Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass Tent Poles

Must Read

Shopping for alternative poles or just curious which kind of tent pole is the very best?

Pole materials is certainly an necessary issue to contemplate when buying a tent.

The 2 hottest decisions are aluminum and fiberglass. However which is best?

The quick reply: aluminum poles are higher than fiberglass.

However now you have to know why that’s … let’s dive in!

Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass Poles – Which is Higher?

Let’s reduce to the chase – aluminum is such a preferred alternative for tent poles for a superb motive.

They’ve a fantastic weight-to-strength ratio and are extremely versatile.

They’re appropriate for tents of all sizes in addition to virtually all climate situations.

That’s not the case with fiberglass. BUT, whereas not fairly as versatile as aluminum, fiberglass could be a nice possibility should you’re price range tenting throughout hotter months.

To know the precise distinction between the 2 kinds of poles, let’s focus on every of their benefits and downsides individually.

Aluminum Tent Poles

Aluminum Tent Poles

There’s a few 50% likelihood your tent got here with aluminum poles.

This materials has its good and dangerous sides, however the benefits undoubtedly have the higher hand.

Professionals of Aluminum Tent Poles

Pros of Aluminum Tent Poles

Aluminum poles are a preferred alternative for his or her quite a few benefits over different supplies, together with fiberglass.


As I already stated, aluminum has a fantastic weight-to-strength ratio.

A single aluminum pole can weigh not more than 6 ounces, which is hardly going to weigh you down on the path.

You may not care about weight while you’re automobile tenting, nevertheless it’s particularly necessary when you’re backpacking, and that’s the place aluminum poles shine.

Backpacking tents are designed to be small and lightweight, so yours will in all probability characteristic simply two intercrossing aluminum poles.

Tent materials apart, the poles will weigh not more than a small water bottle.


Regardless that they’re so mild, aluminum poles are extraordinarily sturdy.

You’ll see many massive tents choosing such a pole. And actually, aluminum poles do a fantastic job at offering your tent with the assist it wants to remain pitched.

Why is that, you would possibly ask?

Nicely, as a result of aluminum is tender and malleable. Now, we gained’t get too technical right here, as scientific explanations can kill all of the enjoyable.

What we as campers must know is that aluminum gained’t snap simply underneath the load of your tent.

So as a substitute of merely breaking and collapsing from a heavy tent materials, aluminum poles will efficiently face up to plenty of stress placed on them.

For that motive, many canvas tents truly characteristic tent poles made out of aluminum.

Sturdy in Wind

As a result of they bend somewhat than break, aluminum poles are a fantastic possibility for windy climate.

When the wind is blowing, it hits the facet of your tent partitions, inflicting them to sway in numerous instructions.

Being so malleable, aluminum poles will enable the tent to maneuver a bit within the wind. Now, that’s truly a superb factor.

By permitting some motion as a substitute of attempting to combat it again, aluminum poles mitigate the energy of the wind and its affect in your tent.

Straightforward to Restore

That is one more benefit ensuing from the malleability of aluminum.

When power is utilized to aluminum poles, they’re extra more likely to bend somewhat than shatter from it.

And whilst you absolutely have a pole restore package packed up with you, fixing a bent pole is at all times a lot simpler than truly repairing it, particularly while you’re on the path.

Cons of Aluminum Tent Poles

Whereas nice, aluminum poles are under no circumstances excellent. There are some disadvantages that will trigger you to suppose twice earlier than getting them.


Aluminum is waaaay costlier in comparison with fiberglass, which is sensible given the manufacturing course of.

Aluminum is a kind of steel present in mineral deposits across the globe, and step one in direction of making issues out of this materials is extracting deposits – which is an costly course of.

Whereas it’s true that aluminum is essentially the most widespread steel on Earth, making up greater than 8% of the Earth’s core, that doesn’t imply there’s a vast supply of it sitting round.

In reality, we’ve been experiencing a scarcity of aluminum for a number of years now.

True, it’s largely attributable to the financial and geopolitical conditions on the planet, however that doesn’t change the truth that this materials has turn into tougher to come back by in recent times.

And for that motive, it turned much more costly.


In case you don’t know, corrosion is the deterioration of steel attributable to chemical or electrochemical reactions on its floor.

There are numerous causes of steel corrosion, together with publicity to oxygen, hydrogen, electrical present and even filth.

