Tent poles are the backbone of your tent, responsible for its structural support. Because of this, they have a huge impact on its overall performance. But what do you do if they get damaged? Instead of buying a new tent, you should think about getting new tent poles. A set of high-quality poles might make your tent even better!
When looking for the best tent poles, make sure that they are lightweight, suit your tent, and are made of high-quality materials. Also, the best tent poles should be easily adjustable. These key features will ensure that the poles firmly hold the tent body up, providing shelter for you and your gear.
To make your hunt easier, our 10 Best Tent Poles in 2021 article gives you all the tips and tricks you need when buying. The poles we chose will make the tent set up quicker and easier, leaving you with more time to explore and enjoy the outdoors.
How To Choose Tent Poles – Buying Guide
The main function of tent poles is to hold and stabilize your tent. That being said, poles that support a tarp or awning are different from poles used to support a tent. Compared to tarp poles, tent poles are thinner, allowing you to thread them through pole sleeves. The sections are joined by small ferrules, creating an overlap between pieces. They often have a shock cord inside that keeps the pieces together.
If you need new tent poles to replace broken sections, you must always measure their length and thickness. By doing this, you are making sure that your replacement kit will be compatible with your old set of poles.
Unlike standard tent poles, the type of pole used for stabilizing a tarp or awning usually has a fixed design. Alternatively, they have a telescopic design or come in separate pieces (like standard tent poles). Tarp poles are placed on solid ground, and most come with a rubber foot to provide extra grip.
Two important factors influence the size of your tent poles. The first (and main) thing to consider is the size of the tent you need to support. The other is the actual size of your poles (how easy they are to transport).
If you are replacing broken tent poles, make sure they are the same as the old ones. On the other hand, if you need to support a tarp or awning, you want to make sure that the tent poles can extend to the desired height.
As we mentioned earlier, you also need to think about the size of the poles when packed. Even if they are a perfect fit for your tent, they might prove to be inconvenient to pack and carry. For example, if you are going to use your poles for backpacking, it’s better to get tent poles that break down into many shorter sections. In light of this, the best tent poles are those that are easy to transport (among other things).
The most common materials used for tent poles are fiberglass and aluminum. Fiberglass poles are budget-friendly and offer a good amount of strength to your tent. They do have their downsides too. Fiberglass is extremely flexible however a fiberglass pole will break under immense pressure (making it very hard to fix). To make sure this doesn’t happen, fiberglass tent poles are generally thicker and heavier compared to aluminum.
On the other hand, aluminum poles are significantly lighter. Instead of snapping clean when bent too far, they will likely bend. This isn’t ideal, but it is better than a complete break as you’ Besides, it’s much easier to replace a broken section on an aluminum pole. Besides the materials we mentioned, you will also stumble upon steel or carbon fiber tent poles. Steel poles are incredibly strong, but campers are put off by their weight. Carbon fiber tent poles are both lightweight and strong but can be pretty expensive.
The weight of the tent poles is an important factor to consider because they won’t be the only gear you have to carry. For this reason, you should always go for a lighter set (when possible). Of course, this is more important for backpackers than for car campers.
Generally speaking, the weight depends on the pole size and the materials used to make it. If you’re weight-conscious, aluminum (or even carbon fiber) is a good way to go. Naturally, longer tent poles with more pieces are going to weigh more too.
Fixings lock the pole and prevent it from collapsing (or breaking apart). Because of this, you should give them some attention when choosing (especially if you need a freestanding pole). There are several types of fixings available and not all of them are equally secure.
For example, most regular tent poles have sliding joints that are held together by a shock cord inside. This is not the best solution for a freestanding pole. As an alternative, you can get a telescopic pole that is extremely easy to adjust. However, these can collapse if you don’t tighten them properly. This is why push-button fixing is probably the best for securely locking the pole in a freestanding situation.
As you had the chance to see, there are two main types of poles. The first is a standard tent pole — a flexible pole used to stabilize the structure of your tent. The other is a standalone (freestanding) pole, used to hold a tarp or awning. These can’t be used interchangeably, so you have to know which one you need before buying. A tent pole won’t have the strength required to support a tarp, while a standalone pole doesn’t have the flexibility for holding a tent.
Pole strength is directly related to the materials used to make it. This is why the strongest poles are made of metal. While steel is the strongest, most campers avoid it because of its weight. On the other hand, aluminum offers the perfect balance of strength and weight, making it probably the best choice for backpackers. Fiberglass is also fairly strong but, when overloaded, it will snap rather than bend.
Durability is a very important requirement when buying a new set of poles — you don’t want them breaking like the old ones. Build-quality and materials generally determine durability, and it’s worth investing a bit more if you know that it will last. This way you’ll get tent poles that can withstand the battering of frequent use. The best tent poles will be durable enough to withstand years of use without breaking.
Q: Why Should I Use a Tent Pole?
You should use a tent pole because it gives your tent support and structure. You can think of tent poles as the skeleton of your tent. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to put up and use the tent.
Q: How Can I Tell What Type of Tent Pole I Need?
It depends on the type of tent you have. A standard freestanding tent needs flexible poles that have the exact size as the old ones. However, if you’re lifting a tarp or awning, you want a standalone pole that is adjustable and firm enough to support the structure.
Q: Can I Repair a Tent Pole?
Yes. For an emergency repair, there are small metal splints that can be used to connect the pole temporarily until you can find a replacement. Keep in mind that trying to repair a broken pole can make it less structurally sound and further weaken it. If you want peace of mind, it’s always best to remove the broken tent pole and replace it with a new one.
Q: How Do I Know How Much Weight My Poles Can Take?
The most certain way of knowing is if the manufacturer specifies the weight capacity. Most poles should be able to easily support a tent or tarp. Remember that tent poles are built to support a fabric-like material that is relatively light. If you need to support a heavier tent, aluminum and carbon fiber are much better options than fiberglass.
Q: What’s the Best Tent Pole Material?
Aluminum is considered the best tent pole material by many campers. It’s super-lightweight, flexible, and durable. On the other hand, steel poles are the strongest, while carbon fiber poles are the lightest.
Q: How Do You Pack Tent Poles?
It’s best to pack the poles in a separate bag, away from the tent. This prevents them from bending and makes it easier to pack the tent itself. If you have steel poles, make sure they are completely dry before packing them (prevents corrosion). Also, avoid pressing on the poles too much, especially if they are made of aluminum.
Globo Surf Overview
Finding the best tent poles allows you to set up the tent faster and make it more stable. Whether you need a replacement pole for a tent or you’re setting up a tarp shelter, there’s no substitute for quality. As you had the chance to see, the best tent poles are made of high-quality materials so they can support your tent in any weather condition. Hopefully, the information in our article has helped you figure out what you need, so you can get the best tent poles that will last for many camping adventures.