9 Best Survival Tents [2021 Guide]

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9 Best Survival Tents [2021 Guide]

If you are thinking about how to go completely off grid, then one of the very first things to consider is shelter. Survival tents are essential for your bug out bag- you never know when an emergency will arise.

In this article, we give explain the different types of tents. our recommendation for the best survival tents that will help you in case you need to get out of Dodge quickly. So let’s get right to it!

In a Rush? Here are Our Top Picks

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ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent
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Best Lightweight Tent
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MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
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Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping | Red Canyon Car Camping Tent
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9 Best Survival Tents

The kind of survival tent you get depends on many factors. Will you be alone or do you require shelter for more than one person? What’s the climate where you live?

That being said, we have reviewed survival tents for all kinds of situations you find yourself in. So without further ado, here are our 9 best survival tents:

1. ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr Tent

Weight: 3 – 4.2 lbs.
Setup: 7’4” x 4’10” x 38”H (center)
Material: Aluminum
Footprint: 23 square feet

The Zephyr one person tent from ALPS Mountaineering offers nearly everything you need to survive in the outdoors. It comes fully equipped with a gear loft, guy ropes, and 8 zippers. You will also find mesh storage pockets and aluminum stakes in the package.

When you combine the spreader bar with the vertical walls, you get plenty of space to sit up and walk around. The tent walls are made from mesh to boost air flow making it very breathable, and preventing condensation which can result in hypothermia and death.

This free-standing survival tent features two aluminum-made poles, a waterproof and UV-proof polyester tent fly, and a vestibule for additional storage. If you need a compact survival tent that is made with durable materials, you can’t go wrong with Zephyr.

What We Like:

  • Easy to setup
  • Ample room for 1 person
  • Compact size
  • Well equipped

What We Would Improve:

  • Make it more lightweight

2. Snugpak Stratosphere Bivvi Tent

Sale
Snugpak Stratosphere Bivvi Tent
306 Reviews
Snugpak Stratosphere Bivvi Tent
  • Inner dimensions are 91 inches long, 32 inches wide, and 20 inches tall;...
  • Lightweight and compact pack size is 12 inches long by 5 inches wide, it...
  • Top fabric is 50D nylon Rip-Stop with 5000 millimeter waterproof...
  • Features a rollaway No-See-Um mosquito net in the spacious head canopy;...
  • A basic repair kit is included; contains metal pole repair sleeve, tent...

Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Setup: 91” x 32” x 20”
Material: Nylon
Footprint: Not included

The Snugpak Stratosphere Bivvi Tent is yet another one person, lightweight survival tent that is ideal for your bug-out-bag.

Wherever you decide to erect this tent you are safe from insects such as mosquito as you sleep as it is equipped with No-See-Um mesh.

This lightweight and compact tent has waterproof polyurethane coating which makes it stands up to severe weather conditions. To prevent condensation buildup, this tent features a mesh back section for additional ventilation.

In addition, there is a basic repair kit comprising of a spare cord, patch materials, and elastic loop. For sturdiness, the poles are made of aluminum material and all seams are tape sealed.


What we like:

  • Lightweight & compact
  • Built to last
  • Good venting
  • Easy to set up

What we would improve:

  • Resistance to heavy rain

3. Teton Sports Mountain Ultra

Teton Sports Mountain Ultra
  • STAY DRY: Waterproof rainfly with a 360-degree ventilation system for...
  • ROOM WITH A VIEW: Get away from the city lights and enjoy a full view of...
  • EASY TO SET UP: Lightweight tent packs down tight for backpacking, hiking...
  • PACKS UP EASILY: When it’s time to head home the Mountain Ultra Tent is a...
  • TETON SPORTS PROMISE: Reach out to our AMAZING product support team if you...

Weight: 4.7 lbs.
Setup: 95” x 80” x 58”
Material: Polyester
Footprint: Sold separately

The Teton Sports Mountain Ultra features an advanced design that makes it an excellent choice for a 4 season survival tent. This backpacking dome tent is a great way to go off grid as it packs up easily.

This survival tent keeps you dry with a waterproof rain fly that comes with a 360° vent system for optimal air flow. As such, there will be no condensation which will help you sleep better and comfortable during the night.

If you are looking for the right tent that will make all the difference when you leave the city lights behind, you can’t go wrong with Teton Sports products. Tents for up to 4 persons also are available and all come at a relatively affordable price.


