10 Best Tunnel Tents — The Ultimate in Comfort and Protection

After extensive research, we found the best tunnel tent is the Quechua Arpenaz tent. If you want the best value, you can’t go wrong with the Coleman Cortes 2 Tent.

If you want a comfortable tent capable of handling the elements, you may find what you’re looking for among tunnel tents.

Tunnel tents offer a variety of sizes and different features. We’ve spent 15+ hours researching to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.  

We’ve examined the specs, features, advantages, and disadvantages of almost all available models to come up with a list of the best products.

Our top choice is the Quechua Arpenaz tent. It offers a perfect blend of comfort, protection, and convenient features, such as the separate living room and bedroom with standing heights.

This tent isn’t cheap but it will provide pleasure and satisfaction for every penny you paid and then some.

Here’s the list of our top choices:

Best Tunnel Tents – Our Top Recommendations

Best quality and comfort: Quechua Arpenaz

Best value: Coleman Cortes 2 Tent

Best for Backpacking: Naturehike Opalus Backpacking Tent

Best tunnel tents for 1-3 people: 

Best premium tunnel tents:

Best tunnel tents for 4+ people:

In case you want to learn more about tunnel tents, we have included a comprehensive buyer’s guide. It also includes the criteria we used to select tents on this list.

Coleman Cortes 2 Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 8/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 8/10

Best for: 2 people who want affordable but reliable tent; $

Want a reliable and compact tent for a weekend getaway? Maybe you should try the Coleman Cortes 2 Tent.

You won’t have to break the bank and you’ll get a tightly-packed, lightweight tent for your adventures. With 7.7 pounds, it’s probably not light enough for backpacking trips, but it’s great for hiking and car camping tours.

The tent comes with a sleeping room and a porch area to leave your boots and stuff out of the bedroom. Two rooms will allow you to organize your stuff. Also, the porch area has two doors for convenient access.

Still, make no mistake, this is a compact, 2-person tent. The sleeping area measures 81 by 47 inches, and the porch is 55 by 53 inches. So, the bedroom is pretty tight and it will barely fit two people.

If you’re okay with the size, you’ll love this tent. It’s easy to pitch even for beginners and it takes no more than 10-15 minutes.

The flysheet, taped seams, and sewn-in groundsheet will keep the tent dry and well-protected in rainy conditions. The waterproof rating of 2000 mm is pretty good. It means the tent can handle some heavy rain.

It also holds well in strong winds. Many users were happy to stay dry and safe in stormy conditions. A couple of them have experienced near-hurricane storms and the tent made it through!

A no-see-um mesh inner layer and 3 adjustable air vents, provide nice airflow.

It’s worth mentioning that it comes with a couple of storage pockets and a hook for a lantern. Considering the price tag, I’d say this tent is pretty impressive.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy setup (10 to 15 minutes)
  • 2 doors
  • Porch area
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable, no-see-um, inner layer
  • Extra tent pegs included

Cons:

  • Small sleeping area

Quechua Arpenaz, Camping Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%)  – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10

Best for: Groups of 2-3 who want spacious living area with standing height;$

Getting a comfortable, high-quality tent for an affordable price is a dream of every new camper. The Quechua Arpenaz provides lots of space and most people can stand up in it.

It’s a stylish tent and as soon as you enter it, you’ll love the space you get in the living area. The floor area of 54 sq ft and peak ceiling height of 75” provide many options.

You can place a couple of chairs and a table, and you’ll have plenty of room for your gear, boots, and stuff. You can even cook in there.

Considering the price, weather protection is nothing short of impressive. The tent is wind-tested and it remains stable and comfortable in winds up to 30 mph.

Water-resistance properties are even better: the rainfly and the fabric have a 2000 mm waterproof rating and the sewn-in groundsheet a 5000 mm. In the real world, it means the tent will stay dry in heavy and persistent rain.

There’s a caveat, though. A perfect combination of wind and rain can lead to leaking through the roof air vents. Several users have experienced this problem. 

On the other hand, it’s not very likely to happen. A large number of users have reported staying perfectly dry in heavy rain and moderate winds.

The setup is not the quickest and it takes around 15 minutes to get it done. Still, color-coded poles and clear instructions make it a straightforward process.

Note that it is heavy (21.6 lb) for backpackers. But a couple of car campers will get an almost luxurious tent at a reasonable price. 

