Camping has a powerful ability to connect us to the world around us. It is no longer just a thing of our ancestors, nor of the fairytales out in the woods we dreamt up as kids. Camping has become a passion, lifestyle, and therapy for so many across the globe. When venturing out into the countryside or the rarely touched terrain of the high mountain tops, there aren’t usually options for hotels.
Whether by yourself, with a group of friends, or during a family camping trip, moving about comfortably will require a well-built tent. With so many options on the market today, there’s no doubt you can find the perfect one to accompany you on your travels.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Tents: Our picks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Tents
- 4.1 What is a tent?
- 4.2 What material are the tents made of?
- 4.3 What are the different shapes tents can have?
- 4.4 Why is the igloo tent the most popular?
- 4.5 What are the different components of a tent?
- 4.6 What aspects are important for the interior portion of a tent?
- 4.7 What is the best way to anchor a tent?
- 4.8 How do you know if a tent is waterproof?
- 4.9 Can tents be set up anywhere?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Resume
- Tents are portable shelters that are always made to be relatively easy to set up and to accommodate 1-10+ people during both the day and nighttime. They are used for leisure camping, excursions, research expeditions and even military purposes.
- Tents have become increasingly popular since the beginning of the 20th century and today, the market is full of a large variety of models varying in size, durability, material, extended features and more.
- When buying a tent, there are a number of factors to take into consideration to ensure you’re well equipped for the conditions you will be camping in. Some of these include the strength of the material, ease of assembly, ventilation, water resistance, comfort and insulation
The Best Tents: Our picks
Once you’ve made the decision to go on your camping adventure, the next biggest step is to purchase your perfect tent. Each tent on the market will have its own profile according to its features and specific advantages.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Tents
In the world of camping, a tent is a fundamental component. It can make the difference between a unique, beautiful and relaxing experience, or a stressful disaster. In the following sections, we’ll cover the most commonly asked questions, doubts, and important considerations when going to purchase your own tent.
What is a tent?
What material are the tents made of?
Materials will vary most greatly when considering where and when you will use it. They are not classified by season, rather by utility. A tent you use in the high mountains will not be the same as a family camping trip on the beach. Below are the most common classifications of tents you can find on the market.
|Four seasons||High mountain, expedition or altitude|| The most professional.
Can withstand harsh weather conditions of high altitude, wind, rain or snow.
Prepared to withstand snow.
|Three seasons||Medium mountain or trekking:|| more versatile.
Typical for residential campsites, they do not support extreme climatic conditions.
|Three seasons, light||Cycle tourism or for backpackers|| They are characterized by their lightweight and large volume.
They are very easy to install.
Their materials are less resistant.
What are the different shapes tents can have?
|Form||Assembly||Advantages or disadvantages|
|Dome tent or igloo||The rods cross diagonally over the base, thereby tightening the outer fabric.||They are very resistant to wind and external conditions, although the interior space is quite small.|
|Tunnel||Several arched rods support the outer layer of the tent and give it the typical tunnel shape. They offer the best ratio between the surface and volume of the cabin||Suitable for families.|
|Geodesic tent|| Similar to igloos but with a larger number of rods, so assembly is more complicated.
Rectangular base (back part rounded in the shape of the apse) and supported by two masts, roof covered
|They have greater stability and they are more resistant to extreme climate.|
Why is the igloo tent the most popular?
Additionally, the absence of rods and posts on the interior allows for better use of space. The dynamics of the igloo shape allow it to stabilize itself during high winds, deflecting it away and guiding it up and over the tent as it hits. Within the igloo design, itself come different shapes, such as the half tube or hemisphere design, all offering slightly different advantages.
What are the different components of a tent?
- Mast: Rigid rods, generally used by Canadian stores, to support the tents heaviest weight point. They are connected to the posts so that the canvas opens and covers all spaces properly.
- Posts or poles: Flexible rods that are widely used in igloo shops. They connect to masts (if any) and their strength depends on the material they are made of (usually fiberglass, polyethylene or aluminum).
