If you enjoy camping with your friends, you know how loud it can get. After spending the entire day partying, dancing, and a couple of nature trails comes the night when all you need is an hour or two of sleep. But this can’t happen as your friends outside carry on like wild animals making all sorts of noises.
A second scenario; if you work with power tools, such as air compressors, table saws, etc., you already know how much noise these tools make. Working in highrise buildings or doing major renovations in those high-end neighborhoods means keeping noise to the minimum.
A soundproof tent is what you need, especially if you find yourself in either of the situation mentioned above.
This article will look at the different types of acoustic tents, how they work, and different ways to improve their effectiveness.
What is a Soundproof Tent?
As its name suggests, a soundproof tent, also known as an acoustic tent, is made with soundproofing materials to help reduce noise transmission. Such tents use lightweight acoustic foam to ensure maximum noise absorption without being bulky.
Compared to traditional tents, soundproof tents fabric is much heavy due to the added soundproofing materials. The dense material not only helps in reducing noise transmission but also improves thermal insulation. This means that it retains more heat inside during cold camping seasons and more cold air inside during the hot season.
There are two types of soundproof tents-camping soundproof tents and sonic tents/acoustic mobile tents for the building/construction industry. Though each is designed uniquely, they are share one similarity- they use soundproofing materials for noise reduction.
Is Soundproofing a Tent Worth it?
Yes, soundproofing a tent can be worth it if you are trying to block out noise from outside sources. Tent companies typically use acoustic materials in order to help reduce the amount of noise that comes through the walls of the tent. While these materials may not completely eliminate all noise, they can greatly reduce the amount of noise that you hear inside your tent. If you are someone who is sensitive to noise or just wants to enjoy a quiet camping experience, then soundproofing your tent may be a good option for you.
How Does a Soundproof Tent Work?
Soundproof tents follow three of the four principles of soundproofing. Four soundproofing principles are absorption, dampening, mass and decoupling. They have the usual tenting covering you find in standard tents but have an added layer of soundproofing materials added on the inside. The material, in most cases, is an acoustic foam that adds mass to the tent and absorbs and dampens sound.
The foam creates a soft surface that prevents sound from reflecting off the surface hence reducing echoes/reverbs and mid and high-frequency sounds. By reducing the amplitude of the sound waves, the foam can convert sound energy into heat. Acoustic foam is highly effective in noise control, with a 3-inch acoustic foam capable of absorbing low-end, mid, and high-end frequency sounds.
Soundproofing tents also have proper sealing and no gaps to prevent airborne noise transmission. However, they are made of breathable materials to allow the perspiration to escape to the outside, allowing maximum comfort. The breathable material also allows air to circulate freely.
— Crua Outdoors (@CruaOutdoors) March 21, 2016
Best Camping Soundproof Tents
As mentioned earlier, soundproof tents are classified into two: soundproof camping tents and building/construction industry acoustic tents.
Crua Outdoors Insulated Tents
The Crua insulated tents is a series of thermally and sound insulated tents manufactured by the Crua Outdoors. The brand was founded in 2014 by Derek O’ Sullivan to solve the problems of conventional tents being hot, cold, bright, and noisy.
Five unique features make Crua Outdoors tents stand out from the rest. The tents boast a patent-protected insulated design. The fabric is a 4-layer design made of a layer of hollow fiber breathable insulation sandwiched by 2 layers of polycotton and an outer layer of laminated dura-breath polycotton.
Standard tents have an R-value of approximately 4, but Crua Tents give 9, which is 13 times better and 50% better than a premium sleeping mattress.
The insulated feature for this tent also helps reduce noise transmission. The insulation serves as an acoustic barrier, so you’ll be protected from all outdoor noises during your camping adventures. You don’t have to worry about campground light or daylight as the tent offers maximum blackout allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted sleep regardless of the time of the day. Lastly, the Crua tents are fabric is waterproof, tear-resistant, and it’s treated with a high-quality fire retardant.
Below is a video showing how Crua Tents are effective in soundproofing.
Ikamper Skycamp Soundproof Tent
The Ikamper Skycamp soundproof tent is an expandable hardshell tent that mounts to the roof of your car, giving the user the feel of a treehouse. After the initial installation after purchase, it’ll only take less than a minute to set up once on the camping grounds.
