Are you beginner campers just thinking of getting started with your own outdoor adventures with kids?
Breathing in the fresh country air, roasting marshmallows on an open flame, and falling asleep to the gentle pitter-patter of rain on your tent – what better way to spend quality time with your loved ones?
You’ve chosen the location and convinced the kids that it’ll be fun, now it’s time to ask yourself: what are the best tents for family camping?
This post is part of our camping and outdoor family adventures series
Considerations Choosing Family Tents
With so many options out there, how do you find the perfect tent to make sure you have the best camping experience possible? Here are some things to consider:
Outline your budget
Although camping is a relatively budget way to holiday, taking the whole family on a camping trip doesn’t come for free. The price of tents varies depending on size, manufacturer, quality, and extra features.
Know how much you want to spend, and do a comparison of the latest tents to find a great deal without compromising on quality and comfort. We looked to bestbudget for advice on the latest low-cost options but still great quality.
Decide which size tent will provide the most comfort
If you want the family to have the best camping experience possible, you’ll need to ensure they’re comfortable and don’t feel cramped, hot, and bothered.
Think about the size and age of the people joining you, and go from there. Remember, you’ll need plenty of space to store bags and outdoor gear as well, and you can’t always count on the weather!
Do you want all the family to sleep in one tent or will you go it alone with a family tent and smaller tents for the kids? Remember babies and tots might be small but camping beds for babies and toddlers can still take up as much space in your tent as an adult bed.
How many “person”
Generally speaking, when quoting how many ‘person’ or ‘men’ a tent can fit, they are assuming you’re all sleeping pretty close together. Consider if in reality your family of 4 may be more comfortably spaced out in say a 6 man tent where you all have a little more room to manoeuvre and spread out.
Also, think about weight – when you’re adding to the size of a family tent you are no doubt adding to the weight too. You are likely going to have to do some sort of carrying between your car and your campsite so do factor this in when choosing the size of your tent.
Be realistic about how much time you’ll spend in the tent vs. being out in the great outdoors; if the tent is just for sleeping in you may be able to downsize to save on space and most importantly, money!
Are you looking for a super easy pop-up tent or something that will give your family a little more space? You might add a little bulk by having vestibules on the sides of your dome tent but they will certainly add more space for your family to move around inside than a single dome tent.
Cabin style tents with straighter sides provide more interior room than dome style tents but can be bulkier to set up.
What sort of weather will you be camping in? Many tents described as “budget” for families might be great for the occasional summer camper but they are not made to withstand high winds and heavy rains that you may experience in the colder winter months.
A “3 Season” tent should be robust enough to last through Spring, Summer & Fall, but a “4 Season” tent is tough enough to keep the family protected under canvas year-round.
Also look at how your tent sits on the ground, does it have a protective lip to stop moisture for getting in? Robust zips and closures that stop everything from wind to insects getting in?
You can learn more about what to expect camping in the different seasons here
Obviously, you’ll need a tent that can withstand bad weather conditions and has good ventilation during hot weather. Examine the quality features carefully, and be sure to choose something that will be with you and your family for years to come and suits the weather conditions you’ll be sleeping in.
Check reviews carefully for possible design faults.
Top 5 Value Camping Tents for the Family
There are plenty of cheap tent options out there, but which ones are going to be your best value for money? We’ve picked out 5 we think will fit the bill, depending on the size of your family.
Coleman Sundome Tent (6 Person)
The Coleman Sundome Tent is a strong contender for providing the best quality at a value-for-money price point.
Available in 2-6 person versions, this tent features a weatherproof exterior that’s designed to withstand 35mph winds and includes a rain fly. The tub floor has patented corner welds, and the entire tent has protected seams to ensure you stay dry all the time. The six-person version is a great choice for short family getaways or festival trips.
