Best Cheap Tents 2018
Buying Resource and Information
Cheap tents have come a long way in the last few decades and are no longer full of quality issues. Rigid, lightweight, compact and durable, there is now a wide variety of cheap tents for sale with lasting qualities which make them suitable for almost any occasion. In fact, many outdoor forum discussions will testify to this fact and affirm that the quality of a tent is not so much an issue anymore but rather, it is best to consider this choice in terms of your specific needs.
Consisting of high quality canvas, solid fiberglass poles and unbreakable tent pegs, many of these options are often referred to as being cheap canvas tents but make no mistake, they are more than capable of withstanding some of the most severe weather conditions.
In fact, rather than spending a considerable amount on equipment designed for professional expeditions such as climbing or survival type adventures, cheap camping tents are most likely the best option in terms of a sturdy and reliable shelter for outdoor adventures of a lesser extreme such as an overnight camping weekend in a designated campsite. This does not necessarily mean cheap tents are not a good idea for wild camping or areas where there is no camping facilities, but rather a precautionary warning that certain types of adventures will require a more expensive type of tent.
Keeping this in mind, you may not want to attempt Everest or venture up into the Annapurna circuit with one of these but the truth is; the following “cheap camping tents” are as much a perfect companion for most outdoor adventures as they are an option which is easy on the wallet.
Choosing the right tent will naturally depend on a few variables, including the use for which it is intended, and ultimately we assume if you are looking for cheap canvas tents then you have managed your expectations accordingly. That being said, there is always the possibility of a camping tent clearance and failing such, this article is here to help you find the best possible cheap tents for sale which will be fit enough for their intended purpose.
Best Cheap Tents 2018
1. Sundome 2 Person Tent - Best Cheap Tent 2018
Sleeping up to two people, the Sundome 2 is an affordable tent with a large window and hooded flysheet which offers excellent ventilation in rainy conditions. Incorporating a strong polyethylene floor, it is also sturdy from the ground up and the polyester flysheet ensures this is also durable option.
Another highlight of a Coleman tent is the relative ease of set up and the stand alone design makes this even easier. As mentioned above, ventilation is better than many alternative tents, which is largely due to the mesh ceiling, while the fiberglass poles are strong and lightweight. Featuring 2 windows, storage pockets, a lantern loop and strong external ropes – the Sundome 2 has consistently good feedback online and is a first choice for many first-timers.
2. Coleman 8 Person Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin Tent With Closet
Ideal for families and groups, the Coleman 8 person cabin tent has an inverted door and fiberglass poles. Featuring plastic/steel pegs and a sturdy flysheet, it holds up to the wind and rain with almost as much ease as it take to set it up. Color coded poles and an insta-clip suspension also make this a large but convenient tent for anyone new to camping. And then there are the illuminated guy lines which are useful in terms of visibility after dark, whether this is for the purpose of setting the tent up or avoiding any nasty trips.
Inside you will find some useful netted pouches and a wardrobe system for storing personal items, while a Weathertec system ensures no water can leak through seams when it does in fact rain. The rooms are divided with more than enough space in each section for queen beds while the storage options are a real bonus for when you need to keep any equipment or materials inside overnight.
Arriving with a carry bag on wheels, this cabin tent is easily transported and stored away while the price is always an attractive one for first time buyers wanting a spacious option which can withstand blustery conditions.
3. Toogh Waterproof 3 Season Tent For Camping/2-3 Person Camping Tent/Backpacking Tents
Many online reviews are very complimentary of the special features for this cheap canvas tent, including a unique double door system which makes getting in and out an easy task, and the actual height of the tent, which allows the inhabitants to stand up inside. In fact, the features of this tent are quite numerous with a seemingly impenetrable exterior, strong zippers and an excellent ventilation system. Large mesh panels adorn the sides of the tent with small pouches on the wall and overall, this is an extremely easy tent to set up.
However, even though it is very fast and convenient in terms of setting up, this Toogh tent is mostly noted for being an extremely dry tent with many users claiming it can withstand serious rain and wind, while not allowing even the fog to penetrate such a well-thought-out system. That being said, this does not mean it is suitable for stormy conditions and it must be kept in mind that while strong and cheap, this tent is best suited for first-timers taking a routine camping trip.
Spacious enough for storing bags and equipment, Toogh has brought a genuine value-for-money option to the market which can comfortably house two persons, and assuming you are not taking a serious expedition of any kind, this is certainly a great option for the best cheap tent.
4. Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Screened Tent
Known as being a Vis-à-vis tent, the Coleman Weathermaster 6-person tent is perfect for families or even leaders taking an extended camping trip. Easy to set up and incredibly spacious inside, the tent can sleep up to 6 persons and has a generous height advantage over most tents with the center measuring up to 6’10”. The floorless room in the middle offers a nice option for eating when the weather outside may not be nice; it can also double as a great place to store equipment or any larger personal items.
