Best Tunnel Tents for Camping (2021): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Thanks to the unusual shape and the practicality factor of tunnel tents they are fast becoming a popular sight on campsites.

If you love tents that come with an extension or awning, then you are going to fall head over heels with a tunnel tent. It gives you extra coverage, more protection, and is a whole lot more stable since it is manufactured right onto the original tent structure.

Best Tunnel Tents for Camping

  • Coleman Coastline 4 Deluxe Tent (Editor’s Choice)
  • Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent (Professional’s Choice)
  • Coleman Tent Galileo 5 (Best Value)
  • Coleman Tent Oak Canyon 4
  • NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent

1. Coleman Coastline 4 Deluxe Tent | Editor’s Choice

Coleman Coastline Deluxe Tent, Green/Grey, 4 Person#ad
  • Tunnel tent structure offering large internal space and easy...
  • Fully integrated sewn in pe groundsheet, providing dry and...
  • One side door and a large door that can be opened into a...
  • PVC windows with covers increase visibility and allow light...
  • Sleeping area: 5.9 sq.m. Living area: 5.8 sq.m. Pitching...

Coleman has produced their excellent Coastline model which provides a tunnel tent for 4 people. The dimensions for the living room are 5.8 sq.m, the sleeping area is 5.9 sq.m and the pitching area is 31 square meters. The weight of the product is 29.4 pounds.

The floor of the tent is made up of robust polyethylene and is also fully integrated. In addition, the tent’s flysheet has been designed using durable PU coated polyester and boasts a 3000 mm hydrostatic head. There are also 3+1 fiberglass poles.

You will not be awakened too early by the bright sunlight thanks to the darkened sleeping area. You can also make use of the included room divider to sleep separately if desired (ideal for 2 couples using the one tent). In fact, each of the bedrooms has its own door which allows for air circulation thanks to the mesh design.

A small awning is above the side doors which allows for protection from the elements when entering the tent. You can use the main doors as a porch area, ideal for relaxing or eating when the weather is sunny. It only takes around 20 minutes to set up the Coleman Coastline 4 tent thanks to the quick-pitch design.

Pros
  • Several darkened rooms for sleeping
  • Room divider
  • Integrated groundsheet
  • Easy to pitch
  • High headroom
Cons
  • Lacking a loop for hanging a tent lantern

2. Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent | Professional’s Choice

Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent, 5 Man Tent, Blocks up to 99 Percent of Daylight, 2 Bedroom Family Tent, 100...#ad
  • TWO XXL BLACK OUT BEDROOMS: with 99% of daylight being...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, STURDY AND EASY TO PITCH FAMILY SIZE TUNNEL...
  • LARGE LIVING AREA: spacious enough to take a family table...
  • 100% WATERPROOF & UV GUARD: 4500mm HH combined with taped...
  • PITCH-IN-ONE TENT: set up size: 4.55 x 3.1 x 1.85m (LxWxH);...

This tunnel tent is a family design and caters to 5 campers, it has a tapered end that provides a secluded sleeping space allowing for everyone to get a better night’s rest.

The bedrooms fit into the extra-large category and the blackout design means that 99 % of sunlight is blocked from entering space. This allows everyone to stick to their normal sleep routine rather than be up at the first sign of daylight.

You can stand up in the main section and, in our opinion, there is sufficient room to set up a table and chairs to enjoy eating together as a family.

Thanks to the double layering the camping experience can be truly waterproof, allowing everyone to relax even when it’s pouring down. The polyester PU-coated fabric is fire retardant and offers an SPF 50, allowing for use during sunny weather.

The front entrance can be left fully open and the canopy can be folded outwards so that everyone can enjoy dining in a shady space that still offers protection.

If the weather gets colder, you can zip the tent fully up and keep the heat inside. A mesh window is part of the design in the rear room so that air can still circulate even when you have closed up the tent, as well as this the poly fabric is breathable so ventilation is not an issue.

Specification:

  • Material: Polyurethane
  • Special Feature: Waterproof, Lightweight
  • Item Weight: 15.9 Kilograms
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • Blackout sleeping area
  • Living room that offers a large space to relax
  • Excellent waterproof design
Cons
  • The bedroom may feel small

3. Coleman Tent Galileo 5 | Best Value

Coleman Waterproof Galileo Outdoor Tunnel Tent Available in Green - 5 Persons#ad
  • Tent-Applications: mountaineering
  • Tent-Type: tunnel tent
  • Tent-Number of persons: 5
  • Tent-Direction: lateral
  • Tent-Number of tentrooms: 2

Comfort was clearly behind the design process with this tent, seen by the generous headroom provided. This means that the majority of campers will have no problem fully standing up when inside the tent, making the whole experience feel a lot more like a little bit of luxury.

