Camping, Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Ozark Trail Tent Reviews – Are These Budget Tents Worth It?

ozark trail tent reviews
Bertie
Written by Bertie

Tents can be quite the investment, but one of the great things about camping is that (within reason) you can spend as much or as little as you like. And if you're on a budget, that's where Ozark Trail tents come into play.

The Ozark range of camping gear is designed to be very budget-friendly. But are the tents worth it?

The short answer is "yes" but with some caveats. As with all budget tents, you'll find Ozark Trail tents are heavier, more cumbersome and generally less durable than more expensive options. Which means that if you're planning to camp once or twice a year in fair weather, they could be a great choice for you. 

But if you want a tent that's going to last for 10 years of heavy use, you'll probably want to up your budget and go for something more bombproof like a Browning Big Horn.

Below I go into LOTS more detail about Ozark Trail's range of tents and review several of the most popular models in some depth. So if you want to find out more, read on!

If you are just at the information-gathering stage of your tent-buying journey and are looking for other high-quality budget tent brands, then I highly recommend you also checkout CORE Equipment as an interesting possibility. CORE's tents are very similar in price and an extremely popular alternative to Ozark.

But I digress! Here's a short list of what I consider to be the best Ozark Trail tent models for you to dive into:

Specs

This Ozark Trail cabin tent is a 10-person cabin design, featuring two rooms and measures a total of 168 by 120 by 86 inches. It can fit two queen-sized airbeds with a center height of 86 inches.

This tent features five windows and a large entryway as well as a one-room divider. The assembled weight of this tent is 13.5 pounds, and it’s suitable for all seasons. It also features a gear loft. 

The Verdict

The Ozark Trail family tent is one of the leading family tents from Ozark. It can sleep up to 10 people comfortably, yet the tent is lightweight, weighing only 13.5 pounds when assembled.

If you’d like a little more privacy, you can choose to separate the space by attaching the room divider included.

With a center height of 86 inches, it leaves you with plenty of room to move around without getting a pain in your neck. If you prefer a more open space, the large windows provide lots of light during daytime hours. 

The tent comes with 14 steel stakes, a carry bag, and a gear loft to help you get the tent up in no time. Additionally, the tent is fitted with electrical cord access, excellent for when you want to set up a light or other electrical devices.

In Summary

If you’re a small family who wants a tent that can fit you all comfortably, this is an excellent choice. Set up a bed for the parents and let the kids camp on the other side of the tent.

The lightweight of the tent makes it easy to transport to any location. However, it isn’t suitable for backpacking, as many users have mentioned.

Specs

This is a 12-person instant cabin tent, featuring three rooms and measures a total of 52.26 by 14.17 by 12.59 feet. It can fit three queen-sized airbeds and has a center height of 6 feet 10 inches.

This tent features seven windows and ground vents as well as a large door and two internal room dividers.

The assembled weight of this tent is 55.2 pounds, and it’s suitable for all seasons. It also includes an e-port.

The Verdict

If you’re on the hunt for a large tent that can be set up in minutes, this is an excellent choice. It requires no assembly as the poles are already attached to the tent—simply secure it to the ground using the included 25 steel stakes.

You can fit three queen-sized beds in the three rooms of the cabin tent—enough for a large family to sleep comfortably. Set up the two internal room dividers to create separate rooms throughout the tent.

Apart from the large windows featured on all sides of the tent, it also comes with a large front awning—ideal for a hot, sunny day.

When not in use, pack the tent up and store or transport it in the included carry bag. It also comes with a rainfly that keeps the interior dry even when the weather is less than ideal.

In Summary

If you require a large tent to accommodate the entire family when camping, this three-room tent is it. The pre-attached poles enable you to get the tent up in minutes.

If you’re also looking for a tent that can be used for gatherings—this one has electrical cord access as well as vents for an air conditioner. This will help to make the tent more comfortable during the warmer days of the year.

Specs

This is a 14-person tent, featuring four rooms and measures a total of 20 by 20 by 6.5 feet. It can fit five queen-sized airbeds with a center height of 78 inches.

This tent features 12 windows and a mesh ceiling for ventilation as well as four doors with mesh screens. It also includes three sewn-in room dividers.

