What’s The Best Tent For Hot Weather? Here’s How To Stay Cool

tent in a desert

For reference, the best hot weather tent is the Coleman Darkroom Tent.

Camping can be a blast, but getting a good night’s sleep in the middle of a scorching summer can prove quite challenging. And, there are few things worse than waking up in a hot, stuffy tent-turned-sauna in a pool of sweat.

To fix this, make sure you get a tent that’s optimized for hot weather. Tent material, ventilation, and even construction are some key elements that determine if a tent is good or bad for warm weather.

Fortunately, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide that’ll teach you everything you need to know about hot weather tents. To start, here are five of my top picks for summer tents.

Best Tent For Hot Weather: Our Top Recommendations

Coleman Darkroom Tent

Coleman Darkroom Tent
When it comes to hot weather, Coleman has always been a leader in my book. Coleman crafts their tents with high temperatures in mind. They ensure that campers can be comfortable without breaking the bank.

This tent comes with DarkRoom technology, which blocks out 90% of the sun, making it easy to get some much-needed rest even after the sun comes up. This feature also reduces condensation by as much as 10%, keeping your tent dry and cozy.

Sometimes you stay up all night sitting around the campfire eating s’mores. Thankfully, this tent’s dim interior allows you to sleep in and recharge your batteries no matter how bright it is outside.

Pros:

  • Patented darkroom technology keeps most of the sun out – you can sleep in peace without any glare or damp spots disturbing your slumber
  • Rain fly and taped seams keep you dry even during heavy downpours, which is a big plus if you plan on camping in tropical climates
  • Comes with a carrying bag making it easy to pack everything up and put it in the trunk of your car — lying in wait for the next adventure
  • Setup is straightforward and usually takes my boys no more than a minute or two to get everything down
  • You get the legendary Coleman quality that comes from their decades of tent manufacturing experience

Cons:

  • Not the best in the rain, so bring a repair kit in case of a storm

Best for: families who want a high-tech tent that keeps you super-cool and lets you sleep in.

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7’x9′ Prota Canvas Cabin Tent Deluxe

white duck 7x9 prota canvas tent deluxe

Now, here’s something a little bit different. While most tents out there are made of synthetic materials, this one is made of canvas.

What does that mean?

Well, canvas is an excellent insulator. That means that it does a fantastic job of keeping you cool in the summer AND warm in the winter.

Canvas is breathable, which means this tent is well ventilated at all times. Plus, there are 4 huge windows and 2 doors, all of which have mesh screens. So, you’ll be able to get a nice breeze blowing, without letting any creepy crawlies in.

The main downside when it comes to canvas is its weight. This tent is a great example of that. It’s only a 4 person tent, and it weighs in at a whopping 66 lbs. Needless to say, backpackers will need to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Sunblock heat-resistant canvas roof regulates inner tent temperature
  • Water, mold and UV resistant finish
  • 4 windows and 2 doors with mesh provide great ventilation while keeping bugs out
  • Features a large awning in front of 1 of the doors
  • Shock-absorbing grounding system means it performs well in all kinds of weather
  • Ground sheet comes included

Cons:

  • Much heavier than other tents, weighing in at 66 lbs.
  • Quite a bit pricier than most tents of the same size

Best for: car campers who are looking for an outstanding eco-friendly tent, and don’t mind the extra weight.

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Wenzel Klondike Tent

Wenzel Klondike Tent
If you travel in large packs like the great wolves of the Klondike region of Canada, then you’ll love this tent.

Even if you’ve got a small group, this tent is excellent thanks to its spacious interior. I know that I’m guilty of enjoying some extra elbow room every once in a while!

This tent features a mesh roof, which is not only great for stargazing at night, but it also allows fresh air to circulate freely.

Wenzel’s Klondike tent can fit six people without things getting too cramped, and it’s still pretty affordable given the size.

