How to Choose a Camping Tent

How to Choose a Camping Tent

There are countless options for camping tents these days. If you’re looking to buy one, there are a few things you should keep in mind so you can find the right one for you.

Tents vary in size from tiny ultralight one person tents to huge tents that can accommodate over 20 people. Tents also vary in quality and materials, so you’ll want to make sure to get one that’s right for the situation.

Here we’ll go over all the things you should keep in mind when picking out a camping tents so you can enjoy sleeping in the outdoors comfortably.

Number of People

The number of people a tent can sleep is perhaps the biggest consideration when choosing a camping tent. If you’re going with your family or a big group, you may need some extra tent space. On the other hand, if you’re going solo, you wont need as much room.

Tent manufactures will advertise the number of people the tent can sleep on the packaging and/or tag of the product. This number can be deceiving. Although they may be able to sleep that number of people, it may be a little crammed.

For the best tent size based on the number of people sleeping in your tent, get a tent that can sleep at least two more people than the amount you’re camping with. Unless you want to feel like you’re in a sardine can, this will give everybody enough space to sleep comfortably in their own personal space.

Weather Conditions

The type of weather you’re expecting for your trip based on the climate of the area and weather reports should also be considered.

Do you expect a lot of rain? If so, you may want to get a tent that has a durable rain fly so water won’t get into your sleeping quarters. Is it going to be exceptionally hot? In that case, you’ll want to make sure the tent you get has good ventilation to keep air flowing so you don’t overheat.

If you anticipate high winds for your campong trip, you’ll also want to make sure you have a tent that is sturdy enough to handle high windspeeds. Sometimes tent manufacturers will list the approximate wind speeds the tent can reasonably handle. Make sure the tent you buy can handle the wind speeds you are expecting for your trip.


What the tent is made from is also an important factor when picking out a tent. Certain materials are more durable than others. At the same time, those same materials may add unnecessary weight to the tent for transporting.

The most high-tech materials use titanium poles and stakes, and breathable, yet extremely waterproof bodies. If you can spare the expense, these high-quality materials will make for a worthwhile camping tent that will last many years of use.

If you go for a cheap tent, the materials will be flimsy and become compromised after a short period of time. Make sure to do some research on the types of materials that the tent is made from so you can choose the right one. The last thing you want is when you get to your campsite, your tent poles have break or the rain fly gets rips and holes in it.

Size and Weight

How big and heavy a tent is when packed down is another very important thing to consider when choosing a camping tent. Most of the time when packing a vehicle or backpack with gear, you’re limited on space and want to keep things as light as possible.

This is especially true for backpacking trips. Since you’ll be carrying everything you’ll need to sustain you, this includes your tent. A good backpacker will strategically weight out his/her gear down to the ounce to make sure they can carry as little weight as possible. Too large or heavy of a tent will make your backpacking trip unnecessarily difficult on your body.

To save space and weight, you can also break down tents to its individual components and divide it amongst your fellow backpackers or campers. This can be a good trick for bringing a tent that would otherwise be much to heavy or large to bring along with you.

Other Gear

In addition to the other factors mentioned above, there also may be other gear you need to make room for in your tent, so you’ll need to pick out a tent with a little bit of extra space.

Sleeping gear like cots, air mattresses, and baby cribs may take up extra room, so you’ll need to choose a tent that’s rated to sleep a handful more people than you truly need. Other things you may bring into your tent include fans, coolers, or heaters.

If you’re car camping and can bring this extra gear, it can add some welcomed comforts to your campsite, so make sure to choose a larger tent than you think you’ll initially need.

Pockets and Storage

Another added benefit of some tents are storage pockets. These pockets can help you store small items like flashlights and snacks for easy access.

If this is a feature that appeals to you, make sure to carefully read the details of the tent you want to buy to make sure it has all the pockets and storage compartments you want.

Clips and hooks inside a tent are also helpful for hanging gear and are especially useful for drying out wet clothing during rainy conditions. Make sure the tent you pick out has some of these added “bells and whistles” because you never know when they might come in handy.


The camping tent is your home away from home in the outdoors, so you want to make sure its comfortable and gets the job done of keeping you dry and protected from the elements.

Make sure to take all these things into consideration before buying your next camping tent. If you do, you’ll be left with a useful tent that will last you many trips and adventures enjoying what you love.

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