Summer is a great time to go camping, but the heat can be a lot to handle. Especially if you choose the wrong tent and end end up sweating so much you stick to your sleeping bag. Fortunately, there are several hot weather tents that are up to the task.
These tents feature unique designs and superb ventilation to cope with hot weather. Armed with one, you’ll keep the sweat down when its sweltering outside. In this guide, I’ll share with you 10 of my favorite tents for hot weather.
My Review Process
I’ve been hiking and camping for nearly 30 years. In that time, I’ve experienced my fair share of hot weather camping situations. After multiple times being forced to choose between sweating in my tent or opening it up and letting the mosquitoes carry me away, I decided to start looking at alternatives.
Below, I review the best hot-weather camping tents available today. Each one has a unique feature that makes it ideal for when the temperature spikes. There’s also a handy buying guide below the selections and an FAQ.
Yes, the title says bikepacking, but this versatile tent can easily be used for backpacking. Because of the big doors, large awnings, and breathable mesh, it’s my choice for the best overall hot weather tent. The large awnings are a particular highlight; you can easily set up a camp chair or relax underneath it while hiding from the sun.
As the tent is so well-appointed, with mesh pockets, weatherproofing, and an easy setup, it’s not surprising that it’s expensive. The price is the most obvious downside, but you get what you pay for. If you plan on summer camping, the breathability, lightweight design, weatherproofing, and awnings make this option a no-brainer.
The White Duck Prota Deluxe Canvas Tent is my choice for the best family tent for hot weather. Canvas is an incredibly versatile and useful material, and this tent makes fantastic use of it. The Prota is very durable, has plenty of space, and features lots of mesh and a large awning. There are also several size options to choose from.
Canvas tents are generally quite heavy, and the Prota Deluxe certainly is. You wouldn’t want this tent for backpacking. However, for front country camping near your car or setting up a basecamp, it’s a superb option. Another downside is the price, but you are paying for years of durability and consistency.
For families that want a great camping experience with a well-made and well-ventilated tent, I strongly suggest the White Duck Prota Deluxe Canvas Tent.
The NEMO Hornet OSMO Ultralight 2P Tent is my choice for the best hot-weather tent for backpacking. It’s an exceptionally lightweight two-season tent that sets up easily and sports excellent packability. You can stuff it down into an included roll-top stuff sack that can double as an extra bear hang. The prevalence of mesh makes it a great bet for hot days.
The tent is expensive, but well made and very lightweight. Two sleeping bags can fit, but barely. I love the design for long backcountry treks, but I’d actually advocate using it as a single-capacity option. At just over 2 pounds, it’s easy to haul this lightweight option around, and you get more space to put things in your tent.
If you’re a trail runner, long-distance outdoor recreationist, or interested in completing a long trail, get this tent. As long as you're gentle with the components, they should last through many adventures, and the convenience, breathability, and quick setup are huge positives.
For ultralight backpackers, the Mountain Hardwear Nimbus UL 1 is amazing. It weighs less than two pounds, features a generous amount of mesh to increase airflow, and comes with a small vestibule. The poles also come bent, so setting up the tent is a breeze and should only take a few minutes.
Because of the ultralight focus and sleek design, this tent is expensive, which may be a turn-off to some. However, it's small size and low weight make it a shoo-in for backpackers looking to shave some ounces off their setup. Generally speaking, it's tough to find one-person tents with enough room for you and your stuff, but the Nimbus’s thoughtful design really shines through.
The Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 2 is my choice for the most durable hot-weather tent. This model strikes a great balance between ultralight options and basecamp canvas tents that weigh nearly 100 pounds. With a giant covered shelter/vestibule, lots of mesh material, storage pockets, and a durable setup that’s waterproof with the rain fly, this is a fantastic 3-season tent.
Like many of the best options, this one will cost you. However, the versatility means it can be used for backpacking, casual camping, bikepacking, or even motorcycle camping. The vestibule is enormous. You can fit a few camp chairs, or a full motorcycle under there. Rolling back the door rain cover and opening up the sides of the vestibule gives you great breathability as well.
The sturdy design, massive vestibule, adjustable rain fly, and abundant mesh make this a perfect summer camping tent.
This is a great option and my pick for the best waterproof hot-weather tent. Not only is it easy to set up, the tent is roomy, lightweight, and sports a large vestibule that you can set up with a couple of trekking poles. There's also a ton of breathable mesh on the tent itself, which can be covered by the rain fly.
While you can fit three people in here, it would be a very tight fit. Two people or two and a dog would be a comfortable scenario. With an excellent and effective rain cover over three doors, a vestibule, and all the breathable mesh, this is a wonderful hot weather option.
The Sea To Summit Telos TR2 is my choice for the best dome tent for hot weather. The vertical walls increase space, and the rain fly can easily double as an awning with the use of trekking poles. Like the best hot weather tents, a lot of the tent walls are mesh. What's nice about the Telos TR2 is that it has a full mesh roof as well, which offers superb ventilation.
This is a well-made tent and the price reflects this, unfortunately, that may put it out of many people's price range. However, with a lightweight design, easy setup, and fantastic ventilation, the Telos TR2 is a wonderful summer tent.
Cabin tents are large tents with one or multiple rooms, and the CORE 9 is the best of the best. This family-first pop-up tent offers a simple setup, large capacity, and lots of breathable material. On top of all that, it's offered at a fantastic price. You’ll be able to set it up and take advantage of the mesh sides and roof to increase airflow on those hot summer days.
Cabin tents are too big for meaningful backpacking. However, family front-country camping is where this model shines. The tent poles and tent stakes are also sturdy and durable. Unlike other cabin and freestanding tents, the CORE 9 won't blow over in high winds.
The Coleman Carlsbad Tent is my choice for the best budget hot weather tent. The low price is a highlight, but it isn’t the only one. Boasting a 6-person capacity, dark room technology, and a large screened-in porch, there's a lot to love here.
The Tent isn’t 100% waterproof, however. The rain fly will cover most of the tent but doesn’t reach the corners, which, under heavy rain, can pool water. However, for passing showers, the tent will handle precipitation well.
If the temperature is hot and you want a dark tent to sleep in a little longer, the Coleman Carlsbad has you covered. With an agreeable price, a large screened-in porch, and reflective guy lines so you don’t trip over them at night, this is a solid camping option.
Hot Weather Tent Buying Guide
Before selecting your hot-weather camping tent, take a look at the factors below. These tips will help you find a model you want, whether it's an instant tent, dome, or a lightweight option.
Hot weather tents come at a variety of price points. If you’re worried about your budget, there are several options for around and under $200. A well-appointed ultralight tent can cost about $700, while the most expensive tents sell for over $1000.
However, the more expensive tents are very well made, with superior ventilation, a lightweight profile, and plenty of storage.
The size and capacity of your hot weather tent will make a lot of difference. A larger tent can help increase airflow but will weigh more and may not be ideal for backpacking. 1-3 person capacity tents are great for longer adventures.
My preference is to size up, so I’ll use a 2 person tent for solo adventures because I have more space to organize my gear. However, if you’re going ultralight, a well-constructed one-person tent like the Nemo Hornet OSMO has enough space while eliminating any extra ounces.
All of the tents on this list have proper ventilation features. At a minimum, each option has a ton of mesh, which wind can easily pass through. The mesh on the tent body can be protected by a rainfly so you can weather storms, but having mesh helps cool the tent down. The Coleman Carlsbad tent also features blackout technology which keeps the tent dark after the sun rises.
The best summer tents also make use of adjustable doors, screens, mesh canopies, floor vents, and more vertical walls to increase tent space. A small, compact tent will get hot a lot faster than a slightly larger version. When shopping for a hot weather tent, superior ventilation should be near the top of your concerns.
