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

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

Camping can be a blast, but nothing ruins a trip faster than hot weather. A balmy summer day can quickly soak your t-shirt, and make you wish you stayed home.

To fix this, make sure you get a tent that’s optimized for hot weather. Between tent material, ventilation, and even construction, some 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.

The Top 5 Best Tents For Hot Weather

There are tons of tents available that might fare well in the hot summer months. But, which ones are best? You want one with reliable ventilation, a rigid frame, and a reasonable price tag. Here are five that meet that criteria.

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 the condensation by as much as 10%, keeping your tent dry and cozy.

Sometimes you stay up all night sitting around the campfire eating smores. 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.
  • 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 experience.

Cons:

  • Not the best in the rain, so bring a repair kit if you plan on being in 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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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!

Wenzel’s Klondike tent can fit eight 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 provides sufficient airflow even during hot days.
  • Although slightly pricier than the DarkRoom, it’s still affordable enough to fit in 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 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 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 six and a half pounds and folds down to around 40 inches, so it’s super easy to travel with this tent.
  • The larger windows provide proper ventilation in hot temperatures.
  • Sand pockets keep it grounded in high winds.
  • 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 a lightweight, easy-to-use tent and don’t require lots of rain protection.

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Ozark Trail 12-Person Tent


If you want space, then this Ozark Trail tent is just about as big as it gets. I put off reviewing this tent for quite a while since it was simply way too big for my boys and me. However, I eventually picked it up because I wanted to see if it had other great benefits beyond the space.

As you can imagine, a 3-room tent like this has quality ventilation. It’s so good that you can camp in hot spots without even noticing the weather. I tested it out myself and could feel the cool breeze despite camping in the middle of summer.

It also comes with seven windows that you can close up — providing first-class ventilation while still protecting you from the rain if a storm rolls up.

Pros:

  • Large size provides a lot of space for campers and gear.
  • Numerous windows to provide ventilation during hot days.
  • Sealable windows keep you dry even if it rains.
  • Considering its hulking size, it won’t break the piggy bank.
  • I love the L-shaped setup and spacious porch. Very relaxing.
  • T-door allows you to move large gear or furniture in and out stress-free.

Cons:

  • Bit excessive if you aren’t camping in huge group.

Best for: large families or groups who prioritize elbow room over everything.

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Mountainsmith Morrison Tent


Mountainsmith has been the recipient of quite a few camping rewards over the years. I’ve reviewed their tents in the past, and this one was pretty solid too.

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 provide ventilation while you’re on hot camping grounds. The outer material is also pretty breathable based on my personal use.

Pros:

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

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?

By 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.

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

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 heated camping as it 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 cotton are better at releasing heat into the air. Therefore, cotton will keep the inside of your tent far cooler.

Breathable materials will also reduce the amount of condensation that builds up at night when things cold down. That way you don’t roll over onto any damp spots while getting some shuteye in preparation of 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 camping ground feels like it’s under a giant magnifying glass.

Larger tents will be more cooling 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 cram into 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

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 as the owner was taking a 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 under 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 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.

Conclusion

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, the Coleman Darkroom is my favorite out of the five listed here. I’ve used it during some pretty scorching days, and it still felt cool inside due to the sun-oriented design.

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 tent here too. Happy camping, everyone!