Are Tent Carpets Worth It?

October 18, 2017

Well, are tent carpets worth it, after all, they can just be another expense on top of 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, and when the weather was good in summer.

That really limited our camping, and as we wanted to go off and explore other places and take longer holidays under canvas, we started researching on what gear we needed.[pullquote style=”right”]A carpet for the tent! You’ve got to be kidding[/wpsm_quote]

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 completely…

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 in, to a home from home (btw, if backpacking, then no, we wouldn’t use a tent carpet).[pullquote style=”right”]provides additional insulation[/wpsm_quote]

The carpet actually forms an important function as it provides additional insulation from the ground.  Unbeknown to most, you can lose a lot of heat through the ground and is why it is particularly important to insulate the floor in your sleeping area in the cooler months.

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

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

Don’t the kids just get it muddy?

We usually set up a porch or storm shelter by the main door and insist all shoes remain outside and also have a few cheap rubber mats in the doorway to make getting shoes on and off easier and less muddy.[pullquote style=”right”]all shoes remain outside[/wpsm_quote]

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

Alternatives to buying a carpet

The plastic backed picnic rugs are smaller versions of the tent carpets, however, these are only really a temporary solution.  Quality tent carpets are thicker and last longer.

[pullquote style=”right”]also use rugs and throws in cooler months[/wpsm_quote]We also use rugs and throws in the cooler months but remember that tent carpets have a waterproof backing, so if you are putting a rug down you want to ensure that your groundsheet doesn’t let in water.


If you’re just 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 just make your tent better, then we recommend investing in one.

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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. I have a few Army Poncho Liners and sometime use those as a makeshift lining for my tent. I’d guess that they would only fit upto a 2P tent or 3P at most though. Every little helps.

    • Yes, Poncho liners are good too. We used one recently to add extra insulation in a 3 person tent.  Even on a larger family tent they would still be good in adding insulation in the bedrooms.

  2. Hi I have a regatta atlin viz a viz tent 210cm tall and wondered if anyone had any advice on an add on dude porch that would suit it please?

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