Lighting is always a priority when camping, so why not buy the best lighted tent? These models keep you well illuminated at night. While you could supply your own lantern or flashlight, a lighted tent offers better convenience without inflating the price. Plus, you don’t have to fumble with secondary devices because the tent provides sufficient lighting for all occasions. Let’s browse the top models and see which one is right for you and your family.
The Best Lighted Tent Review Round-Up
Although having a built-in LED light in your tent is a significant advantage while camping, it’s not the only reason to buy a tent. Here’s a quick breakdown of each of our top eight models that can work for all kinds of outdoor adventures.
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Best Backpacking Lighted Tent
Best Affordable Lighted Tent
|Tent Capacity||6, 9, 10, or 12 ppl||2 ppl||6, 8 ppl||2, 3 ppl||4. 6, 8 ppl||8 ppl||6 ppl||10 ppl|
|Backpacking or Camping?||Camping Tent||Backpacking Tent||Camping Tent||Backpacking Tent||Camping Tent||Camping Tent||Camping Tent||Camping Tent|
|Ease of Setup||4.9/5||4.8/5||4.6/5||4.8/5||4.3||4.7/5||4.3/5||4.6/5|
|Value for Money||4.8/5||4.6/5||4.8/5||4/5||4.3/5||4.2/5||4/5||3.8/5|
You'll marvel at how quickly this massive tent sets up, even for the 12-person model. Comfortable but may not hold up in extreme weather.
At under three pounds, this lightweight tent works for almost all backpacking situations. But, it's not as durable as our top pick.
With extra vestibules and wide doorways, this tent works for large families or camping groups. But it's kind of heavy and takes longer to set up.
This ultralight tent is perfect for most backpacking excursions, but it's not as weatherproof as the Copper Spur model.
As a dome tent, this model isn't as comfortable as others, but it offers lots of space for equipment and bedding.
Although this tent is extra spacious for you and your gear, it can leak and allow rain inside relatively easily.
This spacious tent has extra vestibules for your stuff, but wind and rain can ruin your camping trip if you're not careful.
This tent is large and easy to set up, but it doesn't hold up well in wet or windy conditions.
- Extra-large sizes available (up to 12 people inside)
- Sets up in about one minute
- Tall ceiling and walls so you can move around easily
- Durable fiberglass poles
- Extra-wide D-shaped door for easier access
- Taped seams to prevent leaks
- In rare cases, the lighting system may short out
- Some zippers can come loose after repeated use
Unless you’re planning on backpacking, the Core Cabin Tent is an excellent choice for families of all sizes. Even if you’re bringing extended family members like cousins, aunts, and uncles, you can buy the 12-person model and have more than enough room. Better yet, the tall ceiling and straight walls allow you to move around freely inside, making it extra comfortable. It’s almost like having a portable cabin wherever you go. Also, it sets up in about a minute!
As far as the lighting goes, this model comes with a center roof LED light with three illumination settings. First, you can put it on high brightness to see what you’re doing inside. Second, you can put it on low brightness if you’re trying to relax or see the stars. Finally, it comes with a night light setting so your little ones can fall asleep faster.
- Weighs just under three pounds
- Durable aluminum poles
- Rugged nylon tent material
- Sets up quickly
- Upper storage spot for added convenience
- Double zippers block out the wind and rain
- Some materials are not as durable as others
- Not as much room to move around or stand up inside
Backpacking is much different from regular camping for a couple of reasons. First, you have to carry all of your gear, so you need extra-light equipment, like the Copper Spur, which is less than three pounds. Also, since you’re not likely spending the night at a regular campsite, you need something that can handle virtually any terrain or weather conditions.
Fortunately, the Copper Spur checks off all these boxes, although we’ve heard reports of some poles snapping under pressure. Otherwise, this backpacking tent is perfect for solo or dual travelers, thanks in part to the lighting system and instant setup. This tent doesn’t have multiple settings, but the string lights work well at illuminating the interior when it’s dark out. That said, it can feel a bit cramped with two people, so we mostly recommend this tent for individual travelers (or those with dogs).
