Best Survival Shelters
When you are planning on going into the wild, it is always a good idea to be prepared in case an emergency situation occurs. One of the most important pieces of emergency gear, besides emergency radios, you want to have on your person is a survival shelter, as these pieces of equipment could save your life one day.
Human beings need three things to ensure survival in an emergency and those, are food, water, and shelter to protect you from the elements. The survival tent is a quick shelter that can be set up in case of an emergency and could be the deciding factor between survival and big trouble.
Survival shelters are inexpensive and a sound investment for a case where you are caught in an emergency. Under certain of these conditions, these simple shelters will keep you protected and warm until help can arrive.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Top Ten Survival Shelters
1. SE ET3683 Emergency
Not fully windproof
SE, as a brand, is known for providing excellent customer service as well as creating high-quality products. The SE ET3683 Emergency Outdoor Tube Tent is no exception to this rule and is made to give you what you’d need in a shelter during an emergency survival situation.Read more
Made with a non-woven material that features an aluminum-coated interior, you’ll get a lot of thermal protection and regulation when you use this tent. It’s reusable, designed to keep you warm, and is also made in a very bright orange to help make you visible in case you need emergency assistance.
This SE tent is a single-person emergency survival shelter, and it comes designed with full waterproof protection so you won’t have to worry about getting wet if the rain and snow are heavy. Plus, the shelter is designed with a lot of warmth on the interior, so you’ll be safe when you need to use this shelter. Staying warm and dry will keep you protected no matter what the weather is like outside.
SE’s survival shelter is reusable, so it is a bit more durable than what you’ll find in some other survival shelter options. It’s built strong enough to be used several times, which is a great thing to know if you are trapped in a situation and need to use it for several days. The shelter will hold up, and you’ll be able to make it through any bad weather conditions.
This shelter isn’t priced at a range that is very high, so it’s still affordable as far as cost, but it is more expensive than some of the other shelters on our list. However, the nice thing about this shelter is that you can reuse it and it will last for a bit longer than some other shelter choices, so it’s still a good value overall if you consider how much you’ll be able to use it.
2. Chill Gorilla
This survival shelter brought to you by Chill Gorilla is definitely one to check out. It is made from durable material and can be used as multiple survival tools while out in the wilderness. If you find yourself in an emergency situation you will be happy you have this shelter as part of your gear and arsenal.Read more
This shelter brought to you by Chill Gorilla is made from tough nylon fabric to ensure you are protected from the weather elements and especially the rain. If you are in an emergency situation and need shelter, you will be happy you have this heavy-duty shelter on hand.
The Chill Gorilla is waterproof and tear-resistant. This makes it a great shelter to have in the case of high winds or heavy rain in the outdoors. While it doesn't do much to hold or reflect heat, it will at least keep you dry.
This survival shelter is built to be strong and heavy-duty, made to handle a lot of weight and heavy rain. It is also reusable and designed to be strong when you need it most. You should be able to get multiple uses and many years out of this shelter.
This shelter does come with a hefty price tag but when you look at the material and features it brings to the table, you will quickly determine it is worth the investment because when you are in an emergency situation you want the best of the best to get you through those hard times.
3. Coghlan's Tube Tent
Fits two people
This survival tent is a great emergency tent for the price, and if you find yourself in an emergency, you will be glad you had this tent on hand. This survival tent can also be used for other purposes, such as a tarp or groundsheet. Defiantly a survival tent to check out and add to your gear.Read more
This survival tent is designed to give you plenty of warmth and keep you safe from even the coldest weather conditions. Also, this material is very reflective, which helps provide an added measure of safety because it will make it easier for rescue workers to find you and see you whenever you use it.
This tent is designed to be totally waterproof, and also is advertised as being “cold-proof,” which means it does a great job of insulating inside and keeping you warm. However, this shelter isn’t totally windproof, so that’s something you’ll have to factor in depending on the climate you tend to brave.
This shelter can be reused a few times, but it isn’t quite as durable as some of the other reusable shelters on our list. It’s still got enough protection to get you through a bad weather situation for a few days, and pretty reliable in that spectrum. However, its material is not as strong as some other options.
