Equip Yourself for Your Next Camping Trip and Get Quality Outdoor Tents from Intents Outdoors
New Zealand is full of fantastic, exciting places perfect for camping and other outdoor activities. You’ll have no trouble finding beautiful spots to explore. From the famous tramping tracks, spectacular mountains, beach side family campsites, or just ‘going bush’, you can make the most out of your camping experience with gear from a tent company with your best interests at heart.
When you’re off conquering the great unknown, it’s reassuring to know you have reliable gear you can depend on. Having a fun and memorable trip should be the only thing that you think about so make sure that you pack the right gear to stay dry and safe. Wondering what type of tent that you should have? That’s where we come in.
Here at Intents Outdoors, we’ve got a great range of quality tents and camping gear for every purpose. Choose from ultralight tents, tramping tents, hunting tents, family tents, popup tents, inflatable tents, canvas tents, canvas swags, cot tents and roof top tents. We’ve got tarps and poles, windbreaks, event shelters and accessories, gazebos, sleeping bags and air beds, even fly fishing gear ... everything you need for your next camping adventure.
Make your tent last longer with a bit of proper care and a few good habits. Tents are are made for the outdoors and get their fair share of dirt and exposure to the elements. Give them some love to get the best out of them. Here are some easy ways to extend the life and performance of your tent.
For new tents, read the tent instructions carefully. Practice setting it up at home before your trip to familiarise yourself with the tent and know how to get the best out of it. Make sure you’ve got everything you need.
Pick a good site to pitch your tent, not exposed to potential dangers like damaging winds or flooding.
Clear the ground of any stones, sticks or anything that may puncture or tear the floor of your tent. You could also consider using a footprint to protect the tent floor.
After pitching your tent check that everything is set up properly - fly taut, guy ropes and stakes secure.
Be careful with zippers. Treat them gently. If stuck, it’s probably a piece of fabric or thread caught in the zipper that can be carefully removed. Never force them - broken zippers are a real pain.
If a tent fly is set too tight, zippers can be under real strain and zipping them back up can be almost impossible. Instead of forcing them, adjust tent stakes to loosen the fly a little and make zippers easier to close.
Dry lubricants or wax are available for ‘sticky’ zippers.
Most poles are shock corded so should fit into place easily. Don’t fool around with poles by whipping them around. This can cause small cracks or fractures unnoticeable at the time, but ending in failure when pressure is exerted in setting up or later in winds.
End tips of aluminium and fibreglass pole sections are most easily damaged when not properly inserted into connecting hubs and ferrules. Connect the poles one section at time and make sure ends of the individual pole sections are fully inserted into hubs or metal ferrules before exerting pressure and bending the whole pole into place.
Gently push shock corded tent poles through fabric pole sleeves when setting up or taking down a tent. Pulling poles will disconnect them. Tent fabric can get pinched between pole sections when reconnecting them inside the sleeves.
Don’t force poles through tent sleeves. Check out why they’re stuck rather than forcing them through and possible tearing the tent fabric (speaking from experience).
When disconnecting and packing up poles start in the middle so there is even tension along the shock cord.
If aluminium poles are exposed to salt water, rinse them to prevent any possible corrosion.
Sun and heat
Sunlight and UV rays are the ‘silent killer’ that will damage your tent fly – especially polyester and nylon fabrics. If you’re not using the tent, take it down. Don’t leave it up for extended periods in the sun as UV rays will degrade the fabric leaving it brittle and paper-like.
Consider applying UV treatments to protect your tent depending on the fabric used.
Stay away from open wood fires and burning embers. Some campers use small controlled cooking stoves in vestibules (subject to manufacturer recommendations) but remember that some tent fabrics can melt or, if not fire resistant, be flammable.
Pack your tent dry. If it’s raining, dry it out when you get home.
Condensation can occur even on fine days, so remember that the underside of the fly or floor may be damp. For smaller tents before packing consider removing the fly to dry it out, or for freestanding tents turning them upside down to dry out tent floors.
Clean any mud of pole ends and stakes before packing.
