Best Wild Camping Tents – Ultimate Buying Guide & Review 2022

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In a nutshell...

My all-time favourite, and one of the best wild camping tents money can buy:

msr-hubba-hubba-nx-2-best-tents-for-wild-camping

Wild camping is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in nature.  

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of waking up surrounded by stunning natural beauty, knowing that you are the only person for miles around.

However, it’s vital that you come prepared.  Mother Nature isn’t always kind. 

The most important piece of kit you need to keep you safe, warm and dry is a decent (ideally lightweight) tent.  But with so many to choose from, it can be tricky to know which one’s best for you.

Best wild camping tents - an honest review

In this post I review some of the best wild camping tents on the market.  

I own, use, and love several of these tents – and have extensive experience wild camping in the UK and a number of other countries around the world. 

I hope you find this post helpful.

Best 1 man tent for wild camping

Vango Nevis 100

best-1-man-tent-for-wild-camping-vango-wild-camping-in-new-zealand

The first tent I ever owned was a Vango, and I still have a bit of a soft spot for them.

This model is an excellent entry-level 1 man tent for wild camping.  It’s not the lightest tent out there.  And, while it does a fairly good job of keeping out most bad weather, it’s really only a 3 season tent.  

However, given what you get for the price, it’s a really fantastic piece of kit.

I especially like the way you can pitch the outer rain fly first, before putting up the inner tent.  So many modern tents require you to pitch the inner section first before attaching the outer layer.  This is fine when it’s dry, but not great if you’re setting up camp in the rain.

If you’re new to wild camping, don’t have a huge budget to spend on kit, but want a tent that will keep you warm and dry in most weather conditions, this is the tent for you. 

Key info:

Weight – 2 kilograms

Size when packed down – 46 x 14 centimetres

Capacity 1 person

Pitch style – Outer first / pitch simultaneously

Pole type – Aluminium alloy

Porch? – Yes (but small)

Pros

Cons

MSR Hubba NX Solo

This certainly isn’t the cheapest tent out there.  But if your budget can stretch to it, the Hubba NX Solo is one of the lightest, most spacious 1 man tents that money can buy.

It’s incredibly easy to pitch, packs down small, and has great ventilation thanks to a clever “kickstand” vent.  This tent feels airy and pleasant to be in – which is significant, given that it’s a one-person tent.

However, its incredible lightness does, of course, come at the expense of (some) durability.  

This is a solid 3-season tent and can withstand moderately bad weather, including fairly heavy rain.  But it’s not really up to the task of protecting you from extreme winds and rain.

Don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent lightweight wild camping tent.  It’s great for most conditions – just don’t take it up a mountain in a winter storm.

Key info:

Weight – 1.12 kilograms

Size when packed down – 46 x 15 centimetres

Capacity – 1 person

Pitch style – Inner first

Pole type – Lightweight aluminium

Porch? – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best 2 man tent for wild camping

Of course, just because you have a 2 man tent doesn’t mean that you can only use it with another person…

Personally, I prefer to have a little bit more space when I camp, so I usually bring a two person tent even when I am camping by myself.

But of course, this is very much a question of preference.  I’m happy to carry a little bit more bulk and weight for the added utility.  Others prefer to prioritise keeping their backpack as small and light as possible.

Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person

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I really love this tent.  In my opinion, it’s the best 2 man wild camping tent that money can buy.

The Hubba Hubba NX 2 is very similar to the Hubba NX Solo (above), just a bit bigger.

As with the NX Solo, this is a 3 season tent.  However, it’s one of the most spacious, luxurious – yet at the same time incredibly lightweight – tents out there.

Again, it’s not exactly cheap.  But I think it’s worth every penny.  This is a truly exceptional piece of kit.  

It’s extremely well designed, all the way down to the mini rain gutters that are built into the sides of the doors.

There are two wide doors, with a decent sized porch on each side.  Inside, there’s plenty of space for two people to sit up – thanks largely to the lack of tapering on the walls.  It’s airy, roomy, and just really pleasant to be in.

MSR’s clever “kickstand” air vents, plus the large amount of netting on the roof, means that the tent is well ventilated and doesn’t get stuffy.  This is also great at helping to reduce the amount of condensation you wake up to in the morning (one of my pet hates when sleeping in cheaper tents).

The inner tent is free-standing and resembles something of a giant bug net.  So, if you’re camping somewhere dry, you can simply assemble the inner section and fall asleep under the stars.  It’s fantastic.

The tent’s design also means that, even when you do need to use the rain cover, the inner tent never touches the outer cover.  This helps to prevent any water leakage.

With a bit of practice, you can put this tent up in under 90 seconds, and it packs away even quicker.

Key info:

Weight – 1.8 kilograms

Size when packed down – 46 x 15 centimetres

Capacity – 2 person

Pitch style – Inner first

Pole type – Lightweight aluminium

Porch? – Yes

Pros

Cons

Vango Blade Pro 200

A cheaper alternative to the Hubba Hubba, this is another great two man tent for wild camping.

