Traditional camping tents and tents for families are not the same.
Those of us who thought otherwise have quickly learned, possibly at the worst time, that they are cut from a different cloth.
Real Family Tents are designed with adults and children in mind, in the scenario of shared shelter, the tent.
Intricate family-friendly features are integrated subtlety, providing a much smoother and more practically camping experience.
When we are without these, it soon becomes apparent that everything feels like a hassle. If you’ve ever felt this, I know I have, being without a proper family camping tent could’ve been the problem.
We won’t lie, the family tent market is vast and it is easy to get lost in. You really need to know what are your priority features before dipping into your wallet.
If you take some time today to read through our full index and guide, it will save you a ton of time and money in the long run.
Hopefully coming out of this as a pro with a keen eye for practical features, quality builds and tents for families.
The Best Tents for Families Reviewed
We are not going to just throw 10 tents at you, oh no. Today we are going deeper, so deep I think I’m staring into the eyes of a Brontosaurus, or something.
We are going to show you one of the best examples of family tents for each feature. To showcase the variety of what’s on offer, and define the purpose of each.
This will help you decide between for example; a multi-room tent, a blackout room model or a tent with a screen room.
The options are endless, but we will categorize them into meaningful, well, categories. We will kick things off with some sizes, moving into more feature-full models.
Best Large Family Tent
Of course, one of the first things we look for if we are camping with a large family group, is size. This isn’t the biggest in our list of Extra Large Family Tents, but it is big and has many practical features. The larger models tend to have more spacious rooms, straight walls, and taller head heights. Let’s check out an example below from Coleman.
Coleman Weathermaster 10 Tent
As mentioned above, large family tents have a huge center height, and this is no different. At 6.8ft high, its sure to fit Mum and Dad in with enough space to hang a light without knocking you out cold. This is actually a low average in comparison to its counterparts. Given this model is more like a dome, the cabin models are even taller.
Large dimensions at 17×9 ft, there’s plenty of room for your family, I’d say up to 6 people would be ideal for this particular model. Due to sufficient space for 3 queen air beds, we’d say 6 is ideal, using the remainder of the space for camping gear.
Note that this model is not an instant or fastpitch tent, it is a traditional style pole tent. Although this isn’t always a negative, yes, the setup is longer, but they are generally much more stable with stronger poles.
The Weathertec system include makes sure you are protected from the elements. Including welded flooring, factory sealed seams and waterproofed tent material.
- 17 x 9 Floorplan
- Removable Dividers
- Weathertec Weathering System
Best Family Blackout Tent
Blackout tents or also known as Darkrest Tents are perfect for those who find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep while on the trail or at camp. They utilize darkened materials that reflects the sunlight, stopping the rays from warming the tent. So, afternoons remain cool. Not only this, but some models can also then use the heat stored to warm the tent in the evening. The 3rd benefit is the sleep-inducing effect on our bodies that sleeping in pitch black has. Giving you a deeper sleep, and waking feeling well-rested.
Coleman Rocky Mountain Blackout Tent
A personal favorite of mine. Not only does it contain top quality blackout bedrooms, that will send you off to the land of nod with a smile. But it is a tunnel tent! A perfect combination that is ideal for family camping.
Not a budget tent by all means, but well priced given the insane features it offers for families. It has a water rating of 4500mm (industry standard of 1500 deemed waterproof), 3 times the average. Making it really safe in nearly any weather scenario you encounter, bar a tornado.
SPF 50 + UV protection is integrated into the fabric during manufacture, so water and sun are checked off our list. Last is the wind, and with a natural aerodynamic design with the tunnel shape, you can be safer than dome tents and miles safer than cabin tents.
This is a 5 person model, so fit for the average family size and space enough for 2 beds. I would personally consider a family of 3 or 4 to be best for this. Leaving enough room for maneuvering around the tent.
- 4500mm Water Rating
- 5 Person Model
- Blackout Bedrooms
Best 2 Room Family Tent
2 Room Tents make great family tents for obvious reasons. Being able to separate the internal space into practical use, provides much needed convenience. Usually separated by ‘room dividers’, these are often integrated into the tent, or are removable. Attached by hooks or Velcro, or hang like a curtain. The designs vary, but all serve the purpose to provide privacy and organization inside your tent.
Camp Creek 2 Room Tent
This 2-room family tent from Alps Mountaineering is a great example of the feature-full tents you can get in this category. Renowned for making quality tents, the trend is no different with the Camp Creek.
Although not a fastpitch by any means, and a little weighty at 32lbs, it makes up for these 2 cumbersome qualities with a host of beneficial features.
