15 Types of Camping Tents [With Pictures]

15 Types of Camping Tents [With Pictures]
Dome Tent

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There are different types of camping tents available in the market. If you are a new camper then you might be searching for the best camping tent.

Every tent available in the shops is different from one another regarding size, usability, and functions. So, before you bring one tent, try to know what different types of the tent provides and their potential advantages and disadvantages. You should also know the different parts of tents and its function.

Read for finding the best camping tents.

but, first, know what is a tent?


What is a tent?

A tent is a temporary shelter which can be of cloth, polyester or canvas, supported or not supported by poles and stretched tightly by rope or cord, which is attached to the ground by pegs. There are different camping tent types, each with its unique features.

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Picture of orange Dome Tent
Dome Tent


1. Dome Tent

Today, a dome tent is one of the most popular types of tents used for camping. You can identify these tents by their curved pole structure.

Dome tents features have 2 or 3 poles that can arch over the top of the tent in a semi-circle shape.

There are different shapes of a dome tent, two flexible poles crossing in the middle gives a square dome shape. Whereas three poles give a hexagon shape to it.

In this tent types, the sides are more vertical so that there is more headroom and have a better wider floor area.

These are a very flexible type of tent that makes them so much popular among campers. These tents generally have a detachable groundsheet.

You can easily set up these tents and their work with an interlocking pole system that gives the strength to the tent, which makes and holds the total structure together.

Typically dome tents are not an ideal choice in harsh weather. But they can stand against a fair amount of rain and wind.

Many designs have a porch where you can store your camping gear so that you can get a large and spacious tent area.

Pros & Cons

  • There is a good amount of headroom due to the shape.
  • If three poles are used then a dome tent is much stronger.
  • Dome tents can be easily set up, easy to transport, and easy to store.
  • It can be extended easily to incorporate more people.
  • One of the most popular tents these days.
  • A versatile tent that can be used for a wide range of camping trips.
  • Not so much useful during high winds.
  • Dome tents have curved zip for the door, you have to be careful.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Dome Tent


picture of Tunnel Tent
Tunnel Tent


2. Tunnel Tent

If you are camping with family or friends then you must look for a tunnel tent. Dome tents are smaller and are not useful when there are many people.

In tunnel tents, poles are bound into a semi-circle and stand them up in a line to create a tunnel. Other types of tunnel tents use rigid poles to form their structure.

They are easy to pitch and offer plenty of space for camping essentials. These different kinds of tents provide good headroom compared to a dome tent.

These types of tents are popular as they are big to accommodate many people and can withstand for any length of time at the campsite.

If you have a car to transport gear and can afford the extra space then a tunnel tent is perfect for camping.

Tunnel tent comes in a huge variety of sizes and styles and is very common in today’s campsites.

Pros & Cons

  • Perfect for a larger group such as families.
  • The headroom is huge as compared to other different types of tents for camping.
  • Excellent for harsh or mild weather can withstand high wind too.
  • Spacious and comfortable than many types of tents.
  • Protection against high winds due to tapered ends.
  • It takes time to pitch the tent.
  • If pitching space is limited then there is a problem.
  • It is difficult to set up the tent again if it collapses due to bad weather.
  • Due to its large size, ventilation in the middle area is less than the outer areas.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Tunnel Tent


picture of Semi-geodesic Tent
Semi-geodesic Tent


3. Geodesic and Semi-geodesic Tents

The term geodesic and semi-geodesic is a mathematical term. The word geodesic means the shortest route between two points on earth.

Geodesic and semi-geodesic tents are tents where the poles criss-cross over the surface, intersecting to form a triangle shape.

They have a similar structure like dome tents but have extra poles. These poles cross over each other to make a spacious inner area and to give a tent a stable structure.

This makes the stress to distribute across the structure, making it a more stable tent in extreme weather.

These types of tents for camping are costly but can be affordable due to its strength and durability during harsh weather and expeditions like mountaineering.

So, if you are going to climb Mount Everest then hopefully you will take a geodesic tent with you.

Semi-geodesic tents also have this type of design but with fewer poles which gives a lighter and a more streamlined design.

