The 5 Best Camping Dog Tents of 2024

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Small dog inside of a tent, looking out at another tent

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Over the last 15 years, I’ve been an avid backpacker, hiker, and mountaineer who has collected a number of tents for various seasons, environments, and weight requirements. This past year was the first year that I’ve considered a dog tent. I adopted Miles, my 2-year-old canine melting pot of German Shepard / Retriever / Scooby Doo, and began researching all things hiking and camping for dogs. I did a basic Google search for “dog tents” and was immediately overwhelmed by choice.

The research was tedious because there was so much to consider. However, I came to a conclusion after a few weeks of due diligence and testing, and I’ve laid out my evaluations for you below. To make the choices easier for myself (as well as for you!), I bucketed dog tents into three distinct categories. I also set out to answer the question “Do I even need a separate tent for my dog?” That question really depends on your dog’s behavior and comfort level, as well as your personal preferences and the camping environment.

Key Takeaways

  • With its “crate-like” comfort, ease of setting up, sturdiness, and high-quality materials, the Pop ‘N Go Dog Tent is our top choice for a camping dog tent.
  • A side-by-side comparison of the 5 best options to help you make an informed decision for your dog’s comfort and safety during camping adventures.
  • The importance of selecting a tent based on your camping style, whether car camping or backpacking, to ensure it meets both you and your dog’s needs.
  • Features such as weather resistance, portability, and space for comfort play a crucial role in choosing the right tent.

Product Ratings

Pop ‘N Go Dog TentTarptent SidecarDutchWare Pup TentK&H Covered Elevated Dog BedAlcott Pup Tent
Pop N Go Dog Tent
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Tarptent Sidecar Dog TentDutchWare Pup Tent Dog TentK&H Covered Elevated Dog BedAlcott Pup Tent Dog Tent
Nice to Know

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Best UseCar campingBackpackingBackpackingCar campingCar camping
Overall Score
ProsEasy setup, multi-purpose uses from car camping to beach going, UV protection, well-made with quality materialsFully enclosed, fast setup, bug proof, strong and durable floor fabric, can be set up independently with pole or tensioned to a treeOffers a comfortable environment in an ultralight package, can be hung from a hammock suspension or tree limb, plenty of spaceProvides optimal comfort with a raised shelter, adjustable flaps, and mesh center for ideal air circulation at a mid-range priceLightweight and easy-to-carry, spacious, and simple setup
ConsHeavy compared to other contenders, issues with zippers, and in a few tests there were missing componentsNOT waterproof, as it was originally designed to go under the vestibule of another Tarptent productMay seem too large for some dogs, several issues with durability & stretch, tendency to sag, no free-standing optionHeavy, only 1 color option, poor assembly instructions, potential tearing with rough-play, and not truly waterproofDurability issues (poles breaking and fabric tears), waterproofing concerns, flimsy stakes and poles especially for larger dogs
Bottom LineGreat for outdoor use when weight isn’t a concern, this high-quality tent offers portability and comfort that will last for many camping tripsFair-weather free-standing tent that protects from bugs, but not rainUltralight and keeps the heat and bugs off your furry friend, but saggy fabric and “one size fits all” are big hurdlesOffers comfort and air circulation at a mid-range price but bulky, limited color options, difficult assembly, and durability concernsIdeal for car camping, this dog tent offers lightweight convenience and comfort, but falls short on durability and weather resistance (so we wouldn’t take it backpacking)
Weight7 lbs0 lbs 8 oz0 lbs 7 oz8 lbs1.5 lbs
Performance Scores
Pop ‘N Go Dog Tent
Tarpent Sidecar
DutchWare Pup Tent
K&H Covered Elevated Dog Bed
Alcott Pup Tent
Comfort (40%)
Price (20%)76678
Portability (20%)6995.57
Durability (20%)78.57.56

Dog Tents for Car Camping

Car camping is a hassle-free outdoor experience perfect for dog owners looking to explore nature with their pets. Unlike backpacking, car camping allows you to drive right up to your campsite, meaning you can bring along all of your dog’s essentials without worrying about weight. This convenience extends to larger, more comfortable items like a dedicated dog tent, your dog’s favorite bed, and a cooler full of fresh food and water.

Many car camping sites are equipped with amenities such as potable water, bathrooms, fire circles, designated areas for tents, grills, and picnic tables. These sites often welcome dogs, allowing your pet to enjoy the great outdoors right alongside you. You’ll find yourself in good company, camping near other families and their pets.

