Why it’s a good idea to read tent reviews before buying

The days are long gone when buying a tent meant buying some canvas and slinging it over a ridge pole.

I grew up in an era when tents were pretty much like that, which meant not many choices over which to agonize.

These days, tents come in a multitude of choices and are specialised to cater for a vast range of outdoor activities.

They are contructed from sturdy lightweight material and provide shelter and privacy in all conditions.

Whether you’re a hiker looking for a tent that’s compact and light, or a family person looking for space and  comfort at a favorite holiday site, the choices can be overwhelming.

Tent reviews can take the pain out of deciding what’s right for you.

If you are looking to buy a family camping tent, then the two main styles to look for are the cabin tent and dome tent.

Dome tents are a top pick for many because of their light weight and they are among the easiest tents to put up and take down. They are ideal for the first-time or inexperienced camper.

For example, check out the budget priced Coleman Sundome 4 person tent.

Cabin tents are the way to go if you plan to settle in one area for an extended period of time.



Grab a coffee and take a few minutes to look around this site to see what is on offer.

Coleman Instant 14- by 10- Foot 8- Person Two Room Tent

Coleman Instant Tent 8

  • At around $200, represents value for money.
  • Sets up in less than 5 minutes, and is very roomy.
  • Entry doors at  front and rear, and zip down divider in middle.
  • Made from quality, heavy duty material.
  • All seams are taped, so there is no need for a seam sealer.

Read our detailed review to help you decide whether to buy, just click here.

Coleman WeatherMaster 10

Coleman WeatherMaster 10 Tent

  •  A quality, inexpensive large tent.
  • Sealers are not required.
  • Walk from end to end without having to bend over.
  • Super easy to set up.
  • Color coded poles and the instructions sewn into the storage bag.

Read our detailed review, to help you decide whether to buy, just click here.


Coleman Red Canyon

Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent

  • Arguably one of the best value-for-money tents. 
  • Double zippers on door lets power cord in. No large gaps for bugs to enter.
  • Tub floor helps prevent flooding from below.
  • Practical gear net that hangs from the ceiling
  • Easy to set up.

Read our detailed review, to help you decide whether to buy, just click here.


Eureka Copper Canyon

Eureka! Copper Canyon 1512 - Tent

  • Well built,  reliable and value for money.
  • Completely mesh screened roof and four huge closeable windows for great ventilation.
  • The sturdy metal poles are steel cable corded.
  • Cabin-like vertical side walls lets you use every inch of space.
  • Easy to erect, you can put it up by yourself in about 10-15 minutes.

Read our detailed tent review, to help you decide what to buy, just click here.


Swiss Gear Montreaux Family Dome Tent

  • Designed to sleep 10 persons.Swiss Gear Montreaux ten person family dome tent
  •  Easy to set up.
  • Dutch D-style door.
  • Roomy, and can be divided into two separate living areas.
  •  Weatherproof welded polythylene floor.

Read our detailed review, to help you decide whether to buy, just click here.


Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-person Tent

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-person tent

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe Tent

  • Premium grade modern canvas for guaranteed durability.
  • Lofty ceiling height, eliminates stooping.
  • Two large D-shaped doors, for ease of entry and exit.
  • Flex-Bow system design for an easy set up tent.
  • A tent that will last for decades, with  proper care.
  • Rugged construction makes this a 4 season tent.


Read our detailed review to help you decide whether to buy, just click here.

Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Tent

  • Designed as a 4 season tent.Big Agnes Tents
  • An easy set up tent, despite its size.
  • Color-coded poles, and clear instructions.
  • Meshed ceiling and side panels for superb ventilation.
  • Two separate entrances.
  • Large, secure waterproof rain fly.

Read our detailed review to help you decide whether to buy, just click here.

Some things to consider before making your final decision

  1. How many people will likely be sharing the tent space?
  2. Is the tent just for sleeping in, or hanging out in during the day?
  3. Do you intend to store lots of equipment, like packs, coolers or camping furniture?
  4. Will the tent need to be carried over a considerable distance to the camping site?
  5. Apart from minimum space for each sleeper, do you want to allow for more elbow room?
  6. Is sufficient room to stand and walk around important to you?
  7. Are you a fair weather family camper or want to be prepared all seasons and terrain?

The above tents recommended by tentreviewshq would be classified generally as three-season tents.
They are a top choice for car campers, setting out in summer, early fall and late spring. The vast majority of family campers would be more than adequately served by these three season tents.

They are all quality products designed to withstand wet and windy conditions.
These three season tents are easier on the wallet than those designed for violent alpine and winter conditions.

Four season tents are much heavier and more expensive because they require extra poles and exceptional durability to withstand violent winds and heavy snowfall.

Family campers are usually not pitching their tents in the depths of winter and are able to choose large tents for a relatively small outlay.


Just click on the blue product name or “click here” links above to find out more before making your buying decision.

Then click on this camping tips and tricks link for some important advice for the beginner camper. Learn tips on how to take the family dog along, click here.

Family camping with young children will be a more enjoyable experience with some planning. Get some top tips at www.tentreviewshq.org/camping ideas for kids.

cheap easy set up tent

Coleman Sundome 4 person tent


I was impressed by the quality of the budget level Coleman Sundome 4 person tent.

It’s a lightweight tent but sturdy and spacious, at an affordable price that made me double check I was seeing right.

Weighing in at around 11 pounds, it might be a little too hefty for backpacking, but is ideal for car or motorcycle camping.

The clever design makes it very easy to set up and take down, making it well suited for inexperienced campers.

As a parent, I would consider this a great gift for the kids for them to gain experience handling tent set up on their own.

Or if you want your child to save up for his or her own purchase, this one wont break the bank.


The Sundome 4 man tent is ideal for couples.

Technically, it can sleep four persons, if you stretch out next to each other in sleeping bags.

However, if you like a little more comfort, like a double or queen size air mattress, then I would recommend two adults only.

This would leave room to include a young child or if you plan to take your dog camping.

If there are three adults, I’d suggest leave out the blow-up mattress and choose instead some quality sleeping pads.


Teenagers and those into scouting will like this simple to erect dome tent.

It only takes a little practice in the backyard before it can be quickly set up by just one person, no matter how inexperienced.

Two pairs of hands come in handy if conditions are windy.

The tent design is what keeps things simple even if you are a camper in your senior years.

Dome tents are based on a system of three poles.

The pair of longer poles cross over in the form of an X from corner to corner where they are secured.

A third pole is for the tent fly which creates an overhang for the door.


The tub floor design is what I really liked.

There is a feeling of security knowing that you will sleep snug and dry with this Coleman tent’s floor configuration.

The floor is of a similar material to a tarp and is of one with the tent structure.

It comes up several inches from ground level and provides a good barrier against moisture.

This feature alone would seal the deal for me, especially at this price.

Please note that this tent does not come with its own footprint.

I would advise you invest in a tarp of suitable dimensions to place underneath the floor.

This will provide added protection against abrasions from rough ground and an even greater barrier against moisture and the cold.

Remember to fold the protruding edges of the tarp under itself to stop water pooling between it and the floor.

Tarps are cheap, so there is no need to skimp.


This tent is well fitted out for comfort and convenience.

cheap 4 person tent

plenty of ventilation under the fly

Ventilation is important to prevent condensation from building up inside the tent.

That has been taken care of by the installation of sizeable screen panels on the ceiling.

Great for sleeping under the stars, but makes the fly a must to install in damp conditions or when privacy is a priority.

There is a screen on the door and a floor vent near the back of the tent to ensure adequate airflow.

Importantly there also is a zippered port in the front to allow for an extension cord to be passed through into the tent.

Two generous mesh pockets on the inside walls are great for keeping loose items from underfoot.

There is a ceiling hook for conveniently hanging up an electric or battery powered lamp.


Take care of the zippers and extend the tent’s life.

The zippers are the weak point of a lot of modern tents, so treat them well.

Those in this tent are not in the heavy duty category, but do an adequate job.

They are nylon and operate well, although you must be on guard to keep them from getting caught on the flaps, particularly around the door.

If you buy this dome tent for young campers, be sure to drill home the importance of being careful with the zippers.


Spend a little extra on the tent pegs for added security in tough terrain.

A carry bag and tent pegs are included in your purchase.

The stakes are pretty lightweight although perfectly serviceable under ideal conditions.

However, they will prove frustrating because they bend readily if a good deal of hammering is required.

I would recommend replacing the provided stakes with something more sturdy.

For peace of mind, you might want to use some seam sealer but this is not strictly necessary unless you are heading out in wild conditions.


What’s in the Coleman package.

One polyester tent

Sleeps 4 at a pinch

59 inch centre height.

8.5 mm fibreglass poles.

Durable polyethylene floor.

Weight, about 11 lbs.

Dimension: 94.4 X 82.6 X 49.2 ins.

Ground vent and large windows.

Dome design with average set-up of 15 mins.

Snag-free continuous pole sleeves a big reason for the quick set-up.

Rain fly awning for shade and rain protection.

Storage pockets to keep things shipshape.

Patented welded floor structure.

Inverted seams lock out the water.

Pole attachments designed to stand up to the wind.

basic tent pegs.

