Today, I am going to show you how to overcome confusion, when it comes to camping with your family and picking the best tent to serve your needs.
Read these mind-blowing tips to save your time, energy, and money.
- Tents wise – size does matter
- Weather alert – don’t let the rain ruin your trip
- Camping in the summer – Watch out for mosquitos and ensure ventilation
- Choose an easy set-up family tent to preserve your sanity
- Pitch your new tent in the backyard- try it out before you go camping
- The ultimate, money-saving family tent!
1. Tents wise – size does matter!
Say you are a family of four, setting on to buy a family camping tent. Bear in mind that the size of a tent is crucial here – you don’t want to step on each other’s toes!
So, how do you cope with this uncomfortable situation?
Check Specifications of the tent’s size.
The first thing to do is never overlook this. It might say four people, but that would be a no-no choice. This means that four people can barely stay in the tent. Think about comfort!
So always look for a +1 in the capacity specifications because it will save your nerves. This means that you will have an extra place for storing clothes, bags, and other accessories.
Having an extra space will also solve the issue of comfort because each member of your family will have a place for themselves.
Killer tip: If it suddenly starts to rain, you will have room to play some traveling games with your kids which will definitely be sanity preservation.
Let’s say your kids are teenagers – they definitely need their own space. In this case, you might consider a family camping tent that has two bedrooms and a living room.
Cabin-style tents. They have room dividers. They are the largest and have the most headroom. Entering and exiting this tent is simple.
Cabin tents are super handy because they have tons of space for storing all your camping accessories.
When you take the height of adult campers into consideration, very tall people won’t need to sleep curled up in a ball. The cabin tent again gets a plus for comfort.
Another plus is that cabin tents have a high peak inside, meaning they are tall enough to stand inside the tent’s walls, family cabin tents provide ample interior space.
The one disadvantage they have, since they are huge, is that when rain or wind hits, tent stakes are a bit unreliable. But, you can easily solve this unpleasant situation by simply buying longer stakes.
Some models also include vestibules or front porches/tarps, or you can purchase them additionally.
Vestibules serve as mudrooms where you can leave all your dirty clothes and shoes or where you can store your camping gear. You are in nature and odds are – you will get muddy! So, having a vestibule will be super handy to keep your tent nice and clean.
Vestibules can be attached to the front or side of the tent, depending on their size, or manufacturer.
Tarps are placed above the front entrance of the tent and serve as a shelter, to cook and eat or enjoy the campfire when it’s raining.
Killer Tip: This shelter will also prevent rain from pouring inside the tent!
And now let’s dive into the second tip to help you choose the best family tent:
2. Weather alert: Don’t let the rain spoil your camping trip!
Imagine heading off on your family camping trip on a bright sunny day. But, OH NO! It is starting to rain. Is your chosen family camping tent suitable for a light or heavy drizzle?
You should consider the following things before buying a tent.
Check the OUTSIDE TENT WATERPROOF INDEX specification
The waterproof specification is related to the tent fabric. It is expressed in mm of water that a tent can handle before the water breaks through the fabric and soaks your tent.
You definitely don’t want this to happen.
Check if the tent specifications have at least 1500mm waterproof index. Don’t settle for less, because you never know when the light drizzle will surprise you.
Check the fabric or material of the tent
The material needs to be sturdy in order to last you for more than one season. Polyester or nylon is a good choice for tent materials.
Polyurethane coated polyester is a cheaper option. It is lightweight but the downside is it is not so durable. So you might want to avoid it if you plan to go camping where heavy rain is expected.
On the other hand, silicon-coated nylon will serve its purpose in harsh weather conditions. It is stronger and has better waterproofing capability.
One more thing, silicon infused nylon is slippery, so there is no chance that the rain will stay and damage your tent.
What is holding the tent not to collapse?
POLES of course!
Poles can be made of different materials also.
In the tent specifications for poles, you might come across this abbreviation –
FRP – What is that you might ask yourself?
Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer or FRP is a pultruded tent pole meant to support the tent from winds and heavy downpours.
Some of their characteristics are:
- They are cheaper than aluminum tent poles.
- They can endure all seasons’ weather conditions- summer or winter.
- They will not corrode.
Downsides of fiberglass would be:
- If these poles get overloaded, they will break in two and there is little chance you will be able to fix it. You will have to buy new ones. So, if not used properly the durability of fiberglass poles will be significantly reduced.
- It is not as strong as aluminum. So the fiberglass tent poles must be thicker and heavier to support the weight of the tent.
