Best Tents under $200: Quality Meets Affordability (2023)

best tents under $200

Tents can often be the most expensive piece of camping gear you’ll own, and the confinements of a tight budget shouldn’t keep you from pursuing your outdoor passions. That’s why we’ve assembled the best tents under $200 – so you can still explore the outdoors without breaking the bank.

We’ve tried to pick tents with features that make them stand out from the crowd, with usable and logical attributes such as screen rooms, vestibules, and more. They’re not your average basic tent, but are a step above and have the right balance of quality and price.

With that being said, an affordable tent means the manufacturer has had to cut the costs somewhere. It’s up to you to decide what features are important for your typical use so you can determine if it’s the right fit.

8 of the Best Tents under $200

These are our picks for the best tents under $200

Product

Preferred
Use

North Face Stormbreak 2

Best 2 Person

Full Review

Eureka Suma 3

Best 3 Person

Full Review

Coleman Skydome Screen Room Tent: 4-Person

Best 4 Person

Full Review

Editor’s Choice

Kelty Discovery Element 6

Best 6 Person

Full Review

Wenzel Klondike 8

Best 8 Person

Full Review

UNP 10 Person Camping Tent

Best 10 Person

Full Review

REI Trail Hut 2

Best Backpacking Tent

Full Review

Geertop 2 Person 4 Season Tent

Best 4 Season

Full Review

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Best 2 Person Tent Under $200 – North Face Stormbreak 2

best tents under $200 for 2 people

The North Face is a great outdoor gear company that’s been around since 1968 when they were founded in San Francisco. They are named after the coldest, most unforgiving side of a mountain, and have helped explorers reach all kinds of new heights from rock climbing to the Himalayas. While this tent won’t get you up Everest, it is the perfect choice for a 2-person tent if you prioritize interior space and large vestibules.

The interior space surpasses many tents of its size because of the near vertical sidewalls created by two horizontal cross poles that run perpendicular to the main support poles. This widens the top portion of the tent and allows for enough space that both people could sit up at the same time without bumping into each other. Also, the Stormbreak is the same width at the top and bottom, which allows for enough space to sleep shoulder to shoulder or head to toe. These modifications allow the normal-sized floor dimensions to feel much larger. While the doors on this tent aren’t especially large, they do open all the way around, which is something you don’t typically see.

There are two doors, each with their own vestibule. These vestibules are more spacious than other similar tents because they stake down in two places compared to the normal triangle shape that utilizes one stake. This creates a more box like shape compared to a wedge, allowing you to store more gear under the vestibule and keep it completely dry. In our experience, double staked vestibules will be more stable in windy conditions and are ultimately easier to set up. You can also store smaller bits of gear (like headlamps) inside the tent in the several storage pockets.

The material on this tent is quick thick for a two person, coming in at 75D polyester for the canopy, fly, and floor of the tent. There’s a decent amount of mesh for days you don’t need the rain fly, but the fly does have some higher vents to provide circulation. Because of the thicker material used, this tent does tend to be heavier than other similar options. If you are car camping, then weight won’t matter as much, but this tent would be on the heavier side of backpacking options.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 2
  • Available Capacity Options: 1, 2, and 3
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 2
  • # of Vestibules: 2
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Floor Dimensions: 87 x 50 inches
  • Max Height: 43 inches (3ft. 7in.)
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Fabric Quality: 75D polyester on the canopy, fly, and floor
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm PU coating on the fly, 1500mm PU on the floor
Photo Credit: Ann
 From Victoria, BC

Pros

  • Roomy interior
  • Large vestibules
  • Thick material
  • Doors open almost all the way around
  • Available in two colors

Cons

  • Heavy for a 2 person tent

Shop for the North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent

Best 3 Person Tent Under $200 – Eureka Suma 3

Eureka’s journey to making outdoor products began all the way back in 1895 when the company started making custom camp tents and rugged canvas wagon covers. They made tents for WWII and made history again when Sir Edmund Hillary used one of their tents on his Everest expedition. Fast forward to today and Eureka! has some of the best experience in tent making. Their Suma 3 is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable and well-rounded 3-person, 3-season tent.

One of the best features of this tent is the weight, which comes in at less than 5 lbs. This makes it a great option that can double as a backpacking tent or a car camping tent if needed. Despite the lighter weight, the fabric is still made of quality 68-denier fabric with a 1500mm waterhead rating on the fly and floor. Both of these ratings mean the fabric is a good thickness for durability, while the polyurethane coating is good for keeping the rain out.

