For many families, the most exciting aspect of summer approaching is camping. After a long winter cooped up in your house, few things are more enjoyable than chatting around a campfire and sleeping under the stars.
However, the weather can put a damper on these plans. Rain can unexpectedly become a reality on even the prettiest of days, so it is important to be prepared. Contrary to what many people believe, not all tents are rainproof.
More importantly, not all tents that claim to be rain-proof will perform when it is time to keep the droplets off your pillow. Thus, here’s how to get the best waterproof tent for camping outdoors. Let’s take a look at the products we will review.
Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- 1 Some Great, and Not So Great, Examples
- 2 Best Waterproof Tent Reviews
- 3 KAZOO 2-Person Outdoor Camping Tent
- 4 BATTOP 4 Person Tent
- 5 Gonex Camping Tent
- 6 KAZOO Family Camping Tent
- 7 Forceatt 2 Person Camping Tent
- 8 How to Select the Best Tent for Rain and Wind
- 9 Conclusion
Some Great, and Not So Great, Examples
Often, the best way to find the best product is to explore the options. Here are some of the most innovative waterproof tents on the market.
Best Waterproof Tent Reviews
When shopping for a lightweight tent, there are always compromises. There is no way to avoid the fact that more features tend to add more weight. However, a well designed weatherproof tent will attempt to balance these factors to make the most usable product. One of the largest issues that face typical two-person tents is lack of storage. Although many of these models can sleep two people, many designers neglect to account for where backpacks and other camping necessities are stored. Thankfully, KAZOO demonstrated their experience by avoiding this common-pitfall.
For a two-person tent, the KAZOO is fairly large. Yet, it weighs well under 6lbs. The genius of the KAZOO’s design is that the roof of the tent is significantly larger than the tent itself. Thus, while it provides the cozy shelter needed to sleep one or two people, it also provides “closets” to safely stash your gear. This compartmental design makes organizing significantly easier and is a feature I would love to see in more tents.
As a water proof tent, the KAZOO performs fairly well, but not perfectly. The main constraint is the size of the rainfly that only covers 90% of the tent. Although we did not experience any leaking during our tests, I would not be surprised if water intruded during longer storms.
- Spacious interior
- Lots of storage
- Easy to set up
- Rainfly is small
- Some seams were roughly hemmed
For shoppers looking for rain proof tents, the terms can become misleading. Given the nature of a tent, it is almost impossible for a tent to be completely resistant to rain. Thus, tents should have systems in place that allow for mitigating any water than does enter. The most important method is ventilation. It is almost impossible for a tent to have too much air circulation. Whether you are trying to keep cool on a muggy night, or you are trying to air-out the moisture that inevitably collects in a tent, an ample supply of mesh windows is key. And sadly, this is a failure point of the BATTOP.
In many ways, the BATTOP is a well-designed small waterproof tent. The set up is extremely simple due to its “poles in place” folding method. Further, the designers included several thoughtful touches such as storage pockets, hooks, and double-zippers. However, it seems that the BATTOP designers may have designed a tent that is good at keeping water out and not much else.
Most tents have a went at the peak of the roof that allows hot or moist air to escape. On the BATTOP, this area is a solid piece of canvas. Most tents have windows on each side to allow air circulation. Not so on the BATTOP. Other than the two small doors, there are no accommodations for ventilation on this model. In our testing, this resulting in the tent becoming muggy and uncomfortable on even mild nights. While the BATTOP excels at sealing out rain, it fails at comfort.
- Extremely waterproof
- No ventilation
- Small doors
The key to designing the best tent is versatility. By nature, camping is unpredictable. A blisteringly hot day can turn frigid in moments. A clear sky can become a deluge. Thus, a good tent must be able to adapt. In terms of adaptability, the Gonex is superb.
