How to Choose the Perfect Tent for Your Needs

Categories:Camping | Camping Advice

When you are going camping, one of the most important items you will take with you is your tent. The tent will be your home while you are camping, so you want to make sure that it is as comfortable as possible. The best way to ensure this is to go to camping stores and compare them.

Just keep in mind that there are some important things to look at, and in order to make this easier for you, we’re bringing you some of the most important things to look at when considering whether to buy a tent.

1. High-Quality Seams

There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that your tent is leaking. Most tents that leak, do so because of poor quality seams. You want to take a close look at the seams on a tent before you buy it. The seams should be not only sewn, but they should also be taped with a waterproof material that will keep the rain out. Go ahead and give the seams some hard tugs to make sure that they seem rugged enough to handle the rigors that camping entails.

2. Conditions

Some tents will be better suited to different conditions. For example, a hammock tent is made from lightweight materials, has a lot of ventilation and is perfect for summer.

A tent designed to withstand three seasons will be heavier and provide protection from winds, rain and from the cold.

3. Rainproof Construction

As well as making sure the seams are waterproof, you want to make sure that the rest of the tent will keep the rain out as well. This can be done in two ways. Some tents are made from waterproof materials that will keep out the rains. Others come with a waterproof rain fly that can be placed over the tent to keep the rain out. Both methods will work well. It is up to you to determine which method will work better for your needs.



4. Strong Frame

You want to take a close look at the frame that comes with the tent. It should be made of a strong material that will stand up to high wind speeds. However, it should also be lightweight to allow you to throw it in a backpack if you are headed into the backcountry. When you go to camping stores, don’t be afraid to test the ruggedness of the tent poles. They should be able to handle some rough usage without breaking.

5. Roominess

Don’t pay much attention to how many people the tent is rated for. This capacity means how many people can be crammed into the tent like sardines. It is best to automatically subtract a few people from the tent’s rated occupancy. You want to make sure that you get a tent that is large enough to hold you and your gear. Remember that you will need to place more than just your sleeping bags in the tent. You also want to make sure there is room for your clothing, boots and anything else that you want to keep dry. Go ahead and climb inside the tent to get a feel for how roomy it is.

6. Zipper

This is one aspect of a tent that most people fail to take into consideration when they are buying it. However, it may be one of the most important things to consider. When you need to unzip the tent in the middle of the night, you want it to be an easy operation. Unfortunately, many tents seem to be built with poor zippers. Give the zipper a try to make sure that it is easy to operate.

7. Weight

Are you planning on carrying it at great distances? Do you plan on using it for car camping If you opt for a larger tent you should keep in mind that they are heavy to carry, even if it’s only from your car to the campsite? Will you be able to manage this by yourself?

Before you commit to buy one check for the weight. If you plan on traveling on your own you’ll need some serious muscle to carry a heavy tent, so we advise you opt one that is very light in weight in order to enjoy spending your time outdoors instead of being nervous about the weight on your back.

8. Flooring

If you plan on “living” outdoors most of the time, then you’ll definitely need one with a good strong floor. Having a top-quality sleeping bag and a sleeping mat is not enough. The floor of the tent needs to be durable and made from Polyester PU material so your belongings are protected all the time, even in the case of any poor weather.
We also advise you footprint your tent (for those who don’t know what footprint means, it’s a specifically designed fabric that should be placed under the tent to protect it from any damages and abrasions.

Most tent manufacturers already sell tents with a footprint, but in case you have to buy it, you shouldn’t think twice about it as it will make the bottom of your tent stronger and more durable.

9. Ventilation

Hopefully, you understand the importance of having a good ventilation while sleeping, but we’ll mention it anyway. You don’t want to wake up in the morning with everything around you, from your clothes to bedding being damp, right?

Look for a tent that has ventilation with the rain fly on and for those to minimize the condensation issue.

10. Price

This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. How much money do you plan on spending on a tent? We all have different budgets but don’t forget that quality costs and if you invest in a quality tent we assure you you won’t regret it as it’ll pay off in the long run. Cheaper ones might fail you, but you still don’t have to spend a fortune on a tent.

Usually, ask yourself why is the tent you’re looking at cheaper than most of the others that come with the similar features. It might be because of the difference in material quality, or it’s just because of the brand name.

Another thing you need to ask yourself whether you plan on using it in extreme conditions because snow, ice and strong winds request a top-quality, expensive tent with all the features you can get.

Hopefully that our above tips will help you make a smart choice on tent purchasing. Keep in mind to learn as much as you can and read more than 10 reviews before you buy one. Websites and forums are the best sources of information. 

Happy Camping!


Rebecca lives in the USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, a company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.

Sign up for our Newsletter

 

Never miss an update! Subscribe to the Hiking The Trail Newsletter Now!