A fun weekend camping trip can quickly turn into a nightmare when your supposedly waterproof tent fails and your sleeping bags get soaked. No one wants to sit in a damp environment and especially not out in the woods. So how can you find the right tent that will actually keep you dry?

Every tent model has its pros and cons, but there is one feature that is non-negotiable: the tent needs to be waterproof – no questions asked. To help you wade through the possibilities (and hopefully no rain puddles), we’ve put together a list of the best waterproof tents for a just about every kind of backpacking and camping scenario.

Welcome to our run down of the best waterproof tents in the world today!

rei half dome tent
Photo: Chris Lininger

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Whether you’re planning a backpacking trip with a group of friends, or something to use for solo weekend adventures, we’ve got a great selection of the best tents in the outdoor industry.

We give an honest breakdown of the pros and cons of each model so you can decide which tent is the best fit for your lifestyle and climate. We’ve compiled the best waterproof tents for different people and different needs.

Our team has done all of the dirty work testing these waterproof tents over the years so we bring you our top picks based on our in the field experience…

Quick Answer: Best Waterproof Tents


REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

  • Price > $349
  • > Large living space
  • > Good ventilation

MSR Hubba Hubba 2

  • Price > $549.95
  • > Lightweight
  • > 2 doors, 2 vestibules

Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent

  • Price > $529.95
  • > Double zipper vestibules
  • > Overhead storage pocket

Marmot Limelight 3person Tent

  • Price > $359
  • > Nice interior storage pockets
  • > Large vestibule space

Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepack Tent

  • Price > $579.95
  • > Attaches to bikes
  • > Lots of storage pockets

REI Co-op Wonderland 4

  • Price > $429
  • > Backpack carry bag
  • > Vertical Walls

REI Co-op Skyward 4

  • Price > $374
  • > Almost vertical walls
  • > Many pockets and light attachments

REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint

  • Price > $
  • > Pockets and gear loops
  • > Footprint included

Kammock Mantis All-in-One Hammock Tent

  • Price > $269.95
  • > Stargazer panel in rainfly
  • > Lifetime warranty

MSR Elixir 4 Tent with Footprint

  • Price > $489.95
  • > Durable poles
  • > 2 vestibules

Why You Need a Waterproof Tent

Heavy rain can RUIN a camping trip. Those long hikes you had planned won’t be much fun if you’re fighting sheets of rain and that campfire won’t burn too bright in a torrential downpour. If it rains on your trip, the last thing you want is a damp, wet camping tent.

Whilst most tents offer some weather protection, this is generally quite limited. For example, even a 3 season tent is not intended to withstand heavy showers. It really is therefore wise to take the time, make the effort and spend the bucks on a proper waterproof tent.

Ready to find the best waterproof tent for your trip? Let’s go!

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The Best Waterproof Tent Overall

REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

Our top pick for the best waterproof tent overall is the REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

  • Price-$349
  • Capacity-2 person
  • Floor dimension-90 x 54 inches
  • Peak height-42 inches
  • Packed weight-4 pounds 11.5 ounces
  • Rainfly fabric-30-denier nylon
  • Floor fabric-40-denier ripstop nylon

There’s a lot going for the REI Co-op Half Dome 2+ tent beyond excellent waterproof design. However, the footprint isn’t included, so if you want to fully waterproof your tent you’ll have to factor this into your final purchase.

We also love the full coverage rainfly design of the HD2+. A lot of waterproof tents become stuffy and humid as soon as the rainfly goes on, so even though you’re dry you’re still uncomfortable. The HD2+ fly can be rolled up to allow for more ventilation without removing the entire water resistant rainfly. This way if a storm comes in fast, there’s no need to struggle to get the fly on again!

There are also 4 water resistant ceiling vents that keep air flowing even when it’s raining and prevents condensation from accumulating in the tent – even if you experience heavy rain.

In terms of comfort and livability, the HD2+ also scores some good points thanks to the two doors, and vestibules on both sides of the tent where you can store dirty boots and wet gear. It’s also a fairly lightweight tent; while it doesn’t quite measure up to the super light backpacking tents, it’s also not going to totally weigh down your pack.

The HD2+ is small enough for a solo traveler, but still big enough to comfortably accommodate couples traveling together.

Our testers loved how spacious this tent felt and how much it fit inside. The weight felt good given how much room it offered. They managed to fit a 45L bag and shoes in the vestibule and also took along their 78lb fur baby too… and he was super happy so that’s all that matters!