At first glance, the Gonex is a fairly standard two-pole design for a rectangular backpacking tent. As a normal tent, it performs very well. It is lightweight, easy to set up, and stores neatly. But the real party trick of the Gonex is that it functions so well in such a wide variety of circumstances. In its basic form, the Gonex’s body is primarily made of mesh. Thus, the ventilation is fantastic for warm nights or for staring at the stars in a secluded campsite. However, a full-size rainfly is included. In a light drizzle or if you simply want more privacy, you can install the rainfly but leave the sides rolled up for air-flow. Finally, on a cold night or in heavy rain, the rain-fly can be zipped fully down, completely encasing the tent. There are very few situations this tent cannot tackle.
Beyond its versatile design, the attention to detail is excellent. The zippers are well made, and there are multiple storage cubbies and hooks for keeping your gear organized. The interior height is a generous 48”, so sitting up is no problem. Despite the excellent design, the best feature of this tent is the price. Even though it is one of the best-designed models we tested, it is also one of the most affordable.
- Extremely light
- Lots of headroom
- Versatile storage
- Rainfly material felt thin
- Setup could be easier
As we have emphasized at great length, ventilation is an invaluable feature for a comfortable camping experience. Many smaller tents emphasize ventilation because of their inherently small volume. However, proper air-flow is an oft-forgotten aspect of larger stand-up tent models. Thankfully, KAZOO has applied its expertise to a family-sized model, and the results are admirable.
As tents get larger, set-up can often become more of a chore. The KAZOO is unquestionably a large tent. Thought their eight-person claim may be optimistic, there is no denying that the ten-foot square beast is an imposing addition to a campsite. Using the popular pole-in-place construction technique, the KAZOO family model is almost trivial to put up. Once removed from the bag, setup is just a matter of unfolding the poles and locking them into place.
The KAZOO also performs well as a waterproof camping tent. Larger tents can be difficult to keep dry due to the increased surface area. However, KAZOO included a full-height rainfly to make sure that unexpected showers cannot ruin a weekend. The rainfly also includes roll-up windows, allowing for ventilation and protection. The front of the rainfly also doubles as an awning for sunny days. Multi-tasking is always good, but it’s even better in the context of camping.
This KAZOO will never be mistaken for a backpacking tent. In total, it weighs almost twenty pounds. Yet, as a car-camping family tent with superb weather protection, this KAZOO is striking a chord.
- Very spacious
- Lots of windows
- Rainfly acts as an awning
- Not a true eight-person tent
Compared to the complicated tents of the past, modern makers are putting an increasing emphasis on ease-of-setup. However, there are often tradeoffs to these “one step” tents. While simply unfolding a tent is convenient, the mechanism responsible for this is often heavy and complex. In this light, a back to basics approach to a waterproof tent is refreshing. The Forceatt is a traditional design. It has two segmented poles that clip onto the outside of the canvas. Though simple, it is also exceptionally elegant.
The Forceatt is designed with backpacking in mind, and only weighs 5 lbs. Despite this svelte status, it is a fully-featured two-person tent. Clearly, rain was in the minds of the designers. Most tents feature some form of a “bathtub” floor which seals the ground. This model is no exception, but the sealed area is particularly deep to deal with puddles or light flooding. Further, the Forceatt strikes a wonderful balance between ventilation and rain protection.
Much like the Gonex, the Forceatt has a primarily mesh body. Yet, the rainfly provides full coverage while feeling particularly sturdy. Several admirable details were included in the rainfly. First, the flaps are slightly oversized. This allows the fly to be staked away from the tent, providing both circulation and a protected storage area. Further, the front of the rainfly is designed to be turned into an awning using hiking poles as supports. Just because you are traveling light doesn’t mean you have to rough it.
The Forceatt makes the shortlist for the best tent for heavy rain. It is thoughtfully designed, well built, and affordably priced.
