Men’s Hiking Style Guide

17 - Hiking Style Guide Hero

Function and fashion are important.  When exploring the world function is the most important.  If someone says that fashion doesn’t matter, it can be assumed they probably wears crocs to weddings and have no real say on the topic.  Get outside and look good exploring this beautiful world of ours.

3 - Down Jacket v2Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket

Perfect for layering on those blustery days, the Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket for men is the piece your wardrobe has been missing. Outstanding in its warmth to weight ratio, this cozy jacket will keep you going through plummeting temperatures and blustery conditions.  [PURCHASE]

 

3 - Rain Jacket v2Helly Hansen Loke Jacket

The Helly Hansen Loke Jacket is an essential light weight shell. Practical for a variety of weather conditions with full water and windproof yet breathable construction. With front storm flap to keep out wind and rain, and with vents to prevent overheating.  [PURCHASE]

 

3 - Hat v2Columbia Trail Dryer Cap

The Trail Dryer Cap has a sweat-activated, super cooling headband, offers UPF 50 protection from the sun and has a hook-and-loop back adjustment. Sometime the future is so bright you ahve to block it out with a brim.  [PURCHASE]

 

3 - Shoes v2Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes

For lightweight performance on and off the trail, lace up the Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes for men and get outside this season! Designed to be as comfortable as they are effective in wet and slippery conditions, the Terrex Fast X hiking shoes are made with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner to keep your feet dry and happy no matter where the trail takes you.  [PURCHASE]

 

1 - WatchFreestyle Navigator 2.0 Watch

The Freestyle Navigator 2.0 Watch has a built in digital compass with 1° of resolution and declination adjustment to help make navigating a breeze. The Navigator 2.0 also features three alarms, a calendar, and a timer useful for many outdoor activities including hiking and running.  [PURCHASE]

 

1 - pantsMountain Hardwear Warlow Hybrid Pants

The perfect alpine spring climbing pant designed in collaboration with Mountain Hardwear’s athletes. Minimal design with maximum stretch and superior fit make the Mountain Hardwear Warlow Hybrid Pants the most versatile and well rounded outdoor pants know to man.  [PURCHASE]

 

 

 

Top 5 Sleeping Bags

Best Sleeping Bag Hero

Top 5 Sleeping Bags

What goes into picking out the Top 5 Sleeping Bags?  A lot of sleep.  This great assortment of bags spans a wide range of needs, designs, and of course budgets.  There’s a lot of hype surrounding camping gear these days and we cut through the mud by selected the Top 5 Sleeping Bags that you’ll want most.  Take your time, snuggle in, and browse through the randomly ordered list.

 

Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag

The Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag snuggles into Big Agnes‘ classic series of down bags that offer extreme warmth, tight compressibility, and big comfort.  The Lost Ranger 15’s built in pillow pocket holds a fleece perfectly and the integrated full pad sleeve allows for any 20″ rectangular sleeping pad to be slipped into place – imagine staying on your sleeping pad all night and not slipping off! [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  15° F
Weight:  2 lbs. 14 oz.
Insulation Type:  DownTek – Water Repellant Down – 650 Fill – 14.5 oz.

 

 

Eureka Cimarron 15 Sleeping Bag

Eureka Cimarron 15 Sleeping Bag

Fleece Pillow Pocket, yep that’s right – head resting doesn’t get any more comfortable than that.  Eureka‘s ThermaShield synthetic insulation combined with a full zipper draft tube are a few things that attributes to the Cimarron 15’s successful warmth.  The Eureka Cimarron 15 Sleeping Bag is the perfect sleeping bag for under $100.  It weighs slightly more than the rest of the bags on this list, but for the price point it can’t be beat.  [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  15° F
Weight:  4 lbs. 1 oz.
Insulation Type:  ThermaShield Synthetic – 2 lbs. 10 oz.

 

 

 

Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag

Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag

Simply put the Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag is a show stopper.  As an active part of the Kelty TraiLogic Collection the SB 35 Sleeping Bag stays dry 10 times longer, stays warmer by retaining 170% more loft, and dries 33% faster with the incredible 800-fill DriDown insulation.  The Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag is one of the lightest sleeping bags on the market – it’s a must have for hiking in to a spot.  [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  32° F
Weight:  1 lbs. 9 oz.
Insulation Type:  DriDown – Hydrophobic Down – 800 Fill – 11 oz.

