Which tent is best for a family

Which tent to buy? - The main characteristics of a tent

When it comes to the question of which tent is the right choice, travelers should address themselves as early as possible before any holiday apart from the typical hotel stays.

Before reaching for the first model on offer, campers should become aware of their own needs and familiarize themselves with the characteristics of the different tent types.

In this article we give an overview of the most important properties of a tent and explain what to look for when buying.

Update from 05/11/2021

High Peak dome tent Nevada 4 is available again and was again included in the comparison.

Tents test winner 2021

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Properties: Double-walled dome tent for 3 people, made of polyester and polyethylene (floor), dimensions: 290 x 170 x 125 cm (outside) / 160 x 210 cm + 80 cm apse (inside), weight: 2.3 kg, tent waterproof up to 1,500 mm Water column, soil waterproof up to 5,000 mm water column

Lightweight: With a weight of only 2.3 kg that is Salewa Atlas LLL trekking tent

ideal for hikes and bike tours. The supplied compression bag also reduces the pack size so that the tent does not become too bulky in your luggage.
As compact as it is for transport, it offers so much space when assembled. Three people can be comfortably accommodated here, according to the buyers. There is also an 80 cm long apse, which offers extra storage space for luggage.
Assembly and dismantling are quick and easy and are made even easier by using only two guy ropes. The supplied pegs anchor the tent bomb-proof in the ground. The Salewa Atlas LLL trekking tent can also be pitched without any problems.
With a water column of 1,500 mm, the outer tent is so waterproof that it can just about comply with DIN ISO 10966. In light rain it stays dry inside, but the model is not made for camping in heavier rain.
Nevertheless, some users report that a heavy downpour does not put the tent under water. This is due to the large distance between the outer and inner tent, which reliably prevents the tent sheets from touching.

Advantages:
  • Low weight (2.3 kg)
  • Compact pack size thanks to the compression bag (51 x 16 x 16 cm)
  • Spacious interior for three people
  • Anteroom for luggage (80 cm length)
  • Bracket for a camping light
  • Inside pockets for extra storage space
Disadvantage:
  • Can only be used in light rain (waterproof up to 1,500 mm water column)
  • The distance between the inner and outer tent is just under

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Properties: Tunnel tent for 4 people, made of 190T polyester, with PU coating, dimensions: 475 x 302 x 205 cm (outside), weight: 19 kg, waterproof up to 5,000 mm water column

Space for the whole family: With its spacious dimensions and the very good price-performance ratio, it can do that CampFeuer camping tent for 4 people

fully convince. The users particularly like the numerous options for ventilating the tent.
With several windows and a total of three entrances, campers have numerous options to regulate the air exchange and also the temperature in the inner tent. The insect screen reliably ensures that uninvited visitors are kept away.
According to the manufacturer, the tent is waterproof up to 5,000 mm water column and, according to the reviews, delivers what it promises: It defies wind and weather and ensures that the interior remains dry even when it rains.
Those interested in buying should be aware, however, that the stability of the poles and the retaining rings is not sufficient for camping in storms. Here, the booms of some users broke in strong winds.
Thanks to the height of 205 cm, tall people can also stand comfortably in the tent. The room layout is also well received by buyers. Many users praise the fact that the interior can be divided into two separate sleeping areas.
Anchoring material is included in the scope of delivery, but in some cases the quality is not high enough for stronger wind conditions. If you want to be on the safe side with the CampFeuer camping tent for 4 people in rough weather, you should keep spare parts for the most important parts in reserve.
The tent can even be set up by one person despite its generous dimensions. However, it is easier and faster with two people, according to the buyers. The supplied pegs are mostly reliable, but some campers have replaced them with better quality ones.
There is enough space in the anteroom for camping furniture and luggage. However, the buyers do not have the option of leading the cable of a cable drum into the interior. The CampFeuer camping tent for 4 people also lacks a hanging option for a camping lamp.
This model is also not immune to the classic defects that can occur more frequently in all tents. In addition to defective zippers, a few buyers also complain about leaks in the area of ​​the seams.

