Best Tent for High Winds

Updated Aug 18, 2023

Whether you regularly camp in windy conditions or are looking to be prepared just in case, there’s sure to be a tent for you on this list of top picks for the best tents for high winds. After analyzing lots of different tents from several well-known brands, we have narrowed it down to the top high wind tents. We’ve purposefully chosen these products for the high user ratings, durability, brand name, and quality construction that prioritizes wind resistance. There’s a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and prices, so you can explore several options currently on the market.

The best tent is made of materials that increase wind resistance, and that includes ripstop nylon, a high denier fabric, strong aluminum tent poles, and more. They are ideal for conditions such as camping above tree line in the mountains, beach camping on the coast, and lots more.

Our top pick is the Snow Peak Alpha Breeze, which is all-around a great 3-season tent and is perfect for the casual camper who wants to be prepared for high winds. Our second pick is by Marmot, and is the best option for someone who wants a shorter peak height that’s ideal for wind resistance. We’ve also included options for ultralight backpacking, budget, backpacking, an MSR that is the most affordable on this list, and even a surprise at the end that may make you reconsider what you were looking for.

6 Best Tents for High Winds

These are our picks for the best tent for high winds:

  • Editor’s Choice – SnowPeak Alpha Breeze Tent
  • Runner Up: Marmot Tungsten 3 Person Tent
  • Most Affordable – MSR Elixir 2
  • Ultralight / Backpacking – NEMO Hornet Ultralight 2
  • 4 Season – Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 Tent
  • For Families: Eureka! Timberline SQ 6
  • Rooftop Tent – Yakima SkyRise HD 3

Our #1 Recommendation: Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

Affordability

Quality

Features

High quality tent fabrics, strong aluminum tent poles, and a full coverage rainfly make this Alpha Breeze the best tent for high winds, and it’s perfect for withstanding a large variety of weather conditions.

Full Review

Our #2 Recommendation: Marmot Tungsten 3

marmot tungsten best tents for high winds

Affordability

Quality

Features

The Marmot Tungsten has a small peak height that’s perfect for letting wind blow right over the tent, and aluminum tent poles that can handle the stress of flexing without snapping.

Full Review

Most Affordable: MSR Elixir

msr elixir best tents for high winds

Affordability

Quality

Features

The MSR Elixir is the most affordable option on this list and it still has quality materials and a full coverage rainfly that make it a contender for the best tent for high winds. It even comes with the footprint included!

Full Review

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Editor’s Choice – Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

best tent for high winds snow peak alpha breeze reiew

Snow Peak makes some seriously high quality outdoor products and we really love their Alpha Breeze tent for 3-season strength and comfort. It’s a 4 person tent that is made from high quality materials that are built to last for lots of awesome camping trips to come.

Once of the first things to look at when shopping for a best tent for high winds is the pole material. The tent poles are going to take a beating in windy conditions, so they should be made of a durable materials that will flex and stay strong without breaking or snapping. The poles on the Alpha Breeze are Duralumin A6061, which is a durable metal alloy.

The second thing to look at is the tent fabrics, which in this case are a 75D polyester fly and a 68D floor. These numbers are well suited for durability and strength, and are paired with a superior waterhead rating of 1800mm and 5000mm (respectively). This means the fabrics are not only strong, but they’re waterproof as well. In addition, we always want a full coverage rainfly, which is something that the Alpha Breeze includes.

Some other cool features on this tent are the four doors (two main entrances and two smaller side ones) which allow access from all four sides of the camping tent. Since they all have a mesh layer, they can be used for lots of ventilation on warmer camping trips. The larger vestibule flap can be extended to create an awning, and the Alpha Breeze has a great peak height of over six feet, so you could even stand up straight.

All these features add up to a great all-around tent that would perform well in a variety of weather conditions including heavy rain and strong winds.

