If you’ve been thinking about a cheeky foray into the world of camping this summer, we know it can be a little daunting for first-timers. What should you pack? What essentials will you need for the road? Is a camp stovetop really that necessary? What about the tent — dome or pop-up?
While the essentials are often dependent on your personal situation (e.g if you’re camping with kids, or if you’re at a camp site with electricity versus one without), the one thing that’ll remain consistent throughout your outdoor adventures is the importance of having a good quality tent to come back to. After all, it will be your home away from home for a few nights, so making sure you choose one that’s comfortable, durable, sturdy and suits your lifestyle is key.
In saying that, it only takes five minutes searching the web to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of different tent options, all of which feel like they offer a bunch of seemingly great benefits. That’s why we’ve decided to help ease you into the process by rounding up a selection of our top-picks sorted via size and features like additional front canopies and multiple rooms.
The best camping tents available online in Australia
These tents are the most popular camping choice thanks to the ease with which they can be set-up, as well as their affordable price. So, if you’re a first-timer, we recommend getting a dome tent — especially if you’re a smaller family or travelling in a pair for a few nights and aren’t fussed about not having all the extra bells and whistles.
Serial backpacker? Or better yet — love to backpack with your partner or best mate? This nifty tent, weighing in at a compact 1.9kg, fits two people ever-so-comfortably and is prepared to withstand rain, hail and even snow — all thanks to its additional snow skirt. Oh, and rest assured — it won’t get too stuffy in summer either, as the rest of the tent is lined with breathable mesh to ensure the flow of hot and cold air inside and outside your temporary abode.
Coleman Camping Dome Tent, $162.68
If you’re looking for something bigger to bring the family along, this affordable four-person tent comes with all the trimmings, including a range of must-have features when attempting to camp with little ones. Some of my personal favourites are its dark room technology that blocks 90 percent of sunlight (so you’ll all be able to get some decent shuteye and, fingers crossed, won’t be woken up at the crack of dawn), as well as snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for a foolproof, no-tears setup. Win-win, pals.
A-Frame tents are often fitted to pairs , as they are fairly compact. This means they’re great for those of you who like to go hiking or mountaineering and are planning to pitch your hotel for the night somewhere on the road up.
Bigger than a swag — but majorly smaller than one of those big family tents — this trekker choice meets you in the middle. Despite comfortably sleeping two, it’s also light and compact enough to keep in a backpack, because hey, you never know when you might need an emergency shelter on hand.
Eureka Timberline Tent, $328.03
If you’re not going anywhere too windy or snowy, this lightweight tent fitted with a super breathable mesh body is perfect for your summer road trip adventures — and will ensure any of those pesky bush mosquitos won’t bother you. Its A-frame foundation also makes set up a breeze. You can thank us later for this gem of a find.
Tents with outdoor canopies:
If you’re planning on being one of those people that packs up their belongings every summer and heads down to the bush for a month over your holidays, setting yourself up with a good, sturdy tent (that won’t give out mid-trip) is a good idea. You can also splurge on some of the extra frills like a canopy if you have an outdoor kitchen set up that needs protection from rain and wind.
Constructed with high-quality 190T silver coating polyester and oxford cloth, this tent can resist water, UV and many other weather conditions, making it sure to last for years of fun-filled road trips to come. Did we mention it’s also fitted with a pop-up function, meaning you don’t have to fiddle with tent pegs and confusing instructions?
Coleman Four-Person Camping Tent, $239.95
If you want to add a sprinkle of luxury to your days of roughing it, this four-person temporary abode fitted with an exclusive sheltered front porch is great if you’re dealing with a location that offers minimal shade (or rain) as it provides optimal cover. It also boasts welded floors and inverted seams which are guaranteed to keep any water ‘n creepy crawlies out.
Multi-room family tents:
For those of you travelling in groups of friends, or large families, it’s nice to have separate rooms if you want a bit of privacy or down time.
Did someone say group camping trip?! This massive bad boy sleeps up to ten people and easily fits two queen air mattresses. You can easily keep it as one large communal space, or alternatively, put up the internal screen that can be used as a room divider. A mansion in tent form, if you will.
This next one sleeps eight — five in the back room, and three in the front. Alternatively, you can also just use the back room as a bedroom, and the front room as a lounge for that ultimate luxury because who said camping couldn’t be bougie, too?
If you’re no good with instructions, save yourself the trouble (and a fast-tracked divorce) with one of these handy pop-up tents that don’t require any pesky tent pegs.
This six-person pop-up is the creme de la creme of the camping world (especially if you’re not a fan of missing pegs and deciphering what on earth goes where) thanks to its pre-assembled poles. The tent’s windows and doors are also fitted with an extra outer fabric layer that can be adjusted based on your environment. For example, closed for colder nights, or rolled up if you want to get some airflow going (without letting the bugs in).
Special mentions go to the front entrance being super well-designed in the way that you have a mini enclosed front porch to leave your muddy shoes, and bags before you step straight into the sleeping quarters.
This one offers the same deal, just minus the mini front porch. However, its body is a little more insulating in cold weather, so if you’re heading into lower temps, this one is a go.
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