Planning to go on a camping trip? Make sure you have all the essential materials to take with you. Well, the first and foremost thing you’ll need is a tent. If you don’t have a tent and wish to buy one, just be a little smarter and get the tent that is best for you at a reasonable price.
We are here to help you figure out how much you should spend on a tent. Let’s get started.
How Much Does a Tent Cost?
The prices of tents vary widely with several factors. So, it is hard to claim a single price to be the average cost of a tent. But generally, the lowest price of a tent is 25$. And the price can range up to more than 1000$.
Now, that is a huge range of prices that tents are available in. To narrow down the range, you will have to consider several factors and figure out the tent types that suit you best. And then you might decide what range of price for such types to go for considering your situation.
Take a Look at the Tent Price Ranges
Let’s make it easier for you. Below we’re summarizing the kinds of tents you’ll get within more specified price ranges. Check it out.
Price: $25 To $50
Camping types: Once or twice car camping
Tent sizes: Pop-up tents
Tent styles: Pole tents
Tent seasonality: 1-season
Example: SANSBUG 1-Person Popup Screen Tent
Camping types: Casual car camping, traveling with a backpack or ultralight backpack
Tent sizes: Pop-up tents, 2-person tents, 4-person tents
Tent styles: Pole tents, frame tents
Tent seasonality: 2-season
Example: ALPS Mountaineering Trail Tipi 2-Person Tent
Camping types: Casual car camping, traveling with a backpack, long-term camping
Tent sizes: 2-person tents, 4-person tents
Tent styles: Pole tents, frame tents, clearspan tents
Tent seasonality: 3-season
Example: Marmot Crane Creek
Camping types: Casual car camping, long-term camping, winter camping
Tent sizes: 4-person tents, 6-person tents
Tent styles: frame tents, clearspan tents, pod tents, vis-à-vis tents
Tent seasonality: 3-4 season
Example: REI Co-op Kingdom 4 Tent
Price: Over 500$
Camping types: long-term camping, family camping, winter camping
Tent sizes: 4-person tents, 6-person tents, 12-person tents
Tent styles: frame tents, clearspan tents, inflatable tents, dome tents, cabin tents
Tent seasonality: 3-4 season, 4-season
Example: Sibley 450 ProTech
Things to Consider Before Spending on a Tent
How Often Do You Go Camping?
Before starting the discussion of the types and best price ranges of tents, it is better to talk about how often you will be using them. Because this will have an impact on your decision of choosing the right cost of the tent.
If you camp too often or plan to use it more than twice a year, it is better to look for better and more durable tents. And it is quite obvious that tents with better qualities tend to be costlier than the ones with cheaper qualities. Indeed, good quality is costly.
But if you go camping rarely, then purchasing a pricey tent would be a loss project. Because there is a good possibility that using the tents after long periods will get them worn out within a few uses no matter how good the quality is. Hence, it’s better to keep this in mind while choosing your camping tent.
What Kind of Camping Do You Do?
Not only how often you’ll be camping is important to note for deciding your budget for a tent, but the kind of camping you’ll be doing is also a significant factor to consider. Hence, you should map out your usual camping style before choosing your camping tent.
Not quite sure about the camping styles? Have a look at some of the most common ways of camping and point out the style that resembles yours the most.
Casual Car Camping
There is a good possibility that you’re a casual car camper. After all, this is the most common way of camping for camping lovers. Many random nights when the weather is fine, you just feel like going camping and you set out with your backpack and car with friends, family, or alone for camping.
For such camping styles, you need a tent that can handle all types of seasons. And also, something that is durable enough to last a long time. You don’t want to buy a tent after using it once or twice every time. So, it’s better to go with a medium range of price rather than cheap for this kind of camping.
OT QOMOTOP Instant Cabin Tent and Coleman Tent Coastline 3 Plus are great options within a medium range of price. If you have a little bit more budget in your pocket, you can also check Coleman Octagon 360 and REI Co-op Kingdom 4 Tent.
Once or Twice Car Camping in a Year
People who are mostly busy with their lives and hardly get the time for camping usually go on such camping plans. If you’re one of such kind who goes camping, not more than once or twice a year depending on leisure and mood, then buying an expensive tent won’t be a suitable option for you.
It’s better to go for cheaper to standard options that cost 25$ to 100$. However, if you don’t have any idea when you’ll go camping again next time, don’t buy any tents at all. Just borrow one from a friend but make sure you don’t damage it. You don’t want to get yourself embarrassed.
