Best Family Tents for 2021

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through our links. 

By Kristy Esparza, December 30, 2020

Trying to figure out the best family tent for your family? Before you get too bogged down on questions about pole structure and the benefits of nylon vs. polyester, remember that the best family tent is the one that’s going to get your family outside together the most often. For some families that’s going to be a tent that’s easy to set up after a long drive, for others it’s going to be a tent that keeps you dry even during a rainstorm. And for many of us, it’s going to be a tent that doesn’t break the bank! 

For this roundup, we picked some tents that best fit common family priorities after researching over 50 of the top family tents on the market and talking to a bunch of moms who love to camp any chance they get. Basically, if you’re looking for a minimal backpacking tent that costs over $1,000, this isn’t the list for you. 

We hope this roundup helps you find the best choice for your family, so you can be offline and roasting those marshmallows over a campfire in no time!

OUR TOP PICK FOR BEST FAMILY TENT overall

Our top pick is a solid budget-friendly fair-weather tent with some fun extras to make families happy.

It’s designed to be fast and easy to set up, always a plus after a long car ride. The dark room feature keeps the tent cool throughout the day for nappers of all ages, and just might encourage the whole family to wake up a little bit later. If anyone else has tried to keep a shouting 3 year old quiet in a campsite at 6am, you might appreciate a design that aims to encourage sleeping!

As a bonus, the “screened porch” creates a fun little insect-free hang out space that expands your living area. If you’re planning on a couple of annual camping trips to warm and sunny destinations, the Coleman Carlsbad might be the perfect tent for you.

BEST WATERPROOF FAMILY TENT TO KEEP YOU DRY IN THE RAIN

The top complaint of tent owners is that their tent didn’t hold up in the wind or a rainstorm. Most budget-friendly family tents that you’ll find on the market are three season tents. These are more accurately one and a half season tents that perform best in fair weather.

If you’re looking for a family-size tent that will keep you dry in a rainstorm, consider Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Geodesic 6-Person Tent. Field tested in Alaska, this four season tent is made with rugged fabrics and a geodesic shape designed to stay stable, even in harsh winds. Like other top selling tents designed for wet weather, the full-coverage rainfly creates an integrated vestibule where you can keep gear and supplies dry while also protecting the tent’s entrance.  

At just under $450 at the time of writing, this tent is at the top of our list from a budget-perspective, but it’s a good value for a rugged four-season tent designed to keep you dry in harsh conditions.

BEST EXTRA LARGE FAMILY TENT

I have to confess, I’m a little obsessed with this Ozark Trail 10-Person Tent Cabin. The maximum height is 78”, and with near-vertical cabin-style walls the average person will be able to comfortably walk throughout the tent without stooping. With a removable divider, the roomy 14’ x 10’ space can be divided into two rooms that will each fit a queen size air mattress.

As with the Coleman Carlsbad above, the tent was made with dark fabric which keeps the tent cooler throughout the day and encourages sleeping. I love that the design also has translucent windows on the rain fly so you can unzip the roof to reveal skylight panels. This allows for direct light inside the tent whatever the weather. Zippers on all windows and the skylights mean that you don’t have to choose between having the rain fly off for views or on for privacy, and it makes for a warmer option than tents with mesh roofs or walls with a rain fly cover.

Last, but not least, the “instant” feature means that the tent has a quick and easy set up (some say under 5 minutes with practice). All in all, this large tent was designed for family comfort and convenience throughout.

BEST FAmily Tent for Easy Set Up

After a long family car ride, many campers don’t want to struggle with a complicated tent set up. Instant family tents like the Caddis Rapid 6 mean that you can literally just pop up your tent and start having fun. Some say you can set up this tent in as little as one minute! 

This is a no-frills fair-weather tent, but the peak height of over 6.5 feet and vertical cabin-style walls makes the interior space feel as roomy as 100 square feet can get.

Made with better quality materials than many of its competitors in the instant-tent category, the Caddis Rapid 6 is a great option if you want a quick and easy camp set up that won’t cost you a dollar for the swear jar.

BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY FAMILY TENT

This classic Coleman tent has been popular with all kinds of campers for years.

