best tent for dogs

The Best Tents for Camping With Dogs

Any avid camper knows that the quality of your tent can make or break your trip. Trust me, I’ve been in some very unfortunate situations that could have been avoided if I had just done a little more research. Picture rain leaks, tents blowing over at 1 am, and waiting out extended thunderstorms inside of a tiny tent with two very nervous dogs. Finding the best tents for camping with dogs isn’t easy.


If you make the right purchase, then a tent can feel like a second home. If you make the wrong choice… well. See above. 


Making ‘the right purchase’, however, doesn’t mean that you need the biggest or fanciest tent on the market! It means understanding what to look for, the needs of your dogs, and your personal goals.


So, what should you be looking for when choosing a tent? 


And which are the best tents for camping with dogs?

The Best Tents For Camping With Dogs

UNP Six Person Waterproof and Windproof Family Camping Tent

Best tent for 2 adults and a medium or small dog
CORE Twelve Person Straight Wall Cabin Tent

Best tent for a large dog family
Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent

Best tent for bug free dog camping
Coleman 4-Person Juniper Lake Instant Dome Tent

Best quick set up tent for single human and dog
TETON Sports Mesa 10 6-Person Canvas Tent

Best tent for doggie durability and tall humans

Camping novice? Keep reading if you want to know what exactly makes a tent ‘dog-friendly’. 


If you’re a little more experienced, then feel free to skip down to our full review of these tents below!

best tents for camping with dogs

How to Choose The Best Tents For Camping With Dogs

While we’d love to introduce you to the only tent you’ll ever need, it’s unfortunately not quite that simple! Every dog and camper has different needs, and only you can judge what’s best for you and your pet.


Consider Your Camping Style

Think about the type of camping trips you hope to take with your dog. You’ll need to consider a few different aspects to make sure your tent will fit your needs.


Weather Conditions

Are you a beachside summer camper or do you prefer exploring in a cooler climate? Do you live in an area frequently impacted by strong winds or heavy rains?


Neither of these events should stop you from getting out and about with your dog, but you will want to invest in a tent strong enough to handle their power.


Group Size

The requirements of a solo traveler with one dog are going to be different from those of a family traveling with three dogs. 


I fall in the middle, usually traveling solo with both of my two dogs. Even as the only human in our tent, I still find that we need a decent amount of room to keep from feeling cooped up. Currently, we use a 4-person tent and find it to be a great fit. 


Length of Your Trip

If you’re setting off on a cross-country road trip and will be staying in one place for longer periods of time, you may choose to prioritize comfort over ease of setup. 


For someone who is more looking at quick weekend getaways, a slightly smaller pop-up tent may be better, even if it’s slightly smaller in size.


Features To Look For In A Dog Friendly Tent

Every tent on the market is suited to someone – but is that someone a dog?


Size and Capacity

The most important thing I’ve learned while camping with dogs? Always size up. Camping with dogs means extra supplies and you want to be able to keep these things close by.


Tents come in many different sizes and are, as an example, often referred to as being ‘4-person tents’ or ‘12-person tents’. If you’re new to camping, these names can be slightly overwhelming and a little bit misleading. I often hear new campers say: why would I need that much room? I’m never going to go camping with four other people!


The catch is that a 4-person tent will not comfortably fit four grown adults, let alone all of their gear, and then still leave room for bedding on top. In a pinch it’s survivable, but I would never recommend purchasing a tent with the intention to use it at its maximum occupancy. 


However, if you’re not traveling with a large number of supplies (or dogs) and your pup is quite easygoing, it may be worth giving a smaller tent a try. Many YouTube reviews will give you a better indication of the real size inside of a tent, rather than just trying to interpret measurements.


It’s worth noting that most tents bigger than a 4-person typically have internal dividers.


Consider whether you will be okay sharing one room with your dogs and any other companions, or whether having the choice to close any internal doors would be more comfortable. While some dogs will fret if separated from their owner by a tent wall, others may need that space to feel safe. If you are bringing young children along, can you trust them to reside unsupervised in the same space as your pet, or would they be better off sleeping apart? 


Material and Structure

Thick, sturdy materials will be your best option when camping with a dog. You will need something that provides enough protection from the elements and will be able to withstand your dog’s more boisterous movements and tough nails. A tent with strong poles and a thicker bottom will be a worthy investment. 


