The tent is one of the basic items of your special travel gear. And while choosing a tent size might sound very basic, it becomes a crucial task when multiple people share a tent. So when you are camping, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun due to a wrong tent size.
And a good size tent for camping is 14 square feet for one person. That means if two people are sharing a tent, the ideal floor size should have 28 square feet, and likewise, 41 square feet for three people.
However, there are some instances where measurement alone is not an ideal way to find a good size tent. There are other factors to look for, which we will guide you in this article.
Why Is Tent Size Important For Camping?
The answer to this million-dollar question is a complicated one. It is because multiple aspects play a role in determining a good tent size. And before going camping, you need to consider all of them, which are discussed below:
Vestibule Area Matters
Vestibule areas in a camping tent are enclosed spots along the sides or front of your tent that give extra room. They are situated outside the interior but beneath a rainfly.
And some tent sizes also take into account the size of the vestibule area. When that is the case, people often think the tent they bought is big, which is often wrong. For this reason, knowing the vestibule area is necessary. It will give you an accurate tent size for camping.
Family And Friends Have Different Needs
You cannot just take any tent to camp. You might need big spaces inside if you are going with your family. Since friends can share their spaces, taking one 4-person tent for four friends might suffice.
On the contrary, if you think a family of four will fit in a 4-person tent because you had previous experience with your friends, that will be a mistake.
Storage Capacity Is Important
Imagine this. You went camping in a one-person tent. But you took so much stuff that you must put some of it inside your tent. And this takes up a lot of places that you feel congested inside. Sounds scary, right? For this reason, consider taking a bigger one next time.
What Is A Good Size Tent For Camping?
Even though the ideal tent size should be 20 square feet per person, most camping tents nowadays are marketed as how many people can sleep in them. For example, a 4-person tent means four people can fit inside that tent.
However, it is not a good idea to choose the exact size tent for the exact number of people. Even though it says a 4-person tent, it will only be a good idea for up to three people to sleep in that tent.
And for this reason, there is a rule which you can follow. If you want the best tent size for camping, go by the n-2 rule. Here, “n” represents the number of people. So, choose a (6-2 =) 4-person tent for four people.
Below is a table that explains it well.
|Number of people||Good size tent|
|2||3 or 4-person tent|
|3||4 or 5-person tent|
|5||6 or 7-person tent|
|6||7 or 8-person tent|
|7||8 or 10-person tent|
|8||10-person tent or two 5-person tents|
|9||10-person tent, 12-person tent, or a combination of one 5-person tent and one 6-person tent|
|10||12-person tent or two 6-person tents|
|12||Two 8-person tents|
How To Choose The Best Size For Camping Tents By Floor Area?
Let’s say you already have a tent, and it’s an old one. It does not say how many people can fit in. In that case, you should calculate how many people can share that tent.
Step 1: Determine space for each person
It is ideal for one person to have at least 14 square feet of space in the tent. However, based on different needs, the ideal size might differ from person to person. If a person is small in height, a 10-12 square feet tent might be sufficient for them.
You also need to consider the number of things you want to put inside the tent. For example, speakers, lamps, and suitcases are some things that many people keep in tents during camping. Some might choose not to keep anything at all.
Step 2: Identify the tent floor area
Most tents tell you how much area they have. Some even separately tell you how much area is available inside the tent and how much is in the vestibule area.
If a tent says its main tent area is 120in x 120in, its size is 10 square feet. Since 1 foot = 12 inches, you can calculate your tent’s square feet by dividing its inch measurement by 12.
Step 3: Divide the tent floor area by number of people
Now that you know how much floor area your tent has and how much space each person should have, you can easily calculate the ideal tent size.
For example, if your tent area is 500 in x 500 in, and you need 10 square feet for each person, the tent is suitable for four people. The calculation is shown below:
500 square inches ÷ 12 = 41.67 square feet
41.67 square feet ÷ 10 feet = 4.1 = 4-person tent.
Choosing the right tent size can be crucial, especially for novice campers. Since we want you to have the best camping experience, we’ve answered some of the most common queries regarding tent sizes below.
Is a 10×10 tent too big for camping?
No, a 10×10 tent is not too big. It cannot fit more than two adults. However, two children might be able to share one 10 square feet tent. If an adult wants to use a tent just for sleeping and they don’t want to keep any other stuff inside, then a 10×10 tent might suffice.
How big of a tent is needed for 4 adults?
4 adults should share a tent that can fit six people in it. So, for four people, a 6-person tent is ideal. But if they can stay in a 4-person tent, they can go for it. However, it is always recommended not to do that.
How many beds can fit in a 6-person tent?
A 6-person tent is ideal for fitting four beds. If you decide to keep more beds than this, everyone inside the tent might feel congested. You also need to remember that you might need to preserve some space for extra stuff.
Can one person put up a 6-person tent?
Yes, one person can put up a 6-person tent. Usually, it takes 3-4 minutes for two people to set up a big tent. If one person alone puts up a 6-person tent, it might take them 10 minutes to do so.
Is an 8-person tent too big for camping?
Whether an 8-person is too big for camping depends on how many people want to share that tent. It will be too big if three or four people are willing to share an 8-person tent. But for four to six people, an 8-person tent is good.
There are many instances where people have shared their experience regarding tent camping, stating that it is never a good idea to go for an exact size tent for the exact number of people.
This way, you will get to determine a good tent for camping. Using the n-2 rule described in this article, you can stay tension-free and enjoy camping.
And remember to consider what stuff you want to put in the tent. If you forget to do it, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation while camping.
Take also a look at the 7 essential things to remember about when camping!
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Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.