Short on time? Our pick for the best waterproof tent is the Vango Airbeam Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent.
The best waterproof tents to keep you dry even if you get caught in a rainstorm.
If you’ve ever been camping in the rain you know how miserable it can be.
Even in the summer, a downpour can leave you cold and uncomfortable, not to mention ruin your stuff and put a halt to your camping experience.
This is why purchasing a waterproof tent for camping (no, they’re not all waterproof – crazy, right??) is so essential.
When clouds build and sprinkles start to come down you can retreat to your waterproof haven, safe in the knowledge that you can spend the rest of the trip (if need be) in comfort.
Below, you’ll find my top picks for the best waterproof tents as well as a guide to help you understand waterproof ratings and tent materials.
I’ve also included all the waterproof rating information provided by each manufacturer, so you don’t have to dig for it!
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations
- Best 2 Person Waterproof Tent – Big Agnes Blacktail Tent
- Best 4 Person Waterproof Tent – GEERTOP Camping Tent 4 Person
- Best 6 Person Waterproof Tent – REI Co-Op Base Camp 6 Tent
- Best 8 Person Waterproof Tent – NKT Laredo 8 to 9 Person Tent
- Best Waterproof Family Tent – NKT Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent
- Best Waterproof Pop Up Tent – Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Tent
- Best Waterproof Cabin Tent – Teton Sports Mesa Canvas Tent
- Best Waterproof Backpacking Tent – Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL
- Best Budget Waterproof Tent – Coleman Sundome Tent
- Best Waterproof Tent With Screen Room – Vango Airbeam Odyssey Air 500 Villa
- Most Durable Waterproof Tent – MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent
#1 Big Agnes Blacktail Tent
Best Waterproof Tent for Two People
Our rating: 4.5/5
Floor area: 33 sq feet
Waterproof rating: 1500mm body with 68D polyester fly
The Big Agnes Blacktail (and the Blacktail Hotel, another similar model to this one) has a unique design. I’ve spent a lot of time camping and I’ve never seen a design quite like this one.
It features a regular tent body with a little “sidecar” mini storage space attached by the rain fly.
This tent comes with storm-guarded zippers, meaning there’s a little flap over the zippers that keeps water out.
The fabric is made of polyester and the seams on the tent are treated with a polyurethane coating, which improves their ability to repel water.
The material is on the thin side and made of a 68D polyester with a polyurethane coating, giving it a 1500mm waterproof rating. This is just above the minimum to be considered waterproof (1000mm).
Big Agnes is also a big name in camping gear, so you can expect a high-quality product.
This particular model is a two-person tent, but they make three and four-person tents in this style as well.
Additionally, this tent’s relatively small size and low weight make it great for backcountry and front country adventures.
- High-quality materials
- Storm-guarded zippers
- Versatile for backcountry and front country
- Thin material
- Small floor size and low peak height
#2 GEERTOP Camping Tent 4 Person
Best Waterproof Tent for Four People
Our rating: 5/5
Floor area: 53 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 5000mm floor, 3000mm rainfly
The GEERTOP Camping Tent is not messing around with its waterproof rating. This is a true four-season tent.
The inner tent is 210T breathable polyester/nylon mix, which is okay for waterproofing.
Threadcount (T) doesn’t tell me everything I want to know about how waterproof a material is, so I can’t give the body itself a stellar rating. But that doesn’t bother me because it’s the rainfly and the floor you want to focus your lasers on.
The tent floor is 210D with polyurethane coating (PU), giving it a waterproof rating of 5000mm, which is phenomenal. The tent fly also has a 3000mm waterproof rating, which is still excellent.
This tent is also very lightweight, especially for a four-person tent, weighing just 9.1lbs. You could easily use this as a backpacking tent if you split up the components among your friends.
- Excellent waterproofing
- Two storage pockets
- Snow skirt
- Small size
#3 REI Co-Op Base Camp 6 Tent
Best Waterproof Tent for Six People
Our rating: 4/5
Floor area: 84 sq feet
Waterproof rating: 150D 1500mm
The REI Base Camp 6 Tent is an excellent dome-shaped, 3-season tent with two doors.
