Like many other dog owners, we love to take our dogs with us when we go camping. They are part of our family, and they love the experience of being in the woods, and sleeping in a tent as much as we do.
Tent camping with our dogs wasn’t always so fun. The tent we used for the first few camping trips wasn’t really that great for three humans and two dogs. And we soon found out that our awesome family tent didn’t hold up well to dog toenails.
So, to make everyone’s camping experience better, and to allow all of us to have a comfortable night of sleep in our tent, we went on the hunt for a tent that was not only human friendly, but was also a good spot for our pups.
In our research we found that the tents that were most loved by dog owners were easy to set up, large enough for you and your dog(s), and made from strong and durable materials that wouldn’t tear or puncture from the talons that your dog has on their feet.
With that said, we’ve put together our five favorite durable tents for dogs and their humans. Our list has something for every dog and their owner, no matter if camping means a campground with all the amenities or your favorite backcountry spot.
1. MOON LENCE Pop Up Family Camping Tent
Our favorite dog-friendly tent is the Moon Lence pop-up family tent. This isn’t the biggest tent out there, but it will comfortably accommodate two humans and a couple of dogs.
The best thing about this tent is that it sets up really quick. Sometimes, when a tent claims to be a pop-up, it really isn’t that simple. The Moon Lence pop-up tent is really a pop-up tent and it only takes a few minutes to set up. You won’t be struggling to get the tent up, while your dogs wait impatiently in the car.
This tent has a nice bathtub bottom to help keep things inside dry. The tent is made from 190T PU for the floor and 210D Oxford fabric for the walls. The two doors give plenty of ventilation, and the windows can be opened or closed depending on how much airflow you want.
This tent only has two windows, so if you’ve got a pup that barks at moving objects, you can zipper the windows up enough to block their line of sight.
- Sets up in seconds
- 2 doors with excellent ventilation
- Lightweight & very portable
- Not much of vestibule
- Guy lines and pegs are lower quality
- Takedown is tricky at first
2. Coleman Evanston Tent with Screened-In Porch
This tent isn’t quite as quick with the set-up as our first pick, but it still isn’t difficult to get standing.
Coleman claims that this tent takes about 15 minutes to get completely set up. However, we found that with a bit of practice and careful packing, this tent can be set up in less than 15 minutes.
We like that this tent has a nice screened in ‘porch’ with a full floor. Some other tents with screened in rooms do not carry the floor through the screened room. With the full floor, this space is a great place for your dogs to sleep, leaving more room for the humans.
The floor of this tent is also really strong and did better at staying dry than some other tents we tried. The floor material is almost like a plastic tarp.
This Coleman tent comes in both a 6-person and an 8-person option, so if you need more room, you can go for a bit larger tent. Both sizes have really nice windows, and a rain fly that fully covers the tent, including the windows without blocking your views.
Other handy features of this tent include the gear pockets and the weatherproofed seams that keep the inside of the tent nice and dry, even when it’s really rainy.
- Good value for the price
- Nice and roomy
- Screened porch is very relaxing for dogs
- Longer set up time
- Only one door
- Could come with better pegs
3. CAMPROS Tent-8-Person-Camping-Tent
When it comes to big tents, the CAMPROS 8-person camping tent is our favorite. With more than enough space for 8-people, and the option to split the tent into two separate rooms, this tent provides a ton of versatility.
The CAMPROS tent has some really nice comfort features like five large windows that are set high in the tent for great ventilation. The option to split the tent into two rooms also gives privacy for families or for a separate space for storing gear.
The tent walls are made from 185T Polyester and 1000mm polyurethane floor. The floor on this tent didn’t do as well as others with larger dogs but held up fine to small and medium sized pups.
Our biggest complaint is that this tent is a bit more complicated to set up, and your dogs may not appreciate that. Also, it does take two people to set the tent up, so don’t plan on this tent if you’re camping alone. Otherwise, it fits 3 queen size mattresses with ease, so there’s plenty of space for you and your dogs to spread out in.
- Very roomy with 5 windows
- Available in various color options
- Can be split into separate rooms
- Not as durable as others for bigger dogs
- Only one door
- Requires 2 people to set up
4. Wenzel 8-Person Klondike Tent
The Wenzel 8-person Klondike tent is another larger tent that features an open ‘patio’ type room. We like these kinds of tents because our dogs can sleep separate from us, but still be contained within the tent.
The feature that sets this tent apart from most of our other tents is the inside height of this tent. The Wenzel klondike is tall enough at the center, that a 6-foot tall person can stand fairly comfortably inside this tent. This added height really makes it easy to change clothes and move around the tent.
