Tent Buying Guide

Date Posted:7 June 2018 

A tent is the most important piece of camping equipment you will ever pack for your adventure.  Whether hiking in the mountains, a weekend at a Big4, 4WDing on Fraser Island or taking the family to a bush campground, you will need a good tent to bunker down in if the weather turns.  A good tent will protect you from the weather, insects and even wild animals.  It can also be used to protect your food and other gear.


There are many types of tents and they have many features.  Some may be relevant to you and others not so much.  Give some thought to what type of camping you will be doing, where and how often.  A good tent when cared for and stored properly will last you 10 plus years easily. It is also important to remember that a sleeping bag is what keeps you warm, not your tent.

We can’t cover all the aspects of tents and their varieties in one feature, so we will only focus on the primary aspects:

  • Ventilation
  • Price
  • Size
  • Fabrics
  • Weight
  • Types of tents
    • Swags
    • Domes
    • Geodesic Domes
    • Cabins
    • Fast Pitching Tents
    • Roof Top Tents


Ventilation is probably the single most important feature of a tent to look at. Ventilation controls a tent's waterproofing, temperature and reduces condensation.  For the last reason, it is important to allow some ventilation in your tent.  Different degrees of ventilation can be achieved through utilising the vents and netted windows.  Closing or opening some, or all of these will result in different ventilation of your tent.  Ensure you have pegged out your tent properly and left a gap between the inner tent and fly, or you can expect to be wet in the morning! 

The degree of ventilation you require will depend on the environment you camp in. If you do adventure camping in cold regions, less ventilation is best as you will be warmer and more waterproof.  However, the average Australian camper will most likely prefer greater levels of ventilation.

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