Fold the tent fly into a rectangular shape about the width of the carry bag. Place the pole and stake bags on the fly, roll the fly around the poles and place in the bag.
When out camping leave muddy, dirty boots and shoes outside the tent to minimise dirt inside. For food spills, carefully wipe off any spills as they happen.
When you get back home, for small spots of dirt try wiping it off with a damp cloth, or using a sponge and water to carefully remove the dirt.
If you got caught out in a mud bath try using the garden hose to spray off as much mud as possible.
For heavier duty cleaning, pitch the tent at home and use warm water and a non-detergent soap (Do not use detergents, bleaches, dishwashing liquids etc. as these damage or remove the coatings). Gently wash off the dirt, then rinse and leave pitched to dry before packing away.
Do not throw you tent into the washing machine – it will destroy your tent.
Make sure that the tent is dry and clean before packing it away. When you get home from a trip hang up your tent in the garage or shaded spot to air and dry it out completely. Any moisture will lead to mildew and mould which smells bad and can stain and weaken the fabric and waterproof coatings.
Store your tent in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Storing in damp conditions will lead to mould. Exposure to direct sunlight will lead to the breakdown and weakening of the fabric and coatings.
Store it in an oversized breathable bag. Don’t store it tightly rolled and compressed in the tent carry bag.
Roll the tent fly rather than fold it. This prevents permanent creases and ‘cracks’ forming in the fabric and coatings.
At Intents Outdoors we believe you should protect your investment in your tent. Keep your tent clean and dry, out of the sun and take care when setting up and you’ll have a happy tent. And that goes a long way to making a happy camper.
Tents specifications and coatings can be confusing. What is Denier, Thread count and Hydrostatic Head? Understanding tent specifications and terms will help you choose the best tent for your needs.
When looking at tents for sale reputable brands and retailers should provide tent fabric specs so you can work out a tent’s performance capabilities and suitability to handle different conditions. Here's an introduction to different tent fabric specifications. For more on fabrics check out fabric pros and cons.
What is Denier?
Denier (D) is the unit measuring the weight and thickness of the individual threads used in the fabric. Fabric with a higher Denier will be thicker, stronger and more durable than the same fabric with a lower Denier – 40D Nylon will be stronger than 15D Nylon and 150D Polyester stronger than 75D Polyester. Remember that different fabrics have different strengths. Lower Denier is common in ultralight nylon tents and tarps where low weight is paramount. Polyester camping tents typically have higher 68D, 75D, 150D fabrics, while for camping and event shelters something around 150D would be recommended to deal with the greater stresses and longer exposure to the sun and elements.
What is Thread count?
The thread count (T) is the number of threads used horizontally and vertically per square inch of fabric ... 210T means a total of 210 threads. A higher thread count represents a greater density and tighter weave in the fabric. For this reason you will often find lower Denier fabrics (with a ‘thinner’ thread) have a higher thread count.
What is Ripstop?
Ripstop tent fabrics are those with a special reinforcement to increase resistance to tearing and ripping. When weaving, a stronger thread is used at regular intervals to form a crosshatching, grid pattern visible in the fabric. This improves strength of the fabric and makes any tears or holes less likely to spread and become bigger.
What is gsm?
GSM (grams per square meter), refers to the weight in grams of one square meter of raw woven canvas or polycotton canvas. (Also still measured in ounces per square yard as well.) A higher gsm means a higher fabric weight and thickness. Most tents range from around 280gsm to 380gsm with more modern polycotton canvas closer to the lower end.
What are fabric coatings?
Chemical coatings are applied to tent fabrics to increase their performance, especially resistance to water.
What is a silicone coating? What is silnylon?
A silicone coating is usually applied to nylon, hence silnylon. The coating ‘permeates’ the nylon fabric creating a stronger silicon ‘reinforced’, waterproof nylon fabric with better stretch and tear strength. Silicone repels water and so it’s easy to shake off excess water and dries quickly. On the down side silicone coatings are more expensive, stop ‘breathing’ in the fabric which may lead to greater condensation, and result in a very slick and slippery surface meaning that tent seams cannot be taped - Silnylon seams require manual application of a liquid seam sealant. And note that brand logos cannot be printed onto silicone coatings.
