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Camping is the perfect activity for all you nature lovers out there. Armed with just a tent, you can call anywhere home making it great for families, friends, and couples alike. With so many different options available, the hard part is choosing the right tent.
That’s why we have put together this article that explains everything you need to know. We will look at the best types of tents, the purpose of a tent, and even provide you with a list of the best tents available in 2021.
The Different Types Of Tents
Camping has been around since the late 1800s and has become increasingly popular over the years. While tents used to be made of cotton fabric, we have come a long way since then and are able to enjoy camping as a luxury thanks to the high-quality tents available.
When you think of a tent, dome tents are probably what come to mind. These are the most common types of tents you will see people using. Designed with two flexible poles that cross each other, they are easy to set up and transport.
Some dome tents also contain a small porch area which adds to the look and feel. It also provides shade making it perfect if you want to sit back, crack open a beer, and relax.
- WEATHERPROOF: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; included rainfly offers extra weather protection
- WIND AND RAIN TESTED: Strong frame withstands 35+ mph winds
- GREAT VENTILATION: Large windows and ground vent for enhanced airflow
Although you can purchase dome tents in different sizes, we recommend sticking with a smaller one as the bigger they are, the more unstable they become. If you’re looking for a big tent, then check out one of the other options below.
Tunnel tents are another popular type of tent used by campers. They are typically bigger than most dome tents and come with a large living area thanks to the ‘Tunnel’ shape design.
These tents are made up of multiple poles that loop over the roof making them more sturdy compared to a dome tent. They are much stronger overall and can withstand harsh weather conditions which is important when camping – The last thing you want is for your tent to be destroyed.
- Spacious 6-person tent has enough room for 2 queen-size airbeds
- Separate floorless screen room offers bug-free lounging
- WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
Another great, but often overlooked benefit of tunnel tents, is they provide you with more headroom allowing you to stretch your legs if you’ve been sitting for long periods of time.
If you want to step it up a notch, then cabin tents are your go-to tent. They are designed with aluminum poles and shaped like a cabin. However, due to their ‘Cabin’ design, they are not known to withstand harsh weather, so only use them where the weather is mild.
The great thing about these tents is, in most cases, they provide enough space to stand up fully allowing you to stretch your legs after long periods of sitting. Most cabin tents also contain different sections/rooms allowing for more privacy – This makes them perfect for multiple couples or family camping.
- ✔Spacious Room and Easy to Install: KAZOO large cabin instant tent uses the cabin-shaped design to provide an incomparable volume; it can fit 4 adults very well. It is one of the most spacious...
- ✔ Waterproof and Sturdy： KAZOO 4 person camping tent has double layers. The liner is made of no-see-um netting B3 mesh and 190T breathable Polyester. The rainfly is made of 210T Ripstop Polyester,...
- ✔ Large Tent Porch and Optimized Ventilation: KAZOO large camping tent has full mesh walls and ceiling to provide excellent ventilation. KAZOO 4 person cabin tent is a cozy place to stay in. 2 large...
Some tents can be too small to store personal belongings. However, due to their large design, you won’t have this issue with cabin tents.
Shaped like a pyramid, these tents typically contain one pole which makes setting them up an easy job. They are lightweight and can sleep multiple people making them perfect for couples looking to get away for a long weekend.
While they are great in some ways, they also come with some drawbacks. One drawback is that similar to dome tents, the bigger they are, the less stable they become.
- Quality Materail: Made with 20D Silicon-coated Nylon Fabric with waterproof YKK Zippers and waterproof treated seams, waterproof rating 3000mm, lightweight, durable and highly versatile
- Double Backpacking Tent: 10.4ft/ 3.2m in Diameter, 5.2ft/ 1.6m in Height, ample space for 2 persons with a top opening for a burning stove and hot flue pipe (the "chimney")
- Quick Setting: Comes with no tent bottom, only a full set of kits for a quick and easy setup in the cold
That’s why we recommend purchasing a ‘small’ pyramid tent and if you’re going to be camping with more than two people, your best bet is sticking to one of the other options on this list.
Ridge tents are not as popular as they used to be but come with a range of benefits. They are available in different sizes making them great for special occasions such as weddings.
Known for their durability, these tents are very stable and will not be swayed due to harsh weather. They are also easy to set up and will last you for years to come.
What is the purpose of a tent?
While the main purpose of a tent is to give you somewhere to sleep, there are a number of other uses you may not have heard off.
Shelter From Bad Weather
One of the most important reasons to buy a tent is to provide shelter from bad weather. With 2021 around the corner and life advancing so fast, it’s hard to find a tent that isn’t waterproof in this day and age.
However, over time even the best tents will begin to degrade and become prone to leaks. To combat this, there are a number of sprays you can apply to your tent.
If leaks are your main concern, then this water repellent spray by Kiwi Camp is your best bet. It won’t fix a leak but will shield your tent with an extra layer of protection.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be camping in the sun, it may be a good idea to consider a UV protection spray. This will protect your tent against harmful UV rays that can lead to tearing.
A common use for a tent is large outdoor events such as weddings and parties. These types of tents are much larger in size and, in some cases, can hold hundreds of people.
Due to their size, they require more people to set up and are not easily transported. However, this is not an issue as they are typically owned by big companies with a large number of employees.
If you want to purchase one of these tents, keep in mind they can be expensive and difficult to set up.