Specifications

  • Weight: 24lbs 3.2oz.
  • Packed size: 14.9 x 8.1 x 6.1 inches
  • Floor size: 9.1 x 8.5 ft.
  • Peak height: 73″
  • Tent Poles: Duralumin A6061
  • Waterhead rating: 1800 mm fly, 5000mm floor
  • Fabric: 75D fly, 68D floor
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Occupancy: 4

Pros

  • Full coverage rain fly
  • Aluminum tent poles
  • Strong tent fabrics
  • Four doors for easy access and lots of ventilation
  • Interior storage pockets

Cons

  • A little tall

Marmot Tungsten 3P Tent

marmot tungsten best tent for high winds

The Marmot Tungsten Tent is a really great budget tent and honorable mention (almost Editor’s Choice) when it comes to the best tent for high winds because it features all the desired qualities in a strong tent and has a lower-range price point. It’s highly rated by users, has 2 doors with vestibules, factory sealed seams, and a full coverage fly for rain and weather protection. Plus, it’s covered by Marmot’s lifetime warranty.

Unlike most other tents, the Tungsten includes the matching footprint, which can help keep the floor of the tent from getting punctured by rocks and sticks below. There are multiple storage pockets inside for gear, as well as a lampshade pocket that holds your headlamp above you for perfect ambient light. For a quick assembly, there’s color coded poles that use ‘easy pitch’ clips.

This tent actually has one of the higher denier fabrics for both the rainfly and floor, making it a durable tent that’s under 7lbs. The weight is geared towards budget backpackers, meaning it’s on the lighter side for car-camping tents but not quite ultralight like the NEMO Hornet above. It’s also available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-person sizes so you have the option to carry less weight if you party sleeps with less than 3 or 4 people.

Specifications

  • Weight: 6lbs 0.3oz (minimum trail weight)
  • Packed size: 22.5 x 8″
  • Floor size: 5’6″ x 7’6″
  • Peak Height: 3’10”
  • Poles: 3 HD Velocity 7000-series aluminum
  • Fabric: 68D polyester rainfly, 70D floor
  • Waterhead Rating: 1800mm rainfly, 2000mm floor
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Occupancy: 3 (also available in 1, 2, and 4)

Pros

  • One of the most affordable tents on this list
  • High denier and waterhead rated fabrics
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Footprint included

Cons

  • Heavy for a backpacking tent

MSR Elixir 2

msr elixir high wind tents

Perhaps the best feature of the MSR Elixir 2 is that it’s our most affordable tent on this list. It manages to balance affordability with quality and boasts some of the highest denier level fabrics on our list. Even with the lower price, this tent includes the matching footprint, which saves you even more money. MSR’s thoughtful design makes set up easy using the color-coded poles, clips, and webbing, as well as glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls. With the included footprint, there are multiple options for setup, including a freestanding Fast & Light pitch that uses the rainfly and footprint to create a minimalist shelter using your hiking poles.

best tent marmot elixir

While MSR only offers a 3-year warranty as compared to Marmot’s lifetime warranty, MSR does offer cheap repairs for its products. For example, you could send in your tent and their in-house sewing technician can fix mesh rips, patch small holes, and sew in panels for only 10 USD. They can also repair the poles for 5 USD per segment. This is part of their initiative to keep gear out of landfills, and they also recycle empty fuel canisters for free!

Specifications

  • Weight: 6lbs
  • Packed Size: 7″ x 20″
  • Floor Size: 7′ x 4’2″
  • Peak Height: 3’4″
  • Poles: 7000-series aluminum
  • Fabric: 68D ripstop polyester rainfly, 70D floor
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm fly, 3000mm floor
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Occupancy: 2

Pros

  • Includes footprint
  • One of the strongest floor fabrics on this list
  • Most affordable budget tent on this list
  • Aluminum poles
  • Lightweight tent
  • Included gear loft

Cons

  • Small occupancy

NEMO Hornet Ultralight 2P

nemo hornet best high wind tent

NEMO’s Hornet Ultralight is perfect for any backpackers looking for weather protection on the trail. At only 1lb 15oz, this tent is the lightest on our list by several pounds, but it still offers valuable waterproofing. The rainfly fabric and floor fabric are both treated with silicone and polyurethane so that the fabric is waterproof rated 1,200mm. The poles are made of aluminum, which is a preferred material when it comes to weight and durability.

