20 best tent brands 2024 | Tested and recommended

From campsite luxury to roughing it in the wild, camping can play an integral role in enjoying the great outdoors. Here is a selection of our favourite tent brands for hikers and backpackers.

12 models of tents from different tent brands

by Ben Weeks |
Updated on

There are some people who maintain the only reason to camp or use a tent is to save money on accommodation. Some begrudgingly accept that camping high and wild in the mountains might allow you to experience the hills at their best times of day, but still assume that it’s an experience to be tolerated, rather than enjoyed. We know differently.

Summit camping site, pitched tent

Yes, camping can save money – even a relatively luxurious campsite will be less expensive than a hotel – and wild camping does indeed open up a world of extraordinary mountain experiences. But the truth is that the act of camping itself can be something that is both rewarding and enjoyable.

Of course, that is reliant on having the right kit, and chief among that kit is the right tent.

What are the best tent brands?

Two tents at dusk, wild camping Brecon Beacons

There are a lot of tents out there offering reliable and comfortable accommodation, and the exact size and shape you need will be determined by where, when, and who is camping. So knowing at least which brands you can trust is a good head start. Below you’ll find 20 of our favourites tent brands, all of whom produce tents that we’ve tried, tested, and approved of.


Alpkit Soloist tent

Alpkit are one of our favourite brands for all kinds of outdoor kit. By cutting out the middleman and selling direct – online and with stores throughout the UK from Bristol to Inverness – Alpkit are able to produce excellent gear at equally excellent prices. Their tents are no exception.

With a range that includes super-lightweight models designed to be used with trekking poles, to robust geodesic tents for harsh mountain use, plus larger capacity bell tents for campsite luxury, Alpkit really do produce a tent for all needs. And if a tent is more than you need, their selection of bivvy bags and tarps will appeal to fans of ultra-light camping, while the low prices will appeal to everyone.

Our pick of the range: Alpkit Kangri


Coleman Meadowood 6L BlackOut

It may be their pioneering gas lantern that first made Coleman (not to be confused with Coleman’s, the mustard people from Norwich) a household name, but these days it’s their tents you see most often.

Their range features just about every kind of camping shelter, including 1-person backpacking tents and pop-up ‘festival’ tents, though it’s the larger Coleman family tents that you’re most likely to spot on campsites and in Go Outdoors. The reason is simple: they represent excellent build quality at good prices and with some seriously useful features, our favourite of which is their blackout bedroom technology which ensures a proper night’s sleep for all cocooned within.

Our pick of the range: Coleman Weathermaster 8XL BlackOut Air Tent


Family relaxing by their Decathlon tent

Is there a sport or hobby Decathlon don’t cover? With the exception of Quidditch, we’re not sure there is. But even if there are some activities they’ve missed, camping isn’t one of them, and Decathlon’s tent offering is extensive. It even includes a rental service.

This is a range that includes all kinds of tents of varying sizes and designs. The more adventurous backpacking tents are covered by Decathlon’s Forclaz brand, while the more leisure-focused models come under their Quechua umbrella. It’s this latter category that is best represented, and with air-pole tents growing in popularity but also in price, the Quechua inflatable options represent a bargain way to take advantage of this modern easy-pitching phenomenon.

Our pick of the range: Air Seconds 4.1 F&B


Exped Mira 1 HL pitched

If you associate Swiss brands with superb quality, then Exped’s tents aren’t going to disappoint. Their focus is as sharp as their design minds; lightweight and robust tents for camping in the toughest environments in the worst of conditions.

The range is not as diverse as some brands, with a lightweight, 3-season, 1-person backpacking tent at one extreme, and a 3-person, 4-season expedition tent at the other. But this narrow offering ensures that Exped are investing all their experience and expertise into producing the products they know best – reliable tents for campers with a passion for adventure, wherever it may take them, and whatever weather they might face when they get there.

Our pick of the range: Exped Lyra II


Hiker camping with a Fjallraven tent

A few years ago, we were lucky enough to be invited to take part in the Fjallraven Polar – an epic dog-sledding expedition through Arctic Norway and Sweden. Unsurprisingly, the tents that accommodated us out on the ice and tundra were Fjallraven’s, but what might surprise you if you’re only familiar with Fjallraven’s clothing is just how good their tents are.

Like their apparel, they exude quality and are made with the best materials and built to last a lifetime. If you need a tent to accommodate four people on a polar adventure, you’ll still find one on their website, but it’s their lower occupancy backpacking tents that are best suited to backpackers and hikers, and there are several options to choose from.

Our pick of the range: Abisko Lite 1


Hilleberg tent pitching on a snowy mountain summit
©Jeff Voigt

Hilleberg’s full title is ‘Hilleberg the Tentmaker’. That’s because making tents is what they do. In fact, it’s all they do, and they do it well. All their tents are adventure focused, from 1-person backpacking tents up to a 14-person mountain expedition shelter.

