What should I look for when buying a tent?

If you’re on the mission to find the perfect tent and camping equipment, here are a few pointers to make sure you don’t end up with a dud:

• A good tent should protect you from wind, rain, snow, and the sun. If you can afford it, get an all-seasons tent – it’ll save you money in the long run as you won’t have to upgrade later.

• Unless you want to be harassed by bugs – make sure your tent has screens.

• Air vents will make your trip comfortable on hot, muggy nights.

• Dome tents are the sturdiest in windy conditions.

• Double wall tents have an inner breathable laminate, a waterproof outer shell, and less condensation.

• If you get a single wall tent, make sure the material is a breathable, waterproof laminate.

• Make sure the seams are double-stitched and not prone to leakage. If the seams are taped for extra protection and coated then this will add to the waterproof capabilities. If your tent is not taped or treated, you will need to do it yourself.

• Look for a tent made of ripstop nylon, which are much more durable and lighter than other materials such as canvas.

• Colour is a matter of personal choice but remember that brighter colours are more visible in snowy or misty conditions.

• Tent poles should be fibreglass or aluminium; fibreglass is lighter but aluminium is stronger. Poles moulded to the shape of the tent are usually stronger. Fibreglass poles pack better and take up less space.

• And finally, make sure it’s easy to set up. No one enjoys fumbling about in the dark at the end of a long day trek.

The perfect tent will have a lot to do with the conditions you’re camping in. Unfortunately, you probably can’t justify buying a new tent for every condition, but these tips should help you get a good all round tent that you’ll get lots of use out of for several years to come.

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