Stars have captured human attention for centuries. They have inspired countless metaphors, tales, and even romances. However, the life we lead now introduces limitations to how often we can see the sky filled with stars. Therefore, when we go where the real mystery happens – nature, it’s only natural to wish for a stargazing tent.
Stargazing tents allow you to see through the ceiling of the tent. Usually, the best tents for stargazing are tents with a mesh ceiling, often referred to as mosquito net tents. However, don’t let the various names distract you. Whatever the name, we are sure that these best tents for stargazing will be perfect for you to connect with the mystery of the night sky.
What Is A Stargazing Tent?
To keep it short and simple, stargazing tents are regular camping tents that feature a mesh ceiling or windows allowing you to get a clear view of the sky. Usually, there is a rainfly that needs to be removed or rolled up to reveal a see-through mesh window or mesh tent walls.
It’s not common for manufacturers to label their tents as suitable for stargazing. For this reason, you’ll have to look for some common features like a mesh roof.
What To Look For?
To ensure the best stargazing experience, there are a few things that we recommend paying attention to:
- A mesh roof or windows
- Rainfly for rainy weather
- Weight and space
- Ease of set up
- Configuration and materials
- Bathtub-style floor to prevent water from pooling up underneath your tent
These are the most important considerations we kept in mind when choosing the best stargazing tent in each category.
Arguably the most important feature of a perfect stargazing tent is a mesh ceiling or large windows. After all, this is exactly what allows you to view the starry night sky from the comfort of your tent.
Mesh is a material that is woven from thin strings of durable material. While some tents have the whole ceiling made from mesh, others might feature larger or smaller see-through mesh windows.
While ideally, you’re looking for clear weather allowing you to see stars, unexpected rain might occur. For this reason, you’ll definitely need a tent that features a reliable rainfly. Reliability can be found in good structure with sturdy poles, and a good waterproof level.
Most tents come with a rainfly waterproof level of 1000 mm or more. However, some more affordable options can feature a rainfly that is less waterproof. Apart from protecting you from the rain a rainfly also protects you from wind, snow, hail, and more.
Weight And Space
In this article, we’ve featured tents with varying capacities. Ranging from 1 person to 9 person tents, there are lots of options to look at. Think about how many people will usually come on this stargazing camping trip and choose the tent size accordingly. Many tent models featured in this list come in different sizes, so check out size availability.
Another thing to consider is tent weight. Depending on how you’re planning to use the tent, you might want to go for a lighter option. A lighter tent is great for transporting but it is also usually more costly. If you’re looking to buy a spacious stargazing tent, it’ll also be heavier, making it less portable.
Ease Of set up
Let’s face it. Nobody wants to spend an hour setting up a tent. It’s inconvenient and can be frustrating. Therefore, a sought-after feature for most tents is the ease of setup. Dome-type tents are the easiest to set up among the most common tent shapes. They usually feature only two crossing poles and will take only a few minutes to set up. You can also opt for a less stable pop-up tent that can be set up within seconds.
Configuration And Materials
In our book, a successful stargazing trip features a reliable tent that won’t let you down. Chances are that you agree, so pay attention to the quality of tent build and used materials. Usually, more poles, stakes, and guylines also mean more stability in harsh weather.
The floor of your stargazing tent is like a viewing platform. You wouldn’t want bugs, drafts, or other factors ruining your viewing experience. For this reason, we recommend looking for a tent that has a bathtub-shaped groundsheet. Meaning, that it has raised sides to protect you from seeping water and other obstructors.
Usually, the groundsheet should be more waterproof than the rainfly as it’ll be in direct contact with the ground.
In this list, we have handpicked the best stargazing tents that feature mesh windows or ceilings, have reliable rainfly, offer enough space, are easy to set up, and have more features that are suitable for stargazing trips. We have compared customer thoughts and reviews to pick the ones that are highly rated by their users.
Let’s dive right in!
The Best Tents For Stargazing
- Best stargazing tent overall: Kelty Dirt Motel Tent
- The best see-through tent for stargazing: Marmot Crane Creek 2-person tent
- Best ultralight backpacking tent for stargazing: Kelty Late Start 1-2 man tent
- Best Pop-Up tent for gazing at stars: Teton Sports Outfitter Pop-Up 1 man tent
- Best 4-person stargazing tent: Kelty Night Owl 3 man tent
- Best sky-watching tent for the whole family: Core 9 Cabin 9 man tent
- Best option with large gear storage: Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2-person tent
- Best budget sky-watching tent:
These are the best tents for stargazing. Each of these tents is best in its own category, so feel free to check out their full reviews below and see which one is most suitable for your needs.
Best stargazing tent overall: Kelty Dirt Motel Tent
You’ll find that there are a few Kelty tents on this list. And that’s for a good reason. They are reasonably priced and of good quality, while providing the exact feature you should be looking for – a mesh ceiling for a clear view of the night sky.