Thinks we like:

  • Lightweight, spacious, and compact
  • Simple to setup
  • Withstands heavy downpour
  • Well-priced

Thinks we would improve:

  • Durability

4. Don’t Die in the Woods Survival Tent

Don’t Die in the Woods Survival Tent
2,335 Reviews
Don’t Die in the Woods Survival Tent
  • TOUGHEST ULTRALIGHT EMERGENCY TENT ON EARTH – Our tear-resistant,...
  • “THESE SHOULD BE IN EVERY BACKPACK…” – your words, not ours....
  • SET UP IN A SNAP – Simply run the paracord through the tent and tie up...
  • INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH PARACORD & REINFORCED SEAMS – Other emergency...
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – You won’t find a tougher mylar survival...

Weight: 8.5 oz.
Setup: 8’ x 4.5’ x 20” H
Material: Heatflex aluminized polyethylene
Footprint: Sold separately

Our first 2 person tent on the list today, Don’t Die in the Woods Survival Tent is from a line of Mylar products which makes it a great emergency shelter. Designed to be ultra-light and small, this tube tent is easy to set up.

This tent features NASA-designed Mylar waterproof tech and is capable of reflecting 90% of your body heat to keep you warm when cold or cool when hot. The material (Heatflex aluminized polyethylene) is sturdier and more flexible, making the tent reusable and reliable.

To set up, you need to run the 20-feet paracord through the Mylar tent and tie it up between two trees, anchor the corners with gear or rocks and you have yourself a shelter.

What we like about this survival tube tent is that you can also use it as an emergency sleeping bag, bivvy sack, or space blanket.


Thinks we like:

  • Ultra-light & compact
  • Easy to set up
  • Waterproof

Thinks we don’t like:

  • Durability

5. MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
321 Reviews
MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
  • 3-season, 2-person backpacking tent that offers the most livable...
  • Pole geometry maximizes space with 29 sq. feet of floor area, interior peak...
  • Complete setup weighs 3.5 lbs. and packs down to 18x6 inches; minimalist...
  • Includes tent, one unified hub-and-pole system, rainfly, stakes, and guy...
  • Footprint sold separately; manufacturer’s 3-year limited warranty

Weight: 3 lbs.
Setup: 84” x 50” x 39” H
Material: Nylon
Footprint: 29 square feet

Yet another 2 person survival tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba tent is one of MSR’s most popular tent models.

This 3 season backpacking tent features a separate and lightweight design that makes it spacious and portable for any outdoor activity. Thanks to the combined hub-and-pole system, setting up this survival tent is hassle-free as it uses clips to fasten to the frame – ideal for emergencies.

It has two doors and there are two vestibules for on each side for extra gear storage space.

This survival tent uses Xtreme Shield Waterproof coating and the premium Easton Syclone poles will hold up, even in severe winds. The flexible ventilating rainfly features a kickstand vent that helps with air flow to prevent condensing, and there is a rollup vestibule for star gazing at night.

Thinks we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Simple set up
  • 2 vestibules
  • Durable & safe

Thinks we would improve:

  • Increase headroom
  • Price

6. Marmot Thor

Marmot Thor
3 Reviews
Marmot Thor
  • With lots of living space, bomber construction and two large anterooms.
  • Revised and now even more stable and spacious construction.
  • Indestructible retreat for long expeditions in the mountains.

Weight: 10 lbs.
Setup: 87” x 69” x 46.5” H
Material: Plastic
Footprint: 47 square feet

Are you looking for a 4 season survival tent that can accommodate you and your friends? Well the 3 person survival tent from Marmot is the best option for folks who seek the best solution for staying warm in the harshest winter weather.

This classic mountaineering survival tent comes with ample living space and is built to withstand severe snowfall.

While we love the sturdiness, the Marmot Thor is not the lightest option out there.

In addition, this tent can also come in handy during hot summers by using the fly alone which cuts the tent’s weight.

Thinks we like:

  • Multipurpose tent (removable fly for summer use)
  • Sturdy construction
  • Spacious & ideal for winter camping

Thinks we would improve:

  • Price
  • Make it lighter weight

7. Kelty Grand Mesa

Kelty Grand Mesa
225 Reviews
Kelty Grand Mesa
  • LEFTnotruc(Freestanding design,500)
  • Color coded clip construction
  • Taped floor seams
  • Gear-loft loops
  • Mesh wall panels

Weight: 3 lbs.
Setup: 98” x 80” x 56” H
Material: Polyester, Aluminum
Footprint: 54.5 square feet

Since 1952, Kelty has been a manufacturer of high-end outdoor gear including tents, backpack, and sleeping bags. Their Grand Mesa is the best 4 person survival tents on the market today that blends versatility with affordability.

This freestanding survival tent uses a snap-on pole design making it easy for a one person setup. The large mesh windows provide the great ventilation to prevent condensing, making sleeping comfortable.

