No wilderness survival gear is fully stocked out without the incorporation of a survival tent. Whether you’re planning for one person’s safety or for many, having a tent that’s easy to engage and that can withstand the elements is crucial for preparedness in all sorts of scenarios.
Picking the right survival tent is crucial. Read on for our roundup of the best survival tents, things to consider before buying your tent of choice, and more.
Our Top Picks
Don’t Die in the Woods Ultralight Survival Tent
SharpSurvival Shack Emergency Shelter
Best for Groups
Wild Must: LYN Extra Large 3 Person Survival Tent
Best Survival Tent Overall
Don’t Die in the Woods Ultralight Survival Tent
When it comes to choosing the best survival tent, you want to look for one that is extremely high quality and durable. It should also keep out the elements, keep its occupants warm and dry, and not be a hassle to put up or carry along in extreme conditions.
For checking all these boxes and more, we recommend the Don’t Die in the Woods Ultralight Survival Tent as the best survival tent overall. Designed by the brilliant minds at NASA, it’s clear how much thought went into structuring this survival tent.
Made of the toughest mylar on the market, the Don’t Die in the Woods Ultralight Survival Tent is designed specifically to withstand the elements.
It’s compact, easy to carry and to set up, and can endure a whole host of extreme survival scenarios. It’s sturdy, waterproof, and tear resistant. Really, it’s everything you could want out of a survival tent!
- Can provide shelter in a survival scenario for one or two people, as needed
- Is fast and easy to set up
- Can double as either a tent or an emergency blanket
- Its mylar material, while great for insulation and protection from the elements, can prove flammable if near an open flame
- This tent is meant for survival scenarios only. It does not replace a regular camping tent, even in a pinch.
Best Survival Tent On a Budget
SharpSurvival Shack Emergency Shelter
While a survival tent is a crucial part of any preparedness kit or bug-out bag, these tents can run up quite a cost over time–sometimes into the thousands of dollars. You don’t want to sacrifice on necessary safety features just to cut costs, but you also don’t want to break the bank.
Whether you are looking to have several survival tents on hand, or you need one each for multiple people, you want to have the option of stocking up on these tents without exceeding your survival budget.
With that in mind, we recommend the SharpSurvival Shack Emergency Shelter as the best survival tent on a budget.
This tent is large, durable, reusable, and best of all, very low cost. It’s also warm and waterproof, making it ideal for sheltering during pop up storms, frigid conditions, and many other potential survival incidents.
- A highly affordable option for a survival tent
- Has a very spacious interior at eight feet by five feet–perfect for up to two adults, plus their gear, to take shelter in.
- Not well ventilated, so the tent can quickly become stuffy during use.
- The tent is open at both ends, providing more of a shelter tunnel as opposed to a full, sealable tent. This can make it less than ideal for prolonged survival scenarios.
Best Survival Tent for a Group
Wild Must: LYN Extra Large 3 Person Survival Tent
As any survivalist knows, emergency scenarios are not often predictable. Many times, you may find yourself in conditions that require several people to take shelter together at once. And in those cases, taking time to set up multiple survival tents can be detrimental or even dangerous.
For those looking to shelter multiple people in one tent during a survival scenario, we recommend the spacious Wild Must: LYN Extra Large 3 Person Survival Tent. This large, sturdy tent can house up to 3 adults. It’s also lightweight, reflective, and easy to set up.
With its heat-trapping insulation and large size, this truly makes for the ideal group survival tent if several people need to take shelter together all at once.
- Provides shelter for up to 3 adults at once.
- Spacious enough to offer some minimal movement during a survival scenario
- Is fireproof, windproof, and waterproof
- Allows for excellent ventilation to keep the survival tent from becoming stuffy
- No major or recurring issues have been reported by customers.
Best Survival Tent for One
Snugpack Ionosphere 1 Person Tent
Sometimes, all you need is a single, simple survival tent to pack along with your own gear. Something that isn’t complex, but affords you some comfort as an individual when preparing for potential survival scenarios.
