So you need a new tent, and aren’t sure where to start looking? Here are some tips to help you get started, and a few online resources to provide you with more in depth information. When properly maintained and cared for, a good tent will protect you in all sorts of weather. I am a big fan of the Kelty Gunnison series of tents. I have slept through rainstorms only to find other campers bailing water from their tents the next morning, while the inside of mine is still dry. And it also is well ventilated, preventing condensation from forming inside the tent.
MustGoCamping tent buying tips:
- What do you need the tent for? If it’s for the kids to play in out in the back yard, then something from the local department store will be fine. If you need it for shelter while camping, you need a tent that will keep you dry when it’s raining, and will also have good ventilation when it’s hot. Don’t cut corners, because spending a little more on a tent that actually does what you need can mean the difference between a good campout and being wet and miserable.
- If you are backpacking, weight is an important factor. You want as little weight as possible.
- If you are car camping, weight is not as important, so you may want something with more room inside.
- Remember that a two person tent will generally fit two people sleeping very close to each other, with not much else in the tent. Or, one person and some gear.
- Look at the season rating on the tent. Three season tents are good for camping in all weather (except for snow). A good three season tent should withstand most weather conditions you’ll encounter in spring, summer, and fall camping. 3-4 season tents are just like 3 season tents but can withstand light snowfall. Four season tents are made stronger to withstand higher winds and snow you are likely to face in year round camping.
- Most new tents attach to the tent poles with clips, but some older designs require you to thread the poles through pockets in the tent. Look for a clip design. They are much faster to set up, and to take down.
Online resources for selecting a tent:
- Family Base Camping Tent this article is very informative about what tent to use in different situation. It will guide you to the right tent for you as well as help you get the right size and season.
- Tent Buyers Guide from Back Country this article breaks the tent types down and compares them to help you find the right tent.
- Outdoor Gear Lab Tent Buying Advice this article separates the different aspects of a useful tent and tells you what to look for .
- 5 Tips for Buying Family Camping Tents this gives 5 very useful tips on how to look for a tent that would best suit your needs.
- Boys Life Tent Buying Guide this article tells you exactly what you need to know when buying a tent while keeping it simple.