What Types Of Tents Are There?

Different types of tents at a campground

Last Updated on September 13, 2021

Camping helps us connect with nature. Research has shown that there are a number of health benefits associated with camping, including lower stress levels and a reduction in depression and anxiety.

Camping outdoors requires the right gear, and a tent has been the shelter of choice for camping. Tents are portable, lightweight, and many of them are weatherproof. 

Beyond the traditional ridge tents, dome tents, and pop-up tents, there are several other forms of tents with different shapes, features, and use cases. In this article, we will describe and flesh out the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of tents.

What Are the Different Types of Tents?

#1. What is a Ridge or A-Frame Tent? 

A-Frame or Ridge Tent

Ridge tents are perhaps the most traditional choice of tent for campers. Typically, there are three poles to hold up this tent. Two poles are to be aligned horizontally and one pole vertically to keep the tent standing. All poles are anchored to the ground. This combination gives the tent a shape of the letter “A”, which is why they are also called "A-frame" tents.

The A-frame shape is very stable on its own, and stability is enhanced due to tie-outs and guylines. There is a gaping entry to the tent, which is convenient to use. Due to the immense popularity of A-frame tents, you can find them in various sizes, designs, and colors. A-frames are also easy to pack and assemble.

What are Ridge Tents used for?

Ridge tents are best used for nearby trips and locations with pleasant weather conditions. 

When should you not use a Ridge Tent?

When you need space in your tent for moving around or standing up, A-frames are not very suitable, as the space inside of them is more limited than other options.


  • The frame design is very stable and can withstand gusts of wind
  • These tents are easy to pitch
  • A-frames are usually lightweight and can be carried in a backpack
  • A-frames have convenient entry and exit points


  • Due to the slanting walls of the A-shape, there is limited space inside ridge tents. You cannot utilize the whole floor area of the tent because the height gets restricted as you move away from the center. 

#2. What is a Dome Tent?

dome tent

Dome tents are also quite popular among campers. This tent has a circular shape at the top and a rectangular base at the bottom. Due to its large rectangular base, there is a lot of space inside dome tents. 

The dome design is held by two large bendable poles that criss-cross each other at the tent center. The foot of the poles starts at one end on the ground and ends at the diagonally opposite end of the tent, also on the ground. The curvature of the poles is what gives height to the dome tent.

In some cases, dome tents also have three or four poles which give a more square-like shape, thereby increasing the usable area of the tent. There are even more complex shapes, such as hexagonal and octagonal, which use even more poles. Some dome tents also come with a porch section that increases space even more.

However, typically the larger the dome tent, the less stable it is. Due to their shape, they catch more wind for the same height than ridge tents. 

The main benefit of the dome tent over the A-shape is that they provide space because the walls are arched, not slanted. Dome tents are fairly easy to set up as well.

What are Dome Tents used for?

Dome tents are perfect for single users and couples who need a spacious tent that is easy to set up. Usually, dome tents are not meant for harsh weather conditions, though some of them do come with a rainfly.

When should you not use a Dome Tent?

If you expect poorer weather conditions, dome tents may not be the best choice.


  • Dome tents are lightweight.
  • They are easy to pitch.
  • There is plenty of space inside the tent.


  • Larger dome tents are not very stable against gusty winds and harsh weather conditions. 

#3. What is an Instant Tent?

Instant Tent

Most tents available in the market require some time to set up, but instant tents do not require any manual setup, as the name suggests. Instant tents are also known as pop-up tents

To set them up, all you have to do is anchor this tent on the ground after taking it out from your bag. They use a sprung or coiled frame pre-attached to the tent's outer fabric that automatically erects the tent. While there are many shapes available, the main benefit is that they don't need any assembly; they erect themselves, you only need to anchor them to the floor.  

Pop-up tents are useful in conditions where you need a quick and easy shelter. For example, if you are expecting rough weather or rains, you might need to set up camp quickly. A pop up tent can be very useful in these conditions. Do make sure however, that you choose a weather resistant and sturdy popup tent, because not all pop up tents are made to withstand weather.

