If you’re looking to set up a home away from home for your family on your next camping trip, then you need a quality family tent. However, with the increase in the number of people wanting to go back to the basics and promote family togetherness, there’s quite a huge selection of camping tents for families in the market today. This means that picking the tent that looks like will fit all of you aren’t going to your best way forward.
For a successful camping trip, your tent should not only provide you and your camping buddies (a.k.a. family members) a place to sleep in, it should also provide you shelter from the elements, a place to store your gear, and maybe a space to hang out when there’s nothing worthwhile to do outside.
So, where does one find all that in a camping tent? Right here on our list of the best camping tents for families.
Top 10 Camping Tents For Families Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen RoomFamily Tent For Windy Weather
This Coleman 6-person Tent can fit 2 queen-sized airbeds inside the main space which means, realistically, you can only fit 4 adults here, not 6. But you also get a floorless screen room where you can place lawn chairs, a cooler, and other gear that needs to stay out of the “bedroom.” In a pinch, you can just put some tarp there and have the other two people in your party sleep there. The tent also comes with a hanging divider if you want to convert the main space into two smaller rooms.
Like all of our other Coleman picks, this also features the WeatherTec system with its tub-like floor, patented corner welds, and inverted seams to ensure water doesn’t leak inside. It comes with a hooded rain fly and has mesh pockets sewn inside the tent for storing your small stuff like shades, phones, lighters, and keys. You get this huge screened wall that you can keep open or closed going into your screen room and then there’s a side door (a swinging one!) if you want to go out of the sleeping space directly.
Set up is not easy, especially if you’re doing it alone and it’s your first time. However, once you know what you’re doing, you can do it much faster, especially if you have helping hands. Some users have experienced leaks but using a seam sealer could nip this problem in the bud. Also, this tent isn’t ideal for cold weather camping because of all the meshed screens plus the fact that the screen section going to the screen room has no bottom zipper, leaving you with a huge gap for air to flow through.
- Separate screen room
- Hinged side door (no more zipping in or out)
- Roomy interior; a 6-foot individual can stand up inside easily
- Not for 6, maximum of 4 adults
- Not for cold weather camping
- Some reports of leaks though not huge puddles
2. Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon TentFamily Tent For Under 200
The Coleman Red Canyon Tent is huge – 17 by 10 feet with 6 feet of headroom in the middle. It comes with a rain fly so you don’t have to purchase one. The inside of the tent can be divided into three rooms due to two zip-in dividers. Four mesh panels – front, back, and two sides – allows light and air to enter the tent. However, only the front mesh panel has a privacy flap. The rest of the “windows” are only covered by the rain fly. It’s pretty roomy inside the tent; you can easily fit 3 queen air mattresses inside.
While this is advertised as an 8-person tent, it’ll be more comfortable for a group of 6 plus gear and beds/cots. Set up isn’t instant; it can be done alone which may take you somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes. While the “walls” of the tent are rainproof, the seams that hold them together aren’t. You may need to spray it with a sealer to ensure no leaks occur when it rains.
- Very roomy
- Comes with a rainfly
- Can withstand strong winds
- Not easy to set up for a beginner alone
- May leak a bit
- Windows do not come with a zipped cover
3. CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
If you’ve got a huge family, then this might just be the tent for you. The CORE 9-person Tent is made out of water-repellent fabrics with active bead technology, sealed seams, and rain-resistant doors and window seals. While most of the tent is leakproof, you might want to take note that the door zippers meet at the bottom of the tent, right dab at the center. It creates this small hole that may allow unwanted critters access to the inside. Worse, it can let the rain in. While it won’t be much, less than a tablespoon, it can still be irritating for some.
Because it’s an instant tent, setting it up will only take you and a helper 60 seconds. The inside of the tent (all 14×9 feet of it) can fit 2 queen air mattresses. The ceiling is 6 feet and 6 inches high so you have a lot of headroom. And then there’s the room divider which you can use if you want some privacy. Now, like the other tents, this one has a mesh roof which is great for summer. However, some have found that the rain fly isn’t effective in keeping cold air out. Also, the stakes that come with the tent are not of good quality. You’ll need to spend a little to get heavy duty stakes.
