Best Waterproof Tent – 6 of the Best Tents to Keep You Dry in 2021

Gear Tents

If you’re camping in harsh weather, you want to know that you’ll stay dry – which is where our guide to the best waterproof tents can help you out.

There are a lot of excellent waterproof tents or tents for rain out there, in any size or shape and for any budget. But which one is the best?

The bottom line up front: we like the NKT Laredo – it has amazing waterproofing and it’s super-durable, so great for all sorts of tough weather conditions.

We also like:

Today, we’ll be looking at:

  • What to look for in a waterproof tent
  • 6 of the best waterproof tents, including their key features, pros, and cons
  • Some frequently asked questions
  • Which ones we like the best and why

Keep reading to find out more!

Table of Contents

  1. Best Waterproof Tents Compared
  2. What to Look for in a Waterproof Tent
    1. Weatherproofing
    2. Materials
    3. Seasons
    4. Size and Layout
    5. Portability
    6. Ease of Setup
  3. Top 6 Best Waterproof Tents
    1. Coleman Octagon Tent
    2. Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent
    3. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent
    4. NKT Laredo
    5. MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent
    6. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. How can I make my tent more waterproof?
    2. Can I return my tent if it has a fault?
    3. How can I safely camp in tough weather conditions?
    4. What else do I need to take to stay dry and warm?
  5. The Bottom Line – Which Waterproof Tent is Best?

Best Waterproof Tents Compared

Feature
Best Luxury Tent
Best for Big Groups
Best for Solo Backpackers
Most Durable
Best Instant Tent
Best for Taller Campers
Model
Coleman Octagon Tent
Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent
NKT Laredo
MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent
Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent
Coleman Tent Octagon, 6 to 8 Man Festival Dome Tent, Waterproof Family Camping Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet
Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Outdoor Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent, with Xtreme Waterproof Coating
NTK Laredo GT 8 to 9 Person 10 by 15 Foot Sport Camping Tent 100% Waterproof 2500mm
Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent Family Camping Tent 4-5 Person Portable Tent Automatic Tent Waterproof Windproof for Camping Hiking Mountaineering
Kodiak Basic Flex-Bow Quick Set Up Canvas Tent 6051
-
-
907 Reviews
2,881 Reviews
280 Reviews
151 Reviews
1,110 Reviews
13 Reviews
Feature
Best Luxury Tent
Model
Coleman Octagon Tent
Coleman Tent Octagon, 6 to 8 Man Festival Dome Tent, Waterproof Family Camping Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet
-
907 Reviews
Feature
Best for Big Groups
Model
Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent
Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Outdoor Tent
2,881 Reviews
Feature
Best for Solo Backpackers
Model
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent, with Xtreme Waterproof Coating
280 Reviews
Feature
Most Durable
Model
NKT Laredo
NTK Laredo GT 8 to 9 Person 10 by 15 Foot Sport Camping Tent 100% Waterproof 2500mm
151 Reviews
Feature
Best Instant Tent
Model
MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent
Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent Family Camping Tent 4-5 Person Portable Tent Automatic Tent Waterproof Windproof for Camping Hiking Mountaineering
1,110 Reviews
Feature
Best for Taller Campers
Model
Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent
Kodiak Basic Flex-Bow Quick Set Up Canvas Tent 6051
-
13 Reviews

What to Look for in a Waterproof Tent

There are a few things to look out for when picking a weatherproof tent:

Weatherproofing

Drops of water on the roof of the tent

This is obviously the first thing to look out for! There are a few ways you can tell if a tent will be waterproof or not.

Some tents come with a hydrostatic head measurement. This measures the depth of the pool of water that can collect on the top of a tent before it begins to seep through. The deeper this measurement, the more water-resistant your tent will be. A measurement of 2,000 – 3,000 is a good number to aim for, although not all tent manufacturers use this measurement.

You can also look for features like sealed seams and covered zippers, which will stop the rain from getting into small gaps.

Materials

Tent fabric used to cover the tent

The materials used will also give you a big clue as to how waterproof your tent will be. Tents tend to be made from one of the following:

  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – this has the advantage of being cheap, but it’s not as breathable as polyester or polycotton, meaning it might cause condensation to build up.
  • Polyester – this is a very popular material, as it’s durable and can hold up against rain and wind.
  • Nylon – this looks and feels similar to polyester but isn’t as durable – it’s prone to UV damage, so it can become worn over time.
  • Polycotton Canvas – this is a mixture of cotton and polyester. It’s pretty strong and durable.
  • Cotton – cotton tents are not that common to find. To use a cotton tent, you have to ‘weather’ it first – this involves leaving it out in the rain to allow the fibers to swell and draw together.