The carry weight of the tent is 47.4 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. The tent also includes an e-port, organizer pockets, and one clip-in gear loft.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a tent that can fit the entire family when camping or during gatherings, you’ll like this. It features four rooms that can be separated using the sewn-in dividers. You can fit five queen-sized airbeds or 14 individual sleeping bags.

It does require some assembly and can be done within 30 minutes with a helping hand. There are four large doors and 12 windows, so lots of light comes in during daytime hours. 

When needed, the roof can be opened to reveal a mesh cover that provides optimal ventilation while keeping bugs out. The 78-inch center height enables even the tallest family member to walk around comfortably.

If you like an organized space, place small items in the interior pockets or attach things to the gear loft. There’s also a media pocket to fix a tablet or iPad and ePort access for movie nights.

In Summary

If you need an entertainment tent for friends and family, this has a lot to offer with the media pocket and ePort access, and the grand size of the tent provides a comfortable space for all shapes and sizes.

It’s on the heavy side, and it’s also not the type of tent you carry in a backpack. It’s assembled using a pin and ring frame attachment. Assembly can be tricky, especially if you’re a first-timer, so be patient.

Specs

This is a 10-person cabin tent, featuring three rooms and measures a total of 20 by 10 by 6.5 feet. It can fit three queen-sized airbeds and has a center height of 78 inches.

The tent features four windows and a mesh ceiling for ventilation as well as a D-style door for easy access and also includes two removable room dividers.

It has a carry weight of 27.1 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. In addition, it includes an e-port, movable hanging media pocket, hanging organizers, storage pockets, and a zippered gear pocket.

The Verdict

Packed inside a convenient duffle bag, this 10-person tent is easy to transport as well as assemble when camping. It features four large windows that provide you with plenty of light during the day. The mesh ceiling creates a comfortable cross-ventilation while keeping rain and creepy crawlers on the outside.

If you like to keep the inside of the tent clean, the attached mud mat is a gentle reminder to clean your shoes before entering. The screen door is also covered with a removable cover to protect the entrance. The tent also includes hanging organizers, storage pockets, as well as a media pocket to help keep the tent organized.

With a center height of 78 inches, you can move around comfortably inside the tent. Set up the two included room dividers to further help to keep things organized—or for a little more privacy.

In Summary

If you’re looking for a convenient family tent to bring on your next camping trip, this has lots to offer. The three rooms with separate doors provide you and your family with easy access and plenty of space.

It’s not suitable for large family gatherings, such as the Base Camp tent I reviewed above, but it’s an excellent choice for camping-glad families who need an easy-to-assemble and transport tent.

Specs

This is an 11-person instant cabin tent, featuring three rooms and measures a total of 168 by 168 by 76 inches. It can fit two queen-sized airbeds with a center height of 76 inches.

This tent features six windows and a mesh panel ceiling for ventilation as well as a large entry with a large awning. It also includes one room divider and a private back room.

The assembled weight of the tent is 38.37 pounds, and it’s suitable for all seasons. It includes a gear organizer and e-port.

The Verdict

For families looking for an easy-to-assemble tent, this has a lot to offer with three rooms and a high ceiling. You can easily fit two queen-sized airbeds or 11 individual sleeping bags. 

The large windows provide you with lots of light and air during the day while the front awning provides shade.

To keep all of your essentials organized, you can store items in the included gear organizer. When needed, you can connect electrical devices to the cord access for easy use.

If you’re going camping in less than ideal weather, attach the rainfly to keep the inside dry. It’s made with factory-sealed seams, so it’s durable and can withstand very wet weather.

In Summary

If you want a tent that can be used throughout the year, this is an excellent choice. All seams are sealed, and it includes a rainfly that keeps you protected when inside.

It’s quick and easy to assemble as the poles come pre-attached to the tent. It also comes in a convenient carry bag that allows for easy storage and transportation to any destination.

Ozark Trail Dark Rest Tents

The Ozark Trail Dark Rest Tent line is all about comfortable sleep. This series is focused on catering to those campers who prefer to sleep in a fully dark space.

The Dark RestTM Technology blocks sunlight out to not only keep the inside dark but also cooler—ideal for summer use. 

Each tent features unique skylights that you can open to allow just the right amount of light to come inside, and you can also completely roll them back during particularly beautiful nights for stargazing.

For a more luxurious camping experience, each tent incorporates various organizational options. This includes a gear loft, hanging organizers as well as electrical cord access.