The Grand Mesa is made using UV resistant polyester to improve its reliability during warm and rainy weather. It also comes with one vestibular for storage.

To make this tent resist strong winds, it uses aluminum DAC Press Fit poles that make it strong and durable with locking pole tips for expediency and security. Grand Mesa features bathtub floors that offer wrap-up sides for protection against harsh conditions.

Thinks we like:

  • Easy to set up
  • Safety from harmful elements
  • Fairly priced
  • Great for windy weather

Thinks we would improve:

  • Design

8. Coleman Red Canyon

Coleman Red Canyon
3,932 Reviews
Coleman Red Canyon
  • Camping tent with spacious design offers enough room for 8 people to sleep...
  • Included dividers let you create 3 separate rooms for privacy
  • WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams keeps you...
  • Easy to set up and pack away with separate bags included for tent, poles,...

Weight: 21.5 lbs.
Setup: 17’ x 10’
Material: Fabric
Footprint: Not included

If you are traveling as a family or large group, then this 3 season, 8 person Red Canyon tent might be for you. Although weighty and a little time-consuming to set up, this tent features a spacious interior that allows everyone to move inside comfortably.

To separate kids from adults for privacy, the Red Canyon survival tent includes room dividers that create 3 different rooms. It features protected (inverted) seams to increase weather resistance, wind-strong frame, zipper protection, and waterproof floors in case there of heavy rain.

To help you adjust the air-flow, this survival tent also comes with a port for Cool-Air and Variflo adjustable venting system for better comfort. It comes with easy-to-follow setup instructions.

Thinks we like:

  • Great price for the size
  • Spacious
  • Clear set up instructions
  • Versatile

Thinks we would improve:

  • Improve on seaming
  • Make mesh opening closable via zip

9. Naturehike Cloud-Up Backpacking Tent

Weight: 3.8 – 5.2 lbs.
Setup: 107” x 50” x 40” H
Material: Nylon, Aluminum
Footprint: Not include

If you are working on a tight budget but still need a good quality 4 season survival tent, I would recommend the Cloud-Up Backpacking tent from Naturehike. This 2 or 3 person tent model comes with a snow skirt, footprint, all at an affordable price.

The interior of this tent is crafted with anti-scratch nylon mesh that is both breathable and comfy, while the exterior features a rip-stop nylon rain fly coated with silicone. As such, you are guaranteed of UV protection. And to top it off, it is PU 4000mm water-resistant.

The poles are made with lightweight aluminum which makes it resistant against heavy snow and wind.
What I really like is that the Naturehike comes with a hassle-free set up process as it is lightweight and features a freestanding design. In addition, the tent comes with a spacious vestibule and ample head room for ease of movement while inside.

Thinks we like:

  • Price
  • Decent-sized vestibule
  • Lightweight & easy set up
  • Footprint included

Thinks we would improve:

  • Make it more spacious
  • Loosen the zippers

What to Look for in Survival Tents

If you are buying a survival tent for an emergency, you definitely want to focus on quality. Here are the 10 features you should look for when picking the best survival tents:

Venting & Walling

The last thing you want is a cheap tent that has no ventilation. For instance, let us say you buy a tent made of plastic material. It is waterproof but has no vents which make the tent extremely hot, suffocating, and causing condensation build-up inside.

Likewise, I would recommend a double-walled tent. Although heavy, the extra wall (rain fly) is reliable to protect you against the rain.

Waterproof

Pick a tent that is waterproof so you can keep yourself dry while trying to survive outdoors. At the most extreme, getting wet leads to hypothermia, and then death.

A reliable tent should have b 1000mm waterproof (at least), double layered, and have a high-denier floor.

Also recommended is spraying your tent with a good sealant for added protection.

Lightweight

When bugging out or going off grid in general, you always want to pack light. While most of the tents we recommended are a few pounds, they can get quite heavy. For example, the Marmot Thor is 10 pounds.

Depending on what your specific situation is, you will definitely want to consider weight.

Construction Material

Make sure that your survival tent is made with strong and sturdy materials which boost durability and functionality. Reliable and popular tent construction materials and designs include canvas, polyester, and nylon.

Polyester (UV resistant) and nylon are lightweight and offer heavy-duty performance, while canvas is weighty but durable and stronger than plastic materials.

Wind Resistant

A good survival tent should be able to withstand strong winds. As such, go for a tent that uses stronger poles to erect, especially those made of aluminum, if at all possible.

Purpose & Flexibility

What you are using the survival tent for matters. A tent for a camping or hunting trip will be different from that of your bug out bag. Weight and size become a liability when you have to get out of Dodge quickly.

