Event camping in style: The best festival tents of 2024

Light, portable and fast-pitching tents for your next festival adventure

The best festival tents

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

If you’re looking for the best festival tents to cart off to a muddy field, you’ve come to the right place. And if the best tent money can buy makes it back from the festival in one piece (or at all) that’s a bonus – you won’t have to buy another next season. There are three things people demand from any tent for festival use: lightweight, waterproof and easy to put up.

Whether you go for a 3-person tent or something larger to take to a festival, there's a fair chance you might return without it. But hopefully, the tent you took will make it home with you in one piece. However, that really depends on how wisely you make your tent choice. The best festival tents will need to fit all of the people sleeping in them in comfort. It should keep them dry and protected from the elements, be light enough to carry, simple to put up and easy to pack away.

Best festival tents of 2024 at a glance

• Best overall: Coleman Tent Darwin – View at B&Q
• Best budget: Night Cat Camping Tent, 1-2 Person – View at Amazon
• Best 2-man blackout: Coleman Kobuk Valley 2-Person Blackout Bedroom Tent – View at Halfords
• Best lightweight: OEX Bobcat – View at Ultimate Outdoors

To help you bring your tent back in one piece, our recommendations are all from top brands and so more robust compared to many. As an added bonus, all of our recommendations are thoroughly waterproof too – a feature that's normally found in the best backpacking tents. And that's all thanks to the unpredictable British weather. We've put an explanation of waterproof ratings and more in our buyer's guide at the end of the article.

So, let's grab our essential festival survival gear and find the ideal festival tents for you. Get ready to enjoy this year's outdoor events in style.

Best festival tents of 2024

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall

Amazon/Coleman
Price: £93.54

www.diy.com

For the combination of features, quality and size, our overall recommendation goes to the Coleman Tent Darwin 2 Plus. Its lightweight and clever design makes for a quick pitch – just what you need for festivals. Weighing in at 4.2kg, it's not the lightest here, but it is still fine for most to carry around.
We particularly like that this can be packed down into a compact size, too. Size-wise, although it can sleep two, we think it's best used by one person if you like to spread out at your events.

The build is robust as well, as it boasts a waterproof rating of 3,000mm. That's pretty much mid-range in terms of reliable protection against rain. Underneath all that weatherproofing there's a sturdy frame that enhances stability and makes setup easier than most. That said, although this comes with the welcome addition of a porch, it is a little small if you're taking a lot of supplies with you, but as the average festival is only a few days at most, it's actually fine. Overall, this is a very well-designed tent with a typically high standard of materials and construction from Coleman.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Quick and easy to pitch
  • High-quality, waterproof materials

Cons

  • Limited porch space for gear
  • Design
    5.0
  • Ease of build
    5.0
  • Waterproofing
    5.0
  • Value
    4.5
Waterproofing3000mm HH
Weight4.2kg
Outer dimensions3300 x 2000 x 1300mm (L x W x H)

Best budget

Amazon/Night Cat

There's nothing better than going to an event and not having to worry about your expensive tent. And that's why we love the Night Cat Camping Tent. Despite the budget price, It'll reliably sleep 1-2 people and – even better – it has a waterproof rating of 3000mm. That means excellent protection against rain. At just 2.4kg, it's reasonably lightweight and compact not to mention easy to transport. It's actually easy to set up on your own, too.

We also appreciate any budget tent that actually has a generous interior. This one is a little larger than some here and there, providing comfortable sleeping space and enough room for your festival extras. The material is also a welcome surprise at this price point, sporting 210D Oxford cloth. However, we do think the tent's ventilation could be improved, as humid nights may lead to some condensation. Other than that, it's a star budget buy.