First introduced in 2011, it ticks all of the essential boxes. It’s 100 square feet of floor space can easily sleep a family of four.

This is not a tent that you’ll want to hang out and walk around in, but if you’re happy spending most of your time outdoors and just need a tent to get you and the family there, this is a great value option to consider for warm weather camping.

Criteria We Factored Into our Family Tent Buying Guide

Family tent criteria is very subjective and based on the type of camping that you plan to do. For this post, we decided to focus on some of the most common needs of car camping families. We placed a high priority on space, comfort, and value and chose to leave the backpacking and crossover tents for another day. All of the tents reviewed were designed to accommodate 6 or more people and we capped our budget at $500.

Specifically we focused on the following criteria when comparing over 50 of the most popular car camping tests on the market:

Weather-proofing Features

If there’s a good chance of wind or rain storms where you’ll be camping, or it just gives you peace of mind to know that your tent is ready in case of a surprise storm, a tent’s weather resistance will likely be a top priority for you. In addition to the durability of your tent’s materials, you may want to swap out the spacious feel of a cabin-style tent for a dome shape designed to deflect wind and shed rain. 

Weather-proofing will be a main reason to upgrade your tent purchase to include waterproof fabrics, stronger pole materials, full coverage rain flies, and vestibules. You may also want to purchase some extra cord, tougher stakes, and get in the habit of staking out the guy lines to keep you from scrambling around if a storm hits.

We’ve definitely been there a time or two, and once even had to retreat to the car to keep dry!

Space Usage

When it comes to how spacious a tent feels, there are two things you need to consider: tent height and the square footage of the tent floor. 

Tent height is the peak height at the center of the tent. How spacious the tent feels from there depends on whether the tent has vertical walls which allow for the tent height to continue throughout the interior space, cabin-style, or dome walls which curve down from the center. 

When it comes to the tent floor, note that a manufacturer’s tent capacity is based on how many sleeping bags can fit side by side in a tent. The average 6 person tent is 80 – 100 square feet, enough room for 6 standard sleeping bags to fit next to each other on the floor. 

For the purposes of this post, we chose to only include tents with a 6 person capacity or greater. This allows enough flexibility for a family of four to bring in plenty of duffels, the option for an air mattress, and flexible sleeping configurations.

If you’re in doubt of the right size tent for your family, most advise to go against your backpacker instincts and size up. 

Value

Are expensive tents worth it? Most families can get everything they need within the $150 to $400 range. How you value some of the upgrades and comfort features found in more expensive tents is going to depend on how often you camp and where you enjoy camping.

Campers who camp in all weather conditions are going to want more expensive materials to avoid  wet interiors and broken poles. Most of the tents featured here are best suited to the average fair-weather car-camping family, so we chose tents that are priced no more than $500 at the time of writing.

Features and Extras

Though you can undoubtedly camp happy in a no-frills tent, extras like well-designed storage pockets, screen porch areas, and tents with dark room technology can be fun and enhance your comfort. We took note of tents that offered bells and whistles that seemed to be both fun and useful.

Ventilation

If you camp in areas that are hot and humid, you’ll probably be looking for tents that provide good ventilation even with the rain fly on the tent.

For ventilation concerns, look for tents with mesh features that provide for excellent star-gazing on clear nights in addition to allowing for more fresh air.

Also consider a tent with two doors or large windows on opposing sides of the tent. This way you can try to set it up to catch a breeze so that you get cross-flow ventilation throughout the day. Tents with large screen “porch” options are helpful in that you can leave doors open while ensuring that the creepy crawlies stay out.

Set Up and Ease of Use

I’ve never met a camper who didn’t appreciate a tent that was easy to set up and take down.  Arriving after sunset after a long drive, the last thing anyone wants to do is spend a long time setting up.

Some “instant tents” have poles that are permanently connected to the tent body, resulting in set up times under 5 minutes. With a tent like this, set up can even be a responsibility passed onto the kids.

These tents might be bulkier to store, but some car campers will be happy to trade in trunk space for quick and easy set up at the campsite.