Great For Festivals
Festivals are great for meeting new people, having fun, and enjoying great music. As they have become more popular over the years, their duration has increased with some festivals stretching as long as 5 days.
For long festivals, you’re going to need a tent big enough for you and your friends. We recommend choosing one that is middle of the range and can be used again. There is no point in buying a cheap tent and leaving it at the festival afterward, it’s a huge waste of money!
You may also benefit from getting a ‘cabin tent’ with different sections allowing for better privacy.
A Smaller Tent for Food
When camping outdoors on a regular basis, you will be camping in bad weather. One major tip of spending time in nature is to NOT cook in the same space that you sleep.
How do you avoid this if your tent is your only source of shelter and it is nasty outside? Get a cook tent.
Set up a smaller tent as your “kitchen” and use it for all your dry food storage, cooking utensils, and other food and cooking items.
Read this post for more ideas on how to pack food that doesn’t need to be kept cool.
How do you comfortably camp in a tent?
Buying a tent is one thing, but how do you ensure you’re going to be comfortable? Follow the tips below and you should have no issues with ‘uncomfortable camping’.
- Avoid Sleeping On Floor – If this is your first time camping, you may just grab a sleeping bag and hit the road thinking it will be enough to keep you comfy and warm. However, if your tent is big enough, we recommend sticking with an inflatable mattress. This creates distance between you and the floor meaning you will be warmer throughout the night.
- Pitching Spot – Some campsites tell you where to pitch your tent while others allow you to choose. If the latter, we recommend looking for somewhere close to the toilets, and that has even ground. This will enhance your camping experience – the last thing you want is to spend 15 minutes walking to the toilet.
- Choosing The Right Campsite – Make sure the campsite you choose isn’t at the bottom of a valley or canyon as the air will be colder making it difficult to sleep. It’s also recommended to stay away from meadows and stagnant lakes as these are breeding grounds for insects.
- Bring A Chair – This is something beginners can sometimes overlook. Sitting on the floor in your tent will become uncomfortable after long periods of time, that’s why it’s important to bring a chair with you. Your best bet would be purchasing an inflatable chair that is easy to transport.
- Table Set – Similar to sitting on the floor, eating on the floor is no fun either. A high-quality table set will allow you to enjoy a more comfortable eating experience. You can buy folding table sets designed for camping on Amazon for a reasonable price.
- Insulated Mugs – Insulated mugs are great for keeping beverages hot as well as cold. We recommend looking for one that is big, but lightweight, ensuring you will have enough water to last you throughout the day, especially if you’re going to be hiking.
Read this post for more tips on camping and a ready to go camping checklist.
3 Best Tents For Comfortable Camping
Now you understand the differences between the different types of tents, let’s take a look at the best tents for comfortable camping in 2021.
Designed by Coleman, this tent is everything you could want when camping with more than two people. It has inverted seams to prevent water getting in and a rainfly for an added layer of protection. The windows can also be left open during rainfall thanks to the angled design.
The inside is spacious enough for three queen-size airbeds allowing you to enjoy a more restful sleep compared to a sleeping bag. The hinged door will also make entering and exiting this tent easy.
Having a tent full of clutter is a great way to make camping less enjoyable. Luckily, you’ll get the added benefit of storage compartments inside this tent allowing you to store small personal possessions.
Coleman has made it easy to set up thanks to the pin-and-ring system meaning it can be up and ready to go within 15 minutes.
- Hold 8 People
- Angled Windows
- Storage Compartments
- 15 Minutes Set Up
Designed with 185T polyester, you’ll be protected against heavy rain while camping. It also features a rectangular roof making it more firm, stable and windproof allowing for a more peaceful camping experience.
The interior has enough space for 6 people and allows you to stand up making it great if you need to change clothes or stretch your legs.
While camping is about being in nature, you’re still going to need your phone in case of emergencies. Luckily, this tent comes with an electrical access port that allows you to run a cord from your device in the tent to an outside power source. It’s also designed with storage pockets meaning you can store your small personal items.
Setting up this tent requires two people and can be done in as little as 3 minutes with no skills required thanks to the 2-way zipper.
- Hold 6 People
- Electrical Access Port
- 3 Minute Setup
When purchasing, you’ll be able to choose between a 2-6 person tent. If you select the 6 person option, it will be able to fit 2 queen size airbeds allowing you to create distance between the floor while sleeping.
Designed with a sturdy frame, strong wind and rain will pose no problems for this tent. It’s so strong that it can stand winds of 35+mph.
The large windows and ground vent provide great ventilation helping keep the tent fresh and livable.
When it comes to setting this tent up, it is beginner friendly and shouldn’t take you no longer than 10 minutes.
Similar to the other options on this list, it features small ‘storage pockets’ where you can store small, but essential items, preventing your tent from becoming cluttered.
- Multiple Size Options
- Withstand Wind 35mph+
- Great Ventilation
- Easy Set-Up
- Storage Pockets
When looking for a tent, it’s important to consider what it’s going to be used for. For example, if you’re going to be camping in harsh weather, a tunnel tent would be perfect, whereas, for calm weather, a dome tent is fine.
We also recommend making sure the tent you purchase is water resistant, contains storage pockets, and, in most cases, has enough room for an airbed. This will ensure you enjoy a stress-free camping experience.