The Best Waterproof Tents for Camping

(Last Updated On: July 18, 2018)

Finding the Best Waterproof Tents can save you lots of pain and discomfort down the road. Not only are tents a vital piece of equipment for outdoor enthusiast’s comfort and safety but they are also an investment.

Those who camp often in foul weather may be more aware of just how important a dry place is after hours on the trail. Unfortunately, there are a lot of tents that just can’t stand up to truly foul, wet weather. These are often made from only “water resistant” materials and the constant downpour is a great way to show just how weak this “resistance” can be. If you plan to camp often in wet climates there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for your new mobile abode.

Choosing the Best Waterproof Tents – A Mini Buying Guide

There are a couple of different things to keep in mind when looking at best waterproof tents, especially those that need to withstand bad weather. First off, you need to determine if the tent is a single wall or double wall model.

1. Is It a Single Wall Tent?

Just as the name suggests, are tents with only a single layer or shell. This shell takes care of repelling water and allowing moisture to escape from inside. For this reason, single wall tents are often more expensive due to the technology and materials used to make them. These models are also lighter in weight which can be a real benefit for people depending on their outdoor activity of choice.

2. Is It a Double Wall Tent?

These are made of two layers – a water repelling outer shell, properly called a rain fly and an inner layer which allows breath-ability. Double wall tents are more common and fairly versatile for many enthusiasts as they are less expensive. Due to the extra material of two layers plus the stakes needed to secure most rain fly shells you would have to carry more weight. Set up will take a little longer as well. Both types of tents can be equally good at repelling water. It really comes down to personal choice and the budget available for a tent. Other tents feature to keep in mind include.

3. Does It Have No Seams Near Tent Floor?

Non-waterproof seams should be completely avoided. All waterproof seams should be in locations that don’t come into contact with the floor of the tent or close to the floor of the tent.

4. Does It Have Tub Flooring?

Tents will tub flooring (a solid floor bottom that goes up 2-3+ inches on the sides) will be the most effective at keeping you dry. Tents with this feature should really be considered.

5. Does It Have a Dry Entryway?

Camping in wet weather means a dry entryway, referred to as a vestibule, is a necessity. This ensures rain doesn’t get in while you go into the tent and also gives you a place to stand out of the weather to remove wet shoes or clothing.

6. Is It Made With Light Weight Shell Materials?

When shopping for a tent look for those that are made from the lightest waterproof materials possible. Lightweight shells will easily allow water to roll off and are less apt to collect water compared to heavyweight shells.

7. Does It Have a Removable Outer Shell?

If you have your eye on a double wall tent make sure you can totally remove that outer shell. This allows you to air out the tent and makes cleaning easier. Moisture trapped inside the two layers can lead to dampness and eventually mold.

My Top 3 Recommendations Based on This Criteria

There are few best waterproof tents that are especially suited for keeping you warm and dry in severely inclement weather. Here are 3 options for both individuals and families who really need a powerhouse tent that will stand up to rain and even some snow.

3. Mountain Hardwear Corners 6- Ideal for Group Camping

Finding a tent large enough to house multiple people that isn’t overly complicated to set up, cheaply made or lacking in ability to take on really wet weather is quite an obstacle. Thankfully Mountain Hardware created the Corners 6, a very large and roomy tent that fit up to 6 adults comfortably. If you often camp with your family and friends or just really need a lot of space for extended camping in one location, you’re going to be very happy with this model.

Some specs for this double wall tent include:

  • Completely waterproof 75D polyester shell with PU coating
  • Water-resistant inner layers for even added water repellency
  • Free standing tent with ability to use guy lines
  • Uses only 2 aluminum poles
  • Tent has two doors, both with vestibules (main vestibule is 34 sq ft)
  • Vents in roof and doors
  • Weight: 20lbs 5 oz
  • 83 sq ft for floor space (dimensions are 130” x 93”)
  • Amazing height of 87”

Because this tent is so large, double walled and has 2 vestibules, you do sacrifice lightweight for these features. Therefore this tent may not ideal for taking on very long hikes and without a doubt is not for someone into light backpacking.

