Camping tents for families come in a variety of styles, designs and sizes. Some have more features than others. There are factors which one needs to consider when looking to buy a tent for a family. Below you can see my picks of 5 of the best family camping tents for 3-season camping.
Best Family Camping Tents: Reviews
It’s made from 150D polyester, which helps it withstand UV exposure. Thanks to its pre-attached steel poles, you can have it set up in one minute. It has inverted seams and welded floors which help to keep water out. It holds up very well in extremely windy or rainy conditions. Its footprint measures 8 x 7 feet, while its center height is 4 feet 10 inches.
There are models available with or without a rain fly. I highly recommend that you don’t cheap out on the rain fly if you want to avoid serious moisture.
Technical Details – Coleman Family
- Occupancy – 4 persons
- Colors – Brown/black
- Weight – 18 pounds
- Material – 150D polyester
- Poles – Steel
- Floor space – approx. 56 sq. feet
- Center height – 4 feet, 10 inches
- Openings – One door, 4 screened windows.
The Kelty Yellowstone is a 3-season tent that can comfortably accommodate six people. It has 2 shock-corded fiberglass poles and color-coded sleeves that make it easy for you to set it up. The ample D-style door provides easy entry and exit. Above the door is a seam-taped fly hood that will keep the entrance dry even in a downpour. Inside are some handy storage pockets where you can keep your gear.
On the side walls and at the peak are large mesh panels that provide excellent ventilation. The flooring is a durable and waterproof material that has off-the-ground seams to prevent moisture seeping in. A storage bag and stakes are included.
Technical Details – Kelty Family
- Occupancy – 6 persons
- Type – Dome
- Colors – Grey and lime green
- Weight – 15 pounds
- Dimensions – 10 feet long, 9 feet wide, 6 feet 5 inches high
- Material – Walls: 40D polyester; floor and fly: 66D polyester
- Poles – fiberglass
- Floor space – 90 sq. feet
- Openings – 1 door, 2 side windows.
The Stout 8-person Bell is designed to withstand harsh elements and is suited for long-term use. You can choose between two sizes: 13 feet and 16 feet. Each Stout Bell is supplied with a ground-sheet that is zippable in and out. This enables you to roll up the walls and enjoy some refreshing cross-ventilation.
The tent’s door and 4 windows have durable mesh screens that can be opened without you having to worry about being invaded by insects or “critters”.
A 5-inch stove jack allows you to use a wood-burning stove or heater. When it’s not in use, you can cover it with the supplied Velcro canvas fly.
All set-up parts are included – no need to buy additional parts.
Technical Details – Stout Family
- Occupancy – 8 persons
- Weight – 68 lbs./84 lbs. (it’s canvas!)
- Dimensions – 13 feet/16 feet, height 8 ft./10 ft.
- Material – 100% cotton canvas (waterproof and mold-resistant)
- Openings – 1 door, 4 windows (mesh covered)
The Tahoe Gear Olympia is a 3-season family tent that can accommodate ten people in its spacious interior. As for height, a man of 6.5 feet tall would be able to stand up straight inside. The durable body and rain fly are made of 1200mm polyester. The product comes with its own carry-bag that makes it easy to transport.
When you remove the protective fly, you will see a large, see-through, mesh roof. This lets in ample natural light and provides excellent ventilation. A water-resistant, polyethylene binding floor helps to keep moisture at bay.
Two people could put it up pretty quickly; however, once you have shared the experience, you should be able to do it solo in about 10 minutes.
Technical Details – Tahoe Gear Olympia
- Occupancy – 10 persons
- Weight – 22.88 pounds
- Dimensions – 18 feet wide, 10.5 deep, 7 feet high
- Material – 1200mm polyester
- Floor space – approx. 189 sq. feet
- Openings – 1 large door with solid layer and screen layer; 1 air vent under each window
- Power cord access (near door)
“Instant” one-minute set-up is what sets this Core family tent apart from many others. With the pre-attached pole system, you can set it up or take it down in just one minute! It can sleep up to 9 people on its 14′ x 9′ floor space. Tall people will appreciate its 6.5ft. center height, which allows ample headroom.
For separate living and sleeping areas, you can employ the handy room divider. Just tie it back or remove it to make one big space. In addition, you’ll find handy wall storage pockets to keep your gear neatly out of the way and off the floor.
The body and removable rain fly are made of water-repellent polyester taffeta. When you remove the rain fly, you will have a panoramic view through the mesh ceiling and windows.
Technical Details – Core Family
- Occupancy – 9 persons
- Weight – 35 pounds
- Dimensions – 14 feet wide, 9 feet deep, 6.5 feet high
- Material – water-repellent 68D polyester taffeta
- Floor space – approx. 126 sq. feet
- Openings – 1 main double door and 1 D-shaped door; both can be zipped closed for privacy
- Electrical cord access port.
Camping Tent Buyers’ Guide
Sleeping Capacity – Consider the number of people who would be able to sleep comfortably in the tent. Where would they store their gear? If you will need to store gear inside, you’ll need a tent with larger capacity. The same applies if you’re taking Fido along. Also remember that tall campers will require more headroom as well as a longer layout, while stoutly-built persons would need more elbow room.
Number of Doors – Typically, a 2-door tent is heavier than a single-door one. It also allows occupants to get more easily in or out, rather than have to crawl over each other. Having two doors boosts the comfort factor of a family tent.
Tent Design – Is there such a thing as a “perfect” family tent? Each type has its pros and cons. A standard A-frame is light and simple, and often not costly. However, the sloping walls can limit headroom. Because of the large expanse of their side walls, they would not be practical in high-wind conditions.
Modified A-frames use a ridgeline pole, center hoop pole or have a curved wall (like a bell tent) to provide better structural stability and more interior space than the standard A-frames.
Domes – These come in a variety of shapes, sizes and pole arrangements. Typically, they have rounded ceilings, are relatively stable in wind and provide a good amount of interior space.
Teepee or Pyramid – These consist of a rainfly that is supported by a vertical center pole; it’s staked out to form a pyramid or teepee shape. They have an excellent ratio of space to weight; however, the lack of a “floor” means you’ll have no protection from wetness or “critters”.
Pole Material – Backpacking tents generally use aluminum poles; they are lightweight, strong and easily replaceable. Fiberglass poles are used with less-expensive, light-duty products; they are heavier, less durable and cheaper than aluminum. Super-strong and super-lightweight carbon fiber poles are found on top-of-the-range tents but they are not as durable as aluminum.
Trail Weight – If you’re car-camping as a family or group, don’t be concerned about tent weight – go for comfort and space instead. However, if you’re backpacking in a group and are dividing the weight, limit the weight to 8 pounds. If you’re backpacking to a camping spot on your own, you would typically want a product that weighs less than 5 pounds.
Seasons – Three-season tents are designed to withstand strong wind but not loads of snow. They also have mesh walls, so you get a good balance between protection and ventilation. Four-season ones are made of tough fabrics and have sturdy pole structures. They typically have squat, boulder-like shapes to help deflect wind and snow, and large vestibules for storing your gear.
We have looked at 5 examples of the best family camping tents for groups of 4 to 10 people. There are, of course, also other size and style options available. However, these should give you a good idea of what you can expect from the exciting world of camping!