Cheap Camping Tents – Easy Affordable Fun Holidays

The good news is that there are plenty of cheap camping tents available, all that matters is that you ensure you get a tent that can protect you and your family from the elements. And this doesn’t mean having to spend a lot of money and trading-off your comfort or quality.

The outdoors can be beautiful, but that beauty can hide a sinister side of nature, which can be deadly when it comes to extremes. So having shelter when camping or hiking outdoors is essential if you are going to enjoy it.  And just because we have a tent that is cheaper than some with fewer bells and whistles doesn’t necessarily mean a total loss of quality and comfort.

In fact, some very cheap tents have quality and convenience that will protect and shelter your family as good as any, you can still stay out of harm’s way without giving up on an outdoor adventure. Whether you are on a solo camping or hiking trip, or with a friend or spouse, maybe taking the whole family along, if you require shelter in the woods or in a national park, maybe at the beach, you will need a tent or shelter in which to spend the night.

colored tents in the forest

But these tents also offer more than just accommodation for the night, you will also need somewhere to keep your gear dry and out of the weather. But perhaps one of the most important reasons why you would be looking for a cheap camping tent is when you are shopping on a budget, or just looking to purchase a tent for the next holidays or a weekend away

If you’re not planning any recurring long term adventures and the idea is just to use it once or twice a year then these tents cost way less but still have all the performance you need. So if you are tight on budget, or looking for shelter for a once-off, or just now and then, then yes, there are a good range of cheap tents available at a very low and affordable price.

This is what we will check out in this Cheap Camping Tents Article

  • Knowledge
  • Durability
  • Design
  • Price
  • Where is the best Purchase place
  • Size
  • Number of Occupants
  • Construction
  • Weather Proofing
  • Style
  • Features
  • Pro and Cons 
  • Tips 
  • My outstanding performers in review
  • My Overall Opinion

What You Should Know

Despite being less costly, you can still find many tents that offer reliable and acceptable quality, comfort and convenience. If you want that ideal tent without having to spend a lot, then your search is over. Keep reading to find out what that perfect tent should have to ensure you get the best at a reasonable price.

First things first, if you are an outdoors person and you’re wanting to get out and enjoy natures best then it’s pretty obvious you will need a tent that suits the style of adventure and the number of people in your group this is determined by you and by now you should have a good idea of what you want in a tent.

Then there is the construction techniques and the materials used in that construction which also make a huge difference. The construction of any tent could mean all the difference when it comes to performance and durability.

Good materials and reputable manufacturers are hard to bypass, and even in some very inexpensive shelters, there is still a level of reliability and good design. I like the full floor welded into the tent design where you can close the zippers and the tent is totally sealed and small unwanted guests are unable to enter.

This will certainly impress the children and their mother when they know they can go to sleep in the outdoors without fear of creepy crawlies coming inside and climbing into their bed, this really does lift the level of comfort when you can sleep soundly knowing that they are safe.

people and tents in a campground

Where to get a cheap camping tent

Take a look here at this Assortment of Tents on Amazon , prices start at less than $20 so you have more options at your disposal than you ever need. But just be careful not to go the wrong way, as there are some unreliable places that can be hard to identify. 

Among the wide range of places where you can get a good cheap camping tent is the online marketplace. There are many websites on the internet with different and competitive prices. So if you are on the hunt for a cheap tent, then here might be just the best option for you to stick to. Consider the larger sites such sites as Amazon, eBay, and other reputable and established e-commerce sites.

Here’s the catch, when shopping for tents online, be on the lookout for the good deals. Read reviews to get a better idea of what the tent can and can’t do. Also, this helps to get an understanding of the user experience you are likely to get with the tent.

Always make sure to search authorized websites to stay safe. Going for any website that promises to sell you a tent at unbeatable prices could be a bad idea. 

Also, you can check out the manufacturer’s site directly. Be on the lookout for deals that can give you an advantage, such as discounts, which could help you get a tent on even more reasonable prices.

The other ideal option where you can get great camping tents without breaking the bank is checking out local stores dealing with camping gear. The good thing about buying a tent from a store is that you can actually test the tent.

Also, you can have an idea of how simple or complicated the set up can get, and you could get some ideas from the dealer if possible. You are also able to see from up close how large it is, and hands-on experience on the feel of the material and the construction before purchasing.

