You can absolutely rent a camping tent, and in the last few years, we’ve seen more companies offering rental gear for camping. There are a lot of reasons you might want to rent a tent:
- You’re a first-time camper and aren’t ready to drop the cash on a new one.
- You don’t camp that often and aren’t interested in storing one in your apartment.
- Your tent is old and you’d like to try out a specific type of tent before you buy it.
- You’re camping with more people than usual this weekend and need a large tent.
- You need to rent a few camping tents for first-time campers that you’re introducing to the outdoors (keep up the good work).
What to look for when renting camping gear
First off, your best bet is always going to be renting a tent locally because you won’t have to pay for shipping costs. There are some great websites that ship camping gear (listed below), but camping gear is bulky and expensive to ship. You might find a great two-person camping package for $99 only to find out that it’s another $65 to have it shipped both ways. Still, for some people, this is the only option to rent a camping tent because they don’t have a camping store anywhere near their house.
You also need to take a good look at the rental policy. What is the window for returning it? Do you have to get it in the mail the following Monday or do you have a few days to ship it back? Make sure you don’t get any unnecessary fees after your outdoor adventure is over.
If you’re lucky enough to have an REI nearby this is a great option. Members can rent a four-person tent for $30/day with no deposit. If you need to rent sleeping bags and pads they’ll have those as well.
Nextdoor is an online community that you can only join if you live in a specific neighborhood, which makes it safer and more trustworthy. If you’re a member (it’s free) it’s definitely worth posting to see if anyone will let you borrow a tent or rent one from them for a small fee.
Do a quick search on Craiglist to see if anyone in your area is renting their tent. People rent and sell just about everything on there and you might find exactly what you’re looking for at the right price.
Camping, backpacking, glamping, and canvas wall tents. $25-$75 per day.
Two person car camping tents for $29-$55 per day.
Marmot camping tents for $37-$105 per day.
Should you just buy a cheap tent?
This option needs to be discussed because, in the end, it’s what so many people decide to do. You can get a four-person tent at Walmart for $35. Is it going to last forever? No. But we always say that anything that gets people into the outdoors is a good thing. Either you’ll get hooked on camping or you won’t. If you do, you can invest in a better tent down the road. If you’re careful with your cheap tent you can probably get a few years out of it, and that’s better than not camping at all!