Best Tent Under $200 – Because Quality Matters

Looking for a cozy tent but don’t want to invest a fortune in it? Well, stay along, as there are some fantastic tents to choose in the sub-200 dollar price range! From seasonal tents to backpacking tents, this price range offers tents that can accommodate up to four people if you are looking for high-quality. In this post, we will share our picks for the best tents under $200 and some tips for buying a tent in this price range.

1) Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

We’re kicking off this list with the absolute best backpacking tent under $200 that is ideal for 2 people. This camping tent offers plenty of space as well as ample protection against the wind. It weighs only 4,57 lbs (2,07 kg), which is ideal for putting in your backpack.

It comes with two color-coded aluminum poles that provide a freestanding structure. It has an easy setup that will take you only a couple of minutes to set up and enjoy your new shelter. Once you set it up, you will notice how spacious this tent is, as its floor measures 30,5 square feet (2,83 square meters). The tent comes with a vestibule that adds an additional 10 square feet (1 square meter) of space for your gear.

Kelty Salida comes with high durability. It has a 68D Polyester body, and the floor is made from 68D Nylon that offers a 1,800mm water resistance rating. To top it off, the roof of this 2-person tent is made from 40D mesh that will keep the insects away and provide ample ventilation. As the roof is only covered in mesh, this tent can become a spa if you place it directly under the sunlight during the hot summer months.

Kelty Salida is the best choice for this price range if you are up for a backpacking adventure. Light, compact, and durable, it is made to withstand most of the elements.

Pros
  • Very easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Provides enough space for 2 people
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer enough ventilation if placed on direct sunlight

2) TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent

TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent

Planning to camp out during all the seasons? Well, this 4-season tent from TETON Sports might be an ideal one, as it provides a combination of materials to withstand most of what the elements have in store for you. 

Yes, this tent is made entirely of microfiber mesh that provides terrific ventilation and protection from insects. But, when you put on the rainfly, it will keep out the winds up to 50-60 mph and provide ample rain and snow protection with its 3,000mm water resistance. Also, the rainfly has built-in vents to compensate for missing windows.

The tent comes with 3 aluminum poles and is relatively easy to set up in a few minutes. Once you set it up, you will notice that it provides enough space for 3 people, as its dimensions are 90″ x 78″ x 49″ (228,6 cm x 198 cm x 124 cm). You will find gear pockets inside the tent and a large gear loft for storing your light source. The tent also has two doors, a welcome addition when you consider that this is a 3-person tent.

For added comfort and durability, the tent comes with a top-grade Oxford footprint, a feature not many tents in this price range have. This backpacking tent is slightly on the heavier side, as it weighs 8,7 lbs (4 kg). Nevertheless, if you are looking for the best value for your money, few come close to this tent.

Pros
  • Very easy to set up
  • Fully mesh structure ensures extraordinary breathability
  • Rainfly has an integrated ventilation solution and keeps the tent protected from the elements
  • Sturdy construction
Cons
  • You need to seal the seams first for optimal water resistance
  • A bit heavy for a backpacking tent

3) ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent

Looking for fantastic backpacking tents? Well, the Zephyr is an outstanding contender for this category, as it is lightweight, durable, and has an easy setup. It weighs only 6,1 lbs (2,77 kg), and if you are camping in a group, you can easily split this weight with your camping partners.

The entire body is made of mesh, which will provide breathability to keep you through the night. Put on the 75D 185T polyester rainfly (with 1,500mm water resistance rating) to keep the tent protected from the elements. Besides, the rainfly features two vestibules for more gear space. The tent floor is made out of the same material but features a better water resistance rating of 3,000mm.

Setting up the tent is effortless as it comes with two aluminum poles that clip to the tent’s structure. When you set it up, you will enjoy the amount of space it provides, as it has a floor area of 88″ x 58″ (224 cm x 147 cm) and a center height of 38″ (97 cm). It also features two D-shaped doors on each side.

