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The Best Tent For Camping With Kids

Updated on August 23, 2017

Guide To The Best Tent For Families

When you're outdoors camping with your family you want to know that your tent is the best for camping with kids, yet you're looking for value. Here's a review based on my own experiences and research over the years.

My family and I have spent so much time camping outdoors that we've bought, borrowed or used a lot of different types of tents, different sizes, and of course different brands. We have numerous tents that we own for different types of trips, from backpacking to car camping. The fact that you are here means that you are trying to find out which tents will suit your needs and your budget, and give you peace of mind when you're out in the woods or camping on the beach.

In the end you'll need to settle on what things are important to you in a tent design or features, and then look for the best value in that range. Below you will find a discussion and review of family tents for camping with children, and I hope that I'm able to offer some good advice and tips that will help you. Above all else, have fun with your family and enjoy the outdoors!

This Is The Best Tent For Camping With Children - A Tent I Own, Use and Love!

The Coleman Red Canyon is a really huge tent at 17 by 10 feet. Rated as an 8 person tent, the modified dome design is really camper friendly and allows you to stand up inside and move around. As you can see from the intro photo at the top of this lens, I also own and use this tent. In the photo we had the tent set up outside of Buena Vista Colorado at Cottonwood Lake. You'll see that we pitched it really close to the fire pit but there was a fire ban in place due to the wildfires so we couldn't use the pit anyway, and we were only there at night to sleep so it didn't matter; on that trip we took long, all day hikes of various trails and peaks. But I bring the issue up to draw your attention to how large the tent is in relation to the tent site.

I'll get to the specifications in a bit, but I want to touch on why I think that this is the best all around (3 season) tent for a family with kids. If you've ever camped with kids then you know that they are active and are constantly moving about, and need room to play and stretch out. We had a queen sized air mattress and a twin in this, and felt like we had oodles and oodles of room left over. Having that much room is really a necessity for times when it's raining outside and you're forced to spend a lot of time inside. It allows you to change clothes with relative ease, never hitting your head on the ceiling or the walls.

The fly is designed well and drapes over the tent (fastening with clips to the poles very quickly) and protects the interior completely from rain, yet allows perfect ventilation to prevent condensation inside. One thing I look for on a tent, no matter the size, is that it has a fly which provides adequate coverage (drapes down as far as possible). Some tents have a small fly that protects mostly the top, then relies on the tent walls to resist the rest of the rain. In most cases this isn't a problem, but in heavy rains I don't want a "most cases" tent, I want an "all cases" design, so one of my criteria is to check the length of the rain fly. The floor in this Red Canyon is a great tub design with ample waterproof coating to keep you dry in even the worst conditions. There are windows that you can open for more light or air, and which stay protected by a light netting to keep critters out.

While we didn't use it, the tent comes with a room divider that you hang from the center of the tent, in case you want to read or play games at night while the children are sleeping. I was really surprised at how simple the setup was and how small the entire tent package packed down to. Weather protection is everything... if you've ever had a leaky tent you know what I mean, and this one handles the weather like a champ. All of this for a price that makes marquee brands blush! You can spend more, for sure, and there's no doubt that a $500 tent will be of higher quality. But when you compare the price, quality and features then you simply cannot do better than this. If you check out the product page on Amazon you'll see what hundreds of other users have to say about it. With a 4 1/2 Star rating, out of 5, from over 325 reviewers, you know that this tent really lives up to its reputation.

Coleman does a really good job of sealing the seams on this, even taping the seams of the rain fly. The fly and the tent are treated with a polyester coating and feature anti-wicking thread, webbing and zippers for reliable protection. The tub design of the floor is very heavy duty and the frame of the tent is engineered well and withstands winds that scare most campers. For less than $100 there isn't a tent in any bargain bin anywhere that compares.

THIS is the tent I recommend first and foremost to every family camping with kids.

- Features Coleman's exclusive WeatherTec System

- Footprint: 17 feet x 10 feet

- Center Height: 72 inches

- Shock-corded poles for easy and quick setup

- Welcome mat and pockets keep interior tidy

- Access gear or adjust ventilation with Cool-Air port

- Variflo adjustable venting system increases airflow

Video Introduction To the Coleman Red Canyon Tent

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Tips For Camping With Kids

Ideas to keep the children engaged and entertained.

Camping with your family can be such a rewarding experience and certainly a time to relax and bond. Its been a part of our family vacations for many, many years. Because I have so much experience it is my hope that I'm able to share information that is helpful to you. I've written an article on preparing a complete camping checklist and I recommend that you visit it when you have the time.

With children, as you know, you have to be prepared to ensure that they have fun and safe activities to keep them entertained and to ensure that their time spent camping is a positive one. Memories that we have from our childhood, that we spent with our family, are among the most cherished we have. I always take games and plan ahead of the trip for activities and events in the area we'll be camping at. Some of the things we've done with our kids are identifying plants, animals and insects from a picture book. It's also a GREAT idea for them to know about Poison Ivy and Oak, and be able to identify it. The same with poisonous insects and such. And the search for these things is often the funnest part of it.

A slingshot (with adult supervision, of course) is a great camp activity. There are almost always pebbles that can be used and taking turns shooting at a tree stump or boulder can be lots of fun (like a carnival game shooting the moving targets).

Plan a trip to the local ranger station, or ask the camp attendants when the rangers typically come by and then look for them on their rounds through the campsite. Rangers love to talk to children about nature and wildlife, and often will have free toys or books to give them relating to the subject. You can ask about the types of wildlife that live in the area, etc...

