Selection of Family Tents

 Coleman 8 Person Instant Family TentColeman 8 Person Instant Family TentColeman Montana 8 Person Family TentColeman Montana 8 Person Family TentWenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family TentWenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family TentColeman Sundome 2-6 Person Family TentColeman Sundome 2-6 Person Family TentColeman Evanston 6-8 Person Family TentColeman Evanston 6-8 Person Family Tent
PriceCheck Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »
Electrical accessYesYesNoYesYes
BugproofYesYesYesNoYes
Sun protectionYesYesYesYesYes
Rain protectionWeatherTec systemWeatherTec systemRain flyYesWeatherTec system
Floor qualityWeldedWeldedWeldedWeldedWelded
Multiple doorsNoNoNoNoNo
WindowsSevenTwoTwoNoneFour
Sleeps8882 to 66 or 8
Screened areaYesYesYesNoYes
Leakproof seamsYesYesYesYesYes
Interior space14ft x 8ft16ft x 7ft16ft x 11ft10ft x 10ft14ft x 10ft or 15ft x 12ft
Easy to setupYesYesYesYesYes
Storage pocketYesYesYesNoYes
Three-season tentYesYesYesYesYes
Pre-attached polesYesNoNoNoNo
 Coleman 8 Person Instant Family TentColeman 8 Person Instant Family TentColeman Montana 8 Person Family TentColeman Montana 8 Person Family TentWenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family TentWenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family TentColeman Sundome 2-6 Person Family TentColeman Sundome 2-6 Person Family TentColeman Evanston 6-8 Person Family TentColeman Evanston 6-8 Person Family Tent

Family Tent Buying Guide

Updated: February 21, 2017

Family Tent Buying Guide on Amazon

Family Tent Buying Guide

So: you’re on the market for a family tent. But if you’re now the person responsible for setting it up, knowing what to look for can get confusing.

The last thing you want is to buy a tent that isn’t waterproof and sturdy after all!

Family tents have enjoyed a surge in popularity over recent years, as “staycationing” becomes an affordable and attractive option for hard-working families who want to enjoy a memorable holiday with their loved ones on a budget.

To ensure you get an effective tent that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s worthwhile to think about the features you need – and those you don’t.

These products are designed to accommodate more than two people – and the number of sleepers who can comfortably fit in one of these tents can vary anywhere from three to ten. However, you should always examine the dimensions of the tent carefully before making a purchase – and we’ll explain why later on.

To ensure you get an effective tent that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s worthwhile to think about the features you need – and those you don’t.

For example, although a porch might seem like a novel inclusion, you probably wouldn’t miss it – as you’d want to sit outside of the tent if the weather was nice to avoid cabin fever.

You also need to think carefully about the nature of your camping holiday. If you’re going to be backpacking between sites, a portable family tent with a compact carrying bag is going to be essential. Some products are so heavy, that you need a car to ferry them between destinations.

Choosing the Right Family Tent

2-family-tent-buying-guide-choiceYour first consideration to make is the durability of the floor. Although some manufacturers use welded materials to stop moisture from the ground seeping into the tent, it’s likely you’ll still want carpet or additional protection to make sure it’s comfortable as you sleep.

The same goes for ventilation. As our bodies radiate heat when we sleep, the internal temperature of a tent when there are eight people under one roof can soar.

However, with plenty of windows – and mesh which ensures that fresh air continually circulates through – it should become easier to strike that balance between being too hot and too cold throughout the night.

A good tent stands and falls (literally) by the quality of the poles, stakes and fittings which are included in the box.

You’ll also be confronted with lingo about "three-season" and "four-season" tents. Typically, the former is suitable if you like to go on vacation between spring and the end of fall. However, if you’re a hardcore winter camper, the four-season option ensures that you can withstand thunderstorms, snow and other extreme elements.

A good tent stands and falls (literally) by the quality of the poles, stakes and fittings which are included in the box. You should at least expect your family tent to withstand a heavy breeze – and hopefully – you won’t have to contend with that irritating flapping noise which can often make it difficult to fall asleep.

The one time that a porch will be useful is if wet conditions are forecast for during your time away. If you’re heading on treks or long walks, it’s likely that you’ll have some damp clothes that you wouldn’t want to store where you sleep – as it could create an unpleasant and distinctive musty smell.

In this buying guide, we’re going to go over five key specifications for any family tent – and the particular characteristics that you should look out for. This way, you won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse as you shiver on a campsite somewhere.

Family Tent Buying Specifications

Is there an electrical access port?

