Your tent needs to be trustworthy, so it’s important to know what it's made of. In this article various tent materials are explained in detail.
A tent is an essential part of a camping trip. It’s one of the items you can’t skimp on. Buying a cheap, inferior tent will leave you and your gear wet and possibly damaged (#BruisedEgo, anyone?).
But on the other end, a pricey tent that you had to sell two kidneys to afford may not suit your needs, or the manufacturer tried to pull wool over your eyes. So where to from here?
How much should you spend on a tent nowadays?
This guide will help with how much a tent costs, how much you should be spending, and various factors to keep in mind that affect a tent’s price.
How Much Should You Spend on a Tent?
You get cheap tents (under $100) and you get very pricey tents ($1000+), and the cost of a tent depends on a few deciding factors like your budget, the shape, size, weight, and type of the tent, and features like weatherproofness, accessories, and more. Ultimately, how much you should spend on a tent depends on your needs.
General guidelines for how much you should pay for a tent are:
- If you are an infrequent camper, spend $50 or less.
- If you like to go camping solo and need a 2+ season tent, spend around $100.
- Like to take your family on camping trips? Bargain on spending $100 to $500 for a 6-person tent to sleep 3 adults. Or opt for a multi-room 10-person tent for $200 or more.
- If you are a mountaineer or backpacker, investing in a lightweight tent is a must. You’ll likely spend $250+.
- Looking for a glamping setup? A yurt or bell-style canvas tent will set you back around $1,000, and you’ll need to buy some accessories separately, which pushes up the price.
- For a fully customizable option, your answer is connecting or modular tents. A budget-friendly connectable tent bundle costs around $450, with most options costing between $1,500 and $3,500.
What Does a Tent Cost on Average?
In general, tents can cost as little as $25 and as much as several thousands of dollars.
What you pay for is what you get, but there are exceptions to this old adage. Here’s a quick guide on the average cost of tents according to their purpose, size, and brand.
Kindly note that the prices are – in most cases – averages across a few retailers. There may be some outliers that are much cheaper or way more expensive. Also, we didn’t look at discounted or seasonal prices.
Cost Per Tent Purpose
|Camping now and again||Under $50|
|Car camping||$50 to $200|
|Camping with family and friends (multi-room tent)||$100 to $600|
|Mountaineering and Hiking (ultra-light tent)||$50 to $600|
|Durable tent (like a canvas tent)||$300 to $1,500+|
|Backpacking||$100 to $200+|
|Winter camping||$100 to $4,000+|
|Basecamp tent||$1,000 to $4,000|
Cost Per Tent Size
|2-person tent||$25 to $100|
|3-person tent||$50 to $300|
|4-person tent||$60 to $400|
|6-person tent||$100 to $500|
|8-person tent||$180 to $700|
Cost Per Tent Brand
|ALP Mountaineering||$80 to $300|
|Big Agnes||$200 to $2,000|
|CAMPROS||$60 to $250|
|Coleman||$60 to $350|
|CORE||$80 to $500|
|Eureka!||$150 to $550|
|MSR Gear||$300 to $800|
|NEMO Equipment||$200 to $900|
|NKT Arizona||$60 to $300|
|Ozark Trail||$25 to $400|
|REI Co-op||$50 to $750|
|River Country||$50 to $105|
|The North Face||$180 to $6,000|
|UNP||$50 to $200|
|Wenzel||$60 to $400|
|White Duck||$150 to $3,000|
Tent Prices and What You Get
Tent prices range from dirt-cheap to very expensive and everything in between. Ultimately, you need to buy the tent that suits your needs:
- Purpose of the tent
- Where you’ll use the tent
- When you go camping (season and weather)
- How many people stay in the tent with you and how much space each person needs (be space-generous; your friends and family will thank you since they won’t wanna kill you for lack of space)
- Your budget
- Tent accessories and extras
In general, the cost of tents can be divided into various price ranges. So let’s see what you can – essentially – expect for each of these.
Tents: Under $100
There are quite a range of tents that cost less than $100.
First up, if you need shelter while out and about or know you will only be camping very seldomly, then why even bother buying a tent? In fact, it’ll be much better and more affordable for you to place a tarp on the ground (which helps prevent condensation), and just sleep in a sleeping bag (#StarryView anyone?).
The other option here is to drape a tarp or canvas cloth over a few tree branches for some overhead cover. You can also use a guy line (a chord, essentially) to stretch out the tarp between two trees.
If you don’t need any of the amenities a tent offers, these easy and cheap options are great.
