Single use tents are not only an environmental nightmare, they make for a completely shitty music festival camping experience. They won’t keep your stuff dry. They can’t handle the wind. They almost always rip.
A quality tent with a little bit of care will last you on your festival adventures for the next decade. They also work well for local camping excursions, cheap road trip accommodations, and loaning out to your friends. This past weekend, the Music Festival Wizard team headed out to our gear testing facility in Worcester, Vermont, to try out a few new tents in our arsenal.
What We Look for in Festival Tents
- Waterproof: We want to dance outdoors in the rain, not in our tent.
- Portability: We’re travelers, usually carpooling or taking public transit to the festival.
- Quality: One use tents are terrible. We want something that will last for years.
[infobox maintitle=”Recommended Festival Tents” subtitle=”” bg=”white” color=”black” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]
Ohnana: Rayve II
Price: $178 USD
Best For: Overall festival use
Sleeping Capacity: 3-person
Peak Height: 50in (127cm)
Weight: 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg)
Dimensions: 83in x 83in (210cm x 210cm)
Packed Size: 23.5in x 8in x 8in (60 cm x 20cm x 20cm)
Here’s a quality tent built specifically for festival fans. It comes prepped with a reflective rain tarp that keeps the tent up to 25 degrees cooler, special fabric to block out the light, and vents to let in the air (and let out your terrible camping smells).
Big Agnes: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
Price: $379.95 USD
Best For: Festival flashpacking
Sleeping Capacity: 2-person
Peak Height: 40in (100cm)
Weight: 3 lbs. 1 oz. (1.39 kg)
Floor Area: 29sq ft (2.7m²)
Packed Size: 6in x 21in (15cm x 53cm)
So small that it fits into your carry on, but so spacious that it can hold up to two people, this super lightweight tent barely makes a dent in your festival luggage. Be warned, the price tag is high, but the quality build means that you’ll be using this tent for years. So far, I’ve used this tent to camp at 7 festivals (22 days of camping) and it’s already in my bag for this year.
REI: Co-op Camp Dome 4
Price: $199 USD
Best For: Festival car camping
Sleeping Capacity: 4-person
Peak Height: 56in (142cm)
Weight: 8lbs 13oz (4 kg)
Floor Area: 59.6 sq ft (5.54m²)
Packed Size: 8.7in x 27 in (22cm x 69cm)
When you need space, but you don’t want the bulk, we prefer this offering from REI. It boasts a fairly simple setup and a large roomy interior. Both doors come equipped with screen windows to let in the fresh air and the overhang rainfly means you can keep the door open during rainstorms.
Coleman: Sundome 4
Price: $99 USD
Best For: On a budget
Sleeping Capacity: 4-person
Dimensions: 108in x 49in x 84in (274cm x 124cm x 213cm)
Weight: 10.24 lbs (4.65kg)
The Coleman Sundome hits the sweet spot between a functional multiple use tent and your wallet. Coming in at under $100, Coleman is well known for their quality camping products and this tent is a festie favorite with its Dark Room technology which blocks out 90% of sunlight for early morning snoozing.
Kelty: Outback 6
Price: $229.95 USD
Best For: Large crowds
Sleeping Capacity: 6-person
Peak Height: 76in (193cm)
Weight: 13lb 12oz (6.2kg)
Floor Area: 87ft2 (8.1m2)
Packed Size: 8in x 27in (20cm x 69cm)
We tend to recommend smaller capacity tents for festival camping, but when you need to fit the whole squad under one roof, this spacious over-sized dome will keep you dry and happy for the weekend. The six foot high ceilings also make it ideal for late night tent dance parties.