3-family-tent-buying-guide-electrical-access-portOf course, in an ideal world, it would be easy to cut away all communication – and escape from the continual pinging of smartphones and tablets. But in today’s modern family, it’s a sad truth that allowing your teenagers to bring along their devices can be a deal-breaker to ensure they even come on holiday with you!

Even if your need for electricity extends to other creature comforts, many family tents include a devoted access port which provides a safe way to bring appliances inside. The main advantage to this is how it eliminates a tripping hazard which can be caused by cables running across the door and throughout your sleeping area.

Remember: attempting to charge your smartphone could drain the battery quickly, or even trip your battery, so proceed with caution.

There are just a few bits of forward planning that you need to address first. To begin, you need to consider where your electricity supply is going to be coming from – as not all campsites will offer a connection to the mains. You might want to purchase a battery that’s suitable enough to power low-energy devices with a voltage of 12V. This could include lights and even some televisions.

Remember: attempting to charge your smartphone could drain the battery quickly, or even trip your battery, so proceed with caution.

Another crucial consideration to make is your safety when dealing with an electricity supply, especially when you’re in a damp environment.

You should ensure that all of your plugs are weatherproof, and that the cables which are being used to transport the electricity are fully waterproof. Ideally, the wires that you use should also be pretty long – as you may have a fair distance to travel to your nearest socket.

Always make sure you power down each electrical appliance after use, too.

Does the tent offer rain protection?

4-family-tent-buying-guide-rain-protectionUsually, with a family tent, you will benefit from a waterproof rain fly which keeps any unwanted moisture outside of the interior as you sleep. However, it won’t eliminate that soothing and pleasant sound of the raindrops hitting the roof.

You can always purchase replacement rain fly covers if yours becomes broken or lost for any reason. However, you should just make sure that it’s fully compatible with the size of your family tent. The last thing you want to do is purchase a cover which is designed for a four-person tent, when the product you purchased is twice as big.

Other design traits which you should keep an eye out for to ensure your family tent is fully waterproof include leak-free seams, along with a durable and heavy-duty fabric which repels moisture.

A good rain fly will also double up as insulation if you’re lucky – and should shoot over the tent so you can store shoes and other equipment outside of your sleeping area without it becoming wet.

In addition, such accessories also guarantee that you can ventilate the tent as usual.

Other design traits which you should keep an eye out for to ensure your family tent is fully waterproof include leak-free seams, along with a durable and heavy-duty fabric which repels moisture.

A good zipper further guarantees that there won’t be any buildup of liquid outside the door too, which could come seeping in when you wake up in the morning.

There are a few other tips to bear in mind when you’re camping on a wet weekend. Even if your family tent is completely waterproof, try to avoid placing items around the edges of the tent where it could come a little damp. Also, try to avoid pitching the tent in any areas where you’re downhill or puddles have begun to form – as this could result in an unpleasant surprise overnight.

Does the family tent have multiple doors?

5-family-tent-buying-guide-multiple-doorsAs you browse the many tents which are on offer in the marketplace, you’ll normally be greeted by different door designs which claim to be superior to what rivals offer.

Of course, your main concern should be a door which seals shut entirely, without the risk of any condensation or moisture seeping inside. The zipper additionally needs to be durable, as it can become a nightmare if this breaks during a vacation.

Some manufacturers who produce family tents which can sleep six or eight people do offer multiple doors. There are several advantages to this – especially if you have a few early risers who want to get outside without disturbing the other members of their party who are still sleeping.

In some cases, the doors inside your family tent might not lead outside – but to another room which is included for additional privacy.

As space can become rather cramped when you have the full eight people in a tent, multiple doors also make it easier to move around without having to step over sleeping bags, air mattresses and luggage. Better still, many of these doors work off a hinge which swings open, meaning it’s less of a kerfuffle to get in and out.

Indeed, in some cases, the doors inside your family tent might not lead outside – but to another room which is included for additional privacy. Ideally, you’ll want these doors to be nice and large, as it means you can place large items – such as air mattresses and suitcases – into the compartment without incident.

To ensure that you don’t feel like you’re camping in a prison, the number of windows which are included with your family tent should increase in tandem with the number of doors.

These days, manufacturers offer anywhere between four and eight windows, and this can be great for circulating fresh air.

How many people does the family tent sleep?

6-family-tent-buying-guide-people-sleepNow, let’s take a look at the burning issue when it comes to family tents: how many people it can comfortably accommodate. Usually, when a company says that it has been designed for eight people, they are assuming that you are using sleeping bags instead of an air mattress, which can take up considerable amounts of room.

