Researching hiking tents? Confused, overwhelmed with choice, not sure how much to spend? Focus on the important points by asking yourself these simple questions before buying a hiking tent.
Remember, what one person says is the best tent, is not necessarily the best tent for you.
2, 3 or 4 season?
- 2 season tents offer little protection. They are best suited to warm dry conditions and mild weather.
- 3 season tents are the most popular type, they offer comfort in all but the extreme of climates. These are the best option for anyone wanting an “all round” tent. 3 season tents are usually dual skin with a mesh inner.
- 4 season tents are made of heavier materials, feature full nylon inners and more poles making them warm and stable in bad weather. They are best suited for someone predominantly winter camping.
- Snow/Expedition tents are specialised, heavy and often expensive. They are not the best option for someone looking for an all-round tent. These tents are built sturdy to withstand snow loading and extremely high winds.
Ask yourself: In what climate will I mostly be using my tent?
Weight, space or durability?
There is always a trade-off for a lighter tent, there is no way around it. When you shave off a few grams, you are often shaving off something else such as durability, space or stability. It is nice to have space in your tent, especially if you are bunkered down in bad weather, but you will still have to carry the tent to your next campsite.
Ask yourself: What is more important – weight, space or durability?
Organiser pockets, stuff sacks for guy ropes, fully featured carry bags and gear lofts, they are all great features but are you really going to utilise them. If you think about it, all you really need is a groundsheet, inner and a waterproof fly with some room to store your gear. You only want to carry what you are actually going to use!
Ask yourself: What are the crucial features I want in my tent?
The big question on every tent buyers lips – how much does it cost? Once again, there is always a trade-off between price and the tents features.
The entry-level tents at Snowys are fantastic value for money and will serve the casual user for many years. A hiker who finds themselves on the trail at every opportunity, however, will benefit from investing a little more money.
Ask yourself: Do I need a basic tent for occasional use, or should I invest a little more in strength and reliability?
Write the answers to these questions down, and keep them handy when you are doing your tent research. It will help narrow your options and keep you focused on what features are important to you. There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, it is all personal preference…Happy tent hunting!
If you’re still confused and need some help, call us on 1900 914 007, or drop into the store at 92 Richmond Rd, Keswick SA, for non-biased expert advice before buying a hiking tent.
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