Camping is what summer was made for. Sleeping in a tent during warm nights and soaking up the sun by the lake is sheer bliss. One issue, however, is overheating—when temperatures rise outside, they can turn a tent into an oven. Thus, I began my quest to find the best tent for hot weather.
Although winter and fall are harsh, a hot summer comes with its own challenges. This includes high temperatures, short nights and a tonne of mosquitoes. Finding decent summer tents can prove tough, but my overall favorite is the Core Straight Wall Cabin Tent.
Here my top three (of seven):
This is a 12-person, cabin tent, measuring 16 by 11 feet with a height of 7.1 feet. It consists of a 68D polyester fly and a mesh ceiling. It weighs roughly 41 pounds and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
This straight wall Cabin Tent from Core is the definition of a family getaway accommodation. Its massive size can fit 12 sleeping bags or four air mattresses, with room to spare. The tall ceiling gives it an airy feeling and prevents uncomfortable slouching.
Besides its height, the ceiling is outstanding. It’s composed of mesh, providing a panoramic view along with the large windows.
If you want to, you can divide the tent from the middle using a detachable screen. Once it’s up, you’ll have two spacious rooms, which is perfect if you’re traveling with coupled friends. In addition, there are two entrances, so each chamber will have its own door.
When it gets hot, Core’s ventilation system will naturally cool down the inside. Near the floor, you’ll notice mesh vents that draw in air, forcing the warmth out through the roof. These are fully adjustable, allowing you to open and close them as needed.
This option also comes with a waterproof fly that consists of durable material, providing a tight seal. The fly will also preserve the heat inside during cold weather, but it’s fair to mention that it’s not a winter tent.
The advanced ventilation system along with the mesh ceiling is what makes this the best tent for hot weather IMO. If you are going family camping in the summer and are worried about the heat, you should absolutely consider buying this.
Obviously if you are looking for a smaller tent, then you probably want to look elsewhere. The Hyke & Byke Zion is an excellent choice for one or two people. And the Coleman Dome is another option for a mid-sized summer tent.
This is a two person tent, available in five vibrant colors. It measures 7.5 by 8.5 feet from the outside, with a height of 3.5 feet. The indoor sleeping area, however, is only 4.5 feet. Included is a lifetime warranty.
The tent is light, weighing approximately 5.49 pounds without the footprint. It comes with a 210T, 63D polyester and polyurethane (PU 5000) rainfly. The inner material is 190T, 63D polyester cloth with a +B3 net yarn. For the footprint, the manufacturer used a 210T, 63D polyester lattice cloth combined with a PU 5000 layer.
The Hyke & Byke Zion tent is lightweight, yet incredibly durable. It comes with ultra-light no-see-um mesh walls, which are so fine that even the tiniest crawlers can’t enter. This material also allows for ventilation on hot days, keeping you cool while you rest.
To combat those rainy summer days, there’s a rainfly and thick, bathtub-style floor included. The taped seams surrounding it prevents water and wind from penetrating.
This option is ideal for travelers who venture on foot. Everything is thought about to make it as light as possible — all from the aluminum alloy stakes to the stake presser and reflective guy lines.
It’s also straightforward to set up. It’s a free-standing tent, so everything is pre-attached and only require some tightening in places.
Another amazing feature is all the storage space you have. There are corner pockets as well as a gear loft at the center of the ceiling. Outside of the sleeping area, there are two vestibules for additional equipment, one on each side, that remain protected.
Along with the tent, you’ll also receive a carrying sack, making it easy to pack up and bring with you.
The Hyke & Byke Zion is the best tent for hot weather backpacking because, IMO, it offers really good bang for buck, great ventilation and an attractive weight. It's not the lightest on the market, so if you are into ultralight backpacking you may prefer the Paria Outdoors Breeze Mesh Tent which weighs only 1.5lbs. But other than that, the Zion is a great option.