 

 

 

Marmot Trestles Sleeping Bag

Marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag

With enough room to swim in the Marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag is one of the roomiest of the bunch.  With a trapezodial foot box and large entry (full length zip on one side and 1/4 length zip on the other) this Marmot bag is easy to love.  If the Trestles 15 happens to get damp or wet the SpiraFil Synthetic Down will continue to regulate heat and keep the bag warm.  Although its compression size is a little large than most the price point is tough to beat on just a well rounded bag.  [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  15° F
Weight:  3 lbs. 14.25 oz.
Insulation Type:  SpiraFil – Synthetic Down

 

 

Mountain Harwear Pinole Sleeping Bag

Mountain Hardware – Pinole 20 Sleeping Bag

For a 20° F bag the Mountain Hardware Pinole 20 Sleeping Bag does wonders with warmth because of the offset quilted construction and tailored face gasket.  A trapezoidal footbox, ample shoulder and hip room provides everything you need for a comfortable night’s sleep under the stars.  Every once and a while a sleeping bag fits just right, and the Mountain Hardware Pinole 20 Sleeping Bag is one of them at a price that amazing.   [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  20° F
Weight:  3 lb. 3 oz.
Insulation Type:  Thermal.Q – Synthetic Down

 

Backpacking vs Camping

Camping is all about getting away from it all, right? Fresh air, singing birds, a babbling brook and limited cell service can quite literally melt stress like nobody’s business. But like any get-away, along comes the packing, planning and anxious feelings that often accompany traveling. Any experienced traveller knows first hand that keeping it simple will cut down on packing time, unpacking time and overall enjoyment.

Now, there are a couple different ways to “camp.” Neither is necessarily better than the next, but it’s important to know the difference next time your talking up your love for the outdoors to that cutie you’re trying to impress. Basically, backpacking is more hard core than camping, AKA “car camping.”

imagesBackpacking
Backpacking sounds pretty cool – strap on a high tech back pack and hike to your camp site. For many, however, backpacking is an absolute nightmare. There are no showers, garbage cans, and definitely no toilets. Backpackers must carry out everything they take into the wilderness. Backpackers are forced to bring only what they need for the duration of the trip because everything must be carried on one’s back. Heavy packers, beware.

The beauty of backpacking is that one truly gets away from it all. Backpackers are rewarded with pristine wilderness, uncrowded trails, minimally impacted land and solitude. Some of the world’s most beautiful sites can only be found by hitting the trial with your backpack. A book, a journal or possibly a yo yo might be the only source of the outside world of entertainment. Get ready to dig deep into your soul and let nature bring you back to your true self.

For you’re backpacking trip, you’ll need a one-person or two-person lightweight tent, a sleeping bag, a rain jacket, hiking pants, hiking boots, a couple performance shirts and possible a fleece. Smart packing is crucial. Food must carefully be planned out, being sure to minimize any extra packaging that could take up valuable space and weight.

images-1Car Camping
While some people downplay car camping, for many, it’s the most fitting solution to getting a big dose of nature. It certainly has it’s pluses. Families with young children can easily enjoy the outdoors while not missing too many comforts from home. Partiers can bring all the cold beer their hearts desire on a car camping trip. Boats, bikes, fishing poles, rafts, baseball gloves and countless other activities can be enjoyed on a car camping trip.

It can be quite nice to bring more “stuff” on a car camping trip, but it can also become overwhelming, so pack accordingly! Have fun planning meals, but don’t make it overly complicated unless you’re a seasoned gourmet chef. Take advantage of the extra space in the car by keeping your gear organized in bins.

Most car campers choose to bring a three-person or four-person tent, along with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and all the other basic camping and hiking must haves mentioned above.

Whether testing your backcountry skills with backpacking or getting the crew together for a weekend car camping trip, be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into! Safety is always of the utmost importance and camp within your comfort level.

