Guide To Buying The Best Tent For Hot Weather

Introduction

Camping in the summertime is a beautiful and rewarding experience, especially when you arrive with the right equipment. Tents in particularly play a vital role in this, as when in hot weather they can quickly become extremely uncomfortable to live in without the right levels of ventilation and forward planning. 

This guide highlights the essential elements and aspects that need to be considered when buying a tent suitable for summer camping in hot weather, and reviews what we consider to be five of best products currently available. 

Space and capacity

When it comes to selecting a tent, one of the first considerations to take into account is its size. As especially in hot weather, having adequate space is essential to being comfortable.

Having too many people and too much equipment tightly packed together causes body heat to quickly build up, and further add to what is likely to be an already high summer temperature. So take the time to consider your group size and the additional space required for equipment storage, before choosing your person capacity. 

Unfortunately there is no industry standard to define this, as each manufacturer has a slightly different method of calculation, however the suggested number of people is usually close to its absolute maxim and therefore will a very tight fit when full.

So, particularly for hot weather camping, consider up-sizing the capacity by at least one person. 

The following factors directly influence the size of tent you will need:

  • How many people are in your party?
  • Is anyone in your party claustrophobic?
  • Are there any larger-sized people?
  • How much equipment will need to stored?
  • Will there be children and/or pets? 

Height

Having enough headroom, particularly if members of your group are tall, can be an important factor; as too much time spent hunched over and crouching will eventually lead to various degrees of uncomfortable back and neck pain. We discuss this in greater detail here, in our ‘Tall Camping Guide’.

However as hopefully you will be spending most of your time outside, and primarily just sleeping in your tent, this may not be a primary concern. Nonetheless it is worth considering, along with the highest item of equipment that may need to be stored away.

Materials

Tents come in a range of materials, but only a few are suitable for hot weather where aspects such as airflow, breathability, and heat-retention become extremely important.

But how do you know which materials are right? 

Canvas and cotton fabrics

When relating to cotton fabrics in tents, primarily we are referring to canvas materials, which despite a very obvious weight increase, is an excellent choice of fabric for a summer tent due to its superior insulating qualities over other man-made polyesters, that help to keep the interior cooler for longer when in hot weather. 

Canvas is a very breathable fabric and allows plenty of air to circulate through it. It also absorbs water and moisture; lessening the risk of condensation. 

Pros:

  • Absorbs moisture and eliminates condensation
  • Better insulation to keep hot air out
  • Increased airflow

Cons:

  • Heavy fabric 
  • Require a lot more effort to haul and pitch
  • High-maintenance material that needs time to dry before packing away

Polyester or nylon materials

Polyester is the most common material used on tents, as its cheaper and lighter to carry than canvas for example. Polyester fabrics are also more resistant to mold, mildew, and tears, making it easier to maintain. 

The downside is that these materials are poor insulators, meaning that tents can get can extremely hot inside. Natural airflow is also very restricted and without the right levels of ventilation, condensation can build up inside the tent and puddles may start to form.

Pros:

  • More affordable
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Low-maintenance 
  • Resistant to mold, mildew, and tears
  • Easier to pitch when compared to canvas models

Cons:

  • Poor insulators
  • Risk of condensation 
  • Lack of natural airflow

Hybrid materials

Poly-cotton tents merge polyester with cotton to create a more efficient hybrid tent material. This fabric provides the benefits of being lightweight and water-absorbing, while also providing improved insulation qualities, along with improved resistance to mold, mildew, and tearing. 

Pros:

  • Provides similar benefits to canvas materials
  • More resistant to mildew, mold, and tears

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • More substantial and harder to transport than polyester

Ventilation

No matter what material you choose, the best tent for hot summer weather needs to have adequate ventilation, and therefore must have doors and side openings that can be securely left open during both the day and night. 

Larger tents may have two sets of doors to provide cross ventilation, and most with have openable mesh panels as described below on opposite sides of the tents walls. 

Mesh panels

Tents suitable for summer camping need to come equipped with openable mesh panels. Mesh is an open-weave material that lets air pass through it whilst protecting the inside of the tent from annoying bugs and debris’.

