Are you looking for a tent for a family getaway? You’ll probably need to choose a large tent to fit all your gear, family members, and pets comfortably. Ahead, we’ll give you our recommendation for the best large camping tents, as well as some tips you can use in your search.
How to Choose the Right Camping Tent for You
If you’re sleeping in a tent by yourself, any old camping tent will probably fit your needs. If you’re going away for a serious camping trip, though, you’ll want a large camping tent that will comfortably fit everything you need.
Below are some of the elements you’ll want to consider when choosing a camping tent for your next event.
Why Choose A Large Camping Tent?
If you’re alone and don’t get claustrophobic, a small tent will probably be good enough for you. You’ll have to get something big enough to fit your equipment, but other than that you won’t need too much space.
If you have more people, more gear, or if you’re bringing your dog along, you’ll want a bigger tent with enough room for everyone. Tents typically give you a listed capacity, but this isn’t set in stone. There are a lot of personal elements for which companies can’t account. It’s best to subtract one person from the official estimate to account for gear, tossing and turning, and a bit of extra elbow room (if the tent says it fits three, assume it will comfortably fit two).
3-Season Tents vs. 4-Season Tents
If you do most or all of your camping in the summer, spring, or fall, you’ll want to choose a 3 season tent big enough to house all of your camping buddies and equipment. These tents usually have more mesh linings for better airflow in the warmer months. They’ll also have a rainfly to protect your tent from rain and are perfect for most seasonal conditions.
Even if you camp once or twice in the winter months, you can get away with using a three-season tent as opposed to buying a four-season tent. If you’re on the market for a three-season tent that can hold its own in winter, look for one with the least amount of mesh on the sides – or at least one that allows you to cover up mesh openings. You certainly don’t want snow leaking in the windows and getting your gear all wet.
Four-season tents are far more niche than their three-season brothers. You should only buy one of these if you regularly camp at high elevation or in harsh conditions. Designers create these tents to protect against harsh wind, cold temperatures, and snow. It won’t be comfortable to choose one of the four-season options in warm weather, so you shouldn’t buy one of these unless you’re an avid winter camper.
Other Things to Consider
One of the things you’ll need to consider when looking for large camping tents is the density of the fabric. Although tents with low denier fabric are cheap cool in the summer, they’re far less durable than high denier tents. There’s far less of a chance your tent will spring a leak if it’s comprised of denser fabrics.
If you often find yourself camping in hot, humid climates, you’ll want to choose a tent with ample mesh windows for ventilation. Some tents will even give you the option of keeping these sections open or closed. Waking up in the hot sun can be a bad way to start the day if you don’t have the proper ventilation. Of course, if you usually camp at high elevation or in cold weather, choose a tent with fewer mesh openings.
If you don’t want to store your equipment next to where you sleep, choose a tent that offers an awning to protect your gear in a separate section. If you’re bringing your tent with you for a multiple-day hike, you probably won’t want to sleep next to everyone’s sweaty gear. These sections are more valuable than you may initially think.
Core Equipment Extended Dome Tent
The Core Equipment Extended Dome Tent is a fantastic option for a family camping trip. It can fit up to nine people, or eight with gear and a little extra space. If you only have four or five people in your party, this tent will feel massive, but that isn’t a bad thing.
This tent is best for people who only camp a handful of times every year. It’s easy to set up and affordable for its size. The mesh roof allows hot air to escape in the summer, keeping you cool when you wake up in the morning. If you’re doing some backyard camping, you can easily fit a few mattresses in there for extra comfort.
Since the roof is entirely made of mesh when you aren’t using the rainfly, it can be prone to leaks if you don’t set it up correctly. An unexpected rainstorm could mean that some water will invade through one of the exposed openings. Still, this is an excellent tent for a spontaneous family camping trip in nice weather.
