If you need a cheap tent or waited for early-season prices to soften so you can pick from an assortment of excellent tent deals, now’s the time. Whether you want a minimalist tent for backpacking or bicycle camping, or a multi-room cabin-style tent for a large family or group, we found plenty of cheap camping tents from major merchants. If you’re not sure what type of cheap tent is best for your needs, we’ve included critical points on how to choose a tent below.
Today’s Best Cheap Tent Deals
- Alpine Mountain Gear Sun Shelter — $60, was $100
- — $100, was $200
- Marmot Mantis 3 Plus Tent — $128, was $257
- — $158, was $220
- Kelty Sequoia Tent — $245, was $330
- Marmot Tungsten UL Hatchback 3 Tent — $284, was $569
- MSR Zoic 3 Tent — $300, was $400
How To Choose A Tent
If you’ve never shopped for a tent before, get ready to learn a lot. You may be surprised by the number of factors to consider when choosing a tent. It’s easy to get blown away by impressive features when you’re ready to buy, but if you do your homework you’ll be prepared to buy the best tent for your needs at the best price.
The right tent for your intended use adds to your enjoyment because you won’t have to struggle with compromises. Major factors to consider when defining the purpose include where you’ll be camping, how you’ll transport the tent, and how long you’ll stay in one location. There’s no such thing as one tent that serves all purposes, so the better you can define your needs, the higher your chances of finding the right tent.
The tent you’ll want for backpacking in potentially extreme weather conditions is not the same tent to set up for two weeks in a commercial campground near a beach in the summer. Weight matters, whether you’re walking, riding a bicycle, or transporting a tent in a vehicle.
It’s a lot easier to buy a tent for one or two people than it is for a crowd. Tents have rated capacities, but as the diagrams usually indicate, that means just enough room to fit sleeping bags on the floor. There are many scenarios when buying two or three smaller tents will be a better choice than trying to find one tent to hold everyone.
Camping in the summer requires a tent that provides privacy, protection from rain and bugs, and adequate ventilation. If you’re going to be camping in the winter, potentially during snowstorms, choose a four-season rated tent with protective materials that can withstand heavy wind, rain, and snow.
Get ready to compromise on tent material, because the more protective materials generally weigh more and come with higher price tags. For backpacking and mountaineering tents, the calculus is different, and you’ll pay more for the lightest weight materials that offer the best protection. Pay attention to the material used for tent poles, also considering strength, durability, and weight.
The little things will matter more the longer your camping trips. Rain flies are separate outer layers that help keep the inside of the tent dry and also can offer some protection from the sun and wind. Vestibules are short hatchway-style entries – usually without floors – where you can store wet boots and other gear. Extra doors are convenient when the tent is packed with people to lessen the chance of stepping on someone when you have to step outside the tent. Windows and screens in tents are primarily to aid ventilation, but be sure they don’t compromise rain protection. Other tent niceties can include pockets, gear lofts, and integrated LED lighting.
This point doesn’t relate to choosing a tent, but it’s the most important thing you can after you bring your new tent home. Practice setting your tent up at least once before you go on a trip with family or friends. The second or third time you put up a tent is usually much shorter and less frustrating than the initial effort. Some tents are literally a snap to erect, but more often, you’ll benefit from a little practice.
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