The Paria Breeze Mesh Tent is a three-season, two person tent. It does not have a rain fly.
Its dimensions come in at 7 by 4.3 feet with a peak height of 3 feet and weighs just 1.5 pounds. It consists of 20D no-see-um mesh with a 30D ripstop silicone-coated nylon floor. The manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty.
The Breeze Mesh Tent from Paria Outdoors is another great backpacking option, but especially if you are in the ultralight brigade! It’s a complete hot summer tent with mesh material all around, providing good air circulation through the interior.
The fine mesh walls effectively keep bugs and other pesky crawlers at bay while you can enjoy the view through it. It also contributes to the extreme lightness, making it ideal for backpackers.
Another amazing detail is the floor. At first sight, you’d think this tent is only for dry weather, but the silicone coated nylon provides a waterproof surface for you to sleep on. However, if it’s raining, make sure you bring a fly to cover up the mesh.
For the setup, it’s clear that this tent isn’t for newbies. The manufacturer includes a few ways to assemble it, but you may need to practice a bit before venturing out.
This is an awesome hot weather tent if you’re into tarp camping or ultralight backpacking in dry climates. It's probably more a bug net than a tent per se, but you won't regret the no-see-um protection!
The Coleman Dome Tent comes with a one-year limited warranty. It measures 10 by 9 feet with a 5.8-foot center height and is suitable for six people. It includes mesh and Coleman’s WeatherTec system.
If you’re a light sleeper, camping out in the summer can be challenging due to the short night hours. Fortunately, this domed tent includes darkroom technology that blocks out 90 percent of sunlight. This helps you sleep past sunrise and will keep the tent cool during the day.
Another star feature of this option is the bug-free lounging area at the front. It’s a separate screen room where you can sit or sleep during a warm night.
What I always appreciate about Coleman is its emphasis on weatherproofing. The WeatherTec system ensures a waterproof, welded floor and seams where no drop is allowed to enter. The fly is also resistant to both water and wind—it has inverted seams, preventing anything from seeping inside.
The frame is outstanding. It’s been evaluated to withstand winds of up to 35 miles per hour.
There are also ample extra features—you’ve got an E-port, where you can bring in electrical cords to charge your phone or light a lamp. Additionally, there are mesh storage pockets sewn into the sides of the tent.
This is an exceptional hot weather tent if you’re sensitive to light while sleeping. It provides a darkened room for you to get your snooze on. It’s also weatherproof, which is a core feature for any tent.
With a capacity of up to four people, this Kelty tent measures 8.1 by 6.6 feet with a 4.6-foot height. It weighs roughly 6.13 pounds, and when packed up with all the gear, it’s about 7.7 pounds.
Having a tent that’s easy to set up is the dream for any camper, and the Grand Mesa Tent is just that. It’s a free-standing design, which is quick to get ready. All you do is follow the color-coded guides and you should be prepared in minutes.
The fly to protect from wind and rain is also reasonably straightforward. You attach the buckles to the sides and then adjust the fit for the weather. When it’s time to pack up, release them and fold the tent.
To keep you and the tent safe during hot weather, the fly consists of UV-resistant polyester. It provides a full shelter, thanks to its no-stretch design—even when it rains, you can tighten the buckles to protect the interior.
You can preserve a pleasant atmosphere inside due to the no-see-um mesh. This material allows for breathability, minimizing condensation and excessive humidity.
For extra features, I appreciate the several mesh pockets that help with organizing your stuff.
I can’t resist a tent that’s easy to set up. The design of this Grand Mesa model allows it to snap in place, without inserting stakes in the ground. You can then move it about as you please if you suddenly feel a rock under the floor.
The four-person size is also roomy enough for a small family, although it’s also available as a two-person, which is even lighter.
