A Guide To What To Look For In A Tent

Colorful tents In days gone by – in ancient times – before the internet your choice of tent was pretty limited. It could either be a boring tan or green in color made out of heavy canvas, and you fitted a big flap at one end of it to your fake wood paneled station wagon. Choice was at premium in those days, but not anymore. There are now loads of different choices.

What to look for when buying a tent – 4 factors to consider

1. The size of the tent. This is an important factor when you consider arrangements for sleeping at night. The size of a tent is measured by how many people it is designed to accommodate when sleeping side by side. Your gear is an extra consideration and needs to be considered separately. Although some larger tents do have separate sleeping rooms off a central area, many tents don’t have this set up. If you are a family of five, you would look to get a 7 man tent. Likewise, if you are looking to fit 3 people choose a 5 man tent.

But, bigger is not always the right answer. You need to think about where you are going to be staying too. It can be a bit of problem when you have a huge tent to find a flat area big enough to accommodate it, either at a campground or out in the woods. Take this into consideration before buying a gigantic tent.

2. Weather conditions. The type of weather you are likely to be camping in needs to be considered. If you are setting up camp in the rainy northwest you are going to want a tent that has a rain flap and is properly waterproofed. If you are going to be camping in the sun (fair-weather) than choose one with a sun flap, good ventilation and an awning to take advantage of good weather.  Manufacturers give tents season ratings to help to show how much weather they can stand – wind and rain and the actual seasons – winter, summer, spring or fall (2,3 or 4 seasons) – they are best for – hot or cold. See our seasons guide here.

3. What is the tent going to be used for. Is it going to be put in the backyard and use for the kids to have sleepovers in it, a family tent at campgrounds or maybe it could be used for month long treks and be put in a backpack. Or maybe even used instead of a summer cabin. If you are going to be hiking with your tent the weight is important, you will be looking for a light tent and how much room it will take up in the pack. What you want to use the tent for and how many times you are going to make use of it is an important consideration when choosing a tent.

4. Accessories. The last factor to think about is the accessories and inside design. The tent should at least have a hook to hang a lantern from. If you can have hooks on the sides you can use them to hang a net across to store things in out of the way. Small pockets on the sides of the tent can give you somewhere to store small items like a flashlight and keys.

A tent almost becomes like an extension of your house – it is you home when you are away from home. Other things that will play a part in your buying decision are the style of tent a dome, geodesic, ridge/frame or tunnel and more. Also the cost is another factor and searching online and on this website you can find discount camping gear to help your dollars go further. Take these things into consideration when choosing a tent, so you don’t end up looking at the people in the next campsite with envious eyes.

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