Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (2024)

Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III
Alpkit Jaran 3
NEMO Dagger OSMO 3P
Vaude Taurus 3P
Marmot Tungsten UL 3P
Coleman Darwin 3+
Vango Beta 350XL CLR
Robens Fairbanks
Grangers Tent And Gear Care Kit
Nikwax Camping Care Kit
Nikwax Cotton Proof

In the world of hiking tents, seldom are three-person tents used to accommodate three people. They're normally used by two people who want more internal space than a two-person tent without gaining much bulk.

From the different tent shapes to the dozens of tent brands, there is a lot to discover about tents. And that's before you get to the finer but equally important details regarding size, weight, durability, sustainability, and other features.

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (12)

©LFTO

The best three-person tents at a glance:

Best in Test: Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III

Best Value: Alpkit Jaran 3

Best lightweight 3-person tent: NEMO Dagger OSMO 3P

The first thing to do is to decide whether you need a tent for a camping ground or for hiking and wild camping. The former can be bigger, heavier, and more spacious because it gets transported in the car. Hiking tents need to be lighter and compact. But within hiking tents, you then need to decide if you want toughness and weatherproofing as priorities or low weight and space.

There's a lot to think about when you're trying to find the ideal three-person tent. To help you along, we've tested and recommended the best three-person tents for hiking and camping. Further down, you can also find buying and tent care advice.

How we tested

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (13)

©LFTO

We are tent experts. For decades, we've been using and testing everything from bivvies and hammocks to large family tents on our hiking and camping adventures. When going as a pair, we often use three-person tents because they offer a bit of extra living space compared to two-person models, which is always welcome, but seldom occupy more space.

Most of the tents recommended here were tested by Chris Williams (pictured above) in the British Lake District with his partner. Chris is from New Zealand and has a wealth of hiking and trekking experience in some of the world's most remote landscapes. He also has several years' experience working in the outdoor industry and as a journalist.

Best three-person tents reviewed

Best in Test

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (14)LFTO

What cements the Eclipse III as our overall pick for three-person tents is its versatility. There are lighter tents, there are bigger tents. But for hiking and camping, it's remarkably adept at both.

This is because the Eclipse III reasonably compact when packed down, spacious when pitched, and made from noticeably more durable fabrics than dedicated hiking tents.

The only drawback here is that it's heavier than most hiking tents. Some of the lightweight options here weigh less than half what the Eclipse III does. Nevertheless, it's still manageable in a larger pack when you're sharing the equipment-carrying duties with others.

We also rate the Eclipse III highly because it's quite sustainable, being mostly made from recycled materials and being PFC-free. Jack Wolfskin is also a Fair Wear Foundation member with 'Leader' status.

Check out our full Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III tent review

Pros

  • Versatile for hiking and camping
  • Sustainable
  • Very good weather protection

Cons

  • Not the lightest tent of this type

Best Value

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (16)LFTO

Price:

£279.99

alpkit.com

Where the Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III is a more 'standard' dome tent, the Jaran 3 leans more towards a lightweight hiking tent.

It has two crossing poles and a central beam to improve stability and increase internal space. The Jaran 3 weighs half what the Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III does and is a bit more compact when packed away too.

The Jaran 3 has lighter fabrics but still compares well against other lightweight hiking tents in terms of durability. The fly colour is very discreet, and we also like the mesh-heavy inner, which is great for stargazing if the conditions are conducive.

Alpkit itself is quite a sustainable brand, being a certified B Corp, and the Jaran 3 is PFC-free, but it doesn't use recycled fabrics.

Check out our full Alpkit Jaran 3 tent review

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good flysheet coverage
  • Guy lines are pre-attached

Cons

  • Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III has better eco credentials

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (17)

Price:

£279.99

alpkit.com

NEMO's Dagger OSMO 3P is even lighter than the Alpkit Jaran 3. It manages a packed weight of 2.1kg. This tent uses NEMO's proprietary OSMO fabric. The name means diddly squat, but OSMO is a unique poly-nylon that is fully recycled and PFC-free. It also manages to stretch a lot less than other tent fabrics when wet, which really aids water repellency.

OSMO goes a long way to explain why this tent is so expensive. But there's more to it. The design is remarkably spacious, offering the best floor area of all the hiking tents here and an impeccable space-to-weight ratio as a result.

There are some extras you get with the Dagger OSMO 3P you don't find on the other tents here. These include Nightlight Pockets that create an even glow when you put a head torch in them. There's also a Landing Zone tub you clip onto the tent to create a storage mat in the vestibule.

