You have finally planned a getaway with your family, and everything is perfect- except you still have to decide which tent would be best to buy. Take your time. Investing in the right kind of family tent is as essential as choosing the right holiday destination.
After all, it’s your home away from home. Here are a few tips on how to choose a family tent.
Choose a suitable shape
There are two basic shapes for family tents: Cabin tents offer more livability, considering they have vertical walls and higher ceilings providing better headroom. These can also easily accommodate room dividers and vestibules etc. Dome tents, on the other hand, have more structured and sloping walls which have strong wind enduring powers, but the walls significantly reduce space and headroom.
Choose a suitable size
Alongside the shape, the size of the tent must also be chosen very wisely- adequate but not too big. Bigger tents are ideal for family camping holidays, more because they provide enough space for your gear to fit in, along with all the family members.
But before you invest in a bigger size, make sure you know that these would be heavier and comparatively harder to set up. Also, they often require two pitches to be hired as of their large size. Investing in this type of tent would be wise only if you are planning on staying at one campsite for long.
However, if your plan encompasses one-night stays or quick overnight at weekends, then it is advised to go for a smaller tent. Just make sure to look at the packed size of the tent to ascertain if it would fit in your car boot and if it would perfectly fit on the pitch of the campsite.
Consider the bedrooms and layout
What matters more than the number of people to be accommodated in a tent is the number of bedrooms needed. A tent with more bedrooms would certainly offer more storage space. Now it’s time for you to analyze how much space would be ideal for you. Also, it is suggested to have room dividers that can unzip, especially if you have young children in adjacent rooms. In all its essence, the sleeping compartments of the tent must be flexible.
Furthermore, the number and age of your children must also be kept in mind while buying a good family tent for it is likely to affect your presumed sleeping arrangements. A two-bedroom tent would work well for a family of four, but you would certainly need more bedrooms in your tent if your children are bigger or are more in number. In case your kids won’t approve of a tent whose dividing wall is easy to remove, a better alternative would be to get small pop-up tents for them.
Tents that come with extension options are preferable for family campers, for they provide the flexibility to make room for additional space if the number of people extends. To everyone’s surprise, larger tent extensions for separate cooking areas are also feasible.
Consider the storage space
It is characteristically important for you to consider the layout of the family tent you are about to buy. Does it have enough room for you to commence entertaining activities inside if it rains outside? Does it offer enough space for all your stuff to fit inside?
Make sure your tent has a good living space before you invest in it. A cherry on the top would be a built-in porch and a built-in wardrobe for you to keep your gear and camping equipment in an organized way. If you are a family camper, tents with ample storage would be the ones for you. After all, a decent amount of living space is best to prevent claustrophobia and to propagate a fairly healthy ambiance.
Make sure your tent has adequate doors and windows
Note that some tent layouts offer better lighting than others. A tent with large windows would not only make it airy but would also make it more appealing. In accordance, more windows could compromise your privacy a little, unless you have them tinted, or the windows have blinds on them. Also, make sure that the sleeping areas are darkened for you to enjoy a good night’s sleep. You wouldn’t want all the light to pour in.
On the other hand, a tent with multiple doors can be of good use pertaining to the good ventilation they would offer. Meanwhile, it is important to realize that multiple doors would conform to providing multiple entrances- which in return could mean that the floor would be messier, with multiple tripping hazards, and with more chances for rainwater to fall inside. In that case, use a ‘mud valance’ to direct rain away from the bottom of the tent in a downpour.
Consider ventilation and insect protection elements
It is quintessential for a family tent to have a good ventilation system to allow for a more pleasing camping experience. This would require well-positioned vent panels for a free flow of air all across the tent. It would be ideal if the panels and the windows have a mesh covering. In parallel, the doors of the tent must have fly screens to keep out all kinds of bugs and insects.
It is indeed the durability of a tent that qualifies it as ‘good’, hence why it is essential for your tent material to be durable- to resist any kind of damage. As of this matter, opt for tents with aluminum tent poles instead of fiberglass poles, for they offer more strength in stress, though fiberglass is cheaper. Also, look for sturdy material for the tent floor- an Oxford nylon floor or a denier nylon floor rather than coated nylon. Bathtub floors are notorious for blocking water from reaching the base of your tent. You should also ensure that the corners are reinforced to keep the water out.
It is also wise to invest in a family tent that comes in with a footprint (nylon or polyester sheet) to protect you from all sorts of rocks and sticks.
At the end of the day, what matters is how the tent suits your circumstances as well as your budget.