Best Tents for Family Camping – Cub Scout camping, family camping trips, and even backyards camp outs are always fun, and having the right tent makes things a whole heck of a lot easier. In this article, we’ll give you our recommendations for the best tents for family camping so your camping trips will be a blast.
Editor’s Note: Our recommended tents in this article are specifically focused on FAMILY Camping and similar situations where you’re basically driving to the camp grounds and you don’t care how heavy the tent is/isn’t because you’re not backpacking with it. It goes without saying then that the tents discussed here would not be ideal for backpackers and solo campers who are looking to pack light and streamline their list – if you’re looking to keep it super simple, check out this article instead.
What is a Family Tent? Why does it matter?
Having kids in Cub Scouts, I’ve been on a number of family camping trips and the biggest mistake I see people make when they are new to family camping is not buying a big enough tent.
Every year I inevitably see a family new to camping who brings a ‘4-person tent’ to the campsite for their 4-person family – only to discover that their tent is way too small!
Don’t let this happen to you. Instead read this article and learn why you’ll want AND need a larger tent if you want to be comfortable in a family camping situation.
So what is a “Family” Tent?
Simply put a Family Tent is one that is big enough to be able to:
- house all your family AND your camping gear (to include ‘space eating’ items like air mattresses/cots/etc);
- give you room to spread out inside the tent and be comfortable (not cramped!) – that means being able to STAND UP inside, have room to change clothes, etc;
- if the budget allows provide multiple ‘rooms’ in the tent for kids vs adults.
Remember, this is NOT backpacking in the high country where you need a small, lightweight tent you can easily carry on hikes. Instead we’re talking about FAMILY camping where you can drive to the campsite – that means go BIG.
And when in doubt, go bigger!
Don’t underestimate how much stuff you camp with in family camping situations – this is especially true if you plan to…
- sleep on air mattress or cots (these items take up a LOT of space);
- there are going to be 4+ people in your tent (that’s a lot of gear, clothes, etc);
- camp for 2 days or more;
Did you know?
If there are 4 people in our family, a 4-person tent will probably NOT be big enough for you and all your stuff.
Family Tents – How Big is Big Enough?
A simple rule of thumb I use it to buy a tent that is 1.5 to 2 times the size of the number of people that are camping.
So if you have 4 people, you should at least be getting a 6 person tent (4 x 1.5 = 6), 8 person tent (4 x 2 = 8), or larger if you have more gear.
ACTION ITEM – do the math on your family size to determine the basics of how big a tent you’ll need. Then do a quick inventory of the overall space requirements of the camping gear you want to store inside the tent. Once you have an idea of how much space you’ll need, you’re ready to shop for a family tent for camping!
Best Tents for Family Camping
As you’ve seen from our discussion above, it can be confusing to shop for family sized tents until you understand how much space you really need.
Now that you know what to expect, let’s review my top rated tents for family camping.
First off, here is the list in text format:
- Browning Big Horn 10 Person Cabin Tent
- Core Instant Cabin Tent (Core makes lots of different size options)
- TOMOUNT 8 Person Tent
- Bushnell Shield Series 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- NTK Arizona GT 9 Person Sport Camping Tent
- Gazelle 26800 T4 8 Person Pop Up Camping Tent
Next, I’ll provide more info about each family camping tent along with direct links to Amazon so you can review at your leisure…
[amazon box = “B00BPZCIL8”]
As a side note I have the Browning Big Horn and we’ve been using it for 4+ years – it’s awesome and provides more than enough space for my family and all our gear.
[amazon box = “B00VFH1RQS”]
[amazon box = “B07N87ZZCK”]
[amazon box = “B00NOA1X36”]
[amazon box = “B07WJWMM49”]
[amazon box = “B06W9KHS1J”]
What about Ozark Trail or Coleman Family Tents?
If you are looking to save some money or you’re not sure if family camping is going to be something you do very often, then you might consider going with a tent from Ozark Trail (a brand popular at Walmart) or the classic brand Coleman family tents.
Best Family Tents Summary
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it will prove helpful to you in finding the best tent for family camping for YOUR family.
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