Coleman Sundome Tent and Ozark Trail 3-person Tent can be two of the best options of tents for once or twice car camping.
Traveling with Backpack
Are you an explorer who loves to travel to different places frequently either alone or with one or two partners? Then you definitely would prefer a tent option that would easily fit your backpack so that you don’t have to carry any extra burden with yourself.
What you need is a tent that doesn’t weigh more than 2Ib to 3Ib. And one more thing to make sure is that it’s waterproof since you won’t have your car for rescue in case of sudden rainfall.
You can go for either BISINNA 2 Person Backpacking Tent or Clostnature 2 Person Backpacking Tent that comes at a super affordable price. In case you have a bigger budget, you can also get yourself Naturehike 2 Person Backpacking Tent or Marmot Crane Creek.
Hiking with Ultralight Backpack
Now if your plan is hiking or camping on the top of a cliff, the regular backpack tents will not be enough light for you to carry for a long time on your shoulder. Because every ounce of weight on your shoulder will cost a great effort to carry while hiking or climbing a long distance.
For such hikers, ultralight tents are the ultimate option as they weigh less than 1.5Ibs. So that, the weight of the tent doesn’t become a barrier for you on your way to the destination. Ultralight tent prices vary widely with the quality and comfort it provides.
Among ultralight backpacks, River Country Products Trekker Tent 2 is the most affordable. With a larger budget, you can also have MIER Ultralight Tent or NEMO Hornet Elite 2 Tent.
Long Term Camping
For those who are camping for a long time, maybe due to their profession of exploring wilderness or hunting, a good quality tent should be the utmost option for them. In this case, because you will be camping for a long time, you’ll need a tent that is all in one.
The tent must be durable with good weather resistance and comfortable to live in since you’ll be spending a lot of days relying on it. And thus, there are several tents designed for such professional campers and are comparatively costlier starting from a range of 250$ to even more than 800$ depending on the quality and durability.
The cheapest tent for long-term campers would be Canvas Dome Tent 3 Person. If you have a budget of more than that, go for Kodiak 12 x 9 ft. Cabin Tent with Deluxe Awning or Sibley 450 ProTech.
Even though most campers are fond of camping in summer, many winter lovers are more attracted to camping in the white beauty of winter. If you’re one of them or are planning to go camping in winter, you have to keep your budget for a tent slightly over 100$.
The tents that are best for winter camping are usually double-wall tents such as 4-season tents or all-season tents. The walls of such tents are made durable enough to handle rough winds and harsh cold weather.
For winter camping, a great and affordable option is GEERTOP Portable 2 Person 4 Season Tent. Among expensive options, there are Eureka Mountain Pass 2 Person Tent and Eureka! Assault Outfitter 4 Person.
Factors Your Tent Cost Depends on
Now let’s come to the main factors that contribute to the difference in the costs of the tents. You need to decide your preferences when it’ll come down to the factors the tent prices vary with. Take a glance.
The tent capacity is a major factor with which the prices of the tents are measured. If you go to a shop and look for tents to buy, this is the component with which you’ll have to filter your choice. So, make it wisely considering the number of people you’ll be camping with.
These are the most affordable tents you’ll find in the market ranging from less than 35$.
- Perfect for once or twice car campers
- Will bear 1 or 2 persons at a time
- Doesn’t need a pole to set up.
- Poor quality and weather-resistant
- Can’t be folded into too small, hence not suitable for hikers
- Aren’t durable and so the worst choice for long-term campers.
Example: G4Free Upgraded Pop Up Beach Tent
Within a range of 40$ to 50$, you can get yourself a decent and standard substitute of pop-up tents that’ll accommodate two persons.
- Standard quality in a low-medium price
- Waterproof and minimal weather resistant
- Proper and adequate ventilation
- Perfect for casual car camping of two people.
- Not much durable and poor longevity
- Heavy and so not a choice for hikers
- Can’t handle too harsh weather.
Example: GEERTOP 2 Person Tent for Camping
This type of tent ranges above 100$ usually and the prices rise with the excellence of the quality and durability.
- Lighter in weight thus can be used by backpack travelers
- Waterproof material and flooring
- Double-layered walls that can handle rough weather
- Durable and a good option for long-term campers.
- Holds 4 persons very tightly, comfortably fits 3 people max
- Lower price ranges offer poorer quality.
Example: Pacific Pass 4 Person Family Dome Tent with Removable Rain Fly
- Very large in size
- High in quality and durability
- Can tolerate all types of seasons
- Ideal for long-term, winter, and family camping.
