How to Choose Tents for Camping
There have been 439 reviews with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. This article is part of a series on a variety of topics: Camping: A Beginner’s Guide Many of us like spending time in our cars with family or friends during the summer months. Whether the campsite is the major attraction or it is only a base camp for local activities, this article will assist you in selecting the best camping tent for your needs—your home away from home while on vacation. (Prefer to camp in the backcountry?
Video: How to Choose a Camping Tent
For starters, pick a tent style that is appropriate for the size of your group and whether or not you will require more space for extra friends, gear, or pets. Keep in mind, however, that there is no industry standard that sets the proportions of a tent for a single person. When it comes to examining tent capacity ratings, our general recommendation is as follows: Assume that the two pieces are almost identical. Upsizing your tent by one person can provide you with additional space if you or your typical tent companion(s) have any of the following characteristics:
- They are enormous individuals who are afraid of being cramped
- They toss and turn at night
- They sleep better when they have more elbow room than the usual person
- They are bringing a little child or a dog
3-season tents, by far the most common type of tent, are lightweight shelters built for use in reasonably mild weather conditions during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. They are often supplied with a large number of mesh panels to improve air movement. Insects are kept out by mesh panels (but can still let in powdery blowing sand). 3-season tents, when properly pitched with a taut rainfly, can endure heavy downpours, but they are not the greatest choice for prolonged exposure to severe storms, powerful winds, or heavy snow.
- Keep you dry when it rains or snows lightly
- Protect you from pests
- And more. Protect your privacy
3- 4-Season Tents
Extended-season (3+ season) tents are designed to be used for extended periods of time in three seasons. They are appropriate for use in the summer, but also for travels in the early spring and late fall when mild snow may be encountered. Providing a balance of ventilation, strength, and heat retention is their primary purpose. It is typical that they have one or two more poles and fewer mesh panels than pure 3-season versions. This makes them more durable and toasty than their three-season counterparts.
While they are quite durable, they are not as well-protected against hard winter weather as 4-season tents.
Tents designed for mountaineering are built to endure high winds and heavy snow loads, and they may be utilized in every weather condition. Their primary role, on the other hand, is to remain sturdy in the face of extremely unfavorable weather, which occurs primarily in the winter or above treeline. Thus have more poles and heavier materials than three-season tents, therefore they are more expensive. Their spherical dome forms limit the possibility of snow accumulation on flat roof areas.
They have a limited number of mesh panels and rainflies that are just a few feet above the ground. In moderate weather, this might cause them to feel hot and stuffy because of the lack of air. However, as the wind picks up speed, a four-season tent provides a safe haven for the weary traveler.
If you want to be able to stand up while changing clothes or if you prefer the openness of a high ceiling, opt for a tent with a higher peak height to accommodate your needs (listed in the spec charts). Cabin-style tents have walls that are almost vertical to optimize total peak height and usable area, while also minimizing weight (and some models come with family-pleasing features such as room dividers and an awning, or a vestibule door that can be staked out as such). In addition to its greater strength and wind-shedding properties, dome-style tents are also extremely lightweight, something you’ll appreciate on a windy night.
Tent Floor Length
In case you’re very tall (over 6 feet) or need extra room, a tent with a floor length of 90 inches (rather than the more common 84–88 inches) can be a good option for you.
When selecting your tent, consider the amount of doors you will require, as well as the form and orientation of the doors. If you’re camping with your family, having numerous doors will save you from having to clamber over each other to get to the restroom at midnight. Tents in the design of a cabin are very popular in this area. Also take notice of how simple or noisy it is to zip up and close the doors. YKK zippers on the doors are more resistant to snagging and breaking than other types of zippers.
The structure of a tent’s poles influences how simple or difficult it is to pitch the tent. These days, almost all family tents are freestanding structures. This implies that they do not require the use of stakes to be installed. It has the significant benefit that you may take up the tent and relocate it to a different area before staking it. Additionally, before putting it down, you can easily shake dirt off of it. Setups are quicker when fewer poles are used. Attaching poles to clips is also less difficult than threading them through long pole sleeves, which may be time-consuming.
Color-coded corners and pole clips also help to expedite the setup process.
A rainfly is a separate waterproof cover that is meant to go over the top of your tent’s roof and keep the rain out. If there is a chance of rain or dew, or whenever you want to keep a bit more warmth, use this product. There are two varieties of rainflies that are commonly encountered. Using simply the roof as a rainfly allows for greater light and vistas while providing enough rain protection. Full-coverage rainflies provide the greatest amount of protection from the wind and rain.
Be aware that higher-denier fabric canopies and rainflies are more durable than lower-denier fabric canopies and rainflies when you’re purchasing.
Tent floors that are lined with seam tape and high-denier textiles help to limit the likelihood of leaking.
Vestibules / Garage
In order to protect your boots from becoming dirty or dusty or to keep your bags from getting wet, you may connect a shelter or an awning to your tent. They can be included as an essential element of the rainfly or they can be purchased as separate pieces.
Tent ceilings, doors, and windows are frequently made of mesh panels, which are also used for other purposes. This provides for better vistas and increases cross-ventilation, which helps to reduce condensation. Larger mesh panels are recommended for hot and humid conditions.
