A high-quality tent is a must-have piece of gear on any outdoor adventure. When the wind picks up, and the sky delivers a relentless onslaught of rain and snow, there's nothing better than hunkering down in one of the best dome tents when you’re in the backcountry.
We understand how difficult it is to find the right camping shelter with so many different Tent models on the market, which is why we’ve created this ultimate buyer’s guide to dome tents. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the best dome tent reviews for you to peruse as well as some top tips for finding the dome tent that’s right for your needs.
Let’s get to it!
In a hurry? Our Top Picks
The Kelty Trail Ridge 6 is a burly dome tent designed for three-season use in the backcountry. With a capacity for six people, this tent is large enough for friend groups and families, making it a versatile shelter for any camping trip.
Thanks to its steep walls, the Kelty Trail Ridge 6 provides plenty of living space for all of its inhabitants, while also giving the shelter a roomy feel. With a unique “stargazing fly,” this tent allows you to roll up the rainfly for an unobstructed view of the night sky on those clear nights.
The Kelty Trail Ridge 6 is built for functionality with an easily packable design, convenient carry stuff sack, and color-coded clip and fly attachments for easy set-up. Plus, this dome tent even comes with its own footprint to help keep you dry, even when setting it up on damp ground. What’s not to love?
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person is a dome tent that’s packed full of amazing features so you can get the most out of your adventures. Built using ALPS Mountaineering’s proprietary aluminum poles for maximum durability, the Lynx is ready to handle the harshest of weather conditions.
Plus, the Lynx has much more mesh in its tent body than your average dome tent, which means you can expect plenty of ventilation when camping in this shelter on warm summer nights. Oh, and thanks to its two-pole rectangular dome design, the Lynx is super easy to set up with quick pole clips and a seamless assembly.
Waterproof fly buckles and two easy-access doors with large vestibules round out this tent’s list of awesome features, making it one of the best options for a two-person dome tent on the market today. If you need a two-person dome tent, you really can’t go wrong with the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx.
Need a tent that’s comfortable but doesn’t break the bank? Look no further than the Coleman Sundome Tent, our choice for the best budget pick in this review.
Compact, yet spacious, the Coleman Sundome has enough room for four people to stretch out and enjoy a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors. In fact, there’s even space for a queen-sized airbed in the Sundome, so you won’t be struggling to get some shut-eye in this tent.
Crafted with Coleman’s proprietary WeatherTec system, the Sundome has factory welded floors and inverted seams to prevent water from getting inside the tent even in the worst of weather conditions. Plus, two windows and a ground vent allow plenty of air circulation for the utmost in ventilation and comfort.
A simple, snag-free set-up design, as well as an expandable carry bag, make the Coleman Sundome one of the top budget picks in our review. Check our Review of the best Coleman tent.
With space for a family of six, the highly affordable CORE 6 Person Dome Tent is an all-around shelter for weekend car camping getaways. The CORE 6 Person features a 72-inch center height, allowing even the tallest of campers plenty of room to walk around and move throughout the tent.
Plus, the CORE 6 Person is built with H2O Block Fabric for maximum weather-resistance in damp conditions. These polyurethane-coated fabrics are seam-taped for plenty of moisture-resistance, making them a solid option in any family tent.
If that wasn’t good enough, the CORE 6 Person has an adjustable ventilation system that lets you fine-tune the tent’s breathability in the most challenging conditions. With zippered privacy panels on the doors and windows, you can get a comfy night’s sleep in the CORE 6 Person tent, every time.
Big Agnes is well known for making some of the highest-quality tents in the world. The Tensleep Station Camping Tent is no exception.
This free-standing, three-season base camping and car camping tent is perfect for anyone looking to maximize comfort in any outdoor locale. Thanks to a spacious front vestibule with mesh windows, the Tensleep Station is a palace-like dome tent made for prime livability.
This tent’s vestibule is the perfect place to stash your gear at night while a backdoor allows for easy access in and out for when nature calls after dark. Plus, with a 68-inch center height and space for four sleeping bags, you can take on any adventure in the Tensleep Station.