If you do need a tent and can max out on $100, consider a 2 or 4-person tent. Remember, for a 4-person tent, you can fit 4 adults in the tent – but it’ll be a very tight squeeze. So in essence, for a budget of $100 for a tent, expect the tent to be for 1 to 2 people max.
These tents aren’t usually fully weatherproof, and if you go camping when lots of rain is expected, waterproof your tent with a waterproofing spray or drape a tarp over it.
Key Features of Under $100 Tents
- Usually pop-up tent designs so easy and quick to pitch the tent, but these are also bulky, making it unsuitable for backpacking or mountaineering
- Ideal for infrequent campers
- Suited for 1 to 2 campers only
- Suitable for car camping or camping at established campgrounds
- Not 100% waterproof but the tent may be sufficiently water-resistant; best for 2+ season camping
Examples of Tents for Under $100
|Coleman Dome Tent for Camping (2, 3, or 4-person versions)||– Coleman’s patented WeatherTec system with tub floors and taped and inverted seams|
– 2 windows and ground vent
– Gear pockets to store essentials
– (L x W x H) 9’ x 7’ x 4.11’ (2.74 x 2.13 x 1.25 m)
|ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Backpacking Tent (in blue/green)||– Vestibule for storage space |
– Storage pockets and gear loft
– Suitable for 1 person
– Free-standing design with waterproof floor
– Lightweight at 4.1 lbs (1.85 kg)
– (L x W x H) 2.8’ x 7.6’ x 3’ (0.85 x 2.31 x 0.91 m)
|CAMPROS 3-Person Dome Tent||– Comes in 4 color options |
– Water-resistant tent with a hydrostatic rating of 1,000 mm
– 2-minute pitch process
– Lightweight at 6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)
– Good ventilation
– (L x W x H) 7’ x 7’ x 3.9’ (2.13 x 2.13 x 1.18 m)
Summary of Under $100 Tents
Be careful what brand of tent you buy in this price range. Some cheap brands won’t last, while investing in a CAMPROS, Coleman, Ozark Trail, and CORE Equipment tent will work well if you go camping in spring and summer and prefer car camping-kinda situations. Total floor area of these tents is small at 49-56 sq ft (4.55-5.2 sq m), and the peak height is low at roughly 4’ (1.21 m) or less.
Tents: Between $100 and $250
If you can spend more on a tent, and especially when you go camping more regularly, budget $250 max. The tents in this price range are generally higher quality and you get more size (2 to 8-person tents) and accessory options.
Some of the tents in this range are more weatherproof and durable, so you can use these tents for 3-season camping: spring, summer, and fall. You may get tents in this price range with a footprint and vestibules or covered porches so you can store your gear here or just chill.
Key Features of $100-$250 Tents
- Choose between a variety of 2 to 6-person tents
- Ideal for 1 to 3 campers
- Various tent shapes, from instant tents and dome tents to cabin tents
- More accessories, like screened porches, vestibules, air vents, and more
- More durable tents options made from higher-quality materials
- Have options for 3 and 4-season camping, as well as for backpacking
- Not great peak height, so you’ll be hunching over a lot – but that’s okay for short camping trips or when you spend lots of time outdoors
- Most tents aren’t fully weatherproof
Examples of $100-$250 Tents
|Coleman Sundome 6-Person Camping Tent||– WeatherTec system with tub-like floor, corner welds, and inverted seams|
– 10-minute pitch process
– Good ventilation with windows and ground vents
– Storage pockets and E-port
– (L x W x H) 10’ x 10’ x 6’ (3.04 x 3.04 x 1.82 m)
|Core Equipment 4-Person Instant Dome Tent||– Super fast 30-second pitch process |
– Core H20 block technology
– Gear loft, lantern hook, E-port, and storage pockets
– Mesh ceiling if you want to star-gaze and remove the rainfly
– (L x W x H) 9’ x 7’ x 4.5 ’ (2.74 x 2.13 x 1.37 m)
|UNP 6-Person Camping Tent||– Cabin-style tent |
– Wide D-shaped door, 5 side windows, and low-vent design
– Solid steel poles
– Mesh pockets and E-port
– Water-resistant with a hydrostatic rating of 1,000 mm
– (L x W x H) 10’ x 9’ x 6.5’ (3.04 x 2.74 x 1.98 m)
Summary of $100-250 Tents
The best tents in this price range are nice 2-person tents and entry to mid-level 4 and 8-person tents. Use these tents mostly for 3-season camping, but entry-level 4-season tents are available. Most of these tents offer room dividers to increase livability and comfort, ample peak height, good ventilation features, and amenities like storage pockets and E-ports.
