With so many high-quality tents on the market today, where should we start when thinking of buying a tent? There are several topics that should be considered before choosing your tent.
Design: How and when you plan to use your tent will determine the type of tent you want to buy. The various types of tents that you might consider are:
Dome: Simple design, usually two crossing poles which are bent into a dome shape, with flying sheets drawn from above and the inside pegged inside. You can get military equipment on rent through local shops or online stores.
Quite stable in bad weather, but will fight in strong winds. Generally cheaper than other designs, this dome is best suited for those looking for a straight tent for summer camping, maybe as a family vacation or at a festival.
Dome tents tend to accommodate 2-3 people, although a larger version can accommodate 4 or even 5. Vango Alpha 250 is a classic entry level dome tent.
Geodesic (or semi-geodesic): An expensive brother of a dome tent, the geodesic tent has a series of curved poled ergonomically designed to distribute tension from strong winds across the surface of the tent and down to the anchor point.
Poles generally rely on one another, to prevent excessive pressure at one point. These tents are stable like rocks even in terrible weather, and unlike tunnel tents can tolerate wind from all directions without much difficulty.
As a result, geodesic tents tend to be more expensive than other tents. Vango Hurricane 200, with four intersecting poles is one of the cheaper geodesics on the market, but don't expect much change from 200.
Only really needed by those who are on expedition or planning winter camping in hostile climates, but they will also look jealous at summer music festivals if you have money to spend.