At a glance…
In our opinion, The Diamond Brand Warhorse is the best military-grade tent. It’s quite expensive; however, with a large size (up to 8 people), low weight, reasonable setup and “strike”, high stability, and a large number of additional features – this wall-type tent ticks all the right boxes and becomes our favorite.
But, you might have overlooked perhaps the most significant piece of tactical equipment to perfect your outdoor arsenal: a tent that’s ready for anything. We call those military tents.
Tents are the cornerstone of all expeditions and adventures that require you to stay outdoors for an extended period.
Most consumer tents perform the job adequately enough for low-intensity recreational use once or twice without breaking down (if you’re lucky).
Outside of these purposes though, it’s not only much safer to use rugged military tents, but also a lot smarter.
Using a tent that’s built to military specification protects you, your friends and teammates, your gear, and best of all – means that you probably won’t have to buy another tent ever again.
So, join us as we exhaustively compare and rank the best military-style tents available to purchase.
In a hurry? Check all our recommended brands and products.
Guide for Buying Military Tents
Before getting to the products themselves, it’s worth understanding what to look for based on your specific needs. There are a lot of options on the military tents market and variables to consider. In this section, we go through all those things.
3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Tent
To know what kind of tent works for you, you need to ask the right questions. Let’s quickly go through them:
What kind of camping will you do?
There are mainly two types of camping: car camping and backpacking. The first type is how most people camp at provincial parks–with all their supplies near them in the parked car. The latter, backpacking, involves hiking several miles into the secluded wilderness, where you take all your tools and resources with you in a backpack.
As you can imagine, you’ll need a sturdier tent with backpack camping because the environment is rougher, and your tent must hold more tools (more pockets).
How often are you camping?
Is camping a one-time, annual event or weekly thing for you? Depending on how often you’re putting your tent through hell, you’ll need to invest more or less in tents with varying durability. If camping is a regular hobby, you should get a more durable, military-grade tent.
How many people will be sleeping in the tent?
Ask yourself how many people will be living and sleeping in the tent. This will change your tent size. The last thing you want is to get a small tent that will crowd everything–not a very pleasurable camping experience.
What are the types of tents?
There are many different types of tents available that suit a wide range of purposes.
Tents typically vary by design, size, sleeping areas, storage, setup style, materials, and additional provisions. The most common types of tents are:
The single-pole shelter draped in canvas makes it easy and intuitive to set up. It’s one of the oldest types of living shelters. They offer great protection because they’re durable, waterproof, and provide a spacious interior more catered for social calls, glamping, and comfortable, crowd-less sleeping. Because of their tall roof structure, you don’t need to stoop when standing, either.
Dome tents are typical consumer-level tents with a pole structure with a rectangular floor and two poles going diagonally through the top with a nylon covering. That particular structure provides shelter from weather and stability in high wind. They’re popular for their easy set-up and light carry.
Tarp tents are incredibly versatile. They’re rectangular/square pieces of waterproof fabric held tightly by ropes and poles or tree trunks. Some may not even call this structure a tent–as it doesn’t have walls. They’re practical in low-risk, low-maintenance environments that don’t require much protection.
They pack small, cheaper than traditional tents and are often used with a “proper” tent as a groundsheet for wet ground or an extra top wall to protect from heavy rain.
A cone-shaped tent with a central smoke flap. They’re culturally significant to the indigenous people–who lived in colder climates. Tipi tents are great for providing warmth since you can light a fire inside the tent because of the smoke flap at the top.
A wall tent has four straight vertical walls that are significantly more spacious than traditional pyramid-shaped tents. Hunters often use wall tents because they can accommodate several people and their supplies. They’re usually made of a heavy-duty canvas and are suitable as a four-season tent.
What type of tent should you choose?
As we discussed above, you have 5 types of tent you can choose:
When making your selection, consider the main variables of tent design and what it is you’ll primarily be using it for.
In most cases, Dome or Wall tents provide the best options in terms of space, portability, and ease of setup.
But, by looking at what those in tactical and combat contexts use, you can get a better idea of the tents which provide the best value in terms of durability and longevity.
What tents do the army use?
Tents are an indispensable provision for armies all over the world and have been for quite some time. They are used most commonly for temporary barracks, security checkpoints, recreational spaces, and mess halls.
