Camping is a great opportunity for spending quality family time while teaching children from a young age to respect the great outdoors. However, choosing a tent can be challenging when trying to accommodate numerous people. In recent years, the number of family-style tents on the market has risen considerably, introducing new designs and features.
In this guide, we will look at the best family camping tents currently on the market. In addition to sharing our top 5 choices, we will also discuss the different features to consider when shopping for the perfect tent for you and your family. Let’s get started!
The Backyard Boss Top Family Camping Tents for 2021
|Core 11 Person Family Cabin Tent with Screen Room||Check The Price!|
|Coleman Dark Room Skydome Tent||Check The Price!|
|Coleman WeatherMaster||Check The Price!|
|Core 12 Person Intant Cabin Tent||Check The Price!|
|Ozark 10-Person 2 Room Cabin Tent||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
Having been born into an outdoor-loving family, I started camping as a mere baby and have never missed a year. It includes camping as a child with the family, later with friends in my teens, and now with my husband and our pets. These varying experiences mean that I have had the chance to experiment with many different tents and structures, learning firsthand which options I prefer and which fell short of my expectations. When camping with my husband and our pets, we use a larger family-style tent to accommodate all of us, and many accessories to increase our camping experience.
In addition to my personal experiences, I have turned to my network of camping and outdoor travel lovers, including many campers that enjoy taking their family out on their vacations. I also consulted the reviews and opinions of others who have purchased products we considered, looking at how each tent performed in practical use. The result? A guide that will help you make a knowledgeable choice when shopping for your next family camping tent.
Best Family Tent with a Screen Room
Why We Like It: This large family-sized tent not only offers plenty of room to accommodate everyone comfortably, but it also includes a covered screen room off the front for additional protection from bugs and the elements.
The tent is rated 11-person, comfortably fitting up to 3 queen-sized air mattresses or a combination of queen-sized and single mattresses depending on your family’s needs. It includes a center peak height of 7 ft 2 in, which allows campers to stand and move around the tent easily. While the room is spacious, there are no dividers available within the tent to section it off for privacy. However, the attached front screened areas can be for gear storage, lounge space, or even additional sleeping quarters as needed.
All CORE-brand tents include the company’s H2O Block Technology, which combines water-resistant fabrics with thermally heat-sealed seams to protect you and your belongings from rain and moisture. Meanwhile, the adjustable vents along the bottom of the tent work to improve ventilation inside the tent to keep it cool during the warmer summer months. The provided 210D polyester carry bag makes it easy to transport your tent as needed.
Who Should Buy It: If you are searching for a roomy, all-in-one tenting solution for the whole family, the Core 11 Person Family Cabin Tent with Screen Room is a great option.
Best Family Tent for Small Families
Why We Like It: While many people associate family tents with large, cabin-style tenting, the Coleman Dark Room Skydome Tent maximizes space with its take on the traditional dome tent.
By maintaining near-vertical walls further up the sides, it provides campers with 20% more headroom, making it easier to stand or move around. It also includes a wider door to move gear in and out of the tent easier during set-up and tear down. Coleman’s WeatherTec system uses a tub-like floor, welded corners, and inverted seams to prevent rain and moisture from entering the tent, keeping you and your family dry regardless of the weather.
Dark Room Technology blocks 90% of sunlight, reducing heat within the tent and allowing you to comfortably sleep past sunrise. It is a great addition for children that still need to take a daytime nap. Quick pitch technology allows campers to set the tent up in under 5 minutes by including pre-attached poles, while the convenient carry bag makes it easy to travel with your tent from location to location. It is available in 4-, 6-, and 8-person options, with the 8-person accommodating two queen-sized beds.
Who Should Buy It: This tent is a great choice for smaller families or couples searching for a comfortable and roomy tent without requiring the large footprint of most family-style tents.
Best Family Tent for Large Families
Why We Like It: The second Coleman tent to make our list, this Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person can comfortably fit up to 3 queen-sized air beds.
