Casual summer camping in the forest doesn’t really require much a tent. In such conditions, most tents will do an acceptable job of keeping you dry and comfortable all night long. But when you head in the mountains, and especially in to higher elevations, you need to be looking at mountain tents that will be best suited to the unique conditions that are often found in the mountains. Specifically, you will want tents that can resist the wind well.
Mountain TentsWhat you want to see from mountain tents.
- Freestanding – In the mountains you wont always be able to find a nice patch of ground where you can use stakes, and so it’s usually a good idea to have a free standing tent. That way, you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect camping spot, and you can set up just as easily on a slab of rock as you could on dirt.
- Wind Resistant – One of the more severe weather conditions encountered in the mountains is high wind. Generally, the more poles your tent has, the stronger it will be when the wind starts blowing. Similarly, a tent with low, sloped walls will shed wind a lot better than a tall tent with high sides.
Best Mountain TentsSome of the very best mountain tents for those nights in high places.
- MSR Dragontail Tent - The Dragontail is actually a tunnel tent, rather than a dome tent, which actually makes it very strong without as many poles, which is ideal for mountain conditions. It uses 3 ribs to create a tunnel around the tent, the main benefit for the people sleeping inside being plenty of head room to sit up in. It's a single wall design, which does nothing to impact performance, provided that you use the Dragontail's venting properly, while cutting down on weight. And at 4 pounds 6 ounces, or 1.99 kilograms, it's certainly a relatively lightweight option. So a mountain tent with an uncommon design.
- REI Mountain 3 Tent - If you would prefer to spend time in the mountains without spending too much on a tent, then REI's line of tents is usually a safe bet. The Mountain 3 isn't cheap, but compare to most other mountain tents it is. As the name suggests there is room inside for 3. It also has 5 tent poles, so plenty of strength, and has a decently sized vestibule too, which is nice for keeping gear dry at night. But with an inner tent and a rain fly, it's certainly not lightweight, at 8 pounds 13 ounces, or 4 kilograms. So a decent choice if you want to save money. There's also a 2 man version.
- The North Face Dome 5 - The Dome 5 is the kind of mountain tent you want for a big group. With room for 5 inside, plus a very large vestibule, this tent will do duty for anything from camping to a base camp station. It has a total of 10 poles, so you can be sure there wont be any breaks from the wind, and two large doors for easy in and out access. At 31 pounds 7 ounces, or 14.25 kilograms it's not even close to lightweight, and it's also far from cheap, but when you need something exceptional for the mountains, this is the kind of tent you want.