One of the most important pieces of your camping kit is a good tent, and having to suffer with a lousy one can make wilderness adventures a lot less fun – doubly so if you’ve got kids in tow. A quality tent does more than provide shelter from the elements: It provides you with a small home away from home when you’re on the trail, giving you a cozy place to rest and relax when you’re not busy enjoying the great outdoors.
- Best Overall: Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent
- Also Great: Core Instant Cabin 9-Person Tent
- Best for an Upgrade: NTK Arizona GT 9- to 10-Person Tent
- Best for Smaller Families: Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent
- Best for Wet Weather: Coleman Weathermaster 10-Person Tent
- Best for All Seasons: Springbar Highline Canvas Tent
To accomplish this, a well-designed tent must be durable, reasonably easy to set up, and able to provide suitable comfort and protection from any type of weather you’re likely to encounter (your tent is shelter first and foremost, after all). It’s worth it to do a bit of research before you buy one, and we’ve already done the heavy lifting for you: Below is an up-to-date guide on the best family tents on Amazon right now, with picks that cover a nice range of needs and budgets.
Coleman is a brand that hardly needs an introduction (you’ll be seeing it more than once on this roundup), and there’s a good chance you already have some outdoor gear bearing this name. The Coleman Montana is well designed, reasonably weather-resistant with an entrance awning and removable rainfly, and roomy enough for eight sleepers or about three queen-sized air mattresses.
Perhaps most impressively, the Coleman Montana family tent is extremely affordable: You can grab this reliable and budget-friendly family tent for as little as $110 from Amazon right now, making it the best choice for anyone who wants a no-frills, no-nonsense shelter for their next camping trip.
Another great choice that’s similar to the Coleman Montana, but that offers a bit more headroom, is the Instant Cabin family tent from Core. This was a runner-up for our top pick (beat out by the Coleman only due to the fact that the Instant Cabin is twice the price) thanks to a generous, roomy interior that easily allows adults to stand up and walk around comfortably.
The Core Instant Cabin is also very well-ventilated, particularly when the detachable rainfly is removed, which opens up the entire roof of the tent, and features a handy room divider (useful for changing clothes or when camping with older kids who may want some privacy). The nine-person Core Instant Cabin family tent is on sale from Amazon for $220, while the three-compartmentis available for just $50 more if you need even more space.
If your motto is “buy once, cry once,” then you’ll want to consider upgrading to the Arizona GT from NTK. This family tent can comfortably pack in nine to 10 people (depending on the age and size of the occupants) with enough room for three queen air mattresses plus two single mattresses. The Arizona GT also boasts a suite of great design touches including having two doors instead of one, three ventilated windows, color-coded poles for easy setup, and an anti-fungal heat-deflecting floor.
The tent’s coated rainfly also stretches all the way to the ground – meaning it’ll completely shed water away from any and all openings no matter how hard it’s pouring outside. The NTK Arizona GT is a bigger and more premium family tent than our other picks and carries a price tag to match, with the nine- to 10-person model ringing in at $370. Amazon has the largerfor $430 as well.
The Sundome is another solid offering from Coleman and is by far one of its most popular tent offerings. Like the Montana, the Sundome features a straightforward but reliable design that’s easy to set up (one person can do it alone) and has a simple domed interior with room enough for six people – ideal for smaller families or even as a separate kids’ tent. Bear in mind that it only has two fiberglass poles for support, though, so it’s not the best pick for heavy wind and rain.
The Coleman Sundome is available in a range of sizes, with the six-person family tent on sale for as little as $90. The four-person Sundome is a bit cheaper at $60, but even if your group only has three or four campers, we recommend sizing up to the six-person model — accounting for bags, shoes, gear, dogs, and wiggle room, you’re better off erring on the larger side.
If you’re specifically looking for something that can stand up to high winds and heavy rainfall better than most other tents, the Coleman Weathermaster is a good alternative. This 10-person family tent is made from coated polyester and features Coleman’s WeatherTec system with welded floors and inverted seams that keep water out, as well as a rainfly that doubles as an above-door awning. The door, instead of being a loose flap, is also framed and hinged for easy opening and closing when it’s windy.
The generously sized 10-person Coleman Weathermaster family tent is marked down to $165 at the moment, making it a little more expensive than the Montana but a better pick for climates prone to inclement weather. A six-person model is also available and features a sort of screened-in “porch” compartment, but it’s more expensive than the 10-person Weathermaster.
Most tents today are made out of modern materials like nylon and polyester which strike a balance between lightness and durability. If weight is not your concern and you care most about ruggedness, however, then it doesn’t get much more long-lasting than a canvas tent-like the American-made Springbar Highline. This tent, crafted from thick and sturdy 100% cotton duck with steel (not fiberglass) poles, looks like something your grandpa might have used, and it’s just as tough.
This cotton canvas is watertight but breathable (as it’s a natural material), and the tent has a large awning covering the door which doubles as a rainfly. The big drawbacks with old-school tents like this are weight – canvas is heavy – and expense, but if you want an old-school U.S.-made tent that can last a lifetime, this is it: The six-person Springbar Highline comes to $599, or you can upgrade tofor $749.
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