Hilleberg categorise their tents by colour: Black Label are their strongest all-season, any weather tents; Red Label are all-season tents that prioritise weight over absolute strength; Yellow Label are their lightest 3-season tents; Blue Label are their specialist purpose tents. Cheap, Hilleberg tents are not. But if you want a shelter that’s guaranteed to protect you through a lifetime of backpacking experiences, it’s worth the investment.

Our pick of the range: Hilleberg Akto


MSR tent pitched in British mountains

Mountain Safety Research are responsible for making some of our favourite tents: the delightfully named Hubba Hubba; the impressively portable FreeLite; the ever-popular Elixr. Plus, they produce mountaineering, ski-touring, and bike packing tents we’ve yet to try.

If we had one criticism of MSR it’s that the US brand’s tendency to design tents with inner-first pitching and lots of ventilation didn’t always suit the UK climate, but with the introduction of the Tindheim tunnel tent to their range, there really isn’t a box they don’t tick. At least, as far as backpacking, trekking, and wild camping is concerned. Family tents aren’t really their thing, but we don’t mind that when their thing is superb wild camping tents.

Our pick of the range: MSR Tindheim


Nemo Dagger 2 tent

NEMO have only been around since 2004, but since then they’ve established themselves as a brand to be reckoned with – initially in their home, the USA, but increasingly on this side of the Atlantic, too. Their niche is intelligently designed tents for adventurous campers, and their range features several ultra-lightweight models that have found favour among backpackers looking to lower their load without reducing the shelter and comfort provided.

If you’re after something a little sturdier, you can also find 3-4 season backpacking and mountaineering tents in the Nemo line-up. Incidentally, the name NEMO was inspired by Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo, and not the lost fish.

Our pick of the range: Nemo Dagger OSMO


Hiker pitching Nordisk tent in the mountains

Tracing its origins back through the UK, Germany, Sweden and Denmark, Nordisk is a thoroughly European brand. And, like many other brands who feature a hefty chunk of Scandinavian heritage in their DNA, Nordisk produces exceedingly good tents.

As with many of the other Scandi-brands, adventure is their playground, and you’ll find their product range awash with lightweight backpacking designs. That’s not all they do – Nordisk also offers a fine line in what we might call ‘glamping’ tents; traditional bell tents, and large and liveable ridgepole tents. But from our point of view, it’s in the wild and remote places of the world in which Nordisk really belongs, and here they excel.

Our pick of the range: Nordisk Telemark 2.2


Outwell family tent

Along with Robens (more about them in a moment) and Easy Camp, Outwell is part of the Danish Oase Outdoor group (yep, another quality Scandinavian tent manufacturer). Outwell is a family camping holiday specialist. They produce a wealth of camping equipment (lighting, furniture, kitchen equipment – you name it they probably do it), and when it comes to campsite camping, their tents are about as good as it gets.

With traditional pole tents as well as inflatable beam tents on offer, their designs are innovative and highly liveable. If you want a family camping tent that offers as much (and possibly more) comfort as your own home, give Outwell a look.

Our pick of the range: Outwell Moonhill 6 Air


Hiker sitting in front of Robens tent

If Outwell is Oase Outdoor’s family camping brand, then Robens is their adventure offering, nicely balancing the see-saw. We’ve got a real soft spot for their Outback category, which features beautiful bell tents and prospector style tents for a touch of glamping luxury, but it’s their Route, Track, and Trail categories that have broadest appeal.

Among these backpacking focused designs, you’ll find something to match almost any wild camper’s requirements. From superbly priced 3-season models (Route), to lightweight but fully-featured tents (Trail), and those for year-round use in more extreme conditions (Track), Robens have you and your kit covered.

Our pick of the range: Robens Boulder 2

Sea to Summit

Hiker sitting in front of Sea to Summit Telos TR2 tent

Quite possibly Australia’s greatest export since Kylie, Sea to Summit are mainstays of the UK camping scene. And while their vast – and we mean VAST – range of camp-kitchen equipment can be spotted on campsites throughout the country, their tents might be a little harder to spot.

Why? Well, Sea to Summit only produce two types of tents: ‘Lightweight’ and ‘Ultralight’. This makes them hugely popular with backpackers adventuring to the far corners of the wilderness, where their combination of reliable protection, excellent liveability, and low weight makes them perfect companions. But unless you’re exploring those far corners too, you might not see them that often.

Our pick of the range: Sea to Summit Alto TR1 Plus

Sierra Designs

Sierra Designs tent

There are four categories of tent on Sierra Designs’ website: Ultralight tents, backpacking tents, camping tents, and 4-season tents. All their tents (including ‘camping tents’ which Sierra Designs use to mean tents for campsites) are of lightweight, uncomplicated designs – you won’t find any 8-person behemoths here.

Of this line-up, it’s the backpacking and ultralight tents we’ve been most impressed by (we’re not convinced the 4-season tents are 4-season enough for UK weather). We’ve found them easy to carry, easy to pitch, and easy to live with – all key requirements of tents that could find themselves pitched almost anywhere.