Weighing 2.1 kilograms, it’s a little heavier than most of the other tents in this post.  However, it’s fairly easy to pitch, sturdy and durable, can withstand most moderately bad weather, and packs down fairly small.  Plus the price is good.

Although the low sloping sides can make the interior feel a little cramped, the tent does have a surprisingly large floor area.  This makes it one of the best wild camping tents for tall people.

Key info:

Weight – 2.1 kilograms

Size when packed down – 49 x 39 centimetres

Capacity – 2 person

Pitch style – Inner first (single pole)

Pole type – Aluminium alloy

Porch? – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best 3 man tent for wild camping

Forceatt 3 Person Tent

Here’s the thing with “3 person” tents…

While you can usually fit 3 people in them without much trouble, you can very rarely fit 3 people PLUS 3 people’s gear inside…  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “3 man” tent that comfortably fits three people and 3 large-ish backpacks.

This tent is no exception.  If you’ve somehow managed to carry all of your gear in small day packs (or have somewhere else to stash your gear), you could probably (just about) squeeze three people inside here.  But if you’ve got large 50+ litre backpacks, forget it.

That said, this 3 person tent from Forceatt is one of the best 3 man wild camping tents out there.

It’s a little on the heavy side.  However, if you are sharing the weight between a few people, this isn’t likely to be a problem.

The Forceatt 3 Person is easy to pitch, has 2 separate doors (great if you’re sharing with 2 other people), with decent storage space on either side, and is durable enough to survive most moderate weather.

You do get what you pay for a little though.  Don’t expect it to survive a Force 10 storm.

Key info:

Weight – 2.5 kilograms

Size when packed down – 42 x 14 centimetres

Capacity – 3 person (or 2 with lots of gear)

Pitch style – Inner first

Pole type – Aluminium

Porch? – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best 4 man tent for wild camping

If you are planning to go wild camping with three other people, I’d really recommend bringing two 2 man tents.  

There are tents on the market that sleep four people.  However, these tend to be much heavier and don’t pack down anywhere near as well as the tents I’ve recommended above.  

If you’re at a festival, a 4 man tent can be great.  But less so for camping in the wilds (and carrying everything on your back).

massive-tent-not-wild-camping-tent
This is not a wild camping tent

As an aside, if you are looking for a tent that sleeps 4-6 people, I can highly recommend the Coleman Oak Canyon 4 tent.

This is a great tent if you are staying in a campsite or a festival (i.e. not wild camping), especially if you have a car and don’t need to carry everything in and out.

Click here for the latest prices.

Best ultralight bivy for wild camping

Ultralight bivy tents are even smaller than 1 man tents.  If you don’t mind sacrificing some space and comfort, they can be excellent ways to spend a few nights out in the wilderness.  Especially if you want to keep an extra-low profile…

Geertop Bivy Tent

The Geertop Bivy is an excellent lightweight wild camping tent. 

Well, technically it’s a bivy.  There’s no outer porch and a low ceiling that doesn’t allow you to sit up inside. 

However, it’s lightweight, packs down small, and is excellent value for money. Plus, the tent’s smaller profile means you’re less likely to be spotted while  camping (definitely a bonus in certain places – see below).

This tent is also very good at keeping out all but the very heaviest of rain.  Its streamlined shape also means it fares better than most larger tents in windy conditions.

Key info:

Weight – 1.5 kilograms

Size when packed down – 43 x 11 centimetres

Capacity 1 person

Pitch style – Inner first

Pole type – Aluminium

Porch? – No

Pros

Cons

Snugpak Ionosphere Bivvi Tent

Another fantastic ultralightweight bivy, the Snugpak Ionosphere is even more discrete than the Geertop.  This makes it an excellent choice if you want to keep as low profile as possible (i.e. “stealth” camping).

It’s quite a bit smaller inside than the Geertop, so you’ll need to pack sensibly (and not mind a bit of mild claustrophobia).  However, it’s even better at keeping out the elements, so can be used in a greater range of (bad) weather conditions.

Key info:

Weight – 1.5 kilograms

Size when packed down – 46 x 15 centimetres

Capacity 1 person

Pitch style – Inner first

Pole type – Aluminium

Porch? – No

Pros

Cons

Best budget wild camping tent

One piece of advice:  Don’t go out and buy a £40 tent for wild camping.

Cheap tents are fine for camping in good weather.  But if the weather takes a turn for the worst, you really do need your tent to be able to keep you warm and dry.  People get hypothermia every year by going out into the wilderness without adequate equipment.

The Vango Blade Pro 200 and the Vango Nevis 100 are two of the best value wild camping tents on the market.

Best tent for wild camping overall

Factors to consider when buying a tent for wild camping

Waterproofing

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It goes without saying, unless you’re camping in a particularly dry place, you will need your tent to be waterproof.  I do a lot of wild camping in the UK, where this is a really essential feature!

When choosing which tent to buy for wild camping, be sure to check its Hydrostatic Head (HH) rating.  This measures the waterproof qualities of the tent’s fabric.

The higher the HH value, the better.  If you need your tent to withstand a decent amount of rain, ideally look for 3000mm HH or higher.

