If you’ve ever been camping, whether it be on a site or at a festival, you’ll be familiar with the unwelcome sun rays waking you up in the morning.
This can be particularly troublesome if the material of your tent is light in color or thinner than usual.
Fortunately, it is possible to blackout your regular tent. There are several different effective ways of shutting out the sunlight so you can get that all-important downtime.
The most popular method of blacking out a tent is by using a blackout liner. This is usually just a large sheet of dark, opaque material. It can be clipped along the walls of your tent to keep the sunlight out.
Another handy trick is to try setting up your tent facing the west. This is because the sun rises in the east, so there will be less light penetrating your tent in the early mornings.
However, this isn’t always possible, especially when pitching your tent on a public campsite.
Are blackout tents hot?
Tents are usually made to be a lighter color to help keep them cooler inside. However, thanks to innovations in ventilation and climate control fabric, the temperature inside blackout tents can still be kept comfortable.
However, it’s important to remember that no tent can stay completely cool. If you pitch your tent in the baking sun, expect it to heat up a little.
While blackout tents tend to keep the heat out for a little bit, after a certain point, it can have the opposite effect. This is because darker colors will absorb more light and UV radiation.
In general, blackout tents can be considered cooler than ordinary tents. The very best blackout tents will use climate control fabric and ventilation techniques to lower the interior temperature.
Although the numbers vary from brand to brand, a blackout tent can be up to 10 degrees cooler than the temperature outside.
Which tents have blackout bedrooms?
As most families opt to go camping during the summertime, the mornings can get pretty bright, and usually much earlier than you’d normally like to get up.
To remedy this, many brands have decided to bring out their own “blackout” tents. The most popular blackout tents come from the brand Coleman.
Alternatively, the brand Ozark Trail makes a range of “dark rest tents” and some “darkroom tents” that are ideal for keeping the light out.
Purchasing a tent with a darkroom is definitely worth the extra money if you have children.
I can suggest this tent from Coleman:
- DARK ROOM TECHNOLOGY: Blocks 90% of sunlight (vs. a comparable Coleman tent) so you can sleep in past sunrise
- REDUCES HEAT: For a more comfortable rest anytime of day
- WEATHERPROOF: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; included rainfly offers extra weather protection; strong frame withstands 35+ mph winds
Infants and young children can benefit from afternoon naps, especially while on vacation, so a cool and dark space for them to rest is ideal.
The “darkest” tent on the market currently is considered to be the Quechua blackout tent. It’s super-slick in appearance and blocks out up to 99% of daylight and claims to remain cooler in high heat than standard tents.
While inside during the day, it is essentially pitch-black and impossible to tell whether it is dark or light outside, which is just what you want.
How do I darken my tent when camping?
If it’s too late to get your hands on a blackout tent and you’re already pitched, there are a few methods you can use to darken your tent yourself.
Tent Blackout Liner
The best option is to use a blackout liner, as mentioned earlier, and simply attach it to the walls of your tent. However, if you don’t have one, don’t panic! Here are a few other ways you can darken your tent:
You can drape the outside of your tent with a dark tarp. While this method is similar to the blackout liner method, it’s a little less complicated and widely available.
If you drape the tarp just over the top of your tent, you’ll block most of the light while still allowing for good ventilation. You should try to get a little space between the tarp and your tent, as this will help with sun-blocking and ventilation.
Another great way of remaining undisturbed by light in your tent is by investing in a blackout sleep mask. This method is probably the cheapest, and it doesn’t interfere with ventilation at all or involve complicated setup procedures.
Of course, this method doesn’t actually darken the whole tent. So, you’ll need to make sure that each person sleeping in the tent has access to a blackout sleeping mask.
Pitching your tent in a shady spot is a great preventative measure. Look around for areas with lots of trees, large branches, and a canopy. Avoid camping near other campers, especially those with vehicles and lights.
Find a spot away from the hustle and bustle, not only will you be much cooler, but the view of the night sky will be spectacular too!