In a rush? We found that the Coleman 12-Person Skydome Tent XL is the best 12 person tent on the market today.
Camping isn’t always meant to be a solitary experience.
Sometimes you want to take the entire family along for the trip – and sometimes the kids want to bring their friends, too! For this, you’re going to need a bigger tent, and choosing a 12-person tent that’s both easy to set up and has enough room on the inside can be pretty hard.
My family and I are avid campers, and we do our thing at least a few times per year. We’ve learned what makes a good tent through trial & error.
Here’s a look at the best 12-person tents available today, how we test and reveiw 12-Person Tents – and more about why each of these is great for your next camping trip:
- Coleman 12-Person Skydome Tent XL (Overall Best 12 Person Tent)
- CORE 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent (2nd Best 12 Person Tent)
- White Duck 14′ x 16′ Alpha Wall Tent (Best 4-season 12 Person Tent)
- NTK Super Arizona GT Sport Tent (Best Waterproof 12 Person Tent)
- Coleman Skylodge 12 Person Tent (Best 12 Person Tent for Extra Storage)
- CAMPROS 12-Person Dome (Best Budget 12 Person Tent)
- Tahoe Gear Gateway Family Tent (Best 12 Person Summer Tent)
- Ozark Trail 3-Room Instant Cabin Tent (Best 12 Person Tent With Multiple Rooms)
- Tahoe Gear Prescott 12-Person Tent (Best 12 Person Tent for Privacy)
Best 12 Person Tent: Our Top Choices
Coleman 12-Person Skydome Tent XL
Tent Type: Dome, 2-room | Weight: 33.6 lbs | Inside Height: 84 in | Floor: 20 x 9 ft (180 sq ft) | Setup Time: 5 mins
Coleman makes quality tents for budget-conscious campers, and this is one of the highest-rated Coleman tents around.
It is a quick pitch tent that you can get up in only 5 minutes with the pre-attached poles. Coleman’s patented WeatherTec™ technology helps prevent water and wind from ruining your camping trip.
At 180 square feet (12′ x 9′) it’s not the biggest tent in the 12-person category, but the extended dome style will prove to benefit if you face inclement weather.
However, Coleman did do a nice job of making the peak height at 7′ tall meaning that there is still plenty of headroom.
- Comes with room dividers so you can split it into two separate rooms
- Quick Pitch tent that will go up in 5 minutes or less
- Coleman’s patented WeatherTec™ will keep you dry
- High center height (84 inches) and fits three queen-size airbeds
- Be careful with the poles. Pre-installed poles mean that you don’t want to drop it on your toes.
Best for: overall best family quick-pitch tent at an affordable price.
CORE 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent
Tent Type: Instant, 3-room | Weight: 47.8 lbs | Inside Height: 80 in | Floor: 18 x 10 ft (180 sq ft) | Setup Time: 2 mins
CORE makes superb tents, and their 12-person Instant Cabin is no exception!
This tent sets up in under five minutes, making it an excellent choice for a quick camping trip – or a beginner one.
It measures 18’ x 10’ on the inside and comes with all of the poles pre-attached so there’s no need to fumble with mechanics to get it set up. Oh, and it’s also great for taller people, which is great if you’ve ever had to spend a camping trip in a tent where you keep hitting your head.
If you’re looking for a quick-camping tent that fits as many as twelve people (or gives smaller groups a ton of space) but isn’t a nightmare to set up, then go for CORE.
- Comes with room dividers so you can split it up into at least three separate rooms for privacy
- It stands up well in winter conditions, thanks to superior design and anchoring
- This tent promises a quick and instant setup and definitely delivers
- High center height (80 inches) and fits three queen-size airbeds
- Electrical ports and ground ventilation make this a tent that suits everyone
- Be careful with the poles. Pre-installed poles mean that you don’t want to drop it on your toes.
Best for: families that want a quick-pitch tent at an affordable price that fit a ton of people.
White Duck 14′ x 16′ Alpha Wall Tent
Tent Type: Canvas, Wall Tent | Seasons: 4-season | Weight: 262 lbs | Inside Height: 114 in | Floor: 14 x 16 ft (224 sq ft) | Setup Time: 30 mins
Now let me be clear: this is not a tent. This is a canvas mansion.
