Best Tents for Desert Camping (TOP 6 PICKS)

Published September 26th, 2022 by Allen Campbell

best tents for desert camping top 7

Camping in the desert can be a lot of fun, but if you’re not prepared it can also be incredibly uncomfortable. It’s hot, it’s dry, and the sand gets everywhere. Your camping trip can quickly turn into a complete disaster if you’re not careful.

In addition to the sand and heat, you must also be prepared for high winds, flash floods, and extreme temperature changes between day and night. That is why it’s critical to invest in a tent that can withstand all of those elements.

In order to help you choose the best possible tent for desert camping, I’ve done some research and put together a list of the best tents for desert camping.

Best Tents for Desert Camping: Summary

1) MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Backpacking Tent (Top Pick for Desert Camping)

100+ Reviews


  • Weight: 3.8 Pounds (1.7 kg)
  • Fabric Material: Nylon
  • No. of Doors: 2
  • Standing Height: 42 Inches

Detailed Review of this Desert Camping Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba is a kind of funny name for a tent. But this 2-person tent is no joke–it’s spacious and perfect for backpacking trips with a friend! You and your buddy will have plenty of room to both enjoy the great outdoors in comfort. 

When I used this tent on my solo camping trip to Joshua Tree, I was very impressed with how well it performed in strong winds and dust conditions. It kept me comfortable all night and I didn’t wake up covered in sand.

MSR Hubba Hubba tent was a lifesaver during my whole trip. This tent’s lightweight conserved my energy for climbing and trekking throughout the day. It only weighs 3.5 pounds, so it’s perfect for carrying long distances on your back.

When you’re camping in the desert, time is of the essence and you don’t want to be wasting any of it fiddling with your tent. The MSR Hubba Hubba makes pitching your tent a breeze, so you can go on more adventures and spend less time setting up camp.

I got totally covered in dust after coming from a long day of trekking in the hot sun. And that’s where the vestibule helped me out a lot. I was able to store my dirty shoes and gear in the vestibule without tracking any of them inside the tent.

Additionally, I was not in a condition to cook anything after my long day. The vestibule provided a great space to store my food so that it would stay cool and out of reach of any animals that might be roaming around at night. Not only did it protect my food from animals, but also high winds that might have blown my food away.

The tent exceeded my expectation after spending a night in the Joshua Tree desert. The poles and fabric were durable and withstood strong winds. Also, the mesh was placed in a way that allowed for good ventilation without too much sand coming in.

Overall, I was very pleased with the MSR Hubba Hubba and would recommend it to anyone looking for a tent to use in the desert.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up
  • Vestibule for storing dirty shoes and gear
  • Holds up well in high winds
  • Good ventilation


  • The floor lining is a little thin

2) Naturehike Cloud-Up 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

750+ Reviews


  • Weight: 4.5 Pounds (2 kg)
  • Fabric Material: Polyester
  • No. of Doors: 1
  • Standing Height: 41 Inches

Detailed Review of this Desert Camping Tent

The Naturehike Cloud-Up 2-Person Tent is not an extremely lightweight tent, but it’s extremely budget-friendly. It only weighs 4.6 pounds which is not bad for a 2-person tent. The weight is quite considerable if you are looking to save space and weight for your backpacking trip.

I was impressed with how well this tent did in hot, dry conditions. The nature hike cloud-up did an admirable job of keeping the inside of the tent clean and comfortable. The desert can throw a lot of challenges your way, but this tent will help you overcome them.

One thing that I really liked about this tent is that it has a lot of space for two people. Even if you are camping with your friend, you will not feel cramped inside this tent. There is plenty of space to move around and store your belongings.

Even if you are totally new to camping, you will be able to set this tent up with ease. You will receive the pre-connected poles in foldable form, so all you have to do is open them up. It has a one-way connection, so there’s no need to guess. This tent can be set up in only a few minutes!

I found the footprint to be quite useful while I was in the desert. I was able to keep my tent bottom more protected from the small rocks and other debris that was constantly being kicked up.

Moreover, the mesh does not extend all the way to the ground, which doesn’t let the sand enter the tent. This is a huge plus because, in the desert, you are constantly dealing with sand. The ventilation on the top is great, and I never felt like the inside of my tent was stuffy or uncomfortable.