Tents: Between $250 and $500
Tents in this price range are typically much more luxurious. You can find tents that are lightweight, making them suitable for backpacking, multi-day hikes, and mountaineering. Durable canvas tents and more 4-season tents are also on offer.
Key Features of $250-$500 Tents
- Great peak height
- Longer pitch times
- Multi-room tent options with great ventilation, multiple entrances, and more
- Durable canvas tent options
- 3 and 4-season tents
- More options for backpackers, mountaineers, and hikers
Examples of $250-$500 Tents
|Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent||– Cabin-style tent |
– Patented WeatherTec system with inverted seams and welded floor
– Easy entry and exit with a hinged door
– Pitch process is 20 minutes
– Room divider to create 2 rooms
– (L x W x H) 17’ x 9’ x 6.8’ (5.18 x 2.74 x 2.07 m)
|Coleman 3-Person and 6-Person Connectable Tent Bundle||– Quick and easy pitch process |
– Features Coleman’s WeatherTec system
– Can connect an infinite number of tents
– Freestanding design
– L x W x H for the 3-person tent: 8’ x 6’ x 4.8’ (2.43 x 1.82 x 1.46 m)
– L x W x H for the 6-person tent: 12’ x 10’ x 6.3’ (3.65 x 3.04 x 1.92 m)
|The North Face Wawona 6-Person Camping Tent||– Available in 2 color options |
– Storage pockets, gear loft, 3 doors, and great ventilation
– Removable rainfly
– Hydrostatic rating of 1,200 mm for the canopy and tent fly and a rating of 1,500 mm for the floor
– (L x W x H) 10’ x 8.6’ x 6.6’ (3.04 x 2.62 x 2.01 m)
Summary of $250-$500 Tents
Tents that are pricier in the $250-$500 range offer more bells and whistles with durable and 4-season tent options, better weatherproofing and ventilation, and longer pitch times.
When you invest $500 or more on a tent, it is usually not just because you’ve got lots of money you need to spend.
The tents in this price range are typically specialty tents – extra durable, 4-season camping or glamping tents, tents that are extra lightweight, and more customizable option tents like connectable or modular tents.
Key Features of $500+ Tents
- Very lightweight tent options
- 3 and 4-season, durable tents
- Tents that can be constructed on a permanent basis
- Fully weatherproof tents
- Connectable tent options so you can create your own tent city and host all your loved ones
- More complicated setup options
Examples of $500+ Tents
|Crua Clan Maxx 9+ Modular System||– Fully weatherproof with a 5,000 mm hydrostatic rating and insulated against temperature, light, and noise |
– Easy pitch with the airframe design
– Modular or connectable tent design
– Get a Crua Core 6-person tent, a Crua Duo Maxx 3-person tent, and Crua Culla Cocoon Maxx
– L x W x H for the Crua Core: 16’ x 12’ x 7.5’ (4.8 x 3.65 x 2.28 m)
– L x W x H for the Crua Duo Maxx: 7.3’ x 9.8’ x 4.1’ (2.22 x 2.98 x 1.24 m)
– L x W x H for the Crua Culla Cocoon Maxx: 10’ x 9’ x 6.5’ (1.95 x 2.98 x 1.21 m)
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent||– Ultralight backpacking tent at 2.11 lbs (0.95 kg) |
– Mezzanine 3D storage bin, media pockets, awning-style vestibules, and storage pockets
– 3-season tent with 2 doors, dual low-vent system, and quick-stash door-keeper
– Fly and floor has a 1,200 mm hydrostatic rating
– Total floor area: 29 sq ft (X sq m) with a peak height of 3.3’ (1 m)
|White Duck 16.5 (5 m) Regatta Canvas Bell Tent w/ Stove Jack||– 4-season tent with breathable, waterproof, and UV-resistant canvas fabric |
– Yurt-style tent
– Can buy the tent awning, footprint, and inners separately
– Pocket organizers, mesh doors and windows, stove jack, and roof vents
– 16.5’ (5.02 m) diameter and 9.8’ (2.98 m)peak height
Summary of $500+ Tents
Tents that cost $500 or more are suited for specialty or luxury needs: glamping tents, modular or connectable tents, ultra lightweight tents, and more. In general, these kinds of tents offer large total floor spaces, great peak heights, and plenty of luxury features. You may also need to buy some accessories like tent footprints separately, making these tents even more pricey.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Tent
Numerous factors affect the cost of your tent, such as:
The Purpose of the Tent
First things first. What kind of camping are you planning on doing? Your tent’s purpose will play a significant role in the cost.
