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TENT FINDER

Find Your Perfect Tent

Tents are available in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, and features.
To simplify your search, follow these quick steps to find the tents best suited to your needs.

When will you use the tent?


Spring through Fall

Hot, humid conditions.


Winter

High winds, snow accumulation, cold temperatures.

Understanding winter tents

Winter tents have a sturdier construction than the typical 3-season tent designed for use from spring through fall. Winter tents have one or two additional poles to support snowfall and help the tent withstand high winds. The poles also tend to be made with a thicker gauge of aluminum, and the tent fabric is heavier and stronger. All of this makes for a heavier tent, which is why people tend to use winter tents only in winter.


Winter tents also are made with less mesh on the interior walls. This helps keep you warmer at night, but the lack of mesh does cause greater condensation. To combat this, winter tents often feature dedicated venting to improve airflow and reduce condensation.

How many people will sleep in the tent?


1 Person

These tents typically have a floor area of 15 to 25 square feet.


2 Person

Usually 25 to 40 square feet in floor area, these tents are also a great choice for the single camper looking for extra room.


3 Person

With a floor area of 40 to 60 square feet, a 3-person tent is also ideal for two people and a dog.


4+

These tents usually measure 60 square feet and up. Remember, if you're car camping, you might want to opt for a slightly bigger tent.

How much room does each person need?

Floor area (measured in square feet) tells you the size of the tent's floor. If you need extra room to store some of your gear inside, choose a camping tent that has a floor area of at least 20 square feet (give or take) per person. You'll appreciate this extra room, especially if you're camping for multiple nights at a time. For those looking to shave ounces (backpackers, bike campers), a tent that offers about 15 square feet per sleeper will be lighter and will pack smaller, though it will be a tight fit when sleeping, with no room for extra gear.


When shopping for a tent, divide the floor area by the number of people who'll be sleeping inside to help determine if the tent is the right size for you.

How will the tent be used?


Recreational

You'll be setting up your campsite within easy walking distance to your vehicle or house.


Backpacking

Your campsite is at least a couple miles away from your vehicle, and you'll be carrying all your gear in by backpack.


Ultralight

You're backpacking, but you need your gear to be as light as possible and are willing to sacrifice some comfort to keep it that way.

How much room does each person need?

The importance of tent weight - Everyone wants camping tents that are light and spacious. The challenge for you as a buyer (and us as tent makers) is that weight and space fight against each other. The roomier the camping tent, the heavier it is. If you need a two-person tent for backpacking or bike camping, choose one that's four pounds or less. Your back will thank you later. Camping tents carried by kayak can be a little heavier. And if you're car camping, don't worry about the weight at all.


Most camping tents list two weights - When looking through the specs for any tent, you'll usually see maximum weight and minimum weight. Maximum weight includes the tent canopy, poles, rainfly, stakes, stuff sack, and guy-lines, everything you'd normally carry. Minimum weight is everything except the stakes, guy lines, and stuff sack.

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