With so much choice available to first time campers, buying your first tent can be confusing. In this blog we will give our advice, as experienced campers, on the best tents for first-time campers.
What type of camping adventure are you embarking on?
Once you know what kind of camping trip you’re going on, it’ll make it much easier to decide what tent you need.
The most common types of camping trips include:
-Hiking Expeditions & Backpacking: If you’re going on a hiking expedition (wild camping) of any kind solo, you’ll need to pack light.
-Festivals: Festival tents tend to be smaller than average because many have rules on how big your tent can be. These types are often cheaper and smaller. They can also be referred to as weekend tents, designed for short trips.
-Family or group camping: Family camping tents tend to be much bigger to accommodate a larger group. You can accommodate ten people in a very large tent. These tents can include living and leisure space and come as inflatable as well as the traditional poled tents.
What tent size will be best for me?
This depends on the type of camping trip you’ve chosen, and how many people are coming with you.
Tent berths are measured by how many people the tent can fit side by side, which is why you should always go for a little bigger than you think you need. If you are on a family camping trip you will need room for all your clothes, shoes and equipment. On a wet day you may all be sat in the tent so plan for all eventualities. With this in mind, when you’re in the process of choosing a tent – consider these things:
- How many people are going?
- How much equipment will I need?
- How much sleeping space will be required?
If you’ve booked a campsite stay ask if there are size restrictions in place on size of tents allowed. Some campsites will charge extra if you have a very large tent as you may need two pitches.
How are you travelling?
The size of your car can influence the size of tent you can accommodate in the boot or rear seats. Don’t forget you will have all your equipment for the trip with you too. Some families choose to invest in a roof box for their car.
If you’re traveling on public transportation, something smaller may be more suitable such as a weekend tent.
If you’re exploring on foot then a lightweight and compact tent is a must.
Types Of Tent To Consider
Tunnel tents are great for first-time campers as they are easy to pitch and can withstand tough weather conditions, making them highly reliable. The tunnel design usually offers sleeping areas towards the rear of the tent, with living space at the front.
Dome tents tend to be smaller than your average tent, although you can find dome tents that accommodate up to 12 people. Dome tents offer great durability and sturdiness. Their design consists of poles that cross over in the middle of the tent.
Polycotton tents are great if you’re planning to camp in the rain. This is because the material is made up of polyester and cotton, which works by absorbing water to block it from entering the inside of the tent. Once dry, the material then opens up – making the tent highly breathable. This material also acts as a protective layer against harmful UV lighting, making it perfect for shelters. You can find out more about polycotton tents here
Pop Up Tents
Pop-up tents are a great option for first-time campers because pitching requires little time or effort. All you have to do is lay them out and peg them to the ground. Pop-up tents save a lot of time due to their simplicity. Pop-up Tents are popular for hiking trips, festivals and family holidays.
Pop-up tents come in all shapes and sizes, so there will be one to suit most campers.
Festival tents or weekend tents
Festival, or weekend tents, are ideal for a hassle-free camping trip. They are lightweight, compact, and reliable. These kinds of tents tend to be much more affordable as they are an entry level tent.
A festival tent is perfect for solo camping or couple camping as they will be on the smaller side. They are easy to assemble and require little time to do so.
Backpacking & Lightweight Tents
Tents that are designed for backpacking will be lightweight, compact, wind-resistant, durable, and easy to assemble. They are suitable for hiking trips and exploring on foot due to their lightweight features.
If you’re planning a family camping holiday, for a weekend or longer, then you probably need a family tent.
Most family tents feature a living and leisure area, which is great for leisure space. There will be plenty of room for storage and sleeping arrangements. In bad weather a family tent will mean a comfortable stay for all the family, including the dog.
Family tents will provide you with protection from the elements. This is a great option if you want optimum comfort, with space and protection. Prices of family tents vary depending on manufacturer but Vango are certainly a popular make of family tent.
Inflatable tents are a step up from your traditional tent with poles. These are also known as air tents and are supported completely by inflatable beams.
Inflatable tents are quick to put up with the use of a pump. Once inflated they are pegged down and that is it, you are ready to relax.
The air-filled beams form a strong but lightweight structure that acts like a normal tent. Vango are a market leader when it comes to air tent technology.
That’s a look at the types of tent you may come across when looking for your new tent. All being well you will choose the right one for you and your family. Here at Colapz we are excitedly planning the launch of our own Colapz tent for 2022. Stay tuned for more updates on that on our social media pages!
Happy camping and enjoy your holidays!