10 Best Family Camping Tents Reviewed in 2020 ( For Bad Weather, Beach etc )

family pitching tent by the lake

If you love spending time outdoors, then there’s no better way to enjoy nature than with your family. Going out on a family camping trip is a great way to bond, stay active, and show your kids the joys of the mountains.

However, a simple camping trip can become much more complex when you bring the whole family. Not only do you need to bring more gear, but you also need to be sure that the equipment you’re using is going to keep everyone happy.

One of the most common issues we see are families that are trying to camp in a regular camping tent instead of a family tent. Without a proper family tent, you, your partner, and your kids will quickly feel cramped and uncomfortable when you should be enjoying a lovely weekend outdoors.

To help you out, we’ve created this ultimate guide to the best tent for family camping. We’ll walk you through the basics of finding the right tent and even review the best family tent models on the market today.

 

The 10 Best Family Camping Tents of 2020: Outdoor Empire Reviews

  1. The North Face Wawona 4
  2. MSR Papa Hubba NX 4
  3. Kelty Trail Ridge 6
  4. Coleman Sundome 6
  5. Coleman Evanston Dome 8
  6. Wenzel Klondike 8
  7. The North Face Bastion 4
  8. Black Diamond Bombshelter 4
  9. Lightspeed Outdoors Beach Sun Shelter
  10. Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL

 

CategoryBest for Bad WeatherBest Beach TentBest Large Family Tent
ProductThe North Face Bastion 4
The North Face Bastion 4

Lightspeed Outdoors Beach Sun Shelter
Lightspeed Outdoors Beach Sun Shelter

Coleman Sundome 6
Coleman Sundome 6

Weight15 lbs7.26 lbs16.3 lbs
Packed Size24 x 9 in43 x 5 in27 x 8 in
FreestandingYesYesYes
Rainfly Fabric75D Ripstop Polyester 1500-millimeter PU coatingPolyester with 600-millimeter PU coatingPolyguard with WeatherTec
Best ForBackpacking families that want plenty of gear storage space in bad weatherFamilies that want a beach tent without a lot of extra fluffSummertime car-camping families that like luxury camping
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

1. The North Face Wawona 4

The North Face Wawona 4

Designed for families that live for adventure, the North Face Wawona 4 is a sturdy single-wall family camping tent that’s made to last.

The Wawona 4 features a color-coded design on its heavy-duty 12-millimeter poles, which makes pitching easy. Plus, it has two large windows that allow for great views and plenty of ventilation on hot summer days.

The Wawona 4 has a large front vestibule that can also convert into an awning for shade, as well as a rear door and vestibule to make entry and exit a breeze. There are internal drying lines, pockets, hanging loops, and even a lantern hanger in the Wawona 4, so you can stay organized on the go.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 10 inches x 27 inches (25.4 centimeters x 68.6 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: 68D polyester

Pros

  • Comfortable four-person design
  • Color-coded for easy pitching
  • Large front and rear vestibules for gear storage
  • Internal organization features

Cons

  • Too heavy for use on backpacking trips
  • Bulky packed size
  • Polyester rain fly isn’t the most durable or breathable

Who This Tent Is For: Car camping families that want a simple tent for their adventures.

Learn more about The North Face Wawona 4.

 

2. MSR Papa Hubba NX 4

MSR Papa Hubba NX 4

A backpacking tent designed specifically for families and small groups, the Papa Hubba NX 4 packs a lot of livability into a small package.

Light enough to carry on your back, but compact enough to fit into a surprisingly small stuff sack, the Papa Hubba is a three-season freestanding tent that offers plenty of internal room so everyone can have the personal space they need.