For starters you will see it is a cabin design, combined with a 7-foot center height, this creates a huge open plan space inside. They have made sure to kit the space out for family camping too.
The walls are lined with storage pockets, made of mesh, so moisture doesn’t accumulate in the corners. This can be a real pain when storing electronic devices, which is happily avoided here.
Ventilated well with a meshed roof area below the rainfly, ground vents and meshed windows. Providing air circulation from multiple angles.
The room divider comes in the form of an integrated curtain, that can be rolled and tied back when necessary. Blocking visibility when connected, it provides some privacy between sleeping areas. Ideal for getting changed and a bit of ‘me time’.
- Internal Room Divider
- Huge Space Inside
- Good Ventilation & Storage
Best Budget Family Tent
Whether it’s your first-time camping with the kids or it’s just for temporary use, you may just be looking for a good budget tent. Not an MSX 2000 with all the bells and whistles to scale Everest. We compiled a list of all the best tents for under $100 on the market, and we have handpicked a few that are ideal for families too. Below is an example of one that you can use for short notice camping expeditions and that won’t break the bank.
Coleman Montana Tent
Not the largest in our list, but for a tent under $100 it’s a steal. The Montana is one of the best-selling tents from Coleman and is a great option for car camping.
The 6 person capacity models comes with a 12ft by 7ft floor plan, more than enough room for 2 queen-sized air beds. Ideal for small families of 3-4 members. There is also an 8 man size available if you require extra storage space around your beds, but it does push the price up.
A nice family-friendly feature is the awning extension that goes over the access door. Creating a nice cove effect, and sheltering the front door to stop mud being trodden in. A dry place to leave your boots and camp coolers too.
- 6 & 8 Person Models
- Awning Extension
- Budget Price
Best Family Tent with Awning/Canopy
Tents with Awnings are a great idea for family camping. Usually extending out over the front access door, but some may be on the side, they provide additional shelter. Often propped up by extra tent poles that come with the tent. While other smaller backpacking models will use hiking poles by means of innovation. You can see more examples in our link above, below we showcase an ideal model for families.
Ozark Trail 11 Person Instant Cabin
Again, multiple family-orientated features are the reason this makes our list. For starters, it utilizes the pre-assembled frame as mentioned before. This will allow you to arrive at camp and pitch this bad boy within 2 minutes, tops. Just extend the framework out as usual until it clicks, attach the rainfly and stake.
Another feature is the cabin design. Cabin tents have tall straight walls, this creates more spacious rooms inside in comparison to other model tents, that have sloped roofs.
With a 6.4 foot center height, the interior is truly big with more than enough room to fit your family and all the gear you could possibly need. For even a week or 2 week-long trip.
The awning, our key feature, extends out over the front access door. This is great for multiple reasons. It will stop puddles and muddy areas forming outside the tent access door. Generally, this has the highest area of footsteps, continuously. It is easily turned into mush with even light rain.
This will avoid all of that, also giving you a dry spot to kick off your boots when entering the tent. So, you don’t traipse in all the dirt.
- Large Awning Extension
- Cabin Design
- Instant Pitch Framework
Best 3 Room Family Tent
3 Room Tents vastly increase in size in comparison to their predecessors. Now utilizing 2 dividers instead of 1, this is ideal for larger family groups that require 2 sleeping areas plus storage, or 3 sleeping areas. We suggest using these for 2 beds plus storage. If you want 3 sleeping areas opt for the 4 room. Alas, we have a wide range of top models above, below we have a top example for you.
Ozark Trail 3 Room XL Tent
A 10 person model, a tent from Ozark Trail that has some great family features. Designed with a central room, that has the access door leading into it, then 2 large rooms on either side of the center.
This way you can have your kids sleeping area on one side, and your private sleeping area opposite. You both also have a whole 3rd room of space between you, as opposed to being adjacent like other tents. This gives you, even more, privacy and distance.
The central space makes an ideal spot for a camping table, a place to congregate in the morning and enjoy a nice camp breakfast. Gearing up for the activities ahead.
We love that each side room has its own access door also. So, you really feel like you have your own space and don’t need to disturb the others. Especially when answering the call of nature at night.
- 3 Separate Rooms
- Personal Door Access
- Taped Fly Seams
Best 4 Room Family Tent
4 Room Tents are the largest family tents on the market, prior to the custom-made wall tents which are astronomically priced. These big, budget tents offer 3 room dividers that create 4 separate rooms. This is ideal when you need up to 3 or 4 private sleeping areas with an equal number of queen beds. We would suggest using the 4th room for storage.
Ozark Trail Basecamp Tent
One of the best 4 room tents on the market that stays within a humble price range. The Basecamp looks like a colony all on its own, with 4 separate rooms for each sleeping area.
