Best Value Wild Camping Tents

Wild camping is an experience that every camper should have at least once in their lives. Even if you’re privy to a few nights on a luxurious organised campsite, there’s nothing quite like the experience of heading into the back of beyond and enjoying nature as it should be enjoyed. 

But wild camping also requires a completely different set of equipment and that includes a compact, reliable tent. 

Of course, if you’re just testing the water or only intend on wild camping very occasionally, you aren’t going to want to fork out a ridiculous amount for your tent. Instead, you’ll be looking for something that’s great value for money and offers everything you’ll need. 

It can be difficult to come by but we have tested and reviewed several wild camping tents and we’re confident that we have found the very best. In this guide, we’ll share our findings with you and give you some information on how to choose the best tent for your needs.

A Brief Introduction To Wild Camping In The UK

Wild camping refers to any camping that is done outside of an organised campsite. You might head off to find a remote location to enjoy some peace and quiet or you may find yourself camping on a multi-day hike.

If you have never been wild camping before, it can feel a little intimidating but good preparation is key. You’ll need to check local weather and research the type of terrain you’ll be camping in as all of these things will affect your safety and the type of equipment you’ll need to take with you. 

But what’s most important when wild camping is checking out whether you are in fact allowed to camp in your intended location. If you’re camping in Scotland, there are very few limitations on where you can legally camp but in England and Wales, you must have express permission from the landowner. 

Even when you do have permission, it is generally expected that you will leave no trace that you were ever there. This means clearing away any rubbish and leaving the area exactly as you found it. 

Best Value Wild Camping Tents - Our Top Picks

One of the most important things you will need when heading off on your wild camping adventure is a durable, weatherproof tent that is easy to carry as you will likely be on foot. There are so many tents on the market that choosing one can feel like a mammoth task but that’s why we have put together this handy list to help you find a tent that’s super reliable and great value for money.

OUR TOP PICK

HEWOLF 2 Man Lightweight Backpacking Tent - Waterproof Dome Tent Windproof Camping Hiking Tent 1-2 Person Double Layer For Climbing Fishing Survival Festivals Family Short Weekends

The HEWOLF backpacking tent is a two man tent that is perfectly designed for people on the go. Whether you’re doing a multiday hike or simply want to spend a night under the stars, this tent has everything you need. 

What’s great about it is that it’s ideal for unreliable weather conditions and has a HH rating of 5000mm. The Oxford fabric is not only waterproof but incredibly durable and won’t tear easily no matter how wild things get. Featuring dual layers, you’ll also find that condensation won’t build up inside as the tent is so breathable. 

The tent is spacious so you won’t be cramped up next to your camp mate (unless you want to be) but is also extremely lightweight and easy to carry. When you’re done, the HEWOLF tent packs away quickly and easily so you can get on with your adventure. 

Pros

Cons

Durable aluminium frame

We couldn’t find anything wrong with this tent

Waterproof and breathable

Lightweight

Spacious

Choice of colours

BEST FOR LONG HIKES

Marmot Ma1Px Limelight 2P Ultralight 2 Person Tent, Small 2 Man Trekking Tent, Camping Tent, Absolutely Waterproof - Cinder/Rusted Orange, 2 Persons

If you are going off on a hiking adventure and it will take some time to get to your campsite then the last thing you want is a heavy tent weighing you down. This one is designed to be as lightweight as possible while still being stable and durable. 

Designed for two people, the Marmot tent has a spacious interior but folds down to fit in its handy carrying bag. What’s even better is that the pole design means the walls are almost vertical so you get more headroom no matter where you are in the tent. 

If the weather is bad, the waterproof design of this tent will ensure you stay dry. However, it’s not suitable for very wet weather as the HH rating is only 1500mm which isn’t as high as the previous tent we looked at. That said, with great breathability, it makes a great spring/summer tent when there’s a chance of light rain. 

Pros

Cons

Easy to put up

Not suitable for heavy rain

Lightweight

Expensive

Good headroom

Breathable

Lamp holder included

BEST VALUE

Night Cat Camping Tent for 1 2 Person Man Waterproof Backpacking Tents Easy Setup Lightweight for Hiking Backyard

If you are going off on a hiking adventure and it will take some time to get to your campsite then the last thing you want is a heavy tent weighing you down. This one is designed to be as lightweight as possible while still being stable and durable. 

Designed for two people, the Marmot tent has a spacious interior but folds down to fit in its handy carrying bag. What’s even better is that the pole design means the walls are almost vertical so you get more headroom no matter where you are in the tent. 

If the weather is bad, the waterproof design of this tent will ensure you stay dry. However, it’s not suitable for very wet weather as the HH rating is only 1500mm which isn’t as high as the previous tent we looked at. That said, with great breathability, it makes a great spring/summer tent when there’s a chance of light rain. 