The Papa Hubba is made using high-end materials, including the ultra-durable Easton Syclone MAX poles and an Xtreme Shield waterproof coating on the rainfly, so it holds up well in foul weather. Oh, and it has two gigantic doors, so you don’t have to worry about crawling over each other at night.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 7 pounds (2.91 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 21 inches x 7 inches (53 centimeters x 17 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: 20D ripstop nylon 1200-millimeter Xtreme Shield polyurethane and silicone

Pros

  • Very lightweight for a four-person tent
  • Lots of living space for a backpacking tent
  • High-end materials are super durable
  • Great in bad weather

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can’t stand upright inside

Who This Tent Is For: Families that want a tent that’s good for car camping and backpacking.

 

 

3. Kelty Trail Ridge 6

Kelty Trail Ridge 6

Designed with livability in mind, the Kelty Trail Ridge 6 is a solid family tent for summer car camping trips. The Trail Ridge 6 has two large doors and vestibules for easy entry and exit as well as plentiful gear storage. There are also vents within the vestibule for maximum ventilation on warm days.

Setting up the Trail Ridge 6 is a breeze, thanks to the color-coded clip construction, while the ArcEdge catenary floor and wall design helps keep water out during a storm.

Within the tent, there are also plenty of storage options, including pockets, lantern loops, and an overhead gear loft so you can make the most of your space.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 8 pounds (6.7 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 9 inches x 25 inches (22 centimeters x 63.5 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: Coated polyester

Pros

  • Lots of organization options inside and outside the tent
  • Large vents for breathability
  • Easy to pitch with color-coded system
  • Two large doors and vestibules

Cons

  • Heavy and not great for backpacking
  • Durability concerns, especially in bad weather

Who This Tent Is For: Families that value organization and internal space more than anything else.

 

 

4. Coleman Sundome 6

Coleman Sundome 6

With enough space to fit two queen-sized air beds, the Coleman Sundome 6 is a fantastic home away from home for those weekend camping trips.

This palace-like family tent uses Coleman’s WeatherTec system to keep water out, even in a small storm. While it’s not meant for a gale, the Sundome 6 is tested to hold up in winds as high as 35 miles per hour.

The Sundome 6 has ground vents and two windows to help with ventilation during the summer months, as well as a small awning for some outdoor living space.

Setup is even quick and simple with the Sundome 6, thanks to the tent’s snag-free continuous pole sleeves and pin-and-ring system that gets your shelter up in no time flat.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 16.3 pounds (7.4 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 27 inches x 8 inches (69 centimeters x 20 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: Polyguard with WeatherTec

Pros

  • Simple and easy pitching process
  • Large enough for two queen-sized airbeds
  • Many vents and windows for ventilation
  • WeatherTec system to keep you dry

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Center height is only six feet
  • Not good in winter

Who This Tent Is For: Summertime car-camping families that like luxury camping.

 

Coleman Sundome 6 is also available at:

Cabelas

Walmart

 

5. Coleman Evanston Dome 8

Coleman Evanston Dome 8

Do you love the outdoors but hate the bugs? Then the Coleman Evanston Dome 8 just might be for you.

This spacious eight-person tent from Coleman features a quick and easy setup with its Insta-Clip pole attachment system, so you can spend less time pitching your tent and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

The Evanston Dome 8 uses Coleman’s WeatherTec welded floors and inverted seams to help keep you dry even in a storm. It even has enough space for two queen-sized air beds if you prefer to camp in style.

The best part? The Evanston Dome 8 has a spacious screen porch, so you can enjoy quality time outside without getting eaten by the bugs. What’s not to love?

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 5 pounds (11.1 kilograms)
  • Packed Size:5 inches x 10.5 inches (72 centimeters x 27 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: Ripstop Nylon

Pros

  • Large bug screen porch for comfort
  • Lots of interior living space
  • WeatherTec system keeps the tent dry
  • Can fit two queen-sized airbeds

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Large packed size

Who This Tent Is For: Large families that enjoy indoor and outdoor living spaces.

 

 

6. Wenzel Klondike 8

Wenzel Klondike 8

Made specifically for anyone that values luxury and comfort above all else while camping, the Wenzel Klondike 8 is the ultimate in glamping shelters.

This large tent can sleep up to eight people within its 98 square feet (9.1 square meters) of space, while the attached screen porch can also be used for extra living space on a nice day.