We also can appreciate this tent’s vestibule, which allows plenty of space for storing shoes and smaller gear items that can be left outside. For electronics and a head lamp, use the included storage canopy or interior pockets. The ample amount of mesh on this tent allows for a great cross breeze that can be much needed on warmer camping trips, but still allows for cross ventilation with the rain fly on through the use of upper vents built into the fly.

The main downfall of this tent is that it only has 1 door and 1 vestibule. This means crawling over 1-2 people to get in or out (if you’re truly using it for three people, that is). If this isn’t an issue for you, than the features of this tent are well worth the budget-friendly price.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 3
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 1
  • # of Vestibules: 1
  • Weight: 4lb 13oz
  • Floor Dimensions: 88 x 72 inches
  • Max Height: 50 inches (4 ft. 2in.)
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Fabric Quality: 68D 185T polyester taffeta, 20D nylon no-see-um mesh
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm PU fly and floor
Photo Credit OutdoorGearLab.com

Pros

  • Thick material with satisfactory waterhead rating
  • Lightweight
  • Roomy vestibule

Cons

  • Only 1 door and 1 vestibule

Best 4 Person Tent Under $200 & Editor’s Choice – Coleman Skydome Screen Room Tent: 4-Person

Coleman has been revolutionizing the outdoors since they made the first portable, gas-powered lantern over 120 years ago. Since then, they’ve grown to make products for all kinds of outdoors adventures including coolers, sleeping bags, tents, and more. We’ve selected this Coleman as one of the best tents under $200, specifically for 4 people, because of its spacious screen room. This tent is also our Editor’s Pick for best all around tent under $200 and the best tent with screen room. It’s a great choice for someone looking for a budget-conscious tent with well thought-out features.

The screen room itself measures 8 ft. x 3 ft. 6 in., which is plenty of space for a cooler and a chair or two chairs, so you can hang out safe from annoying bugs. It’s the closest thing to taking your front porch with you, and is perfect for sipping coffee in the mornings or extending the size of you tent for card games in the evening. Since it’s weather-resistant like the rest of this tent, the screen room can also be used as gear storage or an extra sleeping area.

The center height is 4 ft. 8 in., which is ample space for moving around inside, but is low enough that it is less likely to catch any wind gusts like a sail. The near vertical walls also help make the interior space feel even more roomy. Coleman’s Weathertec System keeps the rain out with inverted and taped seams, welded corners, and a tub-like floor.

Normally I would be a little more concerned with the poles being fiberglass: this is not ideal for a quality tent, but it’s part of the trade-off for affordability. Since the poles are pre-bent, I am less concerned about the stability of the fiberglass poles long term. That being said, we wouldn’t recommend using this tent in windy conditions.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 4
  • Available Capacity Options: 4, 6
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 1
  • # of Vestibules: 0 (has screen room instead)
  • Weight: 13lb 4oz
  • Floor Dimensions: 96 x 126 inches (includes screen room)
  • Max Height: 55 inches
  • Pole Material: fiberglass
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm

Pros

  • Spacious screen room for bug-free chillin’
  • Pre-attached poles make for easy and quick setup
  • WeatherTec system for keeping out moisture

Cons

  • No information on waterhead rating
  • Fiberglass poles

Shop for the Coleman Skydome Screen Room Tent

Best 6 Person Tent Under $200 – Kelty Discovery Element 6

Kelty is a fun-loving outdoor company that prides itself in built-to-last products since 1952. They describe “kelty” as a noun that means “an activity engaged in for enjoyment or recreation.” They have great sustainability partners, including The Conservation Alliance, which they are one of the founding members of. The Alliance was started in 1989 by big names like REI, Patagonia, The North Face, and Kelty. Since its foundation, The Alliance has saved more than 73 millions acres of wildlands, protected 3,757 miles of river, and so much more. With all that being said, we’re happy to suggest this Kelty Discovery Element as our pick for best 6 person tent under $200.

One of our favorite features of this tent is the canopy being made of mostly no-see-um mesh, which allows for lots of ventilation and even star-gazing from the comfort of your sleeping bag. Keep the rain fly off on warm, dry nights, or put on the robust rain fly to keep out moisture. The rain fly also makes a large vestibule that’s perfect for storing muddy boots and excess gear.

