What Is A Tent Vestibule And Do You Need One?

Tent vestibules are not a staple addition to every tent, but they come in handy for rainy weather. If you’ve been looking at purchasing a tent or have seen or heard about a tent vestibule but aren’t exactly sure what it is or if you need one, we’ll be answering these questions and how it can be used when camping.

So what is a tent vestibule?

A tent vestibule is a protected area in front and/or on the sides of your tent that provides extra room outside your tent. Vestibules offer additional storage space for camping gear and other items. You only need a vestibule if your tent is space-restricted and requires extra room.

Most seasoned campers have a vestibule on their tent or have it tucked away with the rest of the camping gear in case they need it. So besides keeping your boots dry, why should you use a vestibule with your tent?

What Is A Tent Vestibule, And Is It Needed?

If you have a tiny tent and all there is room for is sleeping, then having extra space can come in handy. This space can be created by using a vestibule over your tent.

What Is A Tent Vestibule?

A tent vestibule is similar to an awning. It extends to the front of your tent and, in some cases, the sides of your tent, creating more space and protecting you from the elements. Vestibules generally have zips and can efficiently act as a front door or entrance to your tent.

Having a vestibule not only creates more room but also prevents mud from being dragged into the tent. In addition, it is a great place to store your shoes and wet clothing after it has rained while waiting for them to dry.

Do You Need A Tent Vestibule?

A vestibule is not a necessity but can be helpful. Most modern tents come with a vestibule or an awning to protect your tent from harsh weather conditions. Most campers in extreme conditions find tent vestibules very useful and don’t mind if they make the tent weigh more.

What Are The Different Types Of Tent Vestibules?

There are a few different types of vestibules. Each of these works with different kinds of tents. To find the best vestibule for your tent, you’ll need to consider the different types of tent vestibules and your needs.

Front Tent Vestibules

Front tent vestibules cover the front of a tent. In most cases, they are built into the tent and aren’t an additional piece of material placed over it.

Front vestibules are generally quite big and can protect camping gear from terrible weather conditions. In addition, the larger vestibules mimick having a porch and are ideal for cooking or relaxing underneath.

Although the front vestibules create more space, they can be awkwardly designed. In addition, storage space limited to the front may prevent you from entering the tent.

Side Tent Vestibules

Side vestibules can be more beneficial than front vestibules. Side vestibules allow extra space on either side of your tent. One side can store camping gear while the other can be used as the door.

A tent with two vestibules is excellent. They allow two people to comfortably enter and exit the tent without the camping gear getting in.

Add On Tent Vestibules

Some tents may not come with vestibules. But many camping and tent brands allow you to purchase a vestibule as an additional item for your tent.

What Is A Tent Vestibule Used For?

A tent vestibule has three primary uses. First, to act as a cooking area, an additional entrance into the tent, and a storage place.

A Cooking Area

If you’re using a minimalistic approach to camping, a tent vestibule can be a great space to cook in. This is recommended for tents with larger vestibules as cooking in a vestibule can also be a safety risk.

Before cooking in a vestibule, you need to ensure adequate ventilation and that the stove burner is not placed too close to the inner side of the tent.

Minimalist campers can take full advantage of this extra space, especially if camping with a small tent.

An Additional Entranceway Into The Tent

The tent vestibule can act as an additional entranceway to the tent. This is a place to take off your shoes and gear before entering the tent. It also prevents dirt from entering the tent.

Chairs can also be placed in the tent vestibule if it is a larger vestibule and can be a nice place to relax new to a campfire if you need some shelter.


A tent vestibule gives you extra storage space and works well if you have a small tent, or your tent is full of other camping items. In addition, some tents have a rain fly with a vestibule, allowing you to further modify your tent for storage.

Can You Make A Tent Vestibule?

If you haven’t found a tent vestibule that fits your tent, you could always opt to make one instead. There isn’t much that goes into building your tent vestibule; you need some excellent quality tarp or a plastic sheet, rope, and a pole.

What Do You Need To Construct A DIY Tent Vestibule?

  • Rope
  • Rocks or sandbags (optional)
  • Flagpole or long stick
  • Tarp or sturdy plastic sheet

How To Construct A DIY Tent Vestibule

  1. Measure your tarp. Place your tarp over the entrance of your tent, ensuring it has sufficient length along the sides of the tent and the front.
  2. Secure the tarp/plastic sheet. Secure the tarp or plastic sheet by using sandbags or rocks if required.
  3. Position flagpole or stick. The flag pole or stick should be placed in the center of the tarp and secured.
  4. Tie the tarp or plastic sheet. Using the corners of the tarp, tie them to the flagpole or stick with the rope.
  5. Completed vestibule. The vestibule is now completed and can be used with your tent.

The DIY vestibule option offers more functionality compared to a regular vestibule. You can design the vestibule according to the size you need and the amount of storage space required.

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.