This affects the total weight of the tent in general, but don’t sweat about it. Since you are traveling by car the weight of the tent shouldn’t be an issue for you.
The next material for tent poles is aluminum.
Some basic characteristics are:
- It’s light. This is super convenient if you want your tent to be as light as possible.
- Even though it’s light it is super strong. Poles can endure overburdening the tent up to a point, strong winds, and harsh winter conditions.
- Since the poles are elastic they will only bend and not break, so it’s easier to repair them.
- Aluminum poles are more expensive because it takes more time to make them.
- They corrode over time, especially if you pitch your tents near the sea. Water can do serious damage to it, especially salty ones.
If you still opt for a tent with aluminum poles make sure to maintain it properly, like rinsing poles with fresh water, and drying them before you store them in the bag.
In the end, both fiberglass and aluminum tent poles will support your tent just fine. Still, avoid using aluminum poles if you camp in summer or don”t opt for fiberglass poles if you want a lighter tent.
The other two materials for manufacturing tent poles are steel and galvanized iron.
Steel tent poles are mostly coated, plated, or painted to stop them from rusting. Of course, steel is a strong metal and you can find this material in bigger tents to keep the structure of the tent from collapsing during harsh winds.
Galvanized iron poles are coated with a protective layer of zinc to protect them from degradation. This material serves well in harsh weather conditions because it doesn’t rust or corrode.
Check the Bottom waterproof index.
Always check it next. It should state a minimum of 2000 mm to avoid flooding from the ground.
Groundsheets should be made from strong materials like high-strength polyester that have a high waterproof ability.
Killer Tip: If you are going camping somewhere where rain is expected, buy an extra groundsheet, that you will put under the one in the tent. This way you will be sure that there will be a minimum chance of flooding. Better safe than sorry, I always say!
Make sure that you choose double-layered tents – to kill two flies with one rock!
The first layer is a waterproof outer flysheet to keep the rain away.
The second layer is the inner breathable one used to avoid condensation. The inside of your tent won’t be condensing because most moisture will go through this inner layer and stay on the inside of your tent’s outer flysheet. You definitely want to keep the inside of your tent nice and dry.
Pro Tip: Always, but always make sure that your tent is dry before folding it back.
Otherwise, you will end up with a moldy and stinky tent that will eventually end up in the garbage!
If you are not able to dry your tent on the campsite, make sure to do it the minute you come home.
So, choose an awesome double-layered tent to sleep like in a 5-star hotel and enjoy the soothing sound of rain tapping on your tent’s roof!
3. Camping in the summer
Watch out for mosquitos and ensure ventilation!
Imagine the following family camping scenario:
It’s 40 degrees outside, but it feels like 100 degrees in your tent! Even worse – mosquitoes are buzzing,
kids are scratching- what a disaster!
To avoid this make sure you read the following chapter and make your summer camping trip a pleasurable experience.
Check the tent’s material specifications
Of course, you will opt for a tent made from lighter materials such as polyester. It is a fairly light material, and even if it rains it can protect you.
The thread count (T) specifications show the number of threads that are used per square inch of fabric.
For example, if under material specifications you see 190T, this means that 190 threads are used vertically and horizontally per every square inch-the thicker the thread is the lower the thread count will be. Fabric’s greater density is represented by a higher thread count.
All in all, the material will be stronger and heavier as the thread count grows.
For example, you might come across as a 210T rip-stop polyester, and combined with a high waterproofing is a winning choice for you. Also, it provides excellent sun protection! Super useful in hot summer weather!
Killer Tip: Avoid tents made of nylon if you don’t want to end up staying in a furnace instead of a tent. it keeps the heat inside the tent and increases the temperature.
Check the tent’s seasons specification
3-Season Tents are very popular because they are light and made for weather conditions in spring, summer, and autumn.
They have a huge number of mesh panels to improve the airflow.
They also have a rainfly to keep your tents dry in the sudden downpour, but I must point out they are not suitable for storms or harsh winds.
Why are ventilation flaps important?
Ventilation flaps are mostly adjustable so you can manage airflow the best way it suits you.
Vents can be placed higher in the tent-making the hot air escape through the roof of the tent which keeps the air inside of the tent nice and fresh.
When it comes to ventilation, choose a tent with as much mesh as possible.
Mesh walls on a tent provide the breeze to pass through. This means that you will have a powerful breeze all the time. Also, it adds up to enjoying the breathtaking nature surrounding you. If it gets too hot you can close mashes and still be comfortable if a tent has a mesh roof and a ground vent, which will still provide good air circulation. So buying a tent with controlling mashes is definitely a plus.