The Wenzel Klondike 8 has a full-mesh roof and large windows for added ventilation, while the rainfly can help keep water out during a small storm. There are even a handful of gear storage pockets within the tent so you can stay organized during your adventures.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 26.4 pounds (11.9 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 36 inches x 16 inches (91 centimeters x 41 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: Polyester Taffeta

Pros

  • Incredibly spacious interior
  • Mesh windows and roof for ventilation
  • Large screen porch for comfort and extra living space
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Heavy and tricky to set up
  • Not great in a big storm

 

 

7. The North Face Bastion 4

The North Face Bastion 4

This fortress of a tent from the North Face is designed to withstand the world’s worst weather. A true expedition tent, the North Face Bastion 4 is a great family tent for bad weather since it offers ample living space and a sturdy, durable construction.

The Bastion 4 features two doors and a poled front vestibule for added gear storage. It has a fully seam-taped construction and a bucket floor to keep you dry at night, while the high-low venting system helps provide airflow on warm days.

Oh, and it even has reflective guylines and glow-in-the-dark zippers for ease of use on the darkest of nights.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 24 inches x 9 inches (60.9 centimeters x 22.9 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: 75D Ripstop Polyester 1500-millimeter PU coating

Pros

  • Incredibly robust in bad weather
  • Two large vestibules and doors for gear storage and access
  • Fully seam taped for waterproofing

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy for a four-person tent

Who This Tent Is For: Backpacking families that want plenty of gear storage space in bad weather.

 

 

8. Black Diamond Bombshelter 4

Black Diamond Bombshelter 4

Designed to weather any storm, the Black Diamond Bombshelter 4 is the ultimate tent for foul weather. Although it’s not the most spacious, the Bombshelter 4 is perfect for families that like to head into the mountains for a true backcountry adventure.

This single wall tent is surprisingly lightweight for its durability and features a two-door, two-vestibule design for maximum comfort and ease of entry and exit.

The Bombshelter 4 can be pitched from the inside to keep you dry, thanks to its four intersecting poles that provide ample strength and stability in a storm. It also has four interior mesh pockets to help keep you organized on the go.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 9.75 pound (4.42 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 8 inches x 20 inches (20 centimeters x 51 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: ToddTex single-wall fabric

Pros

  • Durable enough for the harshest storms
  • Relatively lightweight and compact for its strength
  • Can be pitched from the inside
  • Four interior pockets for organization
  • Two doors and vestibules

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not enough room to stand upright

Who This Tent Is For: Families that like to backpack or climb together in the mountains.

 

Black Diamond Bombshelter 4 is also available at:

Moosejaw

Outdoorplay

 

9. Lightspeed Outdoors Beach Sun Shelter

Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter

If you need a simple, yet effective beach tent for the family, the Lightspeed Outdoors Beach Sun Shelter might be what you’re looking for.

The Lightspeed Sun Shelter is a classic beach tent with a quick and easy side-pull system for instant set up. It provides over three feet (91 centimeters) of porch space and has an extended porch that can be quickly converted into a privacy shelter.

The Lightspeed Sun Shelter features three large windows for plenty of ventilation as well as a PU coating on the fly to hold up in a slight drizzle. It even has a carry bag to make transport from the car to the beach a breeze.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 7.26 pounds (3.29 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 43 inches x 5 inches (109.2 centimeters x 12.7 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: Polyester with 600-millimeter PU coating 

Pros

  • Quick and simple set up
  • Plenty of porch space for comfort
  • Has convertible privacy shield
  • Large mesh windows for ventilation

Cons

  • Large packed size
  • Not great in heavy rain

Who This Tent Is For: Families that want a beach tent without a lot of extra fluff.

 

 

10. Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL

 

Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL

 

The ultimate family beach tent when it comes to pure luxury, the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL is a spacious shelter for sunny days at the beach. With enough space to comfortably house kids and adults alike, the Instant Shader Deluxe XL has a large front porch space so you can relax in the shade.

