Getting the right tent for Burning Man involves dealing with the harsh realities of the Playa. The community vibes come together in a rather inhospitable environment full of sand, sun, and downright difficult conditions.
But as long as you have one of the best Burning Man tents, you can set your concerns behind and let the energy flow.
Some of the tents and yurts are a bit heavy on the wallet, but they’re durable and long-lasting investments. If you’re looking for a more affordable option or a DIY Burning Man tent, there’s no shortage of choices. Either way, we have you covered in this full rundown.
This article has everything you need to know about the best Burning Man tents and yurts.
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What To Look For: The Best Burning Man Tents
The Playa is full of fine dust and the only shade is what you create, so Burning Man can be a scorching-hot, dusty situation. It’s also likely that your nighttime fun means you’ll want to sleep when the sun’s out. You need something that blocks the light and heat.
Plus, you also want to be able to have somewhere to chill and get out of dust-covered clothes before hopping into bed. Getting a tent with space to sleep and hang out will dramatically increase your overall comfort.
Your tent needs to deliver big time so you can get some high-quality rest. Don’t skimp on this critical part of your Burn.
This list of the best tents for Burning Man focuses on options that offer:
- Sealed structure: Keep Playa dust out
- Blackout-style reflective walls: Block sun’s heat and light
- Spacious: Room to hang out, stand up, and change
This combination gives you the best chance at keeping a nice cool, cocoon for a little rest and relaxation during your downtime.
You also might want a shade structure to go over your Burning Man yurt or tent. We’ll go over some great ways to pair your favorite Burning Man tent with a shade structure, with options for every budget. And we’ll also discuss some tips for Burning Man tent stakes, shower ideas, air conditioners, and more.
The Best Tent for Burning Man
We cover more tents on this list, but here are the top five tents for Burning Man carefully selected by our desert-camping festival experts:
|Kodiak Canvas Tent
|Durable canvas, trusted brand, versatile and classic tent style
|Coleman Cabin Tent
|Affordable, roomy, sealed tent that doesn’t rely on rainfly
|Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
|Stylish and spacious, durable, downright massive sizes, inviting
|Best DIY Structure
|Customizable, insulated, strong protection
Best Alternative: Kodiak Canvas Tent
Another tent that’s on everyone’s list of the best tent for Burning Man is the Kodiak Canvas Tent. And this one deserves the spotlight too.
The thick canvas helps block out the Playa sand and sun, plus they’re amazingly durable and roomy. Basically the perfect combination to get the most out of your Burn, all at a relatively affordable price.
Check out how much a Kodiak Canvas Tent will set you back.
Trusted Brand, High-Quality Construction
Although we love seeing innovative new brands hit the market, it’s nice to fall into the hands of ones that you know you can trust. Kodiak has been supplying outdoor enthusiasts with their gear for many years, and they have a rock-solid reputation to back it up.
No matter where you look, you’ll find reports of extremely satisfied customers around every corner. Kodiak Canvas Tents are well-known for being durable and strong, nearly bombproof. They also hold up extremely well in poor weather.
Pro tip: Season a canvas tent by getting it wet and letting it dry once before bringing it to the Black Rock Desert.
The 6’1” ceiling height makes it tall enough for most people, and there’s a front awning to provide an exterior shaded area. The large windows and doors can be sealed tight or opened up with no-see-um fine mesh to let some ventilation through.
This mixture of being able to seal it up tight or let in tons of air makes Kodiak Tents and Burning Man go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Canvas Tent in the Heat
Canvas helps protect yourself from some of the sun, and creates a more shaded interior that helps sleeping in after a long night at Burning Man.
This outperforms the usual lightweight tents. The same is true for sun-blocking abilities.
One of the great things is how much ventilation this tent has. If you want, you can hook up a portable air conditioner. But when the Playa dust is calm, just unzipping the windows a little will do wonders.
A fan or an affordable personal air cooler can also help out quite a bit.
To get the most out of a Kodiak Canvas Tent for Burning Man, it can help to have an extra layer of shade. You can create a Monkey Hut or bring out a pop-up canopy like the Eurmax USA Pop-Up Canopy Tent, our absolute favorite pop-up shade structure on our list of 39 different camping shade canopies.
Other Things To Know About This Burning Man Tent
This is not a freestanding tent, which means it relies on the ground stakes to stay upright. We recommend pairing this with some long lag screws with large washers to blast into the hard Playa ground. With that combination, your tent will be stable.
And considering the relatively small price difference, it’s likely worth stepping up to the 10’ x 14’ option. There are two smaller sizes if you think that’s overkill, but with this larger one, you can comfortably have a sleeping area and lounge area.
