The old-fashioned camping trip strengthens relationship bonds and teaches you skills to survive in the wild. Today, camping has become safer and more convenient, thanks to well-designed equipment and gear. As technologies developed, modern campers require a more sophisticated range of tents for sale to better prepare for nature’s surprises. Whilst there’s a ton of cheap tents available in the market, not all of them are made equal. It simply is not enough to search the internet, browse through large camping tents, and hope for the best.
3 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Camping Tent
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced camper looking for an upgrade, you need to seriously ponder the answers to the following questions:
What do you need huge camping tents for?
Whilst this question sounds obvious, people rarely stop and think of the reasons why they need a camping tent. This important question will help determine the type of camping tent appropriate for your needs. For example, nobody really wants to spend precious dollars on winter camping tents when you never intend to camp out in cold, snowy places. In short, you could avoid making an expensive purchase and ruining your camping adventure by asking this simple question.
How big is ‘big enough’?
With camping tents, bigger is not always better, especially if your group plans to carry quick set up tents on a long-distance hike. Huge camping tents are bulky and heavy, so you need to make sure that you have purchased the tent with the right size before trying to carry it on your back. Whilst a four-person tent seems more practical to bring for a group of four, it might be better to stick to backpacking tents to lighten everyone’s load. However, if you are planning to go car camping, then the tent’s size (and weight) should be the least of your concerns.
Where and how often do you intend to camp?
Imagine that you had camped in Lake Eyre National Park (low point) last year, and decided to camp in Kosciuszko National Park (high peak) this year, would you be able to use the same camping tent, considering that these two locations have different elevations? Most buyers are so focused on their immediate need for waterproof camping tents that they fail to consider the possibility of using the tent again under a different set of circumstances. Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all camping tent that can suit everyone’s needs, you can still get your money’s worth by simply being mindful of the frequency and location of your usage. For beginners planning to camp only during the summer (under Australia’s infamous heat), you’d be wise to choose a camping tent with proper ventilation than to invest in a four-season tent. After asking the right questions, the next thing you need to know is the different types of tents available in the market, along with their pros and cons.
Types of Camping Tents
Contrary to popular belief, pop up tents are not the only ones available out there. Depending on your requirements, you can purchase a camping tent according to your needs.
Most Versatile: Backpacking Tents
Relatively light, durable, and usually big enough to house up to three people, the backpacking tent is the most popular of all camping tents. Many modern backpacking tents are classified as three-season tent because of their sturdy construction. For most beginners, this type of tent is a good investment as it can provide adequate shelter even in mildly cold weather. However, choosing a backpacking tent is a challenge in itself. Given its popularity, it has a variety of options when it comes to capacity, features, and even design preferences. You might want to conduct a thorough research on these tents before making a purchase.
Most Expensive: Ultralight Tents
They are like backpacking tents – only that they weigh half as much. It might sound like an awful waste of money, but if you are a seasoned camper and hiker, then an ultralight tent is a huge blessing on your back. Ultralight tents retain their durability despite the lighter materials used. If you prefer long-distance hikes in the backcountry and have explored every possible way to shed several pounds off your load, then consider investing in an ultralight tent.
Most Common Alternative: Recreational Tents
Recreational tents are slightly bigger than backpacking tents and have a capacity to house up to four persons. However, these tents are not known for durability, which is why it is only recommended for car camping (though you can still use it for an occasional backcountry adventure – at your own risk). Recreational tents are also cheaper than a standard backpacking tent. However, they are also heavier with a packed weight ranging from four to five kilograms.
Most Durable: Expedition Tents
The expedition tent is the tougher version of the backpacking tent, as it can withstand strong winds and heavy snow that usually come with winter camping. There are a few exciting reasons that anyone would want to camp out in the cold, and expedition tents are the perfect partner to do it. These temporary shelters are available in either single- or double-wall. You should keep in mind that whilst single-wall expedition tents are cheaper, they are also less comfortable compared to their double-wall counterparts.
Most Capacity: Family Tents
As the name implies, family tents are capable of sheltering five or more people during camping trips. Huge camping tents such as these are difficult to set up because of their sheer size. However, it’s all worth it as family tents provide great amenities like standing room and separate sleeping areas. You can even put air mattresses and other furniture inside to guarantee your family’s comfort during the camping trip.
