The efficiency of a tent is measured on how much climatic elements it can stand as against the properties that make it easy to handle. Poles, stakes and ropes are basic materials that can be made from any material, thus, they do not influence much to the efficiency of the tent. What really makes a tent effective is the kind of fabric covering used. Although modern tents today are made of layers of different fabrics, it is important to choose the right fabric for the inner tent.
The oldest material for a tent fabric is animal skin. This is used by ancient people long before the discovery of plant materials as good source. Although no longer used today for the same purpose, there is no doubt that this material is efficient in keeping the temperature inside the tent balanced during winter and summer. However, it is difficult to manage because of its weight and the bulk of preparation.
Canvass is also an old material for tent fabric. This is used for many years but is still making its reputation to this day. Canvass is made from thick cotton normally weathered before using. It is highly preferred by most campers because of its naturally poor conductivity. It does not absorb heat or cold, thus keeping the interior of the tent warm during winter and cold during summer.
The problem with canvass is its heavy weight, not advisable for backpack tent. A lighter material is nylon. It is more impermeable than canvass, although not as heat resistant. Nylon, when used as a tent material, is thin and easy to rip. But this property makes it light and easy to handle. That is why many campers prefer this for tent rentals.
Polyester is another good material for tent fabric that works as well as nylon. Thicker and more durable, it can stand heat more than nylon. It doesn't quickly wear when exposed to sunlight, unlike nylon. Many tent rentals offer this material as an alternative fabric to both canvass and nylon.
There are fabrics known for their fire-retardant property that tent rentals offer. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the fabric does not burn when set on fire. It only defers burning for users to quickly extinguish it before growing to a dangerous degree. A fabric needs to meet State Fire Marshall's regulations before being labeled as fire-retardant for market.