If you’re hitting up a festival like Coachella that allows on-site camping, being prepared is essential if you’re going to have the time of your life. If you’re new to music festivals or you’ve never camped out at one, you may not know what to expect.
While there are a ton of other things you need to bring (check out our festival packing list), it’s very important that you bring the right tent with you.
What Size Tent Should I Bring?
The rule of thumb is that you should bring the smallest size tent that will give you enough space for everyone you plan on sharing a tent with. If you’re only sharing a tent with one other person, don’t be the jerk that brings a huge tent and takes up space that other people could potentially camp out on.
Festival campgrounds are guaranteed to be packed, and everyone taking more space than they need is a recipe for some other unlucky campers to end up without any space at all. When we camped out in Dreamville at TomorrowWorld a few years back there were festival goers that didn’t have room to set their tents up, and in turn had to sleep outside or under tarps. I’m sure they still had a blast, but I’m guessing they would much rather have had the privacy of their own tent.
Another thing to keep in mind is what you may need to use your tent for outside of music festivals. If you do a lot of camping and usually go with a larger group, buying a two person tent knowing it won’t be nearly enough space for your needs in the future doesn’t make a lot of sense.
The Best 6 Person Tent for Music Festival Camping
We’ll start our recommendations at 6 person tents, because you probably shouldn’t bring anything bigger. If you’ve got more than 6 people, split up into separate tents. You never know if you’ll have enough space to set up a huge tent, and finding space for two smaller tents is much easier than finding a huge space for one big tent.
If you’ve got six people that you’re rocking with all weekend, getting one tent big enough for everyone is a fun way to enjoy your time together as a group.
We recommend the Coleman Evanston Screened Tent.
Not only does it fit six people comfortably, but it has a screened in “porch” area that serves as both a way to keep bugs out, and a way to keep your shoes outside of your sleeping area, without leaving them completely uncovered to weather the elements.
We also like that it has four “windows” that allow for a good bit of air flow. With six people and two day’s worth of sweaty, smelly clothes, you’ll appreciate all of the air flow you can get. Plus, it keeps the tent cool throughout the day.
The Best 4 Person Tent for Music Festival Camping
If you need room for four people, we recommend the Sundome 4 Person Tent by Coleman.
It has two screened “window” areas to help with air circulation, helping you stay cool and allowing you to enjoy the smell of fresh air…instead of your dirty clothes.
Another bonus feature is a circular ring that hangs directly in the middle of the tent. You’ll be able to hang a lantern there which makes lighting your tent easy and convenient.
The best part – Coleman makes great tents that will keep you dry in the event of a rainy festival weekend.
The Best 2 Person Tent for Music Festival Camping
If you’re spending festival weekend rooming with one other person, we recommend the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent.
This tent is built to handle even the most rugged conditions and will do a good job of keeping the water out if you do happen to run into rain.
The Best Single Person Tent for Music Festival Camping
Heading to the festival alone or not wanting to share your space with the others? We recommend the ALPS Mountaineering 5024617 Lynx 1-Person Tent.
There are mesh pockets and plenty of storage space for staying organized during the weekend.
The cover can be removed or pulled back for you guessed it…air flow! You’ll be able to use this thing for many other trips besides just the music festival.
Bonus Tip: Bring a Canopy and Tarps
Canopies can be used in a number of ways. If you’re expecting to see some rain and wind, they can be used to protect you and your stuff (including your tent) from the elements.
Putting the canopy up over your tent provides you with coverage from rain and the sun when you step right out of your tent, and can do a good job of keeping your tent in the shade, and stop it from baking in the sunlight all day.
If you do find yourself in the unlikely event that you have extra room right outside your tent, a canopy can serve as a cover for a pre-game and hangout area. You’ll have a fun place to put your chairs, coolers, and stoves.
Fastening tarps over your tent also provides you with an extra layer of coverage from both the sun and rain. While most tents do a good job of keeping rain out, there are times when heavy rain can find its way into your tent.
It’s happened to me before and trust me, you don’t want to spend the entire weekend with your tent smelling like wet clothes and not having a single dry thing to wear.