Family camping has been popular for years and continues to be today. The family tent is the main piece of equipment needed for camping. Choosing just the right tent is crucial to an enjoyable camping trip. This article will help you decide on the type of tent that will fit your needs best.
Sleeping Capacity- Most camping tent manufacturers say specifically how many people can comfortably sleep in their tents. What a lot of people don't think about is the extra room needed for clothing and supplies. Along with sleeping bags, you'll have duffel bags, suitcases, and maybe a backpack or two. So if you have four people in your party, you should consider purchasing a family tent that "sleeps" six or eight.
Ease of Set Up- The whole point of camping is to relax and not be stressed out, but a tent that's difficult to set up can undo that in a hurry. Before buying a tent read the reviews and pay attention to comments on how difficult or easy it was to set up. Try to find tents with color-coded poles or fewer poles. Also, avoid tents with "sleeves" that poles need to be threaded through.
Some tents are "free-standing" meaning they don't need to be staked down to be pitched. This type of tent is usually easier to set up and easier to move later if the need arises.
Rain Flies - Some nicer family tents come equipped with a separate piece of waterproof fabric called a rain fly. This piece goes just above the "roof" of the tent and helps shed water in the event of an unexpected rain shower. You may not need it, but it's nice to know you have the extra protection if it does rain. This should be a requirement on your next tent.
Don't fall for the lines from some manufacturers that claim their tent walls and roofs are already waterproof. They might resist water for a short time, but they really aren't waterproof. Also, remember that the zippers for the doors and windows may not be waterproof. A rain fly is the surest way to keep rain out of your tent.
Headroom - Tent manufacturers include a "center height" or "peak height" in the description of their tents. It's important to know this dimension is the highest point in the tent and everywhere else will be shorter. If you're looking for maximum headroom for standing, get a tent with an ample center height.
Price - Prices can vary quite a bit from tent to tent. Lower priced tents probably won't have the durability of a more expensive tent. Zippers and snaps might break or tear sooner on a less expensive tent. It's a good idea to buy a better quality family tent as opposed to a cheaper one. It will last for many seasons and you won't be frustrated by broken parts. As far as cost is concerned, any camping tent in the $120 to $250 price range will be of more that you'll need for a while. Camping tents in this price range are of enough quality for you not to worry too much about the brand and should serve you well for a couple of years. If you end up getting a family camping tent much lower that $100, then chances are that you will make another financial commitment to upgrade shortly after your first trip. Don't spend more than $300 on a Family tent until you are a you are experienced in tent camping.