At Anaconda, we understand that choosing a tent can be a daunting experience. After all, a tent can be a sizeable investment, and with so many different types, shapes, sizes and features on offer it can be quite tricky to know what is the right tent for you.
In this guide, we will try to answer any questions you may have about buying a tent while explaining what certain features mean and which type of tent may suit your style of camping. Then browse our pages of tents to find your ideal home from home for your trip. With tents for one person right up to tents for large family groups, we will have the right tent for your next camping or hiking adventure here at Anaconda.
What is better when looking for a hiking tent, a swag or a tent?
Obviously, this is an issue that can be debated at length. Swags are suitable for one or two people at most, so this will not be a question you need to worry about if you are planning to travel with your spouse, three kids and a dog. However, people who want a lightweight option for a hiking trip or a weekend away camping can decide to choose a lightweight pop-up tent or a swag. Here we take a look at the pros and cons:
Waterproof: Swags are waterproof tents with a sleeping compartment which is insect-proof as well to keep away insects and parasites. Pop-up tents are also waterproof and some could be UV ray proof, but they are not generally insect-proof.
Durability: Swags are highly durable and do not easily tear down or get blown away. They can be the ultimate camping partner for you even in harsh weather like rain or winds. On the other hand, pop-up tents are so light that they cannot bear high winds, so may be better for summer conditions only.
Sleeping: Swags come with an inbuilt foam mattress that gives you the ultimate comfort you can ever get while camping. A swag style bedroll is easy and light to carry. Pop-up tents are lighter, but you have to factor in the weight of your bedding when comparing weights.
Time: Both swags and pop-up tents can be set up in minutes, making them ideal for use after a tiring days hiking or trekking.
What are the best camping tents?
Spacious, user-friendly, and full of features, tents designed for camping provide a relatively luxurious outdoors experience these days. Many of them now have separate sleeping areas, windows, room for storage, sufficient headroom and are easy to pitch. If you are just planning to go camping for a few weeks in the summer, you will have a choice from just about every type of camping tent that suits the size of your party. For a long-term investment or a camping tent that will withstand tougher weather conditions, you may need to invest in one of the more expensive models of offer.
What should I look for in a lightweight tent?
When you go trekking or cycling and want to take a tent for your overnight stays, weight becomes a serious issue. The primary factor in the weight of a tent is the floor space. The larger the space, the heavier your tent will be. Not all manufacturers use the same size guide when describing a one-person or two-person tent, so do check the measurements of your tent carefully before deciding. If you are travelling with quite a bit of gear, having a bit more floor space will be essential. Other features to consider will be the durability of your tent (what sort of weather conditions will it cope with), how easy is it to put up (at the end of a long and tiring day, with no help), and the cost.
Which tents are best for family camping?
Family tents range in size, depending on your family. Family tents can accommodate as few as three people or as many as 10 and are available in a variety of styles. A family tent will usually offer a larger living space and multiple bedroom areas. Some may also have a porch, which can be a great place to share meals when the weather is good. Family tents are usually available as cabin tents or dome tents.
Cabin tents: The straighter walls of a cabin family tent utilise space a lot more efficiently than a dome, especially in the sleeping areas. This extra space can also allow for more camping accessories such as chairs, tables, coolers and cookers etc. The headroom is usually more generous in a cabin tent, so you don’t have to stoop when inside. Cabin tents can have a more homely feel with large windows, some with mesh and curtains. They can also offer added privacy with room dividers or doors between the rooms. Cabin tents are often made of traditional canvas.
Dome tents: Dome tents tend to be a bit cheaper than cabin tents and one of their other appealing characteristics is they are generally very easy to assemble. Dome style family tents do not always offer sufficient headroom, except in the middle of the domed area. However, dome style family tents are usually lighter than cabin tents as they use aluminium alloy or fibreglass poles. The fabric used in a dome tent is usually some form of polyester which makes them dry a lot quicker than canvas and they fold away to nothing.
Here are some other things to look out for when deciding on the best family tent:
Size: Think carefully about the size of your tent if you are planning to stay in it for a longer period of time. While camping in small space may be fine for two or three nights, a fortnight can be a long time to spend closely packed together with the whole family, particularly if the weather is bad.
Headroom: If you or other members of your family are tall, check the height of your tent as well as the floor space. Having to spend a lot of time crouched over has never improved anyone’s temper. Family tents with extra headroom often also provide extra storage options, ideal if you have lots of stuff.
Exits: If you have many people sharing a tent, having extra exits can be extremely useful, especially if you need to get out at night. It means you can exit the tent without having to step over and around others, or can come in later without waking sleeping kids.
Sleeping areas: Depending on the ages of your children, you may prefer to choose a family tent with separate sleeping area or “pods”, to give everyone some privacy. People with small children may prefer to have a larger sleeping area, which can be divided with a curtain, so the kids feel more secure and are close by at all times.
What are the benefits of a canvas tent?
Although polyester tents have many advantages such as being lightweight, cheaper and will dry more quickly after a bout of rain, many experienced campers will always opt for a canvas tent when given the choice. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Canvas tents are more durable and sturdy. They will stand up to the elements and offer better protection. Although sunlight will damage most fabrics, cotton canvas is much more resilient than polyester. Canvas tents will start to leak after exposure to UV rays, but this can be remedied by reproofing the tent with one of the many reproofing products on the market.
2. Canvas tents are breathable. Because cotton has lots of tiny holes naturally woven into the fabric, it can breathe better. This means less condensation inside your tent and more comfortable nights in hot climates.
3. Canvas tents stay significantly cooler in the day and warmer in the evening. Cotton has the ability to resist the heat from the sun for longer but keeps the tent warmer when evening sets in.