Choosing the right tent can make the difference between fun memories and camping nightmares. Here are some important attributes of a great tent.
If it's just you and your spouse, then there wouldn’t be a need to get a monster tent that's made for 8 people. On the other hand, if you're camping with the Brady Bunch, you don’t want to pack them in like sardines. Tents with divided rooms are perfect for separate living quarters for the girls and boys or parents and the kids. If your planning on keeping a cooler or other items in the tent, then check into tents that are rated for 1 or 2 people higher than you normally would. Always think of who’s using the tent. Are they tall? Is there enough room to stretch their full length when in their sleeping bag? Cabin tents are big with high ceilings and large windows, where dome tents offer less head room.
For backpackers, the most important feature of a tent is its weight. Car campers, on the other hand, are more interested in roominess and comfort. Some of the larger family tents weigh in excess of 30 pounds. However, if you head out on a camping trip in a heavy duty vehicle intending to set up a base camp for several days or more, the larger tents may be worth the bulk as well as the price.
On hot, buggy nights there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a poorly ventilated tent. Well ventilated tents also have fewer problems with condensation. Visualize if you would be using your tent in the spring, summer, fall, or winter? What activities and locations are you planning on visiting? Backpacking, rafting, kayaking, or car camping trips? Would you be heading up into the mountains where you'll be exposed to the elements such as; snow, wind, rain, hail, sleet, and all those fun experience-builders?
Today's tents are mostly water resistant, although, even if the manufacturer calls it unnecessary, it's a good idea to seam-seal your tent.
Ideally this should be done prior to the camping trip.Set up your tent in a protected area, and put the fly on inside out. Run seam sealer along every seam on the fly and the floor. It's better to apply two thin coats than one thick coat. Allow to dry for several hours before putting the tent away.
Stop by our Camping Department and pick our brains. We've got answers if you've got the time.