If you’re a family looking for adventure, keen to pitch a tent and explore the great outdoors, then one of the most important things you’ll need to know is how to choose a family tent to be used as your home away from home. Deciding on the right tent is something that should be done with planning, consideration and research. Be sure to physically look at the tents you’re considering and get a thorough idea of the features and price range available in the tent ranges you’re considering. Not sure where to start? The good news is it’s not as hard to find a great tent as it may seem, if you follow some simple tips.
Many people feel overwhelmed when choosing the right tent, simply because of the large range of options that are available, but, by asking yourself some simple questions, the process of choosing a family tent will become a while lot easier.
1. How Will the Tent Be Used?
This may sound like a silly question, the answer is camping, sleeping right? Wrong! Of course those things are true, but there are other important factors that come into play here. Will you be hiking long distances and need to take the tent with you? If so you’ll need to go for compact and light. Will you be staying for extended periods of time? If so then extra space and durability may be necessary. Generally for extended camping trips it’s a much more comfortable experience in a larger tent that has space to stand. Ask yourself what kinds of camping trips you’re likely to be doing and choose a tent that will fit that style well.
2. How Many People Will Be Sleeping in the Tent?
The size of your family will be one of the major deciding factors in the type of tent you purchase. Although do you notice it wasn’t listed in position 1 of the points to consider. That’s because the size of your family won’t always be the major deciding factor in the type of tent. For example, for trips that require a plane flight to get to your destination, or require hiking on foot, a lighter more compact tent is needed. So in this case, even a family of 5 may decide they can squeeze into a 4 man tent for short stays. However if a family loves to camp for weeks on end in one spot, then a 10-12 person multiple room tent may be just what they are looking for. As a rule, the number of people a tent size allocates is for the maximum number of sleeping adults that will fit comfortably. If you’re needing to store clothing etc for 4 people in your tent, then it wouldn’t be wise to buy a 4 person tent (unless for short hiking trips) a family of 4 would more likely look at 6person and above for these purposes.
3. Where and When do Your Family Camping Holidays Take Place?
Going back to the first two points, the next point to consider is the likely location and timing of your camping trips. If you know you will be camping in summer then a tent with great ventilation is an absolute must! Tents with inadequate windows, lack of fly screening and ventilation points will fast become unbearably hot during the Aussie summer heat, so take this into consideration. If you know you’re likely to do some camping during wet periods or areas where there’s high dew levels at night, then it’s vital to have a tent that is waterproof, has zippers that won’t leak and sturdy flooring that won’t allow the water to penetrate. It’s important to understand that even family camping trips can be inundated with all kinds of weather, so tents that offer these features are always a bonus.
4. Budget Vs Quality
When it comes to the final decision for the tent, the reality is, that the tent you purchase will come down to price vs quality. Once you know where you’ll be using your tent and for what purpose, and how many people you need to accommodate with an average time of stay, then the final decision will be the pricing and quality.
There is such a large variety of pricing across tent ranges, but generally with that pricing range comes a huge range in the extra features and also a major difference in quality. For many families, purchasing a top of the range, ultra expensive tent may be out of the question, but be sure at least to look at the top of the range tent with the features that will suit you, then take a look at the bottom of the range. Once you have an idea of what’s on either end of the price scale, it’s wise to go with an option somwhere in between.
No matter what tent you choose, be sure to hold onto your purchase receipt, as a good tent should come with a warranty period, and be free from defects. Before you head out on your first camping trip with your new tent, it always pays to do a mock setup at home (or let the kids have a camping trip in the backyard) so you get to know how to set the tent up and pack it down. It’s much more fun if you arrive at your campsite knowing how to pitch your tent instead of wasting time trying to figure it out instead of relaxing!
Now you’ve got your tent sorted, the next decision will be choosing sleep gear for family camping!