Choosing The Right Tent For Your Next Hike
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that your tent is literally your home on the hike. A good tent can protect you from the elements and will be the basis of forming the best memories of your outdoor adventure. Therefore, we always like to say that packing a top-notch tent is one of the best ways to increase comfort, safety, and enjoyment while hiking.
But a quick Google search for hiking tents online isn’t going to be sufficient when you’re in the market to buy a new tent. You’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed with all the options; and believe us when we say that there are A LOT of tent options for you to choose from.
That’s where we come in. We have put together this article to help you save some time and choose the right tent for your next hike. We’re not going to make it too difficult, so we’re not going to throw out too many technical terms, because at the end of it, we’re all about helping you choose the best hiking tent to fit your needs.
1. Know your adventure
The first thing you should determine is the kind of hiking adventure you will be going on, and whether you will be going with other people or just a solo trip. Before rushing out to buy the first hiking tent you see on the market, you will have to ask yourself a few questions. How many people will sleep in the tent? Will your backpacks and gear stay inside or out? Do you choose something light for easy mobility, or something more weighty with emphasis on livable space and comfort?
For example, if you’re planning to hike to your campsite, you should get a hiking tent that is light enough to carry for long distances, but compact to easily fit into your backpack. You can consider the Tagar 1 Ultralight Hiking Tent which weighs just 1.23kg and is perfect for a solo hiking trip.
Alternatively, if you’re heading straight to your campsite, it’s advisable to look into a tent which sacrifices the lightweight for more livable space and comfort. The Cloud Up 3 Ultralight Hiking Tent is a great example of such a tent, being able to fit up to 3 people comfortably.
Once you have decided the type of camping trip that you want, it will make it all that much easier for you to decide on the right hiking tent to choose. Remember, the best hiking tents to consider are the ones which fit your trip requirements.
2. Know your tents
Understanding the hiking tent you are about to buy is very important, as you do not want to regret your decision after your purchase. You should consider a few things about your tents, such as:
i. Ease of setting up the tent
Knowing how easy and quick to set up your tent is one of the most paramount things you need to consider before your purchase. Some tents are big and roomy, but take upwards of an hour and then some to set up. After a long hike, you don’t want to spend hours just trying to set up your tent. A tent like the Cloud Up 3 Ultralight Hiking Tent Upgraded, which promises a quick and easy set up, will guarantee you.
ii.Size of the tent
It’s important to consider the average heights of the people who will be sleeping in the tent; you don’t want to have taller adults sleeping curled up in a ball. Remember, with your hiking tents, size does matter. It’s good to know the measurements of the tent you are about to buy.
For example, if you’re looking at a 2 person hiking trip, a tent like the Illumina X Ultralight Hiking Tent, which measures 210cm (L) x 125cm (W) x 100cm (H) would be a very comfortable fit for 2 adults.
The last thing you want when you wake up in the morning is to have everything inside your tent damp from the condensation inside the tent. This is why ventilation is important. The Speedy 2 Hiking Tent is an example of a well ventilated tent, with its breathable mesh and wide ventilating window to keep airflow good.
Storage may not be the first thing on your mind on a camping trip, but you should consider all your camping gear that will be inside your tent with you, and how you are going to fit it in. You should always try to look for tents with storage pockets, like the Speedy 3 Hiking Tent which helps the tent be less cluttered and all your key items easy to find.
When it comes to price, it’s difficult to set an exact amount as everyone has different budgets for a tent. Googling the best cheap hiking tent isn’t exactly the best option. However, when it comes down to it, we have to point out that quality counts. If you are expecting the tent to survive the harsh and extreme conditions, then it’s better to spend as much money as you can on that tent, because you will need a reliable piece of equipment to save you from misery. Buying cheap will ultimately cost you more in the long run. The Illumina X Ultralight Hiking Tent is a viable option of both affordability and quality.
3. Know your needs
Knowing your needs will help you choose the best hiking tent for your trip. Should you go for a 3-season hiking tent or a 4-season hiking tent? What about choosing between the single-wall or double wall tents?
