Kayak camping trips are their own form of excitement. It’s much different from hiking or backpacking, and you’ll want different gear.
You’ll need the best tent for kayak camping because other tents simply aren’t designed to do the same things.
It’s difficult to find a kayak camping tent that’s really as reliable as it needs to be.
Things get wet, and you can’t afford for them to get wrecked.
If you need to find the best tent for kayak camping, you might want to look in some unusual places.
You’d be surprised by the gems that so many outdoor brands are hiding.
Whenever you’re purchasing a specialty piece of equipment, it’s worth doing as much research as you can to make sure you’ll be happy with the product you ultimately purchase.
Best Tents for Kayak Camping
|Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent|
|Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent|
|ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent|
|Kelty Salida Camping Tent|
|Slumberjack Trail Tent|
- Choosing the Best Tent for Kayak Camping
- TOP 15 Best Kayak Camping Tent Reviews 2020
- ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 2-Person Tent
- Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
- Slumberjack Trail Tent
- Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent
- Kelty Salida Tent
- ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Person Tent
- Winterial 2 Person Tent
- Techcell 2 Person Tent
- NTK Laredo GT 8 to 9 Person Camping Tent
- BFULL Portable Folding Waterproof Tent
- Coleman Waterproof 6-Person Instant Tent
- ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
- TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent
- Chillbo Cabbins 2 Person Tent
- ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person Tent
- Which Tent is Right For You?
Choosing the Best Tent for Kayak Camping
You’re going to be looking for different things in a kayaking tent than you would in a regular tent.
It’s always going to be wet when you’re kayaking, and not every kind of tent was built to hold up to those conditions.
Since most of these trips involve two people, you’ll need to find the best 2 person tent for kayaking.
Kayaking tents require a unique set of features, and the best tent for kayak camping is the tent that only incorporates the features you’ll need. Skip the fancy tents for your kayaking trip – you need something rugged.
Before you buy your kayaking tent, there are a few special considerations you’re going to want to keep in mind.
Don’t assume you’ll be able to cram everyone into one tent. If you’re going solo or if everyone is responsible for their own gear, you might not be worried about the capacity.
That will put a real damper on your trip as soon as nighttime rolls around.
Also, if your kids are old enough there is a good chance that you are kayaking with them. In this case, a choice from the best instant family tents might the right one.
A tent is going to get wet when you take it on a kayaking trip. Canvas tents have a tendency to absorb the water and become heavier.
When they’re soaked, you can’t set them up.
You’ll need a waterproof tent to make things easier, and also to protect you in a wet climate.
You’ll need a tent with a sealed, waterproof floor to keep you dry while you sleep. A rain fly might also be necessary to keep water out of your tent while you’re using it.
The best 2 person tent for kayaking will almost always come with a rain fly, so you won’t need to purchase one separately.
No matter how great your kayak is, it isn’t designed to haul around as much as a pickup truck can hold.
You’re going to want to keep your weight limit low, so you’re not hauling around so much equipment that the kayak is hard to use. If you’re going with a lot of people, it’s easier to divide the weight between campers.
If you’re going alone or with just a few others, you’ll need to find a lightweight tent.
The right weight for a kayak camping tent can be difficult to determine. You won’t have to carry it around with you for very long, because most of the transportation will come from your kayak.
On the other hand, you don’t want to weigh your kayak down.
You already need to account for your own weight, the weight of the other traveler, and all of the gear you need to bring with you.
Middleweight tents are ideal for kayak camping trips. You want something that’s durable enough to keep you safe while you sleep, but also light enough to use as a backpacking tent if the need should arise.
You have a little more freedom with weight when it comes to kayak traveling, but you shouldn’t risk overloading the kayak.
There is also the issue of the size of a packaged tent. Recreational kayaks, for example, will allow you to store a tent of average size and you will still feel comfortable when cruising down the water-ways.
But not all kayaks are made to carry whatever size gear you imagine. So before you choose your tent, also take a look at the kayak you will be using, to make sure there are no bad surprises.
Stick with a weight and size somewhere in the middle.
You definitely don’t want your tent getting wet. If it isn’t designed to resist water or if it isn’t waterproof, you aren’t going to have a great trip out by the water.