As was the case with several of the tents we have discussed above the Coleman Galilieo separates the sleeping area from the main porch. If desired this porch can be used as an additional bedroom, although if you have a lot of gear it is very useful to have a designated space for it. This is particularly the case if the weather turns bad and you need to drag everything inside the tent.

This tunnel tent is all season and offers a waterproof space, up to 3000mm, the groundsheet is also sown into the design which stops moisture from entering the tent from ground level. The tent also had a well-designed ventilation system that cleverly draws cool air from the ground and then pushes warm air through the ceiling vents.

Specification:

  • Special Feature: Waterproof
  • Item Weight: 11.9 Kilograms
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • Excellent ventilation system
  • Lightweight design
  • Generous headroom height
Cons
  • Likely too big to operate as a 2-man tent

4. Coleman Tent Oak Canyon 4

Coleman Tent Oak Canyon 4, 4 Person Family Tent with Blackout Bedroom Technology, 4 Man Camping Tent with 2 Extra Dark...#ad
  • Two XXL Blackout Bedrooms: With 99 percent of daylight being...
  • Lightweight, sturdy and easy to pitch family size tunnel...
  • Large XXL living area: Spacious enough to take a family plus...
  • 100 percent waterproof and bug free Camping tent: 4500 mm HH...
  • Pitch-in-one tent: Set up size: 4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9 m (LxWxH); 2...

You could say that this tent fuses a cabin tent design with a dome tent design and offers three separate rooms.

There is lots of headroom in the entrance space making it quite like a cabin tent. The front screen room has large windows designed using mesh and works as a greater campaign living room. You can make use of the awning over the front door if the weather is bad.

Two blackout bedrooms are located past the screen room. This allows for better sleep thanks to the blackout design blocking 99 % of sunlight from entering. It also means that the tent stays cooler during the day and cozier at night.

Two people can sleep in each bedroom using a double airbed or sleeping bags. This tent actually has plenty of space for 4 people to easily be comfortable with all of their gear, or an ideal choice for small families.

Specification:

  • Material: Steel
  • Special Feature: Waterproof, Lightweight
  • Item Weight: 17.1 Kilograms
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass, Steel
Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • Various sleeping space options
  • Blackout bedrooms
Cons
  • Can be challenging to purchase online as it sells out quickly

5. NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person Tent

NTK Arizona GT 9 to 10 Person 17.4 by 8 Foot Sport Camping Tent 100% Waterproof 2500mm Tent#ad
  • RATED #6 FOR THE BEST FAMILY TENT IN THE USA IN 2016....
  • WATERPROOF FULL COVERAGE RAINFLY: Double layer 190T...
  • FRAME: 100% virgin NANO-FLEX shock corded fiber glass rods...
  • MESH: Inner tent fully breathable with generous Ultra-thin...
  • FLOOR MATERIAL AND DESIGN: Heavy duty seamless polyethylene...

The NTK Arizona GT provides a large sports camping tent for 9 or 10- people. Whilst it is not exactly the same as a tunnel tent, it has similar characteristics.

You can divide the large tent into two rooms and each has a separate door. The tent provides three windows so ventilation is not an issue.

The construction of the inner tent is rather open and the windows are a clear feature. That being said, once you put the 190T rainfly on, the tent takes on a more traditional shape. Once the window and door flaps are all in place, the tent can cope well with poor weather conditions.

The temperature is maintained thanks to a silver coat on the tent floor. However, it is still classified as a 3-season tent. Mesh on the doors and windows keeps insects out. The rainfly and window/door flaps are managed from outside which can pose an issue when it comes to privacy.

Specification:

  • Material: Polyester, Fiberglass, Fabric
  • Special Feature: Waterproof, UVProtection, Rainfly
  • Item Weight: 26.45 Pounds
  • Shape: Dome
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • A large tent that can accommodate 9-10 people
  • Good waterproofing
  • Generous center height (6’2″)
Cons
  • Window flaps managed from outdoors.

What is a Tunnel Tent?

A tunnel tent is one of the many types of tents you will find on your tent selection quest, just like teepees, cabin styles, and dome tents.

The tunnel tent uses specially bent tent poles that give it the arched shape, and the fabric wraps over the arches to create the tunnel shape.

Many times, this type of tent is referred to as the “pop-up tent.” This is because the tunnel tent will “pop up” once the tent poles have been properly inserted into the tent.

The tunnel style has the advantage of plenty of space inside allowing the campers to stand up straight while inside. They are especially easy to set up and sturdy in all types of weather conditions. But tunnel tents are also very bulky and best suited to car camping where you will not be hauling heavy gear over hills and through the woods.

Buying Guide

Size

If you hope to be comfortable in your home-away-from-home it is essential that the tent you choose is the right size for you. So, take some time to think about how many people will be coming along and how much gear they will need.

