We spent 40 hours testing more than 30 car-camping tents and determined that the REI Co-op Camp Dome 4 is the best such tent for two people. Unfortunately, the first time we put it up—on the same early-April 2017 camping trip at Point Mugu in Ventura, California—one of the hard plastic brackets that holds the tents poles together cracked, leaving the frame warped and the attached tent body slightly saggy. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for camping tents on the market can be found at the tent adviser website.
Your tent is your sanctuary,” said camping expert Helen Olsson, who would always bring a play tent”—an old, two-person backpacking tent—for her little kids to use as a daytime play space. Unlike a couple other cheap tents we’ve tested over the past two years, the Coleman Sundome has a simple shape and pole design that should be easy for even very inexperienced campers to figure out. Unlike the other tents we tested in this category, though, the Base Camp 6’s mesh starts high on the walls—more than 4 feet from the ground—making it the rare high-end shelter that offers privacy without the fly attached.
Coleman is the everyman brand” when it comes to tents, and the Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin ranks among the company’s most popular family tents for good reason: With a simple but comfortable design, it remains faster and easier to set up than any other similarly sized tent we could find. After examining more than 20 six-person tents online and comparing 10 of them side by side on family car-camping trips, we concluded that the Eureka Copper Canyon 6 is the best tent for most car-camping families. In our evaluations, we focused on basic function and design, looking for big mesh windows to provide a cross breeze in nice weather; an open-mesh roof for stargazing; convenient, built-in pockets for stashing car keys, headlamps, and glasses; zippers that pull smoothly, even when held by tiny fingers; and a fly that’s quick and easy to get on and off as the weather shifts.
In general, tents in that price range are made for harsher conditions than the typical car-camping family is likely to encounter, or are focused as much on hip, retro aesthetics as on kid-friendly utility. Our informal surveys found that most families considered between $200 and $400 to be a reasonable amount to pay for a tent for family car camping, so we didn’t test any tents with a list price of more than $450. We found 40 D up to 150 D to be typical for car-camping tents; you can read more on these measurements here and here As for the waterproof coatings, tent makers generally treat the fabrics with a water-repellent coating described in millimeters; 1,200 mm to 3,000 mm is the typical range found on family tents.
In the backcountry, campers are generally making camp each evening and then packing up again in the morning, whereas car campers generally leave their tents up for much longer periods of time, increasing the material’s UV exposure. But in sudden, violent storms, car campers always have the easy (if perhaps pathetic) option of collapsing their tents and retreating to their cars. We assumed that family campers would not be camping in snow, so all the tents we looked at are three-season models.
(We think that by the time the kids are old enough to demand their own room, everyone will be happier if they just have their own tent.) A couple of our favorite tents come in larger sizes to satisfy the go-big campers. Some experienced camper-parents we talked to wanted a much smaller tent—these were mostly people who transferred their pre-parenthood minimalist backpacking ethic (and aesthetic) to car camping. I talked to experts such as Helen Olsson , whose guidebook provides a fun and practical intro for parents looking to get into regular car camping, and Bob Howe , a prolific tent designer who has created tents for companies including Easton, Marmot, and The North Face.
Most tents that include a rain fly in their design have added structural features which support the fly in this manner. Just check out this REI family-sized car camping tent when joined with a tech garage. When shopping for a new tent that you hope will last for years, think about which features are important to you now, and might become important to you if your camping style or family size evolves in the future.
Cabin-style tents are popular among family car campers. Car camping tents might not be rated according to seasons, in which case you’ll have to use other cues to determine how weather-worthy a tent is. The name tells you most of what you need to know—this camping tent is easy to set up, sleeps six, and it has a screen room to give you space to eat, play, or chill when the black flies are out for blood.
A four-person car-camping tent, this flexible and affordable option roomy enough for a medium-sized family of four. Tent accommodates 8 campers and, with 17 x 10 feet of floor space, is great for families. This tent is a solid and reliable option that is easy to set up, tack down, offers lots of space, and extra weather protection features.
