How Much Do Tents Cost?

Rilor Staff
Update: July 17, 2021
Table of Contents

How much do tents cost? 

This question is quite tricky to answer. After all, the price range of these amenities can go as low as $50 and as high as $1,000. Most of the time, the price of these tents is dependent on their features, specifications, and even their brand. For instance, we can't deny that big players like Marmot, REI, and Mountain Hardwear are more expensive than their entry-level counterparts. 

Of course, the numbers are not a problem, especially if you are really willing to invest in expensive tents. If you want to explore the summits and harsh conditions, you would need these high-end outdoor shelters--such as 4-season tents. 

In short, the real question here is how much you are willing to spend. In the next sections, we will discuss the prices of various types of tents. In this way, you will be able to decide which one to get. 

How Much Do Tents Cost: A Detailed Rundown

We can make accurate estimations when it comes to the price of outdoor tents by classifying them based on their type.

Surely enough, this doesn't mean that a dome tent is more expensive or cheaper than a geodesic tent. It could go vice-versa, depending on the features, architecture, and intended application. 

However, we can make things simple if we can categorize the tents. 

Dome Tents 

Dome tents are the most common type of outdoor tent. They are easy to distinguish one from other tents. A typical dome tent has flexible poles that intersect in the center, allowing it to assume a dome shape. It has different capacities--from 1-person to 8-person. 

Dome tents also feature either single-wall or double-wall designs. A double-wall dome tent has an inner layer, usually tailored from mesh. Furthermore, the double wall is in the form of a rainfly. Single-wall dome tents are durable, too. However, they don't have that breathability. 

Overall, these tents have enough headroom. But don't expect that you can stand straight inside them. Pitching them is easy, too. 

For their price, dome tents range from entry-level to high-end ones. You can see some of the notable dome tents and their respective prices below. 

 Seasonality CapacityFloor AreaPrice
REI Co-op Quarter Dome SL 1 Tent 3-season1-person18.9 square feet$299.00
The North Face Sequoia 4 Tent 3-season4-person58.1 square feet$399.00
Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent 3-season2-person32 square feet$214.00
Coleman Sundome Tent 3-season2-person35 square feet$64.00
Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent 3-season9-person144 square feet$144.95

A-Frame Tent / Ridge Tent

In the past, it was quite difficult to see other tent shapes aside from the ridge. The ridge, or A-tent, got its name because of its triangular architecture. It is considered the original and iconic shape of tents. 

In the past, these A-frame tents had canvas canopies and were supported by either wooden or metal poles. These days, these tents feature lighter construction, such as the use of fiberglass or aluminum poles. They don't typically use high-denier fabrics since these tents are not usually a favorable choice for backpacking or mountaineering applications. 

The tent is easy to set and pitch. Furthermore, it boasts ample stability. But on the downside, it is bulky, and the tent doesn't have enough headroom. The ideal application of A-frame tents is leisure camping and any outdoor application where the weather and distance are not a problem. 

Here are some of the popular ridge tents and their prices. 

 Seasonality CapacityFloor AreaPrice
Eureka! Alpenlite XT 4-season2-person31 square feet$399.00
OneTigris Backwoods Bungalow 3-season2-person32 square feet$199.98
Eureka! Timberline Backpacking Tent 3-season2-person36 square feet$209.00

Multi-Room Tents

If you are going in a pack or large crowd, having a multi-room tent is an ideal move. Well, you can segregate into single or two-person tents. However, the benefit of a multi-room tent is that it can streamline the bulkiness and weight of your pack. Basically, having a single tent that can house multiple people is a good deal to pick, especially if you are not planning to head out on extended expeditions in harsh terrains. 

Multi-room tents also provide enough storage space for your belongings. Even a model without awnings or vestibules can still have sufficient area where you can stash your belongings. Hence, they are a perfect choice for groups of friends and families. 

Needless to say, these tents may get pricey, especially if you pick something that has impressive infrastructure and features. However, I've seen models that are pretty inexpensive.  

One of the proven downsides of these multi-room tents is their size. They are heavy and bulky. Furthermore, it takes time and effort before you can pitch them. They are also prone to the effects of strong winds. To prevent these problems, it is recommended that you only use this tent on simple camping trips. Never take them on unfamiliar or challenging terrains. 

Check the following multi-room tents and their current market value. 

 Seasonality CapacityFloor AreaPrice
NEMO Wagontop 8 Tent 3-season8-person125 square feet$749.00
UNP Camping Tent 3-season10-person162 square feet$189.99
CAMPROS 8-Person Tent 3-season8-person126 square feet$169.00
Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Tent 3-season8-person112 square feet$157.99

Geodesic / Semi-Geodesic Tent

With a geodesic tent, you will get the best features of a dome tent. At the same time, you can also get stability as an extra benefit. A geodesic tent has a geometric shape. This is due to the fact that the tent has multiple poles that intersect with each other repeatedly. The intricate patterns of the poles provide a geodesic tent with impressive hold and stability. 

Most of the time, these geodesic tents are more favored than dome tents for technical outdoor applications. They have impressive support to withstand harsh atmospheric conditions. 

Their downside is that they are typically large when packed. Furthermore, it requires practice before you can pitch them properly. But if you can weather these issues, geodesic and semi-geodesic tents are great all-rounder shelters. 

Their prices are fairly reasonable. Because of their intended application, it is not surprising that they are always placed in the mid- to high-end categories.

The following are some of the popular geodesic tents and their respective prices.

 Seasonality CapacityFloor AreaPrice
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian Tent 4-season2-person34.5 square feet$236.24
Mountain Hardwear Nimbus UL 1 Tent 3-season1-person19.7 square feet$330.99
MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 Tent 3-season3-person39 square feet$549.00

Backpacking Tents

A backpacking tent is generally any tent that is designed for backpacking. If the intended application requires extended or long-distance hikes, you need a backpacking tent. Typically, this tent is smaller and lighter than most of its counterparts. After all, backpacking has emphasis when it comes to shedding your backpack's bulkiness and weight. 

It is not surprising that backpacking tents have a limited number of poles so that you can pack them compactly. They also have low vertical height; their capacity is restricted to single or two persons only. But don't fret; they are made to be sturdy and stable. They can withstand the weather and difficulties of being away from established camping sites. 

Price-wise, these backpacking tents range from mid-tier to high-end categories. The following are some of the exemplary backpacking tents that outdoor enthusiasts use today.

 Seasonality CapacityFloor AreaPrice
Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent with Footprint 3-season2-person32 square feet$214.00
REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint 3-season2-person31 square feet$159.00
Exped Lyra II Tent 3-season3-person30.1 square feet$279.00
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent 3-season2-person30.5 square feet$149.95
Bessport Camping and Backpacking Tent 3-season2-person28.6 square feet$65.00
NEMO Dragonfly 2 Tent 3-season2-person29 square feet$399.95

In Summary 

The price of tents varies based on their features and intended use. It is not a surprise that most tents that are geared for extensive applications are more expensive than those leisure-type and straightforward tents. It is just proof that the quality and material used on a tent heavily influence its price. In a nutshell, there's no fixed answer to the question "how much do tents cost." It's more proper to consider your needs and financial capacity before buying an outdoor shelter.

That's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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