Materials, Style: The Best Tents For Hunting In Every Condition
Imagine that you’ve set up your newly bought tent, prepped your gear and with a smile on your face laced your boots to begin the hunt. Suddenly, the skies rubble and a cloud bursts for you to realize your tent isn’t water repellent. As your stuff soak to their untimely death, you raise your hands in the air and curse unkindly your bad luck. Was it, though, a case of sheer bad luck? It is a usual thing to be emotionally and financially scarred by a tent that’s not fit for purpose (I see you, Outwell!). In fact, initiated by rain is the venerable right of passage for any hunting tent newbie. And, in that moment of trying to salvage anything you can with your own body, the question of what actually makes a good hunting tent enters your mind.
Best Hunting Tents for Sale Comparison Table
The below links will bring you to Amazon:
- Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Person Tent
- Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-Person Tent
- Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
- Browning Camping Big Horn
- Kodiak Canvas 1-Person Canvas Swag Tent
- EXIO 6-Person Compact Backcountry Tent
- Campla Tent with LED Fit
What makes a good hunting tent?
There isn’t a consensus as to what constitutes the best material for your hunting tent, although manufacturers seem to follow the path of three distinct fibers. Synthetics of an oily persuasion lend their water-wicking properties while the natural strings of cotton are distinguished by their breathability. The implications of their inherent characteristics is what motivates your choice.
Nylon and Polyester
Nylon and polyester are usually discussed in the same breath when it comes to synthetic fibers. Their similarities, though, stop at their lightweight nature and quick drying properties. Nylon can be stretched significantly without tearing and can wick water ingress fairly. There are occasions a nylon tent will be reinforced with the crisp, durable taffeta fabric, or seamed with a ripstop technique to augment its strength. Polyester is the hydrophobic of the family, but falls short in durability. Which is why coming across a polyurethane coating is not uncommon. As both oil-based fibers tend to dry-off fast, the danger of rotting becomes fictitious. The same couldn’t be said for mildew.
Their appeal for stormy hunting days is countered by their condensed nature that doesn’t allow enough room for air to circulate. Moisture will gather and a hot day will turn into feverish inside a synthetic tent. Their disagreeableness with heat is furthered by their progressive decay in reaction with ultraviolet radiation.
Cotton and Canvas
For some peculiar reason many tent descriptions fail to connect the dots and present canvas and cotton as one and the same. Whether that is a marketing ploy or a simple omission, it does not discredit the potential of the natural fibers as a tent material. Cotton’s selling points circle around its breathability and water absorption. That means you won’t feel like an egg in a sizzling hot pan in the summer hunting season. It is, though, a heavy-weight material that eclipses the breezy nature of synthetic material. This discrepancy might become a welcomed compromise against strong winds. Especially, when your sound sleep is interrupted by the monotonous beat of the flapping nylon cave.
Unlike synthetics, canvas holds its own against ultraviolet light which prolongs its lifespan. What might kill it, though, is a sudden cloudburst and a hasty packing before it is dried off. Given the fact water divorces cotton in a painfully slow manner, rotting and mildew become a serious problem. Also, cotton hunting tents tend to fall on the pricier side of things and are usually made to accommodate larger groups.
Rainfly and Floor
You need to look out for the materials that make up the rainfly and floor. Of course, for the former, it implies you are dealing with a freestanding tent. In any case, the same rules that apply to the materials that dress up the main body will work with the rainfly and floor. Synthetics will fair much better in stormy days, especially when treated. Since the rainfly will be removable, try to stay away from tents that don’t offer a mesh top. You won’t be pleased with the intruders. And, as for the floor, manufacturers tent to treat the synthetic fibers with vinyl to add another layer of water resistance.
The design a tent has usually correlates with a hunter’s given needs. Whether the game is played by many, whether he doesn’t like to wake up with his friend’s elbow giving him a bruised desire to visit the doctor. Space and shape are joint. Besides their geometry, tents types can be segregated into freestanding and non-freestanding.The function of a freestanding tent resides in its name, allowing you to hop it into another place in case persistent rock pinch the floor. Generally, they come with a removable rain-fly that is a blessing during a hot night.