Unlike the compact and lightweight tents used for backpacking, a dog’s car camping tent can be spacious and comfortable, designed specifically for their needs. Think about them like a portable dog house that offers an outdoor bed, crate security, and potentially storage, protected by a canopy. This allows your dog to have their own safe and secure space, where they can unwind and sleep peacefully after a day of adventure. These tents are more about creating a cozy and protective environment for your pet rather than portability, ensuring your dog feels at home even while outdoors.

Car camping is thus an excellent choice for dogs who love being outdoors with their owners. With the luxury of not needing to pack light, you can provide a dedicated tent for your dog, making sure they have a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience just as much as you do.

happy dog at a car campsite

Lightweight Dog Tents for Backpacking

Backpacking with your dog offers a unique adventure into the wilderness, where both you and your dog can explore nature’s secluded beauty. However, unlike car camping, backpacking requires careful consideration of weight and space, as everything you bring must be carried on your back. This includes your dog’s gear, highlighting the importance of a specialized dog tent for backpacking.

A dog tent for backpacking is significantly different from dog tent’s used in car camping due to the need for portability and lightness. These tents are designed to be compact, lightweight, and easy to set up, ensuring they don’t add unnecessary weight to your pack. Despite their smaller size, these tents provide a safe and secure shelter for your dog, protecting them from the elements and offering them a cozy spot to rest.

When choosing a backpacking tent for your dog, look for ultralight and durable materials that can withstand wear and tear, as well as a design that offers good ventilation and protection from the weather. The tent should be easy to assemble and disassemble, as you’ll likely be setting up and breaking down camp multiple times during your journey, as well as sturdy, durable, and lightweight.

happy puppy in the mountains with a harness on

Dog Tents for Everything Else

Dog tents aren’t just useful for camping or backpacking; they offer versatile solutions for various outdoor activities, including beach trips, picnics, and backyard lounging. Here are some other uses for dog tents and why they’re beneficial for those scenarios:

  • Beach Outings: A dog tent provides a shady refuge for your pet on sunny beach days, protecting them from harmful UV rays and preventing overheating. It also gives them a sand-free spot to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of beachgoers.
  • Park and Picnic Excursions: During visits to the park or picnics, a dog tent serves as a comfortable resting place for your pet. It offers them a sense of security in crowded or unfamiliar environments, allowing them to retreat and relax when needed.
  • Outdoor Events: At outdoor events like festivals or family gatherings, a dog tent can be a safe haven for your pet amidst the noise and activity. It ensures they have a quiet, enclosed space to which they can retreat, reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Backyard Use: On hot days, a dog tent can provide essential shade for your pet in the backyard, especially if you lack natural shade from trees. It’s also a great spot for them to enjoy the outdoors while being protected from the elements.
  • Traveling: A portable dog tent can be a familiar and comforting space for your pet during road trips or when staying in unfamiliar places. It can serve as their personal space, helping to ease the stress of travel.
Cute dog sleeping in a tent on a checkered blanket

Why do I need a separate tent for my dog?

And “Why not just share my tent with my dog?” you might be asking. I sure did. And the answer really boils down to your personal preference and your dog’s behavior / comfort level with sleeping alone.


  • Comfort and Space: A separate tent for your dog means more space for both of you. Your pet gets a cozy spot without crowding your sleeping area, allowing both of you to stretch out and rest comfortably after a day of hiking.
  • Cleanliness: Keeping your dog in its own tent can help maintain cleanliness in your sleeping area. This is especially beneficial if your dog becomes wet or muddy during the day, minimizing the amount of dirt and moisture that gets into your tent.
  • Training and Independence: Using a separate tent for your dog can be a part of their training, teaching them to be independent and comfortable staying alone for short periods. This can be beneficial in managing their behavior both on the trail and at home.
  • Gear Protection: By housing your dog separately, your backpacking gear, such as sleeping bags and pads, is protected from potential damage like chewing or scratching.


  • Additional weight: Even though dog tents are designed to be lightweight, any extra gear adds weight to your backpack. For long hikes or trips where every ounce matters, carrying an additional tent can be a significant burden.
  • Extra setup time: Setting up an additional tent for your dog means more work at the end of a long hiking day. This extra effort can be particularly taxing when dealing with bad weather, difficult terrain, or when you’re simply exhausted from the day’s trek.
  • Separation anxiety: Some dogs may not like being separated from their owners, especially in a new and potentially intimidating environment. This separation can lead to anxiety for your dog, possibly resulting in barking, whining, or attempts to escape the tent to rejoin you.
  • Wildlife danger: Having your dog in a separate tent can pose safety risks, especially in areas with wildlife. Being in the same tent allows for immediate awareness and reaction to any distress or danger your dog might face during the night.