Instant tents are light and this is why they are popular among hikers and backpackers as well.

What are Instant Tents used for?

Instant tents are useful when you need to set up a tent quickly. For example if you are expecting rough weather, instant tents can be helpful. They are lightweight, so they are good for backpacking.

When should you not use an Instant Tent?

Compact instant tents may not be very able to withstand strong winds. 


  • No assembly is required. They simply pop open, and you can anchor the frame to the floor.
  • Usually, these are lightweight and easy to carry which is why they are great for backpacking
  • Even small ones can be quite spacious inside


  • The compact options are not very stable in strong winds.

#4. What is a Backpacking Tent?

a backpacking tent

If you have to walk large distances while hiking and have to carry a durable and resistant tent that can withstand harsh weather conditions, a backpacking tent may be perfect for you. As the name suggests, backpacking tents are lightweight, take very little space in your bag, and are easy to set up.

Backpacking tents are neither spacious nor tall. Most of them are not comfortable for more than one or two people. The intention of a backpacking tent is to allow a hiker to quickly set up a place to sleep at night.

Backpacking tents are usually designed to withstand rougher weather.

What are Backpacking Tents used for?

Hiking and backpacking. They are useful for any situation where you need a durable and weather-resistant place to sleep, are walking longer distances and need to keep weight down. If you want to fit more than two people, you may need more than one tent. 

When should you not use a Backpacking Tent?

When you are carrying a lot of gear, backpacking tents are not ideal. They don't have much space for anything except a night's rest for one or two people.


  • Lightweight and easily fit in a backpack
  • Weather-resistant
  • Easy to pitch


  • Peak height is low
  • Lack of space to store baggage
  • Expensive

#5. What is a Geodesic and Semi-Geodesic Tent?

Geodesic Tent

If you are looking for a tent that will not collapse easily in strong winds or heavy rain, then you should choose a geodesic tent. It is one of the stablest tents and is made with durable and weather-resistant materials.

Similar to dome tents, geodesics are made with poles that cross each other many times, intersecting to form octagonal, hexagonal, or triangular shapes. The multiple criss-cross patterns increase stability. 

When you pitch these tents, they look similar to a dome tent, but geodesic tents are usually larger and can easily accommodate four or more people. Unfortunately, the heavy criss-cross poles and strong material also mean that geodesic tents can be very heavy.

Semi-geodesic tents are a simplified version of geodesics. They have fewer poles and sections in comparison to geodesic tents and are not as stable. Semi-geodesics are meant for backpackers who need stability but want to keep weight down.

What are Geodesic Tents used for?

Geodesics are perfect for strong winds due the large number of criss cross poles which make them very stable.

When should you not use a Geodesic Tent?

Even semi-geodesics are heavier than other types of tents, so hiking or backpacking with these tents is not advisable.


  • Most stable tent
  • Weather-resistant
  • Freestanding


  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to pitch

#6. What is an Inflatable Tent?

Inflatable Tent

If you want to go group camping, then you can choose inflatable tents. These tents do not have any poles in them, instead they have "inflatable beams" that you can fill up with air to form a solid structure. Since there are no beams, the tent size can be made bigger.

Since there are no beams, these tents are very easy to pitch and therefore even a large tent can be pitched by just a single person. While inflating them does take a bit of time, these tents can easily accommodate a lot of people in one place.

Inflatable tents consist of nylon and polyethylene. They do not have poles. Since the structure does not have poles or a frame to support it, these tents are unsuitable for windy areas. You will find it challenging to move the tent after inflating because they become bulky with air.

What are Inflatable Tents used for?

You can use these tents on beaches, parks, or hiking to places that have calm weather.

When should you not use an Inflatable Tent?

Windy weather and places where the ground has sharp sticks or pointy stones, which can puncture the tent.


  • No poles, so set up is easy
  • Lightweight (after deflating), easy to carry with you during camping.
  • It can accommodate lots of people.


