Many of us love camping but hate leaving our dogs at home when we do it. Fortunately, we don’t have to – there are tons of great tents out there that are built with your four-legged friend in mind.
Chances are that your regular backpacking or car camping tent isn’t the best for accommodating a furry pal though. Depending on the dog’s demeanor, you may want a separate sleeping space for them, and one that won’t get damaged so easily. Before you start looking for one, think about your dog’s habits: how anxious are they, do they frequently get dirty/smelly, do they wander off, and what kind of sleeper are they.
Once you’ve got a clear-eyed view of them, you can settle on a tent that will give you both a great camping experience. With this in mind, let’s check out the best tents for camping with dogs around.
1. Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
We’ll start off with one of the largest tents that can accommodate a canine companion, the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike. This behemoth of a tent has almost 100 square feet of floor area for the humans – enough to fit two queen-sized mattresses, and another 60 square feet of screened-in “porch” that can fit several pooches and even a dog camping bed.
Just about anyone can comfortably stand up inside it thanks to the 6.5 feet of headspace. The 8-person designation is a bit misleading, as the main cabin only fits five adults, with the other three needing to sleep on the porch (assuming no dogs are occupying it).
The Wenzel utilizes a bathtub-style floor, which is better for keeping moisture out as the seams don’t touch the ground. However, the roof has a small rainfly that doesn’t extend very far down the walls, so if there’s a big storm, it won’t be that weatherproof.
The door between the tent and the porch area is opaque, which could be problematic if your pooch has separation anxiety, in which case a mesh door would have been much better.
The Wenzel isn’t too expensive and is plenty large enough for five campers and a couple of dogs. It’s not very weatherproof though, and your dog might feel shut out when left in the porch area.
2. Coleman Elite WeatherMaster Screened Tent
For something a little smaller, there’s the Coleman Elite Weathermaster. This version of the Elite Weathermaster comes with a screened-in room at the front of the tent that is perfect for your canine friends to sleep in.
The Elite Weathermaster is rated as a six-person tent and includes an 11 by 9-foot sleeping area for the humans and a 6 by 9-foot area for the dogs. Both areas have a center height of 6 feet 8 inches, enough for even the tallest humans to move about easily.
The screened-in area does not have a floor, so be aware of what lies beneath the tent, as the dogs could wake up covered in it. On the other hand, not having a floor means less cleaning when it’s time to take the tent down.
The biggest perk to the Elite version of the Weathermaster is that it comes with its own lighting system. There’s an overhead light installed in the main sleeping quarters, which is attached to a switch closer to the ground, so you don’t need to stand up to turn it on and off.
It operates at three different lighting levels and uses 4 D-cell batteries or a rechargeable power pack. If you’ve got a nervous pup, leaving it on the nightlight setting might keep them from becoming a barking mess.
For transport, the tent packs down into a suitcase-sized bag, which comes with a convenient set of wheels. You’ll need them, as the bag weighs about forty pounds – not the most lightweight set up.
The Elite Weathermaster is a solid four or five-person camping tent and the floorless screened-room is perfect for messy dogs, but the lighting system is a little gimmicky and adds to the price. If that’s not for you, consider the non-Elite version below.
3. Coleman WeatherMaster Tent with Screen Room
The WeatherMaster is just like the WeatherMaster Elite but without the bells and whistles. The biggest difference is that it’s missing the illumination system that made nighttime reading so easy inside the WeatherMaster Elite.
The night mode lighting was also useful with anxious dogs, so the base model is better suited for more confident canines. If you don’t require the illumination setup though, the WeatherMaster costs a bit less than the Elite model and has all the other great features seen on it.
Again, the Weathermaster is an excellent tent for campers that have dogs that like to get messy when they’re outside. Tents with floors require extensive cleaning after a muddy dog climbs in, not to mention that rowdier breeds are likely to tear up the floor within a season unless you lay down some protective material.
