8 Tips for Buying a Tent

The idea of camping brings a mixed bag of emotions to the table. Some people think spending the night out in the wilderness is an amazing experience. Others consider the idea of sleeping without a bed or roof over their head to be downright ludicrous and avoid camping at all costs. While these differences in opinion are quite drastic the one thing everyone can agree on is that good equipment completely changes an experience. A leaky tent that doesn’t protect properly from the wind can change a camping advocate to a permanent city slicker, so the choice in buying a tent is a massively important one. Tents vary in shape, size and color so it’s important to get all the information before making the final decision. Here’s 8 tips to help you get there.

Size
This should be the first thing you consider when buying a new tent. Ask yourself who will be coming on your camping trips and if you want to accomodate them all in one space. Even if you are looking for a tent to house your entire family, there are a number of routes you can take to achieve this. Large multi-room tents are quite nice to have the family all in one space, but they are difficult to set up and carry. Some people prefer to buy multiple 2-person tents than larger ones. It’s important to decide how many people you want in a confined space for a night or two! Falera

Price
Make sure you decide on a price range before you go tent shopping. It’s easy to get up-sold on a tent that may be more sophisticated than what you really want. As you aren’t spending every day of your life in this things, you need to consider how much is worth the occasional use.

Rainfly
This is one of the most important aspects of your tent and you should make sure the tent you are buying contains an adequate rainfly. Depending on where you live weather conditions vary, the problem is that so do the quality of rainflies. Make sure the Rainfly covers the entirety of the tent and can handle large volumes of water in case of a torrential downpour!

Poles
The best tent poles are usually made of aluminum. This lightweight metal is not only lighter and easier to carry, but much stronger than plastic. Even fiberglass poles have a higher propensity to break, so stick with your aluminium.

Zipper
Every time you subject your tent to a camping trip there is no doubt that you zipper will be used very often. With large distances for the zipper to move it’s easy for it to slowly breakdown and become useless over time. For this reason it’s important to test zippers for their ease of use and quality before purchasing a tent.

Double Stitching
A tent with folded seams and double stitching is going to last far longer than anything else. As tents get pounded by wind and rain in addition to being put up and down on a regular basis, they need to be put together in a way that is strong, but durable. Double stitching is virtually impossible to pull apart and will significantly increase the longevity of your tent.

Adequate Vents
Even if your tent is lightweight, durable and a fortress against the elements, poorly placed vents or lack of vents can absolutely ruin a camping experience. When multiple people are sleeping in a confined space the temperature is guaranteed to rise and nylon does not breath well enough to keep you cool. Make sure your potential tent has lots of vents that are all able to be opened and closed easily with good zippers.

Tent Stakes
Cheap, plastic tent stakes are all too common in the world of camping supplies. Cheap stakes put your tent at risk for blowing away while you go out searching for firewood. They also could do a bad job of spreading your rainfly which could mean for a long and wet night for your tents occupants.

By Alex Vere Nicoll

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