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Shelter is one of the most important aspects of outdoor survival. During an emergency or desperate times, the tent is your No. 1 go-to shelter. It can be set up and broken down with incredible ease to enable you to stay mobile if necessary.

With only a few layers of fabric between you and the elements, however, you need to choose the right fit and style to meet all your needs. Some people

need to traverse terrain quickly and will accept thinner and lighter materials, while for others, durability and strength of the fabric is of the utmost importance.

When choosing a tent, always take into consideration the number of people in your group, the terrain and/or environment you will most likely be in and, of course, the tent that fits into your current financial budget. The ranges of price and quality are as wide as the variety of tents; the key is to find the perfect balance to fit your particular situation.

1. Napier

Model: Sportz X-Treme PAC
MSRP: $229.99
Key Features: Complete camping package for two, lightweight, easy to use

Description: The Sportz X-Treme PAC is a one-of-a-kind camping package. Perfect for two people, the PAC contains everything for an adventure on and off the road. Containing a tent, full rainfly, two mummy-style sleeping bags and two convenient folding stools, the Sportz X-Treme PAC is ready to go when you are. It attaches easily to your motorcycle or mountain bike in one heavyduty carrying bag.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “Our signature brand, Sportz, has become the No. 1-selling truck and SUV tents in the world! We at Napier not only believe in quality but also in convenience and practicality, which is why all tents come in a carry bag that easily fits in your vehicle. This allows campers the flexibility to camp whenever they get the call from the great outdoors.”  —Stephanie Miller, Sales Executive

“The Sportz -X-Treme PAC is a one-of-a-kind camping package.”

2. Heimplanet

Model: The Wedge
MSRP: $610
Key Features: A one-pump inflation system for fast and uncomplicated setup

Description: Designed for a quick and easy setup, the Wedge offers more time for you to enjoy the outdoors. With sleeping space for two people plus supplies and gear, this innovative tent is perfect for a weekend trip or anytime you want to get away from it all. Two ventilation openings keep the air well circulated and the entrance’s vestibule comes equipped with three adjustable openings. Total weight is 7 pounds.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “We offer products that combine high functionality with modern design and fit for daily needs as well as for traveling.” —Eva Luna Lindner,  PR and Media Manager

“With sleeping space for two people plus supplies and gear, this innovative tent is perfect for a weekend trip …”

3. Napier

Model: Sportz Truck Tent #57 Series
MSRP: $269.99
Key Features: Easy assembly, comfortably sleeps two, attaches to pick-up truck

Description: The Sportz Truck Tent utilizes your open-bed pick-up truck to create a roomy tent for two whenever and wherever you need a quick shelter. It’s useful for camping trips, tailgate parties, vacations or any place your inner child wants to dream up and explore. The tent offers more than 5 feet of head-room space, a water-resistant floor and full-coverage rainfly protection from wet weather. Two large windows and two vents offer great cross ventilation to keep you comfortable during your night’s sleep. A 4-by-4-foot shade awning, tent stakes and an expandable carrying bag are included.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “Napier is the world leader in the development and distribution of vehicle camping tents and we are continuously trying to improve our current products as well as develop new products to meet our consumers’ demands. We are a company that is passionate about the outdoors and the environment and contribute to non-profit organizations and local communities across North America that also share this passion.” —Christina Richards, Marketing Coordinator

“The Sportz Truck Tent utilizes your open-bed pick-up truck to create a roomy tent for two whenever and wherever you need a quick shelter.”

4. Heimplanet

Model: The Cave
MSRP: $745
Key Features: Quick and easy setup; unpack and inflate for instant shelter

Description: Experience a new way of camping with this incredibly fast setup, inflatable tent. Perfect for two to three people, the cave offers plenty of interior room for sleeping as well as storage for your gear and baggage. A pocket under the roof holds your smaller personal items. Five closable ventilation openings keep fresh air circulating throughout the tent.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “Heimplanet tents offer a unique technology and define a new segment for camping tents. After a setup of just 30 seconds, our inflatable tents offer an outstanding stability in strong winds and offer a generous and comfortable room on the inside with an outstanding design on the outside.“ —Stefan Clauss, Founder/CEO