Interior Loops and Pockets
A lantern loop is commonly installed in the top-center of a tent’s ceiling to allow for the hanging of a lantern inside the tent. A mesh shelf (known as a gear loft, which is sold separately) may be attached to the inside tent walls using the loops on the walls. This will keep small objects off of the tent floor. Interior pockets, in a similar vein, assist you in keeping your tent organized.
In addition to guy lines, higher-quality tents will have loops on the exterior of the tent body for connecting them. Using guy lines, you can batten down the hatches without having to worry about the canvas flying in the wind.
Optional Tent Accessories
In this case, the groundcloth (which is generally supplied separately) is custom-fitted to fit below your tent floor. Rocks, twigs, and mud can be harsh on tent flooring, but over time, they take their toll. A footprint is far less expensive to replace than a tent. This is especially beneficial for family tents that have a lot of foot activity coming in and out of the tent. Additionally, because footprints are custom-sized to match your tent’s shape precisely, they will not collect water in the same way that a generic groundcloth that extends beyond the floor boundaries will.
Most tents are equipped with one or two inbuilt pockets, which allow you to store small objects off of the tent floor. Agear loft is an optional inside mesh shelf that may be used to stow larger quantities of gear out of the way when the space is limited.
Other Nice-to-Have Accessories
- Stakes and anchors to accommodate a variety of site circumstances
- Cleaning supplies: broom and dustpan, inside and outdoor floor mats, tent repair kit, seam sealant, utility wire, battery-powered ventilation fan
Tent accessories are available for purchase.
- Backpacking Tents: How to Choose
- Campsite Organization
- Camping Checklist
- Backpacking Tents: How to Choose
Buying a tent? 10 handy tips to help you make the best purchase
So you’re looking to purchase a tent? That’s fantastic! So you’re stumped as to where to begin? That’s perfectly OK! Purchasing a tent is comparable to the purchase of a car, a dress or a suit, golf equipment, or even a bottle of wine, among other things. Confusion results from having too many options. And being indecisive might lead to making poor decisions or even giving up. Don’t be concerned; assistance is on the way. Follow these helpful advice from our friends at Go Camping Australia to avoid making rookie mistakes when it comes to selecting a tent for your next camping trip.
1.Consider the number of people using the tent
Always, always disregard the notion that a four-person tent can only accommodate four people. It is not the case. It may only sleep three people, but for a relaxing experience, two people would be the most appropriate number to sleep in such a tent. According to the specs of, instance, a four-person tent, four people would be crammed into a small area with no room for luggage or other belongings. As a result, a family of four should consider purchasing a six-person tent. This will allow you to have more space for bedding as well as smaller storage rooms for clothing and other belongings.
Consider how much space you will require in that tent, as well as what you will want to store in the tent with you.
Consider the height of adult campers – really tall people will need to sleep in a position that does not require them to curl up in a ball. Make a note of your own dimensions as well as the measurements of the tent you are considering. When it comes to tents, size does important.
2.Think about the conditions of use
Some tents are better suited to specific conditions than others. It is likely that a summer tent will be built of a lightweight material with plenty of ventilation and will not be intended for use in severe circumstances. A three-season tent will be more likely to withstand heavy rain and winds, as well as to give shelter from the elements. As a result of our milder climate, true winter tents are probably not very frequent in Australia. If, on the other hand, you intend to camp in snow, you will need a winter tent rather than a three-season one.
If you are merely a “fair-weather camper” – that is, if you only want to camp when the weather is calm and sunny – your tent does not need to be the most expensive on the market.
3.Consider ease of use
In the store, I came across this beautiful tent with plenty of rooms and storage facilities – it can accommodate up to ten people. But how long did it take to put everything together? Was it necessary to raise a tiny army? When selecting a tent, you should take this into consideration. That it would take a long time and several of them was something I was informed by the seller – and they were the experts! Simply put, you do not want to be forced to spend hours upon arriving at your destination attempting to set up a tent; whether you are traveling alone or have enlisted the help of your disgruntled children who simply want to play and not pass you poles and pegs.
In the event that it is feasible, attempt to have the tent setup in the shop, however this may not always be a realistic choice.
Locate the tent you are interested in, or one that is comparable, then watch the video that follows.
Also, seek for independent reviews rather than the manufacturer’s video, since the latter has a great interest in making it appear as if it is simple to put up a tent as possible.
4.Make note of the tent’s material
The material of the tent should be carefully examined since it may have an impact on your decision to acquire it. Tents made of canvas (cotton) are waterproof, but they become quite heavy once the water has been absorbed into the fabric. They are, on the other hand, long-lasting and do not degrade as quickly as, for example, nylon. Tents made of nylon and polyester are also waterproof, although they will deteriorate over time if exposed to direct sunshine. When using these tents, make sure that the seams have been properly sealed to guarantee that they are waterproof.
- Rip-stop fabric will be found on high-quality tents.
- We have updated several of our tent poles to higher-quality models in order to assure that they will function properly when we need them to.
- Despite the fact that it is an important component of the tent, it is sometimes disregarded.
- Check that the zip is of good quality, that it glides freely, that it does not catch on the cloth, and that it is not rusting.
The fly must be nylon waterproofed with polyurethane or polyurethane and silicone coatings, or it will not function well. In order to give the most amount of protection from the weather, a fly should be large enough to cover the whole tent, including windows and entrances.