The corrosion may also stain your tent.

Within the case of aluminum, corrosion is attributable to publicity to moisture and acidic or alkaline environments.

And the largest perpetrator – tenting on the seaside.

You don’t must drench your tent in salty sea water for it to corrode.

Whenever you’re tenting on the seaside, there’s already sufficient salt in each the air and the sand to be in fixed contact along with your tent poles.

Nevertheless it’s not simply salt that causes aluminum to rust. An acidic surroundings may also be damaging, and rain is often barely acidic.

Within the case of proximity to energy crops and busy highways, sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides trigger the rain to be as acidic as tomato juice.

Now, I’m not saying that your tent poles will rust from tenting in rain or on the seaside as soon as.

However fixed publicity to such environments could make them extra liable to corrosion.

And with out correct upkeep, that may simply occur.

Electrical Conductivity

Now, I’m not saying that your aluminum poles will entice each single lightning strike in a radius of fifty miles.

However you need to be conscious that there’s at all times a slight chance of that taking place, particularly in case your tent is located on the highest level in your environment.

Finest Substitute Aluminum Tent Poles

Each tent comes with poles. However possibly you’re not happy with those that you simply acquired along with your mannequin, they broke in your final journey, you misplaced them…

Regardless of the motive, you could be purchasing for good aluminum poles. In that case, I’ve two suggestions for you.

REI Co-op Shelter Setup Package

Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass Tent Poles

I do know, this set consists of not simply poles but in addition guylines and stakes, a very powerful items of apparatus for preserving your shelter in place.

However the precise poles you get within the package are price a point out right here.

This setup package options two 8-feet adjustable aluminum poles. They’re shock-corded and have 4 sections, permitting you to regulate them from 79 to 98 inches.

Every adjustable part options an indexing strip, which lets you line up push buttons with ease.

The poles are anodized, that means they’ve a protecting coating that enables them to withstand nicks and scratches.

In addition they characteristic a rubber foot on one finish for slip resistance, and a spike on the opposite for becoming by the grommet in your tarp.

BRILLIANCE4U Aluminum Tent Poles Substitute

Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass Tent Poles

Should you’re searching for a extra inexpensive possibility, then these alternative poles by BRILLIANCE4U could be what you want.

These poles are manufactured from 7001 aluminum, which is aircraft-grade materials.

Meaning they’re designed to resist plenty of weight with out breaking.

Now, you possibly can select from varied lengths relying on what you want.

Every part is 17 inches, however the pole could be wherever from 9 to twenty ft lengthy when assembled.

So regardless of the dimensions of your tent, this product presents an acceptable possibility for you.

Fiberglass Tent Poles

Fiberglass Tent Poles

Fiberglass is a plastic materials bolstered with glass fibers.

Tent poles manufactured from this materials are generally included in low-budget tents, and on this part, we’ll see why that’s.

Professionals of Fiberglass Tent Poles

Pros of Fiberglass Tent Poles

Regardless that fiberglass tent poles aren’t as widespread as aluminum ones, that doesn’t imply they’re dangerous.

In reality, there are various benefits to such a tent pole.


In contrast to aluminum, fiberglass is produced in a manufacturing facility. So simply by taking away the price of mining, you get a way more inexpensive possibility.

That’s why you see most entry-level tents that includes poles manufactured from this materials.

No Points with Corrosion

Consisting completely of non-metal supplies, fiberglass isn’t affected by corrosion.

So whether or not it’s raining cats and canines or your tent is continually splashed by salty water, it doesn’t matter.

These climate situations gained’t have an effect on fiberglass poles the way in which they have an effect on aluminum ones.

So should you’re typically tenting close to the shoreline, fiberglass poles are your greatest good friend.

Doesn’t Conduct Electrical energy

Fiberglass will not be electrically conductive, so there’s no danger of your tent poles attracting lightning.

After all, that doesn’t imply you possibly can’t get hit by the bolt should you arrange a tent on the highest level in your environment.

However the materials alone isn’t a difficulty.

Cons of Fiberglass Tent Poles

Whereas fiberglass has some fairly cool properties, it’s not with out flaws. Listed below are the disadvantages of this materials for tent poles.


Fiberglass isn’t significantly identified for its energy, particularly when in comparison with aluminum.