Best Waterproof Tents for Camping

A little rain doesn’t have to put a ‘damper’ on your camping trip to the mountains with the family. In fact, the steady rain fall on your tent is actually quite soothing along with the intoxicating sweet smell of summer rain. Furthermore, morning dew is no joke when you’re outside all night. A waterproof tent will keep that moisture at bay. The wrong tent, however, might keep you out of the woods for a while and your family will be less than thrilled should nature decide to water the Earth. Crossing your fingers that it won’t rain on your crappy tent isn’t the best plan either. Knowing what to look for in a waterproof tent will help you determine the best tent for your needs.

What To Look For

Waterproof claims mean nothing unless your tent keeps 100% of the water outside of your tent. Look for a lightweight tent with seam tape. A heavier camping tent tends to weight the tent down, especially when wet, and it’ll also be easier to carry if hiking. Waterproof seam tape is arguably the most crucial feature to look for in a reliable waterproof tent. A tent with a one piece tub floor is also essential in staying dry. The floor should be made of waterproof material that comes up at least few inches on the sides before it is sewn to the tent walls. Seams on or near the floor of the tent are just asking for water seepage. Steer clear of those models!

Single Vs. Double Wall Tents – The best waterproof tent should repel rain and dew from the outside. It  also needs to breathe in order to eliminate condensation from the outside. A less than ideal tent will be loaded with moisture on the walls in the morning, regardless of whether or not it rained. Who wants to wake up to a damp and clammy mess? There are two types of tents to satisfy these functions…

  • Double Wall Tent– A double wall tent uses a detachable rainfly over the tent to repel outside
    moisture.  It eliminates inside moisture with breathable tent walls usually constructed of nylon and mesh. The floor usually  features a tougher duty nylon that goes part way up the sidewalls forming the ‘bath tub’ look. Again, no seams on or near the floor is key. The untreated nylon walls have mesh windows for ventilation and moisture management along with a double door (one mesh, one nylon). Sometimes, the walls are made entirely of mesh to save weight. The second part of the double wall system is the fly. The rain fly of a double wall tent is what separates the well-made, best tents from the lesser ones. The fly is often treated with a waterproof non-breathable coating to better shed water. Think of the fly as the tent’s “umbrella.” It attaches to the stakes and allows water to bead off of it away from the tent perimeter keeping it’s occupants completely dry. Double wall tents have more parts than single wall, are heavier and cost less than single wall tents.
  • Single Wall Tent– A single wall tent manages moisture with only one layer. In other words, there is no rain fly. The tent walls are usually a laminate of waterproof and breathable materials. Sounds like a technical shell, right? Such high tech materials also come with a higher price tag. Single wall tents are most often used by backpackers, mountain climbers, and bicycle or motorcycle campers since they are so lightweight and contain less parts.

What To Avoid

Steer clear of waterproof tents without a dry entryway feature. It ensures that water pooled on the ground cannot rush into the tent and flood the area. Without a dry entryway, you risk you things getting wet inside the tent when you open the door. It also stands as a nice place to keep wet shoes.

No matter how attractive the price, avoid tents that feature an abbreviated fly that will inevitably allow water to pour onto some part of the tent. A tent that allows its non-coated walls (most double layer tents) to encounter continuous moisture will leak the moment the fabric is touched and stressed from the inside. A tent with such a design flaw will almost certainly ruin a camping trip the first time adverse weather  hits.

Other Considerations

  • Air Out The Tent – A waterproof tent isn’t only about keeping rain out. Remember that moisture from your breath will build inside the camping tent overnight, especially in humid areas. Remove the rain fly during the day (if it’s not raining!) and open windows of a single layer tent whenever possible.
  • Use a Ground Cloth – Some tents come with a ground cloth while they are also available for purchase. The ground cloth should be slightly smaller than the footprint of the tent. Their purpose is to help protect the tent floor from sticks, stones, and rough spots that could puncture the tent. They also help to keep inevitable ground water from seeping into the tent. A regular tarp can be used, but be sure to tuck the edges under the tent so that rain doesn’t run down the tent walls onto the tarp and consequently collect under the tent.
  • Do Not Store Tent in a Stuff Sack – When you’re not camping, store your tent in a dry, ventilated area. This will keep it from sticking to itself and will lengthen it’s life span. Waterproof and breathable materials, like the fly, need air to maintain their properties. Use the stuff sack to pack your tent when going to and from the camp site.

Shop The House’s for the best tent brands.

