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Best Family Camping Tents

The LL Bean King Pine 4 has a great screened in front vestibule for hanging out in on buggy days.
The LL Bean King Pine 4 has a great screened in front vestibule for hanging out in on buggy days.

What is the best family camping tent? What are the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? How many people should a family camping tent hold? What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?

Best Family Camping Tents

Most of our readers equate family camping to car camping, where there’s no limit on the amount of stuff you can pack and bring along. Furniture, grills, ice chests and games – the sky is the limit when you pack for a car camping trip.

Time and again, the most popular car camping tents are:

However, about 25% of our readers opt to bring smaller tents on family camping trips because they’re faster to set up, more private (when segregating kids from adults, and use limited campground space more efficiently. Less expensive 4 person tents including the Eureka Timberline 4, the Mountainsmith Genese 4, and the Coleman Instant Dome 4 are most popular for this style of camping.

If you’d like to read all of the feedback we received, check out the comments below.

Updated 2018.

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  1. I really love my Coleman Montana 8. It is a really great tent that fits a family of four really well.
    -Dividers are really nice to split up living areas. A are to put you bags at night not in living area is also a nice touch.
    -8 people is a nice number because it is small enough to fit into most camp grounds, but large enough to fit a family of four or a larger group of friends or scouts.
    – 200-300 dollars is a nice range that gives you some nice features but doesn’t break the bank.

  2. I’m a fan of Big Agnes tents, particularly the Yahi4.

    Must have: good ventilation yet not be drafty. You don’t get that in a Kmart tent.

    Capacity needed depends on family size, but for sure get a tent rated for MORE people in your family. A four person tent seldom is comfortable for four… but is great for my family of three.

    About $300 should get you a nice tent if you are not in a hurry and can wait for sales.


  3. Steve McAllister

    > What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?

    Good quality aluminium poles.
    Plenty of tie-outs inside and out.
    Lots of ventilation options with the fly attached.

    Family sized tents can really be affected by wind and can collapse if the poles are flimsy or not enough tie-outs are being used.
    Many family tents require removal of the fly to get good ventilation. This often requires messing with the fly in the middle of the night.

    > How many people should a family camping tent hold?
    It should be big enough for the number of people plus extra room for gear.

    > What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?
    You often get what you pay for. We use our family tent around 75 days a year.
    We will pay $400 and up if it means a solid tent.

  4. Great question ! We had 7 kids so we used more then one tent . Didn’t have much money so big box store tents. Yes we got wet some times. Dome style and a eureka pup tent . We all survived .

  5. i like the Alaskan Guide Model from Cabela’s… will fit 4 comfortable and can be used in all seasons…very sturdy, we actually were in it at a BSA event several years ago when it was 9 degrees (Freezerree) with sleet, ice, and rain. The tent was a life saver…Not sure what we paid for it but my price range for a good family tent would be in the 3 to 4 hundred dollar range and should fit at least 4 people in it. A good family tent is one that can be set up without having to have a Masters Degree in Engineering…:)

  6. 1) easy to set up – my wife bought a seven person $70 walmart tent that I refuse to use as I can launch the space shuttle in fewer steps and with less course langue

    2) a tent should sleep at least four humans not stacked like a tetris game and their gear.

    3) $2.72 seriously in the $300 to $400 for something well made and well thought out.

  7. Our family really likes our Kelty Yellowstone 6 tent for car camping. It’s large enough to hold all 4 of us (or a queen size inflatable mattress if it’s just my wife & I). Besides the people, the tent is large enough for our gear. We especially like the taped seams, large door and two huge windows which provide for plenty of ventilation. Set-up is fairly quick, thanks to shock-corded poles. We paid $157 at Amazon (on sale!) in October ’10 and the tent has held up well. The Kelty 6 is a freestanding tent and at 17 pounds (including fly) is definitely for car camping only.

  8. Must have features? Be stormproof and bugproof. Size? 4 person minimum, cuz less than three people ain’t a “family”.
    I can’t imagine making a decent tent of that size fir less than about $300.

  9. I currently have the Big Agnes Lynx 4, I think it’s great, as our twins are only 2. As they get older 6 person tent would be ideal. Key attributes for a family tent.

    Max internal square footage
    Two entries
    Large vestibule on both sides
    Internal organization to store personal items
    High ceiling
    Peak outside window
    Simple setup
    Rain cover
    Quality material (poles and tent material)

    Price point $200-300

  10. We have a Eureka Titan tent – a little pricey at $649 but we have used it for about 12 years camping 2 weeks every August on the ocean front in huge storms. While we have seen other tents flat on the ground ours has held up great. It has shock cord poles but large diameter aluminum. It also is tall – spouse is 6’3″ and can easily stand inside. It has great ventilation and rainfly nicely allows windows open in light rain. Never have a problem with the Eureka. Design is simple rather than complex poles and ropes. Rain fly clips onto the tent poles. We use big comfortable cots and only my husband and I sleep inside – kids have other tents. But for our vacation we like to bring a lot of creature comforts.

  11. Hi , after many years of family tenting with 3 kids , I recon you need a good dome style that will be big enough to stand up in and hold 4 with a good sized front enclosed annex with floor and a rear small vestibule to store stuff and for the kid(s) to have a little cubby space to themselves. Also I found if you have a couple of older kids , having one or 2 single tents ( left overs from previous upgrades ) for them to sleep in or play in on their own . They love that .
    I paid $400 Aus for this perfect type of tent which we travelled in all around our state and lived in for 3 months , So good ! Also having a good cheap big poly tarp with poles and ropes also is a great addition for bad weather or hot weather.

  12. I forget the manufacturer, but our requirements for the tent were 1) standing height inside, 2) roomy (6-person), 3) privacy separation inside, 4) windows for ventilation, 5) pockets inside for stuff, and relatively cheap (under $300).

  13. A good family tent is multiple small tents. They tend to be MUCH lighter and perform better in rain. 2 small tarp tent squals and an 8×10 tarp weigh about the same as a four person tent and is more convenient.

    They should resist rain and bugs. In hot or cold weather, good ventilation is a must. There are many small tents & manufacturers out there.

    Each tent will hold two adults. Or, three children up to about 10 years of age.

    Price? Well, that depends on what you think getting the kids out is worth. About 250-350 each and maybe 100 for the tarp. Smaller tents can be used (like the Wenzel or Stansport) and a home made nylon tarp for about $150. They usually need some sort of recoating (and seam sealing) though.

  14. For entry level I like the Coleman 6 man dome style tent for a family of 4 which can be purchased for less than $100.00. If you are going to be out more than a few times a year I would step up to a higher quality higher priced tent for those stormy times.

  15. Alps mountaineering camp creek 6 is cheap, tough, easy to repair and plenty big enough for us.

  16. The best family camping tent isn’t a tent… It’s a hammock. I’ve camped with my family in hammocks several times and found it to be practical for the parents (parents can get up during the night without disturbing anyone, and can still keep an eye on the kids, and the separation between the campers leads to a better night’s sleep) and fun for the kids (they simply love hammocks).

    There’s no limit to the number of family members who can hang (expect for an area with few trees).

    Cost is, like tents, as much or as little as you want to pay: a reasonable summer hammock setup for one person is around $60.

    Must-have attributes: Comfort, rain protection and bug netting.

  17. Must have’s? Large vestibule area for shoes and getting in/out during heavy rains. Full-coverage fly and aluminum poles. Finally easy to setup.

    max cap 6 any larger and it’s too big

    Price? I’d say $200-300

    I bought the Sierra Designs Bedouin 6 and love it.

  18. The Tikla brand tents are a great family tent. Built for car camping and sturdy as hell. They look good too. I’m never worried about the floor ripping in mine.

  19. For a Family Tent, I always go with a Car camping standard. The Coleman Sundome 4 person. I looks for something that is inexpensive, easy to setup with a durable floor since most car camping tents sites are setup on that little crush and run gravel that seems to rip through everything. For the price point of under $100. Its prefect for the few times a year I can get the whole family out to a state park for some car camping fun.

  20. Must have quality for family tent is:
    1. Enough room space
    2. Durability (strong enough poles, inner n outer tent is strong. Seam is taped and seals such that no water leak when it rains
    3. At least 2 doors for ease of movement
    4. If adult can stand up in the tent, it’s easier to take care of gear or toddlers etc.
    5. Tent can be set up by 2 ppl (dad n mom)

    How many ppl tent should hold:
    It depends what the tent is for. If family uses it for car camping, tent is suffice to hold family member only. If tent is set up away from car, then tent should hold family members plus picnic gear or hiking gear etc.

