Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Are you about to buy a camp tent, but don't know what you need and what's on the market? Then you've come to the right place: 2021. In this article, we compare different types of tents, such as dome tents and throw tents, and show you their advantages and disadvantages.

Everything important about storage tents is explained in the guide and you can find out more about what to look out for when buying under the buying criteria. Your next camping adventure should be trouble-free and unforgettable!




The most important facts

  • Storage tents come in different types, shapes and colours. Which one is right for you depends on the function you are looking for.
  • Nowadays, camping tents are very easy to set up. Either you choose the manual version or you buy an inflatable storage tent or a roll-up tent.
  • Camping tents come in different prices. Before you buy one, check out our camp tent test 2021 guide for buying criteria, advantages and disadvantages.

The Best Storage Tent: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a storage tent

How many people can there be in a camping tent?

There are different tent sizes and shapes, which offer space for several or only a few people. Here is a brief overview to give you an idea of what you should be looking for.

Type of camp tent Number of people
Dome tent 1 - 4 people
Tunnel tent 2 - 8 people
Geodesic tent 2 - 4 people
Throw tent 1 - 4 people
Inflatable tent 2 - 8 people

What is an inner and outer tent?

Every camp tent consists of an outer tent, but does not always have to have an inner tent.

Make sure that your tent has an outer and inner tent and a tent floor.

The outer tent is what you might call "the shell" of the tent, i.e. what you see from the outside. This tent cover has certain functions, for example:

  • Water resistance
  • Wind protection
  • Protection from insects and dirt

The inner tent is the core of the tent in which you will sleep and stay. An inner tent is not always necessary, but it is recommended. Like the outer tent, the inner tent also has some functions:

  • Protection against condensation
  • slower heat loss
  • more comfort

The floor of the tent should also be mentioned here, as not every storage tent necessarily has a floor included. However, for dirt and safety reasons, a floor is highly recommended.

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The Geodät is extremely weatherproof and resistant to low temperatures. Therefore, you can spend unforgettable nights under the starry sky. (Image source: unsplash.com/Sahin Yesilyaprak)

What does the term vestibule mean in the context of tents?

You can think of the vestibule as the storage space inside the tent. You can store your luggage and other items there without losing space in the inner tent. So make sure your tent has a vestibule!

Vestibules are very practical and can provide extra space in the tent. They are usually found at the tent entrance between the inner and outer tent.

For more comfort and flexibility, vestibules come in different shapes, such as:

  • The triangular apse
  • The trapezoidal apse
  • The tunnel apse

How much does a camping tent cost?

Camping tents have very different functions, sizes and qualities, which is why the prices also vary greatly. The following table gives you an overview:

Tent type price
Dome tent approx. 50 - 150 euros
Tunnel tent approx. 80 - 350 euros
Geodesic tent approx. 180 - 400 euros
Throw tent approx. 20 - 150 euros
Inflatable tent approx. 50 - 500 euros

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You can camp with a group of friends or family. The advantage of having your own tent is privacy.
(Image source: unsplash.com/Alex Kotomanov)

Can I rent a camping tent?

Are you going camping for the first time and don't know what to expect? If that's why you don't want to spend money on a camp tent, that's understandable. You can also rent your first camping tent on the internet and gain your first camping experience with it.

Who knows, maybe you'll become a real camping fanatic after your first trip! You can rent a classic small camping tent for around 15 euros a day. The price increases depending on the number of people and the type of tent.

What are the alternatives to camping tents?

If you are unsure whether a camping tent is right for you, consider whether an alternative might be more suitable.

  • Motorhome: If you want to be very comfortable and mobile, you can rent or buy a motorhome. But don't forget that some storage tents can also be converted into small living oases! Campervans cost a lot more than a camping tent, but are extremely mobile. It is a "home on wheels".
  • Car tent: Have you heard of car tents? If you're going to have your car with you on your next adventure, you might as well get a car tent. These are mounted on the roof of your car.
  • Cabins: You can often stay in small wooden cabins at campsites. You don't lose the camping atmosphere and you pay less than for a hotel. These cabins are often very well equipped.

Can I repair my storage tent myself?

Your tent may suffer minor or major damage from wear and tear.

Make sure you check your tent before you travel and always have a repair kit with you!

But don't worry, you can repair your camping tent! First, take a good look at the damage. If the damage is to a very important part of the tent, such as a seam, we recommend that you bring the tent in for repair.

If the damage is not extensive, you can mend your storage tent yourself. You will need the repair kit included in the delivery package.