Durability

Like everything else, choosing the most durable tent materials is going to depend on how you plan to use your tent. If you plan to take a few fair-weather camping trips per year, your decision is going to be different than if you are hoping to camp throughout the year.  Nylon is stretchier than polyester, for example, so it is more likely to hold up to strong winds. However, the more affordable polyester is less susceptible to UV damage, which is a common problem for car campers who often leave tents up all day in sunny weather.

When thinking about durability, many are thinking about tent pole materials as well. Again, your choice will depend on your tent use. Aluminum poles are popular because they are lightweight, flexible, and strong. In a windstorm, they are likely to bend rather than break, which just might keep your tent up long enough to get back home and fix or replace them.

Fiberglass poles are less expensive than aluminum and are very common in car camping tents. These poles are going to be heavier than aluminum because the material is more fragile requiring the poles to be thicker to achieve similar strength. Other tents have steel poles which are stronger and less likely to shatter than fiberglass but is also heavy. It’s not uncommon to find tents with poles made of different materials so that they take advantage of the best qualities of each. 

Another durability factor to consider is the thickness of the canopy, floor, and rainfly fabrics. Floor thickness is the most important of the three, as it’s going to be the layer that rubs against roots and rocks. This is one reason footprints are so important. Two lighter layers are more durable than one stronger one. A footprint is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of your tent and is much easier to repair or replace than a tent bottom if it tears. 

 What size tent should we buy for a family of 4?

Like everything else, the answer to this question is going to depend on your camping style. The tent capacity stated by the manufacturer is based on the number of adult sleeping bags that can be laid side by side in the tent. Thus, if you actually have 6 people,  you’ll realistically want a bigger tent to allow some room for your things and to move without tripping over others.   

Our family of four currently has a 6 person tent with a floor space that is 90 square feet. Though it wouldn’t be impossible, I don’t think it would be very comfortable to go any smaller. For this reason, we decided to only look at tents with the capacity of 6 people or more in this post.

Cabins vs. Domes – Which style is better for families?

By now you’ve heard me say, “that depends on your camping style,” enough for me to just skip ahead to the PRO / CON lists.

Cabin Tent - Pro

  • Near vertical walls extend the tent’s peak height throughout the tent  interior. This allows you to walk around the tent without stooping.
  • The high tent ceiling provides a roomier overall feel.

Cabin Tent - Con

  • Not designed for storms. Wind hits a cabin wall directly and has a greater chance of knocking down the tent and even breaking your tent poles. The flat roof of some cabin tents allow water to collect, increasing the likelihood of leaks.
  • Most, but not all, cabin tents are more difficult to set up and take down than dome tents.

Dome Tent - Pro

  • Better in bad weather because the wind blows over and around the rounded shape.
  • Most rain flies offer greater coverage on dome tents. Domes with full rain fly may also have vestibules, which come in handy protecting gear and an entrance in the rain.
  • Most, but not all, have a more straightforward set up and can be set up by one person.

Dome Tent - Con

  • The stated peak height begins to slope down immediately. Most adults cannot walk through a dome tent without stooping.

Tent maintenance tips

When weighing how much to invest in your tent, you may be wondering how long a tent usually lasts and whether a more expensive tent might last longer.  As with everything else, it depends. In this case, how hard you are on your tent and how much you pay attention to tent maintenance can make a big difference on a tent’s durability.  

The following are some tips you might want to keep in mind if you want your family tent to last for years. Photos of kids enjoying s’mores by a campfire added below for a break while reading about tent maintenance.

