Guide to Blackout Tents

While none of us wants to waste daylight hours on a camping trip, sometimes you deserve to hit the snooze button.

While none of us wants 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 (and essential) night’s sleep!

Read our guide to camping 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 uses a specific fabric that 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 for anyone sensitive to light when trying to get to sleep.

Blackout fabric is either fully blacked out – like Coleman Tents – while some simply feature 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 as 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.

Are blackout tents worth it?

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 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?

Blackout tents are becoming increasingly popular and many of the best brand names all have their own version. Discover the range of blackout tents available at Winfields Outdoors, 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 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 Coleman blackout tents, ranging from four to six-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.

Find out more about Coleman Tents

Zempire ‘Light Diffusing’ tents

A range of Zempire tents are available with light-diffusing fabric in the sleeping areas to help prevent the 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 help increase breathability inside, plus they all have top range ventilation panels, too.

Find out more about Zempire Tents

Vango ‘Lights Out’ tents

Vango is known for revolutionising tents with their AirBeam inflatable tent technology. They’ve also developed their own Vango tent feature called ‘Lights Out’. They use darkened fabric in the sleeping areas to reduce early morning light disturbances.

Now exclusively available at Winfields Outdoors, we have the brilliant Vango Keswick II 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 ingress. 

Find out more about Vango Tents

Regatta Karuna tents with darkened bedrooms

Regatta Karuna tents are a great option for family or group camping as they can sleep up to 6 people. The bedrooms feature a darkened fabric feature which reduces the amount of early morning light that gets into the tent. 

In addition, there are also multiple vents and mesh doors throughout to allow air circulation whilst keeping insects out. Regatta tents also provide spacious living areas, with sleeping areas on either side of the tent for additional privacy. 

Find out more about Regatta Tents

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 which maintains comfy temperatures, plus extra deep bedrooms to cater for airbeds. Sleeping up to six people, we think it’s great for a family of four camping trip.

Find out more about Outdoor Revolution Tents


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