8 Best Tents for Camping Festivals
Tentsile by Kirk Kirchev
Whether you love roughing it in the wild or not, being a music festival enthusiast means you're bound to become a camping pro sooner or later. From the budget camper to the borderline-glamper, everyone needs a good tent to get them through the night at their favorite camping fest. And even if you don't spend tons of time sleeping, the few hours you get should be as comfortable as possible to recharge you for each full day of music and partying.
To help you get good rest this festival season, we compiled a list of the eight most festival-friendly tents to get you through this season and beyond. Try them out at Coachella, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Latitude, or Splendour in the Grass.
Just because you're camping at a festival, doesn't mean you have to go full-on outdoorsman. Bang Bang Tents give you the best of both the "weekend-long concert" and "nature explorer" worlds, with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. Featured in our list of solar powered gear, they help you harness the sun's energy via an attached solar panel, to charge your phone or other small electronics. The tents also come in a range of awesome prints to help your campsite stand out. (Or blend in, if your camping festival of choice takes place in, say, lush greenery, and you choose the green grass print.) Strong yet lightweight materials promise optimal sleeping conditions, and a simple design means easy setup.
If you drive an SUV, CUV, or minivan, then your ride might be the perfect addition to your camping setup. This tent attaches to the back of your car to create a pseudo-indoor space where you can sleep or store your stuff. At 7 feet high in the center and 6 feet at the corners, it's about as roomy as it gets, Other perks: there's a screen room, which is like your camping-fest living room; you never have to take your gear out of your trunk; you get even more sleeping space if you take the back seats out of your car; and, if you must, you could turn on your AC for a minute to cool down your sleeping area.
Equal parts hammock, treehouse, and tent, Tentsile tents suspend from trees to give you a new kind of camping experience. The tents support up to 880 pounds, sleeping two adults plus gear. They can be pitched hanging like hammocks or on the ground like traditional tents, so you won't be out of luck even if you don't snag that one camping spot flanked by sturdy trees. The Connect Tree Tents connect (surprise) with two or more other Connect Tents to create a floating camp where you and your friends can hang out – literally. If you're using them for fun and not because the ground below is muddy or uneven, then you've got double the space on your campground.
Stuck because you and 15 friends want to share a tent at Bonnaroo, but nobody wants to supply the huge tent to sleep you all? This tent company has your problem solved. Branded as "the social network of camping," Gigwam tents were designed with festivals in mind. Tents sleep two people, but connect to other Gigwams via tent-tunnels, which attach to any of the four doors, meaning that you and any number of your friends can create your own little campground community. While they probably shouldn't double as hardcore nature exploration tents, they're the perfect thing for the camper who only sleeps outside when their favorite band is involved. Plus, you'll get to feel what it's like live in a hamster habitat.
While this tent may be more "instant" like instant ramen than instant messaging (i.e., it still requires just a little bit of work), you go from tent-less to tent-ed in about 60 seconds (which, coincidentally, is less time than you need to make a bowl of Top Ramen). With pre-attached poles, all you have to do is unfold, stake into the ground, and pop up. So you won't have to break a sweat trying to figure out what goes where, and when you get to the festival you can get straight to the fun stuff.
"You get what you pay for" is a maxim you probably shouldn't ignore when it comes to something you entrust to keep you dry and sheltered for multiple nights. But, after a festival ticket and travel expenses, the last thing you want to do is spend more money. At $49.99, this Quest Eagle tent won't break the bank, and is a pretty okay choice in terms of budget tents. If you expect extreme weather conditions or want to become a regular camping festivalgoer, a more expensive and durable tent might be worth the investment. But if you're in a pinch and don't plan on using the tent for longer or more rigorous outdoor experiences, this could be the one for you.
Need your own space after a day of rubbing up against strangers trying to make your way to the front row? This tent will give you privacy even while sharing a campsite. Perfect for couples who want to keep it strictly platonic (or a couple of couples who want some alone time at the end of the day), this tent has two completely separate sleeping areas with an open vestibule in the middle. The central compartment doesn't have a floor, so you can store any muddy shoes or other gear that you want protected from the elements but not necessarily in your sleeping quarters. You can also use trekking poles to stake the vestibule doors out into overhead shades, using the central compartment as a communal hangout area.
If style is your first priority, then these tents are for you. Available in solid colors for the minimalists, or all-over prints and patterns for the maximalists, everyone can find a design that fits their personality. We featured these last year in our list of must-have camping gear for summer festivals, but we're doing it again because we're just really excited about being able to sleep in anything from a big top circus tent to a wedge of swiss cheese.