Make sure of a happy camping holiday by choosing the right tent, thanks to these tips from Jean-Baptiste Bonnafous, Tents Product Manager!
There are four main criteria to factor in when choosing a tent:
- the number of campers sleeping in it
- whether you stay put at the camp-site or move on every day
- the climate
- easy set-up
- How many campers will sleep in the tent?
If you are camping alone, as a couple, family or tribe of friends, your needs will be different. The number of places in the tent and the number of bedrooms must be taken into account.
In the models sleeping 1 to 3 campers, there is a single bedroom, although there may be a separate area to store your gear, freeing up more room for living space inside the tent. As for the "family" models, they either have a single, vast bedroom or several.
You might want to also assess the width of each sleeping area as well as how many there are. This can vary from one model to another, and it can affect the quality of sleep. This criteria is quite important in that if you touch the sides of the tent while lying down you might
cause the inner skin to touch the flysheet, making the inner chamber damp.
- Will you be staying put at a camp-site or moving on every day?
The use you're going to make of your tent is one of the most important factors.
If you are staying put for several days or weeks at the same camp-site, we suggest opting for a camp-site tent. Choose one that's spacious and comfortable because it will be like your home from home during your stay.
At a camp-site, people do like to gather round a table, so choose a tent with a decent living area. There are two types: those where you can stand up and others where you have to remain seated.
However, if you want to camp in a different place every night to explore the mountains, you need to choose a lightweight tent, because you'll be carrying it all day. We suggest looking at the most lightweight, compact tents, as well as those that are easy to set up. These are usually the models specially designed for wild camping.
- What kind of climate will you be experiencing?
Wind, rain and heat are all elements you cannot control, with the potential to ruin your night. So, check your tent is properly waterproof to be able to stay dry in heavy rain, and check its resistance to the wind too.
At Quechua, all our tents are designed to withstand inclement weather. They undergo a battery of tests, like the wind-tunnel tests, to be sure they can withstand wind between 50kph to 90kph, and the "shower test" to make sure no water gets in the tent after four hours in a shower using 200 litres water/hour/sq.m. Given their use, hiking tents are more waterproof and wind-resistant that camp-site ones.
To counter the heat, which all too often wakes campers up at dawn, check the tent you want has plenty of air vents so that air can circulate freely. Air vents are good, but over the past few years, our R&D staff have developed Fresh© technology to reduce heat inside the tent, using fabric that insulates from solar radiation.
Lastly, to prevent condensation, opt for a tent with a flysheet.
- How easy does set-up have to be?
Pitching your tent is a matter of philosophy, and also practicality! If pitching your tent is all part of camping fun, go for a traditional tent. These products are good and compact and well suited to wild camping.
If however you dread having to deal with poles and pegs, self-pitching tents like the 2 Seconds are just ideal. Even beginners can pitch their tent: it's child's play. However, these tents are more suitable for those staying put at a camp-site because they do take up more room when folded.
The third solution, breaking new ground: inflatable tents. Hit the hand pump a few times and your tent is up. The poles are filled with air, making them very wind-resistant. They are more comfortable than classic tents.
To wrap up, two more tips for extra comfort:
- Couples might want to consider a tent to sleep three, for extra living space.
- For bigger parties, a model with two doors can be more practical, and affords better ventilation.