The Top 5 Best Large Tents In 2019

If you’re crunched for time, my top pick is the Coleman Red Canyon 8-Person Tent.

Looking for a large tent? When camping, you don’t want to feel like you’re sitting on the 5 PM subway. You know, packed shoulder to shoulder, inches from the other passengers.

You want some elbow room!

That’s why today I’ll review my top 5 best large tents. The tents I’ll review today are all 6-person, 8-person, or above.

Read on if you’re hitting the trail with your family, or retreating to the mountains with your friends. These tents are sure to make your camping trip one for the books.

Best Large Tents Today: Top 5 Available Today

Coleman Red Canyon 8-Person Tent

My first choice is the Coleman Red Canyon. This tent is an all-around gem that packs a ton of features into an easy-to-use and affordable package.

What I like about this tent is the design. It’s a dome-style tent, which means it kicks off rain, snow, and wind like no other.

Dome-style tents are difficult to do in large sizes since it’s hard for a large dome to support itself. But, this tent accomplishes that by having split rooms. It comes with a main domed room and two side rooms, which you can split up using the optional room dividers.

Also, it comes with many of the Coleman features I’ve come to love. You’ll get WeatherTec sealed seams and a patented pin-and-ring system for securing your poles to the tent. For the outer, Coleman used Polyguard fabric that’ll last many full moons.

You’ll also get adjustable air vents that help you stay cool on hot summer nights. One of the “vents” can be used as a “doggy door.” It’s positioned low on the ground and large enough for a dog to crawl through, so Fido can use the toilet at night!

With this tent, Coleman took their attention to details seriously. For example, the welcome mat that rolls out in front of the door is removable. That means you can shake it off before packing off, so you don’t track dirt home.

This tent is a prime example of why I love Coleman tents.

Pros:

  • Despite being a large tent, this dome-style tent rapidly repels any rain or snow that it faces.
  • Clear instructions mean you spend more time with your loved ones, and less time fiddling with poles.
  • Extremely durable – some have reported using this tent for over 10 years!
  • Not instant-pitch, but still sets up in less than 15 minutes.
  • Lots of little features I love, like the doggy door.
  • Removable rainfly is strong enough to resist rain, but can also be detached.

Cons:

  • Might be a little small for 3 queen-sized air mattresses.
  • Some people don’t like that the dome-style sacrifices headspace.

Best for: Large groups who want to sleep in a high-quality tent that’ll last for years.

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Coleman 8-Person Instant Family Tent


Next, I wanted to tell you about my second favorite Coleman tent. Here’s the runner-up to the Red Canyon: Coleman’s 8-Person Instant Family Tent.

This tent wields all the quality and features you’d find in the Red Canyon, with a few differences.

First, it’s an instant tent. That means it comes with pre-attached poles and can be pitched in mere minutes. It’s that easy.

However, it is a bit smaller than the Red Canyon. The Instant Family has a footprint of 140 sq. ft., while the Red Canyon has 170 sq. ft.

Additionally, the Instant Family tent is a bit more expensive. That’s thanks to its instant-pitch frame.

Despite that, this is a great tent any group will love. Pick this over the Red Canyon if you want a cabin-style tent or one that’ll pitch instantly.

Pros:

  • Extremely easy set-up thanks to pre-attached poles and instant pitch frame.
  • Large T-style door on the front allows you to move furniture in and out without having to finesse it sideways through the door.
  • Lightweight tent for its size – only 16 lbs.
  • Fits two queen-sized beds and has 77” of center height.
  • WeatherTec inverted seams and welded floors provide superior water protection.

Cons:

  • Pricier for this size, but worth it because of the instant setup style
  • Due to being a large cabin-style tent, it can whip in the wind easily. Make sure you use all guy lines properly.

Best for: smaller large groups that want weather protection in a lightweight, easy-to-assemble package.

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Kodiak 8-Person Canvas Tent


Now that I’ve shown you my favorite large Coleman tents, it’s time to mix things up and throw in a large canvas tent.

If you’ve never heard of canvas tents, that’s because they’re a bit more “pro-level” than polyester tents.

Canvas tents are made out of thick cotton canvas instead of lightweight plastic polyester. The benefits are simple. Canvas tents are more breathable, durable, and weather-proof than their plastic counterparts.

Humans have been wearing cotton T-shirts for decades because of these features, so why not sleep in some cotton too?

Kodiak is well-known in the canvas tent world for making superior products that can last for decades. I generally prefer SpringBar’s canvas tents over Kodiak’s, but their 8-person model is way too overpriced. This Kodiak 8-person is a much better bang for the buck.

This tent is also available in a smaller, 6-person model. If you want to save a little money and can sacrifice space, go for it!

Pros:

  • High-quality duck canvas with Hydra-Shield is incredibly durable and breathable.
  • Mesh-windowed doors on both sides allow a 360 view and easy entrance & exit.
  • Built to last – including #10 YKK zippers – the best zippers in the world!
  • An optional awning allows you to keep your gear dry or keep yourself out of the sun.
  • The superior canvas will last so long you can pass it down to your kids.

Cons:

  • Heavy, definitely not for car camping
  • Must be dried before packing up, or else water will turn to mildew

Best for: large groups that want to invest in a tent that’ll provide a top-notch camping experience for generations.