Generally speaking, the hotter the climate the more openable vents you will require. In some circumstances the majority of the tents outer lining can be made of mesh and simply act as a fly screen.

Sun Protection

When camping, we aim to spend as much time as possible outdoors, and protecting ourselves from the sun’s UV rays becomes an essential part of any summertime activity.

However your tent also needs protection; as prolonged sun exposure is equally damaging to its exposed surfaces where they can become more susceptible to tears and compromise its durability. 

What can you do to shield yourself from the sun?

  • Use a UV protection wash on your tent before camping trips
  • Consider a more resistant polyester tent 
  • Aim for light colors to reflect a portion of the sunlight
  • Pitch your tent in a shady area

Weight

The lighter your tent, the easier it is to pitch and transport, which becomes particularly important when on hiking with equipment, let alone when its hot.  

For this reason, sadly canvas tents are in no way suitable.

Keep the overall weight in mind while shopping, and try not to burden yourself with something too heavy.

Pitching in hot weather 

Most modern tents are very simple to pitch, and often only require extra help when it is a large model. That being said, when its hot, the more hands the better.

So consider the size carefully and stay within the limitations of your group and the people that will be available to help if required.

Waterproofing

Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean its not going to rain. Humid weather encourages thunderstorms, and can produce fast and heavy down doors. 

Look for a tent with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. It should have seam-sealed construction and a bathtub-style bottom to prevent water from leaking in through the ground. 

Price

Of course price is a major influencer, and if you’re investing in a long-term tent you should aim to buy once and invest more than say if you’re planning on a single trip, where you might opt for something a little cheaper.


Best tents for hot summer weather 

1. Coleman Sundome 6 Review

Product Dimensions – 10ft x10ft x 5’10 inch | Product Weight – 16lbs 10 oz | Capacity – 6-person | Material – Polyester/Mesh | Interior Usable Space – 10ft | Number of Doors – One | Ventilation Panels – Yes | Peak Height – 5’10 inch | Sun Protection – Yes

Sale
Coleman Dome Camping Tent | Sundome Outdoor Tent with Easy...
  • WeatherTec System patented welded floors and inverted seams keep water out, Spacious interior, room to stand and move
  • Dome design makes setup quick and easy, 10 minutes , Snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for easy setup, Rainfly awning for shade and rain protection
  • Floor vent for maximum ventilation, Large windows help cool the tent, Storage pockets keep gear organized
  • Insta-Clip pole attachments stand up to winds, 10 ft. x 10 ft. (3 m x 3 m), fits six people or two queen airbeds

  • The Sundome 6 is part of Coleman’s classic Sundome series.
  • It offers a 10’x10′ dome design that sleeps up to six people.
  • A large door makes it easy to enter and exit, while also allowing for better airflow to keep the inside colder. 
  • This tent has mesh vents along the roof that provide better airflow, which is ideal for camping in hot weather.
  • This tent is easy to pitch and features an electrical access port for wiring and plugs. 
  • Its double windows keep the inside cooler, even in extreme temperatures, and make this an excellent tent for summer.
  • Coleman tents reduce condensation and help to keep you chilled while camping in hot conditions. 

2. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent Review

Product Dimensions – 92″x56″x43″ | Product Weight – 4lbs 12oz | Capacity – 2-person | Material – Polyester/Mesh/Aluminum | Interior Usable Space – 35 sq ft | Number of Doors – 2 | Ventilation Panels – Yes | Peak Height – 43 inch | Sun Protection – Yes

Sale
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent (Citron Green)
  • Two door / Two vestibule layout
  • Two person layout
  • Three season, fre standing tent
  • Tent fly ventilation windows

  • The Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person tent offers a polyester and mesh design that keeps you colder inside.
  • Its two-door entry allows for better ventilation, and its three-season style works well in hot temperatures. 
  • Two people fit comfortably, and built-in tent fly windows give you plenty of ventilation to prevent overheating.
  • With 35 sq ft of internal space, there’s plenty of room for a couple though the 43-inch peak height means having to bend slightly.
  • This tent includes clip-pole attachments that make it a lightweight choice.
  • It has interior mesh storage pockets to hold your belongings and a shock-corded aluminum frame.

3. Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Person Tent Review

Product Dimensions – 58x88x38 inches | Product Weight – 5.8 oz | Capacity – 2-person | Material – Polyester/Mesh/Aluminum | Interior Usable Space – 31 ft | Number of Doors – 2 | Ventilation Panels – Yes | Peak Height – 38 inch | Sun Protection – Yes

Sale
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent - Copper/Rust
  • There's no assembly frustration with our Zephyr Tent series; this free-standing, aluminum two-pole design can be setup in no time, with pole clips that quickly snap over tent poles
  • Polyester tent fly, with 1500mm coating, resists water and UV damage while adding two vestibules for extra storage
  • Great ventilation with two mesh doors and entire mesh walls
  • Fully equipped with #8 zippers, mesh storage pockets, gear loft, aluminum stakes and guy ropes

  • Alps Mountaineering Zephyr offers plenty of headroom, with a 38-inch center height.
  • It includes meshing ventilation points that increase airflow and prevent overheating inside. 
  • This two-person tent offers dual doors that make it easier to enter and exit.
  • The extra door encourages better cross breeze and keeps the interior much more refreshing than with a single door design. 
  • Set-up is hassle-free with this tent thanks to its free-standing aluminum two-pole structure that pitches in mere minutes.
  • A polyester tent-fly is UV resistant to protect you and the integrity of your tent. 

4. Hyke & Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tent Review

Product Dimensions – 88x35x42 inches | Product Weight – 4lbs | Capacity – 2-person | Material – Polyester | Interior Usable Space – 4.5ft | Number of Doors – 1| Ventilation Panels – No | Peak Height – 45 inch | Sun Protection – No

Hyke & Byke Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent - 3 Season...
  • 2 Person Tent for Kids and Adults: This cold weather tent comes with a waterproof PU 2000 rain fly, PU 5000 bathtub floor and tent footprint; Keeps you safe and dry from harsh weather conditions
  • Camping Gear and Equipment: Our 54 x 88 x 45 inch ultralight tent packs to a compact 17 x 6 carrying bag making it a great addition to your backpacking gear; Spacious and versatile 3 season tent
  • Dome Tent Accessories: Included in this set is a footprint floor cover, aluminum tent stakes, stake press, removable gear loft, reflective guylines and convenient storage bags for every component
  • Leisure Time: Whether you're thru-hiking or taking a long road trip you can always choose what to bring along; Minimum trail weight (rainfly, poles, footprint) of our outdoor tent is only 3lb 4.3oz

  • Hyke & Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tent is the perfect choice for couples and fits two people nicely.
  • It’s lightweight and offers durable construction so that it will last for ages. 
  • This tent is easy to pitch thanks to its two clip poles that set-up in minutes.
  • It’s waterproof so you can forget about getting wet while you camp, and it offers a breathable design for enhanced airflow. 
  • Complete with a bathtub floor and taped floor seams, this tent keeps the elements outside.
  • Hyke & Byke Yosemite packs away small, so you can carry it with you while you’re on the move.
  • A lifetime warranty means peace of mind and assures that your tent is the highest of quality. 

5. Eureka Suite Dream Review

Product Dimensions – 7’x6’3″ | Product Weight – 7lbs 2oz| Capacity – 2-person | Material – Polyester | Interior Usable Space – 39.4ft | Number of Doors – 2 | Ventilation Panels – Yes | Peak Height – 4ft | Sun Protection – No

  • Eureka Suite Dream 2-Person tent has a freestyle rectangular-plus dome design.
  • Its rectangular floor gives you more room at the rear and fits a queen-sized air bed, in addition to your gear. 
  • A large-opening rear door includes two air vents for increased breathability.
  • It’s polyester material is lightweight, while its mesh windows keep you colder in hot weather. 
  • You have plenty of room to organize and store your gear thanks to the mesh pockets and gear loft that sits overhead.
  • Hiking is easy thanks to its zip-up carry bag that lets you pack your tent away with ease.

For those looking for a winter tent, we have a complete guide here.

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