There are some clear benefits to using a stretcher in your tent.
It not only gets you up off the ground, something appreciated by older campers; it increases storage space.
Two king-sized mattresses in a 3-4 person tent leaves little room for your gear. But put a couple of stretchers in the tent, and you still have space underneath.
The only sticking point is that a stretcher and mattress of the same length and width, will not necessarily fit into the same tent.
The combination of stretcher height (45cm in my experiment) and a sloping tent wall meant that some measurements I took in our tent display reduced the space for a stretcher by up to 45cm.
How do you find a stretcher and tent combination that will work?
Keeping in mind the flexible nature of a tent wall, I have come up with a guide based on an average stretcher height of 45cm lightly touching the interior walls.
To work out if your stretcher will fit in a tent you are researching, reduce the tent floor dimensions by these measurements for each sloped wall that your stretcher will be situated against.
For Boxy Touring and Cabin-Style Tents: 15cm
- Standard square Black Wolf Turbo Tents
- Coleman Instant Up Tents
- OZtrail Fast Frame Tents
- Zempire Pronto
For 3-4 Person Dome Tents: 20cm
- OZtrail Tasman 4V Dome Tent
For the Sleeping Room/s on Family Camping and Touring Tents: 25-30cm
- Black Wolf Turbo Plus
- Black Wolf Turbo Twin
- Coleman Instant Up 10P Lighted Northstar Darkroom
- Zempire Evo TM V2
For Oztent RV Tents: 35cm
- Oztent RV Tents
For Tents with an Extended Back Wall: 45cm
These measurements are not a sure thing for every tent. But this will at least get you in the ballpark when shopping online.
Protecting Your Tent Floor
We often get asked is if a stretcher will put holes in tent floors. Common sense says that the feet of a stretcher will be much harder on a tent floor than a mattress would be. This is because all the weight is concentrated to just a few square centimetres of space.
Whilst it is very dependant on the surface type on which your tent is pitched, you can minimise damage by using a tarp under your tent, and possibly even some foam mats inside for lighter weight floor fabrics.
Hopefully, this helps you to confidently select the gear you need to sleep comfortably on your next camping trip.
What are some of your recommendations for making your tent a comfortable sleeping space?
Trekker, surfer, climber, mountain biker, runner, camper. Participator in most things… master of none.