The Instant Shader Deluxe XL features an instant pop-up design that keeps setup time down to a minimum. Plus, the Instant Shader Deluxe XL is water resistant and has a front panel that can be zipped up for added privacy while on the beach.

Important Specifications

  • Weight: 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms)
  • Packed Size: 41 inches x 8.5 inches (105.14 centimeters x 21.59 centimeters)
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Rainfly Fabric: 185T Polyester-coated fabric with UPF 50+ protection

Pros

  • Instant setup design
  • Relatively light weight
  • Zippered front panel can turn into privacy screen
  • Plenty of living space

Cons

  • Expensive for a beach tent
  • Not great in the wind

Who This Tent Is For: Large families that value privacy and space on the beach.

 

 

How Buying a Family Camping Tent Differ From Buying a Regular Tent

regular and family tent on camping area

While both family and regular tents might seem very similar, there are some important differences that you need to keep in mind while you’re shopping around. First and foremost, a family tent is designed with comfort and space in mind.

Since families often have children, you want to be sure that everyone in your family can get the privacy they need in the tent. Thus, if you all crammed into a small tent, your family would likely feel uncomfortable quite quickly.

Plus, family tents are more focused on the little luxuries, so they’ll often include features that regular tents wouldn’t have, like a screen porch or more interior gear storage.

family camping in the woods with car parked

Often, the larger family tent models will have two or more very large doors, which allows everyone in the family easy access in and out of the tent at night so no one is disturbed.

Finally, the main difference between a family tent and a regular tent is size. While a two-person tent will be fine if you’re just out camping with your buddy, that’s not going to cut it when you have a family of five.

Therefore, family tents will almost always be much bigger than a shelter you’d take on a backpacking trip because of the extra luxuries and additional living space added into the equation.

We also have a buyer’s guide on backpacking tents.

 

Buying Advice: Important Considerations

family tent pitched near a small waterfall

Since a family tent is a home away from home for your partner and kids, you really want to be sure that you’re getting the right model for your needs. Here’s a quick guide to ensure that you buy the best family tent for your next adventure.

 

How to Choose a Family Tent

Choosing a family tent is no easy feat. There are many different models out there, and it can be difficult to know precisely what you want. Here are some of the main things to keep in mind as you’re shopping around:

 

Camping Season

wet Northface tent in a snow covered landscape

Are you more of a fair-weather camper, or do you sometimes head out for a winter trip in the great outdoors? The winter and summer seasons are very different, so you need to have specific gear to go out in the colder months of the year.

That being said, the vast majority of family tents are three-season tents, which means they’re not meant for winter use. Generally, these tents are better ventilated for the summer months and just aren’t strong enough to withstand heavy snow loading.

Four-season tents, however, will be better insulated and reinforced to hold up in heavy snow and high winds.

Since four-season tents tend to be bigger, heavier, and more expensive than their three-season counterparts, you should really only consider one if you’re actually planning on doing a lot of winter camping. If not, a three-season tent will be more than sufficient.

 

Size

big tent pitched in the woods

Every tent comes with a designated sleeping capacity, which is the number of people your tent can comfortably hold. While it might seem enticing to buy a smaller tent because your children are still young, eventually they will grow and become the same size as an adult.

Thus, it’s best to buy a tent that can accommodate the number of people in your family, or perhaps one that’s a bit larger, so you can have extra personal space at night.

 

Budget

man holding money

While we wish it weren’t true, the vast majority of us are on a budget, so cost will be a factor when we’re buying our tent. Generally speaking, the larger the tent, the more expensive, but you can also find some pretty pricey smaller tents that are more durable and better designed to hold up in bad weather.

Thus, cost is often a tradeoff between durability and size when it comes to family tents.

 

Important Considerations for Family Tents

If you’re in the market for a new family tent, here are some of the key features you should keep in mind:

Ease of Setup

tent in the middle of pitching

Unless you really love pitching tents, chances are you’d rather not spend a few hours after you arrive at camp struggling to get your tent set up. Thankfully, many modern tents have quick setup systems with color-coded poles and hooks to make setup simple.

