A camp­ing and hik­ing tent can be a seri­ous invest­ment, and prices range from $100 to $800. A very large selec­tion is avail­able for the cat­e­go­ry of tents with a vari­ety of fea­tures and add-ons. It can be tricky to sort through the details, weigh the pros and cons, and fig­ure out what’s worth the mon­ey — and more impor­tant­ly, what fea­tures will enhance or com­ple­ment your camp­ing adven­ture. The pur­pose of this arti­cle is to help sim­pli­fy this process and make things clear­er.

Here are a num­ber of cat­e­gories that are con­sid­ered the most impor­tant when eval­u­at­ing the over­all qual­i­ty of a camp­ing tent: com­fort, weath­er resis­tance, ease of instal­la­tion, work­man­ship and pack­age size. You will see an expla­na­tion of each cat­e­go­ry in detail.

Comfort in a tent

One of the biggest advan­tages of a full-fledged car camp­ing tent over a con­ven­tion­al tent is that it is larg­er and more durable. It gives tourists more space to spend their time day and night. This tent does not sac­ri­fice com­fort and lux­u­ry for size and weight. The best camp­ing tent should give campers more than just shel­ter. It should be your portable log cab­in in the woods, your beach house, your house by the stream. It should suit your needs: from walk­ing, read­ing, nap­ping, sleep­ing and being pro­tect­ed from wind, rain, sun and bugs.

The size, by itself, pro­vides more com­fort in a camp­ing tent than in a camp­ing tent. Your king-sized air mat­tress won’t fit in that 3‑pound ultra-light two-per­son tent you’ve got your eye on. In full size tents you will have room for a mat­tress, your bags and even a cou­ple of tables. Fam­i­ly camp­ing tents don’t have to leave you crammed like sar­dines, con­stant­ly try­ing to step over each oth­er. These tents should give you more space to sleep, play, do yoga, or what­ev­er activ­i­ties you see fit. More space means more com­fort.

See also
Hut on wheels - a modern alternative to camping

Ceil­ing height can be crit­i­cal to mak­ing a tent fam­i­ly-friend­ly, allow­ing taller campers to com­fort­ably stand up and reduce neck and back strain after squat­ting. The pitch of the wall can also deter­mine whether you can only stand at the dead cen­ter of the tent, or whether you can move more or less freely with­out bend­ing over or crouch­ing.

If you’ll be camp­ing in warm weath­er, ven­ti­la­tion is an impor­tant fea­ture when the noon sun slips over­head and the green­house tent effect is in full effect. Big­ger win­dows, more mesh and big­ger doors help, as well as spe­cial­ly designed vents. The trade­off is storm resis­tance — more mesh, more vents, more win­dows means more holes and crevices for pre­cip­i­ta­tion and wind to enter.

Weather resistance

What is your ide­al camp­ing expe­ri­ence? You prob­a­bly imag­ine sun­ny days, not too hot, with gen­tle breezes, cool evenings by the fire, and sleep­ing under the stars. For all the fame of the per­fect camp­ing week­end, if the weath­er changes, inad­e­quate or inap­pro­pri­ate gear can quick­ly turn your per­fect week­end into a night­mare. That sweet tent you bought on sale with­out doing any research could end up being a waste of mon­ey, or worse, could ruin your expe­ri­ence.

Easy to install

Final­ly, you arrive at your favorite camp. It is now 9 pm and quite dark. Your strength is exhaust­ed and you are hun­gry. Ide­al­ly, while one per­son pre­pares din­ner so that the next hour can be refreshed, the oth­er is busy set­ting up the tent. There are tents that you can eas­i­ly set up alone, even if the wind is blow­ing, it is rain­ing and it is com­plete­ly dark. Some of the tents set up so smooth­ly you could swear there was a mag­ic wand some­where in the pack­age. Oth­ers take much longer and require prac­tice. You must choose the most con­ve­nient option for you.

See also
How to choose a backpack