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An ageless design that’s stood through the test of time, the teepee tent is a popular and spacious way to gain the best night’s sleep while camping.
If you enjoy camping in the warm weather and want to try a new type of tent, the teepee is a traditional shelter that has long been used by indigenous people in North America – and for good reason. Teepees offer the perfect design for camping. We’ll show you why, explain what feature to look for, and lay out the top 10 best options available today.
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Teepee Tent Buyer’s Guide
A teepee tent is a type of shelter with a rainfly that’s supported by a sturdy vertical pole in the center. They have a rounded bottom and triangle shape above. The sides are staked out to create a teepee shape, mimicking traditional Native Americans like the Lakota tribe’s home.
The word teepee originated as tipi meaning “dwelling” over 500 years ago. Back then, animal skins were used to form the walls, but the camping companies of today use weather resistant and durable materials like canvas, polyester, or nylon.
People adore the alternative design to traditional tents because they’re easier to set up and offer a spacious sleeping arrangement for the entire family. They’re also sold at a much lower price than some of the more basic tents available on the market, even though they’re much more spacious.
Windows and Vents
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Tents that hold many people must also keep everyone comfortable, so the best teepee option will also offer solutions for airflow such as windows or vents. When it comes to the openings in your tent, you may want to search for mesh or screens to keep biting bugs away. Most teepee-styles include an open roof, but some come with covers to keep your tent comfortable.
Built-in ventilation systems are also available in some tents, and they are designed to increase the amount of airflow into the tent to help reduce condensation and keep you feeling cool and relaxed. Others will only offer a breathable fabric material for the sides, making the tent lightweight and airy.
This type of tent typically comes with a center pole to keep the cone shape upright. Some models may offer two poles instead of one or a taller pole for more standing room. Poles are commonly made from:
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- Aluminum – A strong and lightweight material used in many backpacking tents.
- Fiberglass – Often used on inexpensive tents, as they’re slightly less durable, heavier, and cheaper to use.
- Carbon Fiber – Used to make high-end tents, this material is super strong and lightweight. However, aluminum is more durable for the price.
Most tents, teepee or not, fall into five basic types:
Teepee models tend to follow the design of summer models, which offer screens to rid campers of bugs and plenty of ventilation for comfort during steamy hot nights. The best options will come with some type of rain fly to protect against unexpected summer showers while still protecting against wind should a summer thunderstorm strike.
Summer tents are often made using mesh rather than nylon to further help with airflow, and they’re not always the best when it comes to harsh rains or cold weather conditions. Likewise, convertible tents offer shelter but don’t in stormy, harsh conditions. They can zip closed or open up, and this versatility can allow you to see 360-degree views from your campsite. They do tend to weigh more though.
There are still some four-season teepee models that aim to remain dry and comfortable throughout the hot or cold. They can handle stronger winds as well, but the walls aren’t created to deal with snow. The walls of these tents use both mesh and ventilation materials to offer more protection without constricting airflow.
Is a Teepee Tent Right For You?
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However, you should only purchase a teepee tent if it’s right for your needs. The only downside to teepee models is that they’re not designed for inclement weather. They’re not rugged, and many come with a floorless design that’s not ideal in wet weather.
Although, you may find waterproof tents designed for year-round use and cold weather resistance. Designs with a PVC lining in the vent will keep water from getting into the tent from the sides, and other models may offer a base you can clip to the bottom when you need and detach it to wash the floor separately.
Finally, you may find options with a lightweight, thin base attached. These floors are not designed to handle a large amount of water, and many campers protect their tents by adding a heavy-duty tarp to keep out moisture or dew. Depending on where and when you camp, this may not be necessary. The thin base is enough for most casual summer campers.
The circular shape can also create space issues because most sleeping arrangements are a rectangle, such as sleeping bags or air mattresses. The tent will most likely use a center support pole that you’re forced to avoid, and the sloping walls may cause issues for tall individuals. When you have an entire family in the tent, using the space available can become tough.