NEMO put some real thought into this backpacking tent, so it has some cool features that sets itself apart. There’s a dual-stage stuff sack that makes it easier to divide the weight with a partner. The volumizing guy-outs connect to the inner tent, which pushes out the sidewalls to create more livable space.

More volumizing guy-outs near the feet and head increase the volume in order to protect your sleeping bags from wall condensation. The lightweight poles connect with a single hubbed intersection so you can set up the Hornet lightning-quick. There are two doors with vestibules, which provide enough space for gear coverage for each person. All of this is ultralight weight and is protected by the NEMO lifetime warranty.

The main con of this tent is also one of the pros: the weight. While this is a super lightweight tent, this means precious pounds were cut in a variety of places. The most applicable one for wind resistance is the thickness of the rainfly fabric, which is only 10-denier while most of the other tents on this list are at least 60+.

While this is still plenty of coverage for your average backpacker, you may need something stronger if you’re consistently exposed to windy and rainy conditions, but that unfortunately comes at the cost of the fabric, since you’ll have a hard time finding an ultralight tent that has thicker materials. If you’re willing to carry a little more weight, the MSR Elixir above could be a great option.

Specifications

  • Weight: 1lb 15oz
  • Packed size: 19.5″ x 5.5″
  • Floor size: 85″ x 51/43″ (L x head/foot)
  • Peak Height: 3’2.6″
  • Poles: DAC Featherlife NFL aluminum
  • Rainfly Fabric: 10-denier nylon ripstop 1200mm
  • Floor Fabric:  15-denier nylon ripstop 1200mm
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Occupancy: 2 (also available in 1 person)

Pros

  • Weighs less than 2 lbs and is the lightest on this list
  • Comes with the NEMO lifetime warranty
  • Aluminum poles
  • Ripstop fabric
  • Gear loft

Cons

  • Thinnest fabric on this list

Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 Tent

This Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 is for serious campers who regularly experience extreme weather conditions. It’s actually made for mountaineering, so it can withstand a variety of high-altitude conditions and is a true four season tent. The DAC Featherlight NSL poles are a high quality and strong lightweight aluminum built to stay put, and they’re paired with sleeves made of strong, non-stretch fabric that reinforce the pole structure. Because this tent is comprised of a single-wall design, there’s no rain fly to mess with and you won’t having anything flapping in the wind.

To provide ventilation, there are 4 adjustable zippered vents to keep the inside from getting too muggy. For more cross-ventilation, the 2 doors can be opened and have a full mesh layer to provide a bug-free breeze. The short peak height (only 3’5″) keeps a low profile for wind to blow over. The waterhead rating on this fabric is a whopping 10,000mm, which knocks every other tent on this list out of the park when it comes to waterproofing.

The main downside of this tent is the price, which is why we recommend this only for serious campers who are regularly exposed to adverse conditions. While the ventilation is great for its application, the lack of mesh can make this tent uncomfortable for warm or hot summer camping conditions.

Specifications

  • Weight: 8lbs 4oz
  • Packed size: 8″ x 25″
  • Floor size: 9’2″ x 5′
  • Peak height: 3’5″
  • Poles: DAC Featherlight NSL
  • Waterhead rating: 10,000mm
  • Rain Fly Fabric: 50-denier ripstop nylon
  • Floor Fabric: 30-denier ripstop nylon
  • Seasonality: 4
  • Occupancy: 3

Pros

  • Highest waterhead rating on this list
  • Truly built for extreme weather conditions
  • 4-season
  • Excellent waterproofing

Cons

  • Most expensive tent on this list
  • Not ideal for warm/hot camping conditions

Eureka! Timberline SQ

Eureka! has been making camping tents for a long time, and their tents are built to be strong and to last a long time. This Timberline is one of their more unique designs when it comes to tents, and it’s based on A-frame cabin. While the larger sides of the tent will not be as suited for facing into the wind, you can take advantage of its tunnel shape and place one of the smaller sides facing into the wind. This will let the wind flow around the longer sides without straining the poles too much.

