The Best Tents with Built-In Groundsheets
- The Best Tents with Built-In Groundsheets
- What are the Different Types of Groundsheet?
- Best Sewn-In Groundsheet Tents – Reviews
As governments begin to ease down lockdown measures with the discovery of a vaccine, more countries are slowly but steadily opening up public campsites.
This makes for the perfect opportunity to plan a family camping holiday and have some good old-fashioned outdoor fun as you interact with nature.
With the right camping tent, family adventures should not be a drag. It is possible to recreate all the comforts you left at home, including blackout bedrooms and sunny porches.
One of the most important features in contemporary family tents is the tent groundsheet.
This helps to protect the tent floor against the wet ground, ensuring that you’re protected from the cold & damp.
Below we take a look at the best tents available that have the groundsheets included in the design.
What is a Groundsheet?
A groundsheet, also known as a footprint or floor saver is an essential piece of camping gear. It plays the primary role of protecting the tent floor from getting wet when it rains at the campsite or when there is dew on the ground. Lately, there have been increased conversations across different online platforms on the importance of groundsheets, especially during pursuits like wild camping.
Sewn in groundsheets ensure that you get a more practical shelter while camping. You won’t have to keep rolling up the sides of your tent for ventilation and you’ll be better shielded against nudging crawling insects out to get a taste of you.
Depending on the material used to manufacture it, groundsheets may start to leak after a while. They are prone to wear and tear, so the strength of the fabric proves to be a crucial aspect.
As manufacturers look to improve the practicality of their tents by making them more lightweight, the quality of groundsheets continues to take a hit.
This drop in durability implies that every time a camper pitches the tent, the dry grass, mud, and even debris underneath the ground can easily puncture and damage the fabric of the groundsheet. All in all, you get better use of your tent by integrating a sewn-in groundsheet.
They serve the same purpose as a carpet back at home by offering you a more comfortable platform to step on barefoot, especially when the ground is cold.
The good thing is that it won’t cost you a lot to get a customised option for your tent. Large and cheap plastic tarps may also serve as a groundsheet, but finding the right quality to meet your needs will prove to be a tall order. Your best option is to go for a high quality tent with a built-in groundsheet.
Why Should I Have a Groundsheet Sewn into My Tent?
Most tents being sold in the market today come as a complete kit with a sewn in or zipped in groundsheet. Some even feature extra bathtub style groundsheets for the porch and living areas.
If your tent flysheet is made out of waterproof fabric, the groundsheet helps to enhance this property.
One of the most basic uses of a groundsheet is that it allows you to have some dry ground in your tent, especially under wet conditions. Footprint groundsheets keep the floor of your tent dry and clean while providing you with a more comfortable platform to step on.
This also means that packing the tent will be an easier affair as there’ll be no need to air out your wet tent after getting home. In short, expect less hassle when you have a tent with sewn in groundsheet.
Does a Groundsheet Improve Pitching of My Tent?
A sewn in groundsheet helps you to avoid pitching struggles by guiding you on where to place each corner of the tent. For most large and modular style tents, it can be quite frustrating trying to figure out where to place the corner pegs before getting up the frame.
This gets even worse when you have to move the tent from one area to another. Thankfully with a footprint groundsheet, you’ll know exactly where to peg the tent in the shortest time possible.
Does a Groundsheet Improve Warmth Inside My Tent?
Typically, people tend to lose most of the heat to the ground while inside a camping tent. But when you have a groundsheet sewn into your tent, you get a layer of insulation to trap the heat that would have otherwise been lost to the ground.
This means you end up with a warmer and more comfortable tent or living space.
Is a Groundsheet a Good Investment?
Tents are a capital-intensive investment and need high levels of maintenance to keep them in the right shape. Just like any other asset you splash your hard-earned money on, you need to take great care of your tent, and this is best done when you add a sewn in groundsheet.
This offers protection against sticks, stones, roots, and any other debris on the floor that might tear into the underside of your tent.
It acts as the sacrificial lamb by taking the damage on behalf of the tent fabric. Luckily, repairing or replacing a damaged footprint groundsheet is cheaper than fixing the integral groundsheet of your tent.
Therefore, a groundsheet is not only a great investment but also serves to protect a bigger investment in the form of your tent!
What is the Role of a Groundsheet in Waterproofing a Tent?
Most groundsheets come with a Hydrostatic Head measurement of 10,000mm. This significantly reduces the chances of getting wet at night while sleeping in case it rains, although moisture can still find a way through the barriers.