A teepee-shaped tent may be right for you if you:
- Camp in the summer, where the weather is nice and dry
- Camp out in the backyard
- Need a hassle-free, relaxing experience
- Enjoy lightweight tents for storage and travel
- Have a large family or campmates
- Cater special events
These tents are easy and quick to assemble, and they’re extremely lightweight and portable. Some designs are set up in less than 10 minutes. Although the tent is a cone shape, it’s surprisingly resistant to strong wind speeds, as the shape allows the wind to easily move around the tent rather than become stuck on corners. As long as the center bar is secure, your tent won’t fall down.
With the right training and tent, you may even be able to cook inside the teepee. However, it’s very important you practice fire safety and learn what to do so you can control the flame. Your tent needs proper smoke ventilation, a spitting guard, and the right among of room for flames to reach upward. Some models that are large enough to hold a firepit make for perfect winter camping solutions.
Top 10 Best Teepee Tents
If you enjoy the features and spacious size that comes with a teepee design, the following 10 tents are the best options available on the market today. Although they each hold benefits and downfalls, all these tents offer exactly what the majority of campers are looking for in a larger arrangement.
A four-season tent, this option can be used all year long. Use it in hot or cold weather, as the cotton fabric is treated with waterproofing to keep you safe. All of the doors and windows can close, or you can open them without worrying about bugs thanks to the mosquito netting. This tent offers a great breeze in the summer and a warm glamping experience in the winter.
The cool part about this tent is that you can add a stove in the winter to warm your tent and cook food. It also comes with a unique feature: it offers 360-degree views. Each side of this teepee can easily be rolled up to open the sides to allow amazing views without leaving the tent, while the top canopy protects you from the sun.
Dimensions: 10 x 20 feetRating: 5/5
This 10’x10’ tent is compact, which makes it best for two adults or a small family. It’s made using a lightweight polyurethane material. Although it is smaller than other tents on this list, it offers enough space to stand up and move around. The intimate space is better for close families or a couple, and at the highest point, it’s 6.6 feet tall.
The waterproof coating sewn into the floor will keep your belongings safe and dry. The windows have shades for privacy, yet the tent has great airflow and a reduced problem with condensation thanks to the vents. It’s a reasonable price that’s well-made. However, customers say the tent may tip slightly in the wind because the panels are tied down, and the ventilation system makes it too cold to use in the winter months.
Dimensions: 29.8 x 8.8 x 7.8 inches
Weight: 14.3 poundsRating: 4.9/5
The perfect tent for a glamping experience with a large group, Dream House’s luxury tent comes in various sizes to fit at least a king-sized and two twin mattresses inside. The tent itself is made using a cotton canvas coated with a waterproof coating, which experts say may leak the first time it’s rained on but will completely dry and seal any holes by itself. The heavy-duty zipper keeps pests out, and it even comes with mosquito screens on the doors and windows to keep bugs at bay.
Dimensions: available in either 3, 4, 5, 6m diametersRating: 4.8/5
A slightly bigger 12’x12’ tent that’s perfect for 6-7 people, Winterial is a lightweight and spacious tent for camping with the whole family. It’s a top-rated camping tent, as it offers room to stand and easy assembly. This tent can be set up in 5 minutes, and it’s made from a polyester fabric to keep everyone dry from the elements if a simple rain shower popped up.
The best part about this tent is that it’s designed to take on terrible weather conditions while offering enough space and airflow needed to hold a good amount of people comfortably. The built-in vents will keep everyone from feeling bogged down, and it’s good at keeping the rain out. However, the top is open to the elements if you don’t add a cover.
Dimensions: 144 x 144 x 96 inches
Weight: 15.81 poundsRating: 4.7/5
Tahoe Gear Bighorn
Durable and lightweight, Tahoe Gear’s tent is made using 1,000-millimeter polyester for heavy-duty protection while still offering a lightweight design. This teepee can keep you dry and sustain wind speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Humidity won’t even bother you, as the roof and side openings offer ventilation, and floor flaps and windows can open to further increase airflow in the summer.
