Types of Tents, Choose the Best Tents for your Needs

Different Types Of Tents, Find the Best Tent for Your Needs

In general there are a few categories of tents. The more hardcore your adventure gets, the more expensive the tents tend to get that will work for your situation.  These categories are:

  • Expedition,
  • Lightweight backpacking,
  • Standard backpacking
  • Multiple person camping tents.

I will go into these categories more in depth below.


​​There are also several shapes of tents

  • Dome tents
  • Modified Dome
  • “A” Frame
  • Teepee style tents.

The Dome tent:dome tent These are very popular due to how easy they are to set up. They have a very simple design, and are a pretty good choice for an inexpensive, all around functional tent. They have a high profile, so they are not perfect in heavy wind and storms. The high profile also means you have a lot of room in the tent to sit up and move about.  One Major benefit of these tents, is they can be assembled and used without any stakes being driven into the ground.  There are a lot of times where we just don’t frieking feel like driving stakes, especially in the mountains where there are lots of rocks.


modified dome tentThe Modified Dome Tent: This is a broad category that most tents available today fall into. They are a lot like dome tents but tend to have lower profiles to be more suitable in heavy wind and storms. The more aero-dynamic your tent is the less chance you will have issues during a storm. These tents are usually the lightest weight, but give you very little extra room to move around much. This usually is not an issue though, if you are out there backpacking you aren’t likely to spend too much time in your tent unless a storm hits.



tepee tentTeepee Tents: These are a very simple design and shed water really well. They do not however handle heavy winds very well.  They usually consist of a single post in the center, and heavily staked all around. Its the simple lightweight design of these tents that makes them desirable.  They usually do not have floors and are obviously not insect resistant.


A pup tent or "A" frame tent“A”- Frame or Pup tents: These tents are simple and usually rather inexpensive. they were popular for quite some time, until the dome tent hit the scene. These tents are great for a cheap thrill, but don’t expect to want to go long term. In a rain and wind the sides will sag, they also don’t have much room to move around. They do get the job done though. For summer camping, or where there is minimal risk for a storm, these tents will work.  In recent years this tent has been altered to become a pretty good all around tent such as the Eureka Timberline, and others.


an expedition tent example​Expedition Tents:

These tents are made for the harshest elements. They need to be extremely durable, lightweight, and sturdy in high winds and very inclement weather. These are most often used for high altitude mountaineering.  They cost more than any other category of tent. They are for specialized situations and not everyone needs a tent such as this.

Shown above is the Mountain Hardwear EV2 tent


nemo obi 2p elite tent​Ultralight Backpacking Tents:

Usually around 2-5 lbs. When it comes to tents the lighter they are, the more happy you will be carrying them around all day. I suppose this goes for all backpacking items. The lighter they are the more you can carry. Lighter weight also means a higher price tag,  due to the expense of the materials used to make them. These can be purchased for a pretty reasonable price though.


Backpacking Tents:

These are just a little bit heavier than the ultralight tents. Right around the 5 lbs. area, They are generally the same types of designs, but just made with heavier materials.

Shown above the Sierra Designs Yahi 4 tent. a very nice tent for 4 people. it weighs in a 9# 15oz

Large family general camping tent​General camping tents:

These are usually not intended to be taken on a backcountry excursion. They are made to pull out of the back of your car and set up in a campsite. Typically they are 3 season tents, weighing 9+ lbs They tend to be too heavy and large to pack out into the mountains, unless you distribute your weight load between multiple hikers.  They do serve there purpose well though.  If you are looking for lots of room and all the comforts of home to fit in your tent, look no further!

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