The Best Family Tent – A Big Decision
Choosing the best family tent is a big decision. It could make or break your next camping trip. But never fear. My Family Tent is here to help you make the best choice for your family and your budget. Read on!
Camping is a very special activity for families. Quality time is really precious to everybody, since nowadays, busy work schedules always get in the way for families. Therefore, you probably feel like you have to make the camp perfect, enjoyable, and unforgettable. And that’s why you should take it really seriously when choosing a tent for your family’s kit.
A tent plays a 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 with 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:
Things to Consider
- Your family – your kids ages and stages, abilities, how many hands can help?
- The size of your vehicle/pack to get you to camp?
- Ease of setup/pack down?
- Your experience and time?
- How often will you camp?
- What season will you camp in?
1. Your Family
Every family is different and wants different things from their camping experience.
Do 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.
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.
2. Your Vehicle
What size of your storage space in the car, do you have a roof rack? Remember you have to fit a lot more than just a tent so think about this first before making any purchases.
3. Ease of Setup & Pack Down
A 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.
Staking is usually necessary. Loops of nylon webbing are recommended and titanium or aluminum does well as stakes.
4. Your Experience and Time
Are you seasoned campers or beginners?
Are you handy or total newbs?
Is your partner keen to camp or hands-off?
Do you have tiny children or teenagers who can help?
5. How Often Will You Camp?
Are you a once-a-year camping family, maybe a few times a year, or a weekend warrior who wants to camp as often as possible? These considerations are important for the type of tent you purchase. Do you want the Taj Mahal to stay for a week, or a simple dome to stay for a night or two?
6. What Season Will You Camp?
Are you fair-weather summer campers or winter campers? Do you need an all-rounder for any situation?
Do you need indoor space for rainy days or lots of ventilation for summer nights? Or both!
These considerations will make your choices easier to narrow down.
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 rain fly to cover your tent separately. It protects you not only from the rain but also from the heat. Also for a little extra space such as a porch area for wet gear or simply sheltering in on rainy days.
Tents made from polyester are better for families since they protect against ultraviolet rays. Seams 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.
Go for aluminum or carbon poles, which are 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.
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 want your family camp to be as enjoyable as possible, so do not skimp. Quality comes first when there are kids involved.
A basic tent will always do the job and get you camping. But a slightly higher quality tent will offer extras that will make your trip a little more comfortable, but they are NOT essential at all.
Budget is king when it comes to decisions usually, and you do get what you pay for. But roughing it is also a big part of the charm of camping, so make the right assessment of your family’s NEEDS and not just their WANTS when it comes to comfort and fun. No one is having fun if you’re broke because you spent all your cash on a fancy tent only to not be able to afford the fuel to get you to the camp spot!
The tent is just one piece of the camping budget puzzle and certainly not the one that will give you the most bang for your buck! Think comfy sleeping mats, quality sleeping bags, good tyres for your car, these are more impactful than a fancy tent. So spend wisely.