  1. Large living space
  2. 2 doors, 2 vestibules
  3. Good ventilation
  4. Lots of pockets
  1. Sometimes rainfly sags a bit
  2. Poor stakes
  3. Footprint not included

Check out our full-length REI Half Dome 2 Plus review

Best Waterproof Tent for Hiking

MSR Hubba Hubba 2

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is our pick for the best waterproof tent for hiking

  • Price-$549.95
  • Capacity-2 person
  • Floor dimension-84 x 68 inches
  • Peak height-46 inches
  • Packed weight-3 lbs. 13 oz
  • Rainfly fabric-20-denier ripstop nylon with a 1,200 mm DuraShield polyurethane/silicone coating
  • 20-denier ripstop nylon with a 1,200 mm Durashield polyurethane coating

Sturdy but also in the ultra-lightweight tent class, the Hubba Hubba 2 is a backpackers dream come true. It’s not going to totally weigh down your pack, but it still provides ample living room and good protection from the elements.

First and foremost, this tent did have some problems with design in the past, which lead to some poor overall reviews. However, MSR has updated their model to fix these issues, and the Hubba Hubba 2 is now “okay for go” in terms of waterproof status.

The solid structure of the tent provides good protection from the wind and keeps the tent stable if there’s some wind. We also love the rainfly design, which does a good job in never touching the sides of the tent so the interior stays totally dry.

There are also 2 doors with vestibules on both sides where you can store your wet boots and raincoats to keep the inside as dry as possible. For a more detailed look at the design, weatherability, and special features of the Hubba Hubba 2, you can check out our in-depth MSR Hubba Hubba review.

Our team ended up in some pretty wild weather on the Appalachian trial when giving this tent a test. In fact, it stood up without a problem to sustained 20mph winds with frequent 40mph gusts and freezing rain and snow… all night!

  1. Lightweight
  2. Good ventilation
  3. 2 doors, 2 vestibules
  1. Not enough pockets

Best Waterproof Tent for Hiking #2

Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent

Another pick for the best waterproof tent for hiking is the Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent

  • Price-$529.95
  • Capacity-2 person
  • Floor dimension-88 x 52/42 inches
  • Peak height-40 inches
  • Packed weight-3 pounds 2 ounces
  • Rainfly fabric-ripstop nylon/polyurethane coating
  • Floor fabric-ripstop nylon/polyurethane coating

Since so many waterproof tents are designed for backpackers, we wanted to highlight a second option besides the Hubba Hubba which also has all the makings of an excellent backpacking tent.

Big Agnes has a reputation for producing great quality tents, and the Copper Spur is certainly no exception. The entire tent is made of a ripstop nylon material to create a lightweight yet highly durable tent for all your backpacking expeditions.

A lot of Big Agnes tents have a tapered design and are wider at the head than at the foot. Some people love this feature, others really don’t like it-it’s a matter of personal preference and doesn’t really affect the overall performance.

The Copper Spur also has 2 doors and vestibules over each to provide more cover when it’s drizzling and can be turned into awnings if you have proper trekking poles. Unfortunately, the footprint is not included, which is a very helpful addition to making the tent fully waterproof.

Our testers loved this tent, especially for backpacking trips with their dogs! A couple felt this 2 person tent was better suited for 1 person and a pup given the tapered design. But we’re glad to report that even after getting caught in a surprise blizzard the pooch was dry and warm all night and his human felt the tent was pretty light when carried too.

Learn More: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 review

  1. Lightweight
  2. Double zipper vestibules
  3. Overhead storage pocket
  1. Footprint not included
  2. Narrow bottom

Best Waterproof Tent for the Beach

Marmot Limelight 3person Tent

Marmot Limelight 3person Tent

Marmot Limelight 3person Tent is our pick for best waterproof tent for the beach

  • Price-$359
  • Capacity-3 person
  • Floor dimension-88.2 x 70.1/63.8 inches
  • Peak height-45.3 inches
  • Packed weight-7 pounds 1.9 ounces
  • Rainfly fabric-68-denier polyester taffeta
  • Floor fabric-68-denier polyester taffeta

For those who have tried it, you’ll know that beach camping is a whole new ball game in terms of picking the right tent. A coastal breeze carries a lot of moisture and salt with it, which is hard on most tents and requires a more durable material if you want the tents to last.

The Marmot Limelight can hold up to sea breezes thanks to the good ventilation and sturdy material. It’s a bit heavier than other 3-person backpacking tents, but it’s worth carrying around the extra weight if you’ll be camping on the beach a lot.

Plus, a big bonus to the Marmot Limelight is that the footprint is included, unlike many tent models! This is another crucial feature for beach camping, since it helps protect against sharp rocks grating sand which can destroy a tent floor quickly.

Other small convenience features include color-coded poles and pitch clips and several interior pockets for storage. There’s also an overhead Lamp Shade pocket where you can put your headlamp.

One of our taller team members gave this tent a run out alongside their even taller mate, a cat and a dog!! So even with this Noah’s Ark scenario going on inside this tent, our tester felt it was comfortable and spacious. They also loved the door set up where dirty boots could be kept separate from the interior of the tent.

