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Camping as a family is a lot of fun if you can get it right. Being well prepared is vital if you want to have a fun family time.
Finding the best family tent with room for everyone is a key piece of equipment for any trip.
Once you know you’re protected from the elements, and you have all of the equipment you need, you can be sure you’ll make plenty of memories on your next family camping trip.
Which type of tent will work for your family is going to depend on a number of different factors.
It goes without saying that you need a tent that protects you from unexpected weather and provides shelter for everyone.
Lets look over a few of the more important considerations.
CORE 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent
Our top choice for best family tents went to the 12-person person Instant Cabin Tent from CORE. With three rooms and a super fast setup time, this tent could be just what you’re looking for.
At 80″, the center height makes navigating around the vast interior very comfortable, and the tent offers plenty of floor space for the whole family and all your gear.
This large tent can take three queen sized air mattresses, or up to 12 sleeping side by side. As a perfect family tent, it includes two room dividers. So you can split the space up into three rooms if you want to create separate bedrooms, or set up separate living and storage spaces.
One of the features we really like is the wall storage pockets and the gear loft. It’s perfect for organizing and helping you keep small things off the floor of the tent, and save the floor space for larger items. And to help you keep a light source nearby, all three rooms feature a ceiling-mounted lantern hook so you wont be stumbling about in the dark.
If you need a family tent for bad weather, the CORE H20 Block Technology helps you stay dry when it’s raining or wet. And the large adjustable ground vents located on each end keep the air moving nicely.
The rainfly is fully taped for water-tightness, and the door and window seals also keep the rain out. Another helpful feature is that the poles are pre-attached to the fabric, which makes the tent super easily to set up.
In addition to being able to get it completely setup in only a couple of minutes, the poles are strong and create a rigid structure for stability in high winds.
This tent is an excellent family tent if you’re looking for something with lots of space, and you also want a versatile tent that you can use however you like.
With the option to split the tent into two or three spaces or just keep it as one large one, you can use the space however you feel works best for your family. There are flexible options for storage and for using the tent in different weather conditions too.
Kelty Outback Camping Tent
If you’re looking for a slightly smaller family tent, the Kelty Outback Tent sleeps up to six people. With a large door and a double stake-point vestibule, this tent makes it easy to get in and out, while also providing outdoor storage that remains protected from the elements.
When bad weather rolls in, the full coverage waterproof rain fly provides tremendous protection, so you can keep the heavy rain and wind at bay. And at night, the noiseless zipper pulls and D-shaped door mean you can get in and out without disturbing everyone else.
This tent is a good choice for families who don’t have much experience setting up tents, or if you want to get the kids involved. Everything is color-coded to make it easy to set up. And with only two poles, the setup in anything but complicated.
The attached guylines are easy to use, helping to stabilize the tent in windy conditions. When you’re not using the guylines, you can tuck them into the built-in pockets. There are also internal storage pockets for all your bits and pieces.
The floor of the tent measures 86 square feet, with a length of 118″, a width of 106″ and height of 76″. It packs into a neat package that’s 27″ long and 8″ in diameter. The fiberglass poles and steel stakes give this tent stability and, along with the guylines, protect you and your family in foul weather.
The Kelty Outback Tent is a good choice if you’re looking for something slightly smaller that’s suitable for all types of campers. If you don’t have a lot of camping experience, it’s an easy tent to set up and will protect you whatever the weather.
The vestibule gives you space to keep some of your things outside the main space, leaving a comfortable sleeping space with room for all the family.
Wenzel 8-Person Klondike Camping Tent
The Wenzel 8-Person Klondike tent is just what you need if you want more space to move around, and a tent that feels a bit more like home. This family dome tent has an attached screen room, which is ideal as a second bedroom, for storing some of your things or perhaps creating a living area.
The tent sleeps eight campers, with five in the main space and three in the screen room. With room for two queen sized air mattresses, for a five-person family, that leaves plenty of space in the screen room for storage or you could have the kids in the screen room and adults in the main space.
