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Choosing a Family Tent

Tältcampingguide - Att välja familjetält

When choosing a tent, you should consider the size, design and how frequently the tent will be used. If you are a beginner or just want to camp on one specific occasion, you could go for something simpler. If you on the other hand are planning to camp for longer periods of time, you should focus on tents in the higher price ranges, since the difference in comfort can be substantial.

What to Consider when Choosing a Family Tent

  • That the tent has a canvas where floor and canvas are sewn togehter
  • That the tent has adequate ventilation
  • That there are windows that let in a good amount of light in the living area
  • Bring warm sleeping bags and good mattresses/sleeping pads – a good sleep can be the difference between a bad and good camping experience.

You can find our family tents here.

Properties of the Tent

The amount of family tents and equipment to choose from on the market is almost infinite. Here we have chosen to look at the aspects that we find most important when preparing for a camping trip.

Size and Construction

Some of the first things to consider when choosing a tent is the size of your family, luggage space, budget and whether you need extra compartments for storage. For most people, we recommend a tent that is big enough for the amount of people in your family. For those who want some extra space for equipment or a friend of the kids, it might be a good idea to pick a tent with space for one extra sleeping pad. If you have older kids, it might also be worth to look at how many rooms you want in the tent. There are tents with one extra room at the front, which works as both a family room and a sheltered outdoor area with an open door, or as a storage for bikes, stroller or other equipment you might not want inside the tent.


The fabric or flysheet/canvas has a huge impact on the comfort and properties of the tent. All tents we sell have completely rainproof flysheets. The thing that primarily differs between expensive and cheap tents is how well the flysheet isolate, how noisy they are and wind resistance. One thing that we find extra important when choosing a family tent is:

  • That the floor and outer flysheet are fully connected (even in the living room/vestibule). This can make a huge difference on your camping experience during days with poor weather or at nights. It protects against cold draughts, bugs, reduces condensation and reduces the risk of water entering the tent if it rains.

If you want a really good indoor climate you should go for a polycotton tent, i.e. a tent with a cotton canvas. Polycotton is a thicker material with properties that protect against both heat and cold. You also avoid the otherwise expected “tent smell” during hot days. For those of you who rent camping places seasonally or rent out tents to others, cotton canvas is considered a better choice due to higher durability.

Tent Poles

The construction and material of the tent poles determine how the tent handles wind. It also affects the weight and how easy the tent is to assemble. 

Steel Poles::
Provide a more stable tent and enable a higher ceiling height since the poles often are bent at the roof. The drawback is that they weigh more than glass fiber poles.

Fiber Glass Poles::
Lightweight and simple to assemble. There can be a big difference between different tents when it comes to the stability and durability of the poles, which is why the quality of the poles and canvas warrant price differences between similar tent models.

Inflatable Poles/Air tubes::
Very simple and smooth to assemble. Also has high wind resistance. They are somewhat more expensive but for short camping trips or for camping with kids, it is very convenient. If nothing else, it is a good solution to avoid fighting while assembling the tent.


To get a good indoors climate you should pick a tent with ventilation systems that are:

  • Proper and pass through the entire tent.
  • Adjustable so that the airway can be adjusted according to the outdoor temperature.
  • Check which of the doors has mosquito nets (it often shows on the dotted lines on the line drawing that marks sleeping pads). This is especially important when camping in hot climates.


Family Room/Linving area

The family room or vestibule is the room that often provides standing height and where you spend time together inside the tent. If you have the opportunity you should pick a tent that includes:

  1. A family room that can hold a table and chairs for the family.
  2. Proper windows that lets in light. It is also nice to be able to look out without opening the door.
  3. Where the floor is connected to the canvas (you avoid water, cold draughts and bugs in the family room).


Bedrooms/Inner Tent

The bedrooms are often dividable for when you want to separate the family at night. For longer camping trips it might be a good idea to choose a tent with one extra spot in order to get more storage or just to make it feel less overcrowded. You usually count for 60cm per person when you dimension tents, i.e. one extra space can often be a good investment. It is also good to measure the bedroom to make sure your mattresses or sleeping pads fit.


What Differs Between Expensive and Inexpensive Tents

More expensive family tents usually have stronger canvases with better isolation against heat during hot days and cold during cold days. They generally make less noise and rustle less. The poles and attachments are often also more solid which gives greater stability against wind.

Choosing the Camping Equipment

Inflatable Mattress or Sleeping Pad

When it comes to the choice between sleeping pads and inflatable mattresses, we recommend choosing a mattress with a thickness of at least 20cm, or a sleeping pad with 5cm to lay comfortably even on the side. If you are on the heavier side, the sleeping pad should be at least 7.5cm to lay comfortably on the side.

Most people prefer inflatable mattresses because they give the most comfort for the money spent. Do not forget to bring an air pump though. The downside to mattresses is that they have worse isolation and are not as stable as sleeping pads. One way to tackle the worse isolation is to wrap the mattress in a blanket.

If you camp with very small children who want to lay beside a parent, the sleeping pad is a better choice due to its stability. With an inflatable mattress there is a higher risk of the child gliding towards/under the parent when sharing a mattress.

Check the measurements of the bedroom so that the mattresses fit the tent.

Sleeping Bags

If you camp with a car, a camping sleeping bag is preferable. It makes it easier to move around and it can be opened to be used as a sleeping blanket during very hot nights. They do, however, take up more space in the luggage. There are also double sleeping bags for those who want to share sleeping space. Easy to wash sleeping bag liners may also be a good investment since they slightly improve isolation during cold nights.


The most important part of choosing camping furniture is the size. Packing the car is most of the time a struggle even without furniture. If you cannot fit traditional camping chairs and tables, there are nowadays comfortable tables and chairs that are very mobile. They can be a bit more expensive and may not be as comfortable but it clears up a lot of space in the car.


Many campers stick to the camping sites and choose to cook food at the camp sites service house. All you need for that is a frying pan and a pot. If you want to cook by the tent, we recommend using a portable gas stove with grill or two burners, and preferably a bench to put it on and surfaces to put accessories and ingredients. A traditional camping kitchen is of course also a good choice, but it is not very comfortable to cook while squatting at the ground using one plate instead of two. Also remember to bring a tub to carry dishes to the service house.

For those of you who camp at camping sites with electric hook-ups, a cool box is a very good accessory. Even for those who plan to primarily eat at restaurants could benefit from having basic goods and breakfast in the tent.

What to consider when choosing stove

  • If you are cooking for an entire family, the stove should have an output of at least 1800W.
  • Check if the stove needs a gas can and regulator or if it uses disposable bottles.
  • If you camp with a car and choose a stove with gas canisters, we usually recommend the camping canisters with an M14-regulator since they are easy to pack.


Camping with Children

Most children love to sleep in tents. Most camping sites offer, in an addition to a lot of other kids, activities in the form of playgrounds, pools and other activities for children. To get the most out of the camping trip, it is a good idea to also bring toys, games, puzzles and more for rainy days. If not, there is a high chance that things get boring. Also make sure to bring flashlights and/or a tent lamp. If small children are joining the trip, you might want to bring a sleeping bag that is easy to wash. An extra sleeping bag and blanket might also help in case an accident happens.

We hope our tips have helped you plan your camping trip. If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will do our best to help you.

Produced by: Wikinggruppen

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