Even if you don’t plan on backpacking into your site, you will want to ensure your tent has a modest size in order to be able to pack all your other camping gear along with you. A lot of freestanding camping tents will use poles to support the weight of the walls and roof. Floor space can be limited in the smaller camping tents so if this is important to you we strongly suggest looking for a larger option.
With this camping tents two-pole design you are sure to appreciate that it can be set up solo in only a few minutes. This is one of the best family backpacking tents for those who are looking to camp with minimal effort to set up your tent. This is the best family camping tent and you’ll be happy to know that there are 3 different sizes of this backpacking tent including a 4, 6, and 10 person configuration.
Their tents are primarily for camping in warm weather, and can be set up in 10 minutes. These tents are made to protect you and your family from what you’d expect in the summer: mesh to keep out insects, and special flysheets to protect from sun, rain, and wind. We bounce around a bit in the tents brands we rent, but in recent years have stuck with a few select, high quality tents by Alps Mountaineering for car-camping styles, and Big Sky International for backpacking tents.
Tents are an essential piece of camping gear, come in all sizes and styles, and are made for every outdoor environment. The bulk of this article is concerned with tents used for recreational camping which have sleeping space for one to ten people. With thoughtful design, indispensable features, and durable construction, these camping tents are the absolute best.
Tents are typically your biggest purchase—both in price and size—followed by items like camping pads or mattresses and sleeping bags Depending on where you’ll be camping and for how long, other essentials include a gas-burning stove , cooler , and camping chairs The beauty in all of this is that the same principles that apply to camping tents transfer to the rest of your gear. Hybrid backpacking and camping tents pack down the smallest (the Papa Hubba measures 7 x 21 inches), while a tent like the Coleman Instant Tent will fill up an extra-large duffel bag and take up a good portion of a car trunk. Compared with standard camping tents, the rooftop design gets you off uneven ground and makes it easier to set up camp just about anywhere (within reason).
In that spirit, budget camping tents are basic but fully functional options for fair-weather campers. The Instant Tent name comes from its pre-attached poles and incredibly basic set up—simply take the tent out the bag, make a few adjustments, and stake it in. For summer camping where wind and rain aren’t factors, this tent performs reasonably well and is a good value. This makes it relatively lightweight and easy to set up and take down, but the interior is prone to collecting moisture in humid or rainy weather, plus you can’t remove the fly for stargazing.
If you don’t mind sacrificing on things like interior space and thinner fabrics, a backpacking tent is a viable option for camping that could save you in the long run—no need to buy a separate backpacking tent when the time comes. But for families that want a single tent for camping and backpacking—at less than 8 pounds, it’s easy to divvy up the carrying duties—the Half Dome 4 Plus is an excellent option. For more heavy-duty camping in the rougher elements, our Mountaineering tents are designed to hold up to whatever weather Mother Nature throws at you.
From cozy 2-persons to spacious family tents, we guarentee you will always have a comfortable and weather-resistant shelter to come back to. When it comes to our Camping Tent Selection, there are endless variations of equipment to suit all of your persoal needs. Who’s it for: Car campers looking for a high-quality tent with ample room for up to six people, all of their gear, and more. MSR’s legendary design and build quality are on full display here, resulting in the perfect combination of space, features, and quick setup that most campers are looking for.
Our classic, easy-to-pitch, one-person camping tent for you, your pack and your dog is redesigned for spring with a new vestibule that makes camping even in adverse weather more enjoyable. Our classic, easy-to-pitch, two-person camping tent gets refreshed for spring with a new vestibule design that makes camping in adverse weather more enjoyable. Our classic, easy-to-pitch, three-person camping tent gets refreshed for spring adventures with a new vestibule design that makes camping in adverse weather more enjoyable.
