Camping Gear Tips

Buying a Tent for Family Camping

What colour?

For some tent colour is simply a fashion statement or expression of personal preference but in some situations colour can be a matter of blending in, standing out, possibly even of life and death.

If you’re only thinking of camping at campsites or festivals, your tent colour is probably just a question of fashion, standing out or fitting in. In a large festival field or campsite a standout colour can making finding your home much easier.

If you’re camping wild or heading off the beaten track you may have other colour considerations. If you’re stealth camping and want to disappear you may want to look for something that will blend in and camouflage you in the kind of environments you will be camping in.

Colour can help you blend in or stand out, so what do you need?


Tent wild camping in forest

If you’re camping wild you may want a colour that blends in

On the other hand if you’re on an expedition and may need to make sure you can be seen to be safe, you may want a colour that stands out.

Look, see, and try before you buy

With so many models on the market it’s a good idea to look around before you buy. While the internet is great for research and price comparison we recommend visiting a large retailer or camping show to look at and compare different models before you buy.

You could make a family day out to a camping show where you can see different models of tents erected, crawl inside and imagine what it’s like in the sun, in the rain, in a storm.  There’s nothing quite like looking, seeing, touching, feeling and comparing for yourself to find out what suits you best.

Large outdoor retailers are great for advice  and guidance. Staff are usually knowledgeable and happy to share experience, answer questions and suggest models that will suit your needs.  Outdoor retailers like have extensive online catalogues, and in store stock a wide range of tents to suit all budgets and requirements. They are as good a place as any to start the search for your perfect family tent.

Iceland Western Fjords Rainbow

With the right tent your wildest camping dreams can come true

Disclosure note: Our thanks to Blacks whose support enabled us to bring you this post. 

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


  • A very comprehensive post !

    We run a number of camping trips throughout the year and tempt along many first time campers. I always recommend to either buy second hand or borrow for their first visit, I’ve lost count of the number of people who head to Tesco and end up with a cheap tent that simply isn’t up to the job…..and if the weather’s bad, can end up putting them off for life.

    I’ve had a number of tents over the years and have now graduated to a campervan, but still can’t help to get ‘tent-envy’ when I wander around a campsite.

    Roll on camping season!

    Chrissie x

  • Hi guys, thanks a lot for our brilliant post!!! You perfectly describe what we were thinking at: budget, dimension, stay dry…. actually we can’t wait to buy and start to camp!! Italy is summer 2013 destination…but still have to decide where!
    Let’s keep in touch
    Alessandra & the Toads Family

  • Many thanks for a really informative post. I’m in the market for a first-time family tent and your post has made me think about a couple of things I hadn’t previously considered.

    Thank you!


  • Hi,
    Glad I found this as I was searching the net about tents and wild camping and found this 🙂

    Our family started camping for the first time this year and we love it. The weathers turning abit now, but the summer we’ve had has made it well worth while and perfect for camping.

    We started off with a Quecha pop-up tent (we’re a family of 4) but recently had to change it due to some issues we had with it.

    We’ve now changed it for a Vango Icarus 500 and I just wondered if anyone else has one of these tents and what they thought of it?

    We’d also love to try wildcamping but are clueless as to where best to go and also if the tent we’ve now got is any good for the job.

    If anyone has used this tent I’d love to hear your views.

    Thanks 🙂

    • That was an Ozark Trail tent we bought from Walmart while in USA. Don’t know if they still make that model but there look to be similar designs from them. It was VERY heavy but very cheap.

  • It’s so easy to get carried away when buying a tent, when you start considering how many extra rooms you need besides the bedrooms! But unfortunately the bigger the tent the harder it gets to put it up, and that’s no fun with small children!

  • Wow. So glad I found this. I’ve been battling with tent for days now. Your article and one from familytentcenter(dot)com are life savers.

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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