The Best Tents of 2022 – Travel + Leisure | Gmx Pharm

Choosing a tent, whether you want a compact tent for one person or a tented party palace for large groups, is key to how comfortable and enjoyable your trip will be. Your choice of tent should be based on your preferences and the trips you are taking. It’s an investment that will help make your present and future camping adventures even more enjoyable. To help you with your tent search, we researched dozens of options and spoke to Dan Purdy, a professional hiking and backpacking guide at Wildland Trekking.

The REI Half Dome 2 Plus is our top choice for camper duos looking for a spacious, durable tent that can withstand the elements and is packed with features. But there are many other great options.

These are the best tents for any type of camping trip.

Tips for buying a tent

Look at the footage

One of the most important things to look for when buying a tent is the hydrostatic head. It sounds super technical, but really it’s all about waterproofing. “This rating measures how much water has to accumulate before it seeps through the tent fabric,” explains Purdy. “So a value of 1,000 millimeters means that the testers had a 1,000 millimeter high water column before anything seeped through the material. If you translate this into the purchase of a tent, the higher the water column, the more waterproof the tent material is. But be careful, the thicker and stronger the material, the heavier the tent.”

Choose ventilation wisely

A hot and stuffy tent is the last thing you want to deal with when trying to enjoy camping. Waking up in a puddle of sweat can be avoided by purchasing a tent that has solid airflow and extra ventilation. “As a tall man who sleeps warm, ventilation is key! Without them, the moisture you breathe out all night collects on the inside surfaces of your tent and you can wake up with a slightly damp inside of your tent—not a great start to the day,” says Purdy. “So look for tents that have ventilation at the top and bottom of the tent. Two vents at the top and bottom allow the warm air at the top of your tent to escape and be replaced with cold air drawn in from the bottom vent.”

Think of the ease of setup

Wrestling with different poles, fabrics and stakes can be extremely frustrating when you just want to prepare yourself to enjoy the outdoor experience and finally relax. Finding a tent that balances sturdiness with ease of setup is crucial. It’s usually a good idea to practice at home in your living room or backyard before you embark on your first camping trip with a new tent. That way you’ll get the hang of it when you arrive at your location. “Freestanding tents tend to be the easiest to set up. These can be set up complete with their poles and will keep their shape without having to be staked out. With non-freestanding tents, however, it tends to be a bit more complicated [mean] less weight,” says Purdy.

frequently asked Questions

  • What is a tent footprint?

    A tent footprint is a piece of fabric the same size as the bottom of your tent that you place underneath to prevent rips, tears, moisture, etc.,” says Purdy.

  • How to make tents warm and comfortable?

    Losing sleep because you’re cold and uncomfortable can ruin an otherwise great camping trip. In addition to sourcing a tent for your appropriate activities and temperature range, Purdy has some tips and tricks you can use to make your experience comfortable and cozy. “First, make sure you also pitch your tent’s rainfly (the highly waterproof outer shell). This helps keep the cool wind out and your body heat in. Secondly, an inflatable sleeping pad combined with a quality sleeping bag will go a long way in keeping you comfortable all night. On very cold nights, you can also fill a Nalgene bottle with warm water and throw it in the bottom of your sleeping bag, it will do wonders to keep you warm,” he says.

  • How do I clean a tent?

    As nice as it would be to just rip your tent down and toss it in a bag until next time, care must be taken before storing it to expose it to the elements of wind, rain, dirt, etc. Otherwise, the lifespan of your tent will be significantly reduced and you could face mold problems. So how do you clean a tent? “Careful,” says Purdy. “Always read the manufacturer’s instructions as many common cleaning products can remove the waterproofing from your tent. A quick rinse with water is often enough to remove normal dirt. But after that every single ride, always hang your tent out to dry, even if it doesn’t feel that wet. If you store your tent with even a hint of moisture, that moisture can turn into mold in a matter of days.”

Why trust Travel + Leisure

Camping enthusiast and travel writer Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience of finding the right tents and camping in a variety of conditions to create this list. In her research on choosing the best tents for every type of trip, she interviewed professional hiking and backpacking guide Dan Purdy, who works with well-known company Wildland Trekking.

Next: The best air mattresses for camping

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