Pros:

  • Roomy living area
  • Ceiling height 75”
  • High waterproof rating
  • Can withstand moderate wind (up to 30 mph)
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Roof vents may leak in persistent rain and wind
  • On a heavier side (21.6 lb)

Naturehike Opalus Backpacking Tent 2-4

  • Space & comfort (20%) – 6/10
  • Weight & Portability (20%) – 6/10
  • Weather resistance (20%)  – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10 

Best for: Bikepackers or backpackers with dogs who want waterproof tent; $$

Want a lightweight tent with a large porch area to fit your bike? The Naturehike Opalus Backpacking Tent is one of the best choices for you. It features a huge vestibule area and outstanding waterproofness.

The tent comes in 3 sizes for 2,3,4 people, but you should subtract one person to get the best out of this tent. I will talk about the 3-person model in this review. All models are basically the same being just slightly larger/smaller and heavier/lighter.

The sleeping room is modest but comfortable enough for 2 people to sleep. You don’t really need more space, because you’ll get it in the rest of the tent.

In front of the bedroom, there’s a large lobby with a vestibule. It measures 73 x 83 inches (vestibule included) with two entryways. A highly waterproof rainfly keeps it protected from the elements.

So, it’s up to you. Your dogs can sleep in there. You can keep your bike protected. Or it can be your little kitchen and storage room.

Speaking of protection, it is designed to handle heavy rain, downpours, and snow. A high-quality ripstop nylon rates at 4000 mm which is pretty impressive.

On the downside, it might get cold inside the tent in cold weather. Yes, the tent is listed as a 4-season model, but you should avoid winter adventures due to weak insulation.

Basically, this tent consists of an inner, breathable, mesh layer and a great rainfly on the outer side. There’s nothing to preserve enough warmth when the winter comes.

Important note: The tent comes in two colors, green and orange. They look the same but the fabric is different. The green fabric is a bit stronger and more waterproof hence it comes with a heftier price tag.

Pros:

  • Large vestibule
  • Relatively lightweight (6 lb, 3-person model)
  • 2 doors
  • Highly waterproof

Cons:

  • Cold in winter
  • Low ceiling height (35”)

Coleman Tent Coastline 3 Plus

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%)  – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 6/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 8/10

Best for: 2 car campers who want extra comfort come rain or shine; $$

You want an airy tent with a nice view from many directions on a sunny day? But, if it rains, you’d like to be protected and comfortable sitting in the tent? The Coleman Coastline 3 Plus tent can fit your bill.

A large living area with no less than 3 doors will allow you to enjoy the scenery in nice weather. And if the weather turns ugly, you’ll be protected while having enough room to feel comfortable.

It is a roomy tent for 2 people. The bedroom measures 75 by 86,5 inches, so you can fit a queen airbed in it easily.

You just have to love the living area. I’ve mentioned that 3 doors allow great adjustability. Whether you want to avoid sunshine or a drizzle, you can just open one door and close another without repositioning the tent.

With a 75 by 82.5” floor area, you can put up a table and chairs or store a bunch of stuff. You can use 2 poles to transform the front door into an awning, getting some more shade and space. 

Truth be told, you can’t stand up inside the tent. The ceiling height of 55 inches is enough to sit comfortably.

The special design of the groundsheet allows cool air to come in, providing improved ventilation.

The waterproof rating of 3000 mm ensures excellent protection in rainy conditions. 

If you’re addicted to your gadgets, there’s a power cord access point to recharge your devices.

Pros:

  • Very roomy
  • 3 doors
  • Bathtub floor in both sleeping and living area
  • Several storage pockets and hooks
  • Power port
  • Great ventilation

Cons:

  • Several users have reported leaking through the side door zippers
  • Not the lightest model (15 lb)

NEMO Wagontop 4 Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 8/10 

Best for: groups of 2-3 who want a luxurious and stylish summer tent; $$$

If you don’t mind spending money to get superb quality and advanced features, check the NEMO Wagontop 4 tent.

You’ll know this tent is different from the moment you set your eyes on it. Modern and stylish design will attract you instantly. I am all about practicality but this beauty really catches attention.

Still, it’s more important what’s in the package. Unique pole structure design allows vertical walls that create ample space within the tent. With A floor plan of 100 by 100 inches and a high ceiling (80 inches), you’ll get a feel of luxury as soon as you enter the tent.

