In a rush? Our top pick is the Coleman Carlsbad 6-Person Tent.
Camping is great, but camping with your family is even better.
There’s nothing like hitting the open road, finding a secluded spot in the trees, shutting off the iPhones, and unwinding with your loved ones.
At the center of this excursion is your tent. A camping trip is nothing without a tent, so it’s crucial that you come prepared with the right tent for the job.
Today, we’re going to review five family tents that’ll make sure your next camping trip is a hit.
We understand there are tons of different families out there, so we tried to find a variety of tents to tell you about.
Note: All of the tents below fit at least two queen-sized beds. We figured most families wouldn’t want anything smaller.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Best Family Tent: Our Top 5 Picks
- Coleman Carlsbad 6-Person Tent (Best Family Tent Overall)
- Browning Big Horn Tent (Best Two Room Family Tent)
- Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent (Best For Larger Families)
- Coleman Instant Cabin Tent (Best Instant Setup Tent For Smaller Families)
- Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent (Best Tent For Families On A Budget)
Browning Big Horn Tent
To start off, let’s talk about tents with multiple rooms.
When you’re a family looking to go camping, you often think about how cool it would be to have a multi-room tent. You see these massive 6-room kingdoms on Instagram and think “wow, that’d be cool!”
Not so fast. The larger the tent, the more weight you have to schlep around, the more poles you have to set up. No one wants a heavy, complicated tent.
So, for multi-room tents, we recommend two-room tents. Specifically, the Browning Big Horn.
At first look, this might seem like a basic tent (its boring brown color scheme doesn’t help). However, under the hood, this tent is a gem.
As a cabin-style tent, the Browning Big Horn provides a ton of space from the floor to the ceiling, thanks to its straight walls. At the top, it’s got a height of 87,” and on the side, steel uprights make sure your tent doesn’t flop around during a windstorm.
When you’ve got a lot of people staying in one tent, inside heat can become an issue. Thankfully, this tent has top of the line ventilation. Between its six windows and mesh roof, this tent is big but breathable.
- Lots of space with cabin-style (straight) side walls – comfortably sleeps a queen size bed in each side or three/four sleeping bags
- Two doors mean anyone can go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking the entire tent up
- Steel upright poles provide extra strength, allowing this large tent to stand up straight with no problems
- Excellent weather protection for its size. Comes with factory sealed seams and floor rated to 2000mm HH
- Easy setup (despite massive size). Should take less than 15 minutes.
- Like most large tents, this one is heavy. Make sure you’re ready to carry all of its 35 lbs
- Lots of ventilation, so bring a warm sleeping bag for winter camping
Best for: Families that want a larger tent that allows privacy and quiet time from the kids
Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
Most of the tents in this article are made for two queen-sized beds (one for you, one for the kids). For this category, we wanted to give you the option to use three queen-sized beds. No matter if you want to bring some of your kids’ friends, or just have more room for your gear, these tents are sure to get the job done.
In that case, we recommend the Core 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent. Like the Big Horn, It’s a cabin-style tent, which means you get plenty of height and space on the sides.
The downside to larger tents is that they take longer to set up. That’s why we recommend the Core Instant Cabin.
As an instant tent, it comes with pre-attached poles. All you have to do is layout the tent, lift up the corners, extend the poles, and ta-da! Your tent is pitched within 2 minutes.
You can see how easy it is in this video:
Since you’ll have a lot of people with you, I bet at least one person will need to charge their phone. Thankfully, the Core Instant Cabin comes with a slot for electrical cord access, so you can charge all your devices easily. The opening has a strong patch of velcro so that you can still use the electrical cord without letting water in.
You can also check out more options for large tents in our 10-person tent and 12-person tent reviews.
- Instant tent means it sets up in 2 minutes or less, so you have more time to spend with the kids
- Two walls give you privacy for changing and plenty of configuration options. The middle room can be used as a living room or third bedroom.
- The velcro-constructed electric vent lets cords in but keeps the rain out
- Adjustable air vents towards the floor allow customizable ventilation
- The large size gives you and your family plenty of room for horsing around inside
- Teardown can be complicated since there’s so much material to this tent
Best for: Larger families or camping groups of 6-12 that want extra elbow room.
Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
There’s nothing worse than getting to the campsite and rushing to pitch a tent in the middle of a rainstorm, while little Timmy is crying. I thought camping is supposed to be relaxing?
Instant tents help turn your camping trip from troublesome to therapeutic. Instead of wasting your precious downtime pitching a tent, you can set up instant tents within minutes.
Among instant tents, our pick is the Coleman Instant Cabin. This tent sets up within one minute. Yes, one minute. That’s less time than it takes to unravel your sleeping bag!
- The affordable price tag for a high-quality tent that’ll last
- 6” center height means you can walk around inside without bumping your head
- Polyguard double-thick outer fabric provides an excellent exterior you’ll use for years
- Relatively lightweight – 25 lbs, but not for backpacking
- Coleman’s WeatherTec system keeps you dry even in harsh rains
- Integrated rainfly is easy, but you might want to buy an external one for added rain protection
Best for: 4-person families that want the ease of an instant tent and the quality of a Coleman.
Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent
As a Coleman tent, this comes with their patented WeatherTec water protection system. This design gives you best in class water resistance thanks to inverted seams and an integrated floor.
