quality waterproof tent is an essential addition to your outdoor gear. Although it may be cheaper and seemingly more convenient to purchase an average, run of the mill weekend tent, when that unexpected torrential downpour creeps in like a thief in the night, you’ll start to rethink your decision. Now, we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news, so which would like first? Ok, we’ll assume you want the good news first. The good news is that all the waterproof tents we reviewed and included in this article are rated 4-stars and up. The bad news is, you’ll want to buy them all.
As you may, or may not already know, at All Things Waterproof, what we do best is pester the critics and experts, gather as much information as we can on products and spend countless hours handpicking what we think are the best products on the market – in this case, the best waterproof tents.
See our top choices side by side below:
Best Waterproof Tents 2017 – Side by Side Comparison
|Product||Marmot Tungsten 3P||North Face Triarch 2||MSR Hubba Hubba NX||Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent||Coleman Sundome||Nemo Galaxi 2||Kelty Trailogic TN2||REI Kingdom 8||Weanas Double Layer||Mountain Hardware Optic 2.5||Yodo Upgraded Backpack Tent||Coleman 8-Person|
|Awards||* Editors' Pick *||* Top Choice *||* Top Choice *||* Best Value *|
|Rating||(5 / 5)||(5 / 5)||(4.9 / 5)||(4.6 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4.6 / 5)||(4.4 / 5)||(4.4 / 5)||(4.4 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(4.1 / 5)|
|Price||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at REI||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon||Check at Amazon|
|Capacity||3 Persons||2 Persons||2 Persons||3 Persons||2 Persons||2 Persons||2 Persons||8 Persons||2-4 Persons||2,5 Persons||2 or 4 Persons||8 Persons|
|Doors||2 Doors||2 Doors||2 Doors||1 Door||1 Door||2 Doors||1 Door||2 Doors||1 Door||2 Doors||2 Doors||2 Doors|
Our editors’ pick in waterproof tents is the Marmot Tungsten 3 Person tent. This is a durable, waterproof, very spacious tent with rainfly and included footprint. It offers great waterproofing and is ideal for backpacking. It’s easy to setup and transport and makes a perfect 3-season tent. Let’s take a look at this, and some of the others.
- Best Waterproof Tents 2017 – Side by Side Comparison
- The Top 12 Waterproof Tents Reviewed
- Marmot Tungsten 3 Person Tent Editors’ Pick
- North Face Triarch 2 Waterproof Tent with Footprint Top Choice
- MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent Top Choice
- Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent for 3 Persons
- Coleman Sundome 2-Person Waterproof Tent Best Value
- Nemo Galaxi 2 Tent w/ Footprint
- Kelty Trailogic TN2 Tent
- REI Kingdom 8 Waterproof Camping Tent
- Weanas Waterproof Double Layer 2,3,4 Person Tent
- Yodo Upgraded Waterproof 2,4 Person Backpack Tent
- Mountain Hardware Optic 2.5 Tent
- Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent
- Buying a Waterproof Tent – Why Not Just A Regular Tent?
- TLC – Tent Loving Care
The Top 12 Waterproof Tents Reviewed
Marmot Tungsten 3 Person Tent Editors’ Pick
Rating: (5 / 5)
Standing at 7” high and 10” wide, you can virtually throw a crazy, outdoor party inside this waterproof tent. Its No-See-Um mesh canopy keeps the bugs outside, two D-shaped doors make for easy entrances and exits, and two vestibules provide safe, dry space for your gear.
The floor and fly of this tent are seam taped and PU coated for optimum waterproofing. Fully capable of fitting you and 2 other people, however you will be much more comfortable with only 2 persons. Marmot did a great job with this tent, it earned our Editors’ Pick award and we give it our highest recommendation.