Cheaper tents aren’t often waterproofed correctly, and you’ll be stuck in wet socks with a soaked sleeping bag.
Make sure the tent you get can handle the water you’ll be using it near.
TOP 15 Best Kayak Camping Tent Reviews 2020
Now that you know what qualities to look for in a kayak camping tent, it’s time to investigate some of your best options.
All of these tents are top-rated and have helped kayakers like you make the most of their trip. Anyone of them would make a great addition to your next expedition.
The perfect place to start your search for the best tent for kayak camping is by doing a little research.
Imagine yourself on the perfect kayak camping trip, and picture the kind of tent you’ll need to make the whole trip possible.
Start taking everything into consideration, and narrow down your choices.
ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 2-Person Tent
This tent from ALPS Mountaineering is a dome-shaped tent, measuring in at 46 inches high by 60 inches wide by 90 inches long.
The poles are made of fiberglass, and it weighs about 7 pounds to carry. It’s made of UV coated polyester and taffeta, and it’s rated for use in three seasons.
- Full coverage rainfly will keep campers dry inside in conjunction with the factor sealed waterproof floors.
- This is an easy assembly tent that uses a clip system to hold the shell of the tent to the poles. One person can put it up in just a few minutes, and you don’t need any complicated hardware.
- Offers an impressive 37 square feet of floor space, which is larger than other two person tents.
- Slightly heavier than similar two-person tents due to the increased floor space, but the extra pound might not be a problem.
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
Campers, kayakers, and backpackers alike really enjoy it.
It measures 56 inches wide by 43 inches high by 92 inches long, offering campers 35 square feet of internal floor space. This tent is compact and versatile for any outdoor trip.
- The full enclosure rain fly offers roof vents for superior ventilation while the sealed floor keeps water from coming in from the ground.
- Packs down to a four pound, eleven-ounce weight for superior portability.
- Set up uses color-coded kits, so you won’t have to worry about reading the instructions. It’s simple and intuitive to assemble.
- This is a slightly more expensive tent, but it’s worth the investment.
Slumberjack Trail Tent
The assembled dimensions of the Slumberjack two-person tent are 84 inches long by 52 inches high by 41 inches wide.
It comes with a rain fly and a sealed floor.
The interior shell is mostly made of breathable mesh, which is great for summer kayaking trips when the weather gets very hot.
- This tent uses color-coded clips for assembly and a ten buckle fly assembly system. It’s very easy to put together, and even an inexperienced camper would be able to figure it out.
- This is an excellent budget tent for what you’re getting, and it has all of the features you’ll need.
- Packs down to a six pound carry weight for maximum portability and ease of use.
- Only offers 33 square feet of floor space, so the tent might feel a little snug inside.
Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent
This dome-structured tent provides space for two kayakers thanks to the size of its living room; tent measures 7’ x 5’ x 48’’ when it’s set up.
It has a large door for easy entry/exit along with a large rear window for improved ventilation.
The floor takes a bathtub design and features 1000D polythene with welded seams for protection against leaks.
It also comes with external guy points that ensure the tent’s stability in high winds and storms, which are a common phenomenon near water bodies.
- Easy and quick to set up since there are only 2 poles to erect and due to its freestanding design. Furthermore, instructions are right on the carry bag for straightforward reference. Its pin and ring pole to body construction also adds to the setup and takes down convenience.
- Provides excellent weather protection due to its superb floor construction and availability of a rain fly.
- Offers maximum ventilation even in rain thanks to its hooded fly, large window as well as mesh vents on the roof.
- The size is a bit on the downside when it comes to sleeping for two adults.
Kelty Salida Tent
This is a great tent for backcountry adventures, however, it has no boundaries when it comes to kayaking.
It comes with compact folding aluminum poles and a roll-top cube carry bag that makes for easy carrying on your short voyage.
It has a floor area of 30.5 square feet and a vestibule area of 10 square feet. Fully seam taped construction provides maximum weather protection for three seasons while its fabric/mesh tent walls allow ventilation in whatever weather.
