5 Best Camping Tents for Beginners and Newbies
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If you’re new to camping and not sure what tents best to get then this guide is for you.
There are lots of things you need to consider as a beginner from how easy the tent is to set up to its materials and interior space. With so many tents on the market, it can be difficult to decide what tents best.
Fear not, after hours of research and learning from my own mistakes when I took my first camping trip, we’ve put together a list of the best camping tents for beginners, to make life easier for you!
Let’s get started…
Top 5 tents for beginners
That was a brief overview of our top 3 camping tents for a beginner, now let’s take a look at all of them in more detail below:
1 Coleman Sundome Tent
The Coleman Sundome Tent is designed for quick and easy setup, which is perfect for beginners and newbies to camping. You’ll be pitched up and ready to go within 10-minutes.
This tent is particularly good for camping in warm weather with its large windows and vent to keep you cool and comfortable.
Should the weather take a turn for the worse, then the WeatherTec system will need to safe and dry would it rain. This tent can also withstand 35+ mph winds.
It also features double-thick durable fabric designed to withstand the elements and rough terrain ensuring this tent will last you many more camping trips, it’s not just a one-hit-wonder.
Inside you’ll find a generous living and sleeping area which also features internal storage pockets for your gear and an E-Port which allows you to charge your devices from the comfort of your own tent.
- Set up time: 10 mins
- Weight: 8.8 pounds
- Headroom: 4 ft
- Interior: 7 x 5 ft
- Withstands 35+ mph winds
What I Love
I love how durable this tent is, it’s made from high-quality materials that will withstand harsh weather conditions. It’s also very quick and simple to set up, which is exactly what you want on your first camping trip. The hinged door makes accessing the tent really easy too.
- Wind and rain tested
- Quick set up
- E-Port for charging
- Entry-level price
- Perfect for beginners
- Consider getting a size up for more space
Overall, this is an ideal choice for a first camping tent, if there’s two of you, then I’d recommend going for the 4-person tent, as this gives you more living space and comfort. A great quality tent for a very reasonable price. This should withstand most weather conditions, as long as you’re not taking it to Mount Everest!
2 Coleman Cabin Tent
Fastest set up time:
If you’re new to camping and are worried about not getting enough sleep then the Coleman Cabin Tent (Amazon) is a great choice! Here’s why. This tent features darkroom technology, so in the morning when you wake up you won’t have the sun burning your eyes, your tent will still be nice and dark, ensuring a nice long sleep.
That’s not all, you’ll be pitched up in 60-seconds! That’s not a typo either. This is the ideal tent if you like your sleep and really can’t be bothered with the hassle of trying to assemble a complicated tent.
This camping tent is designed with the WeatherTec system which features welded floors, inverted seams and is made from a rugged poly guard double-thick fabric ensuing that this tent is weatherproof and suitable for tough terrains.
You’ll also be able to fit two queen-sized airbeds in this tent, as well as integrated storage pockets, giving you ultimate comfort and freedom to move around. Once your adventure is over, there’s an expandable carry bag for easy packing.
- Set up time: 60 seconds
- Weight: 18 pounds
- Headroom: 4 ft
- Interior: 8 x 7 ft
- Darkroom sleep technology
What I Love
I love the darkroom technology, if you’re like me, I love my sleep and if I don’t get enough I can get a bit snappy, my husband can vouch for that. These features allow you to get a great night’s sleep and have a lie-in too. Perfect if you fancy a power nap during the day. The set up time is incredible too, 60-seconds and you’ll be ready to start your camping adventure.
- Instant set up
- Good head room
- Built to last
- Roomy interior
- Dark room technology
- Zippers could be more durable
This is another great tent that’s perfect for people new to camping. You will get a great night’s sleep, it’s lightning-fast to set up, it’s comfortable and spacious. This really is the hassle-free camping tent that is made for beginners. Not only that, but this tent is also well built and designed to withstand rain and strong winds. Another quality tent from the Coleman range.
3 Coleman Dome Tent With Screen Room
Screened porch area:
Enjoy the great outdoors with the Coleman Dome Tent (Amazon). This tent is ideal for family camping trips and also great for car camping. Setting this tent up is a breeze and you’ll have it up in less than 15-minutes.
