Liv Nomadic

What to Consider When Buying a Camping Tent

A camping tent is the single most important piece of equipment for any camping trip. Talking from experience, nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night because you are being rained on.

Other than waterproofing, it is very important to make sure your tent is big enough to fit you, your camping friends and some equipment but not too big where it becomes a pain to set up and store during the non camping months or if you plan on backpacking for a couple of nights. You may be more interested in a lighter tent. 

It is also important to make sure that your tent is durable enough to last a long time and is appropriately chosen for the specific seasons you wish to camp in. 

In this article I will go over 5 important things to consider when buying a camping tent which I hope will help you make an informed purchase. 

Size and Capacity

When it comes to choosing the right size camping tent, there are a few things to consider.

  • First, you need to decide how many people will be using the tent. 
  • Second, you need to consider the height and size of the people who will be using the tent. If you have tall family members, you’ll need a taller tent.
  • Finally, you need to consider the amount of gear you’ll be bringing with you. If you have a lot of gear, you’ll need a larger tent so that everything fits.

Tents are often sized by the amount of people it can “comfortably” fit. By comfortably I mean physically. I usually find that tents often exaggerate the amount of people that can comfortably fit inside. 

For me and my wife we comfortably fit in a 4 person tent. This gives us enough space for our double air mattress and still has one and a half feet on either side where we can store laundry, clean clothes and some light gear

We mainly do front country camping so we can afford some extra space but if you are someone who mainly does backcountry camping I would highly recommend sticking to the recommended size. For example if you plan to go backpacking with yourself and two others, get a 3 or 4 person tent. 

Not overshooting the tent capacity will let you have a smaller lighter tent which will make your trek much easier. The only downside to this is you will likely have to snuggle with your buddies at night.

Material and Durability

There are a few key things to consider when choosing materials for your camping tent. You need to decide what kind of climate you’ll be using the tent in. If you’re planning on camping in hot weather, you’ll want a tent made from a light, breathable fabric. Conversely, if you’re expecting cold or wet weather, you’ll need a tent made from a more durable, waterproof material.


If you have already started researching tents you may have come across the word seasonality. Unfortunately this term is often very misunderstood. The season rating doesn’t necessarily refer to literal seasons. Instead this term indicates the kinds of weather that the tent is built to withstand. 

One and Two Season

A One and Two Season tents represent the lowest quality tent. These tents are best suited for light camping where you expect to only come across sunny warm conditions with very little no no rainfall. 

These tents are perfect for someone who needs a very light, small, breathable tent for backpacking and also has the flexibility to only go camping when they are certain that the conditions will be favorable.

Three Season

Three Season tents are by far the most common tent on the market because they are still very lightweight and often have a portable design.

Despite being light they also usually have a good level of waterproofing and mesh panels for air flow, they also offer protection from wind, rain, insects and other hazards.  

If you are an entry level camper or find yourself camping only in the warmer months and don’t have the flexibility to only go camping when you are certain it won’t rain then this is the perfect tent for you. 

I currently have a three season tent as I only go camping in the warmer months and having peace of mind that you are protected by the chance of rain is always a perk.

Four Season Tent

Four Season tents, also known as “winter tents”, are specifically designed for extreme weather conditions. These tents are built with heavier materials, they can withstand harsh winds and snow and have a low profile for added protection. 

They are double-walled to retain heat and often feature a mesh “window” with a sturdy flap that can be opened or closed as needed. 

Unlike 3-season tents, which prioritize lightness and versatility, 4-season tents prioritize the reduction of condensation and increase protection which will help keep you safe in severe conditions. 

If you find yourself mainly going far out in very extreme conditions and harsh environments especially cold ones. You would definitely want to opt for a four season tent to help keep you safe on your expedition.

Tent Style

Correctly choosing a tent style is very important. Different styles are designed for different conditions and purposes. Choosing the wrong style can result in a tent that is not suitable for your needs and can make your camping experience less comfortable, safe, or enjoyable.

A Frame Tent

This tent style is the traditional triangular prism tent and is very popular because of its simplistic design. It is a very simple tent to set up but it can be a bit labor intensive and lengthy to set up. 

This tent has a smaller footprint but does have a much higher height. This, and the fact that it isn’t very aerodynamic makes this tent very susceptible to wind gusts. 

Although having a taller tent may make the tent more susceptible to wind, it allows the heat to rise which can help you sleep more comfortably especially if you plan to camp in the warmer months. 

Dome Tent

Dome tents are arguably the most common tent type. These tents have two poles that criss cross in the center and resemble an igloo type shape. 

Because of its design, these tents are very quick and simple to set up and are also often very light. 

The dome shape helps the tent remain stable in windy conditions and will help rain bead off of it with ease.

If waterproofing is important to you, you should note that sometimes the dome tents only have a waterproof top. This is good at protecting you from rain when it hits the top of your tent but the water may seep through the walls as it pours down. If you want to ensure that your tent will respond well to rain, you need to be sure to get a tent that has a rainfly that covers the whole tent and not simply the top.

Pop-up Tent

As the name suggests, pop up tents physically spring(pop-up) into their shape when they are released from their case. This makes for an incredibly easy set up. 

These tents however generally don’t have the best waterproofing, or any waterproofing for that matter. This makes these tents only useful if you plan to only go camping in the summer months. 

If you are attracted by the easy setup and light weight, you can always opt to purchase a separate rain fly which will help you stay dry and will give you the flexibility to go camping rain or shine. 

I hope this article helps explain some key topics which will help streamline your decision and will help make your purchasing process much easier. 

Below we have included some of your favorite amazon camping tents which can help you narrow down your search.


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