Advantages:
  • Large anteroom
  • Separable sleeping compartments
  • Standing in the tent is possible (height: 205 cm)
  • Waterproof up to 5,000 mm water column
  • 3 entrances
  • Many windows with mosquito nets and privacy screens
Disadvantage:
  • Pegs are not very resilient
  • Linkage broke in rare cases
  • Occasional defects in the zipper and the seams

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Properties: Double-walled dome tent for 4 people, made of polyester and polyethylene (floor), dimensions: 250 x 215 x 135 cm (outside) / 240 x 210 x 130 cm (inside) + apse (80 cm), weight: 3.9 kg, tent waterproof up to 2,000 mm water column

Price-performance winner: The High Peak Dome Tent Nevada 4

offers space for four people and is waterproof with a water column of up to 2,000 mm. The model can withstand a downpour, but it is only suitable to a limited extent for camping in bad weather.
Some campers also report that the distance between the inner and outer tents is tight and that condensation can therefore find its way into the interior of the tent. This can be remedied by carefully tensioning the outer tent so that the tent sheets do not touch.
In practice, the buyers found the tensioning of the flysheet to be relatively difficult; Occasionally, folds could not be completely avoided. Otherwise, both assembly and dismantling of the High Peak Nevada 4 dome tent can easily be done by 1-2 people.
Many buyers have replaced the supplied pegs and thus achieved a much more stable stand in stronger wind conditions. Overall, the tent is very stable and secure and the poles can withstand higher loads.
Users rarely noticed an inferior processed seam that allowed moisture to get into the interior of the tent in rainy weather. The zippers, on the other hand, are described as tight and of high quality and can withstand frequent opening and closing.
The seams in the area of ​​the flaps seem to be a weak point. According to the reviews, a tab was occasionally torn or torn off.
Despite the disadvantages mentioned, many users find the price-performance ratio of the High Peak Nevada 4 dome tent very fair and would buy the model again. This model is well suited for occasional use and for campers with low demands on their tent.

Advantages:
  • High quality, hard-wearing zippers
  • Waterproof up to a water column of 2,000 mm
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Very good value for money
  • Resilient fiberglass poles
Disadvantage:
  • Distance between outer and inner tent too small
  • Inferiorly processed tabs

Buying the right tent - there are many ways to get there

The fact that there are tents in what appears to be an infinite number of shapes and formats in retail doesn't exactly simplify the decision-making process. And even with the materials used, interested parties will recognize in the first step of the comparative work that manufacturers sometimes pursue very different approaches.

The tent type alone is only one of several essential considerations when considering which tent to buy. Nevertheless, it is important to start organizing somewhere - and preferably not just a few days before the start of the short trip or even a longer tour with a tent.

The desired color is basically the least of the problem, because almost all manufacturers offer their current tent models in various popular colors. The size is already a more important factor.

Of course, every user wants to find the perfect tent. In order for this to work, it is best to first take a look at the different tent shapes. Whether a trekking tour alone or as a couple, a family outing or a club trip: you can find the ideal tent for every application.

Basically, one of the most important factors is the number of people who should find space in the tent. You should therefore first consider the optimal size of the tent.

Some of the most popular tents right now are:

  • Dome tents (also known as igloo tents)
  • Tunnel tents
  • Teepee tents
  • Single-arch tents
  • Prama tents
  • Bivouac tents
  • Geode tents
  • Family tents

Other models are ridge tents or inflatable tents. It is noticeable that some variants can also be assigned to the generic term of the dome tent. This applies to geodesic tents, for example. Other tent versions are also distinguished in the comparison by similarities in terms of construction.

In order to recognize which tent you should buy, you need to look at the details. On the other hand, the available budget must also be taken into account.

The weight, in turn, is particularly important if the tent is to offer protection during the night or in bad weather when hiking. A high tent weight is also rather a hindrance on bike tours. Light tents are a good alternative in this case.

The following sequence can give you an initial idea of ​​the criteria according to which the tent should be selected.

  • Size or number of people
  • Type of tent
  • Requirements for the climate and weather conditions (watertightness, wind safety, etc.)
  • Material and workmanship
  • Weight
  • Effort in assembly and dismantling
  • optics

Frequent use of tents leads to higher demands when shopping

Those who only use the tent occasionally have completely different demands on the desired model than a camper who wants to spend the night in the tent regularly and frequently. The location is also an important factor that can significantly influence the purchase decision.

Tents for long, strenuous expeditions on uneven terrain must be made very different from those used for occasional weekends on the campsite.

Of course, especially for mountain hikes, you need a reliable tent model that not only defies bad weather, but is also able to compensate for unevenness in the ground. Tents in such environments must also be able to reliably prevent moisture from penetrating from below.

The wheat is separated from the chaff at the latest when spending the night at winter temperatures on the mountain peak: Here, the highest demands are placed on the material and the processing quality, which standard camping tents from the hardware store can by far not meet.

