When considering a tent for your next family camping trip, there are some simple yet important criteria that are often overlooked, resulting in a sub-par shelter and thus a sub-par camping experience.
There are large-sized tents out there, that are jam-packed with family-orientated features that vastly improve the quality of your camp. Being in a large group without certain accessories or features, that we will look at today, can prove to be an annoyance after a few days.
I’m not even talking about the fast pitch frames, high hydrostatic rating rain-fly’s, meshed windows, awnings, etc. that are indeed present among many in our list today. But today, we focus on size.
What’s included in this article?
Tents we will review here in this article showcase all the benefits of using a modern, extra-large sized tent that has been designed specifically to make family camping easier. With the right design and implemented features, the footprint and area of the tent can offer so much more than just extra space.
All the models in our list will have at least a 150 square feet footprint, which will give space for the generic 5-person family, plenty of storage and room for the odd camping chair, gear or table.
However, most will provide for way more than that, reaching up to 16 person models with multiple rooms and utility features.
Why I prefer using a large tent?
I will always choose an extra-large tent model, usually 10 person + over a smaller tent for a variety of reasons. My personal favorite is the use of dividers, preferably removable ones, this allows me to manually customize the interior depending on the scenario. If I’m in a small group ill corner off one area for storage, or if its summer holidays and we have the whole gang, I’ll use them to divide up kids/adult sleeping areas.
Alas, that’s just my 2 cents, we will provide all other notable family features including a buyer’s guide at the bottom of the page, to help you find which tent matches your own family’s needs.
Top 10 Big Tents for Camping Reviewed
1. Coleman Weathermaster
Size: 10 Person
Tent Dimensions: 17 x 9
Ceiling height: 6.8 ft
Not the tallest model of tent around but one of the bestselling family tents around. The Weathermaster model from Coleman offers a really easy setup, around 20 minutes tops, with some desirable features perfect for family camping.
With a cabin-like design, this means the internal space has a larger feel than dome or low-profile style tents. 10-person capacity with waterproofed material in the form of a Polyester Taffeta with a PU coating, providing sufficient protection for family camping trips.
They boast ample space for 3 queen size air beds; however, I would suggest using only 2 and using the other space for gear storage or a table. This would provide a much more comfortable camping experience overall.
Additionally, there are free room dividers that help to separate out space and create privacy for those moments when you’re changing or finishing up from the camping shower.
- Easy Setup
- Best Seller
- Welded Floors
Related Article: Best Tents for Tall People
2. Ozark Trail 20 Person Cabin Tent
Size: 20 Person
Tent Dimensions: 25 x 21
Ceiling height: 6.11 ft
We’ve dug up the product info for this somewhat mysteriously unknown 20-person family tent from Ozark Trail. The details aren’t easily found and are not evident on its product page, but we have discovered them for ourselves, so here they are.
A ginormous tent for sure, with a 20-person capacity, stretched out over 4 rooms in a cabin tent design. The huge tent space equals up to over 283 sq. ft in total and does come with free room dividers to help divide up this enormous space.
We noticed it is indeed packed full of useful features, an ePort is present on the side wall, making it possible to attach an extension cord when necessary and a media pocket is integrated internally.
For storage, 2 gear hammocks have been sewn into the sidewalls, providing ample space to keep your electronics and tech stuff off of the tent floor. 8 windows have been added around the tent in good positions and the ceiling has meshed fabric to allow hot air to rise up and out.
Now we will state, Ozark Trail are not known for their waterproofing quality. Generally speaking, they are better known for creating great family tents at budget prices, however, waterproofing and longevity is often not their strong point. This is definitely up for debate with many people claiming their Ozark tent has lasted years, so I guess it’s down to personal care.
However, even the company has stated in the past not to use some of their tents in heavy rainfall or the winter months. With all this in mind, we would use this as a first-time, budget tent for large gatherings.
- Huge Floor Space and Capacity
- Very Well Priced for its Size
- Multiple Storage Features
Related Article: Best Gerber Camping Knife
3. NTK Super Arizona GT
Size: 11-12 Person
Tent Dimensions: 20.6 x 10.2
Ceiling height: 6.9 ft
A high-quality option from NTK who has been manufacturing reliable outdoor products since 1975.
Some of the large 10+ person models usually suffer from a lack of build and material quality, due to the companies trying to stay competitive in the market, price-wise. But NTK tends to focus on maintaining a top-quality build, which of course will result in a higher price, but you will benefit from some quality features.
For example, the 2500mm water column is evident due to the polyester fabric being treated with a polyurethane laminate. Not only this, but it has a double layer to further protect from water penetration. This is far beyond that of the $150-250 family tents you will find elsewhere.
The framework consists of nano-flex fiberglass, which has shock cord integration, increasing stability. Further reinforcement in the form of gold-plated ferrules and an aluminum ring/pin system which makes pitching incredibly smooth.
