If you enjoy camping throughout the year and don’t want anything to rain on your parade, it’s smart to opt for a waterproof tent.
Waterproof tents are built to keep you dry and comfortable when the weather shifts unfavorably. If you think a regular tent will be enough against the rain, you will be unpleasantly surprised to wake up in a soggy cold tent. The same will happen if you purchase a cheaply made “waterproof” tent (emphasis on the quotation marks.)
What makes a good waterproof tent? For starters, the best materials for rainy weather are polyester and nylon. These will help keep you dry in harsher conditions. You should also check to see if the tent comes with welded seams since these are great at preventing water from coming in.
To give your tent even better protection from the rain, it is always advisable to get one with a rainfly. This will give you the ultimate boost in rain protection. Additionally, it is good to check if the tent has sturdy poles, stakes and lines which can withstand strong winds which often come along hand-in-hand with the rain.
If you notice that a supposedly waterproof tent doesn’t have these essentials and has a litany of bad or suspect reviews, it is best to invest elsewhere.
Before making your purchase, it is important to consider the number of people sharing the tent in order to keep things as comfortable and uncrowded as possible. This will prove especially handy when the humidity kicks in. A good rule of thumb is to always overestimate your capacity by two people. If you have two people camping, find a 4-person tent. This will make your experience more comfortable and limit the grumpiness and arguments which stem from a lack of personal space.
If you’re struggling to find the right waterproof tent for you, we’re here to help with our definitive list of The 6 Best Tents for Camping in the Rain. We will give you ample details about each one, along with answering some frequently asked questions at the end of our article.
The Best Tents for Camping in the Rain
Coleman Sundome Tent
- WeatherTec System patented welded floors and inverted seams keep water out, Spacious interior, room to stand and move
- Dome design makes setup quick and easy, 10 minutes , Snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for easy setup, Rainfly awning for shade and rain protection
- Floor vent for maximum ventilation, Large windows help cool the tent, Storage pockets keep gear organized
- Insta-Clip pole attachments stand up to winds, 10 ft. x 10 ft. (3 m x 3 m), fits six people or two queen airbeds
What makes it special?
This roomy waterproof tent has a dome design which wicks water slip away while providing great ventilation thanks to its big windows. The windows, in particular, will help keep out humidity and provide a great view! It fits up to four people so both you and your entire camping party can stay protected when the rain starts up.
- It is very important for a waterproof tent to have a strong frame and this one does not disappoint. Each model goes through numerous wind and rain tests to ensure they withstand winds of more than 35 mph!
- It comes equipped with an E port, making it easier to use an extension cord to provide power to your tent.
- This comes from a reputable brand known for customer satisfaction. The positive reviews on this particular model are pretty overwhelming.
- The rainfly is not fully covered, and it is only found on some parts of the tent.
- The doors are half mesh, so try to keep away from them in case of strong winds. You might get hit by driving rain coming in at an angle.
Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent
- Sleeps 9 people; Fits three queen air mattresses; Center Height: 72 inches
- CORE H20 Block Technology and adjustable ground vent.Pole Type: Traditional Fiber Glass Poles
- Features gear loft with lantern hook and pockets to keep items organized and off the tent floor
- Electrical cord access port (port is fully closable when not in use)
What makes it special?
This spacious 9-person tent is ideal for bigger groups. It is built in a way that makes you feel like you’re in an over-sized tent rather than the usual cabin style. This stretched-out tent combines comfort, protection against strong weather, and affordability.
- Due to its spacious nature, you can fit up to three queen mattresses. If you’re sharing this tent with a few others, you won’t feel overly crowded in the slightest.
- This tent holds up excellently thanks to its sealed seams which prevent even the slightest bit of water from seeping in. Even the tent floor and rainfly seams are heat sealed for ultimate protection.
- When you remove the rainfly, this tent has mesh ceiling panels which give optimum ventilation during the day and a gorgeous starry scene at night. It also protects you from meddlesome bugs.
