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The Best Family Tent

Last updated on May 21, 2020

We looked at the top 8 Family Tents and dug through the reviews from 133 of the most popular review sites including Rainy Adventures, Amazing Outdoor Adventures, 5 Product Reviews, TenBestProduct, Mike's Gear Reviews, Outside Pursuits and more. The result is a ranking of the best Family Tents.

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Our Picks For The Top Family Tents

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent

CORE

9-Person Instant Cabin Tent

Overall Take

Fastest SetupYou won't waste valuable time setting up this CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent, as you can have it in place and ready to go in only 60 seconds.

  Also Great

CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

CORE

Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Overall Take

Best for PrivacyTwo wall dividers give you three separate rooms for extra privacy during your camping trip with the CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent.

  Best for Late Sleepers

Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

Coleman

Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

Overall Take

Darkroom TechnologyDarkroom technology keeps the sun out even on the brightest day, making this Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup perfect for daytime nappers.

  Best for High-Tech

Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent

Coleman

Montana 8-Person Tent

Overall Take

Best for AdultsNot only does this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent come with a power plug, but it's also tall enough to let you walk around inside without stooping.

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15

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the family tents available to purchase.
8

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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133

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

26,585

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 5 others.

The Best Overall

CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent

Our Expert Score
9.1
Our Take

In as little as 60 seconds, you can have the CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent in place so that you can start enjoying your vacation. A room divider lets you set up separate space for hanging out and sleeping or simply create separate bedrooms for privacy. You'll get multiple windows and ground and ceiling vents to maximize any outside breezes. During our testing, we found this tent to be intuitive to assemble. It was also very easy to take apart and fit back into the bag, which was a little roomy and made packing up a breeze.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent

Our Expert Score
9.1
Our Take

The hinged door on the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent is a refreshing break from the traditional setup, which requires you to unzip the door to enter and exit. This opton also comes with an electrical plug inside for keeping your technology charged. High ceilings mean you can walk around inside without stooping down. We liked that the instructions were sewn into the case for easy assembly. We also liked the high bottom liner, as well as the zipper storage pouches inside.

Our Family Tent Findings

CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent

What We Liked: In as little as 60 seconds, you can have the CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent in place so that you can start enjoying your vacation. A room divider lets you set up separate space for hanging out and sleeping or simply create separate bedrooms for privacy. You’ll get multiple windows and ground and ceiling vents to maximize any outside breezes. During our testing, we found this tent to be intuitive to assemble. It was also very easy to take apart and fit back into the bag, which was a little roomy and made packing up a breeze.

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Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

What We Liked: Darkroom technology sets the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup apart from competitors. This tent blocks out 90% of the sun’s rays, making it easy to take a midday nap or enjoy some shade when spending the day on the beach. Interlinked poles mean you just unfold this tent and maneuver it into its natural shape. During our testing, we found this tend to be super simple and quick to assemble. It’s nice that the assembly instructions are printed on the tent so you don’t have to worry about losing them.

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Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent

What We Liked: The hinged door on the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent is a refreshing break from the traditional setup, which requires you to unzip the door to enter and exit. This opton also comes with an electrical plug inside for keeping your technology charged. High ceilings mean you can walk around inside without stooping down. We liked that the instructions were sewn into the case for easy assembly. We also liked the high bottom liner, as well as the zipper storage pouches inside.

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CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

What We Liked: If you like your privacy, the CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is the tent for you. You’ll get two room dividers to create three separate rooms within the tent. Two large doors and windows help bring outside air into the tent, along with adjustable vents and an all-mesh ceiling.

Our Expert Consultant

Shawna Newman 
Camping And Outdoor Expert

Shawna Newman is the editor-in-chief of Active Weekender, a website that provides resources — from gear recommendations to beginner tips — to people looking to plan outdoor adventures. Her favorite outdoor activity is hiking, and she is on a quest to visit every national park in the U.S.

 

Our Family Tent Buying Guide

Camping is far more fun when you have someone sharing the experience with you. But with a family-size tent, you can camp in groups, whether you’re traveling with your in-laws, your spouse and kids, your favorite friends or a combination of all of the above. With tents readily available to sleep two or more families, you can turn your camping excursion into an outing to remember.

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Chances are, though, you won’t want to spend half your trip setting up your tent. Manufacturers have found clever ways to make tent setup easier, including attaching the poles to the material so there are no pieces to assemble. Some family tents can be erected as quickly as 60 seconds, especially once you’ve gotten the hang of it.

