Bug Out Tent & Shelters Buyer’s Guide

Carrying a tent with you for excursions can provide you life-saving shelter in cases of extreme weather conditions when bugging out at night. Whether you are outing for recreation or backpacking or are in a disaster, a bug out tent can prove to be a lifesaver.

When looking for a bug out bag tent, you don’t just want a lightweight gear that can be easily carried but also something that provides the best of weather protection to keep you dry and warm in extreme weather conditions. Apart from this, you want a shelter that offers ample space and is easy to set up.

Choosing The Best Bug Out Tent – What To Look For

The two most important features that are must-haves for the best bug out tent are weather-resistance and ease of set up.


Spending a night out in a downpour lets you learn the importance of having a bug out shelter that is weatherproof and waterproof. It should have features like rainfly, bathtub bottom, protected seams, and extra tarp to protect you from the elements.

Bathtub Bottom

Some of the best lightweight bug out tents come with a bathtub like a floor that extends towards the sides before attaching to the walls.

This type of bottom makes sure that no seams sit on the ground. The floor is also chemical treated to prevent moisture from entering.

Protected Seams

To make your tent weather-resistant, you can consider folded seams with dual-stitching. They are not just durable but also effective at keeping the water away.

Taped seams also provide extra protection and strength. You can consider treating the seams with a water sealant to further protect them.

Extra Tarp

Buying an extra tarp is advisable even for the most lightweight bug out tent. You can lay it under the tent to keep it protected from any punctures occurring due to uneven surfaces and elements.


A majority of survival tents come with rainfly that gives easy access to the tent. Selecting a lightweight bug out tent with a rainfly is an easy way to ensure weather-resistance.

Ease of Set-Up

It is a good idea to practice assembling and folding your tent before taking it for camping. There are some features that make the bug out tent easy to set-up and carry. These include poles, stakes and guylines.


A good lightweight shelter should have poles made of fiberglass or aluminum. Survival tents can have aluminum poles as they are lightweight, strong and easy to repair. Fiberglass also has its own advantages. It does not corrode and is priced lower as compared to aluminum.

Stakes, Stake Loops, Guylines

Stakes are one of the most important parts of your shelter kit as they protect your tent from blowing away. Selecting the right stakes for a bug out shelter is quite important. Titanium stakes weigh less but can loosen in soft terrain. Aluminum stakes make a better option as they can bear the pressure when being driven into the ground but can be heavier to carry around. Steel stakes are heavy but offer robust performance.

The way your tent anchors to the stakes is also important. A lot of tents come with nylon webbing loops that attach to the guylines or stakes to secure the tent and keep its shape. You can use a paracord to the webbing to ensure a better grip. Carry the exact length of paracord you need for the tent so that it is available in a bug-out situation.

Use of guyline tensioners helps you make sure you have taut lines. These are plastic sliding tools that simplify your guyline adjustments.

Apart from the above-discussed features, you may want to consider some other aspects for your pop up bug tent. These can include capacity, shape, number of storage pouches and vestibules. A-frame tents can have vestibule while dome-shaped tents can have mesh pockets in the interior to hold small essentials. The shape and capacity of the bug out tent can be selected depending on the uses and number of people it is intended for.

Best Bug Out Tents

Snugpak Ionosphere

This is a feather-light, compact and no-frills tent weighing just four pounds. The low-profile tent comes with one door and is ideal for 1-2 persons. The Ionosphere from Snugpak features a PU-coated fly, poles with fit connectors, taped seams and mesh interior. It is an excellent survival tent for camping, overnight adventures and emergencies. Thought lightweight and small, it offers plenty of space for storage and shelter.

Texsport Trail Tent

The camouflage 2-person bug out shelter is a great choice for backpacking. Being lightweight at just 4 pounds and easy to assemble. It is made out of durable taffeta with polyurethane coating. It features zippered mesh windows with storm flap to help in extreme weather conditions. The tent comes with a storage bag and stakes.

Grizzly Emergency Tent

One of the best options for a weather-proof bug out tent, the emergency thermal tent from Grizzly Gear is designed to accommodate up to two adults. It can work as a water collector, sleeping bag and more. It is constructed using insulated NASA-designed mylar material to provide the best of durability and weather protection. The compact and lightweight bug out bag tent retains 90 percent of the body heat to keep you cool in any condition.

River Country Products Trekker and Backpacking Tent

One of the most compact and lightweight bug out tents of the time, the River Country tent is quick and effortless to set up. This particular tent is a great choice for campers and hikers and an excellent addition to your survival bag. It can easily fit inside the backpack and protect you in emergencies. It offers ample space despite being lightweight and compact.

River Country Products Trekker Tent 2

River Country Products Trekker Tent 2.2, Two Person Trekking Pole Backpacking Tent – Green

Go Time Gear Life Emergency and Survival Tent

This is another great option for a pop-up bug tent due to its amazing water and wind resistance that keep you dry and protected under the worst conditions. The tent is constructed using thick polyurethane material that helps it resist punctures and tears while sealing out wind, rain and snow.

A great feature is, it is extremely easy to set up and offers a lot of room for shelter. It is built to be durable and withstands years of heavy camping uses.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a lightweight bug out tent offers an instant shelter option when you are out for adventures. We hope our guide to the best bug out tents and shelter help you find the right option that suits your needs and performs the best in your condition.

Show More


Amber is an outdoor enthusiast who loves nothing more than packing her family and their gear up and heading out to explore the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Back to top button