What is a Polyurethane (PU) coating?
Polyurethane or PU coatings applied to polyester and nylon fabrics are more like a layer that sticks to the surface of the tent fabric. It creates a waterproof barrier, is more affordable, has greater breathability than silicone and has a surface which allows the application of tape on tent seams. But it doesn’t reinforce a fabric’s strength in the same way as silicone, requires some care to be kept clean and dry for storage, and will affected by UV exposure and break down over time. Branding can be printed directly onto PU coatings.
What is a SIL/PU coating?
Some tent fabrics have a silicone coating on the outer side and PU coating on the inner side as a compromise, balancing the benefits of both coatings and allowing tape to be applied to seams making tents ‘ready to go’ for end users. Branding will be printed on the underside of the fabric but not on the outer side.
Hydrostatic Head (HH), water column or ‘waterproof’ ratings (measured in mm)
Polyester and nylon fabrics are not waterproof and so silicone or PU coatings are applied to give waterproof properties. The amount of water that they can ‘hold out’ is tested using a high column of water which is measured in mm. Ratings range from 800mm up to a max of 10,000mm with ratings of 1500mm and higher generally considered ‘waterproof’. See our article on how to choose a waterproof tent for a better explanation of waterproof tents and ratings. DCF (Cuben fiber) is waterproof and canvas has a natural waterproof performance so these typically do not have mm ratings.
What other fabric coatings are there?
A number of other coatings can be applied to tent fabrics to improve UV resistance, water resistance (allowing water to bead and roll off), rot and mildew resistance and to add fire retardant properties to fabrics.
What is Oxford?
Oxford is a different type of weave which provides better strength and durability than standard plain weaves. Often used for heavier duty fabrics.
What to look for in your next tent fabric specs?
Generally, the higher the denier count the stronger and heavier the fabric will be, and the higher the mm rating the more ‘waterproof’ it will be. Have a look at the following ...
75D 185T Polyester PU1000mm – a standard polyester tent fabric suitable for camping tents but has a lower waterproof rating of 1000mm suitable for light rain only so probably more suitable for casual camping in fairly good conditions.
20D 330T Ripstop Nylon Sil/PU 3000mm – a light 20 Denier nylon fabric suitable for ultralight tents, ripstop so has better tear resistance, silicone coating topside and polyurethane coating underside so can have taped seams, good waterproof rating at 3000mm should be able to deal with most rain.
380gsm Polycotton Ripstop – a heavier, durable modified polyester and canvas blend suitable for swags, and family cabin tents reinforced with Ripstop ‘grid’ threads, it's canvas so has natural waterproof properties
150D Oxford Polyester PU 3000mm UV – a heavier, thicker polyester with a stronger weave, more suitable to event shelters and tent floors, waterproof with 3000mm HH rating and coated for greater resistance to UV.
As well as identifying your preferred tent design, you’ll need a tent fabric with the right balance of strength, durability, waterproofness, weight and budget to meet your needs. Knowing more about tent specifications will help you get the right tent. At Intents Outdoors we put careful consideration into these factors to create tents fit for purpose with the right combination of specs and features at affordable price points.
Polyester, Silnylon, DCF or Cuben fiber, Polycotton canvas and PE? Understanding more about tent fabrics will help you make the right choice when looking at tents for sale. It can be confusing with so many different fabrics, coatings and specs. Below are some pros and cons of the most common tent fabrics and what they are most suitable for. Or check out our article for more on tent fabric specs and coatings
Pros – good strength, stretch, and tear resistance, easily maintained, reasonable weight, reasonable cost, good pack size, good mildew resistance, waterproof with applied coatings
Cons – not great UV resistance or heat resistance, low breathability leads to condensation, has a limited lifespan
Great for – small and large dome tents, family camping tents and shelters, camping tarps
Polyester is the most common fabric used in tents. It’s a popular choice as it does well in various weather conditions and is affordable. Polyester doesn’t change shape when wet, is waterproof when coated, performs ok in sunlight, is more durable than nylon, is of a reasonable weight and can pack down fairly small.
