Three Person Camping Tents are among the most popular size of camping tents for sale for campers who are interested in car camping, but also occasionally need a backpacking tent. When choosing a 3 person camping tent, safety, durability and comfort should be the top considerations. We have researched all the options for 3 person camping tents and recommend the Kelty TN3 Tent as your best option.
Last update on 2018-02-24 / Source: Amazon Associates
In addition to the Kelty TN3 Tent, we have identified a few other 3 person camping tents that we feel you should consider. We have included more affordable budget options, options for harsher weather, lightweight and ultralight backpacking options, as well as a 4-season, all weather option.
Things To Know:
– It is important to understand that there are no industry standards for tent sizes. When car camping or family camping, weight is less of an issue and we recommend choosing a tent with space for 1 or 2 extra people. If you are camping in 1 tent with 3 people, take a look at our 4 Person Camping Tent Reviews.
Our Favorite 3 Person Camping Tent
The Kelty TN3 Tent is the best 3 person camping tent and a great value if you’re looking for an occasional or entry-level car camping and occasional backpacking tent for 3 people. There are lighter options to choose from on our list, but when you combine price with quality this tent comes out at the top of our list.
The Kelty TN3 is part of the high-performing TrailLogic™ Collection. It is a three season free standing tent that includes compact aluminum folding poles, super easy setup, a 11 foot vestibule for gear storage, and multiple interior pockets for storage. The unique Stargazing Fly™ rolls up the side of the tent for unobstructed views of the night sky. This fly can also be lowered from inside the tent if the weather changes and you need cover from the full rain fly.
With quality and strong tent materials, the tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds. No-See-Um Mesh can sometimes restrict airflow but the only reports of this were with the rain fly covering the tent while raining, which can be expected. Otherwise, the tent handles hot weather extremely well with great ventilation. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Runner Up: The Best 3 Person Camping Tent
The Rattlesnake SL3 with mtnGLO® tent light technology is another great car camping and occasional backpacking tent for 3 people. Big Agnes is known for quality construction and when you are camping with your family or backpacking miles away from the safety of a car or home, you need to be sure the tent you have chosen does not fail you and your family. In addition, the comforts that come with the tent are well worth the higher price tag. The ambient LED lighting system that comes with this tent makes nighttime inside the tent comfortable, fun and enjoyable for all ages.
The Rattlesnake SL3 mtnGLO® is part of Big Agnes’ Superlight tent lineup. You are getting premium materials without compromise. This is a three season, freestanding tent that can withstand harsher conditions than a standard 3 season tent. It includes aluminum alloy poles, 2 doors with 2 decent sized vestibules for gear storage, and multiple interior pockets for storage including media pockets.
The Rattlesnake SL3 mtnGLO® tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using waterproof fabrics in the rain fly and floor. The tent body is breathable nylon, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with great ventilation. This tent has a higher price tag than our top pick. However, if you plan on spending more time backpacking than car camping, it should be your top choice. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
The Best Budget 3 Person Camping Tent
The Mountainsmith Morrison 3 Tent is the best cheap three person camping tent for sale. It represents a great value for a car camping and occasional backpacking tent for 3 people. Many people who are looking for a camping tent of this size are also looking for a tent that could be used as a lightweight backpacking tent as well. This tent certainly fits that description.
The Morrison 3 is a three season, freestanding tent that includes 7000 series aluminum alloy poles, 2 doors with 2 decent sized vestibules for gear storage, and multiple interior pockets for storage including a gear loft. A very nice feature is an included protective footprint which is not usually included with a tent at this price point. At 54 square feet it has 10 square feet of more space than any other tent on our list, making it a very spacious tent for the weight.
The manufacturer description for this product states the tent “performs way beyond it’s price tag.” We feel that is a very accurate statement. However, it misses our top pick because of a few reviews that mention a few problems with materials. The tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds but make sure to follow the instructions printed on the stuff sack with particular attention to the rain fly. No-See-Um Mesh wall panels don’t seem to restrict airflow, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather well with great ventilation. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Runner Up: The Best Budget 3 Person Camping Tent
The Coleman Sundome 3 Person Dome Tent is a very good three person camping tent for campers on a budget and should be an option especially if you’re looking for an occasional car camping or family camping tent. The tent is a great option for campers who only camp occasionally in nicer weather. We don’t recommend this tent for backpacking, as it weighs considerably more than other tents on our list. In addition, we recommend a tent that performs better in harsh weather for backpacking in case of bad weather.
The Sundome 3 Person Dome Tent is a three season, free standing, dome style tent that includes fiberglass poles, and multiple interior pockets for storage. Some other nice features include an E-Port which makes it easy to bring electrical power inside your tent and an included rainfly for extra weather protection. Even though there are vents there are some reports that the tent doesn’t vent well and condensation can build up at night, especially when using the rainfly for added privacy.
Coleman is a well known brand in the outdoor space and produces fine products. If you are a fair weather camper who is not camping every weekend and you are on a budget of under $100, this is an excellent choice for your needs. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Upgrade Pick: The Best Ultralight 3 Person Camping Tent
Trail Weight: 3 lbs. 7 oz.
Packed Weight: 3 lbs. 14 oz.
Pack Size: 4.5″ x 20″
Floor Area: 41 sq. ft.
Upgrade: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 mtnGLO®
The Copper Spur HV UL3 is the best 3 person ultralight tent for lightweight backpacking and camping. Big Agnes is known for quality construction and when you are camping or backpacking miles away from the safety of a car or home, you need to be sure the tent you have chosen does not fail. In addition, the comforts that come with the tent are well worth the higher price tag.
