10 Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain

So you’re going camping and decided you are not going to bank on the weather being perfect. Probably a great choice, and you need a waterproof tent to get you through. Rain and snow can hit at any time in the backcountry and the last thing you want to be is unprepared. A good waterproof tent for heavy rain should withstand the elements of nature, and above all keep you and your belongings dry and safe.

We’ve broken down the best waterproof tents on the market to keep you dry outside. Whether if you’re camping with friends, solo in the backcountry, or mountaineering these are some of the best of the best ranging in all shapes, colors, sizes, and prices. Let’s dig in.


Why Do You Need a Waterproof Tent?


Simple – to not get wet! While a budget camping tent will do the job of giving you shelter in the outdoors, a proper waterproof tent is built better, is more durable, and designed to keep the heavy rain and moisture off you. If you are camping in areas that are prone to lots of rain, or out in the backcountry a lot you’ll want to look for a waterproof tent. Yes, they are typically more expensive, but you get what you pay for!



Features to Look for in Waterproof Tents


Design

The design of a specific tent can directly impact its waterproof capabilities. All tents should include a rainfly of course. Beyond that make sure you find a tent that doesn’t hold water at the top and easily allows rain flow to trickle off the tent.

Pay attention to the walls of the tent. Tents are either single or double-walled. Double-walled tents are the more common find and include the main structure that has a screen panel allowing ventilation. With airflow and proper ventilation, any condensation will evaporate.

Single-walled tents have one layer of waterproof material, meaning it can make moisture creep up faster in the tent.

As mentioned you need a tent with a rainfly. All tents should come with one, but if you are buying used and it doesn’t you should pass on that. A rainfly is great to throw up when there is a chance it might rain. -or worse – it’s raining when you set up your tent. On absolutely clear nights you can leave the rainfly off and stargaze. Make note of your rainfly and how it attaches to the tent. Clip sons make it quicker if you are caught in a sudden storm.

Tent Construction

Pay attention to the tent construction. The brands listed in this article are all high quality and reputable brands that pride themselves on their durability and contraction. Still, it’s important to take note of the specific features of a tent. Like the zippers. Zippers should be heavy-duty to protect against leakage. Make sure the tent floors offer waterproof material and that they extend up the sides. Some tents include a bathtub floor to allow another layer of protection against water.

Tent Shape

The shape of your tent can definitely play a roll in keeping you dry. You’ll find most tents are dome and A-frame. A dome tent will allow water to slip off the sides and offer greater wind stability. An A-frame tent has vertical walls creating a roomier feel, but the flatter roofs mean water pools at the top. Most of the waterproof tents listed here are dome tents.

Tent Price

Believe it or not waterproof tents can actually get very pricy. Make sure your budget aligns with your objective. There are different price ranges of tents listed here, but in general, the more heavy-duty and lighter a tent is the more expensive it is. It’s important to make sure you’re buying the right tent for you and your usage.

Tent Usage

Are you camping with the family and pulling up to your campsite with your car? Or are you trekking 45 km up a mountain pass and camping? Are you mountaineering and having a chill weekend by the river? All of these things are important to ask yourself before you buy a tent. You want to make sure you’re buying the right tent for your activities.

Tent Seasonality

Are you camping in the summer season only? Then a 2 season tent is perfect for you. These tents tend to have lots of mesh and ventilation. to keep you cool

3 season tents offer heavier construction to allow you to camp in the summer and off-season while 4 season tents can handle snow and winter weather.


Waterproof Tents Comparison Chart – Quick View

ProductDescriptionPrices
NEMO Dagger 3 Waterproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Backpacking
Seasons: 3 season
Sleeping capacity: 3 person
Weight: 4 lbs 5 oz
Check Here
Mountain Hardwear Aspect 3 Rain Proof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Backpacking
Seasons: 3 season
Sleeping capacity: 3
Weight: 4 lbs 2 oz
Check Here
Black Diamond Fitzroy Waterproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Backpacking, mountaineering, snowsports
Seasons: 4 season
Sleeping capacity: 3 person
Weight: 7 lbs 1 oz
Check Here
MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 Backpacking Waterproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain

Best use:
 Backpacking
Seasons: 3 season
Sleeping capacity: 3 person
Weight: 4 lbs 13 oz
Check Here
Exped Outer Space III Waterproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Backpacking
Seasons: 3 season
Sleeping capacity: 3 person
Weight: 7 lbs 5 oz
Check Here
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Waterproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Backpacking
Seasons: 3 season
Sleeping capacity: 2 person
Weight: 3 lbs 2 oz
Check Here
North Face VE
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Mountaineering
Seasons: 4 season
Sleeping capacity: 3 person
Weight: 10 lbs 5 oz
Check Here
Kelty Camp Bundle Family Weatherproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Camping
Seasons: 3 season
Sleeping capacity: 4 person
Weight: 14 lbs 8 oz
Check Here
REI Arete Rain Proof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Backpacking
Seasons: 3-4 season
Sleeping capacity: 2 person
Weight: 6 lbs 5 oz
Check Here
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Waterproof Tent
Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain
Best use: Mountaineering
Seasons: 4 season
Sleeping capacity: 4 person
Weight: 12 lbs 12.4 oz
Check Here

Best Waterproof Tents for Heavy Rain


NEMO Dagger 3 Waterproof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 3 person
  • Weight: 4 lbs 5 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 90 x 70 inches
  • Floor Area: 43.9 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 41 inches

The NEMO Dagger 3 Tent is ideal for backpacking and one of the best tents for heavy rain. It’s light enough that you can sling it on your backpack and be ready to hit the trail, but not so tiny when it’s up that you feel like you’re sleeping in some cramped cocoon chamber.

The main thing we love about the NEMO Dagger 3 is its ability to weather out a rainstorm. From experience, we can definitely say that keeping you and your stuff dry is super important. Obviously.

The rainfly fabric is constructed from 15 denier silicon and coated ripstop nylon. To put it simply, that means it’ll keep out water as well as wind chill, keeping you cozy and dry inside.

Basically, it’s a really well-designed tent, and perfect for a few days’ backpacking. It’s light; it’s strong, it’s waterproof. One of our favorite things about this awesome waterproof tent is that there’s even space inside for a few people to hang out and play a game of cards on a rainy night.

It’s easy to set up. All the poles are connected as one unit, making it super-fast to set up. There’s even mesh ventilation at the top for stargazing!


Mountain Hardwear Aspect 3 Rain Proof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 3
  • Weight: 4 lbs 2 oz
  • Floor Area: 41.25 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 43 inches

Mountain Hardwear often gets our vote with their dedicated and purpose-designed gear, and their Aspect 3 Tent gets the same applause from us. The Aspect 3 is one of the best waterproof tents on the market. It lives up to just about everything you’d hope it would be.

It may be a 3 person tent, but it’s still light and compact — lighter and more compact than some tents designed for less capacity. That’s a big bonus.

Setting up is simple; it’s honestly hard for anybody to get wrong. There’s a unique clipping system going on with the poles – a pretty ingenious system actually. It makes for speedy packing and assembly; treat if you just need to get going — or you’re hungry and need to bed down and get started with food.

Made from 20 denier ripstop nylon, this top waterproof tent is also tough against the sun’s harmful rays. Another element adding to the waterproof credentials for wet-weather camping are the two dry-entry vestibules, which mean you can stash your stuff and keep the inside of the tent dry, too.

Even when the heavy rain is hammering down, this tent from Mountain Hardwear really does the trick.


Black Diamond Fitzroy Waterproof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking, mountaineering, snowsports
  • Seasons: 4 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 3 person
  • Weight: 7 lbs 1 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 95 x 60 / 45in
  • Floor Area: 36sq ft
  • Peak Height: 40 inches

To put it simply, the Black Diamond Fitzroy is a next-level expedition tent that stands up to adverse weather. It’s one of the best waterproof tents out there and will be the perfect addition to your hiking kit.

Designed with single-wall fabric that’s not only waterproof but windproof and breathable too, it’s the kind of tent that is an investment piece. It’ll last you for decades of adventures – from coastal hikes to high alpine treks. This tent will have your back.

Wind, rain, snow, even when the weather gets really bad, you’ll feel pretty snug and secure inside this Black Diamond offering. 

It may be heavier than other tents out there, but that’s because it’s so specialized. And once you’ve set it up a few times, and you get to know the tent well, you’ll know that there’ll be no risk of getting wet or battered around too much by the wind.

The Black Diamond Fitzroy Tent is double-doored, making it easy to get in and out, plus there’s a load of organizational pockets inside to stash your stuff. There’s also the option to buy a vestibule to attach to add a little more room.


MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 Backpacking Waterproof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 3 person
  • Weight: 4 lbs 13 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 84 x 68 inches
  • Floor Area: 39 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 44 inches

If you like a bit of comfort in your tent and plenty of room to stretch out in nature when you’re away from home, then this durable tent provides that slice of coziness for you.

The MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 Tent is first and foremost super easy and straightforward to set up — and we all know how valuable that is when it comes to putting away your tent and getting on the road. 

We love the spaciousness of this tent. It’s got a relatively huge footprint, without any tapering, making sure that all the available space is maximized. Yep – that means there’s enough room for your feet and your head!

It’s actually been updated from the previous model to have not only amazing waterproofing, but hefty wind resistance added as well. On top of that, the seams are precision stitched, so there’s no worry here about any leakage. Outside, there are a lot of tie-down points and added ground stakes, meaning you can really secure yourself for the night.

Inside, there’s a fabric loop for hanging up the lantern, organizational pockets, and space for 3 people, making it feel pretty homey for a tent.


Exped Outer Space III Waterproof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 3 person
  • Weight: 7 lbs 5 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 84.6 x 59 inches
  • Floor Area: 34.6 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 65 inches

The Exped Outer Space III does kind of look like it comes from outer space, but don’t let the wacky shape fool you — it’s been carefully thought out to give you optimum use for a rain proof tent.

Not only does the front porch open up nicely so you can hang out with a coffee in the morning (or a beer or two at night), but it also has what’s been dubbed “party mode.” This means the fly can be totally detached and used alone, giving you plenty of room for a gathering.

If you’re not into parties, don’t worry. Having just the fly alone means you can head out for a lightweight trip, especially if you’re pretty sure that the weather is going to be alright.

Basically, it’s a great all-round rain proof tent that’ll protect you from the heavy rain. You won’t feel cramped, and it’s comfy; the front vestibule is spacious, and you can open both sides to create nice airflow for ventilation.


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Waterproof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 2 person
  • Weight: 3 lbs 2 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 88 x 52inches
  • Floor Area: 29 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 40 inches

The recently updated Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a top waterproof tent for backpacking and one of the best tents for heavy rain. It’s strong, it’s light, and it’s hard-wearing.

One of the things we like most about this tent is the vestibules. They’re great for stashing a good amount of baggage and equipment you may be carrying, for a start. But they also expand outwards to become awnings, adding living space (and more value), which is great not just in the drizzle but on sunny days — perfect for breakfast or a relaxing after a hike.

They call it a “chill zone,” which we’re totally into, of course!

Though it’s 3 season, the awnings of this tent automatically put us in mind of a tent that is built for warmer weather. 

It’s also super fast to set up and disassemble, it’s ultra-lightweight, and there are some other intuitive features — like the “mezzanine” floor for off-the-floor storage as well as media pockets — that have been included to make camping not just a breeze but a joy


North Face VE (Mountaineering Rain Proof Tent) 


  • Best use: Mountaineering
  • Seasons: 4 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 3 person
  • Weight: 10 lbs 5 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 104 x 85 inches
  • Floor Area: 48 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 48 inches

North Face makes a great rain proof tent here with the VE. This black and yellow beast of a tent is literally all you need for extreme alpine conditions. The North Face VE offers up all-season protection and will keep you safe and dry at any altitude, in any weather, for just about any mountaineering expedition.

Expertly designed to keep you (and your stuff) safe and dry in extreme conditions, this North Face tent may not be cheap, but definitely is an investment. Even after extensive use in the winter months, or multiple nights out in wind, rain, snow, and sun, it stands up against the elements.

This awesome waterproof tent has a water-resistant canopy (constructed from 40 denier uncoated ripstop nylon, if you were wondering). It’s also super spacious — it’s for 3 people, but if there’s just the two of you, you’ll have plenty of room for your gear and to hang out too.

Added extras, like color-coded glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, loads of interior pockets, hanger loops, and other goodies, make this tent go the extra mile for your camping needs.


Kelty Camp Bundle Family Weatherproof Tent


  • Best use: Camping
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 4 person
  • Weight: 14 lbs 8 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 97 x 81 inches
  • Peak Height: 57.5 inches

It may not be for the serious expeditioners out there, but the Kelty Camp Bundle has just about everything you need (and more) for that first time camping adventure. It’s the best waterproof family tent on this list.

