15 Types of Tents That You Need To Know About


If you've never gone camping or just want to upgrade your current tent, it can be difficult to find the appropriate one for you. So that you can camp, hike, and backpack in comfort, here is a detailed list of the different types of tents that you can find in the camping world.


Types of Tents


Tents come in different styles. Here are the most typical types:


1)  Emergency Tents


An Emergency USA red emergency tent in an outdoor open area

Credit: Emergency USA


Emergency tents are not the same as camping tents. These tents are used as backup tents meant to be set up in an emergency. They are intended to be one-person tents and are designed to shield you from weather conditions including wind, snow, and rain.

Emergency tents do not include rain flies or poles and are lightweight and portable. Additionally, the majority of these tents, like those from Emergency USA, are made of Mylar material to retain body heat.


2)  Dome Tents


A white and grey dome tent sheltered under the trees next to a lake

Credit: Envato Elements/ cavan images


The dome tent is the most widely used style of tent. The tent's body is divided into two semicircles by two poles that are crossed. This is what gave the tent its dome shape.

Dome tents come in different sizes and can accommodate up to eight people. They outperform the competition in terms of ventilation, setup simplicity, and weight.


3)  Pop Up Tents


A dad and son in a pop up tent in the garden with two chairs outside

Credit: Envato Elements/ Wavebreakmedia


Pop-up tents are comparatively more recent and also referred to as "instant" tents. These tents are spring-loaded and pop into shape in a matter of seconds. They are not meant to be used in overly harsh weather. The main benefit of using a pop-up tent is its simplicity of usage.


4)  Geodesic Tents


A couple in a dome tent in the field

Credit: Envato Elements/ RossHelen


A geodesic tent is like a dome tent but with more poles in its structure. These tents are more stable and suitable for winter and wilderness camping than they are for basic car camping. They work best for groups of up to four people.


5)  Cabin Tents


A pink and grey cabin tent that has interior partitions

Credit: Envato Elements/ ozaiachin


Cabin tents include interior partitions that divide the space into rooms. These tents are square, stable, and tall enough so that you can easily stand up in them. They make excellent tents for casual camping and hanging out, but they are the best for inclement weather.


6)  Pyramid Tents


A pyramid tent that is glowing yellow in the rocky mountains

Credit: Envato Elements/ Galyna_Andrushko


Pyramid tents have a single central pole that is supported by pegs and man lines. Due to the limited headroom and storage space, these tents are not the best for large groups of people. Modern pyramid tents are made using lightweight materials making them a great choice for a minimalist camping trip.


7)  Multi-Room Tents


An orange and grey tent with multiple rooms of the main tent

Credit: Generic


Multi-room tents resemble houses more than they do tents. They are made to offer greater space for privacy and equipment storage. These tents can have up to 2 to 5 rooms that are separated by a divider.

Due to their size, multi-room tents are heavier and more difficult to handle. They require more people and practice to set up, but the plus side is that they give you extra room and privacy that you won't get from other tent designs.


8)  Inflatable Tents


A green and grey inflatable tent on some grass with fields in the background

Credit: whichinflatable.com


Inflatable tents are a recent innovation in tent design. These tents have hollow panels and are entirely pole-free. Once the panels are inflated with a pump and a few tent pegs are attached to the guy lines, they are prepared for usage. The drawback of an inflatable tent is that you have to be careful where you set it up to avoid punctures.


9)  Bell Tents


A white bell tent has a spherical shape that creates an enclosed area

Credit: Envato Elements/ xcldhx038a82fd


A bell tent is a special kind of camping shelter with a spherical shape that, when fully built, creates an enclosed area like a room. These tents are made from canvas and have plenty of headroom. Additionally, the sloping sides also act as a windbreaker and offer protection from snow and rain.


10)  Backpacking Tents


A couple outside their  backpacking tent in the forest with their personal things next to them

Credit: Envato Elements/ RossHelen


Backpacking tents are more compact and lighter than conventional tents. Due to their lack of poles, compact size lowered peak height, and constrained square footage, backpacking tents are typically one- or two-person shelters.


11)  Tunnel Tents


A lady standing outside her orange tunnel tent that is on the sand with a lake in the background

Credit: Envato Elements/ lakobchuk


A tunnel tent is cylindrical in shape and lengthier. They are great choices for two people due to the excess headroom and living space. Additionally, they are great at resisting inclement weather. However, given their immense weight and girth when packed, they are impracticable for transporting on foot. They function better while car camping.


12)  Bivy Tent


A dark green grey bivy tent that is pitched on the grass

Credit: LytHarvest


Bivy tents are compact, lightweight, and ideal for solo travelers, and people who like to move fast and lightly. Initial bivy bags were large sleeping bag covers that kept you and your equipment dry in inclement weather. Today, bivy bags include a modest tent design and poles to give the sleeper a little more room.


13)  Beach Tents


A couple on some beach sand with their tent next to the river

Credit: Envato Elements/ RossHelen


Beach tents are a special type of tent that performs best on sandy ground. These tents are exceptionally wind-resistant, have great ventilation, and protect your skin from the sun's rays. If your beach tent doesn't already have extra poles, investing in a set that has one will make your beach tent more secure.


14)  Tipi Tents


A lady sitting inside her tipi tent on a low bed that is set on a brown cloth

Credit: Envato Elements/ rubenchase


Tipi tents are a popular style of camping tent due to their recognizable triangular shape. While certain models of tipi tents can accommodate up to ten people, the majority only have enough space for two to five campers. Tipi tents include pegs and guy lines that make them rather sturdy and suitable for inclement weather.


15)  Ridge Tents


An orange and grey tent with a green groundsheet in a field with trees in the background

Credit: iStock


A ridge tent is a traditional tent style that works best for single campers or couples. Depending on the size and type of style, most ridge tents only have a tent door and room for one or two sleeping bags. The best part about owning a ridge tent is that you can construct these tents at home using supplies you already have.




Before choosing a tent style, take into account the number of people it is for, the weather, and your level of tent-setting expertise. To guarantee that you are ready in the event that your primary shelter fails, make sure that bring an emergency shelter with you. If you're unsure of where to buy one, you can check out Emergency USA.