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Type of Tents

Trekking Tents

A trekking tent is perfect for all trips on foot or by bike. Since someone always carries it, it needs to be as compact and light as possible. High quality materials reduce the load. In spite of their low weight, these tents need to be very stable to withstand wind and weather.


Lightweight Tents

Lightweight tents are actually a sub-category of trekking tents. They are the best choice for long tours with a lot of luggage, when every gram counts. Lightweight tents are less spacious and less comfortable, in return weight and pack size are reduced to a minimum. The weight per tent and per person should be less than 1,500 grams.


Camping Tents

Camping tents are used when the tent can stay in one place for a longer period. However, they are easy to pitch and take down. Most of the times, they are hauled by car or motorcycle and thus their weight is not the primary focus. Comfort and space with plenty of storage (vestibules) are more important.


Family Tents

Family tents are large enough to accommodate an entire family or group. With many comfort features like headroom, windows and lots of storage space, family tents are the ideal holiday home. Like camping tents, family tents can only be carried for a limited distance because they are simply too heavy. McKINLEY family tents accommodate up to 6 persons.


Quick pitch tents

Just throw it! Quick pitch tents are familiar picture at events and in campgrounds. This type of tent may also be called pop-up or self-erecting tent. The main feature is the minimal time required for pitching it or taking it down, and their affordable price. The tent is equipped with built-in very flexible hoops so that when the tent is unpacked, it springs into shape immediately. Finally, all you have to do is secure it with guy lines and pegs. After use, the tent is packed down into a thick disc shape.


Dome tents

Dome tents have a very simple structure and are available in a wide variety of sizes ranging from lightweight 2-person tents with limited headroom, up to 6 or 9-person tents with headroom exceeding 180cm. These may be single wall, or single-wall with partial flysheet, or double wall. Depending on the pole arrangement, some models pitch outer-tent first, while others pitch inner-tent first. The former helps keep the inner tent dry, but the latter is easier to pitch.

The basic dome has a rectangular floor and two poles which cross at the peak; each pole runs in a smooth curve from one bottom corner, up to the peak, and then down to the diagonally opposite bottom corner. There are usually special fittings at each corner, which fit into sockets at the ends of each pole - pole tension keeps everything in shape.
The poles can run on either the inside or outside of the tent fabric. When located on the interior, poles are held in place by a variety of means including hooks and loop style straps, clips, and other fastening hardware. Poles that are located on the outside of the tent fabric are attached via fabric pole sleeves or plastic clips. Dome tents do not require guy lines and pegs for structural integrity as they are considered freestanding, but must be pegged down to withstand high winds.
The basic dome design has been modified extensively, resulting in tents with three poles, tents with irregularly-shaped bases, and other unusual types. A common variation is to add a third pole between two adjacent corners; this is angled away from the tent and supports an extension of the flysheet, or to give an extra storage area.
  • Generous headroom
  • Structure is basically self-supporting (however, guy lines and pegs are necessary for wind stability)
  • Easy to pitch
  • Easily incorporated into a dual design - making for great large family tents
  • Great value and performance for money
  • Simpler kinds of dome camping tents are weaker than other types (in spite of self-supporting construction)
  • There can be a limit to ventilation due to the geometric design
  • Typical inverted U-shaped doors may have a tendency to jam

Geodesic tents

Geodesic tents are basically like dome tents but with two or more extra poles, which intersect with the standard two poles to help support the basic shape of the tent and minimise the amount of unsupported fabric. This makes them more suitable for use in snowy conditions and in strong winds.

  • Generally free-standing
  • Very stable
  • Spacious
  • Support heavier snow loads than other designs
  • Inners can be easily used without the outer skin for dry-season camping
  • In extreme wind, extensive guying is essential
  • Less storage options

Tunnel tents

Tunnel tents may offer more usable internal space than dome tents with the same ground area, but also generally need guy lines and pegs to stay upright. These are almost always double wall tents. Sizes range from 1-person tents with very limited headroom up to 8 or 10-person tents with headroom exceeding 180cm.
A basic tunnel tent uses two or more flexible poles, arranged as parallel hoops, with tent fabric attached to form a half-cylinder or tunnel. The most common designs have a sleeping area at one end and a vestibule area at the other, though vestibules at each end are not uncommon, or opposite sleeping at either end and a central opening to a common vestibule area are also available.
  • Perfect and roomy if used only for sleeping
  • Using less fabric than other types
  • Lightest weight for useful volume
  • Easy to pitch
  • Performing very well in high winds due to shape and elasticity
  • No sitting or standing (depending on actual tent size) since the design is meant for sleeping
  • Construction is not freestanding; requires guy lines and pegs to stand upright