It comes with huge clips that provide stable attachment of the tent body to the pole frame and center C clip that secure the top of the tent to the 2 poles.
With a fly attachment that guards against rain and strong winds, you can rest peacefully in this tent.
- The poles fold nicely to fit inside the carry bag, making it extremely packable so you can take it almost anywhere.
- It has large no-see-um mesh panels that provide great ventilation as well as stargazing opportunities at night.
- Easy and secure setup; simply erect the poles and attach the tent body to the frame using the hug clips and center C clip.
- Provides full weather protection thanks to the factory taped seams along with its UV resistant polyester fly.
- It is prone to condensation under the fly since its fly is too close to the tent. Sometimes moisture can stick them together.
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Person Tent
This tent provides an ideal place to rest after a long kayaking day.
The walls are entirely composed of mesh, thus enhancing superb ventilation so you can feel the breeze while inside it.
It has a unique 2 pole design that not only promotes easy setup but gives enough headroom to sit up without feeling confined. There’s a door on one end of the tent and a vestibule over the door which offers a great place to keep your items.
The ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Person Tent provides a floor area of 23 square feet and 5.5 square feet vestibule area, while it packs down to 6’’ x 8’’.
It comes with 7075 aluminum stakes, gear loft, guy ropes and mesh storage pocket.
- The poles are made of aircraft aluminum which makes them pretty lightweight.
- It offers incredible ventilation due to its full body mesh design.
- It has a fly that simply buckles to the tent.
- Provides incredible storage since it comes with internal pockets, including a vestibule.
- It’s not great for rainy weather since rainwater pools on the top and leaks in through the fly zipper.
Winterial 2 Person Tent
Winterial have not been in the market for long but their tents have been quite outstanding so far.
This tent, in particular, brings competition to the likes of the Coleman and Alps Mountaineering 2-person tents and it’s certainly one you can trust for kayak camping.
The tent comes with 2 poles along with 4 tent stakes which offer the benefit of easy setup. It is a decent size with dimensions of 76 x 60 x 42 inches, just enough to fit an air mattress.
Rainfly vented roof not only offers great ventilation but allows you to stargaze yourself to sleep at night. Other great features include a 2-layered door and a waterproof bottom.
- It is lightweight, at about 5 pounds, and fits perfectly into the provided carry bag, so you can take it anywhere.
- Set up is straightforward – simply erect the poles and make use of the tent stakes to secure the tent body to the poles.
- It is not fully waterproof and condensation is a likely issue.
Techcell 2 Person Tent
This tent doesn’t look like much, but it’s perfect for most kayak campers. It’s the best 2 person tent for kayaking, especially if you don’t want to spend a ton of money.
It’s light to carry, comes in three different colors, and the setup is a breeze. It’s an instant tent, so when your arms are tired from kayaking, you’ll appreciate the convenience.
- The exterior shell of the tent is fully waterproof, windproof, and rainproof. It will even help keep you warm.
- Double layer door unzips to become a screen for better ventilation in hot weather.
- Big enough to fit tall campers without cramping them in – it’s 6.5 feet long.
- Since the tent is fully waterproof, it doesn’t have any windows.
- The tent will probably be too small to fit gear and campers at the same time.
NTK Laredo GT 8 to 9 Person Camping Tent
This is a big one!
If you’re kayaking with a group of friends or your family, this is one of the best big kayak camping tents you’re going to find.
It can comfortably hold about 8 people, or 6 with the gear they want to keep dry. This is the perfect kind of spacious tent you’ll want any time you’re camping near a lake or river.
- Tent goes up to 6.2 feet in standing room, so nobody will need to crouch while inside.
- The full-coverage rainfly and the fully sealed floor will keep the tent dry even in hard rains.
- The ring and pin system makes it easy to set this tent up in just a few minutes.
- This tent is made of strong material that makes it very heavy.
- The windows can’t be covered if you remove the rain fly.
BFULL Portable Folding Waterproof Tent
This is a compact and versatile tent for kayak camping. It can technically fit up to three campers, but it’s the best 2 person tent for kayaking when the campers want to store their gear inside.
The coating on the tent is both water and moisture resistant, and the rain fly can be expanded when you need to be protected from rain or splashing rapids near your campsite.
