When going camping with the family you need a tent that is, first and foremost, large enough to accommodate everyone, without getting too crowded. The tent you bring should also be sturdy and weatherproof. Family camping is often an introduction to camping and backpacking in general, and if you want to give everyone the impression that camping can be a fun and rewarding experience, you should be looking for the best family tent you can get your hands on, to make the experience a rewarding one.
Best Family TentFeatures to watch for when shopping for the best family tent.
- Capacity – Depending on how big the family is, the size of your tent will of course vary. Just be sure to get the right size, as tent dimensions tend to be fairly specific, and it’s unlikely that a 4 person tent, for example, will have enough room for more than four people to squeeze in without things getting crowded.
- Weight – Car camping can be fun, but if you plan to do any real camping, where you actually have to carry the tent, it pays to invest in a tent that doesn’t weigh a whole lot. There can be several pounds of difference between tents of the same size, which can make a big difference over several hours of walking.
Best Family Tent ReviewsA select few of the best family tents on the market to choose from.
- Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 - For smaller families of just three, something like the Copper Spur is ideal. It won the 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, and while it would be fine for car camping it's also the kind of tent that would carry well in a backpack, with a weight of just 4.18 pounds, or 1.89 kilograms. Not the lightest 3 person tent around, but certainly not the heaviest either. It features 2 doors, which is a nice touch, and a fairly standard ventilated inner tent with an optional rain fly, so that you're good for a wide variety of conditions.
- Big Agnes FLy Creek UL 4 - Something slightly bigger from Big Agnes is the Fly Creek, with a capacity of 4. This is another Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award winner, this one from 2010. It weighs 4.06 pounds, or 1.84 kilograms, which is, you'll notice, slightly less than the smaller Copper Spur above. So it might be a worthwhile investment, especially if you're the one carrying the tent. Like the Copper Spur, it's a well ventilated, 2 wall tent.
- REI Base Camp 6 - If you're looking for something a little bigger, and maybe something a little cheaper too, the Base Camp from REI is a great choice. It sleeps 6, and is a tough tent that will stand up well in a variety of conditions. But this is definitely not a tent that you could take backpacking, like the two above. With a weight of 17.18 pounds, or 7.79 kilograms, you had better hope you're not the one carrying it. That said, it has a lot of features that are welcome in a larger tent, like 2 doors and a large vestibule. A great choice for car camping with the family.