In case you’re short on time, our top pick is the Core Equipment Instant Cabin Tent.
There’s nothing more annoying than going camping, waking up in the middle of the night, and bumping your head on the ceiling. You shake the whole tent, startling the entire group, and disrupt everyone’s sleep.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a tent that was so tall, even LeBron James could walk around in it?
In this article, I’ll review our top five best cabin tents. Compared to dome-style tents, cabin tents give you unparalleled vertical space to walk around in.
These tents are great for camping with large groups, but which one is best? Let’s find out.
Best Cabin Tents: Our Top 5 Picks
Core Equipment 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent
When it comes to space, this tent is a great option for groups of six or seven people. It’s sized for 9, but we all know that means 9 children, not adults. The 9 person model can fit two queen size beds and has a room divider for added privacy between the two.
Even though this tent is extra-large, setup is not extra-hard. As an instant tent, the poles come pre-attached, meaning setup takes 60 seconds (or less).
To keep you cool at night, this tent has added air vents along the floor. These are fully adjustable, in case you want to close them up in the winter months.
Core also provides different configurations to suit everyone’s needs. The Instant Cabin is available in green and wine (burgundy) colors, and also has a 9 and 12-person model. Although I recommend the 9-person tent, the 12-person is a great choice if you have an extra-large group that wants a tent with extra room and extra doors.
Another thing I love about this tent is the front door. Unlike other tents, this one uses a large T-style door which opens up to both sides. This allows you to inflate a queen-size air mattress outside the tent, then conveniently move it inside.
Other features I like include the factory-sealed seams and velcro ports for electrical cord access.
- 6’6” center height allows anyone to walk around inside
- Large T-style front door means moving gear into the tent is no issue
- Bottom air vents keep the whole group cool at night
- Instant setup takes 60 seconds, giving you more time for rest & relaxation
- Strong wind protection thanks to steel uprights
- Reasonably priced – not too expensive, but doesn’t skimp out on quality
- If using the room divider, the backroom doesn’t have a door, which can make night-time bathroom breaks a challenge
Best for: Large groups that want an easy-to-use tent with tons of space.
Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin
Next up is the Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin. I like this tent because similar to the Core tent above, it’s got great space and is quick-pitch. But, this tent is made for smaller groups, if 9-person tents aren’t your thing.
This 6-person model says it can fit 2 queen-sized airbeds, but I found it’s quite the squeeze to fit both of them inside. There’s also a 4-person tent available if you want the height of a cabin tent without all the horizontal space.
When it comes to weather protection, this tent is a solid choice. It uses Coleman’s patented WeatherTec design, which means your floor is welded in and the seams have inverted stitching. The top is also made of their PolyGuard 2x fabric, giving double the thickness in your tent.
However, this tent comes with an integrated rainfly. This is good because it saves you weight and time, but it’s not exactly as strong as an external rainfly. This also means you can’t remove the rainfly to watch the stars at night.
Lastly, it’s seriously affordable. Coleman always provides great bang for the buck, and this tent is no exception.
- Sets up instantly – can be done in one minute but sometimes faster
- Folds up and gets back in the bag super easily, a necessity for cabin tents
- Large for a 6 person tent – 10’ by 9’ with 6” center height
- Big front door, huge windows on every wall, and a ceiling vent provide great ventilation
- WeatherTec seams and seals are superb for water protection
- Rainfly is not removable, so you might want to buy an external one if you’re in heavy rain
- Front door can be hard to get in and out of in the middle of the night
Best for: smaller groups that want an affordable, quick-pitch tent with cabin-style headroom.
SpringBar Highline 6-Person Canvas Tent
When it comes to canvas tents, my favorite is the SpringBar Highline 6-Person Canvas Tent. SpringBar has been making canvas tents since 1961, so they know a thing or two about how to make quality gear.
The big benefit of canvas tents is that the material is 100% more breathable and durable than nylon or polyester. Canvas is much heavier than polyester, so you won’t be backpacking with this tent, but for car camping, the SpringBar is bar-none.
Setting up your SpringBar tent might be a challenge if you’re used to polyester tents with the usual poles and guy lines. Thankfully, SpringBar’s instructions that come with the tent are crystal clear. After one pitch you’ll have the setup mastered.
As a cabin tent, the SpringBar provides tons of upright space (6’6” at the center) and horizontal space (10’ by 10’). It also comes with an awning that can be used to extend your tent with a little porch.
- Extreme breathability and superior shade make this great for summer
- Thick material means this is the best tent for fighting snowfall
- 100% cotton duck canvas combined with SpringBar’s lifetime warranty create a truly indestructible tent
- Big doors and adjustable awning give this tent multiple setup options to suit your mood
- Large screened windows open up added capabilities for ventilation and viewing nature
- Heavy – definitely not for backpacking
- Larger upfront investment – but will pay off over time
Best for: car campers who want a durable, breathable tent that will last for decades.
Coleman Tenaya Lake Cabin Tent With Closet
This tent is more affordable than the Core but offers similar space. The only knock is I found the Core to have better weather protection than the Coleman Tenaya Lake tent.
Despite that, this is a seriously large tent that provides a great experience for families and groups alike. As an 8-person tent, it fits 2 queen-size airbeds, or one queen and two twins (for the families out there).
Not only is it large, but it’s built with you in mind. This tent comes with 6’8” of center height, a hinged door (so you can enter and exit with ease), and a closet.