North Face Triarch 2 Waterproof Tent with Footprint Top Choice
Rating: (5 / 5)
A lightweight, freestanding backpacking tent with great waterproof features, multiple fly configurations and gear loft and footprint included. Durable ripstop nylon makes this the ideal tent for almost any outdoor conditions. Vaulted head and footbox provide maximum space and excellent breathability. Overall, a great tent and highly recommended for anyone looking for a good lightweight 2 person tent.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent Top Choice
Rating: (4.9 / 5)
This ripstop nylon/nylon mesh, 2-person, waterproof tent is ultralight and livable – almost livable enough to trade in your actual house. With loads of head and elbow room and two large side-entrances, this tent rates high on our list.
This waterproof tent features two StayDry doors with rain gutters, adjustable rainfly with a roll-up vestibule, and an optional stargazer (for those nights). An ultra-compact compression stuff sack makes transporting this tent convenient and easy. It’s a great choice for backpacking, camping, and hiking, and is one of the lightest of the tents we’ve reviewed.
Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent for 3 Persons
Rating: (4.6 / 5)
You ever get that feeling like you just want to be above everyone else, but in the most modest way possible? Well, Tepui Tents has made just what you need. The Kukenam Sky tent straps to the top of your car and allows you to camp above everyone else. There’s no longer a need to worry about rocks, dirt, and wet ground under your tent.
This rugged tent is constructed of heavy-duty polyester and cotton (with waterproofing treatment), with a cushy foam base and PU-coated canopy, this tent is made for all seasons. In warm conditions, an all-round No-See-Um mesh provides plenty ventilation, and the canopy is weatherproofed for rain, snow and wet conditions. Watch the following video to see how it looks inside:
Coleman Sundome 2-Person Waterproof Tent Best Value
Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- Well ventilated
- Rugged & durable
- AC power port
- Not good for cold weather
This waterproof tent is ranked at #1 in Amazon’s Backpacking Tents category, and we can see why. This dome structure has 1 door, sleeps 2 people and is durable, waterproof and well ventilated.
Its large outdoor exit features a hooded fly that provides ventilation even in rainy conditions, a rugged 1000D polyethylene floor, along with welded seams, provide optimum waterproofing. Mesh vents on the roof and a large rear hooded window provide additional outstanding ventilation.
It even has a port to run AC power and is one of the best value backpacking waterproof tents we’ve reviewed. This is definitely a good buy.
Nemo Galaxi 2 Tent w/ Footprint
Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Nemo innovation and quality in a good waterproof tent. This easy-to-setup and easy-to-use tent is both durable and spacious. It features plenty vestibules for protected entry and storage of dry gear. Dual doors offer added ventilation with one or both open, full protection when closed, and with magnetic tie-backs, it’s simple to roll back your door and keep it out of your way. This is a great 2-person, dome, waterproof tent that can withstand rain and freezing temperatures.
Kelty Trailogic TN2 Tent
Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The Trailogic TN2 is a lightweight, easy to carry on any trail, compact waterproof tent. Constructed of fabric/nylon with an oversized door this tent features a stargazing fly that allows you to watch the sky from the comfort of the inside. Additionally, it features internal storage pockets, fly vents and welded clear windows.
REI Kingdom 8 Waterproof Camping Tent
Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Price: Check Price at REI
- Easy entry/exit
- Room divider
- Footprint not included
This 8-person waterproof tent, with 2 huge doors, bug-proof mesh paneling, seam-sealed waterproof polyester rainfly and multiple interior storage options. A zip-in divider can convert this tent from 1 room to 2 rooms. Equipped with a weather-protective awning, this waterproof tent includes a backpack carry bag.
Weanas Waterproof Double Layer 2,3,4 Person Tent
Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- Spacious & roomy
- Uncomfortable and cramped with over 2 persons
Weanas constructed a convenient and comfortable 3-season waterproof tent that is lightweight, easy to install and can withstand high pressure. Professionally water tested, the waterproof index of this tent is over 4000mm, and a strong skeleton and tent nails give it its windproof qualities.
A special UV coating and breathable nylon make it SPF proof in hot, sunny conditions. It features a brace window and 2 closable ventilation skylights. This waterproof camping tent is built for 2-4 persons and makes for a great backpacking tent, ranking at #3 in Amazon’s Backpacking Tent category.
