How Much Money Should You Spend On A Tent?

We all know how important it is to have a good tent when you go camping. But how much should you spend on a tent? Many factors help you determine how much to spend, including how many people will be using it, where you camp, and how often you go camping.

This blog post will discuss how to choose the best tent for your needs so that you can get the most bang for your buck.

Tent prices can vary widely based on how lightweight the tent is, the material it’s made of, and many other factors.

Of course, you can spend as much or as little as you want on a tent. It all depends on your needs.

You can spend as little as $25 on a tent or $3,000+ for a monster canvas tent. Of course, the more specialized the tent, the more you can expect to spend. A run-of-the-mill tent will cost you around $150-$250.

Tent price ranges – What you get

Next, we will talk about what kind of tent you can expect at different price points.

Under $100

If you’re looking for a basic tent that will get the job done without breaking the bank, you can find various options in the $50-$100 range.

One option is to buy a small one-person or two-person pop-up tent. These tents are typically made of lightweight materials, so they’re easy to carry around. They’re also less expensive than larger tents.

Like anything, you get what you pay for, so don’t expect a tent in this price range to be extremely durable and amazing. However, with a tent in this price range, you can still expect the tent to have good seams, tent stakes, a rainfly, and guylines.

Some tents in this price range may be made of low-quality materials, leading to problems like water getting it due to seam failure.

Tents in this price range are not great for camping in cold weather.

Tents in the under $100 category are good if you don’t have much money to spend. For example, you only camp occasionally or are just getting started.

You can buy a decent tent to see if you like camping and upgrade later without throwing a ton of money away.

Most of the tents in this category are easy to set up and can often be set up by one person.

If you are in the market for a cheap tent or potentially a $0 tent, you can make your own tent with a tarp. This can be a great way to save money, and it’s a fun project for campers who like to be DIY-minded.

All you need is a tarp, some ropes or guy lines, and a little bit of know-how.


If you’re looking to spend a little more money on a tent, you can find various options in the $100-$150 range.

Tents in this price range are typically larger than tents in the lower price ranges, and you have more size options to choose from.

For example, you can find a four-person tent, a six-person tent, or even a ten-person tent. Many of the tents in this price range are easy to set up and can be done with one or two people.

You can find instant tents (super easy to set up) in this price range, tents with screen rooms, large family tents, and some better quality 1 and 2 person tents.

Dark green tent in a campgroundPin

At $100-$150, you can get a pretty solid, sizable, and versatile tent for family camping trips, and it won’t completely break the bank.

If you are in the market for an entry-level family tent or a slightly better 2 person tent, you can find one in this price range.


The tents’ $150-$250 price range opens up more possibilities. For example, you can expect to see pretty big family tents of 10-12 people, with screen rooms, large windows, and even doors with hinges.

You also find some higher-end tents like North Face creep in this price range. In addition, small 2 or 4-person backpacking tents can also be found in this range.

You will start to see some 4-season tents better suited for extreme cold camping situations.

You can find a wide variety of tents at different price points, but the best bang for your buck will usually be around $200.

This is a good price point to aim for if you’re looking for something versatile and will work well for most camping situations.

So, in this price range, you get huge tents with some added features and smaller, lighter tents for backpacking or solo camping.

These larger tents will typically require more than one person to set up.


You can find some really great features in a tent at the higher end of the price range. For example, tents in this range typically have better frames (poles), better ventilation, and room darkening capabilities.

This is the perfect range for people who want a high-quality tent that can be used for all types of camping trips.

Tents in this price range are typically heavier than lower-priced tents, but they’re still manageable to carry around.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one tent that can do it all, you’ll want to spend in the $250-$500 range.

You can find tents with multiple rooms, screened porches, and even attached awnings. Some of these tents can even be used as year-round camping options.

You start to see some larger, more durable backpacking tents here, as well as family tents that can accommodate up to 12 people.

If you have the money to spend and are looking for a high-quality, all-purpose tent, this is the price range you’ll want to aim for.


At the top of the price range, you can find some really extravagant and expensive tents. 

Suppose you’re looking for a luxurious camping experience and don’t mind spending top dollar. In that case, you can find some fantastic tents in this price range.

However, most people will never need anything more than the great family tents and high-quality backpacking tents offered in the $250-$500 range.

