Which Tent Best Fits Your Outdoor Personality?

There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors, from the ounce saving thru-hiker to the car camping family of four, there’s a wilderness for everyone. Find your perfect tent by determining your outdoor style.

The Ultra-Lite Extremist

You’re a gram-counting champ. The spreadsheets with your gear combinations and weight would rival that of a Wall Street analyst. But you know what? Perhaps you’re a thru-hiking champion or you enjoy a good cowboy tent. Either way, you go lighter, so you can go further.

You’re perfect tent: Light and fast. You want something that’s going to keep you dry but not bog you down. Your perfect tent may not even be a tent at all, but a tarp system that gives you the option to set up your ideal camp anywhere on a moment’s notice. Or maybe you’ll just opt to sleep under the stars.

which tent is right for me?

The Backpacking Power Couple

When five o’clock on Friday hits, you toss up your papers and spin out of your desk like a kid on summer vacation. The car is already packed and you’re ready to hit the trail with your significant other. Weight matters, but you aren’t out to finish the Triple Crown. You enjoy spending your hard-earned weekends covering mileage on the trail.

Your perfect tent: Just because you love to backpack doesn’t mean you want to spend your nights snuggling without a bug net for protection. You understand that certain elements (ahem, doors) are required for a successful weekend outside. Your ideal tent isn’t too heavy and isn’t too light, it’s jussst right. You need the extra room for your boo and Fido too!

The Family of Car Camping Connoisseurs

Pack your bags, grab the kids, it’s time to go! Your camp always looks like a five-star wilderness experience. You can whip up a Pinterest-perfect camp meal for the kids in a flash. Once you step onto your campsite the kids roam free and you can set up your palatial estate. The kids often have friends in tow because you’re the cool parents who prefer their kids to have sleepovers in a tent. It’s exhausting but gathering around the fire for s’mores and story time makes it so worth it.

Your perfect tent: Everyone needs their space, even if that means you’ll be sharing your tent with countless young ones. Weight makes no difference, it’s all about how easy it is to put up and can the kiddos jump around once the cots are in there. You would rather have a tent that fits the whole clan comfortably, so you can keep the peace.

The Casual Weekender

You love the outdoors, but only camp a handful of times a year and that’s because you do it in style. Forget the uncomfortable, bare-bones backpacker, you want a little luxury in your life. Your camping excursions usually involve a few friends, pristine views and some laughs around a campfire under the open sky. You don’t get hardcore because the wilderness is meant for relaxing, not suffering.

Your perfect tent: You don’t need to spend all the extra cash to get the most ultra-lightweight tent on the market. Instead, opt for something that’s easy to assemble and provides plenty of ventilation. You’re tired of that city air and prefer to feel the cool mountain breeze while you sleep.

The Peak Bagger

You’ve got one thing on your mind and that’s a healthy dose of Vitamin L. Your ideal weekend out is setting up a base camp in a dramatic cirque and make your way to the highest point you can find. Gargantuan gains, long mileage and sore muscles sound like music to your ears. The mountains are calling, and you must climb them.

Your perfect tent: There’s a saying in the mountaineering world, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. You need a tent that does double-duty. It has to be durable to handle all of that technical gear, but light enough to not weigh you down. If you indulge in peak climbing in winter, you’ll likely need two tents one that can handle the sub-zero temps and a three-season backpacking tent that can take a beating.

how to pick a tent

There’s a tent for every type of camping enthusiast. Be sure to purchase a tent that aligns with your favorite way to camp. With so many tents to choose from, you might find yourself with two!

About the Author


Meg Atteberry

Meg ditched the 9-5 world as an architect in pursuit of adventure. Now a freelance writer for the outdoor industry, she’s made it her life’s work to inspire others to say “yes” to adventure. From the remote wilderness areas of Colorado, to exploring a foreign country, Meg specializes in off-beat destinations for the intrepid soul. You can find her in the backcountry searching for the perfect camp spot in her home of Colorado.