Kelty Dirt Motel 2 has enough floor space for two people. Moreover, it has a built-in stargazing fly that’s accessible right from the inner tent. This means that you can easily transform the tent from a stargazing tent with a mesh ceiling to a protective shelter. The mesh walls of the inner tent are transparently black. Therefore, you’ll be able to enjoy the stars with a clear view.
Another reason why this is a good stargazing tent is that it’s light and suitable for backpacking trips. Its dome structure has only 2 supporting poles so the set up is super easy. It also has two doors allowing you to exit without waking up your tent mate.
Kelty Dirt Motel comes in three sizes – 2 people, 3 people, and 4 people size.
2 person model: 4 lbs 13 oz
3 person model: 5 lbs 6 oz
4 person model: 6 lbs 14 oz
Rainfly: 1500 mm
Groundsheet: 3000 mm
- Freestanding design
- Easy set up
- Rollable fly
- Mesh walls and ceiling
- Reflective guylines
- 3-season suitability
- Color-coded pole ends
- Commonly out of stock
The best see-through tent for stargazing: Marmot Crane Creek 2-person tent
Marmot is a well-known manufacturer in the camping community. With this tent, they’re proving their versatility when it comes to tents. This see-through tent is the best one for stargazing according to the reviews of people who have used it under various conditions. It has a mesh roof that allows you to see through the ceiling and gaze at the starry night sky.
It is spacious enough for two people to feel comfortable. What’s even more, it has two vestibules to store your gear safely without taking up the floor space of the inner tent. Furthermore, its construction allows more space inside as the tent body has almost vertical walls. It’s versatile and built to last, so we are sure you can’t go wrong with it.
Marmot offers something that most other tents don’t – color-coded poles for a quick and intuitive set up.
You can choose either a 2 person Marmot Crane Creek tent or a 3 person tent. The weight will differ:
2 person model: 4 lbs
3 person model: 5 lbs
- Includes rainfly
- Full mesh roof
- Easy to set up and move around
- Zippers on the fly don’t have a pin
Best ultralight backpacking tent for stargazing: Kelty Late Start 1-4 man tent
Available in different sizes, the Kelty Late Start tent is the lightest stargazing tent. It is the updated version of the famous Kelty Salida tent. The updates from the previous model include Late Start being more upright, shorter, and having Quick Corner technology for a quick set up. In fact, this tent is designed for an easy and hassle-free set up.
If you choose the one-person model, you will get an ultralight backpacking tent weighing only 3 lbs. It has a color-coded fly attachment to keep things as simple as possible.
Marmot’s camping tent has a spacious tent body and offers 36” height. Furthermore, it has a vestibule to safely store your gear. It comes with a rainfly to protect you from rain and wind. The inner tent has a dark mesh roof for a better view of the night sky.
There are three size options available. The weight will vary accordingly:
1 person model: 3 lbs
2 person model: 3.5 lbs
4 person model: 7.4 lbs
Rainfly: 1800 mm
Groundsheet: 1800 mm
- Easy set up
- Comes with a rainfly
- High humidity will cause condensation
Best Pop-Up tent for gazing at stars: Teton Sports Outfitter Pop-Up 1 man Tent
This mesh tent is a perfect combination of the latest trend of Pop-Up and see-through tents. It is ideal for people who wish to avoid the hassle of the set up. It pops up in an instant to make tent-stargazing as easy as ever. The locking hub feature ensures stability. Furthermore, it is designed to be as convenient as possible with a large side entrance.
The mesh roof has a fine grid, making it suitable for places with the smallest bugs. And if the rain comes, you can easily cover it with a rainfly.
With this stargazing tent, you can choose either 1 person size or 2 person size. Here is the weight for each model:
1 person model: 4.6 lbs
2 person model: 6.6 lbs
Rainfly: 1200 mm
Groundsheet: 1200 mm
- Instant set up
- Rainfly included
- Fine-mesh roof with perfect visibility
- Footprint not included
- Can’t withstand heavy rain
Best 4-person stargazing tent: Kelty Night Owl 4 man tent
Compared to the Kelty Dirt Motel tent in the first place of our list, the Night Owl model is considerably heavier. However, by featuring a 54.75 sq. ft. floor space, it’s also larger. It comes in different sizes and is super easy to set up. It also features convenient pockets to store your things. Furthermore, there are nightlight pockets that will allow you to convert your headlamp’s beam into a nice glow when you are done looking at the stars.
What we like about this tent the most is its stargazing fly system. It allows you to quickly roll up a portion of the rainfly when you wish to stargaze.
This tent is available in varying sizes and weighs:
2 person model: 5 lbs 15 oz
3 person model: 6 lbs 11 oz
4 person model: 10 lbs 4 oz
Rainfly: 1800 mm
Groundsheet: 1800 mm
- Rollable rainfly
- Easy set up
- Poles are not color-coded
Best stargazing tent for the whole family: Core 9 Cabin 9 man tent
This is the best tent for stargazing if you are looking for a tent to host your whole family. The Core 9 is a versatile and spacious tent that can fit up to 9 people. What’s even better is that it has a removable canopy. The whole upper part of the tent is made from dark mesh that will be perfect for stargazing at night.