So make sure you buy a tent with constant airflow.
Another plus for mashes-mosquitos are not allowed!
To avoid those annoying little creatures, like mosquitos and other bugs, mashes play an important role here as well. Just open the vents if it’s too hot and the mesh will keep the buzzing insects out of your precious tent.
You can also opt for a family camping tent that comes with a mosquito net.
Just make sure that a tent has strong zippers that seal up all the way.
Investing more money in securing your tent will definitely be a life-saver when the problems of hot weather start building up.
There are some other super cool ways to protect your tent from overheating such as:
- If you are definitely not expecting the rain, remove the rainfly that hugs your tent and doesn’t allow the heat and moisture to escape through the tent. You will definitely feel more comfortable.
- Use a simple tarp to serve you as a sunshade and place it a bit higher above your tent. Here some trees, poles, or stakes can help you to tie the shade above the tent.
- Pitch your tent in a shady place, under some high trees- it will provide you with the natural shade and you will be more comfortable.
- Pick a tent with a lighter color because a lighter shade reflects more of the sun’s heat so your tent stays cool during the day.
So, for the best comfort when camping in the summer, choose a family camping tent that will keep you cool at night, while you are enjoying the relaxing sounds of crickets instead of the annoying buzzing of mosquitoes!
4. Choose an easy set-up family tent to preserve your sanity
Picture this: You are driving to your camping destination, kids are surer hyper- active because of all the sweets they have eaten but also cranky because they had just about enough of driving. The sun is slowly setting and a scary thought pops into your mind-Oh no! I still have to pitch my tent!
In order not to go crazy at this point, choose an automatic pop up family camping tent to save your time and energy and enjoy your camping trip.
Automatic tents have poles that open like an umbrella- simple as that. This kind of tent will really save your time.
Automatic pop-up tents are an awesome choice for you if you are a beginner at camping. Some open just by pulling up the center of the tent and others need unfolding to make the tent expand.
They are simple to unpack because they don’t have poles for suspension.
Other tents need poles to make the skeleton of the tent, which are assembled manually.
The only demanding part when it comes to an automatic camping tent is making sure that it will stay secured on the ground. Always keep an eye on the weather changes like sudden rain or wind so opt for a place where you are able to pull the pegs to make sure your tent holds firm to the ground.
Also, automatic pop-up tents are usually single-layered meaning they have only one wall. This raises the problem of ventilation and potentially stuffy air in hot weather.
Make sure that your automatic pop-up tent has a proper outside waterproof index, and also the material such as waterproof polyester for example. If not then a good idea is to additionally buy a rainfly, tarp, a UV protection coating, vestibules, lantern hooks. It all depends on your needs.
Killer tip: Make sure to get it right when folding the tent back. The practice is everything!
5. Pitch your new tent in the backyard- try it out before you go camping
Let’s say you have chosen a perfect family camping tent, and it has finally arrived.
You have learned all about the materials, poles, waterproofing, and other details.
The question remains – will the tent work when needed?
How to answer this question- well simply try it out!
Imagine doing it as an adventure and gather all your family members who will go on this camping trip. Together, check out what you got for your money.
Start by pitching the tent.
If you’ve got a larger family camping tent of diagonal bracing type, it’s imperative to see how the construction works and how much time you need to pitch it. It’s better to be prepared in advance.
Next – go inside. Let the kids inspect every corner of the tent. See if you have enough space, and some space to spare when you all go inside. Try out the zippers a few times, make sure they work properly.
If you have chosen an automatic family tent then you will do it in less than 5 minutes.
But, try folding it back as many times as you need to do it at the same amount of time as you need to unfold it. Trust me, it will do you good.
After this mini camping, if the tent passes the test you are good to go!
6. The ultimate, money-saving family tent
8-12 Persons Anti UV Waterproof Family Camping Tent
It’s party time!
Let me tell you why you will love this tent.
First, it’s huge! Comfort is not an issue here.
There are two rooms and ample space for camping gear, clothes, and boots.
Next, it is super strong and sturdy. The poles are made out of galvanized iron, meaning they will never corrode or degrade.
This makes the construction of the tent absolutely unbreakable! Are you worried about strong winds or heavy downpours- don’t! No bad weather can shake this tent or do any damage to it.
Talking about the rain – there is no way that the rain will find its way inside the tent – its high outside waterproof index will prevent every single raindrop from breaking into the tent!
Camping in the summer- great! Buy this tent if you want to enjoy your trip even in the hot weather! It is equipped with Anti UV protection, which will prevent the tent from overheating.
Enjoy the fresh, cool air!.
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