These features must be taken into account when buying a tent

An objective comparison of tents stands or falls with the following characteristics. Not every point appears in every test report, which in turn makes it easier to distinguish between the advantages and disadvantages.

If one point or the other is missing, the tent in question can perhaps be highlighted early on from the comparison under the stipulation “Which tent should I buy for which area?”.

Tents consist - depending on the type and equipment variant - of numerous different elements. Campers should therefore make sure when buying that the individual equipment variants meet their own needs as precisely as possible.

The single-walled tent model

In English (and partly also in German) specialist portals on the subject of tents, one often comes across the term “single wall tent”. This variant manages without a separate inner tent. The advantage: tents become lighter and you often have a little more space.

The biggest disadvantage: Condensation can form that drips onto sleeping people, food and personal equipment inside the tent. Mold can also appear if the tent is improperly stored due to the moisture.

Therefore, such a tent needs to be ventilated more often than other models. The common single wall tents include, for example, many throw and pop-up tents. Pyramid tents also often get by without an inner tent.

Single-walled tents are still considered a classic among mountaineering tents. They are comparatively light and therefore easy to transport. Its quick and easy assembly and dismantling fully meets the needs of mountaineers.

In alpine surroundings, where it is usually cold and dry, single-walled tents can show their full potential. However, a compromise usually has to be found here. The moisture must be ventilated out. On the other hand, opening the tent wall is accompanied by a loss of heat.

The double wall tent

Models that are composed of the inner tent on the one hand and the outer tent on the other hand are referred to as double-walled tents. This construction model dominates the tent market today.

The interior and exterior areas - depending on the design - have direct connections, which can simplify the construction. But there are also manufacturers who prefer a clear separation of the two areas.

This, in turn, is more convenient, especially in summer, so that users can only use the inner tent when the temperature is high. The optional separation is also important with regard to cleaning and ventilation of the tents. It is ideal if integrated ventilation chambers are accessible from the inside.

The biggest advantage of the double-walled tent is that it is almost always dry on the inside. However, the construction (compared to single-walled tents) weighs more with the same size. They are also more complex to assemble and dismantle.

The inner and outer tents must be set up in such a way that the tent sheets do not touch. Tent cords ensure that the tents have good tension and can be set up without creases.

The inner tent

As already briefly mentioned, inner tents belong to every double-walled tent model. Many manufacturers make inner tents made of materials such as cotton or gauze. In midsummer, the inner tent can also be used alone. Caution: the tent will keep insects away; However, the inner tent has almost nothing to oppose wind, cold and rain.

The outer tent

This is the outer layer of a tent. This area is only available for tents with a double wall. It is located above the frame of the tent models and also covers the inner tent.

In the majority of cases, the outer tent has to be guyed with pegs. This is almost a must for a wrinkle-free, clean structure. The tensioning also ensures that the outer and inner tent do not touch each other, so that condensation cannot get into the inner area.

Whether you need the outer tent depends primarily on the weather. It can be dispensed with in hot and dry conditions. It is important to have a good ventilation mechanism for the outer tent - this is done by chambers that can be closed.

The tent vestibule

If you want to buy a tent with an anteroom area, you should look specifically for such a model. Not all tents on the market are equipped with this comfortable equipment variant.

The tent vestibule offers additional space for luggage, clothing, cooking accessories and groceries. Not having to store these items in the sleeping area is a huge advantage for many campers. Personal equipment can take up a lot of space, especially when you are traveling with several people.

In principle, cooking is also possible in the anteroom area. However, particular importance should be attached to safety here. The tent can be damaged by the development of heat or even catch fire.

Cooking with a camping stove also generates a not insignificant amount of CO2. The gas should not accumulate inside the tent to avoid health problems.

So that the tent vestibule offers the necessary comfort, you should pay attention to the height before buying. The vestibule only fulfills its original purpose if you can move around comfortably in this area.

The tent entrance

In addition to the vestibule, the entrance is a central point if you are wondering which tent you should buy in order to be well equipped for your vacation or weekend getaway.

To be more precise, we should actually speak of “entrances”. Many tents of the newer generations have two entrances. Especially with 4-man tents and group or family tents, additional access points are integrated on the sides in addition to the front entrance.

Multiple entrances also have the advantage that they make it easier to ventilate the tent. In addition, several people can enter or leave the tent at the same time.

