How to Buy the Best 3 Room Dome Tent

3 room dome tent

This 3 room dome tent doesn't have any rain protection for those side windows...

On the surface just about every 3 room dome tent looks the same, except maybe for the colors.  But when you dig deeper there are some notable differences between a good 3 room dome tent and a great one.  Knowing what to look for can make the difference between having a good family camping trip and a great one.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the features, both in construction and material that you should be aware of when you’re shopping for a great 3 room dome tent.

When it comes to tents, dome or cabin style there are two main types; the 3 season tent and the 4 season tent.  The difference is mainly how warm it’ll keep you when it gets cold out.  Although you may think to just get a 4 season tent to ‘cover all the bases’ this is just wrong.  A 4 season tent just doesn’t have the ventilation that a 3 season tent has, and, although this is great in the winter, can be downright uncomfortable or even unbearable in the heat of the summer.  Stay away from the 4 season tent unless you’re sure you’ll be camping in the winter, for hunting perhaps.  For general family camping without a doubt the 3 season tent is best.  So look for a 3 room dome tent rated for 3 seasons.

Now let’s talk about size.  When you’re looking at different 3 room dome tents you’ll see lots of measurements, width, length, height and even number of people.  I’m going to tell you now to just ignore the number of people rating, the manufacturer is assuming everyone is packed in shoulder to should sleeping.  This just isn’t normal.  Personally I own a 6 person 3 room dome tent and I’ll tell you now, it’s just big enough for the three of us to sleep with some normal space between us.  I suggest you measure out the dimensions in your backyard or living room, then imagine everyone sleeping there.  In addition, many people ignore the height when shopping for a 3 room dome tent, this is a big mistake as there is nothing more annoying than trying to get dressed when you can’t stand up.  Don’t believe me, try getting dressed tomorrow without standing up, if you’re over 30 it’s damned near impossible.

When it comes to material that a 3 room dome tent is made of you’ll generally find either a rip stop nylon or a poly cotton blend.  For a 3 season tent the nylon is the way to go as it breathes much more than the cotton does.  Unless you’ll be camping in the winter stay away from the cotton.  The only real exception here is if the 3 room dome tent has many ventilation windows.

Now when it comes to the actual hardware, meaning the poles, these should without a doubt be made of fiberglass, carbon fiber would be even better.  Stay away from aluminum like the plague, once it bends it’ll just keep bending until it breaks.  The 3 room dome tent should of course include stakes to attach it to the ground.  Even though a dome tent is far superior to a cabin style tent in the wind it can still move if nobody is in it, so secure it.

3 room dome tent

This 3 room dome tent has a huge rainfly

The flooring of the 3 room dome tent should be made of thick waterproof material and it should also run at least 5 inches up the sides to create a tub effect just in case it rains.  Since most people stack their equipment on the inside wall of the tent it’s entirely possible to get the unprotected nylon in contact with the ground if you’re not paying attention.

Here are some other things to consider when shopping for a 3 room dome tent

  • Make sure the poles have shock-cords, a plus would be if they’re color coded or at least numbered.
  • Look for plenty of ventilation windows that are of course screened.  The more ventilation the better when it’s humid out.
  • Don’t automatically go for the biggest tent out there as it may not fit into the lots you’ll find at many campsites.  If you’ll be camping in the fall/winter months a large tent is more difficult to heat as well.
  • Make sure there’s an included rainfly that goes over the top of the tent.  If there isn’t one you’ll need to close the top ventilation if it rains.  Now, we all know when you’ll notice it’s raining; after your already asleep and there’s two inches of water in the tent.
  • Make sure there is some form of interior storage pockets or at least some hooks to hang your gear.  This is especially important for smaller tents where floor space is at a premium.
  • Trust me, if a 3 room dome tent doesn’t say it’s one person setup then it isn’t.
  • Look for a respectable warranty.  If the tent has a one year limited warranty then count on it lasting one year.  The best 3 room dome tents have 3 year or even lifetime warranties.

Now that you know what to look for and what features you want I suggest you read some camping tent reviews on sites like Consumer Reports, Consumer Search or even on Amazon.  They have camping tent reviews written by actual users and can really help you find the best 3 room dome tent for the money.

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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