Are darker bedrooms in tents better for you?

January 30, 2020

It’s 2020 and it appears many tent brands now have dark, and almost black, bedrooms.

Coleman popularised the BlackOut Bedroom® tents a few years ago.

At first, it was a bit marmite; you either loved it or hated it.

We tried one of the first Coleman black-out bedroom tents, and it was very different from the usual tent bedroom. We’ve also used their more recent black-out bedrooms and found these really do make a difference.

Black-out Bedroom in Coleman Valdes 6XL
The Black-out Bedroom in the Coleman Valdes 6XL

Outwell tents have been making their bedrooms dark, and this year they have tents with really dark bedrooms. See the photo below.

Inside an Outwell tent's darkened bedroom
Me inside a darkened bedroom of the 2020 Outwell Montana 6P tent
Dark Bedrooms in an Easy Camp tent
The dark bedrooms on the 2020 Easy Camp Match Air 500 tent

And for 2020, Vango has introduced dark bedrooms into their range too.

Dark bedrooms in the Vango Ventanas Air 650XL family tent
Dark bedrooms in the Vango Ventanas Air 650XL family tent

So with all these dark bedrooms appearing in tents, why would you want one?

Why tent bedrooms are getting darker

Most families camp during the summertime. Even if the British summer is not always that sunny, it certainly does get light early in the morning. Much earlier than many would like to wake up.

This early morning sunlight brightens your tent and starts your body’s natural wake cycle.

First sun rays of the day
The early morning sun starts your body’s natural wake cycle.

And even if you can easily sleep through it, what about your kids?

As any parent knows, kids tend to sleep longer in the morning if they have black-out curtains or blinds in their bedroom. The same applies here in your tent.

As any parent knows, kids tend to sleep longer in the morning if they have black-out curtains or blinds in their bedroom.

So, even if you don’t feel the need to have a dark bedroom, your kids sleeping in one could reduce the chance of them getting you up at an ungodly hour.

The BBC reported a study that light at night may even cause obesity in women, though the article also went onto say that there may be no evidence for this and that more research is needed to see if black-out bedrooms are beneficial.

Should you get a tent with darkened bedrooms?

Well, whether the science is there or not, as parents we know kids sleep in longer with a dark bedroom. And so for that reason, even if you prefer light in your bedroom, getting a family tent with darker bedrooms may be a good idea.

Dark bedrooms in tents could prevent the 5 AM wake-up call from your kids

Sleep tight.

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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  1. Hello,

    Would you be able to discuss how the various manufacturers’ offerings compare with one another?

    I am in the market for a family tent and a really dark “bedroom” is a high priority for us.
    Specifically, I am interested in the Coleman blackout, Vango’s newer Midnight bedrooms, and the Outwell Premier/Ambassador rooms.

    I am shopping from Canada (where we do not have this type of tent) so I am unable to actually look before I buy.
    Thank you for your time

  2. Thanks, Michael 🙂

    Unfortunately, I don’t know what the material is, other than ‘Breathable Polyester’ that it says on Outwell’s website. It must be a special tight weave to not let in a lot of light. I suspect, each tent manufacturer keeps that specification secret.

    If you are adding an extra layer to your inner tent, make sure there’s still plenty of ventilation. Perhaps, just adding an additional layer on the ceiling will be enough? Or perhaps adding a layer on the outside and see if you can get a roof protector for your tent?

    BTW, the OASE team at Give have always been super friendly 🙂

  3. Hi Gav … thanx for all the work your are giving into our hobby.

    Inner tent – bedrom – darken: do You now what fabric they are using and whats its called?
    I have a Outwell Vermont Grey XLP tent from 2017 that i what to lay/put the dark fabric on to – but nobody are able til tell me the name of that kind of fabric.

    Many greatings from Denmark
    Michael Lynge.

    Note: by the way – dont botteder that Outwell dont treat you nice when you are on visit – the are quied “reserved” those people from northen Jytland. And i thin they dont apreciate the comercial and advertising yoy are doing for them. Your are a superstar and because of all Your good Youtube videos we all can enjoy out summertime and holiday in tents. Keep up the fantastisc work – our are our inspiration.

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