The ultra-lightweight tents shine here, but not every camping trip is a backpacking trip. If you are going to need a lighter tent because you're in the backcountry or on a long trail, weight considerations are key. Several options on this list also pack down into small stuff sacks, which are easy to store with other gear.
Now, if you are only car camping, the weight and portability will matter less. Then, I’d recommend focusing on the area of setup, overall size, and durability. Tents like the CORE 9 and Prota Deluxe Canvas are great for that purpose.
While the focus of these tents is on hot weather, rain protection is also important. Each option in this guide also comes with a rain fly, so you can deal with bad weather. Keep in mind that weather protection doesn’t mean it’s 100% waterproof.
For example, The Colemans may pool a little water if you’re stuck in an hours-long deluge, but they’re also less than half the price of similar designs.. Each model can handle light to moderate wet weather while supplying adequate ventilation.
Ease of Setup
It isn’t a deal breaker if your tent has a setup that requires half an hour or less of setup. However, long days on the trail can lead to camp setups after dark. At that point, the easier the setup, the more attractive the tent.
The easiest are pop-up tents like the CORE 9, but again, they don’t make great backpacking tents. If you get a tent with color-coordinated poles or a handy setup manual, it can lead to a functional tent set up within five minutes. All of the options on this list can be erected within half an hour.
Canvas material takes the cake in terms of durability but is limited by its heavy weight. Ultralight tents are obviously attractive because they aren’t heavy, but a lot of the weight compromise comes at the expense of rugged durability. Middle-ground tents like the fantastic Big Agnes Copper Spur offer the best of both worlds.
An abundance of breathable materials like mesh doesn't compromise the tent’s durability.. However, the mesh is a weak structural point and can be ripped by animals' claws, sharp sticks, or rough terrain. Keeping the mesh material intact increases the life of the tent overall.
The best overall tent for hot summer weather is the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Bikepacking Tent. If you want to do some front country family camping and need a durable solution, I’d go for the White Duck Prota Deluxe Canvas Tent or the CORE 9 Instant Cabin Tent.
Those on a budget will note that several of these tents are quite expensive. If you want a quick and cheaper solution, the Coleman Carlsbad will get the job done for a fraction of what the premium models cost.
If you selected an exposed site in the summer heat on a cloudless day, the tent will slowly absorb all that sunlight. This is especially true if you set it up with the rain fly overtop. Find shaded areas and choose tents with lots of mesh to help offset this. It’s also worth setting up in the early evening when it's still light out, but the heat of the afternoon has faded somewhat.
Please visit our article 11 Hacks to Keep Your Tent Cool for more tips!
If you prefer sleeping in pajamas, even in the summer heat, pick lightweight and breathable clothing. Moisture-wicking fabrics work, or even light linens, which weigh next to nothing and won’t meaningfully increase your body heat. Sleeping naked is an option but in very warm conditions, you could still sweat and then your skin may stick to sleeping bags, pads or liners.
Generally speaking, lighter colors are ideal. In the case of the Coleman Carlsbad, they advertise blackout technology so the inside is darker. However, white, gray, and light colors tend to bounce back more sunlight than darker colors which absorb sunlight much faster.
Canvas tents are fantastic for summer camping trips in desert environments. Dome tents like the Big Agnes Copper Spur are also great because of their mesh windows. It’s easier to point out the tents you don’t want in the desert. Those include tall, dark models with a limited amount of mesh inners, windows, or openings to help keep your tent cool.
There are several things you can do to keep your tent cool; here are just a few options.
- You can purchase a tent fan, which helps for both frontcountry and backcountry situations. There are a lot of varieties of tent fans, so make sure to check out our companion article, the 9 Best Camping Fans.
- You can use a cold local water source (stream, lake, etc.) fill up a bottle, and put it at the foot of your sleeping bag.
- You can also use a sleeping bag liner instead of a full sleeping bag.
- If your tent has a lot of mesh and it's not going to rain, leave the rain fly off when you sleep to help circulate air and keep the tent cool.
- If you’re not married to the idea of a tent, a hammock can work well in hot weather.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.