Types of Camping Tents


Tent and camping accessoriesWhile the origins of tents still remain unknown to experts, it is safe to assume that since their inception, tents have been providing shelter and protection to their occupants from mother nature.

Over the years, tents have evolved from the infamous pole tents that are seen in nearly every cartoon and movie based at a campsite, to the new and improved shelters available today.

There are a plethora of different types of tents available in the market, each perfected to its niche, and suitable for different campers, in different conditions.

Ridge Tent / A-Frame Tent

The Ridge Frame or A-Frame Tent pops into one’s mind when one hears the word ‘tent’. This type of tent is easily recognized because of its abundance of exposure via camping movies, brochures, and blogs. The name ‘A Frame’ or ‘Ridge’ comes from the strong pole that stretches along the top middle length of the tent to hold it up against the ground. This tent consists of at least three poles – two on either side and a ridge on top – to hold a canvas-based material taught against the ground with pins, giving it slanting walls. This type of tent, while traditional and sturdy, does not provide adequate space for its occupants and is difficult to pitch and takedown. It is also not feasible in harsh weather conditions like rain and wind.

Dome Tent

The Dome Tent, like the Ridge Tent, is one of the most popular types of tents in the camping industry. Its structure is made of two plastic poles that cross each other at the top and are locked into the ground in a diagonal. This sort of tent is easy to assemble and disassemble, making them portable and lightweight. The material of dome tents is versatile in nature – although most dome tents come with a waterproof polyamide covering. Their shape allows them to provide ample headroom and storage even outside the tent. This tent can withstand bad weather conditions and as such as the better choice for short camping trips.

Extended Done Tent

Much like their smaller counterpart, the Dome Tent, the Extended Dome Tent also utilizes the crossing pole structure but adds additional poles that extent off to the side of the tent to provide additional vestibule space to the main structure. The additional space can be used for storage, shoes, cooking space, and even pet corners. Like its counterpart, this tent is well standing against the weather and easy to set up. It comes in a variety of sizes with different floor plans as per the camping party.

Tunnel Tent

Much like the name suggests, the Tunnel Tent has a long tunnel shape held taught by plastic semi-circle poles along its length. These tents allow for plenty of room and headspace. They come in a variety of sizes and additions – suitable for large group camping trips. Because of their large size, Tunnel Tents require ample campground space to pitch up. While they provide decent protection against moderate weather conditions, they can also topple over easily with harsh conditions like winds or rain, which makes them a hazard. These tents are generally difficult to set up and are more expensive due to their size.

Geodesic Tent

Geodesic Tents are related to the Dome tent. They consist of multiple crossing poles that create hexagonal shapes as they cross over each other and dig into the ground to hold the tent material taut. This creates a semi-circle shape for the tent which makes it one of the most stable tents in the world. Geodesic Tents are highly durable and can withstand high-speed winds and provide adequate protection against rain. Their dome shape also provides ample headroom and floor space for the occupants and their gear.

Cabin Tent

These tents, much like their name suggests, have a cabin-like shape due to their nearly vertical walls held taut by plastic poles dug into the ground. Their shape allows them to have ample headroom and floor space. Their large size also accounts for possible room splitting within the tent to give individuals their private space, with perhaps a common area in the middle. These tents come in a variety of different sizes and are more expensive than the typical ridge tent. Their size also makes them unsuitable for harsh weather and winds. These types of tents are more suitable for small, family camping that is more casual than serious.

Pop-Up Tent

These tents are literally what their name suggests. With poles coiled and inserted directly into the fabric of the tent, these tents immediately pop up into their shape as they are instigated to uncoil. These tents are generally more expensive due to their portability and ease of use. Due to their delicate nature and lack of spacing, these tents aren’t suitable for extended camping trips but rather are preferred for casual day trips and lounging for a few hours.