|Best family tent overall||Core 11 Person Family Cabin Tent||
Fit the whole family (and more) is this spacious 11-person tent.
|Best family tent for packing light||MSR Habitude 6-Person Tent||
With durable materials and lightweight design, you can carry this pick far on any adventure.
|Best all-weather family tent||Teton Sports Mesa Canvas Tent||
No need to limit your camping trips to the warmer months—this pick will protect you from outdoor conditions year-round.
Few things offer a much-needed change of scenery like hitting the great outdoors and sharing the experience with your loved ones can make it even more special. Every successful camping trip requires adequate preparation to ensure it goes down smoothly, and traveling with a larger group comes with additional unique challenges. Finding the best places to go camping is just the start. Among the most critical considerations for a family camping trip is selecting a proper shelter for your group’s size and camping environment. It’s important for the entire group dynamic that each of your loved ones stays cozy and comfortable without getting cramped or being left out in the elements. Whether you’re going away for a casual weekend, packing light for a strenuous hike, or hunkering down in the rain and snow, here are a few of the best family tents to accommodate the whole gang no matter where your next camping adventure takes you.
Every family has different needs, and not all camping trips are alike. There are some obvious things to keep in mind—for example, you’ll need a different camping tent for six people than you will for twelve—but there are also more subtle factors, too. Some of the best camping tents that are geared towards long-distance hiking, while others are best suited for below-freezing conditions. From materials and size to weight and cost, here are a few things to keep in mind when whittling down your selection.
Do you prefer a quick setup?
Setting up a tent can be one of the most time-consuming and physically demanding parts of settling into a campsite. If you’re running behind schedule, racing against inclement weather, or just want to get set up fast e, having a quick-setup tent makes the process easier. Unlike other family tents, which typically require a decent amount of assembly, quick-setup tents include pre-attached poles for speedy assembly and fold up quickly for easy storage. One important thing to keep in mind is that there’s no separation of tent parts when storing a quick-setup tent, so your family tent’s longevity and durability may take an early hit if you use it often.
Are you traveling with more than 10 people?
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of tent space you’ll need when traveling in a group, and it doesn’t make it any easier that manufacturers tend to label their tents with the absolute maximum possible number of occupants. No matter the size of your party, a crowded tent is never comfortable, and the last thing you want to do is skimp on space with the family. For larger groups, consider upgrading to a family tent that’s rated at an occupancy higher than needed. You’ll enjoy just enough extra space for everyone to stretch out, and may l even have room to set up extra camping furniture like cots, lanterns, and heaters if desired.
Do you want to pack light?
In the event that you’ll be walking or hiking to your campsite, it’s important to minimize the weight of what you’re carrying to avoid overexerting yourself. While higher capacity family tents aren’t exactly known for their portability, there are still a handful of good options on the market if you’re aiming to travel light and provide shelter to a group. When shopping for a lightweight family tent, a model that uses aluminum and polyester will get the best results, but keep in mind these lightweight materials may not perform well in more demanding conditions like wind or extreme cold. Also, lighter tents tend to be on the smaller side.
Do you need all-weather protection?
If you want a tent that you can use in every season and weather, it’s hard to beat a canvas family tent. Especially when treated with a waterproof coating, canvas is an incredibly breathable and durable material that can last a lifetime if cared for properly. Thanks to its extra thickness, canvas is great for insulation and a good option for keeping out strong wind gusts as well. The only downside to canvas tents is that they’re incredibly heavy when compared to traditional polyester tents, so they’re not the best choice if you intend to hike to your campsite.
Do you prefer lots of amenities?
If you’re interested in giving your group the most comfortable and versatile camping experience possible, choosing a canvas tent with lots of extra features is the way to go. From zip-up windows and storage pouches to heavy-duty metal frames and wood stove compatibility, the best family tents for flexibility and staying power provide a nice home-away-from-home feel. These full-featured tents may not exactly be the cheapest or most portable choices, but they’ll definitely keep everyone happy once they’re set up.
The best family tent
Now that you know some of the things to keep in mind when shopping for the best family tent for your next camping trip, it’s time to roll out our list of top contenders. Remember to be specific about your choice of material for the climate as well as the type of campsite, and consider sizing up if you want to ensure that everyone has enough space.
The best family tent overall: Core 11 Person Family Cabin Tent
A spacious and well-ventilated option with a separate entryway.
This cabin tent from Core is one of the best family tents for the money, boasting a center height of 86 inches and enough floor space to fit three queen mattresses. It’s built from water-resistant 68D polyester and consists of the main chamber connected to a screened-off entry room that can be used as sleeping quarters or a staging and storage area for bags and shoes. Gear storage pockets line the interior, which is outfitted with an adjustable ventilation system, an extension cord access port, and a lantern hook.
