The wind is one of the most devastating elements you’ll have to deal with when camping. High winds can easily destroy your tent, ripping it apart or uprooting it from the ground.
So, whether you plan on camping in high winds or just want to be prepared if the weather takes an unexpected turn, you’ll want to be prepared with the best tent for high winds.
Tents designed to withstand high winds are made with durable, reliable materials that can withstand the pressure created by strong gusts. They have high-quality stakes, heavy-duty poles, and a profile designed to minimize the effects of even the strongest winds.
Are you seeking the best tents for high winds in 2021? We’ve taken the guesswork out of this decision by rigorously testing over 60 tents. We’ve chosen the top 6 based on durability, size, and overall weather resistance.
Best Backpacking Tent for High Winds – NEMO Galaxi
|Max. Occupancy:||2 person|
As a backpacking camper, you likely enjoy extended trips into remote areas.
When you’re out there for long periods of time, there’s always the risk that the weather forecast changes for the worse. Unlike other campers who can pack up their gear and drive away when an intense storm is forecasted, there’s a good chance you’ll be forced to weather the storm.
In situations like these, you must have a tent that can withstand high winds. But since you’ll be carrying this tent on your back for miles each day, you need the optimum balance between strength and weight.
The Nemo Galaxi is our top recommendation for backpackers preparing for high wind excursions.
The tent is ridiculously lightweight, considering its strength. It weighs 4 pounds and packs into a portable drawstring stuff sack, making it ideal for carrying on your backpack over long distances.
Although the aluminum poles are not as reliable as steel poles, they are lightweight and honestly what you need as a backpacker.
If you’re preparing for high winds, you’ll also want to be prepared for heavy rain as well. This tent comes with a footprint for added protection against moisture from underneath. It also has a rainfly that provides full coverage. Overall, this tent will keep you dry, further adding to its weatherproof abilities.
We also found the amount of extra equipment included with the tent to be very generous. It comes with quality stakes and guy-out cords for added wind protection. And although this is one durable tent, it also comes with a repair kit--just in case you need to fix it while out on a trip.
Quality, reliable gear is critical when backpack camping. You need a tent you can trust when you’re stuck out there, and the heavy stuff comes through, which is why we’d suggest relying on the Nemo Galaxi.
Best Canvas Tents for High Winds – KODIAK Flex
|Max. Occupancy:||6 person|
|Tent Material:||100% duck canvas|
On the other end of the weight spectrum, we have the Kodiak Flex canvas tent. It’s pretty heavy and not the tent for backpackers.
It is, however, one of the most durable and weatherproof tents on our list.
All canvas tents are 100% weatherproof, and one of the most wind-resistant types of tents available, but the features this tent includes makes it stand out. It has solid galvanized steel poles and marine-grade canvas, which combine to make one very durable tent. If you’re looking for a tent, you can use it for years to come. This one will long outlive any regular nylon tent.
Unlike other canvas tents that use paraffin or oil to treat the fabric for waterproofing, the silicone dry-finish used to treat this tent is breathable and lets moisture escape, reducing condensation.
There are also two funnel flow vents, 4 large windows, and 2 doors that help you better regulate airflow and temperature control.
Hate having to crouch while in a tent? You’ll love the headroom provided by this tent. Its 6’6” high ceiling means that adults will be able to stand fully upright, a real luxury when changing and hanging out in a tent.
The biggest downside of this tent has nothing to do with the quality of construction or its features--it’s the price. It’s an expensive tent that may not be within the casual camper’s price range. That said, you’ll get some serious longevity out of this tent.
So, while the upfront cost may be hefty, you could save money in the long run by reducing replacement costs. Not to mention the quality and reliability alone are worth the extra expense for the right camper.
If weight and price aren’t an issue and you prioritize durability and weatherproofing above all else, the Kodiak Flex canvas tent is the way to go.
Best Family Tent for High Winds – Coleman Elite Montana
|Max. Occupancy:||8 person|
The Coleman Elite Montana is a family tent built to withstand high wind.
It’s a roomy tent built for 8 people, making it large enough for most families and their gear. Its max height is 6 feet 2 inches which creates generous headroom adding to the spacious feel this tent creates.
The large awning over the doorway is excellent for preventing rain from getting into the tent when you’re entering or exiting. The tent also features angled windows that can stay open when it’s raining, providing some extra ventilation.