Another feature that campers like is the easy assembly. The two instant tents require no assembly and can quickly be set up or packed away when needed. They include pre-attached poles that fold and unfold as you pack or unpack the tent—Ozark Trail claims the instant tents can be set up in 60 seconds.

Versions

10-Person Instant Cabin Tent


This is a 10-person instant cabin tent, featuring two rooms and measuring 14' x 10'. It can fit two queen-sized airbeds and has a center height of 78 inches. This tent features eight windows and ceiling panels for ventilation as well as a large entryway and also includes a removable room divider. The assembled weight of this tent is 37.7 pounds, and it’s suitable for 3 seasons. It also includes deluxe gear pockets, a hanging gear organizer, and an e-port.

This is a six-person tent, featuring one large space and measures 10 by 9 feet. It can fit two queen-sized airbeds and has a center height of 68 inches. This tent features three windows, ceiling panels, and one large entryway. It doesn’t include a room divider. It weighs 15.4 pounds and it’s suitable for 3 season. It includes a gear loft, hanging organizer, and e-port access. It is not an instant tent, although if you want that, look below to see it's brother (6 person instant cabin tent).


This is a six-person instant cabin tent, featuring one large single room measuring 10' x 9'. It can fit two airbeds and has a center height of 66 inches. This tent features three windows and ceiling panels as well as a large door. It doesn’t include a room divider. The assembled weight of this tent is 16.81 ounces, and it’s suitable for all seasons. It also includes e-port, gear loft, and gear organizer.

In Summary

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-setup tent, the Dark Rest line has a lot to offer. The easy setup, as well as its compact size, makes these tents excellent options for hiking camping trips or even music festivals.

If you’re camping in an area where sundown is past your bedtime, the Dark Rest Technology can help you sleep.

Ozark Trail Hazel Creek Tents

The Ozark Trail Hazel Creek Tent line is all about family and luxury. Each tent provides ample room for average-sized families or larger families with the 16-person tent.

One of the top features of the Hazel Creek tents is the large windows on all sides of the tents. These provide you with lots of light during the day. The tents also feature multiple large entryways for easy entry and exit even when it’s crowded. 

Excellent ventilation is a vital factor that makes these tents top-rated. Each tent features multiple ways to improve air circulation within the tent—such as rollable door flaps, mesh ceiling, and large windows.

Each tent also provides you with convenient organization options, such as clip-in gear loft, gear hammocks, and pockets.

On movie nights, set up the included media screen and gather the family—decide beforehand who makes the popcorn.

Versions

12-Person Family House Tent

This is a 12-person tent, featuring three rooms and measures in total 21 feet by 17 feet by 86 inches. It can fit four queen-sized airbeds and has a center height of 86 inches. This tent features wall panel windows and a mesh roof for ventilation as well as an oversized entryway. It also includes three room dividers. The weight of this tent is 81.04 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It includes two rope lights, e-port, media screen, hanging shelves, built-in storage pockets, and built-in closets.

This is a 14-person tent, featuring two rooms and measures in total 15 by 15 feet. It can fit four queen-sized airbeds with a center height of 92 inches. This tent features seven windows and a mesh ceiling for ventilation and two doors for easy access. It also includes a sewn-in room divider. The carry weight of this tent is 39.6 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It includes a big movie screen with a hanging media pocket, two e-ports, and hanging organizers.

This is a 16-person tent, featuring three rooms and measures in total 22 by 16 by 6.7 feet. It can fit four queen-sized airbeds and has a center height of 80 inches. This tent features nine windows and a mesh ceiling for ventilation as well as three entryways. It also includes two sewn-in room dividers. The assembled weight of this tent is 43.7 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It includes three e-ports, a sizeable movable movie screen with a hanging media pocket, and a clip-in gear loft.

In Summary

These tents are excellent options for camping families. They have a lot to offer and are ideal choices for camping during the warmer months of the year. With lots of ventilation options, you and your family can be comfortable during the day.

Unlike the Dark Rest Instant Tents, the Hazel Creek Tents will require some assembly. However, they come with detailed instructions, as well as everything you need to set them up quickly. 

Ozark Trail Backpacking Tents

If you’re a frequent backpacker or hiker, you need a tent that’s light to carry and easy to pack. The Ozark Trail Backpacking tents have a lot to offer with polyester materials and easy setup.

You get everything you need to get the tents set up quickly—each backpacking tent includes steel stakes and should take an average of 10 minutes to assemble.