Check out our full NEMO Dagger OSMO 3-Person tent review

Pros

  • Excellent internal space and storage
  • Useful 'Landing Zone' gear mat
  • PFC-free and recycled

Cons

  • Plastic fly clips don't feel particularly durable
  • Not the best fly coverage

Best 3-person tent for durability

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (20)LFTO

Price:

$259.52

The Taurus 3P is the only tent here that pitches with the inner and fly together. That's a big plus point for pitching in the rain. Like the Jack Wolfskin Eclipse III, the Taurus 3P also uses much tougher fabrics than other lightweight hiking tents. Yet, unlike the Eclipse III, manages to keep the weight right down.

Where the tents above are all dome-type tents, the Taurus is more of a backpacking-style tent. It's free-standing, suitable for three-season use, and very easy to pitch, thanks to the all-in-one pitching style.

However, it's not as spacious as the others, mainly in terms of width. Measuring 165cm wide, tapering to 140cm at the end, it's great for two people but quite a squeeze for three. You'd all have to be very familiar with one another. You also have to buy extra pegs for the guy lines.

The Taurus is quite sustainable. Vaude offsets the lifecycle emissions of its products via myclimate carbon offset projects. Vaude is a Fair Wear Foundation member with 'Leader' status, and the Taurus has a PFC-free DWR.

Check out our full Vaude Taurus 3P tent review

Pros

  • Pitches inner and fly together
  • Good waterproof ratings
  • Tough fabrics
  • PFC-free DWR

Cons

  • Guy line pegs not supplied as standard
  • Pretty tight squeeze for 3 people
  • Scarce availability

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (21)

Price:

$259.52

Best 3-person tent for hot weather

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (22)LFTO

This tent beats even the NEMO Dagger OSMO 3P for lightness but is more spartan. The Tungsten UL 3P is a simple but well-thought-out construction, using pre-bent poles to make the walls more vertical and, therefore, increase living space.

It works a treat, helped even more by the fact that the entire inner, apart from the floor, is mesh. With or without the fly, it's an incredibly breathable tent, and the fly still offers good coverage right to the ground.

Inside, there are only a couple of corner pockets for storage, but the vestibules are larger than those on the NEMO Dagger OSMO 3P, for example. It's certainly not the toughest tent either. On the lightness-hardiness scale, the Tungsten UL 3P leans noticeably in favour of lightness.

Check out our full Marmot Tungsten UL 3P tent review

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Decent internal space
  • Very easy to pitch
  • Good flysheet coverage

Cons

  • Hard to gauge eco-credentials
  • Not the toughest tent

Best budget 3-person camping tent

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (24)Coleman

Price:

$197.99

Camping tents don't need to be big or expensive. Coleman proves this with the Darwin 3+. It's a high-quality little camping tent that has some nice touches but lacks in terms of eco credentials.

With a bedroom measuring 210cm x 180cm, it's not the largest floor area here, but there is a big porch area at the front. There's certainly enough space for two people to sit comfortably. The floor extending into the porch also makes a big difference in comfort.

The Darwin 3+ is a standard dome construction and has good waterproof ratings, capable of dealing with heavy rain.

Unfortunately, there is no mention from Coleman about the use of sustainable fabrics.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Generous porch area
  • Good weatherproofing

Cons

  • Not the lightest tent
  • No use of eco-friendly materials

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (25)

Price:

$197.99

Best 3-person camping tent

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (26)Vango

Price:

$284.26

Camping tents, as opposed to hiking tents, will generally cater for more people and gear, thus, they end up being bigger and bulkier. But we appreciate there are those who want a camping tent that doesn't go too far down the route of bigness and bulkiness. Enter the Vango Beta 350XL CLR. It's an excellently designed tent catering for three adults with ease yet remaining within a reasonable footprint and weight.

It's managed this feat by being quite short. So you get the generous bedroom and a spacious porch, but you can't stand up fully in either. That's not really an issue because you tend to sit in both rather than stand.

We certainly like that this tent is made from recycled plastic, and you don't lose any performance because of it. But it is quite a basic tent, best suited to a campsite. There are no slits for power cords, for example. But at the end of the day, it's very well made, and that's key.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Made from recycled material
  • Great value

Cons

  • No power cord port
  • Too low for standing upright in

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (27)

Price:

$284.26

Best 3-person bell tent

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (28)LFTO

The Fairbanks looks quite different from the other tents here because it's a bell tent shape. Made with a single-wall polycotton fabric, it provides liveability far above synthetic fabric tents.

