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Best Family Tents: Choosing the Best Shelters for Fun Outdoor Family Excursions

Best Family Tents
Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

So, you’ve decided to go on a family outing to the great outdoors! In an age where technology can tie us down to the daily grind, opting outside as a family is a great way to reconnect with each other and with ourselves. However, you will agree with us that choosing the best family tent is no easy job! Now, the question is: what are the best family tents for me and my family?

Whether you are completely new to camping or you are looking to replace a no longer functional tent, we have prepared a short buyers guide for you. Plus, we have reviewed some of the best outdoor family tents which you can check out.

Our Top Picks

ProductCapacityDoors and WindowsWeightPrice
Ozark Trail10 persons3 doors and 6 windows30 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Core 6 Person6 persons1 door and 3 windows22.8 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Coleman Tenaya Lake8 persons1 door and 5 windows35.4 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Wenzel Klondike8 persons2 doors and 3 windows28 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Big Agnes Flying Diamond6 persons2 doors and 5 windows18 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Coleman Instant 4 persons1 door and 4 windows18 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Browning Camping Big Horn9 persons2 doors and 6 windows35 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Core 9 Person8 persons2 doors and 6 windows35.15 poundsCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Since your plan will be spending time with your family, the last thing you want is to get a low quality tent that does not keep them protected against what the outdoors have to offer. For that reason, there are many features you should consider when purchasing the best tent for family camping.

Size

We know that we have said lots of times that the number one rule for campers and backpackers is packing as compact and lightweight as possible. However, this is not the case.

Family Tent Size

There are a lot of different tent sizes according to how many family members you are planning to take with you. Anyhow, most tents made for six or more people have room for everyone to stand fully upright, at least in the center of the tent if not throughout the whole inside.

Water Resistant vs. Waterproof

All waterproof tents are water resistant, but not all water resistant tents are waterproof. The good news is that water resistant tents are more affordable, and you can buy waterproof coating and make a little DIY project out of it.

Waterproof Family Tent

While it’s not necessary to have a waterproof tent since almost every tent comes with a rain fly, it is important to know how well coated and covered the floors, zippers, and seams of the tent are (these are the most leak prone areas).

Set up Time

Most people like to set their tent up as soon as they arrive to the camping area because it is a process that might take a long time. Thankfully, tent manufacturers have improved their products to make them easier to install and take apart.

Tent Set Up

Nowadays, there are two options to consider. The instant, pre assembled tents and the ones that you need to read the instruction manual. One isn’t necessarily better than the other in terms of quality and durability; it simply comes down to personal preference.

In tent Storage

Depending on what you are planning to take with you to your camping expedition, you should consider the amount of space you would need. Are the little mesh pockets around the perimeter of the tent enough to hold all the little odds and ends for your family?

Family Tent Storage

If you think you might need a little more room (if you’re hiking away from your car, for example), there are some tents that come with built in cubbies or closets the extend off the tent so they don’t take up any extra room.

Stakes

Think of them as the columns of your house. The sturdier and stronger stakes you get, the more stable and durable tent you would have, which is an important aspect to consider when strong winds are presented.

Family Tent Stakes

These vary widely in quality, and the ones that come with tents tend to be of a lower grade. They’re relatively inexpensive to purchase separately, considering that good quality, sturdy stakes can last a near lifetime.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Since we have refreshed your knowledge about the most important characteristics every tent should have, we believe you are ready to get one. Therefore, in the next section you will find eight of the best family tents in the market.

Ozark Trail Family Tent

Price: Approx. $230Ozark Family

Weight: 30 pounds

Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 6.5 ft

Specific features: 3 doors (1 main door in the center, 1 on either end), 6 windows, 2 removable dividers for sectioning off the ends tent, duffel carry sack included

Best use: Car camping for medium sized groups or families

If you are looking for an easily assembled, roomy tent that comfortable fits a family of 10, or a group of up to 8 adults and your belongings, the Ozark Trail Family Tent is for you. It is designed for three seasons, is water resistant, and durable, though waterproofing the outside or using a protective rain fly is recommended.

Additionally, it comes with stakes that provide a stable balance. It easily fits up to three queen sized air mattresses, one per “room”, or maybe set up a dining table in the middle to store all your things. Additional hooks and pouches are available throughout the tent for personal item storage and rigging up lighting.

