What is the Best Family Tent for Camping? My 5 Reviews for 2016
5 Great Camping Tents for Families: A Few Reviews
There's nothing quite like getting out into the great outdoors with the family! I have fond memories of fishing, hiking and roasting marshmallows by the fire. Many people prefer an RV, but personally I love camping in a tent.
If you have a family, you have two options. You can get a bunch of little tents and set them all up, or you can get a family sized camping tent that sleeps 5 or 6 people in comfort.
Family camping tents are the best option if you're concerned with safety and security, since you aren't separated. They're a great option for a family with small children, so you can attend to them more easily if they're spooked or restless. Personally, I find them preferable for another reason: with only one tent to put up and break down, your campground setup time is reduced.
There are a lot of great looking family sized tents for camping out there, but they're not all ideal. It's hard to tell how great a shelter will be simply by looking at the box. This article will be outlining a couple of the best family tents, offering some reviews and suggestions to ensure you make a wise investment. Little things can make a big difference, especially out in the woods!
Let's get started.
Choosing the Right Tent for Large Families
Before we get into the family tent reviews proper, I wanted to touch on a few things you might want to ponder before diving in.
Tent Sizing and Sleeping Area:
It's not always the case, but generally speaking, tent manufacturers are quite 'generous' in their sleep estimates. When they say that a tent sleeps four, that typically means that you can feasibly fit four people of average size, with almost no room to spare.
It's true! That's why I recommend that you buy a tent that's a 'person or two' bigger than your needs. A 6-person tent is a great size for a family of 4, for example. That also lets you spread out your bags and stuff a bit more.
With small children, obviously, you won't need quite as much space. So just use your best judgement!
I'd say that one of my chief requirements for any tent for family camping would be breathability. That means you'll get good airflow throughout the night.
Nothing is worse than waking up to that stuffy feeling! It seems strange that a fabric tent wouldn't breathe well, but many are notoriously bad when it comes to airflow. The best family tents, even large ones, feature built-in airflow features, so you don't have to leave the flap open.
Wenzel Klondike: One of the Best Tents for a Family of 5+
If space is really the name of the game for you, you have to check out the Klondike by Wenzel. It's a large, spacious tent that can be used in a bunch of clever ways.
The first thing you'll probably notice about this tent is the fact that it has a large, square section at the front. This 'screen room' is a very useful addition to your camping experience. Why? Because it has many functions!
With the sides zipped down, the screen room becomes a wonderful sun shade area for hot days. Zip up the mesh, and you'll have respite from mosquitoes and other pests. Zip up the waterproof sides, and you have an extra sleeping space, or a place to stash extra gear.
The main dome itself is very tall and spacious. With 6'5 clearance at the highest point, it's a good one for tall guys like myself. Two huge screen windows allow for excellent air movement during the night. You can zip them closed during wet weather or wind.
This is a large tent! You'll probably need two people to set it up, especially when it comes to attaching the fly. In total, you'll have almost 160 square feet of sleeping area! It's one of the best tents for families of 5 and up, because you'll have plenty of elbow room.
Setup takes about 20 minutes (classic pole construction, and I'd make sure to secure the corners well, since there is so much surface area for wind to push on. It fits into an included duffel, and the whole tent has a 10 year warranty against defect.
The Klondike reviews as one of the top large family tents on the market today.
Ozark Trail: A Spacious 'Cabin Frame' Family Camp Tent
I love this tent! Made by Ozark Trail, it is the perfect camping solution for anyone who suffers from 'tent claustrophobia'. It is spacious, airy, and features a wonderfully high ceiling.
The first thing you're likely to notice about the Prescott is the unique floor plan and roof shape. It has an external frame, and it's shaped much like an A-frame cabin
The unique shape gives it an almost house-like feel when inside. There are even separate rooms inside. It is bright and the ceiling is about 7 feet high.
Floorspace wise, it has about 168 square feet of room. That's enough for 3 queen-sized air mattresses to fit inside!
Some nice features: It has a divider built into the centre of the room. That means you can easily separate the two sides and give some privacy for changing and sleeping.
Another nice feature are the little cutout windows. This allows you to have a little fresh air flowing through without cracking the door flap. There's also a special flap for running a power cord inside.
The mesh windows are huge, and provide excellent ventilation and breeze. If the weather is clear, I highly recommend leaving the mesh roof open to the stars, it's great.
