Best Large Family Tents of 2020 | Expert Advice

If you quickly want to find out which is the best large family tent, I’d recommend the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent.

Car camping with family is a good summer pastime for many of us.

Tents have a big effect on your pack weight, as well as your budget, so the tent you choose is one of the important camping gear decisions.

Whether it’s just a base camp for nearby activities, or a camp in the wild, this article will help you find the best family tent.

Our Top 5 Large Family Tents in 2020

Product

Capacity

Highlights

Price

#1 Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent

8P

- Spacious

- Has a full mesh roof option

-  Easy assembly and setup

#2  Coleman Dome Tent for Camping

6P

- Waterproof with the Weathertec system

- Easy setup in under 10 minutes

- Comes with e port and mesh storage pockets 

#3  Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping

8P

- Lightweight & best for backpacking

- Great value for money

- Good cross ventilation

#4  Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room

6/8P

- Separate screen room can be used as lounge

- Spacious interiors & good center height

-  Sturdy pole setup – stands strong in the winds

#5  Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6P tent

6P

- Heavy duty 4 season tent

- Has a front vestibule & mesh storage pockets inside

- Spacious and well constructed

Things to look for in a Family Tent

Tent capacity

When choosing a large family tent, keep in mind that most 4 person tents, do not tend to accommodate 4 adults comfortably. So, check for the floor dimensions, the head room and vestibules.

Particularly if you are going to be sharing the tent with large people, or people who are claustrophobic or those who toss & turn around frequently, upsize your tent by one or two.

Also, the shape of the tent is not to be ignored, as they contribute to comfort. Rectangular tents are more comfortable than any others.

Tent Seasonality

3 Season Tents

3 Season family tents are for springs, summers and fall. They are lightweight and are made up of ample mesh panels for ventilation. They can withstand rains but not harsh storms or violent weathers.

4 Season Tents

These tents are designed to withstand fierce weathers, downpours or heavy snowing. They are made with heavier poles and heavy fabrics.

They aren’t as well ventilated as the 3 season tents but when there’s an unwelcoming weather, it assures you safety. The large cabin tents that are 4-season are generally a great investment for family camping.

Tent features

Rainfly

A person setting up a tent rainfly

Think of it as an additional layer to keep away snow, rains and dust. It cuts down on leakage and the condensation inside the tent. There are two types of rainfly

  1. Full coverage rainfly – for people who adventure in high winds and heavy downpours, they stop almost 90% of the wind from entering the tent and the rains from leaking in.

  2. Half coverage rainfly – they cover the important parts of a family tent like the sleeping floor, and ensure you stay dry.

Tent doors

Family tents with 2 entry doors are ideal, more than that it’s an overkill. With two, you can comfortably get in or out from either sides without disturbing the others in the tent. It is the case even with extra large camping tents.

Tent Poles

Most of the family tents these days are freestanding. They are easy to setup and can be moved around easily, but have the downside is they are heavy.

The pole structure, and the lesser number of poles determines its ease to setup. Aluminium poles are lightweight, durable and stronger than fiberglass ones.

Tent material

Most tents these days are made of Polyester or Nylon. Higher denier fabrics tend to be more thick, sturdy & durable.

Vestibules

Vestibules are that extra storage space you get to keep your boots or additional camping gear out of the rain. Look for it in family tents for camping if you have bulky gear.

Ventilation

Ventilation is particularly important if you are camping in mild weathers. Most of the tents use meshes for the ceiling, windows and doors that allows for cross ventilation and views.

Inner storage pockets

Storage pockets inside your tent help you keep small things more organized, and the lantern loops help you hang a lantern or a light. These come extra handy when you are going family camping and have to keep important stuff from getting lost.

Hydrostatic head measurement

It simply tells the water resistance of your tent material.

Tents with a higher hydrostatic head value, are more waterproof, withstand themselves from leakage more.

If you are looking 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.

Optional tent add-ons

Footprint / Tarp

Even though your tent floor might be double coated and welded, it tends to wear away with time and continuous exposure to flooding water. With any large family tent, go for a footprint or tarp to extend its life.

Gear Loft

Some tents don’t come with storage pockets in them, and it’s sad because they come quite handy. So you might want to purchase a gear loft separately to just store some gear overhead or hang in your lanterns, keys and stuff.

Prerequisites/precautions

Camp Setup at Home

Don’t wait to setup the tent on the camping day. First, if you are newbie you’ll find it a bit difficult to know your way around things, second you don’t know which part is missing or defective.

It’s always a good idea to do a test setup of your family tent at the comforts of your home, a week before the trip.

Stakes

Always carry additional stakes, just in case. Without the sufficient number of stakes, a tent might not be as sturdy. Also, if your tent comes with plastic stakes, with no second thought replace them with with aluminium ones. You can always purchase them separately.

Padding the floor

If you predict heavy downpours, get a footprint or a tarp for extending the durability of the floor. Most 3 season tents withstand normal rains, but not continuous rigorous downpours.

Tent care tips

  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 Large Family Tents

Pros

  • Has an additional screen room for lounging / keeping camp gear / additional sleeping room
  • Perfect for stargazing – has a full mesh roof option
  • Waterproofed seams & good quality tarp
  • Spacious – sleeping space fits two queen mattresses
  • Includes two hanging pockets inside for items needing quick access
  • Easy assembly and setup in under 30 minutes

Cons

  • Dark color of the tent makes it very hot in summers
  • Height of the front porch is smaller than the tent

Short Review

This tent measures 16 x 6.5 x 11 feet, and has a partition in between – the main sleeping area and the screen porch to the front. That can be used as a second sleeping room or as a storage area to keep your backpacks and camping gear outside of the sleeping room.

 

It has an excellent head room of 6’5 and has a full mesh roof option that’s a great option for people who love stargazing. It comes with a half coverage rainfly, covering the top of the tent.

 

Though it keeps dry during the rains, many users feel that it may not be the best option in high winds.

Chosen for price, excellent weather protection, and room space. Easily our top pick in this article. A good quality product perfect for stargazing.

Pros

  • Comes with Dark room technology that blocks 90% of the sunlight coming in
  • Waterproof with the Weathertec system, with a tub like floor
  • Has an option of LED light system within the tent
  • Easy setup in under 10 minutes
  • Large windows for cross ventilation
  • Comes with accessories such as E port, ground vent and mesh storage pockets

Cons

  • Not enough warmth inside the tent in cold nights
  • Comes with only one door

Short Review

This tent comes in 2 variants – one with the LED light system, and the one with the Dark room technology. The latter is preferred by users who would like to block the sunlight entering the tents and enjoy the morning’s sleep even after the sun is out.

 

It comes with the Weathertec system with welded floors for protection from the rains. It has a half coverage rainfly and has a floor vent and mesh windows for ventilation.

 

However, users have found this to become cold on colder nights and advise you to compensate it with good quality sleeping bags/pads, etc.

A basic camping tent at a reasonable price that withstands normal rains & windy days.

Pros

  • Sturdy, easy setup & take down
  • Lightweight & best for backpackingGreat value for money
  • Good cross ventilation
  • Waterproof with a bathtub floor
  • Roomy, and a good headroom
  • Comes with a LED lighting system
  • Withstands rain & keeps you dry inside
  • Has hinged doors for easy entry & exit, and auto roll windows

Cons

  • Not enough ventilation on hotter days
  • Small storage space
  • Big rainfly requires two people to set it up
  • Stakes aren’t of very good quality

Short Review

The Coleman 8 person tent, is one of the most popular choices for family tents. It measures 27.5 x 9.2 x 9 inches that can hold upto 3 queen size beds, and has a 6’2 center height tall enough for people to walk comfortably inside the tent.

 

It has a hinged D door that’s at the middle of the long side of the rectangular tent, that offers easy access to the tent, even for multiple people. It also has an extended door awning that can be used for keeping shoes and gear.

 

The mesh roof allows for adequate ventilation.

 

It comes with Weathertec system & welded floors for waterproofing.

A solid 3 season tent that’s best suited for outdoor camping. There may be better tents out there, but not at this price.

Pros

  • Sets up in under 15 minutes with Rainfly
  • Excellent value for money
  • Weathertec System to keep you dry & comfortable in rainy days
  • Separate screen room can be used as lounge
  • Spacious interiors & good center height
  • Sturdy pole setup – stands strong in the winds

Cons

  • Small storage bag
  • Heavy for backpacking

Short Review

A dome shaped tent, easily fits in 2 queen size beds inside it. It also has a spacious porch at the front. You can fit in 2 chairs easily in it and enjoy the wild, or simply use it for keeping the dirt & bugs out.

 

It has multiple mesh windows at the top for stargazing, and at the sides that guarantee very good ventilation. It has a 5’8 center height that might a problem for taller people.

 

As with most of the Coleman tents, it comes with the Weathertec system implanted for waterproofing.

 

It may not withstand heavy rainstorms but it works just fine for camping in good weather conditions.

An economical option with near to perfect features. The screened porch at the front stands out.

Pros

  • Four season tent
  • Heavy duty flooring – durable
  • Made of high quality polyester ripstop fabrics
  • Has a front vestibule & mesh storage pockets inside
  • Spacious and well constructed
  • Sturdy in windy weathers
  • Lots of tie points to anchor to the ground
  • Best for car camping
  • Great ventilation owing it to nylon mesh windows
  • Freestanding pole design with Aluminium poles

Cons

  • Zippers tend to break in rough use
  • Expensive
  • Bulky for backpacking

Short Review

The Big Agnes tents, are a little pricey but are well designed & stand as solid investments for years.

 

It’s an easy-to-setup freestanding tent, with aluminium poles for sturdiness. It has 2 D shaped doors, one at the front and the other at the rear. It also comes with generous mesh windows on the sides and in the roof for ventilation.

 

It has a full coverage rainfly with an awning to the front for keeping your shoes out. The materials used in the tent are high quality ripstop nylon fabric for the tent body and polyester with polyurethane coating for the floors.

 

Some customers have reported issues with the zippers, and find that the mesh windows are placed a little high in the tent, for air flow into the tent in the summers or humid environments.

 

Chosen for people who are looking to invest in a heavy duty product. A 4 season tent for best design, performance and durability.

Conclusion

If you need a heavy duty tent that’s spacious for your family, our pick for the best large family tent would be the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent. It has an excellent floor space, head room and has partitioned rooms that can be used as a storage space or as an additional sleeping room.

One attractive feature that makes this one a top pick is the mesh roof that can be a dream for people who like stargazing.

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.