Our second favorite feature of this tent is the height, which is a whopping 77 inches (6 ft. 5 in.). This allows even your tallest family member to stand up straight, and makes the tent feel roomy even with 6 people inside.

The main downside of this tent is the fiberglass poles, but ultimately that is to be expected on larger budget-friendly tents. The cost has to be cut somewhere, and this tent chose the poles. The fabric is a high-quality 68-denier though, and with a waterhead rating of 1200mm it’s still a great choice for casual campers who need a 6 person tent.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 6
  • Available capacity options: 4 and 6
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 1
  • # of Vestibules: 1
  • Weight: 14lbs 6oz
  • Floor Dimensions: 120 x 107in
  • Max Height: 77in (6 ft. 5 in.)
  • Pole Material: fiberglass
  • Fabric Quality: 68D polyester, no-see-um mesh
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm

Pros

  • Canopy is mostly no-see-um mesh for ultimate ventilation and star-viewing
  • Generous max height
  • Made by a company that’s serious about sustainability

Cons

  • Fiberglass poles

Best 8 Person Tent Under $200 – Wenzel Klondike 8

Wenzel is perhaps one of the lesser known outdoor gear brands, but they’ve been around since 1887 and proudly make all their products in the USA. They make high quality equipment at amazingly affordable prices so they can help you get outside, whether you’re new to camping or a seasoned outdoor veteran. Their 8 person Klondike tent would be a great addition to a family’s camping gear, whether you’re using it for 8 people or just want something larger.

The headroom on this tent is a generous 6.5 ft., which is plenty of room to stand upright while inside the tent. On a clear day/night, you can leave off the rain fly and expose the full mesh roof and multiple windows. If you’re expecting rain, cover with the rain fly and zip up the windows, then pop open the back vent and mesh opening at the top to provide hi-low circulation.

To keep this tent strong but cut some costs, the tent poles are made of aluminum only on the upright supports. The cross poles for the roof frame are made of fiberglass, which isn’t as durable a material but durability isn’t necessary in this part of the tent. The tent material is a Weather Armor polyester fabric with a polyurethane coating, but there isn’t any information readily available about its waterhead rating. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend this tent for anyone who is regularly exposed to rainy conditions since we don’t know how well it will stand up.

While this tent can sleep 8 people, only 5 people are meant to sleep in the main cabin, which measures 16 feet x 11 feet. The other three are meant to sleep in the attached screen room, which is also weather protected and sealed off from the outside. This section adds another 60 square feet to the overall space of the tent. We’re always a fan of a large attached screen room, so you can either opt to use it for sleeping quarters, or sleep 5 in the main cabin and use the screen room as a kitchen station, chilling space, or gear storage.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 8
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 1
  • # of Vestibules: 0 (has screen room instead)
  • Weight: 26 lbs.
  • Floor Dimensions: 192 x 132in (16ft x 11ft.)
  • Max Height: 77in (6ft. 6in.)
  • Pole Material: Aluminum & Fiberglass
  • Fabric Quality: Weather Armor polyester fabric for walls, welded polyethylene floor

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • 10-year manufacturer warranty
  • Generous screen room
  • Large max height

Cons

  • Wouldn’t recommend for consistently rainy conditions

Shop for the Wenzel Klondike 8

Best 10 Person Tent Under $200 – UNP 10 Person Camping Tent

This UNP Camping Tent can sleep up to 10 people in an extended dome style shape with two doors for easy access. The generous max height (6ft. 6in.) is only in the peak center of the tent, and you can see in the picture how the height slowly decreases as you reach the edges of the tent. The front door is actually two doors combined, and there’s an optional separating wall in between the two where you could split this tent into two different rooms.

Setup is super easy and UNP advertises that it can be set up in only 8 minutes with 2 people. The tent uses J-hooks to attach the canopy to the poles, a design that has been getting increasingly common over the years. This means a much easier set up than traditional sleeve and pole configurations. There’s quite a bit of ventilation with this tent since it has a large mesh roof, three large mesh windows on each side, and the two doors for 360 degree cross breezes.

