A complete guide for buying a tent from A to Z
For those who want to buy a good camping tent we present a summary of the criteria on which you need to consider before purchasing.
Camping tents which meet the criteria of this section are not cheap compared to substandard products. But they have a higher life span, offers comfort and high protection and are very good for a long-term investment.
Outer foil impermeability
Our recommendation: minimum 3.000 mm of water column. The outer foil has to keep water out even during a torrential rain. Thist depends on if the water is getting inside or not.
The best tents have an outer material resistant to a water column of 8.000 mm.
Floor foil impermeability
Our recommendation: minimum 5.000 mm of water column. After a strong rain, water can be gathered under the tent and even if a person sits above that water gathered underneath, it cannot get inside.
Best tents have the resistance of floor foil for 10.000 mm.
Our recommendation: polyester (simple or Ripstop) or nylon (polyamide) Ripstop with silicon coating. Polyester is much better withstand wear and tear caused by the rain and Sun. Also, polyester does not deform so easily like the simple nailon and the tent will resist better during a strong storm. Models with Ripstop outer foil with silicon coating are used in extreme conditions (tents for desert or alpine tents for 4 seasons).
Alternatives: simple nylon.
Our recommendation: polyester or nylon (polyamide) because it resists well to abrasion and provides a higher comfort than polyethylene.
Our recommendation: polyester or nylon. The inner tent is not subject to the action of external factors, wind or rain. The material from which the inner tent is made must ensure a good ventilation without letting to create an air flow or to be cold. The insect net can be placed at the top or around it. This influence in a very big way in which occurs the ventilation. For mountain tent models, the insect net must be closed (closeable vents).
Our recommendation: Duralumin, minimum 8.5 mm. On the market there are sticks of fibreglass or reinforced fiberglass (Durawrap). But, the duralumin gives a higher durability while maintaining a greater stability during a storm. It is also quite easy. Fiberglass poles must be avoided because it can break easily inadvertently or during a stronger storm.
The best ones have duralumin poles of 11 mm.
Options: Durawrap, fiberglass.
Our recommendation: always calculate a person in addition to those who you know will be using the tent. This thing allows you to put extra luggages in and you will gain enough space to not feel crowded. Mountain models are smaller, while those for sea or camping will be taller.
Our recommendation: dome type (Bell, igloo). For camping in vacations, this type of tent behaves well under a summer storm, offers an extremely generous interior space, has a fairly low weight for a given volume and is easy to assemble. Igloo-type models are suitable for most occasions. For those who want a high performance ultra model for camping in extreme conditions it is recommended the geodesic shaped tent.
Options: tunnel, geodesic, semi-geodesic, roof.
Numbers of seasons
Our recommendation: 3-seasons tent. Models of 3 seasons ( spring, summer and autumn) are suitable for camping in any situations. They resist well in rain and wind, inside it won’t be cold and drafty. For camping in extreme conditions (including winter) are recommended products for 4 seasons, but the majority of those who prefer holidays in camping, fishing, at the sea, mountain, from spring till autumn, a model for 4 seasons is unnecessary.
Options: 2 or 4 seasons.
Our recommendation: not harder than 4 – 4.5 kg. This would be the maximum weight for a 4-person model. One of three people should not have more than 3.5 – 4 kg, and one of two people should not be heavier than 3 kg. In general, better products are heavier, without this being a general rule. Where it can be reached by car weight is not a problem. Must be kept in mind that besides tent, you will carry many other things: clothes, sleeping bags, food and, most important, water.
Our recommendation: light color (grey or yellow). In the models that have a light color, inside won’t be so hot even in summer, when you are camping in the sun. Although the dark colors are not contraindicated, is only an option of comfort. Models for alpine expeditions are colored in red, orange, or a combination of these two.
Number of pieces
Our recommendation: 2 pieces. In order to avoid condensation and to have on the inside an optimum temperature and a breathable air we only recommended models with 2 pieces: outer foil and the inner tent.
Our recommendation: clips. The outer foil, poles and inner tent should be installed using clips. Cheap models use a cord to combine these elements.
Number of entries
Our recommendation: 2 entries. The extra comfort offered by this two entrances in the summer makes us recommend only products with 2 entrances. With the 2 entrances opened, given that the wind blows, you can sleep in the tent even at midday, with the tent straight into the Sun.
Our recommendation: buying a protective foil (even a thick plastic foil) from the tent manufacturer. The tent base can suffer due to abrasion and stings from the surface where you are camping. Many manufacturers also offer protections for the base. If the manufacturer doesn’t offer anything like this, you can imporvise with a thick plastic foil, which must be cut with 5-10 cm smaller than the dimensions of the base. So the foil will protect the floor surface, without gathering rain water underneath.
Our recommendation: aluminum pegs. Aluminium does not rust and is easy. Pegs shape is generally round. Although, those with 90 degree angle fits better into the ground.
Our recommendation: vulcanised stitches. In order to avoid situations when the rain water enters inside besides stitches, these must be waterproofed.