One of the most (if not THE most) important part of a family camping trip is the tent. My best piece of advice for families just starting out on their camping journey is to buy the best family camping tent that you can afford. One that you can grow into as your family grows and that will suit the type of camping you do now and in the years to come.
A really good family tent will last a very long time. It really is worth spending the money to get something that is sturdy, easy to set up and suits your camping style. Some families prefer off road camping in the wilderness while others only ever camp in camp grounds and caravan parks. Whatever your style of camping and the size of your family, this guide will help you find the best camping tent for your needs.
What Makes The Best Family Tent?
What you need in a family tent will vary from family to family. The first thing you’ll need to consider is what size tent is ideal. Every family is different and while for some a small 4 person tent will be sufficient, many will need a larger tent to comfortably accommodate them for longer trips.
Keep in mind how you are likely to use the tent. Do you need multiple separate rooms. Will you be likely to camp in poor weather, therefor needing more indoor space, how much storage will you need in your tent? Are awnings important? Do you prefer a cabin style tent or more of a dome shape?
You’ll also want to take into consideration the size and weight of the various tents and how long they take to set up. Ideally a family tent should be relatively quick to set up although this will somewhat depend on how long you are likely to camp for each time. A longer set up may be acceptable if you’ll be staying put for a week or more where as a quick set up will be essential for short camping breaks.
Our Favourite Family Camping Tents
These are some of the best family camping tents out there. They do range from fairly budget options right through to top of the range family tents, but generally speaking you do get what you pay for. A really good quality family tent can last for many many years while a cheap family tent can need to be replaced frequently. The ideal option will depend on how often you camp, where you camp and how you use your tent.
Family Cabin Tents
These tents tend to give good headroom and offer plenty of space. They can take a bit longer to set up and be a bit bulkier to store but they are a great option if you camp for extended periods of time due to their comfort and extra space.
The Ozark Trail Base Camp 14-Person Cabin Tent is a really good sized family tent and comes at a great price. It’s one of the best tents for large families and offers plenty of space across four rooms.
Instant Set Up Family Tents
While they aren’t exactly “instant” they certainly are much faster than a standard tent. These are some of the best quick set up family tents on the market. An instant set up family tent is the style of tent we use for most camping trips. They do take up more space but the quick set up time justifies the storage space needed.
The Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent is a great mid range medium sized tent suitable for young families. It can comfortably fit two queen air beds but you won’t have much more room for additional luggage or supplies. Ideally it would suit a young family with 1-2 kids on smaller air beds or in a portacot. It offers large screened windows with plenty of ventilation so is ideal for camping in hotter weather.
The CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is another great mid level medium sized family tent. This tent has one of the fastest set ups with the main frame up in under a minute!
The CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is the larger version of the CORE 9 tent and offers considerably more room, again with super fast set up. In under 2 minutes the main parts of the tent are up and ready to use. Ideal for families who don’t want to fuss over set up and just get into the camping fun. This is one of the best family tents for families with 3 kids. It’s also great for smaller families who like a bit more space.