This tent allows you to sleep 12 people without spending a ton of money. However, the door doesn’t completely zip closed and the floor attaches using clips rather than offering a flooring material that’s sewn in, so it may not be ideal for rain or wet weather.
Dimensions: 33.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
Weight: 35 poundsRating: 4.6/5
The least obstructive teepee design that sleeps 7 people, this tent is 11’8”x11’8” and instead of a center pole, it has two poles to allow more space for people to move around. With no pole obstructing the center, you have more space to use and never need to worry about the center pole obstructing sleep space or getting in the way when you’re setting up your camping gear.
The tent is easy and quick to assemble. It offers 105 square feet of floor space or enough for 7 sleeping bags or a couple air mattresses. Plus, Ozark tents come with vents and large screened-in windows for airflow. It’s expensive though and was not designed for harsh weather conditions.
Dimensions: 27/5 x 7 x 8.75 inches
Weight: 13.6 poundsRating: 4.5/5
Custom Norway Lavvu
A lavvy style teepee, this tent is lightweight, durable, and cheap. It comes with aluminum poles for stability, an added rainfly to protect against rain, and moisture and mosquito protection. You can even use a stovepipe in this tent to use it in the winter! Sleep 5 people with this option comfortably. There’s plenty of standing space. However, there is no flooring or transparent screens included.
On the other side, it does come with strong pegs and guy lines for security. There’s even an Oxford carrying bag with a handle for easy transportation and storage. Many people find this a great winter option with plenty of space.
Dimensions: 185 x 185 x 118.1 inches
Weight: 26.5 poundsRating: 4.4/5
Guide Gear Deluxe
The deluxe model from Guide Gear is a 14’x14’ tent with a covered entryway, putting a twist on the traditional teepee tent design. The covered entryway allows you to set your dirty boots or gear inside the tent’s entryway without tracking mud through the tent, or it makes a great pet bedroom. No matter what you use it for, anything you place in your tent is completely sealed and safe from the elements.
This tent is made using polyester and polyurethane materials to keep you totally dry, and the many vents throughout the tent allow airflow even on the hottest days. Zip the sealed windows closed when it rains and pop up this tent in no time. It’s even easy to set up alone.
Dimensions: 34.4 x 10.5 x 10.4 inches
Weight: 26.6 poundsRating: 4.3/5
A waterproof family camping tent that can sleep 10 people, this large model can be used all four season of the year. It may come with a higher price tag, but Hasika is created using high-quality materials to handle rough weather as well as the cold. It’s easy to set up, and it comes with plenty of windows and built-in vents for adequate airflow on hot days. The biggest downside is that for the price, there is no top cover included.
Dimensions: 196.8 x 196.8 x 116.4 inches
Weight: 13 kgRating: 4.2/5
If you’re looking for a small teepee that won’t take much ground room, the Deeko tent only sleeps two to four people (depending on your size) comfortably and comes at an extremely affordable price. The door opens using a zipper to allow for more airflow while a screen keeps bugs out. It doesn’t have any windows, but it does offer vented flaps near the bottom you can use to let air come in rather than rain.
Unlike other options on this list, it also doesn’t have a center pole. This allows for more room to move around without a pole getting in the way, and the polyester is tear resistant. Although this tent is among the smallest, it’s still made using high-quality materials that will last.
Dimensions: 87 x 87 x 71 inches
Weight: 8 poundsRating: 4/5
How We Chose Our Ratings
Honesty and accuracy are important, so we delve into customer and expert reviews to explore what features are important in buying your own teepee-style tent. All the tents listed will keep you safe while on your adventures and accommodate various sized groups. Keep in mind that although most of these options offer weatherproofing of some sort, you can up this by spending extra on sealant or new pegs. Featured image via Amazon