How to Keep your Tent Cool

There's nothing worse at a festival than getting back from a heavy night out and your tent being 10 degrees warmer than outside. Here are our tips on how to stop this happening!

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 18th Jul 2023

We are well into the 2023 festival season now, and with the weather being as hot and unpredictable as it has been for the first half, we thought we needed to step in and give people some much-needed advice on how to keep their tents cool amidst rising temperatures. 

We understand the worry of a sweltering tent, no one likes being sweaty in bed. But fear not, We've gathered helpful tricks to transform your fabric festival abode from a hotbox to a breezy sanctuary. 

Explore the art of tent cooling without needing a science degree, harness shade, embrace blackout tents, set up envy-worthy canopies, ensure ventilation, choose smart tent fabric, and introduce "breezeology" with an electric fan (and a sneaky coolbox). 

So, let's conquer the heat and transform your tent into the ultimate most chill place on site. Scroll down and check it out!


Choose Your Spot Wisely

When it comes to keeping your tent cool at a festival, location is everything. Channelling your inner Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer, and thinking location, location, location as soon as you enter will start you out on the front foot against sweaty sleeping arrangements. 

As you get there, seek out a shady spot like you’re searching for that perfect spot in the crowd.  Look for trees, larger structures, or even set up next to a friendly neighbour's tent who is lucky enough to have already snagged that prime shady spot; anything that blocks the morning sun. Such a tactical position should focus on the sun being on your tent for the least amount of time per day.

Such early actions are arguably among the most important if you want to keep a cool tent and be the envy of your fellow campers. However, it does revolve around getting there early, something that not everyone can accomplish. So, if you’re arriving late, this may not be for you. But don’t worry, there's more than one arrow in our quiver. 


Buy The Perfect Tent. 

So, you’ve either found a good shady spot, or you are at the whim of the sun all day round. Well, whatever the case, a great step in ensuring a cool home for the weekend is by choosing the right tent. Enter the unsung hero: Blackout Tents

These tents are specially designed with dark fabric and/or additional layers to block out sunlight and regulate the temperature inside. Most will keep you 5 degrees colder during the day and some a massive 17C less than a standard tent in direct sun.

Not only do blackout tents offer respite from the heat, but they also provide a cosy environment for those precious daytime naps or much-needed rest after a long night of festival shenanigans; especially good for festivals like Glastonbury, which happen over the summer solstice, at which the sun can rise as early as 4 am. 

The downside to these is that they can cost more than your average tent. But, in our opinion, if you can afford it, the pros far outweigh the cons. 

Cover It Up

While the shady spot and blackout tent can be game-changers in your quest for tent coolness, they are two things that the average festivalgoer may not be able to secure. So, let’s delve into the cheaper, and easier option: canopies and tarps. 

Setting up a canopy or tarp over your tent provides an extra layer of shade and protection against direct sunlight. It's the same concept as a blackout tent, but much easier and cheaper to source. 

When choosing a canopy or tarp, go for lightweight and easy-to-set-up options. Pop-up canopies or tarps with built-in poles are your best friends here. You want something that can be easily assembled without breaking a sweat (unless it's the good kind of festival sweat). Just make sure to properly secure it, unless you want to be the recipient of mocking jeers from fellow campers as it flies away.


Ventilation is Key

Keeping your tent cool isn't just about shade and sun-blocking magic; it's also about getting some fresh air flowing. It's no good having the perfect shady spot, tent, and canopy if you’re going to let the air inside stagnant and have nowhere to go. 

A way to do this is to utilise your tent's windows, doors, and vents open to encourage cross-ventilation. This allows hot air to escape while inviting cooler air to circulate through your tent. Leaving these open throughout the day is your best option. But with understandable safety concerns in leaving a door open; just do your best, and use your own judgement. 

However, if your tent has mesh panels or doors, rejoice! These are your allies in the battle against heat, and also mean your door isn't open for all to see inside. Plus, they not only facilitate airflow but also keep pesky bugs at bay!

Now, we know you want to look good at the festival, but please resist the urge to turn yourself into a human tent. Ventilation is key for you too. Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing that allows your skin to breathe and avoids trapping excess heat, especially the clothes you sleep in. 

Bring in the Breeze

We've covered the basics of tent cooling, but now it's time to take it up a notch and bring the fans in. No, not the ones already at the front of the mainstage to see the headline act on in 8 hours, the electric ones!

Investing in a portable electric fan can make a world of difference in keeping your tent cool and comfortable. Look for battery-powered or rechargeable fans that you can easily bring along to the festival. They provide a refreshing breeze and can be a lifesaver during those scorching afternoons.

Position your fan strategically inside the tent to maximize airflow. Place it near an open window or door to draw in fresh air from outside. Experiment with different fan speeds and angles to find the sweet spot that creates the most cooling effect.

Now, here's a little festival hack to take your fan game to the next level. If you’ve brought a coolbox full of ice to chill your bevs, place it directly in front of the fan. As the fan blows air over the ice, it creates a delightful cool breeze running through, It's like your own mini air conditioner, festival-style!




So, you're now all clued up on how to keep your tent cool as a cucumber during the festival season. So all that's left to do is secure your tickets to a festival to test them out. Check out our Inspire Me page for 2023 Festivals to see all that Skiddle has to offer, by clicking or tapping - HERE



Check out our What's On Guide to discover more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








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