Do things together. More and more people are taking to crafts and I've written a great article showing how to make a paracord bracelet, and it's actually quite simple, and lots of fun!

Kiting is also an amazing thing that somehow gets lost in our busy lives. For the price of $20 you can get an amazingly high quality kite and then spend time outdoors with your children anytime you like, for free. Check out my review of the best kites for kids, and the Prism Stowaway Diamond, a really affordable (around $25), small and high quality kite that you can take anywhere, and which almost flies on it's own.

Pack plenty of snacks and drinks. Children, as you know, need to snack more than we adults do and so having plenty of healthy snacks will help to ensure that they are fully charged to enjoy themselves. High protein snacks like beef jerky are a great option and they store well.

NOTE: If you are in an area that is subject to predators (like bear or hogs), be very sure not to keep ANY food items inside your tent. When car camping we back our vehicle up as close to the tent as we can and use the trunk area as the pantry... so all food items are outside of the tent, and then when we go to sleep I move the vehicle away from the tent. Many, if not most, of the predator attacks in campsites result from food items being found (or at least the scent being found) inside the tent.

What Kind Of Camper Are You? - Chime in and share with us...

Are you a minimalist when camping, or are you more of a comfort creature?

Rokk Palisade Dome Tent Offers Great Value - And A Lifetime Warranty Makes It An Appealing Choice

Rokk has built a name for themselves with quality gear at affordable prices. This tent is both roomy and well designed giving the kids plenty of room to play, with all of the features that I think are important for a family tent. And the price at Amazon couldn't be better.

First off you'll notice that the tent comes with a full rain fly, something that is really important as we've discussed. And like the Coleman above, it has great ventilation via windows and flaps designed to keep condensation down while keeping you and your gear dry. And for easy, quick setup they poles are color coded and the fly uses snap buckles, a great feature.

Inside the tent has a unique bay window design that let's you open them for more light, and room, yet have a flap for privacy and critter control. Easily close them for heavy downpours or storms. Also featuring a heavy tub design to keep the rain out and glow in the dark identification strips near the zippers to help with nighttime entry.

Did I mention that it comes with a lifetime warranty? Nice. That's something that not even my top pick the Coleman Red Canyon has.

Rokk Palisade Two Room Family Dome Tent Sleeps Up To 8 (Blue/Grey)
Rokk Palisade Two Room Family Dome Tent Sleeps Up To 8 (Blue/Grey)

Sleep Capacity: 8

Footprint: 14 x 12 feet

Center Height: 6.25 feet

Floor Area: 142 square feet

2 back-to-back "D" style doors

2 bay windows

Mud mat

Shoe Pockets


More Great Family Tents That Offer Top Value - If you go camping with kids then these feature rich tents are top tier

As we've discussed already, making sure you have a reliable tent with a good design is important, and making certain that the children have room will ensure that everyone enjoys their time outdoors. These top rated tents are awesome values.

Wenzel Big Bear Family Dome Tent
Wenzel Big Bear Family Dome Tent

This really is a big bear. Although they rate it for up to 7 people, it is a truly roomy tent. Like most others in the family tent section there is an included drape that can be dropped in place to give a quasi divider... great for sleeping tent mates or children.

I love a tent that offers good ventilation, because without it you'll find that there's condensation inside the tent when you wake up. The Big Bear includes to windows and two roof vents which are ample. Another feature I look for is easy setup and this one delivers. Overall this is a spacious, affordable tent that promises easy set up and weather protection for your family.

While the rain fly on this tent does not extend down the sides as far as I prefer (though it is further than shown in this image, the fly is simply shown rolled up here), the angle of the tent walls means that it won't be a problem with this design, unlike the Grand Pass listed below, which has a more sloped design and therefore will be addressing much more rainfall.

Sleep capacity: 7

Ceiling height: 6 feet

Footprint: 14 x 9 feet

Area: 117 square feet

Mountain Trails Grand Pass Tent - 10 Person
Mountain Trails Grand Pass Tent - 10 Person

The Mountain Trails Grand Pass, another tent by Wenzel, is a really spacious 18 x 10 foot 7 person dome tent. It has very similar features to the other tents we've looked at here, so I'll simply address the standouts. But before I do I want to say that this tent is listed last only because I don't really like the fact that the rain fly doesn't extend all the way down the sides of the tent. As the reviews from others on Amazon will show, the tent is STILL very reliable and does the job well, its just that with my experience of leaking tents I want the added protection of a larger rain fly. But the price and value in this tent are there and that's why it's listed and recommended.

What I really like is that setup and storage have been made really easy. With their integrated "Stow-n-go duffel system" the tent stakes and pole packet unrolls with the tent, and then folds up nicely by matching the tags and rolling it up into the attached duffel bag.

Base: 18 by 10 feet

Center height: 76 inches

Interior space: 170 square feet

Sleeps: 7

Coleman 2000028058 Tent 17X9 Weathermaster 10
Coleman 2000028058 Tent 17X9 Weathermaster 10

When you need something a little larger, then the WeatherMaster 10 has you covered. This thing is loaded with features and when set up correctly it offers awesome protection from the weather, as the name implies. As with all tents, but especially those with flies that do not cover all sides of the tent, be sure to treat the tent with a waterproofing compound, and seal the seams, before you leave for your trip.

Its rated for 10 people, though a party of 6 or so would love the added space this tent provides. With a 6' 4" center, there's room for even the tallest in your crowd. Set up is a breeze with the color coded poles and pole sleeves that are continuous, rather than intermittent patches of cloth like most tents (which makes sliding your tent poles in correctly a challenge).

For a large tent this is a great value.


Video Tour Of The Coleman WeatherMaster 10

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