Heading out for a weekend or even a week of fun in the wilderness is a great way to spend time with the family. If you’re not prepared however, it can quickly turn into a nightmare and one of the most important things to prepare is your tent.
Without the best family camping tent you can find your trip could become … well definitely not the best of anything.
That’s why we’ve looked at the best tents we can find and worked on figuring out how you can choose your favorite and make sure your family enjoys their trip and wants to go again soon.
What You Need to Know Before You Shop
Before you go looking for a tent for your family you want to make sure that you’re looking at the right features. After all, there are plenty of tents out there and plenty of different things that they can do.
You want to make sure what you’re getting is going to be the best for you and your family as you’re heading out for your camping trip. It may take a lot of time and effort to find the right one, but if you end up out in the woods somewhere with the wrong one … it’s definitely going to be a lot worse.
The first thing you need to know is what size you’re looking for. This is going to depend on the type of camping you’re doing as well as how many people you’re taking with you. If you have a family of five you want a tent that’s going to hold everyone, but you also want to make sure you have something that will work in your environment.
That means if you’re camping in a wooded area that’s not designed as a campground you’ll probably need something a little smaller rather than a large tent with extra rooms and canopies. Make sure whatever size you’re looking at is going to fit where you would and who you would take.
Another aspect to consider is the shape of the tent. There are actually many different styles out there now and you’ll want to take a look at all of them to find out which one is going to work best for you and your family. The traditional tent is considered an A-frame, but there are a number of additional styles out there now for you to choose from.
Look at what’s going to be the most comfortable for you and your family and consider the way you’re going to use the tent. This is going to affect what type of tent you want because of the way that shape influences your capabilities.
You need a tent that is made with high quality materials and is going to last a long time. It also needs to hold up against moisture, rain, wind and a whole lot more, depending on when and where you’re going camping.
The material needs to be sturdy and resistant to each of these things as well as tears. Make sure that you pick something sturdy so you know you’re not going to wake up with holes in the tent or rain coming through in the middle of the night. That definitely makes for a disappointing trip for you and the entire family.
The seams on any tent should be reinforced more than just sewn together. That might mean they are stitched more closely or double stitched. It could also mean that they are reinforced with some type of tape or waterproofing to keep them more secure.
There are many different ways that you can reinforce these but it’s important that something is done because this is how water is most likely to seep through the tent and get to you or any of your belongings. You want to make sure that you’re going to stay dry, after all, because getting wet during a camping trip will ruin it for sure.
Ease of Set-Up
Knowing what it’s going to take to set up your tent is going to be extremely important as well. You want to know that it’s going up quickly and you want to make sure that it’s going to be easy enough to do as well.
That’s going to depend on a number of different factors but it’s also going to be reliant on the type of tent and the number of people that you have to help you with the process. Check for instructions before you purchase a tent so you know what it really takes to get things set up and ready.
The Best of What’s on The Market
Sundome 6 Person Tent
Weight: 16.31 lbs.
Dimensions: 5.98” x 10” x 10”, 100 sq. ft.
Specific Features: 2 doors, 2 poles, 6 person, 72” center height, electric access point
Best for: Large families, lightweight, easy set-up
Description: This Sundome 6 Person Tent by Coleman is designed to hold up to 6 people comfortably and has a dome style that makes for more floor space though not quite as much head room on the outsides.
It is made with polyester, which makes it water resistant and uses 8.5 mm fiberglass poles to also make it more lightweight and easy to set up. The center height is approximately 72” to make it easier to stand up and there are 2 windows along with roof vents to give you even more comfort while you’re camping in the warmer weather.
The clip and continuous pole sleeve style of the tent itself is able to make set-up a whole lot easier and there are instructions sewn directly to the bag that the tent is carried in, making it much easier to keep them in mind while working.
It even has a flashlight loop to ensure you can always see what you’re doing while in the tent and has an access port for electricity so you can power any of your favorite devices. Not only that but it is entirely a freestanding design and has welded seams throughout to keep out rain and moisture.
Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent
Weight: 24.9 lbs.