  1. Good ventilation
  2. Large vestibule space
  3. Nice interior storage pockets
  1. Tight for 3 people
  2. Not enough pegs

Best Waterproof Tent for Bike Camping

Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepack Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepack Tent

Top pick for the best waterproof tent for bike camping is the Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepack Tent

  • Price-$579.95
  • Capacity-3 person
  • Floor dimension-88 x 52/42 inches
  • Peak height-40 inches
  • Packed weight-3 pounds 8 ounces
  • Rainfly fabric-Silicone treated ripstop nylon
  • Floor fabric-Silicone treated double ripstop nylon

We’ve already described what makes the Copper Spur so great for backpackers. Now, with this new model, the Copper Spur has also become an excellent waterproof tent option for bikers.

The compression sack for the tent comes with a daisy-chain style webbing which can be securely fastened to many different bike frames, and velcro straps are included to keep the tent secure. This way you can easily haul your tent any distance necessary on your bike tour.

Just like the first model of the Copper Spur, the bikepack version is also wider on top and narrower on the bottom. However, there are lots in interior storage pockets, so the smaller space at your feet might not be too much of an issue.

If you want to keep the tent fully waterproof, it’s a good idea to get the footprint, which is unfortunately not included with the tent.

To help with easy set up, the fly has color-coded corners to match with the appropriate straps to hold it in place. However, it’s probably a good idea to get a few more stakes since there have been some complaints that the amount provided wasn’t sufficient to keep the fly in place.

Our team loved how easy the set-up on this tent was alongside just how lightweight it felt for all the features it provides. Those mentioned in particular were the double entry system, vestibule and gear pockets.

  1. Lightweight
  2. Attaches to bikes
  3. Lots of storage pockets
  1. Needs more stakes
  2. Footprint not included

Best Waterproof Tent for Families (Car Camping)

REI Co-op Wonderland 4

REI Co-op Kingdom 4

REI Co-op Wonderland 4 is our pick for the best waterproof tent for families (car camping)

  • Price-$429
  • Capacity-4 person
  • Floor dimension-100 x 100 inches
  • Peak height-75 inches
  • Packed weight-21 pounds 11 ounces
  • Rainfly fabric-75-denier coated polyester
  • Floor fabric-150-denier polyester

Family camping trips can become quickly ruined by a leaky tent and wet sleeping bags. If there’s a chance you might need to ride out a rainstorm in your tent, you’ll definitely want to make sure that the water stays on the outside.

The REI Wonderland 4 is a highly rated tent which has a few new developments to make it even easier to use. The color coding on the tent, poles, and fly keep everything simple for setting the tent up so even the kids can help.

The most obvious downside to the Wonderland 4 is that the footprint is sold separately. Although the tough seam-sealed and cut-in floor helps with keeping the tent waterproof, it’s a good idea to get the footprint to keep everything dry.

One of the best family-friendly features of the Wonderland 4 are the vertical walls and 2 door set up so no one is climbing over each other to get out in the middle of the night. One of the doors can also be converted into a vestibule for a bit more space to store your belongings.

Since the Wonderland 4 is on the heavier side, it’s better suited for car trips. The tent does come with a backpack carry bag making it easier to transport for short distances.

Our testers gave this massive tent a proper test by cramping in a whole family of 5 inside it! They felt it offered great space and the headroom in particular made it easier to wrangle the kids at bedtime!

If you’re looking for bigger tents to travel wit the whole fam’, check out our rundown of the best cabin tents for camping for even more of the best waterproof tents for families.

  1. Vertical Walls
  2. Backpack carry bag
  3. Color-coded set up design
  1. Heavier
  2. Poles could be more durable

Best Waterproof Tent for Families (Backpacking)

MSR Elixir 4 Tent with Footprint

MSR Elixir 4

Our pick for best waterproof tent for families (backpacking) is MSR Papa Hubba

  • Price-$489.95
  • Capacity-4 person
  • Floor dimension-88 x 88 inches
  • Peak height-48 inches
  • Packed weight-9 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Rainfly fabric-68-denier coated ripstop polyester
  • Floor fabric-70-denier coated nylon

Backpacking with a family is a completely new ball game in terms of getting an appropriate tent. You need something that’s lightweight, but still able to hold up to poor weather, not to mention be big enough for everyone to have enough space.

The MSR Elixir 4 does about the best job of any tent out there to meet all of these requirements. It’s designed for 4 people, although you could possibly fit five depending on the size and age of your kids.

There are two key factors to the MSR Elixir 4 that make it such a great choice. First, the denier-coated ripstop polyester waterproof coating has great reviews for doing an excellent job in keeping tents dry. Plus, the poles are made from Easton Syclone, which are lightweight yet incredibly strong to hold up against strong winds & heavy rain conditions.