This tent has 6.5 feet of head room, allowing you to stand up when you’re inside. This is ideal for families who don’t want to stumble over each other, especially if anyone needs to get up at night. And the removable rain fly exposes the mesh roof for nighttime star gazing.
Being able to stand immediately makes the tent seem a lot bigger, but the tent is already large as the main room offers 98 square feet of space, while the screen room provides another 60 square feet. Two hanging pockets offer space for storing smaller items inside the tent.
The seams of the tent are double-stitched and lap-seamed to prevent water coming in when it rains. Made with Weather Armor polyester fabric, it has a water resistance coating to offer further protection during wet weather.
All of the zippers, webbing and threads are treated with water repellant applications to ensure there are no vulnerable areas where water can get in.
You can still keep the tent cool and airy, though, with a full mesh roof and two mesh windows that will let in fresh air and keep bugs out. A fiberglass frame and special Power Corners make this tent especially sturdy in the wind.
CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent
For another tent option with plenty of headroom, the CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent is a great choice. The room divider allows you to split the large space into two or choose to use it as one large space, and there’s room for two queen sized air mattresses. The floor measures 14′ x 9′ and the tent is 78″ (6.5 feet) tall.
One of the biggest advantages of this tent is the immediate 60-second setup. When you go camping with your family, you don’t want to have to spend a long time putting up the tent.
You want to spend your time having fun, and you might be in a rush to get out of the rain too. With this tent, telescopic poles are already attached to the structure, making it easy to pop up the tent in no time at all.
The tent features heat-sealed seams from the rainfly down to the floor to provide waterproof protection. It uses H2O Block Technology, which is designed to improve water runoff so that the outside of the tent doesn’t get too wet.
The mesh ceiling and the advanced venting system allow you to control the airflow through the tent too so that you can keep it cool in warmer weather. You can remove the rainfly when it gets hot to allow for more air to get in.
A large double door makes it easy to get in and out of the tent. You also have hanging storage pockets for your most important items, as well as privacy panels on the doors and windows. The electrical cord access port lets you plug in your equipment or is easily closed when you’re not using it.
Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Camping Tent
If you have a large family or you just want to have plenty of space, an 8-person tent should give you lots of room. The Coleman Elite Montana is a one-room tent, allowing you to split up the space however you like.
The modified dome structure is easy to set up, and features reverse angle windows, as well as an electrical access port so that you can plug in all of your essential camping equipment.
Coleman tents are all tested to check for their durability in different weather conditions. The manufacturers test them to see how they fair against rain and wind to ensure maximum strength and protection.
The tent is constructed from strong materials, including 11mm fiberglass poles, 75-denier polyester taffeta fly, 68-denier polyester mesh inner tent and 1000-denier polyethylene floor. The patented inverted seams and welded floors help to keep water out so your whole family will stay dry.
Measuring 16 x 7-Feet on the ground, with a 74-Inch center height, it’s not the largest tent manufactured by Coleman, but it’s likely to be more than adequate for many families. It has space for three queen-size airbeds. With only four or five people sleeping in the tent, there will be a lot of space left over for all of your things.
Other benefits include six built-in CPX LED lights that provide 100 lumens of illumination, which are great for lighting up the tent at night. Also included is a rechargeable power pack, which you can use to power the lights or anything with a USB connection.
The auto-roll windows can open at an angle so that you can let in air when it rains, without also letting in water.
Naturehike Cloud-Up 3 Person 4 Season Backpacking Tent
When you need a tent for all seasons, the Naturehike Cloud-Up tent is it. However, when you’re looking for an all-weather tent, you generally have to compromise on size.
Larger tents don’t tend to be suited to the worst weather conditions, so you need to be willing to look at the smaller options. This 3-person tent is ideal for camping come rain, shine or even snow, and it’s what you need if your family wants to go on a serious adventure.
A low profile and aerodynamic design make this tent quite resilient to blowing rain or other weather events. Since it sleeps three adults, there could be space for two adults and two kids, or possibly one adult and three kids. And you can easily buy a couple of them for larger families or groups.
