Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tent Buying Basics: Part II

More things to consider when buying a tent.


So you’ve determined that two people and maybe some of their gear will be sleeping in the tent, but don’t just go run out and buy a two person tent. Strangely, tents by most manufacturers run at least one person size small. So how does this translate? Basically, a two person tent = one person plus gear, a three person tent = two people plus some gear. Etc.

It’s important to think about gear space. If you have roomy vestibules (see below) then maybe you won’t be storing your gear in the tent, so you may be able to get away with a smaller tent size.

Tent Door


Spending a few nights getting no sleep due to poorly placed doors and wet sleeping bags recently, I’ve learned to spend a lot of time considering where the doors are in tents. A door near the head of the tent means you will likely be climbing over your sleeping buddy to get out and pee at night. It also means that if you have sand or dirt on your feet it will be getting into the head of your sleeping bag. Doors on the side make getting in and out quietly more easy. Plus, I like that they allow you to put your butt in first, shake your feet off and then climb, in the end, keeping the inside of the tent cleaner. What kind of sleeper are you?

One that gets up a lot at night- than door placement should be carefully inspected. If you’re the kind of sleeper, who once is in for the night, is in, than this won’t be a priority for you.

Misty says buy tents with two doors, you sleep better

Misty says buy tents with two doors, you sleep better

LL Bean Tent

front facing door tent


This could be the most important feature of any tent if you ask me. Vestibules- the spot where your tent fly extends out past the tent over the ground providing an extra space for shoes, gear, and stuff.

Believe it or not though, this feature is optional and not all tents come with it. I highly recommend finding one that has one (or two like mine!), but keep in mind this typically means that you will need to be able to stake the tent out.

Two Vestibules are better than one

Two vestibules are better than one

Read Part I of Tent Buying Basics: How to Choose the Right Tent

No comments: