Tents are an essential part of any camping trip. When you’re looking for the perfect tent, there is much to consider.

There are so many different types of tents, features and prices out on the market these days. It makes finding your perfect one tough.

The best tents to buy vary depending on the type and size of your group. Here, we’ve detailed all important features for purchasing a tent that will suit any need.

What Features Should you Look For When Buying a Tent?

We’ll start with arguably the biggest driving factor of any purchase… price!

Price of Tent 

The price of a tent is usually an indicator as to what you can expect from it. You’ll find that cheaper tents often don’t last and more expensive ones will be better quality, but not always.

There is no sense in buying a cheap tent that will break down easily or tear. You may think you’re saving money by getting it now, but when the poles of your next expensive one snap because they were not meant to withstand such abuse from customers who aren’t fully aware of how much pressure there can be inside any shelter, well let’s just say this: It ends up costing more than if we would’ve spent our time wisely on finding something better.

When shopping for a tent, always ask yourself “why is this one cheaper than the others?”. Take time to look over any features that may be important and see if they meet your needs in terms of quality or durability; also think about what conditions you’ll need it withstand before making up your mind on buying anything else.

There are a lot of great deals to be found when you buy the right tent. In fact, by simply timing your purchase correctly and checking out our guide on what time is best for buying tents.

You can find a tent at many stores, but make sure to compare prices and read reviews before making your purchase. The best places I’ve found for this type of gear are REI or Walmart with Amazon being another popular option when searching online.

Tent Size

The size of the tent is an important consideration. You’ll want enough room for everyone in your family or people you plan on hosting and their gear, which often gets overlooked.

When buying a camping tent, it’s important to consider how many people are going in the shelter. A lightweight 2 person tent will fit two comfortably but not much else so we always recommend getting at least 3 if you’re planning on staying overnight with friends or family.

When it comes to choosing a tent, there are many things you should consider. One of the most important factors is how much space will be needed inside and if possible what type or style would suit your needs best (cabin vs dome). The size difference between these two styles can make all else easier; however they also come with different drawbacks that might not work out well for everyone this includes durability in high winds.

Seasonal Adaptabilities 

There are a variety of different camping tents, each designed for the specific needs and conditions in which it will be used.

The best tents are designed to handle any weather situation you may find yourself in. A summer tent will be made of lightweight fabric and have a lot ventilation, but it won’t stand up well against heavy rain or strong winds the opposite is true for three season models that offer more durability while still remaining comfortable at night on cool Fall nights.

You can’t go wrong with a 4-season or winter tent model. These tents are designed for camping in snow and will keep you dry no matter the conditions.

The type of tent you need for your camping trip depends on the weather and conditions in which it will be used. You don’t want to get caught without protection, so consider what could happen if an unexpected storm came up while out in nature.

Ease of Tent Set Up

Is it easy to set up? Does this require a large group of people? or can you do it on your own with some assistance from friends if needed? how quickly does the tent take down and pack away once camp is done?

The first step in this process should always involve asking yourself these simple but important questions.

Not all tents are created equal. Some, like instant or pop-up models can be set up in 10 seconds flat while others may require two people and 30 minutes of work before they’re ready for use.

The best way to set up your tent is in store if possible, or there are plenty of YouTube videos on how. Make sure you find a video that illustrates the pitching process for whichever type and model it will be before purchasing so as not get stuck with one who doesn’t takedown easily.

 

Tent Transportability

Will you be taking your tent out on backpacking trips or long hiking excursions? Or will it just get stored in the car when we’re camping at a designated site near our destination(s)?

As you can imagine, the larger tents are not quite as simple to transport. You may need help from someone else or two strong arms.

The tent you buy should be lightweight and portable enough so that it can easily fit into your backpack or bag. If the carry weight is an issue for when hiking, then finding a way to strap/weight down may become necessary depending on where exactly Allie plans her next adventure.

Ventilation of your Tent

Ventilation is key to making sure that you are never woken up in the morning with a hot, stuffy and moisture filled tent. Nobody wants this.

To keep the tent cool and comfortable, find one with mesh ventilation that can be covered by a rain fly in case of bad weather.

Material off your Tent 

Tents come in a variety of materials, from cotton to polyester. But beware – tents made out these fabrics are heavy and prone for mold or mildew problems because they’re so durable.

The best tents are made of lighter, more durable materials like polyester and nylon. These fabrics have been waterproofed with a tough coating or treatment that can stand up in harsh weather conditions for any outdoor adventure you want to take.

Which tent material is best for you? We’ve got all the pros and cons listed in our guide, What Material Are Tents Made Of? 

Tent Durability

The durability of a tent is really an abstract concept, but it can mean different things to different people. In this context though we want make sure your camping equipment will stand up against the treatment or elements you subject them too.

When you are looking for a tent, it is important that the material and construction withstand your typical camping type. The poles should be durable as well so they don’t break under pressure or strain from windy days on distant camp sites with heavy snowfall in winter months not to mention rainstorms.

When buying a tent, it’s important to take the long view. You want your purchase not only be good for this trip but also as many future camping trips ahead of you and all those who will use it afterword’s too.

 

Manufacturer’s Warranty

When you make any major purchase, be sure to read and understand the manufacturer’s Tent warranty. It might not only help protect your investment but also get a replacement if something goes wrong.

Warranty lengths vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the best warranties offer extensive protection. A multi-year or lifetime limited warranty with coverage for as much of your product are good examples worth looking out for when shopping around at different retailers.

By Anthony Paton

Anthony Paton, the outdoorsman who loves to report all sorts of interesting stories about camping in Great Britain. He's based out London and doesn't get much time for himself these days because work commitments keep him away on occasion but does what he can with what little free time there is.