Buyer’s Guide To The Best Survival Shelters

Survival Shelter In Forest

You’re out in the wilderness with nothing but your backpack, and the sun is starting to set. It’s cold, wet, and terrifying being in the unknown and your legs are starting to ache. Now is the time to find somewhere to regain your energy for the following day and do so without succumbing to the perils of these harsh weather conditions.

Portable survival shelters are one of the biggest investments you can make when it comes to emergency preparedness. Keeping in mind, though, that long-term survival shelters will cost you a fair bit more. Having a well-stocked backpack full of items and accessories can be handy, but if you have nowhere safe, dry, and warm to rest your head at night then they all become quite useless.

When shopping around for wilderness survival shelters, try not to think of them as a glamorous and comfortable tent equipped with all of the latest bells and whistles. The best survival shelters should provide you with reliability and durability, and keep the harsh weather out. While you might be tempted to go for the most comfortable, that’s not necessarily going to keep you safe in an emergency.

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What To Look For In A Survival Shelter

Shelters for survival can start from extremely basic and go up to something a little more comfortable and complex. While many people prefer to use just a tarp as their survival shelter, there are so many affordable and reliable products now available in the emergency prepper market that make more sense to own.

Shopping around for a survival shelter can be confusing, though, with so many different terms and features available. For a reliable and quality shelter to pack in your survival gear kit, here are some things you need to consider:

  • Material – perhaps the single most important feature is the material, so opt for something that will offer insulating qualities.
  • Weatherproof – this includes wind and water, as you never know what type of conditions you’ll be up against in the wilderness. Winter survival shelters will cost a little extra, so if you plan on encountering snow you will need to pay extra for it.
  • Style – there are a few different options for style with a simple tarp, tent set up with ropes and stakes, or basic sleeping bag.
  • Capacity – depending on how many people you need to fit inside, you’ll have to shop for either one or two person shelters.
  • Size – as you’ll be carrying this shelter around in your survival backpack, you want something that can store away compactly and without much bulk.

As each survival prepper’s needs will differ from the next, what you find important in a survival shelter might not always suit someone else. However, the bare minimum of quality, weatherproof ability, and transportability are important features to keep in mind for all types of shelters.

These products each represent something unique in the survival shelter market, and all of them have their pros and cons. We’ve provided an in-depth look at all of the options to give you a better understanding of what might work for you.

Best Survival Shelter Over $10

Survivor X Emergency Shelter Tube

  • Space blanket material designed to keep up to 99% of your body heat inside
  • Suspension rope made from 550 paracord material for superior strength
  • Enough room to fit two adults
  • Four anchor ropes in bottom corners for stability
  • Thin, lightweight, and easy to transport

The Survivor X Emergency Shelter Tube provides the perfect mix of affordability and reliability with their design. Although one of the cheaper options for survival shelters, this brand doesn’t skimp on quality with their two man shelter.

Survivor X Emergency Shelter Tube On White Background

With a super strength paracord rope able to hold 550lbs of weight, not only can you be sure that your shelter tube will stay put but it could also help you in other areas of survival too. This paracord can be used for fishing, hunting, and medical emergencies, so you’re getting far more use than just a shelter.

Don’t expect to use the Emergency Shelter Tube on a camping trip, as these have been designed specifically for emergency situations. The ends on either side are open so you won’t be completely covered, but it will keep the heat trapped inside with its unique space blanket material. Having these survival shelters in the woods at your disposal could mean the matter of life and death.

It’s extremely thin and lightweight, so perfect to add to your emergency prepper kit or hiking bag, with the hope that you never have to use it. This survival shelter is more like a mylar blanket rather than a tent, so don’t purchase in the hopes that you’ll have a comfortable tent with all of the extras, it truly is only meant for emergencies.

SOL Emergency Shelter Kit

  • Full kit complete with shelter tarp measuring 6’ x 8’
  • Lightweight anodized aluminum stakes for stability
  • Micro-cord tensioners to keep yourself safe and sound
  • Heavy duty reflective blanket for all types of weather
  • Can be used as shelter, rain cover, blanket, and more

With one of the most trusted names in survival gear, Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL) haven’t disappointed with their shelter kit. This kit comes with everything you need to build yourself a solid shelter in the wilderness, such as aluminum stakes and a large 6’ x 8’ shelter.

SOL Emergency Shelter Kit On White Background

The heavy duty reflective blanket has been designed to keep in up to 99% of your body heat, and it’s 2.5 times thicker than most on the market. This makes it a top pick for those in particularly cool weather, and you can use it on its own or in conjunction with a sleeping bag or other survival shelter accessory.