With 224 square feet of floor space and an incredible 9’5” center height, this spacious tent will make anybody feel comfortable.
In fact, a lot of people are using it as a second winter home in their backyard – it’s that comfortable.
On the downside, it is pretty expensive – so if you’re not 100% sure that you’re going to be heavily using this tent, you’ll probably want to give it a pass.
- HUGE – with 8’8” center height and 224 sqft. you can comfortably fit 6 people in there (and have room to spare)
- For such a large tent, the setup is relatively simple
- 100% waterproof (provided you season it beforehand)
- Comes with poles, stakes, and everything else you need
- Pre-cut coated stove jack for use with a tent stove
- Expensive – budget-conscious campers can look away
- At 262 lbs, it’s definitely one of the heaviest tents around
Best for: campers looking for the best canvas wall tent available today.
NTK Super Arizona GT Sport-Family Camping Tent
The NTK Super Arizona GT 12-person tent is made for the outdoors – and of course, you can take three people camping in a twelve-person tent. The only difference is that you have a little more room on the inside.
This tent weighs just under 40 lbs, which isn’t heavy considering the sheer size of the tent when you’re done setting it up. It’s center height measures 6’11”, which is more than enough if you’re on the tall side, pushing six feet.
It even contains a mosquito net if you’re taking your camping trip into the woods and want to stay bug-free.
- It’s a tent that you can set up in under twenty minutes without any back-breaking effort, and the poles are marked so you know where they’re meant to go
- The NTK-series are completely waterproof tents, protecting you from rain for the entire camping trip
- It’s one of the larger 12-person tents on the inside, with more than enough room to fit several single beds, chairs and whatever else you could need
- Galvanized steel frame connections cement this tent as one that’ll last for years
- Two D-style doors make it so nighttime bathroom breaks won’t wake the family
- Some users had issues with the door and window zippers when regularly opened and closed.
- It’s a good idea to purchase a separate (and more durable) floor tarp if the tent is going to see a lot of foot traffic for the trip.
Best for: families that want a tent with tons of legroom and top of the line rain protection.
Coleman Skylodge 12 Person Tent
Another great Coleman tent makes the list. The Skylodge 12 Person tent comes with a sizeable 5 x 10 ft screen room, combined with an additional 190 sq ft of living space.
Coleman’s patented WeatherTec system utilizes a tub-like floor, and welded corners and works to keep you dry.
The 7′ 4″ interior height makes this tent extremely roomy and comfortable from head to toe.
- 50 sq ft of extra living space in the screen room
- A relatively quick setup in only ten to twenty minutes to setup
- Coleman’s patented WeatherTec™ will keep you dry
- High center height (88.8 inches) and fits up to four queen-size airbeds
- 19′ x 10′ interior is extremely spacious at 190 sq feet
- Not quite as waterproof as other tents on this list
Best for: families that want a tent with a screen room for extra gear storage
CAMPROS 12-Person Tent
Tent Type: Dome, 3-room | Weight: 24.3 lbs | Inside Height: 72 in | Floor: 20 x 9 ft (180 sq ft) | Setup Time: 20 mins
Now we come to the CAMPROS dome tent. It is seriously lightweight for a 12 person tent at only 24.3 lbs.
But don’t let the weight fool you, with a 20′ x 9′ structure, CAMPROS offers you 180 square feet of living space, including two room dividers to make this a 3-room tent.
It is most definitely the least expensive option on this list, giving it a great gang for its buck.
- Budget friendly – the least expensive tent on this list
- Room dividers to split this tent into a 3-room tent
- Lightweight at only 24.3 lbs
- Made with 185T polyester and a PU1000mm water-resistant coating to keep water out
- The pole sleeves are a bit tight
- A limited amount of pockets for this size of tent
Best for: Budget conscious families.
Ozark Trail 12-Person, 3-Room Instant Cabin
This tent is great if you aren’t a veteran camper and only want to have the occasional camping trip. With pre-attached poles in place, all you have to do is assemble – and it can be done a lot quicker than most tents out there. Plus, you can add an air conditioner to the tent, too!
The Ozark Trail 3-Room Instant Cabin Tent measures 16’ x 16’ and weighs in at just under 40lbs when it’s not set up. This one promises an instant setup, and it can be put up a lot quicker than a lot of other tents out there on the market.
Just be careful when setting up, because the poles have to “click” into place. If they aren’t installed properly, you’ll notice when the tent collapses in on itself – which is, I’ll admit, more of a user error than a design problem.
Overall, this was great and contains room dividers if you’d like to split it into three rooms or less.
- Measures 16’ x 16’ on the inside and comes with a porch – massive footprint!
- Seven windows, three rooms, and two doors make this less of a tent and more of a castle
- The oversized ground vent allows you to hook up an air-conditioner directly to your tent
- Pre-attached poles make setup and teardown easy (necessary for a large tent)
- Ozark Trail tents are generally very affordable, and this is no exception
- Large windows and multiple rooms allow ample ventilation and personal space, which means you’ll keep cool all night
- Design is not strong against the wind (lots of surface area), so make sure you anchor it to the ground correctly
Best for: families or groups that want to use three rooms for better privacy or alone time.
Tahoe Gear Prescott 12-Person 3-Season Tent
The Tahoe Gear Prescott 12-Person tent measures 20’ x 10’ and fits into a small-enough bag that you can throw it over your shoulder.
It has several handy room divided if you’re going camping and the kids (or the adults) want some privacy, and it has the option of added storage space on the inside.
- It’s easy to set up and you can get the job done in about twenty minutes, ten if you’ve set up a tent before and know what you’re doing already
- It’s warmer on the inside than it looks, and happens to be one of the bigger tents out there
- Extremely affordable, especially when you consider how much size and weather protection you get
- The open design and large windows mean you’ll be able to take in all of nature through a panoramic view
- Only available in one not so great color. The only option is electric blue, which is great if the environment around you matches, but can be an eyesore anywhere else.
- The fiberglass poles included could’ve been much stronger. It might be worthwhile to invest in newer poles.
Best for: People looking for an affordable and lightweight family tent.
Tahoe Gear Gateway Deluxe Cabin Family Tent
Tahoe makes pretty good budget tents. The Tahoe Gear Gateway Deluxe, is the slightly more luxurious camping version of the regular Tahoe 3-Season option.
At 215 square feet, it’s large enough for four beds, and the inside door gives you more privacy than a traditional room divider.
This is a great option for families looking to spend more quality time together.
- It’s particularly roomy on the inside and has more than enough room for four beds and space left over.
- This tent can handle some winds and downpours.
- This one anchors to the ground particularly well, with poles, straps and more included to make sure that it’s sturdy regardless of the environment you’re setting it up in.
- Rainfly is equipped with a reflective solar shield to help you stay cool during the hot summer months
- Generous seven feet of center height means you can do jumping jacks inside, or maybe fit a bunk bed!
- It only comes in blue, which can be a drawback if you’re trying to blend in during your camping trip
- Zippers aren’t as durable as you would expect if you have a bunch of people going in and out of the tent throughout the trip
Best for: Overall the best 12 person tent.
Choosing The Best 12 Person Tent
We’ve had a few camping disasters in our beginning days: poles that snap, tents that collapse, and even that one time our tent caught fire when a marshmallow flew off a stick and landed right on the roof of the tent.
If you’re new to camping (or into “glamping”), here’s how to choose the tent that’s right for your needs:
12 person tents are spacious and offer plenty of headroom for even the tallest of us.
A huge tent is also great if you’re someone who loves the added space, or who plans on setting up a living room in your tent for the duration of your camping trip.
While 12-person tents can fit up to 12 people, we don’t recommend it. You’re going to be much more comfortable maxing it out at 6 adults or 4 adults and 4 kids.
Certainly, even a family of four can camp in a 12-person tent and have plenty of room to spare!
Most 12-person tents come in the same size range, but many have different configurations or room dividers. So choose what works best for you!
The best tents (at least 12-person ones) have more than enough room – but they’re not always light to carry.
It’s a fine line to walk between tent size and tent weight.
Make sure you buy one that’s big enough for the gang, but not so large you need a forklift to unpack it.
We have run into this issue with some of the White Duck tents. They are fantastic, but they take up a lot of room and are extremely hard to move!
Ease of Use
Especially with 12-person tents, these bad boys are HUGE and sometimes can be time-consuming to set up.
No matter what you’ll want to set up your tent at home before you head to the campsite, but we’ve found that instant tents can be a great solution with built-in poles they make for a much easier setup and less hassle.
Next, always keep safety in mind first when setting up a tent. Consider factors such as how far away your tent is from your camping fire (note: far enough!), and the surrounding plants. Nobody has ever won a happy camper award by setting up their tent next to poison ivy. Trust me on this…
Other factors that you should look for when buying your first tent include doors and windows (some have more than two and as many as six).
While it’s helpful to have at least two entrances with a bigger tent, we find that we typically only use one entrance.
The bigger issue is honestly the ventilation. You want to make sure that there is good airflow throughout the tent and this will be accomplished with more windows and air vents.
Almost every time we go camping, we inevitably face some sort of weather.
Be it wind, rain, or heat, depending on the conditions and time of year you’ll be going camping, you’ll want to think about the best tent that offers the most weather protection for you.
Cabin tents are ideal for summer and 3-season camping when inclement weather isn’t expected.
But dome and tunnel tents are going to be much better if you plan on facing at least one downpour.
Ensure that your tent has a rainfly that suits your needs offering full coverage if you expect the worst.
Quality & Durability
Finally, the quality and durability of the materials will make a huge difference. That is why some tents are tremendously expensive while others are more budget-friendly.
Durable materials cost money. Period.
We’ve had tent poles snap when setting them up at home and promptly returned them to the store.
Aluminum and steel poles perform much better, but fiberglass tent poles can be repaired, so sometimes it is as easy as bringing along some duct tape and/or a tent repair kit.
Lastly, note the quality of the floor tarp, which tends to wear first due to constant foot traffic.
For frequent campers, it always worthwhile to bring a tarp to place on the floor to prevent ripping your tent, and for additional protection from groundwater.
What is the best 12-person tent?
The Coleman 12-Person Skydome Tent XL is the best 12-person tent currently on the market. It’s durable, spacious, easy to set up, and has amazing weather resistance.
How much time does it generally take to set up a 12-person tent?
Set-up time will depend on the model. Generally, you can expect set up to take anywhere between 5-25 minutes, depending on the number of poles and the overall design.
However, “instant tents” usually take just one minute to pitch.
Is it necessary to have multiple people to set up a 12-person tent, or can one person manage it?
This will also depend on the model. Instant and dome tents can typically be set up by a single person, although the latter can be much easier when another camper lends a hand.
Are 12-person tents suitable for all types of weather conditions, including rain, wind, and snow?
Most 12-person tents have decent rain resistance, but, because they are designed as 3-season tents, generally aren’t as suitable for camping in snow.
Wind resistance will depend on the tent’s shape. Dome tents, which are designed to be lower to the ground, are more stable in the wind compared to cabin-style tents.
How should I care for and maintain my 12-person tent to ensure its longevity?
You should clean your tent when you’re done camping (or as soon as you get home) and pack it into its carry bag.
Make sure it’s completely dry before you do so, or it could grow mildew and mold, which can damage materials.
Additionally, you’ll need to replace the waterproof coating every few wears, since it’ll fade with time and use.
What is the average price range for a high-quality 12-person tent?
Our highest-rated 12-person tents have a price range between $400 and $2,000.
However, there are great tents like the Tahoe Gear Bighorn XL 12-Person Teepee Tent that go for as low as $148 (as of publishing).
How big is a 12-person tent?
A tent of this capacity typically has floor space ranging between 168 and 320 square feet and an average max ceiling height of 80 inches or 6′ 8″.
All the tents on the list have been tried and tested. But the Coleman 12-Person Skydome Tent XL scored an 8.0 making it the overall best tent of the bunch.
If you’re looking for a tent that’s bigger on the inside than it looks when standing a few feet away – and one that isn’t a nightmare to set up – opt for the Skydome.
It’s great for any season, waterproof, really easy to set up, and can stand up to really harsh weather, too.
Whether you’re a novice or not, the Skydome won’t disappoint!