This outing from ALPS Mountaineering is a real gem when it comes to backpacking tents. Its stakes and guy ropes could be better designed, but if you are mindful of that, you are in for a treat!

Pros
  • Very easy to pitch
  • Lots of space for three people and their gear
  • Comes with extra storage pockets and a large gear loft
  • High-quality structure
  • Lots of airflow thanks to the full mesh body
Cons
  • Very easy to pitch
  • Lots of space for three people and their gear
  • Comes with extra storage pockets and a large gear loft
  • High-quality structure
  • Lots of airflow thanks to the full mesh body

4) Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person Tent

Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person Tent

Mountainsmith Morrison tent is the best 2-person tent on this list, as it is portable, compact, and relatively durable for a sub-200 price tag. We also love its design with two doors and two vestibules that make it suitable for two people and their gear. As this is yet another freestanding tent design, its two color-coded aluminum poles pave the way for fairly easy setup.

Carrying this tent shouldn’t be a problem, as it weighs only 5,53 lbs (2,51 kg). It offers 35 square feet (3,25 square meters) of floor space suitable for two people, but sublime for just one person. The flooring is made of durable, 190T Polyester with a 5,000mm water resistance rating. If you need more resistance against the elements, you can put on a rainfly made of 185T Polyester and has a PU coating of 2,000mm.

When it comes to ventilation, the four wall sides are made of mesh, which will take in plenty of air during hot summer nights. The rainfly will ensure minimal condensation inside the tent.

This 3-season tent from Mountainsmith is built to endure rainstorms and other hazardous weather conditions. When you take its price and durability into consideration, you can see why this tent is one of the best sub-200 dollar tents.

Pros
  • Two doors and two vestibules
  • Provides enough space for two people, even more for one person
  • Great airflow and breathability
  • Built to withstand the elements
Cons
  • No footprint included

5) Chillbo CABBINS 2-Person Camping Tent

Chillbo CABBINS 2-Person Camping Tent

If you value high-quality design and craftsmanship, then you will enjoy this last outing on our list! You will probably first notice its vibrant, camouflage design that sets it apart from all the tents from this list. It is a 3-season tent crafted to accommodate two people, and it does it reasonably well thanks to the two doors along with two mesh windows to let in additional air.

The tent walls are made of mesh to provide more breathability. Of course, there is a rainfly included with a 2,000mm PU coating. For increased wind protection, two vestibules serve as excellent protection against the wind and extra space for your gear. There are also inner pockets to store your smaller accessories.

Setting up the tent is equally as effortless as our other four picks on this list. The poles are made out of fiberglass, which is not as strong as aluminum, so tread carefully with them. Also, the tent is quite heavy at 8,4 lbs (3,81 kg), so you should divide the weight load if you are going on a backpacking trip.

All things considered, we really love the design of this tent that emphasizes on wind and rain protection. It has all the great features 3-season tents offer, along with an eye-catching design.

Pros
  • Cool visual design
  • Designed to withstand wind and rain
  • Ample storage space
  • Two doors for easier entrance
  • Very easy to pitch
Cons
  • Fiberglass poles are not the best
  • Bad packaging smell, make sure to air it before the first usage

Things to Consider While Buying a Tent Under $200

Tents under 200 - Buyer's Guide

So, you have found out about some of the best tents under $200, but that’s not all! We would like to share some of the main characteristics that you should look out for when you are buying a tent under 200$. These characteristics are:

  • Seasonality
  • Tent Shape
  • Size & Space
  • Material Quality
  • Weight
  • Ease of Setup

Let’s delve deeper into each one of these characteristics!

Seasonality

When it comes to the tent’s seasonality, analyze the weather of the areas you plan camping on. Most tents are designed for 3 seasons, which should keep you covered from the elements in spring, summer, and autumn. This is by far the most optimal seasonal choice if you are not camping in extreme conditions. They have plenty of mesh to keep you safe from the bugs and keep the optimal airflow. For additional protection from the elements, you can put on the rainfly.