- Front rainfly protects you while entering and exiting
- Extra vestibules to store gear
- Durable 75D polyester material
- Sets up in 15 minutes
- Hinged door for convenient access
- Three light settings
- Roof can leak in heavy rains
- In rare cases, the poles may snap under pressure
When it comes to camping tents, Coleman is one of the most well-known names in the industry. However, while this brand is virtually synonymous with camping, the tent quality can vary from model to model. We like the Montana Cabin Tent because it’s pretty affordable without sacrificing much quality or comfort.
One element we really like is the front door rainfly, which extends out to offer extra protection. This way, you can potentially prop the door open to get better airflow without getting soaking wet. That said, the tent itself is not as waterproof as others, so if it rains a lot on your journey, your stuff might get damp. The lighting system offers three settings: high, low, and a glowing nightlight.
- Weighs just two pounds
- Upper gear holder for added convenience
- UV-resistant fabric
- Fast and easy setup and tear down
- Reflective guy lines are easier to see at night
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Not meant for long-distance hiking
- More expensive than other backpacking models
Here we have another versatile and capable backpacking tent from Big Agnes. The Tiger Wall comes in a three-person model, so if you’re camping with one other person, you can upgrade to have more room for your stuff. Otherwise, if you put three people in this tent, it will feel pretty cramped.
Some elements we like about the Tiger Wall are that it’s super light (only two pounds), comes with UV-resistant fabric, and sets up in about a minute or less. However, we didn’t rank it higher than the Copper Spur because it’s not quite as durable or weatherproof. While this tent works well for weekend backpacking trips, it might not hold up well for longer excursions. Overall, you have to baby this model a bit more than the Copper Spur.
- Durable 75D polyester rainfly
- Hinged D-shaped door
- Lighting system brightens up to 100 lumens
- Sets up in 10 minutes
- Reinforced seams and corners
- Tall center height so most campers can stand up
- Dome tent design means you can’t move around as easily
- Rain can still get in through the windows and roof vents
These days, cabin camping tents are much more in-style because they offer more room to stand up and move around. However, there’s still a place for domed tents like this one from Coleman. The Elite Sundome works well for most campsites, and the center is six feet tall, which should accommodate many campers. However, if you like walking and moving inside, you’ll have to crouch or duck.
As with other Coleman lighted tents, this model has three settings for your convenience. The entire setup delivers up to 100 lumens, which should be bright enough for most situations. However, you have to be careful because rain can get in during storms, messing up your light’s batteries.
- Extra-spacious interior
- Pre-attached pole for faster setup
- Ground vents for better ventilation
- Extra-large D-shaped door for easier in and out
- Taped seams to help prevent leaks
- No storage pockets inside
- Roof is not super strong and can cave under pressure
When comparing tents, the shape and design can significantly impact your comfort level. In this case, a hexagonal shape means you have more than enough room to stand up and move around, even if you and your family are all inside. While we would prefer for there to be room dividers in this tent, it’s pretty spacious, so you shouldn’t feel too cramped.
We didn’t rank this tent higher because of one notable flaw. The poles are pre-assembled so that you can set up the tent in about a minute or two, but the roof is not as sturdy as it looks. Realistically, you need a pole in the center to keep it from caving in, especially if there are heavy rains. Also, the tent comes with ground vents to help air flow through, but water can seep in relatively quickly.
- Attached screen room
- Wide D-shaped door for easier access
- Extended rainfly protects the opening
- Durable 75D polyester material
- Holds up to two queen-sized air mattresses
- Three-setting lighting system
- Rain can get in through the screen room
- Water can seep in through the floor
Here is our final Coleman Elite tent, the somewhat ironically-named WeatherMaster. On the plus side, this tent has a built-in screen room and sets up in about 10 minutes, making it pretty comfortable and convenient. If you’re planning on camping in warm weather with no rain, you should be okay.
