Whether you’re heading up a mountain or into the woods, the tent you pack is one of the most important pieces of camping gear you’ll bring along. It will provide you with a place to store your stuff as well as a cozy spot for you to recharge your energy.
When you’re in the hunt for a new tent, you will quickly find that there are a lot of options out there.
However, if you’re new to camping, or you just want to upgrade your existing tent, it can be a daunting task to choose between the many different types of tents, let alone understanding which one is the most suitable for your needs. Moreover, according to Men’s Health, not all tents are created the same, and what you end up buying should be directly influenced by the type of adventure you’re undertaking.
Best type of tent for general outdoor camping
According to a camping guide posted on CNET, you can actually make your tent feel less like you’re in a jungle and more like you never left home by choosing the right tent and decorating it based on your own preference. Easy-to-set-up tents, comfortable sleeping bags, and portable cooking equipment equate to a campsite that will feel more like home.
Multi-room tents are ideal for family camping or when you’re camping with a large group since this type of tent includes internal room dividers and a decent amount of storage space to accommodate up to 8 or 10 people inside.
Plus they offer a level of convenience and comfort, that no small single-person tents are able to provide, simply because of the fact that they’re too small to stand up and/or sit in upright position.
While most campers opt for dome tents because of its ease of set-up, the overall advantage of the dome tent is the increased space over the traditional A-frame tent design.
And not to mention, this type of tent is designed in an aerodynamic way to divert heavy downpours of rain and strong winds. Dome tents offer wind-shedding and superior strength, both of which you’ll appreciate on a stormy night.
Lightweight tunnel tents
Most of us appreciate the ability to stand up and move around inside our tent, but if you’re going for a backpacking trip you need something that’s lightweight and super easy to set up.
Tunnel tents are the greatest option for this purpose, as they provide just enough space for you to get a comfortable sleep and keep your gear dry, without the tent itself taking up too much space nor weighing you down as you go.
As the name suggests, cabin tents derive their name from the fact that they are more like a cabin than a tent. Cabin tents typically have a large interior, particularly a high roof, making it easy to walk and fit a whole bunch of people inside, without feeling too cramped or uncomfortable.
Although cabin tents are on the expensive side, purchasing this type of tent is much cheaper in the long run because they can last for a long time and are generally easier to repair than smaller tents.
Among the cabin tents you’ll find canvas tents, that work great for full time living.
Best type of tent for winter camping
If you’re planning on getting out winter camping, it is important to ensure that you have the right tent to snuggle at the end of a frigid day out in the wilderness. While it may be easy to find a three-season tent that can act as a shelter in the spring, summer, and fall, finding a heavy-duty tent that can withstand snow-fall and heavy rain can be a bit more challenging.
In general, you should look for a tent that can withstand large amounts of rain and snow, so we recommend tents that have a rounded shape and a reinforced frame.
When camping in the cold weather, you’ll have to go up against winter storms, frost, and winds. If you’re camping with a group, a light-weight dome tent can be a great option to keep you both well-insulated and protected from any snow that gets blown in during the night.
Dome tents come in many different sizes, and they’re both comfortable and easy to set up on a cold day.
Given the severe weather condition that you will have to endure in the wilderness, tunnel tents are also ideal for expeditions during extreme weather conditions. This type of tent offers ease of assembly and allows a fleet of tents in your kit storage, because of its good space-to-weight ratio. It also provides plenty of space and headroom in comparison to other tents.
Tunnel tents are quite popular for mountaineering, in general because of their low profile, but also because of their high durability under windy conditions.
Best type of tent for beach camping
There’s definitely something special about camping on a beach, with the sounds of waves in the background and the ability to bury your feet into the sand.
If you’re planning a day trip to the beach, a simple tent is recommended for multiple reasons. First and foremost it provides a shaded area that protects you from the sun, and it’s a great place for both kids and adults to hang out and relax.
Pop-up tents provide essential shade for long days out in the sun, giving you and your family relief from the hot summer beach days. This type of tent requires little effort to assemble, as they simply pop up with one swift motion once unpacked. Moreover, they are also well ventilated, so you will not overheat when using it in the middle of the day.
A pop-up tent can be a great travel companion if you’re on a motorcycle camping trip and want a proper, lightweight tent for motorcycle camping.
If you’re hitting the beach, hats, towels, and sunscreen are likely on your packing list. But if you have a toddler in your family, it is always advisable to bring a baby beach tent (or a canopy tent). A baby beach tent gives your little one a cozy, shaded place for them to play, relax, and sleep in, while shielding them from sunburns or overheating.
A baby tent can offer a cool spot away from the sun, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants under 6 months of age to avoid too much sun exposure due to their skin being extra delicate.
Best type of tent for outdoor events
If you’re hosting an outdoor event, going on a picnic, or attending a festival, you need a shaded place to crash during the night. The “camp ground” usually have most of the facilities you’ll need, so the tent simply has to act as a shelter to sleep in.
No outdoor party or social event is complete without a canopy tent. This type of tent is great for backyard barbecues, trips to the park, or parties at the beach since it is easy to set up and easy to dismantle. Its shape makes the task of attaching party banners much easier, which allows party hosts to be more creative.
If you feel like having an outdoor party that is safe from outdoor elements and pesky creatures, but you still want to have the outdoor greenery as your backdrop and natural sunlight to shine through, then you might want to go for a clear tent. They also provide the solidity of permanent structures, yet are portable and lightweight, which makes it a great option for family gatherings, weddings, fairs, festivals, trade shows, and more.