The removable dividers give you a choice to section off a part of the tent for privacy, and open it up for shared family time. The six windows spaced around the tent offer great views of your surroundings. Also, you can enter through the central door, or through one at either end.

PROS:

  • Very roomy
  • Water resistant
  • Included dividers
 CONS:

  • Not the strongest poles
  • Not strong in windy conditions

Related: The Ozark Trail 3 Room Cabin Tent is a great choice from the same manufacturer. It has essentially the same dimensions, as well as the ability to section it off into three separate rooms if you want. It incorporates one more window and a front porch area that is great for relaxing in a chair in any kind of weather, as well as acting as a mud room for shoes/gear to keep the interior of the tent clean.

Check the price on Amazon

Core 6 Person Instant Tent

Price: Approx. $146Core 6 Persons

Weight: 22.8 pounds

Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 6 ft

Specific features: Instant set up, 1 door, 3 windows, mesh screen on the first layer and zip away outer opaque cover, electrical cord port, poles, stakes

Best use: Car camping, for a family of 6 people with no gear inside, or 3 – 4 people plus gear.

The CORE 6 Person Instant Tent can be set up with little effort. Remove it from the carrying case, lay flat, and extend the attached poles. Nail into the ground with included stakes, and done! Rain fly comes included, and setup is required after the tent is up.

This tent comes with a water resistant exterior, and 3 zip away windows with mesh screens that allow the air to get in, but keep bugs out, which is a very important feature for summer campers. There is one central D shaped door that requires both hands for zipping/unzipping, hooks and pouches around the tent to hang gear off the floor, and a flap to let in an electrical cord.

All zippers and seams have water resistant covers. You can sleep up to 6 people with minimal gear on the inside, or 3 – 4 people comfortable with everything inside. Due to its weight, this tent is best for camping trips with short hiking distances. A carrying case is included with the tent.

PROS:

  • Water resistant
  • Easy to set up
  • Very breathable
 CONS:

  • Troublesome front door zipper
  • Does not keep the warmth
  • Weak poles

Related: There is a larger version of the instant tent, the CORE 12 Person Instant Tent. You could set it up in about 5 minutes and it can fit 3 queen mattresses and up 12 people. It can be divided into three different rooms and the walls have storage pockets to keep items in there, and it comes with a rainfly, gear loft and carry bag.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman Tenaya Lake Tent

Price: Approx. $211Coleman Tenaya Lake

Weight: 35.4 pounds

Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 6.7 ft

Specific features: Instant set up with poles attached, stakes and rain fly included; 5 windows plus mesh ceiling skylight, 1 central door, and built in closet, water resistant material

Best use: Car camping, for up to 8 people

This roomy Coleman Tenaya Lake Tent has everything you could ever need. Its cabin style frame comes together in under 10 minutes. Off the back of the tent is a closet with built in shelving and a pole for hanging items.

Everything for set up is included, with color coded poles, ground stakes and a rain fly to protect from the elements. The central door has an outer zip covering made of the same water resistant material as the rest of the tent, and zips away to reveal a mesh screen. Also, it comes with 5 windows that are made with the same materials and design that the central door has.

The ventilation system of windows and ceiling mesh skylight allows for air movement through all sides of the tent. This tent is perfect for those who have gear they want to store inside without taking up room in the main area of the tent. Recommended for groups doing minimal walking, due to the weight of the tent; great for families doing car camping.

PROS:

  • Easy to set up
  • Breathable and water resistant materials
  • Very roomy
 CONS:

  • No rust protection
  • Very heavy

Related: The Coleman Echo Lake Instant Tent is almost exactly the same, but switches out the built in closet for two smaller cubbies for storage, and has large front and side windows. Also, it has instant set up with everything included, with a slightly more sloped roof design.

Check the price on Amazon

Wenzel Klondike Tent

Price: Approx. $231Wenzel Klondike

Weight: 28 pounds

Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 6.5 ft

Specific features: Mesh ceiling in main room for ventilation, screen porch, fiberglass poles, water resistant floors and exterior, duffel bag included, storage pockets

Best use: Car camping with a small family

The Wenzel Klondike Tent is unique in its design, with two almost equally sized rooms separated by a zippered door for privacy. When you use it the first time, the set up is estimated to take about 25 minutes; once you have installed it a few times, it can be done in less than 15 minutes. Luckily, the instructions are included.