The Weathermaster isn’t the cheapest tent, but it’s well made and has most of the features that your average camper with a dog would need.
4. Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room
Coleman’s Dome Tent is a classic car camping model that is easy to set up and has plenty of space for you and a few friends. It can hold two queen-sized mattresses, and this model incorporates a screen room for even more capacity, specifically a couple of camp-loving dogs.
The primary sleeping area is 10 feet by 9 feet while the screen room adds 10 feet by 5 feet of floor space for the dogs (or a couple of camp chairs for mosquito-free afternoon lounging). The 5 foot 8-inch center height can be a little annoying as it’s just short enough that taller folks have to duck a couple of inches.
The Coleman Dome is also one of the most waterproof camping tents out there, thanks to tight seams and a bathtub floor that prevents moisture from seeping in the bottom.
The company even guarantees it to hold up against 35 miles per hour rainstorms. The fact that the rain fly has fabric stretched down to the base of the tent goes a long way towards this goal.
The Coleman Dome is a versatile option and one that will serve you well even if the dog doesn’t make it on every camping trip.
5. Coleman Steel Creek Fast-Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room
The Steel Creek has a lot of similarities with the previous Coleman tent, having the same amount of floor space, incorporating a screened-in porch that is a perfect place for dogs or camp chairs, and being more waterproof than most of its competitors.
Where it differs is in its setup; the Steel Creek goes up in about seven minutes and requires just one person to do it. How can it go up so quickly? Color-coded poles, a simple design, and fabric that’s pre-stretched to fit perfectly.
In addition to its speedy setup, the Steel Creek has a couple of small features that make it a solid choice for campers with dogs. The Weathertec rainfly does an excellent job of repelling moisture, even when the winds are high.
The fly’s design covers not just the roof of the tent, but portions of the sides for better strength and a second layer of waterproofing. A bathtub-style floor keeps seams off the ground where they’re prone to leakage.
Some users complain that the screened-in portion of the tent does not have sufficient headspace due to the steep angle at which it connects to the sleeping area. As such, this tent isn’t as useful for human lounging, but is just as good as the Coleman Dome for camping with your dog.
The Steel Creek costs less than the Dome and goes up a bit quicker. However, it doesn’t have as much volume, so it will feel a bit less comfortable for you (though the dogs probably won’t notice the difference).
6. Coleman Dome Tent for Camping
Unlike the Screen Room model, the basic Coleman Dome doesn’t have a separate space designated for your furry pal. However, if you’ve got the right dog, this could still be a great option for your camping adventures.
If you’re camping with a dog that smaller than 20lbs and that isn’t getting too dirty during the daytime activities, then the Dome should be large enough to accommodate you, a friend, and a canine companion (it’s designed to hold six humans).
If your dog prefers to sleep by your side, this is actually a better option than the screened-in model. Check beforehand that they don’t have a digging habit though and be sure to clip their toenails.
Forgoing the screened-room knocks off close to half the price, so the base model is definitely something to consider if you don’t camp with your dog all that often. It also weighs a few pounds less.
That’s not terribly important for a car camping tent, but portability is always appreciated. Less fabric also improves airflow, making it a better tent for hot weather camping trips.
7. Gazelle T4 Plus Pop-Up Portable Camping Tent
When you want the very best, there’s no better than the Gazelle T4. This is one of the largest car camping tents on the market with 110 square feet of floor space. It’s also one of the tallest, having 78-inches of headspace.
All that space comes at the cost of portability though; the Gazelle weighs almost 50 pounds and getting it set up is a job for two, if not three people.
Unlike some of the other tents reviewed, the Gazelle’s floor can be used for dogs or humans. The tent is split into two sections with a wide (though opaque) door between them. Both have full floors and both are covered by the same rain fly material. As such, this is one of the more versatile options as it can be used for larger groups of humans, or just a pair of them and a few dogs.
This tent comes at a premium price, but it’s worth it for campers that will use it often over several seasons. Since the T4 lacks separate dog quarters, you should definitely evaluate whether your pooch will give the tent the same care as you though.