A fully waterproof, breathable tent body and seam-sealed fly make foul weather but a minor inconvenience in the Big Agnes Tensleep Station. Oh, and lightweight aluminum poles allow for quick and easy set-up of the Tensleep Station so you can spend less time pitching your tent and more time exploring during your camping trip.
The NTK Cherokee GT is the ultimate car camping tent for large families. With a sleeping capacity for eight people or two queen-sized air mattresses, you won't have to elbow your fellow tentmates for more room at night in the Cherokee GT.
Thanks to a six-foot-tall center height and a 10ft x 12ft floor layout, the Cherokee GT is one of the most spacious tents in this review, though it's also one of the most functional. The tent's nano-flex technology frame interconnects its two fiberglass poles to create that durable, fan-favorite dome shape.
Plus, the Cherokee GT has an inner body made of breathable micro no-see-um mesh, that keeps the bugs at bay while also allowing for maximum ventilation at night. If that wasn’t good enough, the Cherokee GT’s two large two-way zippers make getting in out of the tent a breeze, so you can wave goodbye to stepping on your friends when trying to get up early for those beautiful sunrise views.
A bestselling dome tent, the Wenzel Pine Ridge is a popular shelter amongst car camping enthusiasts, thanks to its simple, yet functional design. Affordable, yet durable, the Pine Ridge has enough room for five people to enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of their tent.
Built using a new and revolutionary Lite Reflect system, the Pine Ridge easily illuminates at night just by hanging a headlight or flashlight in the gear loft. Plus, the Pine Ridge comes with a removable divider curtain, so you can customize the tent to meet your privacy needs.
If you needed even more than that from your tent, the Wenzel Pine Ridge also comes with large D-style doors with zippered windows for easy access during your camping adventures. Oh, and mesh roof vents help keep the Pine Ridge comfortable, even in the midsummer heat, making the Pine Ridge an ideal companion for any adventure.
Finding the best dome tent is no easy task. So, when you’re shopping around, be sure to keep these key features in mind:
A tent’s capacity is one of the most important features you need to be mindful of when looking for your next camping shelter. Every tent comes with a rating for the number of people it can sleep, so you need to be sure you get one that’s right for your needs.
For example, if you normally camp with just one other person, you might find that a two-person tent is adequate. On the other hand, if you like to camp with the whole family, you might want to look for a tent that can hold five or more people, so you all have enough space at night.
That being said, if you’re the type of person who likes to have a lot of extra wiggle room, as well as space to store your gear, you might want to consider investing in a tent that’s larger than you actually need. In fact, many people find that a two person tent is a little tight for two people, so they opt for a three person tent instead.
However, if you choose to “size up” your tent, you do have to be mindful of the fact that your larger tent will weigh more than the smaller alternatives. But, if you value comfort above all else, the larger tent just might be worth it. If you
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While the number and position of doors on a tent might seem trivial to some, it turns out that doors can make or break a tent. When a tent has just one small door, it can be tricky to get in and out of the shelter, especially when you’re also storing your gear inside at night.
Alternatively, a tent with multiple, large doors makes it easy to get in and out of your humble abode, without having to jump over each other every time. However, the more doors a tent has, the heavier it is as zippers tend to add precious weight to your pack.
Thus, while multiple large doors are nice to have on your tent, they’re not without their drawbacks.
A tent’s materials have a direct impact on the tent’s long-term durability and life span. While a tent made from low-quality materials can be expected to last only a couple of seasons, a high-quality tent can last upwards of 25 years.
Although high-quality materials tend to cost a bit more, they’re often well worth the extra expense. These materials include mid-weight ripstop nylon for the fly and heavy-weight ripstop nylon for the floor of the tent. Additionally, high-quality tents will have durable aluminum poles and high tensile strength guy lines for structure and support in high winds.
On the other hand, low-quality tents often experience rips in the fly, broken tent poles, and snapped guy lines, even in moderate conditions. So, investing in those higher-quality materials can make a huge difference over the lifetime of your tent.
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A vestibule is the space between the fly and the body of your tent near the door. While not all tents have vestibules, those that do make it easier for you to securely store your wet gear near your tent.
Vestibules are the perfect place to stash your boots and backpacks overnight, especially when you don’t want to or don’t have enough room to bring them into your tent. Plus, they allow you a sheltered space to put on your boots in the morning without getting the inside of your tent wet and muddy.