The tent body features room dividers, so it is possible to divide the space of the tent. Furthermore, it has mesh panel walls that enable you to create a full open-space experience.
However, this is not the best tent in terms of waterproof level. With a waterproof rating of only 600 mm, the rain fly might not withstand a lasting heavy rain.
9 person model: 27.62 lbs
Rainfly: 600 mm
- Large (up to 9 people)
- Includes rainfly
- Has room dividers
- You can stand up in the tent
- Seems aren’t waterproof (not sealed)
Best option with large gear storage: Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2-person tent
Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent is available in different sizes, but the most common choice is a two-person tent, so we’ll take a look at what it has to offer.
Tent design and choice of materials offer a good combination of comfortable and protective shelter and star viewing functionality. Unlike with other tents featured on our list of best stargazing tents, only a portion of the ceiling is suitable for a clear view of the sky. However, the tent is spacious and has many other advantages.
The set up is very easy as it has two main poles and it is free-standing. The inside tent features storage pockets and a gear loft. You’ll also be able to store your gear in two vestibules. The tent has two doorways and 8 zippers for great accessibility.
2 person model: 5.9 lbs
Rainfly: 2000 mm
Groundsheet: 2000 mm
- Freestanding design
- Easy set up
- Gear loft and mesh storage pocket
- Two vestibules and exits
- Not as lightweight as other 2-person tents
- Limited mesh ceiling area
Best budget stargazing tents
If you’re looking for an affordable stargazing tent that’s reliable for camping, these two options might be worth considering. They’re suitable for a tighter budget while still offering the necessary features.
Clostnature Ultralight Backpacking 2-3 man tent
Being the best in the budget category, Clostnatures tent proves that you don’t have to spend all your savings to buy an excellent stargazing tent. This is also the reason why we featured it.
The see-through mesh ceiling will allow you to stargaze with the best view possible. It is also very spacious and comfortable. There are two vestibules that allow extra space for storage. It comes in two colors – orange and green for those who want to blend in with nature.
This stargazing camping tent is lightweight and therefore is well suited for backpacking trips. It comes with a polyester rainfly and bathtub floor to protect you from rain.
There are several sizes available for this tent model. Therefore, the weight can differ as well:
1 person model: 3.7 lbs
1.5 person model: 5.2 lbs
2 person model: 5.4 lbs
3 person model: 6 lbs
Rainfly: 5000 mm
Groundsheet: 5000 mm
- Full mesh ceiling
- Lifetime warranty
- Has two vestibules
- Available in two colors (orange/ green)
- No footprint included
Coleman Sundome Tent
Coleman Sundome tent features two mesh windows – one on each side of the ceiling. While these mesh windows are not as large as in other stargazing tents, they still offer good potential for a good night view. The main advantage is affordability. While you’ll be making a few compromises, you won’t spend as much compared to other options.
One of the main compromises to note is the waterproof rating of the tent fly. At a mere 600 mm, you’re looking at the possibility of heavy rain passing through the rainfly. If you’re planning to use this tent only on nights with clear skies, this shouldn’t affect you much. It is still a very good option at the fraction of the usual costs.
Coleman Sundome tent comes in four different sizes – suitable for 2, 3, 4, and 6 people.
2 person model: 7.5 lbs
Rainfly: 600 mm
- Two large mesh windows
- Highly affordable
- Simple set up
- Low waterproof level
- No vestibule
- Single entrance
- Cheap pole material
Stargazing tents FAQ
Before you make your final decision, make sure that you have asked yourself all the right questions. To help you with this task, here are the most commonly asked questions and their answers to help you choose the right star gazing tent.
What is the best material for star gazing tents?
There are a variety of options when it comes to the best material for your see-through tent. However, the answer is that any material that is waterproof and breathable is great for this purpose. This can be PU-coated material, polyester, other finishes that help prevent the moisture from coming inside the tent.
As for the roof of the tent, the best choice is a see-through mesh material. We recommend you choose a tent with a black mesh ceiling for the best experience.
How well can you see through the mesh panels?
If you choose a tent with a black mesh roof, you will be able to see through it quite well. When the night comes, the black mesh will blend with the surroundings and you will be able to see the stars quite clearly. However, some manufacturers use mesh material that is clearer than other mesh materials. To check out how clear is the mesh material used on a particular tent, visit the manufacturer’s page.
Additionally, you can opt for screened porch tents. Most of them are also suitable for looking at the stars even though they are not specifically made for this purpose. The angled mesh walls usually provide a great view of the starry sky.
How to stay dry in a mesh tent?
The good news is that nowadays, most stargazing tents come with an additional rainfly to keep you away from the rain. Each one of the stargazing tent featured above has this feature included, so you don’t have to worry about keeping dry. Simply use the rainfly when the rain pays a visit.
I hope you have been able to find the right stargazing tent for your needs after reading this post. Each of the tents described above has its own competitive edge over other tent models. Some are lighter while others are heavier. The same applies to sizes and the waterproof level of the tent.