I’m still using my REI tent from 10 years ago with no complaints, and Base Camp 6 is another sturdy tent that will serve you well for years.
For waterproofing, it has a 1500mm rating with 150D polyester. This is a good medium grade in waterproofing and fabric durability.
One thing in particular that I like about this tent is that each of the two doors has its own vestibule. Vestibules are basically a tiny covered porch for your tent and a great place to leave boots overnight.
The tent also features lots of mesh ventilation panels, which is a great thing to have if it’s rainy and muggy outside. The doors have a mesh panel at the top, and the roof has several mesh panels.
Finally, as this tent has enough room for six people, you’re likely going to start needing some storage and organization pockets, and this tent has several inside the tent.
This tent is designed for car camping, meaning it’s a little on the heavy side. At 20 lbs, though, it still shouldn’t be a back-breaker.
Looking for more tents of this size? Check out our guide to the best six-person tents.
- Two doors with two vestibules
- Well ventilated
- Extra storage pockets
#4 NKT Laredo 8 to 9 Person Tent
Best Waterproof Camping Tent for Eight People
Our rating: 5/5
Floor area: 150 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 2500mm
The NKT Laredo 8 to 9 Person Tent is a waterproof tent for camping with excellent weather protection.
This tent features a bathtub floor, which is a very handy feature when looking for a waterproof tent.
The bathtub floor simply means the floor material, which is often more durable than the rest of the tent, curls up the sides of the tent, usually a few inches.
This way, the seams, which can be weak spots in a tent, aren’t exposed at the ground level. And if the rain washes any appreciable amount of water towards your tent, the bathtub floor gives you extra protection.
The full-coverage rainfly with a double layer of 190T polyester coated with polyurethane gives the rainfly a 2500mm rating, a sturdy number for those camping in the rain.
Inside, the tent is quite spacious at 150 square feet, and the peak height is also very tall. Being so large, this is an excellent waterproof tent for front-country campgrounds and car camping.
The tent floor has also been treated with an anti-fungal, and the poles are color-coded for easy setup. More bonus points!
One thing I don’t love about this tent is that it only has one door. I don’t know about you, but if I’m sleeping in a tent with eight other people, I’d want more escape routes than that.
Looking for more tents of this size? Don’t miss our guide to the best eight-person tents.
- Great waterproof rating
- Bathtub floor
- Floor treated with antifungal
- Easy to set up
- One door
#5 NKT Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent
Best Waterproof Camping Tent for Families
Our rating: 5/5
Floor area: 139.2 sq feet
Waterproof rating: 2500mm
What can I say, when I see a good thing, I want more. That’s why I chose another NKT for the best waterproof family tent.
The NKT Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent has similar (great) specs to its smaller cousin, the NKT Laredo.
Camping in the rain with family doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. This tent features a two-room design with a dividing partition and a very large sleeping area.
It also has two doors for easy access to the outdoors and an exceedingly tall peak height (6’7’’).
Large waterproof tents can be heavy, but this one isn’t too bad; just 26.5 lbs.
And this tent can withstand rain very well. It has the same 2500mm waterproof coating as the NKT Laredo and includes seams sealed with polyurethane.
This tent also features a color-coded pole setup system for easy setup.
Finally, the mesh roof and side panels help with ventilation, and the floor also offers antifungal protection.
Looking for more family tents? Check out our guide to the best large camping tents.
- Excellent waterproof specs
- Easy to set up
- Extra storage
- Two doors for easy access
#6 Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Tent
Best Waterproof Pop Up Tent
Our rating: 4/5
Floor area: 31.8 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 2000mm
Look no farther than the Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Tent if you’re looking for a waterproof instant tent.
The Quechua has enough room for two, and the dome shape helps deflect strong winds – the manufacturers even tested it in a wind tunnel.
