Whether you will be encountering summer rains or fall showers, for frequent backpackers, finding the best waterproof tent to keep you nice and dry in damp conditions is a must. Whether your trusty waterproof tent has seen its glory days or you’ve just recently gotten into camping and aren’t sure what to look for, you’ve come to the right place.
First, we’ll take a closer look at the top things you need to look for when hunting for the best waterproof tent. Next, we’ll walk you through our thorough review of the top 5 best waterproof tents before revealing our chosen winner from the group.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Here’s what you need to consider before choosing the best waterproof tent for your camping adventures.
The first element you need to take into account when selecting the best tent for rain is the shape of the structure. The shape of the tent can actually impact whether any moisture seeps through in the event of damp or rainy conditions. The typical choices you’ll usually have to pick from are dome tents and A-frame tents.
Dome tents are sturdier and hold up against harsh elements like wind much better than A-frames do. However, the inside of a dome tent is usually more compact so you definitely won’t have as much head space to move around.
A-frames, on the other hand, sport vertical walls that offer a ton of headroom and space to move around. A-frame roofs are flatter than domes though, which means water can have a tendency to gather at the top of the structure. If you like the additional space an A-frame can afford you, just look for one with a sloped roof that will prevent water from pooling.
There are some key design elements you’ll want to look for when hunting for the best waterproof tent. Different tent manufacturers incorporate their own branded features into the structure, with some featuring a tub-like floor that helps prevent water from leaking into the tent. If you choose a tent with tub-shaped floor space, make sure there aren’t any gaps between the floor and the rainfly.
The best waterproof tents also sport seamless floor designs to prevent leakage. The higher the seamless design goes up the tent body, the better the structure's waterproofing capabilities are. Zippers are another feature to pay close attention to when selecting the best waterproof tent. Inverted zippers will hold up well against damp conditions and prevent moisture from seeping through.
You should be able to shut the windows and doors of the best waterproof tent completely, so if showers do hit, you won’t get wet.
The best tents for rain come in either single or double wall specifications. Single wall tents are exactly what their name indicates—tents with a single layer of waterproof, ventilated material. If you choose a single wall tent, you must make sure that the fabric is both breathable and waterproof to ensure you stay comfortable and dry inside.
Double wall tents are the other popular option when it comes to finding the best waterproof tent. Double wall structures usually have screen panels to ensure proper circulation, which is key with the extra layer of material in the dual wall design. A double wall tent is typically comprised of a single tent wall with a rainfly on top.
A rainfly is an essential feature to look for when searching for the best tent for rain because you can remove it in clear weather to enjoy the view outside your tent or cool down, but you can also leave it on for additional waterproofing during rainy seasons. The best waterproof tents sport a space between the roof of the structure and the rainfly to ensure optimal breathability.
Some rainfly products feature clip-on attachments, which makes for really easy setup and breakdown if need be. Some rain-flies only go halfway down the tent while others cover the entire tent body. At the very least, the best waterproof tent will sport a rainfly that covers the door and window areas, so no moisture gets through.
You need to make sure that the best waterproof tent you select offers sufficient storage space to secure your gear and any other belongings you bring on the road with you. Look for tents with vestibules so you can store wet clothes, muddy shoes, etc. The vestibule should be covered like the tent is by the rainfly.
The best waterproof tents sport sealed seams to keep out rain and other damp weather elements. Even the strongest tent structures have vulnerable areas where water can seep through. Sealed seams help to guard against these vulnerabilities. You might even want to consider bringing an additional sealer and repair kit with you if you’re going to be on the road for long periods so you can keep those seams in tip-top shape.
Tents are categorized by season, and you can use many tents for more than one season. The 2-season tent varieties are ideal for warm weather camping, sporting lots of mesh for breathability. If you’re looking for the best waterproof tent for summer camping, make sure the rainfly is included to keep you dry if it starts to rain.
The 3-season tents are more durable than the 2-season kind and are a great selection for spring, summer, and fall camping excursions. The 4-season models are designed specifically for cold, wintery weather.
Check out the top 5 best waterproof tents!
Our first pick for the best waterproof tent is a compact and lightweight option that fits up to 3 campers. Despite its compact design, it is surprisingly spacious on the inside, with plenty of headroom. We were really impressed by the easy setup and breakdown of the MSR Mutha Hubba tent. In fact, you can set up the tent in 2 different ways depending on your preference, making this tent a highly versatile choice.
