Camping in the summer is the most ideal time of year to camp, as there’s less risk of torrential rain or other unpredictable weather occurring to ruin your experience. However, whilst camping in the summer can have its fair share of benefits, it also comes accompanied by its own collection of problems, which range from mild nuisances, to dangerous circumstances.
Your tent becoming too hot probably lies somewhere in between. Too much exposure to heat can cause unpleasant issues such as heatstroke, or, less severely, could cause a lack of sleep, which could ruin your camping holiday.
While there are a bunch of ways you can help keep your tent cool, the most effective means of staying cool is by investing in a tent which is built to deter heat.
What to Look for in a Tent
Different types of tents serve different purposes, so when looking to purchase one, it’s important to remember what its primary use will be. This will help you come to a decision on what product is best for your plans.
When it comes to tents that are for hot weather use, there are several things to consider:
The Size of the Tent
The size of your tent should depend on the amount of people planning on staying inside, how much space would be ideal, and how long you’ll be carrying it for. A large tent, for instance, is great for a group of friends or a large family, but would be a burden to carry for an extended period of time. A large tent may also take much longer to assemble, which could be problematic in the scorching heat.
UV protection is vital when it comes to finding a tent made for hot weather. UV rays have the potential to damage a tent, if they aren’t fully protected against them. This damage can be both superficial (such as discoloration), or lead to weakness in the fabric. Some tent waterproofing solutions offer UV protection along with water repellency, so if your tent isn’t UV protected, it can be given a couple of coats to spruce it up.
A lot of tents on the market aren’t UV protected, and the few that are, are usually only slightly more expensive. If you’re determined to purchase a tent with UV protection, make sure to read the tent’s manuals to find which one suits your needs most. Most tents with UV protection will usually have an UPF of 50, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be needing one of a higher grade.
As previously mentioned, a tent’s UV protection can be improved by some waterproofing sprays which offer built-in UV protection. Whilst protection against the sun is useful, it’s also important to make sure your tent is prepared for any bad weather that gets thrown its way, too. Making sure your tent is waterproof, or at least able to withstand a good deal of rain without springing a leak, is important when camping in warm weather due to the potential for thunderstorms. Waterproofing your tent is a fairly quick and easy process, and should be repeated every couple of years to ensure your tent is working as it should be.
The durability of your tent should be paramount when it comes to organising a camping trip. A flimsy tent isn’t likely to be able to withstand any potential bad weather or survive being carried during hikes or other physical activities. Tents see a lot of rough and tumble, when they’re both in use and out of use.
The breathability of the tent is quite an essential part of the air circulation, meaning how cool the tent is can often depend on how breathable the structure is. The breathability of the tent determines how easily air can pass through it, and how easily trapped the air inside can become. Tents with better ventilation often include a mesh system, windows and large doors which zip open wide to ensure that as much fresh air can enter the tent.
Being cooped up in a warm tent is bad enough, but being cooped up in a warm tent that isn’t well ventilated is even worse.
Other Things to Look for
There are other things to keep in mind when looking to buy a tent for the summer.
- The color of the tent – As discussed in What Color Tent is Coolest in Hot Weather? The color of one’s tent can add a bit of difference to the heat it attracts. As mentioned within the article, the best colored tent is white for warm weather, but it does have its downfalls as white is also likely to attract bugs and, potentially, other wildlife.
- The material of the tent – The odds are, the tent you’re buying will be made of a lightweight synthetic material or canvas. There are actually very few tents on the market made from a material that could be detrimental in the heat. It is, however, better to be safe than sorry and double check the material of the tent before purchase.
- How easy the tent is to assemble – A tent which takes a long time to put together could be a grievance when in the height of a warm summer. Once you’ve hiked to your campsite, the last thing you want to do is spend an unnecessary amount of time in the heat trying to put a tent together.
The Best Tents For Hot Weather
#1 Coleman SunDome Tent
- Weatherproof: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; Included rainfly offers extra weather protection
- Wind and rain tested: Strong frame withstands 35+ mph winds
- Great ventilation: Large windows and ground vent for enhanced airflow
- Stay connected: E-port makes it easy to bring electrical power inside
- Easy setup: In 10 minutes
Coleman are leaders in tent technology and they provide tents for plenty of different scenarios and climates. This is no different in summer’s case, as their SunDome tent is ideal for summer camping.
The SunDome tent offers a practical and durable tent made for withstanding the different weather that’s thrown at it. The tent itself can handle hot weather, rain and high winds. This is partly due to the domed shape of the tent, preventing water from pooling atop of the structure.
The Coleman SunDome tent is ideal for summer camping as it has a ventilation system consisting of mesh roofing which can be covered with a rainfly, along with a large doorway, which can also bring additional fresh air into the structure. The tent can sleep up to four people, meaning it is fairly lightweight and easy to carry.
#2 Coleman Darkroom Sky Dome 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
The Coleman darkroom tent offers a variety of features which make it an extremely effective and efficient piece of camping equipment. The tent itself comes in several different sizes, meaning it can be bought for either large groups or individuals. The shape of the tent also acts as a drainage system for rain, meaning there are no areas where water can pool. Most importantly, however, is the material it is made from. As the name “dark room” suggests, the Coleman darkroom sky dome tent blocks up to 90% of the sun’s light, which ensures the interior is dark and easy to sleep in. Most relevantly, the material also prevents a build up of heat inside the tent, meaning it can be extremely useful and comfortable in the height of summer.
#3 Wenzel Klondike Tent
- Convertible screen room with inverted "T" style door and inside flap zippered windows
- Removable seam-sealed fly
- Mesh roof vents
- 3 zippered side windows with inside flaps
- Shock-corded fiberglass roof frame with steel uprights and corner elbows combined with pin and ring for easy setup
The Wenzel Klondike tent is an ideal tent if intending to bring a large group when camping. This tent can fit eight people, so the interior is particularly spacious to accommodate such a number. What separates the Wenzel Klondike tent from others on this list is the porch that it offers. The porch is screened, and comes with a rainfly which can act as a substantial shelter in less-than-pleasant weather conditions. Additionally, the Wenzel Klondike tent boasts other features which make it perfect for summer camping, including two windows, a ventilation system, and a mesh roofing.
#4 ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent
- There's no assembly frustration with our Zephyr Tent series; this free-standing, aluminum two-pole design can be setup in no time, with pole clips that quickly snap over tent poles
- Polyester tent fly, with 1500mm coating, resists water and UV damage while adding two vestibules for extra storage
- Great ventilation with two mesh doors and entire mesh walls
- Fully equipped with #8 zippers, mesh storage pockets, gear loft, aluminum stakes and guy ropes
- Base Size: 6'2 x 7'5, Center Height: 41" Total Weight: 6 lbs. 2 oz. , Minimum Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz. , Color: Gray/Navy
The ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr tent may not look like it, but it’s made with ventilation in mind. These tents are designed for hiking, so are great for individual use or up to three people. As a result, they’re lightweight, durable and fast and easy to assemble.
Whilst the aluminum poles may be flimsy against strong winds and rain, the tent is suitable for milder weather conditions that can often be associated with mountaineering. The ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr tent may require some added waterproofing precautions as some seams require sealing before setting off.
#5 CORE 9 Person Dome Tent
- Sleeps 9 people; Fits three queen air mattresses; Center Height: 72 inches
- CORE H20 Block Technology and adjustable ground vent.Pole Type: Traditional Fiber Glass Poles
- Features gear loft with lantern hook and pockets to keep items organized and off the tent floor
- Electrical cord access port (port is fully closable when not in use)
- Includes tent, tent poles, rain fly, tent stakes, and carry bag. All Core tents are equipped with water resistant PU coated fabric and taped seams to help keep moisture out
Whilst the CORE 9 Person Dome tent isn’t made specifically with heat in mind, the tent does an excellent job at ventilation. This tent is large, and ideal for sleeping two queen sized mattresses, with room to spare. The CORE 9 Person Dome tent boasts substantial weather resistance, including resistance to both heavy rain and wind, along with having removable rainflys to increase ventilation on hot days. The tent also comes with two vents, which are ideal for adjusting and improving airflow. These vents need to be adjusted in the rain, however, as some water can pass through them and into the tent.
Whilst most tents aren’t made specifically with hot weather in mind, there are certain brands and models which perform better in hot weather than others. The important thing is to look out for specific features which will improve their resistance to hot weather and continue to keep fresh air circulating inside the tent.