Choosing the right tent is essential for your festival. Here’s my review of the best festival tents which includes advice, tips and recommendations to help you make the right choice.
How Much to Spend
If you intend using your tent for camping at more than just the one-off festival then it’s best to spend a little extra and get a decent tent as they do need to be hardy to withstand differing weather conditions and the cheaper ones are not made for that purpose.
You don’t need a mountaineers quality tent but something that is going to withstand many days camping and won’t rot when packed away in the winter.
Tip! If you are going to be sharing a tent then clubbing together to buy a decent one that will last a few years is a good idea.
What Size Tent to Take to a Festival
Tent sizes tend to be specified by how many people can sleep in them i.e. 2 person tent. So if there are 2 of you, you might think a 2 person tent is adequate. But in my experience, that would mean 2 persons and no room for any of your camping gear, clothes etc.
So my advice would be to take a tent that will have room for the stated number of people to sleep in and will also have extra room for your gear. So a 2 person tent is ideal for 1 person + gear. A 3 person tent is ideal for 2 persons + gear etc.
Another thing to consider regarding tent size is that it needs to be something that you can put up fairly easily. You don’t want to be struggling on your own putting up a big tent.
Tip! Do not take a tent that is far too big for your needs as there will be likely limited camping space.
What Type of Tent to Take to a Festival
Tents will either need to have the poles inserted when putting them up, or you can pop-up tents with pre-fitted poles that spring open so are very easy to put up, but they do take a bit of practise getting them folded away again after use.
Tents with an outer-sheet are worth buying as they protect the inner tent and make sure you stay dry. They also provide an extra layer of insulation. Some tents may also be windproof and provide UV protection.
If you are sleeping on your own and want a budget tent then a 2 Person Tent like the one below should be adequate providing the weather is good. If you are considering buying a cheap tent, do ensure it comes with a ground sheet. If not, I recommend you buy a groundsheet or you will likely get cold and damp overnight.
The bigger tents are available in different shapes such as hexagon and can be a bit more elaborate such as having shelters at the entrance. Consider that to put up the bigger tents, will likely need more than 1 person.
Blackout Tents like the one below are becoming more popular and will help you avoid getting woken up by the daylight early in the morning.
Tents like the one above that have a porch are really useful as they give you somewhere to leave your muddy boots and rubbish etc. so leaves more room inside.
Festival Tent Recommendations
From talking to other campers and reading the festival forums, tents by these 3 brands come highly recommended:
Make sure you don’t turn up at your festival without all the necessary tent accessories.
Ensure you have the right number of Tent Poles and did not leave any behind from a previous festival.
Ensure you have enough Tent Pegs and a few spares
Consider taking a Light-weight Mallet to bang the tent pegs into hard ground
Tip! A few weeks before your festival, do a practise run of putting up your tent and packing it away. It will save you time at the festival and ensure your tent is still fit for purpose and that you have enough poles and pegs.
Tip! Having a unique identifier for your tent is invaluable when at night you are trying to find your tent amongst hundreds of other similar looking tents. Attach a flag or something similar.
Tip! After your festival, unpack your tent, wipe it down and let it thoroughly dry before packing it up again.
What happens to Tents Left Behind at Festivals?
Tents left behind at festivals usually go to landfill and not to charity as you may believe. Tents contain a considerable amount of plastic so you are doing no-one any favours by buying a cheap tent with the intention of leaving it behind after the festival.
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