The tent is made of highly weather-resistant 2000mm polyester.
The exciting feature about this tent is the quick setup time. They say it takes two seconds, but honestly, anything under five minutes I’d still consider “instant.”
This tent is small and lightweight but may not be great for backpacking, as it folds down into a large circle, which is hard to attach to a backpack.
Looking for more easy-up tents? Check out our guides to the best instant tents, pop-up tents, and inflatable tents.
- Easy to set up
- Great wind resistance
- Small and lightweight
- Only suitable for front-country camping
#7 Teton Sports Mesa Canvas Tent
Best Waterproof Cabin Tent
Our rating: 4.5/5
Floor area: 100 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 285 g/m2, 8.41 oz
When most people think of waterproof tents for camping, they think of a nylon or polyester tent, but canvas is a highly waterproof fabric too.
In a nutshell, canvas is made of cotton. When cotton gets wet, it swells, making the fabric weave tighter and thus becoming more water-resistant.
Unlike some synthetic materials, which have trouble breathing as they get thicker, canvas offers great ventilation and breathability.
The waterproofing ratings I’ve shared for nylon and polyester don’t apply here.
For canvas, you’re looking at the weight, or how thick the material is. This 8.41oz weight is considered a medium-heavy weight canvas.
The Teton Sports Mesa is the best rain tent if you want a tent that will last for a long time. The canvas has been treated so that not even the canvas itself wicks up moisture.
The Teton Sports Mesa also has a large sleeping area, a very tall peak height, and extra-wide doors that allow easy entry for air mattresses.
Canvas is naturally very durable, and with proper care, will easily last decades.
Some of the downsides to canvas tents are that they are heavier than synthetic materials. Not only is the fabric heavier, but the support poles need to be more robust.
Finally, they tend to be more expensive, like the Teton Sports Mesa Tent. With that said, they’re very much worth the cost if you’re okay with a little extra upkeep.
Looking for more canvas options? Read my full guide to the best canvas tents.
- Great waterproofing
- Spacious interior
- Extra-wide doors
- Long-lasting and rugged.
#8 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL
Best Waterproof Backpacking Tent
Our rating: 4.5/5
Floor area: 20 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 1200mm nylon
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL is the best rainproof tent for backpacking because of a combination of its lightweight design (2lbs, 6 oz!) and durable fabric.
This one-person camping tent is the newer version of one of Big Agnes’ best sellers, featuring 1200mm waterproof nylon.
This rating is on the lower end for waterproofing, but keep in mind that beefier ratings would mean more weight and a larger pack size, so this is a good compromise between the two.
This is a small tent with 20 square feet inside, but the vestibule adds another nine square feet outside the tent.
- Vestibule for extra space
- Great ventilation
- Specifically designed for backpacking
- Lower-end of water resistance
#9 Coleman Sundome Tent
Best Waterproof Camping Tent for Those on a Budget
Our rating: 4/5
Floor area: 35 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 75D
The Coleman Sundome Tent is the best waterproof camping tent if you’re on a budget.
This tent has enough room for two people (and they make bigger versions too) and is a dome-shaped weather-resistant tent.
The dome shape helps deflect wind, which is also very important during a rainstorm.
This tent features welded corners (to help you stay dry), inverted seams (meaning the seams aren’t exposed to exterior rain), with a 75D rainfly made of polyester taffeta.
However, I couldn’t find an mm waterproof rating for this tent, and considering it’s a budget-friendly tent, keep in mind that it might need a bit extra waterproofing help.
This model is well ventilated with large windows and a ground vent, which provides airflow near your head while you sleep.
- Accessible price
- Good ventilation
- Wind-resistant shape
- May need extra waterproofing
#10 Vango Airbeam Odyssey Air 500 Villa
Best Waterproof Tent With Screen Room
Our rating: 4.5/5
Floor area: 158 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 70D, 4000mm polyester
The Vango Airbeam Odyssey Air 500 Villa is ideal for those who are looking for a comfortable camping trip and an easy setup tent.
