The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your First Tent

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Are you looking for a new tent?

Tents are great to have when camping, but they can be expensive. We’re here to help you find the best tent for your needs and budget. Whether you want something simple or luxurious, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your purchase. You won’t regret it!

When buying a tent, many factors go into making the right choice for you or your family. Will this one keep us dry in a storm? Is it easy enough for my kids to set up on their own? What about weight – is this going to be too heavy if I have to carry it very far from our car? We know all these questions will run through your mind as you shop around online, and we want them answered before you buy anything else! That’s why we’ve put together an ultimate guide that covers everything from tents made specifically for backpacking trips with just one person carrying it all the way up to luxury tents with rooms inside so large families can camp comfortably together without even if they don’t like each other much… (jk). But seriously, no matter what kind of trip or camping style fits your lifestyle – whether it’s hiking deep into nature or setting up near a lake close by – we’ll make sure everyone has fun while staying safe and protected throughout every step of the process.

Tent Sleeping Capacity

When choosing your tent, first be sure to consider the size and number of people using it. No industry standard exists for calculating per person dimensions, so make sure you know what model will work well with both your group’s needs and any special considerations like whether or not someone might have trouble sleeping if they are claustrophobic or dislike tight spaces at night time.

Generally speaking, it’s better to assume that a 2-3 person tent is only perfect for two, especially if you want to store your kit inside.

Tents Seasonality

When looking for a tent, take a good hard look at the weather conditions you plan to camp in, and the time of year you’ll do your camping.

Snow, rain, and wind are obvious concerns in the Winter, but intense sun, light evenings, and muggy weather are definite Summer concerns.

3-Season Tents

3-season tents are perfect for camping in the summer months. These tough and durable shelters can be used all year round, but it’s important to note that they do not fare well when temperatures plummet due to their lack of insulation qualities compared to winterized models. You might also find they don’t do well with heavy snow or strong storms.

4-Season Tents

Four-Season Tents are the most popular when it comes to camping in colder climates when it’s best to be prepared for anything from rainstorms to extreme weather from season to season. These tents do a better job at insulating you from temperature changes and offer a much higher level of protection against harsh elements like heavy snowfall, wind, and cold air.

Tent Materials

To be added.

Tent features to consider.

Many things go into making a good tent. We’ve broken them down into three categories: features, size, and weight.

Features refer to all the bells and whistles that tents come with, such as UV protection, windows, or vents.

Size refers to how big your tent will be based on its number of occupants – whether it’s just one person or an entire family!

Finally, the weight of your tent will determine how easy or difficult it is to carry around while you’re adventuring.

It’s important to think about these criteria while shopping for a new tent because they can make or break your camping experience!

What are a Few Types of Tents


Ridge tents are designed to offer the most space for the least weight, but they do lack a cover at the bottom. The shelter may be challenging to set up, and takedown, but this type of tent is fairly often used by solo backpackers or those who may not need a large amount of space for gear.


A tunnel tent has waterproof walls with mesh at the top that extends outwards into long eye-catching tarp-like flaps to keep insects out. This tarp-like fabric provides protection from rain, sun, frost, and snow can come in handy if you’re camping somewhere near an Arctic region where temperatures do not fluctuate too much.


Domes are another type of tent. These tents allow for maximum headroom while providing protection from the elements. The dome shape is very beneficial for taller people or those who have difficulty bending down to enter a large canopy tent that may be embedded into the ground but will also provide plenty of space for storage underneath the tent’s interior once it’s set up.


Geodesic tents are a type of shelter built using the same hexagonal pattern featured on the surface of snowflakes. These tents provide an incredible amount of space and ventilation, and they also include large windows to allow for stunning views. Geodesics also typically have a vestibule at the front that can be used as an extra storage area for all your gear.


Cabin tents are the perfect tent if you’re looking for high quality and a high price tag. These tents will give you the most amount of space and the best protection from the elements no matter where your adventure takes you. Cabin tents can be broken down into three different styles: backpacking, car camping, and mountaineering. Cabins come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate any adventure that awaits!


The pyramid tent is another type of shelter that provides a lot of storage space. They are straightforward to set up, making them great for adventurers with little time on their hands! What’s best about pyramids is their price tag. They are usually very inexpensive but still provide an incredible amount of quality and protection during your next camping trip.

