The Best Festival Tents and What to Look For
Camping at a festival and yet to buy your tent? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Below you’ll find a buying guide and our top recommendations, including pop-up festival tents, as well as more robust choices. Once you've bought your ideal festival tent, you'll be ready to enjoy camping across the UK on our Club Sites too!
We know that buying a new tent for any occasion can be overwhelming, with thousands of brands, different shapes, sizes and features to choose from. If you’re a regular on the festival circuit, you’ll already know that having a comfortable and reliable tent to stay in is going to guarantee you a good time. If you’re new to camping we’ve listed a few features to look out for. With festivals on the horizon, there is no time like the present to make sure you are prepared for getting back out there.
It goes without saying but here at the Club we’re in favour of buying a tent you’re going to get good use out of. Unfortunately, it’s become a trend to buy the most affordable festival tent on offer, use it once and leave it behind for someone else to dispose of. Not only is that wasteful, but it’ll burn a hole in your pocket too. Buying a more robust festival tent will give you the chance to go camping whenever you like and spending a little more money can get you a lot of bang for your buck.
People often ask, “what’s the best type of tent for a festival?”. The answer isn’t an easy one but with the information below you’ll be able to make an informed decision. Tents come in all shapes and sizes including elaborate tipi tents, simple pop-up tents and even those specifically designed for festival use. With so many options to choose from, here’s a basic guide and a few tips to read before you start shopping around.
Look into blackout tents
Your festival tent is likely to be your home for at least a night or two, so you need to focus on comfort. A bad night’s sleep will set you up for a rotten day of festivities, so many factors in buying your festival tent will revolve around sleep. Many tents aimed at festival-goers are made with blackout fabric which not only keeps your sleeping environment dark but offers a little in the way of heat deflection. There’s nothing worse than waking up after a late-night (or early morning) to the sun beaming through your tent and no way to cool down.
Prepare for all weather
Unless you’re lucky enough to experience one of our glorious summer heatwaves, you’ll need to make sure your tents hardy enough to endure a rain shower or two (think, muddy Glastonbury scenes). To get technical, waterproof ratings, known as the Hydrostatic Head rating, will be given in millimetres (mm) from 800mm to 10,000mm. The higher the rating, the more rain your tent can handle without leaking.
If the weather really isn’t in your favour, make sure you open your vents to keep condensation at bay, pack plenty of waterproof layers and slip on your most sensible footwear. We’ve listed our top pick of the best waterproof jackets, which might be worth a peruse. Remember that the weathers just part of the fun, and if you’re prepared, it shouldn’t put a dampener on the mood.
Consider a festival tent with an awning
A great optional feature for your festival tent is an awning. These provide a small outdoor shelter which you can use to socialise, store your boots under and observe goings-on from the comfort of your pitch. They’re great for keeping any muddy gear outside to keep your tent interior clean and dry.
What size tent do you need?
One of the biggest variables to decide is what size of tent will suit your needs best. Tents are sold in different sizes based on the number of people that can fit lying down. A two-man tent, for example, is designed to fit two people. If you’re looking to take camping kit with you and like to have a little room to move around, it’s worth sizing up. Always check on the festival’s website though as there usually will be a maximum size limit.
Practise pitching your festival tent
When you buy your tent, our number one top tip is to have a trial run of putting it up and taking it down before you leave home. That should give you a confidence boost and will be a sure way of knowing it’s working as it should and doesn’t have any issues.
One of the most popular festival tent types is, of course, the pop-up. In this video, Simon McGrath shows you just how quickly it’s possible to pitch and take down, even if there are a few hiccups along the way.
1. Regatta Zeefest 2 Man Festival Tent
This two-man festival tent by Regatta is on the lower end of the price scale which makes it ideal for those starting out with camping or spending all their cash on festival tickets. With strong, flexible fibreglass poles, pitching is a breeze, and a bit of practice should see you only taking 10 minutes out of the fun to put it up. The Zeefest stands up well to wet conditions with a hardy sewn-in groundsheet and small porch for keeping muddy shoes. The guy lines are bright yellow so you shouldn’t miss them, even after you’ve had a rip-roaring day of frivolities. If there’s more than one of you camping, with plenty of gear to stash, this might be a bit of a squeeze but if you’re alone, it’s a great tent for a solo festival goer.
2. Easy Camp Moonlight Tipi
Eye-catching, stylish, and roomy enough for all your friends, the Easy Camp Moonlight Tipi is a perfect example of a tent offering so much more than its price point. To back up its fantastic glamping credentials, this tent was commended in the Camping Editor’s Choice Awards 2021. Sleeping up to 8, you’ll find this tipi quick to pitch with just one central pole holding it up. Another positive is the amount of ventilation and waterproof protection on offer. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a tipi at a festival? Stand out from the crowds with this fun, practical, and affordable tipi tent.
3. Robens Chinook Ursa
Another good group tent, but at a higher price point, is the Chinook Ursa by Robens, sleeping up to 8. One of the best features of this tent is the ability to have the whole front opened which makes an inviting social space, ideal for days spent exploring the festival and making new friends. The Chinook Ursa also features a good ventilation system and can withstand wet and windy weather.
4. Regatta Malawi 2-Man Pop Up Print Festival Tent
This geometric print festival tent by Regatta couldn’t be easier to put up with its two second pitching time. Getting it back in the bag at the end of your festival may take a little longer, so we recommend giving it a go at home first. This two-man pop-up tent is ideal for a weekend of fun in any weather. Multiple vents and a mesh door make it easy to get air circulating in wet weather, and the waterproof groundsheet keeps the water from getting in. Internal pockets are always handy for keeping small items. Overall a good base for a short weekend away from home.
5. Mountain Warehouse Festival Fun Tent
Compact, lightweight, and easy to pitch, this four-man tent by Mountain Warehouse is a classic one-room design. The mesh door and vents allow for plenty of ventilation. It’s worth bearing in mind that this single layer tent, although water-resistant, is more suited to fair weather camping with light rain showers. The bright, eye-catching design is perfect for a warm summer of festival fun with friends.
We hope this has given you a good idea of the type of tent you’ll need for your festival camping trip. If you’re looking to test out your tent before you go or enjoy your festival trip so much that you’d like to give camping another try, we have over 100 Club Sites spread all over the UK. View our campsites by region.