For any beginners, here is a brief overview of the most common tent materials:


Nylon Tents

If you’re looking for something lightweight, then nylon should be your first choice of fabric.  Nylon is often water-resistant due to the coating applied, making it great for a multitude of weather conditions. 


However, these same weather conditions can wear nylon down very quickly. It’s much more susceptible to sun damage than its counterparts, and consistent rain can also take a toll. 


While nylon isn’t the most durable material on the market, it can still hold its own for a decent amount of time. Many nylon tents are reinforced with a ripstop weave. This is a special technique that utilizes woven fabrics to prevent tearing and ripping.


Polyester Tents

Polyester tents are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their affordable price point and multitude of characteristics. 


Polyester is one of the least absorbent materials on the market, making the tent less likely to become weighed down with water and preventing the awning from sagging in wet weather. They last longer visually than nylon, being less likely to suffer from UV damage.


They are one of the least durable materials on the market and are a perfect starting point for the occasional camper who plans on venturing out in mild conditions. 


Cotton/Canvas Tents

Cotton is an incredibly popular fabric due to its breathability and insulating properties. 


If you plan on camping in a variety of environments, a cotton tent is a great way to cover all of the basics. It has a great lifespan and is tough and durable enough to survive most calamities. 


The trick to using a cotton tent is ensuring you weather the fabric before use. Weathering is the practice of exposing the fabric to water (whether that is rain or comes straight from your garden hose) before the tent’s initial use. This activates the cotton fibers and will help to further protect you from any sneaky showers on your next trip. 


If you’re concerned about weight, a cotton or canvas tent might not be for you. They can be quite thick and become even heavier to carry when exposed to water. If you need to pack up in a hurry, it may not be as simple as you would like.


Tip: If you find the bottom of your tent too thin, you can prevent wear and tear by clipping your dog’s nails immediately before a trip and laying down a thick tarp. 


Price Point

For many people, the price point is the most important consideration! I’ve owned cheap tents and budget breakers, and have found that both categories have some fantastic options. Camping really is a hobby for anyone and can be as inexpensive or luxurious as you make it.


For this reason, our list of the five best dog-friendly camping tents has picks from both ends of the budget. Whether you’re ready to invest in a multi-purpose tent or are just looking for a beginner’s option, we have you covered below.

dog tent

The Five Best Tents for Camping With Dogs

UNP Six Person Waterproof and Windproof Family Camping Tent

The UNP Six-Person Family Camping Tent has plenty of space, both outwards and upwards. This tent comes in at 10ft x 9ft x 78in, making it a fantastic choice for those traveling with a friend or partner as well as multiple dogs. 


At a maximum capacity, I would recommend this option for two human travelers and two small to large dogs, comfortable sleeping in close quarters. I found that this tent provided plenty of space for both of my dogs and I to spread out, and we’re quite the eclectic mix.


The height of this tent is a great dog-friendly addition as you can get changed standing up. This was an absolute winner for me, since it meant that I never had to leave my dogs unattended while I changed in the camp bathroom. Since we do a lot of remote camping, there isn’t always another alternative available.


I found the mesh ceiling option to be an incredibly nice touch. This is mainly designed to aid in ventilation, but being able to remove the covering and enjoy the stars from your bed is a pretty special experience.


While this tent held up well in gentle wet weather, I wouldn’t make it my first choice for more extreme conditions. The poles are not the sturdiest on the market but certainly hold up well under everyday circumstances.


CORE Twelve Person Straight Wall Cabin Tent

The CORE Twelve Person Straight Wall Cabin Tent is built to impress with its size and dual entry. This luxurious tent measures in at 16ft x 11ft x 86in and is advertised as being able to fit four queen mattresses. While I can’t say I’ve tested that myself, I will confirm that it’s a perfect choice for families or large friend groups with multiple dogs in tow.


The dual entry and room dividers are by far my favorite features on this tent. It allows for the dogs to have their own space plus additional room to store all of their extra equipment. The dual entry and exit doors also mean you aren’t constantly disturbing your tent mates each time you take a bathroom break through the night, whether they happen to have the hearing of a basset hound or just regular old human ears. 


