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What's the Difference Between Pole Tents and Frame Tents?

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American Tent & Sidewall is proud to be your trusted resource for commercial tents and tent sidewalls. We understand that it can be difficult to notice the subtle differences between pole tents and frame tents, but as one of the most trusted outdoor event tent suppliers, we’re here to provide you with the information you need to find the ideal product. You can use the information on this page to help potential clients determine which kind of commercial tent is right for their needs, or you can use it to inform your own purchasing decisions.

Whether you’re purchasing a tent to add to your business’ growing rental selection or you’re looking for a pole or frame tent you can use for years to come, American Tent & Sidewall is your Top Rated Local® tent and sidewall supplier. If you would like to learn more about purchasing pole tents or frame tents, then get in touch with us by calling 888-307-4779 or by sending us an email through our website


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Pole Tents

If you’re holding an outdoor event that takes place in a grassy area, then pole tents may be exactly what you need. Pole tents are secured by driving stakes into the ground, which makes them difficult to erect on concrete and asphalt surfaces. Depending on the size of the space, pole tents have at least one center pole that creates an aesthetically pleasing peak at the top of the tent. Some customers are concerned that the center poles will obstruct their guests’ view, or create an eyesore in the middle of the event space. These are understandable concerns, but the poles are as thin as possible to allow for virtually unobstructed viewing. Moreover, they can also be adorned with patterns, flowers, string lights, and other decor that adds to the ambiance of the event.

When Should I Use a Pole Tent?

As we noted in the previous section, outdoor events taking place in grassy areas are the ideal location for a pole tent, though they can be installed on asphalt. Available in a variety of sizes, they can provide ample space for family gatherings, conferences, picnics, and other large gatherings. They can also provide your business with plenty of space to use as a booth during a local festival, provided that the stakes can be driven into the ground. A few more of the reasons you may want to choose a pole tent include:

• Fast and efficient setup: To set your tent up, all you have to do is determine where the stakes will go, drive them into the ground, attach the tent to the stakes utilizing ratchets or guy ropes, and then install side poles and center poles
• Versatility: We proudly provide small, medium, and large pole tents. Whether you’re operating a booth at a festival or throwing a company picnic, we have something that can accommodate your needs.
• Affordability: With minimal materials, you can purchase a quality event tent at an incredibly cost-effective price, allowing you to put your money toward other aspects of your event.
• Easier transportation and storage: Pole tents do not utilize a tent frame, and as such, they do not have as many parts to load, transport, or store. Pole tents typically don’t need ladders for installation.
• Uneven surfaces: A pole tent is able to better flex with slight slopes in the setup surface, which isn’t possible with a rigid frame tent
• Aesthetically pleasing: Because center and side poles are the only hardware needed to support the tent top, the beautiful, flowing white vinyl tent top is on full display rather than being obstructed by a tent frame.
• Smaller setup crews: Pole tents require fewer people to set up, as there isn’t a large frame to hoist in the air.

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Frame Tents

Do you need a large and open structure to use on a surface that cannot be staked? If so, then a frame tent will perfectly fit your needs. As freestanding structures that do not rely on the support of a center pole, frame tents provide you with unobstructed square footage and a clear view of the entire space that can be ballasted instead of staked. While these tents do have more hardware and components than pole tents, they do not require much more effort or time to set up.


Why Should I Use a Frame Tent?

Flexibility: Without the constraints of center poles, you have the freedom to set up your event however you like. Frame tents are particularly ideal if your event will feature a movie, or if you will be arranging the seating around a particular focal point. These tents are also ideal if you will be erecting the structure in an area with gas lines, electrical networks, water lines, and other sensitive underground networks. While it is always preferable to stake a tent, you can ballast a frame tent with cement blocks (like Block & Roll) or engineered water ballasting systems (like Giffy Tent Barrels), allowing you to install on concrete or new asphalt surfaces that can’t be staked.

Longevity: These event tents are ideal when you need the structure to remain standing for more than a few days. While the stakes that hold pole tents in place are unquestionably sturdy, they can shift and move as the ground and wind conditions change over time. If a pole tent is used for a long term installation, it must be monitored every few days to check and tighten ratchets and adjust stakes. This often makes them more ideal for shorter installations. Frame tents, on the other hand, utilize a structure that does not depend on the surface beneath them to stay in place. The frame itself supports the top of the tent, allowing you to keep the tent in place for as long as you need.

Flooring options: We’ve noted that frame tents are ideal when you’re working with a hard surface, but another major benefit is that you can use virtually any surface you want along with the tent. Would you like to add a dance floor, faux-wood flooring, or an aisle for a wedding? The open-concept floor plan makes it easy to customize the event space to your specific needs.

Space: Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or planning an event with hundreds of guests in attendance, we have frame tents that can accommodate your needs. You’ll find everything from 10-by-10 foot frames to 40-by-100 foot frames in our extensive catalog. Just click the button below to take a look!


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Get in touch directly:

Call: 888-307-4779

Email: sales@americantentandsidewall.com


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