Frame Tent Vs. Pole Tent: The Pros and Cons of Both

It’s event planning season and, with so many things to think about, the right type of tent should be high on your list.  After all,... Read More

Clear Frame Tent for Wedding Reception

It’s event planning season and, with so many things to think about, the right type of tent should be high on your list. 

After all, when planning an outdoor event, one of the first things you’ll need to do is decide which type of tent to rent. Do you want a frame tent or a pole tent? Both have their own unique pros and cons that make them better suited for certain events. 

To help you decide, let’s look at the key differences between frame tents and pole tents.


What Are Frame Tents?

Frame tents are constructed with aluminum or steel pipes that create a frame around the perimeter of the tent. This frame supports the roof and walls of the tent, which are usually made from heavy-weight vinyl. 

Clear Frame Wedding Tent Featured

The advantage of this design is that they can build frame tents without the use of center poles, giving you more usable space inside the tent. They’re also much more sturdy in windy conditions since they’re not relying on guy wires for support. 

The downside of frame tents is that they can more expensive than pole tents and require professional installation. They also can’t stake a frame tent into the ground, so they need to be set up on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. For these reasons, frame tents are typically best suited for large events like corporate functions or weddings. 

What Are Pole Tents?

Pole tents get their name from the fact that they rely on internal center poles for support. The tension from the guy wires staked into the ground pulls the fabric of the tent taut, creating a structure that’s strong enough to withstand high winds. 

Pole tents can sometimes be less expensive than frame tents and can be installed by a layperson with little difficulty (though we always install our own tents, here at Sperry!). 

The major downside of pole tents is that they require guy wires for stability, which means someone can only stake them into grassy surfaces. They also have center poles running through the middle of the tent, which can reduce your usable space and block views (if you’re using them for outdoor concerts or similar events). 

For these reasons, pole tents are perfect for events like birthday parties or family gatherings. 


Now that we’ve gone over some of the key differences between frame tents and pole tents, let’s talk about what types of events each one is best suited for. 

If you’re planning an enormous event like a wedding or corporate function, go with a frame tent. They’re more expensive but provide greater stability and usable space for your guests to enjoy.

If you’re planning a smaller event like a birthday party or family reunion, go with a pole tent. They’re less expensive and easier to set up, but keep in mind that they require guy wires for stability.  

Whichever type of tent you choose, stake it down properly! High winds can do serious damage to any type of tent if it’s not secured correctly. 

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Frame Tent vs. a Canopy Tent? 

When you are choosing a frame tent vs. canopy tent or pole tent for your event, there are several factors to consider. One is the type of surface they will place the tent on. 

If it will be placed on a harder surface, like a blacktop or concrete, you will need a different type of tent than if they will place it on grass or gravel. 

Another factor to consider is whether someone can stake the tent into the ground. If it can’t, you will need to find another way to anchor it. 

In addition to deciding what surface your tent will be placed on and how it will need to be anchored, there are also several other factors you should keep in mind when choosing the perfect tent for your event, including: 

  • Size: How many people do you need to accommodate at your event? Choose a size that will comfortably fit everyone without being too cramped.
  • Style: What kind of atmosphere are you trying to create at your event? Choose a style that will complement the rest of your decor and reflect the tone of your event.
  • Features: What features do you need? Some tents come with features like sides, windows, or doors. Others are more basic and just provide shelter from the elements. Decide which features are essential for your event and choose accordingly.
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on your tent rental? Keep in mind that larger or more feature-rich tents will usually cost more to rent than smaller, more basic ones. 

Choosing the right tent for your next outdoor event doesn’t have to be complicated! Simply consider what type of event you’re hosting, how many people will attend, and what sort of atmosphere you’re trying to create. 

From there, you can narrow down your choices until you find the perfect fit. With this guide, finding the right tents for all your future events will be a breeze!
If you’re ready to plan the special event of your dreams, contact us today and learn more about pole tents for your outdoor Vermont event!