There’s no reason to spend a few hundred dollars on a tent that your pal will shred on an anxious night. Fortunately, the Gazelle has an extra thick polyester floor to prevent just that. The zippers are also beefier than your average tent, which will help when Fido gets a little too excited when you’re opening the door.
The T4 is a very high-quality tent with plenty of space. However, it costs three times as much as some of the other models and mainly appeals to campers that want the best, regardless of whether they need it.
8. Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping
The Coleman 8-Person is a favorite amongst car campers due to its spacious interior, rock-solid construction, and easy setup. It has enough floor space to lay down three queen-sized mattresses, which is great for humans, but where do the dogs fit into all of this?
If you’re willing to sacrifice one of those mattress spaces, the dog could sleep inside the tent with you. This is a particularly attractive option for dogs that have some separation anxiety and don’t even want a mesh panel between them and their owner.
If you’re looking for a large and portable car camping tent that can fit a furry pal, this is an excellent option. It weighs just 24 pounds, which is by no means lightweight, but certainly better than some of Coleman’s competitors when comparing 8-person models.
Similarly, most large tents take some time to set up, especially if the rain fly is required. However, the Coleman goes up in fifteen minutes or less, and the company’s pin and ring pole system is intuitive enough that you don’t even need the instructions.
For its size, the Coleman 8-person is quite affordable, costing about half of what similarly-sized tents would.
This might be due to the tent’s lack of waterproofing; while there’s an extensive rain fly system included, the seams have a strong tendency to leak. Fortunately, this can be remedied with an inexpensive bottle of seam sealer and an hour or so of your time. Both you and the dog will appreciate the extra effort.
9. Alcott Pup Camping Tent
At its heart, the Alcott Pup Camping Tent is simply a very easy to set up tent. It’s not very big, just 32-inches long by 42-inches wide and 30-inches tall. It can really only hold one medium-sized dog. At just over 1.5 pounds though, it’s the lightest tent being reviewed here.
The Alcott lacks the square footage seen in some of the other tents, so it’s only suitable for smaller breeds.
Since you’re living quarters are separate from the dog, you should be vigilant about what they get up to during the day, as you may not notice until they’ve already fouled their tent with mud in the evening.
Durability is also a factor and this tent is anything but waterproof (though it does have a bathtub style floor). However, you can’t beat the price, especially if you only plan to use it a couple of times per year.
If you have your own accommodations, this would be a great place for your dog to sleep so long as they’re comfortable being separated from you during the night.
10. Winterial Outdoor Pop-Up Dog Tent
While the last tent worked well for smaller dogs, the Winterial Outdoor Pop-Up is specifically designed for larger breeds. Dogs tend to get muddy and smelly on a camping trip, so sometimes the best thing for your four-legged pal is to simply give them their own tent.
This mini-dome tent is just over 5-feet-long by 2.5-feet wide, with 2.5 feet of headspace. So while it’s still pretty compact, it’s spacious enough to fit all but the largest breeds. It also comes with a 2-inch thick pad, to keep your dog just a bit more comfortable.
The best thing about this tent is how packable it is. When folded up, it’s only 15 by 15 inches and weighs less than 3 pounds. Setup is a cinch, taking just a few seconds as it unfolds like a windshield shade and immediately pops into place. You can either zip your pet up in it (not recommended if they’re anxious) or only zip up the mesh door so they have a line of sight with your tent.
This is an inexpensive and very easy to set up dog tent, but it’s not of the highest quality design. It’s not waterproof, so not don’t be surprised if your pup tries to climb into your tent during a midnight rainstorm. If you’ve got an anxious pet, you’ll most likely need to leave the front fly off, making it even less waterproof. But it has the right size for most camping beds for dogs, so that’s a big plus.
All in all, the Winterial Outdoor Pop-Up Pet Tent is a good option for independent dogs that are comfortable sleeping some distance from their owner.