That being said, not all vestibules are created equal. While some are only big enough for a couple of pairs of shoes, others are large enough to stand in and can also store all of your group’s large backpacking packs at night.
However, the larger the vestibule of your tent, the heavier it will be. Although added vestibule space is pound for pound lighter than added interior tent space, a tent with a larger vestibule will be heavier and bulkier than a small vestibule alternative.
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No one likes to carry around excess weight in the backcountry, which is why you should always keep an eye out for lightweight tent options. Your tent is likely to be one of the heaviest individual items in your pack, so it makes a lot of sense to invest in a lightweight alternative.
The lightest two-person tents on the market tip the scales at just under two pounds, while the heaviest models can be well over 7 pounds. That’s quite the difference.
So, unless you solely car camp, you’ll probably want to get a tent that’s on the lighter end of that spectrum. However, some lightweight tents shed pound by reducing the quality of their materials. Others charge quite a bit for the highest quality lightweight materials, so there is a trade-off here that you need to account for.
When you need to carry everything on your back, you’ll want to be certain that you can fit all of your most essential belongings in your backpack. Unfortunately, many dome tents tend to have very large pack sizes, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for one that’s a bit more svelte.
The smaller the packed size of your tent, the easier it is to get it to fit inside your pack. However, many family dome tents pack down to the size of a small duffle bag, so they’re more practical for car camping than for backpacking.
Ultimately, packed size might not make a huge difference to you if you’re a car camper or river rafter, but if you’re a keen backpacker, you’ll want to look for a dome tent that packs down to a small size.
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A leaky tent is perhaps a backpacker’s worst nightmare. There’s really nothing worse than having a steady drip, drip, drip of water onto your face when you’re trying to catch some shut eye in the middle of a storm.
The answer? A high-quality, fully waterproof tent, complete with weather protection for any conditions.
When it comes to finding a waterproof dome tent, you’ll want to look out for three things: a quality rain fly, seam-sealed fabrics, and a bathtub floor. High-quality rainflies are treated with DWR (durable water repellents) to help water bead off of the fabric instead of seeping through.
Additionally, truly waterproof tents will have sealed seams, which means it’s impossible for rain to eek its way through the tiny holes in the fabric’s stitching. Often, tents will be factory seam taped, while sometimes, you need to seam seal your tent at home after buying it.
Finally, a good waterproof tent will have a large bathtub-style floor. Bathtub tent floors feature thick waterproof ripstop nylon that rises up at least 6 inches from the ground to provide more protection from moist terrain underneath you.
As you might imagine, of course, these features come with a high price tag, but they’re well worth it for anyone that spends a lot of time camping in wet environments.
For many people, setting up a tent in camp is the worst part of the day. If you have a tent that more or less requires a Ph.D. in astrophysics to set up correctly, we don’t blame you for getting frustrated every time you pitch it.
Thankfully, there's a solution to our problems: easy-to-set-up tents. While some tents require five different poles and 20 stakes, others have just a single pole (or maybe two) and have intuitive design features for easy set-up.
Thus, if you find that you often get frustrated during tent set-up, look for a model that is quick, simple, and easy to pitch for a happier camping experience.
While we all wish we had unlimited funds to spend on gear, the sad truth is that the vast majority of us have a budget for our new tent. Thus, when searching around for a dome tent, it’s important that you keep your financial needs in mind before you buy your next shelter.
For the most part, more expensive tents offer higher quality materials and sturdier designs, but it’s totally possible to find an affordable tent that’s meant to last a lifetime. So, if you’re concerned about cost, take the time to inspect the materials in that cheaper tent option.
Sometimes, it’s worth spending just a little bit more to get a more durable dome tent for your backpacking and outdoor needs.
At the end of the day, you’re only going to take one dome tent with you on your next camping trip. If we had to choose just one of the many great tents that we discussed in this review, we’d have to go with the Kelty Trail Ridge 6, thanks to its spacious interior, and durable, yet packable design.
Ultimately, it’s important that you find the dome tent that’s best for your needs so you can spend less time worrying about your shelter and more time enjoying the outdoors. Happy camping!
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Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here
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