Looking for the best family tents? You’ve come to the right place. Some of our favourite childhood memories are from family camping trips. The excitement and adventure of sleeping under the stars with friends and family is not something you forget in a hurry.
But choosing the right tent can be a major factor in keeping those little ones happy. Small, stuffy and leak-prone sleeping quarters will be enough to ruin any vacation!
Choosing a perfect tent is not an easy task as there are many different products out there. To help you make an informed choice, we have reviewed some of the best options on the market.
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Here are some of the most important features you should look for when choosing the perfect tent for your family’s camping trip.
Putting up a tent can be daunting task for some, especially when it’s a new model and you’ve never done it before. Modern tents should be EASY to put up, take down and pack. So steer clear of anything that seems overly complicated – it might be a sign of worse design flaws to come.
Aluminum poles provide greater strength, and a tent with both inner and outer layers is usually your best option for a family tent. You also need to make sure that the mesh is tight and made of high quality materials to help keep annoying bugs and mosquitoes outside.
Your main consideration is the number of people that are going with you. Your kids may be small, but they need a lot of space! And you want a tent that will last for years and is able to keep up with the kids growing up, too.
Also think about how much gear you are going to bring with you. We find that it’s always a smart idea to go with a slightly bigger tent than you initially thought you needed.
The zipper is an integral part of any tent design. It is probably the one part of the tent that you will be using the most during your trip. Make sure that your tent has a heavy-duty zipper, anything light and flimsy is not going to go the distance. Here’s another tip that might come in handy: if a zipper gets stuck, light a candle and spread some wax along the zip line to fix it.
One more thing to consider is the packed tent weight. If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking to your camping grounds then it’s better to get a lighter single-wall model.
An ideal buy would be a tent with two or more rooms, or at least a divider that will give you some privacy at night. If you’re bringing airbeds for added comfort, check the height of the tent when propped up. But if you’re roughing it in sleeping bags, the height should not be an issue.
A vestibule is always an excellent feature. Kids get dirty and carry that dirt with them. You want a space in the tent where they can take their shoes and jackets off before they enter the sleeping area, and store any toys which aren’t allowed in the tent! Dog owner? Vestibules are a god-send for keeping doggie gear in, too.
Ventilation is important to stop any condensation that can run down the walls at night. A roof vent will also give you a great view of the night sky and the stars, which might be something you don’t get to see that often if you’re a city dweller.
Think about the floor as well. A “bathtub” floor is a smart choice, because it wraps up along the sides and eliminates any issues with the seams. The floor needs to be extra coated with materials like urethane to be 100% waterproof.
We know first-hand that even the best-laid plans can often go wrong. While planning is key, especially when it comes to family trips, long-term weather forecasts are usually not very reliable.
Therefore, you should consider a three-season or a four-season tent that’s made to withstand most weather conditions. However, if your plans are to take the family camping only during the warmer months, then you won’t need to pay so much to get an all-weather tent. It’s important to note that tent walls are usually water-repellant, but not 100% waterproof. This is why most tents come with a rain fly.
A rain fly is a separate part of the tent that you put over the top of the tent, as well as over the doors and windows, to stop the rain from coming in. The further the rain fly spreads over the tent, the better. In fact, we would recommend you cover the whole tent, so you can have more air. But if you’re certain the weather conditions won’t be favorable, stick to the “normal” amount of ventilation.
An experienced camper knows how important it is to secure the tent completely. That means using every loop and ever guy line to make sure that, once erect, your tent stays taut and doesn’t move anywhere. If there are trees around, use them for extra safety, too.
Check out the stitching of the tent. If you can see through it, it’s not good. Feel free to pull it to test the stitching. You don’t want the water coming anywhere near your inner tent, especially not inside of it. Experts often recommend buying a seam sealer for added protection.
The Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Screened Tent sleeps six people in two rooms. The floor dimensions are 17x9 feet, and the center height is 6 feet and 10 inches. This makes it very comfortable inside, and great for parents who want a separate room the kids. The vestibule in the front provides extra ventilation and storage space.
The tent comes with Coleman’s own Comfort System, which controls how the air flows through the tent. It has a ventilation port at the tip of the tent and a vent window on the side. It also has a special port for electrical access.
