How Much Does a Camping Tent Cost? Why Are Camping Tents Expensive?

Camping tents offer various levels of space, covering, and comfort during camping trips. While some tents have just enough room for people to store their backpacks and sleep in, some others can contain a table, chair, and other equipment.

Just as the sizes of camping tents differ, their features and costs differ. With so many camping tents in the market, deciding on the best one to buy can be quite difficult. Are more expensive tents always better than cheaper ones?

What’s the best range of tents to purchase depending on your camping activity? I’ll be taking you through the costs of different camping tents alongside their features. If you have an idea of your camping needs, then you’ll find it easier to make a choice. 

For instance, you’ll spend more on a camping tent for use in cold and extreme weather than one designed for fair weather.

There are so many variables surrounding the cost of a camping tent, so let’s begin exploring them. 

How Much Do Camping Tents Cost?

The cost of a camping tent falls within a wide range, depending on the size, features, and uses of the tent. You’ll find that a camping tent costs between $50 and $1000, which is a pretty wide margin, but there’s a reason for that. 

Let’s group camping tents and explore their costs, beginning with the number of people a tent can cater for.

Cost Of a Camping Tent Based on Size 

1. Cost of Two-Person Camping Tents

cost of two person camping tents

The average two-person camping tent with the basic features costs $50-$100. The features of this tent include Rainfly, Waterproof seams, Guylines, and Vents.

While this tent will suffice for occasional trips a few times a year and for a few days or nights, you might be left without adequate protection if you used this tent in extreme weather conditions like snow.

It is also important to state that tents in this range are often heavy, making them quite unsuitable for backpacking.

For better quality, look out for two-people camping tents within the $100 range, as they offer better weather protection, are easier to carry around, and will last longer than the $50 kind.

They’ll often come with a footprint, special seams with better waterproof quality, and vestibules for cooking or storing gear, especially when it’s raining or snowing.

I recommend the Forceatt Tent for 2 and 3 Persons. It is lightweight, wind and waterproof, and easy to set up.

For something cheaper, you can get the Wakeman Outdoors 2-Person Camping Tent. It is lightweight and includes a carrying bag and Rain Fly.

2. Cost of Four-Person Camping Tents

cost of four person camping tents

The average four-person camping tent ranges between $100 and $150 and is often lighter than the two-person tent.

However, you can expect the space to be a little tight, especially if you’re camping in a group of average-sized adults. You might not have room for much else except your bags and bodies.

Although you can expect to enjoy more durability and waterproof feature from this tent, including bathtub floors to avoid water buildup, you’ll be sacrificing space for improved quality. 

The Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent is a great recommendation for you. It is easy to set up, and offers rain and sun shelter, alongside an advanced venting system with Top Rainfly.

The 4-Person Easy Pop-Up Tent is also a great choice for you. It has an automatic setup, 2 doors, and Waterproof features.

3. Cost of Six-Person Camping Tents

cost of six person camping tents

6-person tents often go up in price to between $150 and $250, and you can expect the quality to increase just as the size does.

Most of the tents within this range have better weather resistance, as they can handle extreme weather conditions. You’ll also find several ultra-light tents in this group.

I recommend the UNP 6 Person Waterproof and Windproof camping tent. It is easy to set up, and its features include double layering, 1 Mesh Door, and 5 Large Mesh Windows.

The Coleman Montana 6-Person Tent is also a great and affordable choice. It is made with polyester taffeta, has a WeatherTec system, and has sufficient room for 2 queen size air beds.

4. Cost of Large Tents

cost of large camping tents

These large tents can have 8 to 12 people fit in comfortably. You’ll find two quality levels in this range; the mid-quality tents cost an average of $150 to $200, while the tents with a higher quality range between $250 and $500.

The extra features that come at $250 to $500 include hinged doors, room partitions for extra privacy, multiple zippers, and customizable vents and rooms. You can also expect high-quality poles and multiple-ply tent fabric.

When it comes to large tents, the added features are almost unlimited, provided you have the money to go higher. For instance, for $500 and above, you can get tents with specialty features like extreme ruggedness, extremely light tents, and permanent cabin-like tents.

The Coleman Camping Skylodge 12-Person Tent is perfect for your group camping. It is made from nylon, has a wide door, and offers weather protection. It also has a Screen Room for storage or lounging.

