Camping is never complete without the presence of a comfortable tent. Sometimes choosing the tent that suits your requirements might be a tough choice as the options out there are in abundance. Yet you need not worry about this as we have brainstormed all of the factors that will simply answer your question about how to choose a tent for camping!
Things to Consider before Buying a Tent:
How Much Space Do You Need?
The first thing that people desire while camping is comfort. Your tent should be a home away from your real home. To ensure this comfort you should keep an eye on the space of your tent.
Tents come in sizes meant for 1-person, 2-person, 3-person, and so on. This choice of sizes depends on how many individuals will be staying in the tent during the camp.
Experts always do suggest that you should get a tent that is 2 persons larger than the number of people who will be habituating in it. This will allow you to move or change sides without having to hit against the wall of your tents. So if you have a family of 4, you should go for a 6 person tent.
Another way to ensure your comfort after a long day of tiring adventures is by measuring the dimensions of the inside of the tent. Make sure it is fitted enough for you.
It’s also important to remember that you will have to bring along your luggage and gear. These will obviously need storing space. Therefore, keep them in the account along with the number of people.
After the dimensions what should concern you is the peak height of the tent. Now, let us explain what it is. Well, it is the height of the center of a tent.
Before buying a tent do check out the peak height. Well, as if it’s too low for your height then you might bump your head onto it frequently. This will cause inconvenience while moving around.
For most people bending over while moving around might sound like a great option but some people do feel uncomfortable while doing so. Don’t forget to check out our review of the best tents for tall people.
For the best purchase you might also keep these points in concern when it comes to the space inside the tent:
- Your height
- How much do you move around in your sleep?
- The pets or children
- Do you feel suffocated?
What Shape of Tent do You Prefer?
Another significant factor to recognize when it comes to buying tents is the shape of the tent. The shape of the tent actually determines several features like the peak height, the shape of the walls, the spaciousness, and the number of doors. Let’s break down the type of styles that are commonly seen:
The dome-shaped tent is the most spacious of them all. Alongside being spacious, it is also quite rigid, free-standing therefore they do not require stakes. They do have a lot of headspaces for you to wander around without having to hit the top.
However, the downside of this type of tent is that they don’t have a big porch area, and the more the size of the tent increases the less stable it becomes. Moreover, it’s easy to set up and is often affordable.
Ridge Tent or A-Frame tent
As the name suggests this tent is in an A shape. Two vertical poles and one horizontal pole create the shape of this tent. This tent is mainly used for scouting purposes. So, it is mainly designed to protect you from the rain. In order to do that, this usually comes with a rainfly and a mesh.
These tents are mostly waterproof. The flooring is also waterproof so there is no risk of water leaking in through the ground. The mesh will also provide you with protection from bugs. Although this type of tent tends to be heavy in weight.
This tent can range from 4-person up to 12-person. This tent has a lot of headspaces and the peak height is also great for moving around comfortably.
What’s so unique about a cabin tent is that it’s actually shaped like a room. There are separate rooms in this type of tent. This is really unique when it comes to tents. Some people do crave privacy which is a really important thing. So, if you are looking for your lonely time among other campers then this type of tent is made for you.
As a plus point, these tents do sometimes come with a closet for the fancy campers out there. It also has realistic windows and hinged doors! The tent is much more of a family-friendly one. So, if you are planning to head towards the campsite with your children then this home-like spacious tent is for you.
This uniform-arch-shaped tent structure comes in 4-person, 6-person, and 8-person. This one is considered a backpacking tent. Within this tent, you can find good interior space which is always a top priority. There is also uniform headspace.
Although this is as popular as the dome-shaped and cabin tent, it is notably a small tent. Any person who prefers a more spacious tent, should at first make sure if this tent is good enough for him or not before making the purchase.
Alongside this, there are a lot of other shapes of tents. It’s difficult for us to include all of them in a single article but you don’t need to worry because the types of tents discussed here are the most common of them all. For better understanding, you can go through the catalog of the types of tents to get a good overview of what you want.
Seasonality of Tents
If you are dealing with tents then you must have heard the term by now. The seasonality of tents literally indicates the seasons in which they are being used. You can look into the seasonality and choose the tent according to your requirements. Now, let us take a sneak peek into how this works!
This type of tent is meant for usage during summer, spring and, fall thus known as the 3 season tent. They are light-weighted tents. You get a taut airfly and mesh panels. The rainfly protects you from unwanted water.
The mesh allows the circulation of warm air out of the tent and, in return allows the cool air to enter. This prevents your tent from turning into a literal oven, which is something you don’t want to be in! Apart from saving you from the heat of the day, it also helps to keep away any unwanted insects from entering your tent.
Alongside that, meshes do provide you with privacy without having to keep the tent completely shut from the wind outside. However, being a 3-season tent doesn’t allow you to use this tent during winter. This is because the tent can’t handle harsh weather like heavy snowfalls, or storms.
Being a lightweight tent makes it easily carryable so that of course an additional plus point.
The name might sound weird but it does make sense as the tent is desired to bear with your adventures for a longer period. Yes! These tents are designed for more rough uses so you can use them throughout the three seasons with complete ease.
The thing that makes it different is that it has two extra poles which provide with more sturdy nature and more resistance to the high wind. Moreover, it has fewer mesh panels than the 3-season tent which makes it warmer for rough uses.