  • You have to carry an additional pump for inflating the tent
  • It becomes heavy after inflating
  • Unstable in windy areas
  • Can deflate if they come in contact with sharp or pointed objects

#7. What is a Tunnel Tent?

tunnel tent

If you are searching for a spacious tent, then a tunnel tent would be one to go for. These tents are suitable for group camping or large families. They have ample space to keep your luggage, do work, and comfortably sleep.

These tents consist of poles that are curved into semicircles when you set them on the ground. They stretch from one side of the tent to the other to give the tent a tunnel shape.

You need an even surface to pitch these tents. They are spacious, but because of their tunnel shape, you need to be very careful of the direction in which you are pitching the tent. If you pitch it perpendicular to the direction of the wind, and you encounter a heavy gale, the tent may collapse. These tents are generally heavy due to their length and large number of poles. Therefore, they take up a lot of space in your luggage.

What are Tunnel Tents used for?

When you have a large family of campers, requiring more space.

When should you not use a Tunnel Tent?

When you are camping on uneven terrain, or you expect heavy winds.


  • Spacious
  • Easy setup


  • Some tunnel-like shapes have a flat surface at the roof, so they may collect water in the middle during rain. This can cause the tent to collapse.
  • They are unstable in strong winds if you face the length of the tent in line with the wind.
  • Not freestanding.

#8. What is a Cabin Tent?

Cabin Tent

Cabin tents are also spacious and great for large families. These tents are tall enough so that you don't have to crouch to enter. Many cabin tents have dividers to separate rooms for use by multiple families.

The fabrics of the tents are usually polyester or nylon, which are both very robust materials. The poles are made from aluminum and form a cabin-like shape after pitching on the ground.

These tents can resist wind and rain, but do not expect them to hold their own against extreme weather conditions. Also note that these tents are usually heavy and take up a lot of space.

What are Cabin Tents used for?

Cabin tents are used for group camping. They are tall enough for big and tall individuals too.

When should you not use a Cabin Tent?

When backpacking or hiking. They are too heavy to carry around by hand.


  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Perfect for multiple families


  • Difficult to pitch
  • Heavy

#9. What is a Pyramid Tent?

Pyramid Tent

Pyramid tents look similar to ridge tents. When you pitch these tents, they form a triangle shape with one pole in the center and two sides—all the poles anchor to the ground, and guy lines provide extra stability.

Pyramid tents usually have a rainfly, which means they will protect you from rain and wind during camping. But as the size of the tent increases, the tent becomes less stable. Similar to a ridge tent, the space inside a pyramid tent is limited. They are generally large enough for one to four people. 

If you are camping alone, then a pyramid tent might be a good option for you. They are easy to set up, easy to get in and out of, and you can even pitch them on uneven terrain because they are centered around just a single pole, unlike other tents which need multiple poles to be pitched on the same level in the ground. They are usually light and easy to carry as well.

What are Pyramid Tents used for?

They are used for solo or couple hiking and backpacking in uneven terrain and variable weather conditions.

When should you not use a Pyramid Tent?

On large family trips, as they would be too small. 


  • Easy installation. You don't need a flat surface to install.
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Can resist wind and rain


  • The larger the size of the pyramid tent, the more likely it will be unstable.
  • Less space.

#10. What is a Bell Tent?

Bell Tent

If you are searching for a cozy tent, then Bell tents are just the right fit for you. They are spacious and tall designer tents that can accommodate more than ten people  sometimes. You will find doors and windows on the tent, and there is good ventilation when you are inside the tent.

Bell tents are available in many designs, and some of them also have high-grade features, which is why these tents are considered "designer" tents. You can take these tents to the beach, park, or summer camping where there may be mild wind or little rainfall.

These tents consist of thick fabric with poles made from metal or fiber.

What are Bell Tents used for?

Beach camping, festivals, and other events or gatherings; generally, occasions and places where you don't expect extreme conditions and need room for many people.

