A tent plays the key role in a camping trip. The feeling of a camp comes mainly from sleeping in a tent side by side with your loved ones, snuggling to each other for warmth and waking up far from home, feeling refreshed and ready for all the fun to come. To achieve all that feeling, you have to get the right tent.
Here are things you should take notice of when shopping for tents:
- You want to be close to each other at night? That is great. But too much closeness can be a problem. You would not want to keep nudging and being nudged while trying to get some sleep, knowing there is a long day ahead.
- You do not need a lot of spare space with a backpacking trip with your buddies. However, it is a different matter when it comes to family trip. Each person should have a space of about 24 square feet and there has to be spare space for at least one extra person. You have to leave room for children to play inside when it rains.
- With best family tent, you need personal spaces for everyone to change their clothes. Tent tends to have slopes so make sure there are plenty space other than the center where an adult can stand straight.
- If you travel by family’s car then you do not have to worry much about the amount of space your tent takes up when folded and how heavy it is. If not, pay attention to weight and stored size too.
Family tents come in 3 basic styles:
1. Dome-style: Strong, wind-resistant and rain-resistant. But the slopes can be a bother.
2. Cabin-style: Spacious. Some even have room dividers. The pitching can be quite challenging and it does not cope well with bad weather.
3. Screen-rooms: Can be used to cover an area. Good against bugs not rain. Good to go when the weather is good.
2. Easier is better
- You go on a camping trip to enjoy yourself, so there is no way that you would want to tire yourself out doing extra troublesome stuffs. So look for tents that are easy to set up. And that means you should pay attention to the number of poles.
- Larger tent means more space but also more poles. So do not go overboard with the size. Poles that are attached to the fabric by clips are easier to deal with, but threading them through fabric sleeves makes the tent stronger. Some tents combine both options.
- You should choose tents that have more than one door (and large ones at that) so you guys do not have to crawl out one by one, kids do not push each other and slipping out at night or early morning for a walk or bathroom is easier.
- Pay attention to the ventilation, especially if you camp in summer. Ceiling vents and mesh panels in doors and windows are essentials.
- Look for a rainfly to cover your tent separately. It protects you not only from the rain but also from the heat.
3. Do not skimp
- You want your family camp to be as enjoyable as possible, so do not skimp. Quality comes first when there are kids involved.
- Go for aluminum poles, which is much stronger and rust-resistant. They should be easy to fold and attach to the fabric. Segmented poles come with shock cords to make the tent sturdier against tough weather.
- Tents made from polyester are better for families since they protect against ultraviolet rays. Seam should overlap well or be stitched properly. Zippers should be easy to move and rust-resistant. The floor should come in one piece and be of a “tub”-“bathtub” style.
- Staking is usually necessary. Loops of nylon webbing are recommended and titanium or aluminum does well as stakes.
4. Some extra stuffs
- Do not forget that when you go camping with your family, you have to bring along a bunch of things: boots, shoes, packs, other gears. A vestibule that is built into the rainfly or stand-alone can help with this matter.
- You might want mesh side storage pockets to store stuffs like books, glasses, keeping them off the floor and inside the tent. You can even go for a mesh interior shelf if your kids bring along toys and stuffs.
- The nylon or plastic footprint is a nice addition. They add a layer against the moisture from the ground and protect the tent floor against rocks under and feet over it.
5. Knowledge and practices
- Do some research into materials, waterproofing, capacity, height and everything else before buying a tent. Ask the salesperson all kind of questions to get all the information you can think of (better note them down beforehand).
- Bring your family with you on your shopping stroll. Your family members should see the tent for themselves before you make a choice. Ask the salesperson to pitch the tent for you and go inside for a try. Look at the floor, the side, the roof. Test out the zippers.
- When your wife and kids give it an okay, you can make the payment.
Before you decide on a tent, you should consider all the above mentions elements. They all contribute to your tent’s quality and therefore your family’s satisfaction. To get the right answers for all the questions about the tent, you should plan beforehand the place where you will camp, the place’s weather, terrain, at which time of the year you camp will be… A carefully planned, detailed trip can hardly go wrong and you can be sure of all the fun ahead.
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