If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best dome tent is, then we recommend the Coleman Four-Person Sundome Tent as the best one.
If you are newer to camping, or even if you’ve done your share, you might wonder what sets a dome tent apart from other styles such as cabin tents. The best dome pop-up tents are generally better at withstanding wind and, if you get an excellent model, even strong storms.
Thanks to their more aerodynamic design, the sloped shape of a dome shelter can often be an asset. In strong winds or downpours where diverting water away from the top of the tent is needed, you’ll most likely want a dome-style tent.
In this article, we’re going to review the following dome tents:
- ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person Dome Tent
- Coleman Sundome Four-Person Dome Tent
- CORE Six-Person Dome Tent
- NTK Cherokee GT 8-to-9 Person Waterproof Family Camping Dome Tent
- Chillbo 2-3-Person Dome Tent
There are few critical qualities in dome tents. Specifically, you’ll want to look for, because of their intended use. When you keep in mind they are suitable for camping in conditions where it may rain or get breezy, you’ll have a better idea of what to buy.
Sturdy Poles and Ground Spikes
Weather can change so quickly, you want to be prepared for a sudden onset of wind. Especially if it begins to rain, you’ll want your rain fly to stay in place. Moreover, you definitely don’t want an entire corner of your tent coming up out of the ground. Even if your model comes with flimsy ground stakes, you can often upgrade to stronger versions that stay put better.
Waterproof fabric is defined by a hydrostatic head rating. To be considered water-resistant, a tent must have a minimum of 1000mm. The higher the score, naturally the more waterproof your shelter will be.
Buying a tent with a minimum of 2000mm is generally a safe bet if you want a water-resistant shelter. For fully waterproof fabric, in the range of 2500mm to 3000mm is what you’ll need.
You may live in an area where it doesn’t rain all that often. However, on a single night with unexpected rain, you can find yourself miserable and all of your gear soaking wet. My personal recommendation is to get a tent with at least a 2000mm rating.
Space Vs. Weight
It’s important to think ahead about what sort of camping you will be doing. If you plan to hike long distances, every extra pound of weight a tent adds to your backpack will be more tiring. Sometimes heftier weight tents can be sturdier, though. So, you need to consider what your plans are.
If you’ll be doing a 30-mile hike, absolutely look for a lightweight tent. If you’re camping in the backyard at a rented a campsite, something a little heavier and sturdy with more warmth or waterproofing can be an excellent option.
Three Season or Four Season
There is usually a notable difference between the cost of three-season and four-season tents. Three-season tents are made for more airflow and with generally thinner fabrics. In my experience, they tend to cost far less. However, they are also noticeably less warm. Keep in mind, especially in wet conditions, hypothermia can happen even in summer.
A Four-season tent is more enclosed for warmth but provides less ventilation. Four-season tents are can often run hundreds of dollars more for a quality version. Hypothermia can be deadly, though. So, if you plan to camp in the winter, spend the extra money to keep yourself healthy and safe.
If you are possibly camping in temperatures that might freeze overnight, keep in mind aspects such as poles that are exposed and therefore could get wet and freeze. If you feel a hanging light is essential. Or perhaps a port for electrical cords at a campsite is vital to you.
Remember to look for these features. Make a list of what you might encounter while camping and what is most important to you. Then seek out a dome tent with features that accommodate those priorities.
Product Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
I’ve researched a handful of the best dome tents on the market right now and reviewed for you the highest-rated, most affordable, and best quality models for whatever camping adventure you’re planning to set out on.
Best Tent for Two People: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person Dome Tent
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Two-Person Dome Tent is ideal for two average-sized or smaller individuals. What I love about this dome tent is that roughly half the walls are on each side are made of mesh, allowing for fantastic airflow. The rain fly is UV-resistant and stays in place well.The pole clips that grab onto the aluminum poles snap into place super easily, making the set-up fast and straightforward. The two doors and two vestibules make moving around and getting in and out of the tent easier (and cleaner if you use only one for entering).
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx two-person measures 5′ x 7’6” with a center height of 3’8”. It weighs just over five pounds. For a two-person tent, that’s relatively lightweight. I found this dome shelter to be ideal for one or two people on a standard camping or beginner-to-intermediate backpacking trip.
- Incredibly easy set-up.
- Two doorways for easy/clean entry and exit.
- Interior storage pockets and “loft.”
- UV-resistant, water-resistant fabric.
- Sealed seams to keep water out.
- 75D 185T poly taffeta floor.
- Extra-large zippers.
- Two vestibules to help keep water away from doors.
- Low center height.
- For larger individuals, this is more of a single-person tent.
Best Tent for up to Four People: Coleman Four-Person Sundome Tent
The Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent is one of the most popular and highly rated dome tents, and for a good reason. This tried-and-true tent comes from a company that’s been churning out quality camping gear for decades. When you have a four-and-a-half-star rating tent with over 2,500 reviews, you’re almost certainly getting an excellent product.I love the snag-free continuous pole sleeves on this pop-up. With older versions of dome tents snagging poles could be a massive headache. The set-up on this shelter is a breeze and so fast. The material is sturdy, of good quality, and the screen windows—including one on the ceiling—make for excellent views when it’s not raining.
