In case you’re wondering, the best tent for high winds is the Kelty Trail Ridge 6.
If you want to find the best tent for high winds then there are a few things you should consider. In this guide, I’ll teach the key factors to look at when choosing a tent. I’ll also show you five of my favorite high-wind options.
Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
Best Tent For High Winds: Our Top 5 Choices
- Kelty Trail Ridge 6 Tent (Best Tent Overall For Windy Conditions)
- MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent (Best Option For Backpackers)
- Eureka Alpenlite 2XT Tent (Best For Experienced Campers)
- ALPS Mountaineering Taurus Tent (Best For People On A Budget)
- NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent (Best For Large Groups)
Kelty Trail Ridge 6 Tent
My top pick is the best tent for high winds is the Kelty Trail Ridge 6. I’ve used many Kelty tents over the years and, if one of my sons had been born a girl, I’d likely have a kid named Kelty by now. With the consistent quality that they provide, it’s no surprise that they’ve been in business for over 65 years.
Kelty’s Trail Ridge 6 is either a higher-priced budget tent or low-priced mid-tier tent. In any case, it provides great value for its cost and is a strong choice for any campers.
It’s got a great amount of space that any group will love. The durable rainfly wraps around the entire tent, shielding you from any kind of wind. It easily packs into the neat “carry cube bag,” and is even made in the United States!
- The dome-shaped design guarantees high weather resistance, even at high wind speeds.
- Aluminum poles that won’t shatter and tear up the tent.
- 80 sq. ft. interior, providing a lot of room for campers and their gear.
- Completely rain-proof, even during heavy pours.
- Four average-sized adults could fit inside with room to spare, but six or more is where it starts to get cramped. It’s very spacious for me and my two sons.
- Extreme weather can bend the aluminum poles.
- Warranty only provides discount coupons rather than replacing the unit.
Best for: Groups of 4 who want a large, strong tent that’s so reliable, it’ll become part of the family.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent
This budget tent is a great option for those who want to go camping in a high-wind area without breaking the bank. Its geometric shape and sporty color scheme also bring a nice aesthetic element to the table.
There are quite a few advantages that this tent holds over the others, but it does have its fair share of cons as well.
- The tent is very lightweight, making it easy to carry for miles without breaking a sweat.
- It’s very compact and even comes with a compression bag for easy transport.
- Good ventilation takes care of condensation, keeping you dry no matter what.
- Spacious for one to two people, but may get cramped with anything beyond that.
- Easy and intuitive setup.
- Durable poles.
- Affordability isn’t an issue with this tent as it can accommodate even the most modest of budgets.
- Stakes aren’t perfect. Consider upgrading to MSR’s Groundhog stakes which are perfect for high-wind camping.
- It could get crowded for large individuals or couples.
Best for: big backpackers who want awesome wind protection, or couples who like to cuddle.
Eureka Alpenlite 2XT Tent
Like the Kelty, the Alpenlite 2XT is treading the line between budget and mid-tier. That being said, it’s still affordable for most campers with a decent budget. I’ve always thought highly of Eureka tents, and this one didn’t disappoint.
It’s a bit heavy for my taste but its durability and weather resistance make up for that — at least in my opinion. My sons also liked the yellow accent on it. They said it’s “cool.”
While I agree that the tent is stylish, its color also serves a practical purpose. The yellow ensures that you can see the tent, making it so you don’t lose your tent at night or in the woods.
While this doesn’t win “best tent for high winds,” it’s still a strong option for the fiscally responsible.
- Six poles keep the tent secured in high winds.
- Produced by a trusted manufacturer that was founded in 1895.
- Four-season rating for year-round use.
- Good for camping trips in cold weather.
- The multiple-vent system prevents any condensation issues with this tent.
- Durable construction.
- The a-frame design is more vulnerable to wind than dome-shaped tents in the same price range.
- Heavier than most of the tents on this list weighing in at about seven pounds when fully packed.
Best for: seasoned campers who want ultimate protection against all the elements.
ALPS Mountaineering Taurus Tent
While it does have its shortcomings in various areas, you can’t argue with the price point. It’s not the best, but it’s by far the most affordable tent that manages to perform at a high level.
Yes, there may be better tents on the market. But, in this price range, the Taurus is the most durable option available today.
- Much like the Trail Ridge 6, the Taurus is dome-shaped. Therefore, it can stand up to high-wind conditions with no issues.
- Incredibly cheap — likely lower in cost than routine teeth cleanings at your dentist.
- Loft storage for small gear and other personal items.
- Free-standing, two-pole design means this tent can be set up in a rush.
- The top rainfly covers the entire tent, giving great wind protection.
- Poor seal-work on the door zipper which could lead to rain getting inside the tent. This is not an issue if the rainfly is used.
- The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is lighter, more durable, and comes with aluminum poles. This might be an option if you want serious wind protection and can shell out for a premium tent.
Best for: small groups who want a lightweight, durable tent that’s easy to set up and great against rain and wind.
NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent
While not nearly as low-cost as the Taurus, the Arizona GT is still one of the more affordable tents on our list. If you’re trying to fit a larger camping group into a single tent without spending too much then the GT is a great choice.
Also, its persistence even in the harshest of weather conditions is nothing to scoff at. This tent is so good, many people use it for extended periods without any issues arising.
- You can fit as many as nine to ten people in this tent without things getting too cramped. Needless to say, it’s practically a mansion for me and my boys.
- The streamlined design allows it to endure strong rain and wind without an issue.
- Good sealing will keep you dry even during heavy downpours.
- Suitable for long-term use as it’s both spacious and affordable.
- Pin-and-ring system allows for a quick setup. Unlike other tents, it doesn’t require a Ph.D. to set up.
- Windows only close from the outside meaning you’ll get wet if you have to shut them due to rain.
- Price is higher, as expected from such a large tent.
- It does have a large surface area, so make sure you angle it into the wind to reduce wind impact.
Best for: large groups/families who want a tent that’ll beat the wind for years to come.
Finding The Best Tent For High Winds: A Buying Guide
You’ve seen what I like, but how do you determine what you like?
Next, I’ll explain what I look at when inspecting tents.
The first thing that you should consider when choosing a tent is its weight. Usually, larger tents will be more resistant to high winds, so keep that in mind. They’ll also provide more interior space. This is important depending on how many people you bring.
Despite that, heavier tents may make it harder to transport them over long distances.
If you aren’t going to stray very far from your car then the weight shouldn’t be too impactful. However, if you’re going to be backpacking, then you should avoid biting off more than you can chew.
Headroom is a privilege, but there are some occasions where you’ll need to sacrifice it for the greater good. The lower your tent is, the more resistant it’ll be against strong gusts of wind. If you have enough room to fix a lantern to your ceiling then that’s good enough.
You can try to go for taller if you don’t feel comfortable in a shorter tent. Remember – the higher you go, the more vulnerable you’ll be to wind. To summarize, it’s a trade-off between headroom and wind-resistance.
The shape of your tent is a key element to look at when trying to survive high-wind conditions. Dome-shaped tents are far more aerodynamic than A-frame or single-wall tents.
Their shape will catch less wind and thus provide more structural integrity. If the shape of your tent is elongated then having its narrow end face the wind can reduce the impact of the wind.
It’s always nice to have more doors. But, if you’re trying to endure high wind speeds, then it’s wise to stick with a tent that only has one entrance.
Sure, it’ll be harder for you to get into the tent, but it’ll also be harder for the wind to get into the tent. That’s a worthwhile trade-off in my eyes.
Check to see if the tent you’re using has sealed door seams as this will make it more resistant to the wind as well as rain. Any windows should also have the ability to close otherwise wind will make its way into your tent that way.
Another factor that you should pay close attention to is the poles. Tents with more poles will be more stable even in strong winds. That being said, other elements of the poles matter beyond the headcount.
For instance, the material of your poles can play a big role in keeping your tent secured. Aluminum poles are the best choice for high-wind situations. They’re both lightweight and durable.
Fiberglass poles are cheaper but also heavier. Fiberglass poles are cheaper but also heavier. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re setting your tent up right next to your car. Yet, if you’re hiking to a camping spot that’s prone to high winds then it could be a bad choice.
Not only are they heavier to carry, but fiberglass poles also more prone to shatter. When broken, poles could send sharp fragments ripping through your tent. In contrast, aluminum poles just split in half, which is a far safer situation.
V-shape stakes are the best choice when it comes to high-wind areas as they’ll be able to keep their footing even during strong gusts. They’re harder to get into the ground, but that extra effort will be well worth it when the wind picks up.
As nice as it’d be to get a gold-plated tent that was resistant to EF5 tornadoes, not everyone has that kind of money to burn on camping. That being the case, you should always factor in the price when choosing a tent for yourself.
Depending on your camping style, it might be worthwhile buying a premium tent. However, compromise with a lower cost option if buying a premium tent will put you in a bad situation.
Pick a tent that fits in with your budget, and don’t compromise the health of your bank account over a fancier option.
After factoring in all the criteria, I chose the Kelty Trail Ridge 6 as the best tent for high winds. It wasn’t as affordable as the Taurus, nor as spacious as the Arizona GT, but its design was just too perfect for windy conditions.
First of all, the Kelty tent is dome-shaped. This reduces the amount of wind that can impact it. Secondly, it has aluminum poles that are far lighter to carry and also safer during extreme weather.
Furthermore, the interior is a spacious 80 square feet! This makes it easy for me and my boys to relax without feeling cramped — even after taking our gear inside.
The heaviest of downpours wasn’t enough to get us wet, and we didn’t see so much as a drop of rain inside while using it.
Some might say that I have a personal bias towards the Trail Ridge 6 due to my love for Kelty products.
Regardless, this is an affordable tent packed with features to make camping fun — and that’s a win in my book.