How to choose the best tent for camping or trekking?

Numerous models of tent exist.
Here you will find all our advice to help you choose the most suitable tent for your camping, bivouac or trekking outings.

Choosing your camping tent can be quite complex. How do I know which camping tent to choose? It is important to take into account different criteria such as:

Type of use
The number of people
The type of tent structure
Its weight


Do you intend to walk with your tent? How to choose the right hiking tent?

If you plan to go hiking for several days and carry your tent in your backpack, the best best choice will be a bivouac or trekking tent. They are light and compact.
You can easily slip them into your backpack or hang them on the straps.
Perfect for a few days’ bivouacking, practical to pitch and dismantle, they are generally around two kilos lighter for a two person tent.
Several models are available: light, ultra-light, for use in warm temperatures or stormy weather...
Depending on the number of trekkers, you can find models from one to four people.
These tents (usually) only offer sleeping space and a very small space to store belongings.


YOU DO NOT INTEND WALKING WITH YOUR TENT: how to choose the right camping tent?

You don't need to carry your tent on your back and you're pitching a "static" camp.
The weight of your equipment will be much less important.
Your best choice would be a camping tent.

Camping tents offer more space and comfort. They generally have a living space or a rest area. You can therefore cook there, eat there, take shelter in the event of rain and of course sleep there.
It's the optimum choice if you intend staying several days in the same place or if you don't have to walk very far with it.
Different models are available: your choice will then be made according to the number of people and the type of structure.

How do I choose my tent? Camping or trekking tent?

What are the best camping tents?

As usual, the best camping tent is the one that best meets your needs and is long-lasting.
Of course, the best tents are also those designed with quality materials laboratory-tested against bad weather, such as the tents from our Quechua brand.
What's more, at Decathlon, our designers, engineers and product managers are also campers and fans of the great outdoors in general.

Different camping tent models are available to you: your choice will then be made according to the number of people and the type of structure. But you can also pay attention to the configuration of the rooms (with or without an entrance hatch for shoes, rooms separated by a central living room that will act as living space when it rains, etc.), especially if you are looking for a family tent.

How many people can sleep in a camping or bivouac tent?

The size and weight of your tent affects the number of people it can accommodate.

From 1 to 8 people, all options are possible! 
This criteria is important because it lets you choose your tent according to the number of rooms available inside.

Small 1, 2 or 3-person tents

The one to three-person tent models have a single bedroom, without a living room or common area. 
These are practical tents for creating a small base camp that you can set up and take down easily.
These tents usually have a small separate area, called an porch, where you can store your belongings and shelter them from the dew or heavy rain.

Large 4 to 8-person family tents

In contrast, the four to eight person camping tents have a living area and one or more separate bedrooms. 
These models provide more space and some tents even let you stand up. If you want to find comfort, almost like at home, this is the ideal choice.
Another criteria to take into account concerning the rooms, is their size: it’s important to assess the available width of the sleeping areas in relation to the mattresses you have. 
This is important because if you touch the walls of the tent when you sleep and they touch the flysheet, this will generate moisture inside your tent.

How do I choose my tent? Camping or trekking tent?

High-end tents with a living room where you can stand up

Do you want to camp without compromising on your usual home comfort? 
With some tents you will have more space than in some of the micro-apartments in our beloved big cities and their housing markets.
If you really want to have space, look for tents with 3 or more bedrooms. A
s well as having separate bedrooms, these comfortable family tents will look great (yes, I was an estate agent in another life) with inflatable furniture that is easy to transport and set up. 
Find out more about comfort camping in our dedicated article.

What structure to choose for a camping or bivouac tent?

There are three types of structure technology:

- The 2 Seconds structure
- The pole structure
- The inflatable structure

Quechua fresh & black 2Seconds easy camping tent

2Seconds tents are the easiest and quickest to pitch

You already know this one! The 2 Seconds pitches in the blink of an eye.
Its folding system is also quick to save you time, even when dismantling your camp (because over the decades and from user feedback, we had the good idea to simplify the folding so that you don't have to spend hours trying "to make eights" with the poles under the gaze of your loved ones...).

Advantage: very quick set-up with its pop-up structure.
Disadvantage: its lack of compactness due to its cylindrical format for older generations.
The new 2 Second Easy tents are much more compact, still very easy to set up and even easier to take down.

Check out our tips for pitching and folding away your 2Seconds EASY tent.

Forclaz 3 seasons self-standing trek tent

Pole tents, a lasting classic

For camping enthusiasts, the pole structure is really part of the imagination around outings in the middle of nature!

The tent is pitched by inserting poles into the flysheet
Colour coding makes it easier to do this and it’s no longer possible to make a mistake.
This solution takes a little more time than an inflatable tent, but pitching the poles provides the opportunity to share a first convivial moment on your camp site (you may have mixed memories if pitching this kind of tent was done under family tension in rainy weather. It's never too late to give pole tents a second chance...😉).
This type of tent is ideal for a trek.

Advantages: this type of model has a better compactness and lightness ratio. It's also affordable.
Disadvantage : the tent pole can take a little longer to set up than an inflatable tent.
It’s therefore a model that will test your skills and your patience a little more.