Yodo Upgraded Waterproof 2,4 Person Backpack Tent
Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- Easy transport
- Dual entrance
- Ventilation screens & Screened doors
- A bit heavy for backpacking
This waterproof tent is a great pick due to its durable, waterproof and breathable qualities. With a tough polyester canopy and coated polyester rainfly and floor, this tent can withstand anything the outdoors throw your way. Factory-sealed seams provide excellent waterproofing.
This waterproof tent features 2 doors and 2 vestibules for easy access and additional coverage. The vestibules double as buyout points to stabilize the tent in gusty conditions. Fly design allows the sides and ends to be rolled up to maximize views and airflows, but rolls down quickly should the weather get nasty.
Mountain Hardware Optic 2.5 Tent
Rating: (4.2 / 5)
This waterproof tent is ideal for backpackers who enjoy roomy, spacious, and airy tent structures. With full-sized doors on adjacent sides and various vestibule tie-backs, this tent can have an outstanding 180-degree view. The canopy is constructed from poly knit mesh, while the floor and fly constructed from waterproof polyester and nylon respectively.
This is a great backpacking tent that provides adequate room for you, one more person and all your gear.
Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent
Rating: (4.1 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- Large and roomy
- Not ideal for backpacking
Another 8-person waterproof tent, with enough room to fit two queen airbeds. Large screened windows and doors provide an unbeatable view while keeping the critters out. 2 doors and 7 windows provide full ventilation, with a removable divider between rooms. An exclusive WeatherTech system with thick waterproof walls and welded floors keep you and your company as dry as a bone. This tent ranks at #4 in Amazon’s Family Camping Tents category.
Buying a Waterproof Tent – Why Not Just A Regular Tent?
Admittedly, there are some pretty cheap, plain Jane tents on the market out there that you could easily pick up and hit the trail with tomorrow. However, as outdoor enthusiasts we all know, or should know, to expect the unexpected when we’re dealing with the great outdoors. If you possess a “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best” kind of mentality, then common sense would dictate that maybe you should trade in that plain Jane tent for something a little more resilient and durable. We know what you’re going to ask, “What’s the difference?” Well, let’s take a look.
Water, Water Everywhere And Not A Drop To Drink
It goes without saying that the number 1 advantage to buying a waterproof tent is that it’s waterproof. Duh! The majority of the best waterproof tents are constructed of nylon/polyester fabrics that stand up to the elements. Seam welded features are something you can look out for as they contribute to the waterproof attributes of these tents. Most of these tents incorporate water protected entrances and have been actually water tested, so those are some additional features you can keep an eye out for. Some tent footprints provide additional waterproofing as well. Pay close attention to the tent’s waterproof features – we’re absolutely sure it wouldn’t be too pleasant to spend money on a tent that you have to sleep with a snorkel and goggles for the first night of rain.
How Strong Is Strong?
Since your waterproof tent can be considered your home away from home, and as we mentioned before, your first line of self-defense, the durability, and construction of your tent is equally as important as waterproofing. There’s no use having a waterproof tent that will blow away should three little pigs attempt to seek refuge from a big, bad wolf in it. Look at the types of materials the poles, stakes, and other assembly gear are made of. Determine whether or not you’ll have to purchase these items separately or if they’re included. If they’re already included, it might not be a bad idea to pick up a few spares should something go “snap” in the night. Additional things like a footprint can help protect the bottom of your tent, extending its life and durability, and protect it from added wear and tear from outdoor terrain.
A Promise Is Comfort To A Fool
A promise might be comfort to a fool, but a good waterproof tent is comfort to a happy camper. It’s a good idea to have a tent that, although it’s waterproof, is breathable and well ventilated. After a cold, wet night might come a hot, dry day, and you don’t want to be sweaty, clammy, and uncomfortable inside your tent in warm conditions. Some tents come with large doors and zippered windows that allow for great ventilation, and even a fly for stargazing and sky watching.