The rain fly fits over the external frame for good protection during wet weather. Setup is a two-person job, but not terribly time consuming once you have it figured out (Pro tip: erect the centre first!). This tent is quite heavy, so not the best choice for backpackers!
With a unique shape and airy comfort, the Ozark Trail is a family sized tent for camping in style!
Big Horn: A 'Multi Room' Family Camping Tent
One big problem with camping as a family? Lack of separation! Kids are great, but parents need a break, and a visual barrier is a good way to get some peace.
This family sized tent for camping, by Browning, solves the problem of the 'shared space', by having erectable fabric walls that can be put up to create separate rooms inside.
This is a great solution for male - female separation, or for parent - children to give each other some space. It's also good for storing luggage and bags to keep them out of your hair. Each room even has its own door, so you can keep each side separate.
Another nice feature of the Big Horn is the double strength and thickness floor. Damp ground won't be an issue here, and it is very durable. Ventilation is great as well, with 6 windows in total; excellent for cross ventilation.
The tent is very tall, and an adult has room to stand at the highest point in the dome. When it is fully assembled, there is 150 square feet of space inside, which makes this tent great for a family of 6 or more.
Despite the large size, setup isn't too onerous. It features three poles, and can be erected in about 15 minutes. Again, you should have two people, because attaching the fly is a bit tricky on your own.
It has great reviews, and I'd call it one of the better large family camping tents to hit the market in a while. It is very well thought out!
Grand Pass: A Huge Tent for Large Family Trips
One of the best large family tents for camping? The Grand Pass by Mountain Trails! It's absolutely huge, and while I think their claim of sleeping 10 is probably off, 7 or 8 isn't unreasonable at all.
The style is a classic dome with two extra arches on either side to give it a sort of 'oblong igloo' appearance. The amount of floor space created by this configuration is amazing, and you've got at least 170 square feet to work with.
That's more than enough space for a medium to large family, and you'll probably have spots for your gear to boot!
There are two doors located at the front of the tent, and they're set up back to back. They've done this so you can divide the tent space into two 'rooms', with a door giving access to each side. It's a clever way to give some privacy and versatility to your sleeping setup.
There is a lot of mesh in this design, so it's a perfect choice for hot weather camping trips. The many windows provide a good amount of cross breeze. Another nice feature is the shape. The aerodynamic igloo profile means it is resistant to strong winds.
There is an included cable-guided fly which covers a good portion of the tent, but not the outer wings, which could be an issue in a downpour.
On the whole, this is a smart and inexpensive family camping tent with fantastic customer reviews.
Coleman Instant Tent: A Family Tent with Rapid Setup
I always find tent setup a bit confounding. If you're like me and you'd prefer a simpler option, you're in luck! Instant tents are less common as they get bigger in size, but Coleman has built a very decent option with a reasonable price tag!
First off, I should mention that this tent isn't quite as big as the others listed in this article. It is a 6-person tent, which I would say means it can sleep 5 max, comfortably.
The instant tent is exactly what you think. With an integrated design, this shelter erects in just a minute, because everything is preassembled. It breaks down and sets up by folding up. Because the poles are attached to the fabric, there's less chance of you losing parts. It's a great tent for a family with small children, because you can get it ready so quickly.
You can actually assemble it quite easily with just one person. You just spread out the tent material, pull the poles out and click and lock them together.
It's quite spacious. With 90 square feet when assembled, you can really spread out. The centre height is about 6 feet in height.
Just because it's preassembled doesn't mean the shelter is featureless. Each side has a huge mesh window, including the door. That means loads of light comes shining through during a nice day. If you're overwhelmed by the heat, it's a lovely spot to hole up and enjoy a good book.
Simple, affordable, easy to assemble and airy, this is one of the top family tents I've come across.
Worth Noting: With all its convenience, this tent lacks one big thing: a rain fly. Be sure to pick one up (or a tarp) to go with it. It is not completely waterproof without one, despite their claims.
Got time for a poll? It helps me fine tune my articles!
What's most valuable to you in a tent?
Some Other Ways to Prepare:
I've written a few articles on camping. If you'll be spending a few days out in the woods, be sure to check out my article detailing a camping check list. It has some good ideas for gear to pack, as well as a checklist of things to bring, so you'll be sure you're prepared.
If you're curious about camping conditions in a particular location at a certain time of year, make use of your local park rangers! That's their job, and they're a very valuable resource. Give them a call and ask about what to expect.
Hopefully you and your family will have a trip to remember! Thanks for reading.