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Best Outdoor Camping Tent: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide (2018)

A camping trip might sound like an idyllic escape from the modern world’s complications and contraptions, but there are still several important pieces of equipment to bring along with you into the great outdoors. There are many different types of tents, and choosing the best outdoor camping tent could make or break your camping experience.

Here are some things to consider when picking the right type of tent for you.

Why so many different types of tents?

People who are new to camping might be confused about the variety of choice associated with selecting the right gear.

After all, tents have been around for thousands of years. Historically, people have lived year round in tents! But the purpose and use of tents have shifted dramatically in recent decades.

Tents can be classified in many different ways. You can consider the number of people who can sleep in it, what the tent will be used for, the number of entrances, the price and the weight.

But one of the most useful ways to classify different tents is by their basic shape.

Here are seven different types of tents to consider when preparing for your camping trip.


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  #01:  Quick Pitch Tent

Quick Pitch Tent


quick pitch tent was designed with the new camper in mind.

These best outdoor camping tent have built in poles that feature joints that allow the tent to collapse and expand like an umbrella.

This quick and simple set up is a huge benefit when it’s late at night and you’ve arrived at your campsite in the dark and dead tired.

The fact that a quick pitch tent stays entirely in one piece is a huge asset. Some of us have memories of arriving at campsites only to realize that we’re missing an essential pole or peg. A quick pitch tent could save you from experiencing that camping nightmare.

These models might be a bit pricier than others, but the convenience is worth it for some people. Quick pitch tents typically don’t accommodate very many people either, so consider your group size before you invest.


  #02:  Dome Tent

Dome Tent


Dome tents are recognizable by the obvious dome shape to the top of them. The dome is created by two or three poles that intersect at the top of the tent and attach to each four corners of the base.

These tents provide decent headroom because the walls of the tent rise steeply upward.

They are one of the more simple tent structures to assemble. The poles are generally jointed and flexible. You simply have to slip the right poles through the slats indicated on the body of the tent and secure the structure to the group.

There is the possibility for a front porch flat on many dome tents. Not all types of tents will provide some decent outdoor storage possibilities.

Dome tents aren’t ideal for rough weather conditions, so bear that in mind when you do your shopping.


  #03:  Tunnel Tent 

Tunnel Tent


Not all types of tents offer enough space for some people. Tunnel tents are a great a choice for those who think they’ll need a little more space on their camping trip.

Tunnel tents are comprised simply of a series of hoop-like poles that create a tunnel effect. Because these tents are longer in length, they provide more storage room or roomier sleeping conditions.

If you’re planning on packing up your tent and hiking with it throughout your camping trip, then I wouldn’t recommend a tunnel tent. These types of tents are relatively heavy because they offer so much storage space.

Tunnel tents are a bit trickier to set up. It’s best to use them if you plan on staying at only one campsite throughout your trip.


  #04:  Pop Up Tent 

Pop Up Tent


Pop up tents are exactly what they sound like. They are tents that simply pop up! These types of tents have become increasingly popular as people who are new to camping head out into the woods for the first time.

Once your pop up tent has popped up, you simply have to secure it to the ground and you’re done!

Because they are so simple, they are generally rather small too. These light weight, quick-assemble tents are pretty ideal for backpacking trips of small parties.


  #05:  Ridge Tent

Ridge Tent


When you think of old images of soldiers camping out in fields, they were probably using a ridge tent. It’s not a very common choice nowadays, but they do still exist.

A ridge tent is notable for its classic tent shape. It is constructed with a pole at each end and a pole running on top between them. This creates the ridge for which these types of tents are named.

This design was used so frequently in the past because it is quick to pitch, simple and study.

A ridge tent will endure through all kinds of bad weather. They can range in size from a small one to two person tent, to a large gathering tent.


  #06:  Vis-a-Vis Tent

Vis-a-Vis Tent


vis-a-vis tent, or a family tent, is a large tent that is intended to fit a larger group of people.

It is called a vis-a-vis tent because in French that means face-to-face. And these types of tents have a center larger room with two smaller sections for sleeping on either side. The smaller rooms are facing each other “face-to-face.”

These types of tents are generally a tunnel design or a dome structure. They are relatively heavy so I wouldn’t suggest trying to backpack with them.


  #07:  Bell Tent

Bell Tent


Bell tents are a bit unique and much rarer than some of the other types of tents.

Bell tents are large structures that are generally made of canvas. They allow for a wood burning stove inside of them, which you won’t find in most other types of tents.

These types of tents are used mostly for festivals or other more permanent outdoor camping situation. There are obviously much more difficult to set up and can be a bit pricey.


There are many different types of tents and each will serve your camping needs in a different way. Do some research and select the right type of tent for you.

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