You simply need to unlock the hard case, then pull the ladder, and the tent will unfold into a large beautiful tent. The floor expands into a memory foam mattress that can accommodate four people. The tent hard shell is reinforced plastic to withstand all weather changes. It has two layers of insulation that make it soundproof and wind and condensation resistant.
And the floor won’t collapse thanks to the honeycomb aluminum panels strong enough to hold the weight of a 1.8-ton Jeep Wrangler, yet lightweight enough won’t overload your car. Given such advantages, you will only spend $3000 as a minimum, which could be expensive but worth every penny.
Acoustic Mobile Tent (Sonic Tents for Construction/Building Industry)
If you want something that will soundproof against the noise generated by your power tools, such as generators, table saw, air compressors, then you’re better off with what’s popularly known as the acoustic mobile tent.
Product testing results show that Flexshield mobile tent reduces noise transmission by 14-18dBA while Echo Barrier reduces noise by 20 decibels. The setup for these tents only takes 15 minutes and requires two people to set it up.
For maximum noise reduction, the tents use a high-quality PVC material on the outer layer and a high-grade noise absorbent material made from recycled materials to prevent noise from reflecting off the barrier. Unfortunately, the tents only absorb sound and not water. Additionally, the echo barrier tent features clear windows that allow for close supervision and a large entrance that allows safe entry and exit while controlling sound transmission.
Best Ways on How to Make a Tent Soundproof
Because of their unique thermal insulation and sound blocking features, a soundproof tent will have you dig deeper into your pocket compared to standard tents. If you’re on a budget, there are some cheaper ways to soundproof your normal tent.
Use Acoustic Barriers
Acoustic barriers use composite foam, vinyl, or fiberglass to deaden and deflect sound and vibrations. Hanging soundproofing materials such as mass-loaded vinyl, acoustic foam panels, fiberglass composites, or foam composites will help not only block outside noise from leaking into your tent but also significantly boost thermal insulation.
I highly recommend a temporary acoustic barrier rather than the permanent options. They are 1-2 inches thick and won’t take up much of the tent space. You only need a rope and hang it on each side, facing the direction of the source of the noise. A perfect example of temporary acoustic barriers is the Quiet Barrier™ Acoustic Quilts that you can easily purchase online.
Hang Sound Reducing Curtains
A perfect alternative to temporary acoustic panels is soundproofing curtains. You only need to hang them on the walls of your tent. The material absorb and dampen soundwaves preventing outside noise from leaking into your take while at the same time keeping inside noises in.
An added advantage of soundproofing drapes is that they help keep the sunlight out, allowing you to take a long nap during the daytime.
Thick Carpets on the Floor
Sound travels in all directions. When soundwaves leak into your tent, they end up reflecting all around like a bouncing ball inside an empty room. Adding thick carpets on the floor helps in thermal insulation and helps reduce the amount of noise leaking into your tent.
A soft thick curtain won’t reflect sound waves but instead absorb the waves reducing noise inside the tent.
Earplugs are a very affordable and highly effective method of getting rid of unwanted noise. If the earplugs aren’t comfortable for you, you can also choose sleeping earmuffs to help you sleep through the noise. Flents Ear Plugs is one of my most recommended earplugs with a 29-decibel noise reduction rate (NRR)
They are perfect for use in construction when operating loud machinery, concerts, sleeping, and great for creating silence.
You should avoid frequent earplugs use as it can result in minor health problems such as earwax buildup in the long run. (Source)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is There Such Thing as A Soundproof Tent?
Yes, soundproof tents exist, and a perfect example is the Crua Outdoor Thermal Tents designed for camping purposes. We also have building/construction soundproof mobile tents recommended for job sites to help deaden the noise of loud power tools such as air compressors and generators.
Which Tents Have Blackout Bedrooms?
Several tents have blackout bedrooms, and the most notable ones are the Crua Thermal Tents and Coleman Blackout Tents. Coleman tents use Dark Room Technology that blocks up to 90% of sun rays allowing you to sleep even after sunrise.
Camping is fun and adventurous, but it comes with its share of downsides, including noise. Soundproof tents are your perfect solution to creating quiet camping nights without breaking the bank. While these sound-deadened tents aren’t 100% soundproof, they can counter the noise problem to manageable levels.
If you need a day or two in your backyard to operate your tools, then you’re better of hiring Acoustic mobile tents than buying one yourself. Hiring is considerably cheaper than buying one for yourself, which can be pretty expensive.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.