Shelter is crucial when it comes to exposure to the elements. From the early stages of humanity’s development, shelter was the thing of utmost importance – from caves to wooden houses and modern buildings.
Having the best survival tent at your disposal is often the reason you make it or break it in the great outdoors.
A well-made emergency survival tent can protect you regardless of the season and the temperatures outside, be it winter, summer, or anything in between.
There are a lot of factors that make a survival tent good or bad.
When you start with construction elements and fabrics used to the quality of manufacturing and stitching, we don’t want you to make the wrong choice as it might be the only thing standing between your life and death in a survival situation.
That’s why we created the best survival tent guide – to help you make an informed choice, guide you through the selection of tents on the market and steer you towards the survival tent that works for you and your lifestyle.
Product Quick Comparison
SERGEANT Emergency Survival Tent
The Sergeant emergency tent is the most budget-friendly on this list. Does it mean that it is cheap for a reason? Well, stick around, and we’ll find out together.
The Sergeant emergency mylar tent is made of the same space-blanket type mylar material like most of the shelters on this list. It is a NASA developed fabric that is designed to retain 90% of your body heat in extreme conditions – hot or cold.
The Sergeant product is lightweight and easy to deploy in an emergency. A 100% lifetime guarantee backs it. Made by an American company, 100% satisfaction against defects and craftsmanship is the number one priority.
The fabric of the tent is waterproof and mold resistant. It is easy to clean and fold away when not needed. The kit weighs only 8.8 ounces, and it thoroughly deserves a place in your travel gear.
- Excellent value
- Mylar material
- Lifetime warranty
- Durability concerns
- Not as easy to pitch
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is in a class of its own. It is one of the best one-man survival tents on the market today. It is a durable, well made single person tent that is designed to protect you during the most extreme situations. The ALPS is actually a proper tent compared to the Sergeant and the Life Tent shelter structures.
While the price tends to be steeper for ALPS products, you often get what you pay for in survival situations, and you don’t want to be left stranded on a mountain top, for example, without real protection from the elements.
The Mountaineering Lynx is a one-person dome tent designed with mountaineering in mind. It is a freestanding survival shelter made of an aluminum frame. The frame poles are easy to assemble with well-designed pole clips. The upper dome portion of the tent is made of half-mesh walls to increase ventilation. The floor is made of 5D 185T poly taffeta and excellent 2000mm waterproof coating.
The Mountain Lynx will sleep comfortably only one person. There is no room for a second one in there – the tent is pretty narrow. Keep that in mind if you decide to test its size, especially in a survival situation.
The Mountain Lynx tent is best suited for mountain goers, single explorers, and backpackers. It will protect you from the elements in most weather conditions, and its waterproofing is excellent. The flies and zippers are all UV resistant and waterproof as well.
- Quick and easy to put up
- Excellent rain protection
- Vestibule to protect your gear
- Good craftsmanship
- Limited space
- No footprint included
TETON Sports Mountain Ultra 4 Tent
The TETON Sports Mountain Ultra 4 Tent is the family-friendly upgraded version of the ALPS mountain Lynx. It can sleep comfortably up to four people, making it ideal for family trips and outings.
The TETON is the ultimate luxury compared to the rest of the tents on this list. While the Life Tent and the Sergeant survival are very basic shelters in their nature, the TETON one is a fully enclosed dome with a strong water, wind, and weather protection.
The four people’s tent is innovation in its finest. The single-pole pitch design makes it almost an automatic shelter. The setup time is one of the fastest on the market, making it an ideal solution in extreme situations, especially when out with the whole family. Just like the ALPS, it is a freestanding design, and you can position it around as you like.
The TETON’s Sport Mountain rain fly has an innovative cut-out design to allow more fresh air in the tent, vastly improving breathability inside. The Ultra 4 model is massive – it is 98″ x 83″ by 59″. Four people can easily fit inside, and there are two convenient doors. Entering and exiting the tent is as easy as it gets.
The weight of the Ultra 4 tent is 9.5 lbs, which is quite reasonable for a four-people outdoor tent. The frame itself is around 5lbs, making it light and easy to carry on treks and long walks. The tent comes with a footprint in the package, which gives you a bit more freedom to choose the deploying location.
Overall, the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra 4 Tent is a superb product that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest outdoor lovers. It has a solid construction, breathable walls, waterproof cover, and an excellent footprint. It’s light enough to carry on long hikes and comfortably fits four inside.
- Excellent quality
- Thoughtful craftsmanship
- Near automatic deployment
- Sturdy footprint
- A bit pricey
Don't Die In The Woods Survival Tent
The makers of this tent want to make the branding clear – don’t die in the woods. We don’t want this to happen to anyone, so let’s see if the survival tent does what’s it supposed to do – prevent you from dying in the woods.
The tent is designed for most outdoor activities – hiking, trekking, camping, and outdoor adventures. In case you run into an emergency situation it can double up as an emergency sleeping bag or even use it as a space blanket.