Pros:

  • It has a considerable screen room where you can store gear that needs to dry off — it also helps with ventilation
  • The light blue color will reflect most of the sun and keep the temperature inside your tent cooler
  • Spacious enough to fit six people comfortably, meaning it’s practically a blue mansion for my boys and me
  • Mesh ceiling and windows provide sufficient airflow even during hot days
  • Seam sealed rain fly keeps you dry during summer showers
  • Although slightly pricier than the DarkRoom, it’s still affordable enough to fit anyone’s budget

Cons:

  • Avoid the gray and green variants of this tent as the darker colors will absorb more of the sun’s heat
  • The zippers aren’t well-protected, which means they’re prone to water leaks – this tent is not the best for rainy camping

Best for: experienced campers who want plenty of space, a screen room, and awesome ventilation.

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Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL Tent

Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL Tent
Pacific Breeze is my go-to company when it comes to beach tents. Most of their tents are designed with a coastal mindset, making them tailored to aquatic summer fun for my family and me.

I didn’t have any trouble setting up this tent, and once I got the sandbags filled, it stayed grounded like a rock despite the wind picking up around noon. It was pretty wobbly even in light winds though, before I filled the sandbags up.

This tent also comes with an extendable floor version, which isn’t too costly if you enjoy extra legroom.

Pros:

  • It only weighs 6.5 pounds and folds down to around 40 inches, so it’s super easy to travel with this tent
  • The large windows provide proper ventilation in hot temperatures
  • Sand pockets keep it grounded in high wind
  • The stakes that come with the tent are also of good quality
  • After using it extensively over the summer, it still looks good as new

Cons

  • For this price, I would expect a more versatile tent that’s fully enclosed so I can use it in the woods in addition to the beach
  • The open-concept design means bugs can get in as they please
  • When not using the sandbags, the tent can be blown over by strong winds

Best for: campers who want an easy-to-use, lightweight tent and don’t require lots of rain protection.

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Mountainsmith Morrison Tent

Mountainsmith Morrison Tent
Mountainsmith has been the recipient of quite a few camping gear awards over the years. I’ve reviewed their tents in the past, and they’ve all been pretty solid, this one included.

The only things that irked me about the Morrison are its disproportionate price and domed design. It does have some benefits, though, when you look at it from a hot weather context.

Its windows are big enough to get a nice breeze blowing through the tent on hot days at the campground. The outer material is also pretty breathable, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with condensation forming inside.

Pros:

  • Bath-tub style floor is optimal for wet ground
  • Sturdy aluminum tent stakes won’t snap in hefty winds
  • Taped seams are top-tier at preventing leaks
  • The polyester is surprisingly breathable even at noon when the sun is at its peak
  • This tent is lightweight, making it a great backpacking tent

Cons:

  • Expensive for a two-person tent, but that’s due to its low weight and compact design
  • Its domed shape reduces the headroom, but it’s suitable for wicking off rain

Best for: outdoors people whose main goal is staying safe from tumultuous weather.

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What Makes A Great Hot Weather Tent?

a tent in the sun

Now you’ve seen my favorite hot weather tents. You might be wondering why I chose these five, or maybe you’re headed to the store to look at some tents.

Either way, read on to learn what makes a great hot weather tent.

Season Rating

The most important thing to pay attention to when looking for the best tent for hot weather is the season rating.

Season ratings indicate what kind of weather a tent is best suited for.

For camping in hot weather, you’ll want to go for a 3 season tent. These can be used during the summer, as well as late spring and early fall.

You might be saying: “hang on, why don’t I just get a 4 season tent that I can use all year round?”

Well, you see, the name is misleading.

4 season tents aren’t actually meant to be used all year round. They’re ideal for winter camping, as well as in late fall and early spring. This is because they’re designed primarily to withstand cold weather conditions.

It would be terribly difficult to stay cool in a 4 season tent if you were using it in the middle of a scorching summer.

So, make sure the tent you choose for your next summer camping trip has a 3 season rating.

Additional reading: 3 Season vs 4 Season Tents: What’s The Difference?

Protection

Find a tent that has sturdy zippers and seals up completely. When the heat waves of summer loom over the land, various creatures come out to play.

