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Our Guide to Buying a Tent

From family holidays and festivals to backcountry hiking, camping is a fun and unique experience that everyone can enjoy. There are a wide variety of tents you can choose from, depending on your needs and where/how long you’ll be camping for. Here’s our short guide to choosing the tent that’s perfect for you.

Size of Tent

Single or 1 Man Tent

These are usually only designed for adventure and wild camping when out hiking. They are very lightweight and easy to carry around, making them perfect for quickly pitching up somewhere for the night.

2 Man Tents

With your backpack and hiking gear, you’ll probably find a 2 man tent is ample room for one person and slightly too cramped for 2 people! It’s always recommended to go for a tent that’s one person larger than you’ll be using. This gives you extra room for keeping your gear and is generally more comfortable for sleeping.

3 - 4 Man Tents

One of the most popular size for tents, as they will comfortably fit a couple of people, as well as any extra camping or hiking gear. They are still fairly lightweight, with many featuring a larger porch area to allow you to relax outside the tent if you wish. They are just as suited to campsites as they are camping out in the countryside. Sleeping 4 people in these will probably feel cramped and constricted.

6+ Man Tents

These are a usually tents designed for family camping and camping holidays. They take longer to pitch, but often include separate sleeping compartments, as well as large lounge areas. They are perfect for festivals with friends and extended trips with the family. Once you get to 8+ people, most tents offer plenty of headroom and standing space.

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Type of Tent

Backpacking Tents

These are designed to be carried over long distances and pitched up in potentially harsh weather conditions. Lightweight and functional, they often sleep a couple of people and are easy to pitch. They generally have a dome or tunnel shape, keeping a low profile with minimal porch space.

Pop Up Tents

Perfect for those who want a quick and easy option when setting up a tent. Pop up tents are ideal for festivals and weekend camping trips in good weather, as they are really lightweight and great value. You’ll want something more substantial for extended camping trips or if you’re camping in bad weather.

Weekend Tents

These are usually dome or tunnel tents that sleep 2-4 people. They are great value, providing you with protection from miserable weather whilst still giving you comfortable space to sleep in and relax. They aren’t too heavy to carry around, yet they are sturdier then pop up tents, making them perfect for summer camping holidays.

Family Tents

These are large tents that can comfortably fit 6, 8 or even 10 people in. They take a while to set up and are very heavy, but they provide a spacious living area that is perfect for long holidays or festivals.

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Shape of Tent

Tunnel Tent

Tunnel tents consist of arched poles in a tunnel shape. This gives the tent good head room, with this shape often used for larger family or weekend tents. It isn’t the sturdiest design available, but is perfect for camping holidays where you want to have space and be comfortable.

Dome Tent

These tents have a round or square base, with poles that cross over each other at the top of the tent, creating a dome shape. These are really popular, as they are sturdy but still offer a comfortable amount of room. Their versatility makes them a good choice for both leisure camping as well as more strenuous backpacking.

Geodesic Tent

These are similar in structure to dome tents, except they have more poles crossed through the fabric, giving the tent a geometric shape. They also have more points for guy ropes, making them incredibly sturdy in all sorts of weather conditions. Because of this, they tend to be more expensive and suited to wild camping or mountaineering trips.

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