Best Family Tents for Camping in 2020

Its never to early to start camping with your family. Check out our review and buyers guide of the best family tents for your next camping trip with the kids.

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Leave your electronics and worries behind to take your kids on a camping adventure.  It’s never too early to start camping with your kids. 

I’ve learned the key with any family camping trip is comfort, and comfort begins with a reliable tent.  It can be tough to know which shelter might suit your family best.  Especially with so many tent designs, materials, and features available 

To help, here is a list of family-sized, dependable, and affordable tents to consider before heading out on your first overnight in some remote corner of the woods, or in your own backyard.  If you’re looking for a smaller tent.  Be sure to check out our post on the best 4 person tents here.  

Best Family Tents on a Budget: Our Picks

Coleman Elite WeatherMaster

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 11 x 9 x 6 ft
  • Peak: 6 ft 8 in
  • Capacities: up to 6 

Pros: 

  • Attached 9 x 6 ft. screen room
  • Overhead light and illuminator switch
  • Hinged door which makes it easy to go in and out

Cons: 

  • not lightweight

The Coleman Elite Weather Master has a 9×6 foot porch with screens that stretch from the ground to the top of the tent, which is great if you want to enjoy fresh air on a cool evening. Inside, there’s enough room for two queen-sized inflatable mattresses and there are lantern hangars and mesh storage pockets. This family tent is rigid, built with durable materials, comes in an over sized carry bag, and doesn’t take long to set up.

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe Tent

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 10 x 14 ft
  • Peak: 6 ft 6 in 
  • Capacities: up to 8  

Pros: 

  • 2 large D doors and 4 windows with no-see-um mesh
  • Camp in any season
  • Lots of storage space

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe is a great tent for bad weather. You can use it through rain and sunshine — Kodiak Canvas made the exterior using marine-grade material. It’s a custom woven canvas, treated with a silicone dry-finish, to ensure a waterproof refuge. 

The finished result is highly durable and breathable, making the tent more comfortable to stay in. The fabric allows vapors to escape, which, in turn, minimizes the chances of condensation, mugginess and high humidity.

NTK Arizona GT

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 17 x 18 x 6 ft
  • Peak: 6 ft 6 in 
  • Capacities: up to 10  

Pros: 

  • Lots of storage space
  • Affordable and lightweight
  • Has 2 rooms with a zipper divider

Cons: 

  • Can’t use this tent without the fly on it because the window closures are on the fly only

The NTK Arizona GT does a great job at keeping precipitation off the entire shelter. This family tent includes a cover that stretches all the way to the ground and covers the entire tent.

There is also a divider to create two rooms inside, two doors, three windows, mesh utility pockets, and ventilation ports to keep air moving.

Ozark Trail 9-person Instant Cabin Tent

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 14 x 13.5 x 7 ft
  • Peak: 7 ft 
  • Capacities: up to 9

Pros: 

  • Attached screened room 
  • Easy to set up
  • Storage organizer
  • Window flaps that stow into their own pockets 
  • Multiple ceiling loops for hanging things

Cons: 

  • Screened room doesn’t have a floor
  • Not meant to camp in cold weather

The Ozark 9 person family tent lived up to its claim of simple setup and take-down. It is plenty spacious for two adults, one queen mattress, two large dogs and gear. The tent truly feels like a cabin with a 7′ ceiling the entire length. In addition, it has some nice custom features, such as: storage organizer, window flaps that stow into their own pockets and multiple ceiling loops for hanging things.

CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent 

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 14 x 9 x 6.5 ft
  • Peak: 6.5 ft 
  • Capacities: up to 9

Pros: 

  • Easy to set up – Instant Tent
  • Spacious two room tent

Cons: 

  • Not meant for colder weather
  • Some complained about the flooring material being too thin

The Core 9 is a freestanding tent that you can pitch on any terrain. The structure is self-supporting and staking it to the ground is not compulsory, but this is highly advisable to do

The Core 9 is an incredibly livable family tent.  With so many mesh windows around and with the mesh on the ceiling, you have perfect air circulation and condensation will never be an issue in such a tent. But this also means it is a summer tent; such a construction does not keep the warmth inside. Overall this is a great family tent.

ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 10 x 10 ft
  • Peak: 7 ft
  • Capacities: up to 6 people

Pros: 

  • Very pleasant space
  • Reasonable price
  • Great height
  • Very reliable
  • You can pitch it on any terrain

Cons: 

  • Too small for the declared capacity
  • Not meant for colder weather

ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek 6 Tent is a very nicely built tall and livable cabin style tent, with an easy setup, fully freestanding, and with a fair price. It is very breathable for camping during the spring or summer months.  

This tent gives you plenty of space for a queen size mattress.  However if you’re looking for something a bit bigger you can try the ALPS 2 room version.

Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room

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Specs:

  • Floor area: 14 x 10 ft
  • Peak: 68 in
  • Capacities: up to 6 people

Pros: 

  • Great price
  • Versatile
  • Nice carry bag

Cons: 

  • Inner area small for 6 people

The Coleman Dome tent is a unique design with a screened section attached to the main tent.  The sleeping area of the tent is 10×10 ft which will fit a queen size air matress.  Additionally there are 2 pockets on the insides to keep your small things put away.  For the price this is a great affordable tent.

How to choose the best family tent

There are many factors you need to consider when purchasing a tent, some of them are more important than others. Here are a few things to take into consideration.

What is the size of the tent?

The size of your tent needed will be determined by how many family members and/or friends are camping.  When looking for the best 4 person tent, it is important to remember that oftentimes when a tent is advertised as a 4 person tent, it won’t necessarily fit 4 adults comfortably inside.  These tents are best for a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children or a couple with their gear.  

We recommend looking at the square footage of the tent.  This will help you determine if the 4 person tent is big enough for your family.  If you are looking for the best camping tents that will fit 4 adults, we recommend going with a 6 person tent.

A helpful way is sticking to the +2 rule, try to find a tent that has the capacity of 2 over your group size. So, if you are a family of 4, try to use a 6 person tent as a minimum. A family of 6 should use an 8 person tent, and so on.

How easily can you set up the tent?

Another thing you should keep in mind is the ease of setup. 

Nobody likes to spend a lot of time setting up a tent especially when camping with your family.  Choosing the one that is easy to set up and take down is important. 

Since weather can be unpredictable, you want to buy a tent that is easy to set up even if you’re suddenly caught in a rainstorm. The family tents listed in this guide can easily be set up in less than 10 mins.  

How much does the tent weigh?

Weight is another very important factor to look for when buying a tent. The type of tent you buy is going to be based off of what you are looking to do with your tent. Many people want a backpacking and car camping tent, but others want a lightweight tent that they can use for backcountry/trail camping. 

Weight can really make or break your idea of the best family tent. Backpacking tents will often weigh under 7lbs. We recommend you stick with buying a tent that weighs under 10lbs like the ones on this best family tent guide.

Does it have great ventilation? 

Although ventilation isn’t a deal-breaker when you’re camping, it is still important to look at.  Especially when bad weather is a concern. Not all days are cold and windy on bad weather trips, so a tent without ventilation becomes an oven, which could lead to heatstroke. 

Many tents, like those from Core and ALPS Mountaineering, have begun to include specialized vent systems. They’ve included openings near the ground where cool air can enter and circulate the space. Just ensure that there’s a way to seal them for the cold days. 

Is it weather resistant?

All of the best camping tent brands out there are water resistant. With that said, it is worth paying attention to the waterproof ratings when buying a tent..

When choosing which waterproof rating is right for you, you will need to take into consideration what time of year you will most likely be camping in. Also think about if you planned a camping trip and closer to your trip the forecast predicted rain- would you still go? 

Many people won’t go camping if there is any chance of rain and if you are one of those people then I wouldn’t worry too much about the waterproof rating of your tent. If you will camp in the rain- a waterproof rating of 1000mm or higher is recommended.

Does it have a vestibule?

A tent vestibule is an area built onto the front of the tent designed to protect your gear. They usually don’t have a floor and they help protect your gear while you sleep. Vestibules are a great place to store dirty boots or shoes so you don’t have to bring them inside the tent and get your sleeping quarters dirty.

The importance of a vestibule is determined by what type of camping you will be doing.  If you’re car camping and using your car to store all your extra gear, then you probably won’t need a vestibule.  However, if you’re going backcountry camping, a vestibule is the perfect place to store your extra gear in case it rains.  Either way, there is a family tent with vestibules listed above.   

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Its never to early to start camping with your family.  Check out our review and buyers guide of the best family tents for your next camping trip with the kids.