Guide to Buying a Used Tent

Buying Used Tents

For a lot of outdoorsmen and women, buying a new tent is not always in the cards. However, luckily for them, they can still get their hands on some good equipment by simply buying used tents. However, when a lot of people hear those words together, there can be quite a few people who are not as enthused as others. However, we are here to tell you that buying used tents can actually be a pretty cost-efficient way to get some great quality equipment– as long as you know what to look for. Today we are going to look at the pros and cons of buying a used tent vs buying a new tent, where to look for used tents, how to inspect a used tent and so on and so forth. Now, here at Elk Mountain Tents, we believe in quality, so if you have the ability to buy a new tent, we highly suggest buying one of ours from our online store as you will easily be getting more bang for your buck that way. Our tents use a 100% polyester canvas that can’t rot or shrink like cotton, doesn’t require expensive treatments for sun or rain like cotton, and magically maintains the same breathability that people have come to expect from cotton. Oh, and the break and tear strength is significantly stronger.

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Buying Used – Pros and Cons

Now, let’s start off by looking at the pros and cons of buying used tents

Pros of Buying Used Tents

The pros of buying used tents are as follows:

  1. Price: When you buy used things, you usually save at least a little bit of money because of the natural lose in value that an object inherits once it is bought.
  2. Occasional Bargains: Since the price is usually lower than retail when you buy a used tent, you can potentially get a great tent for a very low price.
  3. Broken In: One of the great things about buying a used tent is that it is already broken in. There are many products out there, tents included, that require a little break-in time– when you buy a used product that break-in period is likely already passed.
  4. Flaws are already known: Because the break-in period is likely passed, if there are any flaws or problems with the tent, you can know them before hand– assuming the seller discloses that information.

Cons of Buying Used Tents

  1. Quality is questionable: While you may be getting a good price on a used tent, there is also a high likelihood that the there may be some problems with it.
  2. Longevity is not guaranteed: When you buy a new product, you can almost always know how long it will last you. When you buy something used, there is a possibility that it will not last nearly as long as you think it will.

Where to buy used tents

There are several places that you can go to buy used tents. The most popular place is to check out Craigslist or another free classified system. This will give you a wide net of new and used things, many of which are being sold for a bargain.

Another place you might check are thrift stores and yard sales. These are regular places where you can find amazing deals on some great stuff. Just be aware that it is hard to ensure quality in either of these last few scenarios.

Lastly there are discount and clearance sections at your local retailer. If you have a Cabela’s near, their “Bargain Cave” is one of the best places to check on a frequent basis. The same goes for other camping and outdoor stores like Sportsman’s Warehouse and so on.

How to inspect a tent and what to look for

If you are going to buy a tent, we implore you to schedule some time with the owner so they can help you set it up. This will allow you to make sure that all the pieces are there, everything fits right, and if there are any holes or tears that you need to be aware of. If there are no obvious holes or other problems, there are several things you should look at next to be sure that everything is in tip-top shape.

The first thing is to check out the seams. Make sure that they don’t have any spots where they are starting to come loose or fray. Next check the poles; see if they are bent, cracked, or even broken. Lastly, there is the color and smell of the fabric. If there is a strange tinge or other discoloration along with a nasty smell, there is a high likelihood that there is mold or other water damage.

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Red Flags for buying a used tent (or anything for that matter)

The main red flags you need to be on the lookout for when buying something used, especially a tent, are the things we listed above: Check for damage, investigate any strange color or smell, and make sure everything that is supposed to be there is present. However, there is one other thing that you might want to consider and that is if the current owner doesn’t want you to set it up, or is being evasive about the item’s past.

The seller’s behavior should be noted throughout the purchasing process. This is a smart thing to do when buying anything really. So, be sure that if they are acting fishy that you ask a friend to go with you to check it out — preferably one that knows a thing or two about tents.

Final Thoughts

Now, there are many more things that you could do and consider when buying a used tent, but for now, this should get you by. Again, if you are looking for a great new tent, be sure to check out the tents we sell here on this site — they are great quality tents for a great price!