Pros – very light weight, good strength, waterproof with applied coatings, easily maintained, low packed volume
Cons – higher cost, stretches when wet, susceptible to UV damage, not breathable, can tear
Great for – ultralight and light weight tents, tarps
Nylon is generally stronger and lighter than polyester but can also tear easily (be sure to get Ripstop fabric) so suitable for smaller ultralight and light weight tents and not bigger family sized tents. The fabric must be coated with Silicone (hence silnylon) and/or PU to make nylon waterproof. Nylon can be weakened by UV exposure so limit time in direct sunlight if possible.
Pros – extremely light, extremely strong, waterproof, great UV, tear and chemical resistance
Cons – very expensive, doesn’t stuff (needs to be folded), does not stretch, low heat resistance
Great for - ultralight tents, tarps
DCF is the ultimate light weight tent fabric, Dyneema fibres (15x stronger than steel of same weight) enclosed in a polyester film. It’s the lightest, strongest, and most durable material but unfortunately also by far the most expensive. Weighs less than half of silnylon but costs four times as much, is waterproof and doesn’t absorb water. But there is no ‘give’ in DCF and care is needed when pitching as it won’t stretch into shape and may puncture. Not heat resistant so don’t cook under it. The ‘miracle fabric’ of ultralight lovers – at a price.
Pros – breathable, moisture absorbent, less condensation, good insulation - cool in summer, warm in winter, long lasting, high UV resistance
Cons – expensive, heavy, bulky, mildew susceptibility, needs to be weathered first, requires maintenance
Great for – cabin family style tents, glamping, bell tents, longer term camping, swags
Cotton canvas is the original tent fabric your grandad probably used - thick, durable, breathable, expands and swells when wet to seal off any holes. May leak the first time in rain as the swelling process takes place so needs to be weathered/seasoned before being used. Canvas is heavy and bulky and requires a lot of effort pitching and transporting.
Pros – better strength and mildew resistance than cotton canvas, better resistance to UV and heat than polyester, breathable – less moisture and condensation, longer lifespan and better weight than cotton canvas
Cons – high cost, care needed for maintenance, mildew susceptibility, bulky
Great for – family tents, cabins, roof top tents, swags, glamping tents
Polycotton is a blend of cotton canvas and polyester that makes a lighter, stronger canvas. It can be uncoated but is usually treated with coatings to repel water and improve mould and mildew resistance. Its durability, breathability and weather resistance make it great for family camping tents, swags and roof top tents.
Pros – tough, durable, waterproof, inexpensive
Cons – bulky, noisy, non-breathable
Great for – dome and family tent floors, tarps.
Usually black or grey, a thick, tough, durable plastic-like material used for tarps and tent floors. Ideal for floors as its affordable, hard-wearing, waterproof and easily cleaned.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
Pros – strong and durable, good UV resistance
Cons – heavy and bulky
Great for – heavy duty tent floors, heavy duty tarps, awnings and tent roof covers
Heavy duty PVC is used to meet the most rugged demands of the elements and environment with people constantly walking on it. Tough and durable but heavy and bulky. Commonly used in conjunction with canvas tents.
Mesh netting of varying strengths, thicknesses for inner tent walls to keep insects out. Windows and doors often have a mesh layer that is light weight and offers protection from bugs, better ventilation and reduces internal condensation.
Be aware that performance and quality of these fabrics can vary depending on the specifications and coatings applied. If you have any questions then just contact us at Intents Outdoors and we’ll do our best help out.
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Right Tent for the Right Environment
Aren’t all tents pretty much the same? Tents are increasingly designed for specific purposes - different tent designs perform well in different terrains. When looking at purchasing tents, it’s crucial to consider where you’ll be using your tent and what conditions you’ll be experiencing. If you’re a keen camper you might be looking for a versatile, durable tent to handle varied situations or you might need a certain type of tent to handle your specific needs on your next adventure. There are many things to consider.
