Buying a tent can seam like a daunting task…
(Click any image for more information)
but with a little know how and knowledge it can be a fun, exciting, rewarding experience.
I will explain some of the factors to look for while tent shopping as well as my favor picks and best uses.
Tents fall into two basic categories, freestanding and not freestanding.
Some of these advantages include camping on soft or sandy soil where tent stakes don’t hold well or…
Camping on rocky or hard ground where you can not pound stakes.
If you plan to use your new tent to camp out at your favorite store for black Friday or awaiting the latest video game release a freestanding tent would be a must…
as it would in a urban setting like a natural disaster where you could camp in a building, parking lot, rooftop, or parking structure.
My personal favorite use of the freestanding tent is the ability to set it up in the garage or basement to air and dry it out after returning for a rainy trip.
Storing a wet tent will cause it to mold and mildew and give it a musty smell so drying and airing it out before final long term storage is a must.
Also kids love camping and even in the middle of winter setting up the tent in the living room can be a fun cheap way to have a great family weekend.
Some other important things to consider before buying a new tent are:
Capacity, How many people do you need your new tent to fit?
Remember that tent manufactures list the sleeping capacity so you may want extra room for gear or larger sized campers unless everyone is ok with cuddling.
How much time do you plan to spend in the tent can be a factor, if your tent is only for sleeping it can be smaller than if you will spend time during the day waiting out rain showers.
Weight, The weight of the tent can play a important role in your buying decision.
A larger family size tent that sleeps 8+ people can weigh 30 pounds or more.
If you will be backpacking or carrying the tent moderate to long distance this can be a bad choice. In a case like this choosing three smaller tents weighing 5 pounds each would be a better choice.
Livability, This is an important factor to consider…
if you will be camping for longer times say a week while in the field on a hunting trip a tent that you can stand up in and dress would be a wish purchase.
If you will only be moving camp every night as you follow the game a tent that you can only sit up or laydown in would be better.
The ease of setting up the tent can make a difference, will it take two people 5 minutes in the rain to set up and take down or will it take 5 people 20 minutes.
Seasonal Use, most people will use their new tent in the warmer summer months…
and maybe a little in the spring and fall.
This is why the 3 season tent is the most popular type. It will handle light snow and wind without sacrificing weight or significant added cost.
You could get a summer only tent but for little or no more money the 3 season is a better choice.
For hardcore winter use and extreme wind and weather you would want a mountaineering or expedition tent that could be used for a polar expedition or Mt. Everest treks.
This would be a waste for a weekend at a local KOA campground.
Cost, Like everything in life…
there is a balance between usefulness and cost.
A $500 new tent will lots of bells and whistles and may fit your needs but would you be just as happy with a $150 tent?
Cost will be a determining factor in any choice you make.
And my Top Choice Picks for BEST TENTS are:
- 7.5 pound
- Super easy setup
- 2 interior pockets
- 1 overhead hook
- 2 door design
- $59.99 Available on Amazon
- 4.3 Stars with 119 Reviews
- ==>Link to Ohuhu Tent Here <==
Why is this a TOP PICK you ask…
This 2-3 person tent has plenty of room for 2+ full size adults, weighting just 7.5 pounds it is small and light enough for all but the longest backpacking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking camping trips without sacrificing room.
Super easy setup and take down, with a little practice this tent can be setup by one person in the dark by flashlight in the rain in under a minute.
2 door design is great for getting a crossflow breeze or being able to get out of the tent without crawling over the sleeping person next to you. (Think midnight bathroom trip)
Rainfly that overhangs the door makes it easy to get in or out of the tent without the inside getting wet.
2 interior pockets make it easy to organize and avoid loosing small items and keeping gear stashed away and the overhead hook is great for hanging a light making it easier to see things.
Family Size Cabin Tent Top Pick
When comfort is a must and weight matters less!
Built in closet with shelves and hanger bar.
Room for 2 Queen size airbeds.
Wheeled carrying case makes it easier to transport.
Uses Coleman fast Pitch system making it 55% faster to set up than conventional designs.
4.1 Stars out of over 220 Reviews
Why is this a Top Pick?
With room for 8 this cabin Tent will accommodate all but the largest families with plenty of room to get out of the weather.
Measuring 13ft. 6in. long 9ft. wide and standing 6ft.4in. in the center weighting 41lbs. and including a 2ftx 2ft closets for gear storage
Colman Fast Pitch system with average setup time of 9 minutes Hinged door for easy entrance and exit and a room divider for privacy .
Room enough for 2 Queen size air beds and a wheeled carry and storage case make this a great tent for your family.
Other great Tent stuff, ideas, tips and tricks
Ground Cloths, A ground Cloth is a tarp or piece of plastic that is placed on the ground under a tent.
This has many advantages such as keeping your tent floor clean, providing protection from rocks, sticks, pine needles, from puncturing your tent. Softening and insulating the ground for your sleeping comfort.
A cheap ground cloth can save your expensive tent and at the very lease prolong its useful life. Think of it as insurance for you beautiful new tent.
You can make your own by getting some heavy plastic sheeting (Not too heavy or it will add weight, thin painters plastic is too thin) and cutting it the size of your tent. You don’t want the ground cloth to hang out from under the tent or water can collect under the tent.
You can also buy a Cheap tarp such as this. Find a size close to your tent and fold under any extra material.
You can also use tarps to set up a dinning fly or covered area for your group to gather under and protection from Sun, rain or snow as shown in this video.
Maybe you need some replacement Tent Stakes for those that are lost or broken?
Don’t forget a way to keep your tent clean. A small freestanding tent can be picked up and shaken out but larger tents will need to be swept with a brook.