Before Use & During Set Up

  • It’s a good idea to set your tent up in the backyard before  your trip. Take your time and make sure you have all the stakes and accessories you need, and that there are no visible tent defects that can cause headaches during your trip. Experienced campers suggest purchasing more rugged stakes and ropes for the guy lines, as manufacturer-provided stakes are often low quality. 
  • Sweep out the campsite before setting up  your tent to get visible rocks and needles out of the way.  This will help protect the floor of your tent from abrasion, and may make for a more comfortable sleep if using sleeping pads instead of a mattress.
  • Use a footprint to protect the floor of  your tent from rocks and roots. Not only will it help reduce abrasion on your tent floor, it will also keep moisture and mud from the underside of your tent. This keeps you dry and makes re-packing your tent much more pleasant! Your footprint shouldn’t extend beyond the perimeter of your tent, so it won’t collect and pool water during a rain shower. If you make your own footprint out of a tarp, be sure to trim or fold the edges so it’s the correct size for your tent. 
  • Watch how much direct sun your tent gets. Though people writing reviews are usually upset by wind or rain damage, the most problematic element for car campers is the sun. UV rays can degrade fabrics in the canopy and rainfly.  Try to set  up your tent in the shade if possible. If you’re planning to camp in sunny unprotected sites, consider polyester materials which hold up better to UV rays than fabrics like nylon.

While Using Your Tent

  • Be nice to your zippers. Outside of leaks and other weather fails, most unhappy reviewers really hate their tent zippers. Try to be patient with them, and never force them if they get stuck. If the zippers on your tent feel cheap, you might want to see if an upgrade is available. 
  • Keep it clean. Leave shoes outside so stray dirt and rocks won’t scratch or puncture the floor of the tent. 
  • It’s a good idea to keep all food and fragrant toiletries outside the tent, so critters won’t be tempted to gnaw a hole in the side to find your goods.
  • Never pack up a wet tent. Try to hang it out to dry before you pack it up to give any built up condensation a chance to dry. If you can’t do this at your campsite, hang it out when you get home. Make sure your tent is completely dry before you move it back to storage so it doesn’t mildew in between trips. 

Break Down & Maintentance at Home

  • Do a basic cleaning after a long trip, or at the end of the season if you go on a few shorter trips. Tents are always hand-wash only. Avoid fragrant soaps if possible. REI has a helpful guide to tent cleaning.
  • Reseal leaky seams. Most tents come pre-sealed by the manufacturer, but many experienced campers like to reseal with a seam sealer just in case. Make a habit of glancing at the seams before or after each trip to see if any of the seams are in need of some freshening up.

Our Pick for Best Family Tent

Best Family Tent Top Pick: Coleman Carlsbad
Best Family Tent: Coleman Carlsbad Front Porch
Best Family Tent: Coleman Carlsbad Interior

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 10 x 9 ft. floor with 10 x 5 ft. screened porch (bathtub style means actual floor space will be slightly smaller)
  • Peak Height: 68 in.
  • Weight: 22 lbs.

Full disclosure, we don’t own this tent, but ours is pretty similar!  John is firmly in the fair-weather-only camping group, and with the mesh back window, this tent is ideal for warm weather conditions. It’s easy to set up, and the boys love the screen porch feature. It provides an additional 50 square feet of living area, and they can be found playing in there as soon as we set up. 

We don’t have the dark room fabric, but I love the idea for campers with young children. The kids wake up extra early when camping, and any help keeping them sleeping comfortably is a welcome addition.  The interior space isn’t huge at 90 square feet, but it’s plenty of sleeping space for a family of four.

The tent has an easy set up, awnings over the windows provide rain protection, a mesh “gutter” expels unwanted rain from the porch area, and materials that block the sun’s light and warmth speak to the tent’s craftsmanship. Priced under $200, this tent provides a lot of bang for your buck. 

This tent may not be for you if you like to camp in cooler climates. The mesh back window provides good ventilation, but it can get chilly in the tent overnight in cool temperatures. Likewise, the screen porch isn’t fully covered by the rain fly, so that area can get wet in the rain. It also would be nice if the peak height of 5’8” was just a few inches taller. 

Best waterproof Tent

Best Waterproof Family Tent - Cabela's Alaskan Guide Geodesic Tent
Best Family Waterproof Tent: Alaskan Guide Geodesic 6 Awning

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 10 x 9 ft. floor (bathtub style means actual floor space will be slightly smaller)
  • Peak Height: 75 in.
  • Weight: 33 lbs.

