While none of us want to waste daylight hours on a camping trip, sometimes you deserve to hit the snooze button. Unfortunately, once daylight has broken through your tent fabric, it can be hard to catch those extra z’s – especially in the bright light of summer!
Luckily for late risers, there is a solution in blackout tents. A growing trend in tent technology, blackout tents have been designed to help solve one of the oldest camping problems – getting a good night’s sleep!
Read our guide to blackout tents below to find out what they are, how they work and which ones are available to buy…
What is a blackout tent?
Sometimes also known as ‘dark rest’ or ‘dark room’ tents, a blackout tent is a tent that has used a specific fabric which has light diffusing or light absorbing qualities. The purpose of this is to keep the inside of the tent as dark as possible, so you don’t have to wake up when the sun does. Blackout tents are ideal for those camping with babies and children, but also anyone who is sensitive to light when trying to get to sleep.
Blackout fabric is either fully blacked out (like Coleman Tents) while some are simply a dark coloured fabric. The most heavy duty blackout tents claim to block out up to 99% of daylight, while others only go as far promising reduced morning light or glare.
Typically, tents have always been a lighter colour 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.
Some outdoor brands also have their own specific term for a blackout tent, such as Vango’s ‘Lights Out’ tents or Kampa’s ‘Sleep-Tite’ rooms.
Are Blackout Tents Worth It?
While blackout tents have been around for a while, they were mostly used by festival-goers and partiers who knew they would have a sore head the next morning. However, they are now becoming a more regular feature across all ranges of tents.
If you already have a tent without blackout fabric, you may be wondering if it is worth buying one.
For those who often wish they could get a better or longer night’s sleep on a camping trip, it is definitely worth considering a blackout tent. If you have young children, they are very handy to have – many are even dark enough to allow for afternoon naps if your little ones are particularly tired out!
Remember, it’s not just the sun that can disturb your sleep, either. Clear nights with full moons can also light up flimsy tents, as can passers by with torches or car headlights and light pollution. If you are new to camping and planning to buy your first tent, it’s a safe option to buy – you don’t want your first camping trip to be a sleepless nightmare!
If you don’t have any issues sleeping then it may be best to focus your next tent upgrade on something else – maybe an inflatable tent?
What Blackout Tents are Available to Buy?
As we said earlier, blackout tents are becoming increasingly popular. Many of the best brand names all have their own version, which you can find out more about below…
Coleman Blackout Tents
Coleman blackout tents are perfect if you want to make your tent as dark as possible inside. Their Blackout Bedroom Tents are said to block out 99% of daylight from their sleeping areas, so light disturbance should never be the reason for your waking up again!
We have a great range of styles of Coleman blackout tents, ranging from 4 to 6 person options. Ideal for families, they also boast climate control temperature management which keeps your bedroom 5°C cooler in the day and up to 1°C warmer at night. Some also have unique hinged doors, which are great for those who are ferrying around kids!
Zempire ‘Light Defusing’ Tents
A range of Zempire tents are available with light diffusing fabric in the sleeping areas to help prevent early morning sun from stirring your sleep.
Our range offers some fantastically spacious full-head-height options that are ideal for both families and groups of friends camping together. Their polycotton tents helps increase breathability inside, plus they all have top range ventilation panels, too.
Kampa ‘Sleep-Tite’ Tents
Kampa’s tent technology is known as ‘Sleep-Tite’ darkened bedrooms. These tents feature inner tents made with darker material to help minimise early morning sun for peaceful lie-ins. They also boast the claim that, on average, their bedroom areas are the widest available, so you will have plenty of space for tossing and turning – not that you’ll need it!
Our range of Kampa tents offers a great selection of inflatable options that can sleep up to 8 people. They also benefit from Kampa’s other great features, such as SabreLink Flex lighting fixtures, climate control and their QuickPitch Guying System.
Vango ‘Lights Out’ Tents
Vango are known for revolutionising tents with their Air Beam inflatable tent technology. They’ve also developed their own Vango tent feature called ‘Lights Out’. They use darkened fabric in sleeping area inner tents to reduce early morning light disturbances.
Exclusive to Winfields Outdoors is the brilliant Vango Keswick Air TC 600DLX Tent. Along with a Lights Out inner tent, it includes their Sentinel Signature polycotton fabric. This enhances breathability, reduces noise and helps further reduce light.
Sprayway Tents with Darkened Bedrooms
This year at Winfields Outdoors, we are proud to be the exclusive stockist of the first new Sprayway tents to be designed in 5 years! The Sprayway Valley M Air Tent and Sprayway Valley XL Air Tent both feature private blackout rooms for sleeping that minimise morning sunlight.
In addition, they have full-head height throughout and excellent high/low room ventilation for a comfortable living environment. Sleeping up to 6 people, these tents make a fantastic family tent.
Outdoor Revolution Tents with Darkened Bedrooms
When it comes to Outdoor Revolution’s tents, they use what they call ‘Twilight fabric’ to help cut out exterior light when you want to sleep a little longer. We stock the Outdoor Revolution Airedale 6.0S Air Tent, which also features the brand’s Vortex ventilation system for comfy temperatures, plus extra deep bedrooms to cater for airbeds. Sleeping up to 6 people, we think it’s great for a family of four camping trip!
Looking for more! Shop our full range of camping tents online now!
See our camping blog for more recommended products and advice!
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Last modified: September 12, 2019