How to Blackout a Tent

The most common issue faced by campers sleeping in a tent during their outdoor adventures is waking up at early dawn or sunrise due to immense sunlight entering into a tent. That is why a blackout tent is recommended for uninterrupted peaceful sleep even during the day.

A blackout tent lets you and other campers to get a great night’s sleep in the outdoors. The tent’s flysheet usually has a black coating paired with some dark fabric walls to block almost all daylight. A tent that is blackout from the inside ensures a longer restful sleep whatever time you choose to go to bed or get up in the morning. In addition to undisturbed sleep, a darker tent will also maintain a comfortable internal temperature keeping inside of the tent up to 5 degrees cooler during the hot sunny day. However, if you don’t own a blackout tent, there are various techniques to make your existing tent darker. 

Scroll down to know about different ways to turn your tent into blackout one, so no light rays can pass through yet maintaining ventilation.

Dark-coloured tent

Modern lightweight and portable tents are inadequate when it comes to blocking natural daylight. One helpful tip is to choose a tent that is already darker in colour to have a more shaded environment inside. Tent colour is essential as different colours show different properties when exposed to heat rays or sunlight.

A full black, dark-green, violet, deep red, and indigo can keep the tent interior dark and shady. However, the major downside to choosing a dark-coloured tent is warmer internal temperature as dark colours tend to absorb more heat. On the other hand, this warmer tent interior is excellent for those who prefer camping during colder seasons.

Blackout material

If a tent has a bright colour or doesn’t block natural light, buy a durable blackout fabric depending on the size of the tent. Various blackout products stop light from entering the tent. They are usually black to absorb maximum light as possible for darker inside. Besides, the main light blocking substance used in most blackout materials is carbon black.

These opaque fabrics are specially designed to blackout sunlight while synthetic material effectively blocks more light as compared to natural fibres. To create the darkest possible interior, the best way to do so is to build an inner tent just like a mosquito net or sewn-in to the tent’s inner side. However, make sure to keep a little distance between the walls of the tent and blackout fabric to allow ventilation and prevent condensation build-up. Use a blackout tarp to make your tent darker and weather-proof as well.

Cover bed pod with dark fabric

Another idea is only to cover the sleeping area with some dark blackout fabric. This will avoid light from getting in and allow for proper air circulation inside the tent. This technique comes from the darkroom technology of Coleman Blackout tents and Ozark Trail Dark Rest. Draping your whole tent with blackout material leads of condensation build-up as there’s no room left for air to move in and out.

These manufacturers use special climate control fabrics used that not only block the incoming light but also keeps internal temperature more chill than the outside. So, look for blackout fabrics that are thermally insulated to keep the inner temperature cool and fresh. Plus, many other blackout fabrics have noise-dampening properties to allow for a more peaceful sleep. Light, surroundings, nature sound, or suffocation at night will not disturb you.

You’ll find some blackout products that can easily hang inside a tent. This is great for light-coloured tents that will prevent overheating while blackout hood gives you darkened inside sleeping place.

Pitch tent facing west

Another useful tip to avoid early morning sunlight in your tent is to set up facing west. As the sun rises in the east, a tent you pitch in the west direction is likely to receive less daylight during dawn and sunrise. In this way, a rising sun won’t wake you early as the light from the east is partially blocked. Also, you can choose to sleep west side or your legs facing east to prevent light from getting straight into your eyes.

Select campsite with no light pollution

For many campers, sunlight is not the only disturbance that causes sleep trouble on a camping trip. A campsite with lots of light pollution, full moon, lanterns, or torches of other campers light up your tent that doesn’t have blackout material. So, it better to choose a camping site with little or no light pollution.

Reflective blankets

A tent that’s inadequately shaded brings too much light into the interior, so you can always use reflective blankets. These silver, light-diffusing emergency blankets are another easy and cheap way to eliminate light. Usually made from water-proof, heat-reflective shiny material, they reflect 90% of the heat and light while also keeping rain, snow, and wind at bay. Plus, the reusable and tear-free material is ideal for covering your tent’s interior or exterior.

Use eye masks 

 An easy solution for those very sensitive to light while sleeping is the use of eye masks. This makes sure that you have complete exposure to darkness when you’re sleeping in a tent at night. It will also protect you from bright sunlight in the daytime. No matter if your blackout tent fails to bring in complete darkness at night. An eye mask can always help a great deal in comfortable sleep during your outdoor adventure.


Thinner lightweight tents with ventilation windows and other opening allow a path for natural light to enter. If you’re not an early riser or prefer extra sleep outdoors, this can be not very pleasant. So, it’s better to make a tent darker as it lets you sleep comfortably at any time of day. Take naps during the day or get extra sleep even during the rising sun! Follow the simple steps to turn your camping tent into a blackout tent quickly to enjoy peaceful sleep outdoors.

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