For many people, camping is a summer and autumn pastime. Whether you’re going to socialize at the campground or using it as a jumping-off point for other activities, the tips contained below will help you find family camping tents that can serve as a home away from home.
Family Camping Tent Types
Any tent that can accommodate four or more is considered a family camping tent for the purposes of this article. Weight is not as much of a concern as it is for backpacking tents, because most are only carried a short distance to the campsite. There are a few basic family camping tent styles:
* Cabin style tents offer the most livable space and entry/exit. The nearly vertical walls give you more room to maneuver, and some tents have extra features such as awnings and room dividers.
* Dome tents resemble those used by backpackers, only in a larger size. These tents offer great windproofing and superior strength; while they are fairly tall in the center, the sloped walls reduce the amount of livable space.
* Sun shelters and screen rooms are usually used for daytime activities, but can be used as sleeping shelters in warm, dry climates. The mesh walls keep bugs out, but do not do much to keep out the elements.
You Get What You Pay For
You can find best tents for camping at almost any discount store, for a low price. However, specialty stores carry models that cost hundreds of dollars. They all look the same from a distance, and it can be hard to tell the difference. In dry, calm weather, a cheap tent may work just fine for your family, but the real difference lies in the quality of the materials and construction. Look for quality in the:
* Poles. A tent with aluminum poles will last longer than one with poles made of fiberglass.
* Zippers. “YKK” brand zippers are more resistant to breaking and snagging.
* Materials. Rainflies and canopies made with higher-denier fabric are more durable than those with lower deniers.
* Floor design. If the tent’s seams are taped, especially at the corners, there’s less of a chance of leakage.
There are many different family camping tents to choose from, and they vary widely in price and quality. If your family likes to camp often, it makes good sense to get the highest quality you can afford.