Choosing a camping tent – Never an easy decision to make

By Tijana Radeska
Publish Date:
Camping Tent

Traveling seems to be getting harder. First of all, it is expensive and requires lots of organizing just to travel to a place, arranging accommodation, managing the food, activities and so on. Many have forgotten the benefits of camping in a tent. It is basically a portable house which you can put on the beach, in the mountains, in the forest, you name it.

Camping in a tent also teaches you many survival skills and above anything else makes everything sweeter – the sleep, the food, the games, the stories. Camping in a tent is bliss for travelers. But choosing your traveling house is never an easy task.


Typical lightweight and trekking tent designs: 1. geodesic tent, 2. dome tent, 3. tunnel tent, 4. ridge tent, 5. pyramid tent. Photo credit


A drawing of a dining fly tent


Tent for few people. Photo credit

There are many features that you need to be conscious of when choosing your “portable home”, such as the tents’ sleeping capacity, when in the year they’re suitable and for what environments, the floor length, the peak height, the tent doors, poles, the rainfly, the tent’s material, ventilation, the interior pockets and loops, and the many optional accessories that are available.


Inflatable air beam tunnel tent. Photo credit


A modern two person, lightweight hiking dome tent; it is tied to rocks as there is nowhere to drive stakes on this rock shelf. Photo credit


Tent for few people. Photo credit

First of all, when selecting a tent, you should know how many people are going to sleep inside and get a tent that accommodates everyone comfortably. Also, you should count on possible guests, gear, or dogs before buying the tent. Even though there is no industry standard which defined the tent dimensions per-person, helpful information would be to consider how big the people are, if there is a child in the group, how much gear needs to be stored in the tent, etc.


Cabin-style tent for two. Photo credit


Inside a Megatent. Photo credit

The second important feature is the tents season rating. By far, the most popular ones are the three-season tents which are designed for the relatively mild weather in the spring, summer, and fall. Usually, these tents are equipped with mesh panels to increase air flow and to keep out insects. A three-season tents provide privacy, shield you from bugs, and keep you dry inside the tent during rain or light snow, they’re made of higher quality materials, and they’re generally more hard wearing.



Tunnel tent with several doors. Photo credit


Dome-style tent. Photo credit

Experienced campers usually buy 3-4 season tents which are designed to accommodate you not only in mild weather but year round in moderate conditions.  They’re tough and well made although not built for winter storms.


Tunnel tent. Photo credit


Campsite. Photo credit


Camping in a tent in Suomi, Finland. Photo credit


Tent used by mountaineers in Nepal. Photo credit

Tent used by mountaineers in Nepal. Photo credit
If you want to camp during the winter, sleep peacefully through the cold nights and fierce winds, and not be bothered by rain or snow, you should get yourself the four-season tent. These are built to stand strong in inhospitable weather. They are made of heavier fabrics than the previous tents we’ve mentioned and are more able to cope with snow, heavy rain and strong winds.


Cabin-style tent. Photo credit


Family tent. Photo credit

Another tent feature that could be important for you is the peak height of the tent. If you want to be abe to stand inside the tent, then you should ask for a tall peak height. There are two styles of tents considering this feature. One is the cabin-style tent which has almost vertical walls that maximize the overall peak height and hence the space inside the tent.


The other type is the dome-style tents which stand tall in the center, but their walls have more of a slope. That reduces the livable space, but at the same time, these tents offer wind-shedding abilities and superior strength in moderate weather. Remember that the higher you go, the more unstable the tent is going to be, the tougher the conditions you’re going to be camping in the more compact your tent is generally going to be.


Cabin-style tent. Photo credit


Dome-style tent. Photo credit

Further, consider the tent inner. Although limited, privacy is still possible even in a tent. You might choose a tent with multiple dividers that can separate the space and give each camper more comfort and privacy.

The other feature you should probably discuss with the seller when buying a tent is the length – have in mind the height of the people camping so that they can feel comfortable while lying.

The rainfly, which is a separate waterproof cover that fits over the roof of the tent and can be roof-only or fully cover the tent inner. If you are camping in the summer you will likely need more ventilation to help keep the temperature down, A larger tent can also be useful. In the winter you might have a smaller tent which helps retain heat, but you will need controllable ventilation to control condensation.


Family tent with several doors. Photo credit


Inside a dome-style tent. Photo credit

There are stacks of tent accessories; you can buy pockets, room dividers, hanging loops, heaters and so much more to make your camping trip comfortable. Ultimately though camping in a tent is about getting out there, closer to nature and enjoying yourselves. Few of us need the best gear, what we need is to get on out there.


A variety of dome tents. Small dome and tunnel tents are the most popular tents amongst travelers due to their light weight and quick/easy placement. Photo credit

Good hunting with choosing your tent. Make sure you buy the best you can afford and that it’s suitable for what you need to use it for.


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