How Much Does a Camping Tent Cost? All You Need to Know

just another camping tent

Shopping for camping tents can be a daunting experience. Depending on who you are, the type of tent you’ll need will be completely different, but every brand will tell you that theirs is the one to buy.

Fortunately, our team has plenty of experience knowing which type of tent is right for each type of camper or camping trip. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know when deciding what you pay for a new camping tent.

What Tent Price is Right For You Based on Camper Type?

If you’re looking for a quick recommendation on how much you should be spending on a tent, this section will do the job.

No one tent price is right for everyone, but it’s pretty easy to get an accurate price range based on the type of camper you are and what camping you’re looking to do. Find your category below for more information.

First Time Campers

If you’ve never camped before or are on a tight budget, we’d suggest that you look for cheap tents when doing your shopping. This is so that if you decide camping isn’t for you, then you won’t have broken the bank on a tent you’ll only use once.

Ideally, you could even borrow a tent from a friend or family member so you could camp for free. If you are purchasing one, however, go with a 1 or 2-season tent. While they’re not the best money can buy, you’ll likely be going to a nearby campsite or even your yard for your first camping trip, so it won’t matter much.

Aim for something in the $20 to $100 range if you’re in this category.

Casual Campers

Most of you reading this article will likely fall into this category. You camp a few times a year in good conditions, sometimes for multiple nights at a time. Usually, you’ll camp in multiple seasons or locations as well.

If you’re this type of camper, we’d recommend purchasing something with more features and a bit higher durability than a beginner would.

A solid 3 season tent costing somewhere between $75 and $200 will do the trick fine.


Backpackers have a slightly different set of considerations than your typical person going car camping. Because they’ll be carrying the tent around, trail weight is an important measurement to think about.

Depending on how long you’re backpacking, we’d recommend 2 different options.

Standard Backpacking Tents

If you’re taking an overnight or weekend trip on a mountain where you’ll be hiking 10 miles or less, a standard backpacking tent will work. You’re not going to be walking so far that the weight will be a huge concern, but you still want something that will fit comfortably in your pack.

If this sounds like you, you’ll be able to find a good tent in the $150 to $300 range here.

Ultralight Tents

On the other hand, if you plan on hiking long distances in the tens or hundreds of miles, an ultralight tent is a must.

Many of these tents weigh under 2 pounds while providing good weather protection, making them the ideal choice for those long hiking trips.

The one downside of these is you’ll be paying $300+, so make sure you need it.


Family and Long-Term Campers

This category applies to people going on hunting, kayaking, or other wilderness trips as well as people going family camping.

These tents should be on the larger and more luxurious side, given they’ll need to hold lots of supplies and you’ll be staying in them for an extended time. They also should be able to withstand the elements well and last for years.

A good price range for this type of tent is $300-$500.

Intense Campers

The last category is reserved for the most intense campers. People who camp out in the wild for weeks at a time or do large amounts of winter camping.

While you probably already have a good idea of what you need if you’re in this group, we’ll spell it out anyways.

In almost every case, a 5 season tent is a must. They’re the only ones capable of sheltering you against the most brutal weather, including high winds and snowfall. These will be very expensive tents, but well worth it if you want to enjoy those camping trips.

A quality tent that fits these specifications will cost between $400 and $800+.

winter tent

What Should You Spend On a Camping Tent? Factors to Consider

If you want to dive deeper into what will affect camping tent prices, the rest of this article is for you.

Several different factors determine how much different camping tents will cost. Depending on the features you might want, this could vary between $25 on the low end to upwards of $1000 on the high end.

Odds are, you will end up somewhere in the middle on your tent purchase, but it’s important to know what exactly you’ll need to get the best bang for your buck.

Season Rating

A tent can have one of 5 different season ratings, which is a measure of how well a tent will stand up to different weather conditions. In a sense, you can think of it as a 1-5 star rating.

Beginners commonly mistake the season rating as the literal number of seasons a tent is usable, so you need to know this context.

1 & 2 Season Tent

1 and 2-season tents are the most inexpensive and basic type of tent, running between $25 and $50 on average.

They typically lack most features that you’ll see in standard tents such as waterproofing or a rainfly. They’re also made of cheap materials that won’t stand up well to the elements or last for a very long time.

This type of tent might be suitable for camping in your backyard on a warm summer night, but we wouldn’t suggest using it for much beyond that.

3 Season Tent

The 3 season tent is the most popular type of tent among campers, and for good reason. It’s usable in all conditions except for cold winter weather and comes with most of the normal features that higher-rated tents have as well.

3 season tents cost anywhere between $50 and $200 depending on what you’re looking for with the other factors.

4 Season Tent

A 4 season tent is similar to a 3 season, except that it is made of thicker material designed to handle winter weather much better.

They also tend to be a bit sturdier in their build so that they can protect against harsh weather conditions like snow or high winds.

These tents will cost between $100 and $300.

5 Season Tent

A 5 season tent is the highest-rated type of tent, built to manage practically any type of weather you can think of.

They’re most often used by campers in extremely cold or harsh conditions that go beyond typical winter weather.

Because of this, they’re also the most expensive tent type, ranging between $300 to close to $1000.

Tent Capacity

Tent size is one of the biggest factors that determine the price of a camping tent. Generally, the more people a tent can fit, the more it will cost.

Depending on the tent you purchase, it can fit anywhere between 1 person to 12+, so you have lots of different options here. There are also multiple structures available in different sizes, such as dome tents and cabin tents, that can influence how much you pay.

Below is a table showing how much a tent will cost based on how many people it can fit. Also, keep in mind that the tent size rating isn’t always a perfect measure of capacity, so do your research beforehand to find what you need.

Tent SizeAverage Price
8+ Person$150-$400+
big tent

Tent Weight

Tent weight is often overlooked when determining the price of a tent, but it can be a large factor. The weight of a tent is usually more important to backpackers than car campers, as they’ll be carrying it around for long periods.

Because of this, a general rule is that camping tents will get more expensive the lighter they are in weight.

Make sure to look at weight in the context of other factors, however, because 1 and 2-season tents will often be some of the lightest due to their lack of protection.

Extra Features

The more tent features you want to add, the more you’ll end up paying. Add-ons can end up varying a lot from tent to tent, so this is something to keep an eye on while you’re shopping.

Some examples of extra features include:

  • Size and number of doors

  • Available screen room

  • A full-coverage rainfly

  • Lofts and storage pouches for camping gear

  • Attached vestibule

  • Waterproofing

  • Ventilation levels

Tent Brand

While on the bottom of the list for a reason, the brand is something that will affect tent prices.

Usually, a more well-known brand has built a loyal customer base over years of their tents being used. This means that they are often higher quality, and thus more expensive as well. Brands like Coleman, Nemo, and Big Agnes fall into this category.

However, some large brands use their name to overcharge on tents, so it’s not the only thing you should base your purchase on.

While they’re often hit or miss, some of the best tent deals we’ve ever gotten in terms of quality and value have been from lesser-known brands. That’s why it can be helpful to do some research before buying whatever the most popular tent is online.

normal tent


Depending on your specific needs, you could end up paying any amount for a good camping tent. However, if you follow this guide you’ll be sure to get a premium tent at an affordable price for you.

As a final tip, make sure you’re cleaning your tent and keeping it in good condition, especially if you plan on being an active camper. It will significantly decrease the amount of money you spend on tent camping trips long-term.

If you found this article helpful or have any other tips on how much you should pay for a tent, please let us know in the comments. Happy camping!

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