Cheap Tents – What to Look for When Buying
Welcome to our site where you will find all the information you need to help with choosing your tent from cheap tents to more expensive offerings – and all the camping accessories you might need, like a camping stove because everyone needs to eat, right?
Whether it is your first tent or you are a seasoned camper, choosing the right tent – and trying to find quality but cheap tents – isn’t as straightforward as you might initially think, but with our guide, comparisons and reviews you will be confident you have made the right choice.
Just as with many things there are lots of brands to choose from in the tent world – Regatta Tents, Gelert Tents, Bell Tents, Coleman Tents, Khyam Tents, Robens Tents, Outwell Tents and Vango Tents to name just a few. So how do you choose? Here is a brief overview of some of them:
Coleman – offering tents to suit all needs, Coleman has a reputation for providing quality and innovation
Gelert – Gelert is always working on new styles to keep the market fresh. From festival tents to family tents, they have a huge choice.
Outwell – Outwell is probably one of the most known names, they are known for their quality and reliability. If you are looking for cheap tents Outwell might not be the cheapest but sometimes you get what you pay for.
Robens – an up and coming brand in the UK and worth checking out for their range of lightweight tents suitable for backpacking.
Vango – a Scottish brand – they have a large range of tents in all sizes and for all occasions. Check them out for their matching accessories too.
Regatta – great value cheap tents, they won’t break the bank – this is a tent range worth checking out.
Khyam – always developing new products and designs, Khyam tents are known for introducing the “Flexidome Quick Erect System”. They have a large range of tents and accessories.
Cheap Tents Checklist
Regardless of the brand there are a few basic elements to consider when looking for a tent
Let’s start with size. Tents are normally described in terms of “berths” or “persons”. So a “2 berth” tent will be typically big enough to sleep two people. But it isn’t that easy. Sleeping is one thing, but how about storage of your personal items and room to move around? Living like sardines in a tin won’t make for a fun camping trip. As a rough guide it is recommended to multiply the number of people by two to get the correct size. So two people would look at buying a “4 berth” tent.
Some tents can be compartmentalized into separate sleeping areas. Families will find this useful – sleep in one large area when the children are very young and split the tent into compartments when they get older. You can also find tents with separate living and sleeping areas – these give you much more space and can make the whole experience more enjoyable especially during inclement weather.
Depending on the type of tent you buy, the headroom will vary but the easiest way to judge this is to look at the erected tent. A broader roof and more vertical sides will add up to more headroom. The traditional tent shape – “a-frame” – has very little headroom due to the steep sloping walls.
You should consider ventilation when choosing a tent. Look for well positioned ventilation panels that are protected with a mesh covering. You need the air to be able to circulate but you want to keep the bugs outside. The “door” or “doors” of a tent should have a mesh covering for the same reason. Depending on the size of your tent you may have more than one door, and tents that have windows will allow light to enter.
As well as ventilation you need to choose a tent type depending on when and where you will be travelling. A camping trip on the side of a mountain with high winds will require a much more streamlined and weatherproof tent than a trip to the local campsite during the summer.
While bigger may be better in the case of tents, be careful not to overdo it – with size comes weight. If you are merely taking your tent from the boot of your car to a pitch on a campsite then weight won’t be much of an issue, but if you are carrying the tent on your back while you hike over the hills then weight will be a serious consideration. Some campsites may have restrictions or extra charges for tents with a larger footprint.
Whichever tent you choose, some are easier to put up than others and require more pairs of hands, so it is always a good idea to have a test run at erecting it before you set off on your trip.