Speaking of poles, this tent utilizes DAC Featherlite poles that are aluminum and strong. One of the first things to catch our attention was the connecting point for the poles (see image below), which uses a hub system to make a more durable tent.

The interior space is roomier on the inside than it looks, and it can sleep up to six people. That makes this tent perfect for families or small groups, and it’s the largest capacity tent on this list. Despite its size, it’s still great for wet and windy weather because of its unique design and shape.

Check out this post for other 6 person tents

Specifications

  • Weight: 16lb 6.4oz
  • Packed size: 8″ x 28″
  • Floor size: 123″ x 102″ (87.1 sq ft)
  • Peak Height: 76″
  • Poles: DAC Featherlite DA17 13mm aluminum
  • Fabric: 75D canopy, 68D rainfly, 210D floor
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm rainfly, 1500mm floor
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Occupancy: 6

Pros

  • Traditional A-frame design is strong and weatherproof
  • DAC aluminum poles
  • Nice waterhead rating
  • One of the larger tents on this list

Cons

  • Peak height is only in a very small space of the tent

Yakima SkyRise HD 3 Rooftop Tent

yakima skyrise hd tent

Sometimes when you’re camping you have to think outside the box and get creative, which is why we’ve included this Yakima SkyRise rooftop tent on our list. When you’re thinking about windy weather, you really need a tent that’s made of strong fabrics, and that’s exactly what we love about this rooftop tent. The strongest denier on the list above is 70-D and this tent has a whopping 210-D and 600-D fabric on the rainfly and tent fabric.

This makes the tent super heavy, but because it stays mounted to your vehicle or travel trailer, you don’t have to worry about carting around its 114 pound weight. The heavy-duty fabric also has a 3000mm polyurethane coating for great waterproofing, and you can use the included guylines and D-rings to secure the tent for really windy weather conditions.

It’s easy to have mixed emotions about rooftops tents, as there are lots of strong opinions on both the pros and cons of the idea. On one hand you have a really strong tent that’s built to withstand high winds and wet conditions. It will be comfortable and you don’t have to worry about sleeping pads or cots because the foam piece is included. This is a really great alternative to an air mattress in a tent, which never seems to work out well in our experience.

Set up is typically quick and easy once you’re at your destination. But there’s some steep cons as well, one of which is the price. It can be quite expensive, plus the added cost of outfitting your vehicle to carry it. If you choose a vehicle as your mount, you do have to set up and take down whenever you leave camp, so it would be much more efficient to use a rooftop tent on a trailer.

With that being said, if you’re truly looking for the best tent for high winds, we would highly recommend considering a rooftop tent as an option. It’s super secure since it’s mounted to a hard sided vehicle, the tent fabric is the strong on this list by a long shot, and setup/take down is super easy and fast.

Specifications

  • Weight: 114 lbs. 10.2 oz.
  • Packed Size: 56″ x 48″ x 16.5″
  • Floor Size: 96″ x 56″
  • Peak Height: 48″
  • Poles: aluminum
  • Rain Fly Fabric: 210-denier ripstop polyester 3000mm polyurethane coating
  • Floor & Tent Fabric: 600-denier ripstop polyester with 3000mm polyurethane coating
  • Seasonality: 4
  • Occupancy: 3

Pros

  • Strongest fabrics on our list
  • 2.5 inch foam sleeping pad included
  • Lots of interior space
  • 4-season usability

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Must mount on vehicle or trailer

Thing to Consider When Shopping for a Wind Resistant Tent

The tents on the list above are all great options for a tent for high winds, but it’s important that you find the right tent for your situation. This means taking into consideration factors like denier, waterhead rating, aerodynamics, and more. These factors can be different than your traditional cheap camping tent, which won’t necessarily keep the elements at bay.