A pyramid tent lets you save space with its tunnel shape. This makes it the perfect option for two people who want an easy to assemble, small, and lightweight tent!

Here are a Few Tips to Keep your Tent in Working Condition

1. Never leave your tent in the sun- it may wear down the fabric and cause a chemical reaction that could end up destroying it.

2. Check for rips or tears in your tent before you head out on your next adventure. Seems it can be easily fixed with a needle and thread, so take care of those as soon as possible to avoid any mishaps! Other rips or tears in the fabric will probably need repair tape. Make sure you weather seal these repairs.

3. Invest in a tent repair kit- it’s a small investment that will ensure you have the right tools to fix up any damages to your tent, no matter where you are!

4. When packing up your camp equipment, don’t forget about your tent poles if they’re made of wood – they’ll need protection from moisture and should be stored away from direct sunlight.

5. If the majority of your tent has been destroyed, you can use a large tarp to cover the remaining pieces while you’re camping! This way, you won’t have to experience an uncomfortable night’s sleep because of a ripped-up floor or broken poles while you rest beneath the safety and protection of a sturdy tarp.

6. If the canopy of your tent is in bad shape, you can use a sturdier tarp to cover it up – it’ll be very comfortable beneath the durable surface! Just make sure you have enough stakes for this type of shelter if there’s any wind in the forecast!

7. When exposed to rain for extended periods, some tents may leak. If this happens to your tent, the best option would be to cover the canopy with a tarp- it’ll provide an umbrella effect that will prevent any water from seeping through.

8. Use zip ties to make sure all of the poles line up for easier assembly!

9. Always check the local weather- a tent with a lot of ventilation will be perfect for dry and sunny conditions but may not stand up to your average summer thunderstorm! If you’re expecting the highs to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure you have a canopy or a roof that can protect you from a downpour.

This way, your sleep, and experience will be perfect no matter what the weather is doing outside!

10. Never rush through assembling or dissembling your tent- this can lead to dangerous accidents if some of the pieces are missing or aren’t correctly attached at first. If you’re tired from a long day’s hike, consider bringing along some extra hands who may have a little more energy to lend in your camp!

Key Tent Features

Peak Height

The peak height is the measurement of the highest point on the tent’s roof. It can be found by dividing the length of the tent by two.

Tent Floor Length

Tent floor-length is the measurement of the door to where the tent floor begins. This is not to be confused with ground clearance, which is how far up you are off the ground when inside your tent! It can be found by measuring from the entrance to the floor.

Tent Doors

When choosing your tent, think about the number of doors you need and their shape and orientation. If camping with family members who have a more quiet night-time schedule in mind for those 3 am bathroom breaks or getting up early before everyone else is awake – consider multiple door styles like cabin tents which tend to be easier on sensitive ears when zipping them shut again after an all-night rave!

Tent Poles

There are a few things to think about regarding tent poles: length, diameter, and materials. The length is obviously important if the poles will be used in place of a hiking staff in camp and when packing up your camping equipment so they won’t get lost by being put in the wrong bag. Diameter is important for spacing out the weight on the top of the tent and balancing long poles that may droop when weighted down with equipment. Materials for making tent poles can be wood or fiberglass- either one will need protection from moisture and should be stored away from direct sunlight.


The rainfly is most often made of nylon but can also be polyester, polyurethane-coated fabric, or PVC.

Fabrics thicker than the average will provide more protection from direct sunlight and precipitation than softer fabrics.

A heavy-duty, good-quality drip line at the base of the tent help to control water that might seep through the rainfly.

Check if the rainfly has UV protection or mesh lining where it may not be present in other tent layers. This is an excellent way to prevent sunburns during hot weather months when people may want to leave the rainfly off the tent.


One of the most important things to consider is how ventilation will be achieved in the tent. An excellent place to start before buying your tent would be to notice what is offered right now by your favorite brands. There are a few different kinds of ventilation. One option is overhead windows with open screens, which are excellent at providing cross-flow ventilation inside the tent.

