Tent Buying Guide 101: Things To Consider Before Buying Your First Tent

You and your family or group of friends decide to try camping outside? The best thing to do when camping is to buy a good tent. But, you’ve never bought one in the past so you plan to buy a good tent. Wrong move. There are features of buying a camping tent, especially for the very first time, which cannot be seen in our eyes.

There are various tents available in the market and you need to find the one that best suits your camping needs. Here is some tent guide that you can follow to make the right choice.

Before rushing and picking the cheapest or lightest tent, you definitely want to consider the following points. because a tent buying guide is the most valuable part for who wants to camp the first time and we will teach you what to look for & what to avoid so.

If you’ve decided to go camping for the first time so you can read our article 45+ Actionable Tips For Camping.

Tent Buying Guide: How do you plan to use your tent?

Where and How are you planning to use your dream tent? Are you planning to camp along the beach? Are you planning to a tropical country for camping? Are you planning to go camping in the snowy side of Alberta? No two tents are manufactured alike.

These are some of the questions I was asked when I decided to purchase my first camper. So many people make the mistake of buying a tent that is too big or too small. There are a few different ways you can plan to use your tent, and it will be a lot easier than you think if you are willing to use some common sense.

There are different types of tents that you can purchase. and these are just a few of them:

Backpacking Tents: 

Backpacking tents are made for 1-3 persons and can be carried in a backpack easily (compact when packed too)Most backpack tents are made for all 3 seasons (winter, summer, and rainy conditions) and it provides warmth and comfort to the traveler.

  • Easy to set up
  • Easily dismantled for cleaning
  • Weatherproof and wind resistant
  • Extra storage space
  • Generally easy to pitch

Learn More: A Complete Guide To Backpacking For Beginners

Ultralight Tents: 

Ultralight tents, Basically are made only for 2 persons that is use lighter materials. preferably when camping along the beach.

  • Light to carry
  • Easy to store
  • Less durable
  • Made only for fair weather conditions

Family Tents:

Family tents are heavy, made of very durable materials, they are lightweight and designed for the moderate temperature of the spring, summer, and fall.

  • protect against heavy rains
  • provide standing room
  • separate sleeping areas
  • good ventilation
  • Up to 4-10 Persons

Learn More: The Best 10 Person Tent: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 

Car Camping tents:

Car Camping tents are more durable than backpacking tents are heavier, and is made for all 3 seasons including windy conditions. Car Camping tents are made for 2-4 persons.

  • Up to 4-5 Persons
  • More durable
  • Protect against heavy rains

Tent Buying Guide: How to choose a perfect tent

The size of the tent you need:

When choosing your tent, figuring out how large a tent you will need. keep in mind you might need additional space for extra friends, gear or dogs.

Sleeping capacity is also another factor that you need to consider. Do you need an extra room for storing camping gear or clothing? Or do you just want a spot where you can get a comfortable sleep? It depends on you and what you expect from your tent. Just keep in mind that the tent should fit perfectly into the area that you will need. Read this article and find out the right tent for your camping needs.

Check the Ventilation Process:

Before buying a tent, ventilation should be kept in mind and make sure your tent has enough vented areas that will allow a cross-breeze.

If you camp in the south on a hot summer night, the window ventilation will be very important to you. Which will soothe you from the hot summer nights?

Check  Waterproof System:

Just make sure that whatever you are sleeping in a tent is waterproof. Some waterproof tents are manufactured with a cotton tarpaulin floor which allows moisture to flow through rather than pooling in the middle of the tent. You will want to make sure there are at least six inches of flooring that goes up the side of the tent to keep the water out. Like waterproofing, it is also a standard item for tent making.

Tent buying guide: Height & Width

Unless backpacking, You should consider actual length and width. if you are five feet tall, you will need a space of at least six feet to stretch out and not be crammed against the tent sides which is bad if it rains.

Consider Weather:

wind, rain, sun, heat, and cold all have different effects on your tent. Consider a rainfly just in case.

Safety Features:

A tent that comes with safety features is always the best one. There are two types of poles. These are pole which has a telescopic pole and the other one which has a straight pole. You should always ensure that you choose the one that offers the maximum amount of support and safety.

Choose a good fabric:

Most of the tent is made of nylon or polyester and breathable nylon is normally used for tent walls. Coated nylon is used generally for the fly and floor for waterproofing So it’s the most important factor to check before buying a good tent.

Choose tent poles:

Most tents come with either aluminum or fiberglass poles and it all comes to how durable you want. it’s another good feature to check carefully when buying a good tent.

Test The Zippers:

They should open and close freely, and it should not catch and bind upon the tent fabric because this is one of the common problems with “cheap” tents.

Popular Types of Tent: How to choose it

Ridge Tent:

  • Best for backpackers
  • Easy setup
  • Warm Keeping

Dome Tent

  • Best for backpackers
  • Easy setup
  • Warm Keeping
  • Best for 2 person

Geodesic Tent

  • Best for backpackers
  • Easy setup
  • Warm Keeping
  • Best for 4 person

Cabin Tent

  • Best for Groups tour
  • Group setup
  • Warm Keeping
  • Best for 4+ person

Family Tent

  • Best for Family tour
  • Group setup
  • Warm Keeping
  • Best for 4+ person

Tent buying guide for family camping tent:

Your choice family tent needs to be based not just on the number of people going with you but it depends on how much gear you’re bringing along.

So if you’re a family of 6, we will recommend eight or a 10-person tent. Because it will give your family a lot more space and joy.


The 3- season tent is the most versatile option for you because it is designed for use in spring, summer, and autumn. It also protects you from heavy rain and strong winds.

3-Season Tents

A 3-season tent is designed for use in spring, winter, and fall. These tents are lightweight, designed to protect from rain, wind, light hail, and some very cold weather. They provide a lot of ventilation and are quite a bit cheaper. they usually weight somewhere between 3 and 6 lbs.

They can be used both during the winter and during the summer season. They provide shelter from the rain, sun, and snow. but it may not be able to withstand strong winds, extreme storms, or snow because it’s the lightweight tent.

4-Season Tents

A 4 session refers to winter tents, which you might not use the rest of the year, these tents are too heavy or too hot and designed to protect from snow, snow buildup, ice, hail, high winds and even blowing sand. the walls are ofter built entirely mesh free, instead of using polyester of nylon to trap in some body heat and block out gusty winds.

  • suitable for Winter
  • balance of ventilation
  • strength and warmth-retention
Brand Name: Tent buying guide

The brand is one of the important factors before choosing a product. A few of the best camping tent brands are Coleman, Alps, Flytop, Ozark and more.

Read Reviews:

It is also a good idea to take a look at some of the tent reviews online and find out if there are any other pros and cons of the tent that you may not have known about.

Read a few reviews about different tents on the internet and determine if they can save you money, or whether they may come with some cons that may not be worth the small savings that you will find.

Sales after Services:

Warranty and support is the most important issue for a tent. Many manufacturers provide decent sales after support and some are not. so before buying, research the market to know which manufacturers provide warranty and sales after support.


So, if you are ready to set out on the camping adventure, then try out the “tent buying guide” tips mentioned above and you will surely have an amazing camping experience. Good luck!

This tent buying guide helps you to choose the best tent for your next camping.

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