Whilst camping is always an adventure, it’s good to stay comfortable during your trip. One of the best ways of staying comfortable is using a tent which provides adequate shelter, warmth and comfort throughout your trip. In order to achieve this, it’s best to invest in a tent which will be able to withstand the harsher side of nature. High winds are especially tough to protect a tent from, due to the frivolous nature and material that tents are made from.
Features of Wind Resistant Tents
Wind resistance is something that some tent companies take very seriously. Whilst some tents are clearly not made to withstand the wind, others are engineered to hold up against a decent amount of force. These tents often share similar features which makes spotting them a lot easier.
The shape of a tent offers a lot when it comes to wind resistance. Just like any car or vehicle, aerodynamics are key to lowering potential damage or uplift. In the case of tents, the most uncompromising shape is that of a dome, which increases resistance to wind.
Staking your tent down is standard regardless of the weather conditions, but it’s more important than ever to ensure your tent is staked securely to the ground during periods of high wind. This may mean investing in stronger and sturdier pegs than the ones that may have come along with your tent. The best tent stakes for high wind are steel ones, which are both strong and lightweight enough to comfortably carry. Using larger stakes is also ideal, as it offers additional strength and support for your tent.
In addition to stakes, the tent poles that are used also make a big difference to the wind resistance of your tent. Tent poles are widely made of aluminium, but if planning to camp in the wind, fiberglass may be a better alternative due to the added weight they provide.
The weight of a tent is extremely important in any situation, especially if you’re planning on carrying it to the location. Oftentimes, people opt for lighter tents, but in the case of windy environments, a heavier tent may be better considered. Canvas tents are typically seen as more effective against the wind due to their density and added durability, but they’re also considered somewhat heavier than alternative materials.
Doors and Windows
The doors and windows of a tent may seem insignificant when it comes to wind, but for every door and window, there are additional seams sewn into the tent which all have the potential to allow air (and wind) inside. In addition to this, leaving any of these features open or slightly unzipped can lead to a wind tunnel within the tent. Which is not ideal, especially when trying to reduce the amount of wind hitting the tent.
The Best Tents for Windy Camping
#1 Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe Tent
The Kodiak Canvas tent is built for desert environments. As a result, it can withstand high wind, sand, and other fairly extreme conditions. Despite its bulky appearance, it offers security against wind, rain, sand and other conditions that may be thrown at it. It’s a large tent, offering a free-standing room that is comfortable for even taller individuals. With the door and window being on the same side of the tent, wind resistance can be easily increased by positioning the front away from the wind. The added vestibule is great for additional shelter, but may require stronger poles if being used during strong winds.
#2 Big Agnes Copper Spur
- FULLY REDESIGNED - One of our best-selling, full-featured, ultralight backpacking tents, the Copper Spur HV UL series just got better with new features inside and out, proprietary materials that are stronger and lighter, and hardware that makes setting up even easier
- AWARD-WINNING COMFORT - New awning-style vestibules expand covered living space; great for both drizzle and sun protection. The double zippers provide multiple access options; great for minimizing wind driven rain or snow getting into your living room. The UL2, UL3, & UL4 feature two doors and two vestibules.
- STORAGE AND MORE - New 3-D bin ‘mezzanine’ in the foot provides massive, off the floor storage; Oversized ceiling pocket in the head provides great additional storage space; Media pockets provide clean earbud cord-routing from phones or other devices. Includes multiple interior loops for attaching gear lofts (fits with all Big Agnes gear lofts), accessories, and mtnGLO Tent & Camp Lights (not included). Also includes 8 DAC superlight aluminum J stakes and 4 awning guylines.
- A BETTER SHELTER - New proprietary tent corner construction with unique TipLok Tent Buckle streamlines tent set up by combining three functions: secure pole-tip capture, rainfly attachment and tensioner, and stake-out loop. This buckle has a keyed hole so the pole tip locks securely into place during setup, and hinged design stabilizes structure by equalizing forces between the tent body, rainfly, and ground stake.
- ULTRALIGHT STRENGTH - New proprietary ultralight nylon double rip-stop; mixed denier fabric offers extra tear strength and puncture resistance without adding weight. New pre-bent span pole coupled with the 4-way high-volume hub design increases strength, stability, and shedding of rain and snow while creating optimal livable space where you need it most.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur tent is a reliable, versatile tent which can see many uses in different environments. Available in different sizes, this tent has a classic dome shape which keeps it resistant against strong winds. The detachable rainfly allows the Big Agnes Copper Spur tent to be breathable in hot weather, along with being water resistant in the rain. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble and the vestibule capitalizes on the sleek, wind resistant design of the rest of the tent.
#3 MSR Hubba Hubba NX
- 3-season, 2-person backpacking tent that offers the most livable accommodations in a lightweight freestanding design. Floor Fabric - 30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Xtreme Shield polyurethane & DWR
- Pole geometry maximizes space with 29 sq. feet of floor area, interior peak height of 39 inches, plus 17.5 sq. feet of vestibule area
- Complete setup weighs 3.5 lbs. and packs down to 18x6 inches; minimalist setup option uses footprint, poles, and rainfly and weighs 3 lbs.
- Xtreme Shield Waterproof Coating lasts up to 3 times longer than standard waterproof coatings; Easton Syclone Poles resist breaking in fierce winds
- Includes tent, one unified hub-and-pole system, rainfly, stakes, and guy lines; footprint sold separately; manufacturer’s 3-year limited warranty
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent offers a smaller alternative to the previous tents that have been mentioned on this list. Being dome shaped, the MSR Hubba Hubba offers a great deal of wind resistance, and its single-doored design also reduces the risk of a wind tunnel developing. The MSR Hubba Hubba is ideal for camping trips due to its resilience to rain, snow, wind and even thunderstorms. Being lightweight and easy to carry is another benefit of using the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, and it can be disassembled into a manageable size, perfect for backpacking.
Tips for Camping in High Winds
When camping in high winds, there are additional precautions that can be taken regardless of what tent you’re camping in.
- Keep doors and windows sealed – Keeping your entrances and any potential openings shut can help prevent wind from entering the tent and creating a wind tunnel or bringing in unwanted cool air and debris.
- Face away from the wind – If high winds begin when you’re camping, one thing you can do to lessen the impact they have on your tent is by pointing the entrance of your tent in the opposite direction of the wind, to prevent any from entering the tent.
- Use natural structures as windbreakers – Camping behind boulders, trees or other (secure) structures can protect you from the wind even further.
- Use all guy ropes that are available to you – There’s no such thing as too many guy ropes when camping in the wind. Each one will anchor your tent better to the floor.
- Earplugs – A lot of experienced campers carry earplugs with them on their travels, simply as a way of sleeping with more ease. However, they’re especially useful in times of high winds as the sound of a tent flapping can be very loud, especially when you’re trying to sleep.
Camping in high wind is certainly a challenge when you aren’t properly equipped or prepared, but it certainly isn’t impossible- even with some of the less appropriate tents. However, when choosing a tent, there are certain aspects which make it easier to camp in certain weather conditions. Always consider where and when you’re planning on camping when deciding on a tent, as some of the tents mentioned above provide the perfect shelter in high winds, rain and everything in between.