With the popularity of camping, festivals and staycations growing each and every year, there is more demand than ever to produce tents in different colors. Either for easy recognition, camouflage, or to help regulate the temperature inside the tent. While the latter may seem fairly irrelevant when it comes to choosing a tent (as most tents can be insulated in different ways to regulate the temperature), it’s definitely a factor worth considering, even if just for a slight difference.
Colors that reflect light are best for keeping cool, such as white, yellow and some types of green. However, there are pros and cons to each of these options that need to be weighed up.
Why Does Tent Color Matter?
The color of a tent has multiple uses. Whether that be to stand out from its environment, to blend in with its environment, or for more practical reasons such as to keep the tent warm or cool depending on the time of year. In the case of standing out or blending in, sometimes tents are needed to stand out in their surroundings, such as in snow storms or at festivals. While, on the contrary, they may need to be camouflaged if in an area where wild animals live in an attempt to help prevent attacks.
The color of a tent can help regulate the heat of the tent, as certain colors can reflect or absorb heat depending on the density or shade of the color. It’s always good to remember what purpose you intend to use your tent for before considering a color for it, as some colors may work well when it comes to temperature regulation, but could also attract wildlife – thus making your camping experience much more uncomfortable than it needed to be.
Color Tents that are Coolest in Hot Weather
For your tent to stay cool in hot weather, the color of your tent should be one which reflects light rather than absorbing it. Typically, you can base your judgement on how light the color is, as light colors tend to reflect light more effectively than dark colors. The same logic applies to houses and even clothes, as dark walls or clothes tend to be much warmer in the summer than white walls or white clothes.
Using a white tent may seem like the obvious choice after thinking about the reflectivity of the color white. However, using a white tent comes with several risk factors and disadvantages which may make you reconsider. White tents run the risk of being attractive to wildlife, but in particular big cats. This is due to the often shiny appearance of the tent, which makes it stand out from its surroundings and can make critters keen to investigate. Additionally, the color white is especially attractive to mosquitoes and other flying insects, which may land on it to rest. White tents are also undeniably hard to keep clean, especially considering that camping is a particularly messy hobby to partake in. While not a risk, cleaning a tent is certainly not a fun task, and can be more avoidable if you choose a tent color that isn’t white.
Yellow is definitely the second best option when it comes to choosing a tent color to keep you cool. The major downside to choosing a yellow tent is that yellow attracts flying insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and other annoying flying pests.
Light green tents are great for blending into your surroundings and can also help keep you cool. The color usually doesn’t attract any wildlife, and green is also often the last color the human eye sees.
Finding a light green tent may prove difficult, however, as a lot of tents on the market are dark green, and darker colors are best avoided if you intend on trying to stay cool.
Other Color Tents to Keep you Cool:
- Light Blue
- Light Gray
Color Tents that are Hottest in Cold Weather
Sometimes a tent that absorbs light is more suited for your camping experience, especially if you enjoy winter camping or camping in the rain. Whilst lighter color tents are better for reflecting heat, the opposite applies when looking for tents that absorb heat. As a result, if you’re looking for a tent that will keep you warmer in cold weather, your best bet is a darker colored tent. Darker tents come with their own set of benefits beyond being warmer of a night, as the color of them also makes them less detectable to wildlife, especially during the night, and the darker shades can help you sleep better, too.
Black tents are quite hard to find on the market but are extremely useful for absorbing heat. A lot like some lighter colors, there are also a couple of risks and disadvantages associated with dark tents. While mosquitoes and other flying insects are attracted to some light colored tents, it’s also been noted that mosquitoes in particular can also be attracted to dark colored tents. Additionally, as these tents are dark, they can be hard to locate at night and can even sometimes hamper rescue efforts if an emergency arises. Perhaps investing in a flag pole could help negate the risk?
Dark Green Tents
Dark green is a much more natural color for a tent, and it blends in nicely with the surroundings if you’re camping in a forest. The good thing about choosing a dark green tent is that they’re abundant, and are easy to find in different models and sizes. Dark green is more effective at absorbing light than its lighter counterpart, so they’re preferable for cold weather camping or keeping the tent warm during the night.
Other Color Tents to Keep you Warm:
- Dark Gray
- Dark Blue
Other Things to Consider
The color of a tent isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to regulating temperature. These are ways to negate any uncomfortable conditions, especially if you’re prepared. One thing to consider when being picky about tent color is the location in which you pitch your tent. Even though choosing where to pitch your tent is oftentimes dependent on how comfortable, warm and dry you want to keep your campsite, priorities can change significantly when buying a colored tent which could be detrimental to your surroundings. For instance, using a white tent in the snow or a brown tent in the mountains. Whilst blending in is considered helpful, it can also make rescue efforts harder if things were to go awry.