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Tents For Camping

Tents for camping come in a variety of designs. Tents are designed for warm weather, cold weather, wind, rain, families, couples, individuals, campground campers, wilderness campers, and other factors.

No single tent can provide all of these features, so campers need to consider their own camping situation when shopping for tents.

Tent Camping vs Climate

Eastern US

Campers who live in the eastern part of the US, which is more humid and forested and can occasionally be quite muggy during camping season, will be interested a camping tent with very good ventilation.

Half rainflies that cover only the ceiling mesh allow wind to easily pass under the fly and draw warm air out of the tent body. They perform well in mild vertical rain. However if the wind is strong, it can occasionally cause rain to splash under the fly and through the ceiling mesh.

Sheltered campsites, which are usually surrounded by forest, protect these tents, since trees block most of the wind, keeping gusts from blowing rain spray into the tent.

Windows in the wall of the tent allow air to pass into the tent body during the day and be left partially open as vents during the night.

In sheltered campsites, a cabin tent with large flat walls and square ceiling with more headroom is comfortable for family camping.

Western US

In the arid west, family campers will have little problem with humidity inside the tent and won't need as much ceiling mesh.

This is a windier region of the US, and campsites are less likely to be protected from wind, so campers will want a tent for camping that can resist up to 30 mph or more to allow for exposed sites.

The wind will easily keep the tent well ventilated, and the nights will often be cool during camping season, so campers should consider a larger rainfly, so the tent can retain more heat.


Tent enthusiasts who camp in the mountains are aware that evenings are cooler, and will prefer a tent that can close off much of the ventilation, so that the tent stays warmer for sleeping. They often prefer a smaller tent with less space to heat.

Pacific Northwest

This rainforest region gets a lot of rain, sometimes days and days of rain, which may eventually saturate tent fabric and make the tent walls damp inside.

A full rainfly will protect the inner tent body walls from exposure to rain and allow them to stay dry.

Camping Tent Sleeping Capacity

Each tent lists a sleeping capacity, but campers quickly discover that, even though the tent is not a backpacking tent, this capacity is based on backpacking, not on leisure camping.

In order to keep the weight of the tent to a minimum, backpackers occupy a tent allowing for only minimum sleeping space per person. Leisure campers will want more.

There is a rule of thumb for leisure campers to purchase a tent for camping with a capacity of two more than the number of campers that will occupy the tent. The floor area should also be listed for each tent and is also useful in finding a suitable tent.

The backpacking system allows for roughly 15 square feet of sleeping space for each person. If you take the tent floor area and divide by the sleeping capacity of the tent, you should get a result close to 15 square feet per person. (You'll find that many 2 person backpacking tents have a floor area of 30 to 35 square feet).

Two leisure campers will probably be most comfortable with 30 to 50 square feet per person, which means a tent with a floor area of 60 to 100 square feet. They should consider an 8' by 8' or a 10' by 10' tent. This floor size will make the tent much more comfortable by allowing for plenty of camping gear and supplies.

Four family tent campers will most likely prefer a tent with 25 to 30 square feet per person. They should consider an 8' by 12', 10' by 10', 11' by 11', etc. tent.

Six tent campers will probably prefer 20 to 25 sq feet of sleeping space each. This many family campers will prefer a two room tent with a door on each end. A 10' by 12', or better, a 10' by 14' tent

From these examples you can see that as more campers occupy a tent, there is an economy of scale and the amount of floorspace of required sleeping space per person is less.


Climate and capacity are the two most important factors to consider when purchasing a tent for camping. Readers should now have a good grasp of these issues and be able to identify tents for camping that are suitable to their situation.

There are several other factors and Campetent will devote pages the them as well. Have a look at the Campetent Tent Camping Wind Scale Page to get more ideas.