The best family tent for large groups: Tahoe Gear Ozark 3-Season Tent
Sleeps Up to 16
Built from water-resistant 1200-millimeter polyester.
If you’re looking to accommodate upwards of a dozen people, there are few better options than this three-season tent from Tahoe Gear. The interior boasts a height clearance of seven feet, consists of two separate rooms divided by a zip-up door, and features mesh ventilation for comfort on warm nights. Assembly is accomplished with an industry-standard pin-and-ring system and shock-corded poles, and the included fly canopy extends beyond the doorway to keep the rain out of the screens.
The best family tent for packing light: MSR Habitude 6-Person Tent
Comes with an integrated porch light for better visibility at night.
The Habitude from MSR is one of the best family tents for packing light, weighing just over 13 pounds and packing down to an incredibly small 23 x 10 x 10 inches. Once assembled, the interior space features vertical walls and a height of six feet for ease of movement, and the included water-resistant rainfly drapes down into a zip-up vestibule that’s perfect for storing bags and shoes. Despite its unassuming weight, this lightweight family tent includes durable aluminum poles, stakes, guylines, and storage bags all in an easy-to-maneuver package.
The best family tent for a quick setup: Coleman Cabin Tent
Features sunlight-blocking technology to reduce heat buildup.
Traveling with family often means juggling a lot of responsibilities, and this easy-to-assemble cabin tent from Coleman can offload some of the efforts. It features pre-assembled poles and an integrated rainfly, so the setup is as simple as unpacking, flexing the poles, and staking the tent into the ground. This family-friendly tent features welded seams and thick 150D polyester fabric to keep out water, and the interior is outfitted with storage pockets and enough space for two queen-size mattresses.
The best all-weather family tent: Teton Sports Mesa Canvas Tent
Two Oversized Doors
A breathable, durable option that will protect your family from the elements all year round.
The Mesa canvas tent from Teton Sports is a thoughtfully designed and flexible option that’s built to last. Constructed from treated waterproof canvas for enduring protection in all weather conditions, the tent features high ceilings, mesh ventilation screens, two extension cord ports, and six storage organizers for convenience and comfort. Assembly is relatively quick and easy thanks to a simple top-bar design and the included carbon steel stakes. For both sunny and rainy conditions, a large roll-up awning keeps occupants safe and comfortable, and the tent’s two large doors make loading in and out a snap.
The best price-is-no-object family tent: Whiteduck Alpha Canvas Wall Tent
Home Away from Home
This family tent sports an eight-inch sod cloth along the bottom seam for a watertight seal.
If you’re traveling with family or a large group that wants the absolute most out of a camping experience, this canvas tent from Whiteduck will deliver in spades. It boasts a generous 320 square feet of floor space and features creature comforts like adjustable three-layer windows, mesh ventilation, and a stove jack for keeping warm in the winter. Wind and wet weather don’t stand a chance against it, either, thanks to a buckle fastening system on the doors and its sturdy aluminum frame. While this is certainly not a lightweight or portable tent by any means, its high-quality construction and durability make it a great investment if you plan on family camping for years to come.
Q: Are expensive tents worth it?
Since durability and longevity go hand-in-hand with price in the camping gear category, it’s generally better to spend more on a family tent if you can. Designs made from canvas tend to be suitable for camping in every season and are incredibly durable, which can save you money in the long run.
Q: What is the best tent for a family of 4?
Many of the camping tents on our list come in smaller sizes, so if you’re scaling down, you might try the four-person varieties of the MSR Habitude or the Coleman Cabin Tent. Bear in mind that tents are usually labeled by their absolute maximum occupancy, so unless you’re going for a minimalist camping style, sizing up to a “six-person” tent can provide a much more comfortable experience for everyone.
Q: Which company makes the best tents?
Finding the best family tent depends on your specific needs and situation. For longevity and all-season protection, Teton Sports manufactures a great line of tough and versatile canvas tents. Backpackers and families camping at walk-up sites will probably prefer a lightweight tent-like those from MSR.
Final thoughts on shopping for the best camping tents for families
If you’ve got a big family camping trip on the calendar, finding the right tent to accommodate everyone is one of the most important first steps to take. Keep in mind that sizing up can ensure that everyone sleeps comfortably and has room to move around, and quick-setup tents can save lots of time and effort if you have a lot on your plate. Material-wise, canvas is an ideal material for long-term and year-round use, but its weight and bulk make it prohibitive for walk-up camping. With just a little bit of time and research, it’s easy to pick the best family tent that matches the size of your group, the climate of the campsite, and the nature of your activities.