- Straightforward setup
- Durable material
- Mesh ceiling for air ventilation
- Fits 8 with room to spare
- Affordable for the size
- Some users reported durability issues with the poles
- Can be difficult to get in and out with rainfly up
- Mesh roof can be prone to leaks
Browning Camping Big Horn Family/Hunting Tent
The Browning Camping Big Horn Family is another solid option if you’re looking for a family tent. Unlike the Core Equipment Dome tent listed above, the rainfly on the Big Horn covers the whole ceiling without too much extra effort. You won’t have to worry about leaks from the top, and the rainfly doesn’t impede the door at all.
Another thing we love about this tent is how tall it is. At 87” in the center, it’s one of the tallest tents we’ve reviewed. Even the tallest members of your family will be able to stand comfortably in this tent.
The only knock on this tent is the durability of the floor. Many tents have tarp floors, but this isn’t one of them. Be careful where you camp, or you could see a stick poking through the bottom.
- Center height of 87”
- Well-designed rainfly for ample protection
- Comfortable mesh ceiling for warmer months
- Freestanding – easy to set up and take down
- Large doorways, unimpeded by rainfly
- Floor durability isn’t as strong as other options
- Vulnerable to strong winds
- Some users reported leaking in the floor
Coleman is one of the most popular brands when it comes to camping tents, and the Montana delivers on their reputation. Unlike the previous two tents we covered, this one is built for inclement weather. If it starts raining, you don’t have to worry about any water leaking through the ceiling or the floor.
I love keeping my gear outside the tent, so the extended awning is a huge plus for me. This tent is easy to set up and is more portable than some of the other large camping tents I’ve used.
If you’re camping in the hottest days of summer, you might be a little warm in this tent. The mesh sections are small, and airflow isn’t as efficient as it is in some of the other tents we’ve reviewed. It’s also not the tallest tent, with a center height of only 74 inches. Taller campers may have to duck here.
- Extended awning
- WeatherTec floor and exceptional stitching
- Easy to set up and carry
- Durable zippers
- Doesn’t leak
- Shorter center height
- Ventilation isn’t the greatest
- Some users reported durability issues with the poles
Core Equipment Instant Cabin Tent
The Cabin Tent is another great tent that’s even bigger than the Core Equipment tent we reviewed above. It’s one of the easiest tents to set up, and you can have it unpacked and on the ground in only a few minutes. The rainfly will keep you dry, and the mesh will keep you cool in the summer months.
Since there’s so much airflow in this tent, it can be a bit cooler if the temperature drops at night. The mesh windows don’t zip to the top, which means air will always circulate – even if you cover all you can. If you’re camping in a cold weather environment, bring some extra-warm sleeping bags.
- Very easy to set up
- Contains an adjustable ground vent for maximum airflow
- Room dividers
- Sealable electrical cord access port
- Effective rainfly
- Mesh windows don’t zip to the top
- Can get cold when the temperature drops
- Some users reported durability issues with the fabric
Wenzel Klondike Tent
The Wenzel Klondike Tent is the perfect tent for a family outing at a campground. The awning is far more effective than the awning on the Coleman tent we reviewed above, since it’s completely enclosed and won’t let any water through.
The weight of this tent is the only major issue. You probably won’t be able to carry this tent with you on a hike, so it’s best if you use it on camping grounds that allow you to drive and park closeby. Other than that, this tent is a fantastic selection for a family getaway.
- Large, covered awning
- 6.5-foot center height
- Simple to set up
- Window flaps zip easily and store well when windows are open
- Vulnerable to wind
- Rain fly makes it hot during the day
- Too heavy for backpacking
Best of the Bunch
Out of the tents we’ve covered, the best option has to be the Coleman Montana. The Montana might be a bit warmer than some of the others, but that’s a fair trade-off for keeping you dry when the rain comes.
The durability of the Montana is what makes it shine. Other large three-season tents are prone to leaks when it rains, but you won’t have this issue with the Montana. The awning is an added plus, so you can keep your gear dry outside if you’re pushing the capacity of the tent. IF you’re looking for the next tent for your family’s camping trip, this is the one we recommend.