The screen porch is multi functional, being able to be used as an extra sleeping room (up to three people) at night, or a sun porch for reading and relaxing during the day.

The completely mesh ceiling in the main room allows comfortable air flow without the bother of insects.

There are zip up water resistant walls for the screen porch in rainy conditions, as well as water resistant zipper covers, reinforced seams, and polyurethane floors. Also, it has a very comfortable standing room in the main compartment, as the height reaches 6’5’’. A very handy rain fly, a duffel bag carrying case, and strong ground stakes are all included in the set.

PROS:

  • Room separators
  • Multi functional porch
  • Water resistant
 CONS:

  • Do not zip all the way up
  • Not very wind resistant
  • Not so easy to set up

Related: The Wenzel Blue Ridge Tent is a roomy tent that can be sectionable into 3 rooms, with two large ones to sleep onto at the ends, and a smaller entryway in the middle. It also has an entirely mesh ceiling, with mesh windows at either end. The tent surface is made of polyester, giving it a fairly well water resistance, and the stakes are made of fiber glass, providing a strong base.

Check the price on Amazon

Big Agnes Flying Diamond Tent

Price: Approx. $700Big Agnes Flying Diamond

Weight: 18 pounds

Dimensions: 16.8 x 7 x 5.5 ft

Specific features: 2 doors, 5 windows, mesh ceiling in main romo for ventilation, rain fly included, lightweight aluminum tent poles and reflective guylines

Best use: Family basecamping, car camping with a small family

The four season Big Agnes Flying Diamond Tent is great for the family that wants to save significantly on carried weight. Including the lightweight aluminum poles, reflective guidelines and eco friendly style, you will be able to carry this tent to that perfect camping spot without putting too much effort on it.

The tent itself is waterproof with a polyurethane coating on the floor and outside of the tent, but a rain fly is included to cover the mesh ceiling. Mesh windows and doors at either end can be zipped up to keep out the elements, but opened up and used a screen to let a breeze through.

This tent can fit up to 6 people; 3 – 4 people with all their gear comfortably. Also, since the poles are very resistant, this tent can hold breezes very well and will only be shaken if strong gusts of wind hit it, which makes it a great choice for hikers and people who like to camp in the heights.

PROS:

  • Very lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
 CONS:

  • Difficult to set up
  • Troublesome zippers
  • Thin material

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman Instant Tent

Price: Approx. $126Coleman 4 Person Instant Tent

Weight: 18 pounds

Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 5 ft

Specific features: Instant set up, 1 door, 4 windows, 3 season tent, WeatherTec system for floors and windows, water resistant exterior, vented rainfly included

Best use: Car camping with a small family

The Coleman Instant Tent features one large, main entrance door and panoramic style windows for great views as well as ventilation. Outer opaque window covers roll down and tuck away for easy storage. The instant set up means the tent goes up in less than a minute, and the take apart process is not troublesome either, since it can be foldable by one person in no time.

This is a three season tent, with water resistant outer face, zipper covers and seam seals. Since most tents tend to have leaking problems by the lower sector, this one add WeatherTec system on the floors to keep water and the elements out, and to provide a sturdier base for tent poles.

Two to three people with gear can fit comfortable in here, but if four people lay side by side, they can sleep in with no problem. It comes with pockets around the base of the tent make organization all the easier. Carrying case, rain fly and stakes included, and poles are already assembled.

PROS:

  • Easy to set up and take apart
  • Weather resistant
  • Great ventilation
 CONS:

  • Not so easy to take apart
  • Weak zipper

Related: The Coleman Montana 8 Person Tent is another great choice that Coleman has to offer. It is made of strong polyester that provides water resistance and its angled windows keep the rain out even when they are open. It can comfortably fit up to 8 people and due to the snag free, continuous pole sleeves it is very easy to set up.