Pros

  • Lightweight at 2.4kg
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Ample internal space

Cons

  • Ventilation needs improvement
  • Design
    3.5
  • Ease of build
    4.0
  • Waterproofing
    4.5
  • Value
    5.0
Waterproofing3000mm HH
Weight2.4kg
Outer dimensions2200 x 1500 x 1150 mm

Best 2-person blackout

Halfords/Coleman

If you need darkness to sleep at your events, you need the Coleman Kobuk Valley 2-Person Blackout Bedroom Tent. Two people can sleep in perfect blackout conditions in this one, able to block 99% of any daylight. So, comfort and sleep are clearly a priority with this tent from Coleman. Despite the economic design and proportions, it has room enough for two plus some kit.

The high-quality materials used here extend beyond the blackout material, as it boasts a waterproof rating of 4,500mm – that's excellent mid-to-high-end protection against rain. Once again we have a quick and easy build here plus and a simple pack-down for transport. However, we do think this is a little light on storage space compared to larger models. All in all, though, it's a well-ventilated tent that you can rely on to keep both the rain and the sunlight at bay.

Pros

  • Blackout bedroom blocks 99% of daylight
  • Quick and easy to pitch
  • Compact and lightweight for transport

Cons

  • Limited storage space for gear
  • Design
    4.5
  • Ease of build
    5.0
  • Waterproofing
    4.5
  • Value
    4.0
Waterproofing4500mm HH
Weight6.6kg
Outer dimensions3300 x 2600 x 1300mm (LxWxH)

Best lightweight

Blacks/OEX

If you're on the lookout for a simple, minimal one-person tent for your festival-going, the OEX Bobcat 1 really offers the ultimate in compact, lightweight portability. And, despite the size, this is still sporting durable, weather-resistant material with a 5,000mm HH waterproof rating. We think that's amazing for such a small tent, allowing you to attend your events in almost all weathers. As you'd expect, internal space is very limited, but it still offers ample room for a comfortable sleep while being able to squeeze into the tightest of campsite or festival pitches

But, back to the lightweight design. Yes, you'll find lighter tents, but not with this level of robust water proofing. It's still only 1.9kg, ideal for solo event-goers who want to carry it without fuss and get set up quickly. The latter is down to the quick-pitch system, and it even has a blackout feature for a better night's sleep.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • High waterproof rating
  • Quick and easy to pitch

Cons

  • Limited headroom
  • Design
    4.0
  • Ease of build
    4.5
  • Waterproofing
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Waterproofing5000mm HH
Weight1.9kg
Outer dimensions2200mm x 1400mm x 1100mm (LxWxH)

Best 3-person

Amazon/Vango

Going to a festival with two of your mates? This Vango Banshee 300 offers a sturdy but economically-styled build that can accommodate three people. Perhaps the largest surprise here is the weight – at only 2.75 kg. That means you can wander around your festival site without breaking much of a sweat while you find the right spot. Plus, the tent has a 5,000mm HH flysheet for brilliant rainproofing. The overall quality of the materials used here is reassuringly robust.

Additionally, when the event is over, this has a compact pack size too. The pole system that gives the tent its strength is both easy to use and pack away. We particularly like the decent level of ventilation that will keep condensation at bay. Yes, there's a porch on this one, but it is a little small if you're planning on taking a lot of gear. Overall though, this is a highly practical and spacious 3-person design that will suit many festivalgoers very well.

Pros

  • Spacious interior for three people
  • Excellent waterproof rating
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Cons

  • Limited porch storage space
  • Design
    3.5
  • Ease of build
    4.0
  • Waterproofing
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
Waterproofing6000mm HH
Weight2.75kg
Outer dimensions1050 x 2800 x 2200mm (HxLxW)

Best large 4-person

Amazon/Coleman

We think that larger groups or families of four will love to have the Coleman Instant Tourer 4 with them at their next event. Again the hallmark Coleman quality is there with a sturdy build and great design. Aside from the spacious interior ideal for up to four people, the tent has impressive all-around build quality and the waterproofing – while decent enough – is midrange at 3000mm HH. But, that's fine for the typical festival heavy rains or showers.