 

Best Kids Sleeping Bags

From the living room to a tent in the woods, a comfortable sleeping bag for kids is the ticket to a life long love for camping. Sleeping in a soft,fluffy, mummy-like bag truly is way more fun than any adult can imagine. Like all camping gear, there are all sorts of sleeping bags to choose from coming in at various prices. Not all kids sleeping bags are designed for the same type of child. Where, when and how your child will be using it are a few important questions to ponder before making a final decision. Let’s take a look at sleeping bag shapes first.

  • Rectangular – Rectangular sleeping bags are best for RV camping, summer camp and sleep overs in the living room. They are not the warmest bags since there is more air space thorough the bag. If your child might camp in a tent once or twice a year during the warm summer months, a rectangular bag will work just fine. They take up more space, so packing them in a backpack isn’t advised or even possible. Rectangular bags are often recommended for kids 5-8 years of age.
  • Mummy – Mummy sleeping bags are primarily designed for tent camping where warmth and pack weight are priority considerations. They are not the best choice for children’s summer camps and RV camping. A mummy sleeping bag would not be the best choice for a young child who moves around a lot or takes up a lot of space when they sleep. It could be confining and uncomfortable for such kids. Mummy bags pack down quite small, so they’re perfect for campers who will need to stash their bag for a hike to the camp.
  • Modified Mummy – The modified mummy combines the best features of a rectangular bag and a true mummy bag. Most feature an internal draw sting for enclosing the user’s head. They usually feature better than average temperature ratings for cooler weather and lower weight for carrying. Unlike a true mummy bag, the taper is not as pronounced resulting in a great deal of sleeping comfort. Modified mummies also feature a longer zipper, so it’s easier to get in and out of. Modifed mummies are great for campers who have ventured beyond the living room, but aren’t quite ready for an overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Once you determine the best shaped sleeping bag for your child, now it’s time to sift through the features. Some are necessary, while others will just tack some extra dollars onto your purchase. We mapped out the key features…

Must Have Features

  • Synthetic Shells and Liners – Typically polyester taffeta is used because it’s durability and water resistance.
  • Double Zippers – Double zippers can be opened or closed from inside or out of the bag. They are often listed as “self-repairable.” If they become separated, a simple re-closing or opening will re-engage the zipper teeth.
  • Draft Tubes – These are “tubes” or doubled layer of fabric that run the length of the zipper to keep cold air from seeping in through the zipper teeth and material.
  • Tubular Synthetic Fill Insulation – Insulating material fibers are like mini-straws, providing more dead-air insulating space for better temperature control. In recent years, new tubular synthetic fill insulation has even surpassed down as the best insulating material in regards to weight versus performance abilities.

Camping Checklist

 

The list
The Boy Scout Motto is simply “Be Prepared.” Preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Having the necessary supplies and equipment can make or break your overall enjoyment, experience and likelihood of spending time in the great outdoors again.  Checklists are a great tool to help with your organization and to ensure that you don’t leave any essentials behind. Your camping checklist will vary according to the type of camping and activities you have planned, the time of year and the length of your trip. Add or remove items to suit your individual needs and desires…

Shelter and Camp Checklist – New campers often over look what sort of gear they’ll need besides the tent. Where will you sit by the fire? On the ground? Sure, but a folding chair is much more comfortable. Check out the items that made it to our shelter and camp checklist…

  • Tent
  • Tent footprint, tarp or ground cloth for underneath the tent
  • Extra stakes
  • Shade tarp or screen house
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Folding chairs
  • Folding table
  • Musical instruments
  • Hammock
  • Rope or clothesline

Bedding – A sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are really all you’ll need. Some people, especially people with babies, prefer air mattresses with sheets and blankets. Stick with a sleeping back to start, then see which you prefer!

Food – Now of course, your camping meals are a matter of preference. Some campers go all out with marinated steaks, corn on the cob with herbed butter and freshly roasted potatoes. It’s certainly possible to prepare a gourmet meal in the wilderness! However, don’t spread yourself too thin at first. Keep it simple and satisfying for your first couple of family camping trips with the food basics below.

  • Coffee and/or tea
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Granola/oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Energy bars
  • Pancake mix and maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Bread or bagels
  • Jam and peanut butter
  • Meat (fresh and jerky)
  • Cooking oil
  • Vegetables
  • Drink mixes or electrolyte mixes
  • Trail mix
  • S’moors fixins (graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmellows)
  • Fruit (dried and fresh)
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Canned soup
  • Crackers/chips
  • Spices and herbs

Kitchen – You can set up a mini, functional outdoor kitchen in no time. Grills are often the norm at campsites, but don’t rely soley on the grill unless you’re planning to fire it up for burgers and grilled veggies three times a day. To vary your meals, you’ll need a few pots and a pan to place on top of the grill for cooking. Again, not every item below is essential, but take a look and decide what you’ll use most.

  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Charcoal with firestarter
  • Frying pan
  • Two different sized cooking pots
  • Portable coffee maker or coffee press
  • Bottle opener
  • Plates, bowls, mixing bowls and utensils
  • Chef knife and paring knife
  • Table cloth
  • Resealable food storage bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Coolers with ice
  • Water bottle and hot/cold thermos
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Sponge
  • Dish towels
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water container
  • Portable or standing camp sink

Clothing and Footwear – Check the weather several times before you leave for your camping trip. Assume that it could change at any moment and be prepared with the essentials below.

Personal Items – Roughing it is fun and all, but you’ll certainly want a few items to feel clean, fresh, and protected from the sun on your camp trip.

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First-Aid kit – Check out our First-Aid Checklist
  • Personalized toiletry kit
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Personal medications

Tools and Gear – Your last bit of gear includes some miscellaneous items that will be handy and/or fun to bring along. The more you camp, the better an idea you’ll have of what’s most important and useful to you from this list!

  • Hammer
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Headlamps
  • Flashlights
  • Lantern with fuel
  • Candles
  • Water purification/filters/treatment   – How to purify water?
  • Park map/area guide
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Notebook with pen/pencil
  • Games/cards
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone and charger and 2-way radio/walkie talkies
  • Work gloves
  • Daypack  – Review of best daypacks

Happy Camping!

Best Daypacks: Hiking Daypacks

For treks and adventures that require you to carry more gear than can easily be fit into your pockets, a daypack is great to have.  Daypacks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and prints and deciphering between the countless options can be quite daunting. What makes the best daypack?   To narrow down your decision, take a look at the key factors that should be considered when purchasing a new day pack.

Daypack Size

There are two measurements to be aware of when choosing a new daypack – torso length and capacity.  Daypack capacity is measured in liters and typically ranges from 10 liters to as much as 70 liters. Depending on where you plan to take your pack, the capacity needed will vary. For day hikes, 30 to 40 liters will be plenty.  This will comfortably pack the essentials – food, water, first-aid kit, rain jacket and a fleece. For climbing and ski touring, a minimum of 40 liters is recommended to carry your necessary gear plus any extra clothing.  If trail running or racing is your thing, staying light is key and you should try to find a pack under 20 liters to minimize bulk and weight.

The torso length of a daypack is extremely important to ensure that the pack fits you well. Almost all quality daypacks will have a hip belt to distribute the load evenly between your hips and shoulders. If the hip belt does not fit correctly, the weight distribution will be off. This can lead to discomfort and even pain on extended trips. Women should try to stick to a daypack designed specifically for a women’s frame to ensure a comfortable fit. Most vendors will report a range of torso lengths that a specific pack is designed to fit.

To find your torso length, have a friend measure the distance from the top of your shoulder to the highest part of your hip bone, known as the iliac crest.  Then make sure your torso length is within the given torso range for a daypack to make sure you get the proper fit.

Panel Loading vs Top Loading Daypacks

Top-loading packs have one large compartment that is typically secured by a drawstring opening and flap at the top of the pack. are typically much larger and simpler in design than panel loader.  They are easier to load to capacity and can even be stuffed beyond the stated capacity. Cinch straps on the sides and top allow for gear to be compressed when the pack is not filled to the brim. The downside is that everything is in one large compartment, so keeping your gear organized and easily accessible can be a chore.

Panel loaders are similar to a school backpack with a large top loading zippered compartment.  Multiple compartments inside and outside differentiate panel loaders. The contents can easily be organized and accessed, making top loaders the most popular style of daypacks.