As a rule of thumb, you should consider the baggage and gear each person needs as an extra person. This means that a 4-person tent is a good option for two people, a 6-person tent for 3 people, and so on. This will allow you to move about in your tent with comfort and ease.

Height

Tunnel tents have different heights depending on the size of the tent and the design. A tent with a higher roof will probably cost a bit more than the average-sized tent, but the average height would be between 85″ and 90″. This will allow the 6′ person to stand and move about along the center of the tent easily.

Additional Space

One nice thing about the tunnel tent is that it often includes a vestibule, a screen room, and even a sheltered entrance. Because of their special designs, the tunnel tent can be lengthened at either end without sacrificing any of the stability of the structure.

Installing Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

You may have heard the common misconception that tents with longer ends are harder to set up than most, but this is not always the case. Most of the designs coming off the market right now are much easier to set up than those that have been released in times past.

Some of them even have color-coding on their frameworks and sleeves to ensure that setting everything up is a simple task. Other versions will have fewer rods and this can make assembly a matter of just a few minutes.

Multiple Doors

When there are many people sleeping in a tent, it can be difficult to get good rest if there is only one entrance and exit. This is because everyone will have to get in and out from one spot and this means climbing over sleeping bodies on the way in and out. The best idea is to have an entry and exit point at each end of the “tunnel”.

Materials Used

There are a variety of fabrics that manufacturers use to create their tents. Some of the most common options include polyester, canvas, or nylon. Each different type of material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

For example, cotton tents are durable and will keep the interior warm even in the coldest weather.

Nylon tents are far more price effective and lighter than the cotton/ canvas tent, and also have impressive waterproofing capacity.

Polyester tents are more durable and thicker than nylon.

Many tent manufacturers will combine different materials to provide a well-rounded tent that suits a wider variety of camping needs.

Pole Material

The material used in constructing the poles is an important consideration that will affect the overall camping experience. The most common materials are aluminum, fiberglass, steel, or carbon fiber.

  • Fiberglass — while they are a little heavier, fiberglass poles are cheaper compared to other materials
  • Aluminum — the most commonly used poles are not the strongest, but their lightweight makes them easy to carry about.
  • Carbon fibers — ultra-lightweight and considerably strong, these tent poles can be a bit costly.

Waterproof Rating

The waterproof rating is another important concern when choosing the right tent for your needs. Waterproofing is measured in a hydrostatic rating.

A rating of 500mm will hold back a light rain, but will get soaked through if this persists for any amount of time. A hydrostatic rating of 1500mm is widely considered the minimum acceptable rating.

Other Factors and Features of Note

  • Rooms — Tunnel tents have the advantage of allowing for several rooms. You will find tunnel tents that allow for two, three, four, and even six rooms in the larger styles. This can include screen rooms, vestibules, and more. Several room options are always nice when heading out with a party of more than just a few people. Although it should be noted that it is only visibility that is shrouded, the slightest sounds can be heard clearly from room to room.
  • Blackout — blackout tents have the capacity to reduce the light and heat allowed from the outside into the interior of the tent, this makes them especially well-suited to sleeping during the day and for use in especially warm places.

Ventilation/Breathability

Ventilation is not only important for comfort. A well-ventilated tent will allow your tunnel tent to be fresh and breathable even through the night. But more importantly, it will allow for moisture from sleeping bodies to be properly diffused into the outdoors.

Keeping the interior dry is important not just for the preservation of your tent, but also for the longevity of your gear. And sleeping bags.

Are Tunnel Tents Stable in Wind?

A tunnel tent has the capacity to withstand all but the strongest winds once they have been installed properly and positioned well. It is always a good idea to position them in such a way that they offer the least amount of wind resistance. This may sound like an unnecessary idea but it is important to remember that a wind hitting them broadside will have a stronger impact on their stability.

How to Put up a Tunnel Tent?

Pitching a tunnel tent is rarely a difficult task. But the process that you will need to follow will be difficult depending on the type of tent you are using. Some tents are inflated till they have the capacity to stand on their own, but most others will use tent poles.

  • The most important part of the task will be to read the instructions and gain experience. We recommend pitching your tent a couple of times before you actually attempt to perform this task in the great outdoors.
  • Begin by removing the tent poles and the tent fabric and spread them out on the spot you have carefully prepared for pitching your tent.
  • Lay all the poles out where they will be secured to the tent fabrics.
  • Anchor the tent to the ground where it will be pitched, be sure you have checked the orientation of the wind before you begin
  • Insert poles into sleeves or hooks of the fabrics.
  • Lift the tent and insert the pins into the groundsheet slots.
  • Peg the guy lines to firm support.
  • Place the rainfly over the top if so desired.
Richard

Last update on 2021-10-27 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.