When you’re in a bit of a pinch, this is where you rely on your gear to keep you safe and dry. A survival tent is one that you can carry with you and use to protect yourself against the elements.
It should be easy to set up, offer protection, and not weigh too much so it doesn’t slow you down if you need to get somewhere quickly.
A good survival tent can be a life-saver, but not all tents are created equal. If you don’t have the right gear with you when disaster strikes, you could find yourself in serious trouble, or at least cold and wet.
The ideal choice depends on what features you are looking for, how often you plan to use it, and where you plan on using it.
There’s a multitude of choices on offer, each of them sporting various styles, making it hard to spot the one that most suits your conditions, purpose, and needs.
We’ve done the hard work for you, by compiling this list comparing some of the best survival tents on offer.
Best Survival Tent Short List
- Best Survival Tent – Winterial Single Person Tent
- Best Tactical Tent – Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent
- Best Premium Tent – MSR Elixir 3 Person V2 Lightweight Tent
- Best Emergency Tent – Emergency Bivy Sack Mylar Tube Tent
- Best All-Rounder Tent – GEERTOP 4 Season Tent 3 Person
- Best Budget Tent – ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Tent
- Most Spacious Tent – Marmot Limelight 3P Tent
- Best 2P Emergency Tent – Mylar Thermal Survival Tent
- Easiest Tent to Setup – Kelty Salida 2 Person Tent
- Best 4 Season Tent – Alps Mountaineering 2 Person Tent
Best Survival Tents – The Long Version Reviewed
There are a ton of tents out there so why this list? We picked this list based on our selection of what we believe are the ideal types of tents you would like to use in an emergency survival situation.
What that means is that these survival tents are light, compact and rugged. We picked out several different types of tents from 1-3 people as well as some emergency-style bivies that can be used in a variety of situations.
Without further ado, lets get started.
1. Winterial Single Person Bivy Tent
Best Survival Tent
Dimensions: 38 x 28 x 90 inches
Pros: Lightweight, Large zippers for easy access, Easy to set up
Cons:Not ideal for really tall people
Description: The Winterial Single Person Tent takes the well-deserved spot at the top of our list. Weighing an easily manageable 3 pounds, this 3 season tent will keep you comfortable from the blistering heat to monsoon rain. Pre-sealed seams, durable reinforced rain fly, a large zippered door, and 14 heavy-duty stakes for maximum security are just some features that make this tent the top-ranked bivy tent.
This 3 pounds 9 ounce Winterial Single Person Bivy Tent is lightweight and structured with a stronghold fitting, making it an ideal portable solution. The tent is fit with mesh net technology and strong seam lines. It also comes equipped with enforced rainfall fittings that ensure both waterproof and durable characteristics.
This tent is designed with a 40 x 30 x 92-inch dimension, 2 aluminum poles, 3 bundles of the strong coed, and 14 heavy-duty stakes. The background framework offers a strong fixation to the ground.
It has tough ground support, preventing it from being blown away by strong winds. The team at Winterial put a particular focus on ensuring the tent would be easy to assemble, as well as fit compact into your backpack, making it the perfect solution for those light missions.
Winterial Single Tent is capable of serving its purpose in all the seasons, whether it be wintery nights or scorching mid-days. Its rainfly technology allows for ventilation, warmth, and comfort during these extreme conditions. It also presents a large zipper door allowing easy access for entering/exiting.
Why we like it: Extremely lightweight, easy to set up and perfect for areas with lots of sunshine and minimal rain.
2. Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Dome Tent
Best Tactical Tent
Dimensions: 94 x 35 x 28
Weight: 3.34 pounds
Pros: Lightweight, Repair kit included in the package, Waterproof and windproof
Cons: Not the easiest to set up, Getting in and out of the tent can be difficult
Description: Preppers on the lookout for the perfect low-profile one-person survival tent will certainly appreciate the qualities of the Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Dome Tent.
Weighing in at only 3.34 pounds, this tent is every minimalist survivalist’s dream. Its lightweight build does not compromise on solidity and strength. With the dimensions of 94 x 35 x 28, it offers ample room to stretch out, as well as extra space to store your gear.