If embarking on a hunting trip means a gathering of a large group of friends, or even if it is a family sport, then the large interior of cabin tents should catch your eye. They provide enough space to store your paraphernalia and supplies so as to reduce the amount of routes you will need to make from tent to car. The implication is that car and camping site don’t necessarily need to be in close proximity and consequently the choice for camping sites increases drastically.
The large interior of cabin tents also tends to the needs of orderly people by providing divisions between the areas. You can create different sleeping arrangements, you can have a particular dimension for your supplies, you can even have a lounge area.
However, as cabin tents employ the heavy-duty nature of canvas they do become a bother to carry and pack. Given that you are most likely travelling with an entourage the weight of the cabin tent might not be an issue. Unless, you are in the company of criminally indolent people.
Dome tents are predominantly marketed for a hunting trip between fewer people. Their small size is usually measured with their affinity to use synthetic fibers, making them a good choice for a winter tent. They do, though, offer less comfort as they require for your spine to bend awkwardly under the domed ceiling. And, your hunting gear might be evicted outdoors if you want to have a sound night’s sleep. Then again, you can pack them and set them up in a matter of minutes.
Truck and Tree
The need to scavenge for the perfect horizontal plane scatters at the presence of truck and tree tents. Especially for a truck tent, a rocky terrain is a inconsequential to the hunting experience. And, those immersed in technological assistance (or, just plainly want to purse their Instagram) will be enamored with a truck tent. The truck’s battery will act as a power source.
As for tree tents, which include the old-fashioned hammock, their elevation from the ground offers protection from the poisonous affairs found in a forest terrain. Both tent types fair small, making their set-up and packability simple. Also, the elevation implies the weather whims can’t threaten to pool water from the ground and soak your belongings into disuse.
Tepees’ spring to mind Indian settlements of a bygone era, yet they have been slowly becoming vogue among the hunting enthusiasts. The return to tradition is powered by their spaciousness and breathability in the hot season of the year. Unlike cabin tents, though, tepees don’t offer any divisions for your space. They do, however, require less time and hands to set-up. And, if that hasn’t convinced you yet tepee tents are simply inherently cool. Be prepared for jealous stares.
One of the banes of tents is their set-up. Especially, if you are trying to built your portable home during a cloudburst, fighting with the poles and the fabric will make you writhe and curse the skies. A speedy setup, then, becomes a prerequisite for a hunting tent. The pole structure will be the determinant for how simple the tent erection is. Manufacturers who pay heed to your needs offer pole sleeves, hoops, clips, and color codes in an effort to balance set-up easiness and strength. Beyond freestanding tents exists the pop-up cave. Hand down, the most uncomplicated way of claiming a spot near a hunting side. But, the first blows of a strong wind will threaten to bring down the house.
Tent pole materials: Aluminium Vs Fiberglass Vs Steel
Speaking of tent poles, they are one of the most important features of a modern tent. Their materials and materials construction will be incremental on the potential of your tent to keep you safe and sound. When it comes to materials, aluminium and fiberglass dominate. The alloy base of the aluminium tubes is know for it strength. It fairs much better in freezing temperatures in comparison to fiberglass that stiffens and shutters. One of the most known companies that constructs poles is DAC, which has set a standard in the market for quality. Their designs, showing a preference to the alloy base, create lighter tubes without sacrificing strength.
The joints between tubes are also an integral part of the design. Having tubes connected by a stretchable string is a common feature among fiberglass poles. But, they are fairly easy to snip. Aluminium poles are joint together using connector tubes. Of course, the connectors might slip out due or break after prolong use. They will, though, still have a fruitful life.
Now, while aluminium tubes are ahead of their fiberglass counterparts the benefit of the latter is their economic appeal. Having said that, if you are willing to invest in the longevity of your tent it is highly recommended to join the aluminum side.