However, bear in mind that even a tent with a high HH value can still leak if not pitched properly.

Weight

This is a no-brainer.  The lighter the better.  You’ll probably be carrying your tent on your back for at least some of the time prior to setting up camp.

Ideally, if you’re camping solo, you want your tent to weigh 2 kilograms or less.  If you’re sharing the load with another person, this is less of a concern.  But still, try to keep the weight as low as possible.

Sturdiness

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This largely depends on where you plan to be.  

If you’re wild camping somewhere where it virtually never rains and doesn’t have strong winds, the sturdiness of your tent isn’t really something you need to worry about.  I’ve wild camped in Namibia, Kazakhstan, Oman, and various other desert places in nothing more than a free-standing bug net.

However, the best tent for wild camping in places with less favourable (or more unpredictable) weather conditions needs to be able to withstand whatever the elements throw at it.

This is especially important when wild camping in mountainous areas.  Strong winds can destroy flimsy, poorly-designed tents, so build quality is key.

Breathability

Whether you’re wild camping or staying in a campsite, your tent should be as breathable as possible.

Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a stuffy, airless tent with condensation dripping from the ceiling.

Size

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There are two things to think about here:

How small does the tent pack down?

You’ll be carrying everything you need for your expedition on your back.  The smaller the tent packs down, the better.  A small, well-packed tent leaves more space in your backpack for other stuff.

How spacious is the tent inside once it’s pitched?

inside-vango-banshee-200-wild-camping-tent

This can be a little contentious.  Some people like to keep as low profile as possible when wild camping.  This is especially important to consider if you’re pitching your tent somewhere where it’s (technically) not allowed… See below for more on this.

Personally, I really value being able to sit up in a tent.  Being in a “coffin”-style tent makes me feel pretty claustrophobic.

Especially if you’re camping somewhere where there’s a fair chance of rain (i.e. the UK and most of northern Europe), you might need to shelter in your tent from the elements for at least some of the time.

But I know not everybody feels the same.  Ultimately, it’s a question of personal preference.

Ease of pitch

Some tents are easier to pitch than others.  Generally, the faster you can put up your tent, the better.  Especially if it’s windy and/or raining, you’ll be glad to get your shelter up and ready as quickly as possible.

That’s one of the (many) reasons I love my Hubba Hubba NX 2 so much.  With a bit of practice, you can get it unpacked and fully pitched in about 90 seconds.

One other thing… If you buy a new tent, make sure you practice putting it up (at least one) before setting out on your wild camping trip.

Other equipment needed for wild camping

best-tent-for-wild-camping-in-turkey

You need a fair amount of equipment to ensure you stay warm, dry, and comfortable when wild camping.

This isn’t an exhaustive packing list, but a set of essentials to help get you started.

I own, regularly use, and highly recommend all of the following:

Is wild camping legal?

The short answer is, it depends.

There are several countries around the world where wild camping is totally legal, such as Sweden, Estonia, Argentina, and Norway.  I like those countries.

In other places – such as Canada, the USA, and New Zealand – it’s permitted in certain areas, subject to local rules and restrictions.

In Scotland, wild camping is permitted in most wilderness areas, as long as you comply with the Outdoor Access Code, and leave no trace.

Sadly, in many countries (like England and Wales) wild camping is technically illegal.  However, these restrictions can usually be overcome by either (i) getting the permission of the landowner in question; or (ii) being very discreet, so your presence goes unnoticed…

Best places to go wild camping in the UK

Isle-of-Skye-hiking

As noted above, wild camping is legal throughout much of Scotland.  So it makes sense that many of the best places for wild camping in the UK are found north of the border.

Some of my favourite places for wild camping in Scotland are:

  • Knoydart – one of the UK’s last remaining great wildernesses
  • The “Lost Valley” of Glencoe – a (not-so-secret) hidden hanging valley with wild, rugged scenery
  • Sandwood Bay Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK
  • The Cairngorms – the largest national park in the UK has loads of great spots for spending a night under the stars (my favourite is Upper Glen Feshie)
  • Galloway Forest Park – “the Highlands of the Lowlands” is a real hidden gem
  • Isle of Arran – “Scotland in miniature”
  • Isle of Skye – iconic, dramatic, and home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the country

In England (and the rest of the UK for that matter), the only place where you can legally wild camp is Dartmoor National Park.  Otherwise, the law says that you must have the permission of the landowner before setting up camp.

However… in some of the more remote areas of the Lake District and the North Pennines, wild camping is generally tolerated provided you are discreet, respectful and (of course) leave no trace.

As for Wales…

In my experience, Welsh farmers really aren’t keen on wild campers, and I’ve been moved on several times when I’ve attempted to wild camp in Wales.

That said, I’ve managed to successfully spend a few nights wild camping in the Brecon Beacons, as well as by beautiful Cwm Caseg Tarn in Snowdonia.

I believe in transparency:  Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase something through them, I might earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  However, I only link to products and companies that I trust and honestly recommend.  The income goes towards keeping this site up and running.  Thanks for your support.

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