Unfortunately, even a light drizzle can cause problems as water can leak in through the screen room. If there’s a downpour, you’ll have to lift all your gear off the floor, lest it gets soaked. Overall, this tent is only built for fair-weather camping, although the lighting system does come in handy for warm spring or summer nights.
- Sets up in two minutes
- Center room divider
- Tall height so you can stand up and move around
- Electrical cord access
- Hanging gear organizer provided
- Not as durable as other models
- Water can seep in through the windows or roof
Last and least is this instant cabin tent from Ozark Trail. Much like the Coleman WeatherMaster, this unit is spacious and accommodating on the inside, but once you encounter inclement weather, you’re out of luck. The material is not very durable, so high winds can cause the tent to collapse and the poles to break. If it rains hard, water will get in unless you cover the whole thing with a tarp. Overall, this tent is not ideal for most camping expeditions, but it can work well for tailgating or other fair-weather events.
How We Chose the Best Lighted Tent
Just because a tent comes with built-in LED lights doesn’t mean it will work for your needs. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the rating criteria we used to rank these lighted tents.
Which Tent Offers the Best Comfort?
Comfort means you can move around freely and have plenty of space for all your gear. While many tents fit this description, we like the Core Instant Cabin Tent the best because it also has all the other features. It also comes with storage pockets and a three-setting light, making it even more accommodating for you and your family.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur is also very comfortable as a backpacking tent, even though you can’t stand up inside.
Which Tent is the Easiest to Set Up?
Gone are the days of searching for tent poles and wondering how to get your tent up. Many models today are “instant” tents, meaning you can get them in place in about a minute or two. The Core Instant Tent and the Copper Spur are both quick and easy to set up. We also like the Tiger Wall, which sets up in 60 seconds. Unfortunately, none of the Coleman tents fit this description.
Which Tent Has the Best Ventilation?
Ventilation is crucial for those hot spring and summer nights, especially if you have a sleeping bag and/or blanket. Without sufficient airflow, you can feel like you’re in a sauna. Once again, the Core Instant Cabin Tent shows off its superior abilities by offering extra-wide mesh openings that can allow all breezes inside. Best of all, you can cover these openings so that rain won’t ruin the experience.
Which Tent Offers Superior Weatherproofing?
As we’ve seen, all of these lighted tents work well in bright and sunny conditions. However, if the weather gets sour, you need something that won’t make your tent feel like the inside of the Titanic. The Core Instant Cabin helps protect you and your family with an extra-wide rainfly, as does the Copper Spur and Coleman Montana. Having an awning in front allows you to get in and out of the tent without bringing extra water in with you.
Which Tent Will Last the Longest?
Tent durability relies on a few elements, including tent poles, fabric, and seams. While none of these tents are “heavy-duty,” the Copper Spur is a bit more durable, thanks to its aluminum poles. The Core Instant Cabin should hold up for several years, but fiberglass is easier to break, so you must handle it with care. Comparatively speaking, you can abuse the Copper Spur and not worry too much about replacing it soon.
Which Tent is the Best Value for the Money?
Our top two tents offer superior features and reliability without breaking the bank. For example, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall provides similar features to the Copper Spur, but it’s far more expensive, so you’re not getting much more for your investment. We also like the Coleman Montana because it’s the most affordable unit on this list without being one of the worst.
Breaking Down the Best Lighted Tent By Model
Having a lighted tent is nice, but plenty of other features might sway your final decision. So here’s a quick overview of the best tents listed by features other than the ability to light up at night.
Which is the Best Cabin Tent With Lights?
Which is the Best Instant Tent With Lights?
Which is the Best Family Tent With Lights?
The Core Cabin Tent comes in extra-large models that can sleep up to 12 people. So, if you’re planning on camping with an extra-large group, you can’t do much better than this model. The next closest option is the 10-person Ozark Trail Tent, but it’s a poor substitute, so we don’t recommend it.
As you can see, the Core Instant Cabin Tent and the Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent are the best of the best. Unless you’re backpacking, the Core tent works for virtually every situation. However, if you are hitting the trail, the Core Tent is much too bulky and heavy to work.