Best Family Tents Reviews 2017 – Comprehensive Guide
I will always remember our first family camping trip to the mountains. Everyone was thrilled to set up tent at the base and explore the wilderness. Once this was done, the group set out for a hike but got caught in a heavy downpour on the way back to camp. To our utter disappointment, we discovered that the rain had soaked through the tent and ruined the bedding. The rest of the camping trip was not so enjoyable and everyone learnt a lesson. Buying tents have to be thought about.
It is advisable that you take time to browse through available tents that are available before you make a purchase. So, if you are planning to buy a top quality family camping tent, we give below some of the best which are available in the marketplace today. One of these tents will surely meet your requirements.
Family Tent Reviews – The Top 10
Coleman Sundome Tent
The Coleman Sundome Tent is the perfect choice if you are looking for a three season tent that offers convenience and comfort. Although the tent sleeps only two campers, the tent is roomy enough for six people to sit and snuggle up while enjoying a night of horror stories. Setting up the tent is a piece of cake. The tent comes with insta-clip poles which help in a simple construction of the tent. Combined with a comfortable rainfly, the tent boasts of a WeatherTec system so that you do not have to worry about heavy rains. The tent is a lightweight apparatus which is easy to carry about.
This tent is a three season tent. The breathable fabric and the well ventilated design reduce condensation so campers do not have to wake up feeling all sweaty. Since it is not designed to be a four season tent, this becomes ideal for warmer climates. The breeze flows in through the mesh openings which is perfect for warm summary nights. Make sure that you seal the seams when camping in the rain. If you really want to keep yourself warm during a chilly night, you can take a blanket with you.
- Fast and easy set up process
- Compact design when packed
- Lightweight and affordable
- Not the most ideal for cold nights
- Seam has the tendency to leak water with no waterproofing
- If you do not enjoy closed quarters, this tent would not do
Coleman 6 Person Instant Tent
The Coleman 6 person instant tent is the ideal crowd-pleaser. Offering enough space for two queen sized airbeds, the tent boasts of space and comfort. Technically speaking, the tent can accommodate six people, but it is wise that you allow some extra space to stack in your gear and you don’t feel cramped up.
The no hassle setup of the tent can be considered as a major plus point. Even the poles are pre-assembled which makes the effort minimalistic. There is a built in rainfly that offers protection from rains and storms while the illumining reflective guy lines allows you the ease of stepping out of the tent during the night time without tripping over. The one piece design makes it easy to set up and take down in about a minute or so. The tent poles are steel which provides it strength and stability during strong winds.
This Coleman tent boasts of a spacious horizontal and vertical design so that even adults are able to stand upright in the tent comfortably. Additionally, the tent offers the chance to enjoy panoramic views of the great outdoors. The entire tent can be carried in a generous size carry bag.
If you are looking for a 8 person tent , you might want to checkout our Coleman Instant 8 Person Tent Review too.
- All-in-one Construction
- Quick one minute set up
- Spacious Design
- Illuminated guy lines for safety at night
- Weather proof fabric to resist moisture
- Airflow isn’t the best for cold weather
- Window coverings usually flap down inside the tent
Suisse Sport Yosemite 5 Person 2 Room Dome Tent
You do not find many 5 person tents in the market but Suisse Sport has introduced you to a good quality tent. This tent features a polyethylene body and uses a divider in the middle which can be moved when needed to create two rooms. Most of the 6 person tents come with only a single room and there is less privacy while it can be inconvenient at times. The Suisse Sport which measures an area of 10’ x 8’ is the best option for a group of friends or family. The tent also consists of a Double-D door which can be used to enter and exit the tent. The divider also helps to only open half of the door without disturbing the campers on the other half of the tent.
If we summarize the Amazon Customer Reviews – The tent has the capacity to fit a queen size air mattress in the middle and also have more room for other campers and their gear. The Suisse Sport Yosemite can be taken down or set up in about 10 minutes. There are cords within that helps to keep the rainfly under control.
- The tent is very light weight and is only 13.5 pounds
- It measures up to 6 ft in height in the middle
- Three mesh windows and a mesh ceiling is included with zippers to assist in the air-flow of the tent
- Convenient since it has a divider and a Double-D door
- Offers Privacy
- There are no such cons to mention expect that it takes about 10 minutes to set up.
Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent
This tent offers campers space, comfort and wide-open panoramas and is the perfect choice for a family camping trip. The tent is very spacious with the facility to house 8 campers as well as the option of dividing the tent into three separate rooms. Measuring 17” x 10’ and 72” in height, the tent is also of a reasonable price. If you are claustrophobic, then this is will be the perfect choice.
Setting up the tent is a very basic procedure while it would be convenient if there were about 2 – 3 individuals helping out. The tent comes with a storage pack that holds all its content together. Instructions of how to put up the tent are also included in the storage bag. There are stakes and guylines provided but make sure that you take a rubber mallet so that it will be convenient to drive in the stakes. The WeatherTec system provides campers with a comfortable and dry night’s sleep even though you will have to seal the seams to make sure it stays dry once you have used it a few times. I believe that this 8 person tent should deserve a top spot.
More Information : Coleman 8 Person Red Canyon Tent review
- Spacious Interior to accommodate 8 campers
- Room Dividers that are optional
- Tub Floor
- Attractive Design
- Set up is a bit difficult for one person to handle
- Design allows for minimal rain seepage
- Windows do not close in cold weather.
Mountain Trails Grand Pass 10 Person Tent
Measuring up to 18’ x 10’ in size and a little more than 6 feet in height in the middle, this tent is designed for 10 campers. The Mountain Trails Grand Pass Tent is dome shaped and uses a fiberglass frame making it lightweight and easy to set up. The tent comes with polyester mesh windows while the floor is made with fully welded polyethylene. It boasts of a double-door design while it also works with one door opening at a time to keep more air from moving in when entering and exiting the tent.
The tent is well manufactured, convenient and cheap while it is excellently waterproofed and has the capability to withstand any thunder storm. This however I believe is one of the best 10 person tents that are available on Amazon right now. Customer Reviews on Amazon are mostly positive. Customers who purchase the tent reveal that the canopy should be a bit longer but at the same time, it does tend to keep many parts of the tent from leaking during bad weather. The mesh pockets are quite convenient while the tent is also light weight.
- More ventilation through the roof and window vents
- The setup is easy to handle because of the pin-and-ring system
- A divider is available to create two separate rooms and works in the middle of the tent.
- Even though the tent is lightweight, according to customer reviews, the tent could use a duffle bag for the user’s convenience.
Tents are not manufactured to be the same
This may not be news to experienced campers but for the first timers it might be. Not all tents are manufactured to look and feel the same. There are many varieties of tents while each differs according to the manufacturer. It may be comparable considering the structure, set up and quality of the materials. However, you have to be positive about what type of tent you need to avoid a disastrous camping experience.
A fine example would be if we consider a lightweight tent that is mainly used by backpackers who hike across mountain trails. These types of tents will never suit a camping trip to a snowy mountain side or even the Arctic. One man tents for that matter will not be adequate for two people or even a family and vise versa.
I always think that buying a tent is similar to purchasing your own apartment or house in a much smaller scale. You have to choose wisely if you are bound to spend your holidays in the great outdoors admiring nature.
Family Tent Types
Usually a family camping tent comes in different styles, sizes and designs. Most modern tents are supported by poles or guy ropes. Here are some of the popular types of tents available today.
- Cabin Tents – These tents are named so purely because the outer appearance represents one of a cabin. Cabin tents provide sufficient head space and the required height while most rise up to 8 feet or even more. The most ideal type of tent for groups of campers or families; these are the most familiar in many campsites. A notable feature of the cabin tent is that it has a number of doorways so that campers can move in and out conveniently. However, the Crimson Canyon Tent consists of only one doorway which is alright for a single camper or two.
- Dome Tents – These dome family camping tents display a round roof that slopes away making the entire height usable. These tents might be compact to look at but they offer comfort within. Dome type tents are mainly used by backpackers and travelers since it’s lightweight and easy to carry about. The main categories under dome tents include the household dome and the single room dome. Fiberglass poles are less durable and less dependable than aluminum while chances are it might split during bad weather. Coleman has not specified the pole type of their Crimson Canyon Dome, so make sure that you check the specifications before your purchase.
- Turbo Tents – Another popular type of tent would be the Turbo Family Camping Tent. This tent is one of the most durable and has the capability to withstand many cruel weather conditions. Turbo tents are quite huge and have the capacity to accommodate a family. The tent is also easy to unpack which is convenient for any camper.
What to Look For When Shopping for the Best Family Tent
What’s the main purpose of buying the tent?