  • It only takes a few minutes to get this up and running
  • Lightweight and budget-friendly
  • Roomy for two people
  • Good ventilation
  • Keeps the inside of the tent clean


  • Storage space is limited

3) Quechua by Decathlon Fresh & Black Pop-up Camping Tent

50+ Reviews


  • Weight: 7.3 Pounds (3.3 kg)
  • Fabric Material: N/A
  • No. of Doors: 1
  • Standing Height: 39 Inches

Detailed Review of this Desert Camping Tent

Quechua Fresh and Black Pop-up tent provides a stress-free and comfortable camping experience in the desert. The main reason for this is its innovative pop-up design that allows for a quick and easy setup. 

You won’t have to spend hours trying to put up the tent with zips, poles, and other materials. In only a couple of seconds, you can have the tents you require to relax in the desert.

I was very impressed when the sandstorm was about to come, I quickly put up the tent in a matter of seconds and avoided any damage to my belongings or myself.

The Fresh and Black is a patented design by Quechua and it is made with a unique fabric that restricts the amount of light that comes in. This is beneficial if you want to sleep in during the day or if you want to avoid the harsh sunlight. The fabric is also UPF 50+ rated, which means it will protect you from harmful UV rays.

The fabric will not allow heat to pass through, making the inside of the tent cooler. This would be perfect for areas that frequently experience extreme heat, such as deserts.

The tent features a front door that can be sealed with a zip on one side. This is useful for keeping the sand out and for providing extra security. The side of the tent also has ventilation flaps that can be stake down to avoid wind and sand getting inside.

According to the wind tunnel test, this tent can bear wind speeds of 50 km/h. Additionally, the tent has been tested on a turntable to understand how it behaves in different wind directions. And it is good to know that the tent structure will not change no matter how the wind blows.

At only 7.3 lbs or 3.3 kg, this tent is one of the lighter options available on the market- making it perfect for a backpacker or solo camper. Additionally, its small packed size means that it won’t take up too much space in your bag.

After folding it away, the size is only 25.6 x 3.5 x 29.9 inches or 65 x 9 x 76 cm. This makes attaching easy through the bungees on your backpack too. The handle on top is also useful for carrying the tent around.

Air circulation will not be an issue with this tent as it has side vents and a front door. Sometimes, in tents, your gear weight inside can be a good thing as it stops the tent from flying away with the wind. So, no more worrying about staking the tent to the ground.


  • Quick and easy setup
  • The tent is lightweight and portable, making it ideal for travel.
  • Excellent ventilation
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Wind and sand resistant


  • Made of Fiberglass poles

4) KODIAK CANVAS 1-Person Canvas Swag Tent

150+ Reviews


  • Weight: 17.5 Pounds (7.9 kg)
  • Fabric Material: Canvas
  • No. of Doors: N/A
  • Length: 6’8″ long

Detailed Review of this Desert Camping Tent

If you are a solo desert traveler, the Kodiak Canvas Swag Tent is perfect for your next trip. The durability and spaciousness of the tent will provide you with everything on your backcountry adventures.

The tent is 6’8″ long and 3′ wide, making it roomy for one person. The inside of the tent will not get too hot, due to the mesh sections on both sides as well as at the head and foot ends. The Kodiak Canvas Swag Tent will provide you with a great night’s sleep in any environment.

The tent is made of sturdy canvas, so you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. The canvas fabric provides enough ventilation to keep you cool in the desert heat, but will also keep you warm if the temperatures drop at night. Moreover, the tent comes with a 2-inch thick mattress, which will give you extra padding and comfort.

Carrying this tent by yourself is not an easy task, as it weighs 17.5 pounds. The tent also does not come with any storage space, so you will have to be creative in how you pack your belongings.


  • Durable canvas material
  • Spacious for one person
  • Mesh sections for ventilation
  • Comes with a 2-inch thick mattress


  • Heavy to carry by a single person
  • No storage space inside the tent

5) Ohnana Cool 2-Person Tent, Heat-Blocking Rayve II Tent

50+ Reviews


  • Weight: 7.28 Pounds (3.3 kg)
  • Fabric Material:  Nylon
  • No. of Doors: 1
  • Standing Height: ‎52 Inches

Detailed Review of this Desert Camping Tent

I would definitely recommend you this tent if you are tight on money and looking for an affordable and lightweight option. This Ohnana Cool Rayve II Tent is perfect for desert camping, as it will keep you cool in the hot weather. The tent is also big enough for two people, so you can share the experience with a friend or loved one.