The entire tent fits in a small compression sack which makes it easy to pack or even give one of the kids a chance to carry it!

One of the stand-out features that our testers loved was just how easy this tent was to set up, in fact, one of them reckoned they could get this thing up in 30 seconds! On top of that, they also felt it was super light when attached to their packs. So ideal for backpacking trips.

  1. Very light
  2. Durable poles
  3. 2 vestibules
  1. No zip cover on windows
  2. Footprint not included

Best Waterproof Tent for Festivals

REI Co-op Skyward 4

REI Co-op Skyward 4

The best waterproof tent for festivals in our list is the REI Co-op Skyward 4

  • Price-$374
  • Capacity-4 person
  • Floor dimension-100 x 86 inches
  • Peak height-78 inches
  • Packed weight-13 lbs. 11 oz
  • Rainfly fabric-75-denier coated polyester
  • Floor fabric-150-denier coated polyester

If you’re planning on visiting a festival, you might not want a super fancy and expensive tent which might be at risk of getting damaged. Festivals are fun, but the party atmosphere and close quarters to other festival-goers increases the risk of accidents.

However, you certainly don’t want to deal with the frustration of getting wet if it rains during the event. Finding a tent that’s a balance of quality without being overly expensive can be difficult.

The REI Skyward 4 is certainly big enough for a group of friends visiting a festival, but it’s also one of the more budget-friendly waterproof tents on our list. It’s not going to hold up to quite the same level of rough weather as some options, but it’s still very durable and well-designed.

In terms of comfort and livability, the Skyward 4 scores high marks thanks to the two large D-shaped doors, multiple pockets at various levels, and a convenient bag to carry the tent, poles, stakes, and guylines.

Unfortunately, the footprint is sold separately; you might be able to get away with a heavy-duty tarp, but having the footprint is definitely the best way to ensure the effectiveness of the tent.

Our team of testers felt this tent felt super solid and almost bulletproof! Having withstood storms, floods, blizzards as well hot summer nights, it really stood up to whatever the outdoors could throw at it. Not only that but for how sturdy it felt, the set-up was still pretty easy and quick.

  1. Almost vertical walls
  2. Many pockets and light attachments
  1. Could use more guylines
  2. Hard to put up in bad weather
  3. Large packed size

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    Best Waterproof Tent under $200

    REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint

    REI Coop Passage 2 Tent with Footprint

    REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint is our top pick for the best waterproof tent under $200

    • Price-$
    • Capacity-2 person
    • Floor dimension-88 x 52 inches
    • Peak height-40 inches
    • Packed weight-5 pounds, 10 ounces
    • Rainfly fabric-polyester
    • Floor fabric-polyester

    When “cheap” and “backpacking tent” are included in a description, it usually results in poor quality. However, even though the REI Co-op Passage 2 tent might not be quite as durable as other models, it still does an excellent job keeping out bad weather for a far lower price.

    The X-pole set up makes it easy to get the tent up in just a few minutes, but still provides reasonable stability for windy conditions. Thanks to the rectangular floor and two doors on either side, getting the tent properly oriented is a breeze.

    And of course, there is the huge bonus that this tent actually comes with a footprint! You can also roll the fly up so you can see the stars on clear nights or allow for extra ventilation during the day, but then quickly shut it if it starts raining.

    Overall it’s a great entry-level tent if you’re serious about wanting to give backpack camping a try, but you don’t want to invest too much money in case things don’t work out. Once you get comfortable with the Passage 2, you can consider upgrading to a more heavy-duty model.

    Our team loved the built-in footprint. They felt it helped to keep the cost down without the need for any additional add-ons as well as making this budget option super weather resistant and easy to set up.

    1. Budget price
    2. 2 doors, 2 vestibules
    3. Pockets and gear loops
    4. Footprint included
    1. Won’t last a lifetime
    2. Needs better ventilation

    Best Waterproof Camping Hammock

    Kammock Mantis All-in-One Hammock Tent

    Kammock Mantis All-in-One Hammock Tent

    Top pick for the best waterproof camping hammock is the Kammock Mantis All-in-One Hammock Tent

    • Price-$269.95
    • Capacity-1 person
    • Packed weight-2 pounds, 15.4 ounces
    • Packed size-10 x 6.1 x 6.1 inches
    • Rainfly fabric-15-denier ripstop nylon
    • Canopy fabric-Dragonet no-see-um mesh

    As hammock camping becomes more and more popular, we wanted to make sure to include at least one hammock model in our list of the top waterproof tents. Although it won’t give you quite the same comfort in the rain as a traditional tent, the Kammock Mantis will still certainly keep you dry!

    The hammock has a Dragon net canopy made of no-see-um mesh which will keep the bugs out but still give you a view of the stars. As soon as it begins to look cloudy, you can roll the rainfly down quickly, even in the middle of the night.