  • Repairing tears and holes: Holes can be caused by poor handling of the tent or by holes in the ground, stones or branches. Make sure you clean the affected area thoroughly before repairing to get rid of grease residue and anything else. Let it dry well and smooth out the affected area. Attach a piece of fabric to the affected area with the fabric glue from the repair kit. After the glue has dried, make sure you still waterproof that part of the tent.
  • Repairs to tent poles: If you have cracks in the tent poles, get some super glue. You can smear it into the crack with your fingers and let it dry. And that's it! If your tent poles are bent, try to straighten them with pliers.

What is the significance of the water column in relation to storage tents?

When buying a camping tent, you will quickly come across the term "water column". We explain what it means and why it is so important.

The term "water column" describes the waterproofness of the tent material. In Germany, materials with a water column of 1500 mm or more are considered waterproof.

To measure the waterproofness, water pressure is exerted on the tent material through a cylinder. The more water that fits into the cylinder, the greater the pressure on the material.

A water column of 2000 mm, for example, means that a 2-metre high water column is bearing down on the tent material and no water is seeping through.

Make sure that the floor has a higher water column than the walls, as more pressure is exerted on this. We recommend a water column of 3000-5000 mm for the side walls and up to 8000 mm for the floor.

Decision: What types of camping tents are there and which one is right for you?

Camping tents today come in different forms with different advantages and disadvantages. The one that is best for you depends on what you will need it for. In this paragraph we will introduce you to the different types with their advantages and disadvantages.

  • The classic dome tent
  • Tunnel tent
  • Geodesic
  • Throw tent
  • Inflatable tent

The dome tent

The dome tent owes its name to its shape. Its two pole arches cross in the middle to form the dome shape. Dome tents are small tents and usually offer space for 1-5 people.

They are very simple camp tents that have no major weaknesses but also no major disadvantages. Dome tents are simple camping tents that are very suitable for festivals and small excursions.

Advantages
  • Quick, uncomplicated assembly
  • universal use
  • basic models are very inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • Dome tents are relatively small tents
  • are not very stable because they are pitched without pegs
  • offer little storage space

The tunnel tent

The tunnel tent is very popular because its shape allows a lot of space. Its vertical walls make the interior cosy, which is why you can also stand in it normally. Tunnel tents have a large vestibule, which means a lot of luggage storage space.

This type of storage tent is very flexible to expand and you can also make a pavilion out of the tunnel tent if you take out the side walls.

Tunnel tents are anchored to the ground with pegs and storm ropes and are therefore very wind-resistant, but the vertical walls are also more susceptible to wind than the dome tent, for example.

Advantages
  • Vertical walls allow more use of space
  • Wind-resistant thanks to pegs and storm ropes
  • Lots of storage space
  • Side walls can be converted into a pavilion
Disadvantages
  • Needs a large footprint because of the many lines
  • Because the walls are vertical, it is vulnerable to crosswinds

The geodesic

Geodesics are the most robust storage tents. They have a dome-like shape, but are much more stable than dome tents due to more poles. Neither wind, rain nor snow can harm this camp tent.

Therefore, it is perfect for expeditions and windy areas. Because of its robustness, the Geodät is also rather more expensive compared to the other tents.

Advantages
  • Geodesics are extremely weather-resistant
  • This camp tent is very stable due to its many poles
  • Features high-quality materials and is therefore durable for longer
Disadvantages
  • Is a heavy storage tent because of its equipment
  • Is an expensive camping tent because of the high-quality materials
  • Small tent that is not suitable for large groups

The throw tent

Throw tents are ideal for you if you want to avoid pitching a camping tent. When you take the storage tent out of the bag and throw it in the air, you have your finished tent in front of you within 15 seconds.

These tents tend to be smaller tents and are not usually anchored to the ground with pegs. Their carrying bag is a round bag, which is sometimes more complicated to carry because of its shape.

Since the throw tent is erected by releasing tension, you also need a certain technique to be able to put the tent back together with tension. Practice makes perfect.

Advantages
  • Puts up in 15 seconds, takes down in 1 minute
  • can be put up easily by children
Disadvantages
  • Dismantling requires a certain technique
  • Carrying bag of the throw tent is round and therefore more difficult to store

The inflatable tent

The difference to other camp tents is that inflatable camping tents are erected using air-filled tubes and not poles. Inflatable tents are often tunnel tents. These tubes can be inflated manually or with an electronic pump.

Therefore, this camping tent is quick and easy to set up. These camping tents are very comfortable tents because they have a heat coating and plenty of space. Around 2-8 people can be accommodated in an inflatable tent.