Let’s look at some different styles.

tent in the forground of mountains

Dome Tents Priced from around $40 

Dome Tents come in as that ideal option for anyone who wants to take the whole family on a camping trip. Dome tents are not only spacious on the inside, but they also offer remarkable headroom as well. Many variations of the dome tent make it available in many shapes and sizes that will suit any need by any number of people. They are also generally quite robust and their design makes them quite strong and stable in unfriendly and windy weather.

They are also great at ensuring you stay warm and dry during those chilly rainy nights. And most of them feature a room divider and some come with two doors to offer the much-needed privacy when camping with kids. Good ventilation is another key feature of most Dome tents. I have done some research and written a review on the particularly popular, and at around $50, the very cheap,  Coleman Sundome 4 Person Dome Tent. This style comes in many sizes so there will be one for you and they are very affordable

Screened Tents Priced From Around $60

These are among the most common and most comfortable options to check out. They mostly feature an added mesh walled room that keeps those flys and mosquitoes out while still giving you an ideal glimpse of the outside. These tents are great to relax in during hot summer nights or when you just want to watch the stars before going to bed. Tents with a screen room offer a great option for lounging in the evening and enjoying the starry sky and just to be able to sit or sleep in comfort and have an abundance of fresh air circulating.

I have done an in-depth review of a tent that I class as a perfect setup for a family with the screen room in mind this can also be a safe and bug-free area for the baby during the day it is the Wenzel Klondike Screened Tent. This is a tall roomy easy to set-up tent that will accommodate up to 8 people and at these low prices, for 8 people, you will sleep the whole family soundly.

Instant Tents Priced From Around $80

These very easy to carry and simple to erect are for those who just like to get it done quickly, they are the way to go if you want a simple shelter for a night at the campsite, during a festival, or for use in the backyard. These are by far the easiest tents to set up and takedown. So if you want something to get you started, then consider trying one of the many instant tents available.

Most of them take no more than a few minutes to raise and then its just a matter of putting in your bedding and sleeping bags and you are set for the night these tents are strong and stable and will keep to comfortable in the great outdoors. I have also done a review on the very good Coleman 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent. These Coleman tents are also available in 4 person size priced at around $78 these are good cheap tents

Cabin Tents Priced from Around $100

Cabin style tents are the way to go for a tent with comfort and convenience that’s almost similar to what you get at home. These tents are among the biggest type out there, and they feature different rooms for sleeping, eating, hanging out or storing your gear. These tents are the go-to option for anyone preparing for a camping adventure with a good number of persons onboard.

Simply put, the floor room should be the least of your worries with these tents. The center height is also something worth mentioning in these tents. Most of them measure well over 6 feet high at the center and significantly high across the roof as well. So standing and moving around is always easy. One to check out as we did is the Eureka Copper Canyon this is a remarkable tent that has many variances and accommodates from 4 up to 12 people.

Cheap Beach Shades Priced From Around $30

Shade covers come in as one of the most sought after option for beach visitors on a sunny day. They offer all the shade you need while lounging on the beach while providing some protection from the hot sun. But these enclosures also come in handy for anyone who has their eyes set on weekend-long camping at the beach. They are good to have them erected when in camp and use them during the day. Something like a Cabana Beach Tent at around $30 is ideal for a couple of people on the beach for the day

They have strong material and frames capable of withstanding quite a beating from the sun and rough weather conditions. they come in many designs and size from little two-person dome covers to pop up canopies like the small Pop-Up Quik Shade that will provide cover for a half dozen people. Some have mesh walls and are also good when used as a lounge room or eating room while outdoors to keep the flies and insects away.

colored tents on a hill overlooking distant mountains

What are the important features you will need to look for in a camping tent for your individual circumstances?

What are your families needs and wants? what is a must-have? What will you not go without? these questions when answered will point you in the right direction and give you the knowledge you need to make the correct purchasing decision.

Some of these cheap camp tents come with a hoard of features. But you need to be on the lookout for those crucial features that count in terms of performance, quality, reliability, portability, and comfort. And here are some such features that you don’t want to miss in these tents.

Size and space

When it comes to camping tents, size really does matter. And this holds true if you want to go on a camping trip as a group with several family members or is it just the two of you. One thing I would suggest is to determine the number of people you will house inside the tent at night and then buy the next size up. For example, if you have 6 people in your group consider something like The Coleman Red Canyon 8 Person Tent this will allow a little extra room for your gear.