- Weather-proof and durable
- 3-season suitable for spring, summer and fall camping trips
- Has an E-port slot if you need to bring electrics into the tent
- WeatherTec System welded corners keep out groundwater and moisture
- Heavily-sloped walls mean this tent lacks the livability and roominess of more expensive options and is realistically uncomfortable for six people
- Loses heat in colder climates due to the mesh sliding
OutdoorMaster Tents (6 person)
A superb and spacious value pick for family tents is the OutdoorMaster. Available in both 4 and 6 person models, easy pop-up cabin-style tents are one of the more spacious for families who like their room to move inside the tent.
Providing a generous floor space of 9′ x 9′, the 190T polyester fabric is PU coated for water resistance, making it a sturdy contender for a 3-season tent. We love that the tent uses Dark Space technology to keep your tent darkened, ideal for those who need a dark room to sleep well or value their privacy without light-casting silhouettes when you’re changing!
- Generous head clearance of 70″
- Handy interior lantern loop
- Huge mesh panels for ample ventilation and bug protection
- Dark space technology for ample privacy
- Some purchasers have complained about the quality of the zips
- Instructions are a little vague but it’s fairly self-explanatory with built-in poles
Coleman Tent for Camping (8 person)
Measuring 170 square feet with a 6-foot center height inside; if you’re looking for an instant cabin of sorts for the larger family then this camping tent is one of the best! The Coleman 8-person tent offers lots of interior space and high-quality performance for a memorable outdoor experience.
This tent features a welded floor inside the tent and thick waterproof walls for optimal weather protection. It’s easy to set up and pack away with separate bags included for tent, poles, and stakes, making it the ideal home away from home for entry-level campers.
- Spacious and well-ventilated making it the ideal family tent
- Easy setup with included room dividers
- 3-season suitable for spring, summer and fall camping trips
- Weighing 42 pounds it’s a bit on the heavy side
- Although it’s marketing as an 8-person tent, 8 adults would be uncomfortable, but with smaller children on their own sleep mats or sharing a queen-sized mattress it works great
Core 9 extended Dome tent (9 Person)
This generously sized family tent won’t dent your budget too badly and comes with enough space to comfortably fit 3 queen-sized mattresses side by side – or on sleeping mats you can fit up to 9 (though for most families this would be a real; squeeze.
The generous 6 foot ceiling means most adults can stand upright and CORE H20 technology makes the tent water repellent.
- Adjustable venting system for good air flow
- Good central ceiling height
- Great for fitting a larger family under one roof
- Water repellent but would not withstand heavy rains and winter weather conditions
- A tight squeeze to get back in it’s original bag
HIKERGARDEN Camping Tent (10 person)
If you’re going camping somewhere with unpredictable weather, then you’re probably wondering: what is the top options when choosing a waterproof camping tent? This one’s guaranteed to keep you dry, even if the weather turns on you. Remember though, a pack of cards is a must!
The HIKERGARDEN camping tent features a roomy interior with enough space for 10 people and a durable exterior to ensure you stay dry and warm during your trip. It offers instant tent setup, and takes just 9 minutes to build your new outdoor home!
Made with thick and sturdy fabric, it has long nails at the corners to ensure it’s still fully standing when you return to base camp after a day of exploring. The mesh front door and windows allow for plenty of ventilation and feature 2-way smooth & sturdy zippers, so they don’t get stuck.
- Plenty of space for 10 adults to sleep comfortably, e-port inside
- 4-season tent suitable for year-round camping conditions
- Wind and waterproof exterior keeps you dry and comfortable
- Separator curtains give added privacy
- The large interior would benefit from having two doors for easier access
- Small storage bags make it difficult to pack away
- Needs at least two people to construct due to its size.
Found this family camping gear guide helpful?
You may also want to check out more advice and reviews from our camping and outdoor adventure series on Our Globetrotters:
- The best kids sleeping bags for camping trips
- Essential gear you need camping with a baby
- Camping with toddlers – handy tips and essential gear
- Camping chair kids will love
- The perfect kid’s flashlights, headlamps and lanterns for your next camping trip
- Picking the perfect kids camping hammock
- The ultimate guide to camping on sand
- Ideal gifts for your outdoorsy kids
- Perfect make-ahead meals ready to cook on your next family camping trip