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What Is A Dome Tent? (And Why You Should Consider One)

What Is A Dome Tent? (And Why You Should Consider One)

When planning a camping trip, having a tent that provides plenty of space, protection from the elements and a style that is easy to set up can ensure a pleasurable getaway. You can have all this, and more, when camping in the right tent. A dome tent is one such option. But what is a dome tent exactly?

Like its name implies, the tent is in the shape of a dome. Think of the appearance of an igloo and that is a good visual description of what a dome tent looks like from the outside. Inside, the tent has a rectangular floor. To support the structure of the tent, two poles running diagonally across the top of the tent connect to the tent corners.


Benefits of Dome Tents


When you have plans to spend time outdoors, whether it is on a camping trip, fishing expedition, or hiking adventure, having a tent that is easy to set up is what you want as part of your gear. With a dome tent, not only is it lightweight and easy to carry, setting it up is not complicated, even if traveling on your own.

Along with providing shelter from rainy weather, it also provides a stable environment in a windy setting.

A third benefit the dome tent provides is its ease of movability. While a dome tent can be staked to the ground or tied to a tree for stability, dome tents are usually left as a freestanding tent that can be moved from one place to another easily at any time.

The exceptions to securing a dome tent include if the terrain where it is being placed is uneven, the chosen spot is on a slight slope, or if the weather conditions forecast exceptionally heavy/strong wind.

The design of the tent itself is beneficial. With all the walls of the tent in a sloping position, there is no opportunity for water to accumulate on the top of the tent. Accumulated water makes the tent heavy, creates a damp interior, and ultimately leads to water leaking into the tent.

Dome tents are not limited to accommodating one or two people. Tents are available in many sizes, which include tents with room that can accommodate up to eight persons.


Disadvantages of a Dome Tent


A couple of things to consider with a dome tent is the impact of the design on the tent’s interior space. Because the walls being in a slanted position versus a straight position has a direct impact on the amount of available standing space.

Also, keep in mind that although the tent is considered stable, if the height of the dome increases, it can make the tent unstable.


Setting up a Dome Tent


For the most part, a dome tent can be set up by one person, which is beneficial when traveling solo. As noted, support of the tent is managed by connecting two poles that secure the tent together.

Steps for Setup:

  1. Find a suitable location (fee-based campground, free campsites, backcountry locations, etc.)
  2. Select a site that is on high ground, flat, and free of rocks, or other debris that could make the interior flooring uneven and uncomfortable. Also avoid setting up the tent in a location where tree branches could fall and rip open the tent.
  3. If you are using a tarp as a protective ground layer, place it on the selected spot.
  4. Unfold and lay out and adjust the tent on top of the tarp with the door opening facing in the direction you want to enter and exit the tent. Close all zippers except the one for the door. Place the rain fly to the side for later installation.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for connecting the poles. Once connected, the two poles should cross and form an “X” in the centre of the tent.
  6. Slide the end of each pole into the tube, sleeve, pocket, etc. located at each end of the tent. Follow manufacturer’s instructions as tube type and style may vary depending on the brand.
  7. If you have chosen to use a protective tarp, check around the perimeter of the tent and roll up any excess material extending past the base of the tent and place it under the tent. This eliminates the possibility of rain accumulating on the exposed tarp and seeping into the tent.
  8. Set up the rain fly for protection against the weather.
  9. Install stakes to secure the tent. (optional)


Dome Tents to Consider


There are many distinctive styles, assorted sizes, and name-brand manufacturers of dome tents. From small to large and single room tents to double rooms, the following is a list of some of the top dome tents available.

  • Kelty’s Trail Ridge 6 with Footprint
  • Alps Mountaineering Meramac 3
  • Big Agnes Big House 4
  • Coleman’s Steel Creek Fast Pitch
  • Coleman’s Sundome 4
  • Coleman Evanston 6
  • Mountain Trails Twin Peaks Sport Dome
  • Ledge Sports Recluse Lightweight
  • Coleman Elite Evanston 8
  • Mountain Trails Salmon River 2 Room Dome Tent
  • Eureka’s Midori Basecamp 6
  • Coleman Elite Sundome 6
  • Coleman’s Evanston 4 Screened Porch
  • Wenzel’s Pine Ridge
  • Chinook’s North Star
  • Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Outfitter Dome Tent
  • Cedar Ridge Rimrock 4
  • Leberna’s One Touch Set Up Dome Tent
  • Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL 4
  • Eureka Tetragon HD 8
  • Core Equipment Dome 3 Tent
  • Ozark Trail 3-Person Camping Dome Tent
  • AsterOutdoor Family Camping Dome Tent


Final Thoughts


If you are interested in a durable tent that holds its own against the elements, allows ample head room, is easy to set up and move around, and affordable, a dome tent is the answer. Whether you need a tent for a solo outing or for a family getaway, during warm months or colder seasons, budget-friendly or high-dollar, you’re sure to find the perfect match for your next outdoor activity itinerary.