Pesky mosquitos are usually the worst offender. But, there’s always the possibility that more sinister critters may sneak up on you. Giant desert centipedes — common in the southwest — are most active in hot areas. Famed wildlife educator Coyote Peterson said that they possess the most painful bite on the planet.

Paying extra for a secure tent is a worthwhile investment to keep you and your family safe from the threats that come with hot climates.

Ventilation

a person inside a tent with mesh walls and roof

When building a desktop computer, you should always choose a case that provides good airflow. The same logic applies when selecting a tent for hot weather.

Adept ventilation is key to an enjoyable camping experience despite the hot weather.

Try to find a tent that contains some mesh elements as these will have better ventilation than tents without mesh. Just ensure that the mesh is tight enough that bugs won’t get in.

Controlled vents are always a bonus when you’re picking out a tent for hot weather camping, as they will allow you to adjust how much air you want to let in.

Material

When choosing a tent for hot weather, you must pick a material that’s up for the job. Different materials react differently to heat.

Nylon tends to retain heat and thus increase the internal temperature of your tent. In contrast, other materials such as canvas are better at releasing heat into the air. Therefore, canvas will keep the inside of your tent far cooler.

That being said, canvas is way heavier than synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, and far more expensive too. For that reason, a 3 season nylon tent will still be the best option for a lot of people.

Breathable materials will also reduce the amount of condensation that builds up at night when things cool down. That way you don’t roll over onto any damp spots while getting some shuteye in preparation for the fun ahead.

Size

Getting a tent that’s big enough is always a priority. That rule of thumb is even more crucial when your campground feels like it’s under a giant magnifying glass.

Larger tents will be cooler because there’s more air inside — giving the heat more room to dissipate. If you cheap out and get a tiny tent, then you’ll feel like you’re inside an oven as the heat builds up in your little cubby-hole.

The natural body heat that humans generate is also more pronounced when multiple people are crammed together in a small tent.

Bear in mind that straight walls will increase the amount of space in your tent. That’s why you should look at the shape of the tent in addition to the size.

Screen Room

a tent with a screen room

Tents with screen rooms are generally more expensive. That said, this investment can pay off big-time when you’re trying to have fun camping while the sun batters you with its solar fury.

These screen rooms work wonders for ventilation and provide a safe space that you can go to if you feel smothered inside the tent. They also make for the perfect spot to store wet gear such as fishing rods or socks, as the increased airflow will quickly dry everything out.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that pets love this area too. My boys once brought their cousin’s corgi along on one of our camping trips, since my brother’s family was on an overseas vacation.

That little ball of fluff spent most of his time in the screen room enjoying the breeze. Bear in mind this was the middle of summer, so the temperatures were pretty up there — but he didn’t seem bothered one bit.

Color

Picking a tent with a lighter color like yellow or orange is advised if you plan to use it primarily in hot conditions. A lighter shade will reflect more of the sun’s heat and thus keep your tent cool during the day.

If you only use your tent during the night, then you shouldn’t notice much of a difference. However, maybe you’re like me and tend to sleep in after a long day hiking. In that case, getting a lighter color is the best way to ensure you don’t wake up feeling like you slept in a toaster.

Our Verdict

As you can see, camping in hot weather can still be fun when you get the right tent for the job. There are quite a few to choose from, but we hope that it’ll be easier for you to do so after reading about all the key factors.

Personally, I find the Coleman Darkroom to be the best tent for hot weather. I’ve used it during some pretty scorching days, and it still felt cool inside.

I also came across some heavy rain while sleeping in the Coleman Darkroom and didn’t see a single drop get in due to the taped seams.

It’s also spacious and affordable, which is why I recommend it to anyone who wants to camp in hot weather and cut expenses at the same time.

Of course, if you don’t like the Coleman DarkRoom, then you still have four other strong candidates listed here that you could take on your camping trips.

If you ended up using one of the tents we listed here then pay the help forward by sharing our article with a friend or two. Who knows, they might find their dream summer tent here too. Happy camping, everyone!