There are some important factors that have to be taken into consideration before buying any type of tents, such as the number of people who will be using it, how and where it will be used and the price. This applies to all tent styles including dome tents.
The dome tent has become one of the most popular tent styles today, which is available in a wide range of designs, shapes and sizes. Some of them may be regular dome shaped while others can be made up of several domes, but all dome tents use a geometrical design in their poles to hold the tent up, and rather than the firmness of the frame itself, the sturdiness of a dome tent depends on the structural integrity of the fabric, poles, ropes, and pegs combined.
In dome tents, poles, which are generally made of flexible materials such as carbon fiber, overlap each other to form an equal or almost equal geometric shape. This greatly determines the shape of the floor and the tent itself. For example, a dome tent with three poles would have a hexagonal shaped floor while a dome tent with four poles would have an octagonal shaped floor. Hence, this design method enables the dome tent to be a strong self-supporting structure which is aerodynamic and stable. So, no stakes or lines are required under normal circumstances.
Before buying a dome tent or any type of tents, keep in mind what time of year you are going to need it, how easy is it to set up, how well would it protect you from bad weather, and if size and weight is relative to the outdoor activity.
Main advantages of dome tents include:
- Since they have a large number of corners, they can resist wind and all types of precipitation effectively. So they are really great for backpackers and canoeists.
- Corners which cannot be used for sleeping can conveniently provide extra storage for gears.
- Dome tents are generally much lighter in weight than the equivalent size frame tent.
- They give greater amount of head room than conventional ridge tents.
- They can be easily installed or set up, and dismantled.
The fabric used for the body of the dome tent is usually nylon, and the average weight is approximately two and one-half to seven and one-half pounds. The Rain Fly is usually UV-resistant and can be used as a tarp or its own tent when basic, ultra-light shelter is desired. Dome tents can cost from $70 to $600, and may also come with porch extensions, and in larger sizes that can accommodate up to ten people.
Dome tents can be classified under 3-season type of tents – those that work well for all but the harshest cold weather condition. However, dome tents also do have a few disadvantages:
- The geometric design can limit ventilation.
- There tends to be less usable space inside the tent.
- Moisture tends to gather at the top of the dome.
These shortcomings may create some problems when using a dome tent but it is still the number one choice for most backpackers, mountaineers, campers, and hikers etc.