You must pay attention to the material of the tent poles while buying a new tent for camping. It determines the tent’s durability and longevity and allows it to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Aluminum and fiberglass are the most commonly used and durable tent pole materials. This article will compare aluminum vs fiberglass tent poles in detail.
It will help you understand the similarities and differences between the two types to make an informed buying decision.
Are Aluminum Poles Stronger Than Fiberglass?
If you want to buy a camping tent with durable tent poles, you should go with aluminum poles. They are sturdier than fiberglass poles and can stay with you for years.
The camping tents with aluminum poles are commonly used to make backpacking tents. However, some larger tents also use aluminum poles because of the strength and durability of the material.
They come with an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and can easily carry heavy and thick tent fabric without deforming.
In addition, this tent pole material is also flexible and doesn’t break easily. Instead, it bends under extremely high pressure, and it’s possible to repair a bent tent pole.
Fiberglass tent poles are not as durable and robust, but they are more rigid. They’ve commonly used for cabin-, dome-, and car camping tents. Such poles tend to crack or shatter under high pressure and temperature. It is impossible to repair a broken fiberglass tent pole.
Are Aluminum Poles Lighter than Fiberglass Poles?
Weight is also an important factor to consider, especially regarding backpacking tents. If you want to buy a new lightweight tent, you should opt for aluminum tent poles.
That’s because they’re considerably lighter than fiberglass poles. You can carry them easily while trekking or hiking without breaking your back.
Some modern tent poles are made of aluminum alloy. They are even more lightweight than traditional aluminum poles. So, if you’re a backpacker, tents with these poles will probably suit you best.
Going with a tent with fiberglass poles will be a better option if you’re a casual camper. You can also use such tents while going on a car camping trip as you will not need to carry them.
Do Fiberglass Poles Offer Better Weather Resistance Than Aluminum Poles?
Weather is always a factor that you can’t ignore whether you’re camping on a beach or in the forest. While both tent pole materials offer decent weather resistance, aluminum tent poles are better.
They have sturdier construction than fiberglass poles and offer better performance against stormy winds and heavy rains.
However, aluminum poles can be a problem during the hot summer seasons. That’s because they can get extremely hot because of their metallic characteristics.
So, if you want a tent for cold weather and high winds, you should go with aluminum poles. In contrast, fiberglass is more resistant to heat and will suit you better for camping in hot weather conditions.
Do Aluminum Poles Corrode Faster Than Fiberglass Poles?
Poles that are made of metal corrode faster than non-metallic tent poles. As a result, they lose the strength to compromise the tent’s structural integrity. They develop rust that can damage the tent fabric due to prolonged contact.
Aluminum is a metal, and poles made of this material can erode. It happens when the poles remain in contact with moisture for a longer time. Therefore, if you frequently camp in rainy weather or a highly humid place, aluminum poles may not be the best option.
On the other hand, fiberglass poles are 100 percent corrosion and rust-resistant. They don’t corrode, and you can use them without worrying about rain or high humidity levels.
It’s important to note that some modern tents come with corrosion-resistant aluminum poles. These poles have a protective coating that makes them resistant.
Are Aluminum Poles Costlier Than Fiberglass Poles?
Fiberglass poles were designed as a cheaper alternative to aluminum and other tent poles. So, if you’re on a budget, this type of tent pole will suit you best.
It’s also cheaper and easy to maintain tent camps with fiberglass poles. That’s because fiberglass replacement poles are cheaper than aluminum poles.
Typically, aluminum tent poles are costlier than fiberglass and plastic, and wooden poles.
Fiberglass is a synthetic material and doesn’t need to be extracted from the ground. As a result, fiberglass poles are cheaper than aluminum tent poles.
Keep in mind that you can find tents with fiberglass poles which are more expensive than tents with aluminum poles.
Aluminum Vs Fiberglass Tent Poles: Which One Should You Buy?
The differences between aluminum and fiberglass are that the former is more durable, lighter, and more expensive.
If you’re a frequent camper and go hiking with a backpack, you should opt for lightweight aluminum tent poles. These poles will also suit you better if you need to camp against high winds.
If you are on a tighter budget and need affordable tent poles for casual camping, you should consider fiberglass. These poles are also corrosion-, rust, and heat-resistant.
Fiberglass and aluminum are two of the most commonly used materials to make tent poles. Each material type comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Hopefully, this guide make it easier for you to know which tent poles you should get for your own camping needs.