5.Consider the weight of your tent
Will you be required to transport this tent over long distances? Is it intended for use as a vehicle camping site? Some of the larger tents are incredibly heavy to handle, especially when transporting them from the car to the campground. Are you confident in your ability to handle this on your own? The bags of some family tents are so huge that we were unable to fit them on our roof rack when they were in their bags. So bear it in mind before making a buying decision. In addition, you’ll need some significant power to get the tent up on the roof of your car in the first place.
6.Think about the tent’s ventilation
For those who haven’t experienced the horrors of waking up in a tent in the morning to find everything dripping wet, this article will serve as an introduction. Your clothes has come into contact with the tent’s sidewalls and is now soaked. Your bedding is sopping wet, and condensation is forming all over your tent. It is for this reason that ventilation is so important.
- Look for tents that have enough ventilation even when the rain fly is attached. Seek for vents that are strategically located so that condensation may be minimized.
7.Be aware of additional features
Aside from the characteristics given above, what else are you searching for in a tent? Consider what is essential to you in terms of your camping experience and your personal goals. Some considerations you might wish to think about are as follows:
- The number of doors: two doors are good since it eliminates the need to climb over someone else. The number of windows: this is significant for ventilation purposes. Storage pockets help to keep the tent less crowded and make it easier to find important objects. The size of the awning provides additional shelter from the weather. Possibility of purchasing additions to match the tent and your requirements (for example, an extra-large canopy)
8.Don’t overlook the flooring
The floor of a family tent that will see a lot of action must be sturdy and long lasting. Make certain that the flooring is constructed of a robust material. In the center of our family tent is a bucket-shaped floor that is made of 500D Polyester PU fabric. The flooring should keep you and your possessions safe from any wetness that may leak into your tent, but I would recommend leaving a ‘footprint’ on the ground of each tent you use to keep track of where you’ve been. For protection from the ground and to keep your tent from becoming scratched, you should use a footprint, which is a piece of cloth or tarp that has been precisely created and shaped to put under your tent.
This footprint will be firmer than the bottom of your tent, allowing you to save money on tent maintenance.
Tyvek (a construction material) may be used, which demonstrates how simple the footprint can be!
9.Have a price in mind
This is a significant choice for everyone involved. How much money should you spend on a tent? We all have various financial constraints, but I will emphasize that excellence comes at a cost. Purchasing a low-cost tent can end up costing you more money in the long run if the tent fails you. Without a doubt, not everyone has the means to spend a small amount on a tent, but occasionally the truly, very cheap tents are that way for a purpose. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself the following question: Why is this tent so inexpensive when compared to others with the same features?
Another element to consider is the environment in which you anticipate the tent to be able to function.
When you’ve decided on a certain tent, do some comparison shopping.
Don’t buy a tent from a store unless you’ve done some research on how much other businesses are offering the tent for.
Take note of any deals that may be going on – certain manufacturers may provide discounts of up to 40-50 percent on tents at particular periods of the year. We purchased our family tent during one of these sales since we could not have afforded it at full price. As a result, we waited.
10.Is after-sales service part of the deal?
Situation: You have just acquired a fantastic tent, but something goes wrong with it. When you return to the manufacturer, they don’t want you to know who you are. As a result, after-sales service is more crucial than the service you received when you purchased the tent. Before making a purchase, research the company that is manufacturing the tent you are contemplating. Check out its website to see what it has to say regarding flaws and other issues. People who have dealt with the firm have left evaluations on blogs and discussion forums regarding their experiences.
Also, make sure you read the tiny print, which outlines what a warranty covers and does not cover.
Once again, conducting online research will be beneficial in determining this.
Now is the time to book your next BIG4 vacation.
How Do I Buy a Tent?
When you join up for Outside+ today, you’ll receive a $50 discount off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover a variety of brand-name goods handpicked by our gear editors. There are a plethora of tents available on the market, making it difficult to select the most appropriate one. Big ones, little ones, versions for vehicle camping and thru-hiking, all of them are available. We’ve put together this straightforward guide to assist you in making the best tent purchase possible.
Decide on Use
It’s ideal if you’re brutally honest with yourself in this situation. Is that ultralightweight tent really necessary, or can you get away with something a bit heavier (and hence less expensive) because you’ll only be out for overnight and weekend trips? Will you have enough time to go backpacking, or should you just buy a cheap car-camping tent to use while traveling?
Decide on Size
If you’re going vehicle camping, it’s a good idea to invest in a large tent. It’s far larger than you require. Make a nuisance of yourself. Dogs and children will have plenty of area to run about in, and you’ll like having the extra space to roll around in. Buy a tent that is one person larger than you will need if you are going hiking. You and your boyfriend are the only ones here? Opt for a three-person tent instead. Again, you’ll have extra space to keep your belongings, and the weight penalty isn’t that significant.
Pay Attention to Weight
If you’re going to be hauling a tent around on your back, opt for a backpacking-specific type, which will most likely be composed of lightweight materials to save weight. Some individuals have inquired about non-freestanding tents that use guylines rather than specific tent poles, and I have responded positively.
Thru-hikers will appreciate their ultralightweight design, but typical hikers will find freestanding tents considerably easier to put up and yet very compact. When you’re vehicle camping, weight isn’t a concern at all.
Know What Kind of Weather You’ll Be Camping In
Are you planning a backpacking trip in the Olympic Peninsula? To camp successfully, you’ll need a solid three-season tent with a bomber fly and a strong vestibule to keep your belongings dry. Car camping in the southwestern United States? With a two-season tent, you can get away with less—just make sure it can shelter you from the sun and has enough of vents to keep air moving when the temperatures increase. Unless you’re planning on winter camping in high-alpine regions, you won’t need a four-season tent.
