In outdoor camping activities, tents are an essential tool, providing shelter from wind, rain, warmth, rest and other functions. However, there are many types of outdoor tents. Each outdoor tent has its usage scenarios and characteristics. We will also encounter various professional terms when choosing. According to my many years of outdoor experience, I have made a detailed analysis of the selection and use of tents in 10 key points, hoping to be useful to everyone.
- Types of outdoor tents
According to the appearance, outdoor camping tents can be divided into many kinds,
- Outdoor tents with different appearances are suitable for different occasions:
Park, suburban camping: yurt or fish ridge tent
This scene is generally driven by self-driving. The distance we carry the tent is generally not too far or we can drive directly to the campsite. Therefore, self-weight is not the primary factor. On the contrary, the dome tent has a large space and the advantage of double doors is very suitable for families and children. Play; therefore, dome tents are more recommended, and quick-opening tents can also be selected.
Camping tents for leisure
Hiking and camping around the city: pyramid tent, fish ridge tent, tunnel tent
This scene is often hiking camping, and you need to carry the tent yourself. Therefore, the pyramid tent with light weight is the first choice, and the use of trekking poles is also more abundant. In addition, the interior of the pyramid tent is relatively high, and it is very windy to hold up. . The fish ridge tent has good wind resistance and is suitable for hiking and camping in the valley or the sea.
outdoor tents for hiking
Snow mountain and plateau hiking camping: fish ridge tent, tunnel tent or geodesic tent
It is mainly used by outdoor enthusiasts in high-altitude and low-temperature places, and requires relatively strong wind and cold resistance.
- The choice of automatic quick-opening tent and manual tent
Many e-commerce platforms recommend automatic quick-opening tents, also known as self-supporting tents, the kind that can be automatically opened when placed on the ground, which saves the trouble of supporting poles by themselves. It is attractive to novices and is mainly used for outdoor leisure. the occasion.
Quick-opening structure of quick-opening tent
In what scenarios should you choose a quick-opening tent?
Quick-opening tents are relatively heavy, self-driving is a must, and it’s okay to put them in a camper. Generally, the park has a picnic and camping, and the weather is relatively good, and it will not be windy or rainy. A normal overnight stay is also possible, but if the weather is too bad it may not be suitable.
Advantages of quick-opening tents
It’s easy to open, easy to move, easy to put away, and generally quite cheap.
Disadvantages of Quick Open Tent
For occasions that are not suitable for outdoor hiking, quick-opening tents are heavier than tents that generally need to be built by hand, adding an extra burden to backpackers. It is also not suitable for occasions with strong winds. The quick-opening tent itself needs more support structures, but the materials are very slender, it will break when the wind blows, and the ground nails are also small and cannot be fixed. The general waterproofness of quick-opening tents is not good, so it is not suitable for use in rainy days. In addition, quick-opening tents are more prone to damage.
Outdoor automatic speed-opening tent
Therefore, if you plan to play outdoors for a long time, then don’t consider opening the tent quickly.
- How to choose a three-season tent and a four-season tent
The three-season tents are mainly aimed at the three seasons of spring, summer and autumn. They are also the most popular styles at present, which can basically meet the needs of ordinary camping enthusiasts. The product lines of major brands are also quite rich, and the market share is high.
Four-season tents take into account the four seasons of the year, pay more attention to windproof design, and have a certain thermal insulation performance. Compared with alpine tents, they are lighter in weight and more convenient to carry. However, because of the pursuit of stability, some air permeability and space will be sacrificed. It is suitable for high altitude or winter outdoor environments. , Many camping enthusiasts mostly choose this type of tent.
Camping is not a picnic. There are different scenery all year round. Although it is cold outdoors in winter, prices continue to drop as heating equipment products such as wood stoves and kerosene stoves continue to be enriched. Outdoors in winter is more interesting than other seasons, and there are no snakes and other infestations outdoors in winter, which is relatively safer and less troublesome. Therefore, if the budget is reasonable, it is better to consider the four-season tent.
- Water resistance of outdoor tents
The waterproofness of outdoor tents mainly depends on the waterproof index:
The tent with waterproof index of 800MM-1200MM can prevent light to moderate rain;
The tent with waterproof index of 1500MM-3000MM can prevent moderate to heavy rain;
Tents with a waterproof index of more than 3000MM are generally treated with technologies such as high temperature resistance/cold resistance, and can basically be used in various environments.
waterproofing of camping tents
It can also be distinguished by tent type, such as:
For leisure tents used in parks, the waterproof index should be within 1000MM;
The waterproof index of family camping tents should be above 2000MM;
The waterproof index of alpine tents is above 5000MM.
- The wind resistance of the tent
This is second only to water resistance, and wind resistance is determined by shape, weight, and structural strength. The design strength of the pole is critical to resisting high winds. In addition, the diameter of the poles, the number of pole intersections, the mechanism for hanging the outer tent, the mechanism for connecting the outer tent to the pole, the quality of the overall structure, the number and quality of the wind rope hanging points are all to be considered. These characteristics are revealed when dealing with severe weather. It is also important to note that the wind rope attachment points on the side walls of the tent are often the weakest on the tent.
If you often go out for camping, the tent generally needs to block heavy rain and short-term heavy rain. After the wind direction, ground nails and wind ropes are installed, it needs to resist the wind of grade 6 or 7, preferably above the wind of grade 8.
