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Unplugging from all the day-to-day hassles is a requirement these days. Camping is an awesome way to unplug, either alone or with your friends or family. Fortunately for you, there are tents designed to give you this downtime outside of the summer seasons. Introducing: the 3-season tent! If camping in seasons other than summer is new to you but something you want to try, never fear! We created a list of the 10 best 3-season tents to get you started.

Spring and fall can bring some of the best camping weather. And with a good 3-season tent, you can stay warm on cool nights and cool on nights that are a little warm – all with one tent! These tents have everything you need to stay comfortable and protected against any of the elements you may encounter, whether you’re spending the night in an established campground or exploring the backcountry. So ditch the electronics, grab your pack, and get outside in your tent!

For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Tents

 

Quick Answer - The Best 3 Season Tents

  1. The North Face Stormbreak 2
  2. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2
  3. Kelty Escape 2
  4. REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus
  5. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2
  6. NEMO Dagger 3
  7. Eureka! Suite Dream
  8. Marmot Tungsten 2P
  9. Marmot Limelight
  10. Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1

 

Comparison Table - Best 3 Season Tent

PictureNameWeightDoorsCapacityLengthPriceRating
The North Face Stormbreak 25 lbs. 14.2 oz.2287 in. (Floor)$4.9
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 22 lbs. 12 oz.2288 in. (Floor)$$$4.1
Kelty Escape 24 lb. 5 oz.1287 in. (Floor)$4.3
REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus4 lb. 14 oz.2292 in. (Floor)$$4.3
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 23 lbs. 8 oz.2284 in. (Floor)$$$4.6
NEMO Dagger 34 lbs. 5 oz.2390 in. (Floor)$$$4.0
Eureka! Suite Dream8 lbs. 12 oz.1484 in. (Floor)$4.5
Marmot Tungsten 2P3 lbs. 3.8 oz.2288 in. (Floor)$$4.2
Marmot Limelight5 lbs. 2 oz.2288 in. (Floor)$$4.3
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL11 lb. 11 oz.1186 in. (Floor)$$$4.0
PictureNameWeightDoorsCapacityLengthPriceRating

Reviews - The Best 3 Season Tents for Backpacking

The North Face Stormbreak 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 87 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 14.2 oz.
Features
  • 2 Vestibules
  • Large Tent Doors
  • Bathtub Style Floor to Prevent Water Entering

BEST FOR: CAR CAMPING

The North Face brings you the Stormbreak 2 for your camping needs. Designed with a high-low ventilation system, this tent has efficient airflow to keep you comfortable. The large tent doors ensure there is no crouching to get in and out, and with two vestibules, each person has their own storage.

This tent will also protect you against the elements if you are unfortunate enough to get caught in them. With a bathtub style floor, no matter how much rain comes your way, you never have to worry about your tent flooding or pooling. Although slightly on the heavier end of the scale, this tent can be your best friend car camping.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 88 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 12 oz.
Features
  • Reflective Guywire and Mesh For Visibility
  • 2 Tone Mesh for Privacy But Easy To See Out
  • 2 Vestibules

BEST FOR: FAST AND LIGHT BACKPACKING

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV is not only ultralight at 2 lbs. 12 oz., but it’s also super roomy, so no more struggling to move around. Designed with more space at the head and shoulder area, you can change your clothes and make your bed without needing to contort your body into uncomfortable positions.

Special features of this tent include a 2-tone mesh that gives you all the privacy you could want, but will never interfere with your star gazing. And if you have to get up to answer nature’s call in the middle of the night, the reflective guywires and mesh will ensure you are able to get back to your appropriate tent without tripping over the lines.

Kelty Escape 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 1
  • Length: 87 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 4 lb. 5 oz.
Features
  • Full Coverage Fly
  • Gear Loft Included
  • Pre-attached Guylines

BEST FOR: CAMPGROUND CAMPING

The Kelty name has been around in the camping world  for a while, and here they bring you the Escape 2. This tent will ensure you can camp outside in even the nastiest weather with it’s full coverage fly. But this does not come at the cost of ventilation, as this tent is designed with no-see-um mesh for airflow and to keep the bugs out.

Equipped with a gear loft, this tent offers ample storage for all your small possessions that you don’t want to lose on the tent floor. And with pre-attached guylines, this tent is super easy to set up, even if you just have one person doing the job.

REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 92 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 4 lb. 14 oz.
Features
  • 2 Vestibules
  • Pole Repair Tube Included
  • Door Pockets To Stash Doors Out of the Way When Open

BEST: ALL AROUND USE

Inducted in the Editors’ Choice 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame by Backpacker magazine (2018), the REI HalfDome 2 Plus has stood the test of time. This tent is super easy to set up as it comes with color-coded pole assembly. Furthermore, a pole repair tube is included, so even if you are deep in the backcountry, you do not have to worry about equipment malfunction. 

