The Best Tent for Wild Camping (2021 UPDATED)

Whats the Best Tent for Wild Campers?

best-tent-for-wild-camping

There is an adrenaline-rushing feeling that comes with thinking about camping in the middle of nowhere and roughing it up with the wild side of Mother Nature.

However, camping in the wild is not for everyone; only the serious camping enthusiasts out there will fancy taking their rucksack, tent, sleeping bag and other essentials deep into a forest to get in a cheeky wild camp!

If this is you, then you’ll also know that you need a tent that is able to withstand the rugged conditions and protect you against the unforgiving elements.

Unfortunately, not all the camping tents that the market provides are cut out for this. That is why in this post, we are reviewing the best tent for camping out in the wild to make sure your expedition goes as planned!

Best Tents for Wild Camping – Buyer’s Guide

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What is the Ideal Weight for a Wild Camping Tent?

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For wild camping, the goal is to travel as light as possible. This means the tent you select needs to be lightweight to keep your luggage at a minimum.

Remember that your tent is probably going to be the heaviest items in your wild camping kit list, so keeping it lightweight sets the right precedent for the other supplies you’ll be bringing along. Depending on the number of people the tent is meant to accommodate, there are particular weight limits you should adhere to.

For instance, if you’re getting a 1-man tent, look for something that is between 1kg and 2kg. This is not only manageable weight that won’t drag you down on the trail.

You’ll have enough extra room to maximise the supplies you intend to sustain through the expedition. For a 2-man tent, things get easier because you can alternate carrying the tent.

While you must keep the tent as lightweight as possible, you should look for a high-grade product to shield you from the rain, wind, and snow out there.

Typically, there is an inverse relationship between the weight and quality (except for special cases), so you need to perform a perfect balancing act between the two parameters. A 2-man tent will definitely be bigger and, therefore, heavier.

Nonetheless, try to aim for something in the 1.8-2.8kg range. This is a nice choice for two people. Note that it is important to draw your line after the 2-man tent when going wild camping.

A 3 or 4-man tent can be a little bit tricky to use, especially when the conditions are windy. Remember that a bigger tent is more exposed to elements and this is a risk you don’t want to run. Instead of going for a 4-man tent, opt for a 2 man dome tent or geodesic tent.

Should I Look for a Waterproof Tent?

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Wild camping can lead you to the remotest areas of the country, completely isolated from civilisation (depending on how far you trek).

If you find a camping spot in an open space, your tent is all the shelter you’ll get when it starts to precipitate. A good quality tent should be able to keep the water out and ensure that you remain dry.

As such, a waterproof fabric should be among the first features you look for in the best tent for wild camping.

Usually, this is determined by looking at the Hydrostatic Head (HH) measurements of the material. It tells you the amount of water that can sit on the fabric before weight pushes through the fibres and lets in the water.

Ideally, you want to look for a figure in the range of 3000mm to 5000mm if you expect some serious snow, rain, or wind.

You may be using your tent a couple of times after going on your first trip. Wild camping can be addictive, so you want to select a tent that will last you through several trips in the first year of use.

We recommend that you go for a branded tent such as Vango, Coleman and MSR. These come with the reputation of holding up well than their no-name brand counterparts.

What Size Best Fits a Wild Camping Tent?

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Space is essential when it comes to choosing the ideal tent for wild camping. Try to consider the floor space on the inner so that you have adequate room for the number of people to shelter under the tent.

Your choice should be long enough to let you stretch out, as well as wide enough to house your camping mat effortlessly. It will also help if you have extra room in your tent to accommodate most of the camping gear you came with.

This can be both inside the tent and outside where there are pockets, vestibules, and other storage compartments. Another thing you want to look at is the headroom provided by the tent.

The right size of a tent should allow you to at least sit up without your head pushing on the ceiling (assuming you’re of standard height). Like in so many tent designs, the roof may slant towards the foot side, so you’ll have to contend with sitting on the “taller” side.

Overall, a wild camping tent should be as small as possible, provided that it offers you enough room to be comfortable inside. This is because smaller tents are less prone to the elements, especially when the winds are blowing hard.

Top Wild Camping Tents – Reviews

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MSR Hubba NX Solo

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If you decide to ditch civilisation and set out on a solo wild camping trip to rediscover yourself, the MSR Hubba NX Solo is that partner you need to ensure Mother Nature doesn’t interrupt your alone time.

It is a nice middle-range option that copes with the tough conditions in the outdoors, thanks to a mix of essential features. It comes as no surprise that the NX Solo is the highest-selling freestanding tent for one person.

The first thing you’ll like about this tent is its weight or lack thereof. It tips the scales at just over 1kg, although you can get a “Fast and Light” option at only 0.7kg.