Pay Attention to Packability
Although weight is the most essential factor to consider, you need also make sure that your tent will fit in your backpack or can be simply strapped to the exterior of it. Once you’ve purchased the tent, try putting it into its stuff sack and consider the most efficient method to split the burden across many packs.
Pitch Before You Buy
Getting inside a tent and experiencing its spaciousness is one thing. But getting inside a tent and experiencing its spaciousness is something quite other. One three-person tent design may appear to be larger than another three-person tent design, so try to visit a camping store where your tent is already set up before making your final decision.
This isn’t as big of a concern with car camping tents, but it’s important to study reviews before purchasing a hiking tent for long periods of time. Most shelters these days are rather well constructed, but you should check internet reviews before spending several hundred dollars.
Research Ease of Use
This is something that may be found through an online search or, better yet, through a chat with a camping shop clerk. In today’s world, most tents are quite self-explanatory, but some are more difficult to set up in a gale-force wind or in complete darkness than others. Advice: Before going camping, set up your tent in your garden to become comfortable with the process. Are you ready? Here are some suggestions for things to buy.
You’ll be using these tents to establish speed records or to complete thru-hikes on the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide trails, among other places. What to Purchase: We are huge fans of everything we’ve tried from the Hyperlite Mountain Gear collection, especially the Eco II Ultralight Shelter, which keeps you dry and protected from pests while just weighing a little more than half a pound in total.
The following are the kind of tents you’ll want for weekend or weeklong hiking trips where speed isn’t a consideration. What to Purchase: Half Dome tents from REI are a general favorite of mine that I’ve been using for many years. They’re simple to operate, somewhat light, and reasonably priced.
In established sites or as a base camp while parking off a forest road, these are the tents that you’ll set up your tents in. What to Purchase: I purchased a Coleman 6P Fast Pitch Cabin for my brother and his family since it is simple to erect, owing to the use of color-coordinated poles.
Your Complete Guide to Buying the Perfect Camping Tent
Are you ready to spend the night in the great outdoors? The good news is that you won’t require much to get started. Everything else you’ll need is an adventurous spirit, a sleeping bag, a headlamp, and, of course, a tent. A comfy tent (though hammock camping may be an experience in and of itself!) makes sleeping in the wild outdoors a bit more pleasant for the majority of people. Tents are generally straightforward, but there are a few important decisions to make before purchasing one. These include determining what type of tent you want, how big you want it to be, and which features are most important to you, as these will all have a significant impact on the price of the tent.
It is possible to use a high-end tent for decades if you treat it with a little additional care at the conclusion of each trip. Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing a new camping tent, as well as some pointers on how to choose the best option for you.
When shopping for tents, you’ll discover that the sizes are determined by the individual. A one-person tent offers enough space for one person to lie comfortably in a sleeping bag, but there won’t be much additional space for stuff in a one-person tent. It’s possible that you’ll have enough room in your tent for your bag if you’re on the smaller side. In certain two-person tents, two people can be accommodated side by side, but this is only if you don’t mind being directly opposite one other.
Three-person tents are perfect for two people who want a little additional space, however some businesses also offer 2.5-person tents, which are ideal for couples who want a little more space, or for a couple that wants to bring their dog along with them.
It’s not necessary to care about your tent’s weight or size when car camping (parking immediately next to your campsite in a campground), but keep in mind that buying a tent much larger than you require will make you feel cooler (your body heat warms the air in the tent, so the less empty space there is, the better.) You’ll want to keep your tent as compact as possible if you’re backpacking in order to reduce the amount of weight you’re carrying on the trails.
Mountain Safety Research (MSR) employs a senior product designer, Terry Breaux, who says he has worked on a number of different projects “It’s usually better to crawl inside a few tents before making a final decision on which one to buy.
Types of Tents
What size and style of tent do you require? What sort of camping you’re planned on doing will determine how long you’ll need. Backpacking tents are the most “technical” tents available, since they are designed for performance and adverse weather conditions. These tents are designed with both durability and weight in mind, with the purpose of making them as light as possible while yet providing enough protection. Tents are divided into two categories: freestanding tents and tents that require stakes to be set up.
However, because they are unable to stand on their own, they are not recommended for use in rocky terrain where it is impossible to drive stakes into the ground.
However, it also implies that they are quite confined on the inside.
In comparison to regular camping tents, car camping tents are bigger, sometimes constructed of heavier fabrics, and may include additional amenities that add weight, such as built-in lighting or zippered windows.
Tents aren’t difficult to understand, but there are a few important phrases to understand while you’re shopping about.
- Rainfly: The rainfly is the cover that protects your tent from the elements. Not all basic car-camping tents are equipped with these, but the majority of them are. The rainfly is a separate piece of cloth that protects you from the weather while still allowing air to flow inside your tent, which helps to prevent condensation from forming inside it. If the weather is nice and sunny, and there is no chance of rain, you may decide not to use the rainfly. A good option for stargazing, especially if your tent’s roof is made of mesh (as most are), is to pitch your tent on its side. Vestibule: It is the region outside your tent but still covered by your rainfly that is known as the vestibule. When the sun goes down, it’s where most people store their luggage and shoes for the night so they don’t take up valuable tent space
- Towels on the tub’s floor: While the majority of your tent will likely be constructed of mesh, the floor will always be made of a more durable, water-resistant material. Many tents have this material that reaches a few inches up the sides, much like the sides of a bathtub. This helps to keep water out of your tent in the event of rain or snow, and it eliminates the need to use an atarp or special mat under your tent to stay dry. Poles and stakes are used in a variety of situations. The poles are placed inside your tent to keep it open, and the stakes are placed in the ground to keep it standing erect. Poles are always able to be folded up for simple storage.
