How to choose your perfect family tent
If you are thinking about having a camping holiday and are looking to buy a family tent here are a few things you might want to consider before deciding which one you want to purchase.
Choosing the best family tent to suit your families needs will make your family camping trip far more enjoyable and maybe the difference between a never again camping experience and an annual event.
Do your research before you purchase
Before you purchase your family tent it’s best to visit a camping shop or exhibition which has a good selection of family tents erected as well as checking out family tent reviews on Which?
What type of family tent will suit your needs
Seeing a tent first hand is a great way to get a real sense of the size and space a tent will offer. It will also allow you to see how specific features and storage options can help to make your family camping trip more comfortable.
Size and weight
Most family tents are designed to be carried in the car, so they are much larger and tend to be heavier than smaller pop-up tents or expedition tents.
Look at the packed size of the tent to make sure it will fit in your car boot and make sure the erected tent, including any extensions, will fit on the pitch you have booked on the campsite.
The most popular family tent size, is for four or five people and tend to be aimed at novice campers.
Pitching your tent
An easy-to-erect tent will get your family camping trip off to a stress-free start. The kids may want to get involved with erecting the tent, but for families with younger children, a tent that can be put up with fewer than three people is essential.
Check the space and height of your family tent
It’s a fairly universal opinion among campers that the claimed maximum capacity of a tent is often a little on the cosy side. That’s why it’s important to see a tent first-hand to ensure it has enough space for your family.
It’s important to have a decent amount of living space in your family tent, both to prevent the feeling of claustrophobia and to make your stay more comfortable if the weather is poor.
Your tent should offer good head height so you don’t need to stoop down once inside. You should be able to fit a table and chairs inside, both for eating at and for playing card or board games with the family.
Consider your sleeping arrangement and the sleeping compartments of the tent.
The age of your children is likely to affect your preferred sleeping arrangements within your tent.
Choosing a tent with flexible bedroom compartments, with a central zip separating the two chambers, means campers with young children can sleep in one large compartment, or split the compartment in two for added privacy once the children are older.
A tent which may appeal to older children is one where the sleeping areas are situated at either end of the tent and are separated by a living area in between.
Ventilation and keeping the creepy crawlies out.
Ventilation is a really important factor when choosing a family tent. A well-ventilated tent will make for a more comfortable camping experience and well positioned vent panels will allow for the free flow of air throughout the tent.
Vent panels should have a mesh covering so that air can enter the tent but bugs are kept out.
Doors with fly screens attached are appealing as they allow fresh air to enter the tent but keep out bugs and flying insects.
How many doors
A family tent with more than one door can help with the free flow of air through the tent, helping to improve ventilation. It can also allow for a welcoming through breeze in warmer weather.
Having two doors can also give flexibility for family campers to easily enter and leave the tent through the most convenient doorway – especially handy for night-time trips to the toilet blocks.
In poor weather, doorways can get muddy, so having more than one can reduce the foot flow through a single door.
Windows and tents
Large windows can help make the interior of your tent lighter and increase the sense of space. Pre-attached curtains will block out light when needed.
The more storage the better
Tents with ample storage are a real bonus for family campers. Your tent should have enough storage space for your camping equipment, helping to keep the main living and sleeping areas of the tent clutter free.
For more tips and reviews Which? are a good source of information on tents. See which tent Which? recommends – no pun intended.
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