Armies prioritize setup time, space, durability, strike time (the time it takes to disassemble a tent), and portability in selecting their tents.
The US Army uses the following tent models for their needs:
- TEMPER tent (Tent Extendable Modular Personnel) – An aluminum-framed modular tent with water, fire, and mildew-resistant canvas.
- DRASH tent (Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter) – A geodesic, composite-strut supported tent that can be deployed in minutes with no special equipment.
Finding the Best Military Grade Tents
Narrowing down our selection from all the rugged tents and military shelters out there was difficult, which is why we enlisted the help of our trusty BIFL (Buy it For Life) rating system.
In the domain of tents, that means we only chose products that are:
With your rugged tents: 101 class out the way, let’s move on to what you came for.
The 5 Best Military Tents
Here is the very best of what we found in our search for the most durable military-grade tents available today in 2021.
Diamond Brand Combat II Tent
Starting off with a modestly sized tent more suited to recreational and short-term sheltering, we present the newly improved Combat II Tent from Diamond Brand.
Diamond Brand have been the gold standard in tent manufacturing for over 100 years. Established in 1881 in North Carolina, they are trusted by the United States Marine Corps among others in the market, to provide tents of all styles and sizes, with longevity and sustainability at the forefront of their product philosophy.
The Combat II is a military-grade dome tent built primarily for survival and hunting. It uses military-grade 70D nylon for the tent body, as well as a fly layer with a heavy 1.9 oz urethane coating to withstand rough weather conditions, which is also reversible with a camo/tan print.
It sleeps 2 people with a 34 sq ft floor area and features 2 doors that have a no-see-um mesh to protect from small insects. With a packed weight of 8lbs 9oz, it’s also very portable. Paired with the recorded setup time of under 5 minutes, this tent is perfect for picking up sticks and moving locations quickly when needs be.
PRICE: Around $250
PERFECT FOR: Recreational trips like hunting and fishing
WHAT WE LOVE MOST: The Combat II uses robust materials that aren’t overly heavy, making it extremely lightweight and portable without compromising on durability.
U.S. Military Tents Vinyl General Purpose Small Tent
This tent represents a level up from the more portable designs to offer generous indoor space and sleeping capacity while still maintaining reasonable setup and strike times.
U.S. Military Tents have over 30 years of experience in the industry. They have a reputable client list that includes combat outfits like the U.S. Military and high-profile movie and television studios, including Warner Brothers and NBC Universal.
The Vinyl General Purpose Small Tent is a six-sided pyramid-style tent made from cotton canvas and vinyl material supported by a center pole and sidewall poles. Its eave height (the height of the surrounding structure) is 5’8” with a center-peak height of 10’3”, which allows for standing room.
It has a generous 198 sq ft floor space and features 2 doors on opposite sides with ventilation screens. The roof is fitted with a stovepipe shield to accommodate a 4-inch military heater pipe.
For a tent with substantial room, the setup and strike time of 30 mins (with 4 people) is pretty impressive. The roominess does come at a cost of the significant packed weight of 195lbs.
PRICE: From $700 to $2000 depending on the condition
PERFECT FOR: Great general-purpose tent that is suited to small teams
WHAT WE LOVE MOST: The central pole allows for a very accommodating standing space and a roomy feel.
Coleman’s U.S. G.I. Base X 303 Shelter
Now we can move on to the tents designed with serious applications in mind. With that, you can expect a huge step up in provisions and use-cases.
Coleman’s Military Surplus had humble beginnings, with its owner C.S. Coleman attending a military surplus auction on a whim following a great deal of unwanted military gear available for purchase in 1968.
This means that everything on the store is not simply sanctioned for military use, but actually bought by the military, so you can trust the quality.
The G.I. Base X 303 Shelter is a medium-sized shelter with perhaps the broadest potential functionality of all the tents on the list. It has electrical outlets every 5’ and an HVAC plenum for superior ventilation.
With interior space of 270 sq ft and 4 entry points, it’s well suited to military application and a workshop, boat cover, hunting lodge, and pretty much any situation that requires ample room for storage and multiple personnel.
With a setup/strike time of 8-minutes with 2 personnel and the ability to compress into 2 hand-carry bags, it’s also a great balance of space and efficiency.
PRICE: Around $2000
PERFECT FOR: Military operations
WHAT WE LOVE MOST: We can’t decide whether the lightning-quick strike time or the surprisingly portable 2-hand carry is more impressive.