This Mountainsmith model is a two person tent, with dimensions of 7.9 by 4.6 feet and a height of 3.5 feet. It’s ultra-light, weighing about 4.11 pounds, and utilizes 185T polyester material. The rainfly and floor also consist of 185T polyester, but with a 2,000 mm and 5,000 mm-rated polyurethane coating. Included is a lifetime warranty.
The Mountainsmith Morrison is a three-season tent that was recognized with two awards from the Backpacker Gear Guide in 2011, for the best deal and the best value.
Although it’s only suitable for two people, you’ve got a roomy 35 square feet to sleep and store gear. The mesh material surrounding it brings in daylight and air, opening up the atmosphere further. This also allows for optimal ventilation on those particularly hot days.
Because the weather can sometimes be unpredictable when summer camping, it has a waterproof rainfly and a bathtub-style floor. The seams are all taped to ensure that no water or moisture seeps in.
One little detail I appreciate is the convenient stuff sack. Not only can you use it to store the tent, but there are printed instructions on it. Paper can easily get lost or damaged, but thanks to this neat detail, you’ll always know how to open it.
Another feature I’m amazed at is the additional 14 square feet of storage space in the vestibules. It’s fantastic to keep your hiking boots dry overnight.
I’m in awe of this two-person tent—it’s compact, yet still offers a spacious interior and storage. It’s very light and easy to handle, plus the imprinted instructions are king.
You can use it as a summer tent and even into late fall when it becomes colder and more likely to rain. One thing I will say, however, is that it’s a little pricey for the size. But, you’re getting a lifetime warranty and durable materials, so perhaps it’s worth it.
The Clostnature tent is a 2 person tent measuring 7.3' x 4.11' with a height of 3.10 feet and weighing just 5.8 pounds. It’s a three to four-season tent, finished with a 210T polyester and PU 5000 fly and floor.
Included are also a carry bag and anti-insect mesh. You have two colors to choose from, and a lifetime warranty backs the materials.
One of the worst parts about backpacking is dragging all your heavy gear around. Fortunately, with a tent as light as this option, it’ll be a breeze. Like Hyke & Byke, Clostnature ensured that everything is as light as possible.
It comes with a light polyester material and aluminum poles, ensuring durability without compromising the weight. It’s a free-standing design, making it effortless to set up and take down again. Once it’s down, the packed size is approximately 16.5 by 5.9 by 5.9 inches—perfect for the backpack.
A fantastic aspect of the tent is how durable it is, too, and Clostnature boasts that it’s suitable for three to four seasons. The polyester materials used are all coated with PU, providing both a firmer feel and a watertight seal. Then with factory-sealed seams, the interior will remain completely dry.
The overall design isn’t too bad, either. Although it’s small, there are two doors and interior mesh walls for ventilation. On each side are vestibules, which you can use for storage.
The Clostnature Lightweight Backing Tent is another fantastic option for backpackers. It’s super light and effortless to set up—once taken down, it’s compact and easy to fit in your luggage.
It’s an excellent tent for any outdoor enthusiast who wants to travel year-round. You can use it both for summer camping and during the fall—if you camp during winter, make sure you bring extra insulation.
However, even though it’s for two people, it’s quite tight. The interior isn’t very roomy, but it’s perfect for couples or good friends.
Choosing the Best Tent for Hot Weather
When I set out on my research, these are the factors I took into account:
- Storage options.
You can’t really bring an AC with you on camping trips — don’t worry, I’m not that stupid to try — so looking at hot weather tents with proper ventilation is vital. Many manufacturers use entire mesh walls for their products, where you just need to remove the rainfly to expose them.
But some tents for hot weather, such as the Core one, have advanced ventilation systems consisting of openings near the ground for air circulation. This allows cool air to enter, which then forces the hot air out through the ceiling.
Without proper ventilation, a tent can be dangerous on a hot day. The indoor space can reach high temperatures, and if you’re sweating, the humidity rises and could lead to heat exhaustion. Obviously you want to avoid 4 season tents when thinking about a hot weather tent.