Pros

Cons

Easy to put up

Not suitable for heavy rain

Lightweight

Expensive

Good headroom

Breathable

Lamp holder included

BEST FOR ONE PERSON

Naturehike Cloud up 1 Person Backpacking Tent Ultralight Camping Hiking Dome Tent (20D Forest Green)

Despite being designed for one person, this tent does have a lot of internal space so you’ve got plenty of room to put your bags and other bits and pieces. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to carry around a hefty tent since it only weighs 1.55kg making it one of the most lightweight on this list. 

What’s more, the Naturehike tent comes with everything you need to pitch including pegs and ropes and being a dome tent, it’s naturally easier to put up. Great for when you’re in a hurry. There are two layers which can be used together or independently making this an incredibly versatile tent on top of everything else. 

The Naturehike tent is highly waterproof being made from 20D Oxford fabric. Moreover, the seams on the inner layer are reinforced with waterproof tape so there’s no danger of any moisture getting through. 

Pros

Cons

Waterproof

Condensation builds up inside

Dual layer

Front expands for additional covered storage

Easy to pitch

Very lightweight

BEST FOR WILDLIFE AREAS

Night Cat Hammock Tent with Mosquito Net Waterproof Rainfly for 1 Person Hiking Camping in Garden Backyard Wild

If you’re camping in an area with lots of wildlife then you will likely want to keep off the ground and that’s where a hammock tent comes in very handy. This one from Night Cat has everything you need for a comfortable night’s sleep and even comes with a mosquito net to keep those pesky insects at bay. 

The tent also features a camouflage design so is great for things like fishing and hunting. Inside, you’ll have enough space to sleep comfortably and putting the tent up is super simple as it comes with everything you need. Once up, it’s incredibly stable.

With a HH rating of 4000mm, this is the perfect tent for all kinds of weather and what’s more, it’s very breathable so there’s no risk of condensation building up on the inside. When you’re done, it’ll easily fold down into its carry bag and weighs just 1.8kg so it won’t weigh you down. 

Pros

Cons

Great for fishing or hunting

White cat logo spoils camo effect

Lightweight and portable

Good waterproof rating

Easy to put up

200kg load bearing weight

Have you seen our Bivvy Hammock article?

BEST ALL SEASON TENT

GEERTOP 1 Person 3-4 Season Lightweight Aluminum Pole Backpacking Bivy Tent for Camping Outdoor Hiking

If you’re a real adventurer who isn’t afraid to get outdoors regardless of what’s going on with the weather then you’ll need a tent to suit every occasion. This one is a 3 / 4 season tent that offers excellent waterproof qualities with a HH rating of 4000ml. What’s more, it features two vented windows for great airflow so it’ll stay cool and free from condensation. 

The GEERTOP tent is great if you’re looking for something of a professional quality. It’s camouflage design helps you to blend in but there are reflective strips to keep you safe at night. When trekking from one campsite to another, the tent folds down into a compact bag and weighs just 1.5kg so it’s brilliantly easy to carry. 

If you’re camping alone, the design of this tent makes it quick and easy to pitch by yourself. All it involves is two poles so there’s no complex set up and this also makes it easier to take down. While there is lots of room to spread out inside, the headroom is limited owing to the design of the tent. 

Pros

Cons

Affordable but excellent quality

Not a lot of headroom

Easy to pitch

Camo design with reflective strips

Good waterproof rating

Durable dual layer tent

See our guide to Wild Camping with minimal kit.

What To Look For In A Wild Camping Tent

As we have already mentioned, the market is bursting at the seams with wild camping tents so it’s easy to become confused. While the tents we have featured in this article are among some of the very best, you will still need to narrow down your choices and the best way to do that is by looking at the features and comparing them to your needs. 

Lightweight And Compact

Wild camping involves a lot of walking. You are going to need to stretch your legs and carry your equipment to your chosen spot and in some cases, this can mean hiking for many miles. For this reason, you aren’t going to want a heavy tent that weighs you down as you walk. 

Generally speaking, you’ll choose a one or two man tent for wild camping so they’re naturally smaller and therefore weigh less than a large family tent. However, there are some that are much heavier than others and just because a tent is sold as ‘ultra lightweight’ it doesn’t mean that is what you’ll get. 

If you’re buying a one man tent, you wouldn’t expect it to weigh more than a kilo. Any more than this and we wouldn’t consider it to be lightweight. Add an extra half a kilo for a two person tent if you don’t want to feel like a pack horse on the way to your campsite. 

Size

As well as looking for a tent that’s lightweight and easy to carry, you also need to think about how big the tent needs to be. Of course, the larger it is, the heavier it will be so we would suggest choosing the smallest tent you can get away with without feeling uncomfortable when you’re inside it. 