The more entrances the tent has, the more you should pay attention to the quality of materials and workmanship they are equipped with. Entrances offer wind and weather an excellent contact surface and thus increase the risk of the tent becoming uncomfortably damp or cool.

The tent floor

The processing quality of the tent floor is one of the most central factors when buying a tent. Anyone who has ever spent a night in a tent without an additional, reinforced floor in a rather stony environment and, in the worst case, with persistent rainfall, knows about the importance of a stable floor.

The term “soil” should not be misinterpreted. Usually floors are a few centimeters thick as extras and are made of various modern materials.

The new technologies help to keep the weight low. Ten and more centimeters are no longer needed to protect against stones and unevenness in the ground. In your own interest, however, you should still pay attention to a certain minimum requirement for thickness.

It is also important that the tent floor is waterproof. Otherwise, especially in rainy weather, moisture could penetrate the interior from below. The waterproofness of the tent floor is regulated in the standard EN 343: 2003 and must be at least 2,000 mm water column in order to meet the requirements of the standard.

When sitting or kneeling, moisture can still get into the tent via the floor. Because the point pressure on the damp surface is very high when you sit or kneel, the tent floor should be equipped with a water column of 4,800 mm.

Bracing and poles - this is how the tent stands safely in wind and weather

Many people wonder which tent to buy when planning a trip to the campsite or the great outdoors for the first time. As for the size, you choose the tent as usual with a view to the number of people traveling with you.

If rough weather conditions such as wind and rain are to be expected at the travel destination, bracing and rods deserve more attention. Robust fastenings such as additional storm lines and high-quality materials such as fiberglass or carbon, but also aluminum, steel and titanium are used depending on the manufacturer.

Galvanized steel pegs offer an extremely good hold in the ground, but weigh dramatically more than pegs made from the alternative materials aluminum and titanium. Nevertheless, it is important that the tent can be anchored securely and stably in the ground.

Aluminum poles ensure that products can be offered as an extra light tent. The components should definitely be made rust-free so that the tent can be set up stably for years.

Additional coatings also improve durability. As far as the tent sheets themselves are concerned, manufacturers rely on fabrics such as nylon and polyester because they are lightweight.

The popular “parachute silk”, which goes by the name of ripstop in technical jargon, is considered to be lightweight with high durability. Most of the synthetic fibers used are also waterproof and lightfast, so that even bright colors do not fade too much in the sun.

The frequently used material polyamide, on the other hand, is not suitable for every environment, as UV radiation can lead to premature aging of the tent.

In more extreme weather conditions, tents made of polyamide can also only be used to a limited extent. When wet, they can stretch noticeably and thus tend to sag. If the outer wall then touches the inner tent, the moisture can easily get inside the tent.

Polyamide also has a lower tear resistance than polyester. Polyamide tents are still widely available in stores and are often bought because they are significantly cheaper.

Also consider noise development when camping

Tents made of polyester are much more durable and hard-wearing than tents made of polyamide, but they have the disadvantage of audible noise. Many campers have spent a sleepless night in their tent because of the crackling and rustling of the tent, because the noises can occur with every movement or a gust of wind.

Often you can get used to this unusual noise development in the tent, so that you can no longer hear it after a few nights and then sleep without any problems. Those who do not trust the habituation effect will find tents made of cotton in stores.

Large-capacity and tipi tents in particular are available in this material quality and offer significantly quieter sleeping comfort.

Water column - an important factor not only in continuous rain

In the product descriptions of commercially available tents, campers repeatedly stumble upon the term water column. The values ​​indicate how resistant tent materials are in snow and rain.

Typically, water columns from 1,500 millimeters are a guarantee that tent fabrics are really waterproof. For the outer tent, tent professionals often even recommend values ​​of up to 8,000 mm, for inner tents, depending on the location, up to 6,000 mm. Above all, the seams have to withstand closer inspection and be very well made.

There are various standards and regulations for the waterproofing of outdoor items such as clothing or tents. If the manufacturer advertises compliance with these specifications, this is a quality feature that can be used as a guide.

  • DIN ISO 10966: 1,500 mm water column (waterproof tent fabric)
  • DIN ISO 10966: 2,000 mm water column (tent floor waterproof)
  • Standard EN 343: 2003: 4,800 mm water column (waterproof material, also when sitting and kneeling)

Interior

The interior of the tent is not equipped in the same way with all manufacturers. Before buying, you should therefore consider whether the inner tent should have some special features. These include, for example, pockets on the side of the inner tent.

