Best Family Tents for Bad Weather of 2020 | Expert Advice

If you quickly want to find out which is the best family tent for bad weather, I’d recommend the Browning Camping Big Horn Two-Room Tent.

Camping can become a nightmare if your tent flops during a windy day or a rainy night.

You need to find one with a perfect balance of weight, performance in bad weathers, comfort, setup, cost etc.

Don’t worry. We can help you out with some good, solid buying advice. You’ll also find tips on how to use them, and some precautions/prerequisites.

Our Top 5 Family Tents for Bad Weather of 2020

4.3

Capacity: 5 / 8 P

1. Browning Camping Two-Room Tent

  • Best Overall
  • Spacious room space, made of high quality materials
  • Superior ventilation
4.6

Capacity: 4 P

2. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent

  • Best for a 4 member family
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent room space & head room
4.0

Capacity: 10 P

3. Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent

  • Separate screen rooms
  • Spacious interiors
  • Reasonably priced
4.2

Capacity: 4 P

4. Kodiak Canvas Deluxe Tent

  • Best pick for Design, Room space, Bad weathers & Quality
  • Heavy duty tent
  • Excellent waterproofing
4.0

Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping

Capacity: 8 P

5. Coleman 8-Person Tent

  • Best pick for money
  • Quick setup & take down
  • Plenty of ventilation

We've created a comprehensive Family tent buying guide along with some handy precautions.

How to choose the best family tents for bad weather?

Size

This is one of the most overlooked aspects by many but it’s actually quite important. If you choose the wrong size, high chances are that you’ll end up feeling like a stuffed poultry farm rolling over each other.

If you are looking for a camping tent for 4, keep in mind that most of them will be comfortable for 2 adults, 3 at a maximum or, for 2 adults and a kid or two.

That’s provided you have some vestibule space for keeping your camping gear.

Definitely choose a tent based on its area and storage space.

Weight

If you are looking at a family tent for car camping, weight need not be your primary consideration. You can look for a tent that performs well in the other areas & one that isn’t just too bulky.

If you are looking to carry the tent for a backpacking trip, ( which is unlikely for a family tent ) you don’t want to get sick carrying a bulky bag. Tents are one of the heaviest items in your backpack, so heavily factor weight into your consideration.

You can also split the weight among the people you’re planning to share the tent with.

Tents with freestanding poles tend to be heavier than the ones with stakes.

Setup Time

A person setting up a tent rainfly

If you are a newbie, look for tents with freestanding poles. They are easier to set up and can be moved around easily.

If you are an experienced camper and knows your way around setting up the tent with stakes, it’s much faster to setup once you are used to it.

Both ways, I’d highly recommend you to try set it up once at home a week before your trek.

Hydrostatic head measurement

In simple terms, it’s a measure of how water resistant your tent material is.

The higher the hydrostatic head value, the more waterproof a tent is, and the more water it withstands from leakage.

For good water resistance, look for a tent with 2500..+ mm coating.

Also, keep in mind that this is only one of the factors that determine the water resistance of the tent. The design of the tent, the materials used, the stitch,… everything matters.

Poles

The number of poles translate to the sturdiness of the tent.

There are mainly two different materials of tent poles – fiberglass and aluminium.

Aluminium poles tend to be stronger, and are fairly light. They are resilient and withstand stress better.

Fiberglass poles on the other end, are a cheaper & convenient alternative to aluminium poles. They don’t corrode easily and are rust free.

Fabric

Good quality tents are usually made of Polyester or Nylon. Since you are looking at a tent for bad weathers, go with Polyesters.

Design

A well designed tent is a pet peeve of mine. If you are ready to shell out some money and invest in a good quality product, it lasts for years on end.

Ventilation

Definitely look for a well ventilated tent. Since it’s a tent for family, a lot of people inside can warm up the tent quite quick and can leave you feeling suffocated.

Choose a tent with sufficient meshed windows and large doors.

Flooring of the tent

It’s essential to have a tent that’s floored well, especially if you predict bad weathers.

Most of the waterproof tents come with polyester double-coated floors, but if your tent doesn’t come with one you can get a tarp or a footprint to make it durable.

Precautions/Prerequisites

Camp Setup at Home

Make sure you setup the tent once in your home a week before you leave for the trip.

It ensures two things – one you know how to set it up, two you can be assured that all the parts and materials you need are available, and are in working order. It’s always a better idea to work out this in the leisure of your homes than in the woods, in the hot sun with mosquitoes biting.

However, checking if the tent withstands harsh weathers is to be found out when you do the actual camping.

Additional Stakes

It’s always a wise idea to carry additional stakes, just in case one of the stakes in your tents snap at the last moment.

The sturdiness of the tent is in the stakes, and especially if you predict windy weathers, make sure to pack them along.

Plastic Stakes? Big NO.

If you’ve chosen a tent that comes with plastic stakes, and if it turns out that the tent excels in all other areas, well and good.

Replace them with aluminium stakes.

You can always buy them separately. Brands like Coleman sell tent accessories as well, so don’t hesitate to replace them. A tent with plastic stakes is not to be trusted in bad weathers.

Waterproofing Tents

If your tent doesn’t come with a DWR coating, you can apply one yourself with products like Scotchguard. Here’s a video that tells you how to do it.

What’s the best way to use family tents?

  1. Always ensure that the fabric is dry before storage. When dried wet, not only does the tent catch a funky odor, the polyurethane coatings also get damaged because of the moisture.
  2. Keep your tent in a cool, dry place.
  3. Handle your zippers and poles with extra care.
  4. Clean your tent and fly periodically.

Top 5 Best Family Tents for Bad Weather

1. Browning Camping Big Horn Two-Room Tent


Weight – 34.6 lbs

Poles – freestanding, fiberglass

Capacity – 8

Doors, windows – 2, 6

Season Rating – 3 season Tent

Short Review

This tent is a breeze to setup, made of freestanding fiberglass poles and steel uprights that makes it sturdy.

It’s quite spacious, and has an excellent height to it- adults of 6’ and above can walk freely inside it. The space inside the tent makes it up for the lack of vestibule area.

You have an option of splitting the tent room by two, if needed. The ceiling of the tent is all meshes, and is perfect for stargazing night. It might get a little cold in winters though. It’s recommended to buy a tarp for the tent to extend its durability when used in rainy weathers.

Users have found this to be a fabulous tent with a perfect balance of design and feature sets. This is also our pick for the best family tents for bad weather.

Comes in 2 capacities – 8 and 5. Links below.

Pros

  • Comfortable two room design with separate doors
  • Excellent performance in harsh weathers, Sturdy in the winds and Dry in the rains
  • Made of high quality polyester material – highly durable
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Spacious room space, has an extra tall center that allows people to walk comfortably within
  • Very well ventilated – 2 large doors, 6 windows & mesh roofs
  • Meshed top – Best for stargazing
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Less built in storage space
  • Floor could have been thicker – Using a tarp extends the life of the tent
  • Entire top is mesh – might get cold in harsh winter weathers

Bottomline

Chosen for value for money, tent space, harsh weathers, and ventilation.

2. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe Tent


Weight – 73 lbs

Capacity – 6

Doors, windows – 2, 4

Season Rating – All season Tent

Short Review

If you have a high budget for your family camping tent, this is an excellent choice.

It comes under the premium camping tents category. It is designed top-notch, has high end technologies like dry-finish treatment for water/weather resistance. It also has a strong pole design and made of the best quality materials like Hydra Shield canvas & polyester.

It’s spacious, comfortable, has a gear loft for storage, performs exemplary in harsh weather conditions, stands sturdy and what not. Think of everything good you would expect in a quality product, you can find it in this.

It is undoubtedly a heavy duty product that will stay durable for years on end.

Comes in 3 capacities – 4, 6 and 8. Links below.

Pros

  • Super sturdy stakes
  • Made of premium tent materials – Hydra Shield canvas
  • Excellent waterproofing & weather resistance
  • Heavy, thick floors – made of polyester & welded
  • Heavy duty zippers
  • No leakage in heavy rains
  • Ample Air flow & ventilation
  • Plenty of interior space
  • Comes with a gear loft & mesh storage pockets

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Bottomline

Chosen for the best quality, design & performance if you are willing to invest in a solid product for years to come.

3. Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Outdoor Tent


Weight – 37.4 lbs

Capacity – 6

Doors – 2

Season Rating – 3 season Tent

Short Review

This is one of the second best two room tent reviewed here. It is quick & easy to set up, has a swinging door that has impressed many. It offers excellent ventilation, thanks to the perfectly placed windows & the additional screen room that also can be used as an additional sleeping area.

When it comes to waterproofing, many users have liked that it has not leaked and has kept the indoors dry.

Some users have reported that the tent comes with plastic stakes, but there seems to be a solution to this. Replace plastic stakes with the metal ones separately. I’m linking the stakes here for you to buy them. Buy Aluminium Stakes.

Pros

  • Spacious Interiors
  • Weathertec System to keep you dry & comfortable in rainy days
  • Separate screen room with meshes – superior ventilation
  • Hinged doors for easy entry & exit
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Stand full height to change clothes/move around easily

Cons

  • Need of a tarp or footprint to extend the durability of the tent
  • Quality of tent stakes for the rainfly isn’t good
  • Screened in section isn’t entirely protected from the weather

Bottomline

Chosen for value for money & weather resistance in the 6/10 Person tent category.

4. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent


Weight – 8.6 lbs

No. of Poles – 2, freestanding, aluminium

Capacity – 4

Doors, vestibules – 2, 2

Season Rating – 3 season Tent

Short Review

The Alps Mountaineering 4P tent is designed to keep you dry in the rains. It has a well coated Polyester fly and a Poly taffeta floor to give you the best weather protection.

It has a tent area of 64 sq. ft. that allows for convenient room space and head space.

It also comes with gear loft, storage pockets, guy ropes and stakes.

The weight is a downside but it’s generally overlooked by many for the price & performance of this tent.

Pros

  • Easy to setup with tent pole clips – within 10 minutes
  • Excellent room space & head room
  • Highly waterproof
  • Ideal for car-camping
  • Made of Aluminium poles – strong, lightweight, withstands stress
  • Two vestibules for camping gear space
  • Waterproof Coating – On the fly: 1500mm, On the floor: 2000mm, both polyester
  • Two handy vents in the rainfly for ventilation

Cons

  • Bulky for a backpacking trip
  • Smaller entry door
  • Zippers are snappy at times

Bottomline

Chosen for price, excellent weather protection, and room space. Easily our top pick in this article.

5. Coleman 8-Person Tent


Weight – 42.4 lbs

Capacity – 8

Doors – 2

Season Rating – 3 season Tent

Short Review

As it is the case with most of the Coleman tents, it’s of a good quality, substantial and offers the best features among the other tents in this price range.

It features the WeatherTec system with welded floors to keep you dry when it rains. It has three netted pockets on the inner sides of the tent, and a ring at the top to hang a lantern or a light.

It’s available in a variety of options for solo travellers, couples, families and big groups.

It may not be a good option if you predict heavy rains or thunderstorms. If yes, you should consider investing in a more high quality product.

Pros

  • Instant setup & take down
  • Weathertec System to keep you dry & comfortable in rainy days
  • Plenty of Windows & the tent has a partition in between
  • Stands strong in windy weathers
  • Made of double-thick fabrics for better protection

Cons

  • Small storage bag
  • Heavy for backpacking
  • Quality of tent stakes for the rainfly isn’t good

Bottomline

Yet another economical option with a very good functionality.

Conclusion

The choice ultimately depends on the size you are looking for, the price and the feature sets each one of them come with.

But, the winner is the Browning Camping Big Horn Two-Room Tent. It’s large, very well ventilated, stands tall, performs great in harsh weathers, affordable and is the best family tents for bad weather we have tested till now.

It’s loved by the customers who are using it, and it most certainly stands out among all the others.

That’s all folks. Hope this article helped you!

Which one did you pick? Let us know in the comments.

Related: Best Cold Weather Tent of 2020 | Expert Advice

Our Top 5 Family Tents for Bad Weather of 2019

Mark Bennett
 

I have a serious thing for travel, outdoors and wilderness. I grew up in Oregon and camping outdoors with my father was one of the fondest memories of childhood. I enjoy camping and hiking and love to share what I've learnt over these years.