- Very roomy space
- Instant setup
- Excellent ventilation
- Some report of leaks
- Not for cold weather camping
- Poor quality stakes
4. Coleman 8-Person Instant TentFamily 6 Man Tent
If you’re new to camping or you just don’t want to spend time setting up your tent when you could already be enjoying your time outdoors, then you should invest in one of Coleman Instant Tents. For a large family, this 8-person instant tent should do the trick. This tent has its telescoping poles already attached to the material of the tent. All you have to do is take it out of the bag, snap the poles into place, and tada! It takes less than 60 seconds.
Made out of 150D material, this tent features Coleman’s WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to ensure you stay dry no matter how wet the weather is outside. It features screened windows all around plus two doors to increase airflow and provide you with amazing 360-degree views. The tent can fit 2 queen size air beds and you can easily divide the space into two rooms with the included hanging divider.
Take note that it’s really more comfortable for a group of 6 rather than 8. Also, this is not a backpacking tent as it’s very happy. The tent can be easy to take down but putting it back into the bag can be frustrating.
- Instant setup
- Lots of screened windows
- Only fits 6 if you want elbow room
- Not for backpacking as the tent is heavy
- Hard to pack up the tent into the bag
5. Wenzel 8 Person Klondike TentFamily 4 Man Tent
Before we go any further, this really isn’t an ideal tent for 8 people unless you use the screen room to sleep 3 people in sleeping bags and don’t mind stepping over them whenever you need to go out the door.
However, we like the fact that you can fit 4 people quite comfortably inside the main room and hang out on the “camping porch” which is a large front awning that gives you protection from the sun and rain. The camping porch’s screen walls have zip up covers if you really need to sleep there or just protection from the cold/water. This is a great design if you wish to separate your “living space” from your “sleeping space,” especially if you’re going to be dealing with sand and/or dirt. Just in case you’re wondering, the sleeping space can fit 2 queen air mattresses. The roof is entirely made out of mesh and, along with the two mesh windows, ensures you get all the cool air inside the tent without the bugs. There’s even a rear mesh vent for ground breeze.
So, what didn’t we like? For one, it’s not a backpacking tent; definitely, a car camping one as it’s too heavy to be anything else. Also, it’s not as easy to set up as the first two we picked out but you do get faster over time. The tent is lightweight and feels like it won’t stand up to really strong winds.
- “Camping porch”
- Full mesh roof
- Doesn’t leak during rain
- May not be able to endure very strong winds
- Low ceiling in the screen room
- Not for backpacking
6. Mountain Trails Grand Pass 10 Person TentFamily Dome Tent
This is a huge ass tent and can fit up to 10 people in sleeping bags with not much elbow room or space for gear. But if you have a family of 6 or 7, you can comfortably sleep in this thing with extra room to spare. The tent is a dome tent with a shock-corded fiberglass frame and a pin-and-ring system supposedly for easy setup. We were pretty glad to find out that was true; you can easily put this up in about 15 minutes on your own. The tent also features large mesh roof vents and windows as well as 2 large D-style doors so you’ve got a lot of air flowing in and out of the tent.
The pyramid design means that there’s really a lot of room to stand up in the middle but that space gets smaller and smaller as you go outwards. Placing a cot on the sides is definitely not recommended. Now, the tent seems to hold up pretty well in wind and rain. However, the sloping sides of the pyramid style mean that opening and closing the door while the rain is pouring down will cause water to get inside. It doesn’t have an electrical access pocket, something a lot of Coleman tents do so be prepared to run your extension cord through the door. Also, the tent doesn’t come with a bag. You can fold it and the outer floor kind of becomes the cover with some cord to keep it wrapped up.