When should you not use a Bell Tent?

When hiking and backpacking, as they are too large to bring along.


  • Good ventilation
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Lots of designs


  • Not good in bad weather conditions.
  • Heavy and not easy to carry

#11. What is a Multi-Room Tent?

Multi-Room Tent

Multi-room tents are available in different shapes like dome shape, tunnel shape, cabin shape, and others. If you are going camping with many friends or accompanied by many family members and don't want to stay in separate tents, you can use multi-room tents. These tents are spacious and have internal dividers to separate one room from another.

These tents take a lot of space on the camping ground. Because of their size, these tents come with many poles and accessories to pitch them up, so it can be a longer and challenging process to set them up.

What are Multi-Room Tents used for?

They are used when you need space for multiple families to stay in the same enclosure.

When should you not use a Multi-Room Tent?

Hiking and backpacking. They are big and bulky, so if you just want a quiet camping trip by yourself, these are not the right option for you.


  • Large space
  • Comfortable
  • Can resist almost all climatic conditions


  • May collapse in harsh weather
  • Difficult to pitch
  • Occupies a lot of space

#12. What is a Vis-A-Vis Tent?

vis a vis tent

This tent originates from France, where Vis-A-Vis means two rooms facing each other in the tent. There will be a central space between the two rooms, and this space is usually quite spacious with more headroom. 

You can keep your luggage or other personal items in the central space. But this central space may be problematic in rainy conditions because it may not be waterproof like the rest of the tent. The two rooms of the tent can be dome shape or tunnel shape.

You don’t get as much space in these tents as multi-room tents. It is ideal for two to four people. If you wish, you can add some sections into the tunnel or dome shape room, creating more space for larger families. However, doing so may add a lot of weight to your tent.

What are Vis-A-Vis Tents used for?

Families camping together.

When should you not use a Vis-A-Vis Tent?

Poor weather conditions.


  • Good space for keeping baggage
  • Comfortable


  • Heavy if you attach extra sections to the room
  • Difficult in pitching
  • Does not resist harsh weather conditions

#13. What is a Pod Tent?

pod tents

Courtesy of Qube Tents

Pod tents form some of the largest and tallest tents on our list. These tents look similar to multi-room tents, but they can be even bigger and usually have a common area in between for everyone to use. These tents are meant for large gatherings or families and friends.

Pod tents may also have separate sections or "hanging pods" that are for use by one or two people. But most pod tents are installed on the camping ground.

Setting up these tents can be a big exercise for a single person, and so is carrying them to the camping ground because of the large amount of fabric and poles and other accessories. Some campgrounds even charge you extra for using a pod tent because they take up so much camping space.

But if you are traveling in a group and need a lot of space, you can usually split the effort needed for setup.

What are Pod Tents used for?

When you are camping with multiple families or groups, and each needs their own privacy.

When should you not use a Pod Tent?

Small camping parties will not find it worth their effort to put up such a large tent.


  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • A lot of privacy in each pod


  • Can be extra challenging to set up
  • Heavy to carry and take up a lot of space
  • Some campgrounds charge extra to use them due to the space they take up

#14. What is a Frame or Wall Tent?

Frame or Wall Tent

If you want a strong, spacious tent resistant to any weather conditions, you can consider a frame tent. Frame tents consist of a large number of poles with angled joints and sturdy fabric. They are used for large expeditions and the military. 

Frame tents are heavy, and you can carry them only if you have a vehicle. They take long hours to set up on your camping ground. However, they are very spacious and can give you the best protection against weather.

The fabric of this tent consists of nylon or polyester like other tents. The poles are straight, and the tent looks like a square or rectangle when set up on the ground.

What are Frame/Wall Tents used for?

Large expeditions of many people staying together.

When should you not use a Frame/Wall Tent?

Small camping parties and hikers.


  • Large space
  • Stable
  • Comfortable
  • All-weather


  • Requires a good amount of time to set up
  • Heavy and difficult to carry

#15. What is a Tipi Tent?