Dome tents have flexible poles which cross over the middle of the tent and have ends that are secured to webbing straps at the corners giving them a dome shape. Generally perform well in windy conditions, have good interior space, can deal with challenging weather conditions, including snow and are a very popular design. Geodesic tents use 4 or more criss-crossing poles to form a strong triangular structure, meaning they have greater stability in extreme weather conditions such as on mountains or windy, exposed areas. Semi geodesic tents work on the same triangular structure but typically use fewer poles. A good combination of weight and weather resistance in varied conditions makes tunnel tents a popular choice. They use a series of parallel arches giving them a tunnel shape and good internal space, and are ideally set up into the wind, but must be staked out for them to take shape and stay up. These are just a few of the tent designs available.
Sounds kind of obvious but you’ll also need to consider what you need your tent to do. Think about your priorities and what conditions you’ll be facing, then what kind of tent meets your priorities and is best suited to handle those conditions. You might like the look of an ultralight tent – wow, looks great and weighs less than your water bottle - but it’s not for you if you’re going car camping with the family.
Weather Proof Tents
The ideal weather-proof tent should be able to withstand the elements. It should cope with heat providing ventilation to keep you cool and comfy and provide shade from the sun. In rain, it should also be waterproof to keep you and your gear dry. And in the face of heavy wind your tent should be able to remain standing. Tent fabrics used should be able to contend with the stresses of sun, rain and wind. Most tents are rated as 3 season tents suitable for use in spring, summer and autumn while 4 season tents are designed for use in colder winter conditions with heavier rain, snow and winds that can destroy lighter weight tent poles and fabrics.
More and more people are finding that a shelter provides lots of options when camping. They protect against the sun, wind and rain. When used in unison with tents they provide a covered communal area day or night with multiple uses for living, dining and storage. The good news is we also have these available in stock with a range of accessories meaning you can customize them to suit your needs and set up a super camping HQ.
Why Shop With Us
With the multitude of tents available getting the right tent for you can be a bit confusing. Which design, purpose, specifications, size, material, rating, fly and floor, weight and packed size is right for me? Sure, making the right decision may seem tricky but with Intents Outdoors we’re here to help answer your questions. Our goal is to help you make the best possible choice for you so your next outdoor adventure goes without a hitch.
As well as the usual tents we’ve also stocked up on other camping gear like hammock tarps, windbreaks, camping and event shelters and gazebos, cot tents, sleeping bags and air beds. We have hiking backpacks, fishing packs, and fishing vests. We’ve just brought in canvas tents, swags and inflatable tents, and roof top tents for use on vehicles. Keep an eye out for new camping products we bringing in to the market.
Maintaining your gear is essential. We know bits and pieces disappear or need replacing so we have a range of spare parts and accessories for your tent including a range of tent pegs and stakes, guy ropes, and poles.
Have a question? Don’t be shy. We take pride in our product knowledge and would be more than happy to answer any questions, so we can guide you to the best camping gear for you.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you find the product that is right for you. We aim to please.
Looking to buy for a big group? Buy from us wholesale. If it’s for a group of kids ready to go on their first outdoor adventure or for a company teambuilding activity, you can come to us and we’ll be ready to provide you with what you need.
In line with our goal of being your trusted shop for camping gear, we’ve made the buying process a lot easier and convenient for wholesale transactions. This way, you can save on time and effort and instead focus on counting down the days until your greatest outdoor experience of all time.
Product Quality Guaranteed
We put our name on the line with every product we sell, and so we make sure that you get great value for your money with every purchase. And better yet, all of our products come with a one-year warranty. While we are confident that you won’t have to use it, this is us saying that we have your best interests at heart.
In the slight chance that a product is faulty due to manufacturing defect, we will correct the issue. Just get in touch with us immediately and you can rest assured that we’ll do our best.
Here at Intents Outdoors, all the tent gear you need is within easy reach. Our friendly staff are happy to share their skills and knowledge with you so you can make the best decision. Your satisfaction is our mission, and we take that as seriously as you do your camping trips.
Make your next camping trip smooth and easy with top quality tents. Reach us by hitting our Contact Us button and sending your queries. We look forward to hearing from you and, more than that, we’re keen to help you with your next outdoor expedition!