camping tents

A Complete Guide to Different Types of Camping Tents

Pitching camping tents is no longer about placing a centre pole and spreading a breathable fabric over it. Today, there are many types of camping tents for different purposes. Whether you are a backpacker or a family of five in love with travelling, you’re sure to find something that will work for your situation. Here are some tents and their primary characteristics for your next camping trip.

Dome Tents

dome tent

They are the most popular design currently and are shaped like a dome. The tent has two poles that cross each other in the centre and bend down to touch the corners. There is a rainfly at the top of the poles for increased protection from weather elements. Dome tents are easy to pitch, and they have a high centre point to offer enough headspace and room. The rounded edges allow water and rain to run down the edges and prevent buildup at the tent. The downsides include: available in relatively smaller sizes, and the wind quickly shakes them.

Cabin Tents

cabin tents

If you need a spacious tent for your Guadalupe river camping trip, then this style might be your best bet. Cabin tents are usually large and ideal for families and large groups. The peak height doesn’t decrease as one moves further away from the centre – it remains constant throughout. Therefore, one can walk inside freely without having to crawl or bend. Unfortunately, they have low wind resistance because of the vertical walls and tall structures. Cabin tents are also a bit on the heavier side, making them inappropriate for backpacking expeditions.

A-frame Tents

A frame tents

Also known as wedged tents, the style was popular back in the day. A-frame tents are simplistic and shaped like capital letter A. Originally, they were made of canvas, and both their sides were supported by a steel pole. The durable material made them long-lasting. The primary structure on an A-frame tent is the poles holding it on both ends and the ropes used to tie every corner. While it’s surprisingly stable, this style is often heavy and doesn’t provide a lot of headroom.

Bell Tents

Bell Tents

While there are some exceptions, many bell tents are made of canvas. They offer a range of benefits like durability, superior weather protection, breathability, and excellent insulation. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive and much heavier than their synthetic equivalents. The tents have a pyramid shape and a centre pole to hold them up. However, the walls run straight up from the ground to a certain point and then to the central bar.

Pop-up Tents

Pop up tents

If you want a tent that will go up in a few seconds, this is your perfect pick. All you need is to take it out of the packaging and throw it into a vast, open space. By the time the tent hits the ground, it will be ready to go. Although some pop-up tents in the market are cheaply made and not durable, some are very sturdy. The tents are ideal for campers who like changing their position often because they allow easy setup and take-down.

Backpacking Tents

backpacking tents

Campers who like long-distance treks should consider buying backpacking tents. They are ultralight and can withstand all weather types. Most are smaller, lighter, and highly durable. However, they are ideal for one or two people, and their design is relatively low profile. With fewer poles and limited mesh panels, the sturdiness of these tents is exceptional. However, they have a low ceiling and are only made in small sizes.

Inflatable Tents

Inflatable camping tents

These tents have inflatable air beams to act as poles rather than steel, fibreglass, or aluminum bars. They come in all sizes and shapes. Although they are a bit pricey, inflatable tents are easy to set up. The style is relatively new, so their ability to handle extreme weather changes may vary. The only downside is their weight. They are heavier than other models and cannot accommodate more than two people.


When you are hiking in the wild, a tent will shelter you. Tents have been in use for decades, and the designs have evolved. Canvas has been a popular choice in the past. However, today, many styles offer outstanding durability and strength. The list of camping tents will give you a head start when picking your preferred type.

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