If it’s just you then there’s really no need to buy a two person tent. Yes you might have a little extra room to stretch out during the night but do you really need this? And is it worth the backache when you have to carry the tent to your next location?

Type Of Tent

There are a huge number of shapes and sizes when it comes to wild camping tents and this is one of the most important things to think about when choosing between them. While it would require an entirely separate guide to give you the lowdown on each type, we’ll provide some basic information here. 

The dome tent is certainly the most affordable and features just two poles to create the shape. It’s possible to pick one of these up from your local supermarket for less than the cost of fish and chips for two. However, they aren’t the most reliable tents when it comes to being sturdy so are maybe better suited to backyard camping. 

Ridge tents are one of the most commonly used tents for single night trips in days gone by. They aren’t as readily available anymore but are incredibly sturdy. This sturdiness does come at a price though and the ridge tent is one of the heaviest so if you’re hiking a long way, it’s one to avoid.

The tunnel tent, is as its name suggests, the shape of a tunnel. There are two openings at either end and most of these tents offer a nice amount of sleeping space inside. Of course, that does mean that they are larger and bulkier making them more difficult to carry, especially over longer distances. 

If you’re looking for something ultra lightweight then a hoop tent might be just the ticket. These are supported by a single hoop and this is what makes them so light. That said, they’re not the sturdiest so shouldn’t be used in bad weather. We would recommend this type of tent for fair weather.

Geodesic tents are very similar to dome tents in that they usually feature two poles but the key difference is that they are far more stable and sturdy. If the wind suddenly picks up then you won’t need to worry. In fact, they’re so reliable that they are often used by explorers and can often be seen littering the base camps around Everest. The major downside of the geodesic tent is that it is typically heavier than some other models.

You can also get semi geodesic tents which are somewhere between the geodesic and the dome tent. They’re still very sturdy but much more lightweight so are considered to be one of the best options for camping in the UK, even in adverse weather conditions. 

Tent Colour

This is a minor consideration if you are camping in the UK as there are no limitations on the colour of the tent. However, there are some locations around the world that require wild campers to only use natural coloured tents so it’s worth checking this if you’re travelling abroad for your adventure. 

But even if you are staying in the UK, it might be worth considering a more natural colour as it will help blend into the surroundings and won’t create an eyesore for passersby. 

Do You Need A Single Or Twin Walled Tent?

Twin walled tents offer the most suitable protection for camping in the UK owing to the less than reliable conditions. 

Single walled tents are made from just one layer of material which is normally incredibly breathable and waterproof. You’d normally find these being used as a mountaineering tent. They tend to be much more lightweight and are also very easy to put up which is good news when you’re wild camping. 

However, a twin walled tent has two layers; an outer wall and a rainfly. These are great for the UK as they offer equal amounts of breathability and waterproofing. On the flip side, they’re a little more complex to put up and slightly heavier owing to the increased amount of fabric. 

Waterproof And Breathable

When you buy a tent, it will come with a HH rating. This stands for hydrostatic head and tells you how much water the material can withstand before it will start leaking. Of course, you will need to think about the local weather and the time of year. 

If you’re going to be camping in the height of summer, you’ll need something far less waterproof than if you’re braving wild camping in the middle of winter. 

Generally speaking, tents intended for use in the UK should have a HH rating of at least 1500mm, if not more. 

You will also need to consider how breathable the tent is. You’re not going to be spending long hours in it when wild camping but a small tent with someone breathing inside for 8 hours will quickly develop condensation. To avoid this, you should make sure that the tent has air vents which will improve air flow and keep the inside from becoming moist. 

How Easy Is The Tent to Pitch?

One of the unspoken rules of wild camping in the UK is that you arrive late and leave early. But if you get to your campsite with sundown just around the corner, you’re going to want to get pitched as soon as possible. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose a tent that doesn’t involve any faffing. We would recommend practising pitching your tent before you go and get it down to an art so that, if need be, you could do it in the dark with your eyes closed. 

Moreover, you will need to make sure that the tent is easy to take down and put into its storage bag as the last thing you want in the morning is to have to spend hours messing around with a tent that won’t cooperate. 

Conclusion

Camping is one of life’s greatest adventures, especially when you go off the beaten track. You’ll have the opportunity to explore parts of the UK that you never dreamed possible when wild camping but your trip will be made far more enjoyable and simpler if you take the right equipment. 

One of the most important things you will need is a suitable wild camping tent. You’ll want to make sure it’ll stand up to the weather and keep you warm and dry as well as being easy to carry. There are many different types of wild camping tent to choose from and with our handy guide, making a decision has never been easier.

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