So lets be honest, a lot of tents on the market (both online and offline) are downright bad.
Although many are decent quality, there are a lot that shouldn’t have even pass the design stage.
Frankly, they get released to the public, bought and then fall over or leak in a sudden storm.
But then you get the tents that perform BEYOND expectations.
And that is exactly what I’ll be talking about today.
What a Flawless Tent is in a Perfect World
If we were in a perfect world–which we definitely are not, and far from–a flawless tent would be this:
- Keeps rain out no matter what
- Continues to stand even in the highest wind conditions
- Doesn’t break or bend in strong winds
- Lasts for 10+ years even with careless use
- Offers all the features you need plus more
Now in reality, I guarantee you will not find a tent that will do all these things.
Luckily there are actually good tents out there that will perform better than expected though.
My Personal Definition of a Flawless Tent
A “flawless” tent does NOT need absolutely nothing wrong with it to fit this category.
In fact, even if the stakes are bad but the weatherproofing and everything else is exceptional, I will class it as flawless.
One little con or fault does NOT outweigh the mass amounts of pros it offers.
Basically, if a tent has 1 minor and 1 major con, I will class it as an “okay” tent.
Therefore, a tent with 2-3 minor cons is “good”.
However, a tent with 1 minor con is absolutely flawless in my opinion.
On the flip side?
A tent with 2+ major cons is bad and you should stay away from it at all costs.
What are Major Cons?
A major con is what you’ll see when you check online feedback/reviews.
There will be a few minor issues and usually a big one (or 2).
The secret is to find the major con(s) and then figuring out if you can put up with it or not.
A major con will be something along the lines of:
- Bad water-resistance
- Bad wind-resistance
- Bad stitching
- Bad quality (poles bend easy even in low winds, floor rips easily, no durability, etc)
- Designs that worsen the tent rather than make it better (the MSR Flylite is great example)
And What’s a Minor Con?
A minor con is when the problem won’t be THAT bad.
- Bad stakes
- Minimal condensation buildup (any more than that and it turns into a major con)
- No storage pockets
- No vestibule
- Only 1 door
- Difficult or time-consuming to setup
- Not enough mesh fabric for stargazing or panoramic views
As you can see, these cons aren’t going to cause any major problems for you while you’re out in the great outdoors.
If a tent has bad stakes, so what. Spend a little more and get higher quality ones.
A lot of factory stakes are bad anyway.
A little condensation buildup isn’t going to flood your tent either. As long as it’s kept to a minimum it shouldn’t be an issue.
There are more important problems at hand; like your tent COMPLETELY leaking in the rain or blowing over in a storm at 2 in the morning!
This is all based on personal opinion, of course.
This is the result of my findings after the many years of camping, trying out new tents and putting reviews on my blog.
The reason you should not worry about minor cons is simply because no tent will be 100% perfect anyway.
It is better to use a tent with 2 minor cons than one with 1 major.
A rule of thumb: Major cons can make or break your total camping experience, whereas minor cons cause a nuisance only.
Thanks for reading.
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