One thing we noticed during testing, however, is that during heavy rain, the tent may leak. This is something to keep in mind if you camp during periods of the year that experience heavy rainfall.
One of the tent’s more unique features is the built-in LED lighting on the roof. Plus, it also includes a power pack with USB charging ports and an E-port, which allows you to run an extension cord into the tent to power your electronics. With these features, you’ll stay well lit and fully charged throughout your trip.
We also thought it’s pretty cool how the door is hinged. This allows you to open the door in the same fashion as a regular door, providing an easier method for entering and exiting the tent.
In terms of durability, Coleman has chosen to use double-thick fabric to increase the tent’s longevity. It also has a sturdy frame that is proven to withstand winds up to 35mph effectively.
Considering the typically high cost of 8-person family tents, we’re surprised at just how great the price is. For the room, included features, and quality this tent provides, it’s impressive that Coleman can sell it at a budget-friendly price point.
For families looking for a roomy, wind-resistant tent that won’t break the bank, the Coleman Elite Montana is an excellent option.
Best 2 Person Tent for High Winds – The NorthFace Stormbreak
|Max. Occupancy:||2 person|
The Northface Stormbreak a great two 2-person tent option for taller people looking for a little more height than what the NEMO Galaxi offers.
It’s 43 inches, far from the Kodiak Flex canvas tent at its peak height, but generous considering the style and purpose of this tent, which is primarily designed with wind resistance in mind.
Its lightweight will appeal to backpackers, but you should note that it is a few pounds heavier than the NEMO Galaxi.
We were surprised that there’s no hook included on the ceiling for hanging a lantern. It’s a feature we’re used to seeing and a bit of a disappointment that it lacks this feature.
The aluminum stakes also weren’t what we were hoping to see either. They’re poorly made and a liability for breaking.
On a more positive note, we really liked how the vestibule can be configured in a few different ways. It’s a unique feature that allows advanced storage and weather protection customization. Even if the wind changes after setting up your tent, you can alter the vestibule’s side so they’re not on the windward side.
Besides considering campers’ needs when the weather is terrible, Northface has brighter skies in mind. The doors on this tent are relatively large, considering the overall size of the tent. Not only does this make entering and exiting the tent more comfortable, it means you’ll also have a better view of the scenery when the tent is opened up.
This isn’t a premium option. There are a few other tents on the list that excel over it. But considering the reasonable price, we were delighted with the overall performance of this tent.
Best Bang for the Buck – Kelty All In
|Max. Occupancy:||3 person|
Value shoppers looking for a mix of quality and savings will should seriously consider the Kelty All Inn.
This tent doesn’t just hold up to strong wind. It will also keep you dry when the rain starts coming down. It comes with a rainfly that has proven reliable even in heavy rains.
The visor is an excellent addition for rainy days as well. It provides extra ventilation and reduces condensation within the interior without letting any rain in.
It’s just as lightweight as the Nemo Galaxi, making it a great option for backpackers and other campers looking to reduce their gear’s overall weight. However, it is a bit pricier and doesn’t include a footprint as the Nemo Galaxi does.
Like most 3 person tents, it doesn’t fit 3 people. Realistically, a 3 person tent like this will be great for two people and provide plenty of room for gear.
And when it comes to gear storage, we like that this tent has 2 vestibules which give you plenty of room to store wet and muddy gear.
The interior layout of this tent is one of the best parts of it. The walls are vertical, which creates more headroom throughout all aspects of the tent. This set up is ideal compared to a dome tent which provides good headroom at the center but not around the sides.
To make it easier to get in and out of the tent, Kelty has included 3 doors. There’s one front door and two on either side. The front door also has a zippered mesh window which can be used to create maximum ventilation.
The Kelty All Inn is a great all-around tent that will meet a wide variety of campers’ needs. For a reasonable price, you get a spacious, lightweight tent that has been made with quality in mind.
Best of the Rest -- Big Agnes Copper Spur
|Max. Occupancy:||1-4 person options|
The Big Agnes Copper Spur tent protects from the wind any time of the year. And with capacity options ranging from 1-4 person, there’s a tent that will fit many different types of campers’ space needs.
Camping in the winter can leave you exposed to some heavy weather. Winter storms are no joke when they come whipping through, but with the Big Agnes Copper Spur, you’ll be covered.