This tent is made from high denier polyester materials. The inside stays dry even in heavy rain due to the excellent waterproofing. The mesh is fine enough to repel insects and flies.
We found the setup to be quick and easy. The poles are 19mm and made of steel. It goes up very quickly once you get used to the system. After a couple of practices, you’ll be able to set it up on your own in 10 minutes, no problem. Once erected, the frame is very sturdy and apparently strong enough to withstand winds of up to 35mph.
The Wenzel Eight Person Klondike Tent sleeps eight people over a 16 ft. by 11 ft. area. There’s also plenty of headroom with a 6.5-foot center point. The interior room sleeps five, while the screen room sleeps three more people.
The frame consists of fiberglass poles, and the power corners ensure the stability of the tent in high winds.
The screen area acts as a large porch during the day and is fully protected at night. This is great feature as the porch is awesome for hanging out and taking shelter if it’s too hot or raining.
The tent has one entrance and two windows. An additional rear mesh provides extra ground ventilation. Plus, it’s completely weather tight with double stitching and polyester water-resistant materials. The seams work well, and the floor material goes up the wall enough to stop any rainwater from coming in.
Total weight is around 27 pounds, which is OK for an adult to carry a short distance to the campsite, but not ideal for hiking.
The massive CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent takes just two-minutes to setup, which is a great start. It measures 18 ft. by 10 ft. with a center point height of just over 6.6 feet. Believe it or not, this tent can hold up to 12 people. While it’s maybe too much for a family of four, it will provide large families or groups a bit of extra space and added luxury.
It can be easily separated into three rooms using dividers. We found the wall storage pockets and the gear loft a welcome addition. It’s great not to have all the stuff on the floor and stumbling over them. What’s more, you can easily fit three queen air mattresses inside.
On each side of the tent there is a huge door, so you can get in and out with ease. The special adjustable air intake vents on each side help with ventilation and air flow inside the tent.
Being so large, it’s definitely on the heavy side, weighing a total of 53 pounds. Make sure you bring along someone who can carry it with you if you can’t park alongside your pitch.
CORE uses something called H2O Block technology to waterproof their tents. Walls are made from repellent fabrics, while the rain fly is completely taped and sealed. The door and windows seals are all water resistant, too.
At 15 ft. by 10 ft., with the highest point at over seven feet, the Browning Camping Big Horn Family/Hunting Tent comfortably sleeps eight people. The hub design makes it easy to set up. Once you unpack it and fold it out, extend the poles until they snap into place. The entire process takes less than ten minutes.
It’s definitely built to withstand harsh weather, and the manufacturer even offers a lifetime warranty on its long-term survival. The construction is made from steel uprights and fiberglass poles for added strength.
Inside, it’s extremely spacious and comfortable, and the walls are almost straight, creating a very homely setup. This is a two-room tent, which is great for a little added privacy. There are storage pockets all over the tent, so there’s no need to keep things on the floor. The tent also has two large doors, one for each room, as well as six windows.
The whole tent weighs about 35 pounds. It’s not the heaviest, but it’s not exactly lightweight, either.
The EUREKA! Copper Canyon 4 Person Tent measures a solid 8 ft. by 8 ft. floor space. A high seven-foot center point provides plenty of headroom, making it feel particularly roomy and comfortable for taller folks.
The tent features a full mesh roof to help with air flow and condensation. There is one door and four windows in total. Inside, there’s two gear pockets for storage, as well as loops to hang torches or other bits-and-bobs.
Steel and fiberglass comprise a freestanding and sturdy frame which is easy to set up. At 18 pounds, it’s also very light if you want to carry it to a pitch not reachable by car.
The Copper Canyon also provides great protection during rainstorms, while the coated polyester fabric ensures durability.
All five of these tents have something that separates them from the others.
However, our clear favorite is the Wenzel Eight Person Klondike Tent. Not only does this tent cover all the bases we discussed in the buying guide, but it also comes at a very good price. It’s well built and can hold up in both wind and rain. It has superior quality mesh to protect against insects and flies. The vestibule has a floor you can use as an extra sleeping space, which can also double-up as an excellent sleeping place for pets. Which one is your favourite? =ZIP=