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Tent Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Tent for You and Your Family

Do you know the difference between the camping trip of a lifetime and a miserable, soggy weekend? Finding the right tent.

A tent isn’t just a tent. Today, they range from bare-bones to spacious with all (well, some) of the comforts of home.

Whether you’re headed out to conquer lonely trails or you’re camping in the backyard with your kids, our tent buying guide will help you find the perfect tent for your next adventure.

Tent Buying Guide: 4 Things to Look for in a Tent

There are four essential factors to consider when you’re sorting through the tents available on the market.

  1. Season
  2. Capacity
  3. Features
  4. Accessories

Let’s break them down one by one:


Season refers to the tent’s weather rating: will it keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather?

Most tents are three-season tents designed to cover the basics: they keep you dry during showers, warm at night, and protected from bugs and other pests. They’re also the perfect tents to bring to North Texas Jellystone Park™️!

However, a three-season tent isn’t appropriate for winter camping because the fabric won’t stand up to the elements. If you’re camping during the winter months or in volatile conditions, you’ll want to pick up an extended-season tent, which will keep you safe even when there’s snow on the ground.

Is your next camping trip one your friends call “crazy”? You’ll need a four-season tent. These models differ in materials and design because the fabric traps heat inside your tent and the rounded dome prevents snow from collecting and crushing your tent.


Choosing the appropriate season is reasonably straightforward, but the second most crucial element, capacity, is tricky for unseasoned campers. The camping industry hasn’t come together to define an industry standard for tent capacity, which leaves you putting together a rough estimate.

You’ll choose a tent according to the maximum number of people sleeping in it. But you also need to factor in your gear: heavy packers will need a bigger tent or a tent with more storage solutions.

Tip: Are you claustrophobic? Maybe you’re taller or wider than the average camper? Size up the tent by one person for a bit of extra comfort.


There’s a lot to cover under the umbrella of features. Here are the most essential tent features:

  • Poles
  • Materials
  • Walls
  • Vestibules
  • Ventilation
  • Rainfly
  • Floors

To be brief, choose your tent after examining what features each model offers. Look for the right number of doors, plenty of ventilation, a rainfly, and durable materials.

Keep an eye out for aluminum poles and prioritize them over fiberglass poles; and remember, fewer poles means faster set-up but less stability.


A good tent can be made better with the right accessories, so don’t discount the value of the gadgets offered by tent manufacturers.

Here are a few bits of gear that make camping even easier:

  • Footprints
  • Carpets
  • Mallets
  • Windbreaks
  • Porches
  • Canopies

When a tent comes with one or more of these accessories, you’ll find setting up, maintaining, and living in your tent not only more comfortable but more enjoyable.

Get Packing for Your Next Camping Trip

Our tent buying guide shows you not only what to look for in a great tent but just how easy it is to find a tent for your next camping trip.

The right tent will make your camping trip in central Texas and beyond comfortable for the whole family. Where will you go next?

You can take your next camping trip sooner than you think. Click here to book your tent site at North Texas Jellystone Park™️.