However, when you add a second layer of footprint groundsheet, your protection is increased to give you peace of mind when you close your eyes. Some expedition tents feature a 5,000mm hydrostatic groundsheet, so you can look forward to a comfortable experience, even on long trips.
What are the Different Types of Groundsheet?
Groundsheets don’t come in a singular design. However, they all serve the same purpose of keeping the floor of your tent dry, stopping condensation, keeping your tent tidy, and simplify packing away the tent when the ground is wet and muddy.
The right quality of groundsheet will make for the perfect camping tent conditions to improve the experience of your expedition.
Generally, there are two types of groundsheets:
Solid Tarp-style Groundsheets
This groundsheet style provides you with an extra layer of waterproofness and is generally inexpensive.
It helps to keep your tent tidy and in good shape all through the duration of your adventure.
They also offer great insulation against the freezing ground but tend to get dirty rather easily.
Luckily, tarp-style groundsheets are easy to clean; hosing them down is all you need to get the fabric looking fresh and new.
Mesh Shade Cloth-style Groundsheets
This style of groundsheet allows water to fall straight through in case of any spillages or leakages when it’s raining. This prevents flooding inside the tent and allows the vegetation underneath to breathe.
They are not only comfortable to walk on but also ideal for awning.
Best Sewn-In Groundsheet Tents – Reviews
Berghaus Air 4
Berghaus is a brand reputed for its high-performance and technical outdoor gear. This remarkable tent is a good example of the quality you can expect from them.
The Berghaus Air 4 is a nice choice for a weekend tent that offers decent living with enough room to accommodate a small family.
This 4-Person tent comes with spaciously sized bedrooms while the living area is well lit and ventilated. Overall, it boasts a mix of high-grade features to offer you a comfortable family camping experience.
With a 6,000mm Hydrostatic Head rating for the flysheet, you can expert adequate protection from wetness when it pours during your trip.
A groundsheet is also integrated into the tent’s design to provide you with a comfortable platform to walk on and reduce heat loss through the ground.
The flysheet, inner tent, and groundsheet material are all fire retardant, meaning your safety is greatly enhanced when camping inside the Air 4.
Pitching and dismantling the tent is an easy process that shouldn’t take much of your time. This is made possible by 3 different valve points on each beam, as well as quick release valves that will deflate the tent in a matter of seconds.
High-quality inflatable beams offer impressive strength compared to other types of beams in the market to ensure you get a stable structure that won’t easily be blown away by a strong wind.
The Air 4 is conveniently livable, with the spacious sleeping room divided into two using a detachable panel. A large front door with a mesh design leads into a roomy and well-lit living space.
This has ample headroom for you to kneel without pushing through the roof and the floor space is pretty decent. PVC windows positioned at the corners on either side of the tent provide plenty of lighting while storage pockets are included under the windows and external bedroom to stow away smaller camping items and accessories safely.
The breathable tent fabric also ensures that you get a cool and fresh living environment even when the weather gets hot.
Furthermore, there are zip electric access points with Velcro tidies on both sides of the tent where you can connect the cable to a lantern point. Overall, this is a practical family tent that should make for a successful experience with your loved ones!
Coleman Fastpitch Air Valdes 4
If you are in the market for 4-season family tent that you can put up in just 15 minutes and comes with the ability to withstand winds as fast as 35mph, the Fastpitch Air Valdes 4 from Coleman will be a reliable option.
The tent comes with a range of innovative features such as blackout bedrooms, kid-friendly zips, as well as a hinged door.
Its flysheet is constructed out of high-grade rip-stop material that is also fire-retardant to ensure your safety. A sewn in groundsheet with a 4” welded lip to protect you from the wetness underneath, as well as keep insects and other crawlers at bay.
This reduces the likelihood of feeling inconvenienced when it rains in the middle of your stay. A 4,500mm Hydrostatic Head rating on the cover material further ensures that not even torrential downpours will interrupt your comfort.
This four-season tent is pretty easy to pitch for a large standard tent. Thanks to the application of inflatable air beams, your work is cut out compared to using the often-fiddly nylon poles.
All you need to do is pump up the beams (using the hand pump included in the package) then stake them out as you go along and within no time, you’ll have the frame of the tent up and ready to go. From here, what remains is to hang the internal bedroom compartment and slot in the two nylon poles for your porch.
An innovative hinged door saves you the struggle of zipping up and zipping down your tent by easily swinging open to lead you to the front porch. This not only spacious enough to fit in a small table and a couple of chairs but also well lit and breathable, thanks to large windows and mesh ventilation.