Advantages
  • Easy and quick to set up and take down
  • Very comfortable and spacious
  • Easy repair of the air tubes with tape adhesive
Disadvantages
  • Is heavier than other storage tents
  • Is comparatively more expensive
  • May require re-pumping

Here is another overview of what the listed types of storage tents are suitable for:

Type of storage tent Suitable for Price
Dome tent Festivals and small excursions approx. 50 - 150 euros
Tunnel tent Several people and comfortable, multi-day excursion approx. 80 - 350 Euro
Geodesic extreme areas, small group approx. 180 - 400 Euro
Throw tent for comfortable pitching and small group approx. 20 - 150 Euro
Inflatable tent comfortable camping for several days approx. 50 - 500 Euro

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate camp tents

There are a few points you should consider before buying a camping tent to ensure that you find the right product and that nothing stands in the way of the perfect camping adventure. The buying criteria are as follows:

Colour

It seems trivial, but think about the colour of the camp tent. You are camping in areas that are rural and you want to match them.

  • Warm regions: If you are going to the Sahara, for example, you should make sure that your tent has light colours. It should adapt to the desert and dark colours would heat up too much.
  • Cold regions: Are you heading to Scandinavia and camping under the northern lights? Adapt your tent colour in this situation too. We recommend dark colours, which absorb the sun's rays and are easy to recognise in the snow.
  • Extreme camping: If you have a very adrenaline-filled adventure ahead of you, such as camping on some of the highest peaks in Europe or the world, make sure your tent has bright colours that can be seen from a distance.

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The dome tent is small but robust and therefore perfect for hiking in the mountains.
(Image source: unsplash.com/Lesly Derksen)

Weight

Your camp tent should be your load. On a multi-day trip, it is advisable to carry light luggage, otherwise you can expect back pain. So consider the weight of your tent. Also pay attention to the pack size, because your camping tent should be easily stowable and not be a hindrance. When camping, you want to be as comfortable as possible.

Ventilation

Since tents are enclosed spaces, make sure they are well ventilated. The bigger the tent and the more people there are, the more stuffy the air will be.

Especially in warm, tropical areas or in high summer, your tent should have good ventilation, otherwise it will be hotter inside than outside.

If your ventilation is poor, you will wake up drenched in sweat from the condensation and during the day your tent will be like a small sauna. For a comfortable camping experience, we strongly recommend that you make sure your tent is well ventilated.

Weatherproof

If you invest in a tent, it should also be resistant to all weather conditions. If you are only going to use your tent in the summer, you don't need to worry too much about snow load. However, the storage tent should be able to withstand winds and heavy rainfall.

However, if the camping tent is also to be used in winter and sub-zero temperatures, find out whether your desired storage tent can also withstand these requirements.

Assembly simplicity

Pitching the tent should not be too tedious or take too long. If you are going to be away for several days, it is better to have a storage tent that can be erected in 5 minutes instead of 20 minutes. You have the choice between throw tents and inflatable tents or practical dome tents. It depends on which type of tent you prefer.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of storage tents

What camp accessories are available?

Today, camping tents can be transformed into small suites. Because of the space tents offer, you can create a little oasis for yourself. You can buy an air mattress, nice lanterns and a carpet so you don't get cold feet!

You can also get special doors and window openings to make your stay all the more cosy. There are many mountain hotels that offer luxury camping in teepee tents!

How do I clean a camping tent?

You can easily clean your camping tent with a soft sponge and lukewarm water. Be careful not to use aggressive cleaning agents and strong brushes, as these will damage the canvas material. If you need stronger cleaning agents, there are some that are specially made for cleaning tents.

Can I camp where I want?

Take the car on a road trip and camp wherever you want! Many of us have this idea, but the question arises as to where you are actually allowed to go wild camping. In Europe, wild camping is not quite as easy as you might imagine. There are different rules and regulations.

The following table gives you an overview:

Country Regulation
Germany On public sites you are allowed to stay for a maximum of 10 hours and then have to leave. Nature reserves are forbidden for camping.
Switzerland Camping is expressly prohibited in nature reserves. In principle, forests and meadows are open to everyone and camping is allowed, but this differs from canton to canton.
France For wild camping on public land you need a local permit. On coasts, wild camping is generally prohibited. The regulations for bivouacs in France, on the other hand, are much more flexible.
Scandinavia In Sweden and Norway you can camp wherever you want - at least for one night. However, there are some rules regarding fire and waste disposal that must be observed.
Balkans Wild camping is generally prohibited in the Balkans. If you do stay overnight, be respectful and clean up.
Spain and Portugal In Portugal wild camping is officially forbidden and for Spain you need a special permit. It is forbidden to stay more than 3 nights in one place.

Image source: Nesterchuk/ 123rf.com

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