Its RipStop polyester material offers 5,000 millimeter waterproof and windproof coating, enough to be comfortable in windy or rainy conditions. It also comes equipped with a mesh mosquito net, in case you’re planning on spending time in temperate regions.
Why we like it: This low-profile tent is sturdy enough to withstand the harshest conditions. The downside of not being freestanding is that it can be difficult to set up, but for the extra security it offers, it’s a pretty decent trade-off.
3. MSR Elixir 3 Person V2 Lightweight Tent
Best Premium Tent
Dimensions: 21.5 x 10.5 x 5.6 inches
Weight: 7.03 Pounds
Pros: Freestanding and easy to set up, Lightweight, Plenty of room on offer
Cons: Low roof makes sitting up uncomfortable, Ventilation is inadequate
Description: The MSR Elixir Tent is a 6.18 Pound Tent designed with a 20-Denier nylon stand, 40 deniers ripstop nylon with a max occupancy of 3 persons. This 3-man tent provides ample room for 3 adults, provisions for their mats, and fitting of 3 large doors. Its nylon fabric blend is structured with a breathability solution offering ventilation, warmth, and comfortability.
It is constructed with a lightweight design in mind, incorporating enhanced fly mechanisms, poles, clips, webbings, and large vestibules.
Why we like it: This tent is sturdy, compact and easy to set up, everything we like in a tent. It will also hold up really well against strong winds, which is a plus if your heading into rough country!
4. Go Time Gear Emergency Bivy Sack Mylar Tube Tent
Best Survival Tent
Dimensions: 62 x 94 x 45
Weight: 2.89 ounces
Material: 95% Mylar
Pros: Lightweight, Water and wind resistant, Extremely durable
Cons:Material is very thin
Description: If you’re planning on spending time in areas known for turbulent weather conditions, complete protection from the elements is virtually assured with this little guy. The Emergency Bivy Sack Mylar Tube Tent is waterproof, windproof, and supports a very effective thermal reflection. The durability of the tent also helps to ensure its longevity making it a valuable option for long haulers.
One of the premium features of the tent is its heat reflective technology, this neat attribute helps keep you cozy when the conditions become unruly.
Weighing less than a pound, portable does not even begin to describe the functionality of this tent, it’s small enough to fit inside your medicine kit! A blanket is also included in the package, to help you stay warm and cozy in difficult conditions.
Why we like it: Its small, compact, is great for REAL emergency situations and might just keep you alive if you’re stuck outside in freezing temperatures.
5. Four Season Survival Tent (3 Person) by GEERTOP
Best All Rounder
Dimensions: 82 x 102 x 45
Weight: 6.4 pounds
Pros: Easy to access, Great ventilation, Waterproof and windproof
Cons: The floor material of this tent is thin, Tent tends to overheat in hot weather
Description: GEERTOP is a reputable company in the production of outdoor survival gear. GEERTOP’s 2 person Four Season Survival Tent is quite the all rounder. No matter which season you require the tent for it is sure to serve you as a highly dependable source of shelter.
If you’re stuck with rain and snow, rest assured the premium waterproof features of this tent will keep you completely dry and warm. It also offers protection from harmful UV rays, making it also a valuable asset in extreme heat conditions.
The tent is constructed with plenty of ventilation and insulation, it is durable and lightweight, and takes mere minutes to set up.
Why we like it: No matter how the weather turns, this 4 season tent can hold up pretty effortlessly. Lightweight, waterproof, lots of room and storage, we can’t recommend this tent enough.
6. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
Best Budget Tent
Dimensions: 32 x 90 x 36
Weight: 4.75 pounds
Pros: Lots of storage room, Great ventilation, More than adequate protection against inclement weather
Cons: Manual is not very detailed, Not very lightweight
Description: After careful consideration, we selected the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent as 6th best survival tent on our list. The cleverly designed rainfly functionality is sure to prevent the most torrential rain.
Its polyester construct is UV resistant, helping to block out both the scorching rays of the sun, as well as keep this tent in your disposal for many years to come due to the highly durable nature of the material.
There’s no shortage of storage options with this tent; it offers a large vestibule and several mesh storage pockets. Despite its compactness, there’s more than enough space for you and your gear.
Like the previous tents, ventilation has also been incorporated into the construction of this tent, half of the walls are ventable mesh.
