Frame Tent Vs Pole Tent

When it comes to camping, there are two main types of tents: frame tents and pole tents. Here’s a look at the differences between these two types of tents.

What is a Frame Tent?

A-frame tent is a temporary structure made using either steel or aluminum poles. The tent itself can be made of any waterproof material, ideally breathable so there is no condensation build-up inside the structure. Frame tents are often used as marquees at outdoor parties, weddings, etc.

Pros and Cons of Frame Tent


  • Frame tents are usually cheaper than pole tents.
  • Ease of assembly. Whereas most pole tents require you to assemble the poles on the ground, frame tents have their roof supports already attached and ready for use, meaning that they go up very quickly.
  • They’re easier to carry around since they can be folded down into a much smaller package than a pole tent.
  • Frame tents can be erected on practically any surface including grass, gravel, and sand. They won’t need to be placed on a flat spot as they have their own adjustable feet which spread the weight of the roof out evenly across a larger area.


  • You can only use frame tents on relatively level areas with no obstructions e.g rocks that might poke the roof of the tent.
  • Frame tents are not as durable as pole tents, so you’ll need to be more careful when packing them up and unpacking them if they’ve been damp or wet. If the poles aren’t dried properly after being exposed to moisture, they are much more likely to rust or become warped.
  • Poor ventilation. Because of their sloped roof design, the sides of the tent don’t lift up very high at all leaving a lot less room for airflow. If you’re using areas filled with debris e.g probably outdoors with lots of rocks, you’ll have to select a more breathable material in order to avoid condensation.

What is a Pole Tent?

Pole Tents are tents that do not use frames. The tent fabric is hung from the top of the poles, much like a curtain. They can be of any size and shape, from small round party tents to large circus tents used for events such as fairs, circuses, and exhibitions.

Pros and Cons of Pole Tent?


  • Pole tents are more durable than frame tents.
  • You can use them on uneven ground, as long as there aren’t any large rocks or roots that might puncture the fabric of the tent.
  • Superior ventilation since you can open up all sides of the tent to allow airflow through freely. They also tend to be lighter than frame tents.


  • Pole tents are more expensive than frame tents.
  • They require a bit more effort to put up and take down since the poles aren’t attached like they are in a frame tent. However, pole tents can be erected almost anywhere including on grass, unless it’s very wet or allows water to pool up.
  • Pole tents are made of fewer panels, meaning that they are less wind resistant than frame tents. If you intend to use your tent outdoors in areas that are exposed to strong winds, it is recommended that you go for a pole tent instead of a frame one.
  • These kinds of tents were designed with outdoor events in mind such as weddings, outdoor parties, exhibitions, and fairs. However, they can also be used for camping trips.

Which is better?

It all really just depends on what you need it for, but one thing is for certain: both types of tents provide excellent shelter for any event or activity that requires the user to set up indoors.

Are pole tents cheaper than frame tents?

A-frame tent is generally more expensive than a pole tent. This is because frame tents are made up of more fabric, which means they require labor to make. Pole tents are made up of fewer panels, meaning they’re easier to produce and therefore less expensive (and faster) to make.

What are frame tents used for?

They are used mainly for outdoor events such as camping, weddings, parties, and exhibitions. They can be set up almost anywhere as long as the ground is relatively flat and free from debris that might puncture the fabric of the tent.

Do pole tents have a floor?

Pole tents do not have a floor by default because if you want a floor you will need to set up an additional tarp inside the tent.

How much weight can a frame tent hold?

This depends on how many people are going to sleep in it and whether or not there is any furniture inside the tent. Frame tents have been tested for a person per square foot of space so if you follow this and space your party evenly, the tent should support any weight you throw at it.

What is a frame tent used for?

They are mainly used for outdoor events such as camping, weddings, parties, and exhibitions. They can be set up almost anywhere as long as the ground is relatively flat and free from debris that might puncture the fabric of the tent.

What is the difference between a frame tent and a canopy tent?

A canopy tent is different from a frame tent because it does not have any walls. This allows for more airflow. Canopy tents are typically used indoors on solid surfaces that do not contain debris that might puncture the fabric of the bell or pole of the canopy.

Can I use both inside and outside?

Yes, you can use both inside and outside. However, if you are using the frame or pole tent in an area with strong or harsh winds it is recommended that you go for a canopy tent instead of a frame one.

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I am a camper and an outdoorsy person. I enjoy the simple things in life like camping, hiking, and cooking over an open fire. I'm also interested in making these activities more accessible for everyone.

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TentsReviewed is a camping blog that provides reviews on tens and other outdoor-related items.  Welcome to visit our blog for the latest information on the sport. We hope you find our blog helpful in your pursuit of the great outdoors!

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