Choosing your first tent can be daunting, but the easiest way to go about it is to write down what your individual needs are. Here are some of our tips for choosing a camping tent in Australia:

Important features to look for:

1. Size: Make sure that the tent is large enough to accommodate your needs. Consider how many people will be using the tent, the size of your mattresses and whether you'll need extra space for your clothing bags and toiletries. 

2. Height: If your spending more then a few days at camp you may want to conder if you want to be able to stand up in the tent. Wiggling your pants on laying flat on the mattress can get old over time (haha).

3. Materials: Look for a tent made of durable materials such as Ripstop canvas, PU polyester or cotton-poly blends that can withstand the elements. Waterproof and UV resistant fabrics are important in Australia's weather as well.

If you tend to go camping in our wet season you want to consider a fabric that has at least a 1500mm waterhead (or hydrostatic head). Personally, the higher the water rating the better in my opinion.

4. Ventilation: Make sure that the tent has enough ventilation to create airflow and prevent condensation and keep you comfortable. Polyester fabrics do have a tendency to hold condensation, so airflow is important for these kinds of tents.

Personally, I find tests with a north/south door with an east/west window good for airflow. Also consider that not all tent doors fly's open the entire way so be sure the whole door fly opens if you want full ventilation.

5. Ease of setup: Consider how easy the tent is to set up and take down. If you'll be camping with kids or have any physical limitations, it's especially important to choose a tent that's straightforward to assemble.

6. Weight: If you'll be backpacking or carrying your tent long distances, consider the weight of the tent. Nylon and polyester tents are good for this as they're light weight and can be compact.

7. Seasonality: I find its best to consider the time of year you'll be camping the most throughout the year and choose a tent that's suitable for those weather conditions.

8. Storage Rooms: Some tents have a separate area at the front of the tent, where you can store gear or remove your shoes before entering the tent. This can be a useful feature to have if you're camping in wet or muddy conditions or the kids decide to bring four bags of toys on the trip.

9. Dark Rooms: Some tent brands are now introducing dark room to their range. This is a tent that lets minimal light through (when the windows are closed of course). These can be great if you have you kids who wake up at the crack of dawn or find it hard to sleep with the moon light shining through.

Types of tents:

  1. Dome tents: Dome tents are popular for their stability and ease of setup. Alot of dome tents these days have built in poles for a quick set up. They are usually lightweight (depending on size) and easy to carry, making them a good option for backpacking or car camping.

  2. Cabin tents: Cabin tents are rectangular in shape and have a more vertical wall, which makes them feel more spacious. They are a good option for families or groups who want more room to move around.

  3. Pop-up tents: Pop-up tents are extremely easy to set up but can be a pain in the bum to pack back down. They are a good option for car camping or for those who don't want to spend a lot of time setting up their tent.

  4. Roof top tents: Roof top tents are a popular choice for those who are camping with a vehicle. They are mounted on the roof of your car and can be easily accessed via a ladder. They are often a popular choice for 4WDs and set up within a few minutes. 

  5. Swags: Swags are a popular camping option that due to the durability of the fabric and quick set up times. The downside is they are bulky to transport and if you've got a double swag they can get hot in Summer if you can have the fly open. 

By considering your individual needs and physical abilities you can narrow down the type of tent the suits you and your loved ones and start shopping for your next tent! 

If you've got any great tips for choosing a tent leave our readers a comment below!

May 04, 2023 — The Boho Camping Co.

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