It made of a strong mylar material that is heat, cold, and moisture resistant. The NASA designed material is built to reflect your body temperature in adverse conditions, be it hot or cold. If there is a chance of hypothermia, mylar blanket can save your life and protect you till rescue arrives.
Just like the Life Tent, it comes with a paracord rope, but it is rated for slightly lower than its competitor – up to 425lbs. The DDITW PRO doesn’t come with a whistle either.
Overall it is a decent reusable survival tent made of sturdy material, and it can protect you well in extreme situations. We’re not quite sure if you get much more in terms of value compared to the Life Tent tho – it is just a little different from it. The branding, however, is by far the coolest on this list!
- Super cool branding/name
- Great Value
- Lightweight and portable
- Mylar fabric
- Weaker rope than the competition
- Concerns about the durability of the fabric
How to Choose the Best Survival Tent for Your Needs?
Let’s take a look at what are the most important features when choosing a survival tent, how to decide what’s the best one for you personally and what are the most frequently asked questions about survival tents:
Capacity and Outdoor Party Size
How many people will seek shelter in the survival tent? That’s probably the most important question here and one that you need answering before purchasing any.
If you often trek or hike alone, you won’t run into any issues finding a suitable tent. All tents on the market are suitable for a single person, so chances are anything you pick online or off the shelf will do the job reasonably well.
However, if you’re often out with or family, you need to be prepared better, especially if some people at your party are inexperienced outdoors. They will need all the help they can get
Deployment time is crucial for survival, especially in extreme conditions.
No one plans to get stuck in a survival situation, well maybe except Bear Grills, but a tent that takes a long time to set up and erect might be the difference between hypothermia and nice and cozy shelter.
If you’re out in the wilderness alone, that might not matter that much, but out with the family or kids, you have to protect them from the elements at all costs.
That’s where the out choice for the best survival tent excels – the TETON Sports Ultra 4 is almost automatic to raise and setup.
That gives you a peace of mind of heavy rain or storm is in the forecast – knowing that your family will be protected in no time if it starts pouring all of a sudden.
Build Quality and Durability
While capacity and size are one of the first things to decide when shopping for a survival tent, the build quality and durability shouldn’t be too far behind.
You don’t want a tent that falls apart with the first gust of wind. You want something durable and tough, a tent that can take some beating before it lets the elements get to you.
The weight of a survival tent is usually proportional to its capacity. If you’re traveling by car or caravan, for example, the weight of your tent almost doesn’t matter – you’re not going to carry it for a long time.
If you’re trekking or hiking, however, the weight of your kit can add up quickly, so it is vital to opt for a lightweight tent.
The usual recommendation is for a two-person tent to not carry anything heavier than 6 lbs. Single person tents should be no more than 2-3 lbs for easy transportation and carrying around.
Seams, Zippers and Waterproofing
Waterproofing is vital when it comes to outdoor gear. You don’t want to be left soaking wet while seeking shelter in your tent.
While waterproofing is crucial, the best tents are both waterproof and breathable. Space-tech materials and fabrics can make a huge difference, and usually, you get exactly what you pay for when it comes to waterproofing.
The floor is one of the most important pieces of your tent. In torrential rains and downpours, it will keep you nice and dry. And an extra layer of a tarp is always a good idea so you can protect the footprint.
While extra features are not essential for survival in extreme situations, additional bells and whistles are always welcome as long as they don’t add too much bulk and weight to your kit.
For example, a nice vestibule will protect your backpack and gear from the rain. A stargazer fly will add a romantic element to the shelter if you’re backpacking with your loved one.
Extra storage will be useful to store personal belongings, important documents, and even passports if you’re crossing borders.
How to Select the Best Tent Location?
- The proximity of water. Select a location that is close to a source of clean water. It’ll be easier and less stressful to fill up your water bottle or wash up if needed.
- Traffic. Don’t position your tent near traffic or animal trails. You don’t want any unexpected visitors, do you?
- Wind exposure. Try to find a location that is sheltered from the wind, if possible.
- Snow. If you’re camping in the snow, avoid placing your tent near trees or snow-laden branches.
- Sun. Consider the exposure to UV rays and the heat from the sun.
- Most importantly – don’t leave your mark on the ground. Clean up after yourself and always be considerate of the land and its inhabitants.
It took as a while to go through all the choices and selection of survival tents on the market in our quest to find which one is the best.
However, they all serve their purpose, and there is rarely a one fit all solution.
The winner was clear, but it is not as straightforward as it sounds. It heavily depends on your situation, the number of people potentially sleeping in a tent and lots of other factors.
Our winner for the best survival tent is the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra 4 Tent. It’s big, it’s strong, it’s durable, and it clearly won the “competition”.
It comfortably sleeps four, and it has two doors and one of the best waterproofing on the market. The construction is strong, and it takes virtually no time to put up.
However, if you’re a single trecker or hiker going on a long trip, you don’t really need all that jazz. Here comes the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx – it is the perfect solution.
It’s light, sturdy, well waterproofed, and it is straightforward to set. The waterproofing is excellent, and the floor is very well insulated. It is a great product for one-man team or if you’re tracking with your dog, for example.
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