This survival shelter is priced to be very affordable, and it’s one of the cheapest items on our list. So, while it’s not quite as durable as some other options, the price tag certainly makes it desirable, and it has the functionality you’ll really need if you are in a storm.
4. Sharp Survival Survival Shack
Easy to setup
Waterproof and windproof
Retains body heat
Could be thicker for more weather protection
If you’re looking for a survival shelter that’s got plenty of room to fit two people, then you might want to consider Sharp Survival's Survival Shack. Made to give you a lot of warmth and weather protection, this durable, lightweight survival shelter can keep two people warm, or provide a lot more room to move for just one person.Read more
This survival shelter uses Mylar thermal materials, which helps use your own body heat to boost your warmth. The tent is also made to be very lightweight and easy to carry, and it will give you the amount of warmth and protection you need when you get caught in bad weather.
This survival shelter is made to be both waterproof and windproof, so you get all the weather protection you need in case you get trapped outside during a bad storm. Plus, the tent is very easy and simple to set-up, so if you do get caught up in bad weather, you’ll be able to get it going quickly.
It is made to be reusable, so it’s slightly more durable than some other survival shelters you might come across nowadays. Having a reusable survival shelter is nice because you know you can use it for several days in a row if you need to, and it will still hold up.
Considering the fact that this survival shelter is reusable and large enough to fit two people, this is a real steal at an affordable price. You’ll get a two-for-one deal and a reusable shelter that’s more durable than most for the cost.
5. Aqua Quest Defender Tarp
DWR and TPU coating
Multiple sizes available
20,000mm hydrostatic resistance
Some say the tie-out loops are not evenly spaced
With two types of waterproof coatings, this is a strong tarp that can be made into a tent with or without trees around. It is available in four different sizes and includes a carrying pouch. If you are looking for a great emergency shelter that will keep you dry, this is it!Read more
This dependable shelter is made from 70D nylon with a heavy TPU and DWR coating. The stitching is reinforced and the seams are already heat-taped. Depending on the size that you order, the weight of the shelter ranges from 2.7-pounds to 7.2-pounds. Each shelter also includes a stuff sack.
Rain will not be an issue under this shelter. The Aqua Quest has a hydrostatic resistance of 20,000mm. Aqua Quest claims that this tarp has the ability to resist a 66-foot vertical column of water without leaking. Although most likely won’t be closed into the shelter, it should be noted that it is not breathable.
There are virtually no doubts about this shelter. It holds up well to nature’s hits and blows. As mentioned before, the stitching is reinforced and the seams are heat-taped. The ridgeline of the tarp is also reinforced with a nylon strap. The reinforced webbing loops are thoughtfully placed, allowing you to set up the shelter with or without a tree. This is a shelter that you’ll be able to use over and over again.
It’s an investment. However, the versatility and durability make it a great investment. You can use it as a survival shelter in the woods, as a tarp for your car, or a ground blanket. To ease your mind, the Aqua Quest also comes with a two-year warranty.
6. Grizzly Gear
Keeps you warm
Not the easiest to setup
This survival tent is a must for the adventurer in your life, as if they ever get into an emergency while exploring, they will have an emergency tent on hand. This tent is affordable and compact so most of the time, you will not even know you have it on you, but if you get into an emergency you will be glad you did.Read more
This Emergency Survival Shelter is designed with mylar. The mylar used to make this shelter means the shelter provides a lot of thermal insulation and warmth and is made to house one person in case of an emergency.
Made to retain and reflect both heat and light, this shelter will use your body heat to keep you warm. You also get a shelter that is designed to be both waterproof and windproof, so you know you’ll also stay dry whenever you need to use this tent.
This Emergency Survival Shelter is made to be strong and durable and can be reused. So, you know the shelter can last a while and be very durable if you need to use it for several days. You won’t have to be too worried about how bad the weather might get since you’ll be safe and warm inside.
The price tag on this shelter is great and can be afforded by any adventurer.