The vestibule in the front of the tent is efficiently designed, utilizing 2 additional specially designed poles. The result of this unique construction is an awning-style vestibule that creates extra protected living space. It’s a great feature for those sunny days when you want protection from the sun but don’t want to sit inside your tent. It also works well for those days with a light drizzle.
The versatility when it comes to ventilation is very impressive with the Copper Spur. The tent’s main dome is entirely meshed, giving you the option to customize which side of the tent is covered by the rainfly. It also allows ditching the rainfly altogether for complete airflow when the weather is nice.
The quick stash doorkeeper is a cool little feature. It allows you to roll up the door and keep it neatly stored at the top of the door opening. That means no more loose flapping door and easier entering and exiting.
To increase storage space, there are dedicated electronic pockets and a mesh gear loft.
This tent is 2 pounds lighter than the Neo and Northface tents on our list. Featherweight backpackers will appreciate this significant reduction in pack weight.
If you opt to go for the one-person capacity, just be aware that it’s relatively pricey than other one-person tent options.
The Copper Spur is one of the most versatile tents on our list. Whether you’re camping in the heat of the summer or the coldest part of the winter, you’ll love this customizable, lightweight tent.
You’re right to be concerned about camping in high winds. One strong gust can ruin your trip if you’re not properly prepared. Choosing a tent that’s specifically designed to hold up in high winds is perhaps the most crucial part of your preparation.
It’s hard to get much better than the Kodiak Flex canvas tent when it comes to wind resistance. Out of all the tents on this list, it’s the most heavy-duty option. Canvas is a thick material, less prone to ripping, and with more longevity than most other tent fabrics. Plus, the durable steel poles and stakes make it a sturdy tent that will hold up to even the strongest winds
So you’ve chosen to prioritize wind resistance when it comes to your purchase of a tent. It’s a smart move that could save you some serious headache and frustration. On the more positive side, choosing to prioritize wind resistance means you’ll be able to spend more days camping and less time worrying about what the wind forecast says.
That said, there are still other factors that you need to consciously aware of when you decide which high wind tent is right for your camping style. Here are some considerations you should keep in mind when shopping around for wind-resistant tents.
Although some tents may advertise that they can handle high winds, the strength of wind every tent can withstand varies greatly. Not every “high wind tent” will be able to hand the winds you want to be prepared for. On the flip side, the tent could significantly exceed your needs. Either way, you want to be conscious of your wind resistance expectations and the capability of the tent you’re considering.
If you want to be prepared for the worst of the worst, we’re talking about hurricane-strength winds. There are tents out there that can handle 100mph+ winds. Just know that they’re not cheap and that you’ll pay for this extreme wind resistance.
Suppose you’re honest with yourself about your wind resistance needs and decide that you just need a reliable tent in moderate to bordering on strong winds. In that case, you can save yourself a lot of money and/or prioritize other features such as living space or weight.
Chances are if you want to be prepared for heavy winds, you probably also want to be prepared for the heavy rain that often accompanies it.
Look for a tent that includes
- A full-coverage, reliably waterproof rainfly
- A profile design that doesn’t allow water to pool
- Taped or sealed seams
- Fabric with a high waterproof rating.
If you focus on finding a tent that is not only wind resistant but includes the above-listed waterproofing components, your tent will be able to handle even the toughest storms.
Size and weight
You’ll want to take a few factors into account when deciding the size and weight of the wind-resistant tent you choose to purchase.
First, consider how many people you’ll need the tent to fit. Are you camping solo, as a couple, or as a family? The number of campers you’ll be sharing the tent could have the most significant impact on the tent’s size requirements.
You’ll need to decide how portable you want the tent to be. Will you be backpacking with it, or will you be stationary and only transporting it a minimal distance from your vehicle?
The great thing about wind-resistant tents is that they make tents on both ends of this weight and portability spectrum. On the lightest end, you have low profile, featherweight 1-2 person backpacking tents. On the heaviest end, you have steel frame canvas tents that fit 6 or more people. Both types of tents can withstand extreme wind but are intended for very different types of campers.
Whether you want lightweight, heavyweight, or somewhere in between, you’ll need to decide where you fall on this weight/portability spectrum.