Some child-friendly features include the meshed inner tent, which prevents mosquitoes from entering and the CPAI-84 fire protection certificate. A carry bag is included which is made from robust materials and anti-fungus properties are integrated into the inner tent.
An abundance of protective features is included in this 12-person family tent from NTK and is perfect as an investment tent, perhaps after your first has run its course.
- CPAI-84 Fire Certified
- Lightweight Fiberglass
- 2500mm Water Rating
Related Article: Best Affordable Tents for Camping
4. Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
Size: 12-16 Person
Tent Dimensions: 20 x 20
Ceiling height: 8.4 ft (door opening 4.5 ft)
With a simple 2 pole assembly, the Sierra Canvas tent offers a different camping experience from the norm. With a stunning bell tent design and a huge tent floor, you will have a more homely and cozy feel inside, far from the Polyester cabin tents.
Fully fire retardant and compatible with a camping stove internally, just be careful and read up on correct protocol when doing this first.
Although we would debate the 12-16-person range, given the 1 room structure, the quality and protection of canvas tents are not debatable. A confirmed 4 season tent with rugged canvas material that has been weather treated to resist moisture and wet.
The seams have been reinforced in problem areas where the rain usually sets in, which adds longevity to its use. A good thing given the price of canvas tents; should be averaging a long life to give you a good return on your investment.
Customization is possible, you can remove the tent floor creating a canopy, allowing air to circulate beneath and make a nice breeze. At 66lbs it’s probably the heaviest tent in the list but for sure one of the strongest.
- 4 Season Tent
- Robust Canvas Material
- High Waterproof Standard
- Quite heavy at 66lbs.
5. Tahoe Gear 16 Person Tent Review
Size: 16 Person
Tent Dimensions: 15 x 16
Ceiling height: 7 ft
The largest tent from Tahoe Gear is this sleek 16-person tent with a generous head height of up to 7 feet, which is well above the average for similar-sized tents.
The pin and ring system allows for a simple setup but it is by no means a pop-up or instant tent, it will take a few minutes to assemble on your first time but it’s by no means a strenuous task.
The shock corded poles have excellent strength and stability, while the rain-fly has a respectable water rating of 1200mm. The fly additionally has taped seams and the tent floor is made of polyethylene, which has waterproof properties as standard, preventing moisture from rising up through from the ground.
A cool feature on this tent is a fly canopy that can be extended out over the front door, providing a nice extra shaded space for a camping table or dog bed. Guy ropes are included to secure on the sides.
The tent is well ventilated with meshed fabric in key locations, such as windows and ceiling, while floor vents are integrated on the floors’ sidewalls.
- Fly Canopy Extension
- 7 ft Center Height
- Shock Cord Poles
Related Article: Best Air Tents for Camping
6. Fortunershop Family Cabin Tent
Size: 14 Person
Tent Dimensions: 20 x 20
Ceiling height: 6.6 ft
One of the biggest tents in our list today, the 14-person cabin from Fortunershop is a great budget choice of tent for huge groups.
Perhaps not the best quality tent out there, but definitely a decent choice for first-time campers, or those in need of an extra-large family tent for a big family trip. But I may not expect this to hold up so well in heavy weather conditions or for years on end.
An ample floor space of 20 x 20 feet, which is split up into different sections. This is due to the 3 sewn-in room dividers, which separates out each area conveniently. As you can see from the design, it has a pretty cool layout with 4 cornered rooms, creating privacy in each sleeping area.
If you don’t fill all the rooms, there are numerous customization methods that can be done here. 2 sleeping areas, 1 changing room and 1 storage room for example. Or even a camping table to create an inner dining area when the rain is upon you.
Significant air circulation is present due to the 12 windows surrounding the structure and 4 large doors that are located on the ends of each corner. We would warn those who are thinking of using this in the winter or raining seasons, this is, by all means, a 2-3 season tent at best.
- Massive 12 Window Ventilation
- Enormous Floor Size
- Numerous Customisation Variants
Related Article: Best Pop Up Canopies Reviewed
7. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Box
Size: 7-8 Person
Tent Dimensions: 10 x 14 + Awning
Ceiling height: 6.6 ft
A premium family tent here from Kodiak Canvas made from cotton duck canvas in its entirety. This gives it superior protection and weather resistance when compared with any other large polyester tents.
4 large windows integrated into the strong canvas walls and funnel flow vents offers an epic combo in air ventilation, keeping the interior cool during hot days. An all-season tent to boot, can survive the cold weather just as well as the hot.
Entry and exit are simplistic with a large head height giving great clearance and internal space, in addition to the double D-shaped doors that are situated on the front and rear of the tent.
All in all, a well-protected and resistant family tent, perfect for hunting trips or family camping excursions, it will definitely outlast the price tag given the quality, however, we wouldn’t suggest it for a first-time buyer.
- Impenetrable Duck Cotton Canvas
- Certified 4 Season Family Tent
- Awning Attachment for Extra Shade/Shelter
- Duck Canvas Tents are Pricey
Related Article: Best Camping Cots Reviewed
8. Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
Size: 8 Person
Tent Dimensions: 11 x 16 + Screen Room 9 x 6
Ceiling height: 6.5 ft
Our next 8-person family tent comes from Wenzel with its bestselling Klondike model. A seriously well priced and budget family tent that has performed insanely well on the market in the last year or 2.
Fetching over 1467 reviews from fellow campers and 74% of those were in the 4- and 5-star categories. They stand by their product amazingly well with a 10-year warranty available on the Klondike.
Reasonably lightweight also at 26lbs due to the fiberglass poles, it also includes a screened room attachment on the front section and has 6 windows altogether, providing ample circulation for larger groups.
A few neat camping features are the storage pockets located internally, a good place to store your phones off the ground floor. In addition, the tent floor is spacious enough to fit 2 queen air beds and floor ventilation flaps are located at the top and bottom of the wall.
- Economic Price
- Lightweight 26 lbs
- 10 Year Warranty
Related Article: Best Outdoor Dog Beds for Camping
9. Americ Empire 3 Room Tent
Size: 12-14 Person
Tent Dimensions: 21 x 10
Ceiling height: 7 ft
This multi-room tent from Americ Empire is one of the largest family tents on the market today. With 3 huge rooms with spacious layout, it provides more than enough room for the whole family, plus storage and more.
An above-average head height too at 7ft helps to create a more spacious feel inside and is also beneficial when using camping lanterns or fans internally.
Another surprising feature on this tent is the simplicity of its pitch, with a seriously easy assembly you can be set up and done within 15 minutes, which is not bad at all for a family tent boasting 14-person capacity.
Weighing in at 31lbs it remains lightweight with a waterproof rating of 2000mm which is a respectable amount, enough to keep you dry during rainfall. The weight is due to the fiberglass poles, which is, of course, a bit weaker than traditional steel poles. Pitch accordingly and avoid heavy winds whenever possible.
Inside you’ll find a 2-way zipper curtain that acts as the divider, creating the multiple rooms. The windows are also curtained, which means you can create some privacy when needed, or open up and let the sunlight shine on in.
- 2000mm Water Rating
- 3 Large Rooms
- Curtained Windows and Dividers
Related Article: Best Pop Up Tents for Camping
10. Northwest Enterprises – Large Family Cabin Tent
Size: 10 Person
Tent Dimensions: 20 x 10
Ceiling height: 7.2 ft
We really like this large cabin style tent with a log cabin feel and aesthetic. The brown color theme runs through the whole tent with varying shades, producing a cozy feel. When lit up in the evening, it really creates a stunning scene, perfect for family barbecues and dining.
Measurement wise, he’s a big boy, with a massive 7.2 ft head height and straight cabin style walls, this creates a vast interior space much like a brick and mortar home.
Cabin walls, as opposed to Dome walls, give a more spacious feel when inside, however they do tend to absorb wind much easier, so pitch accordingly with adequate natural blocks.
Some great features for family camping are the screened porch area, where you can store extra gear, put a dog tent or bed or just a place to pitch a camping chair and chill out in the shade. This also has a detachable floor so it’s easily cleaned and maintained.
Additionally, there is a divider that helps to separate the large internal space into proper compartments.
Usually, they have 1 area for sleeping and the other for gear and storage. Another way is to use it to provide a bit more privacy for 2 sleeping areas if you are camping with friends and not close family.
- Huge Head Height
- Spacious Interior Rooms
- Unique Design Aesthetic
Buyers Guide | How to Choose a Large Family Camping Tent?
Choosing the right family tent is no walk in the park, but it can be made a million times easier by first considering what features are most important and useful for you. With this in mind, it’s much easier to make a decision, then finally a purchase. Let’s run through all the features we love to see, not necessarily all within the same tent, this would be overkill and tents are designed for different scenarios. It’s up to you to prioritize the most important, let’s jump in.
Dividers- Generally removable ones are best, elongated pieces of stiff material that section off areas of the tent from one and other. Allowing for simple customization of the large interior, creating storage space, separate sleeping areas (kids/adults) or space for food prep tables/stove, etc.
Heaters- If you’re camping in autumn and winter months, a huge interior can store cold as well as heat in the summer, so a heater goes a long way to provide a comfortable environment for the family.
Dark Room- Now this is for the opposite situation of the point above, for those scorching summer days and the camping fan isn’t quite cutting it, dark room technology can save the day. Absorbing the heat and cooling the tent in the afternoons, then using that same energy to provide heat when the sun goes down.