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ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 6-Person Tent


Since 1993, ALPS has been making high-quality tents that fit the budget of every camper. They generally specialize in smaller backpacking tests, but I figured I’d mention this tent since it’s their largest.

Although smaller than the other tents in this post, it is listed as a six-person tent. 100 sq. ft. of floor space and 6” of center height make this great for two couples or small families.

What I like about this tent is the design. It’s a dome-style tent constructed out of two fiberglass poles that wrap around the top of the tent. This makes it lightweight and easy setup.

When it comes to weather resistance, ALPS didn’t cut any corners. This tent comes with factory sealed seams and a 1500mm HH coating that’ll keep you dry.

Pros:

  • Considering its top-notch weather protection, excellent bang-for-the-buck.
  • Premium taffeta nylon fabric is breathable, lightweight, yet strong.
  • The free-standing design means it doesn’t require guy lines to keep its shape.
  • Although a smaller large tent, it’s got two doors each with an awning-covered doorway.
  • Lightweight (16 lbs).

Cons:

  • Not as large as other tents on this list.
  • High-level weather protection makes this tent a bit pricier.

Best for: backpackers or people who want to save on weight, while also having a large tent that fits the whole gang.

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Browning Big Horn Camping Tent


Last but not least is the Browning Big Horn. If you liked the ALPS Mountaineering tent but wanted more space, this tent is for you.

Why? Well, ALPS manufacturers Browning’s tents. You can expect to get the same ALPS quality out of this tent, but with more size!

This tent is a monster. It’s got 7 feet of center height. Since it’s a cabin style tent, that height is distributed through the whole tent.

Pros:

  • Free-standing tent means you don’t have to mess with guy lines.
  • Tons of space (150 sq. ft.), high center height.
  • Sturdy in the wind thanks to its simple design and excellent ventilation.
  • Room divider gives you peace from the kids, or maybe just a changing room.
  • 4 windows allow anyone to enter and exit without waking everyone up.

Cons:

  • Not much storage space. There are only pockets on each side of the room divider.
  • Setup can be frustrating if you’ve never done it before or are alone. I recommend setting it up at home first for this reason.

Best for: Large groups that want a tent designed for walking around in.

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How To Look For A Large Tent

Now that you’ve seen what we consider the best large tents, let’s talk about what to look for when you’re shopping for large tents.

You must buy a tent that’s right for you. If you pick the wrong tent, you’ll be stuck with this purchase for years!

Here are some pointers to lessen the stress in the decision process.

Size

The first and foremost feature to consider when looking at large tents is of course…how large is it?

Since you’re reading this article, you likely want a tent that can fit a large group of people. That’s why the most important aspect of a tent is its size.

Now, if you haven’t bought a tent before, let me share an industry secret with you. Tent manufacturers purposely size their tents up.

What do I mean by that?

When a tent company says it fits 8 people, that means it fits 8 people…who are built like string beans, packed in the tent shoulder to shoulder.

Is that what you want from your camping trip? Probably not!

That’s why we suggest sizing up two people. So, for a 4-person trip, pick up a 6-person tent, and so on.

You can also check the size of the tent by reviewing its dimensions. Look at the floor dimensions and see for yourself if you can sleep 4 people in a 4-person tent.

Design

When looking for a large tent, you’ve got to consider some different design elements than when looking for a small tent.

The most notable design element is what type of frame does it have? Cabin, dome, or triangle?

Cabin domes are most popular in these larger sizes. Their walls are perpendicular to the earth and provide maximum vertical space. But, that comes at a cost, in weight and wind.

Dome style tents look like, well, a dome. The benefit to this style is that rain and snow slide off them better, but they don’t give you as much headroom as a cabin style would.

Triangle tents (like the Kodiak canvas tent) are somewhere in the middle. They give better aerodynamics than a cabin and also better height than a dome tent.

Which style you like is up to you, so I tried to provide options for each in this article.

Construction

Lastly, take a look at how the tent is constructed.

Larger tents have much more surface area than smaller tents, which means they’re much more susceptible to wind, sun, and rain damage. They also whip in the wind more thanks to their larger walls.

To fight against the elements, tents are constructed in different ways. Check out the number of guy lines, the outer material, and the orientation of the walls to see how a tent will fare against the weather.

Free Standing or Not?

Another construction factor that should be considered is if it’s a free-standing tent or not.

Free-standing tents use included poles to add structure to the tent. You can pick them up and walk around and they won’t lose their form.

Non-free standing tents, on the other hand, use guy lines, ropes, cords, and pegs to keep the tent’s shape.

When you’re looking at large tents, this is an important point to consider. You may or may not want to have a tent that can stand up on its own. You might not want to have to deal with guy lines. Either way, make sure you consider free-standing or not before buying.

Conclusion

To pack things up, large tents are awesome. When camping with larger groups, it’s tempting to get two or three small tents. Instead, put everyone under one roof and enjoy each other’s company!

To do that most effectively, I recommend the Coleman Red Canyon 8-Person Tent. Not only is it durable, weather-resistant, and super spacious, it’s also affordable. Its dome-style construction means it won’t get stopped by rain or snow, but it’s three-room design allows you peace and privacy if you want it.

If that’s not your style, any of the tents above will get the job done. I tried to include a variety of large tents so everyone could find satisfaction.

Either way, these tents are sure to bring you joy and relaxation.