Suzie Dundas is a woman who works in the fashion industry.
How Much Should a Tent Cost?
The price you will pay for a tent is determined by your priorities. Alternatively, if you only want a basic tent for vehicle camping and aren’t concerned with its weight or quality, you may buy perfectly serviceable tents at big-box retailers such as Target or on Amazon. These tents are also suitable for camping and music festivals, as well as for family gatherings. “An expensive tent will normally be lighter in weight than a cheaper tent because of the materials used to construct it. Some of the more expensive tents are also intended for specialized purposes.
Trekking tents are available at a reasonable price (about $100), but they typically weigh 5 to 7 pounds, which is too hefty for most people to carry on lengthy backpacking expeditions.
If you want a moderately sized packed tent (about 18 inches length by 6 or 7 inches in diameter) that weighs less than 4 pounds, you’ll most likely be looking at tents in the $200-$250 price range.
If you want a large, lightweight, robust tent that can be used for winter camping and that can be folded into a tiny package, you can expect to invest at least $500.
What Features Do You Need?
If you want to use your tent for backpacking or camping in frigid weather, look for arainfly to protect your gear. The rainfly enables for the majority of the body of your tent to be made of mesh, which improves ventilation (which keeps you dry in case of frost or condensation). If your tent does not have a rainfly, it is likely to have windows or vents towards the top, making it more suitable for usage in the backyard or at a drive-in campsite. Tent poles are classified into two categories: inexpensive poles made of materials such as fiberglass, and more expensive poles made of materials such as aluminum (made from aluminum or, in high-end tents, carbon.) Due to the fact that fiberglass isn’t as sturdy as other metals, tents with fiberglass poles will often be a little thicker and heavier, and they will be more likely to break or crack in high winds.
- Aluminum is a common material for camping tents, while carbon fiber is the ideal material for tents that may be exposed to strong winds.
- The guy wires and loops that are linked to your rainfly will assist you in keeping it taut and secure in high winds or stormy weather.
- If there is only a slight breeze, you can always choose to forego securing the guylines altogether.
- Most tents have only one main zipper, which helps to keep the weight of the tent down.
However, if someone has to get out of the house in the middle of the night, they may have to climb over one another. Look for a tent that has a zipper entrance on both sides to make entering and exiting the tent a little more convenient.
Maintenance and Storage
Owner of Technical Equipment Cleaners Daniel Cates advises customers to “keep everything clean and dry!” The firm, which is located in California, cleans and repairs outdoor equipment such as ski clothes, sleeping bags, and tents. When it comes to tents, mold is the most typical problem we encounter. Cates advises that after returning from a camping trip, you should carefully wash the tent and rainfly with a little detergent and water and allow it to dry completely before putting it away.” “Even the tiniest amount of moisture can result in mold growth.” Keeping it inside, in a room that is not subjected to extreme temperature or illumination swings, was also advocated by Cates (so avoid the garage or basement).
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What to Look for When Buying a Tent
All of these groupings will be organized according to some general criteria, but the specific usage will let you choose which characteristics are most significant. We spoke with a range of tent specialists, ranging from tent designers to experienced thru-hikers and testers, to find out what qualities to look for and how to check for them. According to their professional guidance, we’ve devised these criteria to utilize when evaluating tents for our own product evaluations; you’ll want to keep these characteristics in mind if you’re shopping for a tent of your own.
Tent Evaluation Criteria
When testing, we evaluate the tents we review by putting them through their paces in the setting for which they were designed, as described above. W/S (Weight-to-Spaciousness) Ratio For hikers, this is the most critical measurement to know. A 20-pound tent is not something you want to be hauling about on a hiking trip, but there is a limit to how light you can go. In the words of Reed, “It doesn’t matter whether your tent weighs less than one pound as long as it leaks water on the route.” According to the manufacturer, “ripstop nylon compounds are used in tent fabrics to assist prevent tearing.” In a similar vein, more tent area is often associated with a more comfortable camping experience, so it may be worthwhile to carry a bit additional weight in exchange for a little more space.
- For a lightweight tent, seek for one that at the very least allows you to sit up in it comfortably.
- If weight isn’t your primary issue and you expect to stay in your tent for more than a few days at a time, you may want to consider a heavier tent that allows you to stand up comfortably.
- Durability With moderate use, a decent tent should last you at least four or five years at the very least.
- Besides nylon or polyester textiles, Rosenbrien suggests looking for aluminum poles and aluminum or polyester poles.
- Unfortunately, this will not provide an accurate measurement of long-term durability, but it will provide an indication of overall durability.
- The ease with which a tent may be set up and taken down makes a significant difference for both novice and expert campers.
- We’ll see how long it takes with one person and how long it takes with two individuals (or up to however many people the tent is supposed to hold).
- Unless you want to completely abandon your camping vacation if there is even a 5 percent chance of rain (which, again, is absolutely OK), you’ll want a tent with a solid rainfly or waterproofing built in.