What is denier?

Denier is the measurement used to determine the thickness of the fibers in a tent fabric. This is based on the length and weight of a yarn or fiber and is a unit of density. For example, a single strand of silk is considered 1-denier or 1-D.

The higher the denier or threat count, the thicker, stronger, and more durable it will be, but this also makes it bulkier. Oftentimes you will see a lower denier in ultralight tents meant for backpacking (where weight is more important) and a higher denier in car camping tents. The thickest denier will typically be in rooftop tents, where weight doesn’t matter as much since the unit will be mounted permanently.

Ripstop tent fabrics have special reinforcement to increase their resistance to tearing and ripping. Any tearing or holes that do occur are less likely to spread because there is a stronger thread that is weaved in at regular intervals throughout the pattern – this stronger thread will help stop ripping in its tracks (hence the name).

When looking at the best tents for high winds, you should take into consideration that it should be a higher level of denier, and maybe even include ripstop fabric for more durability. While it’s important to have a tent with thicker fabric, especially for windy weather, it’s not necessarily the fabric that keeps you dry but instead is the coating on said fabric.

Waterhead Rating / Hydrostatic Head

If we are going to talk about the best tents for windy weather, strong winds are often paired with heavy rain and the ideal tent should be equally prepared for both. We’ve included specifications on the Waterhead Rating for each tent on our list (displayed as xxx-mm), but what exactly does that mean?

Waterhead rating is also called Water Column (WC) and it’s the measure of how water resistant a tent material is. The millimeter unit of measurement refers to how tall a column of water the fabric can hold before it starts to seep through. For example, a rating of 1200mm means that a tent fabric could hold a column of water that is 1200mm tall (47 inches) for at least one minute before a drop of water seeps through.

So if we are talking numbers, then what is the best number for a waterproof tent? Something that’s 1200mm or up is considered the minimum to be deemed waterproof and able to handle most rain conditions. The higher the number, the better that fabric would be at keeping the rain out.

<1000mmWater ResistantBest in Light Rain
1000mm-1500mmWaterproofLightweight, Requires proper care to maintain waterproofing
1500mm-5000mmWaterproofGood for heavy rains, sacrifices weight for durability
A chart about the waterhead rating for tents

For a visual representation of what a hydrostatic head test looks like, check out this video:

Aerodynamics

One of the biggest factors to take into consideration for an optimal tent for high winds is the shape and size of the tent because aerodynamics play such a huge role. You want a tent that’s shaped in a way that would let the air flow over it or around it instead of catching it.

Look at the images below: the purple tent is a Caddis Rapid 4 and the green tent is the NEMO Hornet from above. The Caddis is a cabin tent has a max height of 80″ (6’8″), making it tall and box-like. The near vertical sides of this tent would be more likely to catch the wind like a sail, even if you secure it using your guylines.

On the other hand, the NEMO Hornet has a peak height of only 3′ 2.6″. Its low profile and sloped sides would let most of the wind shoot right over the top. These two types of tents are perfect examples of what would work well in windy weather and what wouldn’t.

caddis rapid 4 person tent
nemo hornet best high wind tent

The Snow Peak Alpha (Editor’s Choice) does have a higher profile than most other tents on this list, which is why we recommend it for campers who are looking to be prepared for casual windy conditions. If you’re going to be exposed to extreme weather regularly, we recommend a more low-profile tent like the Mountain Hardwear or NEMO Hornet. Both of these options have a lower max height and a more contoured shape that directs the wind over and around instead of catching it like a sail.