You’ll have no problems fitting anything from 8-10 campers in this with still plenty of room for your camping gear.
With a 6.5 ft center height and over 260sqft of space, you’ll have room for everything and the kitchen sink (or a camping sink at that). The largest tent on our list today.
Given the size of it, it has quite a demanding initial setup that can take around 20 minutes. We suggest using at least 2 people to pitch this. Given time and a few practice-runs you could probably get it down to 10 minutes.
A durable floor keeps the ground dry and a waterproof polyester rainfly will protect the tent during moderate rainfall. We wouldn’t suggest using this in torrential rain without an additional waterproof coating, and perhaps a canopy. And a straight no for winter camping.
For a larger than life tent that can easily fit all the family without hassle, this would be your best bet.
- 4 Private Rooms
- 260sqft of Space
- Multiple Customization Options
Best Canvas Family Tent
Canvas Tents sure make a good family tent. Although they are premium tents, they do offer better protection then nearly all other models of tents. Not only this, but generally designed like Teepee (Tipi) tents, also known as Bell Tents, very aerodynamic. Rain just beads right off them and is unable to penetrate the incredibly resilient material. Let’s check an example and why they make a good choice.
Danchel 4 Season Bell Tent
A rugged, robust and beautifully designed family canvas tent here from Danchel. Straight off the bat, you’ll notice it’s a 4-season model, meaning it is suitable for any weather, 365 days of the year.
This shows the strength of treated canvas, it can stand up to snowfall and resist water penetration even when pitched on top of snow.
They have 4 different sizes available from 3-6 meters, and 2 designs. A standard model and a double-walled model. They both have stove jacks, so it’s possible to use a stove internally during winter camping excursions, etc. No need to worry the fabric is also fire retardant.
The fabric steals the show. Using a 285GSM Cotton Canvas, which has a 3000mm waterproof rating. In layman’s terms this means if its raining cats and dogs, you’ll be bone dry inside. Additionally, the flooring has double the GSM than that of the outer fabric. The reason why it can handle pitching on snow, totally sealed.
Demanding setup and a high price tag are the hurdles one must cross when considering a canvas tent. However, you certainly make the money back in the long run, due to the longevity of the tent.
- Incredible Durability
- 3000mm Water Rating
- Stove Jack Holes
Best Tall Family Tents
It might seem like quite an odd query, but indeed a popular one. People do legitimately search for tents for tall people, and by the thousands. For the taller campers among us, using average size tents and having to duck under doors and hanging lanterns constantly is a right pain in the you-know. Especially low-profile dome and backpacking tents for example. It also can affect your sleep if you’re just not comfortable when laying down in a short space. Here we have nothing but 6 foot tents and higher in our line up and here is a prime example below.
CORE 10 Instant Cabin
An ideal family tent with an instant setup, one of the most important features for a convenient camp. The framework comes pre-assembled from the manufacturers, so it only needs to be extended. The hinges click into place automatically, then stake and guy-out, you’re done.
The thing that makes this a cut above many models, including its own predecessors, is the addition of lighting. It has integrated lighting that comes free with the tent. As we know camping with children, having lights when it gets dark is important. Makes bedtime easy, or if they don’t like the darkness or simply need a reading light before bed, they got you covered.
As you can see this model also has a meshed screen room positioned over the entrance. This provides a mosquito-proof shelter for storage or extra chairs. We haven’t even got to why this model made the tall tents list, its 7 foot tall. It’s a beast.
So, with integrated lighting, 2 minute set up, meshed screen room and a huge center height, it truly makes a fantastic tent for family camping.
- 7 Foot Center Height
- Lighting Included
- Meshed Screen Room Area
Best Family Tent with Screen Room
As we just touched on it above, let’s follow on. We have a list of the best tents with screen rooms right here, and we have plucked one of the best to show you today. Generally, screen room tents are very popular for families, given the extra storage space and mosquito-proof material. Keeping the kids or pets safe while at camp.
Wenzel Klondike Tent with Screen Room
This is not only a great family tent with screened attachment, but already a proven best seller on the market. The Klondike from Wenzel has been around for just over a year and has taken the camping community by storm.
With a nice aesthetic design and cool blue color theme, it is a great go-to choice for families hitting the summer holidays. Combined with a very reasonable price tag and robust frame, it fast climbed the ranks.
Made with an 8 person capacity, we would suggest families of 4, max 5, to take this one on. Space is just as important anything else, so room around your camping mattresses or pads, is key.
