Top Picks For Best Teepee Style Tents -Camping And Outdoor Gear Review
Owning a tent allows you the liberty to escape to the great outdoors or even camp in your backyard. Many folks are choosing teepees over regular walled tents for several reasons, and it might just be the outdoor shelter you need.
Teepees come with a center pole and feature a pyramid/round look. They also tend to build taller and roomier tents, adding to their appeal for larger groups of campers. However, it is never a simple matter deciding whether to go for a teepee or traditional tent. That is why we took it upon ourselves and did some research into teepees to determine if they are right for you.
We came up with a list of the five of the best teepee tents based on their quality, features, and reviews from existing users.
Teepee Tents for Camping Comparison
The below links will bring you to Amazon:
- Guide Gear 12 By 12
- Ozark Trail 7-Man
- DANCHEL 4-Season
- Guide Gear Deluxe 14 by 14
- Guide Gear 18 by 18
What Makes a Great Teepee Style Tent?
The use of teepees goes as way back as 3,000 years ago. Back then the indigenous people of Asia, northern Europe, Canadian prairies, and the plains used them as primary shelters made mainly of wood. At that time, most of these cone-shaped dwellings feature an animal skin construction, and wooden poles formed the frame of the structure.
As the years went by, teepees have gone through reinvention and are no longer predominantly used by nomadic people. In fact, survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts from a growing majority of people who prefer these outdoor shelters. They do stand out in a camping ground lined up with regular tents, but most people go for them because of their markedly better quality and durability.
So, what aspects and features contribute to the effectiveness of a modern teepee?
In the same way, regular tents come in different designs including dome, ridge, and pop-ups, several styles exist. The three main types include the yurts, bell-style, and conventional teepee design.
The yurts also referred to as gears have their roots in Central Asia. They look much like a portable hut, comprising of a latticework of wooden poles. The wooden poles are usually interwoven to form the walls which in turn supports the roof poles and crown. Traditionally, hide skin was the chosen frame cover, but modern ones make use of pretty much any material including canvas.
The traditional cone-shaped teepees use fewer poles in comparison to the yurts, and their frames do not include any walls. Similarly, animal skin was historically the chosen cover for these structures, but modern variations make use of polyester and canvas fabrics.
Bell tents function as the modernized version and yurts. In fact, in 1856 military officer Henry Sibley patented his design known as the “Sibley tent.” They make use of a single metal pole at the center which is then covered by canvas and guy ropes used to secure it to the ground.
Just like your regular tents, teepees come in size variations and often the floor size and center height matter most. It rises to higher heights with most featuring a 10ft t 20ft center height. You can freely stand upright within these structures eliminating the crouching you have to do with most regular tents.
However, the size does mean that they are significantly heavier and do take longer to pitch compared to other regular outdoor shelters. It is not always the case because some models come with pre-attached poles and an instant setup design.
Worth considering is the style of the teepee which The yurts take the longest time to assemble and just prove to be too much of a hassle for camping. They feature too many poles which affect the assembly and disassembling process.
Modernized styles and bell tents come designed to address the setup process with most taking as little as 10 minutes to put up. They also come in lightweight packages suitable for both backpacking and regular camping.
Teepees can withstand harsh weather because of their structural framework, but their construction still has a hand in their weatherproofing abilities. Most can handle the strongest of winds, but the fabric used and the seam sealing technique determines the unit’s weatherproofing capabilities.
A good one should feature a waterproof material or come with accessories such as a rain cap to help keep the water away. Sealed seams and the window/door closures also contribute to weatherproofing.
Naturally, the teepee fabric plays a role in ventilation, and besides the breathable canvas models, most feature multiple windows and vents to maintain proper airflow within.
Conventionally, teepees feature top vent openings allowing the use of stoves within them. Most recent models still come with upper vents, but they primarily promote overall ventilation. Several also include ground vents as well as mesh windows/doors to assist with airflow within the structure.
Is it Tipi or Tippee or Teepee?
It is just a matter of spelling, but a tipi is the very same portable structure. Other people also spell it out as tepees or tippee, but it is less common than the other two.
Older literature typically refers to the cone-shaped collapsible shelters as tips, but it is the most common form used currently. The argument stems from the Native American use of phonetic spelling as opposed to the modern alphabetic way of writing.
Therefore, whether you choose to write it as tipi, tippee, teepee, or tepee, it is understood that you are referring to one and the very same portable outdoor shelter.
