Are you looking for a tent that can withstand the pounding caused by rain and high winds? If so, you have come to the right place.
Here we have reviewed several of the best tents for rain and wind and highlighted the pros and cons associated with each model. We have also included a Waterproof Tent Buyer’s Guide, in which we cover in detail the various factors and features you should consider when purchasing one of these items.
Weekender Picks: Best Small Waterproof Tents (2019 – 2020)
Last update on 2019-11-18 at 04:23 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Waterproof Tent Buying Guide
When shopping for a waterproof tent that can withstand the rain and the wind there are several features and factors you will need to consider. To help you make a more educated purchasing decision, below we have gone over some of these considerations—considerations that will help you get just the right type of camping tent for your particular situation and preferences.
The Different Types of Waterproof Tents
Waterproof tents that can handle the rough outdoor elements come in a variety of different types and styles. However, not all of these types are appropriate for every outdoor situation.
To give you a better idea regarding the different types of waterproof tents on the market today, as well as their functionality, below we have briefly described each of these tent types.
- The A-Frame/Ridge Tent. The A-Frame/Ridge Tent is the most basic and traditional type of tent. These tents are easy to erect but tend to be heavier and bulkier than some of the other tent styles.
- Single Skin Tents. While single skin tents are made from very lightweight materials and are easy to carry, they may not offer the same level of protection as some of the other tents on our list.
- Double skin tents. While heavier than your typical single skin tent, these do offer much more insulation and protection.
- Pop-up Tents. Pop-up tents may just be the easiest type of tent to pitch. However, while they are just fine for warmer conditions, they may not be suitable for wind and rain conditions.
- Family Tents. If you are looking for a large tent with separate compartments for parents and the kiddos, the family tent is the way to go.
- Backpacker tents. Backpacker tents are designed to be very lightweight and easy to pack. They are also usually made to withstand even the most inclement weather.
- Inflatable tents. While you will never have a problem setting up an inflatable tent, in high winds you may actually have to chase it through the campground. Not a good idea.
- Dome tents. Dome tents are usually designed for one to three people. They are easy to setup and provide ample inside room. However, with very large domes some of these tents may not be the best idea when high winds are around.
Tents that weigh more can usually withstand the rain and high winds better than those that are very lightweight. However, if you plan to be backpacking, or you must trek a long way to get to your campsite, the extra weight can be quite burdensome.
If you are simply going to be camping at a campsite at which you can pull up your vehicle, choose a heavier tent to protect against the rain and wind. But if you are going to be backpacking and trekking, you should carefully consider both the weight and size of the waterproof tent, as both are important factors.
You will need a tent that is large enough to accommodate the people in your party, but it should be as lightweight as possible so as not to weigh you down physically. If you intend to do both types of overnight camping, we recommend you look for a waterproof tent that is neither too light nor too heavy, perhaps a double-skin tent made from lightweight materials.
When we talk about rating as it applies to tents you should consider two measurements: the temperature rating and the waterproof rating. If you plan to camp in very cold conditions you will need a tent that is rated for these types of climates.
Otherwise, you can simply pick up a more lightweight tent. When it comes to the waterproof rating and tents, if you plan to camp in areas where it is likely to rain you should definitely seek out a tent with the highest possible waterproof rating—a tent that is sure to keep you dry and cozy at night.
The minimum rating for a waterproof tent is 1,000 millimeters, and the numbers only go up from there, with the highest number meaning the most protection.
When searching for a tent you should choose one whose poles are lightweight yet very strong—strong enough to withstand harsh winds in the wilderness. There are essentially four materials from which these poles can be constructed. They include:
- Aluminum. Aluminum poles are fairly lightweight and can withstand some impact from the wind.
- Carbon fiber. Carbon fiber poles are extremely lightweight, impact resistant and incredibly strong.
- Fiberglass. Fiberglass poles are not a very good option for rain and wind conditions. Although they are lightweight, they tend to crack when exposed to harsh weather.
