It doesn’t matter if you are camping with the family, or heading out on a solo expedition, it’s always crucial to be prepared for the weather ahead of time. Choosing the best tent for high winds will ensure that you are secure and fully protected against all windy conditions that come your way.
Typically smaller, and more aerodynamic tents work best in high winds. However, we understand that it’s not always practical for a family of 6 to take 3 different 2-person tents camping.
Therefore we have listed the best tents for windy conditions in order of capacity, ranging from 1-person, up to 6-person. Any tents that are higher in-capacity, can still be used in high winds given that they are tied down securely.
Most of the tents on the list are 3 or 4-season tents, meaning they can be used most of the year. The reality is that these tents perform better in adverse weather conditions.
It would be easy for us to list large tents with all of the bells and whistles to make camping comfortable, but it’s likely that these tents won’t go anywhere near a mountain top or anywhere where the wind speeds are high enough to cause a problem. We are listing only the best tents for high winds, not any old tent that we can find.
Jump To The Best Tent For High Winds
Tents For Strong Wind Reviews:
Ease of Pitching
If you are heading out on a solo expedition in heavy rain, high winds, or snow then the Alps Mountaineering Lynx could be a great choice for you. It is very simple and fast to set-up, using a 2-pole freestanding design which then gets covered by the rain fly.
The rainfly is made from 75D 185T Polyester which is UV resistant. The tent also features a small vestibule area which is ideal for storing hiking boots and other gear just outside of the tent. The interior walls are mainly mesh which improves ventilation in hot weather, and the rainfly keeps all wind out of the tent during windy conditions.
- Base Size: 2’8 x 7’6
- Center Height: 36″
- Vestibule Depth: 32″
- Tent Area: 20 square feet
- Vestibule Area: 10 square feet
- Minimum Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz.
- Total Weight: 4 lbs. 1 oz.
- Packed Size: 6″ x 17″
- Pole Diameter: 8.5 mm
What We Like
- Sealed seams for improved water resistance.
- Comes with heavy-duty stakes and guy ropes.
- The total weight is 4lbs 1oz. which means it’s great for backpacking.
Ease of Pitching
The next tent on our list is a great choice for 2-people camping together, or as a solo camper who needs a little extra room for some gear.
The Geertop 4 season tent is made from high-quality, fully rainproof, and extremely lightweight 210 T anti-tear Polyester. The exterior also features a coating that makes the rainfly UV resistant and waterproof to a rating of PU 3000mm making it suitable for moderate-heavy rain and snow.
The tent is a 2-layer build, with an interior, well-ventilated layer that can be used on its own in hot weather. Add the 2nd rainfly layer to prevent any wind or rain from entering the tent.
What We Like
- Double-stitched seams for better wind and rain resistance.
- Fast and simple set-up.
- Built-in snow skirt prevents snow and wind from entering underneath the tent.
- Compact packed design, allowing the tent to be easily transported in a backpack.
Ease of Pitching
Coleman has been one of the leading manufacturers of outdoor gear since 1901! Their tent range is one of the most popular in the world. We are sure that if you also love the outdoors, you have probably heard of Coleman.
This particular tent is made for backpacking and therefore is very simple to erect and lightweight to carry around. It has a maximum occupancy of 3-people. However, if you are looking for a more comfortable 3-person tent and aren’t bothered about the weight, then check out the 4-person option as the 3-person might be a tight squeeze.
Overall, it is very well protected from the elements, featuring a full-coverage rainfly, which is water-resistant, has inverted seams, and water-resistant zippers.
The frame has a ‘wind-strong frame’ which has been engineered to be stronger, and more wind responsive with redesigned poles and guy out triangles. In other words, this tent has been designed with wind protection specifically in mind.
What We Like
- Vestibule/porch area.
- Wind-strong frame.
- Inverted seams improve weather-resistance.
- Welded inspired waterproof floor.
Ease of Pitching
The next best tent for windy conditions on our list is a 4-season tent with impressive wind and rain resistance, whilst maintaining a very light carry weight for backpacking.
The water-resistance is rated at 5000mm which means that this tent can withstand heavy rain and snowfall.
There is a small vestibule area that is suitable for storing hiking boots, it can also be pulled straight and rested on two hiking poles to create a sun-shade.
This tent comes with an impressive 15 heavy-duty steel stakes that allows the tent to be strongly secured on any terrain.
What We Like
- Gear loft allows for useful storage of smaller items.
- 15 Steel stakes with attachment points provide a very secure fixing to the ground.
- Side ventilation windows also allow this tent to be used in hotter weather.
- The zippers have a velcro covering which further improves wind and water resistance.
Ease of Pitching
It’s difficult to find a high-quality high wind tent which can sleep up to 6-people due to the larger sizes of the tents. However, the Big Agnes Mountaineering Tent is specifically designed to be used on the mountain and be exposed to high winds and heavy rain. It features an aerodynamic design and rainfly that is pulled taught to improve wind flow over the tent.
These spacious and strong tents are designed for four-season, all year mountaineering. Featuring two doors and two vestibule areas. The doors have two closure options – zip-up mesh door only for maximum ventilation or zip up the polyester layer for full protection. The tent is ready to pitch with pre-measured and cut double guy-lines which are designed to give added strength and stability in high winds.
What We Like
- Two separate vestibule areas.
- Pre-cut guy-lines.
- Heavy-duty briefcase-style carry case.
- Can easily accommodate 6-people comfortably.
- Rated to be used in 4-seasons.
How To Choose The Best Tent For Windy Conditions
It’s almost impossible to camp in high wind speeds in an ordinary tent. You should never camp on mountain-sides or in exposed areas unless the tent has been designed specifically to deal with the extreme conditions. Below we will go over some of the key features you should understand before purchasing a high wind tent.