Hands-Free Hydration

With the countless features in today’s daypacks, perhaps the most important one is support for a hydration system. If you will be using the daypack for climbing, trail running, skiing or any other activity where you’ll get thirsty, you should consider dropping in on a hydration pack. These packs are compatible with a bladder inserted into it’s own pocket against the interior back of the pack. There is also a hose which clips to the shoulder strap for hands-free hydration. This system is nice if you don’t want to fumble around with a water bottle while running, hiking, wearing gloves or hanging on to the side of a mountain. They also make it much easier to carry more water since the bladder compresses as the water is drank.  Hydration specific packs come with a bladder and hose, but many daypacks are hydration compatible (bladder and hose sold separately).

A Few of our Favorite Hiking Daypacks

Dakine Session Hydrator Day Pack 6.5L Dakine Session Hydrator Daypack
The best part about this daypack is the 2L reservoir with Quick Disconnect hose will keep you hydrated for 10-20 miles.  Great for few hours on your mountain bike or old school hike trip.  Breathable DriMesh® back panel and shoulder straps.  Armor carry straps. Padded MP3 pocket

 

Patagonia Refugio Day packPatagonia Refugio Backpack Lemon Lime
The Refugio is one of Patagonia’s best selling daypacks! We love the compression straps, the insulated-hydration reservoir and DWR finish.  Great as a school backpack or quick hiking daypack.  Air-flow mesh back panel and shoulder straps. Padded compartment good for a 17-inch laptop.  Microfleece-lined pocket for sunglasses and electronics.
Comes in Grecian Blue, Black, Forest Glen, Deep Mango

The North Face Recon
The North Face Recon Backpack
Most likely made for urban adventures, but it is equipped with enough technical features to let it double as a bona fide hiking daypack/backpack.
Large main compartment with padded laptop sleeve and hydration clip/port
Padded Airmesh back panel with Spine Channel

Marmot Limestone 6p Tent

The Marmot Limestone 6P Tent is built for the entire family. With a ceiling that’s high enough to stand up in, and two generous D-shaped doors provide a feel like home away from home.
If you’re looking for a great tent and need to balance cost, design, function, durability, usability and performance, this is it!   The attention to detail is evident throughout, with great zippers and a mesh top for the hot summer nights and star gazing.  Whether it’s thunderstorm, rain, wind, sand or sun, the Limestone 6P will keep your whole family and a dog dry and cool.  Fast and easy to setup, just watch the video below.

Our Price: $399.95
Ships Immediately

Sellout Risk: Extremely High

Features and highlights of the Marmot Limestone 6p Tent:

  • Door Mat and Hanging Organizer Included
  • Two D Shaped Doors / Two Vestibules
  • Full Coverage Fly
  • Heavyweight Oxford 150 Denier Floor
  • DAC DA17 Poles – DAC tent poles are up to 15% lighter than aluminum, yet comparable in strength
  • Window Weld™ – Waterproof Window Construction Reduces Weight and Enhances Appearance
  • Multiple Fly Vents for Moisture Dissipation – Fly Vents
  • Maximum Weight: 17 lbs 13 oz / 8.1 kg
  • Minimum Weight: 15 lbs 5 oz / 6.9 kg
  • Dimensions: 76x100x120in / 193x254x305cm
  • Packed Size: 9.75 x 28 in / 25 x 71 cm
  • Vestibule Area: 26.27 sq ft / 2.4 sq m
  • Tent Poles: 4 / DAC 14.5mm Poles
  • Floor Area: 83 sq ft / 7.7 sq m

Choosing Best Tent for Family Camping

Best Tent for Family Camping

Family camping has long been a prized activity for families across the country. It’s cheap, convenient, fun and one of the best ways for families to “get away from it all.” For those haven’t ventured into camping, it’s usually due to lack of equipment and supplies. The most important piece of gear you’ll need is a tent. The rest will follow. Once you invest in a solid family tent, the fun will deliver for years and you won’t need to replace your tent anytime soon if you take good care of it. Before you dive too deep into The House’s wide selection of family tents, read on to learn about the most important features for you and your family…

What Size Tent Does My Family Need?

Tents are typically categorized by how many people it sleeps. Family tents sleep four or more campers. If you’re a heavy packer, plan on storing a lot of extra gear in your tent or will have a dog or two in your tent, you’ll want to consider opting for a larger tent. Don’t worry about the weight of the tent either.  Family camping tents are typically carried only from the car to the site, which is often no more than 50 feet! Read our article on types of tents here.