With the number and size of these bags, the capacity and thus also the number of objects that can be accommodated stands or falls. Handkerchiefs, flashlights or mobile phones are always close at hand.

Many campers also find windows to be very comfortable. They facilitate the ventilation of the tent and are ideally equipped with a layer of mesh that prevents insects from entering the tent.

Another important factor is whether you are lying alongside or across the entrance opening. In the so-called transverse bed, you usually sleep a little more comfortably. However, one buys the luxury with a comparatively higher weight.

Camping in wind and weather

As already mentioned, campers have completely different requirements for tents for the nearest campsite than for those that are to be set up in regions far away from home.

The already mentioned ventilation must be ensured regardless of the holiday location, but is of course particularly important in very warm or even tropical areas. Tents with multiple entrances and windows enable quick and reliable air exchange and moisture transport.

You should also be able to separate the inner and outer tents when the temperature rises. When traveling in desert regions, however, you have to take a closer look.

Because as hot it can be in such regions of the day, the outside temperatures can drop as low after sunset.

The tent must therefore be able to handle both heat and cold equally well. White tents are considered useful in extreme temperatures because these models reflect the sun much better than colored tent variants.

They do not heat up as much during the day and offer a pleasant, shady spot in extreme temperatures. You don't need to worry about the fading of strong colors here either.

There is the right tent for every place and every group

The phrase “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” can be rephrased when buying a tent. There are tents that are simply not suitable for every environment.

Thanks to cold-resistant materials with a strong coating, you can spend the nights in the tent even at temperatures well below zero. For mountain tours, care must be taken to ensure that tent erection and opening and closing are practicable, even with thick gloves.

Storage space is also particularly important for winter camping so that food and clothing can be stored safely and dry. For tours with several people in cold climates, the inner tent should be spacious enough that everyone can stay in the warm and dry area.

Materials like polyester or nylon are known to dry very quickly. For camping in front of a stormy backdrop, the bracing must be able to withstand the endurance test.

Color and design details are just the "free choice" when comparing

When all the important questions about the area of ​​application, quality and materials have been answered, it is basically all about fine adjustment. With a few exceptions, the color of the tent is primarily a matter of taste. The desired manufacturer is also often a question of personal preference.

Most suppliers have light tents in their range as well as particularly robust expedition tents or compact 2-man tents. While the color and design are a matter of individual taste, the size is in turn determined by the number of people.

If you are drawn to higher mountains, it is best to use typical signal colors such as red, orange or yellow. There are always risks there, so that in an emergency, it is easier for rescue teams to find the campers who are looking for help. This is especially true for camping in snow-covered regions. In any case, high contrasts compared to the surroundings increase the chance that the tent can be seen well from a distance.

Otherwise, for "normal" tents and camping, simple, muted colors are popular as usual. These include the colors gray, green or beige and blue. On the other hand, lighter colors are recommended for hot areas. Although they are more sensitive to dirt and stains, they reflect the sunlight and prevent the inner tent from heating up in the sun during the day.

Strong colors can also fade with strong UV radiation. If you are bothered by this, you should also take this factor into account when choosing a color.

The final tent selection - which tent to buy

The most important purchase criteria such as the duration of the trip, the location including the climate and the size of the travel group ensure that the variety is quickly narrowed down when comparing tents. Once these parameters have been determined, the individual decisions regarding materials, equipment and the shape of the tent are made.

A not insignificant factor is weight. Of course, it has to be a light tent, especially for backpacking tours or tent trips by bike. Long-term outdoor activities with appropriate weather require a heavier and larger tent model.

Paying too much attention to the price is not ideal. High-quality tents are usually expensive, but often keep the camper loyal to them for ten years or more. The comfort that these tents bring with them more than pays for itself, especially when used more frequently.

The dome tent and igloo tent are usually sufficient for a stay on the campsite. Here, too, you should pay attention to good workmanship and choose an equipment variant that comes closest to your own needs.

Trekking fans usually prefer tunnel tents for good reason, because more functionality is required here in every respect. Extreme campers appreciate the positive properties of a geodesic tent.

If the more adventurous are drawn to the cold, there is a lot to be said for tipi tents. Solo travelers, on the other hand, will be happy to opt for a simple bivouac tent that can be set up quickly and is negligible in terms of weight and space requirements during transport.

By the way, here you will find the best tips for setting up a camping tent. Basically, every camping holiday is a success if you have the right basic equipment with you.

Image source header: Yong couple with kid in a tent © Depositphotos.com/serrnovik
Last updated on 02/03/2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API