Carry bag for convenience.


The Coleman Sundome 4 person tent is a top choice if quality on a budget is your buying point.

It’s convenient for four adults if travelling by car and you need to camp overnight and just need shelter for you and your sleeping bags.

Great for a couple of adults if setting up camp for longer and want creature comforts such as a queen size blow-up mattress and room to keep your gear under cover.

4 person Coleman tent

The great outdoors

High enough to sit on camping chairs out of the elements inside, if the weather turns nasty.

The efficient dome tent design means there is a minimal learning curve before you can erect it in around fifteen minutes, whether you’re young or old.

If you think it sounds great, but extra room would be better, there is a Sundome 6 person tent available.

Check out pricing and shipping details.





Kids Play Tents A Safe Start To Family Camping

Taking your toddler away from home and into the outdoors overnight can be a stressing experience for all of you.

Investing in a child’s play tent has the potential to pay dividends.

By choosing a kid’s tent suitable for indoor/outdoor use, we parents can condition junior a tiny step-at-a-time to the idea of going camping for the first time.

Read more about camping with toddlers here.


Make your choice of play tent easier with these tips:


What are your child’s preferences?: A boisterous kid will choose a different style of tent to a laid-back character.

You can choose between traditional designs and teepee styles.

A tent with tunnel attachments can become a playground for the outgoing personality.

Are you restricted by available space?: Whether you opt for an outdoor or indoor play tent, avoid disappointment, and measure the area in which you intend to set up the tent.

Allow enough space for the tent to stand without having to continually dismantle it when it intrudes on other activities in the yard or bedroom.

Think about the quality: Many play tents can be used either outdoors or indoors. Tents meant for outdoor use should be water resistant. They will attract more dirt and need to be cleaned more often.

The cheapest play tents will be fine for a single child. But if you have a couple of highly active types, it would be wise to pay a little extra for something of higher quality and durability.



The best play tents for toddlers encourage independence

I like the way Pacific Play Tents combine fun with safety

best play tents for toddlers

light& airy

Features inlude:

Generous dimensions at around 58″ X 58″ and 46″ high.

A waterproof floor, tough enough to withstand heavy use.

Shock-corded pole system.

A velcro front door closure keeps things simple.

Also available is a unique design featuring two tunnel ports with roll down flaps.

A full mesh top.

Click here for pricing and shipping details.

How you benefit from these features:

The dimensions allow for multiple occupants, invite their friends around.

A moisture proof floor is convenient during backyard use or to resist food and drink spills indoors.

Shock-corded poles allow for intuitive set-up. No need for comprehensive instructions.

A velcro door system allows kids to have a sense of privacy while allowing for quick, safe entry and exit.

The full mesh top is great for keeping the air fresh and clean. But parents can also keep a close eye on the toddlers without being intrusive.


The best kids play tents feature colorful designs

While compiling kids play tent reviews, the colors offered by Pacific brand, were a good indicator that kids’ enjoyment was a high priority.

The parents haven’t been forgotten either.

These roomy tents allow a lone child to be accompanied by an adult.

Join your toddler for some play camping, in preparation for the real thing, or just hang out for a while.

The tent is roomy enough to suit more grown kids, not restricted to tiny tots alone.

For added comfort, put an old rug or blanket on the floor and scatter some old cushions inside.

Even a solitary child will find comfort playing snug inside.

One of the design features allows access from three sides.

This includes one large zippered opening, suitable for a parent to get in.

Two sides include smaller round openings with flaps that can be draped over them.

A play tent suitable for outdoors

This tent can be used outside, but best saved for days when no rain is

best play tents for toddlers

Easy access

forecast. remember the mesh roof.

However, damp days, after rain has passed, should be no obstacle.

The waterproof floor will keep tiny feet dry, although for added assurance, I would recommend placing a simple goundsheet under the tent. These are readily available, and cheap. Just click here.

On the downside, because this is essentially a play tent, you will need to supply your own cord and pegs if you need to secure it on a windy day.

One way to train a nervous first-time junior camper, is a small period in the play tent at night.

You could do this also with the tent set up indoors, with the lights out.

Place a battery-powered lantern inside and tell a story or two. Or just chill out with your youngster while enjoying some snacks.


A word of warning about kids play tents

Don’t make the mistake of comparing your purchase with the family camping tent.

This is a play tent and most are pretty cheap to buy.

They will stand up to some rough and tumble from the kids, but they are not designed for “cage fighting”.

Most buyers are realistic in their expectations but I do sympathise with a common complaint about the quality of zippers in children’s tents.

Even the best tent for toddlers seems to come with a zipper that could be better.

Don’t let this put you off buying one, just be careful in its use.

Find out more, and check out what others say about the Pacific Play Tents.


A Teepee kids play tent is a popular alternative

This is a design that has certainly stood the test of time.

The Round Door Powwow Teepee is also suited for indoor/outdoor use.

A feature of this toddlers play tent is the durable cotton canvas construction.

At six feet in height and five feet wide, there is ample room for an adult to take part in the kid’s activities.


The basic parts make this teepee play tent simple to set up

Teepee kids play tent

Durable canvas

It comes in six panels, with five wooden lacing pins.

It is fireproof and water repellant, and safe for the kids.

However, the manufacturers recommend it is best suited to kids over three-years-old.


Kids with an artistic flair will get extra enjoyment out of this play tent

A selection of models in this range can be painted anyway they like.

They are designed for use with water, or latex based paint.

It’s a great way for the kids to add their personal touches and establish ownership.

A little parental guidance is suggested. 🙂

Find out about pricing and shipping here.


Prefer an indoor play tent, perfect for a toddler’s bedroom?

The colorful KidKraft Teepee is your answer.

  • You have the choice of attractive shades, including, turquoise, Navy and orange.
  • A mesh window allows you to keep an eye on things and the kids never feel claustrophobic
  • It is designed for indoor use and has a modest footprint.
  • The base is around 45″ X 49″,( about the area of an average card table), and the poles rise to 62″.
  • Assembly is very easy, and the supplied step-by-step instructions make it foolproof.
  • An average sized bedroom has room for this play tent to be a permanent fixture, if you want.
  • Storing it is simply a matter of folding the four poles together and putting it away.


Why not let your toddler choose which play tent to buy?

toddlers play tent

Indoor KidKraft Teepee


You are not spending big bucks for this sort of tent, so let junior choose his/her favorite color, which will inevitably differ from your own preference.

The basic structure of the teepee is the same for all colors.

Hardest part is the decision making about whether to go for a cool navy shade or bright orange.

Allowing your child to be part of the buying procedure will greatly enhance their enjoyment of the play tent.

All you adults need do is slot together the poles and secure the teepee with the supplied cord, and spring it open.



Will a kids play tent handle rough treatment?


The indoor KidKraft Teepee is not designed to be tethered outdoors, so it’s possible to knock it over during very boisterous play by bigger kids.

Generally, it has enough give to bend and flex during roughhouse moments.

TIP: When set up on a smooth surfaced bedroom floor, you can get more grip for the base if you place it on something like a circular rug.


Click this link, then scroll down to read what others have to say about this popular toddlers play tent.



















Camping with a baby

Bonding with baby

Camping With Your Toddler is a Beautiful Way to Bond For Life.


If you have long loved camping and hiking, why not introduce your infants to it too.

Your first instinct might be to recoil at the though of camping with a baby.

Sure, it will be more demanding than heading off on your own.

But  family camping does not mean you must leave the toddlers at home.

I would not recommend very remote destinations, but there is no need to be ultra conservative either.

These days, modern vehicles will get you virtually anywhere, while still being able to stay in contact via your cell phones or Ipads and tablets.

Budget family camping tents are available in a range of configurations, and almost all are easy to set up, leaving you with plenty of time to keep an eye on junior.


Camping with infants takes preparation, but it’s rewarding.

There is no need to wait and go camping with the kids when they are older, they also can be challenging in other ways.

A little inconvenience can lead to a big pay off for you.

Setting out from home with infants to spend time in nature, offers you the opportunity for a special kind of bonding from the get go.

There is something magic about seeing their initial trepidation turn to wide-eyed wonder at the sights and sounds they encounter for the first time.

You might have become jaded or a bit blase about tent camping, but will almost certainly look at it with renewed enjoyment through the eyes of your children.

They will remind you of why you became an avid outdoors type in the first place.

TIP: Play tents for toddlers are a great way to prepare timid types for the real thing.


Many westerners are reluctant to take vacations, whether they get paid leave entitlements or not.

They are often intimidated by peer pressure to keep working, lest they be seen as not sufficiently dedicated to their jobs.

Rest and recreation is essential for physical and mental stability.

Just as importantly, family harmony hinges on the parents being able to spend time with the children from infancy.

Even setting aside just one regular annual family camping trip gives everyone something to look forward to outside the daily grind.


Just ensure you understand what’s involved in toddler camping.

It will be tough at first for young first-time moms, especially if your youngster is only at the crawling stage.

toddler camping

Outdoor fun

They will get dirty and try the taste test on strange new objects. Be prepared, not afraid.

Very young children don’t take readily to change in their surroundings.

