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.
Make a note of your own dimensions as well as the measurements of the tent you are considering.
2.Think about the conditions of use
Disregard the notion that a four-person tent can accommodate four people at all times. This is not the case. Although it can accommodate three people, two people would be the most comfortable in such a tent for a nice experience. Four people would be squeezed into a four-person tent based on its specs, leaving no room for luggage or other belongings. As a result, a family of four should choose a tent that can accommodate six people comfortably. As a result, you’ll have more space for bedding as well as smaller storage rooms for clothes and other items.
Consider how much space you will require in that tent, as well as what you intend to bring with you into the tent.
Recognize the dimensions of your body and the tent you are considering.
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. Reviewers that are not affiliated with the firm are more likely to call out the flaws in their product.
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.
- 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.
A tent stake should always be used, although it does not have to be one from the tent’s manufacturer. Tyvek (a construction material) may be used, which demonstrates how simple the footprint can be!
9.Have a price in mind
You need a nice, sturdy floor for a family tent that will be used frequently. Take care to choose a robust material for the floor. Using 500D Polyester PU material, we created a bucket-shaped floor for our family tent. However, I would recommend that you place a ‘footprint’ on every tent you use to prevent moisture from seeping into your tent and damaging you and your things. 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 specially created and shaped to put under your tent.
Unlike your tent’s bottom, this footprint will be more durable and will help to extend the life of your tent.
Tyvek (a construction material) may be used, which demonstrates how simple the footprint can be.
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.
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
Tents are sized according to the individual who is purchasing them. There will be enough space in a one-person tent for one person to lie comfortably in a sleeping bag, but there won’t be much more space for other things. It’s possible that you’ll have enough place 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 they don’t mind being directly opposite one another. For couples, they’re perfect, but for casual pals, they could be a touch too near for comfort.
In the case of families with one or two small children, four-person tents will do, but if you have children who are elementary-school age or older, you’ll want to consider a six-person tent to guarantee that no one gets kicked in the head or smushed into a corner during the nighttime.
The Mountain Safety Research (MSR) team, led by Terry Breaux, a senior product designer, believes that “Preferably, crawling inside a few tents before purchasing one is the best option whenever feasible. See if the inside room is adequate for a storm or for playing card games with a companion.”
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).
Thank you for informing us about this!
Tent Buying 101: How to Find the Perfect Camping Shelter
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Request a Free Adventures Catalog by filling out the form below. Above: Patrick Hendry/Unsplash; Ben Duchac/Unsplash; Katya Austin/Unsplash; Tyson Dudley/Unsplash; James Kaiser/Unsplash
*PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, AND OARS WILL EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE AFTER CLICKING THROUGH THE LINK.
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
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 those unfamiliar with the term “footprint,” it is a ground cover that is tailored to the size of your tent and serves as a barrier against leaking moisture on trail evenings. When camping on difficult terrain, a footprint also serves as an added layer of protection against abrasion. Many varieties of tent are available with or without a footprint, however for other versions, the footprint must be purchased separately.
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 has room for three people and includes a comfortable sleeping mat 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 attaches to the tent poles and is perfect for storing boots and other gear. 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!
- Cross-country skiing is permitted in six spectacular national forests. In 2022, the best carbon fiber gear for outdoor enthusiasts will be available. In 2022, you’ll need the best outdoor gear for your adventures. The best bargains on affordable tents for February 2022
- Skiing Lessons for Beginners Can Be Learned at These 6 Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
What to Look For When Buying a Tent (10 Most Important Features)
When it comes to purchasing a tent, there are a variety of aspects to take into consideration. However, with so many different types of tents, features, price ranges, and other considerations, it might be tough to pick the right tent for you. This guide will walk you through the 10 most crucial elements to look for when purchasing a tent to make the process as simple as possible. Let’s get this party started!
What Should I Look For When Buying a Tent?
In order to assist you in selecting a camping tent that best suits your own camping style and requirements, we’ll begin with what is undoubtedly the most important consideration in any purchase.price!
Tents are similar to many other things on the market today in that you often get what you pay for. However, if you end up paying more money later on another tent because the poles of your first tent broke immediately or the tent shell ripped easily, you’ll effectively be spending more money in the long run than if you had purchased the first tent in the first place. “Why is this tent so much less expensive than the others?” you should ask yourself if you locate a good bargain on a tent. Check out all of the features and materials to see how well they hold up.
That is not to imply that you won’t be able to locate a good-quality, low-cost tent.
For further information, please see our article on the ideal time to buy a tent.
Also keep in mind that the price of camping equipment can vary greatly from one retailer to another, so be sure to browse around and compare costs. Tent retailers such as REI, Walmart, and Amazon are some of the greatest sites to find a good deal on a tent.
Size of Tent
The size of the tent is the second most significant factor to consider. You’ll want to make sure you have adequate space for your entire family or for the guests you want to have sleeping in the tent, as well as for all of their equipment, which is sometimes ignored. For example, a lightweight 2-person tent will comfortably accommodate two people. but not much more. As a result, we usually recommend purchasing a larger size when purchasing a camping tent. Similar: The Best Lightweight 2-Person Tent for Less Than $200 If you’re planning on sleeping in a tent with two people, you should buy a tent that can accommodate at least three people and their belongings to ensure that everyone has enough room (backpacks, sleeping bags, coolers, etc.).
In addition to tent capacity, headroom is an important factor when choosing a tent size.
When there is a lot of wind, though, they don’t hold up as well as dome tents.
There are several different varieties of camping tents, each of which is better suited to a certain region and weather condition. A summer tent will often be built of a lightweight fabric with plenty of ventilation; nevertheless, it will not be as durable as other types of tents under harsh weather conditions. A three-season tent, on the other hand, is better capable of withstanding severe rain and winds, as well as keeping you warmer on chilly nights. As a general rule, a tent with a decent waterproof rating is at least 3000hh or more.
The most important thing to remember is that you want to pick the proper sort of tent for the weather and circumstances that you will be experiencing while camping.
Ease of Use
How simple is it to put the tent together? Is it necessary to have a group of people? And how simple is it to erect and dismantle the structure? These are simple concerns that are often ignored when purchasing a tent, but they may make or break your camping experience. Instant or pop-up tents, for example, may be set up in 10 seconds or less (really), but other tents may require at least two persons and 30 minutes to fully set up. If at all feasible, set up the tent in the store.
Otherwise, there are a plethora of YouTube videos showing how to set up various types of tents. Find a video of the tent you wish to buy or one that is similar to it to have a better understanding of the setup and takedown procedure before you buy it.
Going on a camping trip or a lengthy hiking journey with your tent is something you should consider. Or are you planning on driving your vehicle all the way up to your campsite? Related: 7 Best Backpacking Tents for the Money It may be exceedingly difficult to transfer some of the bigger tents, even from their storage location to the camping area. Are you capable of dealing with this on your own? As a result, while purchasing a tent, consider its mobility. Keep in mind that portability is more than simply a matter of weight.
A tent that is difficult to carry or that doesn’t fold down well, even if it’s lightweight, may not be the ideal choice.
Bad ventilation might result in you waking up in a hot, stuffy, and wet tent when you should be sleeping. That is something no one wants! Consider purchasing a tent that has mesh ventilation that can be closed with a rain fly in case of poor weather in order to counteract inadequate ventilation.
Tents may be manufactured from a range of different types of materials (just to complicate the buying process further). Cotton, generally known as canvas, has long been one of the most widely used tent materials in the history of mankind. Despite their endurance, however, they are cumbersome and prone to mold and mildew issues in damp environments. The majority of modern-day tents are composed of man-made fibers such as polyester and nylon, which are lighter and more breathable. Waterproofing is achieved by applying a polyurethane coating or a silicone treatment to these materials, which makes them appropriate for use under extreme weather conditions.
Check out our post on What Material Are Tents Made of?
Tent durability is a very wide phrase that may refer to a variety of various things depending on the context. Nonetheless, we want to ensure that your tent is capable of withstanding any treatment or elements you expose it to in this situation. Essentially, you want a tent that is composed of strong materials, particularly the tent poles and canvas, and that will be able to resist the sort of camping you do – whether it’s pleasant weather camping, heavy snow, rain, and/or wind camping, or something else entirely.
When purchasing a large purchase, it is important to get familiar with the manufacturer’s warranty. Not only should you be aware of the warranty’s duration, but you should also be aware of what the warranty covers. Generally speaking, the longer and more comprehensive the warranty will be when a company has a high level of trust in their goods.
Look for a warranty that covers as much of the product as possible, such as a multi-year or lifetime guarantee. Tip: Check up customer reviews on shopping websites, blogs, and forums to get a clear feel of how the company treats its consumers, particularly in respect to warranty protection.
Additional Tent Features
We just went through the most significant tent purchasing recommendations and features to look for when shopping for a new tent. Keep reading to find out more. But what about the extra features that might help you get the most out of your tent camping excursion? The following are some typical qualities to look for in a camping tent, however every camper has a distinct concept of what is essential to them and what makes a perfect camping tent for them:
- It may be more convenient to enter and depart the tent if there are many tent entrances available. The number of windows in a tent may have a significant impact on the quantity of airflow and ventilation available. Built-in storage can aid in the organization and decluttering of your tent. A vestibule in a tent is an excellent feature since it allows you to put wet and muddy things outside the tent while keeping the interior clean and dry. When used properly, a rainfly may help shelter your tent from severe rain and snow while still providing adequate air flow. In order to protect the underside of your tent (and its floor) from sharp items on the ground, you should consider using a tent footprint or groundsheet.
Tent Hacker is made possible by donations from readers. It is possible that purchasing through links on our site will result in us receiving an affiliate commission. Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases.