6 Checklist for Buying A Good Family Camping Tent

What are the best family camping tents? How do I choose a good family camping tent?

Choosing a good family camping tent is not an easy task for everyone, even those who have already got some experience with camping. Although you will likely play games or outdoor activities together, it is still very necessary to get a good tent for all members to relax and sleep at night.

If you get enough financial condition, just go to a store to buy a tent randomly, and may change several times to see which one fits your family the best.

However, it just wastes your time and money. Before choosing a tent for your next family camping trip, just list out the main standards that you may require at it.

You can consider several factors below:

1# Size and height

This is the first thing to think about when you’re choosing a tent. Because the whole family will stay together in one tent, so it must be big enough for everyone to feel comfortable.

Before making a decision, carefully consider how many people are going to the campground, how big they are, whether any of you needs extra room for more friends or pets or any other stuff, etc.

One thing you should remember is “never believe the advertisement”. For example, if a tent is said to contain 5 people, normally it doesn’t mean that 5 members of your family can stay inside without any problems.

In fact, you should buy a tent which can contain at least 2 more people compared to its advertised dimensions, and also take into account the following things:

  • Whether your family members are small or large people
  • If anyone is afraid of small closed space
  • Whether anybody usually tosses and turns their body when sleeping

Another important element is the height of the tent. You should think through if you want to stand up comfortably or you just need to lie down inside.

Of course, if the tent can fit everybody’s height, it would be perfect. However, height and size are also related to the packing stage.

Nobody wants to bring such a heavy tent together with loads of other small things. So, try to consider carefully what you really need, and never regret your choice.

2# Shape

Basically, all family camping tents are available in 2 shapes, or styles: cabin-style and dome-style tents.

Cabin-style tents are made up of straight walls, which means that your family members will feel more comfortable standing up inside and the total space seems to be larger.

However, you must be careful with this tent style, because it lacks the ability to endure strong winds or bad weather. You can only rely on tent stakes to protect your shelter from being pulled out. If you want to start your camping with a family cabin-style tent, remember to invest in longer stakes.

The other type of tent is dome-style. With sloping curves, you will never have to worry about strong winds, even storms. They will go over your tent without any influence.

Besides, this type of tent also contains less material than cabin-style ones, so it would be easier to pack and deliver from your house.

The only disadvantage is that you can only stand up in the middle of the tent, but will have to bend your knees when going to the sides.

So, the decision is on you. If you want a cabin-style tent, try to find a spot near trees and tie every corner of the tent to them for more stability.

If you are going to get a dome-style tent, consider buying ones with a larger size so that everyone can feel more convenient.

3# Tent seasonality:

Tents are also divided into different types based on seasonality. Currently, there are 3 main categories: 3- season tents, 3+ season tents, and 4-season tents.

3-season tents are designed to be used in spring, summer, and fall. They usually have ample mesh panels for boosting airflow and preventing insects.

Below are their main advantages:

  • Keep your family dry during light rain or snow
  • Help you avoid bugs
  • Provide privacy

However, you should keep in mind that 3-season tents are not the best choice to handle harsh weather like storms, strong winds, or heavy snow.

For 3+ season tents, they can be used from spring until late fall when moderate snow may come. Those tents can offer a balance of ventilation, strength, and warmth-retention.

Because the temperature inside these kinds of tents would be warmer than the 3-season tents, it would be a good choice for those who prefer camping in the higher land area.

The other category is 4-season tents. Just by its name, you sure can recognize that they are produced to fit all 4 seasons of weather conditions. Its special strength is the ability to endure fierce winds and heavy snow or the most extremely harsh weather.

The advice here is that you should see what time of the year you would like to start your trip, look at the weather forecast, then decide.

4# Ease of setup:

The main purpose of camping is to have fun with nature. You will have a lot of things to discover and loads of activities to do at the campsite.

Nobody would want to spend too much time setting up the tent. Therefore, choosing a tent that can be set up simply with the fewest people is necessary.

You should look at detailed directions from the manufacturer. Of course, sometimes the direction looks simple but the setup process would be much more complicated.

So, try asking for other people’s reviews on your favorite tent if possible, and you can practice preparing it at home prior to your trip too.

5# Material:

You might also be curious about what kind of material you should choose for your tent: aluminum, polyester, nylon, etc.

That’s a good question. Actually, tents made from aluminum and polyester will be able to stay drier and more sturdy.

Nylon is also a good choice because it allows moisture exhaled by people in the tent. But you should notice that heavier nylons will have a better duration than lighter ones.

6# Budget:

Last but not least, don’t forget to check your budget. A perfect camping tent should fit your budget. You shouldn’t pay too much for a high-quality tent if you feel it’s hard to afford.

You can borrow a tent from someone else to test at home before buying it, or can also test at the store if the owner allows it.

If your favorite tent is too pricey, you had better hire one for your camping trip. You should only invest in it when you really enjoy camping and have the intention to organize several vacations for your family per year.

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