Be patient with them. Once they pick up on the fact that mom and dad are smiling and having a fun time, they will relax and enjoy the experience also.

There is a huge list of baby camping gear to make your out door life easier.

Simply click here to see some examples and prices.


Avoid being too adventurous in choosing your camping destination.

preferably pick somewhere accessible by car.

There are many well run camping grounds in scenic locations, without being too far from civilization.

try to ensure that your early outdoors adventure involves a relatively short drive.

Wherever you’re headed, get there long before dark.

Avoid having to scramble around, racing to set up camp before the sun sets.

Anxious toddlers will react to your stress and their crying will have you on edge.

If they start crying, and they will, it is much easier to pacify them if you are not busy putting up a tent or unpacking the car.

Choose a campground that has bathroom facilities and readily accessible drinking water.

Flushing toilets are highly recommended.

Tent camping provides a greater sense of adventure for children, but if this sounds like something for the “too hard basket”, you can always look for a camping ground that offers cabins.


Camping with a toddler or baby requires a good checklist.

camping with toddlers

Use all available space

Throw out the rule book when packing for camping with infants.

Normal advice of packing light does not apply here, and it’s prudent to make the most of the available storage in your car.

Image courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bpende/


You will need to be willing to bring a lot of extra gear when camping with a baby.

  • Sufficient disposable diapers would be top of the list.
  • Moist wipes will get plenty of use, especially for the crawlers.
  • Buy economical clothing and leave the “Sunday best” at home.
  • Denim jeans and overall style are most practical.
  • Long sleeved tops are essential to guard against sun exposure.
  • Long sleeves also help protect against poison ivy and insect bites.
  • Extra is a word you will use a lot. Extra shoes, extra socks, extra tops, extra bottoms.
  • Be prepared for rapid changes in weather and have a water resistant outfit available.
  • Sweaters and gloves for warmth.
  • Hat for sun protection, another for rain protection.


A camping first aid kit is a good idea for everyone.

A regular first aid outfit will come with most of the necessary bandages.

But you can add to a basic kit to cater for infants.

Be sure to include prescribed medications for existing conditions.

A digital thermometer is practical.

teething gel.

anti bacteria ointments for the inevitable abrasions and scratches.

A spray, or simple baking soda to relieve the discomfort of insect stings.

Extra insect repellent.

Don’t stint on the regular application of sunscreen.

Make sure your kit has a decent set of tweezers for removing splinters or bee stings.

Various sized bandaids are more than handy, even if just for psychological relief.


Bring some of the comforts of home.

Some toddlers will rebel when taken out of familiar surroundings.

  • Pack some favorite playthings and comforting objects such as a teddy bear, or simply a treasured blanket.
  • Special toys can be brought out of storage in the tent at night fall.
  • These will distract infants from becoming to concerned about unfamiliar night noises.
  • Ensure that the toys you bring are of the robust type, and not easily lost. Big is better.
  • Favorite snacks and drinks  are also recommended.
  • Drinking vessels and food containers should be easily sealed to prevent spillage inside the tent.
  • Try to restrict eating and drinking to outside the tent, around the campfire or under an annexe.
  • Food left lying around inside could attract insects or other animals.
  • It’s important to ensure your child is properly hydrated, so have drinking water on hand at all times.
  • Go easy on the sugary sodas.


You can still enjoy hiking while camping with a baby.

With the right preparation, there is no need to be tied to the camping ground.

  • There are well-designed backpacks and slings for carrying your toddler while exploring further afield.
  • Your youngster might insist of walking, but this wont last.
  • A carrying device will save you having to lug a tired child in your arms over rough terrain.
  • When choosing a child carrier, look for those that have suffient safety straps to keep them from slipping out.
  • At least one of the adults should be wearing an appropiate day pack containing diapers and change of clothes for the toddler.
  • Let them get dirty, but be prepared for them getting wet by damp undergrowth or if caught out in a burst of rain.
  • Have them wear a sunhat, preferably one with a flap at the back to protect the neck.
  • A pair of baby sized sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory.
  • remember, baby will be exposed to more sunglare while camping than is the norm at home.


Be prepared to adapt when going family camping.

Buy a suitable family camping tent and always go for the next size up.

If there are four of you, choose at least a 6 person tent. For six  family members, choose either a 8 person or even 10 person tent.

With a toddler along, space will be at a premium, with all the extra gear you will bring along.

A spacious tent will allow you to spread a small tarp, or blanket, out of the way of the grown-ups, for baby to crawl on.

Nursing moms will appreciate a convenient corner for them to get comfortable with bub at feeding time.

Some tents, like the Big Agnes Flying Diamond, can be configured to provide an extra room which could contain the baby’s necessities.

An extra room could also be turned into a nursery for toddlers to sleep in.

The separate compartment would allow young ones to maintain a regular sleeping pattern, while remaining undisturbed by the movements of older family members.

A dedicated area in the tent could prove invaluable during the day if your child has a regular napping routine.

An overtired child will become irritable and you stress levels will rise. Always allow for nap time.

Taking a well behaved family dog camping would also help keep a toddler calm.


Keep baby warm and dry with clothes set aside just for sleeping.

camping with toddlers

Keep warm and dry

Infants can perspire quite a bit during the day, and there may not be facilities for a quick bath or shower.

Their body temperature is not adjusted as readily as that of an adult.

Dedicated sleeping clothes will ensure baby is warm and dry at bedtime, when temperatures drop in the evening.

A good suggestion I was given, is to use a wool garment as a first layer against the skin.

Add clothing layers as needed, but be sure to check regularly to see if your toddler is warm enough.


Remember to show a little courtesy to your camping ground neighbors.

Pick up a few camping tips and tricks, if you are a beginner.

Introduce yoursleves and let it be known there is a baby on board.

A  crying child can be annoying, especially if it’s not your own.

Let your fellow campers know you are considerate and they will cut you some slack when you venture out camping with a baby or toodler.















The Eureka Apex 2XT 2 person tent met all our expectations.

So, if you are looking for a reliable 3 season trail tent at a budget, it is a top pick.

Eureka 2XT

3 season tent

This tent is designed for the trail and for camping off the beaten track, where portability is a major factor.

Whether you are a backpacker, car camper, biker or canoer, you will appreciate this compact package.

It is free-standing and easy to set up, and a dependable dry shelter in spring, summer and fall.


The people at Eureka!® have stood the test of time.

Below is an excerp from the company’s story

Though the exact year is unknown, Eureka!’s long history begins prior to 1895, in Binghamton, NY, where the company still resides today. Then known as the Eureka! Tent & Awning Company, its first wares were canvas products–most notably, Conestoga wagon covers and horse blankets for nineteenth century American frontiersmen– as well as American flags, store awnings, and, of course, camping tents.

Why is the Eureka Apex XT2 such a popular backpacking tent?

Because it’s sturdy and lightweight. It sleeps two, and has a 3 season rating, so you can use it for most of the year.

  • There are two large D-shaped doors, one on each side, which makes your entry and exit a breeze.
  • The doors have their own meshed windows, for even better ventilation when needed.
  • It’s easy to put up and packs up into a compact size when you are ready to move on.
  • A full cover tent fly lets you sleep well, confident that you are sheltered from the rain.
  • The bathtub floor design means that the seams are kept taught and off the ground for added protection.
  • Mesh panels in the ceiling contribute to good ventilation.
  • Interior side and corner pockets make it easier to keep tabs on those smaller items.


For the current price and details about free shipping,Eureka Apex 2XT

just click that Amazon button on the right.

Or click here to read what previous buyers have had to say.


The basic facts and figures:

Area: 36.5 square feet.

Floor space: 7 ft., 5 ins.,by 4 ft., 11 ins.

Center height: 43,5 ins.

Pack size: 6 ins. by 18.5 ins.

Weight: 5 lbs., 12 ozs.


Additional features:

  • Full cover tent fly equates to vestibules on two sides, therefore extra undercover shelter for backpacks and boots.
  • Generous mesh design makes for great ventilation while keeping warm or cool when required.
  • A poke out vent in the sidewall makes the ventilation even more reliable.
  • Non-mesh walls are waterproof, while the tough double-coated :StormShield” polyester fly counters the exposure of the meshed sections.
  • The two-pole system and sturdy shock-corded fibreglass frame is easily erected.
  • Set up is made simple by the ring and pin attachments, pole sleeve system and color-coded webbing.
  • Twin track zippers mean you can operate the window in the door seperately.
  • External guy points on the rain fly secure your tent during windy conditions.
  • Two mesh gear pockets help keep you organized.
  • Efficient bag included for included for tent, pole and stakes.


The Eureka Apex 2XT is a genuine 2 person tent

My general recommendation remains that a 2 person tent functions best when used by solo campers with the leftover space for stowing gear out of the elements, or when camping with your dog.

However, this Eureka backpacking tent is quite adequate for a pair of campers if bedding is restricted to laying out your sleeping bags on sleeping pads.

There is room for a double mattress, but you would want to be on pretty good terms with your partner.

This applies particularly in wet weather when it is important to keep from brushing the inside walls of the tent with your sleeping bag, and drawing in the moisture.