Whatever your reasons for not camping in damp circumstances, let’s face it: crap happens to good people all the time. Even if you do receive a sprinkling (or a downpour), good waterproofing will ensure that your camping experience will not be ruined.
Tent Buying Guide: Finding the Best Tent for Your Trip 2022
Choosing the best tent for your needs is a significant choice. When selecting a camping tent, it is important to evaluate the wide range of types, features, and applications available. To make things easier, we’ve put together this easy and practical tent purchase guide to assist you in finding a suitable shelter so that you can get back outside and away from the internet. The most important thing to think about is what you’ll be doing. Will you be car camping in a large vehicle with plenty of space and no weight restrictions?
You don’t want to be surprised by the fact that you made the incorrect decision when tented above treeline in adverse weather, do you?
Prior to making a tent purchase, however, there are a few important characteristics to keep in mind.
- Tents that are the most extravagant and expensive
- The best camping equipment and accessories
When selecting a tent, consider your personal adventure style first. Do you want to be able to sleep under the stars even on the coldest winter evenings when the snow is falling? Alternatively, do you only want a dependable tent for a few casual summer campouts? The first aspect to consider when choosing a tent is the season. This will guarantee that you are comfortable on every journey. Three-season tents are meant to withstand severe weather conditions in the spring and autumn, such as wind and rain, but they are not intended to withstand more extreme weather conditions.
Take into consideration both the denier and the waterproof rating of your tent when evaluating its weather resistance.
Another important feature to look for is the waterproof rating (measured in millimeters), which tells you how much hydrostatic pressure the tent’s material can withstand before it starts to leak.
Read more:How to Camp in the Rain
Tents are now available in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate a wide range of wilderness travelers, from ultralight shelters for backpackers who prefer to travel alone to huge backcountry basecamps that are ideal for campers who want to travel with their belongings. When assessing a tent’s potential livability, keep in consideration the square footage and peak height, as well as the design of the tent. Many ultralight tents have enough space for you to sit up in your sleeping bag, but they don’t provide much more than shoulder room, whereas bigger tents meant for vehicle camping provide enough space for you to stand up comfortably.
Consider the number of individuals who will be able to fit comfortably inside the tent. When going camping, there are four-person tents that can accommodate your friends and family. There are also tents that are large enough to accommodate entire families when necessary.
Read more:Best Family Tents on Amazon
If you’re looking for a lightweight tent to throw in your trunk for car camping trips, size and weight aren’t likely to be a key consideration. If you won’t be concerned about your weight, go for it. The recommended number of people will be listed in the tent name for the majority of tents. When it comes to accommodating children, pets, friends, chairs, and a slew of other accoutrements, the larger the tent, the better. For those searching for a reliable tent to use on wilderness trips, the weight and dimensions of the tent make a significant impact.
In addition, some minimalist tent types include a waterproof fly that can be used as a stand-alone shelter when the weather permits it, which helps to further reduce pack weight.
Other Tent Accessories
It is important to consider the following supplemental accessories when purchasing a tent. These additions will increase the life of your tent and make camping more comfortable for you and your family. A footprint or camping tarp is essentially a ground cover that is tailored to the size of your tent and serves as a barrier against seeping moisture during the night while on the trail. A tarp also serves as an additional layer of protection against abrasion when camping on rough terrain, as described above.
A synthetic seam sealant may also assist to guarantee that your backcountry shelter remains waterproof, which is especially important for tents that get a lot of rough and tumble use over a lengthy period of time.
Read more:Best Camping Tarps
The finest rooftop tentsprovide an elevated car-camping experience that is one step closer to sleeping in a camper than the average rooftop tent. Additionally, in addition to keeping you off the ground, which might bring peace of mind in areas known for poisonous species, roof-top tents are often equipped with a built-in mattress pad, which ensures that you sleep on an absolutely level resting surface. Furthermore, once mounted, roof-top tents are simple to erect, however they take up valuable storage space that could otherwise be used to store kayaks, bicycles, or surfboards.
iKamper SkyCamp 2.0
The iKamper SkyCamp 2.0 is a roomy roof-top getaway that can accommodate up to four people and can be set up in less than a minute. Camping in comfort is made possible by the hardshell tent’s king-size mattress and quilted interior. On clear evenings, the three-layered windows allow campers to gaze at the stars via the tent’s three-layered windows.
Tuff Stuff Ranger Roof Top Tent
The Ranger Roof Top Tent from Tuff Stuff is a great alternative for summer vacations because it is lightweight and easy to transport. The softshell tent offers enough for three people and has a comfortable sleeping pad as well as three mesh windows for catching a cross-breeze.
For additional storage, there’s a hammock attached to the tent poles, as well as a shoe bag that connects to the tent poles and is excellent for storing boots and other goods. Tuff Stuff has donated $1,650 to the cause.
Tents for Car Campers
When it comes to vehicle camping, there are several advantages, such as the possibility to carry fully-stocked coolers, hammocks that are suitable for lounging, and comfortable camp chairs. And, because you won’t have to worry about the weight of your tent, you’ll be able to spend more money on more roomy accommodations, which is always a benefit on group camping trips, especially on wet days.
