Have you ever come across a tent that seems to be the perfect size for you, purchased it and realized that there’s nowhere near enough room?
You’re not alone my friend.
I’ve done it, my friends have done it, aunts, uncles, and most probably my enemies as well 😛
However, luckily I will be talking about WHY manufacturers make these ridiculous claims when 6 people in a 6-person tent seems outrageous.
So let’s get right into it and see if tents are really designed to fit as many people as they claim to on the official product page.
A Perfect Example
Before I become a good camper, I was a real newbie – but hey, we all start somewhere, don’t we?
It was November 2008, and as most of you do, I scoured the internet for a good tent for the upcoming summer.
Now keep in mind, summer in New Zealand starts in December. I thought this gave me PLENTY of time to purchase one and get ready as we waited for it to arrive.
I purchased the Coleman Steel Creek for me and my friends to use.
The Coleman Steel Creek 6-Person Tent
Delivery took a long time since I’m all the way in New Zealand, so that was already expected.
I got the tent about a week after summer started, and we since we were all packed and ready, it was go time!
We took our cars and trucks to the public campsite and started getting everything ready.
Not Enough Room
So what happened when we got the tent setup?
There were 6 of us and we had a 6-person tent, so you’d think this will be fine wouldn’t it?
Well it definitely does hold 6 people, but we were literally lined up like sardines.
It was a VERY tight fit to say the least.
We were all touching, so there was no getting around that unless someone slept in the car, but even then it only gave us a little more room.
Why Do Manufacturers Do This?
I thought it was just the tent at first. I actually didn’t realize all tents were like this.
To cut a long story short, I purchased another two tents thinking it would have enough room, only to be let down when I was completely wrong on both occasions.
I finally came to the conclusion that manufacturers make their tents to fit people while they sleep like sardines.
What do I mean?
A 6-person tent can only fit 6 people, no more. And that’s with everyone touching.
Same as a 2-person tent, 3, 4, 5, and so on.
Because that’s exactly how they rate the size of their tents.
Manufacturers aren’t going to say a 4-person tent can fit 4 people and some gear, because they’ll just sell it as a 5-person tent.
Get what I mean now?
A Rule Of Thumb
If you’re camping with 2 people, consider getting a tent bigger than a 2-person if you want extra room for your gear.
Otherwise you might want to get a 2-person tent with a vestibule instead.
REMEMBER, go up a size or two depending on how much extra space you want.
Because at the end of the day, you’ll be lined up like sardines and squished up against everyone if you don’t get a tent bigger than the advertised size rating.
So are tents designed to fit the size rating?
Absolutely, but NEVER forget that everyone will be lined up like sardines when sleeping.
It’s not bad that manufacturers do this, it just makes it easier for them and everyone buying the tent to make a decision.
It is a basic outline on how many people can sleep in the tent, that’s it.
It gives you and I a better perspective on the real size of the tent.
I have no problems that they do this, but I know many people get confused by it, which is why I’m sharing what I know, here, with you.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Click the share button so your friends and family know what tent sizes are all about. Eliminate the confusion once and for all!
Alternatively, you can leave a comment below. I reply ASAP 🙂
1. Have you ever purchased a tent thinking everyone will fit easily but never did?
2. Are you currently on the lookout for a tent?