As the name states, this tent is dome-shaped, allowing for maximum headspace at the center of the tent, so you can sit up to get dressed without having to slouch. And the unique feature of pockets for storing your door flaps means you can air out this tent without having to worry about the breeze ripping or fraying your tent with flapping material.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 84 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.
Features
  • 2 Vestibules
  • Non-tapered Floor for Optimal Floor Space
  • Built-in Rain Gutters to Keep the Elements Out

BEST FOR: FOUL WEATHER

MSR not only makes great stoves, but also great tents. The Hubba Hubba NX will offer you all the comforts you could want for you and your two- or four-legged companion. The floor space design on this tent does not taper, so you have optimal area with no awkward tight corners to lose things in.

Designed with two vestibules on either side, there is plenty of storage space for each person. And if that unexpected rainstorm rolls in? No worries! This tent comes with built-in rain gutters over the doors, so water stays away from your tent and does not empty out on your head when you exit the tent.

NEMO Dagger 3

Specs
  • Capacity: 3
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 90 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 5 oz.
Features
  • Featherlite Poles to Minimize Weight
  • Dual Stage Stuff Sack to Split the Weight Between Multiple People
  • Gear Pockets At Each End For Storage

BEST: LONG HIKING TRIPS

The NEMO Dagger is a good option for longer hiking trips. This tent is light enough to be comfortable on backcountry treks if divided up between multiple people. Contributing to this tent’s unique features, the featherlite poles also make this tent even lighter.

Packaged with a dual stuff sack, you can divide the contents of this tent into two different sacks, distributing the weight between you and your partner(s). Designed with gear pockets at each end, there is plenty of storage space in this tent for you and your friends. And with a floor length of 90 inches, even tall people will be comfortable in this tent.

Eureka! Suite Dream

Specs
  • Capacity: 4
  • Doors: 1
  • Length: 84 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 8 lbs. 12 oz.
Features
  • Gear Loft
  • Ground Cloth Included
  • Front Vestibule

BEST FOR: FAMILY CAMPING

Eureka has been around awhile. It is hard to walk through a campground without seeing the giant exclamation point – ! – on some tent. On the heavy end of the spectrum, this tent does not sacrifice space or comfort. This tent is large and spacious on the inside, with enough head height to be comfortable for a short person (or a child) to stand, making it the perfect family tent.

Included with this tent is a ground cloth to help keep the bottom of the tent dry and clean, so there’s no extra mess when packing things up. With one large central door, getting in and out without crawling over your tent mates is easy. A large front vestibule will store all you belongings so you don’t have to worry about bringing them into the tent and taking up precious sleeping space. And for all those things you need inside the tent, a gear loft is built into the top, so all your essential items (think headlamp, wallet, keys) will be secure and easy to find.

Marmot Tungsten 2P

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 88 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 3.8 oz.
Features
  • Color Coded Easy Pitch Clips
  • Lampshade Pocket to Hold Headlamps
  • 2 Vestibules

BEST FOR: GENERAL HIKING

Marmot has designed a light 2-person tent that is great for all your general hiking needs. With ample living and storage space, two people can sleep comfortably in this tent. The lampshade pocket built into this tent is perfect for keeping your headlamp in a safe spot so you know where to find it in the dark.

The polyester design of the flysheet prevents stretching if the fly gets wet, so there is no need to worry about sagging and leaking. And the setup of this tent is designed with feasibility in mind. Each of the pitch clips is color coded so even if one person is setting up this tent, it can be done quickly and easily. No muss, no fuss!

Marmot Limelight

Specs
  • Capacity: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Length: 88 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 2 oz.
Features
  • Color Coded Easy Pitch Clips
  • Jingle-free Nylon Zipper Pulls
  • 2 Vestibules

BEST FOR: WEEKEND BACKPACKING

The Limelight tent is a perfect fit for two people. A large D-shaped door makes getting in and out of this tent easy, and with two vestibules, there is also plenty of storage. Unlike many other tents, the Limelight also comes with a footprint included, keeping the tent off the ground and keeping it cleaner, so you won’t have a bunch of loose dirt falling into your backpack.

