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How to choose a tent

Whether you’re going camping for a weekend or on an extended backwoods adventure, the right tent can make the difference between a fun and a frustrating getaway. 

how to choose a tent 1280x522 fwt how to choose a tent 1280x522 fwt

Cabin Tents

Cabin tents have walls that are vertical rather than sloped, providing more headroom and living space. Some models include room dividers for privacy or canopies for additional space. 

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Tents with Screen Houses

Some tents have built-in screen houses that allow you to enjoy the weather without having to worry about insects. These are handy for eating or relaxing.

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Dome Tents

Dome tents typically offer less livable interior space, due to sloping walls, but they’re easy to set up and generally sturdier in windy conditions.

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Backpacking Tents

Backpacking tents are designed with weight and superior durability in mind. They usually have a low profile and include aluminum poles and special fabrics to reduce overall carrying weight.

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Instant Tents

Instant tents, which are also called pop-ups, are lightweight and designed for ultra fast setup.

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Inflatable Tents

Inflatable tents replace rigid poles with heavy-duty inflatable beams that can be filled quickly with a pump, making set-up faster and easier than ever.

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Screen houses

Portable screen houses can offer a welcome escape from insects and weather conditions, providing both shelter and shade.

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Tents are generally measured by a recommended number of occupants, such as a two-person or four-person tent. Keep in mind that this number doesn’t take into account space for gear or extra room for lounging, so it’s handy to have a tent that’s larger than you think you need. To stay organized, look for tents with integrated closets, gear lofts or handy storage pockets.

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Water-Resistant Coating

Water-resistant coatings, sometimes referred to as PU, are rated in millimetres based on approximately how much water the tent fabric can withstand before it may leak, such as 1000 millimetre PU coating. The higher the number, the greater the water resistance and rain protection on that tent.

Welded Floors

Tents with welded floors have seams that have been heat welded together, eliminating stitch holes and possible leak points. 

Taped Seams

A taped seam is coated with additional waterproof material to prevent moisture from leaking through the seams.

Air regulation

For maximum comfort, look for tents with options for controlling temperature and airflow through windows and vents. Tents with No-See-Um mesh are ideal, since they offer maximum airflow with superior protection from insects. 

UV protection

Tents and shelters that are UV treated or have a silver coating help reflect heat and harmful UV rays.

Electrical cord ports

Electrical cord ports allow for convenient, dry access for an outdoor-rated extension cord to run electrical appliances in your tent.

Room dividers

When camping with groups of people, tents with room dividers provide privacy and help separate living and sleeping areas.