7 Best Changing Tents | May 2017
- integrated clothesline
- floor can double as a picnic mat
- folding it up is time consuming
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- bright and attractive blue color
- good for both the beach and camping
- the packing directions are confusing
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- self-draining floor
- sturdy steel poles
- the stitching is rather flimsy
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- flame-retardant material
- d-style front door for easy access
- polyurethane-coated taffeta walls
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- includes 3 ground-anchoring flaps
- folds down for convenient storage
- lightweight and easy to transport
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
- clip-up extended porch for privacy
- 3 mesh windows for 360-degree view
- comes with a large carrying bag
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- removable rainfly is included
- towel rack and toiletry holder
- roof is fully vented
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
Don't Even Mention The Unmentionables
You may be reading this from anywhere in the world (provided you don't live in a nation that restricts your internet access, but I'm writing this from America, and here in the U-S-of-A, we don't like people seeing us naked. We don't even like seeing other people naked unless, of course, you account for the incredibly powerful, all-pervasive adult entertainment industry we have. Fortunately for us, we don't account for it. Much like the human form itself, we prefer to act like it doesn't exist.
As the nation evolved with this particular mindset, its laws evolved right along with it, and their brutality in the face of even the most innocent and accidental nudity is staggering to anyone outside our borders. Just a few years ago, a young man in Springfield, VA faced charges of indecent exposure for being naked in his own kitchen at 5:30 in the morning after a woman and her son illegally trespassed across his front yard and caught a glimpse of him through the window.
With local statutes like these and even more dangerous federal statutes on some campgrounds, beaches, and at national parks, it just isn't worth the risk of being caught in the buff on US soil. I'm somebody who's plenty comfortable in his natural state, but I'm also not interested in ending up on any state's registry of offenders for changing into or out of a bathing suit in public.
The changing tents on our list provide you with a safe, easy-to-use way to keep yourself from being found indecent, or finding yourself in the headlines. Most of them share similarities in construction with simple pop-up hampers, allowing you to set them up and break them down in just seconds.
Others are built more like traditional camping tents with an assembly of poles for you to master before you can get inside and get into a new set of rags. In either case, the materials in use are usually a nylon polymer synthetic that will resist water and dust, so you can set up a changing tent on the desert plains as easily as you would in heavy rains.
From Head To Toe
In most cases, you'll set up one of these changing tents near a body of water. Getting into or out of a swimsuit presents its variety of potential complications. I recall being a kid and having one of my parents hold up a towel behind which I was meant to change. I never felt quite secure behind the thing.
Many changing tents provide you with a full three hundred sixty degrees of coverage, while some have protection from above. I don't think we have to worry too much about somebody flying a camera drone over your changing tent and seeing your business from above, but having the roof closed is a great thing when you suddenly find yourself pulled from the water by a rainstorm and you don't want your clothes getting wet.
When deciding between changing tents with an open or closed top, you would do well to consider the height of the changers for whom the room is intended. If they have even a modicum of above-average height among them, an open top might be your best bet, just to ensure they have enough vertical room to maneuver comfortably.
A couple of the more expensive changing tents on our list have enough natural height to them to allow for complete vertical comfort, and they have top coverings, to boot. The one downside to these models is that they're universally a little more complicated to set up. If you want to get in and get out in an instant, you ought to look into the less expensive pop-up styles. If comfort is key, however, and neither price nor difficulty is an object, then aim high and change in luxury.
Vestiges of shelter constructed out of animal hide or plant material reach back to at least forty thousand years to the ruins of an ancient tent that archaeologists discovered in Russia. Of course, it's reasonable to believe that the design has even older roots, considering that the tent is such a simple concept that even a few large leaves strung up around a few twigs would fit the bill.
We know from many credible sources that Roman soldiers used tents in their military encampments. These weren't just pup tents for individual sleeping, either. The Romans had much larger tents intended for strategy meetings as well as for fraternization among soldiers.
Then, the Puritans came along and made America into the land of the physically prudent, a perspective on the human body that endures with incredible strength in the face of globalization. In the early parts of the twentieth century, large changing tents populated the edges of recreational lakes and oceanfronts.
These tents have since been replaced by public changing facilities that are anything but sanitary. Heaven help you if you drop a single item of clothing on the floor of one of those places, and if you happen to set a bare foot down there, might as well amputate. Better to bring your own changing space with you.