Buying a Tent for a Festival

It’s hard to list the best tent for a festival as some festival goers take a minimalist approach and don’t mind roughing it a little with everything crammed into a small quick-pitch tent so they can travel light with everything strapped to their back.  Whilst other festival goers prefer a bit more comfort in a good size festival tent with decent living/storage area as well as a sleeping compartment – transporting all their kit on a heavy duty festival trolley.

What size festival tent to buy?  Firstly, you need you need to consider whether or not you’re taking a communal gazebo between your group and if so, more importantly, who’s going to carry it?  Gazebos are handy in wet weather but usually get wrecked by the end of a festival.  Consequently, a lot of festivals including Glastonbury ask you not to bring them now as so many get left behind.

Also, consider tent storage space for festival gear like food, drink, clothes, muddy festival wellies etc… and in wet weather, whether you want to be zipped up in a small tent before the bands start or at the end of the night or whether you want to look out and chat with your friends from a tent porch?

Sometimes, tent manufacturers only allow as little as 55cm width per person so check the dimensions on the tent floor plan carefully before you buy to be sure your tent has enough space.  We always recommend buying a slightly larger tent i.e. a 3 person tent for 2 people… especially if the tent you’re considering doesn’t have a porch or living area.

Tent Canopy Tent Extension

Tent Canopy Tent Extension

A tent with a large porch is ideal for storing and keeping dry muddy wellies, chairs, firewood etc… as is a tent tarp or tent canopy which is good way of extending a smaller basic tent.  A Vango Family Shelter also makes a lighter more compact alternative to a conventional bulky gazebo.

Below are some popular festival tent designs and tent terminology with a few pros and cons.

Single Skin Tents (SS) are usually slightly lighter to carry to a festival but as they don’t have an inner tent to create an insulation air layer between, they can sometimes suffer from condensation on the inside of the flysheet when temperatures drop at night.

Double Skin Tents (DS) have two fabric layers, a rainproof fly sheet (outer tent) and a breathable sleeping compartment (inner tent) to create that all important insulation air layer.

Vango Pop 300DLX Pop-Up Tent Black

Vango Pop 300DLX Pop-Up Tent

Pop-up/Quick-Pitch Tents like the name suggests spring out as soon as you release a retaining strap.  Quick-pitch and pop-up tents are always disc shaped when packed which can sometimes be a little bit awkward to carry so check the pack size before you buy. There is also a bit of a knack to packing them away so always watch a video of how to repack your particular tent and practise a couple of times before you get to the festival or your new tent could be one of those destined for landfill.

It is also worth noting that poles in quick-pitch tents are integral so cannot be repaired or replaced if damaged.

Dome Tents are very straight forward to pitch and take down in 10 minutes or so and pack sizes are usually more compact compared to a quick-pitch tent.  The separate parts of a dome tent (poles, flysheet, inner tent and pegs) can also be shared out between 2 or 3 people to lighten the load – just make sure everyone looks after their particular part.  Dome tents like the Sunflower 3 Dome Tent for example usually always have a porch area that’s big enough to store muddy festival wellies and a few other bits in.

Tunnel Tents like dome tents are easy to pitch and separate parts can be split up.  Tunnel tents usually have larger storage/living areas which can be really useful in wet weather.  Vis a Vis type tunnel tents like the Highlander Cypress 4 Person Festival Tent are perfect for 4 people sharing as they have 2 person sleeping compartments at each end offering a bit of privacy and a large central living area.

Gelert Cabana 4 Festival Tent

Gelert Cabana 4 Festival Tent

Tepee type tents like the Gelert Cabana 4 are generally a bit heavier pack size but very cool tents with large living areas and good standing height space.  Gelert are also now offering a 2 person version of this tent – the Cabana 2 which is available in the Wave Dimension design and vibrant Apricot.

Inflatable Tents Vango have revolutionised camping with the AirBeam range of inflatable tents and campervan awnings that can be easily pitched/pumped-up by one person in just 3 minutes.  No messing about threading tent poles through pole sleeves – Vango AirBeams use strong inflatable tubes (air beams) that simply pump-up to create a very stable tent structure.

Vango AirBeam Inflatable Tent

Vango AirBeam Inflatable Tent

Simple one person pitching, no poles to snap with an inner tent that has dark ‘lights out’ fabric reducing the amount of early morning light inside the sleeping area – AirBeam tents were made for festival camping!

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12. August 2013 by funkyleisure
Categories: Festival Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We aree a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a
    outstanding job!

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