This camping tent has a front screen room, which is such a nice luxury while camping, keeping the bugs out, the rain out, and the sun off.
This tent also has an excellent full coverage waterproof rainfly, with three rooms separated by a divider.
Some big, cabin-style tents like this don’t come with a floor, or the floor needs to be zipped in, but this one has a sewn-in floor, which is ideal for keeping out rain.
And the Vango Airbeam Odyssey is another waterproof tent on the list with excellent ventilation. There are vents under the windows, above the door, and along the back wall.
Read our full guide to the best screen houses.
- Great waterproof rating
- Three rooms
- Excellent ventilation
- Easy setup
- Not really a blackout tent
#11 MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent
Most Durable Waterproof Tent
Our rating: 4.5/5
Floor area: 29 sq ft
Waterproof rating: 20D nylon, 12000mm for rainfly, 30D and 3000mm for the floor.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent is my pick for the best tent for heavy rain because of its combination of an excellent waterproof rating and a unique design to help withstand high winds.
This camping tent is treated with MSR proprietary “Xtreme Shield” waterproof spray, which lasts longer than traditional waterproof sprays.
This coating gives the rainfly a waterproof rating of 1200mm and the floor a rating of 3000mm.
Both are made from nylon, so even though this denier rating is slightly lower than some other models, nylon is stronger than polyester.
The poles are also made from a fancy “aerospace composite” (sounds sciency) that stands up better to strong winds (unfortunately, they also have some QC issues sometimes).
Even the doors have been tricked out. They’re called StayDry doors and have rain gutters!
The full-coverage rainfly also leaves space between the top of the tent and the fly, allowing for ventilation.
- Great waterproofing
- Good in strong winds
- Quality control issues with poles sometimes
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Waterproof Tent
What to Look for in a Waterproof Tent
Do you love backpacking, or are you a front-country gal? No judgment either way! Just be sure to “know thyself” and pick a tent that will suit the mode of transportation for your tent.
If you plan to carry your tent on your back, go with an ultralight model.
If you plan to camp in car camping campgrounds only, you can afford to have a bigger, heavier tent that lives in your car most of the time.
For backpackers, read our full guide to the best backpacking rain ponchos.
One of the most overlooked factors when purchasing a good waterproof tent is the ability of the tent to ventilate.
Not only do you need to keep moisture out, but you need to let the moisture from your exhalations escape.
Trust me on this. Even the moisture you breathe out and the natural air humidity is enough to accumulate, bead up, and rain back down on you in the morning (gross).
To avoid this, look for tents with lots of mesh panels in the tent body. The rainfly should sit well above the tent body so that air can escape from the mesh.
Keep in mind that if rain causes the rainfly to sag and touch your tent roof, moisture won’t have anywhere to go. So keep an eye out for tents with great ratings for their design and breathability.
Ok, it seems obvious, but if you want to stay dry while camping, you may want to go with the most waterproof tent you can find.
You can determine how waterproof a tent will be based on the fabric specs. Don’t worry! I’ve explained all the specs below if you’re unfamiliar with thread count, denier rating, or mm rating.
Also, if you’re looking at a camping tent but can’t find the waterproof rating, it probably isn’t made from high-quality materials.
The best waterproof tents will always shout their ratings loud and proud.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes the floor, rainfly, and tent walls all have different ratings. The floor is often the most waterproof, followed by the rainfly, and then the tent walls.
One nice feature to look for in a waterproof tent is the style of floor. Look for tents with a bathtub-style floor if you can.
While tents without bathtub floors can certainly still be waterproof, the bathtub design adds another layer of protection against wet weather.
Types of Waterproof Tents
These tents are made of polyester or nylon. The benefits of synthetic materials are that they’re lightweight and can be cheaper than natural fabrics.
A synthetic tent is definitely best for anyone backpacking or carrying their tent a long distance.
Canvas is made of cotton and achieves its waterproof status when water causes the threads to swell, thus tightening the weave of the fabric.