Nothing makes a tent owner less happy than waking up to drips and leaks, or even worse, having their tent raised by the wind. For almost every family tent on the market, you can read a “worst tent ever!” review inspired by a weather-related incident. Digging into angry reviews, a small percentage of them appear to be actual defects on the specific tent purchased. But some could also be the case of a tent owner purchasing a fair-weather tent that wasn’t designed for the wind and rain. 

If you camp in an area where frequent rain and storms are common, you may want to pay a bit more for a tent that will keep standing and keep you dry in bad weather. The tent we chose to be the best in this category is Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Geodesic 6-Person Tent. This rugged tent was designed as a four season tent, and I would guess that it’s probably used more by outdoorsmen than families on a campout.  

As we’ve mentioned above, dome-style tents provide greater strength and wind-shedding abilities than cabin tents. Geodesic tents take this one step further, applying the principles of the geodesic dome that create strong and flexible structures by using triangles. The downside of geodesic design is that it’s not exactly intuitive to assemble. Make sure to practice at home before setting it up at your site.

This tent uses rugged fabrics that should keep you dry in any weather. If you’re paying attention to weather-resistant tents,  you’ve probably noticed manufacturers describing coatings in terms of millimeters (mm) and fabrics in terms of deniers (D). The coating measurement describes how much hydrostatic pressure water the coating can take before it leaks. This tent’s full coverage rainfly has a 2,000mm waterproof coating, meaning 2,000mm of water can be added before the coating starts to leak.  The bathtub-style floor has an extra-thick 3,000mm rated coating to keep you dry when there’s considerable ground moisture. 

Deniers are a unit of measurement that references the thickness of the fabric. A thicker denier is rugged, but it also leaves more gaps between the fibers making it difficult to waterproof. For example, common deniers for backpack textiles are over 500, which makes them durable but rigid and difficult to waterproof.  Most tents have a denier between 75D and 150D. The Alaskan Guide Geodesic Tent has a 75D rainfly with 210D polyester walls and floor. 

Additionally, the full-coverage rainfly creates an integrated vestibule which you’ll want in a storm for protected storage space and to protect the tent’s entrance. At just under $450 at the time of writing, this tent is near the top of our list from a budget-perspective, but it’s not a shocking price tag for a rugged four-season tent designed to keep you dry in harsh conditions. 

The one thing I can’t figure out with this tent is that they discontinued the aluminum pole option so that it now only comes with fiberglass poles. These are much more fragile than their aluminum counterparts. It’s a more affordable material, so it could be one of the factors keeping the cost of the tent relatively budget friendly. 

The Alaskan Guide also comes in 4 person and 8 person models

Another tent highly recommended for keeping your family dry is the REI Basecamp 6. This tent also utilizes sturdy geodesic dome architecture and rugged materials for greater stability in rough weather.

Its two extra wide doors make it easy to get in and out without crawling over anyone, and the pole design stretches the ceiling height so that the sloping walls are a bit less angled than other dome tents. The Basecamp also includes aluminum poles which are less susceptible to breaking under stress than the Alaskan Guide tent. Reviewers love the Basecamp’s 14 well-designed storage pockets.

If  you want a solid tent that will keep the whole family dry, the Basecamp might be another great option for you.

Best Extra Large Tent

Best Extra Large Family Tent: Ozark Trail 10P Dark Instant Cabin
Best Extra Large Family Tent: Ozark Trail 10P Insta Cabin with Dark Room

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 14 x 10 ft. floor
  • Peak Height: 80 in.
  • Weight: 20 lbs.

Finding this tent reminded me of the time I returned to my old apartment in New York after living in a townhouse in Virginia.  I’d romanticized my beloved Brooklyn home, only to be confronted with a room in which a double bed touched all three walls and took up over half of the space. In a similar vein, as someone who fell in love with camping while backpacking, I once cringed at the idea of a car camping with a huge comfortable family tent.  But then I started shopping and researching. And now I want the Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin.

