Summer vacation plans scrapped and kids’ camps cancelled? It’s time to think about a new tent, and the perfect places to pitch it. Here are some of the best tents for every kind of summer camping adventure.
A Room With Three Views
So you found that sweet campsite with a view of the water and the sunset. Then why crawl into a tent where you’ll only get a small glimpse of it? The Big Agnes Salt Creek SL2 ($299) could be your new summer house. It has three zip-open screen panel doors, for easy access and better air flow on hot summer nights, an awning-style flap that can serve as a front porch and steep sides that allow for maximum headroom—nearly four feet. The 28-square foot tent sleeps two in style and the multiple doors mean no crawling over your partner in the middle of the night. For stowing gear, there’s a vestibule off the back and handy bin storage above your feet as well as plenty of pockets. Total packed weight is 4 lbs.
Perfect for: Setting up camp lakeside at Groton State Forest or any waterfront site.
If you traded the Europe trip this year for a road trip, Dog House has you covered. Dog House’s Rooftop Summit 3 Series ($999) is a three-season tent that fits neatly on your car’s roof—no worries about rain-soaked ground beneath you, just climb up. The Summit’s ripstop 600 Denier poly/cotton canvas fabric is covered with a water-resistant and UV coating, comes with a non-deforming sponge mattress and includes a built-in mosquito screen. Hardware includes a telescoping ladder, sturdy 5/8” aluminum tubing and a heavyduty travel cover. The Summit Series 3 weighs 130 pounds and is at the lower end of the price range for rooftop tents.
Perfect for: Overlanding in the Northern Forest or setting up for a week at a drive-in campsite.
A Bug-Proof Nest
If you’re paddling to an island, or even a waterfront site where the trees are plentiful and flat dry spaces not so much, consider ditching the tent in favor of a hammock. If you are anywhere in the woods of the Northeast, you’ll want the ENO Jungle Nest ($110) with its integrated stowable bug net. Drape that over a spreader bar and ridge line and tuck into an airy, comfy cocoon that even the tiniest noseeum can’t break into. At 10 feet by close to 5 feet, it’s roomy enough to spread out but packs down to a mere 10 inches x 5 inches x 5 inches and, with the suspension system, weighs in at just 24 ounces. And it’s equally light on your bank account.
Perfect for: Fastpacking or paddling light in a canoe or a SUP.
The Camping Clubhouse
NEMO has plenty of lightweight backpacking tents but the New Hampshire-based company has developed its lifestyle line. The NEMO Victory Screenhouse ($399) will be a hit at any group campsite and you’ll find kids flocking into it or adults using it as a clubhouse or dining room. Unpack the duffel bag, slip in the aluminum poles and you have a 10 foot x 10 foot room with nearly 7 feet of headroom at its peak. Rain gutters channel water off the roof and the NEMO Victory Blanket XL ($129.95) with a waterproof bottom and flannel top fits the interior footprint like a rug.
Perfect for: A group camping trip to Burton Island
Read 6 Island Campsites for info on some of the best campsites in the state!