Camping is undoubtedly the most fun when the weather is nice.
But hot weather and tropical climates can provide their own challenges.
This article will explain what factors to consider when looking for the best tent for hot weather camping and review 14 of the best options on the market this year.
- Top 14 Best Hot Weather Tent Reviews 2020
- Marmot Tungsten 3 Person Tent
- MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent
- Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent
- Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Person Tent
- Hyke & Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tent
- Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent
- Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent
- Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent
- Clostnature Lightweight 2 Person Tent
- Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent
- Coleman Dark Room Sundome 4 Person Tent
- Ozark Trail 6 Person Dark Rest Cabin Tent
- Paria Outdoor Products Breeze Mesh Tent
- Eagle Nest Outfitters Camping Hammock
- What Makes a Tent Good for Hot Weather and Tropical Climates?
- Other Tips
Top 14 Best Hot Weather Tent Reviews 2020
Marmot Tungsten 3 Person Tent
Review: This is a top-quality tent that ticks all the boxes for hot, tropical weather. It has excellent ventilation and waterproofing, and though designed for 3, is the ideal size for 2 people.
- Includes footprint.
- Taped seams and a full coverage rain fly.
- Plenty of mesh and vents in the fly for ventilation.
- A little pricey.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent
Review: The MSR Hubba, although pricey, is a really popular tent. It is sturdy and stable with a rainfly that will cope with torrential rains but enough mesh for ventilation.
There are tents with more mesh on the market, but the high-quality design of this tent makes up for that.
- Very durable and lightweight at the same time.
- Excellent quality rain fly.
- A good amount of mesh.
- Footprint needs to be purchased separately.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent
Review: Big Agnes produce some of the best tents on the market for their balance of liveable space and durability.
The Copper Spur has steep walls with a large amount of mesh and 2 large side doors which can rolled up for maximum breeziness.
- Tent can be pitched with just the inner or just the fly for versatile options.
- Excellent ventilation.
- Very roomy interior.
Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Person Tent
Review: This is a top quality tent at mid-range price point with fantastic ventilation, excellent bug repellence and the ability to stand up to heavy rain and wind.
- Entirely mesh inner provides great ventilation.
- Roomy vestibules for gear storage.
- Excellent value for money.
- On the heavy side for backpacking (nearly 5 lbs).
- Very cozy with 2 people.
Hyke & Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tent
Review: Another excellent midrange option with an entirely mesh inner. Designed to keep the tiniest insects at bay, this tent allows for plenty of breezes to keep you cool on hot nights.
If there are no insects to worry about, the fly can be pitched by itself over the groundsheet without the tent inner.
- Fine mesh is very insect proof.
- Includes footprint.
- Seam sealed bathtub floor and durable rain fly.
- Spacious vestibules.
- Some very minor durability issues that won’t be a problem if you treat it with care.
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent
Review: This is a popular tent for hot weather with ventilation windows and vents in the fly.
It has a comfortable spacious interior and yet is surprisingly lightweight and capable of coping with a range of gnarly weather conditions.
- Two large mesh doors and vestibules.
- Durable, bathtub floor.
- Lightweight and compact package.
- Footprint sold separately.
Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent
Review: This is a popular tent at the more affordable end of the scale that provides another great hot weather option due to its ample mesh.
It likely won’t survive high winds and rain but it’s an excellent choice for fine weather camping.
- Lots of mesh for ventilation.
- Fly can be pegged out into an awning.
- 2 doors for easy access and excellent cross flow of air when open.
- Comes in 3 size options comfortably fitting 1, 2 or 3 people.
- Doesn’t come with a footprint.
- Sloping walls (unlike the steeper walls of more expensive tents) eats into space a little.
Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent
Review: A more affordable option to the tents above, this tent is ideal for hot weather due to its entirely mesh inner and the fact that it lets you roll up one side of the fly to expose the whole side for maximum ventilation.
- The tent inner is entirely mesh for maximum ventilation.
- High bathtub floor.
- Seam sealed fly with vents.
- Not as durable or likely to cope with high wind and rain as the tents above.
- The interior could be more spacious. It’s pretty cozy with 2 people.
Clostnature Lightweight 2 Person Tent
Review: If you’re on even more of a budget, this tent is surprisingly good quality for its price point. It has a good amount of mesh and lets you peg out a panel of the fly for an awning.
- Very affordable.
- Reasonably spacious interior.
- Lots of mesh and a large entrance way in the fly.
- Nearly 6 lbs. is pretty heavy for a backpacking tent.
- Doesn’t come with a footprint.
Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent
Review: For one final budget option, the Coleman Sundome is a popular option.
It doesn’t have as much mesh as the others on this list, but the rain fly only reaches halfway down the tent meaning the ventilation could actually be more effective than mesh inners that get entirely covered by a fly.
- Half sized rainfly is a good option for hot weather, trapping less heat inside.
- Large 4 person size is a great option for 2 people who want a lot of space.
- Ingenious ground level mesh vent.
- Not likely to cope with heavy rain and wind.
Coleman Dark Room Sundome 4 Person Tent
Review: If you’re going to be facing some serious sun, you might want to consider Dark Room technology.
You won’t get woken up at 4 am by the sunrise, and some of the heat will be kept out too.
- Blocks the majority of light and heat from entering your tent making it a shady retreat, day and night.
- Mesh windows for ventilation.
- Heavy duty bathtub floor means you don’t need a footprint.
- A little too heavy and bulky for backpacking.
- Tent pegs are the weak spot, may not cope with high winds and rain.
Ozark Trail 6 Person Dark Rest Cabin Tent
Review: Using similar technology to the Coleman Dark Room, this cabin tent is the option you’ll want to consider for group car camping trips in hot, sunny weather.
- Dark Rest technology keeps the tent interior dark and cool.