Head over to the Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tent Deluxe listing for more details on prices and sizes.
Best Budget: Coleman Cabin Tent
Although it can be nice to get an extravagant tent, you don’t have to go crazy to get your Burn on. Coleman Camping Tents are affordable solutions that might be the best tent for Burning Man for you. They are spacious, well-made, and can protect from the Playa dust.
Check out the prices and sizes for the Coleman Cabin tents now or keep reading for more details.
Why Coleman Cabin Tents Are Great for Burning Man
One thing you don’t want to happen to you is to have a crappy tent break during your Burn. Coleman is another trusted brand that’s an outdoor staple, and the tents with the Coleman name offer one of the best values around.
They’re affordable, not cheap. There’s a big difference.
The Coleman Cabin Tents in particular are great tents for Burning Man because they are spacious and don’t rely on a rainfly to seal up.
The interior height is over 6’ tall in every size, and even the 6-person tents are quite large. The 8-person and 10-person options are downright massive.
These Burning Man shelters have mesh windows that can be covered with a solid surface, so you can escape the Playa dust effectively. Many other camping tents only cover mesh windows with a rainfly roof, allowing blowing sand to come in from the side.
The Challenges With Coleman Tents
The biggest problem is that these Coleman Burning Man tents simply aren’t as robust or insulating as canvas tents. To get over that hurdle, you can bring along a separate shade structure to go over the Coleman Cabin Tent.
A Monkey Hut is a great Burning Man shelter idea you can customize to fit your tent and camp. It’s made with PVC and a heavy-duty tarp to create a shaded area.
Or you can choose from one of the 39 camp canopies we recommend that are available for a reasonable cost.
You will also need to be more careful with the tent overall compared to the best tents for Burning Man. The rigid structure of the Kodiak Canvas Tents can better tolerate people stumbling into them, while the Coleman poles are much more delicate.
The same is true for the wall material. Polyester isn’t very insulating and it will rip with some ease. To successfully repair it, tenacious tape is the recommended solution. It’s also great for rain jackets and other outdoor gear.
Coleman Cabin Tent Sizes and Prices
Perhaps the best thing about Coleman tents for Burning Man is the variety of sizes and prices. Extra space to avoid undressing over your bed gives you some chance of keeping Playa dust elsewhere. Having a shelter to party in is always nice too.
For many people, the Coleman 6-Person Cabin will hit the spot. It pops up instantly, has integrated solid surface panel covers, and is a spacious rectangular design.
The 8-Person Coleman Cabin has a very similar design, stretched out into a massive 10’ x 14’ footprint. So much room for activities! It also features solid-surface covers to keep out the dust.
The 10-Person Dark Room with an extra blackout covering and the 10-Person WeatherMaster Coleman Camping Tent with additional water protection are both attractive. But these two in particular aren’t fully sealed solutions, even with the rain flys on. They cover from the top so rain doesn’t come in, but the mesh is open to the sides, making them more susceptible to Playa dust. It’s not a giant problem, but something to be aware of as you decide on the best tent for Burning Man.
Best Teepee: Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
If you want to create a party-worthy space with your Burning Man tent, the Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent is worth checking out. These are spacious, relatively-affordable, and well-made bell tents that will last through many Burns.
These are the best festival teepee tents around.
Features and Setting Up Canvas Tent at Burning Man
It’s hard to beat the interior space that the Teton Sports Canvas Yurts and Tents offer. Regardless of which size you choose, you’ll have an expansive indoor space with enough room for lounging and sleeping.
In fact, if you want the perfect tent for Burning Man, you can throw a small tent inside of this massive bell tent. It gives you another layer of sand and sun protection.
The teepee-style shape constantly releases hot air through the tall central vents, which are elevated away from most of the Playa dust. There are plentiful side vents that you can open or close depending on your needs for air, plus an expansive front door with a mesh screen.
There’s a power supply cable port and plenty of vents if you want to use a portable air conditioner. And the floor is solid, along with thick canvas walls that help keep the sun’s heat out and provide a good amount of shade as one of the best tents for Burning Man.
The biggest drawback is that these are tall and wide, so you need a good chunk of space to set up. And the guy lines stretch out too, but that issue exists with tons of tents, from Coleman tents to the nice Kodiak Canvas.
These solar-powered string lights are perfect for wrapping around your tent’s guy lines and ropes.
Size and Space: As Big As You Want
The Teton Canvas Tents are available in 12’, 16’, and 20’ diameters, making it one of the largest tents around. They’re rated for 10, 12, and 16-people respectively.
We suggest getting one that’s rated for approximately double the amount of people you’ll have sleeping in there. That gives you a lounge area or at least a spot to put your Playa-covered clothes away from your sleeping spot.