They are used for less extreme weather conditions. They are more compact in style and shape that is better for backpacking, mountainous terrain, windy area and for an exposed like terrain.

These types of tents come in many sizes and are useful in windy conditions. They have a much internal room with a high ceiling.

Pros & Cons

  • Better strength and structural stability.
  • Good headroom and ample internal space due to shape.
  • It can last longer in harsh weather than other types of tents.
  • It can withstand heavy snowfall and rainfall.
  • Not suitable for many people such as family.
  • Expensive than other non-technical tents.
  • Heavier than few other tents to carry over long distances.


picture of Pop-Up Tent
Pop-Up Tent


4. Pop-up Tent

Pop-up tents are the most popular type of tent these days due to its simplicity and flexibility. As the name goes so the work, these pop-up tents are designed to open up and take the shape automatically without human intervention.

After it popups, you have to tie it on the ground to make it more stable. Two people can fit inside it easily, that’s why it is very useful and popular for camping.

These tents pack up into a circular bag, which can be carried to any distance due to its lightweight.

Just take it out whenever and wherever you want to make a shelter. These tents have a simple door opening, single-walled design, and built-in floor.

Pros & Cons

  • Very compact and lightweight design, perfect and easy to transport.
  • Due to a compact design, it does not take the internal room of the tent.
  • A footprint of the tent is smaller than the other types of a tent that’s why it is very easy to set up in closed places.
  • Easy to pitch.
  • A little expensive than the other tents.
  • Have less headroom than the dome tents.
  • Not so strong against the harsh weather and high winds.
  • Unsuitable for backcountry camping.

Further Reading: How To Fold A Pop Up Tent [Easy Guide]

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Pop-up Tent


picture of Backpacking Tent
Backpacking Tent


5. Backpacking Tent

Very good tent for hikers and lazy people, because at the end of a busy hiking day you do not want to pitch a tent. So, here is a compact and lightweight backpacking tent. These tents are good tents for hiking.

These types of tents are very easy to set up and are designed for ease. There are many types of tent available in a different style but one thing is common in them that is, they have a low end with a wider section at the other end. It lastly finishes with a small porch.

This design makes them capable of standing up in high winds as they have a streamlined, compact, and low shape.

Generally, you won’t be able to roam inside the tent as these types of tents are low. But due to its lightweight and easy to pitch design you won’t be spending a large number of calories in carrying them.

Pros & Cons

  • Easy pitching due to fewer complications.
  • A simple design that demands less time in installation.
  • Compact and lightweight to carry over long distances.
  • It can withstand harsh weather such as heavy rain and high winds.
  • Less headroom compared to dome tent.
  • Less roam for a large group such as family.
  • Not very versatile and specially made for hiking campers only.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Backpacking Tent


picture of Bell Tent
Bell Tent


6. Bell Tent

Not so much popular with campers but are slowly gaining momentum. It has a boutique style and looks beautiful.

You can use this type of tent for summer camping as its panels are made up of canvas.  Canvas is an effective material that is fine to be used in summers.

One another feature of bell tents is its wood-burning stove which you will not find in other tents. There are many designs available with many attracting gear and accessories.

The pole of the tent runs through the center where the canvas drapes itself around it. This type of tent is recommended for cool weather.

Pros & Cons

  • Very stylish and trendy designer tent.
  • Pitching is simple and requires only one man for smaller ones.
  • You can roll the side panels of the tent for ventilation whenever required.
  • Tents are spacious and floor space is enough for many people.
  • Due to canvas panel temperature is effectively moderated.
  • These tents are expensive.
  • Not recommended for camping where you want ease.
  • The weight of the tent is more than any other tent and become much difficult to carry due to many accessories.

Further Reading: How To Set Up A Tent [Guide]

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Bell Tent


picture of Ridge Tent
Ridge Tent


7. Ridge Tent

Ridge tent is also known as a retro tent due to its design. It has 2 poles at each end which gives a triangular shape to the tent. Sometimes there is a pole that holds up the tent shape roof, that’s why it was named ridge tent.

This easy pitching and sturdy build had made this tent popular. There are many varieties of ridge tent according to space. There is a design available for 2 people as well as for a family.

