Best Tent Under $200 for backpacking and camping with family

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If you are looking for an inexpensive yet decent tent for your upcoming trip, then this article is meant for you. Here, we review the best tent under $200 for backpacking and car camping. As a treat, we share useful information on the ideal tent for backpacking or car camping. So, if you want to be sure that you are making the right decision then keep reading till the end.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

What is the best tent under $200 for family and friends?

Best 2 person tent: Ideal for car camping

The new KAZOO 2 person tent is a specially designed two doors model that is already topping the “Best of 2021” lists. It’s made of durable material with a built-in ventilation system to contend against the weather elements in nearly any situation. Included guy ropes give you extra protection from high winds.

The tent comes with two layers of polyester material that are designed to give maximum resistance against weather elements such as wind, rain, and snow. You’ll stay snug and warm inside thanks to the weather resistance this handy system provides. When it comes time to pack up the tent, you’ll have no problem. The entire unit weighs 5.29 pounds.

Pros
  • The tent is easy to setup while also being lightweight making it a suitable tent for taking on your backpacking trip as well
  • The vestibules located next to the door offer enough space for storing your backpack and shoes while giving you fast and easy access to them
Cons
  • The rainfly leaves a 3 inch gap between it and the ground, which might be an issue when it rains due to rain splashes.

Best 3 person tent: Ideal for car camping

The brand new NTK INDY GT is a world-class family tent that many experts are ranking as one of the best camping tents on the market. It’s a family tent that fits up to 4 people in a very comfortable fashion. It’s made of very thin and comfortable “NO-SEE-UM” polyester fabric.

The tent is made of very sturdy and breathable material. Air circulation is easily obtained. The unit comes with a tent light, lantern hook, and other essentials. It can be very easily assembled and broken back down in a short space of time. These handy features make it one of the best backpacking tents on the modern market.

Pros
  • The tent offers a lot of features such as a front porch, durable material and included floor tarp for the given price which makes it a good bargain
Cons
  • It tends to get warm inside the tent when camping in hot weather because the outer layer doesn’t have big window holes. A possible solution would be to roll up the back of the cover and let air flow through

Best 4 person tent: Ideal for car camping

The new Coleman Dome Tent for Camping is a classic camping tent that is one of the top-selling models on the market. This four-person tent comes with very comfortable dimensions of 9 x 7 ft. with a 4 ft. 11 in. center height. The unit includes plenty of space for a queen-size air bed.

When it comes to world-class camping tents, the present unit is high on the list. The comfortable and lightweight polyester fabric design offers plenty of interior space. The interior has been specially designed to give you plenty of air circulation to keep you cool even on hot summer nights out in the open.

Pros
  • The dark room technology feature reduces the chance of waking up at 4 or 5 AM due to sunlight. So, you and your children can get a good night’s sleep even during sunny days. Though, this feature is only used on the mesh windows which are present in the front and matching backside of the tent.
  • The tent holds its ground during rainy and windy weather, but water will likely seep through the tent floor just like most tents. To avoid this, you should choose a location that won’t have water running or pooling underneath the tent. Other options are expanding the rain fly or bringing another liner (e.g. tarp) for placing inside the tent.
Cons
  • Although the tent floor extends all the way to the screen room, it is however not protected by the outer layer which serves as the rainfly. Therefore, the screen room doesn’t protect you and your belongings from rainy weather unless you decide to put a tarp over it.
  • The tent pegs are not super strong so you need to be careful when setting up and breaking down the tent.

Best 6 person tent: Ideal for car camping

This is another classic Coleman Dome Tent model that is well worth checking out. The tent comes with a specially designed e-port that easily allows you to connect to a source of electric power. It features a handy, spacious six-person design with plenty of square feet for comfort.

The Coleman Tent has long been recognized as one of the premier family tents in the industry. It comes with handy aluminum poles complete with pole sleeves for a quick and easy setup. This tent is perfect for short and long term camping trips. The design gives you plenty of interior space but is lightweight enough to pack and carry.

