What’s a Vestibule?

Yellow tentMaybe you’ve been looking for tents online, and you’ve stumbled across the word “vestibule” in your search, or maybe you’ve been to your local camping goods store where you overheard one of the staff talking about how much they like the vestibule feature on their personal backpacking tent. If you feel as though the word vestibule sound more like a part of the human heart than a part of a tent, you’re not alone.

So what is a vestibule?

Unlike a rain fly which is pretty self-explanatory, the meaning of vestibule can’t be deciphered by the name unless you happen to be an architect, or unless you’re really into ancient Greek temples. Even then, a vestibule doesn’t seem like it belongs on a tent (in architecture, a vestibule is an area that leads to a larger space – such as an entryway, lobby, or foyer). If your tent has a foyer, you might not be camping right.

It’s accurate to refer to a tent vestibule as a vestibule, albeit a little misleading. A tent vestibule does create an area that leads to the main area, however, you won’t really be greeting, entertaining, or hanging out in this space.

A vestibule on a tent is commonly created by the exterior rain fly. Most often, this is done by providing extra material in front of the tent doors that extends a few feet beyond the tent entrance to create a small covered area.

The purpose of a tent vestibule isn’t to make a camper feel fancy by providing an entryway. Instead, it’s intended to create an area that can keep gear such as a backpack, boots, or other camping supplies protected from the elements without taking up space in the tent’s interior.

In other words, a vestibule provides a covered storage area for your camping equipment. This is a welcomed feature because it keeps your tent clean and uncluttered without exposing your gear to the outside elements.

Many of the tents – both car camping tents and backpacking tents – that we carry in the store come with vestibules. If you’re in the Northwest Arkansas area, stop by and check out our selection!

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