8 Best Family Camping Tents
Pack up and head out into the great outdoors with kids in tow. These top family camping tents provide shelter, relaxation and comfort in the wild.
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Finding the Best Tent for Family Camping
Planning your next family camping trip? Vacationing in wide-open spaces with kids poses unique challenges and considerations. It can also create beautiful memories that last a lifetime.
Choosing the right tent helps ensure your outdoor adventure is fun and safe for the entire family. Whether you’re trailblazing over a long weekend or planning to camp out the entire summer, Outside’s online Gear Guy Joe Jackson suggests the following features in a family camping tent:
- Sleeping capacity. “Make sure you have plenty of space,” says Jackson. “If you are car camping with kids you will never wish you had less floor space to sleep on.”
- Vestibules. Jackson thinks tents with ample vestibules are great, especially when camping in the rain or near water. “You can keep your kiddos wet or dirty gear and muddy shoes under the vestibule for protection but still out of the tent,” he says.
- Blackout. Jackson recommends tents that stay dark in full light. They are helpful for facilitating naps, and give you a fighting chance that kids might sleep in.
- Mesh pockets. Interior corners of a tent are really nice for keeping important things like phones and wallets organized.
Best Budget Family Camping Tent
The Coleman Skydome Tent: Four-Person, Three-Season ($120) tops our list for its value and functionality. It’s an affordably priced tent with plenty of features to comfortably accommodate a family of four.
Along with lots of room to stretch out, the almost vertical walls add 20 percent more headroom than traditional dome tents. The pre-attached poles allow for easy setup, and the wide entrance makes moving camping gear and sleeping bags in and out a breeze. And speaking of breezes, the strong frame was tested to withstand up to 35 mph winds. The WeatherTec system’s tub-like floor helps keep water out.
Best Multi-Room Family Camping Tent
An outstanding tent for families with small children and babies, the Coleman Rocky Mountain Five Plus ($425) offers a roomy living area in the front (large enough to set up a table and chairs) and two bedrooms in the back for quiet, restful sleep.
Put the baby down early — the tent uses blackout technology to block 99 percent of daylight, creating a dim napping zone for little ones. It also lessens the chances parents will be awakened at the crack of dawn. A relatively compact tent, the tunnel-style version offers 120 square feet of space to spread out and relax.
Best Family Camping Tent for Star Gazing
The freestanding REI Co-Op Kingdom Four Tent ($429) lets you teach your kids about the wonders of the cosmos while they’re safely snuggled up inside. Watch meteor showers together and help them discover the constellations, all through bug-proof mesh ceilings and walls.
Roll up the waterproof polyester rainfly (a piece of waterproof material that covers your tent to keep it dry) for optimum visibility. Then roll it down for privacy when it’s time for bed, or if showers are in the forecast. For bigger families or group outings, the tent comes in six- and eight-person sizes, too.
Easiest Family Camping Tent to Set Up
When you want to start the outdoor family fun as soon as possible, choose the Coleman Instant Tent ($147). It sets up in just 60 seconds thanks to pre-installed poles — just unfold, extend, secure and it’s move-in ready!
The spacious interior sleeps six. The integrated, vented rainfly provides added protection from summer showers and improved airflow without extra assembly. When it’s time to head home, the tent comes down as easily as it went up. What’s more, it’s surprisingly light to transport via the expandable carry bag.
Best Family Tent for Glamping
“Roughing it” isn’t for everyone. Bring the comforts of home with you when the family goes glamping (glamour + camping) in the 15FT Air Belle by Lotus-Belle ($2,450).
Made of bespoke canvas in an exotic bell shape (kids can pretend they’re Aladdin or Princess Jasmine), the tent inflates using air pole technology sans a center mast, so every bit of interior space is available. Pitch it on the beach, at a music festival or in your backyard. The 15-foot x 15-foot palatial round yurt comes with a protective rain hood and a porch awning.
Pair it with the Lotus Room Cocoon ($300) liner to help regulate the inside temperature and keep out dust.
Best Family Rooftop Camping Tent
Taking “car camping” to another level, the Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam rooftop tent ($1,750) sets up in a hurry! Best suited for families with older children or teens, the three-person tent mounts to the roof of a car, SUV, van or truck. All you have to do is drive to the campsite, pop the top, climb up the telescoping ladder and your roof nest is ready.
The Tepui comes with a rainfly when the weather looks “iffy,” a high-density foam mattress for extra comfort, four internal pockets for storing camping accessories. Another plus: A two-year warranty. To add more sleeping capacity, opt for the annex ($340) that zips onto the bottom of the Tepui. Mounting adapters are required and sold separately.
For more options, check out our picks for the best rooftop tents.
Best Family Camping Tent for Big Families
One of the top-rated tents for family reunions or large groups, the Nemo Wagontop Eight Tent ($750) has a generous interior with lots of headroom for increased livable space. Other people-pleasing features include large windows that open for ventilation and panoramic views, yet close easily for weather protection and privacy.
There’s a screened-in front vestibule for hanging out bug-free, or to store shoes and extra gear. Internal pockets scattered throughout hold reading glasses, phones, other small items and camping gadgets so you can find them when you need them.
Best Modular Family Camping Tent
Distinctive and inter-connectable, the modular-style Qube Air VI Four-Person Airbeam tent ($800) is a quick-pitch pod that can be used alone or attached to one or more pods to form a series of tunnels. A thrill for kids as well as grown-ups, it’s like constructing a blanket fort in the wilderness.
No more poles to struggle with; you simply pump it up and tie it down to set it up. It provides excellent ventilation with a silver material lining that reduces internal temperature. Available in black, red, blue, orange and green, the Qube is moisture resistant and flame retardant.