Canvas is heavy and expensive but is much more rugged and long-lasting than synthetic materials.
Looking for more tent options? Read our guides to the best 3-room tent, 10-person tent, 12-person tent, winter tent, tent with a stove jack, tunnel tent, and insulated tent.
FAQs About Waterproof Camping Tents
Are any tents actually waterproof?
Yes, and no. Entirely rainproof tents don’t really exist unless your tent is made of 100% rubber.
However, you don’t find rubber tents for a reason. They don’t breathe at all, and no one wants a full-body swamp-butt.
Tents are rated to withstand a certain amount of rain bearing down on the fabric, measured in millimeters. The higher the millimeter count, the more waterproof the fabric is.
Just keep in mind that as the number gets higher, breathability may go down.
Even for tents with a very high waterproof rating (2500mm and above), if you expose it to torrential rain for days, eventually, some water may begin to seep through.
Can you explain waterproof ratings for tents?
Waterproof ratings can be a bit complicated. Let me break it down for you.
The waterproof rating is often measured in “mm.” For a fabric to be considered waterproof, look for ratings of 1000mm and above.
These measurements are actually the amount of water that can sit on the outer fabric before it starts to seep through.
The waterproofness of a fabric is often achieved by treating the fabric with a polyurethane or silicone spray during manufacture.
The denier number, abbreviated with “D,” measures how thick the fibers are in the fabric.
A single strand of silk has a denier rating of 1. Generally, the bigger the denier rating, the stronger the fabric, but keep in mind that some fabrics are stronger than others.
For example, nylon is much stronger than polyester, even though it tends to have a smaller thread thickness.
So a nylon and polyester fabric with the same denier rating don’t have the same strength; the nylon may be stronger.
Another tent fabric measure that you may run into is thread count, abbreviated with a “T.” The thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch of fabric.
Again, don’t be fooled into thinking a high thread count is inherently better.
Depending on the type of material used, a very high thread count fabric with a low denier rating (say, 20D) may not be as strong as a lower thread count fabric with a higher denier rating.
Is 5000 mm waterproof good for a tent?
A waterproof rating of 5000mm is some of the best waterproof tent material on the market and will definitely keep you dry.
How can I make my tent more waterproof?
You can learn more about the best way to waterproof a tent from our article that gives you a step-by-step guide!
I highly recommend checking it out as there is quite a lot to know about waterproofing a tent, and I’m just giving you the basic steps below.
Even high-quality camping tents will need a little extra waterproofing with time, and if you didn’t buy a high-quality tent, I’d treat your tent with a waterproofing solution right away.
If you need more guidance, you can check out our guide on the best tent waterproofing sprays.
Steps to Make Your Tent More Waterproof
- Clean your tent by gentle handwashing it with soap made for tents
- Repair any holes, leaks, or tears.
- Check with the manufacturer of your tent for special patches if needed.
- Find out if your tent used polyurethane or silicone sealing.
- Set up your tent in the yard.
- Hose the tent down for at least 10 minutes, stopping to inspect and see where water is getting through.
- Seal the tent seams and let them dry as directed on the packaging.
- Re-seal any areas on the underside of the fly that look dull or flaky or that have been saturated with water.
- Re-seal the durable waterproof coating (DWR) on the outside of the fly and the ground cloth.
Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Waterproof Tent
It was hard to pick the number one best waterproof tent since all the tents in the post are great options for different reasons.
However, if I had to go with one tent, I’d choose the Vango Airbeam Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent. It has an excellent waterproof rating, and it really doesn’t have any significant downsides.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in six states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is *chef’s kiss* next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!
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1 thought on “11 Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain That’ll Keep You Dry in 2023”
Great post and very informative. Also, you have so wonderful tips on cleaning… Hey, what brand is the tent right under the heading that says Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Waterproof Tent Waterproof Tent. What to Look for in a Waterproof Tent? The tent looks like canvas, it is a dome tent, copper and dark grey with red trim.