    How much family should spend for tent:
    I did multiple car camping with multiple different friends and experienced 4p, 6p tent etc. I have REI 4p Basecamp tent. I have used friends’ Coleman 6p tent, Kelly 4p tent and sometimes rained during night. All I can tell is you can get what you paid for. Everyone knows tent we can buy in Dick’s Sports is much cheaper than the one in REI in general. Why? Because quality is different! If you ONLY camp in Sunny day and sunny night, seam-taping doesn’t matter. Buy cheap Coleman tent (like 6p) for less than $200. Tent material is cheap, but you can get decent room space. When it rains hard, you get water inside and sleeping pad n bag get wet. My REI 4p Basecamp tent cost $300-400, I guess. 2 doors, 2 ventilations, 2 vestibule to hold shoes or some gear. 4 adults can sleep without touching each other.

  21. Family tent must be waterproof and keep the bugs out. A durable floor too so the dog doesn’t rip it somehow.
    The tent should fit comfortably four people plus a dog and gear. So probably a 8 man tent.
    A reasonable price for this might be $200. I haven’t shopped for this style tent in a long time and when we did we bought them thinking they wouldn’t last for long.

  22. My family loves our Cabela’s Alaskan Guide model 6 man tent. It is heavy and was very pricey but has saved us from having to pack up in the middle of the night on several occasions due to severe weather.

  23. We just picked up the REI Kingdom 6 and used it for the first time. It is heavy, sturdy, roomy, and easy for 1 person to set up and break down quickly. I particularly like the divider so my wife and I could have a separate “room” from the kids. I knew to buy something sized 1-2 people larger than would occupy the tent, I think that’s pretty standard protocol for car camping tents. $300-400 is reasonable for this type of tent I think, although you can certainly buy something decent for less. I was able to plan ahead and get this on sale AND with a 20% coupon.

  24. I like Big Agnes tents

    A family tent must have: good ventilation and enough room for the entire clan. It also needs to be light enough that it can be reasonable divided amongst the various family member’s packs.

    I think that the tent should fit at least three people A four person tent seldom is comfortable for four… but is great for my family of three.

    About $350 should get you a good family tent if you do not need it right now and can wait for sales.

  25. I’m happy with my older Eureka tent, forget the model.
    We are still mostly car camping as a family so must have features are; water resistance, ventilation, bug protection and strudy enough to hold up to a good kid pillow fight.
    Our family tent needs to hold 4-5.
    We’re willing to pay $200-$250 on our family tent.

  26. We have Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Tent 8-PERSON that we purchased for hunting in Colorado and New Mexico and have found that it makes a great family tent. It is very roomy and protects us from whatever mother nature gives us.
    The must haves for a family tent is room. Kids and pets can take up a lot of space. I prefer to have a tent rated for 2 more people/kids than are sleeping in tent so we have a little room for gear. It should also be easy to set up/take down. Tough to withstand kids going in and out.
    The 8-person tent has been great for us as it gives us extra room if one of the kids brings a friend.
    If we didn’t already have the guide tent, we would have bought a quality tent in the $300 range for the family.

  27. 2 hammocks under a single tarp seems to work well. ;-)

  28. We car camp with the Big Agnes Big House. Its available in 4 and 6. For us the 4 works – larger families will want the 6. The large optional vestabule is a must have. We use the BA vestibule often — have parked bikes in it, stored gear/coolers or even put chairs in it for seating on a rainy day. $200-$300 is a reasonable price to pay. When you look at how much it costs for hotels this pays for itself with just a few uses.

  29. The best family camping tent… No tent at all! I always enjoyed cowboy camping under the stars with my dad growing up. It holds unlimited people, costs nothing, and fosters the best memories. I still prefer to cowboy camp on my own trips.

  30. If it’s just for camping, weight isn’t a huge deal. We’re not packing it in. We’ve had some experience with the Alps Mountaineering Camp Creek 6. There’s space for 4 people plus clothes and some other items. It’s reasonably priced ($250) and has a lot of room. Anything under $400 for a good tent is reasonable. The biggest drawback is the short rain flap. If it rains you can’t get near the sides.

  31. The perfect family tent for me has enough room to comfortably sleep 4-6 kids in one area while the adults can be enjoying themselves in a second living/sleeping area. The tent must easy to put and take down, tall enough to stand up in, robust, and sun/water/wind proof. NZ$1000 covers a high quality canvas tent that will be good for at least 20 years of summer family camping.

  32. We currently use an older HIllary (Sears) branded 10-person tent. It has worked great over the years even though it it big and heavy. It has a large central area with three ‘rooms’ that branch out. Each room has it’s own door in addition to the main door.

    I believe a family tent should easily hold 6-7 people and a good price to pay would be around $300-$350.

  33. The best Family tents by far are the Moonlight series by The TentLab This guy is the design engineer behind most major tent designs in the past 30 years and is now on his own. I personally like the MoonLight 4 as a Family tent should have room for 4 (for me with the boys grown, it is me, Cindy and the dogs). I like the tent as it is roomy, fabric never touches you while inside, the views are fantastic and there is no fussing with adjustments once you have set-up your tent. As to price, this is getting to the high end at $550.00, but this is a tent that will service you and your family as you all grow over the next 20 years.

  34. Dennis A. Cooley

    Brought me back to the old canvas tent days…….

    We have a Coleman (rarely used) family tent.


    Plenty of space
    Water resistant
    $250’ish or less.

  35. My family of 4 prefers to use 2 “2.5 person” backpacking tents. 2 tents makes them easier to set up in odd shaped campground spots, and reduces the amount of people in a tent so that light sleepers get better sleep.

    Using backpacking tents makes them easy to carry the 1/4 mile to the “back row” of beech camp sites, and low enough that kids can reach the top – so they can set up the tents on their own :)

    The 2.5 person size gives lots of room to move around and store gear. You can stand up like in some family tents, but you can still kneel when changing clothes – so the extra space isn’t missed much.

  36. What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?
    I am a single guy so I have no clue!

    How many people should a family camping tent hold?

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?
    Not to much since kids will probably destroy it.

  37. I’ll assume this is for the car campers, so it might as well be big. Personally, for something like that, I’d just run down to the local sporting goods store and grab the least expensive Coleman tent I could find. I’d prefer that it have two entries and lots of mesh windows for air circulation. A vestibule would be nice too.

    Capacity depends on the number of people in your family, but for my family of four, I’d go ahead and get a 6 man tent (the dog needs a spot too). I’d doubt I’d pay more than $300 for one.

  38. What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? Number one on my list is protection from rain. Nothing changes the dynamic of a family camping like a wet sleep deprived family. We have an old Coleman 4 man tent with a rainfly and vestibule that reached to the ground all the way around the tent. We weathered a gully washing thunderstorm completely dry and comfortable. Family dynamics come into play with the right size of a family tent. With a large family I would rather opt for two tents than one of the behemoths on the market. Separating some family members at night can make for more enjoyable days. Finally price, I go for something mid priced without getting hung up on name brand.

  39. I’m in the “more smaller tents” camp. A larger 3–4 person dome tent (i.e. REI Half Dome) for the parents and infants/toddlers, and smaller, cheap, 1–2 person tents for the older kids.

    • Easier to divide up the tents for carrying.
    • This tent set-up grows with the family. As more kids are born, just add more tents.
    • Smaller tents can stay with the kids as they grow and take more trips with their friends or on their own.
    • Campers are given more personal space, which is helpful for
    • Parents can continue to use the 3–4 person tent on their own after the kids are older.

    One feature I think is missing from a lot of tents is an upper that is mostly mesh. My kids’ favorite thing is sleeping with the fly off to look at the stars. I like dome-style tents because their pitch is fairly forgiving, and they are sturdy in case the weather turns. The parent’s tent should have two doors, though the kids can get by with just one. Bathtub floors are also a must. Vestibules can be smallish, but are necessary so that kids have a spot to remove footwear.

    I think that a setup like this can be had for as cheap as $200—which is not much more than what a lot of 6-person tents go for—but you’d have a system with a lot more flexibility.

  40. Martin Desjardins

    I really love the MSR tent, since weight is generally not a issue in family camping, a big tent for 4 to 6 peoples is great. It should be easy, fast to set up and waterproof. Depending on the budget, I would spend 300 to 500 $ for a family tent that hopefully will last a couple of summers !

