There is very little in the world better than stargazing. Simply pointing out the constellations and viewing one of the greatest natural phenomenons in the universe is a pastime that’s lasted through the ages for good reason. If you’re into camping, it’s an easy way to pass an evening.
Naturally, if you are out camping and enjoying the night sky, you need a tent that optimises your ability to enjoy it thoroughly. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list together of tents that are ideal for stargazing so you can enjoy the earth’s wonders in a comfy, warm environment.
Read on to find out our picks for the best tents for stargazing.
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Best Tents for Stargazing - Reviews
This is single handedly one of the most popular tents for backpacking, and has won copious awards. It’s a well-loved tent by fans and for good reason. The main reasons come down to the tent’s durability, high quality materials, it’s lightweight and incredibly, almost stupidly easy to set up.
For stargazers this tent is a dream for that romantic starry night. With additional features to heighten your enjoyment, this is one you don’t want to miss out on. To start with, the majority of the body of the tent is mesh. When you have a clear sky it’s almost like there’s no tent there, and you can just bask entirely in the starry sky. It doesn’t have many obstructions in the way other than some poles, but they don’t even stop you seeing the view.
Furthermore, this tent comes with a nifty ‘Stargazer Fly’ which allows you to clip the rainfly halfway across the tent body so there’s a lot of space to view the sky in the mesh in the ceiling and walls. You can then roll the rest of the material down if the weather becomes worse. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to set up. It’s not got many issues, it only has one door so it can be tricky if there are two people in the tent, and the sleeping area is a little smaller than usual especially if you’re larger or have a dog with you.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent is made in a unique looking dome shape that’s not a pushover in adverse weather. Rain? Not a problem? Wind? Easy peasy - this tent will not be swayed.
It’s also pretty easy to carry around, weighing as little as 2 pounds without the rainfly, but a 3 pounds and 7 ounces with the rainfly. If you’re into backpacking and you’re travelling on foot a lot, this is pretty impressive. But you’re here for stargazing right? No trouble! The Hubba Hubba NX comes with walls and ceiling that are almost completely made of mesh that’s easy to see through to the beautiful night sky. It's a good two doors, two fairly large vestibules and houses two adults with no trouble.
The only issues we can really say about this one is it’s not cheap and there are definitely easier models to set up, but it’s a great choice for backpackers and stargazers alike and is worth the price for a good quality tent that will last a long time.
You definitely won’t be fighting for space with your family and friends with this humongous tent! If you struggle in small spaces or need a lot of space, this house is almost like a little house in itself.
If you take the rainfly away from this massive tent, the inside of this bad boy is even bigger than it looks on the outside. It’s also quite tall as a result of the tent’s tremendously high ceiling. It has big mesh panels on the walls and ceilings giving you easy access to view the sky. It's got a lot of extra storage space on the interior for you to bring any extra bits and pieces you may require. It’s not even that difficult to set up either, despite its appearance. It’s more built for sunny weather, rather than for rain though so you may want to look elsewhere for the more extreme weather days.
If you’re looking to camp on a nice sunny day, and so a clear night, this is ideal for you. It also looks pretty good and is at a good price so this is a good one for the fair-weathered family campers out there.
The big agnes is, as the name suggests, big. It’s spacious and can fit 3 adults quite easily. It’s made of a rip-stop nylon and is incredibly easy to carry around. It’s also pretty durable and strong even though it is quite lightweight.
If you feel easily cramped, you won’t have a problem with this tent. It has a lot of space for about 3 adults and also has enough room for any extra items you want to take with you for things like comfort or storage for cooking items. It’s also got a lot of mesh to allow you to see into the outdoors and the sky quite easily. It has a number of inside pockets and gear loops, and two large vestibules to store your camping gear. It also has added media pockets over the sleeping area, and it is pretty easy to set up. Finally, you can fold over the rainfly for even more visibility.
With sizing, there are 4 options, ranging from a one person tent to a 4 person tent. It also comes in two versions, a more neutral olive/green version and a grey/orange version. It’s quite highly priced, but it’s ideal for backpackers and those going out on a drier day. It’s definitely one you should consider buying if this applies to you.
Best Tents for Stargazing - Buyers Guide
When you’re looking for a tent for stargazing, there are two main things you need to take into account in your decision. First, comfort. You’ll need a tent that’s reliable to sleep in and will keep you sheltered in adverse weather. Secondly, you’ll need to consider what makes a tent good to stargaze in.
There is very little use in buying a tent that’s fantastic for seeing the stars but is incredibly uncomfortable and you struggle to sleep in it. If you’re looking to go stargazing in the first place, the chances are you’ll want to be right out in the open under the stars anyway, but for some a little more protection gives that extra peace of mind and enjoyment.
The factors that influence your decision when it comes to sleeping highly depends on personal preference. Every camper has their own priorities that may be more important than others.
Do you value comfort above all else, or do you need something that allows you to get as close to nature as possible?