Frequently Asked Questions
The strength of a tent’s structure, the durability of the fabric, the aerodynamics of its profile design, and its ability to remain staked to the ground all contribute to the wind resistance of a tent.The strength of a tent’s structure is mostly dependent on the type and quality of material the poles are constructed from. Steel poles are heavy and less vulnerable to breaking, making them more wind resistant than fiberglass and aluminum poles. Certain materials work better in windy conditions than others. Canvas, for instance, is heavier and more durable than nylon and polyester, making them less likely to flap around or rip in heavy winds.When it comes to profile design, specific tents are more likely to catch the wind and therefore experience a greater degree of pressure than tents with a more aerodynamic design. Larger tents with more flat, vertical walls and fewer curves, such as cabin tents, tend to be less wind resistant than smaller, more rounded tents with angles and curves, like dome tents. Other vital factors to consider when determining a particular tent’s wind resistance are the methods and materials used to stake the tent into the ground.High-quality steel stakes will be more effective than plastic or aluminum stakes. The more stakes the tent can use relative to its size will also increase its ability to stay put in high winds. That means not only having an adequate quantity of loops on the body of the tent. It also means having a generous amount of locations to secure guylines. Generally speaking, the more points around a tent that can be held down by stakes, the more wind resistant it will be.
The wind speed a tent can withstand depends on the design and type/quality of materials used by the tent manufacturer. In terms of specific wind speed thresholds, a tent that has not been designed with wind resistance in mind could potentially be knocked down or uprooted by winds greater than 10-15mph. At the other end of the wind resistance spectrum, a tent that has been specifically designed to withstand very heavy winds can potentially withstand winds greater than 100mph. It is far more common to find tents that are capable of withstanding 20-50mph winds than it is to find tents on either extreme side of the wind resistance spectrum.
It is not safe to be in a tent during a thunderstorm. All objects are at risk of being hit by lightning during a thunderstorm, and a tent does not provide any protection against the electric current of a lightning strike. Suppose a tent is hit directly or indirectly by lightning. In that case, the electric pulse will spread throughout the tent and surrounding ground, causing a minor to fatal electrocution of anyone in the tent. Unlike a car, a tent does not act as a faradic cage, which blocks electric pulses from entering an enclosed metal container’s interior. A tent also does not direct electric pulses safely into the ground like a properly wired house. That’s why it's recommended to seek shelter in either a car or house if a thunderstorm is approaching. If waiting out the storm in a house or car is not an option, consider seeking out areas that are naturally protected against lightning, like a cave. If seeking alternative shelter is not possible, and you have to remain in your tent, it is recommended not to set up camp under a solo standing tree or next to the largest tree in the area. You also should not have the tent set up in the middle of the open field because your tent will be the highest object in the area and most likely to be struck by lightning. If possible, seek out the lowest, deepest section of a forest as possible, such as a valley or ravine.
Aside from buying a tent that is structurally designed to resist strong winds, you can use a few techniques to prevent your tent from being blown away. First, you want to make sure that all the main stake loops have been adequately staked down. The most important part of this is to make sure you drive the stakes into secure ground, meaning the ground that will hold the stake in place. If the ground is too loose or light, often the case with sand, loosely packed dust, and wet mud, try moving the tent to firmer ground. If moving to firmer ground is impossible, you can place heavy objects, such as rocks or logs, over the stake to help hold it down. However, this is a far from ideal situation. Once you’ve moved the stakes to the most secure ground available, ensure that the stake has been entirely driven into the ground and that the loop is secured within the hook of the stake. If the stake is easily pulled out of the ground, you may need to drive it further or reconsider the stake placement. Sometimes even slightly altering the position or angle of the stake will provide a more secure hold. Once you have secured the tent’s main stakes, you should stake down as many guy lines as possible. In the case of very heavy winds, you may want to consider using a tarp to either block the wind and add an additional staked down layer of protection. If possible, set your tent up on the leeward side of natural or man-made structures to block the wind. This could include bushes, a grouping of trees, a boulder, or even your car. Another essential tip is to make sure you don’t set your tent up with the door facing the direction the wind is blowing from. If you make this mistake, the wind will fill the tent and essentially create a parachute that could lift the tent from the stakes and blow it away when you open the door. The same piece of advice goes for any windows on the windward side of the tent. If you open them in strong enough winds, it will have the same parachute effect.