The value of this tent is incredible. The Coleman brand includes a one-year warranty with this tent. If you just need a backup shelter for an RV trip, are camping for a few days in a campground, or are testing out spending the night with your kids in the backyard, this is a fantastic buy.
- Simple set-up.
- Airflow vent for keeping the floor dry.
- Quality rain fly.
- Three color options.
- Also available in two and six-person sizes.
- Lots of vents for airflow and meshed open roof view.
- Hook on the ceiling for hanging a small lantern.
- Fantastic price.
- Stakes are of average quality, it’s best to invest in sturdier versions.
- Low center height.
Best Tent for Four to Six People: CORE Six-Person Dome Tent
I think the CORE 6-Person Dome Tent is an excellent option for mid-to-smaller sized families or those who want a little extra room for gear. This dome tent can fit a queen-sized air mattress and plenty of interior organization. I loved the mesh, overhead “loft” style storage area to keep small, lightweight items off the floor.After inspecting this tent, I found the roominess and quality to be fantastic for the price. With several reviews raving about this pop-up withstanding even heavy rains in national parks, it’s a pretty safe bet without breaking the bank.
This shelter measures 11 x 9 feet and has a center height of six feet. So, it’s roomy for items like bags, and tall for anyone under six-feet tall. I found the set-up to take only about 10 minutes is incredibly easy if you’ve ever dealt with a tent before. Overall, this is a fantastic dome tent for anyone who wants a bit of room and a decent quality product for under $100.
- Highly water-resistant fabric.
- Fully-closable access port for electrical cords.
- Center hook for a hanging lantern.
- Interior pockets and mesh “loft” for storing small items.
- Mesh ceiling vent and floor vent.
- Some complaints with zipper.
Best Large Capacity Waterproof Tent: NTK Cherokee GT 8-to-9 Person Waterproof Family Camping Dome Tent
The NTK Cherokee GT Eight-to-Nine Person Dome Camping Tent is one of my favorites for its spaciousness and highly waterproof rating. This version of the NTK’s brand does come in smaller sizes if you like the features but don’t need a nine-person tent. The roominess of this one is fantastic, though.I love this micro-thin “NO-SEE-UM®” polyester mesh fabric that is now used in some of the better tents, and praised by other ntk tent reviews as well. It helps keep even the smallest mosquitos from getting inside. Yet your view remains excellent compared to some of the older tent screens.
This shelter has a pin and ring system that makes for fast and simple set-up. The nine-person version of this tent weighs 18.7 pounds and has a floor size of 10 x 12 feet. It’s 6.1 feet height at the center of the dome. This makes for lots of room to keep your items from touching the side walls (to keep them dry), and anyone under 6 feet can stand completely upright.
- Covered for lifetime replacement of poles.
- Available in sizes as small as two-person, up to nine-person tents.
- 2500mm waterproof rating.
- Two doors for smoother and cleaner entry/exit.
- Anti-fungal fabric.
- Polyurethane-laminated full rain fly.
- Nearly invisible mesh bug-barrier screens.
- CPAI-84 fire-retardant rain fly.
- Thin material, not ideal for cold weather.
- A little costly if you’re on an extremely tight budget.
Best Tent for Festivals or Colorful Patterns: Chillbo 2-3-Person Dome Tent
The Chillbo Two-Person Dome Tent for Backpacking, Music Festivals, and Camping can fit up to three people if you’re comfortable with close quarters. The ratings on this pop-up dome tent are fantastic (82 percent at five-stars). Additionally, this shelter comes in six different patterns to select from if you’re using it for hunting (with the camouflage option) or camping at music festivals such as Coachella.Don’t be fooled by the lighthearted patterns, though. This dome tent has a robust 2000mm waterproof rating, a full-coverage rain fly, and is sturdy in storms. It’s also lightweight, making it an excellent option for beginner to intermediate backpackers. With cross-wound poles, it’s built to withstand the elements.
The interior dimensions are 7’1” x 6’7” x 4’3” and it only weighs about eight pounds. The easy set-up is another bonus of this fun tent. I personally like that this shelter gives you options besides standard tent colors if you’re interested in that, yet still has quality tent features such as water-resistant sealed seams.
- 2000mm waterproof rating.
- Outstanding reviews.
- Quite affordable.
- Available in six colorful patterns.
- Invisible mesh to keep bugs out.
- Interior pockets for storage of gadgets.
- Easy to set up quickly.
- The company is based in the USA.
- Need additional tarping for the floor of the tent.
- A small ratio of people had problems with the quality of poles.
To Wrap It Up, My Personal Recommendation
Naturally, whatever dome tent you decide on will depend on your particular situation, region, and the number of people camping. However, if I had to pick an overall, general-purpose favorite among these, I would say the best dome tent is the Coleman Four-Person Sundome Tent.
The sheer number of outstanding ratings on this shelter, and my personal experience with it being excellent make this a tent I can generally recommend with confidence. In this review, I mentioned the four-person size. However, Coleman makes the Sundome in a few versions. So, if you need a six-person tent, they make it. If you want a smaller two-person tent, they make this model in that size, too.
Regardless of the shelter you select, make sure you check out some of my recommendations for the best gear to bring with you. It can be easy to forget a crucial item when packing for a trip into the wild, such as flashlights, batteries, fold-up chairs, proper sleeping bags, and emergency items. Do your research, pack wisely, and you will fall in even deeper love with the beauty of being outside.