For example, if there are two of you and baby then buy a 4 person tent, if there are 4 adults then be sure to purchase a 6 person tent because even though the manufacturer claims the sizes are for a certain number of people it won’t mean you will be comfortable, Four adults in a typical 4-person tent with be squashed up together and will leave no room for equipment or personal space.

Strong, durable material

In order to withstand the rigors of the outdoors, the material that any tent is made of matters a lot. But there’s more to this feature than just taking on whatever nature throws at your tent. Some of these tents are very robust in construction and in the materials they use and will provide shelter for you for a number of seasons.

Most of the vinyl type material tents are reasonably waterproof, however, as with any tent I purchase, I always make a point of buying a spray-on waterproofing agent and liberally spray the whole tent and fly as this will assist in keeping out the rain and maintaining a dry sleeping area.

Compact and portable design

Using your tent can be comfortable and fun, but keep in mind that this means getting it to the campsite first. And if you have a whole lot of other stuff to bring along, then you don’t want a tent that will add excess weight on your shoulders.

Thankfully, most tents are built for use on the go. Hence, they are usually lightweight, and pack in small once you take it down and fold it.  Look around to make sure you get a compact, super light, easily packable and portable tent for an easy time on the road.

Strong frame

The frame is one of those features you should never miss when choosing the right tent. Having one with a flimsy frame could mean facing an imminent disaster if you are heading to a place with strong winds. And if the frame is too complicated to put together, then you might end up with a tent you can hardly pitch or it takes hours to set up.

Make sure to do a bit of footwork to get a tent with just the right frame for easy setup, but one that can withstand unrelenting wind and the constant transportation. This comes down to the material used on the frame as well as how easy it is to put through the seams and connect different joints.

The frames on most tents are made using many different materials but mostly they are made of alloy steel or fiberglass and are usually quite strong, sturdy, and stable. While those that have tie-down guy ropes can be anchored securely to the ground with pegs and give a good account of themselves in inclement weather.

Those rainy days

For the most part, a lot of these cheap tents will not be waterproof irrespective of the claims from the manufacturer or retailer. I have used many of these tents and yes, while they keep the rain off they have a tendency to leak badly especially if touched while your inside, the fabric will allow rainwater to leach through to the inside.

Also, the tub type bottoms on a lot of them, even though they have this seemingly waterproof welding technology and special joining and stitching techniques, there are instances where these tend to allow water inside also. However, let’s face it, some of these cheap tents only cost a reasonably small amount of money so we can’t expect much.

Having said that, there are plenty of stories from people who have paid lots of money for tents only to have them leak and ruin the whole holiday. The best solution I have found with any nylon type tent is to firstly, waterproof it yourself. Purchase a good quality spray-on waterproofing agent make sure the tent is erected and clean and dry, and spray the whole tent, not just the top but the floor as well.

Secondly purchase a separate rainfly, or good quality tarp, and have this erected above the tent. With these two remedies in place, you will have the best chance of staying dry and comfortable when the heavens decide to open up. A second roof above the tent will also keep the tent cooler inside on a warm and sunny day.

Ventilation

Spend a night in the wrong tent, and you will wish you had shopped around for a better option. One thing with tents is that you need to have as much ventilation as possible. But this shouldn’t mean letting in all the bugs and creepy crawlers that are lurking in the shadows. And having to freeze in the cold to get fresh air doesn’t like much of a favorable prospect either.

Well, you don’t have to put up with all that; most of these tents are built to give you the best airflow possible without compromising your comfort. In this case, you will need to look for a tent with enough windows and doors for ultimate ventilation. Also, mesh roof panels go a long way to ensure you can get the best of both worlds.

And most of the tents that feature mesh roof panels a good quality rain fly will ensure that rainwater doesn’t leak through the mesh and spoil your night.

iluminated tent with a person sitting out front

Some tents come with added extra’s

Tents come with a wide array of features. While those we’ve highlighted are some of the main aspects to look into, here are a few more things worth looking into as well.

These include such features as a rain fly, which adds to the weather-resistance performance of your tent. A mud mat at the front door is also a great addition, as this helps with ensuring the inside of your tent stays clean. You can remove the shoes here to avoid bringing in mud or dust inside.

A gear loft always proves handy if you want to keep your small items well organized and out of the way. And of course, a hook for the lamp or light would be ideal for ensuring you can keep your hands free but still keep the tent illuminated. Check out the Evanston 8 Tent normally priced at $250 but Amazon has got a super special on it.