Of course, its size is also its downfall. This tent understandably takes a little while to set up and pack down. For this reason, I would recommend this only for longer stays rather than quick overnight stop-offs. It just isn’t practical to set this up daily. While it also isn’t overly heavy for the average person, weighing in at 41 lbs, I wouldn’t recommend it if you plan on hiking with your tent.


If you’re taking a longer and more family-oriented trip though? This is perfect!


For a tent of its size, durability, and craftsmanship, the price falls within quite a reasonable range. The convenience of space quickly pays for itself when camping with a big mixed group of people and dogs.


Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent 

The coleman dog tent is a great choice if you’re looking for something mid-range and roomy. 


WeatherMaster is a very apt name, as this is a four-season tent, meaning it can withstand all sorts of conditions. We had no issues with leaking during rainstorms and felt very secure through high winds. The flooring is designed to be waterproof, and this extra durability makes it great at surviving dog nails!


Thanks to the included screen room and generous use of meshing, the tent remains well ventilated and we had no issues with condensation or our items feeling damp after heavy showers.


While it isn’t a must-have for us, the screen room is a lovely extra touch. It’s a clever way to provide your dogs with a cool and confined place to rest during the day, without having to secure them inside or purchasing a stand-alone awning. 


I will be honest and say I don’t love that the main door is hinged. It’s slightly raised, making it difficult to access for smaller dogs especially. Fortunately, you can still access the interior through the standard zip entrance in the screen room. It just isn’t quite as dog-friendly as I would like. 


However, it’s still a high-quality tent that comes in at a fantastic price point. The durable floor and high levels of weather-proofing make this tent one of our top five.


Coleman 4-Person Juniper Lake Instant Dome Tent 

In case you missed it, we’re pretty big Coleman fans! This 4-person dome tent is a great option for the solo traveler, or even someone camping with multiple smaller dogs. If you’re traveling in a smaller car, you’ll also be impressed with the pack-down size. 


This is an instant tent, meaning it comes with pre-attached poles. This is a lifesaver on shorter trips where you’ll be setting up and packing down frequently! It also makes setting up camp solo much easier. You don’t need to invest in an engineering degree to pop it together, all while trying to keep excited dogs at bay.


I find this 4-person tent to be particularly fantastic thanks to the included annex. This gives you all the benefits of a quick set-up with the upside of a dedicated sleeping place for your dog or storage for their supplies. 


This Coleman tent is not quite as sturdy or long-lasting as the WeatherMaster. It’s also only a three-season tent. However, it’s still equipped with similar rainproofing technology, making it a solid stand-alone choice that is great for beginners. For more intense conditions, I would give an instant tent a miss. 


TETON Sports Mesa 10 6-Person Canvas Tent

If you are an experienced camper ready to upgrade your tent, then this is our top pick for you! 


The TETON Sports Mesa 6-Person Canvas Tent is the most expensive tent on this list, and that’s thanks to its canvas material and high level of durability. Try to look past the price point if you can – this is definitely a worthy investment piece. 


As a big dog owner, I appreciated the extra-wide entrance doors. It makes for incredibly easy access for the dog and meant we were able to bring the crates in and out with ease. The sturdy material also means tough flooring, making it a great fit for muddy paws and scratchy nails. 


The biggest downfall of the TETON is that it can become hot quite quickly. Fortunately, this is easily countered with a shady spot and opening up the windows to increase ventilation. This issue also is offset by the tent’s ability to withstand strong weather events and its excellent rainproofing. If you are a less adventurous camper, however, this trade-off may not be worth it for you. 


Despite its perks, I likely wouldn’t recommend this tent to a solo camper simply due to its weight and large size. This option would work best for a family with dogs who enjoy car camping.


dog friendly tents

Our Final Thoughts

Camping can quickly become in-tents if you find yourself without the right equipment. When camping with a dog, choosing the perfect tent is all about being able to anticipate the needs of your pack. 


The best way to do this as a beginner? Pick a simple tent and get out there! You’ll very quickly figure out which features are a necessity and which are simply creature comforts that you may want to do without.


Remember that camping with dogs is a learning curve. There’s no harm in getting a bit messy and making a few mistakes. Just make sure you do a little preliminary research and, most importantly, have a fantastic time!