One small shortcoming is its limited ventilation options, which might be an issue in warmer conditions. That aside, we really like the speedy set-up on offer here, as this tent can be all ready in a matter of minutes. Coleman is certainly very good at making efficient designs when it comes to getting pitched. Despite its size, it packs down very well making getting it to and lugging it around your event a lot easier than many.

Pros

  • Spacious for four people
  • Quick and easy setup
  • High-quality waterproof materials

Cons

  • Limited ventilation options
  • Design
    4.0
  • Ease of build
    4.0
  • Waterproofing
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
Waterproofing3000mm HH
Weight7.4kg
Outer dimensions2400 x 2400 x 1600 mm (LxWxH)

Best budget 4-person

Blacks/Eurohike
Price: £89.00 (was £240.00)

www.blacks.co.uk

If you're looking to accommodate four people but need to spend less, this Eurohike Cairns 4 Deluxe Nightfall Tent is a perfect budget choice. There's a lot of quality and space on offer here, as it's sturdy yet lightweight and quick to pitch. It's very intuitive to put up as well, not to mention transport thanks to the way it packs down.

Eurohike is a well-established tent brand, and you can see that in the build quality on offer here. The materials are durable, despite the price tag, but one area we wish was slightly better was in the waterproofing. This has a rating of 2000mm which, while able to keep you dry under normal rainy conditions, anything more extreme may be beyond its capabilities. That said, for summer events, you and three of your friends will be dry and well-housed. There's ample sleeping space and the layout includes a decent amount of room for gear storage.

Pros

  • Can fit four people
  • Lightweight and easy to pitch
  • Durable, waterproof materials with high-vis guy lines

Cons

  • Could do with a higher waterproof rating
  • Design
    4.0
  • Ease of build
    4.5
  • Waterproofing
    3.5
  • Design
    4.0
Waterproofing2000mm HH
Weight6.5kg
Outer dimensions3250 x 3000 x 1500mm (LxWxH)

Best large

Amazon/Coleman
Price: $338.86

Festivals are a lot more fun the more people you take with you, and we're glad to see a tent as large and reasonably lightweight as this. The Coleman Tent Octagon is made from high-quality materials with a decent amount of headroom inside as well. But, it's the sheer space inside that caught our eye, as this will cater for 6-8 people. That's ample room for a comfortable stay during your event. Once again for a large tent, Its 2000mm waterproof rating is fine and will ensure protection from normal rain and showers.

The tent is lightweight for its size – and that's even taking into account the 19mm steel poles that give it its strength. It weighs in at 20.7kg, so while you may need to consider who you carry it, it's worth it for the accommodation on offer. Setting up is straightforward, with an intuitive colour-coded pole system. But, its larger capacity comes at a price: the size when packed down (85 x 30 x 30 cm). You'll need to be able to take it with you in the car alongside your other gear. So, measure up first.

Pros

  • Spacious interior for group camping
  • High-quality build and materials
  • Easy and quick to set up

Cons

  • Takes up more storage space
  • Design
    5.0
  • Ease of build
    4.0
  • Waterproofing
    3.5
  • Value
    4.0
Waterproofing2000mm HH
Weight20.7kg
Outer dimensions3960 x 3960 x 2150mm (LxWxH)

Best with porch

Amazon/Eurohike

We love this Eurohike Ribble 3 Tent because it'll house up to three people as well as provide a large porch which can be set up as a sun shade. That's ideal for those festivals where you need to take shelter from too much sun or rain, but prefer to sit outside. It boasts a spacious interior, and of course that porch is handy for gear storage. Weatherproofing is a decent 3,000mm hydrostatic head rating, so it'll give you reliable waterproofing against heavy rain and showers – but not anything more extreme.

Setting up the tent is super simple, thanks to an intuitive pole design and overall lightweight construction. Weighing only 4.3kg, it's easy to carry around the event site, too. Once again, this is a tent that is nice and compact when packed down, so you'll have no trouble moving around with it, no matter the event.