- Very roomy
- Easy setup
- The sides have very low ceilings
- Getting in/out of the tent while rain is pouring will cause water to get inside
- Does not come with a carry bag
7. Ozark Trail Family Cabin Tent
The Ozark Trail Family Tent has enough room to fit three queen-sized air mattresses with enough room to move around and store your stuff. It comes with two dividers so you can create three separate rooms. Even better, each “room” comes with its own door – two at the sides and one center door – so you really have privacy and don’t need to go through anyone else’s room to go out. However, the dividers are a bit too thin for our liking and can easily break.
The tent also features 6 windows to keep it well-ventilated while the taped fly seams to ensure that water doesn’t get inside, whether it’s rain or morning dew. The mesh roof allows you to do a bit of stargazing at night and adds to the airflow. The tent itself is so spacious, you can easily fit in 6 to 8 people comfortably.
Take note that this is not a waterproof tent. It is water-resistant. The tent will not leak if exposed to rain but it does have a “saturation point” as some users have found out. It doesn’t let in much water despite that fact. Keep in mind that California residents can’t purchase this tent because of state restrictions.
- Very roomy
- Three doors, one for each for each room
- Water resistant, not waterproof
- Not for California residents
- Does not stand up well to strong winds
8. Browning Camping Big Horn Family/Hunting TentFamily Tent For The Money
The Browning Camping Big Horn Family Tent features fiberglass poles, steel uprights, a wall divider, two large doorways, six windows, and a mesh roof. The floor of the tent is made out of 150D polyester oxford with 2000mm coating for durability. The side walls are almost straight so you have a good deal of headroom even towards the edges of the tent.
What we love about the tent is the fact that it is waterproof (though you should still use a waterproofing spray just as a precaution) and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Should it leak during a rainstorm, you can be sure that Browning will replace the tent. The same goes for any other part of the tent that gets damaged through no fault of your own.
What we don’t like is that there are no “tie-ups” to keep the window cover and the doors in place. Also, the zippers tend to get stuck often. Plus, the mesh pockets for storage are located on the divider. If you don’t plan on using the divider, you’ll need to do without those pockets as well.
- Lifetime warranty
- Excellent customer service
- No tie-ups for keeping the window covers and doors in place
- Zippers get stuck often
- Mesh pockets are located on the divider
9. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-Person TentFamily Tent For Winter Camping
Yes, this is an incredibly expensive tent but the quality and space more than make up for its price. The tent is made with Hydra-Shield which is a 100% cotton duck canvas. This material is incredibly durable, watertight, and breathable. It features large D-shaped doors at the front and back of the tent with #10 YKK zippers. It has four large windows with no-see-um mesh and even features two funnel-flow vents that you can open to increase airflow and manage the temperature inside the tent better.
The entire tent has 6’6″ ceiling throughout so you can comfortably walk around from end to end. The seams are double-stitched, the corners are reinforced, the poles are made out of solid steel and so are the stakes, and the floor is made out of puncture-resistant 16oz Vinyl that also keeps water out. Inside the tent, you have this gear loft for stuff you want to keep off the floor plus a hanging pocket organizer. And then there’s a large awning to keep you out of the rain but still outdoors. It also ensures that you can keep the front windows open without the rain coming in through. And, man, the bag. You wrap it around the folded tent so there never is a battle just to get it all inside! Really, best tent ever.
- Year-round tent (even snow!)
- Lots of features inside (pocket organizers, gear loft, etc.)
- Solid construction
- Extremely expensive
- Setup requires a bit of muscle
- Very heavy – for basecamp only
10. Eureka Copper Canyon 6 TentFamily Tent For Tall Person
The Eureka Copper Canyon Tent is a 6-pole cabins style tent with 10×10 floor space, a 7-foot high center ceiling, and nearly vertical walls. It has a freestanding, combination steel/fiberglass frame with clips, pole sleeves, and a ring and pin assembly There’s one large D-style door and windows on each wall for ventilation and visibility. Like most of our other picks, this tent also has a full mesh roof.
