8 Best Tents (2021): Backpacking, Family, and More

Camping is intense! No, really. If you’re going camping, you probably need a tent. Hammock lovers might disagree (we’re in the process of testing some hammocks), and we love sleeping under the stars when weather permits. But most of the time, finding and preparing adequate shelter for yourself, your family, or your pets is a nonnegotiable step toward being comfy in the great outdoors. 

There are as many kinds of tents as there are ways to go camping, and they range widely in price and features. To help you figure out the best tent for your next adventure—whether you’re getting away for the weekend with the family or soloing Mount Whitney—we have our favorite picks from years of testing to find the perfect shelter for everyone.

Don’t forget to check out our other buying guides, like the Best Rain Jackets or the Best Barefoot Shoes. 

Updated December 2021: We’ve added the Sea to Summit Alto TR1 and updated pricing and links throughout.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED