Your tent is a big part of your camping experience. It’s what keeps the weather off of your back. It keeps the animal and insect life outside from getting in. A great tent can make the experience. A badly chosen one can make you wish you never left home.
What you’ll need from your tent will depend on a number of things. Want to know how to pick the best one for you? Get started with this list to help you identify the qualities you need your tent to have.
An ever unfortunate reality of life, you need to purchase a tent you can afford. If you are a regular camper, it would make sense to spend money on a durable model. No sense in buying something cheaper, only to get it out in the open to see that it isn’t as waterproof or wind resistant as you like.
The Weather You’re Most Likely To Be Using Your Tent In
If you’re mostly a summer camper, you’ll want a lightweight material that won’t trap too much heat in the tent. If you plan to be in the rain, you’ll want something that is waterproof and not just water-resistant. Tents come in three-season and four-season varieties.
How Many People Will Be Using The Tent
A general rule of thumb with tents says a tent built for four will likely only comfortably accommodate two persons. That tent that looks so spacious when it is inflated and empty in the store, may be cramped when you’re sharing it with friends or family.
The number of people you go camping with regularly is important. If you tend to go alone, a single tent should suit you. If you take along companions, buy a tent designed for a large group of people. There are several models. For instance, a cabin-style tent is equipped with “rooms” that offer you and your guests’ privacy to change and relax.
How Long Does The Tent Take To Set Up/How Complex Is It
Again, seeing a tent already set up in the store and having to assemble one at a campsite yourself are two different things.
That attractive model that you just couldn’t wait to use may prove far more complex for your experience level. Pick a tent you are confident you can handle on your own. You don’t want to be stuck out in the elements for extra hours because you don’t understand how to put up your own tent.
Examine The Material And The Manufacture Of The Tent Carefully
If you tend to camp in all kinds of weather, a canvas tent might be best for you. Nylon is a lightweight material, excellent for hot weather conditions, but it does not wear well and will rip and tear over time.
Similarly, aluminum tent poles last longer than fiberglass. Which one you want will depend on your preferences and needs. Water-resistant and waterproof don’t mean the same thing. Check with the in-store salesperson to make sure which one you are getting.
The edges of your tent should be double seamed to keep out water. Anything else, and you may be in for a wet trip if it rains. Check the seams.
How Well Ventilated Is The Tent?
Have you gone out with a tent and shared it, only to wake up the next morning in stale, humid air? That’s because your tent was not well ventilated.
When you go for your new model, buy a tent that features built-in ventilation.
If your tent is going to be used by many people, having a floor area that can stand up to heavy traffic over a long period of time will help immensely.
How Heavy Is The Tent
If you are transporting your tent by car, this one won’t be so much of a concern to you. If you’re a backpacker, you are going to want the lightest, highest quality tent and materials you can find.
Nylon material and fiberglass assembly poles might be better for you, as you don’t want to be weighed down by anything too heavy on your way to your campsite.
What Are The Features Of The Warranty On Your Tent
You want to get as much use out of your tent as you can. A good warranty will help you do that. A good manufacturer’s warranty will cover repairs on faults and damage (as long as it was not negligently caused) for decades in some cases.
Your tent is arguably the most important part of your camping gear. Make sure you get quality and value for money. Use this list of qualities to guide your purchase.