How To Soundproof Tents: 4 Fast And Effective Ways That Work
I often wondered, are there actually soundproof tents around and if not, how do I soundproof my tent when I go camping?
Camping is an activity that my family loves, and often times we head out to the campground to get away from the city. The problem is that in such locations, there are other campers as well, and you simply cannot control the noise output they produce.
Even when we camp out in a friend’s backyard, noises can disturb us as there are roads and neighbors nearby too.
I decided to investigate this a bit deeper, and I found some ways that can improve the acoustics of my family tent by using some simple methods and material that I found around the house.
The methods discussed here will sound a bit unconventional, and some may even question if it’s required, but well, they do matter to me. My family and I can now camp in comfort!
Want to know how? Read on to find out!
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Why do you need to soundproof tents?
Camping is a super relaxing get-away for a single person or up to a full family. Campfires, nature, hiking—what’s not to love. Well, perhaps all the noise surrounding you.
Nothing disrupts the peace and quiet of camping like unwanted noise that interferes with the mood, or even worse, your sleep.
If you often camp in a large campground or any place that has nearby neighbors or lots of ambient noise, this article will help you.
This article will discuss several strategies for soundproofing your camping tent. All of these strategies are easy to implement and you can choose one or all. They are designed to help dampen chatty neighbors, or a nearby radios etc.
Note: The strategies work for regular camping tents, but can also be used in large event tents for weddings or similar outdoor activities.
Also, at the end, we will cover three tents that are heavily insulated and therefore have more “soundproofing” built into them when you buy them.
Hey, quick one. If you intend to start a soundproofing project soon, check out our Best Materials for Soundproofing post to get a headstart. Most projects require similar materials, so this post will save you a ton of time researching.
Read more: 5 Best Quiet Drones 2020: Reviews and Guide
Overview of the strategies to soundproof a tent
By employing one or more of the following items, you can dramatically lower down the amount of noise that passes into your tent.
- Carpets or rugs on the floor: This strategy cuts down on ambient noise in the tent and helps absorb sounds that travel through the ground.
- Hang soundproof curtains: These items will cut out sounds coming through your tent walls.
- Install or put up acoustic barriers inside the tent. This is suitable for larger tents as it takes up more space
- White Noise Machines and Bluetooth Earmuffs: The easiest of the strategies to implement, these will help drown out any of the noises that you might hear.
4 Steps to soundproof a tent
1. Place carpets or rugs on the floor
If you’re near a concert or any sound source with lower-frequencies and heavy base, the carpets on the floor of your tent will help.
These types of sounds tend to travel through the ground.
Carpets on the floor will help absorb general ambient noise in the tent, making it quieter in general even if people are shuffling around or whispering.
The type of rug does not matter, but heavy, thick rugs will obviously absorb more noise than thin carpets.
You can buy a large carpet and cut it to fit your tent.
Any rug that you would normally buy to absorb noise or cushion falls and drops will work.
Another solution is to use foam tiles, just like the ones you would use for your kid’s playpen.
Beglad Shaggy Bedroom Rugs
This rug has multiple layers, designed for cushioning and comfort. That thickness will also be very beneficial in absorbing and blocking sounds.
Gorilla Grip Original Faux-Chinchilla Area Rug
This rug comes in many sizes and colors. It’s ultra-plush design will soften the ground for sleeping while also absorbing and blocking sounds.
Andecor Soft Fluffy Rug
Thick and fluffy, this rug is also designed to be easily cleaned. It’s original use was college dorm rooms, and therefore had to be durable and easy to clean.
Prosource Foam Interlocking Tiles
These tiles are really dense and can even be used in your home gym for heavy weights. A pack of these includes 24 pieces, so you can piece them together according to the size you need easily. An added benefit is that they can help create a gap between you and the ground, so cold nights are something of the past the next time you go camping.
2. Hang Noise-Reducing Curtains/Soundproof Blankets
Now that we have tackled the sounds and bass-frequencies that travel through the ground, lets now address the sounds coming through the walls of your tent.
Your next option in blocking out sound in your tent are sound absorbing curtains. One of the most popular strategies for sound dampening in homes are blackout curtains.
These are thick, heavy curtains that are designed to block out light, but will also absorb sound. You can hang them on the insides of your tent using the interior frame or you can drape them over the tent itself from the outside.
Not only will they cut back on sound, they will also act as insulation in your tent. If you’re camping during cooler months at all, this could be a benefit.
If you’re installing the curtains on the inside of the tent, it will be easier if you have a slightly larger tent or one that is rectangular or square.
You will lose a little space when you put up the curtains inside.
Be sure your tent is strong enough to support their weight, or purchase frames that will fit the dimensions of your tent.
This is a strategy we recommend testing before you actually go camping.
Nicetown Blackout Curtains
These are very popular and useful blackout curtains. They are all 52 inches in width and vary in length but range from 45 inches to 120 inches. Regardless, we recommend buying bigger than you need and cutting to fit. Because curtains come in a pair you will be able to cover two or more walls with each pair.
RYB Home White Curtains
These curtains another very popular option from online blackout curtain selections. They are made of multiple layers and, like those above, will block out light, sound, and temperature variations.
Sure-Max Moving and Packing Blankets
These moving blankets are one of my favorite soundproofing material, as they are very versatile and can be used in lots of situations. Much like the curtains, you can hang these up and block out noise effectively due to their thickness. They are rather cheap and can be used in future for other purposes, be it moving or soundproofing your room with blankets.
Read more: 5 Best Quiet Pickleball Paddles 2020
3. Install Acoustic Barriers – MLV
The next step up from curtains is MLV, in terms of specialized material.