Capacity can be tricky. Although some tents promise to hold up to 12 people, things can get a little cramped when you have all the sleeping bags fully rolled out. Measurements will matter more than how the tent is advertised, so use a measuring tape to map it out and decide on the size that will accommodate sleeping arrangements.

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“It’s important to get a tent that’s big enough for everyone who will be in it,” says outdoor and camping expert Shawna Newman, editor-in-chief of Active Weekender. “Luckily, tents are rated by how many people should fit inside, i.e. a 3-person tent. However, I suggest that you get a tent that’s supposed to fit 1-2 more people than you’re camping with so that everyone is comfortable.”

Also consider how many doors you will need, which will depend on the makeup of your party.

“Camping with small children? Then you probably only want one door so they can’t easily leave the tent without a parent,” Newman suggests. “Camping with teens or other adults? Look for a two-door tent so you don’t have to step over too many people to exit the tent.”

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Your tent won’t be air conditioned, and things can get stuffy once you pack it full of people. Newer tents build in vents and roofs that you can open up to promote airflow, along with the mesh windows that will let in air when you choose. Some tents are also built to keep out the sun’s rays, making them great for those who like midday naps on vacation.

The heat isn’t the only thing that can make camping challenging. You’ll need to be prepared for stormy weather, including rain and strong winds. Many tents are built using material that resists water, but you’ll also need to pay close attention to how sturdy the tent is. Your tent poles should be able to remain standing in reasonably strong winds. You’ll also find air vents become especially important when it’s raining outside.

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“It’s also important to have a tent that is appropriate for the type of weather you’ll be camping in with the family,” Newman says. “I recommend a three-season tent because it is the most versatile option on the market.”

She points out that, when shopping for tents, you will absolutely get what you pay for. Higher-quality tents will have seams already sealed to protect from rain. They will also have a rainfly, which helps when you experience unexpected bouts of rain. She also suggests looking for a family tent that offers good internal storage, like pockets and ceiling loops for water bottles, lanterns and the like.

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“Getting a quality tent for taking the family camping means that you’ll have something that should last you for many years to come,” Newman says. “And if you buy a good three-season tent with plenty of room for everyone, then you should be able to take it almost anywhere during most of the year and be able to enjoy a cheap family vacation.”

Just remember to do a trial run for setting the tent up at home first: “The last thing you want is to be struggling with it at the campsite,” Newman says.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Tent camping may be recreational today, but there was a time when it was a matter of survival. The earliest known tents date back to 40,000 B.C., when they were made from mammoth hides. But over the years, it became increasingly important to come up with a more portable solution. By 450 B.C., early yurts and teepees were used to allow travelers to carry shelter along with them wherever they went. Tents were later adopted by various military forces as a way to keep soldiers on the move during wartime. The waterproofing materials used on tents today are a much better alternative to the smelly animal oils and fats used to keep occupants of early tents dry.

The Family Tent Tips and Advice

  • At one time, setting up a campsite was a chore. Tent setup required multiple people following a confusing instruction manual. But today’s tents are far easier, with poles attached to keep you from having to deal with fitting multiple parts together. The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent can be in place in as little as 60 seconds, while the CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent takes a little longer, at a minimum of two minutes. The Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup just requires unfolding the nylon and interlinked poles, then guiding it to its natural shape. It’s important to note that these instant tents are convenient, but you still have the somewhat arduous task of taking them down and folding them up to transport home once your camping trip is over.
  • For larger tents, it’s important to give occupants a way to find some privacy. The CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent excels in this area, providing two wall separators that give you three separate rooms, allowing you to set up one area for living space and two for bedrooms, or however else you’d prefer to configure things. The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent and Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup have one room divider that gives you a separate walled-off area.
  • Whether you’re camping in the dead of summer or taking advantage of perfect weather in the fall or spring, ventilation is extremely important in any tent. You’ll need one that not only has windows built in, but also vents to promote airflow and take advantage of any breezes. The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent has both ground and ceiling vents in addition to multiple windows. The CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent has two large doors and windows that all have mesh, as well as an all-mesh ceiling and adjustable vents on both sides. The Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup has roof vents, but it also uses darkroom technology to keep 90% of the sunlight out to give you a dark, cool place to nap or just relax during the day.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.