For folks on the hunt for the best survival tent for just one, we recommend the Snugpack Ionosphere 1 Person Tent. This extremely lightweight, easy to set up, windproof and waterproof tent is ideal for a single person to use.
This survival tent can be a bit more snug and cozy than a more spacious, reflective mylar tent, but sacrifices none of the durability or weatherproof reliability, given that. This is a great tent for multiple uses and can be easily carried along on all your wilderness adventures or stowed in your bug-out bag for one.
We like this tent so much, we even have our own tried and true review of it!
- Provides excellent shelter for an individual in a survival scenario
- Very lightweight, easy to carry and simple to set up
- Includes a repair kit for any compromises in the tent
- Has an insect-proof mesh layer included.
- Because it is intended for just one person, and one person only, this tent can be a snug fit with your gear.
- Not intended for taller than average survivalists, as it can be a tight fit
- Folks have noted some issues with the seams not being fully waterproof
- The zippers are notorious for being a nuisance.
Best Survival Tent Kit
Go Time Gear Life Tent and Life Bivy Bundle
Ideally, any survival tent you have will serve as part of a larger survival kit that has you prepared for numerous scenarios. However, it can be difficult to find all the different features and functions of an emergency kit that fit together well.
Some folks may be looking for a survival tent that comes with other necessary items included. For the best survival tent that comes as part of a kit, we recommend the Go Time Gear Life Tent and Life Bivy Bundle.
The Go Time Gear survival tent includes, not just the tent, but also a bivy sleeping bag and a high quality emergency whistle. These items are crucial both for your health in a survival scenario, and for your safety.
By purchasing this tent kit, you know you will be getting a sleeping bag that works perfectly in tandem with your tent to keep you warm and dry.
And, if you find yourself separated from a party or lost in the woods without cell phone service, the 120 decibel whistle included in this kit can mean the difference between being lost and found.
- Comes with a quality sleeping bag designed specifically to fit into, and work with, the survival tent to help keep you warm and dry
- Its extremely durable mylar material makes this tent tough enough for multiple uses
- The tent is spacious enough that it can fit two people
- Although the tent is large enough to fit two adults, the included sleeping bag is only big enough for one
- The tent and sleeping bag can be a bit unwieldy and difficult to fit back into the carrying case after use
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Survival Tent
How Many People Will Need to Use the Tent
The first and foremost factor to consider when choosing the right tent for your survival gear is how many people will be using it. Most are coded for one or two inhabitants, and even then, they vary in how comfortably they can fit multiple people.
For even larger numbers, the pickings are slim. Most larger survival tents will only house up to three adults, and beyond that, any large tent will often lack a lot of the elements specific to more secure survival tents. This includes insulation, high visibility material, weatherproofing, and more.
Because of this, when purchasing a survival tent for a large number of people, you will have to decide whether it’s worthwhile to sacrifice on those things to share space. Alternatively, you may find it’s better to purchase each individual or pair of people their own survival tent.
What Will the Conditions be Like Where You Plan to use the Tent
Different survival tents are structured to withstand different elements and to serve certain purposes more directly. For example, some are meant to provide shelter and high visibility for an expedient rescue. Others are better designed to withstand the elements in the event of a sudden storm or other inclement natural scenarios.
Some tents are graded for long term use. Others are only for the short term. Some are meant to shelter you completely, others are rudimentary at best.
Bearing this in mind, it’s good to be aware of the potential weather and other nature based scenarios that might arise wherever you are out in the wilderness. The only thing worse than not having a survival tent when you need one, is having a survival tent that is not adapted for the conditions where you need it most.
Take time to research which survival tents are good for warm weather versus cold weather, or both. Keep an eye out for those that are good at attracting attention in low visibility conditions and those that are better for concealment. Some may need to be strung up to trees, while others can be staked down in any kind of soil.
All of these elements and more can be crucial factors at play in deciding which survival tent is right for your particular scenario.
Is the Tent Intended for a Single Emergency or is it Reusable
The durability and repeat use of a survival tent often varies from product to product. Some are intended to be a faithful companion, packed along for hike after trip after adventure, for just in case.
