Whether they’re providing cozy shelter from the elements outdoors or top-secret privacy in the playroom, a number of style-savvy new tents put the “fun” in a functional structure.
Land of Nod has several tepees with pizzaz. Color-happy and neutral-toned cotton canvas comes in an array of stripes, dots or dip-dye patterns, supported by easy-to-assemble bamboo poles. Big comfy cushions are available for some models. (www.landofnod.com)
At Target, polyester fabric has a canvas look; a Southwestern print in charcoal and white would blend with lots of decor. (www.target.com)
A starry night sky graces a tepee at Wayfair. Several unadorned models can be personalized by crafty kids with paint, stamps, streamers and the like. (www.wayfair.com)
Pottery Barn has one for the sophisticated little camper, embellished with gold metallic dots. A plain white tent is roomy enough for sleepovers, and has a peek-out window. (www.potterybarn.com)
Good design isn’t relegated to just the kiddie campers, though. Tents for adults and families have creative patterns and high-tech features.
Some are more suited to fair-weather outdoor activities like park picnics or music festivals. But many are engineered for the rigors of serious camping.
Field Candy’s a website for tents with personality. One looks like a giant wedge of juicy watermelon. Another resembles the splayed-out pages of a hardcover book. Faux brick or wood tents fool the eye, and so does one with a lush lawn photo-printed on it. Flags from various countries are featured on others. You can imagine yourself hunkered down on the side of the Matterhorn in a tent printed with a realistic image of the Swiss Alps. (www.fieldcandy.com)
Camping with a crowd? Consider the London Underground Tube tent, which sleeps 16.
A smaller gang could snuggle up in the VW Bus tent, a full-size replica of Volkswagen’s iconic camper van. (www.firebox.com)
The 130-pound Cocoon Tree from Glamping Technology might catch the attention of passersby. Resembling an alien spacecraft, it consists of a spherical aluminum frame covered with waterproof fabric and the interior is equipped with a king-size mattress. All you need is two or three strong trees to which to anchor it, using the supplied ropes and nets. Or if you’re tree-challenged, use the four stabilizing feet included to place the Cocoon on solid ground. The tent sleeps four. (www.cocoontree.com)
Tentsile, a tent maker in London, has a model called the Stingray that you can suspend in the trees. Intended for camping where ground conditions are inhospitable, the Stingray can also be suspended between boulders, vehicles or other large, stationary anchors. You can enter it through the front door or through a floor vent. (www.tentsile.com)
Fjallraven’s Abisko three-season tent sleeps two and features an inner tent surrounded by vestibules that can be rolled up out of the way. The inner tent is made of mesh fabric and the flysheet has vents, making the tent a good one for hot weather camping. (www.fjallraven.us)
Big Agnes, an outfitter in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, offers a wide range of tents for everything from base camping to trail hiking. Weighing a little over a pound, the Fly Creek 1 Platinum provides 22 square feet of sleeping space, enough for two. The Yellow Jacket 3 mtnGLO, which sleeps up to four, has LED lights in the tent fabric; perfect for card playing or reading. (www.bigagnes.com)
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