When it comes to staying comfortable in the great outdoors, choosing a family tent is an important decision. Thomas gave us a rundown of his tent choice and shows us How To Choose A Family Tent.
In the last few years, we have been trying to get out camping a lot more than before.
We love the outdoors and being able to enjoy nature with our family.
We are a young family with two children (2 and 1) and a third on the way. It has provided so many fantastic experiences that we have all loved but having kids has also made us realise that we needed to invest in some better gear if we were going to make this hobby more than once or twice per year.
After doing a lot of thinking, reflecting, and research, we identified our biggest hindrances and what we could workaround, from clothing to cooking, from sleeping to exploring.
The Joys of Camping
Camping can be a really fun experience for you and your family if you have the right equipment. One
of the most important pieces of equipment is your tent! A good tent will keep you safe, dry,
comfortable, and secure during your stay in the great outdoors.
When we first started out with kids, we had gratefully borrowed an old family tent, and there were some pain points we identified very quickly that were making camping much less enjoyable but we were determined not to give-up, so we began researching how we can Choose A Family Tent!
We all know the rush of excitement on arriving at your campsite after a long drive, but sometimes it can start on a sour note when you get to set up. The kids begin getting restless and want to take off in every direction, the poles are often tangled and intertwined with each other and who even knows what way the fly goes on if you haven’t used the tent in a few weeks, it all becomes a faded memory.
What to look for in a tent
If you have young kids already, you know the importance of quality sleep, particularly for the littlies and this includes naps. This is even more important when camping as their little brains and bodies are working in overdrive learning about their environments, exploring and running wild all day so your tent can either help or hinder that!
Tents get Hot!
We kind of knew this at the back of our minds but it didn’t really matter until we got to nap time during the peak heat of the day. No one wants to take a nap on a sweltering day inside an already warm tent which leads us to over-tired children… Not good.
On the topic of sleep, who doesn’t love a good campfire, particularly after the kids go down for the night? It’s the perfect way to unwind and relax. Still, there was nothing worse than stumbling and tripping, trying to find our way to bed in the dark, which inevitably lead to waking children.
We also found it quite challenging to tend to our kids during the night, they are still at the ages where they can awaken a couple of times a night in need of comfort, and we wanted to be able to get to them quickly to prevent waking nearby campers!
What Size Tent?
When it comes to camping comfortably as a young family, size definitely does matter, and this is going to be a major consideration when you want to Choose A Family Tent . We knew we weren’t planning on braving hiking, or backpacking yet, at least not until our kids can all walk, so there was no limit on size for us except what would fit in the car. So we wanted to ensure there was plenty of internal space, somewhere for the kids to sleep, mum and dad, room for extra stuff and a place to play if the weather turned.
Now we had a basic list of the things our tent needed to provide; we began researching how we could overcome these problems we were having.
When we saw the fast-frame design featured in a few new tents, they seemed too good to be true at first. However, we were willing to give anything a shot! Even if it could make set up and pack down marginally smoother – It would be worth it.
Next, we looked at how we could improve the comfortability inside the tent, in regards to keeping the tent as cool as possible we knew we wanted to be able to have airflow throughout the entire tent through either windows or doors, and awnings to keep the sides of the tent shaded. We realised there were a few tents on the market now that featured a blackout coating on the inside of the fly, this not only improves the ease of getting kids to nap by cutting out virtually all light but can help reduce the temperature inside the tent, a huge bonus!
These became our ‘must-haves’.
Easy access to lighting was next on our list and we found that some modern tents have built-in lighting AND are designed with a new style of flooring that is meant to be less ‘crinkly’ underfoot, we put these on a ‘nice-to-have’ list but also knew that convenient pockets for torches, lantern hooks etc would assist with these issues also.
In regards to size, we realised we would prefer a minimum of two rooms (one for kids and one for parents) but 3 would be preferable to have some extra play space for the poorer weather days.
We ended up choosing the Oztrail Fast Frame Lumos 10 Person Tent as it met all of these needs and more.
Our Tent Decision
We were pleasantly surprised by our experience with these Oztrail steel Fast Frames. The tent went up so easily that it wouldn’t have taken more than 30 minutes for both setup and pack-up the very first time we used it and has only gotten faster since. One of our favorite features that we noticed were the colour coded clips which help you put the fly on correctly every time…no more guessing!
We also loved the expandable bag that makes quick pack ups much easier if we ever need to just get the tent in the bag and go!
The HUGE awnings of the Oztrail 10p Lumos tent was a large factor in our decision for this particular tent, the entire sides lift up on every side, allowing full airflow throughout the tent, there is also extra drop-down sides to the awning at the front for extra shelter, providing an extra place for the kids to play and relax when we wanted them to take a break and cool down from being out in the sun for too long.
The blackout coating of the Oztrail Lumos is advertised to reduce the temperature by up to 10 degrees and cuts out 95% of light.
The built in lighting of the Oztrail Lumos tent has three settings, including a night light mode which was perfect for being able to quickly find things at night (including the marshmallows we forgot to get out before the kids went to bed!).
The tent also had a non-crinkle floor made of PU-coated Polyoxford which comes up at the sides, preventing any water from coming in during heavy rain falls.
The Oztrail 10p Lumos tent has a head height of approx. 195cm and 3 rooms with sizes of 195 x 220cm for the 2 outside rooms and 200 x 220 for the middle room, so it has plenty of space and storage pockets for everyone, everything and anything that a growing family needs!
Other stats and specs:
o Packed up size – approx. 120 x 35 x 30cm
o Weight: 34kg
o Fly material – 150 Denier, ripstop polyester, 3000mm waterhead rating
o Noseeum mesh for windows and doors
o High and Low ventilation systems built in
o Access points for power and ducted fans/heaters
This tent really was the right choice for my family and our needs. Make sure you do your research and most importantly, make the decision and get out to see the Great Outdoors!
Thomas Kenneally & Family