The construction and materials of this tent are good. However, we were pretty disappointed in the rainfly. While it keeps rain from coming in through the screened top of the tent, there is no protection for the windows. If it starts raining when you’re sleeping, you may end up with a bit of water in your tent.
This tent has lots of nice convenience features like a full floor in the screened room, gear pockets and easy setup.
- Better than average ventilation
- Screened second room is awesome
- Good height clearance
- Longer set up time
- It’s heavy
- Not as much protection from rain
5. Bessport 2 & 4 Person Backpacking Tent
If you are looking for a lightweight tent for your next backpacking adventure with your dog, we like the Bessport 2 and 4 person backpacking tents.
These lightweight and compact tents are perfect for strapping onto your backpack. They come with everything you need for backcountry camping including stakes, lightweight tent poles, a rainfly and the tent all in a nice carrying bag.
The Bessport tents are no-frills options, but they are easy for one person to set up and are surprisingly roomy for backpacking tents. It is imperative that we do mention that while these tents are roomy given that they are supposed to be smaller, the 2-person option is pretty snug with two people and two larger dogs. If your backpacking crew is like ours, go with the 4-person option. You’ll be more comfortable.
Lots of backpacking tents come with a big price tag, so we were a bit concerned that this tent might not be as durable as more expensive options. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how well built this tent is, and the good quality of the materials. The floor of this tent stood up with dog toenails, even larger dogs. The rainfly was actually really effective, providing plenty of protection from rain and wind.
- Low profile lightweight design
- Easy one person set up
- Has 2 doors providing ventilation
- 2 person is tight with bigger dogs
- No footprint included
- Stakes are not great
How to choose a solid tent for a dog?
So, how did we pick our five favorite tents?
Since camping with our dogs is one of our favorite things to do, we really thought carefully about the product features that matter most to us when we look for gear that will accommodate both us and our dogs. As we considered tents for our list, the factors that we thought were most important are described below.
We start with fabric because a tent made with poor quality fabric isn’t going to stand up to the rigors or camping or your dogs.
When considering tent fabric, there are a few things you need to think about before settling on a tent. First, consider weather conditions. If you want the most comfort in the conditions you’re most likely to encounter, choose your fabric carefully.
Tents generally come in polyester, nylon or cotton. Cotton is great if you’re camping in hot climates, since it breathes well and stay cool inside. However, cotton isn’t great at keeping you dry in rain or snow.
Polyester is great for staying dry and isn’t too bad in hot climates. Polyester doesn’t hold in heat as well as nylon, but if you’re not tent camping in the winter, that might not be a big deal.
Nylon is the best fabric for staying dry and staying warm. You’ll find that most of your backpacking tents are made from nylon because it is lightweight, but also dries quickly.
The other fabric consideration that you need to think about when camping with your dog is the material that the floor is made from. Lots of tent manufacturers are using polyethylene or thicker polyester for tent floors. These materials are more waterproof and more durable. They tend to stand up better to dog toenails than other floor materials.
Windows are great in tents. Unless you’ve got a nervous dog that barks every time the wind moves a branch. Windows are a tent feature that need to be carefully researched and considered as you’re shopping for a tent for you and your dogs.
While people love windows, your dog may not do well if they can see everything happening outside. If your dog is nervous and tends to bark, you may want to consider a tent with fewer windows, or a taller tent with windows higher up the walls. This will allow you to still enjoy the cool breeze through your tent at night, but you won’t have to listen to your dog bark all night long.
Durability really comes down to fabric and tent poles. These are the two items that you really want to be able to stand up to at least a small amount of rough handling, crazy weather and dog feet.
If you like developed campgrounds with nice, smooth platforms for your tent, you might be able to get away with a tent made from lighter fabrics, particularly floor material. However, if you’re camping in the backcountry, the fabric your tent is made of, especially the floor of your tent should be pretty tough since you’re likely to encounter rocks and sticks that could puncture or tear your tent fabric.
When it comes to tent poles, durability and portability should be considered together. Tent poles are usually made from fiberglass, aluminum, steel, carbon fiber or composite materials. Consider the size and intended use of your tent when looking at tent pole materials.
There is nothing worse than a tent that smells funky or is super hot. And while your dog might not care if your tent is stinky, he sure will mind if it’s too hot. Your dog probably won’t sleep much if your tent is hot, and this means you’ll probably not sleep well either. The easiest way to avoid a stinky tent and sleeping in a sauna is to ensure that your tent is well ventilated.
There are a few ways that tents are ventilated. Look for windows, multiple doors, roofs with screens or even small, riveted holes for added airflow. One key feature to look for in regard to ventilation is screens. Make sure doors and windows have screens so that you can avoid having your tent filled with bugs.
