Want to try out camping without it costing an arm and a leg? Perhaps you’re going to a festival and need a camping tent that will hold up for the weekend? In this article, I’ll be comparing the best cheap tents in Australia, to let you know which one is right for you.
The cheapest tent comes in at just $14, so there’s something here for everyone, no matter their budget.
OZtrail Festival 2P Dome
OZtrail Tasman 3V Dome
Kmart 2P Dome
OZtrail Tasman 6V Dome
$35 at Outback Equipment
$70 at Outback Equipment
Check price at Kmart
$170 at TentWorld
Light to moderate bush camping
Light to moderate bush camping, family camping
Best Cheap Tents Australia
OZtrail Festival 2 Person Dome Tent
First up is OZtrail’s 2 person tent. OZtrail have managed to strike a great balance between cost and build quality in this unit. If you are planning on doing some backyard or festival camping, this is definitely the one for you.
It is very lightweight at just 2kg, and it comes with a 1 year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that it isn’t a flimsy tent.
Just be aware that it isn’t suitable for camping in the bush or in any kind of severe weather. It is definitely a ‘city’ tent.
OZtrail Tasman 3 Person Dome Tent
OZtrail’s 3 person dome unit is the cheapest tent here that is actually suitable for camping out in the bush. The inner tent means that you can take off the outer layer and keep cool in summer, but be aware that there isn’t much privacy when you do this, as the inner tent is entirely mesh.
3 adults could squeeze into this tent, although with 2 people it would be much more comfortable.
Some people have commented that it isn’t completely waterproof, especially when exposed to heavy rain.
Kmart 2 Person Dome Tent
Best Ultra-Budget Tent
Kmart’s 2 person dome tents are incredibly cheap at under $20. The fact that Kmart can sell this tent for price and still make a profit is actually rather concerning.
In any case, this camping tent is best if you are on a super-tight budget and need a no-frills small tent. It is best for children who want to do some backyard camping. It can fit a single adult comfortably, or 2 children, but it is too small for 2 adults in my opinion.
Users report that the build quality is quite poor, with the zippers often getting stuck. However, this is to be expected for a unit as cheap as this.
OZtrail Tasman 6V Dome Tent
Best Cheap Family Tent
This family tent is outstanding value. As with the other OZtrail Tasman in this review, this tent has good build quality and stands up well to the elements. Users have reported that the waterproofing performs well, even in a thunderstorm.
WIth 4 adults or less, you will find this a very roomy tent with plenty of space for sleeping and your camping gear. The front vestibule is spacious and allows you to store any extra gear that you can’t fit inside the tent.
While not as affordable as the other units in the article, this is a quality family tent that you can use for many years. Considering the size and quality, this is a very well priced tent.
Apart From Price, What Else Should I Consider?
I get it. You need a tent for some backyard camping, a school trip, or maybe even a music festival. But before you dive straight in and buy the most budget option out there, consider the key factors below.
Be aware that many ‘4 person’ camping tents cannot actually comfortably sleep 4 adults. Most 4 person tents can sleep either 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children comfortably. If you have a lot of camping gear that you want to store in the tent with you, keep this in mind too.
Consider upgrading to a larger unit if you would like some extra space. Also be aware that some better quality tents (such as the OZtrail Tasman 6V Dome Tent) come with a front vestibule where you can store your gear undercover, but outside the sleeping area.
The downside of upgrading to a larger tent is that it will typically be heavier. If you have to carry it quite far from where you park your car, do consider the weight.
Thankfully, budget tents tend to be quite light (they are usually made from thin material) and the ones in this article are no exception: they are all very light except for the OZtrail 6V Dome Tent, which comes in at 8 kg.
We can’t control the weather, but we can control how waterproof our tent is. Sooner or later, we are going to be caught in a downpour while using our tent, and the last thing you need is water dripping on your face in the middle of the night.
The two cheaper camping tents in this article (the Kmart one and the OZtrail Festival) are both single layer units. This means that there isn’t any outer layer which can shield your inner tent from the bulk of the water. Expect some leakage in both of these.
The Australian summer is unforgiving. Being outside in the sun is hot enough, but cheap plastic tents without ventilation can act as greenhouses, trapping in the heat and making the inside of your tent hotter than the outside.
The OZtrail Tasman 3 Person Dome and OZtrail 6V Dome both have an inner mesh layer with ventilation to let the hot air escape. The 6V Dome Tent also has windows in the outer layer which allows you to vent the heat while maintaining some privacy.
A warranty gives you peace of mind. If It also demonstrates that the manufacturer has a degree of confidence in their product, evidenced by their willingness to guarantee it for a period of time.
All OZtrail camping tents in this article come with a 1 year warranty (read more about their warranty policy). The Kmart unit does not come with any warranty.
Poor build quality means a painful tent setup experience, higher risk of accidental damage, as well as frustrating and flimsy pegs, poles or zippers. Low cost units naturally have poorer build quality, as the manufacturers save on material to keep costs low.
Summing it all up...
So, out of the units we have looked at, which one comes out on top as the best cheap tent Australia?
If you are looking for a low cost unit for backyard camping or a music festival, look no further than the OZtrail Festival. At $35, it is an excellent balance of price and quality. It will hold up well in light weather conditions, and at 2 kilograms, carrying it is a breeze.
If you want to do some more serious camping on a budget, the OZtrail Tasman 3P Dome is your best bet. With separate inner and outer layers, it will do much better in wet or hot conditions than the festival one. It comes with a 1 year warranty and costs only $70.
Finally, the OZtrail 6V Dome is a good option for small families or groups of 4 adults or less. It is very roomy and has windows in the external layer for ventilation.
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Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.