Tourist (or trekking) tents are uni­ver­sal, they are used for trips to the lake, sta­tion­ary camp and for mul­ti-day hik­ing, cycling or water trips.

Even motorists, for whom weight is not crit­i­cal, often pre­fer a tourist tent to a camp­ing tent: it is faster to set up, it takes less space on the ground and it is eas­i­er to find a clear­ing.

The tents pre­sent­ed in our store have awnings made of water­proof fab­ric, so they can with­stand any bad weath­er. For extra wind resis­tance, use guy wires with pegs.

We have pre­pared a detailed analy­sis of the designs of tents and the mate­ri­als from which they are made. We will explain for what pur­pos­es cer­tain func­tions are need­ed, what is bet­ter and in what case, why. This will help you choose what you need.

Which tent is right for you?

The answer depends on the answer to anoth­er ques­tion: what type of out­door recre­ation do you pre­fer?

If you like equipped camp­sites with car park­ing, then you can safe­ly take a large tent.

A camp­ing tent is a large tall tent, often with a vestibule and win­dows. Designed for auto­tourism, fam­i­ly hol­i­days and overnight stays in one place for 3–4 days. Pros: com­fort­able con­di­tions (you can stand upright), large capac­i­ty. Cons: heavy weight, poor warm-up.

Large camp­ing tent
If you are plan­ning a long hike or bike trip, the weight and size of the shel­ter are impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tions. You will need a trekking tent.

A trekking tent is a small tent used for flat hik­ing, camp­ing along hik­ing trails. Pros: Light­weight, easy to car­ry. Cons: not designed for strong winds and rain.

Trekking tent
The dimen­sions and weight of the tent become even more impor­tant when hik­ing in the moun­tains or over rough ter­rain. Here you need an assault tent.

An assault (or high-moun­tain) tent is an ultra-light tent designed for seri­ous hikes (dif­fi­cult route, long tran­si­tions). Pros: very light and reli­able, not afraid of strong winds, quick­ly installed and assem­bled. Cons: as a rule, small (even for one per­son it can be cramped).

Storm tent, Kon­stan­tin Shishkin/Shutterstock.com

6. Vestibule entrances — compact or spacious on the arc

The com­fort of the tent depends on the num­ber and area of ​​the vestibules — in the spa­cious one you can place a din­ing room, and in the small one — only shoes or a back­pack. If the tent has two entrances, flow ven­ti­la­tion is cre­at­ed in it. And it’s also more con­ve­nient to get in and out: you don’t have to climb through all the neigh­bors. But with an increase in the num­ber and size of vestibules, the weight, assem­bly time and price of the tent increase.

Tam­bours are big and small.

Triangular tambour

The light­est and most bud­get option, suit­able for hik­ing. The design is stretched with one peg, the entrance is with one zip­per. In the vestibule you can put a back­pack, dish­es after din­ner, shoes.

Of the minus­es — you leave the inner tent, stick your head out, and it turns out to be on the street. If it rains there, it imme­di­ate­ly drips on you. You either have to put up with this, or go camp­ing only in good weath­er. Or you can stretch a group tent over the entrance.

There are usu­al­ly one or two such vestibules in a tent.

The pull-out vestibule is small — it can accom­mo­date a back­pack, shoes, burn­er uten­sils

Tambour on an additional arc

A sep­a­rate arc is locat­ed in front of the entrance and holds the vestibule. This option is heav­ier, but more com­fort­able. It will take a lit­tle longer to assem­ble the tent, it is more suit­able for a sta­tion­ary camp.

It is more con­ve­nient to go out of the inner tent in the rain — there is a roof over your head. Such a vestibule is much more spa­cious than a tri­an­gu­lar one, and can accom­mo­date more things.

The pho­to of the Rock­Land Pamir‑3 tent clear­ly shows how such a vestibule is arranged. Usu­al­ly clos­es with two par­al­lel zip­pers, form­ing a wide entrance

Anoth­er option — an addi­tion­al arc is sep­a­rat­ed from the inner tent — the vestibule turns out to be large, in the form of a tun­nel (that’s what it is called). In this you can not only fold things, but also dine in bad weath­er.

In the vestibule of the Green­Land Traveler‑3 tent, not only a dog, but also a per­son will fit

Tents with a tam­bour usu­al­ly have a sec­ond entrance with a small tri­an­gu­lar tam­bour. This makes it pos­si­ble to make the air flow through on a hot day.

Exam­ple — Green­Land West‑3 tent — two vestibules, one on a sep­a­rate arc — through ven­ti­la­tion

The half-shell tent has an addi­tion­al arc that holds the vestibule. It has more space, you can put a few back­packs, leave your bike or have lunch in bad weath­er.

High and spa­cious vestibule of the Rock­Land Pipe‑3 tent

Tambours on a short cantilever arc

At the hemi­sphere tent, at the top of the dome, there is a short arc that makes the vestibule high­er. It is more spa­cious than the usu­al sling. This is an inter­me­di­ate option between a tri­an­gu­lar vestibule and a vestibule on a sep­a­rate arc.

In the BTrace Vang‑3 tent, it does not drip on the head when leav­ing :-))

Places for gath­er­ings are not added, but when exit­ing, it does not drip on the head. The most impor­tant thing is that the weight does not increase much. These tents are also set up quick­ly. There­fore, they are pop­u­lar for hik­ing and cycling. There are always two tam­bours.

This is how the can­tilever arc looks like on the exam­ple of the BTrace Cloud‑3 tent

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What is the seasonality of the tent?

Begin­ners mis­tak­en­ly believe that if you divide tents by sea­son, then there should be spring, sum­mer, autumn and win­ter. Actu­al­ly dis­tin­guish:

  • Sum­mer tents. For warm or hot weath­er. An impor­tant point here is ven­ti­la­tion: the fab­ric is well blown, and the edge of the awning, as a rule, is raised above the ground. But such a tent will not save you from strong winds or rain.
  • Three sea­son tents. The name speaks for itself — they are designed for three main hik­ing sea­sons (spring, sum­mer, autumn). They are made of a denser fab­ric, thanks to which they can with­stand both cold demi-sea­son winds and heavy rains.
  • Win­ter (or all-sea­son) tents. Designed for use in dif­fi­cult cli­mat­ic con­di­tions (snow, wind), but can also be used in sum­mer in calm weath­er. Dif­fer in sta­bil­i­ty of a design, dense water­proof mate­r­i­al.

About appointment

We will ana­lyze here only the choice of a tourist (trekking) tent. These are tents used by trav­el­ers, tourists, cyclists, hik­ers, fish­er­men, hunters and oth­er mobile peo­ple. You can car­ry such tents with you for many days, quick­ly put them up, quick­ly dis­man­tle them. Actu­al­ly, the entire arti­cle “How to choose a tourist tent” is ded­i­cat­ed to them.

How to decide on the size?

A boa con­stric­tor in a famous car­toon was mea­sured by par­rots, and tents are mea­sured by men. Many have heard: sin­gle tent, dou­ble, triple and so on. In the first case, this means that one adult man will com­fort­ably accom­mo­date (with all belong­ings) in the tent; in the sec­ond — two; in the third — three and so on.

“Men are dif­fer­ent,” you say. Right. There­fore, to get a clear­er idea of ​​​​the dimen­sions of the tent, before buy­ing, study its length and width on the Inter­net. Then “recre­ate” these dimen­sions on your floor, take a sleep­ing bag and try to fit into the result­ing square. Man­aged? You can take! Not? It may be worth buy­ing a two- or three-per­son tent.

An exam­ple of the dimen­sions of a sin­gle tent, cm

Number of seats

When choos­ing a tent, con­sid­er the size of the bed per per­son: about 60 cm wide is cal­cu­lat­ed for one. The mats are the same size, so if you are in doubt about whether the dimen­sions of the tent will fit, just check how many mats will fit.

There are also mod­els with two or more rooms, which allows you to com­fort­ably accom­mo­date two, three or four peo­ple in each. But these options are large, so you need to find out in advance whether there is enough space for instal­la­tion where you are going to relax.

How many layers to choose?

Depend­ing on the design, tents are divid­ed into sin­gle-lay­er and dou­ble-lay­er.

