Once upon a time all tents were well – not to put too fine a point on it – tent shaped. They had a pole at each end and sometimes a cross pole called a ridge holding up a tent-shaped roof: Hence the name ‘ridge tent‘.
Ridge tents are remarkably stable and range from tiny one-person tents right up to large marquees. They are easy to pitch and still make excellent shelters today.
Their main disadvantage is in head height – even in the largest units there’s limited height in most of the tent. This doesn’t matter when you’re using the tent purely for sleeping, but makes it less than ideal for a family holiday in the rain if you can’t walk around inside.