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
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. 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
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.
- 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.
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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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.
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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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 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.
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. In this scenario, you just have to weigh the importance of comfort against the importance of durability.
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.
Can you tell me how simple it is to put up the tent? Is it necessary to bring a group? And how simple is it to erect and disassemble the structure? These are simple questions that are often ignored when purchasing a tent, but they may make or break your camping experience if not answered correctly. Instant and pop-up tents, for example, may be set up in 10 seconds or less (really), but other tents may require at least two people and 30 minutes to fully erect and insulate. If at all feasible, set up the tent in the shop.
To understand the setup and takedown procedure of the tent you intend to buy, watch a video of it or one that is similar to it before you buy it.
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.
Each type of tent material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Check out our post on What Material Are Tents Made of? (Guide to Tent Fabrics) for a comprehensive overview of the various tent material varieties, as well as their benefits and drawbacks.
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.
Ten things to consider before buying a tent
600311 Survival Common Sense | Emergency Preparedness | Survival Tips Survival Common Sense | Emergency Preparedness | Survival Tips Are you considering purchasing a new tent for the next camping season? Here are a few things to keep in mind. authored by Leon Pantenburg I told myself that only a fool would sleep in a hiking tent in July in Louisiana, as I listened to swarms of mosquitoes attempting to get past the netting in the morning. When I woke up in the morning, it was 95 degrees with high humidity in the upper 90s, and I was sweating profusely in my sleeping bag.
- On the other hand, I recall winter camping in Iowa on a night when the temperatures dropped to -10 below zero with a wind chill of almost -30.
- The summer camping season will shortly begin.
- Here are five things to think about when purchasing a tent.
- Before you leave the house, practice putting it up in the backyard.
- This is not an ideal way to begin your camping adventure.
- This provides you with more storage space.
- My wife and I are well accommodated in a three-man vehicle with lots of legroom.
Anything more than that might result in the area being exceeded.
Sean Jacox, a buddy and Eagle Scout, stands at six-foot-seven-inches tall and doesn’t fit in any of the usual places.
Make the necessary preparations.
During these kind of situations, a canvaswall tent comes in handy.
If you’re on the go every day or so, the extra time it takes to set one up might become a hindrance.
(Photo courtesy of Bob Patterson) Season: Consider when you will most likely go camping and which season will be the most appropriate.
(For further information, see how to pick a four-season tent.) However, a two-season garment is often worn in the spring and summer and will be significantly lighter, cheaper, and less hot.
In the summer, a winter tent might be uncomfortable, and vice versa.
What has truly occurred is that the material has stopped breathing, and without appropriate ventilation, some of these tents are as uncomfortable as sleeping in a plastic bag.
During the winter, the air flow may be quite chilly.
If that’s the case, keep looking.
If you have standing water or water flowing through your camp, a well-designed floor will protect the wet from seeping in and ruining your experience.
It won’t be as comfortable to camp in for an extended period of time, but you have to make some compromises in order to save weight.
However, if you’re heading to a commercial campsite with constructed tent pads, this might be a difficulty.
Stakes are required for the setup of many lightweight mountain tents.
Make careful to consider the potential severe scenarios in which the tent may be utilized.
More headroom translates to more wind resistance.
Then there will be a lot of planning to do.
In the event that this is a consideration, it will be cooler.
It also regulates ventilation, which, in turn, adjusts the temperature.
A two-season vehicle camping tent may include a partial fly as well as a large amount of mesh to allow for adequate ventilation.
When it comes to purchasing a tent, every individual is different, and what works for me may not work for you.
However, this list may assist you in making an informed decision. Please clickhereto visit and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel, andhereto sign up for our email newsletter – thank you!
Tent Buying Guide
We at GO Outdoors recognize that purchasing a tent is a significant financial commitment, and that the sheer number of various styles, shapes, sizes, and amenities available can be overwhelming. The purpose of this guide is to answer any concerns you may have before purchasing a tent, including clarifying what particular features signify and, more significantly, selecting the most appropriate type of tent for your camping style. What are the many types of tents available?
Pop up Tents
At GO Outdoors, we recognize that purchasing a tent is a significant financial commitment, and that the sheer number of various styles, shapes, sizes, and features available might be confusing. The purpose of this guide is to answer any concerns you may have before purchasing a tent, including clarifying what particular features signify and, more significantly, selecting the appropriate type of tent for your camping style. The numerous types of tents are described here.
In the style of a festival tent, but presumably only large enough for a couple and possibly an infant If you want to spend a bit more money on a festival tent than you would on a basic festival tent, this is the category for you. You may be looking for a larger living area or a porch where you can sit and relax at the end of the day to unwind. It’s simple and quick to set up and take down, making it perfect for those last-minute weekend getaways. Weekend Tents is a store that sells weekend tents.
Adventure / Festival Tents
Most people shopping for a festival tent are seeking for a reasonably priced choice, which is why we created this guide. When selecting a tent, always allow for one more person on the berth (for example, if you are camping with two people, search for a three-person tent). This will ensure that you have enough of space for your belongings. Because of the unpredictable nature of the British summer, we also recommend looking for a home with a built-in porch, which will allow you to dump your muddy wellies while keeping your sleeping room clean.
Festival Tents are available for purchase.
The size of a family tent varies based on the size of your family. From 3 berth to 10 berth, with a range of designs, areas, and other features to choose from A family tent would often include a big living area as well as many bedrooms. Family tents are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people in the United Kingdom want to holiday at home rather than paying to travel overseas. However, there is something a little more luxury about a family tent — it is a home away from home. These tents may also be customized with optional extras such as porches, tent rugs, and footprints, which can provide more room and comfort for your guests.