For me, the number one contemplation when getting a tent will always be its purpose. Do you need the tent for a camping night in your backyard or do you need it for an adventurous camping excursion to the Rocky Mountain National Park? The following criteria might be helpful to determine the purpose of your tent purchase.
If the plan is to camp during late fall, winter or even early spring, the ideal choice would be a four season tent. These types are made out of heavy materials as opposed to light weight tents while they also feature protective covering that extends up to the ground level and a rain fly. However, a majority of people tend to go on camping trips during fine weather which most probably is during late spring, summer or even early fall. The three season tent will be the ideal choice then which allows moderate airflow for campers to relax during the heat as well as offer sufficient protection from outdoor elements.
The location that you plan to set the camp should be considered as well. Are you looking for a laidback and relaxed camping session in your back yard for the kids to enjoy or are you looking to enjoy some harsh conditions on rocky mountains? Will you need a fully covered tent that offers privacy or do you need wide views so that you can enjoy the mountains? Always think of where and how you will use the tent so that you can narrow down the types of tents.
You will also have to consider how often you will be using the tent. Will you be using the tent every weekend or on every possible holiday that you get to explore the outdoors or will you need it only for about once a year? The more you plan on using the tent, the more important it is to purchase the most suitable tent. This applies even if you are a seasoned camper or a first timer.
Transportation of the tent to your campsite should be considered next. Will you use a backpack or vehicle to get to the campsite? If you are planning to hike to the campsite, it will be feasible to carry a lightweight one. If you are taking the vehicle, then you have the freedom to select a family tent or whatever you choose that fits your needs.
What is the sleeping capacity of the tent?
Once you have figured out the purpose of the tent, the next major concern would be as to how many people will be using it. Most tents that are available nowadays provide you with the sleeping capacity but remember that it does not leave much space for campers to toss and turn about. So make sure that you decide on a camping tent with the ability to accommodate one or two extra persons or even double the number of campers so that there will be more space.
What is the height of the tent?
The elevation of the tent becomes an issue for campers if they are tall or if they are claustrophobic. Other than that, most campers don’t look for the height of the tent. Dome type tents usually show the most height only in the center while cabin style tents allows for more standing room within. If you are planning on spending some time cuddled in your tent and if you are planning on sharing it with more than one camper, a cabin style tent would be the ideal choice.
How do you construct the tent?
Another aspect that you should carefully think about is the construction procedure of the tent. Ideally you should inspect the floor of the tent first. Is it raised from the ground so that water doesn’t seep through or is there a seam that runs through the bottom of the tent? The tub floor construction is usually considered as a good option for modern tents. Most of the tents that you find in the market consist of a pole which is made of either fiberglass or aluminum. Please note that fiberglass poles are not as sturdy and is easily breakable than their metal counterparts. Without a pole, most tents would not be of any use and therefore choose wisely. If the pole is attached to the tent through clips or sleeves, construction becomes much simpler.
Tent categories like vestibules or mudfalps come with accessories which helps campers to keep the rain away from the surrounding area of your tent door. It will allow you to enjoy a rain shower when you keep the door open or just leave your gear to air dry. More accessories that you might be interested in include tent fans to keep your unit ventilated, mesh shelves as well as tarps that protect the bottom of the tent floor from soggy ground. An important point to remember is never to use a heater in your tent. It is considered as a major fire hazard since the tent is a flammable structure and it also poses the threat of the poisonous gas – carbon monoxide. This gas is an odorless and noiseless gas which claims lives of campers annually.
What are the Materials used?
The final pointer when deciding on your tent is the material the tent is made of. Most of the modern tents available today are made of nylon or polyester. The more expensive choice would be the nylon tent while they are lightweight and much stronger than polyester. However it does not shed water as well as its counterpart polyester does. In order to prevent water from soaking through and to protect your tent from UV rays, some tents are coated with silicone or polyurethane. The most expensive and highest quality is of course silicone coated nylon.
FAQ’s on choosing the right tent for your next family camping trip
1. Question: What is the price range of the tent I should purchase?
Answer: Tents are available in all shapes and sizes. A tent that suits you might not be the ideal for another camper. There are many varieties available in stores nowadays while you can read the post above when selecting a camping tent for the first time. Ideally, you will be able to purchase a tent for about $150 – $300.
2. Question: How do I care for my camping tent?
Answer: If you want to clean both the canvas and nylon, you can use a soft bristly brush, a mild soap or detergent and a water solution. If you want to get rid of mildew, you can use the fels-naptha soap. You can simply layout the tent on a hard surface such as your patio or driveway when you feel like it needs cleaning. These mild cleaning methods will not affect the water resistant coating on the fabric. However, make sure that you dry out the tent thoroughly before storing it away.
