If you don't have much experience and are unsure of what you may need to look for, here are some tips to make your decision-making process easy and efficient.
Prepare to Dish Out
Tents can range anywhere from $150 at the low end to five grand for a 15-person basecamp tent equipped for an Antarctic excursion. Remember that you get what you pay for, so if you're only planning on using your tent once or twice—ever—and you're not worried about weather, then by all means, go for the cheaper options. But if you're looking to get out and adventure a little more, go a little more high-end. It's worth the comfort and roomy sleeping bliss once you're out in the woods.
Know Where You Go
Have an idea of where you're usually going to be using your tent and what the average conditions are. Will you likely encounter rain? Snow? Wind? Choose between a three-season, four-season, mountaineering or luxury camping tents depending on where you live and the type of camping you know you will be getting into. If you know you'll be dealing with weather, REI Camping Specialist, Joe Adelizzi suggests steering towards a Marmot tent, which withstands wet conditions well.
Also consider what you'll most likely be doing on most of your trips. You have the option of a multiple-room car-camping tent, if you know you aren't going to become a big backpacker but may want to spend some time under the stars with your friends or family, or lighter backpacking tents that you can carry for days.