Camping out in a tent is a fun and economical way to spend a vacation with the family. Tents give us more than just a place to sleep. They are our shelter in a new environment, protecting us from the sometimes harsh elements. They serve as the caretaker of our belongings as we explore new vistas. There are many considerations to take into account when choosing the right tent for your family’s outdoor adventure. We need to compare tents based on such criteria as family size, mode of transportation, season and the terrain of the campsite.
Compare the maximum capacity of tents. The packaging will state the manufacturer’s estimate but reviews can give a realistic idea of how people actually function inside the space. Consider each family member’s age and what activities need to take place in the tent. Generally, the manufacturer’s occupancy estimate will be correct for a family that has one or two small children in it. For families made up of teenagers and adults, subtract 2 from the listed occupancy. This will allow for the space needed to rest comfortably and for storage space.
Compare the level of difficulty in assembling and breaking down the different styles of tents. The packaging may have some pictures illustrating the procedure. You could always ask the retailer to allow a viewing of the instructions. Inexperienced campers should be especially attentive to this factor. Make sure assembly does not require special skills or new tools.
A comparison of the tent’s seasonal rating is needed to ensure the appropriate tent is chosen. Tents rated as “1” and “2” season are best for camping in warm weather because they have better ventilation. Cooler camping weather calls for a “3” season rated tent while a “4” season tent is for cold weather camping as it features the ability to completely seal and waterproof the interior of the tent from harsh weather.
The amount of ventilation offered by different tent styles should be compared. Usually covered by mesh, tent ventilation openings include the entrance, windows and an opening in the roof. We need ventilation in warm climates for cooling and in colder climates to reduce condensation. Tents used in wintry climates should be able to seal off the ventilation completely.
Certain other technical aspects of the tent should be compared to ascertain suitability. The quality of the hardware such as zipper construction, stitching and the material used in the poles and fabric should be evaluated for durability. The weight and compact ability of the disassembled tent is a very important to backpackers but should also be taken into account for the packing into vehicles. The height of the interior of the tent should also be taken into account. Often, the height will increase with capacity by one or more feet. Taller tents should be sought for campers who intend to have various activities inside the tent.