Staying dry may be one of the biggest challenges you face when camping. No matter where you plan to go, rain is always a possibility, but you may also encounter dampness from dew, ground water, or even snow. For your next trip into the wilderness, we have identified the best waterproof tents for your situation, and we put together a Buyer’s Guide for how to choose which waterproof tent is right for you.
5 Best Waterproof Tents Reviewed In This Post
- MOON LENCE 2 Person Backpacking Tent
- GEERTOP 2 Person Tent
- COLEMAN Sundome 3 Person Tent
- KAZOO 4 Person Tent
- CORE 9 Person Tent
The Moon Lence Backpacking Tent fits two people and is intended for anyone who is planning to hike into the wilderness and camp. Out of all the tents reviewed in this post, this tent is the lightest, weighing approximately 5.2 pounds (2.36 kg). Since you will be carrying this tent on your back, one person would be able to carry this lightweight tent, or you could share the poles and stakes with your hiking partner.
The walls of the tent are made of 210D polyester, a stronger, thicker fabric that is more resistant to tears. While the top half of the tent consists mostly of mesh for increased ventilation, the rain fly covers the entire tent and reaches to the ground, providing maximum protection against rain, snow, and wind.
The rain fly has a thread count of 190 and hydrostatic head rating of 2000 mm. While these numbers indicate that the tent has a lower waterproof rating than some of the higher end tents out there, the Moon Lence tent will protect against harmful UV rays while also keeping moisture out in most rain and snow storms.
To help reduce condensation on the inside of the tent walls, this tent comes with small vents at the top which can be propped open or velcroed shut. Unfortunately, the excellent ventilation of this tent means that it will not retain heat very well in cold weather. There are two doors, one on each side, with convenient velcro straps to hold them open, and most users have found that the zippers work very well.
Although this tent does not include a footprint, it includes 11 tent pegs and 4 guy lines for extra security in high winds. Many users report that it repells water well, and most have been pleased with its performance. Moon Lence offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty, and for the competitive price, we recommend the Moon Lence as the Best Waterproof Backpacking Tent.
The Geertop 2-Person Tent would also make an excellent backpacking tent. At 6.4 pounds (2.9 kg), it is light enough to carry long distances while still allowing room for your other gear. However, this tent also makes a great general-use tent for two people.
This tent retains heat well, while providing ample ventilation. During hot and dry nights, the rain fly can be removed, but the rain fly also contains two vents at the top which can be propped open when in use. This tent has two doors with mesh windows opposite each other and two smaller mesh windows allowing for cross-ventilation.
Most important for weather proofing, the tent is made with 210T polyester which resists tears, and the material is rated at 3000MM. It comes with the necessary poles, inner tent, rain fly, stakes, and two guy lines, as well as a carry bag, but we would recommend that you purchase a footprint since this is not included.
Some people who have used this tent have reported that the zipper is weak and easy to break, but this does not seem to be an issue for everyone. Also, the tent may feel cramped for two large individuals and all of their backpacking gear. However, the vestibule allows for some extra space, and if you are car camping, space should not be an issue.
The Geertop Backpacking Tent comes at a great price and from a dependable brand, and given its lightweight and water resistant features, we have chosen it as our pick for the best 2 person waterproof tent.
The Coleman Sundome Tent is tried and true in the camping world. It comes with several features that work together to keep the inside of the tent as dry as possible. The tub-design and welded corners of the floor, along with inverted seams, keep water from seeping into the tent from the ground, while the ventilation and double layers help to reduce the build-up of condensation.
In addition to large windows, this tent also includes an innovative ground vent at the back that increases the flow of air. It also comes with a power cord port so that you can run an extension cord into the tent if needed.
Most of the people who have used this tent found it easy to set up and take down, and the compact storage bag makes it super easy to carry to and from the campsite. It includes a strong, fiberglass frame, with ground dimensions of 9 feet by 7 feet, and a height of 4 feet, 11 inches at the center.
Unlike with some other tents, the rain fly that comes with the Coleman does not extend all the way to the ground, which means that rain water might blow into the tent in gusty weather. Other users have stated that rain water occasionally splashes into the tent through the ground vent.
Aside from these small complaints, the Coleman 3-person tent offers a cost-effective, user-friendly option, and as it will fit three people, it may be just the right size for two people who wish to have a little extra room. After all, you can fit a queen size air mattress in this tent, which may make your next camping trip all the more enjoyable.
The Kazoo Family Tent has room for up to four adults, and provides additional room in the large vestibule, or “porch,” which comes with its own footprint as part of the footprint for the main tent. This comfortable tent allows access through a door on either side, with two windows in the rain fly for ventilation. The tent can also be used without the rain fly, in which case the mesh upper walls would work well to keep the bugs out.
This tent is an easy set up for only two people, and it comes with 8 reflective guylines and 16 stakes. The tent consists of 210T Ripstop fabric with a 3000 mm rating. The taped seams and high tub floor design help to prevent water from coming in or soaking through the floor while you’re sleeping, and the double layers allow for warm, humid air to escape, reducing the amount of water that accumulates inside the tent walls.
People who have used this tent have expressed almost no complaints, except that the tent will not retain heat well given its large size and good ventilation. Otherwise, the Kazoo 4 Person Family Tent would make a great choice for a group of friends or a small family. It comes with a 2 year warranty and can be purchased for a very affordable price. As such, it is our choice for the Best 4 Person Waterproof Tent.
The Core 9 Person Tent would be an excellent tent for a troop, family, or group of friends. It contains lots of space, with plenty of room for playing games when you are stuck inside the tent during a rainstorm. The 16 foot by 9 foot floor provides 144 square feet of living space, with a maximum height at the center of 72 inches.