If you have a bigger dog, you’re probably going to want a larger tent. Obviously, this allows for more space for everyone to spread out in. Larger tents are great for comfort, but they aren’t always the best solution.
If you’re camping during the summer, a larger tent is going to mean more air flow, less cramped quarters, and a cooler, more comfortable experience for everyone, your dog included.
However, if you plan on camping when the temperatures get cooler, a smaller tent is a good pick. Make sure that there’s still enough room for everyone to have a comfortable sleeping space, but remember when it gets cold, smaller spaces stay warmer. And you can always snuggle up with your pup if you need some extra warmth.
Dog friendly tent design is a lot like people friendly design. Our loudest suggestion when it comes to layout and tent design is to pick a tent that doesn’t have a ton of guy lines. Guy lines are a tripping hazard for everyone, but for your pup they could result in an injury that would cut short your camping trip.
Also, look for tents with shaded secure spaces that they can use to cool off and get out of the sun. We like tents with screened rooms or “patios”. They provide a secure space for your dog where they can see what’s going on, but they’re shaded and are a better place to put food and water for your pup.
Frequently asked questions
Why use a tent for dogs to sleep In?
Bringing your dog into your tent at night is really the responsible way to camp with your dog. Sure, if it rains and your dog gets wet or muddy, you’ll probably be enjoying that wet-dog smell, but tucked into your tent, your dog is safe, dry and secure.
Camping in the woods or any place where wildlife is present can be a danger for your dog. Securing your pup inside your tent, especially at night keeps them from running after deer, bear or other animals. Also, new environments have insects, spiders, and plants that you should keep your dogs away from. The easiest way to do this is to keep them on a leash during the day, and in the tent at night.
How can I prepare to go camping with my dog?
Are you ready to camp with your dog? Are you sure?
There are a number of things you need to do, before you and your dog head out on a camping trip.
- Make sure your destination is dog friendly. This is particularly important if you are staying in a developed campground or in a national park. Also, be aware of the rules for dogs in dog-friendly campgrounds, so that you have the right gear and tools for encouraging good canine behavior.
- Get your dog vaccinated. This is a good thing to do annually anyway. However, when you’re away from home, your dog is exposed to new places and dangers that may make them sick. We suggest that besides a rabies and distemper vaccine your dog is also up to date on giardia and leptospirosis vaccinations before you head out on a camping trip. Also make sure your dog has a flea and tick collar if you’re going to places where these insects are present and invest in a monthly heartworm medication.
- Get or update your dog’s microchip. If your dog isn’t already microchipped it’s a good thing to do before you head out camping. Your vet can do this at the same time you’re there for updated vaccinations. Many a lost dog has been found thanks to microchips. And, it’s not enough for your dog to have a microchip. Make sure your information with the microchip company is correct so your pup can easily be returned to you, if they do get lost.
- Pack a gear bag. Yep, your dog needs their own gear when you take them camping. Make sure you have food and water bowls, extra leashes, tethers, harnesses, treats, toys, nail trimmers, and of course, plenty of food and water for your pup.
How do I camp comfortably with my dog in a tent?
This question is a tricky one to answer, and a lot of what comfortable means when camping with your dog, has to do with your dog.
It is first helpful to point out that most dogs are a bit nervous about camping, especially tent camping, the first couple of times they go. It’s new and they’re in a place that isn’t their normal home, so you may find that they don’t sleep as well and may seem a bit on edge.
The more you tent camp with your dog the easier it will be for everyone. However, if you want to improve the comfort for your dog you may want to provide them with a cushioned place to sleep in your tent. Just like us, they won’t be comfortable if they have to sleep on rocks, especially if they live a comfortable life at home.
Also, make sure they have something to keep them busy. Chew toys, a favorite stuffed toy or even a tennis ball can add some comfort and security for your dog.
Finally, make sure that you don’t change their food or give them too many people food treats. This can upset their stomach and if they’re already nervous about camping, this can mean a long night of bathroom emergencies for your pup.
What’s the best type of Camping for dogs?
Dogs LOVE to be with their people. So, when we’re asked what kind of camping is best for dogs, we almost always respond that any kind of camping is great for dogs, so long as they’re with their people.
However, that doesn’t mean you should run out and do a backcountry camping trip with your dog. Do consider your dog’s level of energy, age, size and even obedience skills before you head out camping with your pup.
Older dogs may be more comfortable car camping in a developed campground. Young pups or those that lose their minds when off-leash may not do well in the backcountry.
Know your dog and take baby steps with them as you are introducing them to camping. The camping style that you love the most, may not be the best option for your dog.