Camping

Best Tent for Burning Man in 2020: Buying Guide & Reviews

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Movies and sitcoms have always romanticized the aspect of sleeping in the open under a starry night and counting the stars and forming patterns with them! The cities are crowded and polluted and for the best stargazing experience, a week in the Black Rock Desert is what you need.

However, don’t even think about going camping there without a good tent. You could get swept off by a dust storm or get trampled under a bicycle. To avoid this, you need to pick up the best tent for Burning Man.

It has been almost 30 years that the Burning Man takes place in the harsh climatic conditions of Northern Nevada. This has caused Burners to get innovative about the camping gear they bring with them to the event.

Best Tent for Burning Man Reviews

Let’s look at the top choices in the long list of the best tent for Burning Man.

1. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow 6-Person Canvas Tent

Don’t confuse the Kodiak Canvas camping tent with the Bowflex. That one is a workout machine while Kodiak Canvas is also pretty heavy to give you a good workout. This rugged and charming tent is ideal for any weather condition and it’s the best tent Burning Man.

If you set it right, Kodiak Canvas can be used to stay even in rugged terrains. Several styles are on offer – from hunter “lite” to scout tradition and even the hipster throwback appeal.

Once you finish installing the tent you will find it very comfortable to stay in. The floor of the tent is heavy vinyl. You can easily handle the soft canvas and prevent the plastic flapping sound when it is windy. This is a beautiful tent with a simple shape and a spacious interior. It’s tall with a comfortable awning to relax for hours reading a book or listening to nature.

The light-colored canvas keeps the tent cool and makes it a perfect tent for desert or beach camping. The zipper flaps and thick canvas keeps the sand and dust out and if it’s windy, you can always zip the flaps and be cozy inside while the sand blows.

Pros
  • Made of 100% cotton duck hydra-shield canvas
  • Watertight and breathable
  • Features four large windows
  • Two D-shaped doors
  • Quite spacious
  • Two funnel-flow vents
Cons
  • None

2. Snugpak Bunker 3 Person Tent

The Snugpak Bunker 3-Person olive tent is the perfect choice for long use such as in a basecamp. The strong and solid design ensures durability in extreme weather and makes it one of the best tents for Burning Man.

Hot or cold, it’s flexible for any weather condition. You can regulate the airflow inside the tent and control the moisture by controlling the diameter of the opening using the two adjustable vents. The tent keeps you cozy and warm with the solid canopy which retains body heat. The multiple guy points hold off the wind and the three mesh pockets on both sides maximize floor space by providing a place to hold the gear.

Heavy rains are not a concern either. The tent is designed to keep the rainwater out with fully taped seams and the 5000mm waterproof polyurethane coating of the floor and fly. Besides, the bathtub design of the floor enhances the waterproof nature by repelling water that would have otherwise drenched the flat floors.

With strong DAC Featherlite poles of highly durable aluminum alloy and 19 aluminum alloy stakes, your tent stays put in the worst winds or storm. You can easily pack this 6.7-pound tent into the stuff sack that comes with it.

Pros
  • Made of lightweight polyester
  • 5000mm waterproof polyurethane coating
  • Two doors and two vents
  • Aluminum poles
  • Interior mesh pockets
Cons
  • Smaller than it looks in the pictures

3. NTK Laredo GT 8 to 9 Person Sport Camping Tent

A heavy-duty camping tent that can be installed in 15 minutes by two adults is the highlight of NTK Laredo GT.

The Laredo GT uses the advanced ping-and-ring technology, which is a popular feature of all NTK tents, to simplify the installation process. Pitching the tent is also made easy with the color-coding of the pole system.

Once you are ready to pack, you can easily disassemble the tent by following the simple and clear instructions. A spacious 32 x 12 x 12-inch carry bag is provided to store the tent safely and the compression buckles along with reinforced straps of the bag facilitate smooth transportation.

