There are so many different types of tents. Choosing the right type of tent for your camping trip can be such a hassle. If you are new to camping, you are probably wondering what difference it makes. A tent is a tent, right? Wrong, it’s usually not that simple. Think about it, a tent is designed to provide portable shelter, a very specific purpose. Something that varies greatly from one person to the next.
Consider factors such as the price range (which can be very different for different people), the camping environment, the number of people you want to accommodate, etc. These factors can lead to varying requirements for a camping tent. With that in mind, we take a look at the two most common types of camping tents: Inflatable Air Tents and Pole Tents. We highlight the pros and cons of each and when you’re done reading this article, you’ll know which option is best for your situation.
Inflatable Air Tents
Instead of plastic or metallic rods, inflatable tents use air tubes to prop up the tent. The inflatable tubes provide the structure of the tent, hence no need for bulky tent poles. Inflatable air tents are still new in the market and a lot of campers out there have yet to try them out. These minimalist on-demand shelters show a lot of promise due to the many benefits they offer.
Inflatable air tent - Pros
- Inflatable air tents are easy to set up! All you have to do is stretch out the corners and let the air flow. One person can set up an inflatable air tent in just a few minutes.
- Inflatable air tents still have a novelty "coolness" factor.
- Inflatable air tents don’t have any poles, so you don’t have to worry about breakages.
Inflatable air tent - Cons
- Inflatable air tents tend to be more expensive.
- To set up an inflatable air tent, you need an air pump. Check if this is included in your inflatable air tent purchase! (Wildcat Outdoor Gear includes an air pump with every inflatable air tent purchased.)
- Inflatable air tents tend to be heavier, due to there only being a single large piece.
The biggest advantage of an inflatable air tent is in the ease of setting up. No matter how bad you are at camping, you can never go wrong with an inflatable air tent! You can easily pitch the an inflatable air tent by yourself without experiencing major problems, even with a foot pump. You don’t need to bring another person to help you raise the tent or the other side of the pole.
A typical pole tent uses metallic or plastic rods to prop up the tent. Just like inflatable air tents, pole tents have their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the parts of a pole tent can be distributed between multiple bags, which makes them easier to carry when hiking to your campsite. On the downside, pole tents can be difficult to set up. For instance, you need to thread the poles into the tent and string out the guy lines to keep the tent up.
Pole Tent - Pros
- Easy to carry, you can often fit the tent in your backpack.
- Pole tents are inexpensive compared to the inflatable air tents.
- When it comes to pole tents, you can get a tent as big as you want.
Pole Tent - Cons
- Pole tents can be difficult to set up, probably not a good option if you are going camping by yourself.
- You can get a pole tent as big as you want, but the bigger the tent, the more people you need to pitch it.
- Pole tents tend to sustain damage easily during windy or stormy weather.
So, which type of camping tent should you choose? Well, that depends on a number of factors. As you can see, each type of tent has its advantages and disadvantages. Pole tents are generally less expensive than other types of tents. Therefore, it’s your best option if you are on a tight budget, but you need to have able-bodied company to help you with the setup. Inflatable air tents replace the rigid metallic or plastic poles with inflatable air poles, which come with advantages like easier set up and increased strength