Dimensions: 72.01” x 107.99” x 120”, 1,102 sq. ft.
Specific Features: Space for 2 queen airbeds, 6’2” center height, pre-assembled poles, WeatherTec welded floors and inverted seams, illumiline guy lines
Best for: Large families/groups, easy installation
Description: The Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent is designed to hold the entire family comfortably and in one room. This makes the entire tent easier to set up because it’s a square shape.
Even better, it’s a cabin style, which means that it’s taller from the center all the way out to the edges, making it much easier for you and your family to have fun even when you’re stuck inside. You will have full height throughout and you’re also going to have 1 door to get easily in and out as well as windows on all sides to provide additional ventilation.
This is considered an instant install tent because you can set it up in 60 seconds or less without any problems. You can also fit two queen size air mattresses inside so that everyone has a comfortable place to sleep through the night that’s up off the ground.
You will need a little extra space to store it because even folded up it’s over 4’ long, but that’s how it’s so easy to put back up when you’re ready to go. Even with as large as the tent is it can be set up with just one person because all it takes is unfolding and popping the legs out to be ready to go.
Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent
Weight: 22.4 lbs.
Dimensions: 10.2” x 11” x 25.6”, 1,702 sq. ft.
Specific Features: 8 person capacity, WeatherTec System, shock-corded poles, Cool-Air port & Veriflo
Best for: Large group/family, low price
Description: The Coleman 8-person Red Canyon Tent is designed to hold an entire family comfortably. You’ll be able to create up to 3 separate rooms in your tent as well because of the dividers included.
Set-up is extremely easy even with these separate rooms and there’s even an included rain fly to help you stay dry, even if you want to have the door or windows open when it’s wet outside.
After all, you’re going to want some air flow while you’re stuck in your tent and you’re going to need to still be kept dry while it’s raining.
This tent also uses shock-corded poles that make the set-up process go faster ,even if you only have one person to do it. With the WeatherTec to keep it dry you also have 72” in the center of the tent, which allows you to stand easily, though the outside sections feature lower ‘ceiling’ height.
With plenty of space on the inside, you have enough room for everyone to hang out, even over and above the 8 that are able to sleep there. What’s really nice is that this tent also looks stylish while you’re using it and all of the room dividers are easy to use or remove as needed.
Wyoming Trail 4 By Big Agnes
Weight: 10 lbs.
Dimensions: 12” x 12” x 20”
Specific Features: Multiple configurations, vestibule section for gear, lightweight pole system, easy set-up
Best for: Lightweight, multiple needs
Description: This tent, the Wyoming Trail 4, is definitely a unique one. It offers you a range of different configuration options so you can have a large tent with a covered canopy in front or you can choose to have two separate sections with a canopy in the center.
No matter how you do it you’re going to have plenty of space for everyone on your trip and you’re going to feel comfortable. It’s not tall enough that you will be able to easily stand, but you will have no problem sitting and having some fun if you’re stuck inside.
The vestibule will provide extra shelter for your belongings as well and you’ll be able to keep it nice and dry as well. If you prefer an open space you can use the vestibule as a method of shade for sitting outdoors.
What’s better is you can set up the Pressfit connectors and hubs easily and the lightweight system is going to help with the process. It’s also easy to use the plastic clips, reflective guylines and webbing and aluminum stakes. Even the fly is easy to set-up so you can get ready for anything that might come your way.
Eureka Copper Canyon 6 Tent – 6 Person
Weight: 25 lbs.
Dimensions: 11” x 11” x 29”
Specific Features: Cabin style, windows on all sides, mesh roof, sleeps 6
Best for: Large groups/families, moderate price
Description: If you’re looking for a tent that will provide you with a great look and style then the Eureka Cooper Canyon is a great option. This tent will sleep 6 people and allows you enough space to move around freely.
With a 7’ center height you’ll also be able to stand without a problem and do anything you want while you’re relaxing during the day or the night. What’s even better is all the air flow you’re going to get with the large windows and the mesh roof. Even still, the rain fly and the material of the tent itself is going to keep out moisture and cold.
