Buying a tent isn’t an easy business, it takes a lot of thinking and preparing to find the perfect tent suitable for you. There’s so much to take into account!
So here are all the things you need to know before buying a tent:
- Basic Terms
Knowing the basic terms used for tents and its features is the first crucial step in the crusade that is buying a tent. Without the grasp of this terminology, it’s hard to keep up with the complicated process of buying a tent. Here are some terms that you need to know:
- Fly: this is a waterproof cover that helps trap the heat inside the tent and even protects it from violent winds.
- Vestibule: this is the area between the tent’s “ceiling” and the fly that can be used for storage.
- Stakes: these support the tent by tightly pulling it to the ground. It keeps the fly and tent intact from winds.
- Guy-lines: these are bundles of ropes that are attached to the stakes and another intact object, such as a tree.
- Ground cloth: this is pretty much the material you put between the “floor” of the tent and the ground.
2. Makes of tents
When choosing a tent, it is imperative that you know all options for choosing the most effective one for your purposes. Here are some types of tents:
- Single Layer tents are waterproof without the need for a fly and the walls are protected against rain and snow. However, the little mesh causes a lack of ventilation.
- Double Layer tents include a mesh with panels, along with a fly as it isn’t protected on its own.
- 3 Seasons tents are designed for spring, summer, and fall. Its weight is quite light, but the quality is less durable than the 4 seasons tent.
- 4 Seasons tents are designed for all seasons. It includes flies that go until the ground, solid poles, and extremely durable especially against strong winds and heavy snow. However, these tents are quite heavy to carry.
3. Tent Features
Tents, these days, aren’t just a piece of cloth above your head anymore. They have got many features. Some could be crucial for you, and others could be of no use. Before buying a tent, you must know the features for your dream tent.
- Poles: everything has variety, even poles. The most common types of poles are fiberglass and aluminium. Fiberglass is known to be more fragile and likely to break, in contrast to the very sturdy aluminium ones. However, fiberglass is light and used more often for backpacking tents, unlike aluminium.
- Fly: Some flies only cover the top of the tent, but it is more advised to get a tent with a fly that covers the whole, so you are sure to be well protected during rainy and snowy weather.
- Seams and Stitching: This is one of the most important features as it ensures no leakage. A tip for noobs: if the material can be pulled from both sides and you can see through stitches, it is going to leak.
- Tub Floor: This is a cloth that soaks all liquid on the floor and keeps the tent dry. It is very effective for cold rainy weather.
- Proper guy-lines: Guy-lines are available in many sizes, so you need to be sure how long you want the rope to be. This usually depends on where you would settle, how far from any solid tree to hold you down.
- Stake loops: These are loops at every corner of the tent to hold down stakes. There are two varieties; plastic and metal. Metal is usually preferred as it is stronger, and plastic is lighter but is prone to breaking.
- Roof vent: If you are staying for long, it is recommended that you get a roof vent for better air circulation.
- Zippers: It’s good for frequent use, and safety is doubled with good zippers.
- Waterproof: To keep you dry.
4. Your purposes!
Last but not least, your purposes are the most crucial part of buying a tent. There are many things you need to know about your own camping goals.
Here are some things you need to think of:
- When? You need to think about when you want to camp because your timing of buying a tent can drastically affect its price so it’s best to plan so that you can buy a tent during the off-season or at a clearance sale.
- Where? The terrain is also crucial for the make of the tent you need.
- Transport? If you will backpack, then a lighter tent is preferred. However, if you drive, then a heavier model is acceptable.
- Durability? You may not need a professional, durable tent if you are going for a few days. But if you are going for longer, then the tent needs to be more durable.
- The number of campers? This is to determine the size of the tent as the tent needs to be big enough for everyone.
- Easy Packing? If you are going to move places many times, you might prefer an easier model, so you don’t have much trouble during packing.
Budget? You also need to have a clear budget as tent’s prices vary on a large range.