7. Delmera Emergency Survival
Quick 3 step set up
Can be turned inside out to reflect heat
Difficult to fold back into carrying pouch
The Delmera survival shelter was originally built for NASA. It is made from thick Mylar and is wind, water, and abrasion-proof. This shelter is large enough for two people and can also be used as a blanket or ground cover.Read more
This survival shelter is made out of thick Mylar. The shelter measures eight feet by five feet, making it large enough for two adults. Additionally, there is a twenty-foot rope and whistle included. All of these items pack down into a convenient carrying pouch, weighing only ten ounces.
Whether it’s wind, water, or cold air, you’ll be well-protected in this shelter. It is both wind and waterproof and tear-resistant. The mylar helps to keep you warm by retaining up to 90% of your body heat while you are inside. If it is hot outside, you can turn the tent inside out to push away the heat.
This shelter was originally designed for NASA, making it a very durable and reliable shelter. It is not meant to replace a camping tent but can be used repeatedly. The mylar is thick and the taped seams are reinforced. The included paracord rope has a strength of 425-pounds.
Pricewise, this shelter is very affordable. Considering that it could aid in saving your life, it’s incredibly valuable. In addition to a shelter, it can also be used as a ground cover, a blanket, or a sleeping bag liner.
8. Emergency Zone Tube Tent
Waterproof and windproof
Fits two people
Could retain more body heat
If you’re looking for a very affordable survival shelter that can fit two people inside of it, then you might want to consider the Emergency Tube Tents. Built to be very portable and structured well to keep you safe during the worst weather conditions, this shelter is very lightweight and easy to take along with you when you need it.Read more
Designed from a lightweight, reflective Mylar and aluminum combination, this survival shelter is made to help keep you warm on the interior. The reflective tent will allow you to use your body heat to stay heated and insulated, providing you with excellent thermal regulation.
This survival shelter is made to be waterproof, so you’ll get ample protection from the wind and rain with this tent. However, while the shelter is waterproof, it’s not windproof, so you may need to consider that factor when you make your decision.
This survival shelter isn’t quite as durable as some of the other options on our list, but it is strong enough. The material it’s made from isn’t quite as strong as some of its competition, but it gives you a decent, easy-to-carry shelter to use when you need it.
For the price, which is very cheap, this is a decent and very lightweight portable shelter that will help you out and give you what you need when you need it. So, while it might not last forever, it’s indeed built to last and keep you warm if you get caught out in a storm outside and need it. Also, it is big enough to fit two people, so that also saves you a bit of money overall as well.
9. Don't Die In The Woods
Needs to be set up with trees
The name of this product is everyone's goal. Don't die in the woods. This emergency shelter can help you achieve that. It is wind, water, and abrasion-proof. There is no reason to not carry it with you, considering its portability and lightweight of only 9.5-ounces.Read more
This shelter is made from thick Heatflex Mylar, designed by NASA. It is said to be stronger than regular mylar, without compromising the weight. You can choose from three different colors, green, orange, or camo. It measures eight feet by five feet to fit two adults and weighs only 9.5-ounces.
Like most mylar shelters, this one is also waterproof, windproof, puncture and tear-resistant, and helps to control the temperature. With the aluminum side facing inside, it will retain 90% of your body heat. If it hot outside while you use it, you can turn it inside out to reflect the heat away.
As much as the company boosts its durability, there have been a few complaints. Some reviewers don’t expect the mylar material to last for more than two or three times of use. The seams are taped and reinforced and the included 425-pound strength paracord will help to keep you safe and dry in the event of an emergency.
This emergency shelter is priced affordably. While we do wish the durability could be improved, it will suffice in the event of an emergency. Additionally, this shelter can be used as a bivy or a sleeping bag.
Includes rope and stakes
Easy to set-up
Not as durable as other options
The greatest feature of the LYN shelter is the fact that has passed the CPAI-84 fireproof certification. Having a fireproof shelter in the case of an emergency is often overlooked and very important. However, there have been a few durability concerns, and that is why we find this product at the bottom of our list.Read more
Here is something a bit different for you. This shelter is made from third-generation PE-material. In addition to the shelter, a 550 7-cored 5-meter rope, clips, and plastic stakes are also included.