Tipi or Tepee Tents

The Tipi Tent (or Teepee tent) is one of the most preferred options for scouts. It is named after the unusual shape of the Teepee tents used by Native Americans that had an opening at the top for smoking meat. They are easy to set up on a camping ground and can resist harsh weather conditions.

The fabric of this tent is usually polyester or cotton, and the poles are either metal or wood. They are very simple to install, but you do not get a lot of space inside the tent. Therefore, it is ideal for one or two people only.

Despite the small living space, there is a lot of fabric in the tent, which takes a lot of space in your bag. So these tents are not advisable for backpackers.

What are Tipi Tents used for?

Great for difficult climates. The side and upper flaps keep the interior warm in winters and cool in summers.

When should you not use a Tipi Tent?

Large groups and backpackers, as they are small tents intended for a couple of people and they are generally heavy and bulky to carry. 


  • Easy to pitch on the ground
  • Good resistance to adverse climate.
  • Very stable


  • Not spacious
  • It takes more space in the bag than other tents of its size

#16. What is a Bivy Tent?

Bivy Tent

Bivy tents are mainly for those who want to go hiking or backpacking alone and do not want to attract too much attention. For example, bivy tents are very popular with hunters and soldiers.

They are very easy to set up. They take very little space inside the bag, so backpackers find it easy to carry along with them.

Bivy tents have a low profile, and they cannot withstand very harsh weather. Some bivy tents come without a floor. In this case, you would have to carry a sleeping bag along with you.

What are Bivy Tents used for?

Solo backpackers who only want to use the tent for sleeping.

When should you not use a Bivy Tent?

Some models do not protect against harsh weather.


  • Take up less space in the bag
  • Easy installation
  • Low profile, not easily visible from a distance


  • Not suitable for harsh weather conditions.
  • Low height, and most space is used for sleeping.

#17. What is a Canopy Tent?

Canopy Tent

Canopy tents are suitable for small social gatherings or on the beach. They will protect you from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays during activities. However, these tents are not ideal for staying in. They are open from all sides and will not protect you from rain or strong winds.

Canopy tents look exactly as the name suggests. Most of them have four poles that you anchor to the ground. You need to make sure that the tent is anchored correctly; otherwise, it may fly off even with a mild wind.

These tents are perfect for accommodating one to four people and are ideal for daytime activities.

What are Canopy Tents used for?

A small gathering in the park or the beach for a limited duration.

When should you not use a Canopy Tent?

Poorer weather that includes rain or wind.


  • Protects you from the sun's harmful rays
  • Very lightweight
  • Very easy to assemble


  • Not at all weather-resistant, except for providing shade from the sun.
  • It needs to be tethered very carefully.

#18. What is a Beach Tent?

beach tent

Beach tents are similar to canopy tents, but they have some additional features. They are closed from some of the sides, so they can partially protect you and your essential items from the sand and beach wind.

The construction of the beach tent is more robust than a canopy tent. The floor of the tents consists of waterproof material. The doors and windows of these tents are usually made from mesh fabric. Beach tents are typically dome-shaped.

If you plan to stay a night on the beach, then a beach tent can be a good option for you. But this tent is a bit heavy in comparison to other tents.

What are Beach Tents used for?

Staying awhile in hot weather - a sunny, sandy, and windy environment.

When should you not use a Beach Tent?

Cold weather and rain.


  • Protects from sun rays
  • Waterproof base and mesh windows
  • Sturdier than canopy tents


  • Heavy, difficult to carry
  • Not suitable for cold climates and rain.

#19. What is a Hammock Tent?

Hammock Tent

Courtesy of Brooks Rice

A hammock tent, as the name suggests, is a hammock that you can use as a tent. You don't need any poles to install these as they are not rooted to the ground at all. It comes with strong straps or wires that you can install between trees or on a hammock stand.