The Ohnana tent is a festival tent that’s specifically designed to keep you cool and refreshed after long days and nights spent at music festivals. It perfectly blocks out sunlight so you can get some much-needed rest, and it also offers protection from the heat. 

This is perfect for camping in hot desert climates, as it will keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.

I was a little cautious when I first received the chance to use this tent on my camping trip. I had never heard of the brand before, and I wasn’t sure if it would really be able to stand up to the extreme heat of the desert. But I am happy to report that this tent exceeded my expectations and kept me comfortable throughout the entire trip.

Additionally, during the hiking, I found that this Ohnana Cool Rayve II Tent was one of the lightest and most packable tents that I have ever used. It was very easy to set up and take down, and it didn’t take up much space in my backpack. 

The tent is constructed from high-quality nylon, and it comes with aluminum stakes that are perfect for use in the desert.

I was able to store my belongings in the small vestibule space, and I never felt like I was uncomfortable inside the tent. A single door along with mesh windows offers great ventilation.


  • Lightweight and packable
  • Kept me cool in the heat
  • Easy to set up
  • Comfortable
  • Doesn’t create a “sauna” effect


  • The zipper is not the best quality

6) Free Space Cotton Canvas Big Family Camping Bell Tent

100+ Reviews


  • Weight: 61 Pounds (27.6 kg)
  • Fabric Material: Canvas
  • No. of Doors: 1
  • Door Height: ‎59 Inches

Detailed Review of this Desert Camping Tent

Free Space Cotton Canvas Tent is a classic choice for those who love spending time outdoors. It offers plenty of space and is packed with many features, making it a comfortable place to stay no matter where you go.

The tent is made from high-quality, breathable cotton canvas that will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. In addition, it has a waterproof coating to keep you dry in the rain. 

With space for up to 6-8 people, this tent is perfect for families or groups traveling together. You can easily load or unload your gear through the huge door. You can definitely call this tent your new home away from home.

It’s composed of a sturdy fabric with double stitching and reinforced corners for extra durability. The tent can accommodate one queen-sized bed and two twin-sized beds, or it can be used as an open space to accommodate multiple people. There are four windows and four vents in the tent, which allow for optimal ventilation and privacy.


  • Large and spacious interior
  • High-quality cotton canvas
  • Waterproof coating
  • Dual stitching and reinforced corners
  • Can accommodate a large group


  • It May be too large for some campsites
  • More expensive than some other options, but worth the investment.

The Pros and Cons of Camping in the Desert

tent camping in the desert

Before you head out into the desert for a camping trip along with your tent, you need to be aware of both the pros and cons of camping in this unique environment. Desert camping comes with its own set of challenges, and it is important to be prepared for both the good and the bad before you embark on your journey.


A Peaceful Place to Sleep

Desert camping is the finest alternative for you if you have trouble sleeping in a tent. The sand provides a soft and comfortable surface to sleep on, which is perfect for those who have trouble sleeping on harder surfaces. 

As compared to other types of terrain such as rocky or wet ground, the sand is a much more comfortable option that will help you get a good night’s sleep. It feels similar to memory foam, and you will not have any issues with interrupted dreams.

Less wildlife

Another benefit of camping in the desert is the lack of wildlife. While this might not be a concern for everyone, it is worth mentioning for those who are worried about animals getting into their food or tents. Since there are fewer animals in the desert, you will not have to worry about waking up to a raccoon in your tent or food storage. 

But, you should still be aware of the animals that do live in the desert and take precautions accordingly. Living creatures such as snakes and spiders can still pose a threat, so be sure to know what to look out for.

Sky View

Usually, if you camp in a location with trees, you will not have a great view of the stars at night. One of the most appealing aspects of desert camping is the view of the night sky. With no trees or other obstacles in the way, you can lay back and enjoy the beauty of the stars without having to worry about anything blocking your view.


Water can be a concern

I still remember my biology teacher in high school telling us that the human body is made up of 70% water. And while this number has been debated over the years, there’s no denying that human beings need water to survive. When you’re out in the desert camping, water can be a major concern. 

