Best Ground Tents for Overlanding

Our Top Gound Tent Picks

Image of Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent ► Best Instant Tent Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent
Image of Coleman Sundome Tent ► Best Budget Tent Coleman Sundome Tent
Image of Desert & Fox Backpacking Camping Tent ► Best Overland Ground Tent for Two Desert & Fox Backpacking Camping Tent
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No matter whether you’re exploring the great outdoors with your 4×4 vehicle or backpacking by yourself or with your loved ones, you’ll need a comfortable place to sleep. For an enjoyable Overlanding experience, you’ll need a high-quality, long-lasting, and reliable tent. Our overland ground tents are tough enough to handle rainstorms and windstorms, and they assemble in minutes. These tents are perfect for occasional holiday or short camping trips with a family, couple, or a frugal overlander enthusiast trying to save money but also don’t have to be buying another overland ground tent anytime soon; you’ll want to read this review.

How to Choose the Best Overland Ground Tent

When it comes to choosing which overland ground tent is best, it is essential to consider a few key features of a tent’s design. Nevertheless, there are several tent designs to choose from, including large family tents, rooftop tents, hardshell rooftop tents, and truck bed tents that may better suit your needs than others. However, we found that the best car-camping tents scored well in the following criteria.

How we Pick the Best Overland Ground Tent

Space: A four-person tent takes up about 60 square feet on average, which is enough space for a full-size air mattress and two people, with a dog plus their gear, or three people sleeping on more traditional camping pads, with their equipment. We concluded that the minimum peak tent height should be 6 ft, allowing most adults to stand comfortably.

Weatherproofing: An excellent dome-style tent should stay dry in a light shower and handle moderate rain and strong winds without a leak, pitching, or collapsing. Any of the tents we review tested high-quality waterproof fabric, and you don’t have to worry about water seepage during rainy days. However, we recommend them for three-season because we wouldn’t deliberately take them on a winter camping trip.

Materials: The tent’s materials are unquestionably a crucial feature of a tent. However, each product has its own set of pros and cons. Fiberglass and steel frames, for an instant, are a bit heavier and not so durable, but it is normal to have them in such budget tents, while Aluminum is far lighter and slides together more quickly. These materials are generally made of nylon or polyester in most tents. Nylon has a much higher strength-to-weight ratio than polyester, and it’s more prone to UV and wind damage.

Easy Set: The star feature of these tents is their instant, easy setup process. Since the poles are pre-attached to the fabric, the express setup is as easy as laying the tent on the ground and stretching the poles.

Is it worth your money: We decided that the tents for this guide should not be pricy, made of top-of-the-line lightest materials, but should be durable enough to last for years. Our recommended overland ground tents are available at a reasonable price, between $50 and $150 for a four-person tent—leaving you with many savings to invest in other camping equipment like an outdoor camp kitchen, camping shower, and rechargeable LED headlamp.

Extra parts: We also considered features such as pole strength and arrangements, zipper durability, rain-fly tie-downs, and door structure.

Our Favorite Ground Tents of 2021!

Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent Image

Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent

★★★★★ (4.9)

Price Tested: $146.99 USD

Coleman is a well-known camping brand that has been around for a long time. Their products are generally trustworthy and easy to use by anyone. Their 6-Person Instant Cabin ranks as the company’s best-selling overland ground tent for a family for a good reason. The Instant Cabin is one of the smaller “6-person” dome-style tents out there. It relies on its versatility, intuitive setup, and “cozy comfort” to win the hearts and minds of car campers and festival-goers for years.

It goes up quicker (in less than two minutes) and less than five minutes to get it stuffed into the carrying bag, “pleasing harried parents for whom convenience is king.” It relies on telescoping, pre-attached poles, and a sturdy roof to make the setup simpler and faster than any other similarly sized tent. It’s not for backpacking but perfect for both off-roading and camping. It’s spacious enough for four full-size twin-air mattresses and a toddler air mattress in between with room for luggage, as well as plenty of entrance space to use as a play area.

To protect against rain, the tent uses a solid, coated polyester roof. However, some Amazon reviewers have complained that it doesn’t always protect well, and waterproof coating deteriorates with time—but you can always buy a rain fly accessory. But it does an excellent job cutting downwind on a breezy and chilly night.

Pros:

  • Spacious and very affordable
  • Simple but comfortable design
  • Durable fabric that withstands harsh conditions

Cons:

  • It does not come with a rainfly
  • Too heavy to carry while hiking
Coleman Sundome Tent Image

Coleman Sundome Tent

★★★★★ (4.5)

Coleman is the “everyone brand” for tents, and its Sundome Tent is small but mighty and very affordable. Handy? Fun? Yes, yes. It doesn’t seem that the Sundome is any different. It’s a comfortable tent with a fair price tag. Sure, there are better tents of this size available, but they still come at a higher price. Despite its overall lack of features, it’s a highly durable tent that should have no problem standing up to years of use.

It comes in a two to six-person version for smaller groups/families. We think the Sundome 4 is best suitable with groups of three and a dog, While the 6-person version is perfect for four campers with enough space for gear or supplies and to move around comfortably for summertime adventures. The tent was among the easiest to set up and take down. It’s also easy to haul from the car to the campsite and store when not in use. 