MLV stands for mass-loaded vinyl. It is often used in recording studios and in sound-proofing cars, and is designed specifically for soundproofing.
It’s thin, but dense, and will be heavier than the soundproof curtains. The material weighs a pound per square foot.
It is primarily effective against higher frequencies such as conversations, light or distant traffic, or non-bass music. This is a good option to compliment the carpet flooring to address both levels of sound frequency.
The same cautions go for MLV as blankets—they are a little challenging to hang in small tents or even dome tents.
You will want to test before you camp. They will also insulate the tent and help on cold nights. The best way to use them is to line your tent with these material, especially along gaps.
Soundsulate Mass-Loaded Vinyl
This is a really good choice to build a “sound barrier” and it is inexpensive. They offer lots of different sizes to suit all kinds of needs.
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl
This is another popular MLV option and comes in a variety of sizes. It is designed to be super dense and has no odor.
4. White Noise Machine
White noise machines will work wonders in terms of cutting back on ambient noise.
These are popular at home to help people sleep or drown out additional sounds in baby nurseries.
If you purchase one that is also battery-powered, you can use it in your tent.
Most of them play white noise, but also nature sounds such as rivers and rains, which can help make them feel more natural while camping.
Raynic White Noise Machine
This white noise machine has multiple nature sounds including oceans, birds chirping, water streams, summer nights, thunder, and forest sounds. It is small and lightweight and can be battery operated. You can also attach headphones if you need to.
Homedics White Noise Machine
This includes multiple natural sounds like the ones listed above (thunder, ocean, rain, summer night and others). It is designed to be portable and easy to travel with. Like the one above, it can be plugged in or can run off of batteries.
Earmuffs and Earplugs
Last, but not least, the most direct way of blocking out unwanted sounds are earplugs and earmuffs.
Perytong Sleep Headphones
This is a headband with Bluetooth-enabled speakers. It is worn like a headband and can play any podcast, music, or sound from your phone. The speakers are small disks, and are more comfortable for side sleepers than most headsets. This particular headband can be worn while sleeping and also exercising and hiking.
Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
Yes, you can spend a few cents and pick up a standard rubber earplug, but what’s the joy in that? They are usually uncomfortable and the material makes my ear itch! Choose to go with Eargasm, which I think you can figure out from its name why it is one of the top brands to choose for earplugs. Super high quality and it works.
Sound Disruption: Another Technique To Use
This particular strategy is a little more high-tech and specific than the others listed above.
If you are soundproofing a camping tent that happens to be near a concert or loud noise source OR if you are running a large event tent and want help prevent sounds leaking outside the tent, then these two strategies could be for you.
If you have speakers in or around your tent, then you can point them at where is is needed, for example the dance floor, so that you can mitigate sound spreading to other parts of the tent.
This will disrupt the source’s soundwaves and make them much quieter. This is likely not something you would do in a camping tent, but if you’re running a larger event tent, it might be a strategy you want to explore.
If you are worried about sound leaking from your event tent, put your speakers up on small shelves or tables. Getting them off the ground will help cut down on how much sound travels through the ground and outside your tent.
A more extreme method for large tents is to use construct sound booths, which is kind of like creating a room within a room, but this is a subject for another article.
What about Insulated Tents?
All of the strategies above can be used together or each on their own. There are also acoustic tents that you can purchase that are already heavily insulated and therefore, somewhat, soundproof.
There are claims that says that these kind of tents can reduce sound levels by 20 – 30 dB, so if you want to have a quiet night rest while camping the next time round, you should definitely consider these tents.
Crua Duo Cocoon Combo Tent
Crua Outdoors tents tend to be higher-end tents, and come in many shapes and sizes. This particular tent is a two-person tent. It is heavily insulated but is still relatively lightweight. It was designed to keep the temperature inside balanced (in hot and cold climates); to block out sunlight; to dampen campground sound.
Eskimo Outbreak 450I Insulated Ice Shelter
While Eskimo tents was not originally designed to be sound-dampening, this particular model is heavily insulated. This insulation, which will keep the temperature balanced inside, also cuts down on the noise that will get through more than the other tents mentioned here.
Coleman Sundome Tent
This tent will not block out sound or protect against ambient sound. However, because it is designed with multiple layers, it will help muffle noise somewhat. The dome cover also creates an extra layer that can help dampen ambient noise. This Coleman tent would benefit most from all the other strategies listed above.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can you soundproof a tent?
While you can not soundproof a tent to the extent that you can soundproof a car or a room, you can definitely dampen sounds coming through your tent. Adding extra layers of insulation (curtains or carpets) you can absorb some of the high and low-frequency sounds entering your tent.
Is it expensive to soundproof a tent?
It is not expensive to soundproof a tent. You have several options to soundproof the floor of the tent and surrounding walls with a few simple items. You can also consider a noise machine or Bluetooth-enabled headbands to play natural sounds to cut back on noise.
Do companies make soundproofed tents?
Do soundproof tents exist? While there are not currently any tents that were designed specifically to be quiet, there are tents that are quieter than many others. Tents that are designed to be thermally insulated tend to dampen sounds well. There are a number of tents of varying costs that fall into this category.
Soundproof Tents: Conclusion
Camping should be a fun and enjoyable activity, and while we are outdoors or maybe even in our backyard, there’s no harm in making it comfortable.
Learning how to soundproof your tent can be a simple and cheap way to block out unnecessary way to enhance your camping experience.
Are there any other methods that you know of? Leave a comment if you do.
Happy camping and remember to share this article on social media if you found it useful!