10 Unique Camping Tent Types
Camping in a traditional tent is the most common way to camp, but there are some fun and unique tents out there to try!
If you are looking for a more interesting camping experience, consider these 10 different unique tent types:
1. Yurt Tents
Yurt tents are popular for glamping campers and for formal outdoor events. Whether you’re hosting a garden party or building a camping cabin, a yurt tent is a great investment.
Because yurts are pretty unique, you will often find them confused with bell tents. Bell tents only have a single pole in the middle of the tent that holds up the canvas and structure.
Official yurts, on the other hand, have a fence-like lattice wooden wall built into the circumference of the structure. The roof is made of wooden rafters that angle upwards toward the top.
Designed after an ancient tenting technique that originated in Mongolia and its surrounding areas, yurts are circular tents now made from canvas and wooden frames. The yurt includes rafters and a door, as well as a circular light or hole in the top. The hole was once used to allow campfire smoke to exit the tent safely, but now works as a window or covered duct.
Yurts aren’t just great for camping. You can also use them as statement pieces at an outdoor event, such as a picnic or wedding. Some yurts are more permanent, used as tiny houses or rental spaces in backyards. They can also be used as a small, convenient cabin space for users looking to set up their vacation home for cheap.
Yurts are perfect for larger families. Most models can sleep eight or more people, depending on the size of your cots or sleeping bags. Not only can you camp in them, but you can also use them as eating or recreational spaces.
Whether on a picnic or watching projected movies, you can use a yurt for just about anything.
Yurts are very expensive depending on the kind you want to camp with.
Some yurts are more portable, able to be used as actual camping tents and taken on the road – as they were always meant to be. However, some modern yurts are more permanent, built as small homes and cabins rather than used to camp with.
Camping yurts are portable and collapsible, usually taking about 45 minutes to set up.
The price on these are upwards of $2,000 from sites like campingyurts.com. Other manufacturers like Pacific Yurts Inc. will build those more permanent structures that you can live in full time. Those cost somewhere between $7,000 – $17,000.
2. Plastic Igloo Tents
Popularly used in winter as cozy igloos for dining and drinking spaces, plastic and bubble tents are a unique and simple way to set up a camping space.
While most plastic and bubble tents don’t have a lot of privacy, they are perfect for storing food and creating dry, warm places to eat and gather on camping trips. Easy to set up, most plastic tents have plastic poles and zipper doors that allow easy access and takedown.
Most plastic tents are dome-shaped and quite spacious. You can fit picnic tables, dining tables, or even chairs and TVs inside them for comfortable glamping or backyard camping.
You can also use plastic tents for garden and patio seating in winter or during rainy seasons outside. Igloo tents are also great for children’s birthday parties and events, allowing for dry spaces to play or eat.
Plastic igloo tents like the one above can cost anywhere from $300 – $1,000+ depending on the brand, size, and materials that you choose. The more expensive tents are more likely to be used by restaurants and businesses than campers.
However, if you are looking for something to take camping as a backup tent or food tent for garden parties, a $300+ tent is probably perfect for you!
3. Rooftop Tents
Revolutionizing nomadic camping, rooftop tents are perfect for campers who like to rough it a little in dangerous places.
More popular among hikers and rustic campers, rooftop tents are a great way to stay safe and dry off the ground when you go camping. You can avoid bears and other animals, as well as keep away from possible intruders.
Rooftop tents are always ready to go. Once you park at your campsite, you can pop up your tent on top of your car, and unpack the rest.
Rooftop tents are also great for keeping warm. Sleeping on the ground can actually be colder, as the temperatures seep through the floor and into your sleeping bag and blankets.
In a rooftop tent, your blankets won’t have that problem!
Having the Right Car:
Depending on the type of car you have, a rooftop tent might not be for you.
Most rooftop tents require a sturdy car with roof racks for easy assembly and attachment. Without roof racks, you will need specialized rooftop tents that attach well to flat roofs.
Furthermore, most car roofs will have a weight limit. Rooftop tents can weigh 100lbs or even more. Add your own weight or the weight of a dog or partner camping with you, and you’ll find that the numbers start to add up quickly.
In that case, you’ll want a car that lets you hold a lot of weight, or invest in roof racks that distribute weight properly to prevent dents or damage.