Quechua air seconds fresh and black 4-people inflatable camping tent

Inflatable tents, a breath of fresh air for easy and quick camping

With inflatable beams instead of poles, a few pumps, and voila! The inflation and deflation of these tents is extremely fast.

These tents can only be inflated with a double-action hand pump, as an electric pump is too strong and can damage the bladders.
A little hint to help you with the name of Quechua inflatable tents: Arpenaz tents are pole tents while AirSeconds tents are inflatable tents.

Advantages: in addition to being easy to assemble, they offer larger living space. And their dismantling is almost instantaneous..

Disadvantage: they take up more space than other tent models.

Find even more tips for pitching and folding away your tent.

How do I choose my tent? Camping or trekking tent?


For quality sleep-ins, even in summer

Do you still hesitate? Here is a last helping hand to guide you in your choice!

If you're tired of waking up at the crack of dawn and the stifling heat of your tent in the sun, we advise you to opt for tents with a fabric using Fresh&Black technology.

This innovation, developed by the Quechua teams, guarantees you a good night's sleep in your tent. But above all, it ensures that you wake up as late and as fresh as possible!
The Fresh&Black technology consists of several fabrics to make up the tent fabric, each with their own quality:

- the Fresh fabric reflects the sun's rays to maintain the correct temperature in your tent (-17 ° C felt compared to a conventional tent). This innovation is practical, especially in the middle of summer when tents can quickly become stoves.
- the Black fabric ensures greater darkness at all times of the day (99% darkness in the bedrooms).

Late mornings and afternoon naps are waiting for you!

How do I choose my tent? Camping, bivouac or trekking tent?

Our commitment to dry camping

The waterproofness of your tent as well as its resistance to the wind are essential for a great night's sleep!

At Quechua, all of our tents are designed to resist against bad weather conditions.

Because good tent design is about more than just good looks and practical pitching, our tents undergo a set of wind tunnel tests to ensure that they can withstand winds of 40km/hr to 90km/hr.
They also go "under a shower" to make sure that no drops of water are left in the tent after 3 hours under 200 litres/hour/sqm of water to ensure that they are waterproof.

Please note: the primary source of moisture inside your tent is condensation. In order to avoid getting wet when you wake up, we recommend that you always choose a tent with a double flysheet and that you ventilate it well.

You can also find all our tips on how to properly look after your tent.

"Classic" tent or roof tent?

Everything you have just read applies to "classic" ground-based tents.
But it also applies to roof tents, with a few extra adjustments and criteria!
How do you know if your vehicle is suitable for a roof tent?
Will your roof bars hold up?
And can a roof tent be fitted to a van that does not have a roof rack?
If you want to know more, we've put together an article to help you choose the best roof top tent for your next adventures!
Do you already have all the information you need to choose a roof tent?
But are you lost when faced with models and brands that were previously unknown to the public?
Quechua has designed a range of roof tents for all those who want to make memories in the great outdoors without emptying their bank account. If you want to wake up your inner child (who loved tree houses), you can choose a roof tent that has everything Quechua does best: a quick and easy inflatable structure and Fresh & Black technology with the MH900 roof tent.  
If you prefer a more traditional set-up, but still want to stay cool in the morning, then opt for the Fresh & Black MH500 car roof tent or the MH500 van roof tent.

How do I choose my tent? Camping or trekking tent?
How do I choose my tent? Camping or trekking tent?

Is it better to buy or rent your tent?

If you regularly go camping or bivouacking, it’s worth investing in a tent that will last for many years and that you can even lend to your family or kids when they go camping for the first time without you. 
It’s also always useful to have a small 2 Seconds tent at home, for an impromptu camping trip or a last minute festival.

If, on the other hand, you want to try out a new way of camping, or a new model of tent because you feel that your current tent is reaching the end of its life, renting is a good solution! 
At Decathlon, we offer rental of camping equipment including tents (currently only available in France and Belgium). 
And if you're really starting from scratch, we've even put together a trekking pack with everything you need to put your adventurous spirit to the test.

How do I choose my tent? Camping, bivouac or trekking tent?

Discover the Decathlon camping app!

An application where you can find all our tents and to help you when pitching and taking down the tents!


Folding and storing a sleeping bag

How to maintain a sleeping bag?

Follow our advice to prolong the lifespan of your sleeping bag and enjoy better nights.

5 tips to ensure you're never cold in your sleeping bag - teaser

5 tips to ensure you're never cold in your sleeping bag

The "comfort" temperatures shown on Quechua sleeping bag covers are defined by standardised European tests. However, sensitivity to cold varies greatly depending on the individual and the weather conditions.

MT500 trekking mattress

What type of mattress should you take camping? What about bivouacs?

A camping or bivouac mattress, an inflatable, self-inflating or foam mattress? Are you confused by the choice? Read our guide which will help you make the right choice and find the right mattress so you can enjoy a good night's sleep outdoors.

how to prevent condensation in tentes

How to prevent condensation in camping tents?

What should I do if the inside of my tent gets condensed while I am camping? How can I prevent the condensation? Is my tent always waterproof?