Both tents have removable covers to reveal mesh ceilings; this provides you with improved ventilation as well as front-row stargazing seats. You also get a rainfly that’s easily attached on rainy days to help keep the inside dry.

Another smart feature of the backpacking tents is a large door. This makes it easy to get in and out of the tent. 

The tents are packed compactly and easily and can fit in any regular backpack.

Versions

1-Person Backpacking Tent


This is a one-person tent, measuring 7 by 5 feet with a center height of 37 inches. This tent features one large window and a mesh ceiling for ventilation as well as a D-style door and contains storage pockets for small items. The carry weight of this tent is 4.5 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter.

This is a two-person tent measuring 4.5 by 7.33 by 3.5 feet. It can fit one queen-sized airbed and has a center height of 42 inches. This tent features two windows and a mesh ceiling for ventilation but no room divider. The assembled weight of this tent is 6.9 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It features two vestibules that are each 10 square feet. The tent also features storage pockets.

In Summary

If you enjoy hiking or backpacking, you’ll need a compact tent such as these from Ozark Trail. These are easily packed and won’t weigh you down as you’re hiking to new destinations.

The assembly is simple, and both tents come with all the steel stakes they need to be secured. Each tent provides optimal ventilation, so they also make excellent summer options.

Ozark Trail Dome Tents

The Ozark Trail Dome Tents line features a series of compact tents that are excellent for camping trips and festivals. Despite the small size, the dome shape provides you with ample head space when inside the tent.

Each tent features a mesh ceiling for improved ventilation as well as a rainfly to protect you from less-than-ideal weather. Each tent also features a mud mat to help you keep the inside clean.

If you like to keep things organized, the Dome tents each feature a number of ways to keep your essentials off the floor. The tents include organizer pockets, storage lockers, and some even feature a footlocker.

All of the Dome tents are fitted with an e-port that enables you to hook up electrical devices effortlessly. Some of the tents also feature a hook and loop cord organizer that helps you keep essential cords off the floor.

Versions

3-Person Dome Tent

This is a three-person tent, measuring 7 by 7 feet. It can fit one queen-sized airbed and has a center height of 42 inches. This tent features a full mesh roof and large entryway but no room divider. The assembled weight of the tent is 5.64 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It features gear loft storage and built-in e-port.

This is a four-person tent, measuring 8 by 8.5 feet. It can fit one queen-sized airbed and has a center height of 48 inches. This tent features a large door and mesh ceiling but no room divider. The assembled weight of the tent is 7.87 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It features a large storage locker, media pocket, storage pockets, gear loft, and e-port.


This is a six-person tent, measuring 12 by 8.5 by 6 feet. It can fit two queen-sized airbeds with a center height of 6 feet. This tent features a large door and a mesh ceiling, but no room divider. The assembled weight of the tent is 14 pounds, and it’s suitable for two seasons. It features one large storage locker with zippered access, a media pocket, e-port, gear loft storage, and storage pockets.

This is an eight-person tent, featuring two rooms and measures 13 by 9 feet—with a floor area of 117 square feet. It can fit two queen-sized airbeds. The center height of this tent is 76 inches. This tent features two entryways, five windows, and a mesh ceiling for improved ventilation. It includes one sewn-in room divider. The assembled weight of the tent is 25 pounds, and it’s suitable for three seasons, excluding winter. It features two wall pockets, one media pocket, one e-port, and 13 steel stakes.

In Summary

If you’re looking for a tent that’s compact on the outside but has ample space inside, the Dome tents are for you. The dome shape enlarges the space inside without causing the outside to take up too much space.

As with other Ozark Trail tents, the Dome’s feature mesh ceilings and large doors that provide optimal air circulation.

Do Ozark Trail Make Good Tents?

So should you buy and Ozark Trail tent?

Here is a quick look at the points I’ll be looking at:

  • Expectations.
  • Bang for buck. 
  • Durability.
  • Weatherproof.
  • Build quality.

Expectations

As we’ve seen in the reviews above, Ozark Trail tents have a lot to live up to. What the low-price brand promises are good-quality tents at an affordable price.

The brand promises tents with lots of space, ample ventilation, easy assembly, and lots of storage options. However, it’s important not to set your expectations too high.

Ozark Trail is a budget brand, so if you’re frequent campers or people who camp in rough terrain and extreme weather—you’d be better off with a more high-end option.