The interior features plenty of headroom, measuring almost two meters from the floor to the roof, while the 5.9 meter-square is enough to fit the four occupants comfortably. The two wide bedrooms next to each other are divided by a panel, which when opened, makes a massive sleeping area that will be perfect for couples.
The bedrooms are also coated in a specialised blackout material that will be ideal to for a baby to sleep soundly.
Other exciting features on the Fastpitch Air Valdes a series of ventilation zips to help with breathability, plenty of no-see mesh, kid-friendly zips for easy opening and closing, anti-sun glare panels, rainproof portals, as well as a roof-mounted carabiner where you can hang an LED lantern.
In summary, there is more than enough features to go around on this tent by Coleman!
Vango Airbeam Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent
The highly contemporary design of the Vango Airbeam Oddysey Air 500 tent provides a great shelter for your family during a camping adventure. It is perfect for those searching for a quick pitch weekend tent and comes with a distinctive flat front to optimise the internal living space.
A wide and high-quality shelter canopy with huge diamond windows combine to offer ample lighting and protection from elements for the entire time you’ll be camping.
The Vango Airbeam Odyssey offers a homely feel with its stretch-out design. This is made possible by pre-angled beams that allow for greater internal space compared to a standard tunnel tent and enhances bracing against the wind. The revolutionary Airbeam technology, which was launched by Vango in 2011 has been applied to the tent to improve the quality of the build.
This makes the tent easy to pitch; ensuring that one pair of hands can complete the task without help. You’ll get a double-action pump in the package to help you with this.
Another great feature of the tent is the patented Tension Band System, which bolsters the performance of the structure in adverse conditions like strong and changeable winds. It also lets you tuck away the straps when not in use. The spacious bedrooms come with a black-out feature to block out the glare of the sun and allow you to sleep better at night.
All the bedrooms can easily accommodate an adult, allowing 60cm per person. A mesh flysheet door offers ventilation while helping to keep out the bugs.
Furthermore, a sewn in groundsheet is conveniently incorporated to add to your comfort inside the tent. It helps to prevent loss of heat through the ground, as well as keep away crawlers in the ground. The double zip door delivers enhanced flexibility by enabling the top of the door to open slightly to enhance breathability.
You won’t lack space to store the extra camping items you brought along with the expandable tent bag included in the tent’s design.
Additionally, bedroom storage pockets assist to provide more space to stow away accessories. Finally, it will only take you 10 minutes to pitch the tent, saving you lots of time when in a hurry.
Coleman Octagon Tent
Just like its name suggests, the Octagon is a spaceship tent designed to hold large families. It comes at a very affordable price range between £200 and £400 pounds (if you get the blackout version) but delivers the performance of pricier tents.
Thanks to a range of practical features meant to maximise your comfort during a camping trip, proving is the best value-for-money tent with sewn in groundsheet you can get at this price range.
The first thing you’ll like about this is the tons of space available for you to feel at ease.
You can decide to set it up as one large room or divide it into two equally spacious rooms that can accommodate up to eight people. However, the two partition points available in the tent sort of limits your options as far as maximising the number of rooms is concerned, considering the large size of the tent.
On the bright side, windows have been positioned all around the tent, providing you with ample illumination and ventilation for when it gets hot. But this also means that there’s too much light to take a nap during the day.
The miles of open space inside the tent results in clear views outside the tent to keep you aware of your surroundings, which is a nice feature for those who like to stargaze at night. An inner mesh tent, meanwhile, helps to keep nudging mosquitoes and other insects at a safe distance.
Removing the flysheet transforms the tent into a bug-proof screen room.
Another great feature is the ample headroom the tent allows. This is made possible by color-coded standing steel poles, which make the most of the head height all through the eight sides of the tents.
In other words, an average height person can stand inside the tent up straight without pushing against the roof.
The colour on the poles also helps to simplify the setup process. This guides you to do this in a record 15 minutes without needing an extra pair of hands.
The front entrance is fully hinged and reinforced, allowing you to walk in without having to bend. Camping in the rain won’t be a bother when you have the Coleman Octagon; then 2,000mm Hydrostatic Head rated fabric does a great job of resisting wetness. Add to this the well sewn in groundsheet and you can look forward to keeping warm when the weather gets chilly.