There are no leaks with this tent even under heavy rain. However, the rain fly lies a bit flat on top of the tent; there’s no awning to prevent rain/water from running right down into the door when you open it to go out or inside. The tent also features an E-port so you can definitely run an electric cord into the tent.
However, the floor is a bit thin for our liking; it definitely needs ground cover. And it really isn’t ideal that the opening the door requires you to use both hands. While it is easy to set up on your own – just 20 minutes, it can be a bit of a pain to get back in the bag. Naturally, this isn’t really a comfortable 6-person tent. But it can fit 4 to 5 people with enough elbow room and space for your gear.
- Nearly vertical walls; comfortable to walk around inside
- Easy to set up on your own
- A bit difficult to put back in the bag
- No awning in the front to prevent rainwater from running down into the open door
- Zipper requires two hands to operate
How To Choose the Best Camping Tents For Families: The Ultimate Buying Guide
So you want to go camping with your family. Well, you’re reading the right article then. There are a lot of things you need to consider before you can find the right family camping tent for you. With so many choices before you, getting the best one can be tricky. And the wrong pick can mean a ruined vacation with a pocket that is more than a hundred dollars short. So, what should you look for in a camping tent for a family? Let’s find out.
How Much Space do You Need?
First and foremost, you will need to look at space. While you want to be intimate with your family, there can be such a thing as too much closeness, right? You don’t want to be bumping into each other as you toss and turn inside the tent. A cramped tent makes for unhappy campers. A large tent is definitely needed if you plan to house more than two people in your tent plus a ton of gear, including camping chairs. Are you planning on doing a bit of glamping? Then you want your tent to be able to fit in an air mattress or two. The same goes for cots.
Take note that when a manufacturer states how many people can sleep in their tent, they tend to talk about people who will be using sleeping bags and have no issues with the lack of personal space. It’s best to check with reviews on how much space is left if you fit in your air mattresses and gear. For example, the Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent is advertised as an 8-person tent and it very well could be if you don’t mind feeling a bit like sardines in a can. However, if you want some elbow room, this tent is more comfortable for a group of 6 or less.
Aside from looking at how many people will be sleeping inside the bed and the air mattresses you plan on squeezing inside, you need to check if there’s also enough space for all of you to spend time inside the tent doing various activities. Some campers plan on putting a table inside their tent because they want a place that’s out of the elements. This is a precaution for when bad weather occurs while you’re enjoying the outdoors. You don’t want to be stuck with each other and have nothing to do but huddle together.
How Many Doors and Windows Should Your Tent Have?
Camping is often a summer activity, maybe at times during spring or fall. Rarely do people want to camp out in the great outdoors in the winter with family. What this means is that you’ll want as much ventilation as you can get. A hot and muggy night isn’t going to make your family wish for another camping trip anytime soon. Also, a lack of windows won’t help you appreciate the beauty of nature all around you.
What about doors then? Aside from being another way to increase air circulation, doors allow you to get in and out of the tent. Now, it wouldn’t be so bad if there are only two of you in the tent. There’s no danger of stepping on toes when you want to go to the loo in the dark of night. However, we’re talking about family camping. It’s ideal if you have more than one door in the tent so that occupants can easily get out without disturbing anyone else. This is an added bonus if the tent comes with a divider (more on this later).
So, if your budget permits, always get a tent with at least 2 doors and a great number of windows like the Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent. Here’s another tip: make sure that each window and door has a cover or flap that will keep rain and cold air out when needed.
What’s a Divider?
Since these are camping tents for families, the assumption is that there will be a number of individuals sharing one large space. Of course, some people would prefer to have a bit of privacy even in such close quarters. The solution? Dividers.
Some tents such as the Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room feature dividers which are really like curtains that hang from the ceiling of your tent (or you attach it), enabling you to create rooms. This is ideal if you want your bed to be separate from the one where the kids will sleep. It’s also great if you want to create two separate spaces – one for sleeping and another one as a sort of living room. Some tents have more than one divider which means you can create three rooms instead of just two.
