The carpet

Are tent carpets worth the expense?

Are Tent Carpets Worth It?

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published May 2012; updated Apr 2023.

Tent carpets can appear to be an expensive luxury add-on, but are they worth the money? We think so. Read this to find out why.

Well, are tent carpets worth it? After all, they can be another expense besides the cost of buying the tent.

A one-word answer: yes.

Let me explain...

Family Camping without a Tent Carpet

We camped for years without a tent carpet.  This was the norm and is perfectly acceptable.

However, back then, we mainly camped for a day or two at a time when the weather was good in summer.

That limited our camping, and as we wanted to go off and explore other places and take longer holidays under canvas, we started researching what gear we needed.

A carpet for the tent! You've got to be kidding.

One thing that was recommended to us by a few people was getting a tent carpet.  'A carpet for the tent! You've got to be kidding,' we thought.  But as we researched it and bought one, our view changed utterly...

Life with a Tent Carpet

Putting a carpet in your tent immediately changes the tent from being just a shelter to sleep and store gear into a home from home (btw, if backpacking, then no, we wouldn't use a tent carpet!).

provides additional insulation

The carpet is essential as it provides additional insulation from the ground.  Unbeknown to most, you can lose a lot of heat through the ground, which is why insulating the floor in your sleeping area in the cooler months is particularly important.

It is also softer and quieter underfoot than the usual plastic groundsheet.  This changes the feel of the place.

Outwell Inalyzz tent carpet

The Outwell Inlayzzz carpet has additional foam on the back for added insulation. Ideal for your tent's bedrooms.

Don't the kids get it muddy?


We usually set up a porch or storm shelter by the main door, insist all shoes remain outside, and have a few cheap rubber mats in the doorway to make getting shoes on and off easier and less muddy.

All shoes remain outside

We also have a cheap dustpan and brush in our camping kit.  You might think these 'rules' sound too much like home, but the kids are used to them, and it's not much hassle.  The result is a lovely inner sanctum to the tent.

Alternatives to buying a carpet

The plastic-backed picnic rugs are smaller versions of the tent carpets. However, these are only temporary solutions.  Quality tent carpets are thicker and last longer.

Also use rugs and throws in cooler months

We also use rugs and throws in the cooler months but remember that tent carpets have a waterproof backing, so if you put a rug down, be mindful that condensation can build up in a tent and result in damp floors.


If you're camping the odd night in summer, then a tent carpet is probably not worth it.  However, if you want to extend your season, camp longer, or improve your tent, we recommend investing in one.