Furthermore, it’s quite a heavy piece of a structure at 20kg, although the storage bag features wheels so that you can easily drag it down the trail. Overall, this is a functional outdoor tent that you can use for a group camping adventure. The best part of it all is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Kampa Hayling 4 Air Pro
Our final pick for the best tent with sewn in groundsheet is the Kampa Hayling 4 Air Pro. It might come last, but it is by far not the least. Any large family will find it to be a convenient option when you consider the spacious design it comes with.
It is large enough to accommodate a party of four comfortably, and still leave extra room to store other camping accessories. The 540cm x 320cm stretch of the tent can be transformed into a cozy living space featuring two roomy bedrooms.
If needed, you can drop the partition down to turn it into just one big happy room. A huge built-in canopy at the front proves handy when you want to lay back and relax outside without straying too far from the tent.
It also doubles up as protection for the front door against unfavorable weather such as storms and strong winds. You can as well use it to play indoor games like scrabble or monopoly.
Furthermore, the tent boasts a high-grade design that will be useful in undesirable weather. The flysheet features a 150-denier fabric with polyester waterproofing to ensure that you’re protected against raindrops.
This is also stable enough to cope with other harsh weather conditions such as strong winds. The roomy living space of the Hayling 4 Air Pro incorporates a sewn-in groundsheet with proper layering to not only keep your floor free from moisture but also prevent bugs and other crawlers from getting inside.
There is also a mosquito mesh screen that allows you to have a peaceful night’s sleep without the bother of nocturnal insects. Setting up the tent is a joy for users. It involves a simple and fast process.
You only need to peg into the ground and pump up the Air poles using a hand pump. Hanging ropes have also been provided to enhance the structure’s stability, but they are a little underwhelming for a tent of this size. All in all, the tent manages to stay stable once it’s up!
The main front is almost the same size as the tent. It is big enough to allow entry and exit without having to bend down. You can also use a side door to access the tent, which can also be turned into a canopy if necessary.
On the downside, the biggest issue with a tent this big is that the weight is significantly increased and the bulkiness brings challenges when it comes to packing and carrying. Fortunately, you can share the weight among the four of you. Overall, this is a practical choice for any quartet of campers looking for a tent with sewn in groundsheet!
Whether you’re planning a weekend camping trip with your family or setting out on a multi-day expedition with a clique of friends, the above tents with sewn in groundsheet will be a great addition to your camping gear list. They will not only shield you against unfavourable weather conditions but also make sure that you have a memorable time in the outdoors. Be sure to prioritise them the next time you go shopping for a group tent!
Should I Get a Tent with Sewn in or Zipped in Groundsheet?
When shopping for a tent that comes with a groundsheet, you may have to choose between one with a sewn in or built-in groundsheet or one with a zipped in or linked in groundsheet.
Now, both of these designs come with different pros and cons that you might want to match your preferences before making a choice. A sewn in groundsheet tent comes in handy when you want full protection from groundwater.
It also keeps crawling insects out of the tent, as well as the chilly draught when you’re sleeping. On the downside, the groundsheet will require cleaning, which may be challenging considering that you can’t remove the floor.
You will also need to take great care not to damage the fabric when using camping furniture, and the same goes for when you want to cook. Arguments supporting the zipped in groundsheet tents contend that you have a much easier time cleaning the fabric since you can detach from the tent anytime you want.
Furthermore, detaching it allows you to let in extra breeze when it gets hot and also keeps its safe for you when want to cook with a wood-burning stove. The design enables you to lighten the load during transportation.
However, a zipped in groundsheet can allow some water in when it rains and the zipper also adds extra weight to the tent. It also gets cumbersome when the zipper gets damaged and offers less protection against crawlers like snakes.
What Type of Poles are Best for My Tent?
There are three different types of tent poles to choose from when searching for a group tent. First off, you can go with fibreglass tent poles, which is what you find on the majority of standard tent poles. The poles are lightweight, flexible, and can be split into different sections held intact by an elastic. They also bend too far without snapping, which adds to their durability down the line. Alternatively, you can choose steel poles, which come at a little bit higher price.
They also weigh more and are mostly used on large family tents because of the toughness they offer. Lastly, Airbeam poles are a relatively new entrant into the market.
They are technically not poles; the tents come with sleeves that can be pumped with air using a hand pump to create a rigid frame that holds together the entire structure. Inflatable poles prove to be a convenient alternative to standard poles. They make the pitching process much easier and allow you to do it in a matter of minutes.
How Long Should My Tent Last?
The shelf life of your camping tent will vary depending on how frequently it is used and how rigorous the conditions of use are. As long as you take your time to clean it after camping and perform a couple of maintenance activities, a decent-quality tent should be good to last you a couple of years on average.