Tent quality can make or break a camping trip. When a nasty rain pounds the roof of your nylon shelter and fierce winds try to flatten it, you’ll know if your tent has all the right stuff.
Assessing Your Needs
Your tent is a very important part of the camping equipment you will use. You want a tent that can protect you from rain, wind, and insects. It can be a very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation when a tent fails to do these things.
Choosing a tent can be a challenging experiences with so many options out there. Should I choose a 3 season or a 4 season tent? Do I want a tunnel tent, a cabin tent, or a dome? Should I get a tent with a vestibule or without? The list of questions can go on and on.
No specific tent is truly better then the next, there are however a varying degrees of quality.
How do you plan to use your tent?
For those who plan to use their tent for backpacking and bike camping, the size (packed) and weight of a tent is your first concern.
When you consider the packed size of your tent choice, consider how the tent will fit on your backpack or bike. Does the tent stick out the sides and impend the movement of your arms or body? Is the size of the packed tent bulky, heavy, and reduces the other supplies you can travel with? Most likely you will want to look at some of the smaller sizes.
For those who plan to use their tent for family camping at one location for a few days or a couple of weeks. Cabin tents are often a good choice for camping trips like this.
Number of People
Decide how many people will be using this tent. This is so you can determine adequate sleeping space for each person. It is also important to take the height of the person(s) using the tent as well. A taller camper in a small tent may have the tent walls flapping at their head and feet while trying to sleep, or be forced to sleep in an uncomfortable position.
Give thought to what sleeping gear you intend to use. Do you plan to use and air mattress or a cot? You will want to be able to take into consideration the amount of space that will be used.
What season(s) will this tent be used for?
Some people prefer to do the majority of their camping in the summer, while others enjoy the extremes. There are somethings you will want to consider when thinking about what seasons you will be using your tent for. Does the tent you want have enough ventilation for the warm summer days? If it doesn’t the heat that the tent traps inside may make it unbearable to be in. For cold weather camping it is best to find a tent that is impermeable to wind and in some cases able to handle snow accumulation. On occasionally cool nights the addition of a tent heater, a better rated sleeping bag, or both may be sufficient for added warmth with a 3 season version.