Q. Gear Guy, I am trying to find a tent that is lightweight, and very well ventilated to prevent condensation, but without being too expensive. Do you have any suggestions?
— Wet Wesley, Ridgeland, Miss.
A. Dear Wesley. Thanks for the good question. There are lots of things that can create condensation inside a tent, including a wet environment, morning dew, dropping temperatures, even moisture from your own body. If you have your tent pitched correctly, the condensation should collect on your rainfly and not so much on the inner tent itself. The trick is staking out the tent and rainfly correctly so there’s space and airflow between both. Of course, as you mentioned, picking a tent with tons of ventilation will help reduce condensation too.
Here are two good tent options. The body of both of the tents are made almost entirely of mesh so you’ll have lots of good airflow. You said you wanted something lightweight and inexpensive: hate to break it to you Wes, but lightweight and expensive go hand in hand.
- Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 ($190; bigagnes.com) 3 lbs. 10 oz.
- Coleman Hooligan 2 ($60; coleman.com) 8.9 lbs.
Keep in mind, no matter which tent you choose, if there’s dew on the ground you’ll still likely get some condensation on your rainfly. But with your tent pitched correctly, you’ll stay dry and as soon as the sun starts shining the rainfly will dry quickly too.