Camping is one of the best options to relieve yourself after the lockdown, and you must choose the right tent for that as getting stuck with the wrong tent in the wild can be more frustrating than the lockdown. You don’t have to break your piggy bank for the right camping shelter; you can find the best tent under 200, whether you are searching for a heavy rain tent or an ultralight Tent for backpacking.
Expert’s Choice – The Winner
Marmot Crane Creek Backpacking Tent
Marmot Crane Creek is a well-built tent with no design flaws. It has excellent arrangements for all weather conditions and is lightweight for backpacking.
The right tent meets your needs e.g., you can’t take a canvas tent on a backpacking trip or a 1-person tent to a family trip. We have added a detailed buying guide below that will help you with the purchase, and you will be surprised to see the cheap backpacking tents under $ 200 that offer the same qualities as high-end tents, if not more.
10 Best Camping Tent under $200 in 2021
Marmot Crane Creek 2 Person Camping Tent
- The weight can be reduced exponentially for the trail, so it is both a backpacking and camping tent.
- It doesn’t have any design flaws; the interior is complete, and the exterior is good-looking and protected.
Marmot’s utmost priority was to make the tent ultralight; attention to details and dropping a few accessories did it for them. The tent’s trail weight is around 4 pounds, and the floor size is enough to accommodate two adults and small luggage. The tent walls and floor are made of polyester, unlike the expensive tents by Marmot, which are made of nylon, but still, it protects from all kinds of weather like the expensive tents.
The mesh panel is denser than the meshes of cheap tents, but it doesn’t give a clear view of the stars as the low-price tents do, though you will like the mesh panel’s quality. It comes with strong aluminum stakes, but they are not enough in number to stake down the tent for windy conditions, so you have to buy four more stakes.
For ventilation, it has windows and a Velcro opening. Moreover, the package includes guyline tensioners that help in ventilation by separating the inner tent’s rainfly. Indeed, Marmot Crane Creek is the best lightweight 2-person tent under $200.
★ Attention to details
★ Ultralight Tent
✖ The package doesn’t include complete accessories
Kelty Late Start 1 Person 3 Season Camping Tent
- It has a generous space for one person and a vestibule for extra luggage
- The fabric used is rugged, making it the right tent for unfriendly terrains
- It is incredibly waterproof and warm
Camping alone is hard, especially one of the camping gears, or the weather disappoints you. That is why Kelty Salida has designed this backpacking tent rugged and durable. It doesn’t leak because of the extended rainfly and includes essentials to protect against strong winds. The package doesn’t include footprint, so you have to buy for extra few dollars, and its stakes are not designed for hard grounds, so if you are visiting a rocky terrain, then purchase extra stakes.
It comes with straightforward instructions on how to assemble the tent; if followed properly, it hardly takes five minutes to pitch the tent. Remember that it is designed for a single adult, too tight for two adults, but it can accommodate your extra luggage because of the vestibule and generous space.
It is the best 1-person tent under $200 for its well-engineered design and rugged fabric.
★ Rugged and Durable
✖ Its Stakes are not made for rocky grounds
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac Lighweight Tent
- The tent is spacious; it can accommodate two adults and extra luggage, leaving enough space for elbow room
- It stays stable during strong winds and doesn’t leak during showers
- Ample cross-ventilation for hot summer
There are many good things about the tent and a few downsides too, but it is an attractive option given the price. It is roomy for two persons; if you are camping with ALPS Mermac, you don’t have to leave behind any item and your dog as it has enough space for all the extra luggage and your dog. Moreover, it doesn’t leak in the rain and stays stable in winds up to 40mph.
It has four netted vents, and two of them are not covered properly, so it is not warm like the other tent on our list, but it is more refreshing in summer. ALPS has built two D-shaped doors for easy accessibility, which come in handy when camping with your partner.
The floor of the tent is thin, so you have to take along a tarp. Other downsides are its outdated hook system, which is complicated compared to the sleeves; therefore, you must spend at least 10 minutes on pitching it.