This tent checks the boxes of all the things I’d like to improve in our current tent:

  •  The maximum height of 78” and cabin style mean that you can simply walk around inside the tent. No more stooping!  
  • The dark fabric means that we just might have a chance of sleeping past 6am and not having to run around shushing our 3 year old. 
  • As someone who is always cold, I love that you have the option to zip up your windows and the roof “skylights.” Our mesh roof and back wall are covered by a rain fly, but the gap in between the two make for some chilly nights, especially in the mountains.
  • The skylight concept is pretty cool, allowing you to have natural light in the tent and even stargaze without having to remove the rain fly. I can see this solving my constant cold problems, and can imagine this being fun with the boys.    
  • Though I’ve never thought our tent was slow or difficult to set up, I won’t turn down an option that’s faster and easier!

This tent may not be for you if you plan to camp in less than fair weather. It’s called a three-season tent, but it’s really more like a warm and sunny weather tent. Designed for the occasional camper looking for a comfortable and budget-friendly family tent, the quality of the tent fabric is mid-range. Unhappy tent owners mention “holes” found in the tent walls. Some of this has been found to be spots of sunlight peeking through the dark fabric, but it’s worth a careful inspection before your first trip.

The Ozark Trail Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent also comes in 12 person model model.

Another very popular large tent option is the Coleman Weathermaster 10.  Some of my outdoorsy mom friends who have mastered the art of comfortable camping swear by it. As you’d expect, it has plenty of room for a large family with 153 square feet of floor space, a maximum 6′ 8″ height, and a cabin structure. There are two doors, one of which is hinged for easy in and out access, and a tent divider allowing families to split the interior space in two for extra privacy. Like the Ozark Trail, this is a fair weather value tent, but it will provide plenty of comfort for the whole family in a warm and sunny location.

Remember, when looking at tent capacity, the stated capacity is how many standard size sleeping bags fit on the floor sit side by side. A 10 person tent will house a family of 5 or 6 comfortably, but you may want to look into other options if you actually have 10 people. 

Easiest Family Tent Set Up

Best Family Tent for Easy Set Up
Best Family Tent for Easy Set Up - Caddis Rapid 6 Rain Fly

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 100 sq. ft.
  • Peak Height: 80 in.
  • Weight: 25 lbs. 8 oz.

If just the thought of a complicated or time-consuming set up process makes you want to avoid the campground, an instant tent like the Caddis Rapid 6 could be for you. Once you know how to use it, the set up process can be completed in as little as one minute! It’s also an ideal tent for solo set ups if you’re on your own with the kids. The quick set up is the star quality of this tent.

The feel of the interior space comes next. With a peak height over 6.5 feet and vertical cabin-style walls, the Caddis Rapid 6 has an interior that feels as roomy as 100 square feet can get. 

This is a no-frills fair-weather tent. You should be fine in light rain, but it’s not designed for a storm.The tent is made with quality materials, 190D polyester on the roof and rainfly, 210D polyester on the floor, but coverage is minimal. With a mesh roof offering beautiful night sky views and windows on all sides, you will be happy and well-ventilated in warm and sunny locales.

Best Family Tent for Easy Set Up - Coleman Instant Cabin

A more budget-friendly alternative to the Caddis Rapid 6 is the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup. Like the Caddis Rapid 6, the Coleman Instant Cabin has pre-attached poles and sets up in under 2 minutes. The Coleman Cabin has an integrated rain fly, so you don’t even need that extra step unless  you choose to purchase the rain fly accessory sold separately. One of the biggest complaints on this tent is that the  solid, coated-polyester roof doesn’t always protect well in the rain, so you may want to consider purchasing that accessory fly option.

The Coleman Instant Cabin also comes in an 4 person version and a 10 person with dark room technology.

Best Budget-Friendly Family Tent

Best Budget-Friendly Tent - Coleman Sundome Dome
Coleman Sundome without Rain Fly - Best Budget-Friendly Tent
Coleman Sundome 6P Interior - best budget-friendly family tent

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 10 x 10 ft. floor (bathtub style means actual floor space will be slightly smaller)
  • Peak Height: 6 ft.
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs.

This list has several relatively-inexpensive family tent options, but if all you need is a simple budget-friendly tent to get your family outside, you can’t go wrong with the Coleman Sundome Dome.