Most rooftop tents are quite pricey. Most cost about 0+ before shipping and accessories.
However, Thule rooftop tents are are a great investment. They are high-quality and can last you years once you buy one.
That’s why only the more serious campers buy rooftop tents to take literally everywhere they drive.
4. Canvas/Bell Tents
Canvas and bell tents are beautiful, easy to set up, and perfect for camping or outdoor parties.
While most canvas and bell tents aren’t as insulated or utilitarian as traditional polyester tents, they are quite comfortable in dry, warm weather.
Bell canvas tents are circular and raised with a single large pole in the middle, with smaller poles and zip-doors that allow access. Using many ropes that stretch outward from the center, the entire tent is actually really easy to set up!
There are other canvas tents that are more square or rectangle-shaped. These tents are used for large parties, Boy Scouts adventures, weddings, or just camping with large families. While not as pretty as bell tents, the rectangle canvas tent is just as good at keeping out the rain and bugs.
Many canvas tents can be waterproof, and they do have options to have walls or no walls at all!
More popular among the glamping crowd, canvas and bell tents are great for honeymoons, date nights, or even sleepovers with the whole family.
Because canvas tents are very large, they can hold entire double-beds, dining tables and chairs, or even patio couches and TVs.
Canvas tents are also capable of having windows and good airflow. They are relatively simple to take up and down, and you can customize your interior space however you like it!
Canvas tents are pretty expensive.
Just like rooftop tents, most good-quality, customizable canvas tents are going to cost upwards of $800. For that price, you should receive high-quality canvas and plenty of accessories and features.
Furthermore, some canvas tents come with electrical cable outlets, windows, bug mesh on doors and windows, as well as a shock-absorbing grounding system for harsh weather.
5. Pop-Up Tents
Are you a solo camper? Well a pop-up tent might be perfect for you!
Designed after soldier’s tents that were made to pop-up and down quickly, pop-up tents are great for campers who only need a little space. They are also great for motorcyclists who can only fit so much into their saddlebags.
Pop-up tents are spring-loaded, meaning that they literally pop into place when you set them up. When you need to take them down, they are collapsible and are stored in a small, easy-to-pack container. This leaves little need for effort on your part and can create quick and easy camping for hikers on the move!
Furthermore, there are some pop-up tents that are perfect for small families or couples who want a little more space. Some pop-up tents can sleep four people, or even you and your three dogs!
Other pop-up tents are for a single person to stand in comfortably as a changing room at the beach or in the woods. You can use them as a cover for camp toilets or showers, too!
Most pop-up tents are pretty affordable in the $100+ range.
This is perfect if you want to buy a few for your teenagers to have their own space. You can also buy one for yourself as a backup tent for emergency camping on a long hike.
The more expensive ones are only about $200, so pop-up tents are quite affordable.
6. Dog Tents
Probably one of the more unique tents on this list are tents for dogs. Whether you are buying a tent for your dog to sleep in solo, or a tent that is durable enough for you and your fluffy friend to sleep in together, dog tents are great for the devoted pet parent.
Most dog tents are travel-sized and pop up quickly for you to use once you reach your site. They are great as quick-and-easy dog houses to keep your pet safe from the rain or in the shade. You can also use them as small storage tents for food or supplies!
Other tents offer an “annex” or small space that is attached to the main tent. Usually used for supplies or excess luggage, these annexes can make for cozy dog dens.
You can also buy outdoor dog beds, which are open cots that have a small tarp that shades over it to protect your dog from sun and rain.
There are playpen tents for smaller dogs who need a little space to move around in your campsite. These tents are circular in shape and have a small tarp that goes over them. However, not all of them are waterproof.
Finally, there are also folding pet crates and boxes that you can use as a kennel in the car on long camping trips. These crates are rectangle-shaped and offer a quick and easy travel solution for those rowdier dogs who need a space of their own in the car.
Elevated dog bed cots are roughly the same, with most costing around $50-$100.
Playpens are cheaper at the $30+ price, and collapsible kennels are about $50+.
Tents with small annexes for your dog to den in are going to cost the same as traditional tents, if not more. That means they’ll probably price at over $100.
Depending on your needs, a dog tent could be an affordable and easy investment!
7. Truck Bed Tents
Similar to rooftop tents, truck bed tents are attached to your vehicle and are easy to set up.