Tents can be coated in acrylic or polyurethane. This greatly improves the waterproofing, so it’s something to look out for.

In terms of the frame, the poles tend to be made from either fiberglass or aluminum. Fiberglass is great because it’s strong and durable, but aluminum is cheaper and lighter to carry. Tent poles can be powder-coated to help prevent rust from forming.

Seasons

Woman sitting in a tent while it's raining

The last clue to look for is the season rating (which ranges between 1 – 5) of your tent. Here’s what the season ratings mean:

  • 1 season – these are very lightweight tents made for use in warmer weather. They don’t provide much waterproofing at all.
  • 2 seasons – these provide a little more waterproofing but won’t keep out heavy downpours.
  • 3 seasons – these are pretty good in terms of both waterproofing and windproofing. They work well in warmer seasons too, as they tend to have good ventilation built-in.
  • 4 and 5 seasons – harder to find, these tents are great for very snowy weather.

Eureka! has a guide to 3-season vs 4-season tents with more information. We also have a guide to 3-season vs 4-season tents, if you want more recommendations.

Size and Layout

It’s good to look at the measurements of your potential new tent. Although you might see a 5-person tent and think it will comfortably sleep 5, you might find that it’s a bit of a tight squeeze in reality. Looking at the measurements will allow you to figure out where you’ll put everyone and their gear.

inside of a tent looking out to tall grass field and blue sky

It’s also worth looking at the center height, especially if you’re a taller camper (check out our guide to the best tall 4-person tents for some recommendations). Cabin tents have straight walls, which means you can usually comfortably walk around inside them. Dome tents have curved walls, which means you may have to crouch or sit down when you’re inside the tent.

It’s also worth checking out the storage situation. Some tents have overhead lofts or covered porch areas, which are great for storing large bulky items like backpacks. Other tents have pockets sewn into the walls for smaller items.

You can also look out for covered e-ports – these are small holes which you can feed an electrical cable through.

Portability

It’s also worth looking at the portability of your new tent, especially if you’re backpacking or you expect to carry your tent for long periods at a time. The weight of your tent will be really important here. It’s also worth checking the dimensions if you want to take it on a plane (the TSA suggests that you check with your airline to see their restrictions on flying with tents).

You can also check out the size packed. Most tents can be packed down fairly small into a carrying bag. Checking out the size can help you to figure out how you will transport your tent.

Ease of Setup

Two young women are setting up the tourist tent

Some tents are easier than others to set up. If you’re a newbie to camping or you just want something quick, you could look for a pop-up tent or an instant tent – these are much faster in terms of set up.

A regular camping tent is usually constructed by feeding poles through the tent fabric, connecting the poles to create the structure. Some manufacturers make this process easier by using color-coded poles or continuous pole sleeves (which stops you from having to keep re-threading the poles through tiny gaps).

Top 6 Best Waterproof Tents

Now, let’s take a closer look at our 6 picks for today. These tents have all been chosen for their excellent waterproofing credentials, so hopefully, you’ll be able to find one that works for you.

Coleman Octagon Tent – Best Luxury Tent

Coleman Tent Octagon, 6 to 8 Man Festival Dome Tent, Waterproof Family Camping Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Size:
    12ft 9 in x 12ft 9in x 7 (ft)
    155 x 155 x 84 (in)
    393 x 393 x 213 (cm)
  • Size Packed:
    33 x 12 x 12 (in)
    85 x 30 x 30 (cm)
  • Weight: 48.85lbs / 22.15kg
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The Coleman Octagon Tent is treated with Coleman’s WeatherTec™ system, which is a coating designed to improve rain resistance. It has a hydrostatic head measurement of 2,000mm, and the groundsheet (or footprint) is sewn into the tent, which should stop moisture from seeping in at the bottom. It has fully taped seams, too. It’s good for ventilation, because of the six large windows, which can be unrolled. It also has a strong, durable frame.

In terms of layout, it’s an octagonal-shaped tent. It has the benefit of having very straight walls, which makes it a good choice for taller campers. The tent has a removable partition curtain, which means you can split the tent in half if you have two parties camping together. It has a hook at the top to hang a light from. The downside is the lack of storage – while it does have small storage pockets, it doesn’t have overhead storage, so you’ll have to factor in where you want to keep your larger items.

It’s far from an instant tent, and it does require two people to put it together due to the large size. The instructions are clear and the setup itself is pretty straightforward to understand. You can get a clear idea of how to set it up in this video by Coleman.

It’s a heavy tent, so it’s not going to work for backpackers!