Due to the slanting roof of this tent, you will not get enough headroom on either side of the tent and even in the middle. If you are not planning to spend enough time in the tent then this is a good choice. Ridge tents can be used anywhere you want to use them, but remember they are easy to set up but require guy lines for proper stability.

Pros & Cons

  • It is a very stable tent especially when many guy ropes are used.
  • Remains stable in bad weather.
  • There are many varieties to choose from.
  • It can be set up easily by one person only.
  • extremely durable due to its design and simplicity.
  • Less headroom due to a slanting roof.
  • Not quite popular these days which leaves you with fewer options.
  • The tent is usually heavy to carry.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Ridge Tent


picture of Inflatable Tent
Inflatable Tent


8. Inflatable Tent

There are no poles in inflatable tents. That is the uniqueness of this tent. Their design resembles a tunnel or large family tent.

These tents have hollow panels that are filled with air to make a stable and rigid structure. You will need an air pump to inflate the tent. Despite this, these tents do not have a pole but they are good for camping.

After inflating the tent you have to attach all the guy lines to make it stable. Inflatable tents are becoming popular due to their easy pitching.

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to set-up as you only need an air pump to inflate it.
  • This is a pole-less tent which makes building tent effortless.
  • There is lots of headroom, living space, and storage space available due to the spacious design.
  • They can be heavy as compared to other tents.
  • These tents are costly.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Inflatable Tent


picture of Family Tent
Family Tent


9. Vis-à-Vis (Family) Tent

These are big tents, which can accommodate a large family. When dome and tunnel tents started growing popular, the tent designer started adding extra rooms to the tent’s basic structure.

This started in France, where a central part of a tent was made as you can stand in that part of the tent. It had enough headroom. Two sleeping room was attached to this central part of the tent. These two compartments were face to face to one another.

In French face to face is called Vis-to-Vis, that’s why it got the name. Basis structure of family tents looks like tunnel or dome tents.

These tents are not advisable for light camping trips or backpacking as they are heavy to carry.

Pros & Cons

  • These tents provide a home-like feeling due to many compartments.
  • A multi-room tent which gives additional privacy.
  • Perfect for many people or big groups such as family.
  • You get porch which is a great area for a get-together.
  • Not so easy to pitch
  • Tents are expensive.
  • It is heavy to carry them.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Family Tent


10. Pod-Style Tents

The pod-style tent, have several compartments or pods that are attached to a large and spacious central living area. These pods are often separated from the central space by separate doors.

Pros & Cons

  • Due to separate space, there is room for privacy, that members of the family can have.
  • There is lots of interior space.
  • Due to covering large space, campgrounds can charge extra.
  • The extra fabric that comes with this tent will add more weight.
  • You need extra time to set up the tent.

Picture of a Cabin Tent
Image of a Cabin Tent

11. Cabin Tents

These types of tent are generally single space tents, but some variants can include internal dividers that separate the inner space into separate rooms.

There is no need for a footprint, that comes in square shape included with the tent. These tents are stable. They are a good choice for casual camping.

Pros & Cons

  • There is a lot of headroom in these tents.
  • One quality of these tents is that they have a tall entrance which makes it easier for you to enter it.
  • This type of tent is good for families or large groups because of the large interior space.
  • They are quite cheaper than other tents of this size.
  • Cabin tents cannot withstand harsh weather.
  • These tents are heavy to transport.
  • They are also pretty complicated to setup.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Cabin Tent


Picture of Pyramid Tent
Image of Pyramid Tent

12. Pyramid Tents

Pyramid tents look like a modern form of a teepee. They are known for their simple design which consists of only one pole at the center.

The pole is generally draped with canvas or other synthetic material, stretched out and secured by the guy lines and stakes.

Pros & Cons

  • Due to simple design, it is easier to set-up.
  • They are also lightweight which makes it easier to load and transport.
  • It is important to tie them strongly with guy-lines to the ground, otherwise, the tent may lose its shape and stability.
  • Headspace is limited especially at the edge.
  • Not suitable for large groups or families.
  • They do not have preinstalled groundsheet.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Pyramid Tent


Picture of Bivy Tent
Image of Bivy Tent

13. Bivy Tents

These tents are especially for hikers and single person use who wants to carry less weight. They look like a ridge tent and generally have a shape of a wedge, the high point of the tent is on one side.