- Due to the focus on ventilation, there are a lot of mesh areas which reduce this tent’s insulation. This tent is definitely recommended for warmer weather use, or you may need to bring along plenty of blankets and perhaps some hand heaters.
- Even though it is said to be for 9 people, 5 people is a much more comfortable bet. Be mindful of this when planning your next big family camping trip.
AmazonBasics Outdoor Camping Tent
- Dome-style, free-standing tent accommodates up to 4 people; works well for 3-season camping
- Durable and water resistant with coated-polyester fabric and welded 1000D-polyethylene tub-style floor with inverted seams
- Removable rainfly; back window and cool-air port for fresh airflow; interior mesh storage pocket
- Shock-corded poles and snag-free continuous pole sleeves for smooth setup; storage bag for tent, poles, and stakes
What makes it special?
If you’re looking for a budget friendly four-person tent, look no more. This 3-season tent isn’t the sturdiest on the list, but it still provides an excellent balance of shelter and comfort during the rain. We love its full-coverage rainfly which extends perfectly over the door. In addition, the lower area is kept dry with a tub-style floor and inverted seams.
- Its shock-corded poles make for a really easy and fast setup. All things considered, it takes approximately 4 minutes to get things fully in order.
- This is a budget-friendly option with all of the amenities you’d expect from a much more expensive tent. Spend a little, get a lot!
- The ventilation in this tent is great thanks to its ground vents and mesh roof, and the option to open the back window creates cross-ventilation inside the tent. You will definitely be able to keep a nice breeze going without a risk of the tent getting stuffy.
- It is a good tent for a fast setup, but it’s not the most durable. The included fiberglass poles are on the flimsy side, so be prepared to potentially purchase replacements later down the road.
- The floor is on the thinner side, so it is recommended to bring sleeping pads or mattresses along for sleeping.
Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room
- Weatherproof; Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; included rainfly offers extra weather protection
- Conventional Pitch: Sets Up in 15 Minutes
- Roomy interior: 15 x 12 ft. With 6 ft. Center height; fits 2 queen-size air beds
- Bug-free lounging: 10 x 5 ft. Full-floor screen room
What makes it special?
This tent has a dome like structure which makes it very roomy, stable and even aerodynamic. It also has the unique bonus of a front screen room which is perfect for lounging with a chair or even sleeping on warmer nights. It is also very roomy with space for six sleeping bags or a queen-sized air mattress – perfect for couples looking for a romantic camping getaway.
- This tent allows ventilation through two mesh windows that are protected by panels, meaning you can keep them open most of the time. These two windows, along with the door, allow plenty of air and sunlight into the tent.
- Setup is a breeze and will only take about 15 minutes for one person to accomplish. With multiple helpers, you can get it set up in under 10 minutes.
- This tent is made from polyester taffeta 75D waterproof material which offers ample protection from the rain. It also has a floor bathtub design reinforced by patented corner welds and protected seams.
- This tent is built relatively low with its peak being at just 68 inches.
- The only entrance is through the screened room which isn’t protected nearly as well from the rain. Be very attentive when walking through so you don’t track any mud inside.
OT QOMOTOP Pop Up Waterproof Tent
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What makes it special?
This is the only popup tent on our list, and that means it provides the quickest setup out of our six listed options. If you have eager kids who want to start their camping adventure as soon as possible, they’ll only have 60 seconds for you to prop it up! There are also four capacities available for 4, 6, 8, or 10 people. With a lightning quick set up and a variety of sizes to choose from, this one is definitely worth a look.
- This tent has amazing ventilation thanks to the extremely breathable windows available on all sides. It also has a mesh roof and ground vent which will help keep everything well-ventilated during and after the rain.
- Speaking of waterproof protection, this tent is perfect for stormy weather and comes prepared with a rainfly, secured inner tent seams, and a tube floor with welded corners. This keeps the inside dry even in the most wild of rainstorms.
