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Bringing a tent or a hammock tarp during a camping trip is a given. It is pretty much the foundation that helps guarantee your stay in the great outdoors is as comfortable and convenient as possible. When it comes to a backpacking tent, there are several factors you need to consider if you want to get your money’s worth. If you are a beginner happy camper, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we will be discussing the most critical aspects of choosing the right backpacking tent.
Tips on Buying a Backpacking Tent
Remember that there is no such thing as an all-around perfect backpacking tent. Choosing the right one is all about careful planning, a good understanding of the campsite, and proper research about other vital elements. Does it sound daunting and complicated? Don’t worry; this is a case of it being easier done than said as long as you follow our buying guide in backpacking tents.
Another great tip is: The 5 Best Hennessy Hammocks for Camping (Hennessy Hammocks Comparison)
Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a Backpacking Tent
Single-Wall or Double-Wall?
Choosing between a single or double-wall tent depends on the season or climate you are planning on camping on. Single-wall tents are excellent during hot summer nights as it provides superior ventilation and utilizes highly breathable fabric as its main wall construction.
If you are camping out during the rainy season, then the double-wall should be your go-to camping tent. You can also find double-wall shelters that come with the ability to fold or remove the rainfly. This is an excellent example of lightweight tents. Some single-wall tents also have this feature (foldable waterproof rainfly) and are often the recommended backpacking tent for mountaineers who require an ultra-lightweight tent. Keep in mind though that when it comes to interior condensation issues, single-wall tents are not as resistant as the double-wall variant.
Three-Season or Four-Season Tents?
This part is quite easy to determine as all you need to do is know which climate you will be using your tent in. Three-season tents are designed for most environments and feature double-walled construction. It can be used during the summer and rainy seasons. These are generally lighter as well as it incorporates more mesh in its design. The downside here is that mesh may be lighter, but it is also less durable.
As for the four-season tent, it can also be used throughout the year with the added inclusion of being designed to handle the biting cold of the winter season. These tents are incredibly durable and are designed to withstand snowfall, strong winds, and freezing temperatures. Of course, this also means that four-season tents will be considerably more substantial and bulkier.
Durability, Weight, and Adaptability
If possible, always go for the tent that offers both durability and versatility. Whether you need a shelter that protects you from the rain or insects, a tent that can cover as much base as possible while also being well-made and sturdy should be at the top of your shortlist.
Speaking of durability, the material used is just as relevant as the construction. In this regard, various tents use differing materials, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Here are the different types of material that you will come across when shopping for a camping tent:
Fabrics on a Backpacking Tent
The stuff that your tent’s wall and floor are made of will factor into its total durability and weight. The standard fabric thickness when it comes to tents is around 40 to 70D – D stands for the fabric’s denier or thickness. Here are the materials often used in making tent walls and floorings.
- Polyurethane (PU) – Affordable but lacks longevity.
- Silicone elastomer nylon – High-quality material that is durable, waterproof, and weather resistant. It is also quite expensive, which makes it not a viable option for those on a budget.
- Cuben fiber – The best tent material with its combination of extreme durability and lightweight construction. It is also the most expensive type of tent material.
For casual and beginner campers who will be camping at an entry-level campsite, a polyurethane tent will suffice. For veteran campers looking for a challenge in regards to their campsite, having either a SilNylon or Cuben fiber-made shelter is a worthwhile investment.
Comfort and Setup for a Backpacking Tent
Of course, what are you going to do with a durable tent if it cannot provide a good night’s rest? For beginners, double-wall tents are a safe option as it is easy to pitch and offers a right level of protection from the natural elements as well as insects. When it comes to camping comfort, the tent is the backbone while other camping accessories such as a camping pillow, blanket, heater, etc. complete the experience.
You should check how to pitch the tent. Some tents include a variety of poles and numerous parts which can be quite confusing for beginners. Tents with a lot of moving parts also tend to be not as durable so consider that as well.
We hope that this buying guide has helped you narrow down your backpacking tent choices. Remember that research is an integral part of finding the most suitable tent that will suit your needs. Take your time and double-check every aspect of the camping tent and evaluate it against how, where, and when you plan on camping.