The main downside of this tent is the 1000mm PU waterhead rating, which is a measurement of how waterproof the fabric is. While cheaper tents do typically have a lower rating, this tent being at 1000mm is basically the lowest amount possible to be considered rain-resistant (not waterproof). Even then, some people consider 1200mm to be the lower end of tent ratings. This tent is still a great option for a large family tent under $200, but we wouldn’t recommend using it during rainy or windy conditions.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 10
  • Available Capacity Options: 6, 8, 10
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 2
  • # of Vestibules: 0
  • Weight: 23lb 1oz
  • Floor Dimensions: 18 ft. x 9 ft.
  • Max Height: 78in (6 ft. 6 in.)
  • Pole Material: Fiberglass
  • Fabric Quality: Polyester 185T
  • Waterhead Rating: 1000mm PU

Pros

  • 1-year risk-free guarantee
  • Quick and easy setup despite large size
  • Plenty of windows and doors

Cons

  • Minimal level for waterproofing

Shop for the UNP 10 Person Camping Tent

Best Backpacking Tent Under $200 – REI Trail Hut 2

This REI brand Trail Hut 2 is one of the most highly rated tents on our list, and we’ve selected it as our top pick for best backpacking tent under $200 for several reasons. First off, this tent is an ideal budget backpacking tent that offers great features at an affordable price. The floor is 66-denier and the rainfly is 68-denier, which means it’s a thicker fabric than several other tents in its class with similar size and design. This helps it hold up to wind and rain more effectively. In fact, Switchback Travel put it to the test in southern Patagonia and it held up staggeringly well throughout nights of 60+ mph winds and pouring rain. It actually outperformed tents that are twice the price.

The pole design allows for enough headspace for two people to sit upright side by side, but not much wiggle room otherwise (although this is to be expected in a smaller backpacking tent). The rainfly does offer a vent on each side that props open and there’s 2 doors, each with roomy vestibules for gear storage. Normally most tents require that you purchase a separate footprint, but the Trail Hut 2 has an included footprint that’s pre-attached to the floor.

Photo Credit: Switchback Travel

Instead of cutting cost through the materials, REI has opted to cut the cost when it comes to weight. You’re getting all the great features of a sturdy backpacking tent: durability, wind-resistance, waterproofing, and more. But the tent weighs 5 lbs. 15oz. This is almost twice the weight of other similar backpacking tents, but those will run you twice as much money too. If you don’t mind carrying the extra weight in exchange for affordability, then this REI Trail Hut is the perfect choice for a quality backpacking tent. It’s worth noting that the footprint is removable, and can shed 7oz.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 2
  • Available Capacity Options: 2, 4
  • Season: 3
  • # of Doors: 2
  • # of Vestibules: 2
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Floor Dimensions: 88 x 52 inches (7ft. 4in. x 4ft. 4in.)
  • Max Height: 40 inches (3ft. 4in.)
  • Pole Material: aluminum
  • Fabric Quality: 66D floor and 68D rainfly
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500m

Pros

  • Withstands significant wind and rain
  • Includes removable footprint
  • Comes with REI 1 year no questions asked return policy

Cons

  • On the heavier side of backpacking tents

Shop for the REI Trail Hut 2

Best 4 Season Tent Under $200 -Geertop 2 Person 4 Season Tent

This Geertop 2-person tent is an incredible option for a budget 4-season tent that is built to withstand all the harsh conditions winter has to throw at it. It’s made of a surprisingly high waterhead rating at 8000mm for the fly and 5000mm on the floor (the next highest on this list is 1500mm), meaning it’s more than adequate for extreme rain and windy conditions. To add even more stability, this tent utilizes sleeves for portions of the poles instead of just j-clips. This will add a little bit of set up time, but the added stability is well worth it. It’s still super easy and quick to set up though.

There is an added snow skirt around the bottom of the tent, which allows you to pack the skirt with snow to keep rain out and decrease the risk of flapping materials in the wind. The lower max height (39 inches) is ideal for keeping heat inside, but the added upper vents still allow a place to for condensation to release. You can use this tent for backpacking, mountaineering, and casual winter camping as it weighs just over 6 pounds.

geer top 4 season tent

The main downside of this tent is the location of the doors, which are at the foot of the tent with the lowest height. While this wouldn’t necessarily deter us from purchasing this tent, it’s worth noting that it’s more of a hassle to get in and out than if the doors were on the sides.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 2
  • Season: 4
  • # of Doors: 1
  • # of Vestibules: 1
  • Weight: 6 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Floor Dimensions: 83 x 47 inches
  • Max Height: 39 inches
  • Pole Material: aluminum
  • Fabric Quality: Fly: 20D 360T, Inner tent: 210T breathable polyester + high density fine nylon mesh, Floor: 210T
  • Waterhead Rating: 8000mm PU fly, 5000mm PU floor

Pros

  • Surprisingly high waterhead rating
  • Snow skirt
  • Lightweight for the amount of protection it offers

Cons

  • Not enough ventilation for year-round use

Shop for the Geertop 2 Person 4 Season Tent

Thing to Consider When Choosing a Tent under $200

When looking at which budget-conscious tent to purchase, you should first and foremost take into consideration the capacity and how it will fit your family, pets, and gear. You should also look into the materials, ventilation, and seasons rating.

