8 Tips on How to Choose the Best Camping Tent

choose the best camping tent
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Camping is a favorite activity for many. It is a great way to get away for a weekend, spend some time alone with nature, or get the whole family together for a group trip. Preparing for a camping trip does take a little bit of effort though, and you want to make sure you have everything you need to make your trip smooth and stress-free. One of the most important things when going camping is your tent. It’s where you will sleep, and where you will potentially spend some of your time in the case of bad weather. You want to make sure you have a good quality tent that meets all your needs. Here are some tips on how to choose the best camping tent.

1. The Number of People Using the Tent

When choosing the right tent for your camping trip, you will want to keep in mind the number of people who plan on using the tent. One thing to keep in mind – always ignores the number of people a tent says it will sleep. It the tent says it will sleep four, this means four people will be a tight fit, with no room for movement or extras! A family or group of four should look for at least a six-person tent, to leave some room for moving around as well as storing their luggage.

how to choose the best camping tent
A large tent for family

2. The Weather Conditions

It is important to keep in mind the weather you are planning to camp in. Tents meant for summer will be lighter weight with a lot of ventilation and will not be designed to withstand harsh conditions. Three season tents on the other hand, will be able to handle rains and winds while providing proper protection to you and your friends/family.

how to choose the best camping tent
A 3 season tent Is generally referred to as a tent designed for use in spring, summer, and fall.
how to choose the best camping tent
A 4 season tent Generally, a four season tent a shelter that, despite the name, is normally used only in the winter.

3. How Easy is it?

While some are camping veterans and can handle just about anything, most are far from experts. Before deciding on a tent, find out how easy it is to set up. The tent may look great with lots of room and an innovative design, but if it is going to take multiple people many hours to set up and take down, is it really worth bringing on your short weekend camping trip? If it is possible to test the tent in the shop than that is a good idea, although you won’t always be able to. If you cannot do this, conducting some research on ease of use before making the purchase is a good idea.

4. The Material

The material is the critical thing need to pay attention in tips on how to choose the best camping tent. Pay attention to the material that the tent is made of, as this may influence your decision.  Some tents are canvas/cotton. These will be waterproof, but they do become quite heavy when they absorb the water. They will last quite a while though, and won’t break down as fast as a nylon tent. Nylon will also be waterproof, but the sunlight will cause it to deteriorate over time. If you are considering a nylon tent, check to make sure the seams are sealed as this is required for it to be waterproof.

how to choose the best camping tent
Canvas is heavier than nylon tents and traditionally the longer lasting, due to the material used.
how to choose the best camping tent
Nylon tents come in all shapes and sizes. It’s also very cheap to the pricey multi-room tents, there really is a nylon tent for every sort of camper’s budget.

5. The Weight

Take into consideration how far you are going to have to carry the tent. Not all campsites are able to accommodate vehicles and you might have to walk a distance before setting up your campsite. If this is the case, you don’t want to purchase a tent that is extremely heavy as you will only tire out, having to carry it there. This may seem like a small thing, but you will thank yourself for thinking of it later when you’re having to lug it through the forest.

6. Ventilation

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to find that everything has become damp. Your clothes are wet, your bedding is wet, and you are uncomfortable. It makes for a bad start to the day, and this is why proper ventilation is extremely important. Tents that have ventilation available when the rain fly is on are good options. Consider the placement of the vents for minimizing condensation within the tent.

7. Other Features

What else can the tent do? What else does it have? You don’t always need something fancy, but it is worth considering the additional features a possible tent has before making the purchase. You might find there are some things that could come in handy for your family.

  • Consider the number of doors. Two doors are best so you don’t have to climb over anyone
  • Number of windows – this will contribute to ventilation.
  • Specific storage areas. This will keep clutter to a minimum and make important things easier to locate.
  • Size of the awning. This will provide extra protection from the elements.

8. The Floor

Especially if you are buying a tent for your family that is going to be used a lot, you want the tent’s floor to be a strong one made of something durable. It is also important to have a good floor that will protect you and your belongings from the weather outside. It is a good idea to use a groundsheet underneath even the tents with the best quality flooring, just to add a bit of backup and extra protection.

There are more things to consider when looking for a tent than a lot of people realize. You need to take into consideration how many people are going to use it, as well as what exactly you are using it for. There are many different environments in which people may go camping, and not every tent will be suitable for every location or weather condition. Whether you are looking for a heavy-duty tent for winter camping, or are just going on a light, easy-going summer trip, these tips on how to choose the best camping tent should help you determine which tent is best for you and the experience you are looking for.

You can find six best ultralight backing tents here.


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