Pros

  • Good waterproofing
  • Durable frame
  • Large windows allow you to see out at night
  • Spacious with removable privacy curtain

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • No overhead or porch storage areas
Buy on Amazon

Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent – Best for Big Groups

Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Outdoor Tent

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 10
  • Size:
    17 x 9 x 6ft 8in (ft)
    204 x 108 x 82 (in)
    519 x 275 x 207 (cm)
  • Size packed:
    30 x 10 x 10 (in)
    76 x 25 x 25 (cm)
  • Weight: 31lbs / 14kgs
  • Materials: PU-coated polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent is also treated with Coleman’s WeatherTec™ coating, with a hydrostatic head measurement of 2,000mm. It has covered zippers and fully-taped seams, so you won’t have to worry about water getting in through small gaps in the tent material. The tent also has a decent frame with fiberglass poles, which makes it durable.

It has enough floor space for three queen-sized air beds, so it’s a great tent for larger parties. The tent has storage pockets but doesn’t have overhead storage or a porch area, which means you’ll have to factor in floor space for your backpacks and other gear.

It’s not too bad in terms of assembly. Although it’s easier with two people due to the size, the instructions are really straightforward. It has color-coded poles and continuous pole sleeves, which means you won’t have to stop to re-thread the poles through tiny gaps, which eliminates a lot of the frustration! 

It folds up pretty small but is on the heavier side due to the size.

Pros

  • Good waterproofing 
  • Strong durable frame
  • Easy to put together
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Storage could be better
Buy on Amazon

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent – Best for Solo Backpackers

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent, with Xtreme Waterproof Coating

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Size:
    6ft 9in x 4ft 1in x 3ft 2in (ft)
    84 x 50 x 39 (in)
    213 x 127 x 100 (cm)
  • Size Packed:
    18 x 6 (in)
    46 x 15 (cm)
  • Weight: 3.79lb / 1.72kg
  • Materials: Polyurethane and silicone-coated nylon
  • Seasons: 3

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent is treated using MSR’s Xtreme Shield Waterproof Coating, which it claims lasts 3 times longer than standard waterproof coatings. This gives it a hydrostatic head measurement of 1,500mm. Not the highest, but you can expect the waterproofing to last a long time. The major downside of this tent is that the footprint has to be bought separately. We’d recommend getting the MSR Universal 2-Person Tent Footprint.

Although it’s advertised as people for 2 people, it’s a small tent. We’d recommend it for 1 person, as it will give you a nice amount of space. It has a rollup vestibule that you can use to store your backpack. You can roll it up at night to look out at the stars, which is a nice touch. You can also store your valuables in the smaller storage pockets.

It has color-coded poles, and the assembly is pretty quick and easy. It comes with a compression sack, which allows you to fold up the tent into a very small size – which, again, is great for backpacking. It’s very lightweight, too.

Pros

  • Good, durable rainproofing
  • Great storage
  • Packs down very small
  • Light to carry

Cons

  • A bit small for 2 people
  • Doesn’t have a footprint included
Buy on Amazon

NKT Laredo – Most Durable

NTK Laredo GT 8 to 9 Person 10 by 15 Foot Sport Camping Tent 100% Waterproof 2500mm

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 8/9
  • Size:
    15 x 10 x 6ft 2in (ft)
    180 x 120 x 74.4 (in)
    457 x 305 x 189 (cm)
  • Size packed:
    31 x 12 x 12 (in)
    79 x 30 x 30 (cm)
  • Weight: 10.7kg / 23.6lbs
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The NKT Laredo is great for waterproofing. The polyester outer walls are coated in polyurethane, giving a whopping 2,500mm hydrostatic head measurement. The flooring is also designed to keep you dry, with anti-fungus polyethylene flooring in a bathtub-style shape (this means it curves upwards at the edges, which helps to keep the bottom of the tent dry if the ground is very wet). It’s also pretty durable, with fiberglass poles.

It’s a long tent, with plenty of space – if you’re camping with a larger group or you really want to spread out, it could be a good choice. It has a hook for hanging a lantern, as well as small storage pockets sewn into the walls, but it lacks overhead storage. Some of the floor space will have to be taken up with your gear.

It has a durable carry bag with compression straps, to help you fold up the tent tightly. Given the size, it’s not too bad in terms of weight, but it’s not a tent you’d want to carry around with you for long periods.