One of the most outstanding features of the LYN shelter is the fact that is fireproof. This can be very important in a survival situation if you are near a fire. Like a mylar shelter, this shelter also has a silver side that can retain up to 95% of your body heat, or be turned inside out to reflect heat. The four included stakes provide stability in high-wind situations. Additionally, it is both windproof and waterproof.
Not all that glimmers is gold, right? There have been a few customer complaints about this “tear-resistant” shelter tearing. Additionally, the four included plastic ground stakes are not very durable. You would be better off replacing them with metal stakes.
Depending on the color you choose, the price is different. However, neither option is overly expensive. If only the durability of this shelter could be improved, we would find it much higher on our list. On the bright side, this fireproof shelter can also be used as a sleeping bag, bivy, or blanket.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When you’re figuring out what type of shelter you want to buy, making sure you purchase something from a manufacturer that utilizes high-quality materials in their design is something you’ll want to consider.
We’ve provided several different brands on our list, all of which are known for creating durable, quality outdoor products and using the best materials. However, the durability of the materials can vary from brand to brand, even when the same material is used, since sometimes the more affordable shelters are built a bit more cheaply and not made to last as long as a result. So, you’ll need to think about the durability of the materials used by each of the brands, even if some of them use the same materials. Not all brands make their materials as strong as some others.
Many of the manufacturers use Mylar in their survival shelters. Mylar is a reflective material that can use a person’s body heat to create a warm temperature, and thermally regulate the interior of the shelter.
That means that Mylar is not only very portable, it’s also got excellent insulation properties, which makes it keep people warm inside of the shelter even when the weather is freezing outside. Mylar’s ability to create excellent insulation make it a useful material in emergency shelters. Besides creating warmth, Mylar is also waterproof only by the design of the content.
So, not only can Mylar keep heat and warmth on the interior of the shelter, but it can also keep the water out from the inside of the shelter. Depending on how durable the Mylar used in the housing is can also dictate how windproof the shelter is. Some brands use Mylar that is both windproof and waterproof, while others only use waterproof Mylar.
So, if you know you are likely to be outside when the weather is very windy, you want to make sure you get a shelter that is also windproof. Mylar also has a lot of natural reflective capabilities built into the material, and it makes the exterior of the shelter silver and shiny. The appearance of a Mylar shelter is another aspect of the content that brings you an extra safety bonus. Since Mylar is shiny and silver, it’s straightforward to detect when you are out in the wilderness. That means it can make it much easier for search and rescue teams to find you merely by seeing the reflectivity of your shelter.
Some manufacturers also use aluminum in their shelters, and most of the time, aluminum is also combined with Mylar. Aluminum helps to increase the durability of Mylar while also providing many of the same unique features as Mylar, like the temperature regulation and the ability to make the shelter appear reflective and silver so that it is easier to see.
A combination of aluminum and Mylar usually makes the shelter more durable, but this is not always the case. Some manufacturers do make their Mylar shelters strong enough to be quite durable, while others make decent, more affordable Mylar shelters that can still tear. To determine how strong the tent you are considering is, take a little time to read up on some reviews before you make your decision. That way, if you need durability, you’ll be able to get it.
Since many of the shelters on our list are comprised out of some version of Mylar, they all offer some qualities of weather protection. First, the Mylar material works to protect you from the cold since the Mylar can use your body heat to increase the temperature inside the shelter and keep you warm. Besides that, Mylar is also very waterproof, and some manufacturers also make sure that their Mylar shelters are also windproof.
Mylar shelters, or Mylar and aluminum shelters, will both do a great job of creating warmth and keeping the water out. However, what you’ll need to consider and look into is whether or not the Mylar is also windproof in your shelter. Besides that, you also need to think about and determine whether or not you need housing that is also windproof, depending on the climate and terrain of your trips.
The durability of these shelters can vary widely from brand to brand and style to style. We noted the products on our list that were more durable and the Mylar structures that are prone to tearing. Typically, when you purchase a cheaper shelter, you’ll be sacrificing some durability and getting a product that won’t last as long.