- Not appropriate for once or twice car camping
- Takes time to set up.
Example: Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room
There are several styles and forms of tents available in the market. Different brands offer different styles. Some are common and offered by most well-known brands. Which of the following tent styles do you prefer for your camping?
Pole Tents: Pole tents are generally set up using poles, guy lines, and stakes. It kills some time to set them up properly and are usually vulnerable to rough weather. They are generally cheap and don’t last too long. You can get a pole tent if you’re a once or twice car camper.
Frame Tents: Frame tents are available in different sizes and shapes. They are an extremely popular option for weddings and other formal occasions. They are manufactured in such a way that the whole tent is held up by the frames giving it a shape. Such tents are generally costlier than other casual tents. You can purchase them in case of arranging a huge camping program.
Clear Span Tents: This is another event-suitable tent but comparatively cost-effective. These are great and affordable options for parties and wedding programs. Besides, if you’re planning for a camping trip with a lot of people that’ll last more than a week, this tent can be a good option to accommodate a large number of people together.
Inflatable Tents: These tents are the most easy-to-setup tents you’ll ever find. No poles, no staking, just inflate them, and they’re ready for your service. They are a great option for long-term campers and are pretty much weather resistant. But you need to have quite a big budget to afford them.
Vis a vis Tents: If privacy is your priority while camping with a lot of people, vis a vis tents should be your ultimate choice. These tents are more like tunnel tents but separate rooms with doors within a single tent. They are very spacious and durable and so expensive as well.
Pod Tents: Pod tents are the best option for family camping. They are large, spacious, and contain plenty of room with distinct personal spaces. Casual family car campers should definitely give this tent style a thought. However, these are heavy and difficult to set up. But they’re comparatively affordable than other family-sized tents.
Dome Tents: Dome tents are available in a wide range of sizes starting from a capacity of 2 persons to even 6 or more. They are easy to set up with a super simple design. Though it requires poles but has pole sleeves with them. Price ranges vary with the size and brand but are comparatively pricey due to features like ground vents, inverted seams, and welded flooring.
Cabin Tents: Cabin tents are an absolute luxury. And the costs are hefty too. You can easily stand under these tents without bowing your head and it can bear up to 6 to 8 people comfortably. However, these tents are pretty heavy and troublesome to transport.
Tent Materials and Built
Tent materials and mode of manufacture have a huge influence on its price. Because these are the factors with which the quality and durability of the tent vary. Generally, tents manufactured with better and costlier materials are expensive regardless of their style and capacity.
The material to measure in this aspect is “Denier”. The tents manufactured with higher amounts of denier are usually more expensive as well as heavy. Because they are more tolerant of rough weather and all seasons. Besides, they don’t get worn out easily even after regular use for a longer time. For example, a good canvas tent will last you a lifetime but is also very expensive.
Moreover, there are several other components of good-quality and pricey tents that make them UV protected. And thus, they do not get thinner with the effect of dense sunlight. Besides, their wall resists excess heat or cold to reach inside in extreme weather.
Also, it is better to check whether the poles, ropes, pegs, and bags that come with the tent are poorly constructed. A good and durable tent is generally highly constant with the quality and built of all the components that come with it. And such tents are always costly.
The price of the tent highly varies with its capability to tolerate different seasons. You don’t have to buy a 3 or 4 season tent if you plan for camping only in summer. Because that would be a waste of money.
1-season tent: These are the cheapest tents and are very vulnerable to harsh weather. Such tents get worn out easily.
Example: Person Hunting Ground Blind, Realtree Edge
2-season tent: Such tents are appropriate for good summer weather. They can get easily damaged or collapse with rain or wind.
Example: River Country Products Trekker Tent 2.2
3-season tent: These tents can tolerate three seasons easily, that are summer, spring and fall. And they can even deal with strong wind and heavy rainfall.
Example: Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent
3-4 season tent: This type of tent is the second-best in terms of weather resistance. They are capable of facing all types of weather except for snowfall or hailstorms.
Example: Forceatt Tent for 2 and 3 Person
4-season tent: If you want a tent that can deal with all types of harsh and rough weather, this would be your ultimate choice. But you need to keep your pocket full to afford it.
Example: CAMPPAL Professional 3-4 Person 4 Season Mountain Tent
Now that you know about the features and types of tents you’re going to get with each budget, decide how much you should spend on a tent combining all your preferences.
Don’t try to catch a fish with a small net. Remember, if you want your tent to serve you a long time, going with the expensive ones is always profitable. Hence, choose wisely!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.