While it’s not quite as cheap as the Coleman tents, Teton Canvas Tents are surprisingly affordable. And by using a durable canvas material with a high-quality construction all-around, it’s an excellent buy. They’ll last many years and can be used in all four seasons, especially with a winter tent heater.
You can find more expensive canvas bell-shaped tents, like the popular WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent, but we find the Teton Sports to be nearly identical at a better price level. You really can’t go wrong with either option.
Buy a Teton Canvas Tent today so you can test it out before hitting the Playa.
CLAM Quick-Set Pavilion Camper
The Clam Shade Portable Gazebos are great for camping shade structures. If you get the right one, you can use it as a Burning Man tent as well.
These use a pop-up style with hubs and a hexagonal shape. They’re also nice and tall, plus offer plenty of interior space.
There are many types of Clam Quick-Set Portable Gazebos that make the best tents for Burning Man, so let’s review the options and how they weigh up.
Ice Fishing Pop-Up CLAM Tents
Clam Quick-Set Structures were first created to deal with the challenges of ice fishing, so they know what it takes to create an insulated, sealed protective layer. The CLAM X-500 Pop-Up Thermal Tent has what it takes to separate you from the scorching Burning Man sun.
There are two downfalls to this ice-fishing tent.
First, you’ll need to buy the floor and it is connected through a Velcro attachment that isn’t quite as durable. Second, it’s not made for ventilation and doesn’t have the AC vents.
CLAM Quick-Set Pavilion Camper for Burning Man
Another great option is the CLAM Quick-Set Pavilion Camper. The summer camping Clam Structures aren’t insulated, but they’re still a great, spacious tent.
This Pavilion Camper comes with built-in walls for excellent sun and sand protection, plus it has a built-in floor, making it a good Burning Man dome tent.
You might notice cheaper CLAM Shade Portable Gazebos. We love those and have a full CLAM Shade Portable Shade Tent post explaining the difference.
But when it comes to the best tents for Burning Man, you should stick with this Pavilion and its built-in walls and floor.
If you don’t, the Playa dust and sand will easily infiltrate the entire shade structure. Fine if you’re only using it to chill or have a secondary small tent inside, but not so great if you’re trying to sleep or store your clean clothes and gear you don’t want covered in a thick layer of dust.
These are basically self-enclosed Burning Man yurts that you can use as a tent, hang-out area, or both.
Check out the CLAM Quick-Set Pavilion Camper price.
No Bake Tent
Another major competitor in the Burning Man tent segment is the No Bake Tent. It is designed to keep out the sun and heat, allow for maximum ventilation, and protect you from sand or other elements.
In many ways, the No Bake Tent is a great Burning Man tent option.
By sticking with an advanced reflective material, you get the sun-blocking ability without extra weight. It’s not as insulated, but it still keeps out the worst of the sun’s heat. This is the main selling point of the No Bake Tent for Burning Man.
It’s also great that the sidewalls are solid. There are no mesh windows to hassle with or let Playa dust in. And when you want to get some ventilation, you can open giant front and back doors to let it instantly cool off.
Another excellent characteristic of this tent is that it’s lightweight. By avoiding the insulated material or old-school canvas, the No Bake Tent packs down small. It uses lightweight aluminum poles as the structure, color-coded for easy setup.
The downside is that it’s a little higher in price than similar tents, but this is a niche product from a small company, so it’s understandable. However, we also read a few reports about lacking customer service, which doesn’t align so well with this segment it’s trying to compete in.
In general, the No Bake Tent is still a good option for Burning Man. It’s got everything you need in a compact, lightweight package. It’ll block the sun, sand, and heat. I wish it was a little more competitive with price and offered customer service that goes along with the premium they’re charging.
Best DIY Yurt Structure: Hexayurt
A popular sight on the Burning Man Playa are Hexayurts. These are essentially do-it-yourself structures made from rigid foam and tape, following well-made designs from some long-time Burners.
Hexayurts can be amazingly protective, insulated, and stable. But as you can imagine from a DIY product, it’s all up to how well you make it, set it up, and deal with problems.
These Burning Man yurts also require a lot of space for storage and transportation, so factor that into your decision.
Plus, the cost of materials might surprise you. The big tent companies do their best to use economies of scale, buying items in bulk and cranking out many units to reach an affordable price. Just like any woodworker will tell you, doing it yourself isn’t always cheaper.