The frame of this cabin tent is designed with steel and fiberglass to make it sturdy and durable but lightweight at the same time. This way, you’ll be able to carry it with you easily enough and you’re going to have no problem setting it up when it’s time.
Because it uses clips, pole sleeves and ring and pin, you can set it up with very little help. The entire thing is fire retardant and of course waterproof and windproof to keep you warm and dry no matter what’s going on around you. As far as extra features you’ll have outer pockets and a gear loft.
Kelty Frontier 10 x 10 Tent
Weight: 43 lbs. 4 oz.
Dimensions: 120” x 120” x 84”, 100 sq. ft. + 78.5 sq. ft.
Specific Features: 6 person tent, large cabin and vestibule, high price
Best for: Car camping, higher quality needed
Description: This Kelty Frontier 10 x 10 tent is going to give you everything you’re looking for in a spacious tent. It has a vestibule as well as the spacious tent itself so that you have plenty of room for the entire family.
Available in white, this tent has several windows and screens throughout so you’ll always have plenty of air flow and be comfortable even when you’re stuck inside for long periods of time.
Each of the floor seams is taped to ensure more protection against the rain and moisture and there’s door panels to store anything and everything you need for your trip.
Ready to hold up to 6 people, this tent has 3 doors and is ready for 3 seasons of camping. Made with poly cotton, it’s heavier weight than other tents, which makes it better for those planning on car camping or those who don’t have to transport the tent far by foot.
The vestibule area is not included as part of the 100 sq. ft. which means there’s plenty of excess room for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves without hanging out in the sleeping space. It is quite expensive, but you’re definitely getting a lot of benefits for the overall cost.
MSR Backcountry Barn Tent
Weight: 14 lbs. 11 oz.
Dimensions: 80 sq. ft.
Specific Features: Unique barn style, holds 4-5, full height throughout
Best for: Moderate size groups, versatile needs, lightweight needed
Description: The MSR Backcountry Barn Tent is designed for you to get a little bit of everything and have plenty of space while you’re doing it. Designed to use with a floor for camping or without for a little shelter in the rain, you’re going to have no problem at all setting this tent up with just a small group or even by yourself.
After all, it uses a single wall construction and ripstop nylon to keep you protected from different types of weather including rain and wind that can definitely affect your camping trip.
The bathtub style floor allows you to use this tent however you want and the extra features make it even easier to do so. With eight pockets and three lantern hooks you’ll be able to see what you’re doing and store all of your belongings with no trouble at all.
You’ll also be able to use the front and rear awnings for more space to sit out and enjoy the outdoors while you’re camping. Though this is a smaller tent, it’s also lightweight, which makes it great for shorter trips where speed and efficiency are important.
Marmot Limestone 6 Persons Tent
Weight: 17.64 lbs.
Specific Features: Traditional style, 6 person, rain fly included, 2 doors
Best for: Moderate to large groups/families
Description: The Marmot Limestone tent may look like just another traditional tent, but it’s definitely more than that as well. The shape and style is a traditional dome, but you’re going to get good features that will make camping in this tent a whole lot more enjoyable.
There are two doors, to make it easier for all 6 people camping in the tent to get in and out without tripping over each other. There is also an included rain fly to protect you from getting wet through the various mesh openings for air flow. But that’s definitely not all.
The floor is made with heavyweight Oxford 150 denier to keep you dry on all sides and there is even a mat for the front to keep dirt out and a hanging organizer to make sure all of your belongings are safely stored.
The tent is tallest in the center with enough room to stand, though there’s not as much space on the outside corners. Still, there is enough room for you and your family to sit inside the tent and enjoy yourselves if the weather is not good enough for you to be outside.
Heading Out for Your Camping Trip
No matter what you’re really looking for when it comes to a tent you’ll see that there is a whole lot available. There are tents all around you when you go into absolutely any store and there are all different types at the same time.
Finding the right one for you might take a little more time and effort than just reading this article, but hopefully it’s been at least a little help. So what type of family tent does your family like to head out camping in and just how do you enjoy your time out in the wilderness?