Take A Loaf Off Annie…And You Put The Load Right On Me
The weight of your tent is pretty important depending on the type of outdoor activities you’ll be doing. If you’re backpacking, the lighter the tent the better, since it’ll save you from expending much-needed energy hauling a heavy tent around. For straight-forward camping trips where you’ll be driving to directly to the location, the weight of your tent shouldn’t matter much. Car-mounted tents similar to the Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent are a good consideration for these types of outdoor adventures. A lightweight waterproof tent doesn’t have to be a flimsy tent. In this article, we’ve reviewed many lightweight tents that can stand the test of time and elements, so do not think that it needs to be heavy for it to be durable. After all, especially in hiking and backpacking, the lighter your load the more comfortable and fulfilling your expedition will be.
Contrary to popular belief, size matters – with waterproof tents at least. It would be highly impractical and somewhat irrational to take an 8-person tent on a 1-person expedition – of course, there’s nothing stopping you, it’s a matter of preference. On a serious note, choose the size of your tent based on your activity and the number of people going with you, especially if you’re a group of friends who go hiking and camping regularly. It may pay off to pitch in (all puns intended) and buy a single 8-person tent as opposed to four 2-person tents -you get the picture. Apart from your group numbers, a spacious tent with plenty room and possibly a room divider can make for a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.
Did This Thing Come With Instructions?
Last, but certainly not least, when looking for the best waterproof tent, you want to make sure the tent you’ve chosen isn’t near impossible to setup and pick down. If you find yourself studying for a structural engineering degree while setting up your tent, chances are it’s way too complicated to setup and you could’ve probably found an easier option. Luckily, the majority of tents we reviewed are easy to setup. You’ll find the easier your tent is to set up, the more time you’ll have to allocate to other activities, or the sooner you can enjoy hot chocolate under the stars.
Learn how to waterproof a tent in 2 easy steps
TLC – Tent Loving Care
Like your home, your tent expects the best tender loving care that you can offer. A well-maintained tent can offer many years of homey service. Here are a few ways, both at home and outdoors, on how you can extend your waterproof tent’s life expectancy.
The Great OutdoorsTry to set up shop on as smooth, and debris-free a surface as possible. Try to avoid rocks and other debris that can puncture your tent material, and compromise the really cool features of your tents – like waterproofing, etc. Use the footprint included, or purchase one if it’s not included. A tent’s footprint can serve many purposes. It protects your tent floor from abrasion, avoids collection of water under the tent floor and can even provide a clean surface to break down and pack up your tent on. Try not to trek mud, dirt, leaves and other foreign object debris into your tent. If you can, leave boots and shoes outside or in any storage compartments your tent may have to offer. An ideal feature in a waterproof tent would be an SPF proof design or UV treatment as seen in the Weanas waterproof tent. After a while, the sun’s UVF rays can break down material, so this would be an ideal feature, however, if you can’t do any better, pitching your tent in a well-shaded area is also a great idea. In packing up your tent, avoid constantly folding on the same seemliness each and every single time as this will eventually cause the creases to become permanent and brittle.
Home Sweet HomeBefore you store your tent ensure that it is completely dry. The last thing you need is to go out on your next camping trip and set up a tent full of mildew. Before storing, unpack your tent and air dry it until it is absolutely dry. This is probably the most important point in tent-care. Clean your tent after the trip and before storing. A soft sponge, non-detergent soap, and cold water are the 3 essentials you need to give your tent a good wash. Household soaps with fragrances can attract unwanted critters on your next trip, and can render your tent’s durable water repellent coating useless. It might be a good idea to set up your tent at home before you hit the outdoors to avoid any unwanted surprises, especially if it’s a new and unfamiliar tent. This also serves to let you know if you might need any spare parts, replacement parts or repairs to a tent you’ve already used. Washing your tent in a washing machine and drying it in a dryer are an absolute NO. A washing machine can pull apart the seams on your tent and a dryer can even melt the materials and protective coatings that your tent possesses. Always hand-wash and air dry.
As your first line of self defense, you’ll need a tent built like a tank, to provide you with the strength, durability, security, and protection you need in the great outdoors. If you can find these attributes in a waterproof tent, then your outdoor experience will be nothing but awesome.
Image Credits: Andrew Parnell; Lian Chang; Paxson Woelber / flickr.com (CC-BY 2.0 license)