Pros & Cons

  • Less weight, that is excellent for hiker and solo campers.
  • These tents have enough protection from the rain so that you can remain dry all night.
  • It is not suitable for a family or large group.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Bivy Tent


Picture of Hammock Tent
Image of Hammock Tent

14. Hammock Tent

These tents are tied to trees and remain suspended in the air. It is good for people who camp in the wild and where the ground is not ideal for sleeping. It also has a roof that protects you from rain and bugs.

Pros & Cons

  • Because they are suspended off the ground user will be protected from wild animals.
  • Lightweight and small which makes it easy to carry.
  • It is very easy to set-up these tents.
  • Not suitable for large groups or families.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Hammock Tent


Picture of Car-Top Tent
Image of Car-Top Tent

15. Car-Top Tents

It is a strange combination of a tent and an RV. but it is an awesome innovation for those people who have a car and want to stay with it.

You have to place it on a solid roof rack and can reach the tent by ladder. This ladder can be detached whenever you want.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent for people who want to camp in their car or are on a long journey.
  • You won’t have to sleep on the ground or in the car.
  • It is a little bit tricky for one person for setting it up.

Check Price & Other Details On Amazon: Car-Top Tent


The Best Camping Tent Brands

1. Coleman

Coleman is an outdoor gear company which is in business for over 100 years. Their tents are the best selling tents. They are quality outdoor gear providers.

Coleman has a wide variety of tents suitable for every camper. They provide a diverse price range that is why it is affordable by a large percentage of the population. They also make large family tents.

2. REI or Recreational Equipment Incorporated

REI is an outdoor reaction company that was established in the year 1938. They manufacture many kinds of outdoor activity products including tents.

REI is also known to spend millions of dollars every year on environmental protection. They are very popular among camper because of their durable tents.

The tents are not very costly and they make nearly all kinds of tents.

3. Hilleberg

The Hilleberg company makes tents and the entire business is owned by the family. They are known for their high quality and super lightweight tents.

This is a Swedish tent manufacturing company founded in the 1970s by Bo and Renate Hillenburg.

Tents are high priced because of its excellent quality and durability. Two skin feature design is their especially that cannot be often seen in many other tents.

4. The North Face

The North Face is an American outdoor gear company that was founded in San Francisco in the 1960s by Douglas Thomkins and his wife. They later sold the company.

It was named after a mountain named north face which is the iciest and most difficult mountain to climb in the northern hemisphere.

The North Face tents are known for their cold resistance design.

5. Kelty

Kelty is owned by Exxcel Outdoors. LLC and is an outdoor gear manufacturing company. The company is based in Boulder, Colorado, and was established in the year 1919 by Asher “Dick” Kelty when he created an outdoor backpack.

Kelty is known for its good quality and affordable price. They are credited for creating the first aluminum backpack. They make many varieties of a tent for every camper.

6. Big Agnes

Big Agnes is an outdoor gear manufacturing company and their motto is “life is too short to use bad camping gear”. These tents are known for providing max space and comfort and also the tents weigh less. They have a wide variety of tents fit for every customer’s needs.

7. Mountain Safety Research (MSR)

Mountain Safety Research or MSR was established in the 1960s. Their motto is “the idea that is better, safer, more reliable equipment is the key to unlocking greater adventures”.

Their products are known for their last longing design that can withstand harsh terrain and environment. They sell all-season backpacking tents & minimalist shelters.

Their tent can withstand freezing temperatures and can be useful in the summers too. Due to durability and high quality, most of the tents are expensive but you can also find affordable tents. They are known for their tents which are meant for mountain environment and backpacking.

8. Kodiak Canvas

Kodiak Canvas company is not too old but has created its name among the best quality tent manufacturers.

Their tents are durable and provide all kinds of needs that a camper can want. They have invented Hydra-Shield Canvas which provides breathability and airflow that most of them cannot. The canvas is very durable and is almost free from any rips and tears.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Tent Material is Best?