Now, some tents already come with separate rooms – no need to place a divider. For example, the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent features the main space where the bed and other gear can be stored. Then there’s the screen room where you can place chairs and/or a table for hanging out. You can also opt to use it as another room. These two rooms are separated by a permanent door in between.
Some tents like the Klondike only has one main door. You’ll have to pass through the screen room to get out or go into the main space. However, some tents like the Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room feature a screen room that is accessible from the main space and from outside but there’s also a side door that allows you to go directly out of the sleeping area.
How Familiar Are You With Setting Up a Tent?
I remember back in the day, setting up a tent meant spreading the entire tent on the ground, putting all the poles together, tunneling them inside the “loops” on the tent, then standing them up with the help of someone. After which, you hook the end of the pole into the corner hole in each tent and then stake it to the ground.
If this is the kind of camping you envision with your family, then you’re in luck since there are still plenty of those conventional tents around. However, some people do not have the patience or the skills to do this the traditional way. If you’re one of those, then you’ll be glad to know that there are instant tents – those with the poles already attached – which can be set up within a minute.
Let’s Talk Durability, Weather Resistance, and Weight
Build quality doesn’t necessarily rely on price, at least not all the time. But we must admit that if you plan on roughing it and want something that will withstand just about anything in the great outdoors, you’ll have to shell out a lot of dough. For example, the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-Person Tent is incredibly expensive but the material used and the durability of this tent more than makes up for its cost. If you don’t mind paying 3-4 times more than your average tent for something that’s going to take the abuse, then this should be your pick.
Now, a lot of the tents we recommend are within the $200 range but that doesn’t mean that they’re cheap or of poor quality. A lot of them will last for several years of camping though the trips may be just 1-2 per year. If you’re not that wild about camping or you aren’t the type to do this activity more than twice a year, if that, then you’ll do well with one of these.
IF you want something heavy duty, you might consider tarps. These will allow you to set up your tent as you want it, and can withsdtand those harsh weather conditions.
That’s a pretty important factor. We already mentioned how a hot and muggy night is bound to make everyone miserable. Well, getting soaked isn’t going to be a picnic either. If you plan on going on a camping trip, you best be prepared for the occasional downpour. What this means is that you need a tent that will keep you and your stuff dry while you wait out the bad weather. Also, even with the manufacturer’s guarantee (along with reviews from hundreds of people) that the tent doesn’t leak, it’s recommended that you always use a waterproofing spray on your tent before you take it with you on vacation. Not only will it help ensure that you stay dry, it will lengthen the lifespan of your tent.
Aside from getting wet, you’ll want a tent that doesn’t break with the occasional strong wind. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly stake out your tent as well as how to brace it against the wind.
Obviously, these tents are going to be a bit on the heavy side. Most, if not all, camping tents for families are designed for car camping where you don’t need to carry it far before setting it up. But if you do want to hike a bit with your gear, make sure that the tent is something that has been designed for backpacking.
Along with weight, we want to mention pack size. Most of these tents come with a bag which makes toting the tents around much easier. However, not all of them are easy to pack away as they are to set up so take that into account. And if you’re planning on using some ground cloth for under the tent, you need to make sure that you can also store it in the bag. Otherwise, that’s just another thing for you to lug around and possibly forget.
Let’s Talk Storage
Naturally, you want storage features inside your home away from home. While you’re not planning on putting away your clothes in a drawer or closet, you may want to keep some essentials within easy reach like your phone, keys, glasses, etc. Most tents feature this but others go an extra mile such as a pocket organizer. Others provide a vestibule or awning that allows you to store your muddy shoes or dirty gear so that your sleeping area remains clean and dry.
There’s really no way to be certain whether a tent is the perfect one for you or not until you get it out there. One thing that you can be sure of is that whatever camping tent you buy for your family, your trip is bound to be an adventure.