Capacity

We’ve broken down our top picks based on capacity (as well as best backpacking and 4-season tents) to make it easier for you to filter through what you’re looking for. It’s worth mentioning that a tent’s capacity is the maximum number of adults it will sleep comfortably. This means a 4-person tent has the approximate shape and square footage for 4 people to sleep next to each other within the allotted space. Some tents even utilize a head-to-toe sleeping layout to really pack in the amount of people it recommends. If you want extra room for moving around, or more space for kids, dogs, gear, or oversized air mattresses, you’ll need to size up in capacity. In fact, we frequently recommend sizing up by at least 2 people if you’re purchasing a tent based on capacity. This means if you plan on having 2 adults in a tent, we would recommend a 4 person tent.

The only exception to this is backpacking and cold weather camping. For backpacking tents, weight is more important than extra space, and you should focus more on making sure the weight is as low as possible while still housing the right amount of people. As for cold weather camping, bigger tents are harder to keep warm, and you should consider staying smaller.

Before you just jump in and buy the largest tent on this list, keep in mind that it will be more expensive, lower quality, and will typically have less features than if you purchased a capacity closer to what you’re looking for. If we are keeping the price under $200 but the size of the tent is increasing, the cost-cutting is going to have to come from somewhere. Bigger tents are also heavier, take longer to set up, and may even be too large to some tent pads. This is why it’s important to find the right balance between the size you need and the features you want.

Materials

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save a few bucks when you’re buying outdoor gear, but we also want something that’s high enough quality to last more than one season. The tents on this list are going to be high enough quality that they should last several seasons under normal use for casual campers. Aluminum poles will typically last longer than fiberglass, and a higher denier fabric will be more durable, especially in windy conditions. Waterhead rating is considered a measure of waterproofing for rainy conditions, and the number shouldn’t be any lower than 1000mm, preferably 1200mm or greater.

Ventilation

Three seasons tents should be able to handle warm summer days, which means they need adequate mesh ventilation to keep the tent cool. Cross breezes are a life saver when it’s hot, so it’s important to make sure there’s windows, mesh doors, mesh roofs, and options for flaps in the rainfly.

Eureka Suma 3 has a full mesh canopy with overhead storage, Great for ventilation

Season Rating

Most tents on this list are 3-season tents, meaning they are best used in spring, summer, and fall. They are intended for casual campers who encounter light wind conditions and some rain, but mostly clear weather. If you are regularly exposed to high winds, downpours, snow, or winter conditions, we would recommend looking at a 4-season tent. Despite the name, a 4-season tent is usually only used in winter because it lacks the necessary ventilation for warmer days. On the other hand, it’s built stronger and more durable, so it can withstand more intense weather.

FAQ

What is the best budget tent?

We chose the Coleman Skydome tent with screen room as our top pick for the best budget tent under $200 because of it’s well-thought out features like the spacious screen room and WeatherTec system for weatherproofing.

How much should a good tent cost?

The minimum cost of a tent that will actually last more than one season is around $150 and prices go up from there for added features, stronger durability, extra waterproofing, and other desirable attributes.

How much is a cheap tent?

A cheap tent ranges from about $100-$200 and we wouldn’t recommend going any less than that since you will just be getting a low quality tent that you will have to replace after a couple uses.

Conclusion

Each of these best tents under $200 has their own pros and cons, but ultimately if you take care of it properly, it will last several seasons. Never store it while it’s wet, use a footprint for added durability, gently zip doors and windows so they don’t get caught, and take your time setting it up so you don’t rip the fabric on accident. Take into consideration capacity and pick a tent that’s perfect for your situation that you can enjoy for many camping adventures to come.

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About the Author

Derek Vitiello

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers. Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me. When I’m not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, 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. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley

Know Nothing Nomads