Should I Invest in a Frame or Pole Tent?


As the blustery winds swirl the wintry air, you’re probably gearing up for the coming year. It’s time to start making decisions and choices about the tent you’ll need for your daughter’s graduation, or for that yearly reunion that has outgrown the space in your home. Celina is here to help! However, before investing in a tent, it is important that you know the various types of tents offered so that your choice can be made quickly, easily, and to best fit your tent needs. Celina offers tents that can be split into two main styles – Frame Tents and Pole Tents.

Frame Tents vs Pole Tents

Many people hear us say “tents” and immediately think about the circus-style installations with sloping roofs and striped fabric. And yes, we can make those. However, we also offer a wide variety of other tent styles to fit your everyday needs.

There are two main tent styles that we offer:

  1. Pole Tents. The Pole Style Tent is put up and kept up with a series of poles – many along the perimeter, and much taller poles along the center – that insert through grommets or eyelets in the fabric. Each of the perimeter poles is tied to a stake, this rope or ratchet providing tension that pulls on the poles and fabric to keep it in place.
  2. Frame Tents. Frame Style Tents look more like houses; the tubing that makes up the frame connects to form the roof, which is held up with leg tubing. Pieces of tube are inserted into fittings and fastened to secure all of the pieces together, at which point ratchet straps or ropes are tied to the perimeter tubes at fitting locations and attached to stakes.

Pros and Cons – Pole Tents

With fewer overall pieces, the quick set-up of a pole tent is definitely the biggest selling point. With only a few poles, stakes, fabric and guy lines (the ropes or ratchet straps connecting poles to stakes), you can have a tent up in no time. However, there are two main areas to consider when choosing your tent style; the first being space.

  1. Space - Pole tents, no matter what size, will always have poles in the center of the tents for support which can sometimes be a hassle to plan events around, especially when expecting a large crowd. In this case, you may want to consider purchasing a Frame tent instead.
  2. Staking - The second important aspect is how essential good staking and tensioning practices are. The stakes and guy lines connecting to the poles are what keep the tent up, after all. When setting up the tents, there must be careful attention to detail with staking in order to ensure the tent is properly tensioned.

Pros and Cons – Frame Tents

Frame Tents offer a complete clear space within (the framework providing support through the center of the tent) and don’t rely nearly as much on the anchoring to ensure that the tent remains upright. Unlike with a pole tent, frame tents do not require the extra poles in the center of the tent, which can interfere with large crowds. The trade-off here is the amount of components needed to install a frame tent – there are different lengths of poles for the perimeter tubing, the legs, the hip rafters, rafters, and that’s not even getting into the fittings (corners, side tees, crowns) and fasteners (R-pins, pin and bail, bolts) used to keep the tent together.

While there are many styles within both Frame and Pole tent categories, these traits hold true across each. So whether you’re going for a grand, sweeping visual or really need the interior room, you can be comfortable in your decision with either tent.

Contact one of our friendly sales associates today – email or call us directly at (419) 586-3610 – and we can help you with any questions you may still have. You can also chat with us 24/7 on our website,