Not necessarily one to carry around on a pack for days on end — as it’s pretty weighty — this top waterproof tent is more for a few days out in the nature of your choosing. If you’re driving somewhere with a kid or a dog, this is also a good option.

This tent is actually very spacious. There’s enough room to have your sleeping bags laid out on one side and stash your clothes and gear on the other without feeling too crammed in.

Even on cooler nights, this Kelty tent does a good job of keeping you warm. The dryness credentials are even better: you could literally be caught in a storm and end up basically being camped in a puddle, but you’ll still stay dry. Not a drop of water will get in as it’s an ideal weatherproof camping tent. As far as tents on this list go, the Kelty is a great cheap waterproof tent.


REI Arete Rain Proof Tent


  • Best use: Backpacking
  • Seasons: 3-4 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 2 person
  • Weight: 6 lbs 5 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 88 x 57 inches
  • Floor Area: 32.9 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 43 inches

Specifically designed with a 4-pole system, this tent really maximizes on space and comes packed with tons of room for its size. There’s some pretty innovative design going on with the REI Arete, resulting in extra living and storage room.

The space might not be a plus point to you if you’re spending all your time outdoors hiking and whatnot. But if you have to weather out a storm, being crammed inside a small tent is not fun. There’s enough room to sit up in this one and not feel too cramped.

The waterproof credentials are one of our favorite things about the REI Arete. The inner tent is fully closeable, for a start, and is constructed so that moisture won’t leak into problem areas like guy points or zippers.

There’s a vestibule that overhangs the tent door when it’s unzipped; the rain stays outside, where it should be, and your bag stays dry. There are also a fair few pockets for organization and vents for cross-ventilation, helping stave away any condensation or moisture that may build up.


Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Waterproof Tent


  • Best use: Mountaineering
  • Seasons: 4 season
  • Sleeping capacity: 4 person
  • Weight: 12 lbs 12.4 oz
  • Floor Dimension: 96 x 94 inches
  • Floor Area: 57 sq ft
  • Peak Height: 50 inches

First up, can we just say that we are loving the color popping blue-and-red of this Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent? It’s definitely one of the coolest waterproof tents out there.

But don’t let the bright colors fool you; this is one of the best tents for rain and a high performing (and high cost) tent for proper alpine expeditions in unrelenting weather — and it’s as high spec as you’d imagine it to be.

It’s made from 10,000mm waterproof nylon, which really keeps out any form of outdoor wetness. There are even snow flaps that seal up for snowdrifts. It’s also pretty easy to set up, with color-coded featherlight poles that are also high-strength to keep you secure.

The bathtub-style floor really ups the protection from adverse weather and will keep you dry – or your stuff dry if you’re out for the day exploring.

Space-wise, the large vestibule at the front of the tent gives you a lot of room to store your gear, and there’s enough room left over to hang out and sleep inside. There’s even a small rear vestibule with easy-access from inside the tent itself — perfect for stashing any excess or important gear. It’s a winner, alright.

Zambia
Camping in extremely heavy rain in Zambia
Camping in heavy rain

Tips for Camping in Heavy Rain


Check the Weather

It’s best to avoid hiking and camping in heavy rain. Check the weather forecasts and if there are severe storms on the horizon consider replanning. The good news is if you must camp in heavy rain you’ll likely be all alone to enjoy nature to yourself.

Have a Positive Attitude

Rain sucks. But if it happens on your trip keep your spirits up and have a positive attitude!

Pitching Your Tent

When setting up your tent keep any wet items outside your tent. This includes your clothing. You’ll want to keep the inside of your tent dry. This means if you have to pitch your tent in torrential rains undress after it’s set up before getting inside. Don’t bring in a wet backpack or jacket It’s important to keep the inside of the tent.

Test Your Tent

If you’re going on a big backpacking trip where you will likely be caught in at least a little rain set up your tent first in your backyard on a rainy day and see how it holds up. This way you can prepare first at home for any emergency situations in the backcountry.

Keep Gear Dry

When it first starts to sprinkle don’t keep hiking. Check your backpack and put a rain cover on. If light rain soaks in through the backpack it can ruin the rest of your day and potentially be life-threatening.

Have Quick Dry Clothing

It’s important to choose hiking clothing that will dry quickly and keep you warm, even if they happen to get wet. Always hike with a rain jacket. Repelling water and controlling body heat is extremely important in the backcountry. Consider purchasing a pair of rain pants and Goretex hiking shoes as well.

Read Next

Leave a Comment