The dictionary defines a tent as 'a portable shelter usually of canvas or other cloth stretched over poles or supports and fastened to ground with pegs and ropes'. That definition covers a wide variety of structures in many sizes, shapes and styles. Whether you're looking for family shelter on a camping trip, a pavilion for a wedding or a beach canopy, there's a tent to suit your needs.
When choosing a tent for camping, you'll need to consider how it will be used, how it will be carried, how many people will be sleeping in it, and how easy it will be to set up. The following descriptions of broad styles of tents should help you decide what kind of tent is best for your camping trip.
FRAME TENTS - Frame tents are generally regarded as an older style of tent. They use aluminum or steel poles to form a frame over which tent cloth, usually canvas, is draped. The newer styles are often made of cotton or a synthetic fabric with fiberglass frames. Frame tents can be elaborately designed and offer a great deal of room and structure inside. The biggest disadvantage is that they are often difficult to erect.
DOME TENTS - Dome tents are among most popular styles. Dome construction is used in tents as simple as children's bed tents. They generally consist of a fabric tent and flexible fiberglass or plastic tent 'poles' that slip through sleeves in fabric. The poles are shaped by fabric and give tent its rigidity. They're easy to set up and collapse, lightweight, and often offer a great deal of head room and comfort. Their major disadvantage is that they may be unstable in high winds.