Inside this spacious tent, you’ll be able to fit in two queen-sized airbeds and there’s a screened porch living area where you can store all your other gear, or even sleep more people on a warm summers night.
The screened porch room is a great feature, as you can have a socializing area or dine together without having bugs and insects pestering you while you eat.
Moreover, this tent is made from the highest-quality materials and once again features the WeatherTech system ensuring you’re fully protected from bad weather conditions. The rainfly also comes off allowing fresh air to flow through the tent and weather permitting you can stargaze at night from the comfort of your own tent.
- Set up time: less than 15 mins
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Headroom: 5.8 ft
- Interior: 10 x 9 ft
- Screened porch living area
What I Love
I love the screened porch area, there’s nothing I like more than sitting out at night and relaxing with a glass of wine, and your fully protected from any bugs too. This tent is very spacious making it perfect for anyone new to camping. It’s also really quick and easy to set up too, considering it can sleep up to 8 people.
- Screened porch living area
- Easy set up
- Spacious interior
- Quality build and materials
- Not the tallest of tents
This tent is ideal for families and groups who are new to camping. It can sleep up to eight people, so there’s plenty of space. A great tent for socializing with thanks to the screened mesh living area. Overall, this is a very well made spacious tent that’s easy to set up and ideal for camping vacations.
4 Kelty Late Start Tent
Best 2-person tent:
If you’re a couple and new to camping then the Kelty Late Start (Amazon) 2-person tent is a great choice. It delivers excellent ventilation thanks to its mesh roof and walls and also offers reliable durability at an affordable price.
Its freestanding design means you can pitch the Kelty up anywhere and the freely move it around to find the best spot. The single vestibule offers nearly 8-feet of storage space there’s internal storage pockets and a ceiling pocket too, giving you more space to stretch your legs.
The tent’s body is protected by a waterproof 68D rainfall. All the seams are sealed as well to ensure you’re kept dry. This lightweight tent is easy to set up, taking less than 10-minutes and it’s also portable too. As a beginner, this tent is ideal for short backpacking trips and camping on a campsite.
- Set up time: Less than 10 mins
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Headroom: 3.3 ft
- Interior: 29. 5 square feet
- Vestibule area: 7. 85 square feet
- Withstands 30+ mph winds
What I Love
I love how durable this tent is, it can withstand 30+ mph winds, which is impressive for a smaller 2-person tent. I also love the fact that you can reveal the full mesh walls and roof making it perfect for stargazing at night in the summer. There’s plenty of space in this tent too, ideal for couples or camping solo.
- Lightweight and portable
- No-see-um mesh walls
- Durable floor
- Easy set up
- A little bulky if you’re backpacking
If you camping on your own or as a couple then this is the ideal choice for you, there’s plenty of space and storage, and it will protect you from heavy rain and strong winds. You get a lot of tent for your money with the Kelty tent. It offers great quality durable materials that are made to last. Overall, this is a comfortable tent are perfect for beginners looking for their first camping experience on their own or as a couple.
5 Coleman Pop-Up Tent
Instant set up:
You’ll be pitched up in an incredible 10-seconds with the Coleman Pop-Up Tent (Amazon). The tent is ideal for campsites, car camping and festivals.
This tent is uniquely designed with preassembled poles allowing the tent to snap into place. The taped floor seams will keep you perfectly dry even when the ground is soaking wet, while the rainfly protects from wind and rain, and also provides great ventilation.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free setup, then this tent is perfect for beginners, there’s plenty of room for two people and ideal for solo campers. There’s enough room for two camp pads and comes with integrated storage pockets to keep small items organized.
- Set up time: 10 seconds
- Weight: 5.8 pounds
- Headroom: 2.11 ft
- Interior: 7.6 x 4.5 feet
What I Love
I love how you can throw this tent up within an impressive 10-seconds. This tent is lightweight and has plenty of space for two people and is also ideal for camping solo.
