Content provided courtesy of Party Time Rentals

Whether it turns out to be a nice sunny day or a cloudy rainy one, you and your guests will be glad to have the extra protection. The two most common types of tents are pole tents and frame tents. Keep reading to find out the major differences between these two tents that you should know before picking a tent.

How to Choose a Tent for Your Event | Hudson Valley Weddings

What’s the Difference between a Pole Tent and a Frame Tent?

A pole tent has poles in the center of the tent and ropes around the perimeter of the tent that extend about 6′. A frame tent has no poles in the center and fewer ropes around the perimeter around the tent that only extend about 2′. There are 4 main differences between a pole tent and a frame tent that are going to affect your decision. Some factors that you should consider before deciding on a tent are:

  • How much space do you have available for the tent?
  • What you plan on putting underneath the tent? Will you have a stage, or maybe even a mechanical bull?
  • What surface will the tent be installed on?


The most common surface for tent installation is on grass. Frame tents and pole tents can both be easily installed on grass without the need of extra weights. They can both be installed on pavement as well but depending on the situation one type of tent might work better than the other. When installing on any surface other than grass, additional weights may be required. Be aware, extra weights will cost extra money! If you would like a tent installed on a patio or deck you will need a frame tent.

Center Poles

All pole tents have at least one pole in the middle of the tent that extends all the way to the ground. A 20’x40’ pole tent has 3 center poles which run down the middle of the tent. The great thing about frame tents is that there are no center poles. Sometimes a frame tent gives you the flexibility that you need to fit everything you want under your tent. If you would like an isle in the center of your tent you would need to use a twin pole tent or a frame tent.


Both pole tents and frame tents have ropes that extend around the perimeter of the tent. The ropes on a pole tent extend approximately 5-6’ while the ropes on a frame tent extend 2’. If you are planning on putting a 20’x40’ pole tent in your yard you will actually need a space that is 32’x52’.

Entryway Height

The entryway height to your tent is something that you may have not even considered while thinking about renting a tent. For most backyard parties the tent height doesn’t really matter. In some cases the tent height is very important like if it is being placed up against a house, adjacent to a doorway, or a stage is going underneath.

Having a taller tent can be a luxury that you might want for a wedding or formal event. A taller tent can offer your guests a better view of the surrounding area and feel more spacious.

Every tent rental company offers various pole height sizes for their tents. At PartyTime Rentals, their pole tents generally have entryways that are 7-8’ whereas our frame tents have entryways that are 8-9’. (Please note that these measurements are approximate and may vary, ask your event planner for specific measurements.)

Here’s an easy to read infographic that you can save as a reference to use while planning your event. Now that you are an expert on event tents, take your measurements and pick out a tent!

How to Choose a Tent for Your Event | Hudson Valley Weddings

Read more information about rentals from Party Time Rentals you can read their blog here, or call Darren at 845-226-2447.