This is not a tent that you’ll want to hang out in all day, but with 100 square feet of floor space, mesh walls and roof for good ventilation, and a functional rain fly, it will comfortably sleep a family of four. If you’re an occasional camper looking for an inexpensive and easy option, this is a great tent to consider.

The Coleman Sundome Tent also comes in a 4 person version.

More Family Tent Favorites

There are so many great tents out there, with features designed for every family wanting to get outdoors. I couldn’t let myself close out this article without also bringing your attention to these other great family tent favorites.

Family Tent Favorite - Kingdom 6

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 83.3 sq. ft.
  • Peak Height: 75 in.
  • Weight: 21 lbs. 6 oz.

The Kingdom also comes in 4 person and 8 person versions.

A favorite of many frequent campers and reputed review sites alike is the REI Kingdom 6.  At just over 83 square feet, the tent isn’t physically larger than other family tents, but something about it feels roomier to its fans. In addition to vertical walls with a peak height of 73”, the base is rectangular rather than square resulting in a half-barrel shape that can be utilized differently. The Kingdom 6 also comes with a zippered room divider that can be hung from various parts of the tent, so you can divvy up the space in the way that makes the most sense to your family. Other interior features include a whopping 22 pockets that ring around the entire tent interior, so everyone can keep stuff organized and off the floor.

For a large family tent with vertical walls, the Kingdom 6 also does pretty good in rainy weather. The 75D polyester taffeta rainfly covers most of the tent all the way to the ground, though beware of its reputation for easily catching wind!  The tent also has two huge doors at either end, which can be used to add a vestibule and a weather-protective awning. This used to be included, but is now sold separately.

One reason that I didn’t put the Kingdom 6 higher on this particular list is that, at $499 at the time of writing, it’s price is at the very top of our budget criteria. This is before adding on extras like the $100 mudroom vestibule and $65 footprint. This is a high-end tent with features that will be most appreciated by families who camp often.

family tent favorites - Coleman WeatherMaster 6

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 11 x 9 ft. floor with 9 x 6 ft. screened porch (bathtub style means actual floor space will be slightly smaller)
  • Peak Height: 80 in.
  • Weight: 32 pounds

I don’t know why, but I’m just a sucker for a tent with a screened in porch. While this feature may not work for everyone, we’ve found ours useful as a toy repository, a bug escape, and a place for a quiet cup of coffee while still waking up. So when I first came across the cabin-height screened porch on the Coleman Weathermaster 6, I was tempted to buy one immediately. An additional plus of this feature on the Weathermaster is that you don’t have to go through the porch area to get to your front door. There are two layers of tent wall between the porch and the sleeping space, so you can go in and out without worrying about letting any bugs inside.

Again, this is a fair-weather tent designed for mild conditions with minimal rain. The ceiling is nothing but mesh, so you’ll get a bit of a chill even with the rain fly on. The fly is also minimal in design, protecting the ceiling and creating some awnings over the windows. 

All in all, this is another example of a comfortable and affordable family tent, ideal for fair-weather campers and folks like me that like the extra living space provided by screened porches.

family tent favorites - Eureka Copper Canyon LX6

Dimensions: 

  • Floor Space: 10 x 10 ft.
  • Peak Height: 7 ft. 
  • Weight: 21 lb. 15 oz.

The Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 6 is a great family tent for tall families. With a peak height of 7 feet and a cube-like cabin shape, it’s one of the most spacious in it’s class. Like other cabin tents, it’s not the best option if you’re going to be camping in stormy weather, but it should keep you protected on an average rainy night. 

One thing I love about the design is that the fly protects the ceiling and juts out to steer rain away from the walls, but it’s not needed for privacy like some other tents. The large windows can be open for 360 views when you want them, but they also can be closed for plenty of privacy if you’re in a campsite within view of your neighbors. Then, when you’re camping in good weather, you can leave the fly off at night for wide open nighttime stargazing through the mesh roof without worrying about covering any see-through mesh walls. 

Eureka! Copper Canyon also comes in 4-person, 8-person, and 12-person versions.

And that’s a wrap on our favorite family tents for car camping. We wish you many seasons of happy camping in the perfect tent for you!

Join today and get fresh ideas and inspiration sent right to your inbox.