If you are a more extreme camper, then a 4-season tent will be an ideal choice. It features less mesh, but it is made of high-quality canvas to keep you warm during sub-0 temperatures. Not to mention the immense protection from the elements you will get!

Tent Shape

Tent shape

When it comes to the tent’s shape, we can distinguish it in two categories: cabin-style and dome-style.

Cabin-style tents are the best if you are camping in a group, as they feature straight walls and high center height to accommodate more people. When it comes to stormy weather, they falter as the straight walls are not the most optimal for wind deflection. You can invest in some additional stakes to increase the stability, but overall, we wouldn’t recommend getting this tent if you plan to camp in windy weather.

Dome-style tents are great for backpacking or if you plan to camp in unstable weather. They feature lightweight material and walls that slope towards the tent roof. The dome shape will keep the tent safe from high winds. One downside to this tent type is that it doesn’t offer too much space for a group. Make sure to double-check the capacity of the dome-style tent before the purchase.

Size & Space

Pay extra attention to these two specifications! You want optimal comfort for your camping experience, without any surprises. In this price range, you will see a lot of 1-4 person tents. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. You should make a decision based on several requirements.

1-person tents are great for solo campers, but it is challenging to find a comfortable one, especially if you are a taller individual. The most significant advantage is its ultra-light weight.

2-person tents are also remarkable for solo campers, as they will provide additional comfort and keep your weight load low. For 2 people, some tents may be a bit uncomfortable, which will depend on the campers’ height. Pay attention to the center height of the tent.

3 and 4-person tents are very similar when it comes to general characteristics. They are heavier but offer much more comfort and ample space to store your gear, as the vestibule area. If you are a taller individual, you will enjoy the nice center height of these tents. Expect to pay more for such a package, but there are some excellent tents under $200 that fit these two categories.

Material Quality

Tent material

When it comes to the tent’s materials, you will see a lot of “waterproof” tags. Just to be straight, this is 90% marketing and 10% truth, as no tent canvas is genuinely waterproof. It is more about the water resistance.

When it comes to tents, most are made either of Nylon or Polyester. Nylon is more tear-resistant and can be stretched more, which comes in handy for high winds. This material is also much more resistant to abrasion, but it comes to some downsides. First of all, Nylon will absorb water, translating to water leaks without a suitable rainfly. It is also more susceptible to UV, so the Nylon will degrade over time due to the sun more quickly.

Polyester is less tear-resistant and not so stable during high winds due to its low stretchability. The great thing about Polyester is that it doesn’t absorb so much water as Nylon, and there are different kinds around that offer different levels of water resistance. Also, UV won’t damage this material as much as Nylon.

Note: if you want more ventilation, find a tent with plenty of mesh in its wall structure.

Weight

Now, the tent weight is an important metric if you plan to go backpacking with your tent. If you carry your tent in your car’s trunk, then tent weight won’t matter so much to you. Whatever type of camper you might be, you shouldn’t completely ignore this metric, as it will impact the final price of the tent. Look into what you will require from your tent and make the decision accordingly.

Note: keep in mind that most more massive tents are more durable than lighter tents!

Ease of Setup

The larger your tent, the harder it will be to set up, as it will usually come with more poles and stakes. If your requirement is a fast tent set up, you may want to pitch your tent with a few friends or opt for a smaller tent. The tent setup time varies between 1 minute and 20 minutes.

If you need to find out the setup time of an individual tent, we recommend checking out tent reviews and manufacturer instructions. Sometimes, you think that you know how the process works, but always inform yourself before making preassumptions.

Conclusion

We hope that you will enjoy using your new tent! All the picks on this list are specifically designed to withstand the high winds and rainy weather. It is incredibly surprising how you can find an awesome deal for such a low price. 

Now that you know about the best tents under $200 price tag, we wish you a safe and pleasant camping experience! Until next time!

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