- Skylights allow a little natural light when you want it.
- Large windows provide great views and ventilation.
- Instant, easy assembly (poles are attached to the tent).
- The light blocking material can trap heat inside if you don’t ventilate enough.
Paria Outdoor Products Breeze Mesh Tent
Review: Pitched together with the tarp (which is unfortunately sold separately), this mesh tent and tarp combo are becoming a popular alternative to conventional double walled tents, providing more customizable versatility.
Pitch the mesh tent by itself if insects are the prime concern, or the tarp by itself if light rain or condensation are the issues.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Completely mesh for maximum ventilation.
- Durable, waterproof bathtub floor.
- Requires trekking poles if you can’t find any appropriate trees.
- Tarp sold separately.
Eagle Nest Outfitters Camping Hammock
Review: While we’re exploring slightly alternative options, a hammock may just be the best option for really hot weather, being far cooler than a tent.
However, you’ll want to combine it with a mosquito net if insects are an issue.
- Much cooler than a tent due to greater air circulation.
- Keeps you off the ground away from crawling insects and dense vegetation.
- You don’t need to find a flat, clear patch of ground for a tent, just a couple of trees.
- You’ll need a mosquito net.
- You’ll need a tarp if rain is forecast.
What Makes a Tent Good for Hot Weather and Tropical Climates?
Protection From Insects (and Snakes)
Hot weather, especially in tropical climates, tends to come with its share of insects that will jump at the chance to feed on you while you sleep.
A tent with good quality mesh and zips that leave no openings is essential to protect you from wildlife.
Sleeping in a tent with poor ventilation will actually end up being hotter than just sleeping outside under the stars.
Good ventilation is essential as it is the movement of fresh air through your tent that will keep you cool.
Look for tents with as much mesh as possible, good sized vents in the rainfly, large doors that can be rolled out of the way or pegged up to create an awning.
A Roomy Interior
You know what it’s like when it’s hot, you don’t sleep curled up in the fetal position, you lie stretched out, taking up as much space as possible.
Being stuck in a pokey tent with your neighbor so close you can feel his breath is not going to be a fun experience in hot weather.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
A Very Waterproof Fly
Camping in tropical climates usually means hot, humid weather. But, depending on the season, you can also be faced with torrential rains at very short notice.
So, if you’re going camping in a tropical country anywhere near monsoon season, you’ll want to make sure you have the best waterproof tent available so that you don’t have to cut your trip short when your stuff gets soaked.
The best design is a fly that can be rolled up out of the way to allow for maximum ventilation when it’s not raining, but then pulled down in an instant once the first drops start to fall.
A High Bathtub Floor
For the same reason as above, heavy rain can mean splashes entering your tent, or even small steams running underneath.
A high bathtub floor will keep water from sneaking into your sleeping area.
However, this isn’t always going to be necessary.
If insects aren’t an issue and you don’t need to hide behind mesh, you might be a lot cooler sleeping under a freestanding fly that is suspended above the ground and letting the air at ground level flow over you.
A freestanding fly will also cope with a certain amount of rain provided your footprint is smaller than the fly.
If set up correctly, the rain will drop off the fly and soak immediately into the ground.
How comfortable you are at night will depend a lot on air movement keeping you cool. Where you pitch your tent will play a role in how much air is available to pass through your tent.
All the mesh in the world won’t make a difference if there’s no breeze.
Look for places where there will be a natural breeze flowing. Air tends to be cooler by water sources like lakes or streams, and if there’s no wind, cool air pools in valleys at night making a valley bottom a cooler place to sleep than a hill top.
Finally, it goes without saying, pitch your tent in the shade in the hottest part of the day (remember that the sun will move but your tent will hold on to the heat).
Water is Your Friend
It’s essential to stay hydrated in hot weather. Keep a water bottle handy by your sleeping bag and avoid getting thirsty.
But, water isn’t just for hydration. It can also be your friend when it comes to staying cool.
In really hot weather, sleeping with a wet towel on your forehead or behind your neck can feel soothing and help to keep you cool.
Alternatively, sponging cold water over your body will promote cooling by evaporation.
The Best Tent Isn’t Necessarily the Most Expensive
Of course, there are always going to be the best camping tent brands providing the most reliable long term option.
But, in the case of hot summer weather, provided you treat it with care, you can get away with paying a lot less for a tent than you might otherwise need to.
Tents get expensive when they need to handle high winds and rain.
If you’re sure that you’re not likely to face such conditions where you’re camping you can get away with a cheaper tent that just provides the essential bug protection and shade.
Does the Color of the Tent Matter?
Yes and no. During the day, a darker tent will absorb more heat from the sun than a lighter tent, so in this case, yes.
However, at night, the color of the tent will make zero difference. So, if you’re only going to be sleeping in your tent when it’s dark, the color doesn’t matter.
How Can I Cool Down My Tent?
The main thing is to maximize the ventilation by opening doors and windows.
However, purchasing a reflective tarp or (space blanket for a lighter option) could be worth the investment if you’re going to be spending time in your tent during the day.
Lay it over the outside of the tent with the reflective side up to reflect the sun’s rays.
How to Keep My Tent Cool at Night?
Aside from leaving the windows and doors open, if you don’t need your tent during the day, wait until it’s dark to pitch it so it doesn’t have time to trap the daytime heat.
How to Stay Comfortable in a Hot Tent?
Avoid heavy, hot meals late in the evening, wear as little clothing as possible, sleep on top of your sleeping bag or without it altogether.
Hopefully, you feel well clued-up on how to choose the best tent for hot weather camping.
Remember, ventilation is the most important factor. The more mesh the better!
Share your thoughts with us below if you’ve had experience camping in super-hot weather, and don’t forget to download our travel safety eBook for more travel essentials.
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