Why we like it: If you’re going to be packing a lot of gear on your trip then go with this tent. It’s easy to set up, very durable and offers great value for money.
7. Marmot Limelight 3P Tent
Most Spacious Tent
Dimensions: 68 x 90 x 48
Weight: 6.11 pounds
Material: Polyester Taffeta
Pros: Easy to set up, Water and wind resistant, Lots of storage and extra storage pockets
Cons: None that we can think of
Description: The aptly named Limelight may be extremely lightweight, yet it definitely is solid enough to withstand whatever is thrown at it.
Sporting a crossover pole construction, the Marmot Limelight 3P Tent with dimensions of 68 x 90 x 48, this tent is roomy enough to fit in two people comfortably, without ever feeling stuffy.
Two vestibules offer efficient storage for your gear while the tent is also fitted with several pockets so you can safely and conveniently stash the smaller gear.
This tent will hold up spectacularly under temperate climate conditions but may struggle to cope with extreme cold. However, the inclusion of a footprint will make sleeping on a damp floor considerably easier.
Why we like it: Considering the qualities this 2 person tent possesses, it certainly offers a massive bang for your buck. Great for outdoor expeditions or as part of your emergency bug-out pack.
8. Mylar Emergency Survival Shelter Tent By Sharp Survival
Best 2 Person Emergency Tent
Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 1 inches
Weight: 0.16 Kilograms
Pros: Easy to set up, Compact and lightweight, Waterproof and windproof
Cons: The material is rather flimsy, Not the most durable
Description: The Mylar Theermal Emergency Tent, is nothing fancy, but thats not something you should be worried about if you are in a survival situation.
This is the perfect tent for the space-conscious survivalist, it’s extremely lightweight properties make it capable of being stored in the smallest of spaces. This is more of an emergency shelter tent rather than a traditional “camping” tent.
The tent is constructed of mylar material, helping you stay cozy and warm in extremely rough conditions by reflecting over 90 percent of your body heat back at you. It is, of course, waterproof and windproof making it an excellent choice for cold climates too.
The tent is not the most visually impressive, however, it trades looks for functionality and also comes at an incredibly affordable price.
This survival shelter has been designed specifically for survival situations but it also works well for other outdoor games.
Why we like it: It’s easy to set up and can keep you cozy and warm through the night, which can make all the difference.
9. Kelty Salida 2 Person Tent
Easiest Tent to Setup
Dimensions: 88 x 55 x 43in
Weight: 4.57 Pounds
Pros: Compact and lightweight, Easy to set up, Lots of room on offer
Cons: Zippers are not very durable
Description: Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is one of our heavier selections, coming in at 4.57 pounds, the tent has a mass occupancy of 2 Persons.
Kelty has put effort in designing a lightweight structure with 14-inch aluminum poles, hug-clip technology that supports easy assembly and set-up and an amazingly large D-style door for entrance/exit. Its D-style door is supported with a noiseless zipper, and the ground material is of premium 68d Nylon.
The tent also comes highly equipped with many features including: a rolling up fly, DAC Pressfit poles, freestanding design, mesh wall panels, taped floor seams, Jake’s foot pile attachment, and many inside compartments
Why we like it: If you’re on the lookout for a compact, lightweight zero-fuss tent that does what is required of it, this is the one for you.
10. Alps Mountaineering Extreme 2 Person Tent
Best 4 Season Tent
Dimensions: 62 x 92 x 42 inches
Weight: 5.75 Pounds
Pros: Lots of storage room, Freestanding, Accomplished weather protection
Cons: Not lightweight, Not really suitable for people on the big side
Description: Our last but certainly not least choice of survival shelter, is the Mountaineering Extreme 2 Person Tent by Alps. The dual-color Clay/Rust design and 36Ft² vestibule area, make this tent a visually pleasing and spacious choice for the classy survivalist.
For ventilation, it includes a zippable mesh window and a mesh roof vent, as well as supporting a triple aluminum pole that offers strong ground support.
It is engaged with a 75D 185T Polyester Fly coupled with a 1500mm coating & a 75D 185T Poly Taffeta and 3000m coating that forms its floor base, working together to ensure dryness as a top priority.