However, some tents are certainly easier to set up than others, so if you’re not too confident in your tent-pitching skills, looking for a simple tent, with fewer vestibules and other features is often ideal.

 

Doors

colorful tent with both doors open

The number and size of the doors on a tent might seem like a minor aspect of any shelter, but this can make a huge difference in your camping experience.

If your tent has only one small door, your entire family is going to spend the whole night crawling over each other to go out and answer nature’s call at two in the morning.

Alternatively, if you have a tent with two large doors, it’s going to be easy for everyone to get in and out when they please.

Do keep in mind, though, that having more doors increases the weight and bulk of your tent and can make setup a bit more complex, so having more entrances isn’t without its drawbacks.

 

Vestibules and Screen Porches

tent with chairs set outside

A tent vestibule is basically a covered entryway. They are a highly underrated feature of any tent, though they add a whole lot of value and convenience to your shelter. Having a large tent vestibule greatly increases your tent’s living space and makes it easy to store gear outside in a protected location.

Family tents, however, often include an added bonus — a screen porch. These are essentially vestibules that are made out of mesh netting instead of ripstop nylon, and they provide a nice outdoor living space where you can comfortably sit in the fresh air without worrying about getting eaten alive by bugs.

Tents with screen porches are really nice on buggy summer days, though having a screen porch often increases the complexity of your tent’s setup and can make your tent both bulkier and heavier overall.

 

Weather-Resistance

tent under the trees during a rainy day

A tent’s main function is to protect you from the wind and the rain, so if you have a shelter that isn’t very waterproof, it’s not going to get you very far. Therefore, weather resistance is of the utmost importance when it comes to a family tent.

Generally speaking, the waterproofness of a tent comes down to the materials that are used in the rainfly and tent floor. Tents that are made out of high-denier ripstop nylon that is factory seam taped are going to be more waterproof than tents that are made out of cheap polyester.

Additionally, some tents hold up better in high winds than others. Often this is a factor of the overall design of the tent, in particular, the shape. Dome-shaped tents tend to be sturdier than cabin-shaped tents, though there are exceptions to this rule.

Plus, if a tent has flimsy poles, they will not survive a big storm and will just snap in the wind.

 

Durability

tent tied on rocks by the shore

No one wants to spend their hard-earned money on a tent only to have it break after a few trips. Therefore, durability is incredibly important when buying a tent. Like weather resistance, a tent’s durability comes down to its materials and overall design.

Generally speaking, the more weather resistant a tent, the more durable it is in the long run.

However, it’s important to remember that durability comes with a cost. The most durable tents will either be affordable and very heavy, or very expensive and average weight.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find a tent that’s durable, lightweight, and affordable since many manufacturers substitute lower-quality materials to cut weight and cost.

 

Gear Storage

campers fixing tent and other gear

When you go camping, you have to bring a whole lot of gear with you. Therefore, ample gear storage in a tent is a must-have. Many family tents will have large vestibules, which allow for plenty of outdoor equipment storage.

Plus, tents will often have gear storage pockets inside to help you organize your smaller personal belongings to keep the tent clutter-free.

 

Packed Size

backpacks and packed tents at the back of the truck

When you’re not actively camping, your tent will either be in storage or in your car on the way to a campground. The packed size of a tent can make storage and transport convenient or annoying, depending on how much space your shelter takes up.

Generally, tents with a small packed size are going to be lighter and often less durable. While it’s certainly possible to find durable, compact tents, you’ll often pay a premium for this convenience. Alternatively, you might find that you have a big, bulky tent, but that it’s strong enough to last for a decade.

 

Weight

No one wants to carry around a brick of a tent, so having a lightweight shelter can make setup much easier when you arrive at camp. However, as we’ve mentioned a lightweight tent often lacks durability, so there are some tradeoffs involved when you opt for a lighter model.

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