All tent materials are useful in some way or other, so, it will not right to say that one is better than others in all conditions. The reason is that in different weather condition different types of tent material is more useful than others.

You will find the best tent material when you know, where to use it.

Like for example, if you are camping in a hot weather condition then cotton or light canvas will be better. This is due to the air ventilation that happens due to the tiny pores in this material.

On a hot day, a polyester tent will not be useful as the air inside cannot pass through the material.

On a cold day, cotton and canvas tent will feel warmer than the polyester. But polyester tent dries quicker than the cotton or canvas tents.

So, the weather condition of the given day can make a lot of difference in your comfort.

2. How to Care For Tents?

1. Cleaning the Tent

You can clean a tent by wiping it with a cloth or foam with a mild soap solution. Rinse and then keep it in an open place or under a fan to dry.

Never use detergent, washing machine, or dryer because they can damage the protective coating and seams of the tent.

Always check whether the tent is completely dry or not, check the corners and double-stitched areas such as the seams, before storing otherwise storing mold and mildew will grow on it.

You can clean the poles with a dry, soft cloth. If you have camped near-shore then remember to remove salt that can corrode the material.

For the zipper, you can dip them in soap solution and brush them off to clean. The sand and dirt can wear out the sliders and the teeth will become inoperable.

2. Save Your Tent From ultraviolet

The ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage the tent fabric. Most synthetic materials get damaged due to ultraviolet degradation.

Nylon and polyester fabric becomes brittle and tears very easily after prolonged exposure in the sun. The damage caused by ultraviolet is non-repairable which leaves your tent unusable.

To save it you should set-up your tent where sun exposure can be avoided. If you have to erect it in the sun then use a rainfly to protect it. It acts as a sunscreen and is less expensive to replace than a tent.

3. Other Tent Care tips

  1. Never wear shoes inside a tent and when not in use keep it them in a plastic bag.
  2. Use mat in front of the tent entrance, it will keep your tent clean.
  3. Do not set-up your tent on small pebbles or stone, they can damage it. Sweep the ground before erecting the tent.
  4. Try not to keep leftover food inside a tent as a hungry animal will not hesitate to get inside by tearing up your tent.

3. What Kind of Structure is a Tent?

A tent is a very basic structure consisting of sheets of fabric that is draped over or attached to the frame of poles and supported by a rope tied to the ground.

A larger tent needs guyline (rope) tied to the stakes or tent pegs. Smaller tents are well supported by the frames or poles.

Tents were first to use by nomads but now they are used as a temporary shelter for recreational campers.

The tents can vary in size from bivouac structure that is good for one person to huge circus tents which can seat thousands of people inside it.

4. Pyramid Tent Features

Features of the pyramid tent

  1. There is a pole at the center with a fabric that is draped over the pole. It is then stretched near the bottom corner or edges of the fly. Here guyline and stakes are vital as they provide stability and shape to the tent.
  2. Pyramid tents are similar to the shape of a pyramid with a little difference that they are mostly circular at the bottom while the pyramid is quadrilateral in shape.

5. Dome Tent Features

Features of a dome tent

  1. Dome tents have a rectangular-shaped floor and two poles that run from each other from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner. They cross each other at the peak of the tent. When you see the dome tent from above, the pole will make a cross sign.
  2. This design makes them stable and can also withstand strong winds.
  3. You can easily set them up without any help from another person. You do not need any guyline or stakes to make it stable. The poles and design are sufficient to do it by itself.
  4. It is rainproof and windproof.

6. History of Tents

Humans are using a tent from the biblical times to the first 50,000 years. In Russia, a tent was found that dates back 40,000 B.C. Maybe that’s why after having houses to live, we still like to live in a tent, they feel like home.

Roman soldiers popularize the military tent way back in 300 B.C when they have to frequently travel across cities using large tents such as a ridge or marquee tents.

American soldiers during the civil war used tents, this was also the first time when camouflaged tents were used to hide from the enemy.

Tent camping became popular during the 20th century. As years passed, tents became more lightweight, durable, and even waterproof along with other useful features.

Watch This Youtube Video: Top 10 Best Tents For Camping & Backpacking

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