Materials and Breathability
Apart from ventilation, you want to ensure the materials are optimal for hot weather. Lots of hot weather tents will have mesh windows and walls and ceilings. And these are fantastic to look for as it makes them more breathable and encourage air flow, so less heat gathers inside. Again, these are not qualities that 4 seasons tents will have, so always look for 3 season tents at a maximum.
Mesh windows will also protect you from pesky insects and small animals that may seek refuge in your tent. However, make sure there’s also a fly made from waterproof polyester to keep you dry, should the weather turn.
Floor Dimensions and Height
What to look for here isn't really about summer tents exactly. It actually depends on personal preference and how many people you’re sharing the tent with. Always check the maximum capacity, but also have a look at the measurements.
If you’re traveling as three adults, you should ideally look for a four to six-person tent. Two-person tents are generally quite small and don’t leave much room to spare.
Then consider the height. Larger tents typically have taller ceilings than smaller tents have. It depends on how you feel and how much time you’re going to spend in the tent. Don’t expect to be able to stand up comfortably, though. You’d need something like a 12-person tent to be able to do this.
If you’re a backpacker, the tent’s weight is a determining factor. In such a case, you want to go as light as possible to ensure you don’t tire yourself.
With that said, if you’re doing recreational hot weather camping, then the weight of the hot weather tents you're looking at may not matter that much. Be sure to factor in the combined weight of all your camping gear, not just your tent—especially when packing a trailer or roof storage with a weight capacity.
Some tents for hot weather include a range of good-to-have features. Great ones to look for are storage compartments, such as pockets and gear lofts. Most one to three-person options will also have a vestibule for gear, if not two.
Tips for Hot Weather Camping
Even the best tent for hot weather won't give you an optimal experience if you don't camp smart. My experience has driven me to the following pieces of advice, and yes, I’ve been on the negative side of most of these.
Settle in the Shade
Try to set up camp while it’s daylight and seek out a spot that’s mostly in the shade. Even in spring and fall, a tent sitting in direct sunlight can quickly become an oven. So it's an absolute must to find a shady spot when summer camping.
Disassemble Your Tent
If you’re leaving your camp during the day for a hike, it’s a good idea to take your tent down. An open one will gather heat and create a greenhouse-like effect where it’s hot and humid inside. This is very easy with a free-standing tent.
Try a Reflective Sunshade
If you’re camping out during particularly warm weather, try a reflective sunshade. Place it about 12 inches above the roof of your tent. This can be very useful for hot weather camping especially if you enjoy sleeping in every morning since it won’t get as hot and is likely to be darker.
Find the Breeze
Before you set up your tent, take a moment to notice where the breeze comes from. You can also use weather forecasts for this.
Then, place your tent so that the breeze comes through the mesh and ventilation system. Of course, this may change every day, but it’s an easy way of guaranteeing some natural air flow.
As tempting as it may be to seek out shelter, even in the winter you'll want a bit of a breeze to help ventilate your tent. When summer camping, it's really essential, not just for ventilation but because of the bugs!
Leave the Rainfly
Whenever the weather allows for it, avoid using the rain fly. Another layer of material can mean a hotter camping tent. Check the local weather forecasts to see if rain is expected.
Summer is perfect for camping—you can stay by the lake, take walks and enjoy the warm weather. A hot summer does, however, come with challenges. Because of this, it’s essential to find the best tent for hot weather.
Today’s winner is the Core Straight Wall Cabin Tent—it’s a huge 12 person tent, complete with mesh windows and advanced ventilation system. Our runner up is the Hyke & Byke Zion Backpacking Tent because it’s such a durable, breathable, 2 person tent for summer camping and backpacking.
To find the best hot weather tent for you, look for a good ventilation system and a decent size. Consider how much it weighs to avoid burdening yourself and, of course, emphasize storage options. These features alone explain why I went with the Core tent for my top choice.