  41. I own a vintage Eureka Mushroom that is the bee’s knee for car camping. It is an 8′ x 8′ two layer tent that was an effort to make a lightweight but roomy tent. It uses 7000 series Easton Aluminum poles with an aluminum elbow in each corner (to give almost vertical, 38″ sidewalls) in the frame, which contributes to it’s light weight. The center height is not quite enough to stand, but you can get dressed on your feet instead of your bum. Most of the upper of the tent body is noseeum netting, so star gazing when the weather permits is great, and condensation is completely ruled out
    It’s chief drawback is the somewhat sickly orange/brown color, but it does light up the interior of the tent on those early mornings when you resist the need to get up and get going.

    • We have worn out our beloved Eureka Mushroom and just can’t find a satisfactory replacement. We’ve used it for bike touring. It’s the perfect size to hold two plus either our offspring when they were younger OR all our bike-camping gear (panniers including kitchen gear, frontpacks, helmets, etc) if needed, yet it still feels roomy because of the straight walls, and yes, tall enough to get dressed easily. The best part is that the poles break down so short (18″ if you keep them shockcorded, as they pop into a staggered side-by-side position, although they’re actually 16 1/2″) which works so much better for laying across a bike rack than even three inches longer. We keep searching and have tried a few other tents but they are smaller for their weight and the pole segments are always longer! (Now waiting for a mythical 3D printer that can copy this wonderful tent so we can get a new one…)

  42. To me, family sized tent is a relative term. My wife and I don’t have kids, but we do hike/camp with a large size dog, and we are considering adding to our family size and getting another large size dog. Sleeping with large dogs in a tent is like sleeping with kids who move around a lot. So for me, a family sized tent is in the 4-5 person/dog size.

    I like to have tents that are as lightweight as possible, but durable. I don’t want to have to buy one tent for car camping (weight not an issue) and separate tent that is lightweight enough for the trail. For this reason, I am willing to pay a little more to buy a single (multi-use tent). This can easily run $300-$400, so it must be durable.

    Some sought after features are plenty of head room to sit up, dual entry and vestibules, good vestibule coverage, ability to open up for view, and close to equal width at foot end compared to head end (not too tapered). There are plenty of good companies, but I am a fan of Tarptent.

  43. What is the best family camping tent? – By family camping tent I assume you mean you are car camping versus backpacking and can therefore pack a much larger and heavier tent. I’ve always had very good luck with Eureka family tents, in particular the models which do not use fiberglass poles. The closest tent Eureka makes today that is similar to what I own is the Copper Canyon 6 (I think my tent is the Equidome). If I have to I can set my Eureka up by myself. If I were buying a new tent today I would look at the Copper Canyon.

    I’ve never seen a tent at Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s club etc. that was worth buying. Cheap tents are fine until a storm hits at which point you’re screwed.

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? Think simple; simple to live in, simple to set up, simple pole systems. Ability to stand upright is a big deal to me. Walls should be vertical or nearly vertical to avoid loss of interior space. Lots of ventilation because four or so bodies in a tent in the summer can get stuffy. Good quality poles – no fiberglass. Ability to weather a nasty storm, so guy out points are a must. A heavy duty is floor is a big plus, though many new tents use lighter fabrics these days. I don’t like too many bells and whistles on tents, I prefer to keep things simple. That is, something like an integrated screen porch is a feature I do not want. If I felt I needed or wanted some form of a screen shelter I would buy a stand alone screen tent and pitch the screen tent over a picnic table. I don’t like the multiple rooms, privacy screens, etc. It’s just a tent, no need to complicate things.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold? At least 4. I generally figure a 10×10 tent works well for 4 people.

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent? The Eureka Copper Canyon 6 retails for $259 which I think is reasonable. I don’t think you’ll find anything worth buying for less than that amount (baring finding something on sale). You can likely find it discounted somewhere on the web. Spending more frequently gets you more bells and whistles, but not necessarily a better tent.

    Eureka makes a tent called the Titan which retails for $649.00, which is a lot of money, but it is a well made product if you’ve got the cash.

  44. I think a good family tent should be for at least four people. It should be easy to set up b/c parents with small children don’t want to be swearing at tent poles instead of watching their kids. It should definitely be bug-proof. Having two entrances is a nice benefit. Being tall enough for adults to stand in is nice too. And it should definitely be waterproof.

    I slept in an REI Hobitat last summer. It fulfilled most of these requirements but I think it had only one entrance. And had one design flaw that was confusing during set-up. And I guess they don’t sell them anymore so the point is moot.

  45. I think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent depend on what kind of camping the family is going to do, with obvious separation between car camping and backpacking camping, due to different size and weight considerations.

    In general, having an enjoyable family experience is all about minimizing risk for disasters and avoidable discomfort. Adequate protection from rain and bugs, and having enough personal space is critical. For car camping, where n=number of people in the family, “>=n+2” is ideal capacity. For backpacking, >=n is appropriate, depending on personal preference and carrying capacity. Cost issues are more a function of value than absolute numbers. You can get very inexpensive, very large and heavy tents appropriate for car camping, but you’re going to pay more for lighter/smaller backpacking tents.

    We love our Marmot 4p Limelight for our 3-4 person tenting. We pay a weight penalty (in terms of its use in backpacking), but it is bulletproof. It was about $350.

  46. REI Hobitat 6! Easy up. Vertical side walls. Thoughtful ties and places to put doors up out of the way . Excellent ventilation. Two doors. Lots of headroom. Easy down AND it fits in the bag it comes in without cosmic super powers. I think this is discontinued, but for similar look to the REI Kingdom series. Less than 500 bucks and of course Tent General Rule 1 = put at least one fewer people in it than the rated number.

  47. Although I use a more UL light for personal and boy scout use, our family tent is a good ol’ Coleman, sleeps 6, which is great for a family of 4, plus a dog. Since our family camping is car camping, weight isn’t an issue, but bulk is. the Coleman is about the same as others in its class. I probably got it for much less (10 years ago), but going price is about $250. We also like the airy-ness of the tent — lots of netting, ‘windows’, etc. we do our family camping in the summer, so it doesn’t need to be weather-proof. We use one of my tarps as an extended porch so we don’t spend much time in the tent, particularly in the heat.

  48. We like the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 for holding our family of 6 + 1 dog. Plenty of room inside for people and gear, and it’s held up well against several Arizona monsoon storms. Having a full rain fly is important to us, since we can have substantial rain in the afternoon in the mountains, the room inside has been great for playing games while we wait out the storm. About $500 at REI. Customer support from Big Agnes has been awesome, we’ve had zippers fail and they replaced them without any problems.

  49. Although I crave a 4 person backpacking tent for going hiking with my grandkids and daughter, for me, “family camping tent” really equates to car camping, in which case, weight is not such a consideration. I’ve tried several large tents I’ve acquired and settled on wanting an “instant up” tent such as the line Coleman makes. If I’m on the Great American Road Trip and heading for my eventual destination, I want to be able to find a camping spot for the night, jump out of the car and be ready for bed in a few minutes.

    I found a six person Ozark Trails cabin tent at Walmart for under a hundred dollars. Since the posts are already attached, it can be pitched in a minute or two by one person. My wife has back problems and has a hard time going to the ground and back up so I have a small folding cot for her. My wife, grandkids, daughter, and I can all sleep in this tent. When there are four of us, we have plenty of room for our gear as well. The holds up well to wind and rain, has a couple gear lofts, is tall enough to stand up in and has good cross ventilation.

    If we’re on a trip in our RV, this tent also provides additional storage and play area for the grandkids. Although the tent is a little bulkier and heavier than I’d like, overall it’s the best camping tent I’ve found for my family.

  50. For a family camping tent, having some spare space is necessary. My family includes four people and a six-person tent is the smallest I would choose to house us all.

    My must-have attributes are that it be water-proof and that the rainfly be able to allow good airflow. These two attributes are necessary to fight the two weather extremes (heat and moisture) that you might encounter during a family trip that could spoil moods and memories.

    I’m willing to pay several hundred dollars for a bomber tent that will take some abuse from the kids but make things as comfortable as possible.

  51. My family is small (two adults and a dog), and we use an old Eureka 2-person tent. For larger families, though, I wonder whether two tents might not be more space and weight-efficient than one large tent…

  52. Maria Wenglinsky

    A family tent must . . .
    fit the family.
    For us, that’s 2.

    be reasonably easy to set up.
    I am a cub scout master, and my least favorite words in the language have become “fit poles through sleeves.”

    keep the rain out.
    A 4+ man tent is a lot of seam to seal.

    let the air in.
    (speaks for itself)

    be within one’s budget, while continuing to give satisfaction (i.e. doesn’t fall apart, require constant working on, or leave the owner wanting a better tent)

    for me, all this adds up to the tent I already have, which is a 30-year-old Eureka pup tent (2 vertical poles, lots of string and stakes, for both tent and fly). It just keeps on going. Light enough to backpack, tall enough to kneel upright in.

    BUT, if I had a bigger family, and car-camped a lot without a doubt . . .

    Springbar tents made by Kirkham’s in Salt Lake City. 2-10 person, big enough to stand up in, one person can put them up, a true life-time investment.

  53. I have the REI basecamp 4 and love it. We have 2 kids and it can get a little cramped. If I had to buy another I would get the 6 person version. I do like this one because it isn’t huge, but the kids can stand up in it. It is also easy to set up, my 8-year-old can put it up by himself. It has also withstood many rough nights. Recently we were in a windstorm in Southern Utah. The wind was strong enough to collapse the sides of the tent down on us. As soon as the wind stopped it popped right back, and none of the poles were bent.

    We bought the previous version on clearance for under $200. The current model is $370.

    Another one that I am looking at right now is the MSR Pappa Hubba. To me this would be the perfect family backpacking tent. Weights under 6 pounds and sleeps four.

  54. There are two qualities I would look for in a family tent: roomy interior and sturdy construction (or warranty). For those reasons I’d suggest the Northwoods 6-person from LL Bean. All Bean products have a lifetime guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about rough treatment. There is plenty of space for 4 people plus the dog. Yes it is heavy, but how far are you going to be carrying it with the whole family in-tow? Stick to car camping. If the price tag is too much, go for a Coleman.

    Disclaimer: I have no wife, no kids, and one dog. And I’m from Maine. So yeah, of course I would suggest a Bean tent.

  55. What is the best family camping tent?
    I do not own one.

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?
    Solid poles but not too heavy
    Do not have to be an acrobat or contortionist to assemble

    How many people should a family camping tent hold?

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?

  56. Family camping tents are essentially disposable items for us. We don’t do family camping much, so they don’t get damaged easily. Keeping us dry if it starts to rain is the only real requirement. Given that, our current one (Coleman) cost less $100 at Walmart. If it ever gets too damaged to repair, we will buy another. Once the kids decide they like camping and want to do it more often, then we will probably upgrade to something more durable. As far as size, it needs to fit me, my wife and my two kids, with room to spread out and/or optionally bring a dog. With the one we have, if we kept all the stuff out and left the dogs home, there’s room for each kid to bring a friend, although it would be a little cozy…

  57. I don’t recall the name of it, but my buddy owns a large Eureka tent that has we tend to use as a sort of living room/game room for car camping trips when it rains. It is large enough that we can comfortably sit 6 adults, but could stretch it to 8 if needed.

    As for family camping tents, I assume this to mean car camping tents. The size should depend on the family, but at minimum 4 people, but ideally 6, so there is plenty of room for gear.

    The must have attribute of a family camping is space in case of rain. Now, some rain isnt a big deal, but I remember when I was younger, my sister and mother would be miserable from a bit of rain. Back then, our tent was too small so we had to spend our time under a canopy and still got soaked. A place to lay and play with sufficient space for rainy days if my must have. I also suppose room dividers would be nice too, but not required.

  58. By a family tent, I would go with two adults and two kids, So here goes from the outside in:
    1) Easy set up with the minimum of guidelines
    2) A screened in vestibule where boots and shoes can be taken off without getting wet in the rain and where you can read or gather for meals and in the evenings. It should be sized for at least a 4 person folding table or 2 comfy chairs with room to get by
    3) All zippers kid proof – that means heavy duty
    4) A tent floor tough enough to withstand cots
    5) Tall enough inside to stand up in to dress and undress in
    6) Internal hooks that can take a lantern or a clothing line
    7) A fly cover to keep condensation to as close to zero as possible
    8) Plenty of screen areas high up for ventilation but still high enough to have some privacy
    9) A color that you can stand on a rainy day – i.e. not green or blue
    Cost would be in the 400-600 range

  59. I purchased a large (8) man tent for family camping and regretted it almost immediately. The best family camping tent is one tent for my wife and I and as many tents as it requires to keep my kids from bugging each other.

  60. I like Marco’s idea that multiple tents are a good idea. We have some dome tents, with the biggest being a 4 man. It easily fits 3 people, or 2 cots with lots of room. When you have a couple of kids along, it gives them ownership to have their own space in a tent they pitched, and help to take care of. If the kids bring along a couple of their friends, we just add a tent. You can also separate girls and boys easier. If we need to, we can break out the canvas cabin tent or canvas pup tent, but dome tents get my vote for easy use with lots of space.

    A good family tent should pitch quickly, be durable, waterproof, and have good zippers for the doors and windows.

    For price, we have had cheap tents that will last a long time, if well taken care of, and expensive ones which require much greater attention to keep them in good shape.

  61. christopher Sorel

    Love my REI kingdom 8 for the 4 of us family as give you sPace to stand and gear

  62. David Schwaigber

    It should keep out the rain and be one big roomy area and have a capacity of 8 people and cost less than $300.00.

  63. I’m really happy with my Stoic Templum 4. It retails for $225, but I bought mine on sale. The set up was extremely simple and quick. In my last camping trip I managed to have my tent completely up and rainfly on before my friend with a Coleman tent had even a pole put together. It’s easily the most rainproof tent I’ve ever been in, and me and my 2 children (ages 6 and 3) had plenty of room to spare.

  64. We had an REI Hobitat 4 until our kids were old enough to sleep in a separate tent. What I like about it was the height, so it felt roomy, but the floor dimensions were small enough that we could pitch it on the tent platforms at our favorite NH state parks. For big, car-oriented campgrounds, we borrow a ginormo Coleman 8 person, which is like a house. But the Hobitat is still going strong since 2008.

  65. We have a 6p Marmot Limestone that we jokingly refer to as ‘the palace.’ It doesn’t weigh a crazy amount (~17 lbs), though that doesn’t matter so much as backpacking since we normally use it for car camping and rafting. Man, that beast is big though! It really is funny to set it up next to wussy little backpacking tents on a raft trip. That really is the most important thing though: it has room enough for 4-5 people ‘comfortably,’ which means we won’t have to suffer when it rains, especially important when camping with possibly crabby family members in the rain. :) Perfect size too: any more and it probably would just be chaos, but four people seems to be the sweet spot. Costs ~$450, which isn’t bad for a whole ‘palace’!

  66. Years back we got a Swiss Gear on sale for $80. It’s finally falling apart. It fit 3 blow-up mattresses easily.

  67. Note: poster is in Australia
    We own the Black Wolf Turbo Light Twin 300 (, just the older version. The new one has pitched roof for the front awning, ours is flat so in rain it has to be sloped to one side to drain the water.
    The room dividers are great, lots of head room so you can stand without any issues in the middle part and the setup is… well turbo. Took us a few goes at packing it just right at first, but had plenty of practice so all good now.
    The tent would easily fit 2 families so it has heaps of room for the 4 of us.
    It retails for about AUD 1500 which I think is bit steep but then again it lasted us for few years now. I luckily got mine much cheaper few years back when it was on special.

  68. I have the REI Kingdom 6. Paid $400 for a 6 person tent. A little tight for 6. 4 persons have room with comfort, Add a fifth and everyone sleeps a little close. We never use the room divider but I guess it would be nice with two couples. Storage is a plus with this tent as well.

  69. When I think family camping I think car camping. We use a very old EMS scout 4. It is basic but has kept us dry. I admit to wanting something along the lines of Cabelas Alaskan guide. It has a great vestibule which mine does not. I couldn’t find it online but I thought that it had the option of a large vestibule that connects tents. This would be ideal for me. A nice big 4 + person for us (parents) and a 2 person for our daughter. For backpacking I have a Golite Shangri-la 5. We haven’t done much with it so I can’t comment much other than it is light for the weight and pretty bomber. The tarptent hogback also looks interesting.

  70. We’ve had good luck with our Kelty Frontier 4 Tent: 4-Person 3-Season tent. It has lots of room, well-ventilated and pretty sturdy in bad weather. For us a 4-person tent is enough but if we’re car camping a larger tent would be more comfortable. It wasn’t cheap at $650 but seems to be great so far. You can always find cheaper alternatives online.

  71. I’ve been in a lot of campgrounds where there is simply not enough continuous flat ground to put up the traditional family camping tent with a footprint of 6×16 or whatever. Therefore I prefer to have multiple small backpacking style tents; 2 or 3 person. I think both kids and parents are happier with this solution too! I’m willing to pay up to $300 per tent, because I want good quality, waterproof with sealed seams and durable hardware. I think free-standing is important too.

  72. i am also in the same belief as others saying multiple tents are better.
    2-3x 2-person tents + 1 parawing/tarp as kitchen/communal area.

    would be easier to pitch in campsites.

    150 for each 2 person tent, 50-75 for the tarp and a ground sheet

  73. Well, since my family never goes camping or hiking I have never owned a family sized tent.

  74. Depends on how big the family is at the time. The two-person tent I had was a little cramped for two actual sized adults with some gear and left zero room for a dog, so a Big Agnes UL3 fits the bill now, and weights about the same as the old 2 person tent. If actually car camping with others, I have some monstrous 6 person Kelty I picked up on clearance a while back.

  75. Must-have attributes: ease of set-up & space… BOTH height and floorspace
    Size: I just spent last weekend campground camping with some friends, and two guys filled up an 8 x 16 tent. My wife, daughter and I used to get by in an REI three-person dome-tent. I think that size is pretty much dictated by the number of people in the family, and their experience level with camping.
    Price: ??… Obviously the cheaper the better. Certainly under $200 for those who are just trying out camping to see how their family enjoys it. I think that most families who decide to get into camping on the long term, regular basis will end up getting multiple tents down the road.

  76. What a great question! At this point in my life, my family is just three, so our best family camping tent is Cabela’s XPG 3 person tent. It is lightweight so we can take it backpacking, has just enough room for the three of us and is quick to set up. So for our family now, three is how many we need to hold. However, I grew up in a family with a tent to hold 12 people for when we visited state parks and other trips. One day that space would be nice for that type of camping! But for backpacking, 4 is a good number – we can always take two.

    Must have attributes: easy to set up, enough head/leg/side room to move, holds up in rain and wind really well, lightweight for our backpacking adventures, not too expensive for what you’re getting, and long-lasting. I also appreciate tents with star-viewing capability!

    Price is a factor that depends upon so many things. For the lightweight versions, I would say anywhere from $150-$300 will buy a great tent. But I prefer getting things on sale, so my price is more of $100-200 (which we got for my current tent). With more family members on the way, I can’t justify spending $300 on a tent because of it’s company name. There are so many great ones available!

    • love to win this bag, while car camping last week, we squeezed a family of four in a 3 person “on sale” walmart tent, it was snug but doable, the price was right and was actually not that bad!

  77. Big Agnes Jupiter 4. Excellent draft and never had a drop of water inside the tent. Perfect for 3 people and gear.

  78. I’ve always opted for the multiple tents. Gives the kids a sense of independence, plus the parents have a little more freedom with their nightly routines (wink, wink). So we have a couple of LL Bean dome tents that can sleep 3-4 each.
    I like my tents to have plenty of screen for visibility and free standing for ease of set up. Shouldn’t have to spend more than $200-$300 on a decent tent. Doesn’t need to be light weight unless you’re backpacking.

  79. Good question-I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts on the topic. Having spent childhood family camping trips using a huge canvas tent that was impossibly heavy and inevitably leaky, any of today’s modern tents are just fine! We have a Columbia bugaboo and it works: easy to set up and no leaks. I wouldn’t want to stuff more than 4 people in there or any tent because increasing the number or snorers and squirmers makes it hard to sleep! When we buy a new car camping/festival tent, I’d prefer one that takes up less room when packed in the car and I wouldn’t want to spend more than about $200-300 for a 6 man tent – I have a somewhat expensive backpacking tent because low weight is important in that context, but for family camping purposes, expensive technical gear seems unnecessary.

  80. What is the best family camping tent?

    I am going to go at this question from a car camping perspective because this is probably the most accessible type of family camping. In my opinion, the best car camping tent is the Coleman Instant Tent series of tents. It has an attached pole structure that sets up like an EZ-UP. I can literally set it up by myself in the dark in about a minute. This is INVALUABLE as we often roll into camp late and getting my wife to help setup while we both try to watch the kids at the same time is a chore. Take down takes a tiny bit longer just because I am anal about how I pack it away.

    We have the 8 person tent even though there are only four of us and a dog. We could likely get away with their 6 or even 4 person, but we love the 8. It weighs a TON, but that is a non-issue in my opinion in regards to car camping. It has a separator that splits the tents into two sections. We setup all our gear in the front part along with the dog bed, and we sleep in the back section with plenty of room to spare.

    MSRP is around $300 IIRC, but we got it for around $200. I would pay full price for the convenience, but at $200, it is a steal.

    We also have the optional rainfly, but have never had to test it in heavy, sustained rain. We’ve had it since it was released several years ago and have not had any issues.

  81. What is the best family camping tent?

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?
    How many people should a family camping tent hold?
    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?

    Very loaded questions that could cause a debate that may crash the internets!
    But since you asked… I have spent the better part of my 37 years camping as a form of both vacation and recreation. I have owned several different models from my youth to my time now as a father. For the last 12 years we have relied heavily on our LL Bean 3-person/3-season tent. it’s light enough that we can hike in/out of remote spots, yet large enough that the 3 of us can comfortably sleep. I also has a nice vestibule to keep our packs dry at night. This set-up works well if you can leave the Coleman stove and portable chairs at home. I would keep tent cost under $300 for a general purpose tent, but cost increase as the size of your family increases or desired weight decreases. If car camping is more your thing… we prefer a 1972 VW Westfalia pop-top. keeps you dry and has all the amenities!!

    the ideal test size is completely dependent on your family size and the amount of “Necessities” that the family brings along.

  82. Depends on the size of your family, but I’ve used a Sierra designs Electron 2 comfortably. I think a family tent needs dual side entrances mostly and you should pay ~$250 and up depending on the size.

  83. What is the best family camping tent?
    The one that fits your needs. I would look at Ozark Trail or Coleman just for price and size.

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?
    Good ventilation and a rain fly.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold?
    It should hold 4 which means you’ll probably need a 6 person tent.

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?
    I think you can find an inexpensive family tent for $250.

  84. For a family of four active campers who don’t spend much time inside, I use two Kelty 4 man tents. One for the adults and one for the kids. They are cheap, sturdy, and offer adequate weather protection. Also gives us room for any gear we choose to store inside. Along with the tents I use a screened shelter as a community area for bug protection, sun shelter, and mild weather events.

  85. A good family camping tent should have a good rainfly, a lot of pockets, & screen windows to let the fresh air in.
    It should hold 4-6 people
    A reasonable price is $80-100. I had a $60 tent that weathered years of camping trips

  86. I like to use a cheap, $100 4 person tent. Usually it hold me, the girlfriend and the dog. We usually car camp in with the dog so weight is not an issue. And the dog can be hard on the floor. Put a tarp over it for more rain protection and that’s a good family tent.

  87. What is the best family camping tent?
    The one that works best for you and your needs. I have a Coleman that I am happy with, due to the price and size.

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?
    Two doors is a plus, if there is a family using it. A good rain fly, a couple pockets and a secure spot to hang a light source.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold?
    It should hold 4… more or less. Depending on the ages and size of your family (kids).

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?
    I would hope to get a nice tent for upwards of $200. Reviews, features and hopefully proof of durability might change my mind.

  88. My personal favorite is the Eagles Camp Family Voyager 8-Person Tent
    Must have attributes:
    •Lots of Elbow room
    •Large doorways
    •Extra ventilation
    How many people should a family camping tent hold?:
    •Well this really depends on your family but to really qualify I’d say it has to hold at least 5 comfortably
    What’s a reasonable price for a family camping tent?:
    •Anywhere from 100-200 dollars is what I’d be willing to throw down without tears of regret

  89. In my experience, both as a child and as an adult, having 2 tents for family camping is the best. My ideal set up is a kids tent and an adult tent. I grew up in a family of 4 and currently have a family of 4 myself so I will only be able to speak to those numbers. Growing up it was always a great experience to share a tent with my younger brother, it was like our own little fort. I do not remember being gentle with the tent so we have a heavy-weight (5 lbs) 2 person tent for the kids and a light-weight (3.5 lbs) 2 person tent for the adults. As the kids get older (2 and 6 right now) I’m sure they’ll transition to a light-weight tent as well, but I still think having a kids tent and an adult tent is the best family camping set up.

  90. For a car camping family tent, I think plenty of room, height to stand up straight in, and weather resistance are the three biggest must-have attributes. Because of that, I love our Cabela’s Alaskan Guide 8-person tent. Before getting this tent approximately 6 or 7 years ago, we always had cheaper Coleman tents or other various inexpensive tents. After buying a “nice” Coleman tent with a “full-coverage rain fly” for more money than I had ever spent on a tent at that time (around $150 or so) and having that tent fill up with 2″ of water during a very strong thunderstorm, I decided that was enough. I had a friend that had an Alaskan Guide tent for a couple of years at that time, and he had nothing but good things to say about it. We went to Cabela’s and bought one for something like $450 at the time. It has fiberglass poles, because we just couldn’t afford the aluminum-poled model then, but it was a great investment nonetheless. We have NEVER had any problems with this tent. It is a geodesic dome design, and it’s so strong in nasty weather that I’ve never been worried about leaks, being blown over or away, etc. We’ve always only had 3-4 people plus one or two dogs in it, so the 8-person model is the perfect size. It’s heavy, but it’s also great.

    For a backpacking family tent, I am really excited about the TarpTent Hogback I got this past winter so that me, my wife and our daughter could go backpacking together. It’s just about the perfect size for the three of us and even works for two (with way more room than we need) when our daughter decides to not come along (which is most of the time, I’m afraid).

    • If I were buying a family camping tent, I’d want it to be well ventilated & be equipped with a solid rain fly. Space-wise, I’d want my tent rated for 1 more person than I plan to have in it (i.e, family of 4 buys a 5 person tent). I’d wouldn’t mind spending 200-300 bucks on a decent tent

  91. whatever works for your family, it’s about being together outside, not the tent.

  92. For car camping, my family of 3 enjoys the Eureka Cooper Canyon. Large enough to give us space and spread out our gear. This tent is fairly easy to set up and break down and is a great shelter from wind and rain.

  93. I have Hennesse hammocks for everyone! Use a common large tarp. Done right, you can even stack the kids.

  94. I am currently considering to buy one. It should fit 4 people. Important features: high enough so that small children can stand, easy to set up, good ventilation. A reasonable price would be ca $300.

  95. LL Bean dome tents- different sizes, like LL Bean because of their warranties and service, price can be a bit high for what they are. Found out though that the larger domes are not good in winds over 20 t0 30 mph since they tend to collapse. Need a tent that packs fairly small since packing inside car, less than 200.

  96. I always a fan of staying in a lean-to or finding a shelter. There are those times when a tent just is more practical. So i rely on the rei geo dome. It spacious and lightweight. With two vestibules that allow for exiting on both sides.

  97. I have not used family tenting very often and when we did I preferred using a couple of Eureka Timberline 4 man tents. They were simple and economical to operate and own. Our family consisted of a total of 7 when they were younger so this worked as an acceptable situation. Any family tent or tents should be able to hold all the family and most of the gear, so the size of the tent will depend on the size of the family. Cost should be at the level that the family can afford so that will also vary with the financial status of the family.

  98. I’ve had two REI family style dome tents and liked both. I like REI because they back their products. The tent should hold at least four. That would cover the parents and smallish kids. It should be easy to set up otherwise it will not get used. A good price would be around $400.00.

  99. A dome tent for 4 where one can easily sit up without hitting the head against the top. Good entry points that allow access without having to contort too much. Sturdy, strong spikes & poles. Price wise, just have to shop around and watch for sales. Maybe put the word out amongst your FB friends! A solid used tent could be a great buy! REI is great for the selection and guarantee, but not so great on prices.

  100. Michael Orenstein

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? Enough room, enough ventilation, enough rain protection, and two doors.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold? One more than however many people you have.

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent? Whatever Amazon charges for a Coleman tent that meets your needs.

  101. I think “family camping” is car camping. A good tent is a must for happy, family camping. The must-have attributes of a family camping tent are 2 – 3 rooms and a screened in porch. Girls may need more privacy so separate rooms are a must. The screened in porch is to relax in nature without the bugs. It should hold 6-8 people, being that children may bring their friends. A reasonable price is $175. A better price is $150.

  102. A Family tent should always have an optional vestibule for shoes and boots. There should also be organizational pockets and loops to hold led lanterns. A family tent should hold 3-5 comfortably with room for gear. $259.00 – $499.00 for a QUALITY tent.

  103. James Richardson

    Best family tent in my 50+ years of camping is the Eureka Equinox. Stable in high winds and the worst storms, as many have said. Standup height is as good as it comes. Doesn’t let water in with fly attached. Easy to put up quickly. Sturdy poles with a cast metal top hub. I’ve lived in this tent for weeks at a time. UV bleaching and breakdown is average but not thin fabric, The hexagonal shape inside is refreshing and useful, and makes it appear larger than it actually is. Car camping and living inside it for several weeks at a state park with electrical hookup, I have had a full bed for two, a television, low chairs, an exercise ball, microwave stove, large cooler, coleman stove, and plastic tubs with gear. Also an oscillating fan. When I was shopping in town, I put my bicycle inside too.

    So there is room for several people if you eliminate these extras.

    On three of the sides, the sides zip open so you have a 3-openings screenhouse on alternate walls. That also makes this tent unique and wonderful in hot breezeless weather. For privacy or rain, zip up these 3 ‘picture windows’ in less than a minute.

    Price seems constant at about $370. In the $400 range you’d expect for a quality long term family tent that performs and actually delivers both in good weather and foul.

  104. I think a family tent should have two individual rooms and be large enough to stand up in. It would also be nice to have a small screened in area for the kids to hang out in when the bugs are biting.
    4 to 5 people
    $250 – $300

  105. 1. Good ventilation, durability, stability, weatherproof
    2. 5 person tent (4 plus some gear or dog)
    3. $350

  106. I really am fine with generic tents from Coleman and such when family camping. The biggest thing I look for in any tent is if it is good in any weather and can protect my family from insects. A good family tent should be able to fit four people comfortably with enough room to change clothes in as well. I believe that $300 or less is a good price to pay for a family tent.

  107. My family is two and the hubby is TALL! we gotta have a ‘three man’ for us and gear. Keeping her ultralight means she’s spendy. $400…

  108. Mountain Hardware drifter 3… full rain fly is must to keep anything and everyone dry. . Size is good for two adults and give year old.
    Picked one up this spring in littleton nh at lahouts for $130..easy set up and plenty of storage in vestibule

  109. What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? excellent waterproofing

    How many people should a family camping tent hold? six

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?$200-250

  110. I actually do have the Kingdom 6 it is sweet. I got it at a garage sale for $250. I have four young kids the 6 will be too small in 5 years. I think $450 is reasonable for a fam tent. But it has to have great rain protection and plenty of storage.

  111. 1. Good ventilation, durability, stability, weatherproof, free standing tents should be good
    2. Depends on the family size, generally is x person + 1 for gear
    3. $300-$400

  112. Durability and breathability are often overlooked attributes of a family tent. I have been using a MountainSmith Gennesee 4 for three people, and the size and weight are perfect, and in a good price range for a well built tent.

  113. The best family camping tent is the one with your family in it.
    I like what someone said about the X plus 1 capacity. Weight is not a huge factor, at least for me, since I’ve got small kids so we’re not hiking far. The tent must be dry, ventilate well, and keep out bugs as most of us aren’t family camping in winter. You can get the Wenzel Pine Ridge for as little as $90 or spend upwards of $500 on an REI or Kelty. I’ve got a Wal-Mart special Coleman tent that fits 6-8 and it works just fine for now.

  114. Hello, after some bad experiences borrowing tents (water pooling inside the tent) we rented family tents from REI to get more experience. We finally purchased a LL Bean King Pine Dome 4 tent for our annual trips to the lake over July 4 weekends in North Carolina. The tent has a 4 person tent (for 3 of us) with an equal size screen room (without floor). The fly is excellent and the set up takes less than 10 minutes.
    * Attributes: Good waterproofing on floors and extensive ventilation options. Privacy is very important. In many tents, you could not change clothes inside without the rain fly attached.
    * Szie: I would Plus 2, especially if you use an air mattress, and are car camping, since a full size Aerobed takes up all of the 4 person tent floor.
    * Cost: About $400 with footprint. I changed the guy lines to reflective cord and the stakes to smaller lighter aluminum stakes.

  115. What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? Waterproof, lightweight, reliable, working all possible weather conditions. Like mine, Hilleberg Nallo 2. We have a family of two :)
    How many people should a family camping tent hold? Enough space for your stuff, absidi required.
    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent? 300-400€ i guess.

  116. It really doesn’t matter which tent you use, as long as you are getting out with your family. When you look around car camping campgrounds, you will see everything from $40 WalMart tents to $800 palaces. Eureka tents – $2-300 – are a good middle ground and will give you years of service. Families will often have two or more tents, as well, to accomadate older kids who can sleep on their own. Families are probably 4-6 people, so tents rated at 6- 8 people are about right.

  117. A family tent should have a space other than the sleeping area.
    Capacity should be one more than actual numbers of sleepers
    300 is probably a reasonable price, though could go higher given the added vestiblues, etc

  118. We use a REI kingdom 6 for car camping. We love how roomy it is, specifically the height. For older family members it’s convenient to crouch less entering and exiting. A good family tent needs space for four. I think $100 per person is the max you should spend for a family tent.

  119. I think that the must-have attributes for a family camping tent are : 1. a sheltered entrance compartment where the family can leave all the shoes and packs, 2. maybe two separate sleeping spaces once the kids are no longer very small, 3. some space in case you are stuck there during a rainy day ;-)
    A family tent should hold 4-5 people, and a reasonable price would probably be around $300.

  120. The size and type of tent depends on whether the family is car camping or backpacking. We did both so we had two tents- a Eureka Timberline 4 and a Black Sheep 10×10. The Eureka was cramped with the four of us but it worked.It was durable and weather resistant- both are important in the backcountry. The 10×10 had plenty of sleeping room and stand up headroom, but was less storm worthy. A family tent must hold all of your family members-different size families have different size needs. Money was tight when our kids were young so we bought used tents or bargain brands.

  121. My ideas of a good family tent are that’s going to hold back the weather if it gets nasty. that’s packable enough for car camping or not too bulky for canoeing, and that’s not going to break the bank & last long enough to enjoy it for some time.
    My family consists of 5 people and the Coleman Sundome (9×7) fits the 5 of us & most of our gear. With good ventilation, & adequate head room it does all we need it to. We have weathered quite a storm (x2) in the Bancroft, Ontario area & came out dry as a bone. It’s also easy enough for one person to set up-remembering it’s not a race.

  122. LL Bean dome tent worked well for both Yellowstone and backyard family reunions. Its 10 x 10 and did not cost an arm and leg. Sleep four with cots and air mats.

  123. I have an older Big Agnes family camping tent that I got from REI about 3 or 4 years ago. I forget the exact model, but it is a six person tent similar to this It has a very large front vestibule where you can have 2 or 3 people comfortably hang out under (almost too big in my opinion, it is difficult to pitch).

    A family car camping tent should easily be able to hold all your family members + additional gear, or just get two smaller tents, one for the kids and one for the parents. I got ours before we had a kid, so we sized it for two dogs + two adults + gear. 4-6 person seems to be the sweet spot for plenty of space for luxurious car camping and ease of storage and setup. Anything larger would be a huge pain to pitch.

    I believe i paid about $350 for mine, but it is pretty bomb proof and it has held up just fine in thunderstorms and hail. Pick a decent brand that is within your budget and stick to it, but try to find something with the features you need, and skip the random extras that you do not need. You can usually get away with less features than you think.

  124. I think of it as a “family camping system”, because with a 5-person family, there are several permutations of who might be along. In terms of space, rated space should be 1+ more than your people, i.e. at least rated 6-person capacity for 5 people. I like modular, i.e. separate 3-4 person tents plus a screened in common space, connected via blue tarps.

    The best tents are the ones you have, but for some members of my family, higher clearance is important. I have a “big” Coleman Montana (~$125, fiberglass poles) which takes 10+ minutes to set up – was too cheap for the EZ-UP ones, and I’ve had aluminum poles crack on a 6-person dome that was 6′ tall. A lot depends on camping regulations also – max # of tents per spot, available space, etc., and amount the family will go camping vs. subsets. So tradeoffs between ease of setup, durability and price, like everywhere else.

  125. We use a BPWD Luna 6 with an inner net. It is a pyramid style and very lightweight and stormworthy for the size. We did get the inner pole for it as we found tying hiking poles together just wasn’t as sturdy as we would like with kids pulling and windforce on the side panels.

    We did have John from BPWD customize it by adding some additional height as I am 6′-4″.

    We have a family of five, so a 6-man tent is our minimum to have enough space for the kids to move around a little bit if it is raining or the bugs are bad. This is something to certainly consider as kids can get very restless in these conditions and need a little extra space to wrestle or play.

    As for cost, it depends on the conditions. Are you car camping or are you backpacking? If you are backpacking, you will need to spend extra for it to not weigh a ton. Is it going to see adverse weather or is it reserved for sunny, warm weekends? Obviously, you will need to spend more for high winds or snow load. On the bottom end, I would say $150 for a quality tent is minimum. Lighter and better designs could go upwards to over $1000 for a lightweight tipi style tent which will be the premium.

  126. The most important attribute of a family camping tent is useable space so no one needs to step over someone else in the middle of the night to visit nature. Ventilation is the next priority because tents can feel like a sauna in hot and humid weather. If it is not going to rain the rain fly should be easily removable for better ventilation. I appreciate the design of the Eureka Copper Canyon with its near vertical walls, you can stand up anywhere in the tent. Also, all four sides are mostly windows for ventilation, and the fly can be removed so the roof becomes a “window” too.

    A family camping tent should hold four people minimum with space between them. Even more space would be useful so that gear can be moved in during rain.

    A reasonable price for a quality family camping tent would be between $200 and $300 for a four person model. The expense of making it able to be used in winter or on a mountain peak is not warranted.

  127. What is the best family camping tent?

    For our family its the two-door, four person Eureka Timberline, which is good value for just over $200. With front and rear doors, late to sleep or early to rise are less problematic as one can easily escape the tent. The generous oft and two side pockets hold glasses, phones and more. Best of all, its self-supporting. This tent does double duty for camping on hard ground and on wooden gym floors during evacuations. The bathtub floor and full rain fly means seldom having to worry or treat hypothermia, even in the worst of storms. Its my go to tent when family safety is a must.

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?

    Self standing, bath tub floor, full rain fly, good ventilation, ample storage loft, available spare parts.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold?

    The family plus 1 or 2 friends. With the average American family being 3 people, a four person tent is ideal. More children in your tribe, buy a second four person tent or an extra two-person for the parents or older children.

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?

    About $200-250 for a four person. $100-150 for a starter family of two and an infant.

  128. What is the best family camping tent? – A durable affordable tent that is rated for at least 2 more people than you plan to sleep in it. Mine is currently a Coleman Elite 8-person tent for our family of five (and a dog).

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? #1 is superior weather-proofing. Nothing ruins an outing faster than a wet, cold, child. #2 is ease of set-up.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold? Two more people than you plan to sleep in it. Otherwise there is no room for extras such as pillows, toiletries, etc…

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent? $200-300 range

  129. Family Tent should be easy to set up (even for the kids) with lots of space. At minimum, it should have space for four people and cost less than %$200

  130. I agree a family tent should be easy to set up and have enough space for 4 people and cost less than $200.

  131. The best family tent is also one of the lightest: The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3

    What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are?
    Balancing the lightweight attribute with the spaciousness attribute. The UL3 will fit myself, my wife, my daughter and somehow squeeze Gracie the dog at the end. The tent weighs 3 lb. 8 oz. We have a lot of headroom, however we sleep quite snugly side-to-side. The big boon is the ability to not way my pack down which enables us to hike further.

    How many people should a family camping tent hold?
    Four (4) would be the optimum number. Too much larger and it is impossible to do anything other than car camp.

    What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent?



  132. Coleman Elite 8-person -> use this for car camping (non-backpacking). spacious, well-ventilated, fairly easy to setup/takedown with two people

    -What do you think the must-have attributes of a family camping tent are? Durability, space, ease of setup/takedown
    -How many people should a family camping tent hold? ideally kids in one, parents in another, but minimum 6 person (so really, an 8-person on paper)
    -What’s a reasonable price for a quality family camping tent? under $300 (US)

  133. The best family camping tent is whatever tent is currently at Costco.

    Let’s face it, kids are hard on things. I bought a new Coleman 8-man a few years ago and the first night they managed to burn a hole in it. The next day a snake found it’s way into that hole and just about gave my wife a heart attack.

    So I vote go cheap and plan on getting a new one every few years. I think for $200 you should find a decent tent to last 2-3 seasons. I think anything with decent vestibule and something that has a great view of the stars. Don’t be afraid to go without a rain cover…the kids will love it.

    Now take all that money you saved on a family tent and go buy a crazy expensive lightweight backpacking tent :)

  134. I don’t believe there is one best family camping tent. I believe it depends on whether you only car camp or if you backpack in to the campsite. It also depends on how many people are in your family and how old they are. When my kids were smaller and harder on tents (or anything for that matter) I bought a cheap four-man tent at a big sports retailer (we like to backpack as well as car camp). It got banged up and was a little heavy, but it worked great. It is still usable, but my boys are getting older and more mature so we recently bought a REI quarterdome T3 plus. It is lighter, easy to set-up, and has been great so far. My three boys sleep in that tent (or my wife or I will sleep with two) and then my wife and I will sleep in a lightweight tarptent (or my wife or I will sleep with one). If you just car camp I would suggest a Kirkham’s canvas tent – they are almost indestructible, have a great warranty, and are very roomy.

    Must-have attributes of a family camping tent again depends on the kids’ ages and how hard they are on the tent. If they are young and/or hard on things, then I would go with cheap so if you have to replace it, it won’t hurt the bank as bad – a kid can ruin any tent, whether it is made well or not. If you like to backpack, get a four-man tent so the weight can be distributed between more people. If your family is bigger buy a small two-man tent or another four-man tent.

    The cheap four-man tent I bought early on was around $100. I think it was Coleman or Eureka. It doesn’t have a vestibule and the poles were fiberglass (not the lightest tent), but we couldn’t go on LONG backpacking trips anyway, so I could deal with the slightly heavier backpack.

  135. Big Agnes 6 seems to work well for my neighbor with young family of 4. Vestibule keeps debris and wetness out of tent. Plenty of room for storage and sleeping equipment. The $500 investment was well spent for all components.

  136. For us it was the Eureka Sunrise 11. We live in Florida and camped in the summer so ventilation, no-seeum netting, and rain protection were must haves. The Sunrise had full wall windows on all four sides and the fly always did the job. This family of three could stay cool in August in that baby and she was about $250. A family tent should hold a family comfortably in the conditions you are in. The 11 x 11 x 11 was HUGE but was surely appreciated after a day in the hot sun and on the water. Of course we are talking car camping not backpacking. All in all no matter the season, the size, the location or the type of camping, must have attributes are ventilation and rain protection. The right amount of space is enough space to meet the needs of the personalities and dynamics of your family. Cost is also dependent on camping conditions and family habits. I wouldn’t pay a bundle for a tent exposed to the extreme exposure a beach tent gets, it is foolish. A tent is an investment in your family and should be should be treated with love and care so get what you can afford that meets your needs and treat it with love.

  137. Using a couple old Colemans I have had for years … everyone fits in them (6). Beefed up the water protection with a tarp over the tent and additional area over the vestibule. Hey, it isn’t broke — why change it! It meets our needs and everyone is happy.

  138. We have the REI Base Camp 6 (6 person). It has served us very well and has been able to still be of use as my kids have grown from adolescence into teens and yes, adults, we are still able to sleep comfortably. We are a family of 5. Good head room, too! Lots of great features to make the tent function well.
    Durable and easy to set up. This has been a great “car” camping tent for us.

  139. Weight not being much of a concern , good ventilation and waterproof properties , capacity for 4 people and a $300.00 ( maybe a bit more ) price point would work for me .

  140. From a car camping perspective, I’m not concerned about weight, but like others may have said, in larger family style tent I want headroom, waterproofness, and good ventilation. Since it’s just 3 of us I want a tent with a listed capacity of at least 4 or more so that we have a little extra room. This style of tent shouldn’t break the bank – I think a tent that costs no more than $200 will do.

  141. The first part of the answer has to do with when and where? For me it is three season car camping. I grew up in Coleman cabin tents and still think they are the pick for this type of camping. Always plan a bit bigger then the number of family members. Have lists of bug proof screens because most of the time heat is the problem, not cold. Modern tents are all fairly straight forward to set up and take down. Weight is the issue. Maybe I’m getting older but my trusted canvas sided tents are gone. Light weight fabrics, lots of ventilation, waterproof floor and a rain fly for the occasional shower By the way, if the weather is good and the bug spray is working. Ditch the tent for a ground cloth under your bags. Sleeping under the stars will be a memory that will make the family camp out a life long memory! How much? $200-300 is a fair deal for all.


    Space enough to give each person a little area just their own. Head room I think gives the feeling of spaciousness and makes it easier getting in and out when there is a tent full of people. I think a family tent should hold 4 average size people plus one dog or smallish child. I would pay anywhere from $300 to $500 for a quality tent that would last longer than 2 campouts.

  143. The ideal family tent will change as the family ages! The ideal tent should sleep 4-6, allowing for plenty of room for kids to hang out just in case the weather is less than ideal. Tall enough to stand up in, and a door thats easy to use. As kids age it may be more convenient to have a separate smaller tent for them to sleep in. This size of tent would also allow for cots or air mattresses to be used when old age hits and sleeping on the ground is no longer comfortable. Another must have attribute would be a good rain fly, something that comes to the ground. If I have to rig up a tarp over a leaking tent, I am definitely not enjoying myself. I would spend $2-400 on a quality, long lasting tent. I have car camping in mind here, a backpacking setup would be entirely different.

  144. For car camping we have the Big Agnes Big House 4 person tent which we love and for backpacking we have a Big Agnes Jackrabbit SL3 which works fine but is very tight…

  145. While a hanger in a prefect world, when out on our monthly scout trips (car and paddle) theGolite Shangri-La 5 is still our go to tent. We even pack infrequently, when my better half joins us on short treks. Our teenagers love this tent as well.

  146. I have a bunch of tents. From little 1 person A-frame to a HUGE 12’x12′ Eureka that stands over 8′ tall.

    Currently, my boys (9 and 12) prefer the old Eureka 4-season Wind River. They find it one of the easiest to set up and just right inside for them and their stuff. I like them in it due to the extreme stability of that tent. I’ve been in some pretty nasty storms and it hardly flutters. We took it on a bike tour back in the 90’s and had one of the most energetic thunderstorms I’ve ever seen hit us and other than the fantastic light show the tent just roared from the rain, but never felt in any peril. It is a bit warm in the summer due to the small vents, so we never used it that much, but the kids like the warmer sleeping.

    I picked up an L.L. Bean Acadia (built by Kelty) 4 person on closeout for under $100 at the outlet in Nashua, NH a few years ago and it has become my favorite car camping tent. Seems people hated the pole design, and honestly, it’s a confusing setup. But, once up, it has amazing interior space and both incredible ventilation and great rain protection. Two large vestibules allow us to keep gear out of the weather as needed. Seriously, there were a lot of these on closeout for cheap money and make nice car camping tents, so you might still find one. For us, it easily fits our 4″ self-inflating camp mattress and still have a ton of room for the dog and personal gear.

    The big 12’x12′ tent is still used from time to time. Last time I used it was a Cub Scout outing where the adults slept in our own tents while all the kids crashed in the one tent. Yea, it was pandemonium for a while, but we had total pass-out by 11. I simply covered the entire floor with industrial interlocking padding so that the whole tent floor was kid proof and comfy for them to sleep on. Toss in a dozen comforters and pillows and let them find their own comfort.

    I admit it, I have this terrible disease. I walk into Hilton’s Tent City when I’m in Boston and I almost always walk out with a new tent that was “on incredible sale”. As my wife likes to say, most are monogrammed just for me with “Irregular” (just like most of our Therm-a-rest mattresses) In any case, I’ve amassed quite a collection.

    I took nearly 10 years of trial and error, but we also do all our family cooking over the camp fire using antique cast iron cookware. Nothing tastes as good as baked goods from a Dutch Oven or some kind of meet off the rotisserie. For the kids? Prepped a ton of shaved beef and made Steak and Cheese to order. Sure beats the standard hot dogs on sticks. (^_^)

    Anyway… I can’t really comment on the current family tents because most of mine were discontinued before my kids were born. I will say that I really HATE long sleeves and fiberglass poles. Save yourself the grief and look for tents that use aluminum poles that assemble with a smooth profile and the main tent attaches using mostly clips. Flys should overhang or provide some cover over the doors/windows so that you can open the vents in the rain.

    If you have kids, pack along a blue tarp as a ground cloth. Somehow unless you have a strong cloth, they always find a way to get something to poke the bottom. Just roll the edges up under the tent walls to keep water out. And keep a patch kit handy.

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