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How to Choose the Right Tent

Aug 17, 2007
When shopping for your tent, you will want to look for the tent features that will keep you happy for years to come. After all, your tent is a home away from home so you will want to make the best of it. Make sure you know your spending limit and decide before you go shopping on how much you want to spend. Once you have your budget down, it is time to see what tent features you can afford for your price range.

How big should you go?
Take into consideration on how many people you plan to have sleep in the tent and how you plan to use it. For instance, if you are going to use it for backpacking then you will want to get a lightweight tent, but if it is for family camping then the weight and size are not as important. The tents capacity is based on how many standard-sleeping bags it can hold and the square footage.

You may want to go a little larger then the number of people you plan to sleep in the tent, allowing for some elbow room and room for storing your equipment and gear. When camping with your family it is best to go larger, at least 2 people higher than you will have. Multi room tents are great for families.

The 2-room styles allow the adults to get a bit of privacy from the children. You can also get a 3-room tent, which gives you the 2 sleeping rooms and a screened-in room for setting up an eating or changing area, protecting you further from the elements. There are many options with the multi room tents so no matter what you choose you are sure to be pleased

What to look for?

Tents with fine netting or mesh:
This is especially important for noseeums and mosquitoes. Noseeums are small gnats that are much tinier than mosquitoes so you may have to search a bit for the finer netting, but you will be happy you did.
Tents with aluminum poles:
Most tents may come with fiberglass poles, but they are more likely to break, as they are fragile. Never fear, should you break or get a kink in the pole, you can get a replacement at most any camping store.
Adequate rainfly with the tent:
Your tents umbrella is the rainfly. So the bigger rainfly you get the better off you will be. You will want one that comes down farther on the sides of the tent and not just across the top. These tent umbrellas are waterproof and the walls of the tent are water-repellant.
Double stitching and folded seams:
You want a strong stitch to ensure no leaks, for a good rule of thumb... when you stretch the material at the seams and you can see through it, then this tent will leak. It is helpful to use some sort of seam sealer to add to your protection.
Tents with a floor that is all one piece:
The floors of tents should be made of a waterproof material, and it should be up a few inches on all sides before it is sewed into the walls of the tent. Seams in the floor make you prone to leaks.
Adequate roof vent:
You will want a large enough roof vent, as this is what you will need to keep the tent from getting stuffy. The roof vent allows for good airflow helping to eliminate condensation in the tent.
Tents with larger stake loops:
Every tent should have stake loops located in the center of each side as well as each corner at the base of the tent. The loops should be large enough so that you can use then with the large plastic stakes sold as replacements in camping stores. The best ones are made of material, as the plastic loops can break when putting the stakes in.
Tents with sturdy zippers:
Since you will be in and out of the tent frequently you will want a zipper You'll be in and out of your tent a lot so you want zippers that will hold up to frequent use.
About the Author
Warren L. Smith offers a fountain of information on such tents as: pop-up tents and campers, family tents, party tents, and even trailer tents. For the best up to date information on all essential tents for camping, go to http://www.tentsandmoreonline.com/
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