Festival season is well and truly in full flow and enthusiastic festival goers are on the lookout for the best festival gear – particularly an awesome festival tent. Whether you’re looking forward to V, Download or the Isle of Wight Festival, finding the best festival tent to suit your specific needs is easier than ever given the many options available on the market today.
But deciding on one requires careful consideration of those needs that must be met, including variables like space, transportability and, of course, price. Before making an actual purchase, first recognise exactly what you would like from your ideal festival tent, then test your options by visiting a retailer and make adjustments where necessary.
Comfortability, before, during and after your festival trip, is of paramount importance when choosing a festival tent, so the more considerations you make, the greater the chance you’ll enjoy an amazing festival.
SIZE AND SPACE
Thinking about the size and space that a festival tent offers serves multiple purposes. This is potentially the most important aspect to think about. Getting it right saves a lot of bother. But why is this the case? Why can’t we just get a big tent and skip the particulars?
Firstly, you need to think about how many people will be sharing the tent with you? Often times, buyers underestimate this requisite, possibly listening to the manufacturer’s approximation and end up buying a product that is inefficiently large are too small. Ideally, it’s best to opt for a festival tent that can provide an additional half a person worth of space, but in the absence of such a specific measurement, the general rule of thumb is to buy a tent with a capacity suitable for one person more than the amount of people you plan on housing. For example, if you’re planning on bunking with one other person, then buy a 3 berth (person) tent, instead of just the 2 berth. This should allow adequate space to accommodate your sleeping arrangements, as well as your belongings in the additional empty compartment/space.
Next, ask yourself whether you’d like a tent with enough to stand or sit in. This will come in handy for attire changes and just general lounging during the inevitable deluges experienced during the British summertime. Whilst a smaller tent can load light and is generally more compact, it doesn’t afford much liveable space and, trust us, you’ll definitely miss it when you really need it.
With all this in mind, invite all prospective occupants along to test the tent out before buying just to be sure. Bring any equipment and see whether it all fits well with all occupants inside. If you’re feeling like tinned sardines, then get a size bigger.
Remember, however, nobody wants to be responsible for lugging around a huge tent for the group. There are two ways of avoiding this: either buy smaller tents and split the group, or make arrangements to use a vehicle for transporting bigger tents.
How do you plan on getting your tent from A to B when necessary? Do you plan on carrying it yourself or will you be using a vehicle to transport it? More often than not, particularly with restricted camp space or campsites located some distance from where you’ve parked, festival tents have to be highly portable.
It goes without saying that a compact tent is easier to transport. A festival tent that packs well, reducing to a manageable size before fitting neatly into a backpack or additional bag, will make life a whole lot easier after the long journey to the site.
It’s also likely that you will be carrying many other items along with your tent, so the weight can’t be overbearing. Various features can affect how heavy a tent is, but none more so than the fabrics used to manufacture the tent. Tents that incorporate a lot of polyester and mesh material are typically lighter than one that uses cotton or canvas. Fortunately, most tents nowadays are designed to provide great structural integrity and protection whilst remaining compact.
The best festival tents will boasts simple pitching methods and a short pitching time. If it takes more than half an hour to pitch, it’s not a good choice – even if it is a larger tent. Easy pitching means that you spend less time getting acclimated and more time partying. It can also mean that you’re having to transport less heavy duty items making for a lighter load.
Pop-up tents are quick to erect but there’s a compromise on stability and sturdiness with them sometimes. There are plenty of quick-pitch options that make for outstanding festival tents. These tents are essentially foldable tents on hinges that can be expanded. They offer a much more rigid structure but can cost significantly more than the average pop-up.
Don’t push your luck with regards the British weather. It changes at the drop of a hat. One minute it’s nicer than Marbella, the next, it’s washing that sun-kissed smile off of your face. Always expect the worst when looking for a festival tent.
The best festival tents will come as a tent, inner and groundsheet combo. They’ll be waterproofed; equipped with features such as taped seams and a high hydrostatic head rating. The hydrostatic head is the amount of water pressure that a tent’s outer layer can withstand before water begins leaking through. A good benchmark is 2000mm though a more common ratting is 1500mm, and on most occasions, that will suffice. Dome tents, with their rounded shape, are particularly effective at dispelling rain and repelling gusty winds.
Heat and condensation can also become an issue too – whether it’s creating humid conditions or intense condensation that begins to leak through the inner tent. Modern tents are perfectly attuned to prevent this using vents and additional doorways that allow the user to control the temperature of the tent better now. So there’ll be no sweat fests to worry about at the peak of the summer after an exhausting day of dancing.
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
This isn’t just about owning one of the cool tents at the festival; having a highly distinguishable tent amongst the rabble genuinely serves a necessary purpose. You have to remember that there are going to be thousands of tents cramped together in a single space, so you want to be able to find your tent again in the dark whenever you leave it to go to the stages, amenities or anywhere else. This gives you an amazing excuse to purchase the gaudiest product you’ve ever had the audacity to buy and people won’t look down on you for it.
You’ve made it through the bawdy weekend. But perhaps you plan on attending several more. You need to be sure that you have a festival tent that has the quality to keep up with your raucous lifestyle. The best festival tents will be simple to maintain and offer the same level of comfort and protection despite the wear they may endure.
- Hydrostatic head: 1500mm
- Popular retro design
- Fun colour
- Quick and easy to pitch
- Full mesh door