    Probably the biggest trick to hammock camping is to make sure you’re able to find proper trees to set it up. Once you’ve identified a spot, the Kammock Mantis only tables a few minutes to be set in place with a knotless suspension design.

    In terms of weight and size, camping hammocks usually leave other tents in the dust, which is one reason why lightweight backpackers have come to prefer them.

    Our testers were pretty interested in giving this tent a go and were the first to admit that it’s not for everyone! Those on our team who are real minimalist travellers just loved how light this tent was whilst still providing a high level of comfort. Set up is also surprisingly easy and it packs down small too!

    1. Very transportable
    2. Stargazer panel in rainfly
    3. Built in pockets
    4. Lifetime warranty
    1. Small
    2. Not designed for tall people

    Best of the Rest

    Now that we’ve given you our top picks for waterproof tents for a variety of camping adventures, here are some other excellent models to consider if you still haven’t quite found the right tent for you.

    Companies are constantly improving their tents, and fixing old issues with past models. If there’s a tent you already love, but it’s getting old, you might be in luck and find a new and better version on the market.

    REI Co-op Trailmade 1 Tent

    REI Co-op Quarter Trailmade 1 Tent
    • Price-$179
    • Capacity-1 person
    • Floor dimension-88 x 36.5 inches
    • Peak height-41 inches
    • Packed weight-7.5 x 22.44 inches
    • Rainfly fabric-ripstop nylon
    • Floor fabric-ripstop nylon

    For one person camping trips, the Trailmade 1 is a great bet for a waterproof tent. It’s easy to set up, the true “Trailmade” structure means that the sidewalls are much more vertical, and the stake-out vestibule gives you extra space for wet items to stay outside the tent.

    The door is also on the side of the tent, unlike some one-person tents which have the door on the top or bottom forcing you to crawl in. Setting the tent up is also made easier thanks to the color coding on the poles.

    If you want to keep the Trailmade 1 truly waterproof, it’s critical to get the footprint, or at the very least a heavy-duty tarp. The floor is made out of relatively durable material, but it won’t hold up on its own to a torrential downpour.

    For some campers, the trapezoidal shape is also less desirable, but the Trailmade 1 still gives you a reasonable amount of space compared to some one-person tents and is still lightweight and easy to pack up.

    Our team loved the combination of price, weight and high quality of this tent. They felt it was up there with possibly the best solution for those backpacking on their own looking for a simple and affordable solution.

    1. Side door and vestibule
    2. Pockets and gear loops
    3. Roof vent
    1. Footprint not included
    2. A bit fragile
    3. Not made for tall people

    Need something a little bigger? Check out our in-depth REI Quarter Dome SL 2 review

    The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent

    The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent
    • Price-$185
    • Capacity-2 person
    • Floor dimension-87 x 50 inches
    • Peak height-43 inches
    • Packed weight-5 pounds, 14 ounces
    • Rainfly fabric-75-denier polyester with 1,200 mm polyurethane coating
    • Floor fabric-68-denier polyester, 3000mm polyurethane coating

    This is a great tent for couples who want a budget-friendly 2 person waterproof tent. The pole design allows for more headroom than many 2 person tents, and there are 2 doors so you don’t have to crawl over each other to get out.

    Each door has a zip-cover which can be pulled back and stored in the nearby pocket when the weather is nice and to let in more air. There are also high and low ventilation points which helps prevent condensation from building up and keep air flowing.

    However, the footprint isn’t included, which is really a necessary component to really make the tent waterproof. If you have a sturdy tarp, this may also do the job well enough in most weather conditions.

    Once packed, the tent is a little bit longer than other 2 person tents, and it’s a bit heavier than some backpacking tents. Because of this, this tent may be better off for car campers or shorter weekend trips, for that purpose we’ve rated it the best 2 person waterproof tent.

    Our team gave this tent a good run out by subjecting it to 40mph winds in the desert of Moab and a torrential downpour in the Hoh rainforest! The Stormbreak did exactly that and withstood anything we threw at it. On top of that, it packed down light and easily.

    Learn More: North Face Storm Break 2 review

    1. Pockets and gear loops
    2. Seam-taped canopy
    3. Twin-zip doors
    1. Footprint not included
    2. Longer and heavier packed size

    MSR Hubba Hubba 3

    MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3
    • Price-$629.95
    • Capacity-3 person
    • Floor dimension-84 x 68 inches
    • Peak height-44 inches
    • Packed weight-4 pounds,13 ounces
    • Rainfly fabric-20-denier ripstop nylon with Xtreme Shield
    • Floor fabric-30-denier ripstop nylon

    We love the MSR Hubba Hubba 3 for all the same reasons as the 2-person model mentioned above. This is a great tent for close friends, small families, or couples who want a little bit extra room.