But if you are car camping, and don’t need to stow equipment in the tent, by all means blow up the double mattress.

If you are about family camping and prefer the durability and room of a big shelter such as a Kodiak canvas tent, a 2 person tent is great to use as an annexe for a couple of children.

It makes for more room in the family tent while camping with kids, and gives them that added sense of adventure.


Two doors make the difference if you are sharing

The doors are both on the wide sides of the tent which makes it even easier to get in or out.

No need to crawl over your partner during entry or exit.

Someone with a weak bladder might have to make a couple of trips outdoors during the evening.

You might like to have an early night while someone else prefers to stay by the campfire a little longer.

A seperate entrance prevents a knee in the ribs, or someone falling on you while trying to get into the tent.

Or if you are a dedicated solo backpacker, a single door, 2 person tent might make more appeal.


No need to worry if you are tall

Someone of above average height, around 6ft., 3 ins., or more, will have space to spare at head and foot.

For shorter campers, a common grumble is that it is difficult, from inside, to reach the zipper on the closed vestibule.

The main inconvenience in this situation comes during wet weather.

If you are not careful while stretching out, or hunched in the vestibule area, you could come into contact with the fly material and get wet.

But it is only a minor irritation. You need to stretch because the vestibules are of a generous size and very handy for keeping gear out of the weather.

Putting a tarp down on the ground in the vestibule would enable you to avoid damp ground and better for your hands and knees to stretch out for that elusive zipper.


An easy set up tent, even if you are a beginner

I would always advise campers to set up their new tent at home before venturing out.

This applies even to experienced outdoors types.

Each product has slight differences which are best discovered when in a relaxed setting.

Thanks to modern design, Eureka does not have exclusive claim to be easy to set up.

But its up there with the latest  simple to erect tents.

No awkward threading of poles through sleeves.

Allow about 15 minutes or so for your first try, and eventually the whole process should not take much longer than about five minutes.


A couple of tips to get the most out of your new 2 person tent

Eureka backpacking tent

Ensure you properly stake out the rainfly so that it does not touch the walls of the tent.

This will maximise your ability to remain dry, even during a strong downpour.

The floor in any tent is a vulnerable point, subject to puncturing by sharp stones or protruding tree roots.

I would recommend spending a little extra for the dedicated footprint for the Eureka Apex 2XT.

If short on cash, a cheap poly tarp placed under the floor, is a good substitute, and will also prolong the life of your trail tent.

After your camping trip, set up the tent at home to air and dry before packing. Follow basic tent maintenance procedures and clean off dirt and bird droppings from the tent and fly material.


The 3 season rating of the Eureka Apex 2XT 2 person backpacking tent gives you plenty of scope as to when, and where to take your camping trip. Simply click this link for current reduced price and shipping details.












The Alps Mountaineering Extreme 2 proved a strong and durable backpacking tent.

A 3-pole system gives great stability to this highly-rated free-standing backpacking tent.

Backpackers looking for the best budget tent, will find the Extreme 2 does not sacrifice overall quality for price.

Click on this link for current price and free shipping details.


ALPS Mountaineering is a well established company, founded by Dennis Brune, who has been active in the outdoor industry for around 35 years.

Easy set up tent

Easy to set up tentindustry for around 35 years.

It is a successful family run firm based in rural Missouri.

Brune established himself in the industry by running the prominent Kelty company.

Kelty remains a big name in the camping niche, but Brune left because he wanted to integrate his family life with his work in the industry.


The Alps Mountaineering Extreme 2 person tent is rated for 3-season use.

Its design is geared to backpackers, but packs up efficiently to make an ideal tent for car campers and motorcyclists.

  • The polyester fly and floor are urethane-coated, and seams are factory sealed for optimum protection from the weather.
  • It is an easy set up tent featuring a system of clips that snap quickly over the poles.
  • Getting in and out is simple, due to a two-door design.
  • The layout also boasts dual vestibules for keeping gear under cover.
  • Guy out points on the vestibule allow for securing the tent even more during windy conditions.
  • The fly simply buckles to the tent which makes for a very secure attachment.
  • Multiple fly vents increase ventilation and reduce condensation problems.
  • For added durability, zippers are the extra large No. 8 grade, on both doors and vestibules.
  • Mesh storage pockets and gear loft.
  • Aluminium stakes and guy ropes included.

Weights and dimensions at a glance:

  • Base: 5′ 2″ x 7′ 8″.
  • Center Height: 3′ 6″
  • Vestibule Depth: 30″
  • Tent Area: 35 square feet.
  • Tent & Fly Weight: 5 lbs 12oz.
  • Total Weight: 6 lbs 8 oz.
  • Packed Size: 7″ x  21″
  • Pole Diameter: 8.55mm.

Read what others have said after buying the Alps Mountaineering Extreme 2 tent.

Value for money is a common theme for this budget trail tent.

Most tent reviews would agree the Extreme 2 is quality at a fraction the price of

Alps Mountaineer Extreme 2

A 3 season tent

some designer brands.

Despite a budget price, the extreme 2 offers both durabilty and space for its class.

Like every other 2 person tent we see, the Alps Mountaineering will readily accomodate two people, as advertised.

It performs as a much better shelter on the trail if you restrict the occupancy to yourself, and use the remaining space for your backpack.

Some solo campers appreciate the extra room if they take their dog camping.

Don’t be put off by my solo recommendations. Your circumstances might rate this a very suitable 2 person tent.

Two children, in the scouts, for example, would fit in nicely with their gear.

Or a couple of kids could share the backpacking tent, while the rest of the clan occupied a large family camping tent.

A pair of car camping adults would be accomodated, if they used the vehicle to stow their gear.

One good tip I came across for those campers who are squeamish about spooning with their tent buddy, is to sleep next to each other in the head-to-toe position.

This position also makes it even easier for both to access the doors, if a hurried exact is called for.


Some buyers of this 2 person backpacking tent have mentioned a couple of minor negatives.

But these don’t detract from the whole value-for-money package, and cerainly would not put me off owning and enjoying this product.

A little heavier than some trail tents, the Extreme 2 compensates with its strength and durability.

The most consistent complaint is that the stakes are not strong enough in some circumstances.

This seems to be a universal complaint about budget range tents, and is not specific to Alps Mountaineering.

If this bothers you too, and don’t mind a little extra weight, stronger replacements are readily available for a small extra outlay.

What would irk me more with this tent, and it’s not a real big deal, is that the rainfly zipper can be a little difficult to reach from inside the tent.


The Alps Mountaineering Extreme 2 ranks as a reliable 3 season shelter at the right price.

Extreme 2 trail tent

3 season comfort

One of the pleasing features of this tent is that tall people need not be hesitant to hit the trail.

Even a six-footer, plus, would have room to stretch out comfortably, with a few inches to spare at either end.

There is sufficient length to accomodate a standard length camping cot for the solo user.

The tent has enough height for campers to at least sit while dressing or arranging gear inside with you.


Many other features add up to the Extreme 2 being a safe investment


  • The free-standing design for greater convenience.
  • It is made for durability, with the corners and seams having a good stitch count and robust thread.
  • Fly and floor seams are factory sealed for greater weather protection.
  • The tent is super easy to set up, but please, first have a trial run at home.
  • The tent simply clips to the poles, only a small section needs to be fed through fabric.
  • It packs up small into a compression sack for convenient carrying.
  • Two doors for convenient entry and exit, as well as adding to flexibilty and ventilation.
  • Both doors fitted with strong zippers, and feature meshed windows.
  • Generous tent fly for secure weather protection.
  • Adequate guy out points to ensure the fly is taught enough.
  • The fly buckles on to ensure optimum adjustability.
  • Two vestibules provide additional storage areas.
  • Multiple fly vents contribute to increased ventilation.


To make this tent an even better investment, I recommend paying a little extra for a set of ground hog stakes and a floor protector footprint. At least a cheap poly tarp for added protection from sharp stones or tree roots, and moisture.

This is not strictly necessary, but could add years to the optimum performance of your new tent.


Click this link for the current best price and free shipping details

There are lighter, albeit much more expensive, backpacker tents on the market.

But it is hard to beat the Alps Mountaineering Extreme 2 at this modest outlay.













Kelty Salida 2

3 season rated

The Kelty Salida 2 Tent  is an award winner for a reason.

I’m confident this impressive, versatile, lightweight trail tent will meet all your needs.

It is a quality modern design and light enough to suit the backpacker, also compact enough to stow and carry conveniently if you are a two-wheel traveller, bicycle or motorcycle.

The Kelty brand has stood the test of time  and been in operation since Since 1952.

Positive tent reviews are the norm for this company, which has buit its reputation by supplying cost effective, reliable outdoor gear that enables you, whether newbie camper or experienced backwoodsman, to tackle the trail with confidence.

As well as getting plenty of positive feedback from rank and file campers, Kelty has been recognized by the pros, and is a winner of the “Backpackers Editor’s Choice Award”.

Read what others have to say about this highly rated trail tent. Just click here.

Or for current deals, and free shipping details, click this link.

This Kelty Salida 2 person tent review ticks all the boxes for the technically minded.