Most Ozark Trail tents are only suitable during certain seasons—only a handful can withstand winter-use.

However, Ozark Trail is a good option for people who go on short camping trips during the warmer months, and new campers might feel less inclined to buy expensive equipment. In this case, Ozark Trail is an excellent option due to its affordability and quality.

Bang for Buck

An Ozark Trail tent has a lot to give for very little cash. You can easily find one-person tents for less than 50 dollars; also, the brand offers grand-sized family tents for less than 200 dollars.

So, for affordable prices, you get a lot for your money.

However, it’s again important to consider your needs. If you need a sturdy tent that will keep you safe from Mother Nature’s tantrums, Ozark Trail's budget tents probably aren’t the place to look.

Durability

At this price point, you can’t expect to get a tent that will last you through years of use. In saying that, many campers are actually surprised by the durability of an Ozark Trail tent.

The materials used—usually polyester—is generally reliable and can withstand both wind and tugging. The rainfly, that most tents include, is waterproof and keeps the inside dry on rainy days.

However, these tents are less likely to last through many uses. Some common complaints about durability are poles and stakes breaking.

Weatherproof

Nearly all Ozark Trail tents include a rainfly, and these can usually be removed when not wanted. Many of the tents also feature sealed seams for more protection.

Most Ozark Trail tents are recommended for three seasons; summer, spring, and fall, but only a few tents are recommended for winter as well.

When it comes to hot weather, Ozark Trail does not fail with ventilation. Most of the tents feature large windows and mesh ceilings that enable you to create a cross-wind—ideal for summer use.

Then you have the Dark Rest tents that are specifically designed to block the sun’s light to keep the inside cooler.

Build Quality

Ozark Trail tents are built well for the price. Again, it’s important to remember that these are budget tents, so you can’t expect them to be flawless.

As I mentioned in the Durability section above, most tents are made of polyester; others are made of nylon. These materials aren’t as durable as canvas or cotton—which are commonly used in higher-priced tents.

Most Ozark Trail tents are designed with tub floors—which means the base of the tent continues several inches up the sides before it connects to the wall. This further helps to prevent water from making its way into the tent.

The stakes provided with an Ozark Trail tent are generally made of steel, but there have been common complaints about broken stakes.

Ozark Trail also designs “instant” tents. These are pre-assembled, meaning they come with the poles already attached in the right places. All you have to do is unfold the tent, and it should “pop-up.”

One common issue with these tents was poles that had snapped either when packing or unpacking the tent.

Alternative to Ozark Trail

Now that we know the high and low points of Ozark Trail tents, I feel it would be good to compare them to others. There are two tent manufacturers that design tents very similarly to Ozark Trail; these include Core and Coleman.

Let’s see how they differ:

Core vs. Ozark Trail

Although Core tents are slightly more expensive than Ozark Trail, they still remain as an affordable option. Furthermore, Core features many similar tents to Ozark Trail, such as the instant tents that come pre-assembled.

In saying that, Core usually has more features that make them a bit better. Core tents are designed to be waterproof and are made using higher-quality materials.

Core uses a unique water block technology in most tents. The brand does this by sealing all seams using heat.

Where Core and Ozark Trail tents share similarities is the mesh ceiling. Both brands feature open mesh ceilings that allow a decent amount of fresh air to circulate the tents.

Coleman vs. Ozark Trail

Coleman is another affordable camping gear brand that also produces a lot of the same style tents as Ozark Trail. However, Coleman is known to have slightly better quality tents, with better materials and seams.

Coleman has a good eye for detail as many of the tents feature small, but important, details such as hinged doors. Other aspects, such as inverted seams, further improve the tents’ protection against rain.

Both Ozark Trail and Coleman tents feature convenient storage options, such as storage pockets. These help to keep your gear off the floor as well as making the tent more organized.

Camping on a Budget

For new campers looking to try out the camping life, or anyone who needs a budget-friendly tent, Ozark Trail is excellent. The brand has a lot to offer, and despite some minor issues, Ozark does provide excellent value for money.

The spacious tents feature mesh ceilings for improved ventilation, as well as many convenient storage options.

Ozark Trail tents are for everyone, though—the tents aren’t as durable as other brands, such as Coleman and Core. Before buying, it’s important not to set your expectations too high.

About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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