Understanding the Difference Between Pole Tents and Frame Tents

pole tent frame tent difference

Are you wondering about the differences between tents and specifically wanting to understand frame tents vs. pole tents? Let’s look at the basic features of these two tent styles or structures – noting the ways that they differ from one another throughout.

What is a pole tent?

A pole tent gets its name, as you might guess, from its pole: this type of tent will contain one or more center poles. That is one basic difference between tents of these two types: frame tents do not have these poles. Think of that classic big top circus tent, and you start to understand what this style tent looks like and some of its history.

People will often want to conceal the structural elements of the tent to create a certain aesthetic; for that reason, it is common to decorate the center poles with flowers, vines, fabric, and other adornments. People sometimes get frustrated with the poles because they are in the middle of the action; they can make it difficult to see everything and figure out where to put furniture. When looking at frame tents vs. pole tents, the latter is often considered more attractive from the outside since its poles form natural peaks and valleys. Plus, you cannot see any metal piping.

Another chief characteristic of a pole tent is that you have to drive stakes into the ground to support it. Because of that aspect, typically these tents are used on grass rather than asphalt or concrete.

What is a frame tent?

A frame tent also has a rather obvious name; rather than having center poles, it has a frame. The frame means this style does not require any stakes; instead, they are held in place with weights. You can basically put it anywhere: they work just as well on decks, parking lots, or even roofs of buildings as they do on grass. They also can be handy when underground utilities get in the way of staking.

Looking at frame tents vs. pole tents, rental costs are usually significantly higher for the former – both because setup of the frame style is more challenging and because they generally cost more from manufacturers.

In terms of setting up an event, one difference between tents of these two types is that the frame tent gives you all the square footage within the tent because you aren’t dealing with internal poles. However, the visible structural feature is the aluminum pipes that make up the frame tent, which you can see from the inside. It is easy to conceal these pipes, either by using a fabric liner throughout the tent or just using white pipe liners.

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Are you looking for pole or frame tents for your event rental, party planning, or entertainment industry needs? At Tent Renters Supply, as one of the world’s top rental tent manufacturers, we have modernized and perfected the process of making tents. See our catalog.