The tent material is usually protected by a waterproof coating. But if the tent is exposed to severe rains during a longer period of time, you can apply a seam sealer on the exposed sewn seams. “Coleman” and “Kenyon” are two of the well known brands of seam sealers that are found in the market today. As the tent ages and if you feel that the fabric has lost its water repellent properties, you can always spray it with any water based waterproofing solution.
Always make sure that the tent is completely dry before you store it away since this will prevent the growth of mildew. Also make sure that your storage area is clean and dry as well.
3. Question: I have an old model tent. How will I be able to obtain parts / accessories for this?
Answer: There are spares and poles available for the current models as well as old ones with a number of manufacturers still selling old parts. All you have to do if you want to purchase an old part is to contact the company along with the accurate details of your camping tent such as the model, year of manufacture, component, dimensions of the tent and also the color. There is a chance that your neighborhood retailer might have the component too. So just inquire beforehand. Chances are that it will be available online too.
4. Question: My tent is broken / damaged. What should I do?
Answer: You can return the particular broken or damaged part to the concerned party / manufacturer for restoration. They will thoroughly inspect the damaged part and let you know an estimate that will cover the repair. If and when the damage is included in the warranty, the company will do the necessary repairs and return the components free of charge.
5. Question: Which expansions will suit my camping tent?
Answer: There is usually a tent additions page which offers campers with a guide to the various types of expansions / awnings that are available in the market. You can make use of the additions matrix which will help you decide on the most suitable expansion for your camping tent.
6. Question: The elastic cable of one of my tent rods has snapped. Can I replace it?
Answer: What you have to do to re-thread the tent rod is to take away the snapped elastic from the pole section altogether. Then you can take the end of a brand new elastic shock cord and knot it in. Make sure that the knot it sturdy enough. You have to continue this procedure until you have all the parts of the shock cord and all sections connected to each other.
Maintenance Instructions for your tent
Direct Exposure to UV (Ultra Violet) Rays
Almost all tents are manufactured using a UV resistant polyester fabric that acts as a shield of protection. However, it might not be resistant to the damaging effects of long tern sun and UV exposure.
Seams should be sealed using products such as McNetts Seam Certain so that you can avoid dampness and water seepage that can occur over time due to heavy downpours. You can use the manufacturer’s instructions when doing the sealing.
Make sure that you do not store your tent when it is wet or damp. If you fold it and store it when it is still damp, chances are that the mildew will start to gradually form and destroy the tent’s waterproof covering. Therefore, ensure that you thoroughly dry out the tent before folding it away and storing it. Also when storing it, make sure that the storage area is also a dry place where there is no water seepage.
Structure of the Tent
Usually tents are built rigidly to withstand harsh winds and heavy rain periods. When a tent is exposed to this type of weather, chances are that it might loosen the attached stakes and guylines which will result in the loosening of the rainfly as well. These activities may gradually cause the rods of the tent to loosen and worsen the entire structure of the tent. Chances are that when the rainfly loosens up it will create pockets that can gather water which will result in an entire structural failure. So, ensure that all guylines are tightened and the poles are well secured.
Washing the Tent
You should never wash the tent directly with massive amounts of water since this can damage the waterproof coating if you continue the same procedure over a given time period. Hand washing the tent with a mild soap solution is the ideal way to wash and clean the tent. The tent should be completely dry before you store it away. A brush with gentle bristles is perfect if there is dirt that you have to scrub away.
Cleaning the Tent
It is wise that you regularly make use of a tent cleaner to clean your tent. Thoroughly dry it in shade once you do.
The Bottom Line
I personally think that camping is a wonderful activity that can maximize your possibility of enjoying an adventure filled holiday with your family and friends. There’s nothing like camping outdoors and marveling the natural surroundings. Having the right type of tent for your outdoor camping experience is essential if you want to enjoy the activity as a whole. Top quality family tents that can accommodate 6 – 8 people is a popular selection among camping groups since it offers the convenience and comfort as well as protection from natural elements such as the rain. Make sure that you choose a tent slightly larger than the group that is camping. Don’t ever underestimate the tent because of its low price. There are many camping tents that are high quality even though the price is cheaper. Coleman is one the leading brands when you have to consider both quality and the price of the product. Most of these quality products can be found online for the convenience of all campers.