Most people have a basic understanding of aerodynamics. A lot of science and engineering goes into the design of a tent to make them more streamlined. Similar to the thought that goes into a car or airplane.
It goes without saying that you wouldn’t want a tent with a high and ‘boxy’ design in high winds. This would provide a large surface area for the wind to push up against, ultimately leading to your tent being torn apart or a very uncomfortable nights sleep.
Ideally you want a tent with a low profile, which is close to the ground (sorry, you probably won’t be able to stand up in most high wind tents) and has a streamlined shape. Look at more dome and triangular shaped tents, rather than large box or house shaped tents.
Closable Mesh & Windows
Most tents will have mesh sections either on the inner lining or on the outer rain fly. They have this section as it improves ventilation and breathability in hotter weather. After all, you want a tent you can use all year and not just in high winds.
For using a tent in high winds, you want to be able to seal all windows and outer mesh areas closed so no wind can enter the tent. If the mesh is on the inner lining and is covered by the windproof rainfly, this is not a massive issue.
High-Quality Stakes & Many Anchor Points
It’s not enough to just pin your tent to the ground via the 3 or 4 corners. The best tents for high wind, usually come with an anchoring point on all corners, and in between every corner.
This will allow you to securely fasten the tent to many points in the terrain and ensure that the rainfly is pulled right over the inner section of the tent.
Another issue isn’t the number of anchoring points, but it’s what kind of stakes you anchor your tent down with. Most reputable brands will always include heavy-duty steel stakes, and we would always recommend sticking with metal stakes for their strength and durability.
Most tents will come with ‘J’ shaped stakes, these are fine, assuming that the metal is thick enough to prevent any bending.
Alternatively, you can purchase the stakes separately, we would advise trying to get stakes that are at least 7″ in length, as this allows you to drive the stake deep into the ground for better anchoring. If you are buying a backpacking tent, then you should also consider Aluminum stakes over Steel as they will be much lighter in your backpack.
Sewn In Groundsheets
The best tent for high winds should have a sewn-in groundsheet, this essentially means that your groundsheet has been connected to the inner walls with no gaps.
All top brands will use either, welded, taped, or inverted stitch seams to prevent any air or water from passing through. This is the best way to prevent any drafts in your sleeping area.
Whilst some manufactures will mention that the tent does not need to be used with a footprint due to the thick and waterproof bottom of the tent. We always think it’s a good idea to use one. Mainly because it can help prevent any damage to the underside of your tent, especially if you are camping on rocky and uneven terrain.
A footprint will also give you some extra protection against water seeping through the seams on the floor of your tent.
It’s typically believed that the more times your poles cross over each other, the stronger the frame and the better the tent is against high winds. Whilst it’s not possible or needed to cross the poles more than once on smaller 1,2 or 3-person tents, you start to see more intersections on bigger tents where the extra stability is needed.
Take a look at the Big Agnes tent on our list for example. The poles intersect on 5 occasions, creating a very strong and sturdy frame.
High Wind Tent FAQs
What wind speeds can a tent withstand?
This varies massively from tent to tent, and ultimately the answer is what the manufacturer states it as. All tents are designed to withstand a certain level of wind. Anything over 25-30mph and we would recommend looking into purchasing a tent made specifically for dealing with high winds.
How do I protect my tent from high winds?
Here are a few simple steps to protect your tent from high winds:
- Set up your tent properly! (sounds silly, but you would be surprised at the number of poorly erected tents I have seen).
- Use extra tent stakes (heavy-duty, steel, or aluminum stakes).
- Use extra guy-lines. Guy lines are great at keeping your rainfly taught and streamlined.
- Pitch your tent behind some shelter. Take note of the wind direction, if it’s blowing from the east, make sure to pitch your tent on the west side of a structure e.g. A tree.
- Pitch your tent so the low end is pointing towards the wind. This will allow the wind to flow better over the tent.
Can you camp in 50mph winds?
50mph wind speed is a strong and severe wind. Family and recreational tents should never camp at these wind speeds.
Only dedicated high wind and mountaineering tents that are designed for such environments should be used.
Can you camp in a thunderstorm?
It’s always recommended to leave your tent during a thunderstorm which is overhead as the metal poles can attract lightning strikes and the tent will offer you no protection.
Light travels much faster than sound, so if you can see the flash a few seconds before hearing the roar of thunder, the storm isn’t directly overhead and you may have some time to prepare for evacuating your tent, or not have to move at all.
Make sure you pack some waterproofs, so you can stand outside in the storm and not inside of your tent.
Are tunnel tents good in the wind?
Tunnel tents aren’t the ‘go-t0’ option for a high wind tent, as they often feature 2-sides that have a large surface area and will act as a wall against high winds.
However, they can be used in high wind speeds with some extra preparation. use some extra stakes and guylines to ensure the outer tent is taught and streamlined. Also, point the tunnel tent (long edge) in line with the wind so it becomes more aerodynamic.
Best Tents For Wind - Final Words
Finding the best tent for high winds isn’t always a straight forward task. We know how difficult it can be to sift through the hundreds of available options and make your mind up when all tent manufacturers claim that their tent performs the best in the wind.
Hopefully, using the features and considerations above you are able to settle on a high wind tent, or choose one from our list. The team at Cool Wilderness prides itself on helping people like you make buying decisions, so you can spend less time sitting behind a screen and more time outdoors doing what you love the most.
Camping in high winds is all about having the right gear and preparation. There are fewer things more rewarding than hiking to a high altitude spot, pitching your tent, and surviving a night of high winds in comfort. It makes the morning sunrise view, that much more satisfying.
Remember to always remain safe on your camping trip, check the weather ahead of time, plan diligently using our camping checklist, and most importantly have fun!