Diamond Brand The Warhorse
Diamond Brand makes its second appearance on the list with a consumer-friendly tent package that’s perfect for serious campers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The Warehouse is a special tent that meets the needs of every type of user.
Sleeping up to 8 people with a square footage of 192 and 2 doors, The Warhorse is a sizeable beast that also comes in a smaller and less expensive version with the same design.
In terms of durability, The Warhorse is pretty well accredited. The Orion A-frame structure is made from galvanized steel. The canvas is composed of a heavy 13oz poly/cotton mix and is treated to achieve flame, water, and mildew resistance. To ensure life-long structural integrity, the corners are triple-reinforced.
This does come with a hefty setup time of just under an hour, which is to be expected from such a large unit, though. Despite its size, it does, however, come in at a reasonable weight of 100lbs.
Uniquely, the package bundles in some additional accessories to complete the offering, which includes x2 air-screen doors, a porch fly, and ‘footprints’ that allow you to set up The Warhorse without a base platform.
PRICE: from $1850 to $2400 depending on model selection
PERFECT FOR: Camping, ‘Glamping’ (luxury camping), and scouting
WHAT WE LOVE MOST: Space, stability, and additional features that make this tent feel more like a home than a temporary shelter.
RDD USA Temper Tent
We saved the biggest tent on the list for last, which is also a Temper tent designed specifically for large-scale military use.
As we discussed earlier, Temper tents are modular, and the RDD USA Temper tent is no exception. You can expand the space of this tent in 8’ increments exponentially to create a tent city should you need to.
This 8-window, 2-door Temper tent is based on an aluminum frame with a vinyl-coated polyester duck cloth canvas that is fire, water, and mildew resistant. It has 480 sq ft of space without modular additions, and can be erected in 40 minutes with 5 personnel.
Aside from its desert and tropical weather resistance, the canvas also features coatings that are designed to conceal it from night optic vision surveillance.
Helpfully, this tent is kitted with provisions for heating, air conditioning, electronics, and lighting, making it a truly robust semi-permanent shelter. It weighs in at a hefty 900lbs with a packed-down volume of 109 cubic ft.
Make no mistake, this is a tried-and-true military tent that will offer every convenience that a house does while also being portable if you have the manpower.
PRICE: Around $2000
PERFECT FOR: Military and army use or large-scale recreation.
WHAT WE LOVE MOST: The modular design of Temper tents means that you can accommodate a practically endless amount of personnel.
Check out the below comparison table for a feature-rundown of all the tents on the list.
Military Tents | Comparison Table
|wdt_ID||Brand/Model||Rugged Ratings||Type||Size (sq ft)||Doors||Setup/Strike time (minutes)||Provisions||Price (approx.)|
|1||Diamond Brand Combat II Tent||85||Dome||34||2||5||Insect mesh||$249|
|2||U.S. Military Tents Vinyl General Purpose Small Tent||75||Pyramid||198||2||30||Stove pipe heating||$690 - $1860|
|3||Coleman’s U.S. G.I. Base X 303 Shelter||80||Wall||270||4||8||Electrical outlets
|4||Diamond Brand The Warhorse||100||Wall||192||2||50||Air screen doors||$1849 – $2339|
|5||RDD USA Temper Tent||80||Wall||480||2||40||Heating, air conditioning
electrical outlets, lighting
|Brand/Model||Rugged Ratings||Type||Size (sq ft)||Doors||Setup/Strike time (minutes)||Price (approx.)|
The Best Military Grade Tent
The best military tent is the one that meets your needs the closest.
However, for recreational and civilian use, we can recommend 2 from the list that stand out.
The Diamond Brand Warhorse is your one-stop “luxury” camping solution. It comes with a pretty steep price tag, but if you’re serious about outdoor recreation then it will pay you back with years of perfect usage.
And in terms of value, the fact that it comes bundled with accessories that will give you a more comfortable and flexible experience actually makes the price seem not too unreasonable. It’s an extremely durable tent made from premium materials that will withstand even careless use.
But, if you’re festival-bound, taking a spontaneous fishing or hunting trip, or just want to spend a day or two outdoors, we recommend taking a closer look at the Combat II tent from Diamond Brand. It’s the most compact on the list by far with equally tough 70D nylon canvas that should live through your adventures if you treat it well.
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