In the first case, the tent is made of a water­proof awning and is a sin­gle can­vas. It is easy to fold and install. But there is a sig­nif­i­cant draw­back — con­den­sate. In humid or hot weath­er, it inevitably forms on the inner walls. If you do not pro­vide ven­ti­la­tion, you will wake up in a wet sleep­ing bag. For­tu­nate­ly, sci­en­tists are active­ly work­ing on a solu­tion to this prob­lem — they come up with var­i­ous “breath­able” and at the same time wind­proof fab­rics. Tents with mem­brane awnings are already on the mar­ket, but they are quite expen­sive.

A two-lay­er tent con­sists of a water­proof tent (out­er lay­er) and a light, breath­able tent (inner lay­er). Between them, as a rule, there is a 10–15 cm gap. Such a tent is some­what heav­ier, but con­den­sate does not accu­mu­late in it, while it is reli­ably pro­tect­ed from rain.

Anoth­er advan­tage of dou­ble-lay­er tents is the pres­ence of a vestibule.

Tam­bour — addi­tion­al space under the out­er awning of the tent. Serves for stor­ing things and dirty shoes.

Mosquito net entrances and through ventilation windows

In high-qual­i­ty tourist tents, ven­ti­la­tion is car­ried out through doors and win­dows. The win­dows are on top of the dome of the inner tent.

For bet­ter ven­ti­la­tion it is nec­es­sary that the win­dows are large.

There are adjustable ven­ti­la­tion valves on the awning — they are usu­al­ly open. They have to be closed if oblique rain begins with the wind, so as not to flood inside.

It is bet­ter to close the ven­ti­la­tion valve on the roof of the tent if it starts to rain heav­i­ly.

Ven­ti­la­tion works like this: fresh air enters the tent from below, pass­ing between the tent and the ground. And the heat­ed air ris­es up, under the dome of the awning, and exits through the ven­ti­la­tion holes.

If you had to find your­self on a hillock blown by all the winds in cold weath­er, the heat will blow out of the tent through the ven­ti­la­tion. Throw a jack­et, T‑shirt, bicy­cle cov­er over the ven­ti­la­tion win­dows on top of the dome of the inner tent (under the awning) and reduce their area.

In hot weath­er, ven­ti­la­tion is also car­ried out through the doors. They are dupli­cat­ed with an anti-mos­qui­to net — it saves from insects. The mesh cells are small, so midges and midges will not fly through them. The struc­ture is sup­port­ed by a dou­ble zip­per — one opens the tent door, the sec­ond holds the net.

When it’s hot, the door fab­ric can be unfas­tened and only the mesh is left.

If there are two exits in the tent, the doors can be opened, leav­ing a net on them — through ven­ti­la­tion is obtained. At the same time, thanks to the mesh on the doors, insects will not get to you.

In tourist tents for a sta­tion­ary camp, a mesh can dupli­cate the door to the vestibule.

When you are going to dine in such a vestibule, midges and mos­qui­toes will not inter­fere with you

In some tourist tents, a “skirt” is sewn to the awning — it per­forms two func­tions:

  • pre­vents insects from fly­ing under the awning;
  • warm in windy and cold weath­er.

The “skirt” may have eye­lets through which it is pinned to the ground with a peg so that it does not flut­ter

But the “skirt” cov­ers the ven­ti­la­tion gap between the ground and the awning. There­fore, when it is hot, the skirt must be tucked up.

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What material to give preference?

Poly Taffe­ta 210T 3000 PU is not a mag­ic spell, but see­ing a sim­i­lar inscrip­tion in the descrip­tion of the tent, an inex­pe­ri­enced tourist can fall into a trance. What do all these num­bers and let­ters mean?

In fact, every­thing is sim­ple. In the man­u­fac­ture of tents, two types of fab­rics are used:

  • polyamide (Nylon);
  • poly­ester (Poly­ester).

The first ones are quite durable and very afford­able, but at the same time they are eas­i­ly stretch­able when wet and sen­si­tive to ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion. The sec­ond ones are even more durable and at the same time do not tear when wet, but are more expen­sive. Thus, the first word in the tent label (Poly) means that it is made of poly­ester mate­r­i­al.

Taffe­ta is the most com­mon way to weave thread. In addi­tion to it, there is also Oxford (cre­ates addi­tion­al strength and, as a rule, is used for the bot­tom of the tent) and Rip Stop (increas­es strength due to the rein­forced thread, while not weigh­ing down the weight).