★ Roomy for two adults
★ Rainproof and stable against high winds
★ Best 2-person camping tent under $200
✖ Thin floor
Core 9 Person Lightweight Dome Tent
- It can accommodate three queen size mattresses and your extra luggage
- Given the size, it is a lightweight tent
- The set-up process is straightforward
You will be astonished to see the size of the tent; it is a huge tent that can accommodate three queen size air mattresses and still leave enough space to sleep an elephant. You might be thinking about the set-up process; it comes with detailed instructions, and the process to set it up is also straight forward.
It is well-ventilated with smart ground vents and a mesh roof. All the windows are zippered and are well placed. You will need to put a tarp under the floor as the floor is not rugged. It does good in light showers and normal rain, but it has a waterproof rating of 600mm; that is why it will be risky to a place that frequently receives heavy rain. Overall, it is the best family tent under $200, and given the size, it is the best lightweight tent under $200 for family camping.
It has a gear loft and a lantern hook.
★ Ideal for family camping
✖ Not a heavy-duty tent
NTK Indy GT XL Weatherproof Camping Tent wit Screen room
- It is spacious, and the screen room allows you to take along your dogs
- Minimalistic mosquito mesh makes the interior attractive and comfy
- It does well against strong winds and heavy rains
Considering camper’s needs, NTK has attached a refreshing screen room with a large sleeping area. The screen room can be used as a vestibule, and you can also use that as a kitchen in bad weather. The tent is slightly hot in summers when the door screen is shut, so to keep airflow inside the tent, one has to keep the screen room door and bedroom door open on hot days; the mosquito mesh and roof vents alone can’t allow ample airflow inside the tent.
It is made of quality materials and has a decent waterproof rating of 2500mm. The poles and frame of the tent are sturdy and well-built; it can survive 50mph winds easily. The set-up process takes time; it takes 30 minutes maximum for a single person to assemble and pitch the tent.
It can sleep six persons when needed but use it as a 4-person tent for a more relaxed camping experience.
★ Large screen room and a roomy sleeping area
✖ Hot in summer
ALPS Mountaineering 1 Person Tent
- The witty design makes the tent easy to use and gives a decent headroom
- It is well-built; zippers and poles are of high quality
- It has a freestanding structure
This is the most famous tent among lone wolves, and the main reason behind it is its two-pole design and freestanding structure. The two-pole design makes it stable without adding any extra weight. It is a backpacking tent, and you can replace its steel stakes with aluminum stakes to reduce the weight by one pound, making it the best ultralight tent under $200.
The tent’s shape might look restricted at first, but it is a witty design; it has a vestibule and gear loft to store luggage, and the design allows your body heat to be more helpful in cold weather.
The floor of lynx has a waterproof rating of 2000mm, and the walls are 1500mm rated. You will need to buy a footprint with the tent as its floor is not sturdy. It is freestanding, still comes with guylines for extra protection.
★ Freestanding structure
★ Aluminum poles
★ Best 1 Person Tent under 200
✖ The floor is not rugged
MOON LENCE Camping Tent
- The tent is spacious and well-ventilated
- It has reflective guylines
- It is great value for the price
Moon lence didn’t do anything innovative in this tent but just did the basics right, and surprisingly it is one of their top-selling products. The main reason behind its popularity is its spacious space and surprisingly low price.
The manufacturer used a narrow frame to minimize the weight; it reduced the weight without compromising on the stability. The downside is that it has only one door for six persons; one has to crawl over others to leave the tent at night. Note it has a low waterproof rating, so it may not be able to hold rainwater for long. Given the price and qualities, it is an attractive option.
★ It is spacious
★ Comes with reflective guylines, a built-in pocket, and iron pegs
✖ It has a single door for six persons
Coleman Camping Tent under 200
- The darkroom technology of the tent blocks unwanted light in the morning
- It has a screen room which can be used for bug-free lounging, making it the best 4-person camping tent under $200
- The tent is extremely waterproof except for the screen room
Its darkroom technology blocks unwanted light in the morning and allows it to hibernate as long as you wish, which is rare among camping tents. Most of the tents that provide darkroom have poor ventilation arrangements, but the
Coleman Dome tent did well in providing a better ventilation system together with the darkroom. In winters, it is difficult to stop airflow inside the tent; the only way to minimize the airflow in winter is not to secure the guylines.