    There are two large vestibules on this tent as well, providing ample space to keep all of your wet belongings outside of the tent. It’s also a very compact 3-person tent, which makes it a great option for backpackers.

    Like the Hubba Hubba 2, this model also had a few issues with weatherability, but these were addressed by the company and all the issues were resolved, so with this in mind it’s the best rainproof tent for 3 people if you’re car camping.

    Our testers were super pleased with the weight-to-size ratio of this tent and felt it was really spacious, especially for backpacking tents which are usually on the smaller side!

    If you want a little bit more detailed information on this tent, you can also check out our in-depth MSR Mutha Hubba review.

    Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL Tent

    Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL Tent
    • Price-$499.95
    • Capacity-3 person
    • Floor dimension-88 x 66/60 (L x W head/foot) inches
    • Peak height-42 inches
    • Packed weight-2 lbs. 15 oz.
    • Rainfly fabric-Silicone-treated ripstop nylon/polyurethane coating
    • Floor fabric-Silicone-treated ripstop nylon/polyurethane coating

    This is another great ultralight backpacking tent for groups of friends or small families. Big Agnes delivers again for an excellent, durable yet lightweight tent which is made to withstand a bit of rough weather.

    The steeper walls of the tent and height make it comfortable to sit up inside to ride out a storm. There are also two vestibules which make it easy to exit from either side of the tent so as to not crawl over each other at night.

    Another great feature of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 3 is the large ceiling storage bin where you can put gear, electronic devices, or flashlights for easy access making it one of the best weather-resistant tents for those travelling with camera gear for example.

    Both the floor and the rainfly are made with a Silicone-treated ripstop nylon/polyurethane coating; however, to keep the tent in good condition for a longer time, it’s recommended to also use a footprint (which will also help keep out water). But you probably already guessed it-the footprint isn’t included and only comes as a separate purchase.

    Testers loved the square footprint of this tent and were even able to fit not only their bags and other gear but even their bike too. This really gave them an added sense of security when bikepacking.

    1. Lightweight
    2. Good interior storage compartments
    3. Fly vent to reduce condensation
    1. Footprint not included
    2. Could use more stakes

    NEMO Dagger OSMO 3 Tent

    NEMO Dagger OSMO 3P Tent
    NEMO Dagger 3 Tent
    • Price-$599.95
    • Capacity-3 person
    • Floor dimension-90 x 70 inches
    • Peak height-42 inches
    • Packed weight-4 pounds,10 ounces
    • Rainfly fabric-OSMO ripstop polyester/nylon blend
    • Floor fabric-OSMO ripstop polyester/nylon blend

    If you’re in a serious group of backpackers, investing in a tent like the NEMO Dagger 3 might be a good idea. It’s certainly not a cheap tent, but its durable design also means it will last for many trips as long as it’s properly cared for.

    One of the best features of the NEMO Dagger 3 are the two very large vestibules. Having enough space to keep everyone’s wet things safe but outside of the tent can often be a challenge, but not when you have this tent!

    Another cool thing to note is that the NEMO Dagger 3 comes with a dual-stage stuff sack, so the load can be split between two people for more evenly packed backpacks. It’s also light enough to be totally manageable for 2 people, but large enough that 3 people can still use it together. It might just be the best weatherproof tent for couples travelling together.

    The NEMO Dagger also has good ventilation thanks to the strut vents and no-see-um mesh sidewalls which keep air flowing even when it’s raining out.

    Testers felt this tent offered a great and rare combination of being lightweight, super durable and also pretty spacious too. On top of that it also proved itself able to easily shrug off 35mph gusts with ease.

    1. Good ventilation
    2. Pockets
    3. Easy set up
    1. Footprint not included
    2. Heavier
    The best present of all… is CONVENIENCE!

    Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

    So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

    Buy on REI!
    best waterproof tents
    NamePacked WeightDimensionsCapacity
    REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent4 pounds 11.5 ounces90 x 54 inches2 person
    MSR Hubba Hubba 23 pounds 4 ounces84 x 50 inches2 person
    Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent3 pounds 2 ounces88 x 52/42 inches2 person
    Marmot Limelight 3person Tent7 pounds 1.9 ounces88.2 x 70.1/63.8 inches3 person
    Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepack Tent3 pounds 8 ounces88 x 52/42 inches3 person
    REI Co-op Wonderland 421 pounds 11 ounces100 x 100 inches4 person
    MSR Elixir 49 lbs. 6 oz88 x 88 inches4 person
    REI Co-op Skyward 413 lbs. 11 oz100 x 86 inches4 person
    REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint5 pounds 10 ounces88 x 52 inches2 person
    Kammock Mantis All-in-One Hammock Tent2 pounds 15.4 ounces10 x 6.1 x 6.1 inches1 person
    REI Co-op Trailmade 14 lbs. 9 oz.88 x 36.5 inches1 person
    The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent5 pounds 14 ounces87 x 50 inches2 person
    MSR Hubba Hubba 34 pounds 13 ounces84 x 68 inches3 person
    Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL Tent2 lbs. 15 oz.88 x 66/60 inches3 person
    NEMO Dagger 3 Tent4 pounds 5 ounces90 x 70 inches3 person

    How to choose the Best Waterproof Tent

    There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when shopping for a waterproof camping tent. How often do you plan on using it? Car camping or backpacking? Solo travel or with a big family? Remember that there is not a “one size fits all” when you are choosing a tent for camping.