I also recommend Eureka! Copper Canyon LX Camping Tent. It is waterproof, made from polyester, and has two large doors with mesh windows for ventilation.

Cost Of Camping Tents Based on Type

Camping tents are of different types, with the most popular being pop-up tents, dome tents, ridge tents, and tunnel tents, although ridge tents aren’t as popular.

Dome tents are often on the cheapest end, ranging around $60, Pop-up tents going up to $80, and tunnel tents range around $200. Ridge tents cost about $160, while inflatable tents can cost as much as $600. Let’s get into the details.

1. Dome Tents Cost

cost of dome tents

These tents get their name from domes, and campers love them because they are easy to move and set up. Dome tents have a square base on top because of their curved poles, and their cabin has a lot of headroom. 

Although domes have a strong framework that can stand some rainfall, they’re not cut out for extreme conditions, so have that in mind before you pitch your tent in harsh weather conditions. 

The average dome tents cost between $30 and $150, and features like size and material will determine how much a particular tent costs.

For instance, while a Lightweight CAMEL CROWN waterproof 2-5 Person Camping Dome Tent, a water-resistant PU coated Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent.

2. Pop-Up Tents Cost

cost of pop-up tents

If you love tents that are easy to set up, move about, and store, then you’ll love pop-up tents. You can carry them around without discomfort and set them up in a few minutes.

Although most pop-up tents are designed for two people, they are comfortable, spacious, and sturdier than dome tents. You can trust op-up tents when camping in harsh conditions; at least more than the dome.

The interesting thing about pop-up tents is that their prices vary as much as their appearance. 

While you’ll find the average pop-up tent costing about $50, you can find some with much more space at $120, especially those that can hold as many as six people. The MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent that caters to 4-5 Persons is a great option.

If you’re camping with family and have some money to burn, you can go above and beyond to get Dream House Luxury family camping tent, which is a pop-up tent despite its classiness. 

3. Ridge Camping Tents Cost

cost of ridge camping tents

These tents have a solid and sturdy design that made them loved for many years, but they aren’t as popular anymore, which you can attribute to the fact they don’t have sufficient space for moving about. 

Ridge tents are often for just one or two people, and they’re great if you just want to sleep in them. However, if you need to spend some hours in a tent during the day, ridge tents might not be the perfect choice for you. 

However, if their affordability is motivation enough for you to get them, you can get a two-person tent with basic features like steel poles, polyethylene floor, polyester material, and PU coating at an average of $34.

On the higher end, the award-winning Lawson Ridge Hammock with a lightweight design and detachable rainfly.

4. Backpack camping Tent Cost

cost of backpack camping tents

If you love to go backpack camping, you’ll find that the tents within this range are perfect for you. You can carry them around easily, set them up just as easily, and store them without any stress.

While they are easy to handle, you can only expect the most basic functions from backpacking tents, which is a place to sleep in. You don’t get enough space to set up a living area or store so many things, but then you wouldn’t be backpacking with extra luggage.

The average decent backpacking tent that comes with features like tent fly windows, two vestibules, and polyester fabric costs an average of $125. 

However, you can also find more roomy backpacking tents with extra features like a large door, an ultra-light build, and harsh weather protection at an average of $450.

For a tent with two doors and a lot more space, you might have to spend as much as $700, especially if you’ll be camping a lot in harsh environments.

The Ultra-light Naturehike Cloud-Up Lightweight, 4-season Backpacking Tent is suitable for 2 to 3 people. 

You will also love the Kelty Late Start Backpacking Tent that’s great for 2 people.

Price of Camping Tents from Popular Brands

Some brands are household or perhaps outdoor names since we’re talking about camping here. The camping brands have the kinds of tents that they are known for, as well as a price range for their products depending on the available features.

Let’s look at some of the most notable tent brands. 

1. Price of Coleman Camping Tents

With over a century in the business of producing camping tents, Coleman makes some of the best tents in the market, and they have been rated the best brand for campers by many.

The tents Coleman produces are on the large side. This doesn’t mean you won’t find smaller, two-person tents, but you’ll most likely find bigger tents than smaller ones.

Coleman is a perfect choice if what you seek is an affordable and durable tent for family camping. 