If you use campsites that don’t require far travel on foot to reach them or have one person in your group dedicated to packing the tent, you won’t be disappointed with Mountain Hardware’s Corners 6. Expect to spend close to $400 for this tent, although I’ve seen it for less at this listing.

2. Exped Mira II- Perfect for Wet, Warm Weather Camping

Camping often in wet but warm weather makes choosing the right tent a challenge. The Exped Mira II is a super lightweight tent that will keep you dry and cool during spring and summer camping. It is perfect for two people or one person with a lot of gear and perhaps a canine hiking buddy. This tent is double walled with a mesh inner wall and a removable rain fly so you can easily it out or even use this tent for summer camping under the stars in dry weather.

Specs for the Mira II include:

  • 1 sq. ft. of space (49.2” x 43.4” footprint)
  • 6” height
  • Has one vestibule that offers 14 sq. ft. of space
  • Packed weight is only 4.1lbs
  • Rain fly made from 30D PU coated nylon
  • Floor is 70D PU coated nylon
  • Uses only 2 lightweight aluminum poles

Exped’s Mira II is a fairly basic 2 person style tent that is completely waterproof and performs well in windy weather. Since this tent is so lightweight it is ideal for nearly anyone, including hikers and backpackers. It will also work well as a tent for ultralight backpacking in areas in which rain or the dewy weather is to be expected. A downside of the Mira II is that it can’t withstand very cold temperatures.

Though Exped has it listed as a 3 season tent, those in cooler regions may find it to be more of a 2 season tent. You can find it for close to $400 in retail stores, but it’s selling for less right now at this online listing.

1. Sierra Designs Flash 2

Like many Sierra Designs tents, the Flash 2 model is not only very attractive in appearance but totally functional and ideal for wet weather camping. This tent fits 2 adults and offers plenty of storage for both individuals. Sierra Designs sends all their tent models through rigorous tests to ensure they are able to stand up to wind and rain. The Flash 2 model remain in place even when gusts of 30+ mph wind hits it, and that’s without weight inside.

This tent is totally free-standing and uses 3 poles to keep it grounded. It is a hybrid tent, combining features of a double wall and single wall in one. This means the tent is well ventilated but also stops all water from entering the tent.

More features of the Flash 2 include:

  • Freestanding capabilities with 4 guylines for extra security in stormy weather
  • Quick set up due to the single wall hybridization
  • Weighs only 4lbs 12oz
  • Has two double wide doors and two vestibules of 8.25 sq. ft.
  • Interior offers almost 30 sq. ft. of room
  • 39” headroom which works well for everyone but the very tallest
  • Rainfly made of strong 75D waterproof polyester
  • Floor made of 70D waterproof nylon
  • Body is 20D nylon mesh for breath-ability and preventing insect invaders

Sierra Designs Flash 2 is truly a tent for 3 seasons and camping in weather. It is ideal for ultralight backpacking and is made from UV resistant materials so you can be assured this tent will last you a very long time. It is a great choice for the outdoor enthusiast who camps in different climates and is having difficult time choosing between single and double wall tents as this model combines the best of both types.

Potential downsides of this tent involve the individual rather than the tent itself. For example, someone who needs/wants a lot of headroom may feel hunched over in this tent. Also, even though it is a two person tent, the smaller interior size and shape may be a little too snug for someone who is camping with a friend. This tent is among the best waterproof tents that we’ve tested. You can find it for less than $300 at this listing.

Just like shopping for any type of outdoor equipment it’s important to take your time to compare tents. As technology develops more and more tents are being made with strong waterproof materials so it really comes down to what you need your tent to do in terms of features.

The three best waterproof tents featured here are all excellent choices and won’t leave you soaked during a rainstorm.

Some Other Options to Consider

Something Solo: Looking to optimize your load out for just 1 person? Check out this guide for the top solo tents.

Something Smaller: Looking for something for about 3 people? You will want to check this article for my top 3 person tent recommendations.

Something Bigger: Looking for something for a group of 6 people? I’ve also published a guide here for roomy 6 person tents.

The Biggest: Looking for something REALLY big? Be sure to check out our guide to large 12 person tents.

Looking for Deals: We recently launched out daily deals tracker here, where you can see which best waterproof tents are on sale (and which are the most discounted).

About the Author Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival prepping. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.

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