Pros

  • Spacious interior and porch area
  • High-quality waterproof materials
  • Lightweight and compact design

Cons

  • Not for extreme weather conditions
  • Design
    4.0
  • Ease of build
    3.5
  • Waterproofing
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Waterproofing3000mm HH
Weight5.1kg
Outer dimensions2400 x 2400) x 1150mm (LxWxH)

Best pop-up

Amazon/Eurohike
Price: £65.00 (was £180.00)

www.blacks.co.uk

The Eurohike Pop 400 DS Tent impresses us more than most, simply due to the fast pop-up design. Predictably, this is a lightweight and compact model, perfect for those last-minute festivals and ad-hoc events. The POP 400 even comfortably sleeps four people. Also, despite its pop-up nature, it's very well designed and constructed – with a reasonably high waterproof rating of 3000mm HH, perfect for providing reliable rain protection.

All that said, despite its convenient design, we do think that ventilation could be better for those hot and humid events. But, for the vast majority of weather, this tent is ideal for festivals – packing down into its compact small carry bag and being light enough for one person to carry.

Pros

  • Quick and easy setup
  • Sleeps four people
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Ventilation issues in humid weather
  • Design
    4.0
  • Ease of build
    4.0
  • Waterproofing
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
Waterproofing3000mm HH
Weight5.2kg
Outer dimensions3900 x 2150 x 1600mm (LxWxH)

How to choose the best festival tent for you

Pick the right size

And we don't just mean how many people can fit inside. You'll also need to be able to take your new tent with you across festival sites once you get past the dreaded queue to get in. That means choosing one that's lightweight, well-packaged and easy to carry.

Go for a fast and easy build

The last thing you'll want to deal with is a long and complex tent build. Lots of our picks are simple to put up and stable, so you won't have to deal with lots of pegs and ropes. For the ultimate easy setup, you could even go for the sort of tents to go wild camping in – super compact and functional.

Understand waterproof ratings

Like fill power with down insulation, waterproof ratings are very simple but widely misunderstood – or not known at all. All the tents you see here use the hydrostatic head as a means of showing how waterproof the fabric is. Hydrostatic head is the industry standard for measuring waterproof fabrics; the waterproof fabrics used for tents, waterproof jackets, and so on.

The figure given (for example, 3000mm), indicates how high a column of water sitting on the fabric would need to be before water begins seeping through. It’s perhaps a slightly odd thing, but it’s an effective means of measurement. It’s all to do with pressure.

Obviously, testing labs don’t actually use such volumes of water, they use machines that apply downward pressure. Thus, a tent with a hydrostatic head rating of 3000mm can withstand a three-metre column of water before it leaks through. It sounds like a lot, but see below for our guide to waterproof ratings:

1000mm: Will keep out light rain – more water-resistant than waterproof.

2000mm: Minimum waterproof. Only keeps out rain.

4000mm: Will withstand fairly heavy rain. Good for tents, a minimum for everyday rain jackets.

10,000mm+: What you should expect in hiking and ski jackets. They have to deal with rain and snow but also the extra pressure applied by backpack straps and so on.

For tents, a bare minimum of 2000mm is what you want. Tent floors have a higher rating than the tent fly because it has the extra pressure of you and your gear pressing down on them. But for extra waterproofing, adding a tarpaulin on the ground underneath the floor will help.

FAQs

Are festival tents good for regular camping as well?

Absolutely. Any of these tents are ideal for camping trips. They are all of a sturdy design and are fully waterproof. As a note, for those hoping to take their tent backpacking or on light hikes, the OEX Bobcat 1 Person Tent is light enough to be carried comfortably in a pack as well as provide a high level of waterproofing.

What else do I need for camping at a festival?

On top of one of the best festival tents, packing minimally is a good approach to keeping costs down and reducing the chance of losing possessions. However, there are some essentials you need, such as warm clothing, a torch, bottled water, snacks and of course sleeping bags and other bedding like inflatable mattresses for those who need more comfort.

Chris Duffill is a Senior Tech Writer and Reviewer for What's The Best. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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