A patented hinged door allows for easy entry for campers of all ages, while the built-in divider wall lets you create more privacy when camping in large groups. The cabin-like design is spacious, while its re-engineered poles are designed to stand up to strong winds and bad weather. On each end of the tent, angled windows can remain open on rainy days, allowing for improved airflow and ventilation regardless of the weather. Meanwhile, the tent itself is kept dry by incorporating the company’s unique WeatherTec Technology.
While this tent does take longer to set up than some of the other options on the list, it can be set up by two people in approximately 20 minutes. The long and narrow design of the tent allows it to accommodate a larger number of people while still maximizing the space on your favorite campsite for dining, campfires, and other activities outside of the sleeping area. The 6 ft 7 in the center height of the tent makes it easy to stand up or move around inside comfortably.
Who Should Buy It: Larger families searching for a tent that provides enough sleeping space for everyone without taking up too much room on the campsite should consider the Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person tent.
Best Family Tent with Multiple Rooms
Why We Like It: The Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent offers an impressive level of privacy for larger families through its unique multi-room design.
The 10 by 18 ft tent includes two separate entryways for easy access to any room, a T-shaped door on the front, and a D-shaped door on the rear. Inside, two optional divider walls can be attached to separate the room into three rooms or secured open to create one large living space. This versatility makes it a great option for growing families, as parents can monitor young children with the tent opened fully or provide older children and teens with their own private space.
The company’s H2O Block Technology and the water repellent rainfly will keep your family and all your gear dry, or it can be removed to expose a full mesh ceiling for stargazing on clear nights. Despite its cabin-like appearance, this tent is equipped with pre-attached poles for easy setup, allowing you to unpack and set up the tent in under 2 minutes. Large and roomy, this tent is rated for 12 people and can comfortably fit 3 queen-sized air beds along with all your gear.
Who Should Buy It: With the option for 3 separate rooms, the Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is a great choice for families that want to camp together while still enjoying some privacy from one another.
Best Budget Family Tent
Why We Like It: This standard cabin-style tent offers plenty of floor space for the family, rated for 10 people.
The near-vertical walls mean that you have ample headroom for standing up and moving around the inside of the tent with ease. A removable divider can easily be set up inside the tent to create two separate rooms for improved privacy. Plus, windows ensure proper ventilation for all campers regardless of whether the divider is up or not.
While the tent does come with a 6 in tub floor to prevent leaks from pooling water, many users report that the tent leaks when first purchased. This can be remedied by purchasing a waterproof product and using it before you head out for your first camping trip. It also includes a gear loft and electrical cord access, making it a great option for a wide variety of different camping situations and styles. A convenient carry bag makes it easy to transport your tent wherever your outdoor adventures may take you and the family. Additionally, the surprisingly low price point makes this an accessible option for all families.
Who Should Buy It: The Ozark 10-Person 2 Room Cabin Tent is a roomy and reliable family-style tent for those that are working with a tighter budget.
Important Considerations When Shopping for A Family Camping Tent
While there are many important factors to consider when selecting a tent, regardless of the type of tent you are purchasing, the search for a family camping tent offers a few extra challenges. Finding the perfect balance of safety and security for your family while also offering some privacy and independence for older children can be difficult. To help you get started, we will look at some important specs and features and how they may impact your buying decision.
The first point to consider, and arguably one of the most important when tent shopping, is the number of people the tent will need to accommodate. It will allow you to narrow your list considerably with 6-person tents and 8-person tents suited to smaller families, and 10-person tents or larger offering additional room. However, you don’t want to stop at just the number of people camping.
Consider the number of adults versus teens versus young children and how that could impact what you are looking for in terms of the optimal camping experience. Parents with young children often want an open tent style to keep an eye on their children, while younger children find comfort in seeing their parents close by. However, teens and older children may be looking for some additional privacy. It is where the room dividers work well.