The next ele­ment (210T) is the den­si­ty of weav­ing. It is mea­sured in tex and affects the strength of the mate­r­i­al. The more T, the denser, stronger and heav­ier the fab­ric. In addi­tion, the mark­ing of the tent may con­tain num­bers and the let­ter D. This indi­cates the thick­ness of the threads from which the mate­r­i­al is made. This indi­ca­tor also affects the strength and weight of the tent.

Final­ly, PU means that the fab­ric is impreg­nat­ed with polyurethane, mak­ing it water resis­tant. There is also sil­i­cone impreg­na­tion (SI), it is bet­ter and more durable, but also more expen­sive.

The mate­r­i­al is coat­ed with polyurethane from the inside. At the same time, two lay­ers of PU impreg­na­tion ensure water resis­tance of 3,000 mm of water col­umn; three lay­ers — 5,000 mm. The sil­i­cone coat­ing is applied on the out­side. Here, an accept­able lev­el of water resis­tance is 2,000 mm.

So, which mate­r­i­al should you choose? If you do not get out into nature often and at the same time stick to well-worn hik­ing trails, then a nylon tent with Taffe­ta or Rip Stop weav­ing and a den­si­ty of 190t to 210t is quite suit­able for you. A good addi­tion to this would be sil­i­cone water-repel­lent impreg­na­tion.

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What should be the bottom of the tent?

Strong, strong and once again strong! The bot­tom of the tent is the hard­est: you put it on sharp stones, on snow, on sand.

As a rule, the bot­tom is made of the same mate­r­i­al as the out­er awning. Nylon fab­rics with Oxford weave are suit­able for this, with a weave den­si­ty of at least 210T and a thread thick­ness of at least 210D. But the main indi­ca­tor is water resis­tance. It is desir­able that the bot­tom mate­r­i­al can with­stand from 5,000 mm of water col­umn.

Some­times the bot­tom is also made of rein­forced poly­eth­yl­ene (it is des­ig­nat­ed PE, tar­pau­l­ing). This mate­r­i­al is prac­ti­cal­ly water­proof, quite afford­able, but much heav­ier than poly­ester and nylon.

In addi­tion, many tents have a so-called skirt, which pre­vents wind from blow­ing in and pre­cip­i­ta­tion from get­ting between the inner and out­er awning.

The skirt is an addi­tion­al strip of fab­ric around the perime­ter of the tent. Can be attached or remov­able.

It makes sense to buy a tent with a skirt if you are going on a win­ter hike: it will pro­vide addi­tion­al warmth. For trekking sum­mer tents, a skirt is an unnec­es­sary bur­den. Because of it, only con­den­sa­tion will accu­mu­late.

The weight

In hik­ing expe­di­tions, this para­me­ter becomes one of the most impor­tant. Here every gram counts: hard­ly any­one wants to car­ry an extra load.

Some man­u­fac­tur­ers indi­cate two val­ues ​​​​in the char­ac­ter­is­tics:

  1. Min­i­mum — a com­plete set suf­fi­cient to assem­ble a shel­ter.
  2. Max­i­mum — includes spare pegs, a repair kit, a car­ry­ing case, and oth­er ele­ments that it is quite pos­si­ble to do with­out. How­ev­er, on a long jour­ney, they will almost cer­tain­ly be need­ed.

It is clear that the more capa­cious and reli­able design, the heav­ier it is. Affects the weight and the pres­ence of inter­nal pock­ets, shelves and oth­er details.

But we must not for­get about the oper­at­ing con­di­tions: if you take an ultra­light sum­mer mod­el into the win­ter for­est, you will sure­ly regret it.


As a rule, a large and roomy tent (often with a vestibule). The arcs of such a tent are par­al­lel to each oth­er and do not inter­sect with each oth­er. It is not par­tic­u­lar­ly resis­tant and will not with­stand any bad weath­er. This design is often found in camp­ing tents.

Half bar­rel tent

small house

Gable tents in the form of a house are con­sid­ered clas­sics. Rain and snow roll off them eas­i­ly, but the wind resis­tance of the design leaves much to be desired. In addi­tion, this type of tent is con­sid­ered the most trou­ble­some in terms of instal­la­tion.

