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September 09, 2020Best In Tents

Purchasing an event tent is a big investment, and it’s important to know exactly what quality you are getting in the durability of your tent. Wholesale event tents can look great, but not all tent materials are the same, and the materials used to produce your tent will determine just how long your tent will last, and how well its appearance will hold up, use after use. At American Tent, we use the highest quality materials for our vinyl canvas, as well as our frames and set-up materials, but not all event tents use the same frame supports. Before you decide where to purchase your event tent, it’s important to understand the different tent poles that can be used in manufacturing, and what you can expect when you buy a tent with these different materials.

tent poles


Best in: strength, durability

Aluminum tent poles are often used in mid to high-end tents, given their lightweight and durable features. These poles are strong, flexible, and durable in all weather conditions, making them one of the top choices for wholesale event tents for sale.

At American Tent, anodized aluminum is the material our frame tent poles are created with. This allows for our frame tents to be more versatile than ever. These tents already make the perfect option for any event, able to set up anywhere instead of needing to be staked into the ground and having durable aluminum tent poles make it so that you can set up your tent in just about any condition.

In comparison to other tent pole materials, like fiberglass tent poles, aluminum tent poles are far more flexible. When you encounter strong winds or even harsher weather during your event, aluminum tent poles are able to withstand movement and can bend without breaking.

One of the downfalls of aluminum poles is their susceptibility to corrosion. This is why we used Anodized Aluminum at American Tent. The anodization process protects against oxidation, which is what causes tent poles to look rusted and worn-out. With this strong material for our tent poles, you can be sure your event tent will stay strong and looking great.


Best in: strength, cost

Steel poles are often used for larger event tents with heavy duty canvas—generally, when strength and rigidity are the most important factors. These poles do not bend easily, so they hold up against heavy canvas and strong winds, but it also makes steel tent poles the heaviest option.

Many of our tent poles are made with galvanized stainless steel, to provide the utmost support and strong foundation for our tents. You can trust your event tent to stay in place and keep guests safe and comfortable with this reinforced metal that holds up against poor weather conditions on the event day. While it isn’t as transportable as aluminum, because of its heavier weight, you will love the solid stability of these tent poles. Steel poles are also more cost-effective, without sacrificing quality, so it helps save you money on top-quality tent materials.

Because steel is also susceptible to rust and corrosion, American Tent uses galvanized stainless steel to ensure your tent will not rust after being exposed to humid or wet weather conditions.

If you’re using a tent for a trip where strength and durability is a must, you can’t go wrong with the choice of steel, especially given their affordability.

diifferent tent poles


Best in: price, investment

Fiberglass tent poles are best when looking for a strong-but-cheap option for your tent. However, this material is best used for casual summer camping trips and smaller, personal tents instead of large event tents. Given that it’s one of the heaviest materials—heavier than aluminum but lighter than steel—and doesn’t hold up well in cold temperatures, it is not nearly as versatile as other heavy-duty tent pole materials.

Fiberglass tent poles are a great choice in situations where flexibility is a must, but they should be strictly used for uses and events during the summer/when it's warm. Fiberglass does not hold up well in cold temperatures, as it will splinter or shatter in these conditions. These poles are mostly seen in small tents, family tents, and car tents, especially given its affordability and longevity.

Carbon Fiber

Best in: weight, investment

Carbon Fiber tent poles are one of the most expensive options for event tents—buyers are likely to spend 50% more on a tent with carbon fiber than with aluminum poles. This is the best option for an extremely strong, durable, and lightweight combination, making it a wonderful material for personal tents and smaller purchases, but extremely pricey for large event tents.

Carbon fiber holds up well in extreme temperatures, does not corrode, and won’t add much weight when backpacking—however, they do not hold up well in terms of flexibility. If you plan on setting up your event tent where the high wind is a problem, the rigid structure of carbon fiber poles does not make this an advisable option.

These tents are a great investment if you’re a serious buyer with very specific needs, as they will hold up for a long time with proper care. However, when it comes to building an inventory of high-quality event tents for your business and/or rental company, aluminum is often suggested as a cheaper alternative.

Air Beams

Best in: flexibility

Air Tent technology is one of the newer types of event tent equipment, making air beams a lesser-known option when it comes to tent pole manufacturing. Since they are inflatable, this makes these tent poles incredibly easy to pitch. Air beams are a fairly strong option when it comes to tent poles, and are quite flexible, making them durable to varying weather conditions.

This is another option that falls on the expensive end of the price spectrum, so it’s best to consider what you’re looking for and what fits those needs. If the price isn’t an important factor and you’re simply looking for an easy set-up option that offers flexibility and stability during your event, air beams might be one of your top options. However, you’ll want to consider where you’ll be storing your air tent, as even though this technology lacks physical beams and isn’t prone to rust or corrosion, it’s important to take the proper measures to maintain your equipment.

Since the air beams are connected to the tent, this makes it difficult and expensive to replace if one of the beams tears or pops. Many designs also come with patch kits in the case of an air beam being punctured, so that the entire structure isn’t compromised as a result. It can be difficult to deal with air beams on a business level because of this, especially in a tent rental capacity.

Tent Poles Comparison

Composite Material

Best in: weight, flexibility

Composite tent poles are another newer option in event tent technology. These types of tent poles are extremely strong and lightweight, making them similar to aluminum. They are more flexible and resistant to breakage than aluminum, but given their difference in price—composite material being more expensive—composite material is less likely to be a contender for tent manufacturers and buyers.

While these designs are some of the most flexible and lightweight, composite material poles are one of the most expensive options. While this innovative material is an interesting new choice that we might see more of in event tent manufacturing, aluminum is once again a viable similar option that offers the same perks as a composite material.

Why Choose American Tent? 

If you’re looking for a high quality event tent that won’t break the bank and that lasts for many parties and events to come, then you’ve come to the right place. At American Tent, we use the highest quality materials to create our tent poles, frames, and the entirety of your tent. Our anodized aluminum tent poles look great and offer the durability and support you need to shelter any event with ease. Manufactured right here in the USA, our tents are made quickly and ship to you with no international shipping fees so you can save time and money investing in your perfect event tent. 

Weigh Your Options

Remember that it’s important to consider the uses you’ll need your event tent to be available for, what kind of material your canvas tent is made of, and where you’ll be mainly using your event tents! Choosing the right material will make for an enjoyable, stress-free event for everyone involved, which means a better experience and more business for you! 

And if you need advice when choosing high-quality tents, American Tent is always ready to help. Just contact us, and we will provide you with tents that are best for your needs.

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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