Camping | how to choose a tent and shelter?

There are a lot of tents set up on campsites during the camping season, but not all of them are suitable for overnight camping. So, how do we choose a suitable tent?

Different camping tents and gears by DECATHLON

Consider how to use, where to use and the capacity

When you shop for a tent, our Sport Leaders usually ask if you are looking for a tent or a shelter. They seem similar in structure and function, but there are many intricate differences.

Waterproofness & wind resistance

Check the weather forecast and campsite location before going camping. Weather can change quickly in the countryside and some exposed areas. Hong Kong commented to have sudden pouring rain in summer and strong north wind in winter. A durable, breathable, waterproof, and wind-resistant tent is essential to keep you comfortable and safe when camping.

To make sure our tent is safe and comfortable for mountain lovers, Decathlon R&D teams work together in each phase of product development and test in Passy, at the foot of Mont-Blanc, in France.

All tents passed the Lab test in France.

Test For Waterproofness
Simulate the actual conditions you may encounter in the mountains.
The tents need to resist tropical rain similar to 200L/h for 4 hours. The double-roof has a waterproof coating and waterproofed seams, thanks to heat-sealed bands.
The existence of a chamber in breathable polyester helps to avoid contact with drops of water from condensation that can be formed on the inner side of the double-roof. Lastly, the coating of its floor mat is reinforced to avoid water penetration from the ground.

Test For Wind Resistance
All our tents are tested wind tunnels on a rotating plate to expose each side of the tent to the wind.
The tent correctly assembled and with all the awnings open, must remain habitable in winds measured between 40 and 60 kph (Force 5 to 6), depending on the tent.

At Decathlon, “tent” is divided into camping tents and trekking tents.


1. Shelter


3. Trekking tent

1. Shelter

The aim of the shelter is to provide a shade for users and it focuses on sun protection. So it should not be used for camping because it may not be designed with a waterproof function or protects against drizzle. If you use it for camping on a rainy day, the shelter cannot protect you and you will be drenched. It offers a lower level of privacy, as everyone can see through the shelter. However, the shelter is suitable for one day outing trips or picnics, and some of them come with mosquito nets. The shelter has only one layer

We also have some easy assembly shelters with no door or with a door. Such as Easy Shelter (product number : 8549621) and 2 Seconds Shelter (product number : 8242945). 

Suitable for: picnic in nice weather but not for staying overnight.


Pop up shelter for day trip


With quick open structure

Shelter FRESH UPF50+

Easy to pitch

2. Camping tent

If you camp outdoors for a few days, camping tents will be your first option. It is designed for overnight camping and contains an inner tent and a flysheet.The inner tent provides a sleeping and rest area with mosquito protection. The flysheet is windproof and waterproof. The air layer separated from the inner and flysheet provides insulation and keeps the inner tents warm .

All tents are validated in a laboratory, as well as in the field.
Our camping tent MH100 series passed the test under a shower of 200 mm of water/hour/m² and wind speed at 40km/hr.

Some camping tents equipped with FRESH & BLACK technology on flysheet, provide 99% darkness and UV protection, as well as privacy to our sport users. We also have the easy assembly tent, suitable for novice campers.

Suitable for: most campsites in Hong Kong, and stay overnight.


3. Trekking tent

If you trek and camp outdoors for 3 to 7 days, trekking tents can provide a good experience to you. Designed for multi-day hiking, trekking tents are similar to camping tents and contain an inner tent and a flysheet.
They usually have smaller packing size, lighter weight, more durable tent pole, higher waterproof and windproof performance.

Our trekking tent TREK 100 (product number : 8556121) can resist 60 km/hr (Force 7) of wind. The tent pole is made of 7001 aluminium alloy. Packing size is only 39 x 13 x 14 cm.

Suitable for: remote campsites, relatively high altitude location, places exposed to weather.


Finally, choose a right campsite

We hope that it can help you choose your tents. Don’t forget to check if the destination allows you to open your tent!