Alps is so confident in their tent they even throw in a limited lifetime warranty. Making this a very valuable factor when considering longevity as a requirement.
Why we like it: This tent is not the lightest tent on this list but it offers an abundance of room and storage space. It’s also easy to set up, waterproof and well ventilated. A perfect comfortable solution.
What To Look Out For When Selecting A Survival Tent?
Tents have been around for over 40,000 years, let’s just say they have come a long way, since those days. Now you have tents for practically every time of activity you can think of, RV tents, camping tents, backpacking tents, glamping tents, and what we are focusing on survival tents.
What makes a survival tent different from any old tent? The answer may not be obvious, but the devil is in the details. It’s difficult to say what the best tent is, as the best will be determined by your environment, how many people, what you plan on using it for, and in what season you are looking to tent it up.
That being said there are a few things you that you can look out for when searching for a survival tent.
One of the most crucial factors to consider when selecting a tent for survival is how heavy it is. In many situations heavy gear can slow you down, having a lighter tent in your pack can make a huge difference to both your speed and agility.
A heavy tent also generally means it is less compact, potentially replacing other important survival gear tools.
The durability of a tent is generally linked to the quality of fabric used. Nylon and polyester are two of the most durable options. Mylar is a less durable material, make sure you take this into consideration if you are in store for a premium long-life tent.
3. Rain Protection
If you’re planning to spend time in areas known for a torrential downpour, you’d undoubtedly be looking for tents that can keep you dry and warm in those conditions. Make sure your tent puts an emphasis on waterproof technology.
While most tents will come with a rain fly you should check whether or not the rainfly is durable and waterproof, as some of the cheaper options the rain fly can just be water-resistant.
Not all survival tents are going to have waterproof options, if you are going for an emergency bivy tent or thermal reflector tent you are not going to last a serious storm.
If you are looking for a tent that you want to last many years, it is important that you do not compromise on price. Of course there goes the saying buy cheap buy twice, but seriously when it comes to your survival you do not want your tent to let you down.
There is a happy medium that can be found when searching for the best price – and what that is will be different for everyone.
The cheaper ones are bivy’s, emergency shelters, and emergency bivy tarps like the one above are not super durable, and won’t last as long as a regular camping tent, but will survive their purpose in keeping you warm and dry when you need it
Often 1 person tents are not spacious enough to fit your gear, make sure to keep this in mind when selecting. If you are running solo, but have a lot of equipment we recommend choosing a 2 person tent.
No one ever regrets having a two-person tent even if you are single, the few extra pounds are worth it in my opinion.
Are 4 Season Tents Needed For Survival Situations?
If you live in a part of the world that has severe winters, you should consider having 4 season tents for emergencies.
A 4 season tent (also known as a winter tent), is a piece of equipment that can save your life during a severe winter storm. Four-season tents are meant to function well in the worst weather nature has to throw at us. What that means practically is that they usaully will have thicker material and
This means that they are a good choice for shelter, no matter the time of year, and no matter the weather conditions. Four season tents can withstand extreme weather only up to a point. Don’t expect to survive a tornado or a category 4 hurricane while sheltered in a tent!
Four Season Tents for Survival – Is it needed?
1. Four Season Tents Shed Snow
Any tent, whether it’s meant for all four seasons or not, will keep light snow off of you for a while. Heavy snow, however, will cause problems for all but 4 season tents. If the tent doesn’t shed the snow off of its sides quickly enough, the weight of the snow will make the tent bow inward and can even snap poles causing the tent to collapse from the weight. That’s a recipe for disaster!
Four-season tents are designed with snowfall in mind, and will withstand heavier snow weight while continuously shedding snow off the tent to avoid collapse or bowing. You are much safer having winter tents on hand in case of heavy snow, rather than trying to cope with a three-season tent and hoping for the best.
2. Four Season Tents protect better than 3 Season Tents
Because a four season tent is built for all seasons, the tents material is designed to withstand bad weather better than the material used in other tents.
Three season tents don’t insulate as well as a 4 season tent when dealing with a cold, windy environment. Anytime you need protection from the elements, a 4 season tent is the best choice
3. Four Season Tents are More Durable
Because four season tents are more durable and are better built than 3 season tents, they are better for survival. Four season tents are designed to shed heavy snow, insulate well against cold weather, and are generally much better suited to handling windy conditions than other types of tents.
