The Best Tents for Desert Camping

If you’re going camping in the dry desert, you need a tent that will protect you from sandstorms and the mid day heat. As such, you need the best tent for desert camping. Please note that while there are many camping tents on the market, not all of them are recommended by us.

You may notice that there are only three tents in this review. I’ve chosen these three as they are the best in each category. For example, there is no point in knowing about the tenth best canvas tents for desert camping, when you don’t even want that type of material. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent

Built from a thick canvas material, there is no better tent for sandy environments

With a Duck Canvas material, this desert tent is excellent at protecting users from sandstorms and other desert dusts. As such, the Kodiak Canvas is our best dust-blocking tent for desert camping. It serves as a comfortable base that will provide shade and protection from the elements. As well as tough, this material has a light color that works keeps users cooler in the heat of the desert sun

However, high-quality comes at a cost – the Kodiak Canvas isn’t the most budget-friendly desert tent on the market, but the high quality means the tent still represents great value. This is also a tent that will provide a lifetime of use. With the Kodiak you are making an investment.

Before trying to pitch the tent for the first time we recommend watching a video and practising in your garden. After all, you don’t want to be fumbling around with heavy materials in the heat. It takes me roughly 10 minutes to completely set-up.

As we just mentioned, this tent uses thick, heavy materials that results in a tent that weighs almost 70lb (for the 8-person)! As such, this isn’t a desert backpacking tent to take on long hikes. Although heavy, the tent comes in two separate bags that distributes the weight and increases portability. 

2. Coleman Instant Tent

If you're on a budget or want a tent that sets-up in seconds, this is the one for you.

Now, the Coleman Instant is perfect if you’re not looking for a heavy tent that will take some time to set-up. In fact, it is quite the opposite. If you’re looking for a lightweight tent for desert camping that erects in under a minute, this is the one for you. You will find it on our recommended instant tents page.

From Coleman, it will come as no surprise that this tent is very affordable. Coleman are known for producing reliable tents for every camper, even those on a budget.

You may be worried that an instant tent for desert camping wouldn’t be sturdy enough for desert storms, but this is not the case. In fact, the Coleman Instant utilises a thick frame stands strong in windy conditions. The tent can be staked down too, to hold the tent down even more, although you may want longer stakes that dig deeper into the terrain. Oh, and these guy-lines are reflective, which prevents any bumps in the night during the festivities.

When we say “quick to erect” we really mean it. It takes my partner and me just 40 seconds, but you’ll have to practise to do it that quickly. The fast erection time is due to a construction that sees poles come pre-attached to the outer fabric, meaning it is just a case of unfolding the tent and extending the poles.

3. DANCHEL Cotton Bell

If you prefer a different shape of tent, this is our best bell tent for desert camping.

If you would prefer a bell shaped desert tent, the Danchel Cotton Bell is our recommendation. Much like the Kodiak, this is a canvas desert tent that protects users from sand and harsh weather.

There are multiple choices to choose from, but our favourite is the large option that is 16.6 ft wide and covers a total 216 ft² of ground. The circular shape and sloping roof makes this the ideal tent for social occasions in the desert. Perhaps the most innovative feature of this tent is the stove jack that allows you to use a wood tent stove to stay warm when the sun goes down.

With a natural beige color, the tent will keep you cool when the sun is beaming down. Even better, the bottom half of the tent can be easily removed, which results in a canopy that allows for superior airflow while still providing shade.

Although waterproof and fire retardant, the canvas material is heavy in weight. In fact, the large desert tent for desert camping weighs a massive 83lb. At the end of the day it will come down to whether the pros outweigh the weight. The Danchel also comes with a waterproof carry bag, set-up instructions, poles, guy-lines, and stakes.