Summertime is camping time for many of us, especially for those who love the out of doors. Backcountry camping is a favorite past time for those looking to spend some time tucked away in nature.
Choosing the right tent to protect you from the elements and to get some much needed restful zzz's is important.
Choosing the Right Tent Size
When choosing a tent, first decide if you want a one person tent or one that is big enough for you and your partner, your dogs, and gear. A tent fills up fast and the only time you should consider upsizing by one extra person sleeping capacity is if :
1. need room for a child or dog
2. are claustrophobic
3. are heavy set people
4. are a person that tosses and turns a lot at night
Look at the spec charts and decide if you like to be able to stand inside the tent or if it is just needed for an overnight. Tents come in Cabin style and Dome style.
Cabin Style Tents
These tents have almost vertical walls so that you get the most overall vertical height. These tents are suited for those who prefer to have living space and the ability to stand up straight while in the tent. They usually have more than one door, which comes in handy when you are camping with the family. Entry points are secured with zippers. Check and see how easy they are to open and close. Don't go for cheap looking zippers that might snag or worse get stuck or break. YKK zippers resist snagging and are stronger than ordinary zippers. Cabin style tents are ideal for camping sites these tents offer the most overall room.
Dome Style Tents
Dome style tents are built to withstand wind and snow gust since they are closer to the ground. The sides slope therefore reducing living space. These type of tents have less living space, but they will keep you warmer and better protected in the backcountry.
3 Season Tents
A 3 Season Tent is a tent that is constructed in such a way that you can use it in spring, summer, and fall. Such tents have plenty of mesh panels that allow for air to flow in and out of the tent, but keep annoying insects out while you sleep. They should have a rainfly flap that can be stretched snugly against the tent so rainwater can not get in and protect you from heavy wind gusts. # Season tents are best suited for:
2. Shield you from rain or wind
3. Keep bugs at bay
3-4 Season Tents
If you are going backpacking in an area where temperatures drop considerably or where moderate snowfall can be expected you need a 3-4 Season Tent. Such a tent is build to be very sturdy to withstand harder weather conditions. You can expect to have less mesh to keep you warmer at night and they are usually sold with more poles to really secure the tent in place and to keep it there once harsh winds strike up.
4 Season Tents
4 Season tents are made with heavier tent materials to protect you from really harsh weather conditions. Such mountaineering tents are engineered to keep snow off and you safe and warm inside. You can use them in any season but they have less mesh so expect the tent to be warmer than a 1-2 Season Tent.
When choosing a tent its best to keep in mind that higher-denier fabrics and rain-flies withstand harsher conditions better and reduce the odds of leakage and heat loss.
Every pole you need to carry around with you is extra weight and it determines how easy or difficult it is to set up your tent. Fewer poles mean a faster set up and take down. Aluminum poles are stronger and more durable than fiberglass poles. Look for color-coded corners and pole clips that make the task of setting up easier.
There are two types of rainfly covers. One is a roof-only which allows for more light inside the room and is great to keep light rain off the tent. The other is a full-coverage rainfly. These protect you best from downpours and heavier wind gusts.
I always recommend choosing the best materials that your budget will allow. Afterall when camping outdoors you are at the mercy of the elements and you need to keep yourself and your loved ones as protected as possible.
This brings me to the Vocona 2-3 Person 4 Season tent, I recently purchased for review purposes. This is a lightweight dome style camping tent ideal for 2 average size people under 6' Feet.
I made this video to show you how easy it is to set up a dome style tent.
Ease of set up was important to me and since this is a popup tent, I was able to set it up by myself without any help. The tent has clips that slide onto two poles. Once you thread the poles through you can slightly bend them in order to stake the corners to the ground. Since this is the first tent I put together by myself, it would have been nice to have an image that would show how the poles have to be inserted. However, I figured it out quickly and in less than 5 minutes the tent was upright. The tent has a rainfly, which slides over the top and hooks into metal circles at the corners of the tent. Stakes are provided to secure the tent to the ground. The tent has two large vent holes at the top, 2 doors and a hook inside for hanging a lantern. A nice added feature is the added pocket for storing items.
The material is very lightweight and the overall quality, in my opinion, is medium grade. I would not take this tent up to Mount Everest, not that I was planning to do so, but I think it's great for 1-2 nights of camping. I think with hiking gear and sleeping bags it is a snug fit for two people. I loved how easy the setup and take down was. The vents are a good size and the rain cover looks like it should keep you pretty dry.
How to install the camping/backpacking tent:
1. Find a flat spot on the ground and place the tent on the floor.
2. Unfold your tent and lay it flat on the floor Separate its four corners.
3. Lift up your tent by pulling the middle frame pole.
4. Secure the tent onto the floor with the tent stakes.
The Vocona Tent is available via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X9FQBCB
- The tent floor could use a footprint since the bottom part seems rather thin.
- Order your tent at least one week before your trip and do a trial set up to make sure that you fit inside and that there are no defects