What to Know Before Buying a Tent: 8 Practical Tips

If you love the great outdoors, you’ll be bubbling with excitement when the time comes to purchase your very first tent. Nevertheless, don’t let your enthusiasm overshadow the fact that you should brush up on what to know before buying a tent. The market for tents is more diverse than it has ever been, and it’s easy to end up getting an unsuitable model. Discover what to know before buying a tent to make your camping experience worthwhile.

What to Know Before Buying a Tent

Regardless of your budget, the tent you choose should be based on your specific camping needs. We will walk you through the ultimate checklist of what to know before buying a tent that fits your requirements below. Read all 8 guidelines and invest in the right tent for you!

1. Think about Your Purpose

As obvious as it may seem, it is imperative to consider the purpose of your tent. While some models are generally great for camping, others are specifically designed as backpacking tents or baby beach tents. Tent manufacturers will clearly state the designated purposes in their product titles or descriptions.

2. Choose Based on Season

If you’re camping during the summer, you need a tent with an abundance of ventilation. On the other hand, late autumn camping calls for extra weather protection and insulation. If you plan on camping for just a few days during multiple seasons, consider buying a 3-season tent.

3. Prepare for Rain

Even if the weather forecast looks brighter than your future, you should never underestimate the power of the unexpected. All seasoned campers know that a flash shower can hit at any time of the day or night, so a durable rainfly is always a must. You should always ensure that the tent you pick has a bathtub floor and/ or double-stitched and taped seams to keep water out.

4. Analyze the Size

If you don’t want to end up sleeping on your gear, you should always break down a tent’s size specs. There is a massive difference between a 4-person tent and a 6-person tent, and your camping equipment and bags will weigh in too. As a general rule of thumb, go one size up if you’re camping with a considerable amount of gear.

5. Consider Your Environment

No matter how much you love nature, nobody is eager to swat mosquitoes while they’re trying to rest. If you know that you’re camping in a humid environment, always buy a tent with a reliable screen. The mesh should be fine enough to block out even the tiniest of insects.

6. Pick Sturdy Materials

You may have troubles picking a high-quality tent if you’re on a restricted budget. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t apply your camping smarts to choose the best value. Always look into the tent’s design features to figure out what materials are used. As an example, we recommend choosing a model with aluminum poles instead of fiberglass ones for durability.

7. Review the Setup Process

Will the tent be the first one you are setting up on your own? Go for the best instant tent instead of one with a traditional installation. We can’t stress enough how important it is to research the setup process for a model beforehand. Without the necessary experience, you’ll be wasting a ridiculous amount of time trying to stake it in.

8. Read Reviews

Last but not least, it’s essential that you do additional research prior to purchasing any tent. We encourage you to take the time to scan through verified customer reviews. Moreover, you can always consult one of the comprehensives guides on our platform based on the type of tent you’re looking for. You won’t regret the extra time spent on informing yourself.


All in all, we have summed up what to know before buying a tent so you can be adequately prepared. Certainly, there is plenty of more advice that can be given if we go into detail. However, we want to invite you to be part of the process. Have you heard about any other buying guidelines? Did you learn from any prior experiences? Tell us all about them in the comments.

4 thoughts on “What to Know Before Buying a Tent: 8 Practical Tips”

  1. We have two tents, one for summer and one for winter. Granted, they take up a lot of space but there’s no way you can survive the scorching heat in a tent designed for winter. If you need a tent for more than 3 people you will need to go for models that are better built.

  2. Our old tent finally died after more than 4 years so now we have to buy a new one. I’ve bookmarked two models that fit our needs. Now I have to find some time to browse the 1k reviews and see which one is better.

  3. Planning on surprising dad with a camping trip but we have no tent haha. I don’t want anything fancy, just a tent that is easy to set up and on the cheap side. I will have a look at 4-person tents and see what I can find.

  4. Thanks for putting this guide together, guys! I am a total beginner; never pitched a tent before, never been camping, never thought I would be doing it. I made a few notes so I don’t forget important things and now we’ve off to the woods.


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