Once you know how much you can spend it’s time to analyze the features of the camping tents in that price range. With the rainfly in place and thanks to the tent’s taped seams, you and your camping buddies will stay nice and dry in this roomy tent even in steady rain. But once you have your Ozark Family Trail Cabin Tent ready, you will have a capacious tent that’s great for use by large groups or for the prolonged camping trip where you want to store plenty of gear inside and away from the elements.
Why you’ll love it: The affordable Wenzel Shenanigans Teepee Camping Tent sets up in just a couple of minutes, thanks to its center pole design. The Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch Dome Tent earns the Fast Pitch part of its name thanks to pre-attached poles, an easy Instar-Clip suspension system, and an elegant simplicity of overall design. The Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch Dome Tent is a superlative tent for the family of campers for one reason above all others: adults and kids usually have different sleep schedules.
Choosing the best car camping tent starts with simply considering the size of the tent you need. If you already have a tent for backpacking, do you need another one for car camping? Camping tents are designed to be comfortable, enjoyable shelters, used in situations where camping is the point of the trip.
It’s a broad category, but typically designates a class of tent that is more spacious, fully-featured, comfortable, durable, and not as focused on being lightweight or compact like backpacking and mountaineering tents. First, the point of larger car camping tents is so you can bring more stuff, right? This is probably the biggest complaint of non-campers and one of the biggest upsides to car camping versus backpacking.
The North Face Wawona 4 is a mid-priced four-sleeper tent that’s ideal for family car camping trips. At just over 7 pounds, the Half Dome 4 Plus is light for a car camping tent and heavy for a backpacking tent. The Marmot Limestone 4P is a four-person, three-season, two-door tent that’s ideal for family car camping.
A sturdy carry bag earns high marks from car campers, an internal electrical access port comes in handy at sites with electrical hookups, and interior gear pockets provide easy storage. If you prefer car camping, weight isn’t as big of a deal, and you can invest in a heavier, sturdier tent that sleeps larger groups. That depends on how you plan to use it. If you’re a casual car camper or fair-weather weekend backpacker, you may not need to pay more for a quality product A solidly constructed, budget-friendly camping tent will probably do you just fine.
A small pop up tent is perfect for a few people, while a large tent or a family tent will be better suited for multiple campers. The tent will comfortably sleep 9 adults in sleeping bags or 2 queen size camping mattresses Nonetheless, it can be setup in just a minute. Perfect for – New campers who lack experience in putting up tents, campers on a budget or campers who will mostly venture out in fair weather.
But based upon our research of features, price, and owner feedback, here are our picks for the best camping tents: We’ll look at tents in a range of sizes and discuss their key features as well as which kind of camper they’re best suited to. 4-season tents are best reserved for winter camping or extended trips in heavy rains when it’s crucial to have a warm, safe reprieve from the harsh elements.
Camping tents vary in size from compact and light to heavy and bulky. WEIGHT- The weight of your camping tent isn’t as critical as it would be if you were backpacking. For those who intend to get a lot of use out of their family camping tent, we recommend upgrading to a higher-quality model like the Grand Hut , Kingdom , or Octagon 98 , all of which are weather-ready and great for groups. Be sure to visit tent adviser for the best camping tents on the market to buy.
CONS: Low-quality poles/materials, not fully seam-taped, can’t stand up inside, not color-coded for set up (but still easy), limited ventilation, only 1 door, zipper snags at times, no vestibule, and weak carrying case. If you’re looking for a simple, classic-style dome tent with 2 doors and don’t care about having vestibules, the Camp Dome is a good affordable option that should last far longer than most cheap camping tents. BOTTOM LINE: The REI Camp Dome 4 is an affordable basic camping tent with relatively good quality materials and a simple set up. The Camp Dome’s poles are aluminum, which is an upgrade from fiberglass (prone to splintering and breakage), but they’re not quite as durable as high-end aluminum poles like those used in the Half Dome The Camp Dome has nice large doors on either side, which is great for access and helps with ventilation, but since this tent doesn’t have vestibules or top vents, it’s livability is limited when the doors and windows are zipped up in stormy conditions.