Difference Between For Adults & Children Styles
Another main difference between the older and current ones is their diversification relating to use. Majority of the adult-sized models make suitable outdoor shelters for camping and backpacking. Several children styles exist, and their primary function is to form indoor play structures, and are a great option for a Christmas or birthday gift (rather than toys) if your child loves camping and playing in his bedroom or in the garden with his friends. There are even baby teepee tents! It is an incredibly wide market because kids just love to play in tents.
The kids’ varieties come in markedly smaller sizes, and their construction does not usually factor durability of weatherproofing, as some are designed to be used inside the house. Not to say that you cannot find a kids teepee play tent that you can set up in your backyard, but most aim at creating an indoor hideaway for kids.
A tent for kids usually has a wide array of colorful fabric designs and often in tripod styles. Three wooden or plastic poles form the frame, and usually, a cotton cover goes over it to complete the structure.
Adult models feature more intricate construction with outdoor use in mind. They also come in the selection of styles mentioned above but in less flashy fabric designs compared to the kids’ models.
Search no more, read our list of the best teepee tents for outdoor fun:
Guide Gear 12 By 12 Teepee Tent
What we like:
- It is waterproof.
- This one features weatherproof mesh windows.
- An awning covers the front entrance.
Who should buy it?
- Campers who want a semi-permanent outdoor structure for extendedly long trips.
Our Top Waterproof Teepee
The Guide Gear 12 by 12 is an upgrade of the brand’s ten by ten model, and it does come with several improvements. For starters, it is more spacious and comes with an awning over the front entrance. A queen mattress can comfortably fit inside without interfering with the center pole.
Its possible demerit, like with most styles in general, you have to haul several of the poles required to erect it and setting it up can be a pain when compared to the walled tents.
Some Awesome Features:
- The 12 by 12 outdoor shelter rises 8.2 feet high from the ground.
- It weighs just 19.8 lbs so it’s a truly light option.
- This one features 210-denier polyester construction and a 3000mm polyurethane coating making it as waterproof and durable as they come.
- Weather covered mesh windows, two doors, peak and ground air vents all contribute towards ventilation.
- An awning at the front entrance offers weather protection and shade.
- Two doormats come with the package as well as two utility inner pockets and two power cord access openings.
- Stakes, pull-through guy ropes, and a carry bag also come with it.
Ozark Trail 7-Man Teepee Tent
- It is a 7-person tent.
- This bad boy is exceptionally lightweight for its dimensions.
- Its unique design does not require a center pole.
Who should get it:
- Backyard campers.
- Music festival goers.
The Cheapest & Most Valuable
The Ozark Trail Teepee is what the weekend or music festival campers need to put up in style. It is relatively spacious and can accommodate seven people with sleeping bags or two queen airbeds. It has a gorgeous white and red design. With two people setting it up, it can easily be assembled in 10-minutes.
On the downside, it does not come with a rainfly, and you would have to buy one separately just to be safe when camping out. The flap of the mesh windows closes and opens on the outside, which is a bit strange.
Some Valuable Features:
- The Ozark Trail tent comes with a two pole design eliminating the need for a center pole.
- A sewn-in durable PE floor provides an 11.8 by 11.8-inch sleeping space.
- The tent rises 92 inches up high at the center.
- At just 14.5lbs it is quite lightweight for a 7-man outdoor shelter, so you’ll hardly feel it’s weight when carrying it.
- Two utility storage pockets offer convenient storage spaces inside the tent.
- Four windows with cover flaps and three vents take care of ventilation.
- The package includes a carry bag.
DANCHEL 4-Season Bell Tent
What we like:
- It is a 4-season tent.
- It features a bell tent design.
- 10ft to 20ft center height options are available.
Who should buy it?
- Long duration campers.
- Medical campers.
Our Top Winterproof pick
Bell tents are radically modernized versions of the tent with a single center pole forming the frame. A canvas then goes around the pole which makes it easier to assemble and dismantle. Their enormous size makes them ideal choices to set-up as semi-permanent outdoor structures for long duration and medical campers.
The DANCEL bell tent seems to feature delicate zippers which may need immediate replacement. While it does require some additional weather-proofing, it holds up well in winter weather.
Some Noteworthy Features:
- The tent comes with a bell cotton canvas fabric that is 3000mm waterproof treated.
- It also comes with a 580GSM PVC floor.
