Trying to get a good night’s rest when camping is important when it comes to enjoying the experience. A full night’s sleep can leave you feeling refreshed, ready for adventure and can keep your sleeping schedule in check for when you return from your trip. However, everyone who has camped without a blackout tent before will be able to tell you how easy it is to be awoken in the early hours of the morning because the sun decided to make an appearance. Blackout tents are designed to keep the sun out of your tent, enabling you to have a longer, more comfortable sleep.
What is a Blackout Tent?
Blackout tents are designed to ensure that the bare minimum amount of sunlight can penetrate them. This often includes having black or very dark linings in their interior and, occasionally, the exterior. They achieve this by using materials that dispel light, or absorb all the possible light they can, preventing it from being visible inside the tent.
Whilst dark tents aren’t always advisable, especially if you’re trying to stay cool inside your tent, rest assured, that most tents with darkroom technology use materials designed to stay as cool as they possibly can. With that said, some tents are still cooler in warm weather due to their color.
It is possible to blackout a tent yourself using additional material, but it can add additional weight to your load and might not even work as intended.
Why Choose a Blackout Tent?
Blackout tents are fairly inexpensive, despite offering an additional feature that other tents typically do not carry. They’re useful for those who enjoy sleeping in for a couple of extra hours in the morning, and for those who are particularly sensitive to sunlight when trying to sleep. When camping, especially during the summer, it can become a grievance waking up at the crack of dawn each morning because the sun has started to rise. For some, this is great, but for others, they could really appreciate a couple of extra hours. As a result, blackout tents are also handy for afternoon naps, and also strongly advised for anyone travelling with a baby or young child- as they are particularly sensitive to the sunlight and more likely to suffer disruptive sleep as a result. Blackout tents are particularly useful for festival-goers, as trying to get as much sleep as possible is the key to enjoying a festival – along with being able to nurse a hangover in a dark environment.
The Best Blackout Tents
Blackout tents are fairly easy to find – providing you know what you’re looking for. Not all dark-colored tents work as blackout tents, as blackout tents use specialist technology and materials to keep their interiors dark.
#1 Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent
The Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent offers one of the darkest interiors on the tent market. Despite being a brilliant white on the outside, this unassuming tent boasts the ability to keep 99% of all sunlight out the tent. It comes with many different advantages, such as being a pop up tent, so it is also incredibly quick and easy to assemble. The white flysheet gives this tent additional heat protection, meaning the insides will stay cooler than some other tents available on the market.
The Quechua 2 Seconds tent is also resoundingly weatherproof, meaning that it can handle a lot of different unpleasant conditions that may be thrown its way.
#2 Coleman Dark Room Skydome Tent
- QUICK PITCH: Sets up in under 5 minutes thanks to pre-attached poles
- DARK ROOM TECHNOLOGY: Blocks 90% of sunlight so you can sleep in past sunrise; reduces heat (vs. a comparable Coleman tent) for a more comfortable rest anytime of day
- MORE HEADROOM: 20% more headroom than traditional Coleman dome tents thanks to nearly vertical walls
- WEATHER PROTECTION: WeatherTec system's tub-like floor, patented welded corners, and inverted seams help keep water out; strong frame withstands up to 35 mph winds
- WIDER DOOR: Makes it easier to move air beds, sleeping bags, and other gear in and out of the tent
This tent has been mentioned before in best tents for hot weather, due to its ability to reflect heat despite its dark exterior. Coleman is a renowned manufacturer of tents, and the Dark Room Skydome Tent integrates some of the best design and technology available on the market. The Coleman Dark Room Skydome tent blocks 99% of light, making it an effective darkroom tent. Along with this, the Skydome tent also comes in different sizes, making it ideal for small and large groups of people. The tent may get stuffy due to a lack of ventilation, but the material it is made from helps prevent the build up of heat- especially external heat.
#3 GEERTOP Darkroom Tent for Camping 4 Person
- 【High-tech fabric】This tent features of multi-coated black rubber fabric, which can avoid about 90% of the sun from shining into the tent effectively, UV protection, let you enjoy a sleep or awake naturally
- 【Easy to Set Up Tent】With 3 durable & ultralight frame poles to set up in no more than 10 minutes; Snag-free, quick to set up effortless
- 【Electrical Cord Access】This camp tent features a upgrade design with a electrical cord access, Convenient for electricity power supply when outdoor activities，safe and reliable
- 【Portable & Waterproof】Water-Resistant tent floor up to PU2000mm; With a sun and rain protection tentfly; Could be pack into a backpacking size - 25.6 x 7 x 7 inches, lightweight, weighs about 6.9 lbs, Suitable for a short trips with small families and groups
- 【Large Space for 4 Person】Large space for 4 person, enough space for luggage bags, small camping chairs and tables; Even can place a standard air mattress in the tent if you want; Ideal for family weekend travel, outdoor picnic
The GEERTOP Darkroom Tent is ideal for those looking for a tent which is quick and easy to set up, but will be used sparingly. This tent offers about 90% protection from light, but has two windows (one in the back, and one in the door) along with a removable fly which is ideal for stargazing at night. The GEERTOP Darkroom Tent is also incredibly lightweight and portable, meaning it can be easily carried during a hike or other long walk.