Why Choose Dome Tents?
The Dome Tent
A dome tent is essentially a tent with two or more intersecting hoops. This makes them rigid and the best of dome tents make them good 4-season tents. They’re one of the most popular type of tent for campers because they’re easy to set up, have a lot of headroom and can be quite light.
Most dome tents are freestanding. You can pick it up and move it to another place without taking it down. This is probably why you see a lot of them during music festivals or concerts where a lot of people camp. However, freestanding tents tend to be left unstacked, held down by only the gear inside, a sudden wind may pick it up and waft it away.
While they’re easy to set up under ideal conditions, on the field where the conditions are less than ideal, setting them up can be a nightmare. The attractive roomy structure complicates ventilation and may result in condensation.
A 2 person tent with the dome configuration may be light but bigger dome tents tend to be too heavy for backpacking. You do however see a lot a them used for mountain expeditions.
Why Then Should You Choose Dome Tents?
I’ve listed a lot of disadvantages of the dome tent but there are cases where dome tents are ideal.
The truth is, no one tent is suitable for every situation. A dome tent is ideal for family camping on campsites where there is protection from the wind. Without the wind, it is very easy to set up a dome tent.
Dome tents are lightweight compared to cabin tents. Using aluminum poles instead of fiberglass can reduce the weight a little bit more. Also, the less number of poles there is, the lighter the dome tent becomes.
The rainfly is one of the best feature of a dome tent. It is a separate piece of material to the tent itself and it is designed so that it extends over the door and windows to keep out the rain.
This allows for the door and windows to be left open even when it is raining. As a result the condensation problem is addressed (except when it is too cold to let the windows open.) Condensation will then occur on the rainfly instead on the tent’s ceiling.
A dome tent is not for everyone and for every situation. The amount of space and headroom is appreciated by family campers but the weight is not ideal for light backpackers.
Since dome tents are known to have problems with condensation, it may not be great for camping in cold weather unless you leave the windows open.
When weight is not an issue and the condensation can be easily dealt with then choose a dome tent. The space is also useful for gear storage.