The obvious advantage here is that it significantly reduces your load so that you don’t get dragged down by the weight during your hikes. The NX Solo is pretty easy to install; it comes with colour-coded poles, webbing, and straps guide you for fast setup.

The tent measures 216 x 85 x 30” when spread out with headroom of 35.8”, which is enough for an average height individual to sit comfortably.

Its waterproof rainfly is made out of 20D ripstop nylon to make for durable use.

However, 1200mm Hydrostatic Head measurement means that this is a 3-season tent.

It may not hold well in an environment with extreme rain and winds.

The rain fly further features kickstand vents that enable you to adjust your ventilation depending on the prevailing conditions. If you still want more air flowing in, you can also roll up vestibule rainfly on those hot nights.

This also means that you get excellent views of the sky when you want to stargaze and marvel at the constellation. Overall, this is a practical choice for any backpacking loner looking for a tent in the middle range.

Pros
  • Wide vestibule
  • Maximum headroom
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight and pack down easy
  • Great ventilation
Cons
  • Can’t handle extreme weather

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

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The MSR Hubba Hubba Tent comes with plenty of real estate inside to offer excellent liveability. Unlike other cramped up models in the market, it can comfortably accommodate two persons, and this is a credit to the “optimised symmetrical geometry” employed on the Hubba NX.

In simple terms, the tent features skeletal poles with inner clips that help it to achieve near-vertical walls, maximum headroom, and unlimited width without excess fabric lulls.

This leaves you with enough space to stretch out your sleeping mats and sleep without getting into the other person’s “personal space”. You’ll still be left with extra room to organise some of your camping equipment and even sit or kneel up.

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Setting up the tent is a straight forward that shouldn’t take much of your time. Its double D-shaped doors have a large porch that ensures that each person gets their own entrance with more space where you can stow away your hiking boots or backpack.

Vents located at either end of the Hubba NX provide occupants with refreshing breathability to keep you cool and fresh when the sun is reigning havoc outside.

Meanwhile, the zips work smoothly without getting stuck for easy operation.

The outer fabric of the tent is Durashield-coated and doesn’t touch the inner, helping to keep the inside dry and warm. It is also possible to set up the tent without the outer layer in the summer months, giving you clearer views of the stars above.

On the downside, the Hubba Hubba weighs around 1.7kg, which is on the heavier side for wild camping tents, but as always with MSR, still a good choice.

Other than that, this is a top-notch and well-designed freestanding tent that you can count on when your partner asks to go on a wild camping adventure. It nicely mixes liveability and ease of use to make for an exciting experience in the great outdoors.

Pros
  • Lots of interior space
  • Easy to set up
  • Ample ventilation
  • Adjustable rainfly
  • Symmetrical geometry
Cons
  • A little bit heavy compared to other MSR models

Vango F10 Xenon UL 2

vango f10 2 man camping tent
The F10 Xenon belongs to Vango’s popular alpine range of tents!

These are designed to offer a robust performance fit for wild camping yet still maintain a lightweight and practical design. Thanks to a collection of high-performance specs, the F10 maintains a high status among its peers in the market.

It is a great choice for a pair of avid campers looking to set into the wild to discover the hidden outdoors.

Tipping the scales at just 800g, this is a pretty lightweight tent that will not be a burden on your back as you discover new hidden trails.

It comes with a 3-4 season performance and a tunnel design that offers you plenty of space to feel comfortable. The porch area is big enough to accommodate you hiking shoes, rucksacks, and even fit a stove when you want to prepare a quick cup of coffee on those chilly nights.

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The Vango F10 sets up pretty fast and easy; it will take you a few minutes to get it up and ready to shelter. You’ll the attention to detail in the “o” shaped doors, which allow for one-handed opening.

You also get reinforced peg points, as well as a large opening in the packing sack to enable fast packing. Add to this Yunan SD70 poles to hold the structure firmly and mini line-lok runners.

But this tent doesn’t come cheap, you’ll have to fork out upwards of 300 pounds to get it in your possession. However, the mix of high-end features it offers, as well as a lightweight design offers the kind of performance you’d expect from the best tent for wild camping.

The 30D ripstop nylon fabric on the rainfly is a durable feature that allows the F10 to serve you diligently for years without falling apart.

The tunnel design closely resemblance the Hilleberg Nallo, a model that will cost you almost double the price. So, you can imagine the value you get from the Vango F10. It is lightweight enough to carry on prolonged treks but strong enough to take on the UK wild camping conditions. It is also roomy and will be the perfect option for an adventurous tag-team.

Pros
  • Fast and easy installation
  • Lightweight for easy portability
  • Roomy on the inside
  • Unique tunnel design
  • Sturdy rainfly fabric
Cons
  • Expensive

Wild Country Zephyros Compact 2

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The Zephyros is a much cheaper alternative to the Vango above but offers versatile performance to impress the most ardent of campers.

