Camping Tent Types, Material & Seasons

Types of Camping Tent:

Many of us nowadays see only the matter of price from misconceptions when buying tents or other outdoor gear. And like all products, there are different types Camping of tents.

There is no reason to think that low price means bad or high price means good. Just like your expensive coat will not give you comfort in the heat of Summer, just like T-shirt will not work in the winter. If you want to know the qualities of the tents, you must first know the season of the tent, the material, the poll. 

Often people ask me “which is the best tent at a low price”. This low price is totally comparative. The criteria for low prices vary from person to person. So let’s try to understand the “good” thing before this matter. Good or bad tents also depend on usage and needs, which will become clear by looking at the different aspects of the tent one by one.

Moreover, let me give you an example first, let’s see a good car with 4 seats at a low price. We need a car that can accommodate 4 people. Now the car could be a Maruti worth $8k USD, a Toyota sedan worth $25k USD. Both can seat 4 people. 

So why this price difference?

Undoubtedly, the difference is in comfort, how long it lasts or what kind of material it is made of. Now it would not be good to buy a sedan for 4 people at $25k USD. If you can’t drive this car off-road, in the forest, then you will need a four-wheel-drive car.  

 Let’s concentrate about our particular topic. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about “water proof” and “how many people.” The first term is very ridiculous, wondering?

Yes it is nothing more than a marketing term. Most of the people who buy good water proof tents at very low prices are sold in such a way as to attract them.

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So what do I see and buy a tent? Which is the best tent?

When you decide how many people would be in one tent, the problem was reduced a little. Suppose, there will be 2 people. Dome tents are more commonly used these days, so we talk about dome tents without looking at different types of Camping tents.

After the number of people is right, you have to see the following things: 1. Season 2. Material (Pole, Fabric etc.).  Those of us who understand season a little bit are always looking for 3 season or 4 season tents. 

First of all, let’s find out what the tent season rating is. All over the world, the year is actually divided into 4 main seasons. Winter, Spring , Summer, and Autumn. For the ‍suitability of our understanding, the meaning of tent seasons is given below:

  • Season-1: For Dry or Sunny Weather.
  • Season2: Can withstand light rain and light wind.
  • Season-3: Comfortable in heavy rain and wind, with light snow.
  • Season-4: Study for strong winds.

There are also tents for 5 seasons or extreme conditions, which can withstand much more snow and storms. But these are usually for use in extreme conditions such as the Arctic or much higher in the mountains.

In many cases raising the rating of the tent is included to increase sales for most purposes.  Let’s learn,  How can we understand the rating of the camping tent.

Season 1 or 2:

There is nothing to understand, it will be made of a thin layer, it will be cheap, the pole will be 6 to 8 mm fiber. It will be no seal on the inside of the seam and may be a small ventilation system.

Season 3:

Usually there will be two layers, one will have a tent body, the other will have a flyer. The poles will be quite thick (8-9 mm) of fiber. The fabric of the flyer and floor will be water proof with a rating of 1500 mm to 3000 mm, the stitches will be sealed with heat or pressure seam so that water cannot enter through the base of the stitch. The tent body will have adequate ventilation or mesh/net to reduce condensation or sweating inside. There will be guy ropes.

4 seasons:

Same as season 3, but the pole will be much stronger, there will be alloy poles instead of fiber, in some cases, there will be more poles instead of the usual 2 poles to withstand the wind and snow.

The flyer will be up to the ground, floor and flyer will have 3000-4000mm water proof rating. There may not be a ventilation flap, but there will be a shut-off system. There will be guy ropes. 

Some 3/4 season tents are one layer for weight loss, but they are more expensive because they are made of breathable water proof fabric. Those special tents, out of today’s discussion. 

As I said at the beginning, the word water proof applies to all tents for 2-3-4 seasons, but water proof for 2 seasons and water proof for 4 seasons are not the same. Again, all 3 seasons of the tent water proof one is not right.

The level of water proof of the tent is indicated by the hydrostatic head pressure (millimeter A) rating of the fabric. This means how much water pressure the fabric can take before it leaks, the higher this rating the more the fabric will be able to withstand heavy rain and sleet.  Now a 3 season tent with a rating of 2000 mm will be more water proof than a 3 season tent with a rating of 3000 mm. 

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Tent cloths are made waterproof in several ways:

Polyurethane Coating (PU )

The inside of the polyester or nylon fabric has a thin coating of polyurethane. It is usually used in cheap or 1-2 season tents. The outer part of the cloth gets wet in the rain and it takes a long time to dry. When packed in wet condition, this layer gets damaged very quickly. In addition, the weight of wet clothes increases, which is very difficult to carry. 

Durable water repellent (DWR) coating is used on the outside of good quality tent cloth to overcome this problem of PU. Due to this coating, water rolls like young leaves, does not get into the fabric.  With a little shaking, all the water falls off and dries in a short time, so it can be packed quickly at the end of the camp.

This layer gradually wears off after overuse or over a year, then can be re-sprayed with DWR if necessary. If necessary, this type of cloth is usually kept in the tent for 3/4 season. The tent floor does not have this coating so is not used. The floor is usually covered with thick PU layer fabric.

Sealed nylon or silicone:

Advanced tents nowadays are made of sealed nylon or silicone fabric.  Although often referred to as silicone coating, it is not actually a coating, the fabric is taken through liquid silicone during fabrication, so that the liquid silicone penetrates into the yarn of the fabric, forming a thin layer on both sides. The whole thing looks like a lot of plastic instead of cloth (something similar to onion peel).

The process is a lot like glass fiber. This material is as light in weight as it is durable. And the water proof rating is much higher, about 3000-4000mm.  As the cost of making this type of fabric is high, the price of the tent increases several times. Also, a thin plastic or rubber tape should be attached to the inside of the stitches with heat and pressure so that water does not enter through the stitches.

So it turns out that it’s better to buy a 4 season tent, isn’t it? No, it’s like buying a sweater without buying a t-shirt. It will be difficult to stay in a tent for 4 seasons on a hot day because it is made for the winter season actually. Again the weight will be more than 2 or 3 seasons.

Again, it takes longer to pitch a 4 season tent than a 2 or 3 season tent because there may be too many poles and ropes.

Now let’s talk about the material. Good quality fabric and strong pole will guarantee you many years of use, And some extra things will reduce the hassle of pitching and opening the tent. Such poles are a clip system if not sleeved. The last head of the flyer is not an elastic hook if the bark or clip system.

Some things will make your stay comfortable in the tent such as inner pocket, headlight loop, vestibule or storage space in front and back, net door, head space.  The weight of the tent will depend on the good material, too much weight means there is no reason to think well. Some tents only have flyers, which are quite comfortable in good weather.

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Then what stood:

1. Adjust the season depending on the use.

2. Check the water proof rating of the fabric (floor and flyer), check the type and layer of fabric (polyester/nylon/ripstop nylon, PU layer or silicone, etc.), see if the seam is sealed.

3. Take a look at the material and quality of the poll.

4. Other benefits: Clip system, flyer mounting, storage space, ventilation, insect mesh etc. Hopefully, this time when you buy a tent you can check for yourself why a tent of the same size costs $15 USD and another $150 USD.

Last update on 2023-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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