Your second consideration is a big one, what season of the year do you plan to camp. Camping tents are rated for how many seasons the tents and their materials are engineered to endure. 2-season tents are for warmer, milder weather such as summer, late spring, or early autumn with light to moderate rain. 3-season tents are for use during spring, summer, and fall when it can rain heavily and can get windy. 4-season tents are made to withstand the extremes of winter and are designed for year round camping endurance.
Do not make the mistake of pitching (setting up) a cheap 2-season tent in the late autumn when it’s raining hard and it’s cold and windy. I found out the hard way many years ago that a cheap 2-season tent is better at holding rain water in than it is at keeping the wind-driven rain out. And by cheap, we mean poor quality.
The third consideration would be choosing the right size tent. Let’s face it, you don’t really need a three-room cabin tent or a 198 square-foot dome tent if you are camping by yourself, unless you are claustrophobic, or you are planning on staying for several days or longer. On the other hand, it might not be wise to bring only a backpacking tent, if you’re family camping. And if you are 6 feet tall or taller, make sure your tent’s sleeping area is at least 7 feet long.
When determining tent size, you also should decide how much head room you would like, keeping in mind that a taller tent will be affected by the wind more than a shorter tent. If you plan on having a table and a chair or two in your tent or if you have a lot of gear to store, then, of course, you will want a larger tent.
Your forth consideration before choosing your camping tent is determining how rugged the terrain you will be hiking in is and to knowing how far you will have to carry your tent and gear to where you want to set up camp. Sure, it would be nice camping in a 70-plus pound, multi-room tent set up with every comfort you could stuff inside, but carrying that much weight up a rugged mountain slope would be impractical for backpacker. For the backpacker, smaller and lighter is almost always better.
A brief discussion of tent features will be the fifth and final consideration in how to choose your camping tent. I don’t want to get into the pros and cons of the various materials used in tent manufacturing. If you buy a quality camping tent that is designed for the seasons and conditions in which you plan to camp, it will already be constructed with appropriate materials.