- This tent also comes with other key features such as an electrical port that can be fully closed when not in use. It also comes with tent stakes, a carry bag, a mud mat, gear pockets and a gear loft.
- Some customers have noted that the poles don’t really last the test of time, so be prepared to purchase replacements or have on them on-hand just in case.
- There have also been some complaints about defective models with holes found in the bottom, so double check your model before taking out for your first camping trip.
Coleman Montana Tent for Camping
- Weatherproof: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; Included rainfly offers extra weather protection. Strong frame is tested to...
- Hinged door: Easily opens and closes and includes an extended awning
- Storage pockets: Keep small gear organized and off the floor
- Built to last: Double-thick fabric stands up to the elements season after season
What makes it special?
This is the third Coleman tent on our list, and for good reason! Coleman is a trusted company in the camping community which simply creates great tents. This particular Coleman model is all about space. It’s spacious enough to fit three queen-sized air mattresses and has an ample peak height of 74 inches. If you want to walk through your tent and not feel like you’re going to trip over something at all times, this is the tent for you!
- This 3-season tent is built to handle the heaviest of rainstorms. It’s made with inverted seams which hide the needle holes lying on the tent’s inner wall for sturdy and effective weather resistance.
- This tent is built to hold up against 35 mph winds. This impressive wind resistance is thanks to its well-constructed frame poles, guy-out lines, and triangles.
- It comes with a wide awning for outdoors lounging and built-in gear pockets which help you organize your belongings in plain sight.
- The floor is a bit thin, so bring a sleeping pad or mattress in order to maximize your comfort at night.
- This tent is great for privacy, but the lack of big windows can be a bit tricky for maintaining adequate ventilation.
What do I do if it rains while camping?
If you start to hear the sky rumbling and all of a sudden hear the familiar plops of rain, don’t worry. This is why you bought yourself a waterproof tent!
It is best to get inside your tent as soon as possible in order to keep both you and your belongings dry. If you are caught in the rain on a hike, it is important to have proper waterproof attire with limited exposed cotton. A waterproof jacket, pants, boots, brimmed hat and a poncho are perfect accoutrements to have.
It’s also smart to bring along garbage bags. Why? Well, they are inexpensive and can help keep you and your pack dry. You can also use them back at the campsite to separate your wet clothes from the rest of your belongings.
Also, try to bring foods that require no additional preparation and entertainment inside the tent. Keep a dry change of clothes handy and perhaps some hand warmers to stay as cozy and comfortable as possible. This can also help with a potential drop in immunity from the cold.
How do you keep a tent dry in the rain?
There are a couple of things you can do to stay dry and have a pleasant camping experience in the rain.
Firstly, it is very important to find the right campsite. The best kind of campsite for surviving the rain needs to have these qualities:
- A bit of elevation
- Far away from a body of water
- Facing the morning sun (it will help it dry in the morning)
- Not under a tree. Even after it stops raining, you may feel constant dripping from the leaves above.
Secondly, it is very handy to lay down a groundsheet – a piece of waterproof material placed underneath your tent which serves as a barrier. A groundsheet directs water underneath your tent rather than inside of it.
Make sure your rainfly is set up properly and that your waterproof tent’s sealed seams and ventilation are up to expectation.
How waterproof should a tent be?
There is a measurement system for waterproof tents which assesses how much water pressure they can withstand. Waterproof ratings for tents are measured in millimeters and will range between 1000 mm (the lowest level considered waterproof) and 10,000 mm. The higher the rating, the more waterproof a tent will be.
Keep in mind, these ratings don’t take wind-driven horizontal rain into account. Be sure any screen windows are not directly in the line of the wind.
In the end, the most important thing to bring along on rain-soaked camping trips is a positive attitude. Don’t let rain ruin your fun. Just plan accordingly, buy one of the amazing waterproof tents on our list above, and you’ll be able to make the most of the circumstances.
Whether that’s laying down with plenty of blankets while listening to the rain or sharing spooky stories with the help of a flashlight, just have fun and stay dry!