Capacity

A higher capacity is recommended when you are travel in groups. Of course this means that the tent will be heavier, but if you are camping out with family without having to travel far, then it is manageable.

However, it is recommended that you carry 1 person survival tents if you are considering going off grid.

Color of the Tent

Wondering why color is important when purchasing a survival tent? Most people don’t think about it. But if you need to be rescued, go for bright colors such as orange.

On the other hand, too much color is a bad thing is you want to stay hidden. In these instances. get a natural-colored survival tent that will camouflage with your surrounding areas.

Ease of Installation

It is a survival tent, right? So, it should be easy to setup or install without having to refer to the instructions now and then. Make sure that you can erect it after a single or two trials at home before leaving. Ease of tent setup is crucial to your survival.

Cost

You should go for a survival tent that offers all the above quality features but without breaking the bank. And although high quality and cost (usually) go hand-in-hand, consider safety and usefulness even when sticking to a budget. There are good tents “budget” tents out there.

Extras: As an added advantage, choose a tent that comes with useful extras of survival such as mesh pockets for additional storage space, vestibules, and a reversible fly (for camouflage). The space stores small items like a survival knife or flashlight.

Types of Survival Tents and Shelter

Advances in the tent industry have made available different tents for different situations. In fact, every survival condition has its type of tent. And since we cannot list every brand and model in one article, here are the most popular types of tents on the market today.

Backpacking Tents

My most preferred, these types of survival tents feature extremely lightweight and compact design. You can easily fit them in a BOB and their design makes them possible to carry for long distances.

4 Season Tents

As the name suggests, 4 season tents are the kind of survival tents that you can use all year round from summer to winter.

These tents are waterproof while being insulated to help you survive through winter and fall. When summer kicks in, the detachable rain fly helps cool the inside.

Cold Weather Tents

One of the most expensive survival tents in the market, cold weather tents are specifically crafted to help you survive in cold temperatures. Using high technology, they are built from the ground up to help retain heat inside the tent to keep you warm.

In fact, some cold weather tents include little heaters or stoves inside!

The best thing with cold weather tents is that no matter how much snowfall or rain, you remain protected from the elements.

Dome Tents

Perfect for survival in places with high winds, dome tents are made up of two elastic poles that overlap the top of the dome and curve to be fastened to the floor on each of the 4 corners. Typically, their shape allows for a large space and they are best if you are considering going camping with family or friends.

Be prepared however, to carry some cumbersome weight and spend a little more time setting it up. Although fairly straightforward, it can be daunting unless you have some help.

Survival Tents: Care and Maintenance

It is one thing to buy a survival tent and another to know how to take care of it. First things first, make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to set it before you actually do it. It does not matter how many tents you have setup before, each tent is unique.

Here are tips on survival tents care and maintenance:

Handle the Zipper & Poles Carefully

Although the zippers and poles are made to be durable and withstand a few mishaps, it does not mean that they will not break if you handle them recklessly. Be gentle!

Storage

Whether your survival tent is wet from rain, dew, snow…you name it! Do not roll your tent up for storage without air-drying it to prevent the growth or mildew and mold. Before storing it, make sure you roll it carefully and neatly.

To prevent folding and creasing, which cuts resilience by forming weak points in the nylon’s waterproofing, do not store your tent in a sleeping bag after rolling it up.

Buy a Repair Kit

A repair kit comes in handy just in case of emergencies, such as broken shock cords. So, make sure there is a simple repair kit comprising of gorilla tape (1-inch), superglue, mesh repair patches, and tenacious tape. Gorilla and tenacious tapes fix broken shock cords and floor or outer shell, respectively.

Use Footprints

Whether you are using standard footprints or individually-sized ones as a protective layer under your tent, this helps increase its lifespan. Alternatively, you can buy a tarp and fold it to the size of your survival tent.

Avoid direct sunlight

Yes, we said that sunlight helps air-dry your wet survival tent. However, you should avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for long periods, especially when it is erected. This is because direct sunlight affects the waterproofing capabilities of your survival tent.

Cleaning

Wipe the interior and exterior of your survival tent gently using cold water, a non-abrasive sponge, and non-detergent soap to clean it. Clean the seams, zippers, any mildew or mold, and scrub off smeared dirt.

Do not machine wash your survival tent or air-dry under direct sunlight.

NOTE: Avoid entering inside your tent wish your shoes as they can damage its floor and brings a lot of debris and dirt.

Conclusion

Besides food and water, shelter is critical for your survival. Picking the right tent for your particular needs is critical. But remember, even the best tents need to be cared for and maintained.

Top Choice
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ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent
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Best Lightweight Tent
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MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
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Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping | Red Canyon Car Camping Tent
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