It has a screen room for bug-free lounging, and you can store your shoes in it, but it has minor design faults; there are no arrangements to drain rainwater from the screen room, and the screen does not have a pole, so to open the zipper one has to put extra effort. Overall, it is the best Coleman tent under $200
★ Darkroom technology
★ Screen Room
✖ No arrangement to drain out water from the screen room
Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
- Coleman Cabin Tent is easy to set up and has telescopic poles
- Made of high-quality, low-voc memory foam; Can’t pop or leak
- The center height of the tent is impressive
With its pre-attached and telescopic poles, it sets up as quickly as an umbrella. It is a perfect tent for regulated campgrounds and not designed for extreme weather conditions. It has a built-in rainfly and high roof, so it can’t handle strong winds and heavy rain.
Unlike conventional tents, cabin tents are taller, making it easy to carry out every kind of activity inside the shelter without your head touching the roof. Coleman Cabin tent has a height of six feet. Moreover, it is a freestanding tent that means you can move it around without disassembling it.
If you plan to camp on regulated campgrounds or need a tent for an open-gathering, then it is the best 6-person tent under $200 for you. Note that it is not designed for extreme conditions; you need to check heavy rain tents for that.
★ Ample headroom
★ Freestanding Structure
✖ Not designed for extreme conditions
TETON Sports Instant Tent
- It is the best pop up a tent under $200
- It is designed for both ground and cot
Teton Sports Tent is a pop-up tent that sets up smoothly within seconds, and the extra poles didn’t add to the tent’s weight substantially as the other instant tents. The fabric of the tent is 190T Tafetta, which is shimmery and feels good. Though the tent works perfectly on the ground when used with a footprint, it is for more comfortable use with the Teton Cot, which is sold separately.
It can accommodate two adults when needed, but you will feel cramped, so it is technically a 1-person tent. It does well in light showers and strong winds. Moreover, it is well-insulated for chilly weather conditions; though it is a 4-season tent, it doesn’t have the arrangement to accumulate heavy snow.
★ Sets up instantly
★ Two-way zippers
✖ Small for two big adults
Best Tents Under $200 Buying Guide 2021
The buying guide is relevant to the tents under $200. High-end tents have some unique features that are unfortunately not available in low price tents. Still, the best tents under $200 include all the important qualities for a relaxing camping experience.
Size of the Tent
It is difficult to find the right size tent for multiple reasons; one of the primary reasons is the internet’s wrong information. The easy way to find the right size tent is to multiply the number of occupants by 20 square feet since a single adult needs at least 20 square feet to sleep comfortably.
Plus, it would help if you considered your height as most of the tents that provide ample elbowroom fail to provide decent headroom. But ultralight or mountaineering tents have a short height to reduce the weight and provide more insulation, so it also depends on the environment you will be camping in.
Some tents offer a generous vestibule or screen room, which helps save space by accommodating luggage, so for a tent without a vestibule or screen room, you must take luggage accordingly.
Even the most expensive tents fail to provide weather protection; finding a rainproof tent at a low price can be hard. You can find the best tent for heavy rain if you have the basic knowledge about tents, and this guide is to help you gain that knowledge.
To know whether a tent is waterproof or not, you have to see its waterproof rating. The waterproof rating is usually from 500mm to 10,000mm, and the higher the rating is, the better the tent’s waterproofness. A waterproof rating less than 1000mm is vulnerable to heavy rains, so to be on the safer side, buy a tent with a waterproof rating more than 1000mm or add to the waterproof coating before leaving for the trip.
Another important thing that measures the waterproofness is the attention to details by the manufacturer. The vulnerable spots should be covered properly like zippers and vents. Seams should be thermally sealed for better protection, and the rainfly must cover the whole tent.