Pros

  • Great hydrostatic head measurement
  • Durable materials used
  • Lots of floor space
  • Strong, windproof frame

Cons

  • No overhead storage
  • Heavy to carry
Buy on Amazon

MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent – Best Instant Tent

Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent Family Camping Tent 4-5 Person Portable Tent Automatic Tent Waterproof Windproof for Camping Hiking Mountaineering

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 5
  • Size:
    9 x 10 x 4ft 3in (ft)
    114 x 122 x 52 (in)
    290 x 308 x 133 (cm)
  • Size Packed:
    33 x 7 x 7 (in)
    83 x 18 x 18 (cm)
  • Weight: 10.25lb / 4.65kg
  • Materials: Polyester-coated cloth
  • Seasons: 3

The MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent is a great choice in terms of waterproofing. It has a hydrostatic head measurement of 2,000mm. It also has covered zippers which are designed to be closed tightly to prevent rain from getting in. What it lacks is durability, as the frame is a little thinner and less robust than those you would find in a regular frame tent. 

Although it’s advertised as being for 5 people, it would be a bit too small for 5 adults. We’d recommend it for a family of 4, as that would give you enough space to be able to store your gear too. It has small pockets sewn into the walls, but it lacks overhead storage, which means you’ll have to use some of the floor space to store your gear.

The setup is incredibly simple. Just pull up the middle, straighten out the poles, and allow it all to click into place. It’s very simple. It’s easy to pack down too, and it folds up very small. The tent is super lightweight to carry, which would make it another good choice for backpackers.

Pros

  • Great waterproofing
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight to carry

Cons

  • Not as durable as a traditional frame tent
  • Not much storage space
Buy on Amazon

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent – Best for Taller Campers

Kodiak Basic Flex-Bow Quick Set Up Canvas Tent 6051

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Size:
    10 x 10 x 6ft 6in (ft)
    120 x 120 x 79 (in)
    305 x 305 x 202 (cm)
  • Size packed:
    30 x 16 x 5.5 (in)
    76 x 40.5 x 13.97 (cm)
  • Weight: 30.84kg / 68lbs
  • Materials: Coated cotton canvas
  • Seasons: 4

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent has coated canvas outer walls (coated with Kodiak’s Hydra Shield treatment), which is great for rain resistance. It’s the only tent on this list that is classified as a 4-season tent – meaning it will keep you dry and warm even in snowy weather. It has a strong, windproof frame.

It’s a cabin-style tent, with a decent center height of 6ft 6in (79in / 202cm). It also has overhead storage, meaning you can store your bulkier gear up and out of the way. It has smaller pockets for valuables, and a built-in awning, which can either be used to store gear or to sit underneath.

It’s a simple tent to put together, with easy instructions. It is stored in two separate bags, with the poles in one bag and the tent fabric in the other. The poles are heavy, which means they’re going to be durable, but it does mean that backpackers may want to give this one a miss.

Pros

  • Great rain/snow protection
  • Strong, durable frame
  • Easy to set up
  • Good for storage

Cons

  • The poles are heavy to carry
Buy on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Camping activities in a rain-filled holiday

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about waterproof tents:

Can I make my tent more waterproof?

If you want to make your tent more waterproof, you could use a waterproofing spray like this one: 

Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellant Spray

This will help to ‘patch up’ your tent if the waterproof coating starts to wear off in some places.

The REI Co-op has a good guide on re-waterproofing a tent.

Can I return a tent if it has a fault?

It depends on the individual manufacturer. Most tents come with a 1-year warranty for manufacturing defects. If it arrives with something wrong, you should have enough time to discover it and request a refund or replacement. This does vary depending on the individual tent, so it’s worth checking before you buy it!

How can I safely camp in tough weather conditions?

There are a few things you can do. As much as possible, check the weather conditions before you go, and make sure you stay away if a severe storm is approaching. When you arrive at the campsite, you can make sure you know where everything is and who to call for help if you encounter a problem. You can also triple-check that your tent is firmly attached to the ground.

If you want more ideas, you can check out Winfield Outdoor’s ideas for camping in cold weather, or the Eureka! guide to camping in high winds.

What else do I need to take to stay dry and warm?

One of the most important things you can take with you is a decent rain jacket. Check out our guide to the best men’s travel jackets or our guide to the best travel jackets with hidden pockets for women for more recommendations.

It’s also worth looking at camping tent heaters to keep your tent nice and dry, as well as a good flask for a hot drink!

The Bottom Line – Which Waterproof Tent is Best?

Traveler repairing tent during rain

So to sum up, we really like the NKT Laredo. We think it’s a great choice for camping in bad weather. It’s durable and it has great waterproofing credentials – we think it will keep you dry for sure.

We also like the MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent. If you want to avoid lengthy set-up, it’s worth checking out, and the waterproofing is pretty good.

If you want a lot of space for a true home-away-from-home feeling, take a look at the Coleman Octagon Tent. It’s well worth it if there are a lot of you camping and you want to spread out.

We hope this has helped to find the best waterproof tent for you!