It comes with a gear loft, lantern hooks, and side pockets to keep your smaller items off the ground, and there’s also a port in the tent where you can run an extension cord.
The fabric has a water resistant coating, and the seams have been heat sealed so that water will not leak through. What’s more, this tent includes adjustable air vents at the ground level that create air flow to allow hot, humid air to escape through the top. Be aware that the rainfly does not extend all the way to the ground, so in especially windy conditions, rain water might get blown up between the rainfly and the mesh windows.
This tent costs little more than some of the much smaller tents, and believe or not, this tent is so easy to set up, you can probably do it by yourself! If you are looking for a tent for a large party, or simply want lots of space, we’d recommend getting the Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent.
Guide for Buying the Best Waterproof Tent
When looking for the best waterproof tent, the decision you make can be boiled down to two critical factors: the elements of the tent that will keep you dry and the aspects of the tent that will keep you and your crew comfortable.
In this guide, I will give you the tools and information you need to choose the best waterproof tent for your next outdoor adventure.
The first line of defense against rain, wind, snow, and dew will be the walls, ceiling, and floor of your tent. As such, you should spend a good deal of time considering the quality of the fabric and materials that make up your tent.
Ripstop fabric is a material specifically designed to stop tears and snags from growing larger in the sides of the tent.
When the polyester, cotton, or nylon fibers are woven together, additional, stronger strands are added at regular intervals to provide reinforcement. In this way, if the weaker fibers rip or tear, the thicker, stronger fibers will help to prevent the hole from getting any larger.
Ripstop fabric is popular among tent manufacturers because it is a great way to increase the durability of the fabric without significantly increasing the weight of the tent.
Thread Count and Denier
When reading the specs on various tents, you will most likely come across numbers such as the thread count and denier rating (for example, “300D”).
The thread count is just that: the number of threads within a given area of fabric (usually per square inch in the US). Depending on the type of fibers used, a higher thread count will usually mean that the fabric is denser.
However, you should consider the Denier rating of the fabric as well. The Denier unit (or just “D”) is essentially the weight of the fibers that are used, and when combined with a high thread count, can result in a super durable material.
Hydrostatic Head Rating
The hydrostatic head rating measures the water resistance of a material and is abbreviated as HH. However, you will commonly see this rating written in millimeters (for example, 3000mm).
The video below explains the way in which this measurement is derived, but the important thing to keep in mind is that the higher the rating, the better the tent will be in keeping water out. An HH rating of 3000mm is about the average for waterproof tents.
Waterproof Coatings & Sprays (PU)
Now, once you have looked at the thread count, Denier, HH rating, and the weather forecast, you might opt for a tent with some kind of waterproof coating as well.
Tents that are advertised as waterproof will usually come from the store with a coating already applied to the tent. But, keep in mind that this is little more than a topical spray, and it will wear off quickly when the tent is exposed to sun and rain.
You can always waterproof the tent yourself, but I would not depend on this to keep you dry during a heavy rain storm.
Here are some of the best tent waterproofing sprays:
Layers: Rainfly & Inner Tent
It is always a good idea to purchase a double layer tent, as this will provide an additional barrier against the elements.
Some tents are designed with only one layer, which means that there is not a separate rainfly and that the windows (if there are windows) must be zipped in order to keep out the rain.
Double layer tents are designed so that the outer layer can be removed. If the weather is dry and warm, you can remove the outer layer, ventilate the tent, and sleep under the stars, while still protecting yourself from mosquitoes and spiders and other curious critters.
If a rain shower moves in or the temperature starts to drop in the evening (which will lead to dew formation), the rainfly can cover the tent and keep you nice and dry.
Seams & Zippers
Water finds the easiest way in, and when it comes to tents, that usually means the zippers or the seams. When purchasing a tent, pay attention to the location of the seams.
Preferably, there should be no seams on the floor of the tent, and the best quality tents will have a tub-like floor, where the sides of the floor material rise two to three inches off the ground before the wall fabric starts.
The seams should be welded or double-stitched, and if they come taped and sealed, all the better. The zippers should have a flap of fabric that extends over them while closed, and this should do the trick just fine.
Pro Tip: You never know where the water will flow once it starts raining. I was camping in Georgia on the side of a mountain, and when I awoke just after midnight to the sound of thunder, I discovered that a “river” had formed directly under the tent as the rain flowed down the slope of the mountain. If the floor of my tent had not used the tub-design, I would have been soaked.
Good ventilation in a tent helps to prevent condensation from forming. Condensation forms on the tent when there is a significant temperature difference inside and outside the tent. Ventilation helps to minimize this temperature difference and thereby reduces the amount of condensation that forms.
The only downside to good ventilation is that you may have trouble staying warm. If you are planning to camp high in the mountains or close to the winter season, you might choose to sacrifice some ventilation and risk more condensation for the sake of warmth.
The size of your tent will depend on the number of people in your camping party, but there are some other things to consider as well.
If you are camping for several nights in a row, you will probably have more gear and supplies, and as a result, a larger tent will allow more storage room.
Taller individuals often find that tents are too short to stand up in, and they feel cramped. If this happens to be you, look for tents with a center height that seems comfortable.
If you happen to be backpacking, a larger tent will weigh more. This shouldn’t stop you from choosing a larger tent, especially since you might be able to split the load with another person, but the tent will have to be carried one way or another.
And, the larger the tent, the more complicated it will be to set-up (unless it is the Core 9 Person Tent).
Storage & Portability
In order to preserve your tent for years to come, I recommend choosing a tent that has a good storage bag. This will help to protect the waterproof coating of the tent during transportation as well as during the months of storage in your attic.
The storage bag also provides an easier way to transport the tent, and while it is not the most important factor to consider when choosing a waterproof tent, the portability of your tent will make the camping trip all the more enjoyable.