Your budget doesn’t need to be the be-all and end-all when selecting a tent. However, we all know that raising children can be expensive! If you are working on a limited budget, there are some great options available. You may need to seriously consider the different features you are looking for, prioritizing the ‘must-have’ features versus those that would be nice but aren’t necessary. By sacrificing a few factors, you can cut back on the price and comfortably stick to your budget.
Don’t forget, cheap tents and budget tents aren’t always of poor quality. At the same time, expensive tents aren’t always better. It’s all about finding the best tent for you and your family!
When you start planning your next family camping trip, don’t forget to check out the common weather considerations in your area. It means not just looking at the forecast for your trip but also the weather patterns from year to year.
Are you planning on camping in an area that is known for experiencing strong wind gusts? If so, you want to choose a tent designed to stand up to windy conditions. Tents that stand up well in heavy winds often feature more aerodynamic designs, like a dome tent with a rounded shape. On the other hand, most cabin-style tents aren’t capable of handling wind gusts as high due to their pole structure. Look at the tent poles themselves and how durable they are, based on the materials they are constructed from.
Rain is another important consideration. If you know that you will be camping in an area that often gets heavy rain, then pay careful attention to the waterproofing features that each tent includes. Keep in mind that there are steps that you can take to improve the water resistance of your tent. By sealing the seams on your tent or spraying it down with a waterproofing spray, you can keep your family and all your gear safe and dry in even the biggest downpours. Additionally, I am a big fan of always hanging a tarp over your tent for additional protection.
For more information about how to waterproof your tent, check out this video from REI:
The space available for gear storage is crucial for any camper, but it’s particularly important for those camping with a large family. Why? More people camping means lots of gear, and you have to find a place to store all of your equipment. There are different gear storage options to consider when shopping for a tent, including extra space on the tent floor, mesh pockets around the interior walls, or a spacious vestibule to store gear just outside the door.
Personally, with 3 dogs joining us on every trip, my husband and I prefer a tent with lots of pockets and storage opportunities for all the little tent accessories and puppy items that we bring along. Small items like puppy poop bags, vehicle keys, flashlights, and cellphones may not seem like a lot on their own, but they add up. You will never be disappointed with more storage space when given the option.
Ease of Set-up
When you first arrive at camp, the process of setting up can be tedious and exhausting. This is only multiplied when there are also children running around ‘helping’ with the process. By choosing a tent that is equipped with an easy set-up or instant set-up design, you will be able to knock out that first step quickly and easily with little stress, freeing yourself to worry about everything else that comes up (like which kid gets to sleep furthest from their parents and whether you’re going to close off the room divider for the first time after all the begging and bargaining.
How We Picked
To choose the best family camping tents, we had to take into consideration that the term ‘family’ includes a full spectrum of group sizes ranging from the couple heading out camping with their first child up to the large family with multiple children of different ages. That’s why we have included a selection of tents suited for different family sizes, camping styles, and preferences.
We carefully assessed the many different family-style tents on the market, looking at size, ease of setup, durability, portability, price point, and the features that they have to offer. It helped us to narrow down our list considerably. From there, we looked at the reviews on each product, learning from the opinions and experiences of other campers that have purchased and used each tent with their own families. With all of this combined, we found the 5 best tents that stood out above the rest.
Our Pick for the Best Family Camping Tent Is…
If you are currently shopping for a new tent for your family, you need to start with a realistic idea of how much space you require to accommodate everyone. From here, consider the style of camping that you and your family prefer and what features would provide this. For example, if you prefer camping with an electrical hookup, choose a tent with an electrical access point.
We firmly believe that all 5 of the tents included on this list are a great investment for families across the country. However, there is one tent that stood out to our team. The Core 11 Person Family Cabin Tent with Screen Room not only provides plenty of sleeping room for your whole family, but it also features the screen room on the front. It creates a safe and protected space to relax and enjoy the great outdoors regardless of the weather conditions. It’s an all-in-one solution, making family camping even easier to pack and prepare.