Tent “house”

In addi­tion, solo tourists quite often pre­fer sin­gle frame­less tents. They are light and com­pact, in fact it is just an awning attached to trees with ropes or held on sev­er­al racks (usu­al­ly sticks).

frame­less tent

Types of frame — internal or external

The frame can be exter­nal or inter­nal. The order of instal­la­tion of the tent, the con­ve­nience of its assem­bly and wind resis­tance depend on this.

Most tents have inner frame — He is under the awning. There­fore, first an inner tent is put up on the frame, then an awning is thrown over. This design is eas­i­er and faster to assem­ble than with an out­er frame.

With expe­ri­ence, set­ting up an ordi­nary tourist tent, even alone, takes about five min­utes. In the rain, you can always find a win­dow when it weak­ens and quick­ly set up a tent. Prac­tice shows that in most cas­es the liv­ing com­part­ment does not have time to get wet. If the skill to quick­ly assem­ble has not yet been devel­oped, you can do this under a group tent, and then rearrange it to the right place to pro­tect the inner tent from water.

The PIK-99 Joy-3D tent with an inter­nal frame made of dura­lu­min and two vestibules is an exam­ple of the eas­i­est tent to set up. Suit­able for any type of hike

With out­er frame arcs are insert­ed into the pock­ets of the awning, sewn on the out­side.

The Rock­Land Pipe‑3 tent is an exam­ple of an out­door frame tent. In the rain, you will hang the inner tent “under the roof”

First, an awning is set up, then the inner tent is hung. Moun­tain tents are made with such a frame — they are more wind resis­tant. The out­er frame is com­fort­able in the rain, you can put up a tent with­out get­ting wet inside. The wind will also not inter­fere with the instal­la­tion — the awning is fixed and will not flut­ter like a rain­coat.

But a tent with an out­er frame is more dif­fi­cult to set up and take down. The arcs must be care­ful­ly pushed into the pock­ets: if you rush and try to drag them through, the sec­tions are dis­con­nect­ed.

If your inner tent is damp, then in a tent with an out­er frame it is not easy to dry it in field con­di­tions: you need to detach it from the awning and hang it on a tree. At a tent with an out­er frame, it is much sim­pler: we wait­ed for the weath­er, removed the tent, dried it, threw the awning over. And do not take things out of the liv­ing com­part­ment.

As you can see, it is impos­si­ble to say unequiv­o­cal­ly that a tent with an out­er frame is bet­ter than an inner one. Although such a myth exists :-))

There­fore, for ordi­nary tourist tents, the out­er frame is rarely used. But in camp­ing — often, because they are installed once every few days and an increase in instal­la­tion time is not impor­tant. The dry­ness of the build in the rain and the increase in wind resis­tance with their large sizes are clear plus­es.

The BTrace Dome‑3 tent with an out­er frame can be assem­bled in the rain with­out get­ting the liv­ing com­part­ment wet

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Buying and Operating Tips

Now you know enough about tents to make a pur­chase. But do not rush to run to the mall or open an online store web­site. There are a few tricks to help you save mon­ey.

  • Old mod­els of well-known brands are no worse than their new mod­els, but much cheap­er.
  • Do not be afraid to buy tents from lit­tle-known com­pa­nies, the main thing is that the spec­i­fi­ca­tion is true.
  • Read reviews, con­sult with friends, if pos­si­ble, test this or that tent in action before buy­ing (for exam­ple, bor­row from a friend).

Hav­ing bought a tent, do not rush to imme­di­ate­ly go to the for­est. To get start­ed, assem­ble it at home to under­stand how it works, and on a hike, assem­ble and dis­as­sem­ble it quick­ly and eas­i­ly. After that, go over the seams with a water-repel­lent spray to be sure to pro­tect against mois­ture. And in order for the tent to serve you for a long time, upon return­ing from a hike, do not for­get to dry it thor­ough­ly.


Choos­ing a tent first of all:

  • think about where and how you will use it: camp­ing
  • tourism
  • extreme
  • high­light the most impor­tant fea­ture
  • decide on a bud­get
  • read some reviews
  • Now you imag­ine what you need, it remains only to come to the store and ask the con­sul­tant about the fea­tures of the mod­els that you have cho­sen. Good luck with your choice and more trav­els!

    Review of one of the first tents that I chose, read here.