Now the question is: Do you really need a 4 season tent if you are looking for a “survival tent”? There is no straight answer for that, as it will depend on the climate your in, the time of year and geography. Not to mention if you are looking for more of an emergency bivy or a lightweight camping tent that you can grab quickly if you need to in an emergency.
What is “best” will depend on your circumstances.
Buying Advice for 4 Season Tents
Some things to keep in mind when choosing a 4 season tent:
- Four-season tents can be either a single or a double wall shelter.
- Single wall tents are generally lighter, more compact, and are easier to pitch.
- Double-wall tents provide more layers between you and the elements and are generally stronger than single wall designs. 2-wall shelters have an outer waterproof layer and an inner water-resistant layer that breathes. This inner layer allows condensation from inside the tent to pass through to the outer layer where it condensates and drips down in between the two layers. That way, neither water or ice will fall on you while you are sleeping.
- Four-season tents can be pitched either from the inside or the outside. Tents that pitch from the outside are better when there is inclement weather because the snow and rain will be kept out. On the other hand, tents that pitch from the inside generally are tighter on the frame.
- As a general rule, the more guy points on the tent, the stronger and better the tent is.
- Inside pockets are nice to have to store gear. Big pockets are more desirable than small pockets.
- Vestibules are a nice feature. A vestibule is sort of like a mudroom for your tent. If you are wet and muddy you can climb into the vestibule to change before you enter the main part of the tent. They are also great for storing your gear out of the way. Vestibules are usually an add on that must be purchased separately but some tent manufacturers include them with the tent design.
Pack for the worst weather imaginable
As a general rule of thumb, when you stock your survival kit or when camping and hiking; you should include a tent that will handle the worst weather conditions that you might encounter. For this reason, it is important to know the weather conditions of the area you travel in; no matter whether you’re in your vehicle, hiking, or camping.
For example, if you are hiking in the mountains during late autumn, you may think you can make do with a three-season tent since autumn weather rarely goes below 50 degrees. However, because you are traveling in the mountains, you are more likely to encounter colder weather and perhaps even an early snowstorm—making a 4 season tent the better choice.
Even though four-season tents may weigh more and are generally more expensive to purchase, they are often the best choice when deciding on a tent. It is much better to have a durable tent that will serve you during any season than to be stuck with one that is inadequate during extreme weather. When winter survival is at stake, a little more money or weight is nothing!
Four season tents aren’t going to be for everybody. They are more expensive, weigh more, and are more involved to pitch than other tents. However, if your life depends on a sturdy, durable shelter that will keep you out of the harsh winter elements; they are a great choice.
Survival Tent FAQ
There are many members of my family. Is it better to carry one big tent?
Sadly, no. Often survivalists make this mistake and start thinking that they should have one big giant tent so that they can fit everyone. This mentality violates all sorts of sane survivalist rules, the main one being, you never know where you will be or who exactly you will be within any type of emergency situation
It is all too easy for big groups to get separated and not only are smaller tents easier to carry, but they are also easier to set up.
Bivy vs Tent?
Whether you are looking for a tent or a bivy will depend on what type of situation you see yourself in. Bivy tents are usually quite small, are light and are more for on-the-go purposes whereas a traditional tent has more space and can accommodate more people.
3-Season or 4-Season Tent?
Before purchasing a tent, think about the weather you might encounter and your geographic location. As the seasons change, you’ll need to be prepared. Winter camping should be done with slightly warmer clothing and is best accomplished in a four-season tent.
These tents are designed for harsher conditions, so they will provide more protection than three-season tents which generally can be used for summer, spring and autumn.
What this usually means in terms of practicality is that there is not as much insulation in the 4 seasons vs 3 season tent.
The best survival tents are not just designed to keep you dry and warm but also protect you from heat, insects, UV rays, and other unfriendly creatures of the night.
Selecting a quality tent for your outdoor adventures will ensure that whether it’s a summer or winter outing – you’ll be well protected with at least some degree of comfort. We have listed our favorite models below so feel free to browse through them before making your decision!