The process of selecting a tent does not start with its manufacturer, price, or capacity. One should figure out its purpose first, as there are different tent types for various circumstances: be it a trip to the nearest forest, or a complex multi-day hike.
Tourist tents: types, features, and additional options
Tourist tents can be divided into 3 categories:
- The trekking tent is designed for short hikes and overnight stays in specially equipped places not far from well-trodden paths. They are not suitable for rain or strong winds, however, they have minimal weight and are easy to carry.
- Expeditionary tents are more resistant to the wind and other unexpected weather conditions. This is the best tourist tent type in terms of the price-performance ratio. It can be used on both plains and simple mountain trips.
- Assault tents also referred to as high-altitude tents, are more common among climbers. They have an impressive set of protective elements, designed for difficult conditions, so they are taken on complicated hikes in the mountains.
The latter tends to be more expensive compared to the other tent kinds. However, Ukraine-manufactured tents will come off cheaper than foreign ones.
Technical characteristics: layers and water resistance
Double-layered tents consist of the tent itself as the top layer, which has protective features, and breathable materials underneath, which carry slightly different purposes:
- To prevent condensation;
- To ensure air circulation;
- To create good ventilation.
Frequently, the second layer looks like a mesh, which is perfect protection from bugs. One-layer tent is simpler, although the ventilation windows are zipped and covered with the same fabric as the tent itself.
Water resistance is also an important characteristic. The more – the merrier. The minimal requirement is 2000mm of the water column, but 3000mm is even better. Higher indicators of 10000-20000mm are needed for extreme hikes.
Make yourself at home: an overview of tents by size
People of different characters might go on a hike: some like to stay overnight, making the space cozier with the warmth of conversations with a fellow hiker, while others prefer to sleep alone.
Although the most common tents are triple and double, their size is not universal for all cases, as there are travellers who like to hike alone, along with those who do it with a family.
A single tourist tent: pros and cons
For those who are not used to sharing their sleeping space with anyone else and wants maximum comfort, there is a single tent that is:
- Quick to gather;
This will be an ideal option for loners and those who are often accompanied by a set group of people where everyone has the required equipment. The most common forms of tents are semi-barrel, coffin, and hemisphere.
A double tourist tent: more space and comfort
It is one of the most common types of tents due to its universality and other benefits, like:
- More diversity in frame shapes;
- A tourist tent with a vestibule gives additional space;
- There are many of them on sale, as the manufacturers produce more of them.
The size of the tent allows for two people to stay there comfortably: the space for sleeping is 50-60 cm per person. In addition to that, there is a great choice of sizes:
- Hemisphere is the most popular one, it is utilized for short hikes near the city, as well as longer ones in the mountains. The base of the frame is composed of two crossed arches;
- A semi-barrel one is spacious and comfortable, but it is recommended to set it up in a place with no wind, as it has low resistance;
- Gable models have been in production since the USSR. One needs specific skills to set it up;
- A double folding tent is peculiar because it is set up as a usual folding bed. The difference from other tent types lies in the top of the tent. A smooth surface is needed to set it up.
Everything listed above, besides the folding tent, is attributable to triple tents as well. In this case, the tent shape varies too: it has one central axis, and the fabric itself is stretched in a circle and pinned to the ground with pegs. Quadruple tourist tents only differ in size, everything else is identical to other tent types.
Shower tent: useful, compact, and convenient
Those who value comfort far from civilization (even though it may be only 20 kilometres away from a city) will find a tourist shower tent useful. It may not come in handy during long hikes when you carry everything by yourself, but it will be suitable for family trips or when you are hiking in a group.
Contrary to sleeping tents, where the main emphasis is on a horizontal arrangement, a camping shower tent is vertical when unfolded. Suitable for taking showers alone: the walls are opaque, and all the moisture remains inside without turning into an ugly puddle around the camp. It can also be used as a dressing room.
What is the difference between big camping tents and spacious tourist ones?
The difference is in the purpose, which entails the presence or absence of additional comfort options. If tourist tents are as light as possible with minimum detailing, as often hikers carry them on their shoulders, the summer and winter camping tents have a different designation:
- The most compact camping tents are the triple ones, this is the minimum size. There are camping tents for up to 8 people available on sale;
- There are different sections inside which allow to create at least an illusion of private space;
- The most common and cheap camping tents have only the sleeping space and shelves for personal belongings
- The central vestibule enables to set up a kitchen, protected from bad weather;
- One can fully stand up inside and go outside through one of the nearest exits (depending on the construction, there may be up to 4 of them).
The best camping tents have a convenient structure and can be assembled quickly. When selecting a tent, pay attention to the kinds of:
- Floor protection against leakage;
- Seam tightness;
- Lantern mount.
Comfort plays a significant role in camping tent ratings, which are created both by users and manufacturers.
So what to choose? Is there a universal solution?
Camping tents are quite specific. The main criteria in them is comfort that is close to the convenience of your home. In this case, tourist tents are simpler, and there are several criteria which are considered moderate and optimal for most short-term hikes:
- Hemispherical shape;
- Double-layered tents;
- The external layer is made out of polyester, the inner one is a membrane
- Water resistance is not less than 2000mm of a water column, better be 3000-4000mm;
- A fibreglass frame (lighter than a metal one).
Those who want to try hiking for the first time and understand whether they like it or not should consider these parameters. It would be even better to buy a secondhand tent in good condition. Thus, you will understand right all the pros and cons right away without spending much money on it.
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