Eureka Copper Canyon LX
Everyone who enjoys vehicle camping needs a tent that is simple to put up, and the Eureka Copper Canyon LX is the ideal tent for the task. One person can easily erect Eureka’s airy Copper Canyon shelter, which can accommodate up to six people and is made of steel and fiberglass. It is equipped with fast clips, corner hubs, and pole sleeves, making it a breeze to erect. In terms of floor dimensions, the Copper Canyon is an absolute fortress, with floor measurements of 120 by 120 inches and a peak height of 84 inches, offering adequate space for standing (or stretching) and laying down numerous sleeping bags.
Poweport, a zippered smart feature, keeps everyone’s electronics charged while they’re out in the wilderness, which comes in useful when disaster strikes.
Rei Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent
The Base Camp, which was designed for size, comfort, and utility, makes an excellent pseudo-retreat home. The tent’s 110-by-110-inch floor area provides ample space for six campers and all of their belongings to comfortably stay inside together. The roof vents of the tent serve as a makeshift chimney, allowing for proper ventilation and condensation management, while the utilitarian pockets and hang loops keep everyone’s outdoor gear in order. The Base Camp is a tent that combines comfort and functionality, making it a good choice for when you want to go on an all-weekend outdoor adventure, rain or shine.
Tents for Backpackers
Finding the ideal backpacking tent is all about striking a balance between weight, packed size, and sturdiness of construction. While you want a lightweight tent that won’t take up too much room in your pack, you also want a shelter that will stand up to anything Mother Nature throws at you on the trail — especially if you’re going on a winter camping trip or an expedition at high altitude.
Marmot Limelight 2-Person Tent
Even though it is not the lightest option for the path, Marmot’s Limelight 2 is a durable three-season shelter with plenty of space for two hikers — or a solitary hiker and a large canine companion. For further protection from the weather, the tent is equipped with a footprint. The tent’s color-coded poles provide for quick and simple set-up in the wilderness. An ambient light source is provided by a lampshade pocket on the inside, and the vestibules that support the tent provide an extra 16.5 feet of area for boots and bags on top of the 33 square foot inside space.
Sea to Summit Telos TR2
A flexible three-season alternative for minimalist travelers, the Sea to Summit Telos TR 2 is a 3 pound, 10.7-ounce tent with thoughtful details that make the tent wonderfully livable despite its lightweight design. There are apex and baseline vents to assist internal ventilation, and tension ridges to maximize the amount of space available within. The tent may be set up in “hangout mode” for warm-weather camping trips, resulting in an open shelter that’s also great for beach days and other outdoor activities.
The FairShare storage system allows the tent to be divided three ways, which reduces the amount of weight carried on the path. The storage sack for the tent’s poles even serves as a Lightbar, which can be used to generate ambient interior illumination with the addition of a headlamp.
Tents for Extreme Adventures
A four-season tent is the greatest option for explorers who want to be able to sleep outside in any weather. Four-season tents, which are built to endure cold temperatures, slapping winds, and piling snowfall, are well worth the investment for trips in harsh environments.
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4
The Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 is an excellent basecamp for those seeking protection from blizzard conditions. In addition to fully taped seams and a bathtub-style nylon floor, the four-season shelter provides enough interior space to comfortably gather when camping above treeline in hammering rain or accumulating snow. And with 57 square feet of interior space, there’s plenty of space to comfortably gather when camping above treeline in harsh conditions.
Tent Alternatives: Bivies, Tarps, and Hammocks
If you really want to keep things as simple as possible, consider a bivy bag, a tarp, or one of the finest hammocks for camping. Bivies are waterproof bags that wrap around your entire sleeping bag, with a short tent pole wrapped over your head to keep you from getting wet. These shelters, which can be packed down to the size of a water bottle, will keep you dry, but they won’t provide much else. A normal tent is recommended if you need enough room for two people or just want to be more comfortable on the route.
Other Things to Consider When Buying a Tent
Outdoor equipment is available for hire at a number of outdoor establishments. Try renting from a few different manufacturers to examine the variations and choose whether or not you favor particular characteristics of each one of them. For example, you could particularly appreciate the way one brand’s zippers feel, or the way another brand’s poles are assembled. The fact that so many tents are nearly identical means that the smallest details may make all the difference.
Test Your Tent in the Backyard
You want to be able to set it up on your own without any assistance. Is it possible for you to really put it up yourself? Do you require assistance from a third party? How difficult do you think it will be to assemble the poles on your own? Learning the setup procedure in your own backyard can prepare you for what to anticipate at the end of a hard day of hiking when it’s dark and raining sideways in the mountains. Pro tip: Have a BBQ and make a wager on who can set up the tent in the shortest amount of time!
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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Tent
So you’ve decided to get a tent. Perhaps this is your first time, or perhaps you’re upgrading. Regardless, the number of options available might be overwhelming. However, like with other gear purchases, if you grasp some fundamental ideas and consider how you want to utilize your shelter, you will be able to restrict your focus and feel confident in your decision. First and foremost, you’ll want to be familiar with the most fundamental words you’ll most likely encounter when shopping for a tent: When it comes to shelter, this is the most general phrase that can be used to describe the diverse range of materials available that will (hopefully) keep you sheltered from the elements throughout your outdoor excursion.
- Tent fly— A tent fly is a waterproof cover that protects the contents of the tent.
- Vestibule— A weather-protected region between the fly and the tent that can be used for storing goods that has to be protected but is not necessarily within the tent.
- Single-layer tents are waterproof on their own and do not require a fly to function properly.
