Tents for Camping

By on November 19, 2013

You may be an experienced outdoors person looking for a new tent, or a someone getting into camping for the first time. Either way, many tents for camping are available. These little homes away from home come in an array of sizes and types, and feature a variety of fabrics and other materials. Prices range from less than $100 to more than $1,000.

Types of Tents for Camping

English: A one person pop-up tent.

English: A one person pop-up tent. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your goal should be to buy the best tent you can afford. That sounds easy, but deciding which camping tent is right for you depends upon several factors. First of all, are you camping alone or with others? Sizes range from cozy little hoop tents, designed for one person, to multi-room structures with space for a half-dozen or more campers.

The shapes of tents for camping include domes and cabin-style varieties. Large, family tents, with rooms jutting out here and there, provide lots of space but also may be cumbersome and difficult to erect. Screen tents have mesh walls that allow the wind to blow through the structure. They are recommended for the hottest weather conditions, as well as for places plagued with mosquitoes or other biting insects. Screen tents do not provide any protection from wind, rain, snow or cold air.

Tents are constructed to withstand different conditions. Summer, or two-season, tents are made of lightweight materials and feature plenty of windows to allow for ventilation. Three-season tents are intended for spring, summer and fall use. They are a little heavier and sturdier than summer tents, and better equipped to keep you warm and dry. Four-season tents are the strongest ones available. They are made of heavier materials, like aluminum poles, and are more resistent to wind and precipitation.

Materials and Features

In considering the materials of tents for camping, keep in mind that nylon is stronger and lighter than polyester. It also repels moisture more efficiently. However, polyester holds up better under the sun’s ultraviolet light. Aluminum poles are tougher than fiberglass types, which is an important consideration in windy conditions. Regarding tent stakes, metal is preferable to plastic, especially on hard ground.

Before shopping for a tent, decide which special features you want. Some tents have vestibules, little rooms attached to the outside of the doorways. They help keep cold air and moisture outside, and provide space for shoes and wet clothing. The design of the rain fly is crucial in rainy or snowy conditions. A small fly that only covers the top of the top is fine in dry weather. To repeal precipitation, you need a fly that reaches well down the sides of the tent.

You also may want to shop for a tent that has a lot of storage space, in the form of pockets and gear lofts. Consider the head room you prefer, as well as the amount of stooping you want to do when entering or leaving the tent.

One-Person Tents

Hoop, or pup, tents are the smallest types. They are also called mountaineering or backpacking tents because of their light weight and small size. These one-person domiciles are low to the ground, typically requiring the camper to crawl inside. Some provide enough head space to sit in bed, but not to stand. The tents can be set up in a hurry and require little space.

Two popular varieties are the MSR Carbon Reflex and the Eureka Solitaire, each of which is a three-season tent. The double-walled MSR weighs little more than 2 pounds, due to its nylon fabric and carbon fiber poles. At last report, it could be purchased for about $400. The Solitaire, at less than $100, features a wind-resistent fiberglass frame, waterproof polyester rain fly and waterproof polyester taffeta floor.

Two-Person Tents

Among the most commonly purchased tents are those designed for two people. Be aware that this means there is enough space for two campers to sleep, right next to one another. That does not leave much room for gear, which is why many camping couples prefer four-person tents. Single campers often get two-person tents.

The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL two-person tent weighs just 3 pounds 13 ounces because of its nylon fabric. It has aluminum poles that attach to clips on the outside of the tent. Each of the two large, D-shaped doorways has an 18-square-foot vestibule and an overhead storm flap. The center of the tent is 42 inches high and the floor area is 29 square feet. The price has been about $400.

Another highly rated two-person tent, the Kelty Acadia 2, is a dome-shaped dwelling made for three-season use. It recently has been selling for $90 to $110. This polyester tent is 43 inches high in the center, with a base of 88 by 52 inches. It also has two doors with vestibules, clips rather than sleeves for the poles, and lots of storage pockets.

Family Tents

The largest tents on the market are those designed for families or other groups. They feature either one large space or multiple rooms. The Coleman Red Canyon is a 17-by-10-foot, eight-person tent. At a little more than $100, it is relatively affordable for such a large item. Two optional walls allow you to create as many as three rooms.

Tent and trailer at Saint-Marc-sur-Mer camping...

Tent and trailer at Saint-Marc-sur-Mer camping site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kodiak makes several canvas tents, the largest of which (10 by 14 feet) sleeps eight people and costs nearly $500. The seven-person Wenzel Big Bear Family Dome Tent is 14 by 9 feet at the base, and 72 inches high in the center. It features a fiberglass frame, with steel and plastic stakes. It sells for about $180. Another option, the cabin-style TexSport Lazy River, accommodates five campers and costs about $150.

Remember that prices are subject to change. The amount charged for the tents mentioned in this article may have increased.

Conclusion

Once you have assessed your needs and preferences, you will be ready to begin shopping. You will want to consider a variety of tents for camping. Based on your budget, find the model that best fits your requirements. The right choice can result in a pleasurable outdoor experience that you will long remember.

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