It is because there is a lack of freshwater sources in the desert, and you will have to bring all the water you need for your trip. If you are planning for 1 or 2 days out, make sure you bring more than the expected amount of water.

Desert Temperature

Desert is a hot place, and there is no denying that. But, what many people don’t realize is that the temperature in the desert can fluctuate a lot, even in a single day. I would not recommend you to get outside between 10 am and 4 pm, as the sun can get really scorching hot during this time. 

But, as the night starts to fall, the temperature can drop drastically. Thus, it’s critical to bring some warm clothing with you when the temperature drops at night.

What To Look for In a Desert Tent

Camping in the desert might be an interesting and unique experience, but it’s important to be ready for the conditions you’ll encounter. With extreme heat during the day and cold temperatures at night, you’ll need a tent that can withstand both extremes. Down below are some key points to look for when purchasing a desert tent.


There are every tent in the market provides some measure of shade, but if you want to be comfortable in the desert, you need a tent that provides a lot of shade. I found that a tent awning is one of the best ways to create shade, as it not only keeps the sun out but also lets you enjoy the breeze. 

Another feature to look for is a tent with reflective material, as it will help keep the inside of your tent cooler. Although it’s rare, this option is nice to have if you can get your hands on it.

Sand Blocking

The most vital feature of a desert tent is the ability to block sand. Since sand gets everywhere, you’ll want a tent that can keep it out. You don’t want to end up on a desert camping trip covered in sand, do you? A good quality tent will have doors that seal tight so that no sand can get in.

Additionally, a bathtub floor-style tent is ideal for desert camping, as it will avoid any windblown sand from getting inside your tent. Remember to avoid the tent which includes a lot of mesh, as it will only let the sand in. Not only that, but the mesh will also reduce visibility during a sandstorm.

Wind Resistance

Deserts are mainly known for two things; heat and wind. So, it is no surprise that you need a tent that can withstand high winds. You should choose a tent that can beat the wind, as it can get really strong in some areas. You don’t want your tent getting blown away in the middle of the night.

In addition, make sure to securely fasten your tent down. I would recommend you to use heavy-duty stakes, as normal ones will not do the job. If possible, get some with a flatter design which usually includes holes down the spine. These types of stakes are great for holding down your tent in the sand.

Finding the Best Tents for Desert Camping: Bottom Line

Desert camping doesn’t have to be a miserable experience—not if you have the right gear, anyway. By investing in a quality tent specifically designed for use in hot, dry climates, you can ensure that your time in nature is comfortable (and mostly sand-free). 

In this article, I’ve shared some top-quality desert tents that I would recommend, as well as some key features to look for when choosing one. Now it is your turn to decide which one better meets your needs. So get out there and explore—just make sure you come prepared!


How do you camp in the desert?

It may appear to be difficult to camp in the desert at first, but it’s really not that different from camping anywhere else—you just have to be prepared for the conditions. Just remember: pick the right spot, prepare for the heat, watch out for critters, be aware of flash floods, and always be prepared for emergencies. 

Also check this article here about whether or not you need a permit to setup a camping tent.

How do you keep sand from blowing in a tent?

If you’ve ever camped in a windy desert, you know how annoying it is to have sand constantly blowing into your tent. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to keep the sand at bay. 

One of the simplest is to lay a tarp over the sand before pitching your tent. You can also try staking the corners of the tarp down with tent pegs or rocks. Another option is to use a portable windscreen. These usually come in the form of a mesh screen that can be placed around the perimeter of your campsite. If you have a canopy, you can also drape a sheet or tarp over it to create a barrier against the wind. 

How do you stop scorpions from camping?

Scorpions are predators that mainly hunt during the night. They are attracted to areas with high populations of insects, which provide them with food and shelter. 

One way to reduce the risk of scorpions camping in your location is to keep the insect population under control. This can be done by eliminating potential breeding sites, such as standing water and piles of leaves or wood. 

Allen Campbell with Master Canopies

Allen Campbell

Allen is a full time writer at and enjoys traveling around the United States and exploring nature. He enjoys writing about canopies as he believes they are extremely crucial in having a successful camping trip whether it be a trip to the beach, mountains, or the open plains.

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