- Ventilation of the tent
The ventilation of the tent is related to the number of doors of the tent. Especially when the weather is hot, the outdoor night may not be very cool. If the ventilation of the tent is poor, it will be very hot inside, so there must be an insect-proof net. yarn inner layer.
Some tents for hiking will sacrifice comfort, such as fish ridge tents, which generally have a single door and poor ventilation.
- The fabric of the tent
Tent fabrics are generally divided into: polyester fabric, nylon fabric, Oxford fabric; usually, nylon fabrics are more durable than polyester fabrics, and silicon-coated fabrics are stronger and more durable than PU fabrics.
Polyester fabric has the advantages of good elasticity and strength, bright color, smooth hand feeling, good heat resistance and light resistance, not easy to mold, moth-eaten, and low hygroscopicity. It is widely used in price tents.
Nylon cloth is light and thin, has good air permeability and is not easy to get moldy. Nylon cloth achieves waterproof performance by applying PU layer. The larger the value, the better the rainproof performance. The unit of PU coating is mm. At present, the waterproof index is usually above 1500mm. Do not consider anything lower than this value.
Nylon fabric is light and waterproof
Oxford cloth, primary color fabric, soft to the touch, light texture, generally used for the bottom of tents, adding PU coating, has good waterproof, easy to wash and dry quickly, durability and moisture absorption are better.
In order to increase the waterproof properties of the tent, silicone oil will be applied to the tent’s outer tent, and some products will be coated with silicon on both sides, which has good water resistance, but is more likely to catch fire. Especially in winter, because you will burn wood stoves, kerosene stoves, and gas stoves in the tent for heating, the double-sided silicone oil tent is less safe.
- The structure and quality of the tent
No matter what kind of tent, it is roughly composed of three parts: tent poles, tarpaulins, ground nails & wind ropes. Therefore, the quality of the tent mainly depends on these large pieces.
Tent pole: As the main support structure of the tent, just like the skeleton of the body, it is the key mechanical component of the entire tent. High-strength steel should be used on the body to maintain the strength of the body. If the tent wants to stand, the strength of the pole should not be low. At present, most of the tent poles are made of aluminum alloy, which has good wind resistance and is less affected by temperature. PS: Some tents will use fiberglass poles, but we do not recommend it very much, because the temperature resistance of fiber materials is not ideal, and it is easy to break when used in cold areas.
Tarpaulin: It is the enclosure structure of the tent. Like the skin of the body, it relies on it to keep out the wind and rain. Most tarpaulin materials are polyester & nylon. The two materials have their own characteristics. Polyester fiber has strong corrosion resistance and good air permeability, while nylon material is more wear-resistant. If the use environment is harsh, nylon material is preferred.
Ground Spike & Wind Rope: It can provide auxiliary fixing effect for the tent to ensure the stability of the tent. It secures the tent in the camp with ropes. Generally speaking, the stronger the tent, the more ground pegs are secured. At present, most tents need about 6-12 ground nails & wind ropes to fix. Generally speaking, the ground nails of about 40cm are enough to make a single tent stand upright in bad weather, and the angle of the ground nails is 45-60 degrees.
- Those things about the roof tent
What is a Rooftop Tent
Roof tents are tents installed on the roof of the car. There are soft shells and hard shells. The roof tents generally weigh about 50kg, so once they are installed on the roof, it is not so easy to remove them.
hard-shell car tent
Advantages of roof tents
Roof tents are windproof and rainproof, and there is a thick cushion inside the roof tent, which is very comfortable to sleep. Secondly, the roof tent is very convenient to open and store, it can be opened in 3 minutes, and it can be opened in 2 minutes. Can be stored, in fact, this is also the biggest advantage of the roof tent
The roof tent is equivalent to fixing the tent on the roof of the car, which is very convenient to use. In addition, the roof tent has a certain distance from the ground, which is safer in the wild, and the moisture-proof effect is much better than that of the ground tent. When driving by yourself, if you encounter heavy rain in the middle of the road, then the roof tent has a great advantage. As long as the vehicle is parked, you can sleep with the roof tent. In addition to parking the car on the ground, you should also consider setting up a tent. On the ground, sometimes, some places can only park without tent camps, which is very painful, and in heavy rain, setting up ground tents is even more painful.
After the roof tent is opened
The shortcomings of roof tents are also obvious. After adding roof tents, the car body will become higher. We need to consider the height limit of the lower basement or some special road sections.
In addition, after installing the roof tent, there will be slight wind noise on the highway, and it will be relatively troublesome to clean.
The most important point is that roof tents are more expensive than ordinary tents. Most roof tents on the market range from 5000-15000. Roof tents are indeed very convenient, but they can only be used with the car, and it is not easy to disassemble once installed. .
So, how to choose depends on your own preferences. If you are a pure self-driving travel enthusiast, then I recommend buying it.
- Cleaning of the tent
The tent is generally dirty after a period of use, so it needs to be cleaned, otherwise it will affect the waterproofness of the tent.
You can use laundry detergent for tent cleaning. It is best to use a professional outdoor equipment cleaning agent to help restore the waterproof and breathable properties of the original fabric.
When the stain is thoroughly washed, you will also need to put on clean water and do a final rinse of the tent. Next, it’s time to hang it in the bathroom or on a clothesline to dry.
Here is a friendly reminder to everyone, do not expose the tent to the sun, direct ultraviolet rays will cause certain damage to the tent fabric that has just been washed.