Tents come in various sizes and with a multitude of options depending on your person count ranging from a 1 person tent to a family size tent. It’s a good idea to select one that is manufactured for around 2 or more people than necessary since most tent manufacturers size their home away from home for very little excess room other than sleeping bag packed to sleeping bag. Plus, tents generally don’t have much for “other” gear, i.e. clothes, showering commodities or shoes.
There are four basic styles.
(1) An A-Frame is lightweight, freestanding, simple construction with good ventilation. These type tents usually sleep 2 or 3 people, but floor space is not fully utilized.
(2) Dome have a tent pole frame and are constructed with lightweight fabric. They are quick and easy to set up and use guy ropes and stakes to stabalize the tent. The inside area of these tents are spacious.
(3) Tunnel have fabric stretched over a series of hoops creating a tunnel. These tents are popular with hikers since they withstand high winds and inclement weather if staked properly.
(4) Frame are generally the larger family tents with some having multiple rooms for privacy provided by a divider in the tent or a vestibule just outside the sleeping area to allow extra space for storing gear or an extra sleeping area. This type is usually large and utilizes guy ropes to hold the tent during inclement weather. Because of their size, this type tends to be bulky and heavy to transport but roomy for a large group.
Consider what type of climate you’ll be using your tent which will determine the material used by the manufacturer. For example, if you’re only going to use your tent during the warm weather, you’ll want a lightweight one. If you plan on camping in all weather conditions, you should consider a one that can handle hot weather to snow and freezing temperatures. There is also a tent that is made for 3 seasons, Spring, Summer and Fall and could quite possibly stand up to light snow.
Ventilation is an important factor for your tent so you might want to be concerned with the number of mesh doors, windows and/or a mesh top for viewing the night sky along with a cover if needed due to inclement weather. And, speaking of inclement weather, some tents come with a fly around doors and/or windows to protect the inside from getting wet. Also, for inclement weather, you should take into consideration whether or not the tent has a tub structure on the flooring which is a flooring that continues up the sides of the tent 6″ to 8″ and reinforced or water-proofed floor seams that will help keep the inside of the tent dry if it should rain.
So, take my word, if you’re interested in purchasing a tent, do your research to see what amenities you’re interested in so you don’t waste your money or have an unpleasant outdoor experience.