If you are camping in swampy or muddy grounds or on an uneven surface, tents for hammock camping are your best bet. You just require two trees or rocks nearby to anchor the tent. As you are above the ground, you don't need to fear small animals and insects on the ground. 

Hammock tents are usually made from sturdy materials that can withstand cold weather as well as rain. They are used by campers who mainly go to forests for camping.

What are Hammock Tents used for?

Swampy or muddy campgrounds, or uneven terrain.

When should you not use a Hammock Tent?

Places where you would likely not find trees or other anchor points to set them up. Also, hammock tents are small and meant for one person only. The trees on which the tent is rooted may not be able to support the weight of more than one person.


  • Easy to install if you can find anchor points
  • Lightweight
  • Weather-resistant


  • Only one person can sleep in this type of tent
  • These tents are not very comfortable since they sag in the middle making it difficult to sleep in a horizontal position
  • These tents are hard to find; currently, few manufacturers make them

#20. What is a Suspended Tent?

Suspended Tent

Courtesy of Aaron Blanco

Suspended tents are suitable for hikers and climbers. These are just like hammocks; they are set up by suspending them on two or three strong anchor points like trees. They are meant to protect you from swampy ground and wildlife

Suspended tents are used at a much greater height than hammock tents (say 10-15 feet above the ground). This is why the anchor for these tents needs to be very strong. Otherwise, you may fall from a height which can be very dangerous.

Keep in mind that they can only support between 200 to 300 pounds. So if you have a lot of gear, then these tents will not be a good option for you.

What are Suspended Tents used for?

Swampy or muddy terrain, hiking, and climbing.

When should you not use a Suspended Tent?

If you don't have any reliable anchor point, then these tents are not safe.


  • Protects you from wildlife and swampy/muddy ground
  • Lightweight
  • It does not require poles and accessories for setup


  • There is a weight limit, such that campers with a lot of gear cannot use these tents.
  • The anchor points need to be strong. Otherwise, there would be a risk of falling.

#21. What is a Car Camping Tent?

rooftop tent

Car camping tents are perfect for those people who go camping with large trucks or SUVs. They are not very heavy; you can easily fit them in your vehicle. Car camping tents come in two varieties: Truck Bed tents and Roof Top Tents (RTTs).

For RTTs, the assembly can be a bit difficult as you have to install it on the roof of your vehicle. Nowadays, pop-up tents or rooftop tents with a ladder are also available. With these, you can climb on the ladder to install your tent. 

Truck bed tents are comparatively easier to install, but it also means that you will not be able to use your truck bed for storage. If you are carrying your coolers, equipment and other gear in the truck bed, you will have to take it out before you can use these tents. Another alternative in this case is to put a tent cot in your  truck bed.

With a car camping tent, you don't have to worry about swampy ground or wild animals on the campsite. But one limitation of these tents is they are small, and there is a weight capacity limit. This is because these tents are installed either over your car or in the truck bed, so exceeding the weight limit might damage the vehicle.

What are Car Camping Tents used for?

Camping above your large truck or SUV.

When should you not use a Car Camping Tent?

If you have a large group of people, car camping tents will not have enough space for them.


  • You can set up a camp anywhere you like.
  • You will be away from wildlife.
  • Keeps you away from swampy or muddy ground.


  • Limited space and weight capacity
  • Tend to be expensive

#22. What Are Folding Campers and Trailer Tents?

Trailer Tents

Courtesy of Andrew Hunt

If you have a trailer, then trailer tents should be your go-to option. Folding campers are essentially campers that you modify to increase the space available, whereas trailer tents are tents that you can attach to a trailer, which you can then attach to your vehicle or bicycle

Both options are spacious and very convenient. They are even easy to assemble. You can install electrical appliances and even portable ACs inside them to add comfort. 

The only problem is that some of these tents may not be able to withstand a lot of rain because their design allows water to accumulate at the top.

What are Trailer Tents used for?

A convenient camping space in your trailer.

When should you not use a Folding Camper Tent?

Rainy weather conditions.