The tent sports doors with integrated rain gutters and the all-important rainfly for an extra barrier of waterproof protection. The MSR Mutha Hubba Backpacking tent includes a user-friendly pole system and hub with color-coded clips, so you can align and set up with total ease. The tent weighs just 4 pounds, making it a great option for lightweight backpackers who want a durable, waterproof tent they can depend on.
Our next choice for the best waterproof tent is in a class of its own, with a camper capacity of up to 6 people! The durable polyester design helps deflect water well, with integrated CORE H20 Block Technology and a ground vent that you can adjust as needed. We liked the handy gear loft with pockets and a lantern hook that you can use to store your gear and valuables. The tent also comes equipped with stakes, a rainfly, and carry bag for easy transportation.
The tent is so spacious inside that you can secure 2 queen air mattresses in it. The tent’s center height is an astounding 72 inches. The feature that really impressed us with the CORE 6 Person Dome Tent was the tough water repellent fabric sporting active beads to repel water along with its durable sealed seams. The tent comes with an adjustable air intake vent that moves cool air upward and helps warm air escape, all while ensuring proper circulation and camper comfort.
The Eureka Copper Canyon Three-Season Camping Tent is one of the best waterproof tents on the market for its spacious vertical structure, sporting an impressive 7 feet of standing space. If you’re tired of tents that restrict you to sitting up only and impede you from moving around, this massive structure could be for you.
It offers exceptional waterproofing capabilities with a 3-season design manufactured with steel, fiberglass, and pole sleeves to serve you well for most of your year-round camping adventures.
The only major downside with this tent is it weighs a staggering 23 pounds, so it’s going to be a good selection for car camping rather than backpacking. The tent sports a Stormshield polyester rainfly that secures the entire roof.
We also like that this tent comes with a zippered power port where you can secure your devices, cables, and more. The tent offers fantastic storage space, with large overhead mesh pockets for your gear. Set up and breakdown is very easy, with a ring and pin design that takes no time to set up. We also like that the tent sports multiple doors and windows for good cross-ventilation.
Our next selection for the best waterproof tent is the Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room, with a spacious 6-person design that is affordable and comfortable. You can easily fit 2 queen-sized air mattresses inside this tent in addition to all your belongings. We really loved the separate screened in compartment with 10 x 5-foot dimensions that offer campers an extra space to relax in.
The tent features an inner volume of 5 feet, so it’s not quite high enough for most campers to stand up comfortably, but you should still have plenty of space to move around. The Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room comes with quality storage pockets too. We loved this tent’s proprietary Weather Tec components with welded floors and sealed seams to protect you from rain and other damp weather conditions.
The rainfly takes just 15 minutes to set up and comes with a handy bag for transportation. The body of the tent is designed from 75-denier taffeta polyester while the zippers sport weatherproof cuffs to prevent dampness from seeping through. We liked the mesh area on the roof for cross ventilation and the sturdy aluminum alloy poles that help to stabilize the structure.
Our final choice for the best waterproof tent is the incomparable TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent, with a compact, lightweight design that is easy to set up and breakdown. If you’re a minimalist backpacker that wants to stay protected from wet weather conditions without weighing down your gear, this choice could be the one for you. You can buy the tent in 4 sizes based on the person capacity you require.
The TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent does an exceptional job of keeping rain and damp elements out, with a completely seamless design for the ultimate waterproof structure. The rainfly is made from 66-denier ripstop nylon with a polyurethane coating, featuring a 3,000-millimeter rating.
The tent floor features a tub-like design with a 150-denier footprint manufactured from Oxford polyester. The inside of the tent sports mesh components that you can open up through the rainfly’s cutouts. The aluminum frame has fast release buckles, so you can set up the tent in about 15 minutes and tear it down in 5.
One of the best waterproof tents stood out to us above the rest—the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent. While each of the selections on our list would make a valuable addition to any camper’s gear, the TETON Ultra Tent stands supreme in several key areas. We love its lightweight, compact design that you can purchase in 1, 2, 3, or 4 person capacities as you require.
The 100% seamless design is impressive, with a durable 66-denier ripstop nylon rainfly and 3,000-millimeter hydrostatic rating that stands in a class of its own. The tub-like design with 150-denier footprint even further ensures that dampness will stay out, while the mesh components give that quality ventilation we always look for in the best waterproof tent.
For a lightweight, versatile structure that is easy to set up and dependable in a wide range of damp weather conditions, you can’t go wrong with the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent.