What to look for when choosing tents

The main factors when choosing tents are always portability and tent capacity. Are you bringing the tent on a long trek up a mountain? How many standard sleeping bags will fit comfortably inside the tent? A four-person tent will be comfortable for two people, but will it be worth the extra weight?

A good rule-of-thumb is to choose a tent that has a capacity for one more than the actual number of people who will be using it. The following are the ten things that you should look for in a tent:

1. There are three main types of tent design. Dome: Provides maximum headroom and is easy to pitch. These tents are best for low level trekking. Tunnel: Comparatively provide more inner space and are lighter compared to other tents. Geodesic: They are like dome tents but with efficient pole positioning resulting in better rigidity and stability. It's easy to pitch them in soft, hard and even uneven ground.

2. Aluminium poles are better than fibreglass poles which are fragile and more likely to snap.

3. Big, extensive rain-fly sheets shield the tent from wind chill, falling debris, and rain. The fly sheets are your tent’s umbrella.

4. Folded seams and double stitching to avoid water from leaking into the tent.

5. A one-piece floorsheet made of waterproof material. It should come a few inches up the sides and be stitched into the tent walls. It should preferably be seamless to avoid water from seeping in.

6. Enough guy lines, which are loops for attaching lines to pull out the walls so they stay taut and do not flap in the wind.

7. Fair-sized stake loops, preferably made of material other than plastic. Plastic materials might break when you hammer in the stakes as you set up the tent.

8. Noseeum meshing to keep little bugs out.

9. A roof vent to aid in air circulation and avoid condensation inside tents.

10. Heavy-duty zippers to sustain frequent use. You'll be in and out of your tent a lot!

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