“After a setup of just 30 seconds, our inflatable tents offer an outstanding stability in strong winds …”

5. Big Agnes

Model: Fly Creek 2 Platinum Tent
MSRP: $499.95
Key Features: Ultralight backpacking tent; free standing; three season

Description: Be ready for whatever nature throws at you with the Fly Creek 2 tent. Its ultralight composition makes it perfect for hiking or trekking through the wilderness without adding excessive weight to your pack. It’s made with silicon-treated nylon coated in waterproof polyurethane. The tent body is equipped with breathable
nylon ripstop and polyester mesh that provides excellent ventilation. Twist clips are used to attach the tent body to the pole frame for easy and fast setup. Reflective webbing and guy line provide nighttime visibility.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “The Fly Creek 2 Platinum is made with premium lightweight materials that make it one of the lightest double-wall, freestanding tents available.” —Carl Johnson, PR Account Manager

“Its ultralight composition makes it perfect for hiking or trekking through the wilderness …”

 

6. Ultimate Survival Technologies

Model: B.A.S.E. Bug Tent
MSRP: $29.95
Key Features: Lightweight, well ventilated, flame retardant

Description: The B.A.S.E. Bug Tent is the perfect choice for anyone who needs a very light and compact tent when on the go. It is specially designed for one person, eliminating the need for a full-sized tent. It uses shock corded fiberglass poles for quick and easy assembly while its bottomless design makes it compatible with any sleeping bag or mat.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “The B.A.S.E. Bug Tent replaces full-size tents for more efficient sleeping and protection from bugs, including no-see-ums. The tent is designed for single-person occupancy and is lightweight, compact and easy to transport and set up with included shock-corded fiberglass poles. The bottomless design makes it compatible with virtually any sleeping bag or mat as its ‘floor.’” —Pete Simons, Marketing/Social Media

“The B.A.S.E. Bug Tent replaces full-size tents for more efficient sleeping and protection from bugs, including no-see-ums.”

7. Tentsile

Model: Stingray Air
MSRP: $749
Key Features: Suspended design, three-person capacity, mesh roof for maximum ventilation

Description: The Stingray Air tent takes you up and off the ground with its unique suspension system. Just secure the tent straps to three nearby trees and you will no longer worry about uneven ground, unfriendly wildlife or flooding due to heavy rains. With a maximum weight limit of 880 pounds, the Stingray Air can hold three adults comfortably plus accompanying gear. The Stingray is built tough; with a 2.5-ton minimum breaking limit and more than 20 meters of seatbelt reinforcements throughout, you can have a worry-free night’s sleep. Package includes tent, poles, removable flysheet, ratchet buckles, straps and carrying bag.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “Tentsile presents the Stingray Air, the world’s first packaway tree house. Our brand-new product allows you and your friends to experience the great outdoors from a new, unique perspective, separated from bugs, uneven ground, and wetness.” —Alex Shirley-Smith, Director

“the Stingray is built tough; with a 2.5-ton minimum breaking limit and more than 20 meters of seatbelt reinforcements throughout …”

8. Rothco

Model: Rothco Two-Man CamoTrail Tent
MSRP: $79.99
Key Features: Woodland camouflage pattern, waterproof, fire retardant

Description: The Rothco Two-Man Trail Tent is your answer to today’s camping needs while maintaining a tried and true, traditional look and style. This two-man tent features a reinforced polyurethane taffeta and floor to keep you dry during nature’s worst rain storms. Full-zippered front doors and extra storm flaps ensure that you stay dry and secured while inside. The tent package includes aluminum poles, stakes, ropes and carrying sack.

Manufacturer’s Comments: “This is a solid, well built, lightweight tent for backpack camping or the bug-out bag. It’s easy to set up for even beginning campers and its mildew-resistant fabric is fine for wet and dry camping. The unique woodland camo outer shell makes it great for hunting or covert camping.” —John Ottaviano, Director of Sales and Marketing

“this two-man tent features a reinforced polyurethane taffeta and floor to keep you dry during nature’s worst rain storms.”

 

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the April-May 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide Magazine.