A good tent is meant to help keep you dry and warm as well as keeping biting insects away. Tents can make a big difference in your camping trip, but they do not have to carry a big price tag. If you know what to look for and how to shop, you can save yourself a lot of money.
There are different sizes of tents, generally labeled by how many people they sleep. There are also larger tents, which you may want to consider if you are traveling with a family or plan to spend more time inside the tent. For example, there are tents that have attached screen rooms. These give you extra interior space if you want to avoid biting insects.
If you want to store extra gear in your tent, keep that in mind when you are choosing a tent. You don’t want to be tripping over your bags and equipment as you are trying to get to your sleeping bag.
There are a-frame tents and dome tents. Domes are more popular, but a-frames are generally the easiest to set up because of their simple design. Both styles can either be freestanding or be staked to the ground.
The a-frame style has steeper walls like a pyramid, while most dome tents are more rounded like igloos. Because of this design, a-frame structures tend to feel smaller inside, while those with a dome shape give better access to floor space and feel larger.
There are also “car camping tents” that are designed to attach to the back of a sport utility vehicle or truck. These conveniently give campers extra tent space and easy access to the inside of the car.
After you have decided on the size and shape you want, think about where and when you will be camping. Some tents are lighter weight, designed for summertime camping only. Others are built of heavier materials to withstand stronger weather conditions.
If you plan to camp in an area with lots of mosquitos or other biting insects, you may want to consider a style with a screened in “porch”. If there is a possibility of rain, you will want a tent roof or cover to throw over the top of your tent for extra protection. Covers usually come as part of the tent package, but check to make sure.
If you need a lightweight tent for backpacking, look for a smaller style with less stakes and poles and fewer features. If the weather is warm enough, you may prefer a tarp as opposed to a tent. There are no stakes or poles required, since the tarp can be tied between trees.
Generally, the smaller and simpler the tent is, the cheaper the price tag. Once you start adding on size, extra features and more durable materials for colder weather conditions, the price goes up. You do not have to go with a name brand maker to get a high-quality tent. You can comparison shop online, read reviews and even find bargain priced Coleman tents on the internet that can give you years of use.