- Double-layer shelters consist of a tent, which is commonly made of mesh panels that are not waterproof, and a fly, which helps to keep the shelter dry and weather tight.
- 4-season—Flies that reach all the way to the ground, sturdy poles, durable fabrics, and a plethora of tie-down choices are all features of four-season tents.
- Stagger your shelter to the ground in the wind and keep the tent and fly taut, preventing the tent from leaking.
Stakes are also useful for keeping your shelter from blowing away in the wind. Guy-lines—Guy-lines are lengths of rope that run from pegs in the ground, trees, or other permanent objects to the tent or fly, assisting the tent in performing the functions for which it was designed and constructed.
Free-standing vs. non-free-standing shelter
When most people think of tents, they think of free-standing structures like sheds or garages. They are normally constructed of poles, doors, and a floor, and they are designed to be self-supporting. While most free-standing tents come with a fly and are consequently double-wall tents, there are a few that are single-wall. Regardless, they are available in a variety of styles, and they are typically considered to be the most handy and adaptable sort of tent that can be purchased. There are several advantages to using a free-standing tent.
- It is possible to leave the tent fly off if the weather forecast indicates that it will be pleasant, which can reduce weight on short backcountry expeditions.
- You may “fast-pitch” your tent by utilizing the ground fabric, poles, and fly to quickly put together a structure that will keep you safe from the weather (but not from the bugs!).
- Manufacturers also frequently utilize lighter, more fragile materials in an effort to save weight, which can make them more sensitive and vulnerable to damage like as holes and tears in the textiles, broken zippers, and snapped poles, among other things.
- Even yet, free-standing dome tents remain the tent of choice for the vast majority of recreational campers, trekkers, and paddlers out on the open water.
- New technologies such as pop-up and inflatable tents are also available, as are other types of tents.
- Following your session, the tent can be folded back into its bag – this is excellent for car camping or music festivals, among other things.
- For non-free-standing shelters to work properly, some form of on-site engineering is required to complete the project.
- These tepee-style shelters may also be constructed using trekking poles (or a stick).
- The simplicity of non-free-standing shelters is one of their most appealing features.
- In most cases, they are also less expensive than free-standing shelters, which is a plus.
Narrowing your search
The cost, size, and weight of a tent are likely to be the most important considerations for most individuals when purchasing a tent. The two are connected, of course: tents intended to be small and light (think ultra-light, free-standing tents), or tents with a bigger footprint and hence more weight, tend to be more expensive. In general, before purchasing a tent, you should ask yourself the following questions: 1) Where do I intend to spend the most of my time camping? Consider the following: wilderness vs.
- dry environment (single or double wall), high elevation vs.
- 2) With whom will I spend the most of my time camping?
- Do they have a phobia of bugs or a dislike of being wet and muddy?
- Are you a summer-only camper, do you like to sleep beneath the stars in the shoulder season, or do you have plans to go winter camping this year?
- Which category do you fall into?
- In short, spend 80 percent of your time thinking about how you’re going to utilize the tent.
- If you camp with your husband and dog on a regular basis, consider purchasing a bigger tent to accommodate everyone. For example, if there are two of you, you should get a three-person tent. However, you won’t have to deal with Rex napping on your shoulders the remainder of the time if you’re traveling alone.
- Specifically, do you intend to use your tent mostly for hiking or paddling excursions? When in doubt, consider investing a little extra money on an ultra-lightweight and compact, double-layer tent that is simple to pack into tight spaces and that also allows you to “fast-pitch” it when the weather is good.
- Because weight isn’t a problem for the fair-weather, car-camping family that only goes out a couple of times a summer, anything from Cabella’s or a nice go-to like theREI Kingdom tent will suffice. Family tents may be purchased with additional capacity for greater comfort
- For example, a family of four would wish to consider a 5- or even 6-person tent for added space.
- You should select a high-quality double-layer free-standing tent if you want to camp in the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest. Despite the fact that it will be a little more difficult to transport, it will keep you drier, which will make you more comfortable and happy when it pours sideways for five days straight.
Once you’ve determined your preferred camping style, you can begin narrowing down your options. Talk to your friends about it and look at evaluations of the various designs. Then choose a shelter that is compatible with your priorities as well as your financial situation. Avoid the temptation to choose a shelter that is meant for the most severe form of adventure that you can imagine yourself going on. My first tent was a four-person, four-season monstrosity that I purchased with lofty dreams of spending a lot of time in the woods during the winter.
However, I spent much of my summer hiking excursions lugging around an unreasonably large and heavy tent.
Choose the best all-occasion tent
In terms of personal preference, I tend to want to do it all—car camping, backpacking, and self-supported SUP trips—but I don’t have the financial means to own a tent quiver. The reason for this is that I use a free-standing, double-layer tent for three people in three seasons, similar to this one. It offers the greatest degree of adaptability and accommodates my wife, myself, and our dog. Because it is free-standing, we can put it up on a variety of surfaces, including rock, sand, mud, and snow, making it useable everywhere from Moab all the way to Maine.
For a single trip, I’ll leave the tent body at home and “fast-pitch” using only a fly, a ground cloth, and the poles, leaving the tent body behind.
The majority of people will most likely perform well with a similar set up.
You may be purchasing one of the most significant and expensive pieces of outdoor equipment, but if you take the proper steps, you’ll end up with a tent that will offer you with years of camping pleasure.
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