    These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to ask before finalizing a purchase. To help you plan a bit, we’ve broken down the critical features of good waterproof tents to help you know what to look out for.


    You can drink from pretty much anywhere.
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    For backpackers, every ounce matters, so getting a lightweight tent is absolutely necessary. However, unfortunately is usually the heavier material which does a better job at keeping out the wind (even strong wind) and water of a rainstorm. A good tent. for camping should not needlessly wear you down.

    Tent technology has come a long way, so there are lots of excellent quality lightweight tents which are also durable and strong. One thing to keep in mind when calculating weight is whether you’ll be including the tent footprint or a tarp. Having a footprint makes a big difference in terms of how effective a tent is against the wind, but it also adds a bit more weight.

    A lot of tents now have cool extra features, which can add comfort and convenience to your camping trip. The packing is what isn’t so convenient in this, and generally speaking the more extras the tent has, the bigger and more difficult it is to pack and carry around.

    If you’re planning on car camping, this isn’t so much of an issue, but for backpackers a tent with a simpler design may be more beneficial in the long run.

    For backpacking trips, one of the biggest questions is how many people will be traveling together. Solo backpackers will definitely want a 1-person tent or perhaps a camping hammock depending on the terrain.

    If you’re traveling as a couple, family, or group of friends, you’ll need to decide just how cozy you’re comfortable being. It’s also a good idea to look for a tent with a larger vestibule (preferably 2) so you can keep wet gear outside the tent which is often half the battle of keeping the inside dry.

    Type of Waterproof Material

    rei half dome 2 plus review
    Rain fly material matters.

    Over time, a lot of travelers develop a personal preference for tent material based on camping experience, season, and climate. There’s no absolute right answer to “the best” waterproof material for tents, but there are some obvious pros and cons to certain materials. Note that a 3 season tent may not offer enough waterproofing for heavy rain showers.

    Polyurethane coating (PU) is one of the most budget friendly options for waterproofing tents. It’s relatively lightweight and lasts for a long time. It might get a bit brown when exposed to direct sun over time, but this won’t change the effectiveness of the product.

    On the opposite end of the price spectrum from polyurethane, Gore-Tex is both breathable and waterproof, making it highly desirable but also very expensive. Unless you want military-grade tents, it’s not realistic to get a standard camping tent made entirely of Gore-Tex.

    Gore-Tex is ideal for 4-season tents which need to stand up to harsh winter conditions as well as hot summer afternoons. Often tents are made with a combination of Gore-Tex and other materials to make them more affordable.

    An important point to remember is that regardless of how well a material keeps out water, the tent is useless if the seams aren’t sealed. The three main methods of seam sealing are critically taped seams, fully taped seams, and welded seams.

    To be classified as waterproof, a tent must have fully taped or welded seams. Especially for tent floors, welded seams are usually used to keep water from leaking in.

    If you want to add a bit more protection to your tent, there are some extra sealant products like the Gear Aid Seam Grip Seam Sealer which can be used to repair a tent or strengthen the waterproof coating on seams.

    With or Without a Footprint

    half dome 2 plus tent review
    In dry conditions, a footprint is not necessary. But when the rains come, you’ll be happy to have one.
    Photo: Chris Lininger

    After looking through our list of tents, it’s pretty obvious that not many models come with footprints included. This sad but true fact means that you’ll usually need to budget for also getting the footprint if you want to truly waterproof your tent.

    Sometimes even the toughest tent bottoms can allow some water to seep in if it’s wet enough. A footprint provides an extra layer of protection, plus can make sleeping in the tent more comfortable.

    Many travelers will substitute a footprint with a decent tarp. The benefits to using a tarp are that it is more budget-friendly and that it’s easier to replace. The downsides are that the tarp won’t match the exact size of the tent and usually tarps are heavier.

    In terms of lifespan, a footprint will greatly increase the number of times you can use a tent without the waterproof coating wearing off. Having the footprint between the tent bottom and ground prevents the coating from being worn off so quickly from use.

    The final decision about whether or not to get a footprint is up to you. However, when it’s a matter of possibly waking up wet feet because some water got in the base of your tent, it’s definitely recommended to include a footprint in your packing list.