The Copper Spur HV UL3 is part of Big Agnes’ Ultralight tent lineup. The tent was designed to provide maximum comfort while being as lightweight as possible. It includes superlight poles and stakes, 2 doors with 2 decent sized vestibules for gear storage, and multiple interior pockets for storage including media pockets. Big Agnes states on their website: “Based on the features of our best-selling, award-winning Copper Spur ultralight tents, the Copper Spur HV UL design allows for high volume pole architecture resulting in steeper walls without adding weight.”
The Copper Spur tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using good design, a tight pitch and waterproof fabrics in the rain fly and floor. The tent body is breathable nylon, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with great ventilation. The most important consideration for the Copper Spur HV UL3 is livability at a respectable weight. The tent uses a high volume hub design that increases strength by 25% and the useable interior volume by 20% when compared to previous versions of the Copper Spur. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
The Best Upgrade Pick for All Seasons with Extended Vestibule for Gear Storage
Few, if any, 3 person camping tents can match the versatility of the Hilleberg Nallo 3 GT. At a respectable weight for this size camping tent, it’s considered “bombproof” which is not a term loosely thrown around by campers, backpackers, and other sportsmen in need of a tent that can handle any weather condition.
Hilleberg describes the tent on their website: “this tent is an ideal choice for those needing the roomiest, lightest tent that still offers all-season, all weather functionality. This includes wilderness photographers, professional climbers, hunters, and other adventurers who have to carry large amounts of gear, as well as long distance hikers, who want to get more out of carrying less. Two-person teams often opt for the Nallo 3 GT, as it offers both the extra interior room and capacious storage space with very little weight penalty. Families with younger children and those who hike with their dogs also love the extra space– and, of course, the very light weight – the Nallo 3 GT has to offer.”
Clearly the Hilleberg Nallo 3 GT was designed to hold up to intense weather including hard rain, high winds, sleet, hail, and even snow. The tent’s tunnel shape provides not only stability in extreme weather, but also an easy pitch and nice space inside. It’s the only tent to make our list that is a true year round, all season tent. The balance of weight with durability and performance make it ideal for campers and backpackers looking for one truly versatile tent. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Important Considerations for 3 Person Camping Tents
Value – Whether you are car camping, family camping, or you are venturing out into the backcountry wilderness and you’re possibly miles from the nearest shelter or your car, it is not the time to have saved money by buying a cheaply built tent. It could very seriously be life and death if your tent fails especially in a backpacking situation, when extreme weather rolls in. We feel that our top pick, the Kelty TN3 Tent, is the best combination of comfort and safety. You also can still get quality while saving money and our best budget pick, the Mountainsmith Morrison 3 Tent, represents value and is a nice combination of good quality, durability, and price. Our other options should be considered based on your specific needs and how much money you are willing to spend to meet those requirements.
Comfort – If you are looking at 3 person camping tents, you are most likely considering camping or backpacking with a small group. The comfort of your group is going to be important at the end of a long day of hiking or if bad weather ruins your day. A 3 person camping tent will be a tight squeeze for 3 adults and you might consider getting 2 smaller camping tents in that case. A 3 person camping tent is perfect for 2 adults and a dog or maybe a family with 1 child. Also consider the number of vestibules and their size to store all your gear outside of the tent while still being protected from the elements.
Durability – Durability goes hand in hand with value and quality. All of our top three person camping tents are manufactured by companies who stand behind their products. They provide quality camping tents built to last. Ultralight tents are most definitely going to have thinner and lighter materials, but even then, choosing the right tent to match camping conditions and where you camp are extremely important to the life of the tent. In addition, using proper footprints and understanding that basic tears and holes are easier than ever to repair, will go a long way to extend tent lifespans.
Airflow and Ventilation – You’ll know it when you wake up inside a poorly ventilated tent. Condensation will collect overnight and you’ll wake up to damp and soggy sleeping bags and clothing. Not a nice way to begin the day. When you exhale while sleeping, your breath is giving off about 1 liter of water. For every other person you are dealing with extra liters of water each night. That water vapor needs to go somewhere otherwise it stays trapped inside the tent and can soak gear. Ventilation is an important aspect of a good quality tent so all of the tents on our list provide excellent ventilation. Airflow is more important when facing hot and humid temperatures. Again, we have only picked tents with good quality materials to provide maximum airflow so the tents can be used in a variety of temperature conditions. If it cools down at night, the tents we chose have full cover breathable rainflys that provide warmth and a wind block when covering the tent.
Weight – All of the options on our list are camping tents that could be used as backpacking tents. Keeping weight down is critical to comfort and enjoyment while you backpack. If you’re looking at 3 person camping and backpacking tents, you will have more people to spread that weight around so usually there won’t be a need to go crazy ultralight. Consider that if you are forced to choose between saving an extra ounce or two versus the comfort of your group. Even our ultralight choice, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3, maximizes space for every ounce of weight.
Weather Performance – All of the 3 person camping tents on our list were designed to perform well in most weather conditions, keeping you safe, dry and warm. They provide protection against rain, wind and blowing dust, provide airflow in hot weather, and will do quite well when night time temperatures get colder. If you are considering a 3 person camping tent for winter backpacking, you could consider expedition tents, but we feel the Hilleberg Nallo GT 3 is versatile enough for most campers considering taking on all 3 seasons.