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Dome or tunnel tent?

What kind of tent is best for what?

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Here at Bergans, we often get asked about choosing the right type of tent. What are the differences between a tunnel tent and a dome tent? And which is best-suited to what? Here are the answers.

Tunnel tents

Tunnel tents are constructed with two or more poles which bend to form a tunnel. Their simple construction makes them quick to pitch and take down. The biggest advantage of tunnel tents is that they are lightweight relative to their size. Tunnel tents often also have spacious awnings, providing ample space for storing luggage and cooking. With their long side walls, tunnel tents are more sensitive to wind. A good tip is therefore to avoid pitching tunnel tents across the wind direction.

Dome tents

Dome tents have a more advanced design with more poles, which also cross each other. This means that this type of tent is slightly heavier than a tunnel tent, and is a little more challenging to pitch. On the other hand, the dome construction makes for a more taut tent which is more stable in the wind without the canvas fluttering and beating. Dome tents often also have a good ceiling height and several entrances, making them suited for use as a base camp. Our Wiglo dome tent also enables you to roll up the side walls for easy access in and out, not to mention panoramic views.

When choosing a tent, you should consider the type of trip you are going on. If you are going far, you might consider choosing a tunnel tent because it is lighter, but if you’re going on a trip somewhere windy and exposed, taking a heavier tent might be worth the trouble for a good night’s sleep. Whichever type of tent you choose, it’s a good idea to allow for plenty of space. Backpacks, clothes and other equipment often take up more space than you think.

Family, couple or alone on a trip? Check out our tent guide here.

FAQs

Which tent should I choose?

It is rare that one tent fits all the trips you're going on. How many people should it accommodate, what temperatures and weather conditions will you be exposed to, where will you use the tent, how much weight do you want to carry, and how important is comfort?

Tunnel tents are lightweight, low, easy to set up and take down, have a spacious vestibule for storing gear, and are more sensitive to wind.

Dome tents are taller, have multiple entrances, are more stable in the wind, and weigh more than tunnel tents.

Which materials are tents constructed of?

A tent structure consists of various parts. The tent poles are made of aluminum. The outer tent fabric can be made of different materials; Bergans uses polyester or polyamide which is treated to make the material waterproof. The inner tent consists of floor, walls, and ceiling in polyamide. Guy lines in polyamide keep the tent upright.

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