We’ll cover the best human tents for sharing with your dog in another post. For this post, we’ll focus on the separate tents for your dog.

Best Car Camping Dog Tent

Pop ‘N Go Dog Tent

The Pop ‘N Go Dog Tent from The California Beach Co. stands out for its easy setup and UV protection, making it well-suited for various outdoor activities like car camping and beach outings. Constructed with quality materials, including a sturdy fiberglass frame, it is durable and comfortable, complemented by features like a washable mattress and a mini window for your pet (even a cat or a rabbit!) to enjoy their surroundings.

woman sitting on a picnic blanket on the beach with a dog sitting in a miniature tent next to her

Despite its robust build, it is heavier than some of its counterparts, which might be a consideration if weight is a factor during transport. Additionally, the product has been noted for its complexity in folding down, issues with zipper reliability, and instances of missing components in a few tests. While it excels in providing a comfortable and portable shelter for dogs during outdoor adventures where carrying weight is less of a concern, there’s room for improvement in its durability and the functionality of its zippers.

Best Backpacking Dog Tent

Tarptent Sidecar

The Tarptent Sidecar offers a unique solution for dog owners looking to bring their pets along on backpacking trips and can compress into a larg dog backpack. It is a lightweight, fully enclosed accessory designed to provide a secure and comfortable sleeping area for dogs, featuring fast setup and bug-proof construction, ensuring that pets remain protected from outdoor pests. The tent’s floor fabric is noted for its strength and durability, capable of withstanding the rigors of outdoor use and the activity of pets.

Tarptent sidecar tent in a forest

One of the Sidecar’s standout features is its flexibility in setup; it can either be pitched independently using a pole or tensioned to a tree, offering versatility based on the camping location and conditions. However, it’s important to note that the Sidecar is not waterproof. Originally designed to be used under the vestibule of another Tarptent product, it lacks the capability to protect from rain when used standalone. This positions the Sidecar as a fair-weather, free-standing tent ideal for dry conditions, offering excellent protection from bugs but limited shelter from precipitation.

dog sitting in a Tarptent Sidecar tent

In the context of using the Sidecar for a dog on a backpacking trip, it presents a practical option for pet owners who prioritize ease of setup, durability, and bug protection in dry weather conditions. The tent’s shortcomings in waterproofing necessitate additional planning or equipment for rainy environments, but its strengths in portability, durability, and pet comfort make it a valuable addition to any outdoor adventure with your canine companion, particularly in fair weather and when weight is not a primary concern.

Best Hammocking Dog Tent

DutchWare Pup Tent

The DutchWare Pup Tent emerges as an ultralight shelter solution for dogs joining their owners on backpacking adventures and can compress into a large dog backpack. It’s engineered to offer a comfortable environment, easily suspended from either a hammock suspension system or a tree limb, ensuring versatility in setup. This tent provides ample space, potentially accommodating a range of dog sizes, though its generous dimensions may seem excessive for smaller breeds.

Dog sleeping in a Dutchware Pup tent

Despite its appeal for outdoor activities, users should be aware of several considerations. The fabric’s tendency to sag and the issues around durability and stretch pose challenges, alongside the absence of a free-standing option. Moreover, the “one size fits all” approach may not suit every dog’s needs, with the saggy fabric sometimes hindering the tent’s overall functionality.

Two dogs playing near a Dutchware Pup Tent

The DutchWare Pup Tent is a specialized piece of gear ideal for hammock campers seeking to provide their dogs with a bug-proof and UV-protected outdoor refuge. Its ultralight nature and easy setup are commendable; however, potential buyers should weigh the benefits against its limitations, such as durability concerns and weather resistance. This tent serves as a fair-weather, supplementary shelter, best utilized when protection from insects is the priority rather than shelter from the rain.


Throughout our review and testing of dog tents, we applied stringent criteria without bias towards any brand, regardless of their price or reputation. Our evaluation was grounded in a rigorous methodology, designed to assess each product’s performance in real-world conditions, just as any discerning pet owner would. We delved deep into the specifics that matter most when it comes to selecting the right shelter for your furry friend, from durability and comfort to ease of setup and weather resistance. Our aim was to uncover not just the best dog tents on the market, but also to provide insights that are genuinely useful to you. In doing so, we hope to aid you in making well-informed decisions for your dog’s outdoor gear, ensuring both you and your pet have the best possible experience on your outdoor adventures.