It is essentially a jack of all trades; the tent is light enough to suit hikers yet rugged enough to take on pretty much anything nature throws its way. Those looking to go on a camping adventure with their mates can opt for this budget-friendly 2-person tent from Wild Country.

Pitching the tent happens in a snap! You only need to stand the main hoop pole at the center then fix the short end poles into their slots before faffing with the guylines to achieve the needed tune-up.

The same goes for when you want to dismantle the tent. Simply remove the poles and pegs, and the whole setup comes down effortlessly.

The space inside is relatively confined for two people, which is the price you pay for the tiny pack size.

On the bright side, this small size comes in handy to ride out storms. The Stormex P4000 FR flysheet also adds to its bad weather capabilities, as well as the Superflex Alloy main pole and Aqua Stop P5000 floor.

With two entrances, you won’t have to keep bumping on each other at the door while the unique mesh triangle on either end of the tent helps to enhance ventilation when the weather gets hot.

You also get a tiny cover to keep out the draught when it gets chilly at night. The tent also features a dual-layer design to deflect condensation on cool nights while the strong and lightweight alloy v-pegs hold sturdily on various types of surfaces.

Overall, the small size and manageable weight of the Wild Country Zephyros are its biggest selling points. It will be the ideal option for anyone with a limited budget.

Pros
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Two entrances
  • Easy set up
  • Versatile functionality
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Fairly confined interior

Coleman Tent Oak Canyon 4

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If you’re in the market for a group tent, the Oak Canyon from Coleman will easily accommodate 4 people. It comes with plenty of space with good headroom through the length of the structure.

You’ll be impressed by the two huge rooms included, which can comfortably house double air mattresses to go with a spacious living with all the built-in storage space to support all the other camping gear you brought.

If you want, you can zip open the wall between the bedrooms to make one large bedroom. The bedrooms have also been blacked out, letting in only 1% of natural light.

This means you get the level of privacy needed in the bedroom and will be the perfect place to lay a sleeping child.

With very little light getting in, the bedrooms are 5 degrees Celsius cooler during the day, which provides you with the perfect relaxation spot when the sun is hot.

The double doors are a great feature that prevents bumping into one another, and so is the placement of the windows. The zippers operate smoothly when you want to close them and can also be turned into mesh panels to enhance breathability while still keeping nudging insects at bay.

With a living room this large, you’ll be able to fit in a table, as well as a couple of chairs to go with most of your camping gear.

The outer rainfly is made out of waterproof fabric to keep off precipitation while the three steel poles deliver stable performance to ensure that the structure remains upright in the face of strong winds. The price you pay for a tent as large as the Oak Canyon is that the setup process is significantly prolonged.

It will take quite a while, even when you get an extra pair of hands to help out.

Another thing is that it is pretty hefty, so you don’t want to keep on changing camping sites after the initial set up. Despite all this, the cost is pretty reasonable and it will be a great acquisition for campers looking for a versatile group tent.

Pros
  • Very roomy
  • Double bedroomed
  • Ample storage space
  • Waterproof outer rainfly
  • Stable frame 
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Weighty

Vango Project Hydrogen Air One-man Tent

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This is another great product from Vango that will suit those who prefer their own company when going wild camping. It is one of the lightest tents in the market and because of this, and makes for a practical choice when you want to bring along a lot of supplies for a multi-day adventure. But apart from size, there are several impressive features that should interest any driven camper.

The Hydrogen Air is the latest offering from Vango! At only 0.7kg, this is a lightweight tent that will barely add to your load while hiking on the trail. It can be folded to an extremely tiny frame.

The Air packs down to just 1L-that’s about the size of a big loaf of bread-, meaning you can fit it inside the smallest daypacks in the market. You won’t spend too much time pitching this tent, thanks to its simple structure.

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The flysheet and inner are designed to pitch together, which cuts down the process for you. The package comes with Air beam poles that you can inflate with the help of a bike pump.

These prove to be handy when the weather shows its nasty side by creating a sturdy structure that more resistant to damage and deformation compared to ordinary poles. When you pair this with the strong titanium pegs and guy ropes, the tent remains intact even during a storm.

The rainfly is made out of 7D double silicone material with a 2000mm HH measurement. This is not only strong and lightweight but performs pretty well under wet situations.

Meanwhile, the ground sheet is a 10D ripstop nylon that helps to enhance the durability of the tent in tough conditions. Another useful inclusion on the Air is the useable porch, where you can safely stow away delicate equipment.

The only grievance about this tent is that it is pretty pricey! But if you’re a toughened hiker looking for a reliable tent for your wild camping adventures, the Vango Project Hydrogen Air offers a great bang for the buck!