- Simple and sturdy design
- Excellent ventilation
- Well-designed rainfly
- Only four tie-down points
- Slightly slow to set up
How to Select the Best Tent for Rain and Wind
Although most tents are marketed as being “rainproof”, many fall short of achieving this goal. Yet, few things can make a camping trip more miserable than a soggy tent. Here are some of the most important features to look for when shopping for the best tent for rain.
If you look at the bottom of a properly constructed all-weather tent, you will notice that the floor of the tent curves upward to form a bowl shape.
This feature is known as a bathtub floor and is designed to prevent any leaks that may form from seams. Most tents have some form of bathtub floor, but not all are created equally. The best models for rain have a deep floor with at least 8” of protection.
During a rainstorm, the rain coming from the sky is often the least of your worries. Rather, the water rushing by on the ground around your tent can have a much more damaging effect. Thus, if there is any chance your tent will encounter rain, make sure it has a deep enough floor.
Tents are often sold using their weight as a marketing device. While having a lightweight tent is nice, having a damp one does not exactly justify saving a few ounces.
One of the most common methods that manufacturers use to reduce the weight of their tents is by skimping on the rainfly. A rainfly, also called a rain cover, is a solid piece of fabric that covers the top of your tent to prevent rain or to provide additional insulation.
Cheaply made tents commonly have half-height rainflies which do little to repel the moisture. For optimal wet weather performance, look for a tent that includes a rainfly that covers the entirety of the tent to the ground.
This not only provides rain protection but can keep the tent warmer on chilly nights. Further, the best rainflies double as patio awnings, like the Forceatt above.
Plenty of Tie-Down Points
Where there is rain there will soon be wind. A common oversight on cheaply made tents is to only provide a tie-down point at each corner.
For increased stability, the best tents include multiple options for tie-downs. During heavy winds, the wind can often get under the tent and flip it. Thus, having a way to secure the middle of the walls is key to preventing a rude awakening in the middle of the night.
One of the most prevalent short-comings of a poorly made tent is inadequate seams. A tent can be incredibly well designed and built from the highest quality materials, but without proper construction, it will still fail.
The best tents for rain include double-seams throughout. This provides an additional sealing surface against water and provides much-needed additional strength for high wind conditions.
Camping gear often includes a multitude of marketing hype. Separating the truth from the fluff can be a challenging task. When searching for a waterproof camping tent, there are some simple patterns to keep in mind. As long as you make sure you purchase a well constructed and thoughtfully designed model, you will be able to avoid any nasty surprises during your next adventure.
Here, the Gonex Camping Tent proved to be the winner by combining unparalleled quality with innovative design. Its adaptable nature made it an excellent companion in any condition and it should occupy anyone’s list when shopping for their next rainproof tent.
Never let a little rain ruin your fun again. Simply purchase one of the many great waterproof tents and get out there!
- Superior Material: Made of 75D 210T polyester taffeta & 150D oxford tent floor with PU2000, our tent boasts excellent UV protection & waterproof performance. Strong SBS zipper is as smooth and sturdy as YKK zipper for long time use.
- Steady Construction: Loading positions with reinforced & strengthened seams provide weather protection. The door awning & placket are designed for windproof & waterproof functions respectively. Interior comes with many storage pockets for your small items.
- Easy to Set-up: Pre-attached poles help you set up or take down the tent in minutes. Please set up on even ground with tent floor and clear something sharp or raised before setting to avoid damaging waterproof property caused by puncture.
- Tips for Maintenance: Before storage, please clean up inside impurities to avoid producing peculiar smell & damaging waterproof function caused by friction. Considering the stitching is made by high-temperature hot-press laminating technology, our tent should be dried after using on rainy or snowy day, otherwise the waterproof strip may fall off or get moldy because of long-time soaking so that the waterproof property will be affected.
- Wide Application: Size: (L*W*H )82.6 x 59 x 47.2 Inches. The tent with ultralight weight and excellent waterproof performance is portable and durable for most weathers. Perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering etc.(High attitude snow mountain camping is not recommended.)
Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API