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Jargon buster guide to choosing a tent

Updated on December 5, 2008
Camping tent
Camping tent

When you're planning camping, you have to make choice of a tent. When choosing a tent you need to consider the number of people it will accommodate, expected weather conditions and how much bulk and weight you are willing to carry.

The tent product descriptions may full of jargon, which make your head spinning and lost in nowhere, such as this:

Polyester 2 person dome tent. Inner and outer material polyester, or Flyingsheet, 2000mm waterproof rating. Groundsheet material polyurethane.Fibreglass poles or colour coded poles. 1 sleeping room. Porch with clear windows. Built-in air vents for maximum ventilation. Mosquito mesh doors. Taped seams. Fire retardant.


What do these mean?

Fly sheet is the waterproof outer fabric of the tent. This will also have sun-protection factor for camping in hot weather.

Waterproof rating is a measure of how waterproof the flysheet is -- 1500mm is acceptable for summer use; 3000mm should be waterproof in all conditions; over 3000mm for more severe conditions.

Colour coded poles are poles that are easily matched to different ares of the fabric, so you can pitch the tent quickly without threading poles through the wrong sleeves.

Fibreglass poles are lightweight poles with smooth steel tips and connection ferrules, for threading through pole sleeves and eyelets easily and without snagging.

The tent's taped seams are heat sealed to ensure complete water resistance.

Some tents have a fire retardant treated fabric to reduce the risk of them catching fire and flaring up quickly, giving occupants more time to get out.

Ripstop fabric has a woven reinforcement for more strength and resistance to tearing.



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