If you are looking for a high-quality family tent or an all-season camping option that can withstand extreme conditions, look to spend in this range.

You will find the highest quality materials and features at these price points (mainly due to how expensive it is to make high-quality tents).

You can also find huge family tents at these prices and large canvas tents for hunting expeditions and basecamps.

These tend to be the best deals if you’re looking for a massive tent with lots of room (and people) to sleep in.

You’re looking at tents that can do it all at this price point and will last for years. So if you have the money to spend, this is a great place to put it.

Tent brand prices

When it comes to finding a high-quality tent, it’s important to do your research. Not all tents are created equal, and some brands are definitely better than others.

Higher-priced tents usually use better materials and have better customer service. They’re also made with more durable stitching and construction techniques.

If you’re looking for a quality tent that will last for years, it’s worth spending the extra money on a brand name like North FaceBig AgnesALPS MountaineeringMarmot, etc.

These brands have a reputation for making high-quality tents that can withstand extreme weather conditions.

Coleman tends to dominate the low-end and mid-range consumer, family camping tent price points.

They also offer a wide variety of tents at different price points, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs and budget.

When it comes to finding a good, affordable tent, Coleman is definitely a brand you should consider.

Features vs. price of a tent

When it comes to tents, you get what you pay for. More expensive tents usually have better features, materials, and construction techniques.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on a tent. On the contrary, you can find great tents at different price points, depending on your needs and budget.

The most important thing is to decide what features you need in a tent. For example, do you need a tent that can withstand extreme weather conditions? Or is a simple, affordable tent good enough for your needs?

Once you know what features you need, you can determine if the price is worth the features.

For example, if you’re looking for a high-quality family tent that can accommodate a lot of people, you’re going to have to spend a little more money.

However, if you’re just looking for an affordable tent for backpacking, you can find some great options in the $100-$200 price range.

It’s important to decide what features are most important to you before shopping for a tent.

What tent is best for you?

To determine what tent is best for you, you should consider some things like:

  • How many people are in your group
  • What is your budget
  • Easy to setup
  • What type of weather conditions will you be camping in
  • Do you need a tent that can withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Is this your first time camping

These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a tent.

Once you have an idea of what you need, it will be easier to find a tent that fits your needs and budget.

What type of camper are you?

There are all sorts of people who camp. Those who camp once or twice a year to those who love to go backpacking every weekend.

Some people enjoy camping because it’s a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Others enjoy the challenge of camping in extreme weather conditions.

Whatever the reason, there’s a tent for everyone.

Infrequent – One or twice a year

If you only go camping a few times per year, it’s probably not worth it to spend a lot of money on a tent. However, depending on how many people are in your group, a tent under $100 is an excellent place to start.

You might also consider borrowing or renting a tent and other camping gear if you don’t camp that often. Then you don’t have to worry about storing your gear, etc.

Casual camper (more than once or twice a year)

Many people fall into this category. You go camping a few times toward the end of spring, into summer when the weather is nice.

In this case, you might want to buy a tent because you’ll get more use out of it.

A mid-priced tent for around $150 is a good option, as it will last for many years, and you won’t have to upgrade down the road.

A three-season tent should do the trick if you only go camping in mild weather conditions.

Winter camping

If you’re camping in colder weather conditions, you’ll need a more expensive tent that can handle the conditions.

Tents built for winter camping usually have thicker fabric, water-resistant and waterproof materials, and windproof designs.

Tan colored tent on snow with an orange sky over the mountainsPin

Unless you are camping in the artic or blizzard conditions, you can use a 3-season tent for winter camping.

You can find some excellent 3 season tents in the $100-150 price range. But, of course, you can spend a lot more than that on a tent too.

If you are backpacking in the winter, you need a lightweight, low-profile tent and that can quickly push you into the next price category.


If you’re a backpacker, you’ll want to look for a lightweight and durable tent. Tents that weigh just a few pounds are usually a good option, and they’re often made with high-quality materials that can withstand harsh conditions.

Most backpacking tents have a rainfly that covers the entire tent, which helps keep you and your gear dry in wet weather.

You can find backpacking tents in the $200 to $400 price range. Of course, there are backpacking tents at lower price points, but if you want a tent that will last, it’s better to buy a high-quality tent.

If you are serious about backpacking, you can easily spend over $500 on a good tent.