For that motive, it’s not the fabric you see utilized in further massive tents, because it gained’t have the ability to face up to the load.

After all, that additionally means fiberglass isn’t an acceptable possibility for dangerous climate both.

Sometimes, you see fiberglass poles for 2-season tents, that are designed to be used in truthful climate.

However 3 and 4-season tents are normally required to resist heavy rain and excessive winds, and subsequently you’d need to keep away from fiberglass.

What’s extra, chilly climate additionally impacts the energy of fiberglass.

In freezing temperatures, this materials can simply break while you apply a bit extra power.


In contrast to aluminum, which bends underneath power, fiberglass splinters or cracks.

And if that occurs while you’re on the path, it’s tougher to restore in comparison with a bent pole.

You’ll want a restore package, however that’s not even a assure {that a} pole might be nearly pretty much as good as new.

Finest Fiberglass Tent Poles

In search of good fiberglass tent poles? Listed below are the 2 greatest fashions you’ll find available on the market these days.

Coleman Substitute Tent Pole Package

Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass Tent Poles

Coleman makes top quality tenting gear, and tent poles are not any exception.

These particular poles are 27 inches lengthy and have pre-attached ferrules. You get 4 poles in a pack, so this package is appropriate for many small tents.

The mix of 10 feets of shock twine and lead wire guarantee there’s sufficient stress to maintain your tent correctly taut.

And because of vinyl pole caps, you don’t have to fret about ripping the material by chance.

Gorich Seaside Tent Poles

Gorich tent poles are available in a number of sizes, appropriate for 3, 4 and 6-person tents. These poles could be skinny, however don’t get fooled by that.

With fiberglass body and sturdy elastic twine, these tent poles supply fairly a little bit of bendability with out breakage.

Every part is 17 inches lengthy, and relying on the dimensions of the tent, there’s between 10 and 14 sections on every pole.

However the very best half about these poles is the assure.

I’m fairly positive you’ll like them, however should you don’t, you possibly can contact the producer and it’ll make it proper.

Attribute Aluminum Poles Fiberglass Poles
Weight Light-weight Barely heavier
Energy Excessive energy Medium energy
Corrosiveness Prone to corrosion Corrosion resistant
Bendability Bendable Brittle
Worth Expensive Inexpensive


Are fiberglass tent poles cheaper than aluminum poles?

Fiberglass poles are less expensive than aluminum poles.

That’s primarily as a result of they’re manufactured from artificial materials, whereas aluminum is an ore which must be mined from mineral deposits.

Which tent poles are lighter weight?

Aluminum is extraordinarily light-weight, which makes it an ideal possibility for backpacking and trekking.

Fiberglass is comparatively mild, however nowhere close to aluminum.

Do aluminum tent poles corrode?

Like most metals, aluminum is inclined to corrosion. If uncovered to moisture in addition to too alkaline or acidic surroundings, it’s going to rust over time.

Nevertheless, should you preserve them repeatedly after tenting in such an surroundings, you possibly can delay the lifetime of your tent poles.

Do aluminum tent poles bend?

Aluminum is a extremely bendable materials. And when it comes to tent poles, that’s truly a superb factor.

Within the case of heavy rain and excessive winds, the poles will bend however not break, thus preserving your tent in place.

Do aluminum tent poles entice lightning?

Like every other steel, aluminum is conductive. And in case your tent is about up on the highest level in your environment, there’s an opportunity of it attracting lightning.

Which pole materials is greatest to stop lightning?

Fiberglass is an artificial materials consisting of plastic and glass, neither of which is conducting electrical energy.

Within the case of thunderstorms, poles manufactured from fiberglass are the best choice.

To Sum Issues Up

Whether or not aluminum or fiberglass tent poles are higher for you, it is dependent upon your tenting surroundings.

Should you’re searching for a sturdy and durable resolution, aluminum is your greatest wager. Nevertheless it’s additionally somewhat costly.

Should you’re on a price range and tenting each as soon as in a blue moon, you possibly can simply move with fiberglass poles.

However you possibly can’t go flawed by getting each kinds of poles (and tents) and switching them relying on the kind of your tenting journey (and tent).

Extra on Tent Supplies & Building


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Good Ideas For Winter Journeys

12 months-round tent tenting IS attainable, however it's not for everyone … that’s the nice half! The following...

More Articles Like This