Screened Room- Whether it’s a screened porch area or attachment side panel, a screened room is great for relaxing in, area for a dog bed or simply as extra storage and keeping the bags and camping gear completely away from the sleeping areas.
Meshed Windows- This is pretty standard and is luckily found in 90% of decent tents, but a meshed window will not only provide protection from mosquitoes but will aid in air circulation within the tent.
AC Port- Now I know we take a camping trip to escape the city life, but at some point, you may need an AC port, you might like to relax in the evening with an old movie or catch the football, an AC port is key for this.
Canopy/Awning- Usually found instead of a screened room, very rarely are they designed together, a canopy or awning attachment can provide a large additional shaded area. Great for setting up a camping table and chairs and getting the cards out.
2/3 Rooms- There are huge single room tents available on the market, but depending on the size of your family, you may want to separate the space out a bit better and use a 2 or 3 room tent. This will allow for storage rooms and multiple sleeping areas, best for when you’re camping in large groups and you may need some privacy.
All other features are pretty generic and should be included in most tents, things like waterproofing, tent stakes, carry bags, rain fly’s, etc. should all be included and will be found in our best tents above in the list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to Buy a Large Family Tent?
Large family tents will be found at most camping retailers and online at big stores like Amazon and REI. I personally prefer to shop online as you have immediate access to a comparison between all of the models, whereas at my local store there are only a few brands on show. (I also love the free delivery as I’m lazy to drive!)
What’s the Best Large Family Tent?
When considering the ‘best’ we should really consult the buyer’s guide and then decide for yourself which is the best for you. But generally speaking, a large tent should consist of an easy setup, plenty of storage space and some useful features like dividers, a screened room or awning, and some lighting and fan attachments.
What’s the Easiest Large Family Tent to Set Up?
I would have to say the CORE, Ozark Trail, Coleman models of instant tents with pre-attached frames are by far the easiest. Secondly, I would say the Inflatable tents of Vango, Coleman, and Outwell are insanely easy to erect with a powered air pump, rivaling the ease and speed of instant and pop up tents. The Gazelle T4 is one of the only large family tents that utilize the pop-up method well, so look out for that one too.
How to Heat a Large Tent?
There is an abundance of ways to heat a large tent, with or without electricity. With electricity, you can use electric camping heaters, electric blankets, portable radiators and even electric carpets that lay under or on top of the ground floor, depending on if it sewn in or not and the power of the carpet. Without electricity, you must make sure it’s insulated in every possible nook and cranny with no gaps, you can use hot water bottles, place large stones around the campfire to absorb extra heat.
What is Considered a Large Tent?
It varies from campsite to campsite; I’ve generally found that anything over a 6-person tent is considered a large tent. Some sites I’ve visited said anything over 9 x 5 foot, it really depends where you’re going and the space the campsite allocated to each camper for pitching. For a short answer, I just use anything over a 6 person is considered a ‘large tent’.
How to Erect a Large Tent?
The large family tents that have pre-attached frames, instant setups, pop up frames or inflatable tents that use an air pump to set up are all insanely easy to pitch. The first 3 just require to open up and pull the frame upwards, as it expands outwards it will click into place, secured.
Pop-ups are often thrust into the air to allow the coil to spring into position, it then must be secured with tent stakes and guy lines. Regards the air tent, it is best used with a battery-powered air pump, to fill the chambers with air thick and fast, the TPU valves will inflate and hold the structure steady.
As for the traditional models they will utilize the old tent pole method, generally fixing tent poles together and threading them through the design of the material, shaping the tent as you go. It requires a little more elbow grease than the others but thought of as being much more stable overall.
How to Wash, Clean and Dry a Large Tent?
The best way to clean a tent would be to use some kind of non-chemical cleaner, soap and for efficiency a portable rinse kit or hose. Use a non-abrasive sponge or scrubber, to protect the waterproofing properties and membranes which are contained within the tents lining. After it’s been given a good clean you can now set about drying it. Any kind of tent poles, hiking poles or even branches to hang the tent material in the wind and sun for a couple of hours will dry out the tent within an hour or 2.
It’s imperative you dry the tent out before packing away as leaving it in the carry bag covered in wet will eventually create mold and mildew, destroying the tent’s strength and leading to holes and tears.
How to Pack a Large Tent?
Packing it free from any sharp objects, not wrapped around any tent poles will stop rips, abrasion, and tears from happening while in transit. Secondly ensuring the tent is bone dry while in storage will stop any weakening and mold occurring, while not in use.
To summarize, a large tent is clearly the best kind of family tent.
One with features, attachments, and extras are desirable but not necessarily mandatory, they just make life a hell of a lot easier. some even improve the whole experience, like the awning on ours, provided a shaded area for food in the afternoon and card games each evening.
It definitely improved the overall experience and we got a lot out of that 1 feature. The same will go for you with a bit of planning and scoping the right tent to buy.