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Convertible Tents

Convertible tent

I've got to admit I wasn't really a fan of convertible tents until recently and thought taking a convertible tent on a trip was about as pointless as giving a fish a bath. But like the tents themselves, I'm now a convert! I can see the market going more this way in the future as new materials and designs emerge.

So what is a convertible tent? Confusingly, some manufacturers refer to three season tents and four season tents as convertible tents. A true convertible isn't as well ventilated or light as a three season tent, nor is it as rugged or large as a winter tent. The good news is they are good for all seasons!

Convertible tents were really designed for people who don't spend a lot of time outdoors in winter - my old man had a name for such people but I wouldn't publish it here! They can cope with harsh conditions but they aren't designed with gale force winds and heavy snowfalls in mind.

A true convertible tent can be changed from a three season to a four season and vice versa. This is very cleverly done by taking away or adding tent poles and closing or opening the vented walls. You may have seen girls wearing beach gear which looks like a dress but which converts into a mini skirt and crop top - same concept! Convertible tents have heavier frames then three season versions and have interior panels that can by un-zipped or taken out when it's warm or left closed for winter hikes.

Convertible tents

If you buy a quality convertible tent and have other good quality kit for different conditions it really can cope with a full range of adventures. Don't listen to any blogger who tells you otherwise! A few months back I took a trip out to the Mawson Plateau and I swear it rained for two days solid - including some pretty nasty storms. My mate's convertible was the perfect shelter and kept us dry through the nights no worries. Once you get used to a convertible tent you can quickly adapt it to different conditions making it warmer or cooler as you need to.

As my old man had me out camping in all conditions when I was a kid I still love to get out there year round and this means a convertible tent's a great option for me. I still have other kit for more extreme conditions (and I love my bivy!) but for year-round camping or when you're visiting areas with different climates and conditions a convertible has to be considered.

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