Pros
  • The dark room technology allows for deeper and longer sleep, especially during summer. This makes it a good pick if you are planning on sleeping in late or have children who tend to wake up quite early.
  • The tent is sturdy enough to handle wind gusts of up to 35mph and is also waterproof making it a good 3 season tent.
Cons
  • The tent floor is not protected by the outer layer which serves as the rainfly. Therefore, the screen room doesn’t protect you and your belongings from rainy weather unless you decide to put a tarp over it.
  • The tent stakes are very lightweight but also fragile and thus easy to bend and break. A solution would be to invest in more durable stakes just to be sure that you can also pitch the tent on hard ground.

What is the best backpacking tent under $200?

Best 2 person backpacking tent

The exciting new Naturehike Cloud-Up 3 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent may well be the last word in lightweight convenience. The model weighs less than 4 pounds and includes two doors for easy access. It also comes with a tent light, lantern hook, and guy ropes.

The tent itself is made of lightweight but extremely durable and weatherproof top-grade polyester material. You will enjoy a whole new level of storage capacity and comfort. The unit includes YKK dual zippers and mesh interior pockets that are designed to store all of your essential items in a quick and convenient fashion.

Pros
  • This is an ultra lightweight 3 season backpacking tent that comes with a footprint making it a good bargain
  • The tent is made of durable material for withstanding adverse weather such as strong winds over grade 8 and heavy rain & snow
Cons
  • Some feedback given from users indicate that the 2 person tent is not big enough to actually fit in 2 people. Hence the reason for reviewing this 3 person tent as a good choice if planning on camping with 2 people
  • The tent is a 3 season tent, but you can invest in a 4 season inner layer if you are planning on camping during the winter

Best 3 person backpacking tent

The new Klymit Maxfield 4 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent really does have it all. This is an essential piece of camping gear that offers weather resistance, plenty of space, and a host of extras to make camping trips an easy breeze. If you like luxury, this is the tent to buy.

The model comes with pole sleeves that fit around the specially enhanced aluminum poles. It includes four interior mesh storage pockets for storage of all of your essential camping gear items. The ventilation system is state of the art for such a lightweight and cost-effective model. Plenty of square feet for space is included.

Pros
  • The tent is very durable, lightweight and easy to set up and take down.
Cons
  • The tent is a little tricky to set up the first time so you should set it up prior to taking it out.

Key Insights & Takeaways

So there you have it, a list of affordable tents under $200 that are categorized based on your needs. If you want to make sure that you end up with the best tent for you, then the best advice we can give you is to know yourself. So, consider your past camping experience and anticipate what might become an issue.

For instance, I know for myself that the best tent for me should be lightweight and have good ventilation cause as the saying goes: “You can always dress warmer but not colder”. Also, it should be close to completely dark inside the tent, since it makes it much easier for me to fall asleep. Finally, I really don’t want people to be able to see any movement whatsoever inside my tent when passing by. Thus, a suitable tent for me is also one that offers decent privacy. That said, I would pick the following tent from the above list:

How to choose the best budget tent for backpacking or car camping

variety of camping tent collection

Nowadays, you have plenty of inexpensive tent options to choose from. This goes for backpacking tents as well as car camping tents. Yet, with so many equally good options on the market, choosing a suitable tent might end up becoming a mentally draining process. This is especially true if you don’t know which tent characteristics will suit you the most. To ensure that you end up with the best suitable tent for you at a bargain price, here are three main points to have top of mind when choosing your tent.

Tent Capacity

This is the most important part to consider when choosing a tent. These days you can find tents designed anywhere for between 1 and 12 people. It is important that you take more factors into consideration than just the amount of people that will be staying in the tent. An example of such a factor would be where you are going to cook or chill out when you get back from a full day outdoors.

You see, a tent is more about space and a home from home as well as it is a place to sleep. So, you should choose a tent that is designed for a group slightly larger than the one you are traveling with. This way you will have enough room to move around and store your gear.