Our pick of the range: Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2


Snugpak tent

It’s hard to say much about Snugpak tents. Not that there’s anything wrong with them. It’s just that, at the time of writing, there are only four of them: the 1-person Ionosphere, the 2-person Scorpion 2, the 3-person Scorpion 3, and the 3-person Bunker.

But all four are good enough for Snugpak to feature among our favourite tents. Aside from the Ionosphere (which is only marginally larger than a hooped bivvy), Snugpak tents all pitch fly-first and are well ventilated to avoid condensation, making them ideally suited to UK conditions. The West Yorkshire brand is much loved by military personnel due to their reliability and understated colour schemes, but they come civilian recommended too.

Our pick of the range: Snugpak Scorpion 2


TentBox Lite 2.0

If you’ve stayed on a campsite recently or been anywhere near Scotland’s NC500 route during the peak of summer when the laybys are crammed with campers, you can’t not have noticed that more and more people are choosing to sleep on top of their cars. Once the reserve of Land Rover safaris, roof tents are now very much a mainstream thing, with the soaring popularity of van life no doubt fuelling the desire of lowly car drivers to get onboard the ‘sleep where you park’ bandwagon.

There a several brands out there making roof tents, but with their combination of innovative design, reliable build, ease of use, and reasonable prices, TentBox are our favourite of the bunch.

Our pick of the range: TentBox Lite 2.0


Tenstile tree tent

We’ll be honest – we’ve not done a huge amount of testing of these, because much of our camping is high in the mountains where a key component of the Tentsile experience is rare: trees. Tentsile tents straddle the line between tents and hammocks. Put simply, rather than pitching on the ground like tents (although ground conversion kits are available), they’re suspended from tree trunks like a hammock.

You get all the protection of a tent, but with the ability to camp on terrain that would make it difficult, or impossible, for a traditional pitch. Of course, yes, they do rely on trees – good, solid trees – but providing they’re there, we can think of few more adventurous ways to camp.

Our pick of the range: Tentsile Connect 2-Person Tree Tent

Terra Nova

Hiker pitching Terra Nova Pioneer 2 tent

This Derbyshire brand has been flying the flag for British-made tents for decades and remain the go-to choice for many UK backpackers. Hardly surprising – who else has such an insight into the requirements of UK camping than a brand that designs, makes, and tests their tents right here?

It’s not just about supporting the home team; Terra Nova has several firsts (including the first PU/silicone flysheet fabric, the first sub 1kg tent, and the first bonded seams in commercially produced tents) and four Guinness World Records under their belt. Their tents are all adventure focused and span the range between ultra-lightweight 1-person tents to 8-person high altitude expedition models.

Our pick of the range: Terra Nova Southern Cross 2


Hiker camping with a ultralightweight Vango tent

Good tents are expensive. At least, that is often the offered wisdom. But Vango has been dispelling that myth for many years. True, the excellent prices of Vango’s tents are often what attracts campers to start with, and certainly goes some way to explaining why you see so many of their family tents (including the pioneering Air Beam inflatable models) on campsites, and why their backpacking tents have become such a stalwart of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme (for which they are a recommended brand).

But it’s the reliability and ease of use of their tents – along with outstanding value for money – which also makes Vango the first choice for many experienced backpackers and campers.

Our pick of the range: Vango Nevis 100


Vaude 3-person tent on a hill at sunset

The increased difficulties in shipping products direct from the EU post-Brexit mean that Vaude tents aren’t as common a site in UK gear shops as they once were. And this is our loss, because Vaude produce some superb backpacking tents, and have been regular winners and highly rated runners-up in our tent tests over the years.

Aside from the cutting-edge designs and typically German build quality, their tents share a quality that features heavily in all Vaude’s outdoor gear: environmental responsibility. They don’t use PVC or PFC chemicals in their tents, yet through clever designs and research into alternatives are still able to ensure they’re reliably protective and 100% waterproof.

Our pick of the range: Vaude Hogan UL 2

Wild Country

Wild Country tent

Wild Country is part of the Terra Nova portfolio, so what differentiates them? Well, the R&D investment, along with the cost of the cutting-edge materials required to keep them light yet strong, means that Terra Nova tents are sometimes a little more than some backpackers can afford.

But what if you could take all that design innovation and expertise and put it into use with less expensive materials? That’s what Wild Country do. Their tents may not be quite as light as their Terra Nova equivalents, and may lack some of the finer details, but for reliably robust (and we’ve seen Wild Country tents stand up to some awful weather), well-designed , and well-priced tents, they’re hard to beat.

Our pick of the range: Wild Country Helm Compact 1

How we picked the best tent brands

Ben Weeks Trail magazine and LFTO gear editor

The tent brands recommended here were chosen by Ben Weeks, who is the Gear Editor of our magazine, Trail, and has been with us for more the 10 years. Ben has a particular fondness for gnarly Scottish mountains treks in winter, is a qualified Mountain Leader, and climbing instructor.

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