I would never call it a 4-person tent, even if it can fit 4 people. This tent is about luxury and livability, so it’s for 2 people, 3 tops. If you plan more people, 6-person and 8-person models are also available.

Panoramic mesh windows will enhance your experience while keeping the bugs out of the tent. You can open/close them from the inside, and they come with covers if you need privacy.

Curious enough, the tent is a single-wall construction with no rainfly. Apparently, you don’t need one as the fabric is waterproof. 

The 1500 mm waterproof rating should be enough to keep you dry and safe in moderate rain. Honestly, I’ve expected more considering the price tag. That’s why I called it a summer model even though it’s billed as a 3-season tent.

When it gets colder, the condensation can become an issue as well. Truth be told, the tent is well-ventilated. However, in case of rain, you’d have to seal the openings and lose the airflow.

As expected, it comes with an abundance of storage pockets.

Pros:

  • Unique design
  • Standing height throughout the tent
  • Vertical walls
  • Large, wide windows
  • Plenty of storage pockets
  • Freestanding design

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Mediocre weather protection

Quechua Air Seconds 4.1

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 9/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 9/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10

Best for: Families or groups of 3-4 who like extra comfy and livable tent with a quick setup; $$$

You love camping, but you’re not comfortable with tight spaces and low ceilings? Consider the Quechua Air Seconds 4.1 tent. It’s pretty roomy, comes with a tall ceiling and you can set it up in about 5 minutes.

It is an inflatable tent with air beams instead of poles. This innovative design provides a super-easy setup and durability. You won’t have to worry about poles snapping during a setup or in the middle of the storm.

Apart from air technology, the tent offers outstanding comfort. It’s one of the rare models with the accurate capacity provided by the manufacturer.

A bedroom measures 110” by 83” providing a width of 27.5” per person for a group of 4 people. For a group of 3, it’s a luxurious sleeping area.

And it gets even better: besides the bedroom, there’s a 70 sq ft living area. Check out some photos on the internet or try to visualize it: you can fit a small table, 4 chairs, and still have lots of spare room for your backpacks and stuff.

Oh, and did I mention the ceiling height? It’s 75 inches in the living room and 63 inches in the bedroom.

The tent handles the elements quite well. All Decathlon Quechua tents are waterproof-tested in the lab and then in the field under real conditions. This tent can withstand tropical rain and winds up to 35 mph.

Pros:

  • 5 minutes setup
  • Very roomy. It actually fits 4 people
  • Tall ceiling (75”)
  • Airy and well-ventilated
  • Air beams provide stability and durability. They are also easy to repair
  • Waterproof (2000 mm)
  • Blackout window covers
  • Adjustable bathtub floor in both rooms

Cons:

  • Heavy at 27 lb
  • Expensive

Coleman Cabin Camping Tent with Weatherproof Screen Room

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 8/10

Best for: 3-4 campers who want waterproof tent with a screen room;$$$

You like lounging in front of your tent, but don’t want to be bugged by bugs (pun intended)? Check out the Coleman Cabin Camping Tent with Weatherproof Screen Room. This lovely tent provides ample space and keeps you protected from the elements.

At the first sight, you’ll be struck by openness and views. Without a rainfly, there’s mesh everywhere around the tent. Mesh roof, mesh screen room, and large mesh windows provide true panoramic views.

But, when you put up the rainfly, you get a fortress to protect you from rain and winds. The rainfly fully covers the screen room so the whole structure is well protected.

The tent is roomy and it fits 2 queen size air mattresses. So, it can accommodate 4 or even more people. Still, it’s best for 3 people so you can have some spare space to store your gear. 

You can also use a screen room for stowing, but then you can forget about lounging.

Many users have reported staying dry in rainy weather. Although, it’s expected from the tent with the word “Waterproof” in the title. 

However, I was disappointed with the lack of info about waterproof ratings. Yes, apparently the tent is waterproof, but it would be nice to know the upper limits of waterproofness.

It’s worth noting that the ventilation is exceptional. However, I suspect it would get chilly inside in colder weather.