Are you planning on:
- Taking the family on a week-long vacation? In that case, you’d need at least a 6 to 8-person tent.
- Going on a solo backpacking weekend? You’d only need a lightweight one-person tent.
- Attending a public gathering with friends? A multi-room, multiple-person tent should do.
The Size and Type of the Tent
Next up is the size and type of tent you want. The larger the tent, the bigger the price tag. (It’s important to know that some popular high-end brands charge higher prices, regardless of the size. It’s more about the brand name).
Let’s take a quick look at some of the price differences based on the size of the tent:
- A 2-person tent will cost around $25 to $100.
- A 6-person tent will cost about $100 to $500.
- A 10-person tent will cost about $200 to $1 000.
- A 12-person tent will cost anywhere from $350 upwards.
Then there’s the question of what type (or style) of tent you want. Here’s a look at some of the different tent types:
- Pop-up tent
- Tunnel tent
- Roof-top tent
- Dome tent
- Geodesic tent
- Hammock tent
- Yurt tent
- Car tent
- Cabin tent
Each of these tents has a unique design and come with different price tags.
What good is a tent if it doesn’t protect you from the elements? No good at all. Whether you’re hiking with the fam or going solo into the mountains, your tent needs to keep you and your gear dry and comfortable.
The deciding question is this: How often are you planning on going camping?
If the answer is once in a while, then a tent made from lower-quality materials should be fine (conditional that you check the weather forecast in advance).
You’ll also need to consider the time of year you plan on camping. In the winter months, you’ll need a well-insulated tent to protect you from the cold. Well-insulated tents are more expensive than the average tent. Plus, if it snows, the tent will need to be strong enough to withstand this kind of weather.
You can pick up a tent at a low price, but you may find yourself hanging onto it (or in it) for dear life during your first storm. Buying a 100% weatherproof tent will cost you more as the materials are of a higher quality.
Cheaper tents are made of inexpensive materials and prone to wear and tear. These tents look the part, but unfortunately, they fall apart when the weather gets dreadful.
Beware of “unknown” brand names, and check the tent reviews – your chances of liking the tent increase the more favorable reviews there are.
Additional Features and Luxuries
The great thing about camping is that you can add all kinds of extras, accessories, and luxuries to make your camping experience more comfortable. However, these features can significantly impact your spending price.
Buying a tent with all the bells and whistles will definitely impact your tent’s price. For example, adding extra storage pockets to your tent (when camping, you can never have enough storage space) will add to the total cost.
A few other luxuries that can be added (at an additional cost) are:
- Solar lighting
- Extra windows
- A good quality groundsheet
- Built-in rainfly
- Storm straps (a must in the stormy season)
- Extra pegs and rope
At the end of the day, the more features and extras you add to your tent, the more your tent will cost.
5 Tips for Getting a Tent at an Affordable Cost
- Wait for an end-of-season sale, or buy Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals.
- Rent a tent specific to your needs.
- Buy an older model.
- Shop online and find online specials.
- Attend camping and hiking exhibitions for awesome combo deals and “coming out” discounts.
Tent Cost FAQs
On average, a tent can cost anywhere from as little as $25 to as much as $6,000 (or more). The price depends on what type and size tent you want. Pop-up tents are entry-level tents that cost about $35. A specialty tent (super lightweight or more permanent) will cost around $500+.
If you’re a seasoned camper and camp in harsh conditions, you’ll need to purchase a slightly more expensive tent to suit your needs. An inferior tent can cause several safety and health issues. If camping is more of a weekend hobby, plenty of good-quality tents are available at a more affordable price.
If you don’t often camp, renting a tent is a better option. You also don’t need space to store the tent afterward. However, if you camp regularly, then purchasing your own tent will work out cheaper in the long run.
Some tents can last a lifetime. However, this depends on the quality of the tent, the conditions you’re camping in, and how you care for the tent during storage. Most average-quality tents only last a couple of years. For a tent that lasts many years, you’ll need to purchase a top-of-the-range tent.
Owning a one-person tent is worth it if you enjoy camping on your own and packing light. It’s quick and easy to set up, and they’re usually more affordable than 2 or 3-person tents. The downside is a one-person tent is less comfortable (or versatile) than other tents.