The Best Large Camping Tents for Family Excursions

Top 9 Best Large Camping Tents
Enjoy a Comfortable and Worry-Free Camping Holiday

Camping tent designs have undergone radical improvements in the past decade, driven in part by demand from an ever increasing adventure-hungry population. Gone are the days of musty-smelling cotton canvas tents which are bulky and not resistant to mould and damp. Modern tents are light, bright, and pop-up and down in a few minutes. Significant improvements have been made to the waterproofing, too. And perhaps the biggest improvement to camping tents is the integrated ground sheet. No more rising damp and ground water inflows!

We take a look at just what makes up the list of top 9 best camping tents.

Large Camping Tents Buying Guide

Some of the factors to focus when shopping for an ideal camping tent for your next trip include its size, water resistance, ease of setup as well as comfort. Below we have compiled a comprehensive buying guide for a large camping tent that you can use on your next camping trip.

What tent capacity do I need?

This is perhaps the most important consideration. Why buy a tent if it is not going to accommodate everybody? Take the camping partys size into consideration as well as whether you are likely to need more space for the extras such as luggage storage. Determine the number of sleeping bags that will fit into the tent and allow everyone to sleep comfortably.

Unfortunately, there is no industry tent size standard for per person measurements so you will have to work with the tent size approximations. There are 2-person, 6-person and 8-person tents so you can take a close fit. To be on the right side, always upsize to ensure there will always be sufficient space for everyone. If your camping party comprises six adults, go for the 8-person tent. Upsizing will give sufficient space for you to move around and also accommodate larger campers and those who toss and turn when sleeping.

Is it easy to setup?

Who wants to spend hours trying to set up a tent? Easy does it. Too many camping trips always turn into heated divorce-inducing or friendship-shattering arguments simply because of difficult tent setup. So you must insist on ease of setup in order to have smooth night and fun camping trips.

Is it good for the weather?

You cannot tell whether a particular tent is good for weather by just looking at it. You have to dig deeper in order to determine whether you are purchasing a 3-season, 3-4 season or 4-season large camping tents. 3-season tents are quite popular with many campers and have been made for mild conditions in summer, spring and fall. They have mesh panels to keep out insects and can withstand rains and mild snow though they are not good for sustained extreme conditions.

The 3-4 season tents are used for extended seasons and are good for summer, early spring as well as late fall. They are sturdier and also warmer. However, they are not well equipped for the harsh winters.

The 4-season tents, on the other hand, have been engineered to withstand the most extreme of conditions including heavy snow and harsh winds. They will keep you safe and warm in weather that is remarkably inhospitable.

What other factors should I consider when buying a large camping tent?

Peak height: If you will spending a lot of time inside your tent and you dont like stooping when carrying out basic tasks, then choose a tent with a peak height which will accommodate the tallest member in the camping party. Ensure, also, that the tent does not slope or slant too much as this reduces the usable space within which you can move around while standing upright. You can check out the peak height of the tent in the specs provided by the manufacturer.

Tent style: When it comes to style, there is the option for a dome style tent and a cabin-style tent. Domed tents can be set up and disassembled easily and are lighter. Cabin-style tents, on the other hand, are heavier and are better suited for longer holidays. If you are shopping for a smaller-sized tent, then go for the dome-style.

Floor length: The primary function of a tent is sleeping so choose a tent with a floor length that will accommodate the tallest member of the party.

Tent doors: Factor in the number of doors that you will need as well as the preferred orientation of the doors. A single door will be sufficient for a single or two-person camping tent. However, for a family tent, it is best to have multiple doors. Many cabin-style tents generally have multiple doors for ease of entry and exit. You should also take note of the ease of opening or closing the doors. YKK zippers are still popular although other large camping tent models feature magnetic door opening and closing mechanism.

Windows: Netted windows on your tent are good for cross breeze, especially if you will be camping during the summers. Go for zipped windows but these should be covered with wide flaps that will prevent rainfall from getting into the tent.

Rainfly: This is a waterproof covering that you can pull over the roof or the entire tent to protect you from the rain or dew. It is a separate accessory although some tents come with rainfly. You can also use it when you need some extra warmth inside the tent.

Sunroof: In large camping tents, the sunroofs will let the light in. They are made of clear plastic panels and should have an opaque flap that can be zipped up once you have had sufficient exposure to sunshine. Having a good seal for your sunroof will also prevent leakage.

Internal pockets: You are going to carry lots of small but handy items that you need to access as quickly as possible during your camping such as a flashlight. Internal pockets in a tent offer a convenient and easily accessible storage area where you can put these items and keep the inside of the tent organized.

Ventilation: the tent must also have good ventilation, particularly during the summers. Ventilation can be via mesh panels placed on doors, windows or ceiling of the tent. The mesh panels also give you good view.

Interior loops: You will need some lighting for overnight camping and loops inside the tent can be used to hang solar lanterns or even a gear loft that you can use to organize small items.

A carry bag: You are going to need a strong and large carry bag where you can easily fit in your tent when you are transporting it. This will be a separate accessory in most cases although some tents also come with a carry bag as part of the kit. Make sure you choose a carry bag that is of the right size. It might look big initially but fitting the tent inside will be another matter altogether.

A vestibule: Some might debate on the necessity of having a vestibule in a tent but wait until it is the raining season and you have nowhere else to place your muddy boots but inside the sleeping area of your tent! Vestibules will give you the much needed space where you can store some of your camping gear and remove muddy gear so as to keep the inside of the tent clean and organized. It will particularly be handy in a multi-person tent that is cramped up. You can get rid of all the dirty muddy gear before getting into a dry and clean tent.

The sheer functionality of modern family tents is almost enough to want to get you into the outdoors, and thankfully competition is certainly spurring along manufactures to improve all aspects of their tent designs, and with moderate prices of course. There are few things to consider when making your purchase and enjoying your experience; an 8 sleeper tent means just that, enough space to lie 8 people down. You will almost always need space for luggage, so typically one could halve the claimed capacity to make room for the extras.

Whilst most, if not all tents include integrated ground sheets, it is really worthwhile throwing in an extra ground tarp to protect the tent floor from sharp objects and it helps when setting up the tent in wet conditions. Lastly, do yourself a favour and throw in a few larger tent pegs; typically, the pegs provided are not substantial enough for hard ground use and tend to buckle under the force of your mallet.