Coleman also has what is known as a “Comfort System” and adjustable ventilation which helps with the circulation of air. This includes ventilated windows and access ports for feeding cables through to any external electrical points. While back inside, there are several mesh pouches for keeping any personal items organized.
Polyethylene flooring, mesh sides, and fiberglass poles are the backbone of the Coleman Weathermaster, so if you seek a spacious option with great ventilation and a nice storage/eating area option, this 6 person screened tent could be ideal for your next adventure.
5. Pop Up Tent
Pop up tents are becoming more and more popular with the increase in quality and general value they have to offer. Even for serious campers, the advantage of being able to set this tent up in a matter of seconds is an attractive reason to buy while the price tag attached is often enough to convince any potential buyers of the same.
Don’t let the image or nature of this tent fool you; it may take seconds to set up but it can actually accommodate 3 - 4 people quite easily. Featuring two doors and two windows, no expense was spared when it came to providing good ventilation and this is further enhanced by a mesh skylight overhead.
Ideal as a last minute option or only means of protection from the elements, this pop up tent is most likely the easiest on the market to set up, and with a fiberglass frame and 31 inch diameter, it is also one of the lightest, at only 5 pounds. The tent has two internal pouches for smaller items; the base is also quite durable and while it won’t be the best option to fend off a heavy night of rain, it is so easy to carry and transport that it would be silly not to consider this tent for a brief venture in the outdoors.
Cheap Tents Buying Guide
Choosing a cheap tent which will last more than just a weekend away is never easy, and this is most certainly the case when you have no previous experience with camping equipment. The style of the tent does not necessarily mean it will be suitable for the conditions, the size does not mean it will be the right fit, and paying more for the tent does not guarantee it will live up to the task.
The best way to check out the best tents is to read online reviews from previous users, and the easiest way to find these reviews is through a quick search on Google for “cheap tent reviews” or something similar. That being said, there are several factors which will help you decide which tent is best suited for the occasion and here are some important points to keep in mind:
How many people are expected to sleep in the tent? In every case you will need to ensure there is enough space inside for everyone and this also means taking height and size into account. If you are unsure of whether the tent will be large enough, it is usually a good idea to upsize. For example, changing from a two person tent to a three person tent.
Every tent will have a season and if you are uncertain in terms of the conditions in which you will be camping, it is important to ensure the tent’s seasonality is sufficient. Here are the main seasons to consider when checking cheap tents for sale:
3-Season Tents – These are lightweight tents which incorporate a lot of netting to improve the circulation of air inside. Naturally, the mesh netting will keep out the bugs and when erected correctly, a 3 season tent can be a great choice but please keep in mind they are not suitable in extreme conditions.
4-Season Tents - More suitable to stormy weather, strong winds and heavy snow, these tents are designed to withstand severe conditions and are often a choice for mountaineering. There are fewer ventilation points which make air circulation more difficult but they are reliable in extreme weather and designed to hold fast in challenging conditions.
Standing in a tent is possible but this will entirely depend on the actual shape. If you will need to move around inside the tent quite often, it may be worth considering a high ceiling. This is especially important if you intend on having an eating area inside the tent so you can enjoy the simple joy of eating in the wild or one of the many other benefits that come with a camping trip.
Cabin-style tents are similar to the shape of a house and can be a great option for catering to groups or families as they have ample space and often, dividers which allow for each member to have their own room. On the other hand, a dome tent can have great advantages in windy conditions with it being a lot more centered than many alternatives.
The size of the floor is extremely important if any of the occupants are particularly tall. Many tents will have a floor which reaches more than 90 inches which is often suitable for people over 6 feet tall.
Number Of Doors
Although you are unable to test tent doors when buying online, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any such mention in online views, as sometimes the design of a particular tent can lead to inefficiency with the zippers. At the same time, you will possibly need more than one door if the tent is housing more than a couple of people.
The tent’s pole system will always determine the ease with which you can set it up. Many are freestanding, which means you can put them up without pegging them down and this is important when it comes to re-positioning the tent when needed.
Some pole systems have a color coded system which makes it easier, but assuming you learn how to put it up correctly the first time, the last consideration you should have comes down to the weight and strength of the poles which will determine how long it will last.
Flysheets (Rainfly) are usually separate from the tent and offer an added layer of protection for the eventuality of rain. This is also important during colder weather as it keeps out dew, frost or condensation while they can also act as a breaker in windy conditions.
Porch / Garage
The facility of a porch can make the perfect place to store muddy shoes or equipment while providing a brief respite from the wind while you clean off before getting into the tent. In fact, many outdoor adventurers will not even consider any cheap tents for sale unless they have a porch. But keep in mind, these are sometimes an add-on to the original cost of a tent.