  • Very spacious
  • Keep you off the ground, away from wildlife and insects
  • You don't have to worry about muddy or uneven terrain


  • Not suitable for extreme weather conditions

#23. What is a Lighted Tent?

Lighted Tent

Lighted tents are not a separate form factor of tents. These are just tents that have an integrated light system on the roof of the tent. The switch is usually on the tent wall, and some of them even have lighting that allows you to choose high or low light modes at night.

Lighted tents usually have fiberglass or steel poles.

What are Lighted Tents used for?

When you expect extensive nighttime usage. P.s. You can also get a tent fan with integrated lights.

When should you not use a Lighted Tent?

When you expect a lot of rain; if the rainwater seeps through, it might cause an electrical short-circuit.


  • Integrated lighting for nighttime use


  • Tend to be expensive

#24 Glamping Tents


Glamping is a relatively new camping term made by combining "glamour" and "camping". Glamping tents have various comforts and amenities, such as carpeting, full sized beds, loungers, and even a fireplace!

Glamping tents are typically spacious and weather resistant. Yurts, safari tents, Tipi tents and bell tents are typically used for glamping, though much larger than normal 3 or 4 person tents that you might have seen. 

They are meant for people who want the experience of nature but don't want to rough it out with tent setup and other details. That is why a typical glamping experience will not require you to set up the tent. These details will be managed by the people organizing the glamping for you.

What are Glamping Tents used for?

They are used when you want to vacation close to nature without having to worry about details like setting up tents or leaving behind your comforts such as beds and comforters.

When should you not use a Glamping Tent?

Not everyone desires comfort, the experience of camping on your own while braving the elements can itself be very rewarding.


  • No setup needed or other hassles
  • All possible comforts that you can wish for (depending on how much you can spend)
  • Very spacious and typically weather resistant


  • Very expensive

What Are the Types of Tent Materials?

#1. Canvas/Cotton

Cotton and canvas are used interchangeably. 

Cotton is the traditional material that is used in tents. It keeps the inside of the tent cool during the summer months and provides insulation during the winter months.

Cotton absorbs moisture effectively. However, it is advisable to weather a cotton or canvas tent first before using it so that the small pores created in the stitching process get filled up. "Weathering" can be done by setting it up in your backyard for a few days.

#3. PVC coated

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a type of water and weather-resistant coating that is applied to canvas or cotton tents which makes your tent waterproof. PVC-coated tents tend to become humid inside, so make sure that you buy one that has good ventilation.

#4. Polycotton

These are an alternative to cotton material and are lightweight. They are less expensive and last longer. This is why polycotton tents have become preferable to the traditional cotton/canvas tents for camping.

#5. Polyester

Polyester tents are lightweight and inexpensive. Polyester does not shrink when it is wet, which makes it a great material for waterproof tents.

#6. Nylon

Nylon tens are lightweight and inexpensive, just like polyester. They do not absorb water. Nylon is slightly lighter than polyester.

What Are the Types of Groundsheet Material?

Tent flooring can be very different from the material of the tent walls. Tent flooring is usually made of tarp. It can be made from polyester, canvas, polyethylene, PVC, or anything with a polyurethane (PU) coating (PU coating is done for waterproofing). 

More on this: Tent Footprint vs Tarp – Learn The Differences

What Are the Types of Tent Poles?

#1. Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP)

GRP is also known as fiberglass. It is one of the most popular materials and is cost-effective. It easily bends across the curves of the tent.

#2. Steel

Steel does not bend easily on the curves of the tent. So steel poles are reserved for frame tents. Steel also tends to rust after a while, so if you are planning to buy a tent with a steel frame, then make sure it is powder-coated.

#3. Aluminium Alloy

This is a lightweight and durable material. Aluminum alloy poles are commonly found in backpacking tents.

#4. Carbon fiber

Carbon fibers are very strong and durable, but they are also expensive.

About the author


We are a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts who love to share and inspire people through our stories, comprehensive guides and in-depth gear reviews.

Leave a Comment