If interested here’s an article on the best 4 person tent and the best 6 person tent for backpacking and camping with family or friends.

Tent Type

After considering the tent capacity, the next point would be to check the type of tent that will be fitting for your needs. There are mainly three types of tents, namely cabin, dome, and instant tents. 

Dome tents are made up of two flexible poles that cross at the top of the dome and bend to be anchored to the floor on each of the four dome corners. This makes them lightweight, affordable, and easy to put up and take down, but at the same time usually don’t offer a lot of headroom to stand in. As a result, these types of tents are usually more ideal for short week-aways, but any longer than that and you may want to look for a different one. 

Cabin tents are usually made up of aluminum poles that fit together to create the frame of what looks like a cabin. Some cabin tents are even divided into rooms with internal dividers. As such, they are ideal for dealing with snoring friends or noisy children. Another great advantage is that it is possible to stand in them, but the disadvantages are that they tend to be heavy and are very complicated to set up. As such, they are more ideal if you are planning a camping trip with a car, motorbike, or bicycle or planning on camping for a long time.

one young man, setting up a fast assembly tent, easy to set up.

Instant tents, which also include inflatable and pop-up tents, have technology allowing them to self set up in under 3 minutes. They might be less durable than cabin or dome tents. But, they give you the freedom and flexibility to arrive at your campsite and have your shelter set up in no time. This means you won’t have to rush to get there before sunset. They are ideal if you are planning on arriving late at the campsite or camping with a couple of kids.

Tent Features

The last thing to consider when choosing your ideal tent are the features that come with it. This means features that are responsible for waterproofing or soundproofing your tent. Bu also other features such as blackout bedrooms for better sleep and stash pockets for your gear. We’ll discuss some points that can be resolved with the right tent feature.

Type of travel: If you are planning on backpacking then look for a tent with a waterproof fabric that is thin and light. But, also sturdy poles made of relatively lightweight materials such as aluminum and fiberglass. On the other hand, if you are planning on traveling by car or motorbike, look for a tent with a waterproof fabric that is thick and durable. In any case, make sure to use ropes or guy lines to keep your tent fastened to the ground and help drain water away from your tent. For the folks who love sneaking back in their tent at night, look for glow-in-the-dark ropes so you don’t trip at night. 

Frequency of tent usage: When weighing out which tent to buy, think about quality versus costs and choose the one that’s right for your camping needs. There’s no point spending money on a large tent if you don’t need it. A more expensive tent will tend to be of higher quality so if you intend on camping regularly, a premium tent will last you for years to come. In terms of tent features, choose a good quality non rusting zip that will make your tent last a long time. It will also keep you secure and make sure no creepy crawlies get in throughout the night.

Expected weather condition: Tents have a waterproof rating that tells you which season they are suitable for. Choose one with a higher waterproof rating if you are going to be camping in wet or snowy conditions. It is also important to remember that the waterproof rating is only one factor in determining a tent’s overall ability to withstand water.
This means that it can still leak if it is not stitched correctly or the seams are not treated with heat taped seams. The same goes if the tent is poorly designed and water finds its way through places like zips or windows. So, you should also look for tents that have a durable floor made from a strong fabric. Next to that, also a rain fly to protect you from rain or help you retain a little extra warmth.
Most likely you will be camping in the summer when it’s warm, so you might want to look for a breathable material like canvas. But, also tents that have heat-reducing fabric, making it better to resist the sun UV rays and thus heat in your tent.
Finally, mesh doors and windows help prevent moisture from building up inside the tent. Though, these tents can be less waterproof than those without mesh windows. 

Gear Storage: If you like to be organized, look for a tent with internal pockets and a hook on the ceiling where you can hang a light. A vestibule will also come in handy for storing your wet or muddy gear outside the tent without getting wet. While you are at it, be sure to get a bag that is bigger than your tent. This will make it much easier for packing it away and to help the tent air out while it’s being stored. 

Ally Mash
Ally Mash
Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.

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