- Instant set up
- Lightweight and portable
- Wind strong frame
- Waterproof floors
- Protected seams
- Not ideal for backpacking
- Folds down but it’s a large circle
If a quick set up is important to you, then they don’t get much quicker than this. This tent is lightweight and portable, it folds down and is easy to pack, however, it folds down into a compact large circle, so it’s not ideal for backpacking. Overall, if you’re going to a campsite and are after no-nonsense set up then this tent is a great choice.
Criteria for Evaluation
Here are the different factors you should consider in finding the right tent for you:
Easy set up
As a beginner you should look for a tent that is easy to set up, all these tents reviewed here really easy to set up and require minimum effort to get started. If you’re camping with kids this is a very important feature you should look for!
The last thing you want is a complicated set up that will take you hours, especially if you arrive at the campsite when it’s going dark. Always check the setup time, as some take an hour or so and include complicated instructions.
If you’re camping on a campsite then you’re going to need a durable and robust tent that will withstand weather and rough terrain. Getting a camping tent like this might mean its not as lightweight as if you were backpacking.
This all depends what you’re doing, if you’re going to a campsite then it’s not really that important to have a lightweight tent, however if your hiking or backpacking then you’ll want something that’s easy to carry and wont weigh you down.
Heavy tents are no fun to carry around, especially if you’re doing a fairly long hike, you’ll end up with a sore back and it will more than likely make your first camping trip an unpleasant experience.
Try and ensure your tent is as lightweight as possible if you’re backpacking, without comprising on the build quality. You’ll have a much better camping experience as a newbie if your tent is not weighing you down (if you have to hike to your campsite).
Not only should your tent be lightweight but also make it’s portable too, and its packed size can easily fit within your backpack or carry bag. Something bulky and heavy is not what you want. You want to get a lightweight tent that’s portable and easy to setup. This is the foundation for any successful camping trip.
If your tent is not waterproof, then this will well and truly ruling your first camping experience. This happened to us once in Wales UK, we decided to go camping and bought a last-minute cheap deal on some tent I’d never heard of.
Well, that was a mistake we never made again, there was a downpour of rain overnight and the tent leaked and flooded the floors. It was so bad, that we put the tent in the trash and just went home.
So, the moral of the story is don’t buy cheap, and make sure you check that your tent is waterproof. If you don’t think could ruin your whole trip. It took us a long time before we decided to give camping another go.
However, once you find the right tent, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Comfort is another factor that’s very important for someone new to camping. You want your experience to be comfortable as a beginner, therefore you need to ensure your tent is spacious with enough living area for you to sleep and move around. Also, enough headspace to sit up or stand up depending on what type of tent you’re looking at.
While we’re talking about space you should also check that your tent has various storage areas where you can put all your gear, such as your backpack and hiking shoes, this will give you more interior space. You can acquire additional storage by looking for tents that have a screened porch area, inside pockets, a gear loft or if it has a large vestibule area.
Value for money
We all want value for money, but be careful choosing a tent that is cheap as you might end up in the same boat we did in Wales. Personally, it’s always worth spending that little bit more and getting a good quality tent that will last you. This will save you paying out for cheap replacements every year. Buy once and never look back.
As a newbie camper, you want your first experience to be a good one, and that all starts with your tent, so make sure you purchase one that will last you.
To summarize, if you have the right tent then camping is an enjoyable experience, which you can enjoy on your own, as a couple or as a family. As a beginner it’s all about choosing the right tent for your camping trip, this is key!
If your backpacking to a campsite you will want something more lightweight, however, if your campsite if close then you can afford to get something more durable and heavier as you don’t have to carry it far.
As a beginner, I hope this guide has helped you choose your perfect camping tent. There’s a lot of choice on the market, but I believe any of these tents will ensure you have the most enjoyable time, keeping you safe and dry!
Anyway, here’s a quick recap of what I think the most important things are you should look:
- Easy set up: 15 minutes and under is a great set up time to avoid any stress
- Comfort: Ensure you have enough headspace and interior living space
- Durability and Quality: Get a good quality durable tent that will last you
- Storage: Check for internal pockets, gear loft storage and vestibule storage.
If you follow these tips, then you can really go wrong. I hope you have enjoyed this post on our best camping tents for beginners and newbies. If you have please share it with your friends and family.
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