They can be used for sleeping at a campsite, changing clothes at the beach, or napping on long road trips.
Obviously only good for trucks that have open beds, these tents are great for boaters or 4-wheeler owners who want to haul something as well as have a place to sleep!
Using straps and poles, truck bed tents are great for quick and easy camping to keep you warm and dry. They are great for keeping unwanted animals and bugs out, as well as maintaining a dry space above the ground during rain.
Most truck bed tents are only built for two people, but you could probably squeeze in a small family of four. There are even some models that are 6ft tall for standing room to change clothes or stretch.
Truck bed tents have sewn-in tarps and tent floors like a normal tent, too! However, most truck beds aren’t very comfortable, so make sure you bring padding to go on the inside of your tent.
These tents are really great for pickup-truck owners who love to camp, hike, or even for tailgating! No matter your needs, having an easy-to-assemble pop-up tent ready to go at all times is a huge plus!
Truck bed tents are actually quite affordable.
They commonly range between $80-$200, which is great for the single camper or couple.
The low cost allows for the camper to buy accessories for the interior, such as added padding or insulating materials to keep you comfortable in any weather.
8. Hammock Tents
Hammock tents are ideal for keeping you off the ground in a quick-and-easy way.
For hikers, hammocks are invaluable. They offer a soft and comfortable place to rest on a long journey. However, ordinary hammocks can’t keep out the bugs or sun.
That’s where hammock tents come in!
Hammock tents have zip-up covering to allow hikers and campers to sleep peacefully without sunburn or bug bits to wake up to.
Like the Haven XL Hammock Tent, many can come with padding and insulators to make for a cozy, durable environment.
However, it is important to know that hammock tents are not for those with back or shoulder pain. Hammock tents aren’t always the most comfortable, and can’t always accommodate everyone overnight.
Instead, hikers and campers prefer to use hammock tents as a quick, bug-free nap space. That way, when on long walks or hikes, hikers can stop and rest for an hour or two before continuing down the trail.
Hammock tents are relatively affordable and last quite a long time.
For example, the Haven XL is roughly $340 with added insulator pad. Without the pad you can get it for as low as $280.
In general, you can get the tent, all ropes, ties, parachutes and tarps needed for about $100-$500.
Depending on the brand, accessories, or materials that your tent is made of, the pricing will differ.
9. Trampoline Tents
Probably the most unique tent on this list is the trampoline tent.
Exactly what it sounds like, trampoline tents are circular tents that can sit on top of a trampoline. This allows for kids and teens to camp outside comfortably above the ground!
These tents are very uncommon, but there are some that you can buy from sites like JumpSport or Acon.
There are more common trampoline tents sold on Amazon and through other retailers that are more like tarps. These tarps go over the mesh-and-pole trampolines that protect children by keeping them from falling off.
These tents go over those poles and zip up with a door at one end of the trampoline for children to climb inside.
While not as tent-like as the trampoline-top circular tents we mentioned before, these are great for kid’s parties and sleepovers, creating a bouncy-house-like atmosphere.
JumpSport and Acon both sell their trampolines tentes around the $130-$160 range. These are the circular trampoline-top tents.
10. WHITEDUCK Avalon Canvas Bell Tent
These large tents with many windows and doors are built for campers who want to bring a lot of luxuries with them. They are also mostly used for semi-permanent rental spaces, like AirBnb’s for couples or friends.
You can also use glamping tents for luxurious outdoor picnics and weddings. These tents also allow users to string lights or attach electronics through accessibility ports and flaps in the tent.
That way, campers can bring small televisions, mini-fridges or fans on their camping trip.
Not all glamping tents are expensive and luxurious, though!
Some tents that are considered “glamp” tents are just overly large ones or those that have attached annexes or awnings. Those additional awnings and annexes allow users to set up picnic spaces or store extra luggage.
While more utilitarian than those pretty canvas tents, they are still considered more of a hassle for quick and easy camping. Instead, they require a lot of time to put up and take down, and they aren’t small and portable like single-person pop-up tents.
Depending on the type of glamping tent you get, you could be charged anywhere from $200 to $1,500.
For more traditional tents that have annexes and awnings, the cost is roughly $250-$400.
For canvas and bell tents that are used at weddings, you could be paying $500+. For those really luxurious cabin tents that double as houses, you could be paying $1,400+.