There's nothing better than a starlit night camping in the wilderness, but the gear can be expensive — especially when it comes to tents. When shopping for the best budget tents, look for models that feature durable yet lightweight materials, are simple to pitch, and offer the right amount of space for your group of campers. To help you with your upcoming adventures, I scoured Amazon and found four wallet-friendly tents that meet these criteria and more.
It can be hard to find tents made of absolute top-of-the-line materials in the budget range; however, there are plenty of choices that are durable and well-made. Look for models with sturdy fabrics like nylon and polyester varieties, as well as options with water-resistant coatings (such as polyurethane) and special rain flies. Ideally, a tent should also be fairly easy to set up — after a long day in the woods, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour figuring out how to set up your tent. The selections you'll find on this list all feature simple, straightforward designs, and Amazon reviewers have vouched for their user-friendliness. Finally, whether you're on a rugged backpacking adventure or a laid-back car camping trip, it's a hassle to lug around heavy gear. For that reason, I also looked for tents that are lightweight and compact. In fact, some of the smaller options on this list weigh less than 3 pounds.
Before you scroll down, think about how big of a tent you want and how many people you'll be camping with, and keep in mind that sometimes it can be more comfortable to size up — I've ordered the tents below by size and capacity. In addition to ticking off all of the above boxes, the best budget tents below all boast lots of positive reviews on Amazon.
1. The Best One-Person Tent
What's great about it: Built to be exceptionally lightweight with a quick, easy setup, this cheap one-person tent is a great choice for solo excursions — especially those where you're walking a lot and don't want to carry bulky gear. The ultra-light option, which weighs only 2.5 pounds, features water-resistant PU-coated polyester around the sleeping area and a handy gear vestibule, offering simple weather protection without a bunch of heavy poles. It works in conjunction with your trekking pole — just stick your pole in the ground and use the ties and stakes to fasten the ends down. If you don't already have a trekking pole, you can find cheap options on Amazon or, as an alternative, tie the top to a low-hanging tree. The tent is also available in a blue version.
One reviewer says: "This tent is an outstanding value. It is extremely well designed. [...] The material is durable, and especially considering the price of the tent I don’t see why I would need to take along a ground cloth. [...] At 2.5 pounds and packing down to a little bit larger than the size of a football, I have no doubt that this will be a real go-to tent for me when I’m camping solo."
2. The Best Two-Person Tent
What's great about it: Whether you're camping with your partner or your BFF, this basic two-person tent provides a comfortable sleeping space for two at a budget-friendly price. On top of that, it weighs just under 3 pounds. It can also be used if you are sleeping alone but want a little extra room. The popular tent, which boasts more than 3,100 reviews on Amazon, is made with durable nylon and sturdy fiberglass poles. It has an easy-open D-shaped door, along with a rainfly for times where you're caught in a storm. The tent is comfortable and spacious, according to customers, and doesn't collect much moisture. As a bonus, it has a storage pocket inside and comes with a convenient carrying bag. You can snag it in one of four colors.
One reviewer wrote: "For the price you pay I would say you cannot complain! Me and my boyfriend both fit in it & it is super easy to assemble. I would also say that if you’re going to be out in the cold this tent keeps heat LOCKED IN. .... I love this tent and will be using it for future plans."
3. The Best Four-Person Tent
What's great about it: Perfectly sized for a family of four or a small group of friends, this freestanding option is one of the best cheap camping tents on the market. It's made with water-resistant polyester and tough shock-corded poles that are easy to put up and simple to break down, according to reviewers. It has a robust floor made from 1,000-denier polyethylene, along with inverted seams to prevent leaking. With a ventilated back window, mesh storage pocket, cool-air port, and a convenient rain fly, the dome-shaped tent can be used in the summer, spring, and fall, as well as during mild winter weather. It's ultra-durable and comes with a handy storage bag. The only drawback is that, at 18.7 pounds, it is the heaviest option on this list.
One reviewer says: "Love this tent. Set it up when I saw we had thunderstorms coming. after a day and night of heavy rain it was dry the next day. Plenty of room."
4. The Best Eight-Person Tent
What's great about it: If you're camping with a big group and you want to find the best inexpensive tent for the occasion, look no further than this eight-person option. It's constructed with lightweight polyester that's strong and durable, and the entire thing only weighs 17.4 pounds (including the poles and carrying bag) — not bad for a tent of its size. The exterior coating features 1,000-millimeter polyurethane that makes it water-resistant, and the snag-free zipper is smooth and easy to operate. Inside, there are five mesh windows and a mesh ceiling panel for ventilation, along with a curtain divider you can use (optionally) to create two separate rooms. It's easy to set up and has great reviews. The tent is also available in green and blue models.
One reviewer says: "We used this tent to camp for two nights this past weekend and it was awesome! [...] Where we were camping it got down to the 40s at night and the wind blew constantly with up to 40 mph gusts. Our tent stayed standing the whole time and although we did get a slight breeze through the top it wasn’t too bad. We were really impressed with how well it stood up to the winds and our friends who camped with us said our tent seemed as nice as their tent that cost over $500. If you are considering this tent go for it. For the price it’s a great value."