Another great kind of ventilation vent can be installed on the side or top of any type of tent. These can channel air into the tent or out according to your needs within a space, perfect for warm and cool weather camping trips where you might want to provide some relief from high temperatures without losing too much heat.

The last kind of ventilation is mesh, which can be found in the rainfly or in an actual mesh roof of the tent. This provides excellent airflow throughout warm weather when you might want the sleeping area to remain at a lower temperature than outside- just remember that this will mean having more condensation come into your tent when it’s cold out!

Interior Loops and Pockets

Tents are great for roughing it, but they can get really tiring if you don’t have the right equipment. A lantern loop will help keep your tent safe and sound with its high-quality construction, while interior pockets make sure everything inside stays put!

Guy out Loops

The guy lines provide the outside surface of your tent with which to brace and anchor. These connections are vital when a fierce storm approaches, preventing any flapping fabric from causing wind damage or limb injuries.

Guy-lines attach easily into loops on each side of the tent’s body where they’re secure but easy access if needed, even at high levels during inclement weather.


Optional Tent Accessories


A footprint is a protective cover that is fitted to the tent and protects the floor from wear and tear that might occur.

Footprints can be made of either nylon or polyester, and it’s beneficial if you’re trying to protect a more expensive tent with many features, such as an air vent or door, so you don’t risk tearing through your expensive tent.

Footprints can also create a waterproof lining for your tent if it doesn’t already come with one, so you’ll never have to worry about getting wet when you wake up in the morning.

If you happen to find that your footprint is missing pieces after installing it around your tent, don’t panic: they’re easy to replace!

Gear Loft

A gear loft is a great accessory to add to your tent if you don’t have room for a large one inside. They attach with aluminum poles and hooks, and they allow you to store anything from your sleeping bag or extra clothes to cooking supplies. These are great additions because they make it easier for you to consolidate all of your gear in one place, reducing the clutter inside your tent!

A gear loft can also be installed above the top of your tent. If you’re thinking about buying this accessory, make sure that it’s long enough for your needs or that it can attach to your frame easily. You might not want any additional features like vents or windows or where it would block an already-existing window that provides excellent cross-flow ventilation.

Other Accessories for your tent

Stakes and anchors 

You can find tent anchors and stakes in the hardware aisle of any outdoor gear store. Tent stakes are simple loops of metal attached to long metal rods or pipes that you hammer into the ground. Tent anchors can be attached to either stakes or tent pegs, and they give additional support to the fabric of your tent walls- which is really important if you’re camping in high winds or other extreme weather! This provides your tent with a solid foundation for its perimeter.

Battery-powered ventilation fan

Battery-powered ventilation fans are a great way to let cool air in and warm air out. You just have to insert the fan into an opening that you either made or came with your tent.

Tent repair kit

Tent repair kits are not only helpful in case of an emergency, but they’re also very affordable. These repair kits can come with anything from patches to glue to thread, so you’ll be able to fix even the toughest tears!

Cleaning supplies for camping

It’s essential to keep your tent clean, so if you want to keep your tent in tip-top shape all year, you should consider getting a high-quality cleaning kit. These kits come with everything from lavender-scented wipes and scrubbers to soap and disinfectant sprays, so you’ll always be able to find what you need!

Floor mats

Sometimes, the ground outside is wet from rain or snow, making it uncomfortable to walk barefoot on. A floor mat can solve this problem because it will cover the entire length of the tent, so you don’t have to worry about any moisture touching your feet or other body parts. Floor mats also prevent the muddy ground from being tracked inside the tent, so you don’t have to deal with filthy floors after a fun camping trip.

Seam sealer

A seam sealer is an adhesive and coating put on the seams of a tent to prevent leaking and catching water. They come in many different formulas, such as silicone or chemical-based. This is an essential accessory to have if you’re camping in wet weather.

Utility cord

Utility cords, also called guy ropes, are thin nylon or polyester cords that add stability to your tent. They basically function as a rope to tie down your tent when the stakes and anchors won’t do their job. The cord is either affixed to the tent’s corners with tape, clips, or just by loosely tying them together at each corner.


After reading this guide, you’ll be able to figure out what size tent is best for your needs. Whether it’s just two people or 10 people that will fit in the tent, we hope our ultimate buying guide helped you find the perfect one!

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