The Polycotton fabric is better at regulating temperature, meaning it stays cooler in summer and milder in winter. It's also more breathable and durable.

The central pole construction makes the Fairbanks very easy to pitch, and inside, you get a large single space for three people or even four at a push. There is also a surprisingly large porch area. For regular campers who want the best liveability and durability, this is a great tent.

Pros

  • Excellent liveability
  • Polycotton fabric is breathable and durable
  • Easy pitching

Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than synthetic tents

What to look for in a three-person tent

Space

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With hiking tents, tough and highly weatherproof designs don't offer the best internal space. Lightweight, less weatherproof models with skeletal pole structures have excellent internal space. Tunnel-shaped tents tend to rule supreme in terms of space-to-weight ratios, though.

Weight and packed size

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This is key for hikers and part of the reason three-person tents are very popular. They can give that bit of extra room without adding too much weight or girth to the packed size. Consider your rucksack size and volume, and be sure to check dimensions of a tent's packed size before committing to it.

What's the best tent shape?

Dome tents and geodesic tents are the most stable shapes and best for dealing with stroppy weather. Tripod and backpacking shapes are lighter than dome and geodesic tents but aren't so weather resistant. Though, waterproofing is usually still very good. Tunnel tents are popular for hiking and camping alike. They can be compact and lightweight or large and commodious, depending on the design. They aren't as good in a storm as dome or geodesic tents, but they are usually still pretty good.

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What materials are best for a tent?

Most tents these days use nylon and polyester. Nylon is lightweight and strong, and polyester is quite hydrophobic. Both are reasonably inexpensive. Some larger camping tents may use cotton, polycotton, or canvas because these materials have good temperature regulation, are quieter, and are very durable. Though, like leather boots, tents using these materials usually need breaking in to weatherproof the fabric. They're also much heavier than the synthetic fabrics.

Features to look for

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©Live For The Outdoors

Things such as the number of doors and size of vestibules are important because they heavily influence a tent's liveability. Two opposing doors makes entering and exiting for multiple people much easier, while multiple or generous vestibules help cater for gear and make things more comfortable when the weather sucks. Are there gear pockets? How many pegs come with it? Do the zips have storm flaps? Think about your intentions for the tent and consider whether it has the right features for the job.

How to clean a tent

All of the three-person tents we have recommended are durable and last many moons, but only if you take care of them as you ought to. This includes cleaning and proofing the fabric, plus making sure the tent is completely dry before storing it.

Tents that are still damp when packed away and stored are the ones that don't last long. Mould quickly sets in, and the fabric gets wrecked. We know that you can't clean and dry your tent while you're away on a hike, and that's all the more reason why it's crucial you do so when you get back home.

For cleaning synthetic, cotton, polycotton, and canvas tents, we recommend Grangers' Tent + Gear Care Kit or Nikwax Tent and Gear SolarWash. Both of these are effective water-based cleaners that clean and also revitalise fabric breathability.

Best tent care kit

Grangers' effective and eco-friendly care kit for tents and outdoor gear such as packs. It even comes with a sponge to help apply the Cleaner solution. The Cleaner and Repel are available to buy individually too.

Pros

  • Water-based and PFC-free
  • Easy spray-on water repel
  • Good value

Cons

  • Reproofing spray needs applied quite regularly

Best tent cleaning spray

Nikwax's tent and gear care kit. It's just as good as the Grangers kit and also water-based and PFC-free. SolarWash and SolarProof are available to buy individually.

Pros

  • Water-based and PFC-free
  • Dry bag included

Cons

  • Reproofing spray needs applied quite regularly

Best waterproofer for cotton/canvas

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (38)

Rrp: $16.95

Price:

$13.37

This revives water repellency and breathability to cotton, polycotton, and canvas clothing or gear. It can be applied by hand or in the washing machine. Best used after Nikwax Tech Wash cleaner.

Pros

  • For equipment and clothing
  • Water-based and PFC-free

Cons

  • Doesn't last as long as other water-repellents

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (39)

Rrp: $16.95

Price:

$13.37

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Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed (2024)

FAQs

Best three-person tents 2024 | Tested and reviewed? ›

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 3 Person Tent

Who makes the best tents in the world? ›

Here are our top picks for the best tent manufacturers:
  • Hilleberg.
  • Big Agnes.
  • MSR.
  • Vango.
  • The North Face.
  • Black Diamond.
  • Alpkit.
  • Nemo.
Sep 27, 2023

Who makes the toughest tent? ›

The REI Co-op Base Camp 6 ($549) reigns supreme among the camping tents — certainly when it comes to weather resistance. It may not be the largest, the tallest, or the most affordable, but this moderately sized tent has everything it takes to make camping easy and enjoyable for years to come.