The spacious interior of the tent makes it perfect for 8/9 adults to stay in sleeping bags. It can accommodate up to 3 double-sized mattresses and two twin mattresses without any cramping. You can use it for sport camping or family camping or take it with you to Burning Man. The tent gives a 6.2-feet standing height. So, changing clothes inside the tent becomes easy for tall campers. No need to bend heads, NTK Laredo is tall enough.

Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 9 people comfortably
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Easy to install
  • Mosquito mesh
  • Heavy-duty carry bag
  • Three windows and one roomy door
Cons
  • Low-quality tent

4. GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person

This tent is great to use in any weather and is built to provide maximum comfort inside whether it’s hot or cold outside. During winter, you’ll find the snow skirts in the tent very useful in keeping out snow. The tent comes with a special structure inside designed to enhance the thermal performance so that you don’t feel the cold.

Well-suited for cold weather or winter this is the best tent for Burning Man, especially for the cold nights. A custom design for stability and perfectly built for comfort in the wind, rain and snow; this tent is waterproof and stays put even in heavy storms. Feedbacks support this tent for hot weather as well. Being well ventilated, it’s enough to keep cool inside.

The GEERTOP tent is a multi-purpose, lightweight tent made of quality materials. Designed to give the best customer experience, the manufacturers have delivered a high-quality tent. This tent is capable of protecting you against pretty much anything. The set-up for this tent is also extremely simple, making it an overall great tent.

Pros
  • Tent suitable for four seasons
  • Comes in two colors
  • Double layers
  • Easy to set up and lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • 2-person tent
Cons
  • Bad door zipper

5. TOMOUNT 8 Person Tent

The TOMOUNT 8-person tent is a family-friendly tent, perfect for 8 adults to use for outdoor traveling or car camping. You can comfortably fit 3 queen air mattresses or 8 sleeping bags inside the tent. It’s a great tent to use for Burning Man if you’re attending the event with your family.

This tent is well ventilated with 5 mesh windows and 1 large mesh door to promote healthy air circulation. The mesh windows keep out bugs while allowing the cool breeze inside and offer an enjoyable view of the surroundings.

Professionally designed and tested, the TOMOUNT camping tent is both windproof and waterproof. According to water tests, the tent’s waterproof index is over 4000mm. Stay dry even in a downpour. This tent is made strong with redesigned poles making a wind-responsive frame to withstand heavy rain or wind.

Excellent for car camping and festivals, the tent can be easily set up in a couple of simple steps. You need to feed the poles only once because of the continuous pole sleeves which are snag-free as well. This reduces the setup time to just 10 minutes. Smooth and sturdy 2-way zippers make it convenient to move in and out of the tent.

Pros
  • Accommodates 8 people
  • Windproof and waterproof
  • 1-year warranty
  • Lightweight
  • 24×7 dedicated support
  • Easy to install
  • 4000mm waterproof index
Cons
  • Zipper often gets stuck

6. The North Face Stormbreak 2

The North Face Stormbreak is a well-ventilated tent which makes it a great choice to beat the summer heat on your summer camping trips. It has a taller peak height than other tents at 43”.

So, there’s plenty of headroom for sitting up or even crouching. The dimensions of this tent are 87×50 inches and not quite the longest. Hence, it’s neither comfortable nor recommended for use by particularly tall people. The tent is easy to set up. It has two lengthy cross poles, and two more horizontal ones to provide more interior headroom while reinforcing the other poles.

However, Stormbreak comes with cheap and ineffective stakes that bent fast if you try to pound them into hard ground. Stormbreak uses polyester fabric that’s heavily coated and durable enough in the short term. But cheaper coated fabrics are likely to degrade fast, especially if you don’t store the tent properly.

Carrying this heavyweight tent on your back for extended backpacking trips is not a good idea either. However, this cozy tent is best for Burning Man or for car camping, music festivals, and backyard camping.