Although not an instant tent, this tent sets up rapidly. It can be assembled within 15 minutes with no problems.
Design-wise, this tent has a few perks you’ll enjoy. It comes with an extended awning over the door, so you can drop your shoes outside and keep them dry. It’s also got a hinged door, so your kids can enter and exit quickly without having to zip and unzip the door.
Want to learn more? Read our detailed Coleman Montana 8 Person Tent review.
- Price for value is best in class. This is a large tent that’s totally affordable, with the added bonus of Coleman quality
- Hinged door is a major plus for easy in and out. This is usually only provided with more premium tents.
- Lots of space. This tent can fit 3 queen-sized air beds but provides more comfort if you only bring 2
- Cabin style tent means 6’2” center height – even Dad can walk around
- Setup is not instant but can be completed by one person without any issues
- The tent is not 100% waterproof
- For an 8-person tent, one door can get annoying if people are walking in and out all the time
Best for: families that where budget is the main priority or those who don’t camp frequently enough to splurge on another tent.
Coleman Carlsbad 6-Person Tent
This is one of our favorite tents here. It’s an excellent combination of features that’ll last, portability you can carry anywhere, and price that fits any budget.
Now, let’s talk about the rooms.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Carlsbad is that it’s got a screen room. This provides you a nice little room that’s protected from bugs and rain. You can store your gear here or simply use it as a porch to watch the sunset on.
Next is the main tent room. What’s special about this room is that it’s dark. Coleman uses a special DarkRoom technology to make this room darker than any other tent on the market.
This means you can block out your neighbors’ lights at night, then sleep late in the morning without being woken up by the sunrise.
And as with any Coleman tent, it comes with the WeatherTec system. That means your seams and floor provide high-grade water protection.
You’ll note that this tent comes in 4 or 6 person configurations. We recommend the six-person since it’ll give you enough space for four people plus their gear (or a dog). No matter who you bring, this tent still fits two queen-sized air beds.
As a matter of personal opinion, I like dome-style tents better than cabin tents. I prefer saving on weight and having more wind resistance.
Of course, this comes at a cost of center height, but I don’t need to be running around inside my tent to enjoy myself. That’s what the great outdoors are for, after all.
- Sets up within 7 minutes thanks to FastPitch instant-tent design (great for this size)
- DarkRoom technology blocks 90% of sunlight and keeps you 11% cooler inside
- Screen room gives added space outside for gear or canine campers
- WeatherTec systems mean your inverted seams and integrated floor keep you dry
- Excellent price for top-notch features
- 6-person tent means it comfortably sleeps 4, be aware!
Best for: small families who plan on camping for years to come (and enjoy sleeping in)
How To Choose The Best Family Tent
At this point, you might be wondering what we look for in tents.
Don’t fret, we’ll get to all of that in a second.
Here at Wilderness Times, we try to take a look from every angle to give you the best gear possible. We know there are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of tents out there, so we scour the internet and find gear we know you’ll love.
Read on to find out the factors we use when reviewing gear.
Most important to our search is the size.
Lots of tent manufacturers like to talk up their tent size.
For example, does a 6-person tent really sleep six people? Sure, if everyone cuddles the entire time. But, I’m pretty sure no one wants that.
For this article, we use a specific size metric to determine if a tent is suitable for a family: is it large enough to fit two queen size mattresses?
In general, two queen size mattresses should be enough for 4 people (two to a bed). In case your family is larger than 4 people, we also included some bigger tents in this article.
However, none of the family tents we found are smaller than two queen size mattresses. That would lead to a lot of jam-packed families.
When it comes to family tents, it’s easy to get impressed by all the fancy floor plans. Family tents are usually larger, so companies try and design tents that have “interesting” looks.
You know what I mean: tons of rooms, hallways, irregular shapes, screenhouse walls, etc.
Personally, I am not a fan of these super large tents with multiple rooms and hallways.
Construction is always a bit iffy since there is so much fabric in one tent, and so much surface area. They’re not easy to setup. And, they’re usually quite pricey.
Ultimately, you could buy one giant tent…or two smaller ones for the price of one.
So for this article, we recommended tents with traditional designs – rectangles and hexagons only!
The final features we look at in tents are the bells and whistles.
Not everybody needs these upgrades. Yet, we found that having a tent packed with higher-end features is a great way to guarantee you and your family camp more.
Bonus features could include weather protection, electrical outlets, or ventilation flaps. The tent could also come with easy-open doors, multiple windows, or a quick-pitch frame.
Having these ingredients might not be important to you, but it’ll make your kids’ camping experience more enjoyable for sure.
To wrap things up, we recommend the Coleman Carlsbad 6-person tent.
It’s a high-quality tent with tons of features. It can be pitched within minutes, yet still has enough room for two queen-sized beds. It gives you extra storage space outside in its added screen room, and its DarkRoom technology keeps you cool at night.
Needless to say, we’re big fans of the Coleman Carlsbad.
The only reason not to get the Carlsbad is if you need more space. We understand that some families want to have a little bit more elbow room so that the kids can play tag inside the tent. That’s cool, our recommendations above will more than suit your needs.
At the end of the day, any of the tents above will provide you a fun and stress-free camping experience for you and your loved ones. Just decide what your priorities are (size, rooms, instant-pitch), choose from one of the tents above, and hit the road!