If you are in for trips at the end of fall when the weather is a little crazy then you should have this tent to provide you with ventilation, warmth and, sturdiness simultaneously. But you should keep in mind that they are not as strong or resistant as the 4-season tent which we will be explaining to you now.
In a really rough surroundings, you will be able to rely on this 4-Season tent for protecting you against the high winds and, harsh weather. But how does this tent provide more strength than normal tents? Well, this tent is made up of heavier fabrics which makes them more resistant and, as a plus point they become more rigid in terms of wind resistance.
When it comes to strength the poles play a significant role. These tents are made up of aluminum poles which are really strong. However, like the other tents, this one also comes with a rainfly that protects you from the rain, a few mesh panels which allow the air to move in and out and, a hinder ventilation system.
The rainfly of this tent extends to the bottom of the tent which makes it completely isolated from the cold outside. This type of tent is mainly used in extreme conditions by professional campers. If you are amazed by all these features then hear this brilliant construction of this one.
The roof of this tent is rounded-dome shaped, unlike the flat-surfaced tents. What does this do? It prevents the snow from being stored at the top of the tent which can even cause it to collapse.
Which Fabric Type Do You Want?
One of the most crucial things is the fabric of the tent. Most of the tent’s body consists of fabric so it has a great impact on how your tent is going to perform.
Starting off, with the most common material from which industrial tents are made, polyester. Polyester is a really lightweight fabric that is also really cheap which makes it the top choice of the manufacturers. Being lightweight allows your family-sized tents to be carryable and easy to set up.
The tents that are made from polyester require really low maintenance. It dries off really quickly too which is a great thing when you are playing to camp in a damp area. Talking about damp, this fabric is also layered with a layer of water-resistant substance and UV-resistance layer. This makes it more efficient.
The rate of water resistance in a tent will also depend upon the type of material the manufacturer is using to coat the tent. Now, when it comes to the drawbacks, the tents are not rigid enough to save you from very strong winds and, will not be much breathable. Moreover, they are not good insulators.
If you are looking for a low-budget tent then you should go for a polyester tent if the requirements are met.
Canvas and cotton
On the other hand, we have canvas and, cotton tents that are on the heavier side. These are also expensive fabrics as they are obtained from Hemp. The tents made from canvas are more insulated than the polyester ones which provide warmth in extremely cold weather.
Canvas tents are more UV resistant. They are more rigid than the polyester tent as the fabric is more resistant to facing tough conditions. Not only this, but the fabric is also more breathable which will allow you to stay comfier. If that is not enough, then the high water absorbance rate of this fabric will surely please you. This leaves no space for condensation.
The fabric is stronger will last you longer. You can use it in any climate. The main problem with this fabric is the fact that it has high maintenance demands. You will be needed to dry it up nicely after rainfall as it absorbs more water. The problem extends to its bulky nature which can sometimes prove difficult in carrying and getting it set up.
Do keep in mind that once this fabric tears up, it will tear up badly. There will be a big hole in the tent so you also have to be careful while using it roughly.
If you are someone who is always taking risky journeys then this one is for you. This will provide you with the ultimate safety that you can ever receive from a tent alongside comfort. If your budget is high enough then why not look after your own safety first?
Doors and windows
It doesn’t matter if you are claustrophobic or not, having the feeling of suffocation is never recommended. This might not seem like a big deal but believe us you don’t want to be feeling like being locked up in a dark tiny room.
In order, to rescue yourself from the darkness, we recommend that you look for a tent with a lot of doors and windows. By a lot, we do mean at least 2 doors and few small windows. This will allow the constant flow of air in and out. Not only that, it will allow you to make your movements inside and, outside the tent without any problems of bumping into the other person.
Worrying about your privacy is also valid, so you can look for mesh panels that can be removed to keep your privacy from becoming vulnerable. It can also protect you from the bugs that have the chance of entering through your opened doors and windows.
As previously mentioned, when it comes to poles aluminum poles are the strongest. They are better than fiberglass poles. The structure of a tent’s pole system determines how easy it will be to set it up.
Most of the tents nowadays are freestanding. This means that you will not be required to have stakes to fix your tent up. There are clips and short pole sleeves in the tents that allow the poles to be balanced. The balancing of a tent does depend upon the poles or the number of poles that are included in the tent.
One of the easiest ways to set up a tent is to follow the color code inserted by the manufacturers on the tent or the poles of the tent. This is not always available but if you want you can keep an eye out for it as it can save up many minutes from your precious camping time.
Apart from all these main features, there are also some additional features that will make the time you spent inside the tent really enjoyable:
- Internal pockets for storing gears or loops for hanging lanterns.
- Rainfly from preventing the rain from draining the inside of the tent.
- Footprint or a ground cloth that will keep you warm and safe from the muddy ground.
- Vents for the circulation of air inside the tent.
- Make sure if the price you are paying is worth it or not!
- Vertical walls increase more space.
- The weight of the tent will affect the time and difficulty level of setting up the tent.
- Some tents have E-ports for the supply of electricity inside the tent.
People don’t buy tents often so it can be considered as a long-term investment. Being able to get yourself the right tent is more than a blessing. After following our features and tips on how to buy the best tent for camping your decision should be easier to make. So, what’s holding you back campers? Go get your suitable tent using the given information and guideline today!
Neela is an editor of Outdoorfunmag and a true nature enthusiast who loves to explore the outdoors with her cat. She loves to travel around the world and write about everything nature has to offer. She has traveled around 20 countries so far. Her other interests include photography, cooking, and music.