To answer these questions, you will need to decide on a few factors, such as the season of your hiking trip. If your hiking trip falls between spring, summer or fall, then a 3-season tent like the Speedy 4 Hiking Tent may be a good fit if you’re looking for something more spacious, or perhaps you can consider the Mongar Ultralight Hiking Tent Integrated Edition if you’re on a solo trip. These 3-season hiking tents may be the best choice for you as they are designed to be more lightweight and tend to be cooler in hot weather. Furthermore, 3-season tents usually feature double-layered walls, which offers better ventilation, and is more suitable for warmer weather as they don’t retain heat as well as single-layered wall tents.
Alternately, a 4-season tent may be more suitable if you’re an avid winter hiking enthusiast. Hiking tents like the Illumina X Ultralight Hiking Tent and the Cloud Up 2 Ultralight Hiking Tent are better choices as winter hiking tents, because of better warmth retention and wind resistance. These tents usually feature a single-layered wall design, where the tent body and fly are combined to provide maximum heat retention for those cold winter nights.
Again, knowing the number of people going on the trip will help you immensely as you can choose a hiking tent that will be able to comfortably house you and your hiking mates. For example, the Tagar 1 Ultralight Hiking Tent is a fantastic hiking tent for your solo hiking trips, but may not be as great for groups as the Mongar Ultralight Hiking Tent. Similarly, carrying around a tent like the Speedy 3 Hiking Tent may be too much of a burden in terms of cost and weight for just one person.
Ultimately, before you purchase a hiking tent, you should work out what is important to you and your camping experience. We hope that the above tips will go a long way to help you decide on your tent.
Before you go...
We’ve compiled a quick list of our top 5 favorite hiking tents for your easy reference.
Best overall hiking tent for weight, space & quality: Cloud Up 3 - 2kg Ultralight Hiking Tent Upgraded
Best ultralight hiking tent: Illumina X 1.35kg Ultralight Hiking Tent
Best budget hiking tent: Speedy 2 - 2.1kg Hiking Tent
Best ultralight 1-person hiking tent: Tagar 1 - 1.23kg Ultralight Hiking Tent
Budget-friendly ultralight hiking tent for groups: Speedy 4 Hiking Tent
1. Which tent size should I choose?
To answer this question, you have to determine the following:
i. 1-person, 2-person or 3-person tents?
Tents sizes are described in terms of how many people can sleep inside. It would be natural to pick a size relevant to the number of people sharing one tent. So you have to consider...
ii. How many people are traveling?
It’s generally recommended to go up at least a tent size compared to the number of people you will be sharing a tent with, just to ensure some space to store all your gear. So, two people travelling together should ideally pick a 3-person tent. But then again...
iii. How are you travelling?
If you’re hiking to your campsite, it wouldn’t be convenient to carry too heavy a load. If you’re driving to your campsite, perhaps you can choose to get a larger, heavier tent that can fit more people. Your mode of travel will determine what you will be able to carry and what you have to compromise.
For 1: Tagar 1 - 1.23kg Ultralight Hiking Tent
For 2: Illumina X 1.35kg Ultralight Hiking Tent
For 3-4: Speedy 4 Hiking Tent
For solo trips: Illumina X 1.35kg Ultralight Hiking Tent
For group trips: Cloud Up 3 - 2kg Ultralight Hiking Tent Upgraded
2. Should I choose the 3-season tent or 4-season tent?
This will ultimately depend on the weather and the seasonality of your hiking trip. The 3-season tents are lightweight, compact tents which are simple to erect and able to tackle non-extreme weathers, and are an ideal fit for hikes during the spring, summer and autumn weathers.
Great selections for 3-season tents: Speedy 2 Hiking Tent
4-season tents are a little bit more weather-resistant than the standard 3-season tents. If you’re going to be hiking in winter, and expect some light snowy conditions, or if the area you will be camping in is more exposed to cold weathers and winds, a 4-season tent may be more suitable for you.
Great selections for 4-season tents: Illumina X Ultralight Hiking Tent