Outdoor companies have made much progress in making user-friendly camping shelters, and pop-up tents are the best examples. They set up in less than a minute without requiring any effort, so if you are a starter or don’t like setting up a tent, then pop-up tents are the best option for you.
Other than pop-ups, some tents come with detailed instructions and are less complicated than your Grandpa’s tent. These tents have sleeves which don’t take much time, but you have to practice at home before leaving for your destination.
Most tents that save you from chilly weather often fail to provide cross ventilation on hot summer nights. Moreover, if the tent doesn’t have ground vents or vents on the fly, it cannot prevent condensation in wet weather. Therefore, choose a tent that has multiple arrangements for ventilation.
Different Tent Types
There are a few main types that you must be familiar with in order to the best tent under $200. After you have gone through all the types, you will be able to sort out which tent is right for you.
As the name suggests, these tents look like a dome. These tents have a rectangular floor, and two poles go diagonally through the top. Dome tents have many advantages and few disadvantages.
These tents are more comfortable to sleep in because of the rectangular floor and have a decent center height. The downside of this shape is that they are vulnerable to winds because of their center height.
Also known as pop-up tents, these tents have a coiled-shaped frame attached to the top center permanently, which, when twisted, opens the tent instantly. Earlier, these tents were only suitable in good weather conditions or were only for children to play in the backyard. Nowadays these tents are as rugged and reliable as other types of tents.
The advantage of an instant tent is that they spare you from spending hours assembling the tent, but they add extra weight, and the coiled frame gets stuck sometimes.
A freestanding tent does not need stakes to get it in shape or hold its shape; its poles are enough to erect and support the tent. The most significant advantage of these tents is that you can move them around without dissembling them.
Most freestanding tents come with a rainfly, which requires to be staked, and the single-wall freestanding tents don’t come with stakes usually. These tents are easier to set up but are not stable against strong winds.
Unlike Freestanding tents, these require stakes and guylines to keep their shape. These take considerable time to pitch but are more stable against strong winds than freestanding tents.
Most of these tents have vestibules to store luggage. To move them around, you have to disassemble the tent.
Single-wall tents have a single wall, which means they are constructed of a single wall of fabric. These tents don’t require rainfly to protect from rain as they are made of a robust waterproof and breathable fabric. This type of tent is mostly ultralight and are used as mountaineering shelters.
As the name suggests, these tents have double walls–an inner tent body and a rainfly. These are more weatherproof tent than single-wall tents but are heavy and take time in getting pitched. Also, if the tent is not pitched correctly, the rainfly can make the tent unbreathable, and it needs more vents for cross-ventilation than the single-wall tent.
A 4-season tent is designed to protect the occupants from heavy snow, strong winds, and freezing temperatures. These tents are sturdy compared to other tents. For better insulation, 4-season tents don’t have mesh roof or walls, but only mesh windows can be zipped to prevent outside elements from entering the tent.
Most 4-season tents have snow flaps to avoid snow and cold air from entering the tent. Almost all of them have generous vestibule to store luggage as camping in snow requires more equipment. If you wonder whether you can get the best 4-season tent under $200, then the answer is ‘Yes.’
These are designed for Spring, autumn, and fall, but remember that it depends on the environment you will be camping in, not the season, since some places receive snowfall in autumn and some not. A 3-season tent is the most widely used tents. They are mostly double-walled tents with meshed inner roof or wall.
The detailed guideline covers a tent’s qualities under $200 must-have and briefly explains the different types of tents and their pros and cons to make it easy for you to choose the right tent.
We recommend Marmot Crane Creek Tent for both backpacking and camping, and if you are going on a family camping trip to a regulated campground, then Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent is the right tent.
The rest of the tents have their unique features and are as reliable as our top listed products, if not more, so no matter which best tent under $200 you buy, you will be satisfied with the purchase.
Winnie is a co-editor of the tent house. He is an adventurist, hiker and trail runner. Always eager to learn about adventure camps.