Does the tent seem like it has sufficient ventilation? Netting and mesh panels are usually the fabric of choice for the walls, doors and ceilings of a tent which is especially important in hot and humid weather.
Pockets are useful for storing items you need to access in a hurry, such as a head torch. While it may not seem like an integral part of a tent, they are hugely useful and help you stay organized in confined spaces where it is usually not so easy to do so.
The Different Brands Of Cheap Tents
Coleman tents have dominated the market for the best cheap camping tents for what seems like an eternity, and the following list is testament to this fact. Originating at the very beginning of last century, W.C Coleman initially set the brand up for the purpose of supplying a new product to the market: oil lanterns. Ever since, the company has been associated with outdoor products and in particular, high quality tents.
Although few names will have the same weight as Coleman, Toogh is nevertheless a brand which has proven itself in the online market and they are quite common amongst camping tent clearance. In fact, customer reviews are partly how the company has managed to become so successful and in this sense it is easy to recommend them, given the clear quality and value of their products.
Zomake is not your conventional outdoor brand and in a similar way to Toogh, they have built their reputation online based on customer reviews. Renowned for manufacturing portable items such as lightweight hammocks, their pop up tents are extremely popular, even if they are not suitable for the most extreme conditions.
The Different Types Of Cheap Tents
Although every tent is designed to keep you safe, dry and sheltered overnight, each type of tent will be better suited for different scenarios. In this respect, some cheap tents have more storage space, more height or less weight. Depending on the nature of your adventure, you may require a certain type of tent and the following are the most common to help with this decision.
One of the most versatile and cheap canvas tents on the market, dome tents are usually a safe choice as they are also notoriously easy to set up. Also, despite their minimal weight, they offer a lot of space on the inside. Popular for a wide range of adventures, they will usually have just two to three poles which lock into each other as they arch over the base in a semi-circle shape. Dome tents can last long in conditions with a considerable amount of wind or rain but typically, they are not best suited to extreme expeditions due to the nature of their shape. Many dome tents will also have a useful porch section, ideal for leaving wet shoes or gear after a rainy day’s trekking.
Pop-up tents are one of the most recent additions to the cheap camping tents market and require the least amount of time or effort in terms of setting them up. Designed for one or two people in most cases, they are ideal for inexperienced camping enthusiasts and highly common at special events such as music or summer festivals.
Having removed it from the bag, a pop-up tent will immediately take the intended shape in just a matter of seconds. Lightweight and easy to store, they may be unsuitable for more challenging conditions but a pop-up tent is often an affordable and convenient option for part-time campers. Given the low cost of a pop up tent, it is most likely you will find these at the forefront of any camping tent clearance.
Ideal for group camping such as a family occasion or friendly gatherings, tunnel tents are larger than most other tents and offer more space for accommodating more people and storing gear. Featuring curved poles and a long semi circled shape, they are relatively easy to construct and have more head room than the most similar type of tent, a dome tent.
Tunnel tents tend to be heavier than many of the other tents on this list which means it is often best if you have transport whilst moving it but this can also mean they are more suitable to withstand wind and rain in particular. As mentioned above, they have a lot of space, including a porch, in many cases. While they may require a little more effort to construct, they are often the perfect choice for a group occasion in which you will need more storage and room for movement.
VIS A VIS
Dome tents were almost revolutionary when they first emerged on the market but as with everything, evolution would ensure these popular tents were improved upon in time.
Originating in France, manufacturers began designing a large version of the dome tent which had an annex room to separate sleeping compartments. These compartments would also be positioned face to face, hence they were given a French name, vis-à-vis. Arriving in the form of a tunnel or dome tent, these are excellent for family and group occasions, not to mention they are also cheap canvas tents.
The original and most iconic of all, ridge tents, which you can often find in a camping tent clearance, have a single pole at each end and one crossing overhead in between. “Ridge” refers to the natural shape of this particular tent, and although they are no longer the most common choice for adventure enthusiasts, they are notoriously strong and stable in testing conditions.
One disadvantage of a ridge tent is the lack of height, which makes them unsuitable for walking around in, but for every other purpose this is a reliable option which is often very affordable.
Cheap Tents Wrap Up
We all know the benefits of camping and how the outdoors has a certain way of invigorating the soul. However, in order to properly enjoy your outdoor adventure and delve into the market for cheap camping tents, you must keep in mind that some cheap canvas tents are sometimes cheap for a very good reason. In this sense, it is always best to check reviews and consult a buying guide at the same time as the specifications. In this sense, it is worth noting that this list is not a guide on how to find a professional expedition tent for less, but rather how to find an affordable tent which will suit the conditions in which you intend to use it.
Buying the right tent does not necessarily mean it needs to be expensive, cheap or even in between but rather that it meets the specific requirements of your trip. In this sense you should consult the guide above before checking out a camping tent clearance and ensure your tent has the right space, durability and features before deciding if the price is within your reach.