On the other hand, certain tents are meant for only a single use. Should you actually wind up in a scenario where you need to use this tent, you will then have to replace it to be ready for the next potential scenario.
Thus, the intended number of uses per tent is crucial when picking which is right for you. Not all survival tents are cheap, and among those that are, you may end up spending more in the long run if you purchase an inexpensive but single use tent and then have to purchase more of them down the line.
It’s important to check your budget against the likelihood of having to replace your tent after one or two uses. This will help determine which is truly the best survival tent for you.
How Easy is the Tent to Set Up
In survival scenarios, it is very often the case that you will not have the time, or perhaps even the wherewithal, for a long and leisurely tent set up. You may need to get warm very fast, or get under cover to escape the elements or a threat from predators in a sudden situation.
Bearing this in mind, it is crucial to consider how easy to set up any given tent is. Larger, fancier, or more comfort-forward survival tents may hold some appeal, but they may also require more set up than you will really have time for in a scenario where you need to use your tent.
When choosing your survival tent, be sure to think through some of the scenarios where you might need to use it and how adept you yourself are at tent setup. Then, consider if its components and set up steps will be a hindrance in those kinds of scenarios. This will help you choose which is truly the best for you.
Survival Tent FAQ
What does a survival tent protect me from?
Your typical survival tent is designed specifically to withstand elements and dangers in your environment. These can include, but are not necessarily limited to, protection from inclement weather, prevention of frostbite and hypothermia, shelter from predators, and relief from excessive heat.
Some tents are designed to withstand these things for long periods of time and can be considered a long term shelter. Others are not intended for prolonged use, but instead for a quick, stable relief from the elements before one seeks more permanent safety.
What is the difference between a survival tent and a regular tent?
A survival tent is typically built to withstand more extreme elements than a regular camping tent, and often for a shorter duration of time. Often you will find a survival tent is built less for comfort and more for practicality and safety in the short term.
The materials used for making survival tents can also vary drastically from a regular tent. Many are more highly insulated, brightly colored or reflective, and some are even built of flame retardant materials.
While the purpose of a regular tent is to keep you comfortable and sheltered, the purpose of a survival tent is to keep you alive. Thus, you will tend to find its design is more focused on the necessary than the augmented, and often these tents are built to last for a single treacherous scenario rather than for camping trip after camping trip.
Should I choose a camouflage or high visibility tent?
When you have the option for choosing a pattern type for your survival tent, the one you choose to go with depends largely on the scenarios in which you think you might need the tent.
If you are stocking up a survival kit for wilderness camping, for example, you may want to choose a high visibility tent. This will help ensure that, should you get lost or have to hunker down and wait for help, you will be easier to spot in the wilderness.
However, if you are looking for a survival tent to add to a bug out bag, you may lean more toward one that is camouflage and difficult to spot. Always be mindful of why you are purchasing a survival tent and in what scenarios you would see yourself using it before answering questions like these.
Are survival tents really safe?
The safety of a survival tent depends on its durability as well as the material it is made from. Certain models are designed to be fireproof, for example, while others–especially those made of mylar–are actually much more susceptible to heat.
For the most part, a good quality survival tent will keep you safe from wind, rain, snow, and ice. Most are designed with insulation in mind to keep out the cold as well.
However, some are lacking in terms of ventilation, and some can only endure weather extremes up to a certain point before they are unable to provide protection from the elements anymore.
Before purchasing a survival tent, it is important to grade its durability and be mindful of the material it is made from. Then, factor in where and when you might use the tent to ensure it is truly a safe tent for that particular potential scenario.
Wrapping Up the Best Survival Tents
Feeling empowered to purchase the best survival tent that will suit your needs? Don’t forget, this tent is just one of the many crucial factors for survival preparedness.
Make sure you check out our roundup of the 18 Essential Items for Building the Ultimate Survival Kit–a great resource to ensure you’re fully equipped for whatever comes your way.