Check the price on Amazon

Browning Camping Big Horn Tent

Price: Approx. $270Browning Camping Big Horn

Weight: 35 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 7.2 ft

Specific features: 9 person tent. 2 doors, 6 windows, completely mesh ceiling, oxford floor for extra durability, straight cabin style walls for height

Best use: Car camping for small medium sized groups

The Browning Camping Big Horn Tent is a spacious, sturdy, and weather proof option for up to nine people, or around four to six with gear. You have the option to leave it as one open space, or divide it with a hanging opaque curtain into two smaller rooms for more privacy.

There are doors located on both ends of the tent, six large windows all around, and a completely mesh ceiling for added ventilation. The tent performs well in three out of four seasons, and because of the reinforced Oxford floor, holds up quite well in extreme weather conditions. The domed top helps with this as well, but no standing room is compromised as the walls are straight and cabin style.

It has a water resistant exterior and comes with a rain fly. Assembly required, but is made easy with included instructions and minimal parts – only three poles running across the top of the tent. Also, stakes are included, and storage pouches are located all around the perimeter of the tent.

PROS:

  • Roomy and well ventilated
  • Water resistant
  • Separators included
 CONS:

  • Thin floor
  • Weak poles

Related: The Browning Camping Ridge Creek Tent is another recommended tent offered by the same company. It has a free standing design with fiberglass poles and steel uprights that enhances support in windy days. Also, it is very roomy due to its tall center and side walls, and it provides great ventilation thanks to its four large windows.

Check the price on Amazon

Core 9 Person Instant Tent

Price: Approx. $220CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Weight: 35.15 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 6.5 ft

Specific features: Mesh ceiling, zip away panels on all windows and doors, rain fly included, water resistant exterior, instant set up

Best use: Car camping for families

The CORE 9 Person Instant Tent is a cabin style, easy up easy down option for small to medium sized families or groups. Almost no assembly required – just remove the tent from its included carrying case, lay flat, and rig up the poles. Stakes and a rain fly are also included.

The tent can stay as one open space during the day, or be divided into two smaller rooms for more privacy with a hanging opaque curtain at night. There are doors located on both ends of the tent, six large windows all around, and a completely mesh ceiling for added ventilation.

The tent is a three season one, and has a water resistant coating on the outside. Storage pouches are located all around the perimeter of the tent; with an extra portal for bringing in electrical cables (the portal is completely sealable when not in use). The straight cabin walls allow for a lot of standing room for adults and children alike.

PROS:

  • Great ventilation
  • Very easy to install
 CONS:

  • Troublesome zippers
  • Thin floor

Related: The CORE 6 Person Dome Tent provides a very stable base that can withstand strong winds, a waterproof cover and rainfly to always stay dry, and a durable and resistant material. Also, it will not take more than 10 minutes to install, it offers a very good breathability and it can comfortably fit up to 6 people.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

A tent for your family is great to have whether you plan on using it for long stretches every chance you get, or just occasionally on that annual family camping trip. To find the right tent for you and your family, determine your needs first. Think about what your priorities will be to keep everyone happy, healthy, and safe throughout your trip.

Does your family have a tent that has worked for you? What are some non negotiable features for your family tent? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell McCarty
Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.

  • John Millard

    Our family loves the Wenzel Klondike Tent. The structure of this tent is absolutely perfect and it’s very roomy inside. I sprayed the tent with waterproofing and it has stayed dry consistently inside. I also love how easy it is to set this tent up. It only takes us about 10 minutes! You can’t beat that!

  • Russell McCarty

    Well, I have a tent that I can set up in 5 minutes…kidding! I’m glad that you have the tent that you love John. I think it’s a very hardy tent that’s just right for a family of 7-8. It is huge by the way and quite affordable, so no problem with that. It’s also easy to pack up after camping is over.

  • Nicole DiPlacido

    We go camping in groups pretty often so we sprung for the Core 9 Person Instant Tent. What has impresses me the most about this tent is how easy it is to set up. It barely even takes five minutes! And tear down only takes 10, and that includes getting it into the bag.

  • Russell McCarty

    Don’t you just love tents that can be set up and taken down in less than 15 minutes? I love the ease of putting it up, as well as wrapping it all up. The Core 9 Person Instant tent is also durable and will last for years with proper use.

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