As the world we knew by 2020 came to a halt with the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us found ourselves stuck in our abodes for weeks on end. With safety measures imposed, along with travel restrictions, most of our travelling plans came to nought.
Trying to find the silver lining in the situation, for many of us this turned out to be the opportunity to finally consider the beauty of our surroundings and get to know it through outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, backpacking, and touring. For beginners in such adventures, the experience isn’t so gratifying at first because in order to make the most of it, it’s necessary to do some shopping to find the ideal bits and pieces of gear.
Given that there are so many options available at the specialised outdoor gear stores, I must admit it can be quite overwhelming. Especially when you’re left picking the tent which is one of the basics of gear for the outdoors. To make the purchase hassle-free for you, and prepare for an unforgettable outdoor adventure, I’ve gathered up certain aspects you should look into when choosing your tent.
The Tent Weight
As weight is one of the primary concerns of campers, hikers, backpackers, and tourers who care about the load they carry along, the focus should be on finding a hiking tent lightweight in design. Compact tents made from super-light materials add up much less weight and take up much less space, which are properties you should be after.
Don’t let the “ultralight” property fool you. Thanks to using of advanced technologies when creating the tents, the use of such fabrics nowadays, in the likes of 40D ripstop siliconized nylon, polyester PU, mesh, and aluminium for the frames, makes for durable designs.
They don’t fail in being roomy and comfortable either, as the heavier counterparts. Much like when looking for batteries to power up your trips, besides checking the brands, you should pay attention to the specifications available for each product, which would basically show you two aspects:
This indicates the weight of the tent that comes from components in the likes of tent body, poles and rainfly. Meaning, you get the minimum weight by only adding the tent essentials into the equation.
Now, as you might guess, this one has to do with the packed weight of the hiking tent lightweight in materials, i.e., the one that comes from the body, the poles, the rainfly, the stakes, the sack, and the instructions you purchase it with, among others.
Checking these two aspects, comparing it with various products, you should be able to find the best one that suits you in terms of weight. For further info, don’t forget to check out the packed size too – this indicates how easy it is to carry a specific tent.
The Tent Livability
Same as when you’re shopping for the right footwear, you want to know whether or not a tent would be suitable for your kind of comfort requirements, so you need to look into its livability. This can easily be checked if you get to know more about a design’s properties, in the example of floor dimension and comfort of the floor area, the pitch, as well as ventilation.
Floor Dimension and Comfort of Floor Area
Considering not all of the tent designs have rectangular shape, you should look into aspects like head and foot, or specifically the length and width measurements of the floor. This comes in handy when you’re shopping for hiking tents online and you don’t have the chance to enter in them before the purchase.
The total square footage, and the sleeping area are also important aspects you have to have in mind, as are the materials the floor is made of. The last thing you want for your outdoor adventures is to sleep in a tent with a wet floor– be sure to buy a product with spacious puncture-resistant floor for utmost durability and comfort.
While we’re at this, it wouldn’t hurt to be aware of the capacity of the model so you’d have enough space for everyone, if you’re not a solo traveller. Taking into account the capacity differs from brand to brand, it’s always advisable to buy a tent that’s bigger for one person than you plan on using it for.
Yet another aspect that has to do with the comfort, perhaps even more important than the head to foot consideration, it indicates how open the tent’s interior is. If you want to find a truly roomy design, enough for you to stand up, or sit up and read a book, or play board and card games, then you ought to pick one that’s got particularly vertical walls. So, next time you’re on the lookout for the perfect model, check the ceiling and the wall angles!
Perhaps one of the most important properties of a hiking tent lightweight in design, it shows you how comfortable you can be inside when sleeping, resting, or hiding away from bad weather. Since it’s easy to get condensation build-up inside from your breathing, you require a tent that’s got useful airflow features in the likes of adjustable mesh windows and panels.
The rainfly also needs consideration because, unlike those designs that are attached to the tent, those that are extras (when added as a separate layer), provide better protection from bad weather and condensation. And, once you don’t need them for protection when the sun is out, simply remove them to allow better tent ventilation.