When going on a camping trip, a tent is the most essential item you bring with you. Whether it’s festival camping, wild-camping, or family camping, a tent will offer you protection and cover when you go to sleep. Easy to set up quickly in any location, whether it’s rocky peaks or sandy beaches, a freestanding tent will make your experience better. Unlike a non-freestanding tent, a freestanding tent doesn’t rely on being staked down to keep it secure and stable.
Freestanding tents are usually heavier than non-freestanding tents. Ultimately, the sacrifice of carrying a few extra pounds is worth it as freestanding tents allow you to set up on any flat surface with ease. However, choosing a freestanding tent can be a difficult process even if you are an experienced camper.
To make it easier to sift through the wide selection of freestanding tents and understand what to look for in a high-quality tent we have created a buying guide to go with our list of top freestanding tents. Check out our list of the 10 best freestanding tents in 2021 to discover the best options available on the market and find the right fit for you.
How To Choose A Freestanding Tent – Buying Guide
There are many different types of camping tents including glamping tents, canvas tents, teepee tents, and truck tents. One of the most user-friendly designs of whatever type of tent you go for is the freestanding tent. Whether you are camping with kids or camping with a baby, a freestanding tent is the best way to easily set up at the campsite. If you know how to repair a tent, how to store a tent, and have a guide for cleaning your tent, the best freestanding tent will serve its purpose and last you for years without failing. When it comes to choosing the best freestanding tent there are many different designs and features for you to choose from. To help guide you in your choosing process, we have gathered all the relevant factors to consider when purchasing a freestanding tent.
Ventilation is an important part of a tent because it can keep you from overheating in the warmer months and keep you dry in the winter months. Stuffy tents are the worst to sleep in, so being able to catch a summer breeze can help you rest easy. In winter, condensation is the enemy. Your body heat against the colder outside temperatures can lead to water forming on the inside of your tent. By having good ventilation in your tent, you will stay dry as your tent won’t have the chance to condense.
Most freestanding tents will have heavy-duty poles for stability. Normally, there will be two or three poles that cross over and are anchored on the outside of the tent’s walls inside a sleeve or via clips. Tent poles that are secured using a sleeve are stronger than those that clip on using plastic or Velcro. The best tent poles will be wind-resistant and can hold the weight of snow.
In general, freestanding tents tend to be smaller because they are trying to save space and weight. You will find true freestanding tents in 1 – 8-person capacities, but it is not uncommon to see larger products. Often larger 10-person tents will need more support for the structure and are less likely to be freestanding, needing staking to support a rigid structure. You should be realistic about your needs in terms of interior space, especially if you are camping as a pair. You might have to accept being a little cramped with your adventuring partner if you for a freestanding backpacking tent.
Number of Doors
The bottom line is you will have at least one door however some tent designs have two doors. A two-door tent can be a welcome relief when you are sharing the space with another person. It’s easier for each person to come and go on their side which is great if anyone needs to get up in the night. Dome tents may also have a vestibule in their door design which can give you more gear storage space.
There are many different materials to choose from. Waterproof tents are important for staying dry and a freestanding tent is no exception. Your tent material must be strong, durable, and water-resistant. Common tent materials include ripstop nylon, polyester, and canvas. If you are hoping to explore the outdoors in wintertime, it is best to choose a slightly thicker material for added protection, canvas tents are great for this as they offer better insulation. You can also learn how to waterproof a tent if you need more protection to stay dry.
Related Review: Waterproof Tent
The simplest and most reliable freestanding tent design is the dome tent because it is durable against weather conditions and provides as much space as possible. Dome-shaped tents are extremely popular choices with campers because they offer easy setup and are generally cheaper than more complex structures. On the other hand, there is also a wedge shape. The wedge, like a dome shape, is resistant to weather conditions however it may not give as much overhead space as a dome would.
Depending on the freestanding tent design, you may need to know what a tent footprint is and know how to use it. Some freestanding tents will have a built-in floor and others will require a separate footprint to keep you protected from groundwater.
Q: What is a Freestanding Tent?
A freestanding tent is a tent that uses only tent poles to support its structure. Freestanding tents do not need to be supported by tent stakes or ropes although it is advised. You can tie down the tent for extra support if needed, but it is not necessary if you are keeping heavy items inside and the wind conditions are fair. Freestanding tents are convenient because they only need a flat surface to be pitched and you can easily move a constructed tent around the campsite if needed.
Freestanding tents may have multiple designs that can be used for various types of camping. You will find summer tents for hot weather camping, winter tents for the colder months, backpacking tents for hiking, family tents, and much more.
Related Review: Summer Tent
Q: What are the Benefits of Using a Freestanding Tent?
Freestanding tents make camping easier because you can pitch a temporary shelter anywhere where there’s a flat surface. There is less fuss with the setup because they don’t require as much staking to hold their structure. Overall, freestanding tents are a convenient, fast, and quick temporary shelter that can be set up in a variety of locations.
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The best freestanding tents will make your adventure in the wilderness easier. Even if you are attempting to pitch-up in the rain, you will feel confident setting up a freestanding tent. The freedom to set up your tent in almost any location, and not having to form the shape by fiddling around with ropes and stakes is a major stress reliever. If you know exactly what you want or need, you can save time and money by investing in a top-rated freestanding tent.
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Do you own one of the freestanding tents that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your outdoor needs in the comments section below.