What Should I Look for in a Long Lasting Tent?

  • Warranty – The first thing you should look for in a long lasting tent in a warranty. If the company is confident in their product and workmanship they should have no problem providing one. When it comes to any type of gear, you often get what you you pay for. Especially for family campers with active kids and parents constantly in and our of the tent, consider purchasing a high-quality tent with a warranty from a brand that has proven itself to customers.
  • Poles – Aluminum poles are stronger than fiberglass or steel, which can bend or corrode.
  • Zippers – YKK zippers resists snagging, breaking and glide smoothly.
  • Materials – Most tents are made with nylon, but each manufacturer has different standards of quality regarding fabrics and level of water-repellency. Higher-denier fabric canopies and rainflies are more durable than lower-denier ones.
  • Flooring – An Oxford nylon floor is crucial for tents that you can stand up in because it will withstand foot traffic. Construction – Look for reinforced and/or taped seams in the tent construction. This will reduce chance of leakage in water prone places like corners.
  • Rainfly – A rainy is like ilk an umbrella for your tent. A full-coverage fly offers better weather protection than roof-only styles and also serves to block harmful UV rays from damaging your tent.
  • Footprint – While sold separately from any tent, the footprint is essential for extending the life of your tent. It’s like a big tarp that fits perfectly under the tent floor, protecting it from rocks, twigs and other abrasive objects that could damage your tent.

Key Features of a Family Tent

  • Ventilation – Since most camping is done in the summer, window and proper cross ventilation guarantee maximum air-flow. A screen on the door is also a big advantage as it doubles as a large window. A sleeping camper can emit up to a pint of water in one night! If all that moisture can’t escape, it condenses inside the tent making everything wet and campers clammy.
  • Usability – You’ll want a tent that is easy to set up. Look for tent poles that attach to clips rather than feeding through a long, continuous nylon tunnel. A combination of the two works fine, too. Some cabin style tents offer two doors, which can be nice for families with small children who go in and out of a gear packed tent frequently.
  • Freestanding – Most family tents these days are freestanding which means you do not have to stake the tent before setting it up. Once it’s set up, you can easily move it to a new location, then stake it down. It’s also convenient for shaking the tent out before packing up!
  • Inner Pockets and Loops – A tent with a lot of pockets and loops is ideal for family camping since families tend to have a lot of gear. They serve as a great place to store things like headlamps, baby wipes, snacks, and water bottles to keep them organized and off the tent floor. Gear loft loops allow for additional tent pockets (sold separately) to be attached.  A loop at the top of the tent can hold your lantern.
  • Headroom – Some tents stand tall enough for adults to stand upright. If this is important to you for chaining clothes or for added airiness, then look for a tent with the highest “peak height.”

Conclusion
If you plan to use your tent more than once a year, we highly recommend investing in a good quality family tent from the start. It will last far longer, create less frustration during set up/take down, will keep your family dry if it rains and will likely come with a lifetime warranty. As mentioned earlier, once you make the initial camping gear investment, you’ll be set for years of outdoor fun with the whole family!

 

Marmot Limestone 4p Tent

One of the favorites in family camping, the Marmot Limestone 4P Tent will feel like home away from home with it’s large door and a doormat. If you’re looking for a great tent and need to balance cost, design, function, durability, usability and performance, this is it! The attention to detail is evident throughout, with great zippers and a mesh top for the hot summer nights and star gazing.  Whether it’s thunderstorm, rain, wind, sand or sun, the Limestone 4P will keep you dry and cool.

Our Price: $299.95
Ships Immediately
Sellout Risk: Extremely High

Features and highlights of the Marmot Limestone 4p Tent:

  • Door Mat and Hanging Organizer Included
  • One D Shaped Door, One Vestibule
  • Full Coverage Fly
  • Heavyweight Oxford 150 Denier Floor
  • DAC DA17 Poles – DAC tent poles are up to 15% lighter than aluminum, yet comparable in strength
  • Window Weld™ – Waterproof Window Construction Reduces Weight and Enhances Appearance
  • Multiple Fly Vents for Moisture Dissipation – Fly Vents