- Steel. Steel poles are very strong, rigid and the best bet when the weather is really bad. However, they are also very heavy and not recommended for backpackers.
Zippers are an important consideration when purchasing a waterproof tent. Do not opt for a tent with very cheap zippers or fasteners.
Instead, look for heavy duty zippers—double zippers on the inside and outside of the tent to make entering and exiting the tent easier. When it comes to the seams, make sure they are rated for heavy rains and double-stitched to ensure the highest quality.
A rain fly on a tent can be the difference between staying dry and ending up soaked. A good rain fly will catch the rain and direct it away from the tent itself, keeping your warm and toasty inside. In situations where high winds may be present, look for a rain fly that has a fairly low profile.
Last but not least, if the tent you are considering purchasing comes with some added extras, those extras will save you from having to purchase these items separately. One of the most helpful accessories is a tent footprint.
A tent footprint is designed to act as a barrier between the tent’s floor and the cold, wet ground below, making sure that no water enters the tent from the bottom. Other accessories to look for include sturdy tent pegs, ropes or cordage to tie the tent off, and seam sealers that give extra protection in the areas in which the tent is stitched.
Our Favorite Small Waterproof Tents For Campers & Backpackers
Below you’ll find some of our favorite options for camping tents that do well in the wind and rain. By choosing one of these, we’re confident that you’ll stay dry and warm when the weather is not going your way on your camping trip.
1. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent is made from tough 20-denier rip-stop nylon with added nylon mesh.
Made for 3-seasons, it is the perfect tent in rainy and windy conditions, thanks largely to its patented Durashield coating and low profile rain fly. Easy to pack and to carry, it is one of the roomiest 2-person backpacking tents on the market today, offering the most livable accommodations in a lightweight tent with a freestanding design.
- Lightweight. The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent is very lightweight and easy to carry.
- Two door design. The two door design of this tent makes entering and exiting a breeze for both occupants.
- No footprint. Unlike the last backpacking tent we reviewed, the footprint for the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent is sold separately.
2. Coleman Sundome 4 Person Dome Tent
With main fly seams that are stitched and then factory taped, the Coleman Sundome 4 Person Dome Tent is one of the best waterproof tents on the market today.
Made from heavy duty polyethylene the tent is very strong, durable and lightweight; and the 2 D-shaped doors are hinged to prevent you from having to fumble for zippers in the middle of the night. The tent is well ventilated and includes an efficient CREE LED overhead lighting system with 3 modes – all controlled by a handy Illuminated Wall Switch.
- Great protection. The Coleman Sundome 4 Person Dome Tent provides great protection from the weather.
- Airy. The tent is very well-ventilated thanks to the mesh windows with cover.
- Easy setup. According to users, the tent can be setup in just 10 minutes or less.
- Cramped. The Coleman Sundome 4 Person Dome Tent is not very spacious inside.
3. Hyke & Byke Zion Two Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint
Great for people who like to take their camping trip on the go; the Hyke & Byke Zion Two Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint is very lightweight and features aluminum alloy stakes, reflective guy lines with tension lock cord adjustment, and a proprietary stake presser.
Perfect for 3-season camping, the tent can stand up to all types of weather, including rain and high winds. Extremely roomy, the near vertical walls maximize interior volume and the taped floor seams keep rain out in stormy weather.
The tent features two doors, corner interior pockets, and a vestibule design for gear storage and easy access.
- Packs small. Easy to fold and pack, this is the ideal tent for backpacking.
- Lifetime warranty. The Hyke & Byke Zion Two Person Backpacking Tent comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Footprint included. Unlike other tents on our list, this tent comes with its own tent footprint for protecting the floor of the tent.
- Poor vent supports. Due to poor vent supports on the Hyke & Byke Zion Two Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint, the vent doors often close unexpectedly.
So, if you’re in the market for a small tent that will keep you dry and safe from the wind when you’re camping or backpacking, then we highly suggest any of the models reviewed above.
top image: NPS.gov