With jingle-free nylon zipper pulls, if you are camping near other people, you don’t have to worry about constantly disturbing them with the zipper jingle each time you open the door. And the setup of this tent is designed with ease in mind. Each of the pitch clips is color coded so even if only one person is setting up this tent, it can be done quickly and easily.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1

Specs
  • Capacity: 1
  • Doors: 1
  • Length: 86 in. (Floor)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.
Features
  • Dry Entry Brow Above Vestibule
  • One Vestibule
  • Gear Loft and Loops for Entertainment Center Installation

BEST FOR: THE SOLO MINIMALIST

If you want minimal weight, look no further. For the minimalist backpacker in you, you will want this tent to be your choice for 3-season tents. Coming in at just 1 lb. 11 oz., this tent can go with you even in the steepest, deepest part of the backcountry.

Designed with a large door and vestibule, you can sleep comfortably inside the tent and have plenty of storage space up front for any dirty shoes that you may not want to come with you inside the tent. And the gear loft will not only hold all those odds and ends so you don’t clutter the floor space, but also, is designed to be able to hold an entertainment system above, should you decide to make up for all the extra room and weight in your pack with some creature comforts.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A 3-SEASON TENT

COST AND WARRANTY

Cost is always something people will factor in with the decision about what type of tent to purchase. However, really well made tents will often times come with a lifetime warranty, so keep your eyes open for this when purchasing, and if issues arise down the road, take advantage of it.

 

FABRIC AND DURABILITY

Most tents are commonly made with either nylon or polyester. Nylon is woven tightly when creating tents, making it very durable. The outer portion of tents are waterproofed and the inner portion of the tents are usually made with mesh nylon, so these tents will be pretty lightweight. Polyester tents will end up being slightly heavier, but unlike their nylon counterparts, will not stretch when wet and tents to not rip as easily, which goes a long way in the camping world.

 

POLES AND FRAMEWORK

A sturdy framework is a must, so find a tent with a flexible one that can withstand bending when packing and setting up. And a sturdy framework largely comes from the poles. But poles will often determine how easy a tent is to set up. Larger, family tents will be able to stand freely with the poles, meaning they do not have to be staked into the ground. Smaller backpacking tents will be lighter, using fewer poles and will come with stakes. These poles will attach to clips in the tents and are held together with elastic bands for ease of putting them together. Most poles are made of aluminum or fiberglass, contributing to the overall lightweight nature of the tent.

 

VENTILATION

Ventilation is important not only for airflow, but also to keep condensation from building up on the inside of the tent. Many tents will have vents located at the top to allow for airflow, and mesh siding that not only keeps air flowing, but keeps the bugs out. Because no one wants bugs buzzing around all night!

 

WEIGHT AND SIZE AND HEIGHT

Weight is important for those in the backcountry that are concerned about cutting down on the pounds strapped to their backs, but for those car camping, possessing a tent that tips the scale slightly is not a concern. Either way, looking at the weight of a tent will give you an idea if it is the best fit for your needs.

And much like getting sleeping pads and sleeping bags, certain brands of tents are sized longer or make longer versions to accommodate taller people. Similarly, the height of a tent is important to consider based on what you are using the tent for. Cabin-shaped tents are equal on all sides, maximizing height and making them comfy for the car or campsite camping. Dome-shaped tents, on the other hand, award more stability for windy conditions and focus the height in the center, so there is a portion to stand (or almost stand-up) in.

 

WATERPROOF

Many tents are or can be treated with waterproofing sprays to prevent leakage. But if a tent is made with fabric that is tightly woven, it should be resilient to water leaks. Tents that have a tendency to stretch can accumulate water on the roof, pooling and then ultimately, leaking. Waterproofing your tent between seasons, however, is probably a good plan.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

FRAMEWORK

The overall structure of a tent created with tent poles and stakes. The framework of tent will help determine the overall durability, setup feasibility, and ease of moving and cleaning.

RAIN FLY

A waterproof cover that goes over the roof of the tent to keep the rain out and help with insulation. Rainflies can come as either a roof rainfly to cover just the top or to cover the entire tent.

GUYLINES

Nylon lines that come with tents to attach to built-in loops on the outside of the tent that can then be staked into the ground to secure the tent during windy conditions.

VESTIBULE

A vestibule is like a garage, either built into the doors of the tent or bought as add-ons, to create some extra space in the tent and are helpful to store things like wet or muddy shoes.

READ MORE

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About The Author

Born in Maryland, Lindsay Rohrbaugh is an avid rock-alpine climber and mountaineer. An urban wildlife biologist by trade, she is also a travel writer and student of Integrative Medicine. When not in school or conducting field work on bats and turtles in Washington, DC, she is out climbing rocks and peaks or scaling high points across the globe. She’s hiked the Lares Trek in Peru and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and climbed various routes in Morocco, Peru, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. She has even tried her skills at deep water soloing! Her weekends are often spent with her husband in their newly self-built cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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