If you know, you’ll want a shelter that you can use very often, and for long periods, then you’ll need to spend a little more money to get a more durable product. While that choice will be up to you, it is all about how often you’ll be using the shelter since they are mostly used in emergency-only situations and where you plan to take your outdoor adventures (for more info read our guide on the best car emergency kit)
We also noted the value of each one of the products on our list, and what you’d get if you purchased the product. If you are shopping on a budget, this will be an essential factor for you to consider, but even if you are not, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you also factor in the value of the product.
Some of these shelters last longer than others, and some are made to fit two people, which can also help save money. So, consider what you need and what you’ll be getting when you purchase one of these shelters.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Remember these survival shelters are quite inexpensive and worth the investment, as when entering the wild anything can occur and it is better to be prepared than to not be. It is best to be prepared and have one of these shelters on hand just in case an emergency situation occurs while out in the wilderness.
You're off to a great start with a survival shelter, but there are a few more things you may want to consider investing in. Items such as a home weather station, canned or non-perishable foods, a great swiss army knife, or even a bug out bag. We all hope that this shelter won't be your temporary residence for long, but you never know. It never hurts to be prepared.
Other Factors to Consider
Emergency shelters are designed to be portable, compact, and lightweight, providing you with the type of protection you’ll need to have in case you get caught outside when the weather is bad. Even when you aren’t planning on staying out overnight, when you do decide to spend a day outdoors, you’ll be able to carry along your shelter with you easily so that you have something to use just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Even with weather forecasts, sometimes it can still be difficult to plan a trip or even a day outdoors by yourself, and it’s always better, for safety reasons, that you be prepared.
Since emergency shelters are designed to be lightweight and provide warmth and weather protection, they are also made to be compact and don’t cost a lot. Really, with how affordable most emergency shelters are, there is no reason to get trapped outside in the rain or snow without one (maybe a survival shovel will be of some help here). In addition, you can also check the guide on the best survival tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I make sure I get the weather protection I need?
You’ll need to take a close look at the materials in your shelter, and also make sure that if the shelter is Mylar, it is windproof as well as waterproof. Most Mylar shelters are waterproof by design, but not all are windproof. So, if you need that extra layer of protection, make sure you look into it.
q: Why do so many shelters use Mylar?
Most survival shelters on our list are made from one of two materials or a combination of those two materials. The most popular material used in survival shelters is Mylar, and there are several reasons for this. First, Mylar is lightweight and easy to carry, making it simple to compact down into your pack, and also easy to set up. Mylar also does a good job of retaining its shape and structure even if it is packed down. So, Mylar is a great material because of its ability to be packed and reused.
q: Do I need to take a look at set up when I purchase a shelter?
Yes, you do. You don’t want to wind up purchasing something that is so difficult to set up or takes you so long to get going that you wind up wet, soaked, and cold from the weather. So, it’s always a good idea to make sure you understand the setup process and you get a shelter that is easy for you to use.
q: Are two-person shelters worth it?
If you are usually traveling with somebody else, it’s a good idea to get a two-person shelter since you’ll only need to purchase one shelter to keep both people safe. That can help save you money in your pocketbook, and also still give you and your partner the protection you will both need if you get trapped in bad weather. In this case, it will be really nice to check our guide on the best survival food.
q: If I can’t afford a more expensive shelter, do I need to worry about durability?
If you are buying a cheaper shelter, it’s very likely that you will get a less durable shelter. So that is the sacrifice you’ll be making. However, since shelters are for emergency only, that really shouldn’t deter you. All of the survival shelters on our list are built to last for a few days or a few uses, so you should be alright even if you give up some durability.
q: Do I need to purchase anything else for my shelter?
That depends. Some of these shelters come with blankets, sleeping bags, and other options that also are very compact and lightweight. In reality, you will probably want some kind of blanket as well, so it is probably worthwhile to consider getting something that goes along with the kit even if it costs extra money to purchase it. If it is made for the shelter you buy, it will fit right in and still be easy to carry.
- Emergency Plan Guide, Informational Consumer Website ,
- Braving the Wilderness – A Guide to the Best Emergency Shelters for Hikers, Review ,
- 10 Best Survival Shelters In 2019, Buying Guide ,
- 10 Simple Survival Shelters That Will Conquer The Elements, Survival Blog ,