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easy to put up
  • 2000mm HH measurement
  • Packs down very small
  • Sturdy Airbeam poles
Cons
  • Quite costly

The Vango Mirage 200

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The Mirage is another great offering from Vango with a sturdy build and unusually roomy design for a 2-man tent. It will easily accommodate two campers and still leave enough extra room to hold all your camping gear.

Alternatively, you can store your equipment outside in the large vestibule when you want the inner space to yourself. But with the spacious size of the Mirage comes the disadvantage of weight.

Carrying the tent on your back through a long hike can take a toll on your back. At 3kg, it is beyond the recommended weight limit for a wild camping tent; but, you can share the weight burden since you are camping as a pair.

On the bright side, the tent comes with a straightforward set u-p process, just like in any other product from Vango. It shouldn’t take you too long to install, especially with an extra set of hands to help out.

The outer rainfly of the tent can be put up first before attaching the inner. All the seams on the Mirage are factory sealed to deliver durable waterproof performance while the double-skinned doors allow you to leave only the mesh skin up for enhanced breathability.

This also proves crucial when you want to keep the insects at bay without interfering with the free flow of air on those hot nights.

The door is positioned on one end whereas the vestibule opens from either side to provide you with alternative entry points in driving weather.

Overall, the mirage is a remarkable tent that will fit big-bodied individuals. Its a good tent for under 200 pounds is also quite appealing for a tent that offers so much!

Pros
  • Very spacious
  • Factory-sealed seams
  • User-friendly installation
  • Large vestibule
  • Breathable mesh door
Cons
  • On the heavy side of the spectrum

Conclusion

Wild camping comes with a decent share of risks, and one of the best ways to avoid this is to invest in a high-quality tent! Finding a good camping tent to pitch up in the wild ensures that you are protected from the elements and offers a rugged performance that will withstand the tough conditions in the far outdoors.

Whether you’re planning a solo trip in the wild or linking up with a friend for a weekend of adventure in the middle of nowhere, the above tent options will be a nice place to get started!

FAQ

Is Wild Camping Fun?

Wild camping can be so much fun! It is a great way to push your sense of adventure to the next level. The thrill of isolation is a fresh breath of air and substituting artificial campsite lights with millions of stars is an incomparable experience. But aside from the fun, there are so many other benefits that come with the activity.

Getting away from the public and civilisation at large helps your mind to relax and unwind. The peace and serenity of the great outdoors also serve to refresh mentally and make you feel like a new person.

Wild camping also teaches you survival skills, especially when you find yourself alone in a tricky situation. It shows you how to be self-reliant and boosts your problem-solving skills.

Where Should I Go to Wild Camp?

wild camping in the uk

Wild camping in the UK can be a complicated affair! Different rules exist for campers in the UK and Scotland. Scotland has right-to-roam laws that allow you to wild camp almost anywhere, as long as it’s not private land. In Wales, Northern Ireland, and England, wild camping is relatively a grey area as far as its legality is concerned.

This is because there are no official wild camping laws in place since all the land is privately owned and unpermitted camping can be taken as trespass.

In theory, permission is sought from the owner of the land before you can decide to pitch a tent. But the reality is that most people take a chance and usually end up getting evicted in the middle of their adventure.

However, Dartmoor serves as an exception and wholly legalises wild camping in most places. You can even get a map displaying all the areas you can camp in from the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

If you decide to follow your instincts and take a chance on the perfect wild camping spot you bump into, keep in mind that refusal to vacate from the property is regarded as a criminal offence.

Despite all the legislation, wild camping is an activity that happens in remote areas where interaction with other people is highly unlikely. There is also a broadly assumed tolerance, especially when you act respectfully.

What Type of Tent is Best for Wild Camping?

There numerous high-quality tents out there that you can use for this type of adventure. Ideally, the best tent for wild camping should be as lightweight as possible for easy carriage but robust for durable performance.

Focus on the weight of the structure and how small it can pack down, as well as its ability to withstand unfriendly weather. Finally, choose a tent that will fit the number of campers in question, i.e. 1-person, 2-person, 3-person tent, etc.

What is the Difference Between a 3-season and 4-season Tent?

3-season tents are designed to cope with typical backpacking conditions such as rain, light hail, wind, and some cold weather, On the other hand, 4-season tents are built to handle everything else you can think of.

This will range from heavy snow, harsh winters, high winds, blowing sand, among others. A 4-season tent is essentially an all-weather structure that will take on anything nature throws its way. Meanwhile, 3-season tents are meant to be as lightweight and possible, hence, sacrifice some level of strength and protection.

References

https://www.vango.co.uk/gb/
https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Wild_camping