One of the not so great things about camping tents is that they can get rather expensive rather quickly. Even a higher quality 1 man tent can cost hundreds of dollars, and that only goes up when you start looking at bigger tents with more capacity. So cheap camping tents are a good idea, especially if you want some money left over for other expensive items like sleeping bags and backpacks. And if you know what to look for, there’s no reason you can get a cheap tent that’s also a good tent.
Cheap Camping TentsWhat to look at when you want cheap camping tents.
- Capacity – As alluded to above, the more people your tent can fit, the more expensive it’s going to be. So if you want a cheap camping tent, consider getting a tent that’s just big enough for you, or maybe you and a significant other, and let other people worry about their own shelter needs.
- Season – A four season camping tent is generally going to be a more durable, bombproof sort of tent, which will of course raise the price. So unless you really need a four season tent, it’s a good idea to stick to three season tents, and invest in a four season tent only if you end up really needing one.
Best Cheap Camping TentsSome of the very best cheap camping tents to choose from.
- REI Camp Dome Tent - The REI brand is generally a value focused brand, and the Camp Dome series of tents is certainly cheap. This is the two person version, that comes with 31.5 square feet of floor space, which is plenty. It's a basic dome tent with 2 doors, though no vestibule, just a bit of an awning to keep the rain off. And at 4 pounds 15 ounces, or 2.23 kilograms this isn't a very lightweight option. But you're not likely to find a cheaper camping tent. It also comes in a 4 man version.
- Eureka Spitfire Tent - The Spitfire is a bit of an unusual design, but it gets the job done. This is a two person version, with 38 square feet of floor space, but due to the pointed design, some of that space is not going to be of much use for sleeping. It also doesn't offer much in the way of a vestibule, but has two doors and will definitely do the job of keeping you dry at night. It weighs 4 pounds 3 ounces, or 1.89 kilograms so again not a lightweight tent, but the price is right. It also comes in a smaller and cheaper 1 man version.
- Tarptent Contrail - The Contrail is an ideal choice if you want a lightweight tent, but don't want to spend a whole lot. There's 21 square feet of floor space, which is plenty of room for 1 person, and is just a few feet short of many smaller 2 man tents. Like the best lightweight tents it gives you the option to use trekking poles as supports, though you can also purchase a properly sized pole separately. It weighs just 24.5 ounces, or 700 grams, and while it's the most expensive tent on this list, it's a bargain compared to most lightweight tents that are in the same weight category.