Determine the Purpose of the Tent

  • If being used for family camping – consider comfort, space and ventilation
  • If backcountry camping – consider weight, size and durability

Determine Type of Material

  • Polyester withstands extended exposure to the sun
  • Nylon is lighter weight
  • Canvas is durable but very heavy

Determine the Style

  • Cabin tents are big with high ceilings and large windows. Multi-room models are available.
  • Dome tents are smaller, stable and better in varying weather conditions. They are easy to setup and take down

Determine the Size and Weight

  • What type of activity
  • How many people
  • How much gear to store in tent
  • Tent sizes do not include room for gear storage. Consider purchasing a larger tent for this purpose.

Consider Ease of Setup

  • Color coding is helpful

Consider the Poles

  • Quality is important
  • Fiberglass poles are durable
  • Aluminum poles are lightweight

Consider Quality of Other Features

  • Stitching and seams
  • Zippers
  • Window and Door mesh
  • Flooring
  • Tie Downs
  • Stakes

Consider the Weather

  • Waterproof/water resistant
  • Use a full coverage rain fly
  • Consider a quality ground cloth for under your tent to protect the floor and to keep it drier and cleaner. This should be the same shape as your tent and slightly smaller.