As for steel poles, they usually make their appearance alongside a heavy-duty tent. Unless they are dressed with a coating to prevent rust don’t think of them much. Its sufficient to say their name denotes their weight. Their weak points exist at the angled joints. The absence of thickness is a sign of a short-lived life. And, while you might have the muscle to straighten bent steel, it will never have the strength of its early glory. ,
If you are willing to invest in the longevity of your tent it is highly recommended to join the aluminum side.
When it comes to capacity there is no particular industry standard to give a per-person size quota for tents. It is prudent to always consider a person less than what a product description purports. The claustrophobic of your entourage will most appreciate that capaciousness of a tent. And, a hunting trip might require the assistance of man’s best friend, who might want to crash in a rainstorm under the protection of a nylon rainfly. Same rules apply for your gear. Bow and arrows, gun and shells, boots and bags, they all need a storage space that doesn’t include getting attacked by nature. The usual sizes for the tents start from the lonely one person, and go from 2, 4, 6, 8 to 10 and above.
Double-wall tents usually come with two separate parts – a mesh tent body and a rainfly. The mesh inner-tent acts as a barrier from any condensation that forms on the inside. The rainfly stands guard for any threatening cloud formations. Single-wall tents, on the other hand, ditch the mesh inner inner tent, shedding in the process weight. Unfortunately, that leaves the hunter vulnerable to interior condensation and water ingress during wet and cold days.
Before we get into the details of what is a 4-season tent, 3-season tent, winter or summer shelter, there is one important information that aches to be shared. Every manufacturer that boasts properties that withstand anything nature can throw at his tent, is in essence referring to the season of the snow. It’s a cunning marketing strategy, true. A 4-season tent, year long shelter and whatnot offers extra protection for just those extra days of frost. Granted, that might be exactly what you were looking for. There is, also, another affinity associated with the misnomer known as the 4-season tent. They can keep their feet on the ground when the wind blows.
Now, what makes a tent suited for the hard and unforgiving frost? Nylon, by rote, can transfer heat faster than cotton, especially if the source is direct sunlight. And, even in the case of the sun being absent, nylon will retain the heat emitting from a portable heater better than the natural fibers. The water-wicking properties of the plastic polymers also help when snow change into its liquid form.
Following the same logic, canvas is the choice when the summer solstice rises. Its breathability is proof of its ability to keep the innard of the tent as humid as the outside world. And, in the absence of leafy shadows, canvas can keep the temperature level.
However, not only the base materials are what make a tent fit for season. The 4-season shelters must have reinforced seals around openings, so as to reject the parade of snow and rain. Having a double-wall will also add to the warmth the tent can provide. As for the unwelcomed wind, the weight and pole structure will come into play.
Good ventilation attaches itself with the hotter months of the year. The easiest way for tents to achieve it is by borrowing their design from basic architecture. They have windows, they have doors. Of course, the drawback comes with the fact humid hotness is adored by nasty, little insects. Unless there’s a mesh fabric seamed on the openings, the chance of waking up to reddish pustules, postmark of bites, increases dramatically. The best suited tents for hot climates will also feature air vents for better circulation and can have their roof fully opened.
Packability and Portability
Without a doubt, straining your back to carry your portable home when the hunting gear (beer ice coolers included) already weighs more than enough is far from ideal. Nylon is, generally, a lighter material than cotton. The material of the tubes that complete the tent will most definitely add to your sorrow in the arduous journey from car to camp base. And, the larger a tent gets, the more weight it adds to your shoulders. Portability can be achieved, by sharing the burden with your fellow marksmen. One and for all, and all for one.
Packability as an attribute to a tent will be appreciated by anyone who set camp even once. Same rules apply with portability. A heavy-duty shelter will require time from you. It is important to have that in mind when an 8-person wonder catches your eye.
