Best Tents For Desert Camping

By Gearthrone •  Updated: 02/11/22 •  6 min read

Camping in the desert is one of the most exciting and fun adventures you can partake in. The heat of the day mixed with the cool of the night makes for a duality rarely found elsewhere. That said, enduring the elements of hot and cold can be tricky. That’s why researching the best tents for desert camping is a crucial step before you embark on your journey.

What kind of tents are used in the desert?

The primary consideration when camping in the desert is sand. There is lots of it.

With that known, the best kind of tent to use in the desert is one that will not only shield you from the sand, but also the strong winds, brutally hot days and cold nights that desert camping brings about.

If you have flimsy stakes on a tent you plan to take to the desert, consider spending $20 for some quality, heavy-duty stakes that will guarantee your tent stays in place. The Eurmax 12 inch steel tent stakes are our stake upgrade recommendation.

Eurmax 12 inch Heavy Duty Steel Tent Stakes
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How do you pitch a tent in the desert?

Short answer: do it when there is no wind.

The toughest factor you’ll face when setting up camp in the desert is wind, and desert winds can be very strong.

Attempting to erect your tent during a windy period is a challenging strategy. Wait until the wind dies down, and once you find a calm point, proceed to pitch your tent just as you would in any other environment.

Find flat ground

Desert terrain can be hilly. Pitching your tent on a hill is not ideal. If you can, try to find a flat piece of ground that you can pitch your tent on.

Ensure your tent is weighed down

As mentioned above, quality tent stakes are crucial when camping in the desert. If you need extra weight to make sure your tent stays in place, consider using stronger stakes or even heavy rocks.

Desert tent recommendations

The following are Gearthrone’s recommendations for the best tents for desert camping. Each of these have their own unique strengths and are all suitable for overnight desert camping.

1. Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent (Top Pick)

Top Pick
Coleman Sundome Tent
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The Sundome from Coleman is a great choice for your next desert camping trip. At under $100, it is affordable and delivers a great bang for your buck. In the world of camping, disassembling a tent is often not thought about. Not only is the Sundome easy to assemble, but once you’re ready to pack in, it is simple and convenient to disassemble and pack away.

Materials: Polyguard™ 68D polyester mesh, polyethylene, polyester

What makes it good for desert camping? Stargazing in the desert can be second-to-none. Coleman’s Sundome has large screen panels on the “ceiling”, which make for a great view of the night sky.

Take note: floor padding is a bit sparse.

2. Kodiak Canvas Tent Deluxe (Upgrade Pick)

Upgrade Pick
Kodiak Canvas Canvas Tent Deluxe
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The Kodiak Canvas is the most expensive on our list and it should be for how well made it is. It is easy to set up, can withstand strong winds (which the desert can produce in the blink of an eye). Beyond that, it’s quite spacious and durable.

Materials: Hydra-shieldTM canvas, reinforced polyester, galvanized, steel tubing

Why is it good for desert camping? It is a great tent for desert camping because of how well it holds up to strong winds and dust storms. The stakes are made of steel and measure a hefty 12-inches. The seams are double-stitched and the canvas doesn’t deteriorate to direct sunlight. It also has four large windows you can lower to view the landscape.

Take note: At 79 lbs., it’s a heavy duty tent. Because it weighs so much, it is not the best option for hiking. The tent is canvas so it needs time to fully dry before packing. If you experience any moisture at your campsite, make sure to let your Kodiak fully dry so mold doesn’t form.

3. Geertop 2 Person Camping Tent (Also Great)

Also Great
GEERTOP 2 Person Camping Tent
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The Geertop is a great choice for just over $100. At 7lbs, it is lightweight but also study. Assembly is quick and can be done in about 10-15 minutes. With built in lantern hook and storage pockets, the interior has what you need for convenience. Another cool feature is the reflective ropes that make finding this tent in the dark simple.

Materials: Polyester, vinyl, alloy steel, canvas

Why is it good for desert camping? The Geertop has great ventilation for extremely hot temperatures. With two entrances and double layer doors, air flows freely allowing this tent to stay cool during hot and dry temperatures.

Take note: the stakes are fairly basic and may need to be upgraded for strong desert winds.

4. Kamp-Rite Portable Cot (Most Portable)

Most Portable
Kamp-Rite Original Portable Durable Cot
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The Kamp-Rite is a perfect solo sleeping unit. It’s comfortable, easy to transport, and seamless to set up. With a weight capacity of up to 300lbs, this cot is sturdy and strong. We always recommend camping with a group, but if you are going solo, this is a perfect option.

Materials: Heavy-duty 190T nylon, polyester

Why is it perfect for desert camping? Because it is lifted off the ground, sand has a much tougher time making its way inside the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot.

Take note: condensation issues have been reported in colder climates.

Desert camping tips


Camping in the desert comes with its own unique set of challenges. From sand and wind to varying temperatures between day and night, that’s why a proper desert camping tent is critical. With it you will be prepared and well on your way to enjoying your own desert oasis.

Questions? Contact us here.


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