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When to Rent a Tent

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Four tents at a campsite by a river

Tents can be expensive and will depreciate over time. So if you are wondering whether or not such an investment is the right thing for you, consider renting as an option. Here are some questions and ideas to help with the thinking process:

Are You Sure That the Purchase Will Fit Your Needs?

Ladies, ever admired those gorgeous vixen heels that would make your legs go on for days, but knew that after one night in them you might actually not be able to walk for days?

As with purchasing a tent, it is very difficult to return something you love but is not right for you, once you have used it. Despite the old saying, "I have one, somewhere in the back of my closet", it is necessary to be smart with your purchases and to not completely fill that closet with useless junk.

Therefore, trying before buying would give you an appropriate method to see whether the tent you had in mind would suit your needs.

Do You Intend to Use the Item Often or for Long Periods?

If you are a budding first timer to the camping scene, best option would be for you to rent. That way you can test out a few models and during your trip, get a sense of whether the outdoors will become a regular occurrence in your daily life. You never know, one night under a rainy sky may deter camping adventures in the future or increase the times you go camping.

However, if you are an enthusiast who knows that they and nature will share a lifelong relationship, then purchasing a durable high quality tent straight up seems the best way to go.

Feel Like Living Large for a Little While?

One time only getaway, and would like the next best thing to glamping, but don't want to pay the full costs of a grand tent? Then splurge on renting the best tent available, as this is still cheaper than purchasing out right, allows you to camp in greater comfort, enjoy the short getaway without the need for roughing it, and there is no hassle to find room for storage.

Will Renting a Tent Help Manage Your Financial Budget?

If tightening the money belt for unnecessary expenditure is on your agenda, but you still want to take time out to soak up the outdoors consider the old mathematical equation and calculate the cost of an item per its use. If there is a tent worth $300 and you plan to go camping only three times then that would equate to $100 per use. Costly? However, if you plan on using the tent at least 10 times that year, you are looking at a $30 per use expenditure. Not bad.

Most rental places charge $40 for three days to hire a Kelty tent, equating to just $20 more than purchasing a tent and only using it three times. On the other hand, if you just rented and not purchased, there would be a saving of $180. You do the math.

Any Questions?

Another tip to keep in mind when looking for the most economically viable solution is to ask many questions:

  • Does the rental price include everything?
  • Is it available to purchase the tent at a discounted price after I rent it?
  • Is it possible to test before you rent?
  • What are the terms and conditions if I lose or damage the tent?

Where to Rent a Tent From

Do your research and look around for tents that would match your needs. Read How to choose a tent for some ideas. Check out your local camping store such as REI, Eastern Mountain Sports or another nationwide or regional sporting goods retailer to find out what type of camping gear is available to rent.

Three websites that provide rental shipping services are:

If you're sure buying a tent is for you, check out our How to buy a tent article, for ideas on purchasing a tent.

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