The kinds of Coleman tents you can expect to find are the classic dome tents and cabin tents.

Coleman also uses a special Weathertec system that keeps the tent dry, alongside polyester with fiberglass poles, which is why the company can keep its cost low despite its durable tents.

Coleman tents range between $50 and beyond $400, depending on size and features.

However, I recommend the Coleman Sundome Camping Tent for its Weathertec system, sturdy frame, and easy setup.

The Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup feature is also a great choice with options for 4 to 10 persons.

2. Kelty Camping Tents Price Range

Kelty is a budget-friendly brand like Coleman with several tents for camping and backpacking.

Kelty has a pretty wide range of camping tents, making it easy for you to find something for you, no matter what type of camper you are.

Although Kelty has a full line of quality, affordable camping tents, the company often uses heavy materials specifically for protection from extreme weather conditions.

However, if you’re looking for something light, you should still find something that fits your spec.

Kelty Camping tents range between $80 and $400.

Some great tents are the Kelty Wireless tents for 2 to 6 people and the Kelty Grand Mesa Backpacking Tent for 2 to 4 persons.

3. Cost of Alps Mountaineering Tents

Although this company isn’t as well-known as Coleman, they offer good quality products, also at affordable prices. 

Alps Mountaineering has a full line of camping tents with different sizes and features, including two, four, and six-person tents, with something for groups as well. 

If you’re a solo camper, you’ll also find a camping tent that’ll suit your needs.

There’s a wide range of tents and cost between $100 and $400.

Some of the best Alps mountaineering camps to consider include ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person Tent, and ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek 6-Person Tent

4. Zpacks Tents Price

If you’re a fan of ultra-light camping tents, Zpacks might be the best brand for you. It is a combination of high-quality and lightweight materials.

All Zpacks tents are made from DCF fabric, which repels water, thereby protecting you and your belongings from getting wet. You can just shake off the tent and be on your way. 

As a plus, although these tents are lightweight, they can handle harsh weather conditions.

If you want to travel light without feeling burdened, especially for backpack camping or distance hiking, Zpacks tents are great for you.

You’ll find a range of Zpacks tents that cost between $150 and $1000.

The Zpacks duplex, which is a 3- season shelter for 2 people and sold at $749.00, is a great choice.

Why Are Camping Tents Expensive?

As we have established in the earlier paragraphs, several factors affect the price of camping tents, including the size, brand, and characteristics.

Here are some rules to have at the back of your mind when shopping for a camping tent.

1. The larger the tent, the more expensive the cost. 

You can expect a four-person tent to be more expensive than a three-person tent and so on. The only exceptions to this rule are when you’re dealing with different brands and features, as high-end brands will always be more expensive.

2. The better the tent’s material quality, the higher the cost

You’ll likely find that less expensive tents are made with cheaper materials than more expensive ones. You’ll also notice that these cheaper tents will have a shorter lifespan than the more expensive ones because they will wear and tear easily.

Although the tents made with premium materials can put a hole in your pocket, they will give you many years of comfortable usage without issues of wear and tear.

3. The features of your tent will affect its price 

Features like doors, windows, gear loops, and storage pockets will affect the cost of your camping tent. Simply put, the more features a tent has, the more you’ll have to pay for it. 

So, getting waterproof tents, or a tent with a rainfly will cost more than a tent without one.

4. The brand can affect the cost of a tent

Tents made by well-known and renowned brands are more expensive than the less-known brands because they are trusted for their durability and quality. Once a brand has a great quality rating over time, you’ll have to spend more to get them.

However, some brands set out to offer affordability without as much quality and durability. If you’re on a budget, you might lean towards more affordable brands, but if you have the funds and value durability, you should opt for well-known quality brands.

Final Words:

I’m sure at this point you are familiar with the factors that influence the cost of a camping tent. You can probably also decide which tent to purchase depending on the features that are most important to you.

Conclusively, you can get low-end camping tents that cost about $30-$50 with less durability and the simplest of features. You can also get mid-priced tents of about $100-$150 that have more space and durability.

High-end tents go from $200 to $500, and they boast long-term design, extreme weather suitability, and even more room.

The premium/luxury tents are over $500, and although they cost a lot, they’re worth checking out. In the end, the choice of a camping tent that meets your needs is yours to make.