Family tents: Choosing the best tent for your family holiday
If you are thinking about investing in a tent here are a few things you might want to consider before you buy it. Choosing the best tent to suit your family’s needs will make your family camping trip far more enjoyable and maybe the difference between a never again camping experience and an annual event.
What is the best tent for your family
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. Also check the product reviews,
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.
The size and weight of the tent
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. Check the packed size of the tent to make sure it will fit in your car boot comfortably. Also it is important to make sure the erected tent, including any extensions it may have, 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.
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, 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.
The sleeping arrangements
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 vis-à-vis style tent may appeal to families with older children, as the two sleeping areas are at either end of the tent, separated by a living area in between.
Ventilation and creepy crawlies
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 and windows should your tent have?
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.
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.
Storage in your tent
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.
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.
The above tent can be ordered from John Lewis at a cost of £369.99
This is the product description:
Product code: 35121418
The Easy Camp Palmdale 600 Camping Tent is the ideal home away from home. Click here to visit the page
Offering a room for larger families, the Palmdale 600 tent provides versatile space for six.
The inner tent with double doors can be split by a zip-out divider allowing comfortable sleeping for up to three adults on each side. With its pre-angled fibreglass poles there is ample standing room, a D-shaped front door offers easy access under a deep canopy.