Its all-weather design means it’s ideal for families who like to go hiking and wild camping, rather than simply taking their car and camping in a sheltered campground.
If you’re hiking or backpacking as a family, this tent weight of 5.72lbs and packing down to 17.7″ x 5.1″ x 5.9″ is ideal for easy carrying. It’s easy to set up, taking less than five minutes, so that you can quickly get into your tent whatever the weather.
The Naturehike Cloud-Up is designed for all seasons, with silicone coated features for a 4000mm water-resistant guarantee. It has professional double layers and offers a windproof and waterproof tent that’s suitable for camping in snow, rain, wind or sunshine.
Using the inner layer on its own gives you a well ventilated tent during the spring and summer or warmer autumn days. The tent is made using quality materials, including 20-denier ripstop nylon and nylon mesh with UV resistance and ultralight aluminium poles that are strong and durable.
Getting the right tent is important for your camping trip. If you want to have fun, start by getting the best equipment.
What is the optimal size for a family tent?
Family tents are available in a range of sizes from cramped to palatial.
The size of the tent is very much dependent on the type of holiday you will be most often using the tent for.
If you’re going to be just using the tent for the occasional overnight trip, then you will want a compact, smaller tent.
On the other hand, if your family will be camping for a week or more, you will want to invest in a bigger, more luxurious tent.
If you are going to invest in one of those really big, multiroom tents, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, these tents tend to be very bulky and heavy. You will need to make sure that you have enough room in your vehicle to transport the tent.
It can also take a lot of time and effort to set up these big tents.
If you’ve got kids, you need to be thinking about what they’ll be doing when you are consumed with the, often frustrating, set up process.
There are also some campsites that will not allow people to put up extra large tents.
How to set up a family tent?
Setting up a tent can be a very frustrating experience for many. Take the pain out of the process by following these simple guidelines:
- Practice setting up your tent before you go camping.
- Find an area of land to set up the tent that is flat and doesn’t have any sharp objects.
- Unfold the tent and lay it flat.
- Position the tent towards the east if you want the door to open to the sunrise in the morning.
- Stake down the corners of the tent.
- Connect the tent poles
- Put together the tent frame.
- Secure the tent’s rain fly
What is the best material for a family tent
The most important consideration when selecting the material for your family tent is that it is waterproof.
The most important parts in this regard are the fly and floor.
Nylon is a strong and abrasion-resistant material but will absorb some water. It is also a relatively light material.
Most family tents, however, will be made from polyester. Polyethylene is a good choice of material for the floor of your tent. It is heavy, durable and waterproof.
If you are camping in the hot summer months, you should consider a UV-Tex 5 fabric. This is a variant of polyester that is cooler due to its ability to reflect more sunlight.
Canvas tents absorb water better, are more breathable and have better condensation that synthetic tents.
However synthetic tents are thinner, lighter and dry faster than canvas ones.
How to waterproof a family tent?
Most tents will already be waterproof. However, to keep the rain out you will want to do the following three things:
- Tighten the ties on the rain fly before the rain comes.
- Tuck the ground cloth into the seams of the tent.
- Use a sealant to seal the seams of the tent.
Top Family Tent Features To Consider
Getting a comfortable night’s rest is super important. Making your family adventure enjoyable means you need to avoid tired and grumpy kids as well as adults.
Having room for an air mattress of some sort is a necessity, so consider the floor space and whether it will accommodate your preferred sleeping arrangements.
Along with sleeping quarters you might also want a living space where you can keep your things. An entry vestibule is a great area for storing shoes and keeping your tent clean.
And some designs include screen rooms that a perfect to spend time together if the insect life drives you indoors, or the weather isn’t suitable for sitting outside.
When you choose your family tent, it’s important to get the right one.
You need space for the whole family and you need a tent that won’t let you down when the weather goes south.
Strength and durability are essential factors to consider when you’re looking for the best family tents.
One thing to keep in mind is that the number of people a tent sleeps is the maximum that will fit without any gear.
So even a modest family will likely want a tent suitable for 6-8 people if you also want to fit your stuff inside.