The perennial question for every hunter is to be tree-stand or to be ground-blind? While the premise might not carry an existential qualm it does play a great part on dawning the smile of the victor on your way back home. Take, for example, a tree tent. The altitude acts as a scent pacifier, while the arches of the branches cascade you into near invisibility. But, it does require expert marksmanship. On the other hand, a camo tent (or cover for that matter) will give you a better shot, but your perspiring enthusiasm might get caught by a sniffing deer. Then again, hunting on a prairie makes a tree tent inoperable. As a point of prudence, if you plan to blend your tent with the surrounding environment knowledge of the terrain is paramount.
Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Person Tent “Top for Winter/4-season tent”
The Trango uses aluminium poles to structure its dome. Poles, made by DAC. They belong in their Featherlight category, which forgoes the need for connectors and reduces the overall weight by 15 % and result in the tent weighting only 12 0z. The alloy-based poles is not the only reason this is the top pick for a 4-season tent. Mountain Hardwear dresses the canopy with a double wall of Nylon Ripstop, while the rainfly and tent floor take the crispiness of nylon taffeta. It can stop any kind of storm. As for temperatures below zero, the tent has an entryway equipped with snow flaps.The extra canopy can act as a storage for gear, which will be a blessing since the Trago’s compact size can get claustrophobic. Aside its agreeability with cold, it’s a fairly easy portable cave to set-up. The structure of 5 interconnected poles is color coded and passes through hoops. As for the second canopy, its slips over the base and its is easily secured with clips. Even though the mesh door and canopy structure allow ventilation, we don’t recommend to take the Trango to the beach.
What do we like about it:
- Excellent against wet climates with double wall Nylon Ripstop and Taffeta
- Snow flaps
- Lightweight tent
- Aluminium DAC tubes that promise longevity
- Easy set-up
- Mesh door
- Front vestibule that can act as a storage space
- Small tent, can squeeze two people
- Collects condensation
Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-Person Tent “Top for Summer”
The canvas canopy of the Kodiak provides the much needed breathability during a feverish July morning. The tent expands to accommodate 8 people with a 10 by 14 feet floor radius and has a ceiling high enough for the average man to stand erect. Feeling hot is not in the Kodiak’s specs. The frame of this cave takes an unfamiliar shape, with a design of a badly drawn triangle that needed to be fixed with a flat top line. That enables it to have four large doors at front and back. There are four more windows with no-see mesh and an additional two vents to give the tent a good control over warm temperatures. The floor deviates from the natural fiber and takes on its polyester suit, which is impregnated with vinyl. But, in comparison to the Trango, the Kodiak won’t fair as well with an unexpected rapping rainfall. The rods are made out of steel to hold the hefty tent that weighs over 1000 ounces. Which translates into a burdensome set-up, packing and transporting.
What do we like about it:
- Canvas canopy that discredits condensation and controls hot temperatures
- Large openings and windows that allow air circulation
- No-see mesh to protect against pesky insects and bugs
- Spacious, can fit up to 7 people (beer cooler included)
- Vinyl reinforced polyester floor
- Along with the steel rods, the Kodiak is a heavy tent
- The set-up is difficult
Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent “Best Value for Money”
The fact Wenzel’s tent canopy is made out of polyester correlates with its low asking price. The base material is coated with polyurethane to add to its waterproof qualities. The 6.5 feet peak is measured with a 16 by 11 square feet floor to give you and your gear ample room. While the polyester fabric isn’t known for its air-flow properties, the budget tent has a full mesh roof and two windows. It also features a screen room with zippable walls that are, by and in of themselves, a good adversary against rain. You can consider the porch as a storage space, or an additional sleeping room. The secondary room offers a floor, but unlike the nylon taffeta of the Trango, it won’t fair well against a swampy ground. The fiberglass poles might not compare to the sturdiness of aluminum, but their economic appeal and the simpleness they provide in setting up the tent brinsg about a balance. All in all, the Wenzel is the perfect tent for a group of friends who want to experiment with something of quality and affordability.
