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What are the Best Questions To Ask Before You Buy Your First Tent?

Updated: Nov 22



My first tent was not the cheapest tent on the shelf in Walmart, but it was Inexpensive compared to some brands on the market.


What Questions Should I Ask Before My First Tent Purchase? There are many questions before you purchase your first tent. It would help if you considered the following:

o Price and Quality

o Intended Use for you new Tent

o 3 or 4 Season Use

o The number of People that will Be Using the Tent For Shelter

o Waterproofing features of your new tent.



All of these components play an integral part in your new tent purchase. If you are new to tent camping, you want the best, highest quality tent for an affordable price. However, it goes deeper than just price. You need to purchase the current tent for the correct application. There are many types of tents, so you need to do some research and ask the correct questions.


There are differences between the types of tents and their intended uses. Smaller dome and A-Frame tents are perfect for backpacking and hiking but will give you minimal comfort if you plan for an extended amount of time in your tent. Larger Dome Tent Designs and Cabin Tent Designs will offer you more space, but be careful of quality and structure. It would help if you were sure that your new family tent would be able to stand up to the weather such as strong winds and heavy rain.



When and in what climate will you be camping. Most inexpensive quality tent designs that you might choose for your first purchase are designed for 3 season use. You can purchase types of tents for winter camping. However, these are special and are designed specifically for colder weather and colder climates.


Another critical question is how many people. Keep in mind that just because the tent says it will hold six people doesn't mean six people comfortably. The number used means sleeping bag next to a sleeping bag with no space between, and usually, one or two bags at the bottom of the tent perpendicular to the others. Basically, every square inch of the tent is utilized.



Finally, Safety and waterproofing Items. Does the tent include a rainfly, and how are the seams and zippers sealed? These essential items can allow water to penetrate your tent and ruin your first camping trip. Keep in mind, you will have a tenting trip in the rain. This fact is inevitable. It would be best if you were sure of the safety waterproofing features of your new tent.

Intended tent use

Let's start with what you intend to use the tent for when you are camping.


· Hiking will require a smaller, lighter, and easy to assemble tent designs. You want to be able to pitch this tent in no time at all. You will usually be camping trailside, so the quicker, the better. Likewise, this will make putting the tent away for travel that much easier.



  • · Backpacking will typically use the same tent as hiking. Small Dome tents, A-frame, and even inflatable tents will work well in this area.

  • Hunting and fishing

  • · Types of Tents for hunting and fishing will still be on the smaller side. Usually, you will be spending a couple of days at a time in your tent, maybe a weekend. Here, you might want a slightly larger tent, probably a dome tent, as these tents are easy to assemble in a short period. This setup gives you the maximum amount of time to spend on your hobby, hunting, or fishing. Here you might want to pick a four-person tent to give two campers ample comfort for the trip

  • Wild camping

  • · Also known as camping off the grid. In this instance, you might spend more time in your tent, but you will also be away from civilization. Here you will want and need more comfort to have an enjoyable trip. This method of camping might even involve recreation in the tent. You might want a larger tent with more headroom or even a multiroom tent. Setup and takedown are not so much of an issue as you will be spending a reasonable amount of time.



  • Family camping. This method of camping will require you to have a large comfortable tent for the entire family. You might want to eat, sit, and relax in this tent. Size here does matter. A Cabin Tent or Bell Tent would be a great choice. These both can come in large sizes and offer you lots of headroom and space to move around.

Tent capacity vs. intended capacity



  • · To determine your tent size, there are basically two rules of thumbs that you can apply. The first is very simple. Take two away from the number rated on the tent box. In this case, a six-person tent would hold four people comfortably

  • · The other rule is you will take the number of people staying in the tent and multiply this by 40 square feet. So a tent for four people will need to have 160 square feet. This number then can be equated to the square foot dimension of the tent you are thinking of purchasing.

  • · I will say y that I use both methods. The deduct two rule is quick and straightforward and will help you narrow down the tents on your list. The multiply by 40sf number is more exacting. This number ensures an exceptional level of comfort on your trip, whether you are talking about 2 or 6 people on your first family camping trip.

Tent seasonality



  • · When you are camping is a consideration. Three Season Types of Tent Designs are not designed to hold up in the extreme cold and high winds. Cabin Tents Have a taller structure, so they will not hold up well in high winds. Additionally, these large tents have lots of ventilation and will be very cold in cooler weather.

  • · Four Season Tents are built for the cold. They can withstand strong winds and even have ridges and brims to help guide the snow away from the base of the tent. These tents are usually dome style tents with lower profiles and less ventilation than most three-season tents.

Safety and Weather Items

  • · These items are essential, especially in your first tent, as you have no real experience to pick the best components.

  • · Be sure that the tent you choose comes with an appropriately sized Rainfly to protect the tent in harsh rainy weather. Another good point to review is the quality of the poles. Be sure they are quality because these are usually the weak component in heavy rains.


  • · Review the seams and zippers in your new tent. Taped seams will usually leak under heavy rains in harsh weather. The sealed seam will repel water and help to keep you dry even during the worst weather.

  • · Review your tent's zippers. This component should have an outer cover so that water will not penetrate the zipper and tent.

  • · Be sure your new tent has a tub style base. This component is a tarp-like membrane that is used as the floor of your tent. This base is durable and extremely waterproof. Tub-style tent bases are the wall between you and water.

  • · Other features that could be great safety features for your new tent might include awnings over your windows and doors, extra-thick tent poles, and good quality tent stakes to keep your tent secure even in the windiest and rainiest of weather.


These items need to be considered before the final purchase of your first tent. It would help if you also took some time to research what other campers have to say about the tent you're considering.


Platforms like Amazon and Tent websites will offer customer comments on specific models. This location is a great way to gather the final information for your purchase.


Face it, third-party information will tend not to be as biased as the manufacturer's site. However, you still need to take any information with a grain of salt. You can always find negative reviews on any product you are looking at, so look at several to get the product's overall feel.


Another useful item to look at is the company's customer service department or manufacturer that you are considering. If you need help, you need to know that someone is out there to support the product.


We are Family Tents Pro, and we wanted to give you some items of thought for your first family tent. There are many different types, styles, sizes, and brands of tents on the market, so making an educated purchase can be daunting. We have tried to simplify the process by giving you these tent items to consider. We may also earn a small commission should you purchase through our affiliate links.


Additionally, we have more helpful information on our website at www.familytentspro.com. Head over and see how

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