Pros
  • Comes in two colors
  • Built to last
  • Plentiful headroom
  • 2 doors
  • Optimal airflow
  • Made of 6 or 8 person domes
Cons
  • None

7. AmazonBasics Tent

This tent is made of coated polyester. Hence, it’s water-resistant. Its base layer is thick. For ease of assembly, it’s shaped like a dome once it’s set up. It boasts of ample floor space of 9×7. However, it’s not for tall guys.

Its height is just a little lower at 5 feet so you need to be shorter than that if you want to stand up straight. It comes in a nice gray color with an orange-colored rain fly. The floors have inverted seams which aid in preventing leaks.

The orange rain fly can be zipped down to almost 3/4 of the height. This helps keep the entire tent dry during rainy weather. It can also withstand winds of up to 30-40mph. As far as sleeping is concerned, the tent can accommodate a queen size air bed so it’s suitable for only two people. Three at the most if you don’t mind getting crowded.

The AmazonBasics Tent is ventilated mainly from its sides. The door also sports a mesh window that can be opened halfway. The tent’s door is D shaped. It zips all around and also sports a small flap for protection from the rain. This ensures it stays waterproof. There’s a small opening if you want to put an electric cable through. This opening is located right under the rainfly, so you don’t have to worry about rainwater seeping in. 

Pros
  • You get it in 2 sizes
  • Made of coated polyester
  • A free-standing model
  • Sports a cool air port
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty (limited)
  • Waterproof
  • 6-foot center height
Cons
  • The poles can sometimes be defective causing problems in assembly

8. NEMO Wagontop Camping Tent

The NEMO Wagontop camping tent is designed for fun in warm weather. It has a light color scheme and also many windows with ventilation that allows air to flow freely. Snuggle inside if you want a break from the sun for a while. The windows make it great to relax inside the tent while enjoying the view outside. It’s just perfect for a beach hangout or to be used for Burning Man.

But this tent doesn’t go well with the wind. The tent is boxy and tall and keeps blowing sideways even on the light winds on the beach.

The design and number of guy lines are not very satisfying either. The guy lines attach too low on the tent and can’t stop it from flapping in the wind like a large rectangular sail. Moreover, such a giant sail comes with only four guy lines and two vestibule stake loops which are quite insufficient.

Weatherproofing takes a backseat in this tent. Since it doesn’t have a full fly, you will find it difficult to cover. An alternative would be to use the awning in the back and the generous vestibule as a built-in, half fly. If it rains, close the windows to waterproof the tent. You can close the windows by unrolling the flap of the tent fabric (attached inside to the bottom of the window) and fixing it to the two corner loop closures on the top with Velcro.

Pros
  • Comes in four sizes
  • Simple setup
  • Unique pole structure
  • Well designed
  • Plenty of room for standing
  • Unique pole structure
Cons
  • Warranty could be better

9. Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8-2 Room

The Flying Diamond Eight is spacious and protects from the elements. It keeps you warm and dry in the winter and fall and dry and cool in the spring and summer.

This best-seller is versatile enough to handle any weather condition. The dual doors facilitate air circulation encouraging condensation and preventing stuffiness inside.

The popularity of the model is due to the large storage space and spacious interiors that it comes with. If you are planning to carry loads of camping gear and luggage, you will find this tent great to organize the stuff. It comes with two vestibules that are spacious enough to store food, clothing, and supplies. You can use it when attending Burning Man if you’re visiting with a large group.

The Flying Diamond 8 comes with two strategically placed doors on either side of the tent. This keeps the tent airy and ventilated and allows good airflow when people enter or exit. When this feature is combined with the two vestibules (or rooms), it creates an environment similar to two tents glued together.

Pros
  • Accommodates 8 people
  • Can withstand strong winds
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Easy to install
  • Super roomy
Cons
  • Disappointing in rainy weather

10. Dream House Luxury Outdoor Waterproof Camping Tent

Even though the Dream House camping tent is waterproof, if you’re using it in the rain, it may suffer from leakages as the cotton in the canvas shrinks up the holes of the original stitching. The best part is that, once it’s done, the canvas is good to go for four seasons.