What do we like about it:
- For an 8-person tent, the 178$ of asking price is the definition of budget
- Polyester coated material and flies makes it waterproof
- Screen room that adds division and space
- Large door and windows offer air-circulation
- Mesh openings to protect against unwelcomed bites
- Fiberglass tubes takes years out of the its lifespan
- It is not a freestanding tent
- Users complain the tent is a friend to condensation
Browning Camping Big Horn “Top Large Tent”
The Big Horn provides a division for the 15 by 10 feet space. It also features straight walls to maximize space and, unless you possess the attributes of Yao Ming, the 2.21 cm of peak height add to the Horn’s comfort. Browning equips the single wall of its tent with the hydrophobic qualities of polyester, while its floor receives a coating to strengthen its resolve. All in all, the large portable cave will be a great advocate against thunderstorms, although it won’t fair well in low temperatures. Speaking of rainy days, there’s a protective awning over each door and the fly is treated with polyester. Despite the synthetic material , the company adds two large doorways, six windows and a mesh roof that becomes a large skylight to provide for a cross-breeze ventilation. Browning, though, decided to go fiberglass for its poles which testifies for its accommodating price. To counter the whimsical nature of the reinforced plastic, the tent is fitted with steel uprights. Still, you need to be careful with sudden winds. The tent won’t bother you much with set-up, as it offers pole clips and it is freestanding. We would say, for the rainy autumn and sunny spring, the Big Horn is the best portable cave for a large group of friends embarking on their hunting trip.
What do we like about it:
- Capacious tent, with high ceiling and room divider
- Polyester canopy, floor and fly make it virtually waterproof
- Large doors, windows and folding roof minimise condensation
- Mesh openings to keep the insects out
- Extra storage space with mesh pockets on the interior
- Easy to set up
- Users complaint the wind is this tents enemy
- Users complaint the elastic cords of the fiberglass poles might get severed
Kodiak Canvas 1-Person Canvas Swag Tent “Top Small Tent”
For the small version of hunting tents, we turn back at Kodiak. A lone wolf, who seeks the meditating qualities of the game, will find the sleep system of the swag tent a blessing. There aren’t any single tents that offer high ceilings, or spaciousness for that matter, yet the Kodiak extends to six feet and eight inches to provide ample room to stretch your legs. The cotton canopy makes it better suited for hot climates, although the material is finished with silicone to stand against a sudden rainfall. The windows come equipped with awnings, so you can have them open in case of light rain. Be careful, though, for a storm will make the Kodiak a small pool. Its floor resists punctures and water ingress with vinyl and it offers a suited mattress cover. As it is made by canvas, the tent is by far not the lightweight from its category of small portable caves. However, it is the most durable and in combination with the alloy-based pole structure promises vitality. And, the cherry on the top, the top of the tent can be unzipped and you could fall asleep gazing at the chaotic complexity of a starry night. Now, that’s something the solo hunter will greatly appreciate.
What do we like about it:
- Excellent canvas body, which is breathable and durable
- Coated with silicon to stand against rain
- Extra leg room
- Aluminium poles that are durable and sturdy
- The top half can be opened
- Windows come with mesh and awnings
- It’s a heavy tent, and along with the poles, it weights 17. 5 pounds
- While not freestanding, you can buy a extra tension pole to make it one
EXIO 6-Person Compact Backcountry Tent “Top Quality”
The Exio tent can be said to provide adequate shelter for 3.5 months. It has a nylon ripstop body that makes it impenetrable to any kind of rain Mother Nature is willing to throw at it. As a freestanding tent, its rainfly is a silicone coated PU that adds to its hydrophobic tendencies. There are 23 pole stakes and a 5-pole aluminium tube structure that will keep the tent steady in the case of a whizzing wind. The double-layered wall structure offers 3 air-flows to provide much needed ventilation in the summertime. The same can be said by its two doors and its white tinted body built to reflect UV light. Those 0.5 months that escape the grasp of the Exio relate to the colder months. While there are fewer mesh openings to retain heat inside, it won’t keep you warm enough on a white dressed day. But, that slim window of inoperability is measure against its additional features. There is a mesh loft and extra large vestibule to store your gear. It has a height peak of 6.5 feet and expands to a squared radius of a 80ft. The color coded tubes make its set-up a simple affair, although you might need a few tries before getting it right. And, as for packability, you can divide the weight into 3 bags, each weighing 5 pounds. If you count four to six people in your hunting trip, the weight shouldn’t be much of a trouble. This isn’t a tent just for the eclectics, despite its composition of the best materials in the market. It comes with an approachable price as well that won’t deter the seasonal hunter.
