When you are looking to get a tent there are several things that you’ll need to consider to make your camping as easy and as comfortable as possible.
Tents vary in size, shape and weight all of which will affect the type of tent that you will need.
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Number of occupants
When you start looking at tents you will quickly realise that there is no set standard on sizing and one tent may say it is suitable for 4 people, whereas a 3 man tent from another manufacturer will be bigger.
It can be pretty confusing at times and frustrating when sizes differ so much.
The safest way to make certain that you get a good amount of room is to always buy a tent that is larger than your needs.
What we mean is that if you need a tent for 4 adults, then go for a 6 man tent or larger.
This will give you plenty of room, not only for sleeping, but also for equipment, plus, when the weather gets wet, you will appreciate the extra space when everyone is sat in the tent.
Shape and height of the tent
As well as size, tent come in a range of shapes and heights.
This may be less important to you but, in our experience always found a tent that you can stand up in to be more practical and comfortable for holidays and longer camping trips.
In terms of shape, for privacy and some ‘own space’ the types of tents that have sleeping pods are, in our view, the best.
Not only do these provide some privacy they also act as separate sleeping areas, keeping the main body of the tent separate from sleeping quarters and overall making the camping more comfortable.
What will you use the tent for?
You will need to about how you are going to use the tent and if you are likely to use it in different scenarios.
So, for example, a 9 man tent that you can stand up in is ideal for a family holiday or a camping break with friends on a site where you can drive and setup the tent.
The same tent would be totally unsuitable for a wild camping expedition or where you are hiking, simply because it is large and virtually impossible to carry over a long distance.
By the same token a two person, pop up or quick setup tent would probably not suit you if you were going away with a couple of active and excited children.
Thinking about your before you buy a tent is really important and you should also consider what else you might need the tent for – what other camping breaks are you likely to go on?
Maybe you need more than 1 tent?
Weather and time of year
Are you planning to camp just in the summer or will you be looking at a more ‘yea round’ approach to your camping?
Some tents are just not good enough for winter camping, they are great when it is warm but as soon as temperature drops you’ll feel much colder and uncomfortable than you would in a tent that is produced for adverse weather.
Whichever you choose, you should always get a tent that is good when it is wet. If you are camping in the UK then we guarantee, that at some point it will rain.
You’ll be very lucky if it doesn’t.
Strength of the tent
If you are camping when it is windy or when it is likely to snow, then you’ll need to think about the strength of both the tent fabric and the poles and guide wires that support it.
Many tents have ratings that will provide you with information about tested wind speeds and loads that the tent can tolerate and deal with.
These are important considerations that you should bear in mind if your camping is likely to be in adverse weather conditions.
Easy to setup and use
Many tents, particularly the larger family tents can take some time to setup, although there are now a selection of large tents that fall into the ‘quick setup’ category.
How long a tent takes to organise and erect is an important factor, particularly if you camp with children, who may get quickly fed up with waiting around.
Also the ease with which a tent can be erected is worth thinking about, particularly if you camp alone or you are the only adult in a camping party and you will be setting up on your own.
Small tents, by their very size, are normally much easier to get ready than large tents.