The shell has reinforced key points and double stitching throughout to provide additional weather protection. The integrated, zippable heavy-duty groundsheet lets you roll up the sides of the walls for the wind to blow underneath. This is great for a hot summer’s day.

Keep yourself warm during the winter by placing a camping stove on the stove hole provided in the sidewall. It’s a good tent to use for Burning Man, especially during the cold nights. You can also use this tent for some cool time at the backyard party or on the beach. Plenty of sturdy, durable pegs and ropes provided with the tent make setup and pitching easy.

The tent can withstand high winds with the reinforcing ties on the outside and inside. Still, it’s not recommended to use the tent when the wind speed is higher than 30 miles per hour. The screen meshes on the windows and doors prevent bugs from coming inside.

Pros
  • Fully windproof and waterproof
  • Good for 4 seasons
  • Comes in 7 colors
  • Plenty of mosquito netting
  • Adjustable for cold or hot temps
  • Outer shell made of cotton canvas
Cons
  • Leaks
  • A bit expensive

How to Choose the Best Tent for Burning Man

Here are a few of the main things to keep in mind while choosing the best tent for Burning Man:

Waterproofing

Though not a lot, it does rain sometimes when Burning Man takes place. A dry place for things would be great if it rains. I remember the stormy Monday morning back in 2017, when I was lounging on my camping bed, bone-dry – listening to the rain and enjoying the cool climate.

Built Quality

Strong and sturdy. The Black Rock Desert is known for its gale-force strong winds. Make sure that your tent can be stalked strongly to the ground. Check the strength of both the metal frame and the lag screws or tent stakes.

The cheap tents that you can find in Walmart are definitely not going to hold in a windstorm. Certainly, you don’t want to chase a runaway tent down the street. Do consider this warning seriously. Canvas tents are recommended if you can afford one. They are heavy, dust-resistant and will last a strong wind without ripping.

Zipper Strength

The dust in playa can really cake on the zippers. Get a tent with zippers that can be yanked if necessary, without breaking them or getting the tent torn.

Dust-Proof

This is important based on your dust tolerance. I personally don’t like to have a pile of dust around me for two days. So, I always go for a dust-proof tent. Look for the mesh openings and ensure that they have a solid material flap to zip over.

Of course, your tent isn’t going to remain clean for a week, but a single dust storm is enough to show the difference between a dust-proof tent and a normal one. A normal tent ends up with a fine layer of dust inside during a dust storm.

If required, you can cover the mesh panels with strong tape and fabric or by sewing fabric over the panels.

Size

You get a big crowd and intense environment in Burning Man, especially with people staying over for a week. Having some space in the tent is definitely not going to hurt. Look for a tent tall enough to let you stand up.

What to Use to Cool Your Tent for Burning Man

Here’s what you can use to cool your tent:

Air Conditioners

Try to secure an electrical connection by plugging to a personal generator or to a camp-wide grid. You can run an air conditioner to cool your tent but this may be overkill.

Swamp Coolers

Swamp coolers use moisture and evaporation to cool. They need two things: air circulation and a dry environment (like the Black Rock Desert). They’re cheap to buy and to power; also, cheap and simple to make by yourself.

Fans

A very obvious solution, so if you have a power source, a fan is great for a little bit of cooling. Bring a battery-powered fan with you if you don’t have a power source.

What Should I Pack for Burning Man

Here are the things you should have with you:

Ticket

You have to carry your official paper ticket. They don’t accept anything other than that and what could be more horrifying than having to drive back all the way home just to get it?

Costumes

I personally start preparing my costumes ahead of time; about 6 months before Burning Man. I want it all original and handmade and trust me, it was a hell lot of work (but definitely worth it – at least for the epic photos).