A nice touch with this is the high and low vents for air circulation. Creating a subtle breeze, clearing out any odors and circulating fresh air continuously. This will help when you have a large group all breathing and expelling the air at once, things can get stuff without it.
- 8 Person Capacity
- Sturdy Screen Room Attachment
- High and Low Ventilation
Best Lighted Family Tent
Lighted Tents are reasonably new on the market, and have been making headway with family campers. A given that children appreciate the light when its dark out in nature, and not all tents provide adequate lantern and light hooks. These offer integrated lighting, with on and off switches. Strategically placed lights offer better visibility than hanging a lantern in the center. Some of them make great tents for family camping, let’s check one out.
CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Tent
This is one of our favorite family models of lighted tents. It encompasses 3 main features that are a perfect fit for groups. First off, given the size, it’s rare to find a big tent like this that has a fast setup. Usually, it can take anything from 15-25 minutes to set up a 12-person tent.
However, the framework comes pre-assembled from the manufactures. So, no instruction manuals or color-coded poles to worry about. The poles extend outwards and click into place, even for a large tent, it can be set up alone and in under 2 minutes.
The other feature is the multiple room dividers. These are removable sections that help you to divide up the internal space, creating privacy rooms and sleeping areas.
Lastly, the lighting. A wall mount gives you full control of the lighting, with 3 variations of brightness. Serving as the power output for the lighting also, you will get different run times from the low, medium and high settings. Ranging from 50h up to 250h of run time, depending on the brightness used.
For longer trips obviously balance it between a mid-low setting to preserve energy.
- Modern Lighting System with Brightness Settings
- Fast Pitch Setup
- Multiple Room Dividers
How to Choose a Family Tent?
When choosing a tent for family camping, some specific features that make the experience smoother should be the priority. Were going to go over a few of them for you, to better prepare you for it.
Seasonal Use or All Year Round
You must decide if you are camping in only summer, spring and autumn, or will you need it for winter camping too. In which case this will dictate if you need a 3-season tent or a 4-season tent.
What kind of water rating does the tent have? Industry-standard says anything above 1000mm is decent, 1500mm is ideal and 2000mm+ will hold up really well in stronger rain.
Things like taped seams, welded flooring, waterproof rainflys (that cover the whole top) and seam-sealed zippers are all attributes that improve weather resistance.
Size Really Matters
Sticking to the +2 rule, try to find a tent that has the capacity of 2 over your group size. So, if you are a family of 4, try to use a 6 person tent as a minimum. A family of 6 should use an 8 person tent, and so on.
We would opt for a cabin design tent over anything else, just because the tall straight walls provide a bigger interior. More space for hanging lanterns, fans and the like.
However, if you are remote camping or want something better against winds, go for a tunnel tent or dome tent.
Something Easy to Pitch
The pitch on arrival is the most stressful part of the whole trip. Go for something that simplifies this, you don’t need to struggle. Instant tents are a great medium between strength and an easy pitch.
Pops are faster but don’t make the best family tents in our experience.
Inflatable tents are also a great choice if you have an electric air pump, they can go up in minutes too.
Durable and Rugged
Canvas tents are no doubt the best choice for durability. That will last 4 seasons and protect you in even the worst of weather situations. However, that level of protection doesn’t come cheap.
Polyurethane flooring is a nice feature to look out for. This will protect you from the ground up, stopping moisture and breakages.
Of course, we will need our fair share of storage. Keep an eye out for integrated storage pockets, and ones that are meshed. Meshed pockets stop moisture accumulating in the corners. Saving your electronics from disaster.
Larger wall organizers are even better, often popping up in the large 2 and 3 room models.
A decent carry bag as well will go a long way. One with some abrasive resistant material, to withstand the throwing around and dragging that happens from time to time.
Awnings, Screened Rooms or Porches make the grade here. Offering an extra shaded area to store coolers, boots and other family necessitates safely out the way.
Room dividers, preferably with low visibility are a great way to divide up the space in the large tents. While providing privacy when getting changed and sleeping.
These are probably all the features you will need. Anything else on top of this is just a bonus, and will further improve your trip.
You don’t need ALL of these features, you need to decide which ones are most important to you, and prioritize those in your search.
Our Final Thoughts on Family Tents
As a parent and avid outdoorsmen, I’m fully aware of the hassle of finding the right family tent. Believe me, I’ve been there and made many poor choices in purchasing.
Memories of cheap tents (that I thought were perfect) being ripped apart by strong winds.
Another time getting rained out, only to find out the tent had a 300mm water rating (no wonder).
Well, now I can use my bad experiences to guide you, so it’s not all bad, I guess. We hope, here at thetenthub, that this index helps you to choose the perfect family tent.
Until next time,