- Canvases: The fabric that provides the main structure and shape of the tent. As seen, materials can differ and their physiognomy dictates the type of tent it is (igloo, Canadian or tunnel, among others).
- Clips: Most tarpaulin have small plastic clips that fit or wrap around the poles to tighten and support it.
- Sheaths: Some tarpaulins have covers sewn inside them through which the posts can be passed, from end to end. They also serve to keep the structure tense as well as provide extra covering.
- Pegs: The pegs, or stakes, are like thick nails that insert deeply into the ground, securing the ends of the canvas down for stability.
- Roof cover: Some tents come with an extra canvas that is separate from the rest of the tent that is made to provide extra protection rain, wind or sun. Must be waterproof.
- Double flooring: Similar to the roof cover, some tents include a canvas that is placed between the ground and the interior floor that serves to prevent tears, holes or moisture from entering.
What aspects are important for the interior portion of a tent?
To avoid this, tents should incorporate some sort of cotton within the material as well as multiple entry points for air. Tents that incorporate mesh doors and windows keep the air fresh on the inside while keeping the bugs on the outside. All this will create the best air circulation and the most comfortable living space.
What is the best way to anchor a tent?
The two most commonly used stakes are earth axes, which are narrower (some made of steel) in order to make it easier to insert them into the hard ground; and snow axes, which are wider and more appropriate for contact with the snow. Make sure before nailing them into the ground the canvas of the tent are well fastened to their posts or poles.
Specially designed rope can be used as extra support in weather conditions that are extra windy. They are often used to help tighten the roof covers and deflect the wind. Many are made of reflective material to help with visibility to avoid bumping or tripping over them.
How do you know if a tent is waterproof?
Can tents be set up anywhere?
You could experience a whole new level of camping if you purchase the right tent. To do so you must select a tent that is suitable for your camping destinations. Take a look at this purchase criteria we’ve created that will provide you with an easy checklist to run through to find the tent that is ideal for you.
This biggest consideration is size. How many people will you be wanting to accomodate in your tent and how much space you desire inside will determine above all, which tent you choose. Most igloo models allow up to 6 people. Canadian style or cabin style tents offer luxurious amounts of room.
The material of your tent will be a direct determinant of its durability. It’s crucial that the fabrics and seams are resistant and impervious to wind and rain. Canvases made with synthetic materials and pods made of polyethylene or fiberglass are highly preferred for maximum durability and strength.
Unless you are an expert or have years of experience camping, making sure your tent is simple to set up and intuitive is very important. In regards to easy setup, igloo tents are always the best option. They have few structural components and are made with an overall simple design. However keep in mind, for rigorous terrain these are usually not sturdy enough.
For an exceptionally comfortable sleeping environment, it’s essential that there is good ventilation. As explained prior, make sure the tent is built with at least two mesh entry points of air for good circulation. For optimum ventilation in moist environments, those designed with some cotton will assist in the proper dissipation of moisture.
Weight and Portability
Usually, tents are carried across long distances before even being set up. Backpackers and mountaineers often carry them more than they sleep in them. Due to this, it’s quite natural to look for tents that are as compact and lightweight as possible. Generally speaking, it's good to look for a tent that doesn’t weigh over 5 kilograms and folds up into a manageable size to carry or pack along in the car.
Tents have revolutionized the way that we are able to travel and spend time outdoors. They have become increasingly popular among people of all kinds across all cultures. Whether in the mountains, on the beach or through month-long hiking trips, they allow us to experience nature front and center.
The number and varying models of tents these days are endless. From domes to igloos, to individual and family-sized models, you’ll be able to find one that suits you and your loved ones. Simply keeping in mind factors such as ventilation, durability, and material will allow you to enjoy and withstand whatever weather conditions you find yourself in.
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(Featured Image Source: Scott Goodwill: y8Ngwq34_Ak/ Unsplash.com)