Freestanding design

  • DAC Pressfit poles
  • Color Coded Clip Construction
  • Taped floor seams
  • Gear-loft loops
  • ArcEdge floor
  • Mesh wall panels
  • Internal storage pockets
  • Noiseless zipper pulls

Fly Features:

  • Taped seams
  • Side-release tent/fly connection
  • Noiseless zipper pulls
  • Guyout points

Tent Type:

  • Rated 3 Seasons
  • Number of doors: 1
  • Number of vestibules: 1
  • Capacity: 2


  • Minimum weight: 3 lb 12 oz / 1.70 kg
  • Packaged weight: 4 lb 8 oz / 2.04 kg
  • Floor area: 30.5 ft2 / 2.83 m2
  • Vestibule area: 10 ft2 / .93 m2
  • Length: 88 in / 223.5 cm
  • Width: 55 / 45 in / 139.7 / 114.3 cm
  • Height: 43 in / 109.22 cm
  • Packed diameter: 7 in / 17.78 cm
  • Packed Length: 22 in / 55.88 cm


As you would hope, the Kelty Salida 2 is supremely simple to set up, which makes it especially practical for the novice.

There are many benefits of the design I like, and I feel confident you will too.

What I particularly like about this 2 person tent is that it’s three season rated and how quickly it can be transformed from hot weather to harsh weather situations.The rain proof fly is efficient in keeping you dry, but in warm weather, the mesh wall panels make it feel as if you are sleeping comfortably in the open.

In reality, you are still sheltered and protected from creepy crawlies and flying bugs.

If the weather turns nasty, the rain fly is simple to attach, thanks to a well designed clip attachment system.

Although easy to set up, be sure to stake out the fly tautly for peak efficiency in keeping you dry, and to avoid the chances of condensation issues.

The fly can be adjusted with its easy to use straps. It has convenient guy out points which provide that extra security when the the wind gets up.


The free-standing design and color-coded parts, is what makes this trail tent among the easiest to set up.

A free-standing tent is convenient  when you get back from your trip.

You can set it up on a clean paved area like a patio or driveway, making it simple to clean, dry and air out in the comfort of home.

Even if you have little experience, the Kelty Salida should take no more than five minutes to set up.

Don’t become complacent though, have a practice run at home to gain confidence and become familar with your new tent.

What makes this hiking tent so easy to erect is the fact the poles are attached externally.

The poles are simply clipped to the tent and there is no need to thread them through awkward sleeves.


The Kelty Salida is user friendly in its layout.

Kelty 2 person tent reviews

snug with the fly up

Its design is geared as much as possible to be a genuine two-person tent.

For a small tent, it has generous headroom, and is a little broader down one end of its length to better accomodate a couple of occupants.

As with most tents designated 2 person, you would get maximum satisfation by using it for yourself alone, and have the luxury to drag extra gear inside to be securely sheltered.

But if you are travelling light, or with a vehicle in which to stow gear overnight, then its an ideal sleeper for two.

To help give you room to move, there is a removable gear loft, and a centred loop suitable for hanging a lantern.

There are also internal storage pockets for those small and fragile items, like spectacles, watches or torches.


It is easy to compile positive 2 person tent reviews for this product, but not everyone will be suited by the single door.

Some campers prefer a two-door design to avoid having to clamber over a partner if they need to exit for a call of nature during the night.

If you are in this category, then click here to see our review of the two-door Mountainsmith Morrison 2 person tent.

On the other hand, others do not have an issue with the one door.

For them, one less door is one less zipper to worry about.

However, the zippers on the Kelty work smoothly, and will continue to do so if you follow normal tent maintenace.

For a single user, the one door design works well if you put your backpack and suppies on the side away from the entrance.

While some may have misgivings about just the one door, it’s more an expression of preference, rather than complaint.

Similarly, the single vestibule is perfect for those going solo, but a little cramped if two of you want to keep your backpacks sheltered outside. No problems for a couple of pairs of muddy boots though.

In fact the one genuine complaint I hear is that the quality of tent pegs supplied is not up to scratch.

If you are going to be a regular camper, it might pay to invest in some tougher, standby stakes.


This tent reviews site aims to point out the best budget tents.

So we’re reluctant to start talking about accessories. Extra expense and added weight.

But something we recommend, if your budget stretches to it, is a dedicated footprint for the tent.

This is a product to put under the base of your new tent.

It adds to your comfort and security against moisture, but even more importantly, adds to the life of the tent.

Find out details about this accessory and current pricing by simply clicking here.

The footprint is worth the money for some, including us, while others cut out a plastic sheet to put under the tent.
If budget is a premium consideration, you can forget the footprint, although don’t mess around with a flimsy plastic substitute.
Our tip is to outlay at least a minimal amount for a cheap, basic tarp to put under the tent. Just tuck the edges back under itself  at the base of the floor. Don’t let it protrude beyond the tent outside dimensions, to prevent water pooling.
For some cheaper tarp alternatives click here.

In a nutshell, this 2 person, 3 season tent is for you, if you value the following benefits:

  • Most of us need to be budget conscious these days, so you will appreciate the value-for-money side to this product.
  • Freestanding design, comes supplied with all you need to put it up.
  • An easy set up tent, aided by color-coded components.
  • Just as simple to dismantle and pack away.
  • Easy to set up on hard surfaces at home for cleaning and airing.
  • Suits the beginner camper and will impress the experienced.
  • Better headroom than some tents in this category.
  • Generous length for the comfort of taller campers.
  • Packs away convemiently and easy to stow in panniers on cycles.
  • Simple rain proof fly connection for quick transformation to cater for wet or dry conditions.
  • All seams are factory sealed.
  • Gear loft and internal pockets to keep floor space clear.
  • Built in fasteners to hold door open.
  • mesh wall panels to sleep “under the stars” when conditions suit.
  • Carries a 3 season tent rating to increase your camping or hiking options.
  • If you want to go “almost solo” there is room, at least, to take your dog camping.


For the current best deal, and free shipping details on the Kelty salida 2, simply click this link.








Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent

This two person tent maintains quality standards while appealing to those looking for a budget camping tent.

Click here for price, and find out about free shipping.

The name Mountainsmith tents might have triggered a memory for readers of magazines devoted to the outdoors.

They were awarded the 2011/2012 Backpacker Magazine Gear Guide “Killer Deal!” and 2011 Outside Magazine “Killer Value!” awards.

We have to agree that, for its kindness to the wallet,  this product  rates highly in the 2 person tent category.

This tent has a generous floor space and can accomodate two average size people comfortably.

It’s  length leaves good leg room for those in the six foot plus range in height.

So saying, we still believe the standard two man tent layout best suits one individual, if you want to keep your backpack inside.

mountain smith

Comfy for one, snug for two

The best rating would be: comfortable for one, snug for two.

But what helps greatly in a two person situation is the two doors and two vestibule set up.

No more elbows in the ribs or a knee to the chin when the one with the weaker bladder needs to exit in a hurry.

A solo camper will have plenty of access, even with a bit of extra gear stowed inside, and protected from the elements.

You never know what might crawl into your boots or backpack if left outside.

The Mountain Smith people make every effort to cater to the storage situation with the inclusion of ample mesh pockets for your sundry items, like wallet, watch flashlight etc.

There is also a removable gear loft. Although some campers suggest it hangs a little too low and stops you from sitting up conveniently. It’s easily detached and left at home if it becomes a bother.


The Mountainsmith Morrisson boasts plenty of features for a tent in the budget range.


Features include:

  • A 2-door/2-vestibule configuration.
  • Workable genuine two person layout.
  • Rated a three season tent.
  • Tent fly with ventilation windows.
  • Bathtub floor design.
  • Taped floor seams.
  • Mesh wall panels.
  • Detachable ceiling loft storage.
  • Interior mesh storage pockets.
  • Clip-pole attachment for lighter weight.
  • Reflective guy lines with tension lock cord adjustment.
  • Quality YKK® Zippers.
  • Set-up instructions are printed on the stuffsack.

Generous dimensions:

92″ x 56″ x 43″ i.e (234cm x 143cm x 110cm).

18″ x 7,5″ i.e. (46cm x 19cm).

Floor area:

35 ft² i.e. (3.25 m²).

Vestibule area:

17 ft² i.e. (1.6m²).

Peak height:

43″ i.e. (110 cm).

Trail weight:

4 lbs 11 oz. i.e. (2.3 kgs).

Packed weight:

5 lbs 8 oz. i.e. (2.5 Kgs).


An accessory we recommend is the tough water resistant foot print, which can be purchased separately.

We realize the whole idea of a trail tent is to keep the weight down, but this thing weighs just 9 ozs or .25 grams.

It would add to your comfort and prolong the life of your new tent.

An economical option would be to buy a cheap nylon tarp to put under the floor when setting up camp.

Just remember to tuck the edges in under the tarp so that the edges do not stick out from the sides of the tent.

This will stop water pooling underneath.



Some argue that the Morrison is a little heavier than other dedicated 2 person backpacking tents.

But this comparison is made unfairly with hiking tents in a much higher price bracket.

For a newbie to trail tents, or those on a budget, it is very easy to recommend the Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person 3-season tent.

It’s a great entry level product and for the casual camper there would be no need to look further.

The weight should be no issue to the average fit person. If it is a concern, split the weight between two.

You could always same an ounce or two by removing the fabric which can be zipped over the mesh section of the doors. Or detach, and leave behind, the ceiling storage loft.

Just keep in mind before discarding the extra door fabric, that it is a feature designed to help regulate temperature and adds to your comfort.

The Morrison is ideal for the car if you are constantly pulling up stakes and moving on.

The same goes for those who favor motorcycles or bicycles, and need there accomodation to fit the panniers on your bike.

A benefit for the two-wheeled brigade, is that the poles break down into an easily stored 18 inches.


We reckon you can hit the trail with confidence in this three-season hiking tent.

A feature of the Mountainsmith Morrison is that it is sturdy enough to be used in all

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 person tent

Confidence on the trail

but the harshest winter conditions.

The tent fly ventilation windows and bathtub floor design make it suitable for camping in warmer, arid situations.

The two door set-up and ample mesh makes sure you get the right airflow to disperse the hot air.

It handles windy conditions, as well as rain. All you need think about is to use all the lines and velcro that is supplied.

The poles and stakes are made of sturdy aluminium, not fiber glass.


Don’t just take our recommendation, click here to read what others have to say.

The Mountainsmith Morrison is a very easy to set up tent

Ease of set up has to rank as a prime feature of this budget 2-person tent. One would need only a few minutes to have it erected.

The instructions are printed on the stuffsack, so are pretty hard to misplace. But even though it is easy to set up and take down, we would recommend you put it up in the comfort of home before taking to the trails.

You wont find it difficult, but you’ll gain confidence for when you’re on the trail.

  • Components feature color-coding, so all you need do is match them up.
  • There are only two poles. One is silver, the other anodized gold, and they click into place with little effort.
  • The aluminium poles are tough and lightweight, so wont damage easily.
  • Follow the corresponding colors on the relevant clips, and simply slide the poles through.
  • Then stake out the corners of your tent and insert the poles into the grommets by matching the colors.
  • Keep matching the colors, and attach the tent clips to the poles.
  • Now its time to attach the fly to the tent . It’s simple, because the webbing attachments on the corner of the fly corresponds with the webbing on the tent itself.
  • Now you are ready to peg out the front and rear guys to create the vestibules.
  • Finally, peg out the remaining guy lines, and simply adjust by using the handy tension locks.
  • Vents on either side of the fly can be adjusted to reduce or increase airflow to keep you cool or reduce condensation.
  • You will find the whole process pretty intuitive, even if you are a complete beginner to camping.


It really is hard to find many negatives with the Morrison 2 person tent, especially at the price.

As befits a hiking tent, the tent stakes are small and lightweight.

The stakes have a “v” shape and well designed to secure guy lines or tie down straps.

Zippers can be a weak point, especially in budget tents, but thankfully Mr. Mountain Smith has opted to use quality Japanese made YKK® zippers.

Reflective guy lines are a bonus if you need to set up, or move around at night.

Morrison 2 man tents

Easy to set up

The tension lock cord adjustment helps keep things trim, taught and terrific.

Probably the main gripe is that the vestibules could have been a bit more roomy.


Mountainsmith have a good reputation for being responsive to the needs of their customers

and are a dedicated outdoors specialist, with an inspiring blog at www.mountainsmith.com/blog/


For ease of set up and value for money, we think Mr. Mountain Smith has done a great job with the Morrison  two person 3 season tent.


For the current Mountainsmith Morrison 2 person tent price, and free shipping, details click here.





camping with dogs

Happy Campers

Camping With Dogs Can Be Rewarding.

But a lack of preparation could turn it into a disastrous experience for man and beast.

Dogs are great company around the home and need not be left out every time you take the camping tent out of storage.

Camping by yourself, even in the most beautiful location, can be a lonely pursuit. A canine companion would be more than eager to share the adventure and be less intrusive on your solitude than many humans.

If you’re tent camping with the kids, dogs often double as a child minder, eager to play while the weary adult relaxes around the campsite.

A well-trained canine companion makes it easy for your group to befriend other dog lovers who will invariably want to pat your dog and ask about its breed.

A small well behaved family pet dog will help to calm nervy. This could be a big bonus when camping with toddlers.


Taking A Dog Camping Requires Thought And Preparation


It always pays to be prepared when taking a dog away from home. And that includes  taking responsibility.

Being able to physically control your dog with a leash, as well as with voice and gestures, is absolutely crucial.

Don’t kid yourself that Fido’s behaviour when camping will not change from when he is home in the backyard.

The dog will be excited by the change in routine and distracted by new sights and sounds.

Nature will provide many diversions in the form of new types of creatures to chase or the pets of fellow campers to sniff out.

Get to know your pet’s character, and remember there are plenty of children, and adults too, who are afraid of dogs.

Your lovable, playful hound in your eyes can do no wrong. But to others, even the most docile animal will seem like a snarling Cujo.

Be honest in your assessment  and be aware of what raises its hackles.

Know what triggers various responses like a threatening growl, a bout of annoying whimpering or barking.

Is it playful or aggro around other dogs? Does it relate well to children or strangers in general?

Some dogs, whether it be their aggressive personality or breed traits, just aren’t suitable for camping. Leave them home.


Be Confident About Going Camping With Your Dog


Just follow these basic precautions:

  • Ensure your dog is registered and always carries the appropriate tags.
  • All dogs should be micro chipped and make sure the information contained is up to date.
  • See your vet before you leave home for a doggy health check and to ensure it has all the necessary vaccinations.
  • Ideally have your dog enrolled in an obedience class. Having a well behaved and mannered dog will make it a much more pleasant experience all round.
  • Dog training classes are often free, or for a minimal fee. Check with your local town hall or civil authorities.
  • These days, there are also online training programs which are well worth the investment in your long term peace of mind.
  • Don’t forget, this training is not just to make you happy. A dog’s brain is wired to please us humans, and it appreciates knowing how to respond properly to commands (don’t forget to praise).
  • Canines are creatures of habit and can become anxious when their normal order of things changes.
  • Just as going camping with young children, a little familiarisation program is helpful.
  • try to schedule some day trips away with your dog, at least a few weeks before going camping.
  • Take along some of your pet’s camping equipment, such as bedding and food and water bowls.
  • I found that kids like play camping, with a tent set up at home, and dogs will respond well to this too.


Camping With Dogs Requires Some Basic Equipment



Ensure you have leash in good condition as well as a strong collar. Preferably, take a couple of leashes. You could take a strong cord leash for maximum restraint if you are near other dogs, and your animal is likely to lunge.

A lightweight retractable leash will allow for more freedom if there are less distractions for the dog.

Consider a longer tether, suitable for securing the dog to a tree or other suitable structure.

This will come in handy at night while sitting around a campfire. It’s also practical if you are just hanging out at the campsite and wish to give the dog some freedom, while maintaining control of its movements.

Even if your dog is the most benign of creatures, having a lightweight muzzle on hand could prove wise. Even a placid dog will bite if in pain and you are attempting first aid.

My friends own Lilly, a friendly border collie who plays happily with familiar canine friends.

But take her for a walk on the beach and encounter strange dogs, she will lunge at them.

A muzzle comes in handy for the “Jekyll and Hyde” hound that catches owners by surprise.


A basic air mattress with a blanket is good. Ideal would be some familiar bedding from home.

The old bedding will take a lot of stress out of being in a new environment. Make sure that there is a buffer underneath it to protect your pooch from the cold seeping up from the ground.

If your dog has its bedding outside, put a waterproof barrier underneath.



Check with camping ground supervisors or rangers if local water in rivers, streams and lakes is free of contamination, whether bacterial or chemical. Clean drinking water is essential for humans and dogs alike.

If there is no potable water available, take suitably large containers from home. These can be refilled with drinkable water from a source within reasonable driving distance from your campsite, if staying for an extended period.

Don’t drop your guard and let the cooler season suggest you can get by on only the barest minimum of water. Things change.

The same applies to dog food. Always take more than for your planned time away.

As with your own food, do not store edibles in the tent. Use a bear box if available, or store the grub in your vehicle.

Bears might not be a problem in your neck of the woods, but there are plenty of other creatures snooping around at night for a free feed.



Be prepared for your dog to roll in something unpleasant and then need a quick sluice down or a plunge into a river.

Once the excessive water is shaken off, there is still enough moisture on the fur to dampen bedding or your sleeping bag. You wont regret bringing that extra towel.

The practical equipment needed is pretty basic but be prepared to make a decision about your dog’s suitability for camping. Leave emotion out of the equation.



As well as your own backpack, take a pack for your hound, too.

It could contain necessities, like food portions stored in plastic baggies or an airtight container, food and water bowls, a canine first aid kit, basic grooming tools, poop bags, an extra leash and collar with identification tags, and bedding.

Dogs love to do their bit, so if it’s a suitable breed, let it carrying at least some of the supplies.

Do some training with the canine pack before setting off camping and hiking with your dog.

The pack could include extras, like a blinking LED collar, booties, a high-visibility jacket and a life vest for safety if camping near a lake or river.

Remember to bring a favourite toy, like a Frisbee or ball for retrieving.

Something familiar will help the dog feel more comfortable wherever you’re camping.



If, like me, you prefer your dog inside the tent with the family, the correct configuration of tent helps.

A camping tent with separate compartments fits the bill. Click here and read why I recommend the Big Agnes Flying Diamond tent as one of my favorites. A great alternative is the Coleman Red Canyon.

If you are new to camping, with, or without dogs, click here for some helpful tips.


Some Breeds And Personalities Do Not Make For Good Camping Dogs.


Taking a dog camping

Just one of the guys

An aggressive dog, no matter how sweet indoors at home, is the first to cross off the camping list. it’s just trouble waiting to happen.

I live in a small country town in Australia, and some of my friends have Jack Russell terriers. They are terrific, hardy companion animals but many don’t respond well to training .

My friend’s Jack Russell, Cookie, has lept from a moving car on spotting some passing animal.

She has jumped off the side of a boat trying to get a fish before it was landed.

In the bush she would disappear into the scrub and return when she felt ready for it.

 I don’t want list a whole lot of breeds here and antagonise their fanciers. There are exceptions in all breeds.

I have had a series of beautiful, feisty Australian Silky Terriers over the years, but never would take one camping.

Persistent barkers of any breed should not go camping. Breeds consistently fitting this category, include my beloved silkies. Others are Yorkshire and Maltese terriers, Pekingese and Shih Tzus.

Barking is bad enough in the suburbs, but the sound travels long distances in the countryside.

At a busy campsite, new friends could soon become enemies if you bring along a barker.

It is possible to train a dog not to bark, but that’s best left to a professional.

A determined wanderer can make life difficult in a large camping ground.

It will prowl neighbouring campsites in full scavenger mode. Leave them home if you are not prepared to have them constantly tethered.

A bitch in heat would not be advisable as a good dog for camping. Nature being what it is, you will find your campsite the target of unwanted attention.

The most suitable dog breeds for camping are in the working dog category. They included German Shepherds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Hungarian Vizsla.

Also Spaniels and other retrievers, like the Golden and Labrador retrievers.

The list could get pretty long, and apart from the pure breeds already listed, don’t forget the mixed breeds and pound dogs. All could make excellent camping dogs.

Dogs make great camping buddies, but some breeds, such as snub-nosed pugs and bulldogs, will need extra attention.

Most dogs relish the outdoors, but there are things to consider.

Remember, a dog with a shorter snout is not as well-equipped to cool itself, so could on occasion experience some trouble breathing and panting.


It’s Your Call If You Take Your Dog Camping, Just Take The Responsibility…

…and be considerate of fellow campers

  • Remember, not everyone responds well to a friendly but overly exuberant dog jumping up on them.
  • No matter how cute your canine is, it will not always be greeted warmly when it wanders over to the strangers in the neighbouring tent.
  • Don’t let your dog bound up and down hiking trails if there is a lot of foot traffic. Let them loose when things are quiet.
  • Reassure hikers who feel threatened that you have your animal under control.
  • Be prepared to back off or change directions if approached by a strange dog whose owner has failed to adequately restrain it.
  • Take the time to clean up after your hound has done its business. When a dog has to, it has to go. But there is no excuse for you to ignore a steaming pile of dog excrement. Bury it, even if you are hiking off a recognised trail.
  • Commonsense rules.


Know where to camp with your dogs


Avoid disappointment by checking if your desired camping spot allows for dogs camping.

Many state parks will permit it, others may not.

Some supervised camping sites allow dogs, others don’t. Even ones that do, will have regulations you must adhere to.

Dogs might be allowed in camping grounds within national parks, national monuments and national forests, but be excluded from trails within them. Be prepared.

At least these days you have the luxury of the internet to check up on sites and determine if you can go camping with dogs.


Thank you to HerePup.com for this great checklist graphic.

Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Your Dog


Camping And Hiking With Your Dog Is Great For Bonding

Former cheerleader, Anne Waterbury found a unique way of bonding with her dog, Jude.

She and her Alaskan Malamute, Labrador cross successfully hiked the length of the 567-mile Colorado trail.

They came home all the better for the experience.

You learn a lot about life with your dog when the two of you hike the Colorado Trail together.

Read her story below:


“My dog Jude is a wonderful companion,” said Anne Waterbury, a Niwot High School graduate and former school cheerleader.

“He has a true trail mentality. He would run ahead, and then wait for me as if he was saying ‘Come on, let’s go!’

I think he probably ran double the miles that I hiked, because he was always running ahead and coming back for me.”

Waterbury hiked the full 567-mile Colorado Trial for six weeks, starting July 5 and ending August 15.

While the trail may be slightly easier for a four-pawed Alaskan Malamute/Labrador mix, it’s no secret that tackling the Colorado Trail is daunting.

The trail runs from Waterton Canyon south of Denver to Durango, and a through hike generally takes four to six weeks to complete.

According to the Colorado Trail Foundation, trail users will pass through six wilderness areas and cross eight mountain ranges, with the highest elevation topping out at 13,271 feet.

The average elevation is over 10,000 feet, and the trail rises and falls dramatically. Users who hike from Denver to Durango will climb a total of 89,354 feet.

Travel is recommended between late June and late September, because of snowpack issues, and a finish before “snow becomes plentiful” in late September is cautioned by the foundation.

And in those few summer months, hikers have to look out for lightning and hail and insects.

“I got bitten several times by horseflies. I hate those things,” Waterbury said. “The trail was pretty buggy at times.

But I was really lucky with the weather. Even though it rained pretty often, I was below the tree line when the bad storms occurred.”


Waterbury works in the paediatric intensive care unit at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian /St. Luke’s in Denver.

It’s a very flexible job, which provides a lot of time and freedom to lead the active lifestyle Waterbury prefers

. She had completed short backpack trips—nothing longer than three days—and had even hiked small segments of the Colorado Trail before this odyssey. Still, this was a big undertaking for her.

“I decided in January that I should do something more challenging this summer,” Waterbury said. “It seems like summers disappear so fast. I wanted this to be a memorable summer.”

Read the full article, Written by Kim Glasscock


You don’t need to go to the extremes that Anne did, but I think you’ll find her adventure inspiring.

I guess the breed of her canine companion, Jude made it more practical than if she had been accompanied by one of the toy breeds.


Big Agnes Tents live up to their reputation for roomy design and 4 season comfort.

All our tent reviews highlight easy set up, and the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8-person tent, featured here, fits the bill.

This easy to set up tent is made even simpler to erect because of the color-coded poles.

They easily push through guides that are clearly described on printed instructions which are securely attached to the carry bag, so can’t be misplaced.

It is designed for year round use. You will stay warm and dry in the snow, although sub-arctic conditions might be a test.

The dome configuration means there is not as much headroom overall, as found in a straight-walled cabin tent. But there is still ample clearance, grading to six feet in the centre.

Technical specifications:

Tent material: The fly is made of polyurethane coated ripstop polyester. The body is polyester ripstop with polyester mesh. The floor is PU-coated polyester.

Capacity: 8-person.

Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Tent

Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Tent

Type: Double wall free-standing 4-season dome tent.

Poles: Six DAC Pressfit Reverse Combi aluminium poles.

Pole attachment: Clips and sleeves.

Doors: Two entrances.

Vestibules: Two, measuring 35 square feet.

Panels: meshed ceiling and side panels.

Seams: Fully taped.

Gear Loft: Available, sold separately.

Interior Height: 72 ins.

Floor Dimensions: 175 ins in length, 115 ins at widest point.

Floor space: 112 square feet.

Packed Size: 8 x 16 x 27 ins.

Packed Weight: 27 pounds, 12 ounces.

Trail Weight: 22 pounds, 6 ounces.

How the technical details translate into benefits for you.

  • The size and configuration make the Big Agnes tent ideal for the family camper. It is designed for year round use, and the rear compartment, with a separate entrance, is great for the kids.
  • The ripstop polyester material is able to withstand the rigours of family camping.
  • What is ripstop? It’s a lightweight woven material which resists tearing and ripping. The same technique is used in the manufacture of parachutes, sails, even hot air balloons. Anywhere a material is required not to fail under stress (just like family camping).
  • The huge polyurethane coated rain fly provides a secure roof over your heads. The PU coated floor is an added insurance against unwanted moisture. It is a very effective, breathable water barrier.
  • Colour coded tent poles make for an easy to set up tent. We advise that two people handle the setting up. Allow about 15 minutes.
  • The tent poles are a key component in this tent’s lightweight sturdiness. They are manufactured by the Donagh Aluminium Corporation (DAC) in South Korea.
  • Aluminium poles have a high strength to weight ratio. The Pressfit description refers to the ground-breaking pole jointing technology which increases durability, while keeping weight down.
  • Easy to follow instructions allow you to fit the poles into clearly indicated clips and sleeves.
  • Superb ventilation adds to the comfort factor. This is achieved through mesh ceiling and side panels.
  • Front and back vestibules keep the entrances protected and provide added shelter from the elements, whether sun or rain.
  • Two doors mean extra convenient access.
  • Convenient storage pockets cleverly placed within.