The Sundome Tent checks many of the boxes that campers are looking for in an Overland ground tent. Though it’s not the most well-built or wet weather protected, it would be a solid companion for warm-weather camping. Additionally, unlike premium models, the Sundome is very limited in terms of storage. It features fewer mesh pockets to store things like your phone, wallet, or keys in to keep them off the ground.

Pros:

  • Includes a rain fly
  • Great ventilation
  • Lightweight, easy to put up and down
  • Zippered opening to run an electrical cord

Cons:

  • Poor wet weather performance
  • The smaller version is just too flimsy
Desert & Fox Backpacking Camping Tent Image

Desert & Fox Backpacking Camping Tent

★★★★★ (4.2)

Price Tested: $56.99 USD

The Desert & Fox Camping Tent is ideal for the committed car camper that takes the occasional weekend in the backcountry or the desert. The interior is spacious and cozy and has two doors that make it easy to use with couples. Although it’s designed to accommodate three people—we found that it’s most comfortable for 1-2 adults with gear and a dog. The entire tent looks like it’s made of good material and construction. It’s probably the best tent for desert camping as it can resist extreme climate conditions. 

We were pleasantly impressed by how well this tent handled “moderate rain with not a single leak” and “35 mph winds at 29 degrees”. The poles didn’t bend, or sag and the rain fly was tight and firm through it all. With all the windows closed, it was still unexpectedly warm inside. It has two good vents near the top, allowing sufficient ventilation to get through. 

We love the color and craftsmanship! It is very lightweight and sturdy, small, and easy to carry. Though it’s not as easy to set up as the Coleman Tents, we just don’t care if we had to spend a few more minutes setting it up. It’s still a great tent that’s well put together as very much expensive ones.

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Light duty but well made
  • Good zips and poles and tie-outs.
  • The rain fly seems to work well.

Cons:

  • It does not come with a footprint
Moon Lence Camping Tent Image

Moon Lence Camping Tent

★★★★★ (4.1)

Price Tested: $83.45 USD

If you want a pop-up tent to create a cozy lounge area in your backyard or for shelter on a car camping trip, this instant overland ground tent from Moon Lence will accommodate up to four people in the warmer part of the year. Because of its ease of setup (pull it out of the bag, flip the poles down, pop the top mechanism down until it clicked, and it’s done), the tent is ideal for first-time campers and people who are unfamiliar with tents. The tent is fully freestanding, so you can set it up and move it around literally anywhere.

There are two-entry doors with screen windows and mesh and panels for privacy and protection. Ventilation should not be a problem; its mesh windows make it suitable for warm weather. However, it would not last long in a strong wind. We also didn’t that it’s not particularly tall; the peak height is 133 cm.

The tent has plenty of room to store things. It features a couple of small wall pockets for cellphone, keys, and a hook on the ceiling and still has room for two adults or parents with two kids assuming that you have a car nearby to keep the rest of your stuff.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Water-resistance is pretty well
  • Incredibly easy to use.
  • sturdy SBS zippers

Cons:

  • Not very tall
  • Fiberglass poles

Our Gound Tent Recommendation

Our Recommendation

For this guide, we looked at the best overland ground tent currently available on the market. We researched manufacturer websites, social signals, Amazon, expert reviews on other websites to give you a real-time recommendation on the best tents. We determined the top contenders while sifting through the dozens of overland ground tents and narrowing our checklist to four products presently available on Amazon and we think the Coleman Instant Cabin Tent is the best car-camping tent available now for family, and the MOON LENCE Pop Up 4 is the best choice for two people.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ground Tents

How to insulate a tent for winter camping?

We highlight the essential steps on how to insulate a tent for winter camping. If you nail these down, you’ll keep safe and have an excellent time on your cold-weather camping trip. They are:
• Smaller is better:
• Pick the right campsite
• Choose insulation materials and a suitable sleeping pad
• Heat the Air
• Always pack a hot water bottle
• Wearing proper cold-weather clothing
• Insulating the sides and roof of your tent
• Insulate the tent floor

How to stay warm camping in a tent

Please note, the highlighted tips are stared toward family and car campers rather than campers who need to pack small. Here are our recommendations on how to stay warm camping in a tent:
• Don’t wait until you feel cold to layer up
• Thermals are big and clever
• Keep your head covered
• Sleeping bag liners can help
• Invest in some disposable heat packs
• Portable heaters should be used with care
• Prepare tomorrow’s clothing
• Don’t go to bed cold

What to bring on a camping trip?

Your camping list can differ depending on the kind of camping and activities, the locations, and time of year, as well as the duration of your trip. To fits your specific requirements, add or remove items to suit your needs. These are essentials items for your car camping checklist:
• Overland ground tent
• Sleeping bag and pillow
• Sleeping mat or camp bed
• Table and camping chairs
• Camping Cookware
• Mallet, spare pegs, and pullers
• Portable charger, extra batteries, cables
• Entertainment
• Torch and head torch
• Tools & Repair kit
• Water storage
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Camping Hygiene and Toiletries
• Air pump if needed for an airbed Windbreak

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