- Double-layer design allows you to have as much protection as you want. Take the rain fly off if you think you’ll stay dry, or put it on if you need it.
- The two entrances make it easy for campers to get in and out of the tent.
- Dome style design makes it easy to pitch the tent quickly.
- This tent doesn’t have any windows.
- It needs to be set up on a completely flat ground.
Coleman Waterproof 6-Person Instant Tent
This tent will become your best friend on a family kayak camping trip. It’s designed exactly with your family in mind.
Though the tent can technically sleep 6 people, it’s best for four campers and their gear. The center height is high, so everyone will have enough room to change their clothes and get ready for the day.
This is a great tent for families who want convenience while camping.
- This is an instant tent, so it’s designed to go up or come down in one minute.
- Every side has windows for great ventilation. It won’t get stuffy inside.
- The exterior fabric is twice as thick as regular tent fabric, improving its waterproofing.
- This tent weighs 22 pounds, so you’ll need to plan for weight.
- None of the windows have vestibules.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
If you’re kayak camping alone or you’re only responsible for your own gear, you don’t need a huge tent.
As far as single sleeper tents go, they don’t get much better than the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx.
This tent is built to last an eternity. It comes with a full coverage detachable rain fly, or it can be left open in nice weather when you want to enjoy the breeze.
- Rainfly comes with a vestibule for extra gear storage, so you can keep your stuff dry.
- This tent works in all seasons, so you can use it for more than just kayak camping.
- All of the seams are factory sealed for maximum water protection.
- This tent is on the pricier side, but you pay for quality.
- Taller or huskier campers might find it to be a tight fit.
TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent
This tent comes in any capacity from a 1 person tent to a 4 person tent, so you can select the exact size you need or go a size bigger if you want to store your gear inside.
Underneath, it’s a completely mesh done shaped tent that provides incredible ventilation in summer weather.
Put the rain fly on, and it’s ready for a thunderstorm.
- Comes with a footprint and storage bags, so you won’t need to purchase them separately.
- The rain fly is designed to be used in rain, snow, and wind. Nothing is getting through.
- The pack weight on the largest size is still less than 10 pounds, making the tent light.
- There are no windows in the tent when the rain fly is on.
- The footprint doesn’t extend to the vestibule.
Chillbo Cabbins 2 Person Tent
This tent is fun and simple.
It comes in all kinds of vibrant patterns that are much more stylish than your average tent.
The unique design opens up in the front, giving you some space to hang out and eat breakfast before you load the kayak up and head out again.
When you’re not using that spot to hang out, it becomes the perfect place to store your gear while you sleep.
- The external fly completely covers the tent, but it still features windows for ventilation.
- The leak-proof sealed seams and wind responsive frame keep the tent safe in any weather conditions.
- The tent with all the accessories weighs less than nine pounds for easy portability.
- This tent only comes in bright patterns. If you want something subtle, they don’t offer plain designs.
- The front of the tent doesn’t have a footprint.
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person Tent
This is a four-season two-person tent that can accompany on any trip, anywhere in the world. It’s perfect for wet climates, making it a top pick for kayak trips.
The bottom of a tent is durable, reinforced, and sealed to keep water from the wet ground from seeping inside while you’re asleep.
This is a tent that’s built to last.
- Tent snaps together in just a few minutes, and it doesn’t require much effort to set up.
- Slightly bigger than most two-person tents, so you’re getting some added comfort.
- The rain fly is strong enough to keep water out even when it’s snowing.
- A little more expensive than other high-quality two-person tents.
- This tent only comes in one color.
Which Tent is Right For You?
The best tent for kayak camping will be different for every kind of kayak camper.
You want to be comfortable, safe and have enough space to enjoy yourself while you’re experiencing nature with your traveling companion.
If you need a bigger tent for a whole crowd of kayak campers, make sure you’re going to be able to evenly distribute the weight among other campers.
If you’re unsure which tent to pick, you can always consult with the person who’s going to travel alongside you. After all, you’ll both be sharing the tent.
Remember that you pay for quality, and it might be worth the splurge to get a tent you know will last you for years.
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