Most Minimal Shelter: Bivouac (a.k.a. Bivy) Sack
If you like camping solo and traveling light, then this one-person waterproof camping tent is right for you. Bivy sacks are technically durable and waterproof sleeping bags that provide the most minimal shelter, with some brands fitted with one pole (to create more headspace) and equipped with mesh net for bug protection.
Most Basic: Tarp Tents
Tarp tents provide the most basic protection from the elements. It also comes in all shapes and sizes at an affordable price. Their only downside of is that majority do not come with a floor. If you’re okay with setting your sleeping bag on bare earth, then this wouldn’t be a problem.
5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing Waterproof Camping Tents
It is easy to get lost in the sea of camping tent options. When confused, refer to the tips below as a purchasing guide:
It is always useful to think ahead when buying a long-lasting product like waterproof camping tents. The safest choice is to buy a tent that can house two to four persons. This will give you enough shelter without making you feel claustrophobic. You’ll have enough room for your spouse, partner, or friend just in case you don’t feel like camping alone. Another advantage of choosing a modest-sized tent is that it will be easier to find a perfectly flat and obstacle-free surface to pop up your tent rather than if you choose a family-sized one.
In today’s economy, it will be foolish not to consider the price when buying camping tents. You’d want to get every ounce of your money’s worth. Backpacking tents can give the best value at an affordable price. They are fairly light, roomy, durable, and most importantly, highly versatile. However, cheap tents might be unsuitable for camping in cold or snowy regions as they don’t provide enough insulation.
The main reason that camping tent prices vary substantially is the materials used for its manufacture. In general, simpler and heavier tents are cheaper because majority of these are made of polyurethane (PU)-coated fabrics. Aside from their heavy weight, camping tents made of PU-coated fabrics tend to flake off, leading to a shorter product life. In short, camping tents made of PU-coated fabric are recommended only for ‘light’ camping (i.e. car camping). If you want something more durable, then you need to spend a bit more to purchase tents made of stronger and much lighter silicone-coated fabrics. Of course, you need to consider how suitable the material is for camping in extreme weather. For example, if you only plan on camping during hot, summer days, then a tent made of lightweight silicone-coated nylon is what you need. However, if you just want something to serve as a temporary shelter as you look at the night’s clear skies, then the cheaper PU-coated polyester should suffice. As a rule, tents that are on the expensive side are a better investment if you are planning to frequently use the camping tent.
If you picture a camping tent in your mind, you’ll probably come up with an image of a pitched tent with a rectangular floor dimension. In reality, tents can come in different shapes (i.e. diamond body shape) and sizes. A tall person might like to know if the tent’s peak height is enough such that he can sit inside the tent without slouching. He might also be interested to know the floor dimensions, which would indicate if there is enough headroom when they lie down. An average camper might also want to know if the tent allocates ample space for gear and the level of difficulty in setting up the camping tent. If you are a beginner, it would be unwise to buy an awesome looking tent that will take more than an hour to set up. You will spend more of the day building the tent instead of enjoying the beauty of nature. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to know whether your chosen camping tent is easy to set up or not. It is highly impractical for anyone (even self-proclaimed camping tent experts) to try and put it up whilst in a camping store. Most buyers are reduced to looking and shopping online, whilst hoping for the best. If all things fail, you can always search about how to set up a camping tent on YouTube. This will give you an idea about where to start hammering those pegs and stakes. The most appropriate overall design depends on your individual requirement. It is best to determine which part of the overall design you should focus on to achieve the best comfort whilst you are bonding with nature.
For serious campers, vestibules (a type of protrusion that can be connected to your rain fly) is a must. It can give you extra storage and even cooking space. This is especially useful if ever you find yourself camping in the rain. Most modest-priced backpacking tents include at least one vestibule in their kit. Another useful feature is a footprint, which can help protect your tent when you set up on a rocky terrain (i.e. the mountains). Along with a Guyline cord, this is essential in keeping your tent in place and in good shape during camping. Campers should also consider purchasing extra stakes as they can help them stabilise the tents during harsh weather conditions. If you are still confused, Outbax can help you. Outbax offers a wide range of tents and other outdoor and camping gear to satisfy your needs. Outbax specialises in camping gears and accessories and offers the best products and value in the market. Their expert sales team can help you choose the right tent and camping equipment that you can bring along to your adventure. Best of all, they offer free shipping on most items anywhere in Australia. With Outbax, you can focus on planning your camping itinerary and stop worrying about the quality of your camping gear. Check out the Outbax website today!