How can you tell if a tent is good quality? ›

Things to look for in a quality tent
  1. Tested for real life. What type of testing do MEC Label tents go through? ...
  2. Leak-proof. A good sealed seam can withstand a downpour and won't be compromised by the hot sun. ...
  3. Ventilation. ...
  4. Durable waterproof floor. ...
  5. Heavy-duty zippers. ...
  6. Aluminum poles. ...
  7. Serious pegs. ...
  8. Easy to set up.
Mar 22, 2017

What is the highest waterproof rating for tents? ›

Waterproof ratings are measured in millimetres (mm) and usually fall anywhere from 800mm to 10,000 mm. These figures indicate the amount of water pressure a fabric can withstand. That means a tent with a 2,000mm rating will endure a 2,000mm or two metre column of water bearing down on it before it starts to leak.

What tent does the US military use? ›

The Combat Tent is a two-man, three-season, free-standing, double wall tent. The Combat Tent incorporates a vapor permeable tent body with a waterproof floor and fly, which also provides 20 sq. ft. of vestibule area for gear storage.

Which tent fabric is the most waterproof? ›

Polyurethane and silicone are the best waterproof materials

Most camping tents are made of silicone, polyurethane, or a combination of these fabrics. Polyurethane is more common.

What tent is best for heavy rain? ›

Top 7 Tents for Rain
  1. North Face Wawona 6. ...
  2. Nemo Aurora Highrise 6. ...
  3. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2. ...
  4. Coleman Skydome 4. ...
  5. Marmot Limestone.
  6. MSR Access 3.
  7. Mountain Hardwear Trango.
Dec 15, 2023

What is a good tent to buy? ›

Best tents for 2024
  • Best tent. Halfords 4 Person Vis A Vis Tent. ...
  • Best luxury tent. Nordisk Alfheim 12.6 Tent. ...
  • Best family tent. Decathlon Quechua Arpenaz 4.2 4-Person Poled Tent. ...
  • Best inflatable tent. Regatta Kolima V2 6-Man Family Tunnel Inflatable Tent ...
  • Best eco-friendly tent. Vango Osiris 500 Tent. ...
  • Best for extra space.
May 28, 2024

What is a luxury tent? ›

Types of glamping accommodations

Just like with camping, a glamping accommodation can be a tent, but glamping tents are luxury tents that have little in common with regular camping tents. Most often, however, you will find special types of accommodation such as tipis, safari tents, wigwams, yurts or lodge tents.

What is better than a tent? ›

Tarps are hard to beat when it comes to versatility. Camping tarps gives you more flexibility in how you interact with – and adapt to – your surroundings. A camping tarp can function as a windbreak, sunshade and groundsheet.

How many years should a tent last? ›

They're also often made with heavier materials, making them more durable and long-lasting. A well-looked-after family tent should last you at least 5 years of regular use, but this can vary depending on the weather conditions it's been used in, how frequently it has been used, and how well you care for it.

What is the most popular type of tent? ›

1. Dome Tent. The dome tent is the most common design today. It has two flexible tent poles that cross in the center and are anchored to the corners of the tent with stakes, creating a dome shape that makes this tent easily distinguishable from other types.

What to look out for when buying a tent? ›

Things to look for when buying a tent
  1. Size. A four-man tent won't comfortably fit four men. ...
  2. Weight. ...
  3. Waterproofing. ...
  4. Seasonality. ...
  5. Tent poles. ...
  6. Flysheet. ...
  7. Vestibules. ...
  8. Ventilation.
Oct 26, 2021

What tents do Everest climbers use? ›

Camping Gear
Required ItemDescriptionRecommended Items
The North Face Mountain 25 Tent,
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent
Sleeping PadInsulates from the cold ground and provides cushioningTherm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad,
NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad,
8 more rows
Feb 18, 2024

What are high quality tents made of? ›

As a result, most tents on the market today – especially family ones – are made from polyester. Lightweight tents are often made of nylon. This man-made textile is normally coated to make it more durable to both abrasion and UV, with coatings such as acrylic, polyurethane (PU) or silicone.

What tents do Arctic explorers use? ›

We sleep in traditional Scott Polar tents. They are a proven design and can survive winds over 120 km/h when sufficiently guy roped. The sleeping bags are very warm, a down sleeping bag within another and a cotton sheet inner and outer.

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