Then a port in the wall of the tent where you can pass through a cable to connect electricity to power items while relaxing inside the tent, this is a nice addition but probably not a necessity. More importantly, check to ensure the floor of the tent and the seams are waterproof too. The last thing you want is water leaking into your tent in the middle of the night, so you need a tough tent to be safe and comfortable.

When should you get a cheap camping tent?

You can always get a tent at any time really; however, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you need to get a tent a few days before the actual day of your trip. This way, you can have ample time to do a test run and learn to set it up. Thus, once you get at the campsite, you will have an easier time pitching your tent than it would be if you were setting it up for the first time on the ground.

It’s also worth noting that when it comes to seasons, all you need is to get a tent that can take on just about anything the outdoors has to throw its way. However, this still depends on the type of tent you go for. Some tents are ideal for three seasons, which means it can withstand heavy rain and wind.

These are great tents to take on a holiday camping excursion. You can use such tents during summer, winter, and fall. But they are not ideal for heavy storm and snow conditions. Then there are 4-seasons tents, which work great under any environmental condition. Such tents withstand some pretty nasty conditions as snow and harsh winds during winter. They feature more poles and robust fabric and guys to stake them down.

Instant tents are the go-to option if you just want a tent you can set up and take down in a moment’s notice.  If just you and your partner are heading out to a day of outdoor relaxation or a picnic, check out this Amazon Basics for something small and cheap about $20.  

My Overall Opinion

Finding a good cheap tent that will take you out of the elements and keep you dry and comfortable doesn’t take rocket science. You only need to look into some of the most essential aspects that you need for you. Camping only gets better if you have the right shelter to rest in during the night.

But tents can be more than just that. In case of extreme weather conditions, having a tent could mean a world of difference between life and death. Thankfully, it’s apparent that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get an ideal tent for the outdoor adventure trip.

The market has a plethora of cheap and reasonable quality tents for your choosing. So go ahead and look for the right one for your needs. Now you know what to go for you will be able to purchase a tent with confidence.  

If you have any more questions about Cheap Camping Tents, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.

Thanks, Shane.

6 thoughts on “Cheap Camping Tents – Easy Affordable Fun Holidays”

  1. I really appreciate this list! I go camping a lot and I have been considering getting a tent for my 10 year old so he can really appreciate sleeping in the outdoors without a roof!

    I really like your reviews of various tents, they’re very thorough and I have really enjoyed the effort you have put into them. 

    You have definitely given me a lot to think about today!

    Reply
    • Hi Veronica, there are some terrific tents available and some good cheap single or 2 person tents that your son would enjoy. I am glad you liked my article and I wish you well.

      Thanks for your comments, Shane.

      Reply
  2. This is the first time that I will buy for myself a camping tent and there’s just one thing that bothers me about tents. So, I’d like to take this opportunity of asking you, how do tents like these deal with rains and a little flooding of the ground? 

    I live in a tropical country where even in summer time we still experience occasional raining. If it rain, how is the condition of the person sleeping inside the tent? Will the water seep inside? 

    I read the article, unfortunately, I didn’t find an explanation on this, or maybe my meticulous eyes missed it. Can you explain a bit?

    Reply
    • Hi Gomer, that is a very good question and one of the main problems with a lot of this nylon style of tent. The best solution I have found with any nylon type tent you purchase, is to firstly, waterproof it yourself. 

      Purchase a good quality spray-on waterproofing agent make sure the tent is erected and clean and dry, and spray the whole tent not just the top but the floor as well

      Secondly purchase a separate rainfly, or good quality tarp, and have this erected above the tent. This is the best way you can be confident of keeping the weather at bay. I updated the post so thanks for pointing that out to me.

      Thanks for your comment, Shane.

      Reply
  3. When selecting a camping tent ,the most important of all to check is the durability of the material. I have been planning to get a camping tent for sometime now because of the incoming Easter period. But before now,  i never had the slightest idea of how to go about it but with your informative post , I can now decide to go for my choice. Now I understand the features I need to look into before I can get one. I am indeed grateful that I was able to stumbled over your post. Great job! 

    Reply
    • Hi Labulo, I am glad you liked my article, there are a lot of choices out there, but if you like take a look at a list I put together in Best Camping Tents it may help you with your decision.

      Thank you for your comment, Shane.

      Reply

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