    Extra Waterproof Coating

    No matter how good of a waterproof camping tent you have, time will inevitably take its toll. The waterproof coating will begin to wear off as the camping tent is bumped, you move around inside the tent, and from time in storage.

    From the outset, there are numerous things you can do to help prolong the life of your tent or rescue it if you begin to have problems. There are several waterproof coating sprays and sealants which you can purchase either to repair your own tent or provide some extra security.

    Especially if you’re planning on embarking on a long backpacking trip where you might not have easy access to camping stores where you can repair or replace tents, putting on an extra waterproof coat is like insurance for your trip.

    REI do great camping tents. They have some excellent and budget-friendly products like the Nikwax TX. Direct Spray-On Water-Repellent Treatment. It’s an easy purchase to make with your tent, and one that can save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

    Proper Storage

    Getting a new waterproof tent is great, but in order to keep it in good working condition, you need to make sure that you’re storing it properly. Think of a tent as your house-even if it’s only being used infrequently, during that time it is the roof over your head.

    Packing a tent dry is one of the most important things to maintain a good waterproof coating. Having water held on the tent surface can eventually wear down the waterproof coating or cause mold to form.

    Of course, sometimes it’s not possible to pack a tent dry when you’re on the trail. If you absolutely need to pack a tent when it’s wet, just make sure you fully dry it as soon as possible.

    It’s also important to make sure that you don’t leave the tent exposed to direct sunlight for long; many tents are protected against visible light rays, but the UV light of the sun can damage the materials.

    How and Where We Tested To Find The Best Waterproof Tents

    Let’s be honest, the only way to really test a tent out is to actually take it out camping. I mean, ok you can set it up in your garden but the only way to really find the best weather proof tent is to test it in the wilds! So, that is exactly what we did!

    In order to fairly and consistently assess and compare them to each other, our testers applied the following criteria;

    Packed Weight

    You can go onto a tent manufacturers website and find out what the packed weight of a tent is but until you feel it on your back and shoulders whilst trekking up a mountain, you might not actually appreciate just how much it weighs!

    So, don’t underestimate tent weight and go with the lightest you can afford that is appropriate for the job at hand! The best waterproof backpacking tent is the lightest for sure!

    Packability (Packing and Unpacking!)

    No two tents are the same. Some are that simple to put up that a 3-year-old could manage it, others, well, a degree in engineering might not be enough!

    Some of our testers pulled the short straw and ended up with some really awkward tents to put up, others got the easy ones!

    Our testers awarded each tent points for being easy to pack and unpack and deducted points for being difficult. Prety fair right?

    Warmth, Waterproof and Ventilation

    When you spend a night sleeping in a tent, you really get to know it. If it’s not warm enough you’ll remember the frigid cold you shivered through for a LONG time! On the other hand, if the lack of ventilation results in a stinking hot night, you’ll be left equally unrested.

    Of course, when assessing the warmth and ventilation capabilities of a tent our team took into account the weather conditions at the time and the sleeping bag they were using.

    In terms of testing out the waterproofing, testing in the North West of England pretty much guaranteed some rain but on the rare occasions the sky was uncharacteristically clear, we went super technical and just threw some water over them!

    Spaciousness and Comfort

    Tents are not exactly designed for throwing parties (ok, some are) but still, ideally you want a tent to have enough space to at least sit up in and keep your gear with you.

    This is also something you only really get a feel for after spending a night inside each tent, so this is exactly what we did!

    Build Quality and Durability

    All of our testers were told to give the tents a good looking over to check things like the quality of seam sewing, the thickness of the fly sheets, the smoothness of door zippers and the strength of the tent poles.

    Also, note that ultralight tents are not as durable as heavier ones so there is always a tradeoff between weight and longevity when it comes to tents.

    FAQ about the Best Waterproof Tents

    Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

    Our GREATEST Travel Secrets…

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      Final Thoughts on the Best Waterproof Tents

      Did you like the look of these waterproof tents? Camping is simultaneously one of the most rewarding and most challenging endeavours! Whether you’re hiking for miles with your tent on your back or simply taking the car out to the cabin for a weekend getaway, getting the right camping equipment is one of the most important steps.

      Even if you’re not planning on camping in a wet climate, having a waterproof tent (or a few waterproof tents!) is always good insurance so you can take whatever comes. Weather can change in an instant, and having a great waterproof tent can make the difference between a soggy night and a cozy camping trip.

      Whether you’re just a beginner camper or you’ve been on the trail for a long time, hopefully, you’ve found a tent that looks like it will work for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the retail store or send questions to the manufacturer to make a fully informed purchase!

      k2 trek
      Stay dry amigos…
      Photo: Chris Lininger

      What are your thoughts on these waterproof tents for camping? Did this best waterproof tents review help you? Anything I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below – thanks guys!

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