Food

Burning Man is all about gifts and the only things one can buy there are coffee and ice. In case you run out of water or food, you’ll probably find kind people who will happily share food and water with you. But we highly recommend you to not rely on that.

Water

Again, buying water isn’t possible in Burning Man (though you will get a fresh supply when your ice melts). So, you might have to plan for showering water and drinking water.

Alcohol

Try mimosas for breakfast, enjoy a beer during lunch, and finally sip cocktails for dinner (and don’t forget to bring plenty of extra food to share with your burner friends).

Tent

Burning Man can get really hot from around 8 AM. And you could probably need an afternoon nap to relax. So, plan for good shade as a priority while you’re in the playa.

Air Mattress

This one requires no explanation. Maybe you’re not planning on sleeping, but in case you do, you need a good air mattress.

Bicycle

Black Rock City is as huge as an actual city. So, if you’re trying to cover the city from one end to another by walking and back again, it’s going to take you a whole day. If you don’t have a bike, you’ll find it difficult to explore the Black Rock City and sadly your experience of this wonderful place will be limited to the immediate surroundings.

Alternatively, you can take a ride on some of the art cars. You can also find several communal “Yellow Bikes” for free there. But it’s always tough to find one when you really need it. If you want to do any “shirt cocking”, try adding a little extra fluff to the bike seat.

Shoes

Playa is very dusty and the dust virtually destroys anything it touches. So, the less your feet are exposed to the dust, the better it is. Avoid flip flops because they are only good for trips to the loo.

Frequently Asked Questions About Burning Man

When is Burning Man held?

Burning Man is held every year a week before Labor Day. On Saturday of the Labor Day weekend, the man is burnt and the temple is burnt on Sunday. Most people leave for home on Monday.

How to get Burning Man tickets?

The procedure to obtain tickets is pretty confusing and annoying. First, you have to create a “burner profile”. Next, is the “main sale” date (which happens sometime in March) when at the allotted time, you’ll get inside an online queue. Then you have to go through a random selection process that decides who can and cannot buy the tickets.

For this, you’ll have to spend long hours waiting in front of your computer to find out. Each person can buy only two tickets and one parking pass. If you’re visiting the Burning Man with a group and you all want to enter, you’ll need good luck.

What can I buy at the event?

At Burning Man, they only sell coffee and ice.

Can I buy gifts?

Burning Man is a special event and is about giving gifts. There are no sales there. You cannot offer to trade for things or sell anything. Plan ahead and bring enough gifts to give to your burner friends. It can be anything from handmade bracelets, grilled cheese sandwiches or even extra mimosa fixings.

As you explore the playa and also the many camps you can find around Burning Man, be prepared to be amazed at the gifts people extend to you without any expectation of anything in return of any form. This is one of the several incredible things you will carry back from Burning Man as a truly wonderful experience.

What is Black Rock City?

Black Rock City resembles a clock, with half of the circle set aside for camping and the remaining half which is a large open space (considered as “deep playa”) set aside for installations of epic art.

Are there any Burning Man principles?

Burning Man has some “guiding principles” that are loved by people and talked about a lot. Take time to read these principles before you visit Burning Man, so that you can follow what people are talking about.

What Burning Man costumes should I avoid?

Feathers or sequins in the costumes are not encouraged in Burning Man. These small pieces will easily fall off. Litter is called MOOP (Matter Out of Place) by the burners and they sure get judgy about these things.

Final Thoughts

All tents featured in this review are excellent but the one that we would highly recommend as the best tent for Burning Man is the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow 6-Person Canvas Tent.

This tent is waterproof and breathable. It also comes with four windows and it’s quite spacious. You won’t regret it.

David Miller

My name is David and I have been an outdoor guy for as long as I can remember. I have a strong passion for the great outdoors in general and specifically camping. I am the kind of person who spends more time outdoors than indoors. I am a staunch believer in the fact that outdoor life should be well lived because it's in the natural, serene, and untamed wild that we find out who we truly are. Let’s take the journey together.

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