Types of Camping Tents Part 1: The Standards




If you haven’t guessed it from the title, welcome to our blog series on camping tents!  In this four-part blog series, we’re going to be discussing the many different types of tents that have emerged over the years and identify the unique characteristics of each variety.  Tents have been around as far back as the Iron Age, after all!  So get ready. We’re going to be digging into this topic camper-style!

The Ridge Tent

ridge tent

Hello nostalgia, it’s nice to see you!  That is what we’d say to the classic, old-fashioned tent style known as the ridge tent.  These tents are one of the oldest and most widely-used design across many countries and cultures throughout the ages.  Known for both for their practicality and easy assembly, ridge tents get their prism-like shape  from two polls at each end held upright through a series of staked tethers, connected by a long cross poll at the apex of the roof known as a ridge (hence the name ridge tent).  These tents are perfect…for sleeping.  But since the modern camper likes to get up and walk around, this tent has fallen in popularity.

The Dome Tent

dome tent

Welcome to the new standard of tentsmanship, otherwise known as the dome dent!  These tents get their name from the large domed structure that’s formed when two flexible   fiberglass poles are crisscrossed together through fabric loops, forming two half-circles for support.  The tension of the poles spreads out the tent fabric, and poof!  You have your own room in the wilderness!  Unlike ridge tents, domed tents allow for much greater headroom and stability, and their relatively simple and inexpensive design has careened them into major popularity among campers.  One of the largest downsides of the domed tent however is stability, as the dome makes for a handy windsock with only two poles supporting the frame, and is made worse as tent size increases.
Instant/Quick-Pitch Tents

Quick Pitch Tents

quick pitch tents

Just like the name implies, quick-pitch tents are tents that are designed to be deployed almost instantly to satisfy the impatient camper.  With this design a long, coiled frame is sewn right into the tent fabric that springs outward when force is applied in specific areas.  With some models it’s possible to toss the entire tent into the air and have it fully deploy before it hits the ground!  When these tents were first introduced they were limited to small sizes and not made of durable materials, suited mostly for good-weather camping and then not very long.  Today these tents have come a long way in quality and style, having inner-tents and separate rooms for as many as five to six people.  Many camping families have one in their arsenal for their children, who can easily deploy it on their own while mom and dad deploy the main living space.

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