The best tents for kayak camping are similar to the kind of tents you would take backpacking. They should be lightweight and compact when packed down, whilst also being sturdy enough to handle wind and rain.
Besides this, a nice plus is to have a decent sized vestibule to be able to change out of your drysuit without getting the inside of your tent wet. Obviously, this comes with added weight, but there are some out there that are light enough to be okay to kayak with.
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for best tents for kayak camping.
Best lightweight tent with storage for kayaking
Despite its lightweight, the Nassi Feirr is extremely spacious. With 2 entryways at either side of the tent, 1 large vestibule with ample space to get changed out of wet gear and store belongings, and 1 smaller vestibule to store shoes and smaller items.
5 best tents for kayak camping
Unbeatable quality at a cheap price
One of our all-time favorite tents, the North Face Stormbreak 2 is a great choice for kayak camping.
It’s super durable, can handle harsh weather like a king, and is in a budget price bracket. It’s a freaking BOMB-PROOF tent for the price.
Weighing 5lbs 12oz, it’s a fairly lightweight tent, especially for the space and livability it offers. It features the tallest peak height of a backpacking tent at 43”, meaning you can comfortably sit up and chill out at night time or during bad weather.
It packs down to 7” wide x 22” long and has its own slick as f*ck carry bag. Everything about this tent screams quality.
A super lightweight, highly durable backpacking tent with plenty of space
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent offers a perfect balance between being lightweight and compact whilst maintaining comfortable livability.
It’s a tent that you can rely on and will last for many years.
Despite not being the cheapest tent on the market, it’s not the most expensive either. It offers fantastic value for money.
Weighing in at 3.9lbs it’s not in the ultra-lightweight category like the Big Agnes Fly Creek. However, it is more than lightweight enough for carrying on a kayak and even backpacking if you have average fitness.
If finding the lightest tent isn’t your number one criteria, but you still want lightweight, this is the perfect compromise.
Along with its lightweight design it is also one of the most compact and packs down to just 18” long x 6” wide, so it won’t take much space in your kayak.
And we all know how precious space is in your kayak.
More room for beer.
While the vestibule isn’t massive, it’s the most spacious option you will find in a lightweight tent option. There’s just enough room for you to get changed in, though it will be tight and you’ll need to bend down.
It doesn’t come supplied with a footprint, but can be purchased here.
A footprint is always a good option if you plan to get changed out of wet gear to stop the ground beneath turning to mush and getting trekked into your tent.
Roomiest option with lots of storage and chill out space
The Coleman Hooligan Backpacking tent is the heaviest to make it onto this list but has such fantastic space for its weight that if you can handle a couple of extra pounds in your kayak it’s worth it.
The 3 and 4-person tents feature a large vestibule area with ample space to comfortably get changed out of wet clothes into dry ones, store all of your belongings and do some cooking if it’s raining.
The interior has a peak height of 4 foot 1 inch and a floor area of 8 x 7 foot, giving you loads of room to sleep, store your camping gear, chill out and get ready for the day ahead or a good night’s sleep.
Weighing 11lbs 8oz for the 3-person version, it is definitely not lightweight. But the space and livability it offers is worth it if you can cater for the weight in your kayak.
Despite being heavy, it packs down nicely to 7” wide x 24” long, comparable to the smaller, lightweight tents.
The Coleman Hooligan 3-person tent is a super-cheap tent that offers exceptional value for the space you get. Whilst it’s not as sturdy as more expensive tents, it can more than handle some rain and wind.
It’s a perfect choice if you are okay with it lasting a few years of kayak camping trips or if you want to test out a cheap tent to see what features are important to you and what aren’t.
A great balance between weight and space
The Nassi Feirr tent offers something most other tents don’t. A lightweight backpacking tent with exceptional vestibule space.
At 6lbs 8oz it sits on the higher end of the lightweight scale but is still a super acceptable weight.
While you could probably just about take it on a backpacking adventure, it is more than light enough to carry on your kayak. It also packs down to a respectable 23” long x 7” wide.
The inner tent itself offers a decent amount of space for 2 people, but where it truly excels, is with its 2 HUGE vestibule areas. The vestibules offer ample space to get changed out of your drysuit and store your belongings.
What’s great is that if you do use the tent as a 2 person tent, there is a private vestibule area for both of you.
Ultra-lightweight backpacking option for weight conscious kayakers
The Big Agnes Fly Creek is an ultra-lightweight tent. If weight and size are your main priority then you won’t get any smaller or lighter than the Fly Creek.
Weighing in at a packed weight of just 2lb 5oz and packed size of 4” x 19”, it’s an almost negligible accessory to think about carrying on your kayak.
Being so lightweight and compact, the Big Agnes Fly Creek isn’t super roomy or spacious and while there is a vestibule for storing your belongings, there won’t be enough space to get changed out of wet clothes.
Again, it’s recommended to purchase the Big Agnes Fly Creek footprint to protect the tent floor and keep your vestibule area dry and clean.
The CreekKooler floating, towable cooler is the perfect companion to your kayaking trip. Rather than take up precious space inside your kayak, you can tow your food, water and beers behind your kayak.
The CreekKooler stays cool for up to 48 hours and has a 30 quart capacity. Or in other words 30 12-oz cans plus 20lbs of ice.
It also features some drink holders on the surface of the cooler to hold your open drinks while kayaking on the water.
Got gear and valuables you don’t want to get wet?
The MARCHWAY floating, waterproof dry bag has got you covered.
Available in 5, 10, 20 and 30L capacity sizes, you can fit as much or as little as you need into one of these bags.