How to Pick a Camping Tent

Many Different Tents on Meadow

Camping offers us the immense joy of venturing out in the wild. Take the opportunity to relax and unwind in the great outdoors. However, a tent leak or having to sleep through a chilly night can dampen your spirits and ruin your entire trip. It is thus imperative you take special care in selecting the right tent for you and your family.

The right camping tent will ensure you and your family stay warm throughout the night without worrying about space constrictions. Here’s everything you need to know while picking out a camping tent.

Setting Up Family Tent


If you are new to camping and are headed out on your first trip to the campsite, it is imperative you enlighten yourself on the different types of tents in the market. This will allow you to opt for one according to your needs and environment.

Here are the most common types of tents in the market:

Dome Tents

As the name indicates, these tents feature a dome shape or structure once it has been erected. They usually feature 3 to 4 hoops instead of the traditional tent poles, depending on its size. Together, the hoops intersect to provide the tent the strength and structure it requires. Despite its sturdiness, dome tents are not suitable for new campers as it may be difficult to set-up for first timers.

Dome Tent on Grass

You can modify the basic structure of the dome tent. This comes in handy when you are camping with families and need some extra space away from the sleeping area. The additional porch area can be used to store muddy clothing and footwear along with other sorts of items.

Hoop Tents

Hoop tents are versatile and are available in a number of several sizes and configurations. You can opt for one, two or three-hoop tents. One of the biggest advantages of hoop tents are its walls are curved. This offers campers more internal space compared to other types of tents. Hoop tents are a great option for beginners and newbies as the tents are lightweight and offer users a compact camping solution.

Hoop Tent on Grass

Hikers and hill walkers can benefit from single hoop tents as they are easy to carry over long distances. They are also great options for people who are travelling to the campsite by car but have limited boot space. However, while hoop tents are known for their compact nature, they are not the sturdiest options available when it comes to harsh weather conditions.

Tunnel Tents

As the name suggests, tunnel tents are large elongated sleeping structures that look like tunnels. These tents are available in a wide range of sizes and can also be modified or configured according to your needs. Tunnel tents are the best option if you are going on a camping trip with your family and loved ones. This is because these tunnels offer ample storage space and can only be sectioned into different sleeping areas.

Tunnel Tent on Grass

Now, everyone in your family can have their own space. This drastically improves your family camping experience, giving everybody the privacy they need. Some family tents allow campers to stand at full height within the tent. It increases comfort and allows users to move around the tent with ease. Also, most tunnel tents feature windows that allow campers to enjoy the view or keep an eye on their kids while they are playing outside.

Geodesic Tents

Geodesic tents are best suited for campers who wish to camp out in harsh weather conditions. These tents are sturdy and are ideal for wintry conditions. Essentially, geodesic tents are modified dome tents that offer extra stability. The stronger structure is created using extra intersecting poles.

Geodesic Tent in Forest

These tents are quite well-known for their sturdiness and are quite spacious inside. You can find these tents available in a variety of sizes. Campers who are headed out on an adventure on their own can opt for a one-man tent or invest in a family tent that can accommodate up to 6 people.

Tent Doors

When picking your tent, you must decide on the number of doors you will need along with its shape and orientation. If you are camping alone, you can opt for a single-door tent. However, if you are headed out on a trip with your family, multiple doors can eliminate the need of climbing over each other for late-night bathroom breaks.

Mother And Son Walking Out of Tent

Usually, cabin-style tents are the perfect option for families. Additionally, do not forget to note how noisy the doors are to zip open and shut. Opt for zippers that are resistant to snagging and won’t break easily.


It is integral you pick a camping tent that includes a rainfly. A rainfly is a waterproof cover that is designed to protect the roof of your tent in case of rain. A rainfly comes separately and is available in two designs.

Man Putting Rainfly on Tent

Camper can either opt for a roof-only rainfly that offers fair rain protection or opt for a full coverage rainflies. Full-coverage rainflies offer campers maximum protection from heavy rain and wind. Use the rainfly to retain extra warmth when rain or dew is expected.

Tent Poles

The tent’s pole structure is the simplest way to determine how easy or difficult it is to pitch. Typically, most family tents in the market today are freestanding. This means you do not need stakes to set them up. The biggest advantages of these tents are that they are easy to move or transport to different locations according to your stay. Campers can also shake the dirt out before taking the tent down.

Putting Tent Poles in Bag

Needless to say, the fewer the poles, the easier it is to set up the tent. Additionally, it is much easier to attach poles to clips than it is to thread them through long pole sleeves. Fortunately, most tent options include both short pole sleeves and clips to balance strength, setup ease and ventilation. Aluminum poles are considered the most durable and sturdiest options.

These are just a few things you should keep in mind while picking out a camping tent.

Leave a Comment: