10 Best Family Tents | March 2017

10 Best Family Tents
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're planning a camping trip and need a comfortable shelter for the whole gang, check out this list of family tents. They're sized to accommodate up to eight adults or provide an abundance of space for a couple of couples, and some even come with performance capabilities suited for extended outdoor use, including protection against driving snow, rain and wind. Skip to the best family tent on Amazon.
10
The rugged Browning Camping Big Horn boasts a freestanding design supported by a fiberglass pole and sturdy steel uprights. Its durable, polyester fly resists UV damage and buckles easily to the tent. Unfortunately, it tends to leak a bit in the rain.
  • guy ropes are included
  • factory-sealed seams prevent rips
  • door zippers are a bit too small
Brand Browning Camping
Model 5795011
Weight 38.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
With two spacious rooms, the Wenzel Blue Ridge is expertly designed with multi-diameter poles for providing additional headroom. Its hooped fly pole over the door delivers extra protection from the rain, keeping you warm and safe during stormy nights.
  • e-port for electrical appliances
  • 4 storage pockets
  • thin fabric not ideal in heavy winds
Brand Wenzel
Model 36498
Weight 19.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
For its size and sturdy construction, the Coleman Evanston is surprisingly simple to put together and take apart. The windows feature built-in awnings that are great for keeping out the elements, but do hinder your view a little bit.
  • fully-screened front porch
  • 68-inch center height
  • screened area will let rain in
Brand Coleman
Model 2000007825-Parent
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
With pre-attached poles that quickly unfold and extend, the Core Instant Cabin offers hassle-free assembly in as little as 60 seconds. Its advanced active bead technology and rain-resistant doors provide fast and effective water runoff.
  • rain fly is resilient and removable
  • adjustable air intake vent
  • zipper isn't very durable
Brand CORE Equipment
Model 40008
Weight 36.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
With an extended mesh design for providing superior ventilation, the NTK Arizona GT is built for enduring some of the harshest environments, including the Amazon. The shock-corded fiberglass poles that make up the frame can withstand extreme winds.
  • strong gold-plated ferrules
  • pin-and-ring assembly system
  • setup instructions are pretty vague
Brand NTK
Model pending
Weight 27.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
With six windows strategically placed across the shelter, the Ozark Trail Cabin allows you to immerse yourself in the great outdoors with unobstructed panoramic views. It also comes with a mud mat to help keep the interior clean.
  • accommodates 3 queen air mattresses
  • 1 center door and 2 side doors
  • tote bag for easy transport
Brand OZARK
Model pending
Weight 31.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
Built with dependable welded seams and an LED lighted fan system to keep the interior at the optimum level of comfort, the Coleman Prairie Breeze nearly qualifies as a portable vacation home. Its tall construction makes it easy to move around inside.
  • two fan speeds available
  • includes a nightlight
  • can shelter 4 small cots
Brand Coleman
Model 2000008055
Weight 35.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
3
The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow is constructed from 100-percent cotton duck canvas, which makes it durable, watertight, and extremely breathable. Its two funnel-flow vents also improve both air circulation and temperature management throughout the shelter.
  • 4 large mesh windows
  • sleeps up to 8 people
  • easy-to-use ykk zippers
Brand Kodiak Canvas
Model 6014
Weight 84.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The Paha Que Wilderness Promontory accommodates a family of up to eight people, with doors on either end that make it easy to access its two expansive rooms. Its awning provides shade and additional protection from almost any inclement weather conditions.
  • peak height of 7 feet
  • 120 total square feet of space
  • aluminum poles keep it stable
Brand Paha Que Wilderness
Model PR101
Weight 30.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The Big Agnes Flying Diamond features a polyester rip-stop fly and a floor bolstered by a 1,500-millimeter waterproof polyurethane coating. Its doors are constructed with zip-up mesh for ventilation and an extra polyester layer for maximum protection.
  • vestibule provides extra shade
  • solvent-free polyurethane seams
  • reliable storm flaps
Brand Big Agnes
Model TFD69
Weight 20.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

A Home Far Away From Home

There is no experience in modern times quite like getting out of town and getting back to nature. The hiking, the campfires, the rivers and streams, the swaying trees, the inevitable bonding, the peeing outdoors; there is magic everywhere you turn.

If you have kids old enough to own a cell phone (which I believe they're implanting prepartum nowadays, there's also the added benefit of no reception. You kids will actually have to interact with you, and their siblings, and the world around them. It's almost frightening to think about it.

It's a more or less guaranteed way to bring a family closer together. Even if you're at each others' throats through the whole experience, you still come home feeling closer to the people with whom you shared a taste of the wilderness.

Of course, you'd rather the experience be a positive one, and of all the potential pitfalls awaiting you on a family camping excursion, setting up the tent and laying down to sleep are among the most dangerous.

But family tents are built with a pleasant mix of ease and roughness in mind. They're typically simple to set up, with a few frame pieces and one or two main support poles. They have weather resistant covers to keep your family nice and dry should the skies open up, and some even divide off to give kids a sense or privacy from their parents come bed time.

A Tent For Every Type

While there are plenty of similarities among the tents we recommend, there are also plenty of important differences that could have you at the mercy of a teen daughter's uncontrollable angst, or a young boy's destructive streak. Choosing the right tent might just cause you to take a hard look at the personality types in your family. Let's look at a few possibilities and see which tent style best suits them.

The Prolific Procreators: These are bigger families. They have children ranging broadly in age, and a great deal of different personalities among them. If the eldest among these kids are in their teens, I recommend getting your hands on a family tent sized to house you and your youngest, and a two or three-person tent for the teens. Just separate them out entirely, and everyone will be the saner for it.

The Tight Circle: This is also called the nuclear option, as it falls into the 2.5 kids area of the spectrum. While you might need special accommodations for that one half of a child you're dragging out into the woods, most family tents will suit your needs, and some will offer you a bounty of space to stretch out.

The Homesteaders: These folks carry tents just for the heck of it, as they're also traveling in a giant RV. Maybe they set up their tent right next to the camper so they can have power to run their laptops. Maybe they take it out a mile or two from the RV just for a night. These groups can afford to bring the much heavier tents along since they aren't liable to hike very far with them, and they don't need the most advanced, lightweight, and durable materials.

Which brings us to one of the most important considerations: weight. Most of you are going to carry this thing miles and miles through the woods with you, and you aren't liable to get a lot of help, so pick something that won't leave you crippled by the time you reach your site.

Shelter Stretching Back Through The Ages

Tents are nothing new. If asked, you might think of Native American structures resembling modern tents, and assume they reach back a few hundred, maybe a couple thousand years.

While those are certainly important developments in the history of these portable coverings, the oldest ruins of tents date back much farther than the plains of North America. Archeologists have found crude Russian tent ruins made of mammoth hide that date back to roughly 40,000 BCE, before written language, before the pyramids were built.

It was around 400 BCE that the more advanced structures like teepees and yurts cropped up, with Roman military tent encampments following over the next century on the other side of the Atlantic. Much later, around the time of the American Civil War, heavy canvas materials hung over a single horizontal beam supported by two short verticals–known as a pup tent–became the standard military shelter until the 1970s.

The decade following the close of the Vietnam war saw the advent of synthetic materials in tent construction, which proved lighter and easier to set up and break down, as well as much more resistant to the elements. Family tents are simply big version of these synthetic models with all the latest trappings.



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Last updated on March 30, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.


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