Pros:

  • 9’ x 10’ ft sleeping area
  • Protected screen room – 4’ x 10’ ft plus 3 feet long vestibule
  • Peak height 6’ 4”
  • Large panoramic mesh windows and mesh roof
  • Great ventilation even when the rainfly is on
  • Welded corners, inverted seams, and tub floor enhance waterproofness
  • Can handle winds up to 35 mph

Cons:

  • Heavy 
  • Not the best for colder weather

REI Co-op Kingdom 8 Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 9/10

Best for: Campers who don’t mind spending more for premium quality and great functionality;$$$$

If you don’t hesitate to spend more money in order to get premium quality, the REI Co-op Kingdom 8 Tent offers extra comfort and plenty of convenient features. Maybe it won’t make you a king, but it will provide some luxury for your camping trips.

For starters, it’s a big tent. The floor plan measures 150” by 100” and you can use pretty much all of it due to near-vertical walls. The peak height is 75 inches, so most people can freely walk throughout the tent.

However, forget about the 8-person capacity declaration. Yes, you can pack 8 people but this is supposed to be a luxury tent. With the 104 sq ft floor area, it can comfortably accommodate 3 to 4 people.

A room divider can create 2 rooms for privacy. 2 doors on opposite ends provide better airflow and an entryway for both rooms. So, you don’t have to climb over each other for midnight toilet breaks.

A rainfly covers almost the entire tent. A vertical back door is left uncovered but it’s additionally waterproofed. 

The fly can be partially rolled up from sides or ends. It’s an ingenious design that allows you to choose the level of coverage to regulate airflow or get more/less privacy and visibility.

The tent can handle inclement weather quite well. It has a hub-style construction with durable aluminum poles. So, it can cope with rain and winds. 

Still, it’s a tall and large tent, so if you expect any wind, make sure to stake it down properly. If the wind is too strong, you can still end up with bent poles. Or at least, that’s what some users have complained about.

Thin and probably not so durable floor is a weak point of the tent. However, you can purchase a footprint from REI, or use an inexpensive, simple ground tarp to avoid floor damage.

Pros:

  • Vertical walls and large floor plan provide ample space
  • Adjustable rainfly with air vents
  • Strong structure, aluminum poles
  • Removable room divider
  • 2 large doors
  • 33 sq ft vestibule area
  • Abundance of storage pockets

Cons:

  • Thin groundsheet
  • Expensive

NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Camping Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10

Best for: Groups of 4-5  who want waterproof and reliable tent for warm weather;$$$

You want a summer tent with great airflow, but also capable of coping with sudden summer rains? The NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Camping tent matches your needs perfectly. 

After all, it’s a Brasilian company and they should know a thing or two about hot weather and summer rains.

The tent has an interesting design, a sort of hybrid between the tunnel and dome-type tent. 

It’s pretty huge, measuring 17’ by 8’ but it still can’t fit 9 or 10 people. 

It narrows down at the opposite ends, so the sleeping area is around 140 sq ft. If you do the math, you’ll see that it’s enough for 4 to 5 people to sleep comfortably and have lots of spare room for your stuff.

The inner tent is made of breathable polyester. It has 3 large mesh windows and 2 doors. So, on hot summer days, you’ll get plenty of ventilation as well as a nice view.

In case of rain, the tent comes with a full-coverage rainfly to keep the water away from the tent.

A 2500 waterproof rating is pretty high, and it means the tent can withstand some heavy rain.

A groundsheet is made of polyethylene and reinforced. In simple words, it’s completely waterproof and durable.

The tent is on a heavier side at 26.5 pounds but it’s expected considering the size. You won’t take it on your backpacking or hiking trips. And for car camping trips, the weight is not so important.

The only downside I could find is the fact that you can’t open the windows on the fly from the inside. 

Pros:

  • Breathable inner tent with lots of no-see-um mesh
  • Full-coverage rainfly
  • Waterproof
  • Removable room divider
  • 2 doors
  • Tall ceiling 6’ 2”
  • Excellent airflow

Cons:

  • Rainfly windows can only be open from the outside

CAMPROS 12-Person Camping Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 6/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 6/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 6/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 5/10

Best for: Larger groups of 4-8 campers who want spacious and airy tent for dry weather; $$

If your slogan is “the more the merrier”, you’ll need a big camping tent. The CAMPROS 12-Person Camping Tent is a large tent that comes with a reasonable price tag. Plenty of space and mesh panels make this tent a great choice for camping in nice weather.

With the length of 20 feet and the width of 9 feet, you won’t find many larger models on the market. Still, there’s no way 12 persons can sleep in this tent unless they’re Hobbits. However, it can fit 3 queen-size airbeds.

