Eureka Bonavista 88
Credit: Gary Davidson

Eureka Bonavista 88

($520; tent: 88 sq. ft., vestibule: 50 sq. ft.; 26 lb/11.8 kg)

Six feet high in the middle, this mansion of a tent sleeps eight, with two big doors and vestibules. Oh, and it splits into two rooms with a simple divider. Patches of mesh help keep the air moving, and pockets and a gear loft keep the space tidy. Don’t try to set up this five-pole design by yourself or carry this beast very far, but for outdoorsy families the Bonavista is hard to beat.
Kelty Vista 3
Credit: Gary Davidson

Kelty Vista 3

($330; tent: 47 sq. ft., vestibule: 20 sq. ft.; 7.5 lb/3.4 kg)

Efficient design makes the Vista feel bigger than it is. The tent stands at a comfortable sitting height, while two poles push the door walls almost to vertical. With a gear loft, lots of pockets and two vestibules, there’s tons of room for three people and their gear. The Vista’s a little heavier than serious backpackers will want to carry, but if you’re only going to own one tent this is a good choice.
Marmot Astral 3
Credit: Gary Davidson

Marmot Astral 3

($500; tent: 45 sq. ft., vestibule: 24 sq. ft.; 6.2 lb/2.8 kg)

While not the lightest tent on the market, the three-person Astral comes in at less than two pounds per person with room for three people to sleep without spooning. Colour-coded poles hoist vertical walls of mesh—great for watching the stars—from the bathtub floor to a kneeling-height ceiling. Plus there’s a big front door and vestibule, and a smaller combo out the back.
Mountain Equipment Co-Op Volt 2
Credit: Gary Davidson

Mountain Equipment Co-Op Volt 2

($310; tent: 31 sq. ft., vestibule: 17 sq. ft.; 4.1 lb/2.1 kg)

If a little frost won’t cancel your camping plans, give this three-season tent a good look. The intimidating mess of poles quickly snaps into a six-armed starfish that pops up a roomy tent for two. Even when unzipped, the vestibule design shields the front and back doors from driving rain, and on gloomy days the translucent fly and white nylon walls make the interior bright. We’d even trust this tent for light four-season use.
MSR Nook
Credit: Gary Davidson

MSR Nook

($400; tent: 28 sq. ft., vestibule: 6 sq. ft.; 3.1 lb/1.4 kg)

Making camp doesn’t get much easier than with the Nook. Colour-coded poles and clips make the two-pole set-up basic, and the end result is a roomy-feeling tent that’s light enough for backpacking or bike touring and still sheds precipitation, shuts down the wind and sets up in small sites. Half-nylon, half-mesh walls release excess summer heat but are not too breezy for shoulder-season trips.
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