- Four mesh windows offer excellent views of the surroundings, and you can fold up the main door and the rest of the body to enjoy a 360-degree view.
- It is a 4-season tent with the cotton fabric offering the warmth needed during winter, and its breathability maintains cool conditions in summer.
- The outdoor shelter also features a 5.9-inch wall-placed stove jacket instruction book, rain rubber cap, stakes, and a carry bag come with the package.
Guide Gear 14 by 14 Teepee
Why we like this Guide Gear tent:
- The tent is very spacious with a 14 by 14-floor size.
- Its vestibule makes it highly multifunctional.
Who should get it?
- A large family.
- Group of 8 to 10 people who regularly camp out together.
The Deluxe Teepee
Another new product by Guide Gear. The Guide Gear 14 by 14 tent is lightweight making it an ideal option for weekend campers or backpackers. It is quite spacious inside making it suitable for a family or group of people.
Unfortunately, just like the previous Guide Gear tents, this model stands to benefit from a waterproofing upgrade so that it can withstand the harshest of weathers, and also if you’re carrying some weight, this one will be a bit tough to move around, as it is around the 24 lb mark.
Some Deluxe Features:
- The roomy and fully enclosed vestibule allows for versatile function. It provides a shaded area where you can leave your gear and shoes to avoid cramping up the inside. If you take your beloved pet along for the trip, it is the perfect place set him up.
- A zippered door covered with a mesh and mesh windows contribute towards ventilation with the help of ground and peak vents. You can keep them open even when it’s raining.
- With a 14 by 14-floor area and 9″ center height, the tent can accommodate as many as 8 to 10 people using sleeping bags.
- The tent comes pre-attached and pops up within no time, sot it’s really easy to set up.
- It does come with some waterproofing measures including a 190-denier polyester shell with a 1,200mm polyurethane coating, factory-sealed seams, and weatherproofed windows.
- The tent also comes with included adjustable guy lines and stakes.
- It offers great value for the price.
Guide Gear 18 by 18 Teepee
Our selling points:
- It is the most spacious of the Guide Gear tents on our list.
- The 9.9″ center height does not hurt either.
Who should buy this bad boy?
- A group of campers.
Our Top Large & Roomy Option
This impressively tall teepee can accommodate as many as 10 to 12 people. It is significantly lightweight for its size and also assembles quickly despite how big it looks. This one is great if you love to camp in big groups, with lots of gear and still have some free space.
However, the big size means more hands are needed to pith it up. Its size also puts a hamper on where you can position the tent. Like its predecessors, some weatherproofing is required when camping out in harsh weather.
Some More Awesome Features:
- The Guide Gear 18 by 18 teepee has a quite roomy living area, and can comfortably sleep 10 to 12 people and still leave space for gear and personal items.
- Its size does not affect set up, as you won’t need any extra tools for it.
- It is also surprisingly lightweight for its built at just 21lbs.
- The 190-denier polyester shell goes over a center pole and once you stake the guy lines your basecamp is ready for occupation. Adjustable guy lines leave room for custom fixing.
- A 1000mm polyurethane coating offers some waterproofing coupled with weatherproofed windows and factory-sealed seams.
- The floor features a sewn-in polyethylene construction giving it a sturdy base without the need to add a ground tarp.
- Multiple ground vents, a peak vent, and four zippered windows allow for maximum airflow.
- The center-placed door features a zippered closure model.
- Every window and door has a Velcro tab to remain perfectly closed.
To Wrap Things Up
When putting together this guide to the best of the best, our aim is primarily to lead you to the right one. Naturally, we settled for the top tents under different categories, but there are several more products out there.
A few additional considerations include buying an extra tarp. Not only does it promote insulation but also gives the tent a sturdier grounding. Several options come with enhanced tent footprints, but it is something worth considering mainly if you are a frequent camper. A rainfly also comes in handy for anyone who does not want the weather to limit their ability to camp outside.
When it comes to add-ons, a vestibule or awning proves the most helpful because it essentially creates an extra room to use as you please. Some people with pets set up dog/cat litters while most use it to store gear out of the way. It does not hurt to go for a shielded vestibule which provides an added layer of privacy and better protection from the elements.
To sum it all up, the frequent camper will find the Guide Gear 12 by 12 tent most suitable. The front awning, lightweight construction, and overall quality are some of the reasons why we nominate it as top tent from our list. It also comes with an impressive 8ft center height, and it is just the right size for a small family.