So, groups of 4 to 8 campers can feel comfortable in the tent. It comes with a room divider to create 2 rooms if needed. The ceiling height of 72 inches allows most people to stand up or walk without hunching down.

As soon as you set the tent up, you’ll know why it excels in warm weather. The tent top is all mesh and there are 2 large mesh doors and 4 mesh windows. A sheer volume of the tent and lots of mesh ensure you’ll have plenty of fresh air and no bugs inside.

All openings are double-layered with zippered covers to provide privacy or protection from the elements. There’s also a rainfly but it doesn’t cover the whole tent. A waterproof rating of 1000 mm isn’t very impressive, but it will handle light rain.

With all the mesh and space, it’s probably impossible to keep the tent warm in colder weather. Also, in rainy conditions, you’ll need to close covers on doors and windows. It will significantly reduce the airflow.

Pros:

  • One of the largest tunnel tents (20’ x 9’)
  • All mesh ceiling
  • 2 doors and 4 large mesh windows
  • Compact carry bag (25” x 11” x 11”)
  • E-port
  • Room divider

Cons:

  • Modest weather protection

Benefits of Tunnel Tents

If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with tunnel tents. Nevertheless, here’s a short reminder of major benefits that come with tunnel tents:

  • Easy to pitch
  • Great versatility – suited to different environments and climates
  • Typically they provide more space than dome tents
  • Usually they offer a better protection from the elements than cabin tents
  • Suitable for longer camping trips
  • Tunnel shape allows ample headroom

These are just some general guidelines. However, tunnel tents can vary a lot and offer a wide range of different features. Therefore, you need to check out specific features to find the one that fits your needs.

So, let’s see what you should look for.

How to Choose Tunnel Tent 

Size and Capacity

Tunnel tents come in a wide variety of sizes, but the tunnel shape doesn’t affect your choice too much.

Yes, tunnel tents have almost vertical side walls providing more room inside when compared to dome-type tents. So, you don’t have to consider wall angles and consequently upsize.

You just need to check out the floor area and see if it fits your bed(s) and gear.

First, you need to decide on the number of occupants. Declared capacities typically show how many sleeping mats you can fit next to each other with no spare room. 

So, forget about it, and look for the dimensions and floor area. These numbers will tell you more about the tent’s capacity.

The size depends on your camping style as well. Conventional wisdom has it that each camper needs 20 sq ft of space. But you should adjust the number according to your needs.

For example, if you like to carry lots of stuff to be ready for everything, you’ll need more space.

Or, if you’re a backpacker who needs a tent only for sleeping, 15 sq ft per person will do.

Many tunnel tents come with vestibules or screen rooms to provide additional space. That’s great for storage, but often these additional spaces are not suitable for sleeping. 

So be mindful of that, or sheer dimensions can trick you to believe that the sleeping area is larger than it really is.

Weight

Tunnel tents have a good ratio of space to weight. Usually, they are lighter than their dome or tunnel counterparts of the same size. Still, they are often tall and spacious, so they are rarely light enough for backpackers.

For example, the Coleman Cortes 2 Tent is among the lighter models at 7.7 pounds.

The weight of the tent may or may not play a vital role in your choosing process. For the most part, it depends on your camping style.

For backpackers, every ounce counts, so if you’re one of them, the weight is probably the first thing you’ll check out. On the other hand, car campers can afford more pounds to get additional comfort or other features.

Typically, backpacking tents weigh up to 7, 8 pounds. The great ones are lighter than 4 pounds. These are the provisional numbers, as the weight also depends on the size and capacity of the backpacking tents.

Tunnel tents are more often seen at car camping sites. Alongside cabin tents, it’s a very popular shape for family tents. Still, there are some tunnel-shaped, backpacking tents as well, like the Naturehike Opalus Backpacking Tent 2-4, weighing in at 6 pounds.

The bottom line: if car camping is your thing, you don’t have to sweat about the weight of your tent. But if you’re a backpacker, the weight is of the utmost importance.

Weather Protection

Tunnel tents usually shine in this department. 

Most of them are true 3-season tents and have formidable waterproof ratings. The reason for this is simple – tunnel tents tend to offer more versatility compared with cabin or dome tents. 

Large cabin tents with mesh on all sides are great for dry and hot weather. But, it’s a challenge to keep the warmth if it gets colder. And there are so many seams, covers, and zippers that need additional protection from the rain.

