Freestanding v/s Non- Freestanding tents

If you want to be a camper, you first need to understand the most basic skill that comes with it. Knowing what type of Tent suits you. When you go out to buy a tent, you find yourself lost and wondering when you see two categories of tents, one labelled Freestanding while the other is Non- Freestanding. Worry no more, because all your questions will be answered as you read ahead.

There are pros and cons to everything. Following is an analysis of all the pros and cons of the characteristics these two tents have that might help you choose the one that is suitable for you.

Features of Non- Freestanding Tents

  • Trekking Pole Support

Though these tents come with poles to support, it gives campers an advantage as they can be replaced with trekking poles.

Pro - It decreases the overall tent weight and is easy to replace if damaged.

Con - Adjustable trekking poles might slide down during the night and so trekking poles must be purchased separately.

  • Stability is on Stakes

These tents literally rely on stakes and guy - lines for structural stability and cannot stand fully taut independently.

Pro - If staked correctly, they hold up well during strong winds and harsh weather.

Con - You need to get out of your comfort zone to practice and perfect staking the tents correctly for a firm grip.

  • Is it a Single Wall Construction?

These tents have a single wall construction which means they don’t require an additional rainfly or waterproof cover.

Pro - It is less likely to get wet during rains. The single wall structure lowers the overall tent weight.

Con - Poor ventilation as compared to dual wall tents and interior condensation is more likely to be found.

Features of Freestanding Tents:

  • Staking Does Not Stabilize Structure

These tents are made with an in-built stable structure which doesn’t require support from stakes.

Pros - Easy and quick assembly. Can be used on hard or concrete ground where stakes are hard to insert.

Cons - Might not be as stable as non- freestanding tents during extreme weather conditions.

  • Pre-inserted Tent Poles

The structural stability for these is achieved by the poles already inserted in the tent.

Pros - A quick fix for any occasion and easy to clean.

Cons - Difficult to replace poles if damaged during the trip. Overall weight of the tent is increased.

  • Is it a Double-wall Construction?

These tents usually come with a heavy exterior or a double wall construction as they call it. The inner layer is the tent itself while the outer layer is the waterproof rainfly.

Pros - The polyester rainfly and the interior made with nylon mesh provide a good ventilation system.

Cons - The rainfly that is added over the tent makes it more exposed to the weather and your valuables are more likely to get wet during rains. It also adds to the overall weight off the tent.

It is only obvious that you will purchase a tent that suits your pocket, but factors like the conditions where you are going to camp also matter a great deal. In case of a big group of campers or your family, freestanding tents are the ideal choice as they are available in big sizes. However, the non-freestanding tent makes a great choice for frequent backpackers and trekkers as it is lightweight.

I wish this information is helpful for everyone who finds themselves clueless while buying a tent and hope that you have a great vacation while exploring the outdoors with your friends and family.

Author

Mike has a real passion for cycling, hiking and just generally being outdoors. Being from Warrington, he is only a few hours away from North Wales, The Peak District, Yorkshire and the Lake District. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and done a lot of the mountains in the Lake District. His new passion is walking his dog and enjoying a pint at the end.

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