Buying a tent
Well you decided to take the plunge and buy a tent, well before you become lost in a the options consider a few things:
Once you have few ideas on how you will use the tent here are a few more tips to help:
This article will be helpful if you are looking for a higher end or backpacking tent.
Here is an extensive article on tents that covers many of the options: http://www.modells.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=222952&infoPath=222977
Tent capacity ratings. Tent manufactures rate a tent on how many people it can hold A two person tent will hold two people. That means the tent will ONLY hold two people, and some tents won't even do that. What are you going to do with all the stuff? If you want your clothes, cot, food, backpack etc. inside the tent, then you need to add at least a person more than the capacity. e.g. a three person tent will hold two adults, and most of their stuff fairly well. Don’t think that a small kid is less than an adult! They may not be that big, but all the gear that you need to keep them happy takes up all the rest of the room!
Tent Rooms: This is a great way for a family to have a section for the kids and a section for the parents. This way the parents can stay up later than the kids and not wake them up, even if forced into the tent due to rain or other inclement weather.
Tent design. The enemy of a tent is moisture. When you get inside a tent, your breathing puts off a lot of hot moist air. This moisture needs to be ventilated from the tent. This is why most modern tents have an air permeable roof covered by a rain fly. Look at all the seams on the tent for quality. Are they straight and always on the fabric? How well are the ends of the seams finished off? Are all the stress points reinforced?
Look at the overall design of the tent. Image that you’ve left the door or a window open for a breeze in the morning, and left the campsite. An afternoon rainstorm comes up while you are away from the site. Did your equipment on the inside of the tent just get soaked…just a little wet, or did it stay dry? What if the rain was blowing? When the wind starts blowing, how well can you stake down the tent? Is it easy to do? If the tent is higher than it’s wide, then it will tend to have more problems in the wind than a lower, wider tent.