I Want a Quality Tent That Lasts
Like most things in life, we look for quality goods that work for us, meet out needs and, more than that, last a long time. Camping is such a joy for so many and having a ‘home away from home’ in which you feel safe, secure, content and comfortable is your ultimate wish. So, what should you look for when buying the right tent for you?
If you are familiar with buying tents over the years, you would be aware of the budget you need to buy the best camping tent for you. Once you decide on your budget, then you need to consider some of these tent features:
SIZE – If you are a hiker, a biker or a canoeist you want to make sure that your tent is a reasonable weight for you to carry. For those who carry the tent in a vehicle, it all boils down to your choice of a tent. Basically, tents are made to fit a certain number of sleepers on the floor space. For example a six person tent could have a “Body Area” of 88 ft2. There would be no reason two people couldn’t use such a space for sleeping, chairs, a table or whatever they want to do with the space. Two people in a two person tent are usually a tight squeeze with room for little else, but one person might like to use a two person tent. Some people would say that it is best to buy a tent that is allocating space for two more people than the number who will be using it. Another aspect of size is that some bigger tents also have separate rooms which could be used by adults and children or adult groups sharing a tent. Some have walls which can be removed. Tents can also have screen rooms or vestibules which give you storage space for wet clothes, food supplies (although it’s probably best to store food in the car and not attract any night-time critters!!) and any gear you want to store outside the sleeping area. Some are even big enough for a picnic table and chairs.
STORAGE – A lot of modern tents have storage pockets as part of the tent and some have them attached to the ceiling of the tent.
STRENGTH: Fiberglass poles are suitable for most camping experiences. If you are going to venture into windy areas then aluminum poles are stronger. If, however you break a fiberglass pole, you can always get replacement poles.
PROTECTION – A tent with a rain fly will give you waterproof protection. The tent itself is water-repellent but not waterproof. The bigger your rain fly the better for inclement weather. So that moisture does not seep through the floor of the tent, look for a seamless bathtub floor. This floor minimizes seams and exposure to ground level water. These bathtub floors go a few inches up the side of the tent before being sewn to the tent walls.
VENTILATION – Most tents now come with zippered openings for ventilation and some with a roof vent to open at night which enables air to circulate around the tent. It’s nice to watch the stars as well!
DOORS AND WINDOWS – Make sure the zippers are heavy duty and they will last for you. Good quality meshing is also a must on these areas to keep bugs out.
EXTRAS – It’s always a good idea to take some extra guy lines, stakes and rope along. All tents have seams, so make sure you put seam sealer on all seams.
These are the main aspects of tent buying. I didn’t include color as that is personal, and sometimes you may decide on a tent for its features rather than its color.