How to Select a New Tent For Your Next Camping Trip

Selection of a camping tent depends on several variables which should not be overlooked. There are tents made for different conditions, and tents made for different purposes. Knowing or at least predicting what conditions will occur during a camping trip will help keep you safe and comfortable. A tent can serve many purposes such as temporary shelter while camping or long term housing when hunting or on expeditions.

This handy list will show you what you need to consider when choosing your next tent.

What size camping tent do I need?

A tent that holds all your gear and all the of people that will occupy it is the right size for you. A quick and easy rule of thumb when selecting a tent size is to select a tent that is slightly larger than you think you need. If you will have 4 adults camping in one tent, choose one that is rated for 5 or 6 adults. This will ensure plenty of room for sleeping and gear storage.


Tents are rated in seasons, most common is the three season tent, good for spring, summer and fall. A four season tent, as its name implies, is rated for all seasons of the year.


Your new tent should be easy for you to transport and assemble. Your ability to assemble and move the tent around could depend on fellow campers and the material your tent is made of. Canvas being the heaviest of tent materials and nylon being the lightest.


The easiest tents to assemble will incorporate what is commonly known as a Insta-frame. These tents will have the frame incorporated onto the tent. Insta-frame models can usually be setup in 2 – 4 minutes and are most often found on dome shaped tents. Standard frame tents require more time for setup, 10 – 15 minutes and at least two people to assemble.


Nylon is the most commonly used material for a camping tent, lightweight and woven in a rip-stop weave, nylon has proven durability and shown to last for years. Cotton canvas is the second most popular fabric and has proven its durability for over 100 years.


Fiberglass, aluminum and steel are the three main types of materials used in the frame system. Fiberglass is usually incorporated on lower cost tents or to keep larger tents affordable. Aluminum poles are strong and most commonly found on better quality tents. Steel poles are found on larger cabin style tents as the added weight needs a much stronger framing system.


Choosing a tent made with durable materials, strong poles and sewn with heavy duty threads will ensure lasting reliability.

Additional Considerations:

Your tent should incorporate a fly if camping in rainy conditions. Full coverage fly that reaches the ground for four season camping. A floor protector is a wise investment, some manufactures offer custom fit protectors. A heavy duty tarp can also be used as a tent floor protector. Window screen is another important consideration, standard mesh will keep most insects out, but for complete protection, no-see-um mesh is preferred.

Choosing your new tent wisely will ensure years of use and enjoyment for you and your family.