Long term (hunting) camper

If you are camping long-term or for more than just a few days, you probably want a tent that you can live in comfortably.

Long-term camping is common for hunting or use as a basecamp. A large tent with lots of space for gear is your best bet.

WHITEDUCK makes large tents for just such an occasion. These tents are definitely more expensive. You can easily spend over $1,000, depending on the model.

Bell tents (think circus tents), large canvas tents, or yurts will be a good option for extended camping trips in your tent.

Tents in this category often come with a stove jack and sometimes a removable floor for added ventilation.

Long-term camping tents are well built, have heavy-duty zippers and plenty of space.

Different types of tents

When it comes to camping, there are various types of tents to choose from. The most common tents are dome tents, cabin tents, and backpacking tents.

Dome Tents

Dome tents are the most popular type of tent because they’re easy to set up and provide a lot of livable space. They usually have two or three poles that form a dome-like shape, making them very stable in bad weather.

Many dome tents also come with a rainfly, which helps keep you and your gear dry in wet weather.

You can find dome tents in the $50 to $200 price range.

Cabin Tents

Cabin tents are similar to dome tents in how they are set up, but cabin tents have a slanted roof.

Cabin-style tents make it easier to store gear, and there is more headroom inside the tent than a dome or tunnel-style tent. Cabin tents also tend to be larger as well. They can sleep many people comfortably with plenty of room for your gear.

Cabin tents are more expensive than a dome or tunnel-style tents. You can expect to pay $150 and up for a good cabin tent.

Click here to check out our favorite cabin tents.


Canvas tents are different from other tents because they are made with thick, heavy-duty canvas material. This makes them more durable and able to withstand tougher weather conditions.

Canvas tents are also more expensive than other types of tents. You can expect to pay about $500 and up for a good quality canvas tent.

Canvas tents are a good option if you plan on camping in tough conditions or you want a really durable tent that will last for years.


When you’re backpacking, you need a compact and lightweight tent, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your backpack. You also need a super durable tent so it can withstand harsh conditions.

Most backpacking tents are made with high-quality materials that can withstand bad weather. In addition, they often have a rainfly that covers the entire tent, which helps keep you and your gear dry in wet weather.

You can find backpacking tents in the $200 to $400 price range. Of course, there are backpacking tents at lower price points, but if you want a tent that will last, it’s better to buy a high-quality tent.

Are cheap tents any good?

Cheap tents are not always a good option, but you can find decent tents at lower price points. It all depends on what you need from your tent.

I hate to keep saying it, but you get what you pay for. If you’re just camping for a few days per year and don’t need a lot of space, then a cheap dome tent will do the trick.

The problem with many inexpensive tents is that the seams will not hold up when it rains, the zippers can get stuck or fail, etc. In addition, budget tents are not meant to last more than a few seasons typically (if that long).

If you’re looking for a tent that will last, it’s better to buy a higher-quality tent. You can find good tents in the $100 to $300 price range.

However, if you’re camping long-term or in tough conditions, then you’ll need a more durable and expensive tent.


3-season vs. 4-season tent

3-season tents will handle most of the weather conditions you will experience. Unless you are doing some serious expeditioning, most people can use a 3-season tent and be just fine.

A 4-season tent is designed to handle rough wind and heavy snow. But, honestly, there are many low-priced tents labeled “4-season” that probably shouldn’t be.

How much is a tent at Walmart?

Many tents at Walmart are value-priced at under $100. Walmart does sell some tents that are upwards of $300, but most of the tents fall at the lower end of the range.

How much is a 6-person tent

You can pick up a 6-person tent for as little as $60. The mid-point for many mid-range 6-person tents for the average camping family is around $150.

The price range can vary widely depending on the quality and design of the tent.

How much does a 4-person tent cost

A 4-person tent will start as low as $50 and goes up from there. The average price of a 4-person tent is about $130. But, again, there are a lot of different models and designs to choose from.


There are a lot of different factors that go into how much you should spend on a tent. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how much you will need to budget to get your ideal tent from the size to the style.

However, suppose you want a durable and long-lasting tent. In that case, it’s worth spending more money upfront instead of buying an inexpensive tent that won’t last or hold up over time.

You can find high-quality tents at various price points. Don’t be afraid to invest in what you really need rather than settling with lesser quality.

If you have questions or comments, leave them below.

Happy camping!

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.

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