I have omitted cost details because places like Amazon constantly review their prices. They are always attempting to offer you the best deal. Just click on the Amazon button to get the current low price.

Big Agnes tents

Don’t forget to check out their free delivery and returns policy.

 In a nutshell: why do we like this Big Agnes tent? It’s the simple things

Big Agnes gear loft

gear loft accessory

It’s roomy and versatile. It can be used as your base camp when hiking or climbing.

Has the space for setting up an eating room in bad weather. Although generally we would not recommend having food in the tent. Never know what critters are prowling around at night.

Place a tarp under the spacious vestibules and you can keep your entrances clean and dry. The vestibules are a great feature because they can be completely closed, rolled away, or set up for shade.

It’s an easy to set up tent in the dome configuration, but still has room to move.

It can handle sudden changes in weather, such as wind, rain and snow.

Plenty of mesh storage pockets, some located at head height, for those bits and pieces that can otherwise become clutter.

Reflective guy ties help against stumbling in the dark.

The closed off section at the rear. Kids love it, so do  dog campers.

Easy to follow instructions come attached to the carry bag.

The carry bag is roomy and make this tent a lot easier to fold and pack than some.

One minor gripe: Some campers have found that the zips were not as sturdy as they expected for a tent this size. Counter this by using best practice and don’t neglect maintenance and cleaning.

To see what others have to say, just click here and read some detailed customer reviews.

Big Agnes Tents pass the test of most tent reviews when it comes to good design and durability.

But take our tip to prolong the life of your tent. Spend a little extra for, at least, a cheap poly tarp to place under the floor when setting up. This goes a long way to delay wearing of the floor, and guards against damage from rocky ground or exposed tree roots.

This tent has available dedicated floor protection, called a footprint, which can be bought separately.

A nice feature of the tent is the “spare back room” which has just enough space to squeeze in a queen-size air mattress.

The compartment can be folded back when not needed, to reduce the area of the floor plan. This is a handy feature of this Big Agnes 4 season tent, if the spot for pitching the tent is on the small side.



kodiak canvas tents

Kodiak canvas tents at Scouts Of America jamboree

Canvas tents are a great choice if you want a rugged and durable product.

Canvas tent fabric has a number of unique advantages over polyester.

Its hard-wearing properties, and serviceabilty as a 4 season tent, are the reasons many buyers choose canvas fabric over polyester.

Modern canvas material also has other benefits:

  • Because they are heavier and have more substance, canvas tents are better suited for extended camping trips.
  • They are able to be manufactured in a cabin tent style, which allows for sturdy straight walls. There is more room to move about inside.
  • These tents generally have more head room, so no need to continually stoop.
  • Canvas fabric is better able to cope with rough winter weather.
  • They are a 4 season tent well suited also to summer camping because canvas breathes better than polyester.
  • If you choose canvas, it will be many years/decades before you need to think of a replacement.


The two standout disadvantages of canvas are its higher price and extra weight, which makes it a little more difficult to transport.

Even though they are heavier than polyester tents, they are not as weighty as the canvas tents of the past.

It is also more bulky, so does not pack down as conveniently as polyester/nylon tents.


What are the properties of canvas fabric that make it so suitable for camping tents?

  • Cotton is essentially the backbone of canvas, and has been for generations.
  • In fact, for seniors like me, it is a memory of early family camping trips with heavyweight, unwieldy canvas tents, that have made us avoid getting involved with canvas again.
  • But these days, top grade canvas is often made of polyester/cotton blend.
  • This utilizes the good attributes of both these materials and reduces the negatives.
  • The cotton-based material gives it superior ability to breathe and the facility to seal really well and be water tight.
  • Cotton by itself is not as strong compared to the various forms of polyester fabric in the same gauge. That’s the reason the old style canvas tent fabric had to be woven so heavily.
  • Polyester by itself has superior strength to weight ratio, which results in stronger, lighter tents.
  • But polyester alone does not breathe nearly as well as canvas, which leads to issues with condensation and poor temperature control.
  • Unlike canvas, polyester will not contract around the stitching points, which then become prone to leaking.


Why you need to take steps to prepare your new canvas tent before its first camping trip?

Even the best canvas fabric is not water proof to its full potential. Although near impossible to see with the naked eye, the holes left by the sewing needle are slightly larger than the thread passing throught it.

This leaves a point vulnerable to leaking. But the poly/cotton thread used to join the cotton, or poly/cotton blend canvas fabric, has the properties for self-sealing.

If you follow the recommendations, the thread will expand and the canvas shrink to make the sewing holes impervious to water.

These tents, for the most part, do not need special treatment after purchase. But you are advised to follow a few basic steps to ensure you stay dry while camping.

We suggest that you check first with the manufacturer whether or not your tent has been waterproofed.


This is how to weatherproof your new canvas camping tent.

  • Your tent needs to be “weathered”, and this is achieved by repeating a wetting and drying process.
  • Pitch the tent, then spray it with water from a hose and let it dry. Repeat this a few times.
  • You could do this by leaving the tent out in the rain a number of times. The hose is more convenient, but make sure you set the nozzle to a gentle spray.
  • By doing this, the poly/cotton thread stitching will expand, while the canvas fabric shrinks up to around four per cent.
  • If you have the opportunity to set up at home during constant rain, this might be more beneficial in soaking areas of the tent fabric which have multi layers. This includes spots like reinforced corners or where edges are folded over.
  • Don’t panic if there is some dripping from the joins. These areas will leak until the canvas fabric has a chance to dry off.
  • If your tent is used primarily in hot and dry weather over a number of years, and not been subject to any wetting in this period, this weathering process will have to be repeated.


It might take a decade of constant use, but the tent will eventually need re-waterproofing.

Look for the signs that tell you whether you need to take steps to make your tent more waterproof.

This will be apparent when water starts leaking through the canvas fabric itself, not just the seams.

You will most likely notice wet spots staying after the rain has ceased.

The canvas will give you a sort of dry and dusty feel to the touch.


Pays to buy a quality water proofing agent.

This is usually in the form of a water-based sealant, and is available in cans from camping stores.

The sealant is painted on and dries to a clear finish.

Make sure the sealant is of a thin consistency so that when you paint it on, it will soak right in.

Use the recommended thinner, if required.

Don’t paint on if if it feels like you are applying a thick surface paint.

Before you begin the reproofing process, make sure you have a clean surface and treat any mold.

Otherwise the reproofing will lock in the dirt and mold.


Do regular basic maintenance of your canvas tent fabric and get decades of reliability.

Follow these canvas care tips:

  • Ideally, begin by cleaning your tent at the campsite before packing it up.

    Kodiak canvas tents

    Ground view of Kodiak canvas tents

  • Use a soft brush or broom to remove, dust, dirt and minor stains. Don’t get too rough with the canvas.
  • Hose down the tent with cold water, if possible.
  • For bird droppings and other stubborn to remove material, use very hot water. This will slacken the weave in the canvas tent.
  • Use an old toothbrush for bird droppings, but remember not to scrub too hard.
  • Never resort to detergents, soaps or bleach. This will almost certainly affect the waterproofing and coloring of the tent.
  • Don’t use high pressure spray devices. They can leave an unwelcome trail in the canvas as the waterproofing and color are scoured away.
  • Whenever possible, ensure your tent is dry before packing up at the campsite.
  • If you must pack up a wet or just damp tent, ensure it is thoroughly aired and dried within the following 24 to 48 hours.
  • Once home, set up the tent, hang it up, or lay it out to dry. Set it up even if it is still raining, then pack it away once it has a chance to completely dry, after the rain has passed.
  • Never store wet canvas because this leads to mold growth.
  • At the first sign of mold or mildew, hose it and wipe it down before it gets a chance to grow into the fabric.
  • Never store canvas tents directly on concrete surfaces. This encourages mold and insect infestation, as well as having the potential for a harmful acidic effect.


Take care of the canvas tent fabric, but don’t forget the zippers.

Faulty zips can become a big headache. It could hinder entry and exit, also compromise tent ventilation. So include them in your general tent maintence.

If allowed to deteriorate too far, it could lead to costly repairs.

Keep zips clean and have them closed when putting up or dismantling your tent..

A good silicone spray is recommended to keep them lubricated

Avoid oil-based lubricants because they will attract dirt and grit, which will wear out the zipper a lot faster than normal.

Never force a zip, and never zip over wet or dried mud.

A warn slider will sometimes present itself by teeth not meeting up correctly.

A slider can be replaced. But if you are still at the campsite, try a little “first aid” by using a pair of pliers to squash the slider slightly (very slightly, mind).

Remember, this is a temporary fix only. Don’t leave the proper replacement too long.

Preferably, don’t let it get to this stage, because the canvas will need to be placed under a machine to restitch the unpicked area to install the new zip.


If you have have read right down to here, it might appear a big task to look after canvas. But all these steps are pretty basic. You just need to avoid putting off the job once you arrive home from your camping trip, and next time out have the reassurance you are unpacking a clean. water tight and durable canvas tent.

Canvas tents remain a top choice for family camping. Just click here for our review of the popular Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent, a 4 season tent.












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