Whether it is the first time you are getting a tent for your camping trip, or you are just replacing that old tent of yours, look here as we have some useful guides in helping you choose the tent that caters to your need! As the main goal of a camping trip is often to have fun, it is important that the tent that you choose is equipped with the features you need and is made of quality materials, or it can easily ruin your fun day. Here are the things to consider when you look for a new tent:
The Size Of The Tent
The first thing to consider when you look for a new tent is the size of your camping group. Obviously, if more people are going to sleep in a tent, the larger the tent needs to be. Well, that is the obvious, other than that, you might want to consider a few more things when determining the size of the tent as well. You will need to take into consideration and upsize your tent base on:
Is the tent solely for sleeping? Or do you need to store stuff like clothes and equipment in the tent? When you camp, you are going to bring essential stuff such as food, clothes, and your camping gears. Think about it, where are you going to put all these things? If the answer is in the tent, then you would want to upsize your tent base on how many things you and your tent buddy are going to bring.
Will there always be extra head count at the last minute when you are going to leave for your camping trip? If you or your camping buddy is known to squeeze in extra people like a family member, a partner, a child or even a furry friend to the trip at the last minute, it will be wise to purchase a tent which allows for extra sleeping places.
How physically large are your camping buddies? It will be unwise to assume a normal sleeping space for a person with, well, larger than normal size.
Are your camping buddies afraid of confined spaces? It is a fear known as claustrophobia and a lot of people have it. So, you might want to check with them and take it into consideration.
Are your camping buddies active sleeper? As in they might probably kicked and elbowed you during sleep? If they are, to avoid being the victim to them, simply upsize your tent so that you are saved from the flying fist.
Some people simply sleep better with larger space. If your camping buddy is one, you will need a larger tent to avoid waking up to a sleep deprived person.
Another thing to keep in mind that, while there is no certain standard for the size of the tent to accommodate one person, we can only presume a space that is just nice for sleeping. For any extra upgrades of space, see the above and make your decisions accordingly.
Important Features Of A Tent
Next, you will want to consider which features you and your camping buddies need and which you all can do without.
HEIGHT OF THE TENT
A high tent will allow you to change your clothes in the tent, and as discusses above, will be good if you don’t quite enjoy confined spaces. The height of the tent is an obvious feature and will be listed in the tent’s spec sheets, so check before buying.
Cabin-style Tents: this type of tent offers even height at every part of the tent as its walls do not curve inwards too much like most tents. A lot of tent manufacturers also offers cabin tents that can be separated into different rooms, making it ideal for a family camping trip. Extendable canopies can be added as well which serves as a front porch of the tent.
Dome-style Tents: dome-style tents are higher in the middle, but their walls gradually slide down from there, making the space around the middle slightly smaller. However, the good thing about dome-style tents is that the structure makes them very sturdy. So if your camping ground is very windy, this is the type of tent for you as it will be able to withstand strong wind.
After height, of course you need to consider the length of the tent. If you are vertically blessed (like above 6 feet tall), or like a little more room to move around, do consider tents that are at least 90 inches ( approx. 2.3 meters). Usual tents are often in the range of 84-88 inches.
You should also consider how many doors you will need on your tent. If you are going to have multiple people inside one tent, it will be better to consider tents with a few more doors to offer more convenience. You do not want to be stepped over by people who wants to go out right? The shape, placement, and the noise level that the zipper creates are also part of the consideration for tent doors. Zippers like YKK are one of those durable ones that can resist numerous wear and tear.
You can easily know how easy or difficult to set up the tent by looking at the arrangements of the poles that hold up the tent. A lot of tents these days are freestanding, which means they do not need any poles to set up. Besides the ease of setting up, the major plus point to this kind of tent is it is very easy to move around. You don’t need to take out all the poles and set the tent all up again if you want to move the tent to a different location. You might also want to pay attention to how to join the poles to the tent. Joining the poles with clips is much easier than having to slide the poles in through the pole sleeves. Some tents might use both clips and short pole sleeves in order to offer hardiness, airiness, and easier setups. Color coordinated corners and clips also offers a fool-proof way of setting up. Consider aluminum poles too as they are stronger than the usual fiberglass ones.
Which is a separate waterproof piece with the purpose of providing an extra shade for rain or sun, or to maintain warmth in the tent. There are generally two types of rainfly: roof-only rainflies go over the roof of the tent and offers adequate shield from rain at the same time allowing more outside views from the tent and more light streaming in; while rainflies with overall coverage shields the whole tent from sun and rain.
If you want the fabric of the tent to be thick and durable, you want to be prepare that the surface will be rough. Thicker fabric also lower the chance to have moisture seep in from the seams of the tent floor. If you are still facing this problem, opt for some seam tapes which can easily solve the issue.
Serves as an extension from your tent and is usually in front of the tent door or window. It will be useful if you want to store your things outside of the tent but still need the shelter from rain and sun. Some rainflies come with a vestibule too.
Mesh inserts are often used for this purpose. Check out how many ventilation panels are there in the tent. They are usually at the ceiling, doors and walls of the tent. Other than allowing campers to see out of the tent, good ventilation means good airflow in the tent and less humidity. If you are camping in a hot and humid climate like in Malaysia, you might want to consider tents with larger mesh inserts.
HOOPS AND POCKETS IN THE TENT
Look out for these as you might want to hang stuff like a gear loft (acts like a shelf, can be bought separately) to the tent walls. Built in pockets inside the tent also allow you to store things away from the ground. Also look for a hook at the top middle of the tent which let you hang up your lamps.
These are hoops on the outside of the tent for you to secure the guy lines. Guy lines will further strengthen the tent by holding down the hatches so that your tent won’t be pounded by strong winds.
Consider These Optional Accessories As Well…
It is a piece of cloth that underlays your tent with the purpose of protecting your tent floor. If you are a frequent camper and your camping ground is rocky, your tent floor might tear sooner than expected, this is where footprints are useful because they are cheaper to replace than your actual tent floor. Footprints are made to fit the tent floor exactly. This is important because if doesn’t fit exactly, water might flow between the footprint and the tent floor.
As mentioned above, in addition to pockets, gear loft is a shelf that you can attached to the internal walls of the tent to store more things above the tent floor.
Further enhance your camping experience with these:
- Ropes and straps
- Seam sealer
- Door mats for inside and outside
- Mini broom and dustpan
- Tent repair tool kit
- Stakes and anchors
- Portable battery powered fan