"Your choice of tent should depend entirely upon the type of camping you plan to do and who it’ll be with," says Iain Duff, editor of Camping magazine. “If you’re planning a long family holiday, you’ll want something with plenty of living space, where you can walk about without stooping and set up tables and chairs, storage cupboards and the like. At the opposite extreme, if your tent is simply somewhere to shelter after a day’s hiking you’ll want to keep it as basic, and light, as possible.”
Iain suggests choosing a tent with a sleeping capacity designed to accommodate one or two more people than is actually required. “Other things worth considering are standing room/head height, living room space, number and location of entrance doors and the quality of materials used.”
Once you have identified a tent that ticks all your boxes, shop around online for the best deal as some will be reduced by huge amounts. “Take advantage of the specialist camping shops on the high street where you can get expert advice and see the tents standing,” says Iain.
To help start you off, we’ve picked the best tents available this Spring, from the Force Ten Helium Carbon 200, which is a godsend for hikers, right through to the Gelert Atlantis 5, a great option for families.
Click on the gallery to see the IndyBest buys
10 best tents
10 best tents
1/10 Vango Lumen V 600 XL
Iain describes this inflatable six-man as “everything a modern family tent should be: easy to pitch, good-quality materials, bright, spacious and flexible to your needs”. The panoramic windows let you feel part of the campsite even when you’re indoors. £900, vango.co.uk
2/10 Coleman Instant Dome 5
For a trip where quick pitching is the order of the day, Iain recommends this five-man tent. “Its unique spider-like frame is attached to the flysheet and means the whole structure can be standing in just one minute,” he says. £119.99, fieldandtrek.com
3/10 Outwell Newgate 5
Forget pods and yurts – this luxury polycotton family tent is true glamping. “The natural smell of the fabric instantly transports you back to childhood holidays without losing any of the comforts of 21st-century camping,” Iain says. Yes, it’s pricey, but it could last you a decade or more. £799.99, tauntonleisure.com
4/10 Vango Ark 300 +
This two-man can be pitched in less than five minutes and is super-quick to pack away. “The Gothic-arch style looks strikingly different, but also provides decent headroom and space, while the large front windows mean you can see the weather situation without venturing outside,” Iain says. £114.99, amazon.co.uk
5/10 Force 10 Helium Carbon 200
This is Iain’s favourite tent for hiking. “Some pretty exotic materials come together to produce a two-berth tent weighing less than a kilo,” he explains. “It also makes good use of every inch of space.” £365, outbacktrading.co.uk
6/10 Urban Escape Atago 5
This robust five-person tent is a great option for any family on a tight budget. It has two separate sleeping areas, plenty of light and there’s space to move around in the living compartment, while a door canopy provides extra shelter from the elements. £180, halfords.com
7/10 Eurohike Tamar 2 Man Tent
This good-value dome tent is idiot-proof to pitch, lightweight at 2.75kg and will keep you dry on a weekend trip. If you’re a solo camper, it leaves plenty of room for your rucksack. £30, millets.co.uk
8/10 Gelert Atlantis 5
With its flexible living space with an all-in-one pitching system, this durable tent is super-quick to get up. It can sleep up to four people comfortably and the light, high and open living area means you won’t be falling over each other. £147.22, amazon.co.uk
9/10 Jack Wolfskin Time Tunnel III RT
This robust three-man tent is built to stand up to strong winds. The short poles which stand in the corners create more storage and living space to protect you and your kit when the weather’s not co-operating. £330, jack-wolfskin.co.uk
10/10 Elc UV Sun Tent
Tents aren’t just for overnighters. This pop-up one is great for keeping the sun and wind off little faces on the beach or in the garden. It has sand pockets for stability and a window at the back for ventilation. There’s a handy storage bag and four pegs to secure the tent. £25, elc.co.uk
For family camping, the Vango Lumen 600XL is as good as it gets, according to Iain. Meanwhile for weekend trips, your best bet is the Coleman Instant Dome 5. For those on a tighter budget, we’d recommend the Urban Escape Atago 5.
See our round-up of 10 best festival tents here.