Backcountry, Base and Family Tents

Shopping for a tent is easier than you might think. CampGear.com allows you to sort the tents by a variety of refinements including type, weight, and capacity. Using these refinements will filter your options down to the tent that is right for you. Since weight and capacity should be fairly self explanatory, we’ll get into type a little more in depth.


The types of tents available on CampGear.com include Ultralight, Backpacking, Base Camp, and Family tents.

To quickly break it down, Ultralight and Backpacking tents are typically used for backpacking or summit camping since they are made from high quality, lighter weight materials and therefore are easier to carry on your pack than a large family camping or base camp style tent for example.

Ultralight tents: Ultralight tents typically have a sleeping capacity of one or two people. Some models will sleep up to three people; however that doesn’t necessarily mean that three larger people will fit very comfortably. Ultralight tents are ideal for campers who are packing in over a long distance or rugged terrain. Some backpackers also opt for Ultralight tents if they are concerned about reducing overall pack weight.

Backpacking tents: Backpacking tents are also lighter weight than base camping or family camping tents, but can have larger sleeping capacities than Ultralight tents. Backpacking tents are quite practical for avid campers as they are typically made from high quality materials, have a reasonable sleeping capacity, and are lightweight enough to carry for longer distances if desired. If pack weight is a concern the load can be split up between multiple people. Keep in mind that most of the weight associated with the majority of backpacking tents is in the poles.

Base Camping Tents: Base Camping Tents are typically made of high quality materials, but are designed for comfort living at “base camp”. Base camping tents are typically a bit heavier than a backpacking tent would be. Some models of base camp tents have heavy duty exterior rain fly to protect campers from the elements.

Family camping tents: Family camping tents are typically larger and heavier than the other types of tents. Family camping tents are generally best suited for use at a campground or state park as they are heavy to carry too far from the car. Some styles of family camping tents have multiple rooms inside them to accommodate large groups of people.

Tent Accessories

In addition to purchasing a tent there are a few other tent accessories that we suggest. Tent Footprints and Floor Protectors are items that can help protect your tent from the elements and sharp twigs or rocks that may rip your tent floor. Tent footprints are laid down on the ground first and then the tent should be pitched on top of it. Tent footprints are model specific meaning that each tent footprint is designed to go with a specific tent. Simply match up the brand and model names to make sure you are getting the correct tent footprint for your tent. Additionally, floor protectors are available too. Floor protectors go inside the tent once pitched to protect the floor of the tent. These are highly recommended if you will be camping with your dog.

Hopefully this and the rest of the buying and sizing guides on CampGear.com will help you pick out the right tent for you. If you need a hand please use our Live Chat or contact customer service to speak with one of our tent experts.

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