Inflatable tents, or ‘air tents,’ as they are commonly known, are the most up-to-date technology available on the market. Make no mistake about it, these tents are not bouncy castles as the name would imply. The inflatable aspect is intended to take the role of the traditional steel or fiber glass poles. Simply connect your pump to the inflatable beams and inflate them, and your tent will be ready in minutes. Increasingly popular among families and weekend campers alike, this kind of tent is becoming increasingly popular.
The beams are as strong as a regular tent pole, yet there is no fear of them breaking! Inflatable tents are equipped with technologies such as Vango’s Airbeam technology or Hi Gear’s AirGo technology, among others. Backpacking Tents are available for purchase.
When you travel with a backpacking tent, you may get away from the busy summer campgrounds and explore out into the wilds. These tents will be smaller in size in order to save weight and pack size, making them perfect for transporting in a backpack or other compact bag. Tunnel or geodesic shapes are commonly used in open locations such as fields, since they provide the finest combination of wind resistance, stiffness, and stability possible. Backpacking Tents are available for purchase.
Tent jargon explained
– The same as person (or man), this indicates the maximum number of people that a tent can accommodate. This is based on the number of people without baggage, so remember to include your bag and other equipment as a berth or person (for example, two guys with two bags will want a 3 or 4 berth tent, not a two berth tent!).
It is shown by the picture with rain clouds that the tent’s waterproof covering has a Hydrostatic Head rating of 1. (known as PU). As an example, a Hydrostatic Head of 1000 is required by law in order to label a tent as “waterproof,” hence most tents start at 2000 or more. The hydrostatic head of 2000-3000 should be sufficient for dealing with your typical British rainfall; the higher the hydrostatic head, the better the water protection provided by your tent.
In order to prevent anything from creeping into or out of the tent, the groundsheet is sewed to the walls. This also contributes to keeping the tent free of drafts.
– The tent’s outside fabric is made of polyester.
– Tents having a tunnel shape and a number of arched poles, which are often higher than other tents.
– Despite the fact that dome tents are often smaller, they may be fairly stable owing to the fact that the poles intersect in the centre of the tent.
Geodesic / Semi-Geodesic
With slight modifications in how the poles intersect, geodesic and semi-geodesic tents are quite sturdy when exposed to inclement weather. This style of tent is often designated for hiking and mountaineering expeditions.
Cotton Tents are those that are constructed of polyester cotton and that do not have a special Hydrostatic Head (as opposed to canvas tents). It acts similarly to a sponge, collecting water and then sealing up to form a rigid, solid fabric that allows water to bead off the tent’s surface. The advantage is that when the cloth dries, it opens up, allowing for maximum airflow and breathability.
D of E Recommended Kit
As the name implies, this pertains to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and denotes that the tent has been approved as being suitable for use on such trips.
How long should my tent last?
The lifespan of a tent might vary depending on how frequently it is used, the rigors it is subjected to, and the weather conditions it is exposed to while in use. It is possible to extend the life of your tent by using proper pitching techniques and ensuring that the tent is cleaned and dried out thoroughly after every usage.
The 3 types of Tent Pole
Tent poles made of fiber glass are the basic type that most people are familiar with. These poles are flexible, and they may be divided into portions that are kept together using elastic bands. These poles are lightweight, but they have the potential to split or shatter if subjected to substantial pressure. It is possible for the pole to bend, but if the pole is bent too far, it can snap, so if you feel tension on the pole when pitching your tent, double-check that you are pitching correctly to avoid a broken pole.
Replacement poles can be obtained, however they may need to be trimmed to the exact length of your tent.
Steel tent poles
Tents with steel poles are often more expensive and weigh more than tents without steel poles. These poles are commonly seen on certain big family tents, where they provide additional stability and strength.
The introduction of a tent with no poles at all is a first in the tent pole market. As an alternative to poles, the tent is equipped with sleeves or beams that can be inflated with a foot pump, generating an inflatable beam that is considerably stronger than you may expect. The Vango Airbeam and Hi Gear AirGo tents, which are now on the market, are equipped with this technology. Inflatable poles are an excellent alternative to traditional poles since they allow for a lot speedier and less difficult pitching process.
The more often you camp, the more likely it is that you will desire to extend your camping experience. Certain tents may be compatible with accessories and add-ons that will make your camping experience more enjoyable.
It is a type of groundsheet/tarp that is manufactured to order and may be pinned underneath your tent to provide an additional layer of insulation to make the inside of your tent warmer while also protecting the bottom of your tent from getting scratched, or even ripped, when it is in contact with the ground.
The tent carpet adds a touch of elegance to your tent, transforming it into a true home away from home. It also serves as an excellent insulator, keeping the warmth within the tent and preventing the tent floor from becoming cooler underfoot. Although it may appear to be a little more glam camping than some people prefer, a carpet may undoubtedly make the experience more pleasant, especially for extended vacations.
Do you like your tent, but wish it had a bit more space inside? It’s not an issue. Tent porches are tiny additions that may be used to store dirty gear or bicycles when the weather is nice. Additionally, Hi Gear porches feature a space across the bottom, which allows them to be properly ventilated enough to be used for cooking during Britain’s less than sunny summer weather.
When camping, a windbreak may be utilized for a variety of different purposes. Even while the most obvious application is to keep the wind out of your camping area, it may also be utilized to provide a bit more privacy to your camp site.
Is there anything more infuriating than breaking or bending a tent pole or a tent peg when camping? At GO Outdoors, we strive to provide all of the tent spares that you may require to resolve some of the most aggravating situations that might arise when camping. Our tent spares comprise the following items:
- Tent pegs, tent poles, tent repair kits, mallets, guy lines, tent cleaner, and tent proofer are all available.