Yes, a closet.
This is the only tent I’ve seen that comes with a closet. If keeping your clothes and gear organized is a priority for you, definitely check out this tent.
On top of that, it comes with all the Coleman features I’ve come to love. You get WeatherTec inverted seams, FastPitch setup, and a weather-resistant zipper cuff. This last bit makes sure your zippers don’t leak water.
- Color-coded poles & hubs for fast setup (should take less than 10 minutes)
- Included roller bag makes transporting this large tent (41 lbs) a breeze
- Closet to store your clothes in keeps your tent tidy & free of clutter
- For all the features, this is a stellar price for a quality Coleman tent
- Electrical port and hinged doors make this tent for the whole family
- The front door has 3 sets of zippers (D shape, windows, open door) which can be confusing
- As a large tent, packing it up and stuffing it in the bag might be challenging
Best for: families that want an easy-to-use tent with lots of organization and space.
Browning Big Horn Cabin Tent
Browning’s Big Horn tent is a great option for those looking for a cabin tent.
Available in one-room (5 person) and two-room (8 person) models, the Big Horn is a tent that’s easy to set up but hard to beat up. It’s got steel upright poles, giving it ultimate strength and stability in the wind.
I recommend the two-room model for its size and supreme space. It comes with a room divider, so you can get some quiet time away from the kids. Or, have an extra area for changing clothes.
On top of that, this tent is big. The floor measures 10’ by 15’, and has an epic 7’3” center height. That beats any tent here!
Even though it’s a large tent, you won’t have to worry about traffic jams thanks to its two doors. It’s also got great breathability thanks to the four windows built-in.
It’s also easy to carry. For a tent of this size, it’s super light, weighing in at only 34 lbs.
- One of the lightest two-room tents you can buy
- Supreme height so anyone can walk around
- No shortage of room, gear pockets, doors or windows
- Great weather protection thanks to factory sealed seams, durable rainfly, and quality materials
- Full mesh ceiling and removable rainfly allow the whole family to stargaze at night
- The floor might be too thin for rough terrain, tarp recommended
- Other tent brands can be more affordable
Best for: large groups looking for an extra-large tent that will last for a long time.
What To Look For In A Cabin Tent
Now that you’ve seen my top picks, it’s time for me to show you what to look for in a cabin tent.
Picking a cabin tent is much different than shopping for a backpacking tent. Since cabin tents are heavier than their domed counterparts, most people who want a cabin tent are car campers, not backpackers. That means you’ve got different priorities than the person searching for an ultralight backpacking tent.
So, here’s what to keep your eye on.
First and foremost, picking the right tent size is absolutely paramount. Which tent size you choose depends on how many people you plan to camp with, and how much personal space you want.
Most tents are pretty liberal when it comes to sizing. For example, an “8-person” tent can realistically fit 8 small children or 6 adults. Keep this in mind when looking at a tent.
The best way to check the real sizing is to see how many beds you can fit inside. If the tent says 8-person, but only fits two queen-size beds, will you really be able to fit 8 people on two queen-size beds? Probably not. Look at how many beds it fits to accurately size your tent.
You also want to consider center height. Depending on how tall you and your gang are, you might want to splurge and get a tent with a higher center height. Either way, cabin tents are all pretty walkable, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
When it comes to tents, ease of setup is always important. When it comes to large cabin tents, setup is even more important. These tents can be big, really big, and you don’t want to lose precious outdoors time fiddling with poles and struggling with setup.
That’s why we prefer tents that are either quick-pitch or instant-pitch. This means the tent manufacturer went out of their way to make setup easy. Either by pre-attaching the poles, or keeping the frame as one piece, quick-pitch designs are well worth upgrading to.
When it comes to cabin tents, quality construction is crucial. Since these tents are so large, there’s a lot of surface area that can be damaged by the elements. You don’t want your trip ruined by a small tear that drips water onto someone all night.
Take a look at the quality of the fabric, and make sure that it’s strong enough for the expected weather. Also, consider the material of the poles. Steel and aluminum are stronger than fiberglass but will weigh more and cost more.
Above all, check out the reviews to make sure the tents hold up in real life. Even the best-designed tents have issues sometimes.
Bells & Whistles
Finally, take a look at the bells & whistles that come with the tent. You might have some little features that you need, in which case, go for it!
Here are some factors that tents vary on:
- Number of doors & windows
- Gear pockets in the side
- Hinged door for easy entrance/exit
- Closet (as shown by the Coleman!)
- Rainfly – is it strong, or integrated?
Which features you want come down to personal preference, so I tried to find tents that have all of these built-in.
To wrap things up, cabin tents are a great choice for anyone looking to go camping with a large group of people. Their straight walls give added horizontal space (for more beds) and higher headspace (for easier movement).
However, cabin tents aren’t perfect. They’re generally larger and heavier, so they’re not recommended for backpacking. They can also be difficult to set up, so we recommend instant-pitch or quick-pitch cabin tents.
If you’re looking to get started with a cabin tent, we recommend Core Equipment’s 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent. It’s large enough for a big group, but not so big that it feels like you’re in a circus tent. It’s got great weather protection but won’t empty your wallet.
Most importantly, it’s an instant-pitch tent, meaning you can have it set up within 60 seconds (according to Core). Overall, it’s an excellent tent that anyone can use to enjoy nature in style.