Tunnel tents, on the other hand, are enclosed structures without zillions of mesh panels. So, if the fabric is waterproof, it’s very likely that not a drop of water would ever come into the tent. 

Having said that, the fabric and coating are more important than the shape of the tent.

So, check out the waterproof rating to assess the tent’s capability to handle the rain. Roughly, a 1000 mm rating is needed to protect the tent from light showers and persistent drizzles. In order to withstand heavy rain, the tent should have a 2000 mm waterproof rating or more.

That being said, you should take the waterproof rating with a pinch of salt. It only shows how waterproof the fabric is. Water can also creep in through the seams and floor.

So, look for tents with sealed seams. As for the floor, it should be rugged, thick, and with a higher waterproof rating. A great example of this is the Quechua Arpenaz Camping Tent with waterproof ratings of 2000 mm for the fabric and 5000 mm for the floor.

The shape of the tent affects stability a lot in windy conditions.

A tunnel-like shape is more aerodynamic than a cabin-style shape with flat, vertical walls. This feature provides more stability in strong winds. Still, tunnel tents are usually tall, which is not so great for the wind. The lower the height, the more stable the structure.

It’s a good idea to assess the wind direction when setting up the tunnel tent. Pitch it to face the wind with the front or back end, whichever is lower in height. This way you will minimize the risk of the tent collapsing in strong gusts of wind.

Ventilation

No one likes stuffy air. So, what to look for to make sure you get plenty of fresh air in your tent?

The answer is simple: mesh panels and air vents.

Tunnel tents typically don’t have too many mesh panels. However, a tunnel-like shape is great to provide airflow if there are openings on the opposite ends.

Thus, you should look for a tent with mesh doors and a ground vent on the opposite side. It should suffice. Of course, more vents and mesh panels will further improve the ventilation.

Truth be told, if you want the greatest possible ventilation, cabin tents like the Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent are a better choice.

Another thing: check out the rainfly. Many tunnel tents come with a full coverage rainfly. If so, make sure there are air vents on the fly. 

Also, the inner layer should be breathable or mesh. Otherwise, it could get very hot inside the tent, hotter than outside.

Setup

Tunnel tents are pretty easy to pitch. They can’t stand on their own and need to be staked down. However, usually, it’s a straightforward process that takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

Some models come with color-coded pole frameworks and sleeves to ease and speed up the setup.

Strictly speaking, there are no instant tunnel tents, but some of them can be erected in only a couple of minutes getting them close to being instant.

If you want the easiest setup, look for inflatable tunnel tents like the Quechua Air Seconds 4.1.

Materials

When it comes to materials, tunnel tents are not specific – they use the same materials as other types of tents.

Materials are responsible for the tent strength and performance. So, you should be careful and choose tents that feature high-quality fabric and poles.

Nylon and polyester are the most common fabrics in the tent industry. While nylon dominates the backpacking tent market, polyester is the most dominant fabric for family and car camping tents.

Nylon has a better strength-to-weight ratio which leads to lighter but equally durable tents.

On the other hand, polyester is the most affordable material and it doesn’t lag much behind nylon in terms of strength and weight. It is also less susceptible to UV damage than nylon.

So, most tunnel tents are made of polyester. You can’t really tell how strong the fabric is, but the ripstop fabric and higher Denier values indicate higher quality. Ripstop is a technique that makes the fabric more tear-resistant, while the Denier count indicates fiber density.

As for the poles, tunnel tents require flexible ones. Therefore most tunnel tents have either fiberglass or aluminum poles. Fiberglass poles are much more frequent due to low production costs.

Aluminum poles are strong, lightweight, and won’t break. Under too much pressure they bend.

Fiberglass poles are more affordable, but not as light or durable as aluminum ones. Under too much pressure they snap. Still, they provide solid strength and flexibility at a low cost.

Final Verdict

There you go. Now you know all it takes to make an educated decision. 

Our top choice is the Quechua Arpenaz tent. It is not the most affordable model, but it performs immaculately. From excellent weather protection to durability and ventilation, they’ve got it all covered.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Coleman Cortes 2 Tent will fit your bill. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and comes with a porch area. No bells and whistles but it will provide safe and comfortable shelter.

Emma

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips since my first experience in 2015. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.

Emma

Emma

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips since my first experience in 2015. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.