It’s a little on the expensive side for a shelter when you look at the other products on the market, but there’s no denying you’re paying for quality here. When you consider that this accessory will be a once off use that you hope you never have to open, it may be a little expensive for some to purchase.

However, if you’re looking for guaranteed warmth and quality in the ropes and stakes that hold your shelter down, you can’t go past the Survive Outdoors Longer Emergency Shelter Kit. It might have a few items within, but it’s lightweight and compact enough to pack into survival prepper’s rucksack without a hassle.

Best Survival Shelter Under $10

SE EB1220OR Emergency Sleeping Bag

  • A number one bestseller on Amazon for camping sacks
  • Bright orange color with high visibility for emergency situations
  • Interior made from heavy duty PE aluminized material
  • Comes in a drawstring bag for easy transportability
  • 3ft x 7ft ideal for one person capacity

For something a little different with your survival shelter accessories, the SE Emergency Sleeping Bag provides you with safety, security, and warmth in the form of a bed. This item is a little different to the usual thin blanket shelter but is an ideal addition to any emergency prepper kit or camping, fishing, or hiking bag.

SE EB122OR Emergency Sleeping Bag

The SE brand has a great reputation for creating survival gear that’s both affordable and durable, and this bag is no exception. The interior of the sleeping bag has been crafted with aluminized heavy-duty PE material so you’re kept warm in all types of weather. Its bright orange color can help with visibility and allow you to keep a close eye on loved ones when everyone has been equipped with this bag.

Considering the low price tag, it’s certainly one of the more comfortable options for survival shelters. However, you will need to purchase an additional tent style shelter to keep the rain and the wind from getting to you. With 3ft x 7ft dimensions you’ll only fit one person inside, but it’s more than enough to keep you dry and warm.

This bag is a number one bestseller on Amazon which speaks for its quality, and many reviewers have found it useful for camping, fishing, and hiking too. When packing it away for your emergency survival kit you’ll find it extremely easy to carry as well, thanks to its handy drawstring design. Overall, it’s a great addition to any outdoors backpack or survival kit.

Grizzly Gear Emergency Shelter

  • Made with mylar material to keep in 90% of body heat
  • Fits two people measuring in at 8ft x 3ft
  • Waterproof and windproof for harsher climates
  • Can be reused more than once
  • Compact and lightweight for easy storage in your backpack

The Grizzly Gear Emergency Shelter represents the best of the low-priced accessories, and without many fancy features on offer weighing it down. What it does provide, though, is added warmth and protection from the elements with its mylar material, and with enough space to fit two people comfortably.

Grizzly Gear Emergency Survival Tent On White Background

The mylar is the best feature of this survival shelter, and it gives the tent some amazing waterproof and windproof qualities. Whether you to use it as an extra blanket to keep inside your sleeping bag or tie it to a tree or other object for a rooftop shelter, you won’t be disappointed that you packed this one in your backpack.

Although this does come with a cord to help secure it, it might be best to invest in something a little stronger such as paracord to give you peace of mind that it won’t blow away. The quality of the cord included isn’t as strong as you’d need in a survival situation, however, the shelter itself will do a great job in keeping you protected.

Overall, this is an extremely budget friendly shelter and one that will get the job done, provided you have some extra cord. Grizzly Gear prides themselves on making affordable survival gear, and this piece is no exception. Best of all, this handy shelter folds away to around the size of a smartphone, so you won’t even notice it weighing you down.


With such a variety of products in the emergency shelter range, it’s hard to say that one alone would be the best fit. Thankfully, these types of survival shelters are extremely lightweight and compact so they barely take up any room at all, and they’re an absolute necessity for surviving in the wilderness. With that in mind, you might feel more at ease having a couple stored away in your backpack.

For the best protection from your survival shelter, our top pick would be the SE Emergency Sleeping Bag coupled with the Survivor X Emergency Shelter Tube. With dual survival shelters on hand you’ll get the coverage needed from a tarp but the comfort and additional warmth of a sleeping bag.

Look From Inside Of Survival Shelter

Because both are so lightweight, it won’t be a hassle to transport them, and you could easily squeeze two people into both if you ever ran into a real emergency. They’re simple to set up and you won’t need to purchase any additional pegs or ropes to enjoy their benefits.

Although there are some other great items on offer, the survival shelter kit was probably a little too bulky and the other comparable shelter required an extra purchase of stronger rope. When you think about everything these single products can offer, they’re an easy choice for the top pick.

Do you have any thoughts on what is essential for a survival shelter in your emergency pack? Would you prefer a sleeping bag setup or a weatherproof rooftop shelter to keep you safe, or better yet, both? Leave your comments and questions below, or feel free to email use directly by clicking here and let us know your thoughts.

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