Tent Poles

All of the tents on this list used aluminum or some type of metal for their poles, and this should be a requirement for whatever tent you’re looking at for high winds. Aluminum is a stronger material, and is less likely to splinter and break than fiberglass poles. It’s also lighter and will last longer.

Although aluminum tent poles are typically more expensive, they are not necessarily significantly more money and are worth the added expense in exchange for a much better quality. Basically, don’t buy a tent with fiberglass poles unless you are a casual camper who doesn’t typically camp and isn’t exposed to wet and windy conditions.

mountain hardwear aci poles
Mountain Hardwear uses industry-leading DAC Featherlight NSL poles in their ACI lines of tents.

Weight

The biggest consideration when it comes to weight is intended use, such as car camping or backpacking – the more you intend to carry it, the lighter you’re going to want it. For tents with great wind resistance, you will want to find the right balance between weight and durability, since durability is usually sacrificed for lighter weight. For example, you’ll typically find that a backpacking tent will have a lower denier than a heavier car camping tent because those pounds have to come off from somewhere.

For ultralight weight backpacking, the NEMO Hornet would be the best option with its 1 lb. 15oz weight. For the budget backpacker who can afford to carry a little extra weight in exchange for affordability, the MSR and Marmot would both be great options. For extreme durability where weight doesn’t matter, the best option is really a rooftop tent. It offers significantly more durable fabric that can withstand high winds but weight doesn’t matter since it’s mounted to your vehicle.

Seasonality

Extremely wind resistant tents are typically made for mountaineering, which inherently means a lot of them are 4-season tents since that is the kind of conditions they are typically exposed to. While some 3-season tents can be used in wintertime, they are definitely not all created equal. True 4-season tents will have less mesh and thicker tent walls. They will also typically have a rainfly that goes all the way to the ground, or be made of a single wall construction like the Mountain Hardwear above. This design is great for holding in warmth, but comes at the sacrifice of ventilation that could be useful during the summer months.

If you intend on winter camping, you should really consider spending the money on a 4-season tent. On the other hand, if you don’t intend on camping in the dead of winter, buying a four-season tent would be unnecessary and would leave you paying extra for warmth and strength that you won’t probably need.

Setup Ease & Tips for Pitching a Tent in High Winds

Ease of set up has come a long way in tents, and you’ll oftentimes find that tents are now color-coded with poles, hooks, and guylines that all coordinate for quick and easy assembly. Our favorite tents have all used a hook system, where you lay the tent flat and hook the material onto the frame (see video below).

If you’re setting up your tent in heavy wind (and it’s not possible to wait it out), try to use the terrain to your advantage. Find a natural wind block, such as a large boulder, grove of trees, or hillside. Keep in mind that any tent material that you allow to flap in the wind is at an increased risk of tearing, so you should immediately stake it down and secure and loose sections. Make sure the aerodynamic side of your tent is facing the right direction so it can do its job, and use your guylines to secure it even more.

If you are looking for tents with the easiest setup, you might consider an instant tent.

Secure Your Tent

On top of getting a wind resistant tent with high quality materials, you can also stake your tent properly in strong wind. While the stakes that come with tents are sufficient for most terrain, it could be worth upgrading your stakes to stakes more suited for high winds. You can also secure your tent even more by adding on other methods and attaching your guylines to nearby supports. Taking multiple steps to secure your tent with create the ultimate windproof tent that is less likely to have any issues.

Securing your tent with more than just tent stakes can make a big difference in high winds. For more information check out this article: How to Secure a Tent Without Stakes (5 Best Ways)

FAQ

Conclusion

Some tents are better suited for casual car camping, while others are intended for high-mileage days on the trail or even winter camping expeditions. No matter what you’re intended use is, we hope that you’ve found our suggestions and explanations helpful in finding the perfect tent with the optimal wind resistance for your needs.

Our #1 Recommendation: Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

High quality tent fabrics, strong aluminum poles, and a full coverage rainfly make this an excellent tent for withstanding a large variety of weather conditions like strong winds and rain.

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About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley





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