You’ll still find plenty of Hexayurt Burners, and some of the recommendations they have if you go this route are to:
- Do a test assembly before getting to the Playa to reduce MOOP
- Make sure to tape and pat down seams as soon as you can, before the Playa dust latches on and prevents a good seal
- Be careful with how you cut the foam, using angles so everything fits together well to get a more stable structure and better sand protection
Monkey Hut – DIY Burning Man Tent
Shade structures are crucial to Burning Man tents of all sorts. It not only protects you from awful sunburn, it helps keep you cool and allows you to sleep well past daybreak.
Ever try sleeping with a terrible hangover and that little sliver of light in your bedroom burns through your retina? Now imagine trying to sleep with a Burning-Man-style headache in the middle of a white-sand desert. Shade is crucial!
If you aren’t certain of your tent’s ability, building a monkey hut can be an excellent, affordable way to add a layer of shade to any Burning Man tent or campsite.
Most monkey huts are half-cylinder canopies made from PVC tubing and a large tarp, plus some tie-downs and anchors. You can find plans for various sizes plastered all over the internet, but we like this monkey hut video the most.
Just remember to tailor it to the size you need, give it a test run or two before bringing it out to the Playa, and make sure to take anchoring it down seriously. The wind can pick up and you won’t always be around to babysit it. Make sure that stays down on the ground.
If you don’t want to do a DIY monkey hut, check out our extensive list of 39 camp canopies to create shade without the fuss.
Truck Bed Camping and Mattresses
You can find everything from giant RVs to decked-out campervans on the Playa that people use instead of tents at Burning Man. But one option that’s more accessible yet many people overlook is a truck bed.
If you throw a camp canopy or monkey hut over the top, it’s a great solution. But it is important to have somewhere outside your truck bed mattress to change. Otherwise, your bed will be covered in Playa dust immediately.
This is also a great way to go camping in general. So your Burning Man tent can be low-cost and versatile.
If you have a pickup truck, consider using a truck bed mattress and tent, paired with a Clam Shade Portable Gazebo or Gazelle Gazebo Tent as an excellent way to enjoy Burning Man and tons of other outdoor adventures.
You can learn more about this type of camping in our full post about truck bed camping.
Other Burning Man Yurt and Tent Tips
As you prepare for the upcoming Burn, some other tent camping tips can go a long way. Here’s a short summary of some of the top tips for Burning Man tent camping.
Securing Your Tent
One of the most important is securing your tent to the ground. The Playa is busy, can be windy, and you don’t want to worry about your tent flying around.
To secure your tent, shade structure, or monkey hut to the ground, ditch the standard tent stakes. Get some extra-long lag screws and large washers instead. These have pointed ends to penetrate the rock-hard ground and the washers help keep your guy lines or ropes in place. You can bring a power drill or hand drill to drive them deep.
You can also wrap your guy lines and ropes with these solar-powered string lights to make sure people don’t trip on them. They also add some ambiance to your Burn camp.
Dealing With Playa Sand and Dust
The Playa is relentless and will get everywhere. No matter what you do, it is certain you will bring some home with you.
But if you separate your tent into two sections, one for sleeping and one for lounging and changing, you can minimize the sand and dust in your bed.
It can also help to bring an extra set of sheets and possibly put socks and underwear into smaller sealed bags.
Dry bags can be a major help. We trust Sea to Summit dry bags in adventures across the world with valuable electronics. You’ll be amazed at how often they’ll come in handy at Burning Man and beyond.
Matter Out Of Place
This idea should hopefully already be in your head, but with the almost limitless amount of people that attend Burning Man, keeping it clean without trash services is a major commitment from every single person in attendance.
Hence the elimination of MOOP, or matter out of place.
Start by reducing your gear as much as you can, then ditch anything single-use in favor of reusable items. And finally, have places to secure your trash and waste, including gray water.
Or you can build a DIY camp shower out of PVC pipe to mount on your vehicle’s roof. Just remember you’ll have to collect your gray water.
Frequently Asked Questions About Burning Man Tents
Wrap-Up: The Best Burning Man Tents
Every Burner needs a place to relax and recover. You’re going to be put through the ringer of fun, so make sure you have a great place to regain energy.
The best Burning Man tents help keep out the Playa dust, stop the sun’s rays and heat, and give you a nice big area to sleep and chill.
The Kodiak canvas tent is a great all-around Burning Man tent that’s easy to use. You can also go with canvas tents from Teton or Whiteduck for a more versatile solution, or stick with an easy-going Coleman Cabin Tent or DIY Hexayurt for your Burning Man tent.
No matter what you choose, make sure to give it a spin at home or at a regional burn or another festival. Work out the problems before you arrive at the Playa so you can be ready to enjoy every minute of the epic Burning Man festival.
Once you’re done with Burning Man, consider heading south to Baja California camping for more unreal desert experiences.