Remember when you could just hike in several miles and unfold your hammock to sleep? Remember the glory of ultralight tents? Guess what? You’re several kids in, and that just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Like it or not, if you want to introduce your whole family to camping, you’ve got to expand. Family style tents are less about weight and more about space and comfort. The tent you need has plenty of floor space, high walls and peak height, and plenty of ventilation. They may not hold up in gale force winds like your bomb out tent would, but that’s not the point. Your kids need a gear pocket for their iPads so they can finally listen to the night sounds and go to sleep. We’ve put together a list of ten of the best family tents to help you get started. We have chosen them based on size and ease of set up, plus a few other features that can make camping more comfortable. Let’s take a look.
The Sundome is a classic series from Coleman using a strong frame with shock-corded, fiberglass poles for easy setup. It uses a clip and sleep style common for family style tents, but it shouldn’t require more than one person for set up.
It uses WeatherTec fabric, Coleman’s environment proof material. The polyester rain fly may need two sets of hands to get straight, but once it’s on, it has rain awning to help keep doors dry. The bathtub style floor features inverted seaming with corner welds to keep water and splash back at bay.
All zippers are protected to prevent leaks. There’s pretty good ventilation through ground vents, two mesh windows, and an optional cool port to help slow condensation. The dome style offers some good living space that has room for two queen-sized blow-up beds, but you’re going to lose some space towards the edges because of the dome.
It comes with the carry bag and all appropriate stakes, plus instructions sewn into the carry bag itself.
One of Kelty’s strongest tent components is the pole system. They’re DAC DA17 aluminum, which changes the game for family tents. They’re ultra durable, but still able to bend to get the arch family style tents need for living space.
The walls and floor are 68 denier polyester, and 1800 mm waterproofed. The tent won’t withstand gale force winds, but it does offer you more protection than your standard family tent if you live in an area with moderately bad weather.
It’s a six-person tent with 80 square feet and an additional vestibule area of 22 square feet on either side. It reaches six feet of peak height in the center. The pole design helps pull the walls up, so you have more living space. There are plenty of gear loops, mesh walls for better ventilation and lots of storage pocket.
The Copper Canyon is a classic six pole style that creates nearly vertical walls for better living space. It sleeps four comfortably and has plenty of ventilation through windows on all sides. The D-style door makes getting the family in and out a lot easier.
The frame is a combination of steel and fiberglass with a secure clip and sleeve system for assembly. The full mesh roof offers proper cross ventilation from the windows. The rainfly isn’t full coverage, but it provides good awning and protects the body of the tent from most light rains. The bathtub style floor has factory sealed seams to help with splash back.
The interior has plenty of storage space, loops, pockets, and even a place for storing guy lines when you aren’t using them. You need to be careful with the rainfly and opening the door if it’s raining because the angle of the fly can cause water to pour into the tent when you open the door.
The Core 9 uses pre-attached poles that just pop into place, shaving off valuable time when you’re setting up. It sleeps nine people and uses an innovative ventilation system to prevent overheating and condensation.
All seams are factory sealed down to the ground to prevent leaks, and an adjustable ground vent cuts down on condensation and humidity. There’s a room divider and plenty of gear storage to keep everything organized.
The entire ceiling is mesh, giving you great views or allowing heat to escape. The rainfly attaches above but doesn’t interfere with air flow. T-style doors make getting in and out really easy.
Dream House’s tent is a traditional yurt style built with a circular frame and sturdy canvas fabric. The canvas is very waterproof at 3000 mm, and the strong center pole draws the tent up and creates plenty of room inside. It comes with an optional smoke hole for stove heat.
Canvas isn’t quite like polyester tent fabric. The cotton shrinks to become waterproof, so the tent may leak a bit the first time it’s out in the rain. The best thing to do is to set up in your backyard right before the first rain so you handle this before you sleep in it.
This is a four-season tent that can transform from a summer shelter into an insulated winter camper. It comes with a groundsheet, mosquito screens, all guy lines and tent stakes, and an extra roof tarp.
This is another canvas tent, and it’s gorgeous. Canvas is naturally waterproof and weatherproof, able to withstand higher winds because it’s just heavier. It comes with everything you need to set up a complete shelter including PVC floor, rafter angle kit/couplers, and the aluminum frame. For some canvas tents, you have to buy your frame separately, so this is a convenient way to get started with a canvas tent.
The doors and zippers are reinforced to batten down with wind and rains. Four windows can be fastened to allow in light without losing heat. The walls are five feet with a peak center height of over eight feet.
It can accommodate up to ten people and requires at least two people to set up correctly. You can even add a porch for additional space, although it comes separately.
The Big Agnes is a classic family style tent with plenty of livable space and nearly vertical walls. It’s a bright yellow, which makes it easy to find for even your youngest camper, and the high arch makes it comfortable for your biggest. Two doors give everyone access.
Velcro tabs connect the fly quickly, and the whole structure should be easy to assemble even with one person. Inside, there are plenty of gear pockets sized for even iPads and gear loops to tie up other essentials.
There are huge mesh panels on the top and sides to help with ventilation. The fly sets just off the roof to keep away moderate amounts of rain and weather although you might want to keep your camping to moderate weather. The seams are factory waterproofed, and the bathtub style floor prevents water from splashing inside.
This large tent meets in the middle at a 90-degree angle to make it easier to find a flat surface to pitch. It has an enormous seven-foot peak height and nearly vertical walls for excellent living space for even the tallest of your campers.
The body and rainfly are both 1200 mm waterproofing which is suitable for most mild and moderate weather. Taped floor seams and polyurethane binding prevent puddles on the inside of the tent. It includes plenty of guy lines and an additional solar shield that helps prevent the sun from heating up the interior.
There are two doors, and all the windows have a ventilation screen. It takes about 20 minutes to set up and can hold up to 12 people.
Wenzel’s Klondike style tent uses vertical walls and a porch area to create spacious living while you’re out camping. It’s weather resistant polyester reinforced with a polyurethane coating to help keep out moisture in inclement weather.
The full mesh roof option plus mesh windows create plenty of cross ventilation to keep the tent comfortable. The screened porch can act as a sitting room or a second sleeping area. It has 98 square feet of space in the central area along with another 60 square feet in the front porch. The seams are double stitched and factory sealed to keep out water and rain.
It’s easy to set up with shock-corded poles, but there aren’t many guy-out points, so it’s best to use this tent in a reasonably protected area or when you know there will not be much wind.
If weather sometimes takes you by surprise, this family style tent with full rain fly coverage can help keep away those elements. It uses two rooms to accommodate ten people. There are two doors for easy access and three windows for better ventilation.
A double layer polyester body with polyurethane coating (2500 mm waterproofing) and an inner tent with mosquito mesh helps protect you in a few different environments. The poles are shock-corded fiberglass, and the floor is heavy duty polyethylene material in a bathtub style.
There are plenty of gear pockets and loops to keep things organized, while one of the doors offers a rain protected entrance.