Realistically, you should always factor in the extras that are going to come with eight people – including bedding, clothes, luggage, food, and accessories such as walking sticks, camping stoves, camping chairs and the like.

Always look at the dimensions that the family tent has to offer before you make a purchase.

Typically, if you’re going on a prolonged holiday, you wouldn’t want to have more than five people (or two adults and two young children) in an eight-person tent.

Otherwise, there can be a real lack of personal space which might diminish your enjoyment of the holiday as a whole – and that’s the last thing you want.

Always look at the dimensions that the family tent has to offer before you make a purchase.

The length of the tent should be a major concern if you have especially tall people in your family – as if it’s only 6ft 3in long, they might be unable to sleep straight without stretching the tent and storing their belongings at the end of their sleeping bag. Likewise, if the width is just 14ft, you might end up packed together like sardines when you’re sleeping side by side – and this is best avoided, as you could end up feeling hot and bothered by the end of the night.

Always take a careful read of reviews – especially if they contain pictures – to see how many people could realistically fit into a tent. Bigger is better, as long as you don’t fall foul of campsite rules by taking up too much space.

Is it easy to setup?

7-family-tent-buying-guide-easy-setupMany camping companies have become incredibly astute in recent years – and have realized that many of their consumers don’t have the patience to sit on a field surrounded by a plethora of screws, poles and stakes for hours on end.

That’s why many family tents now come with a step-by-step guide which walks you through the process of setting it up in detail. Better still, many brands use color coding to ensure that the right component goes in the right place – preventing any confusion and hours of trial and error.

There are some companies which have launched so-called “instant tents” which are upright in just 60 seconds.

Although most mainstream family tents can be erected in about 15 minutes (or just a little bit longer if you’re doing it on your own,) there are some companies which have launched so-called “instant tents” which are upright in just 60 seconds.

That’s because the poles have been sewn into the fabric for ease and efficiency. Better still, the fabric is reinforced to ensure that there aren’t any rips and tears which damages the tent over time.

Another consideration should be how easy it is to dismantle the family tent at the end of a trip, as some people often report that it’s really difficult to fold the tent back down and fit it into the carrying bag. If you’re rushed for time and need to get home after your vacation, this will be a complication that you really don’t want.

In summary, family tents are full of features which aim to make camping simple, fun and comfortable.

If you buy a large tent designed for eight people – and you’re a family of four – there will be plenty of room for everyone, and all of your belongings. Be realistic about your requirements to make the right purchase.

Coleman 8 Person Instant Family Tent

Coleman 8 Person Instant Family Tent

It’s built to last, and will prove to be the simplest thing (rather than the hardest!) about your next camping vacation. Introducing the Coleman 8 Person Instant Family Tent There’s going to be plenty of sun shining into the tent when the weather is favorable, and this is thanks to the seven windows which […]

Pro: Front and back portion
Con: Small carrying bag

Coleman Montana 8 Person Family Tent

Coleman Montana 8 Person Family Tent

It has a center height of 6ft 2in, which will accommodate even the loftiest of campers on your next vacation. Introducing the Coleman Montana 8 Person Family Tent The tilted angle of the tow windows means that you do get sunlight pouring into the tent during waking hours. We particularly like the way that the Coleman […]

Pro: Two separate carry sacks
Con: A little narrow

Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family Tent

Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family Tent

If the grown-ups like staying up late, this Wenzel Klondike tent is perfect. Introducing the Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Cabin Family Tent Younger holidaymakers can be safely tucked away in bed, while the party continues elsewhere for the adults. Some manufacturers claim that their family tent can genuinely sleep eight people, but often, their products are […]

Pro: Water resistant coating
Con: Can get cold at night

Coleman Evanston 6-8 Person Family Tent

Coleman Evanston 6-8 Person Family Tent

And Coleman’s Evanston tent, which offers plenty of room and nifty features, is ideal. Introducing the Coleman Evanston 6-8 Person Family Tent The one piece of technology which makes this family tent worth every dollar is Coleman’s patented WeatherTec system. As the name suggests, there are two models in the Evanston range. The […]

Pro: Electrical access port
Con: Not suitable for colder nights

Coleman Sundome 2-6 Person Family Tent

Coleman Sundome 2-6 Person Family Tent

That’s where getting a Coleman Sundome, which can accommodate up to six people, may allay your health concerns. Introducing the Coleman Sundome 2-6 Person Family Tent The whole purpose of the Sundome is to ensure that you’re shielded from the sunshine when you’re asleep – even during the peak of summer. Research has […]

Pro: Electrical access port
Con: Fiberglass material poles

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,