What do we like about it:
- PU and Nylon Ripstop materials makes it waterproof
- Provides good ventilation with mesh openings, removable fainfly and 3 vents
- Spacious tent with 6.5 feet peak height
- Provides ample storage space with vestibule (it can also act as another sleeping area)
- Aluminium 5-pole structure
- Color coded tubes means easy set-up
- Easy portability
- Beyond the fact the tent doesn’t offer a room divider, we couldn’t find any serious drawbacks for our top quality hunting tent.
Campla Tent with LED Fit, “Top for Lightweight”
For a tent that fashions aluminium poles, it has no right weighing only 5.4 pounds. Yet, here is the Campla. Its lightweighteness might be its best attribute, but its not the only one. The freestanding tent features a polyester body with PU coating and caulking treatment that makes it stand well against a rainy weather. As for the hotter days, under the removable polyester rainfly exists a mesh top that meets with a mesh door. Throw two windows in the mix, and the chances of condensation rapidly decrease. We wouldn’t recommend, though, to take this lightweight cave for a test on a cold winter day or in a windy period. You won’t be too happy with the results. Given its size, having a vestibule was never in this manufacturers mind, but it still offers a loft gear top and mesh pockets for storage. The 4-pole structure system is designed to enable an easy set-up and the Campla can be easily packed. And, lest we forget, the champion of the lightweight category comes with an LED waterproof string. If simple, light and functional are your favorite words then don’t look anywhere else other than the Campla.
What do we like about it:
- Its minimal weight is countered by a sturdy skeleton
- The PU coated polyester fabric makes it waterproof
- Aluminium tubes
- It has an easy set up
- Can be easily packed and carried
- Mesh door and top provide ventilation
- The Campla doesn’t offer the most durable of floors
Final Considerations and FAQ
As an afterthought, the term hunting tent could have been easily been camping tent. The fact is, apart from camouflage, the best tent brands don’t specifically produce portable caves for the hunter fiend. The Trango can be easily exploited by a backpacking enthusiast as much as a deer hunter. Even though their characteristics can fit different activities that don’t diminish their importance. Winter requires waterproof materials, hunting or mountaineering. With that, we’ll leave you with a few final consideration:
- Before buying a hunting tent, make sure you understand its dimensions. If it’s too small, the claustrophobic experience will put a heinous spin on the hunting trip.
- It is important to know for what season you will most likely use the tent. And, to understand the bane of carrying a heavy-duty tent on an uphill, where the rocky terrain made the use of a car inoperable.
Q: What is the best zipper for my hunting tent?
A: You have two types of zippers. Coils zips that are known for their flexibility and can bent easily on curved tents. But, they can get stuck at times and stubbornly refuse to open or close. Next, you have tooth tippers that are extremely durable but can be rendered useless if one of the zipper’s teeth gets dislodged. So depending on your needs bare the drawbacks of each zipper type.
Q: How many windows should my hunting tent have?
A: We would say, as a rule of thumb, two windows are enough. Anything beyond two windows should only be considered for a tent that will only be used in the summer. As we said earlier, every opening of your shelter must come with a mesh seamed.
Q: Does a heater help keeping the tent warm?
A: The reality is, tent heaters will keep you cozy when the temperatures drops dangerously. However, it does add extra weight and you should to consider how important it is for your hunting trip. Especially, if your tent isn’t made for cold climates, a heater will just be an unnecessary burden.