The main issue for those of us out there that love stargazing is that stars are usually more visible on colder nights as this is when the sky is the clearest. With this in mind, you’ll need to be able to easily see the stars but also have a nice, warm tent that can provide you with comfort and protection from the cold.
Stargazing is hardly an activity for rainy weather as the skies aren’t usually clear when it’s raining. With that in mind though, it’s hard to entirely accurately predict the weather, and you don’t want to accidentally get caught out in the rain.
As a rule, it’s logical to select a tent that can be used for more than just camping. You should try and choose something that can be used for a range of different camping activities and experiences, so it makes sense to go for something versatile.
With this in mind, you should look for a tent that’s waterproof and that you can use in adverse weather without the risk of getting soaked.
Wind can also become a bit of a problem in the wind. It is going to be hard for you to do any stargazing if the tent keeps collapsing on you. With this in mind, it’s worth considering a tent with durable poles that will keep your tent in shape when it’s particularly windy.
Protection from Bugs
This is more of a situational consideration. Not everywhere has issues with insects, but if you are concerned about bug bites you need to ensure that your tent is double walled and has as much mesh as it can withstand in the interior.
Single walled tents are going to be ineffective at repelling bugs, as you can risk getting bitten if there’s only one layer of fabric separating you and the bugs when you lift open a wall.
The main thing to consider when it comes to a good tent for stargazing is the amount of visibility you have. The main things that influence visibility are the design of the fly and the amount of mesh the tent has.
As we mentioned above, if you’re in an area infested with bugs you really should consider a double walled tent. It’s particularly handy for visibility during stargazing though. When considering a tent for stargazing, the more mesh a tent has the better.
Essentially, the mesh of the tent will act as windows so you can easily see the stars and fall asleep under the stars. You should consider a tent with mesh places mainly in the ceilings and a large amount of panels for a good view.
Roll away doors or walls
If you’re 100% sure that the skies will be cloudless and you’re happy to have the fly totally off, you need to consider that you'll have to roll away sections of the fly or tent wall so you can see the skies properly. You should consider a tent with a large door design or poles that are easy to tie the door back to. You could also consider adding some extra ties or Velcro in convenient places.
Furthermore, if you struggle with insects, not only mesh but ventilation flaps and vents at a higher level in the tent are also quite handy. This will also improve air flow and prevent the insects from coming in.
Other Things to Consider
If you’re travelling with a group of many people, there’s very little more irritating than knowing that there’s not enough room for everything. Cramming too many people into a too small tent can become very uncomfortable, especially after a few days, and can even ruin the whole excursion.
It’s worth being mindful of the fact that the numbers that tents are supposedly designed for are often misleading. Tent manufacturers often only consider the amount of people that can sleep in it, so it doesn’t consider anything extra you’ll need to bring with you. So if the tent says it’s for 4, it’s really only designed for three. In addition, if you have someone with you that is larger, it’s possible that they could take up more than one space due to the design of the tent.
If you have a lot of items to take with you, you should consider a larger berth tent with plenty of room. Certain tents also come with additional storage areas such as a gear store, porch or an external storage system. Furthermore, if you’re going on a longer journey, you should consider extra space so you can eat inside, hang out and have proper shelter. It’s quite peaceful going camping and spending time in a tent if you have enough room.
As with anything manufactured, all tents are created differently but there are some materials that are more common than others.
PVC - PVC is a waterproof material that’s heavy but also incredibly sturdy and sustainable.
Polyester - These tents don’t fade or get baggy in the rain, and come with a waterproof coating to repel rain.
Polycotton - A highly durable material that’s also soft and sustainable, and can be coated with waterproof coatings to repel rain.
Nylon - By far the best material for tents. It doesn’t absorb water and instead withstands the rain, but it can be damaged by the sun.
You may have seen those cheesy movies where people attempt to set up a tent and then struggle to get it up, eventually getting submerged in the tent. You should absolutely try to avoid this. You don’t want to start off your weekend by getting irritated and ruining the family fun. Most tents these days have easy set up features, and are made to be very user-friendly and have instruction manuals that are easy to understand.
Certain brands, such as Coleman, Kelty and Rei are user friendly and don’t come with millions of little parts, so it shouldn’t take up too much of your time to set up.
Some features that can really make your life easier is getting color-coded poles. This will help you to not mix up poles so they’re always put in the correct place. It makes it a lot easier to set up because of the difficulty that comes with fixing the tent on the ground. The less poles there are the easier it also is to assemble.
It’s also worth looking out for an elastic band between the rod, as this keeps the poles together, making it easier to install.
The amount of time that your tent lasts depends on the conditions you use it in, how often you use it and any external pressures it’s put under. You should look for a tent that’s defined as being highly durable, but also making sure the tent is thoroughly dried out and clean after it’s used should help it to last longer.
Also consider whether the tent will be subject to things such as condensation as this can dampen your tent and camping gear. Having the right tent design can make all the difference as far as tent longevity is concerned.