Camping tents come in various styles, shapes and types. Some tents are better suited for a single purpose, while others are more versatile. This article will discuss the different types and styles of tents, as well as the situations in which each is the most useful.
This style of tent is the most popular choice among campers. Because of their dome shape, these tents are extremely wind-resistant, which is a very helpful attribute when camping in higher elevations where wind is usually an issue. Dome tents are easy to set up and are very lightweight, often able to be compressed into a duffel bag. Poles are made of removable segments, which are easy to fold down and set up, housing a stretchy cord between each segment. Pegs and stakes are also used to secure the tent to the ground and attach it to the support poles. Most dome tents have a removable extra top that is a separate piece from the tent itself, used as a rain or sun shelter. When choosing a dome tent, it is important to pick one that will have enough room for the number of campers inhabiting it. Some dome tents have side compartments, able to house up to 8 or 10 people. For extra comfortable room, it is best to select a tent that is taller. This will allow room to stand up. Side zip-up vents are another great feature to look for. Zip vents will allow the owner to have airflow in warmer temperatures and the ability to close the vents if weather becomes cooler.
This style of tent has more room to stand up, walk and move around, usually the best choice for large groups or families. Frame tents are a popular choice for those who wish to set up more than just sleeping bags and air mattresses in their tent. Setup of a kitchenette, lounge chairs or other accessories is one reason this style is chosen. This style of tent is usually square or rectangular in shape, which is also not very conducive to staying in place during strong wind gusts. When selecting this style of tent, it is best to choose one that is very durable, has waterproof material and strong support poles. Sometimes the poles for these tents, depending on the style chosen, are rather heavy. Coupled with the fact that this tent and its components take up more space, this style is not an ideal choice for backpackers or those who must travel lightly. Vent windows are also important to have in a frame tent. Some models have pockets or pouches attached to the walls, providing helpful storage space for important things such as flashlights, keys or cell phones.
A ridge tent is a four-sided tent with sloping sides. These tents are a common choice for backpackers, as styles that are lightweight and easy to transport are widely available. Setup is very simple with these tents, often involving ropes, which are secured in the ground, attached to support beams. Ridge tents are fairly resistant to wind, due to the way they are anchored to the ground. With a sloped roof, there is not ample room to walk around or move very well, especially if an air mattress will consume the inside space. This type of tent is best for trips where minimal gear is key. Ventilation is difficult to find on a ridge tent, but should be sought out for those whose camping experience will involve warm weather.
Whether choosing a dome, frame or ridge tent, buyers should also be aware of what type of tent they are selecting. Tents are usually labeled either 3-season or 4-season. When camping in high altitudes where snow or freezing weather is possible, a 4-season tent is the best choice. This type of tent is designed to weather extreme temperatures. Most 3-season tents are suitable for all weather types except for very cold temperatures below freezing. Selecting the right type and style of tent is based on several personal preferences – vents or no vents, sunshade or open, easy or complicated setup and short or tall height. Tents from trusted manufacturers are always the best choice.