Outside of cave-dwelling, camping is the closest we can come to our ancestral means of shelter in the wild. On your next outdoor adventure, these extreme camping tents may prove to be the perfect home in the wilderness.
Camping takes you closer to nature – at one with the elements. You stroll straight out onto the soggy grass to cook in the open air and experience the weather and scents of nature. The farther you go from civilization, the more intense the feelings get. Dangers can arise however, when facing extreme weather or climates. For these situations, you’re going to want some protection that won’t fail even under the worst of storms or temperatures.
Here’s a selection of the best tents for camping in extreme conditions, that don’t cost a fortune.
Coleman 6-person Instant Tent
If you want to camp out with a mate in style or make room for a bunch of friends and have a party, the Coleman 6-person Instant Tent might be for you. One plus is its height. Ducking into a low camping tent gets annoying and uncomfortable after a while. This tent, which is 5 ft. 11 in high, affords a fair bit of headroom. The legroom is also good – you get enough space to hold two queen airbeds. And this is one of the best tents when it comes to being well ventilated and tough as nails, with taped seams, a waterproof floor and wind-resistant frame. Even if Mother Nature unleashes a deluge, you should stay dry, thanks to the guaranteed WeatherTec System. Better yet, you can set up or take the tent down in 60 seconds or less – good news for anyone who has vainly tried to set up a tent fast in a howling gale. The tent comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
The Wenzel Klondike stretches 16-ft by 11-ft, another gargantuan extreme weather tent. That means it sleeps eight – perfect to invite your family, buddies or simply enjoy your own spacious interior. Plus, you get a tad more height – 6.5 feet of head room, enabling most to stand up straight. The full mesh roof and two mesh windows block gnats while letting the breeze roll in: a nice door policy for extreme areas with nasty insect populations. Combating the threat of monster downpours, vital and vulnerable areas – threads, zippers and webbing – are treated with water repellent. In case the wind tries to kick your Wenzel Klondike across the landscape into a waiting ravine, the tent boasts a fiberglass frame and Power Corners for added stability. Adding versatility, the windows can be zipped up. For further peace of mind, it offers a roomy warranty: 10 years, no less.
Columbia Cougar Flats II
The trend in tent architecture seems to be to build them big – try to make enough space to house a small village. The Columbia Cougar Flats II follows that trend, measuring 15ft by 10ft and soaring a basketball team-friendly 7 feet tall. If you want to entertain or create a divide between you and one of your buddies who is starting to smell, the mansion-like Columbia Cougar Flats II might be just the ticket. You can actually split the Columbia Cougar Flats II into two separate rooms. Or you can keep it as one cavernous space with the room divider zipped up out of your face. The mammoth tent addresses the monsoon factor by twinning its “GoBe” shield system with a waterproofed polyester fly. The cyclone venting system makes sure you’ve got an adequate air circulation in case you’re in your tent for an extended period of time. An additional clever feature is the camp port that lets you poke a power cord into the tent without losing waterproof protection or allowing any damp into the tent. Plus, you get two windows and two big doors.
Eureka! Midori 2
Eureka! builds tents “equally at home camping in your favorite campground, at a backyard sleepover, on winter camping expeditions, biking or hiking in the wilderness.” One of its most popular models, the Eureka! Midori 2 is chic and compact. If it is just you and your buddy and you want to get around quickly without much to lug, the Midori 2 might suit your needs. The 2-pole aluminum dome side entry tent makes great play of mesh fabric that boosts ventilation. The Midori 2 is all-around one of the best tents for extreme camping, as the V3 system promises volume, venting and versatility. But, unusually for a camping tent, the Midori 2 is big on style – think “lime punch or mineral grey.”This tent might light and cozy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not ready to roll with the punches in extreme weather. Double wall construction lines the sides, and 7000-series poles provide the stable base structure to stand your ground. At about $150 retail, this is a killer deal for one of the best tents out there.
Lightspeed Ample 6 Tent
The Lightspeed Ample 6 may have a space age look but its one of the best tents for camping in the wilderness. In keeping with modern tent technology it offers you a ton of legroom but is a snap to set up with its speedy drawstring hub system. Lightspeed models are designed to give you over one thousand nights of shelter, under all extreme weather conditions. It is not wildly high – you get under 5ft of headroom, but it sleeps six. And you get a big front door for easy access plus an extended awning for more protection. According to Instant Tent Reviews, the Lightspeed Ample 6 can handle “‘pea-sized’ hail during a storm, with next to no leakage.” Better still, Lightspeed apparently offers “exceptional customer service.
Know any other extreme weather models that deserve to be on this best tents list? Let us know in the comments below or @DegreeMen.