My picks for the best 6 person tent on the market, whether you’re car camping with friends or the whole family.
Whether it’s a long hiking trip with the whole crew or a simple family camping trip, there’s nothing like getting everyone outdoors.
If you’re planning to be outside with such a large group, however, not just any camping tent will do.
There are several considerations and key features to look for when shopping for 6 person tents.
Why should you trust me on this?
I grew up camping all over the North East.
And since then, I’ve trekked in the Andes and the Alps.
I’ve hiked along the Great Wall of China.
I’ve car camped my way across North America three times.
And I’ve walked the oldest long-distance hiking trail in America.
In that time, I’ve done it all wrong!
I’ve been cold, wet, and miserable.
I’ve snapped tent poles, ripped rainflys, slept too many people in tiny shelters, brought the wrong tent for the trip, and generally learned it all the hard way.
Now, I know exactly what I’m looking for and I have a lot of opinions about what makes the best tent.
I know what I look for in a tent, but remember, the best tent is always the best tent for your needs and activities.
That’s why these reviews are broken down to help you find the best 6 person camping tent for all sorts of adventures.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations
Best 6 Person Tents for Camping
- Best Overall Camping Tent – Marmot Limestone
- Best Tent Under $200 – Coleman Sundome
- Best 4 Season Tent – Big Agnes Mad House
- Best Tent with a Screened Porch – Coleman Evanston
- Best Tent With a Vestibule – Marmot Guest House
- Best Instant Tent – CORE Instant Cabin
- Best Tent for 6 Person Family – Big Agnes Big House
- Best Waterproof Tent – Kazoo Family Camping Tent
- Best Tent for Muddy Conditions – Marmot Halo Tent
- Best Cabin Tent – Coleman Cabin Tent
- Best Tent for Backpacking – MSR Habitude
- Best Canvas Tent – Teton Sports Mesa
- Best Tent for Hot Weather – Eureka Space Camp
- Best Luxury Tent – Unistrength Canvas Bell Tent
What to Look for in a 6 Person Tent
One of the most important considerations when looking for the best 6 man tent is size.
If you’re putting six people in a confined space, you want to be comfortable.
And when it comes to camping tents, comfort is personal.
Finding a tent with adequate interior space, peak height and storage space inside all depends on your camping style.
First, think about what you’ll be using the tent for.
Are you camping with a group of friends?
An easy-to-pitch, classic dome tent will probably work fine.
Car camping on a family road trip?
A cabin-style tent with a lot of interior space might be the right choice.
If you’re doing any sort of backcountry camping, a backpacking tent that prioritizes low weight over comfort is a must.
Another important consideration is the height and size of the people in your group.
The “best tent” isn’t the best tent if you can’t even lay down in it, regardless of the total square feet inside.
With a large 6 person tent, this is less of a concern but still something to be aware of, especially with backpacking tents.
If you plan to be camping with people over 6’ or so, check the dimensions and floor area of a tent before purchasing it.
If you want to be able to stand inside, make sure the peak height is taller than you.
Floor space isn’t the only thing that determines a tent’s size.
The shape and construction of a tent makes a big difference when it comes to the amount of space inside.
As a general rule, vertical walls make your tent space feel much larger and more livable, which is essential if you’re trying to house six.
If you have a dome tent, be aware that only one person will really be able to take advantage of the tent’s peak height at a time.
Multiple doors are another important consideration for 6 person tents.
Having several entry points make it easier for people to come and go, especially at night when you don’t want to be crawling over other people.
The biggest tent in the world won’t feel all that spacious when two or three are trying to climb through one door.
Looking for more tent options? Check out our posts on the best 4-person tents, 8-person tents, 10-person tents, 12-person tents, large camping tents, 3-room tents, instant tents, pop-up tents, inflatable tents, tunnel tents, canvas tents, waterproof tents, insulated tents, winter tents, tents with a stove jack, and cabin tents.
Ventilation is one of the key features of any high-quality camping tent.
With 6 person tents, this is even more important.
Good ventilation will help keep smells down, temperatures comfortable and, most importantly, condensation at bay.
When the inside of a tent is warmer than the outside, you’ll get condensation build up on the underside of the rainfly.
This can happen in any weather conditions, regardless of a tent’s weather protection.
Even in a screened tent with mesh windows, condensation is likely to form with six people in a tight space.
Large mesh panels at multiple levels around the tent are your best bet if you want to be sure your tent is well ventilated.
You’ll appreciate a fly that can be zipped open in good weather to expose those mesh panels, both for airflow and to take in the views at camp.
Good ventilation is often what sets your basic Coleman tent apart from the higher end tent options with dedicated ventilation features.
Look for a tent with prop-open ventilation ports at high points on the rainfly (especially if you have a full coverage fly).
It’s a plus if the tent also has ventilating points close to the ground.
This allows cold air to enter at low points of the tent and hot air to rise out, creating circulation.
Having cross breezes helps circulate air far better than one simple vent.
Also, make sure there’s at least an inch or two of room between the tent body and the fly when the tent is pitched.
If not, your wet fly will soon lead to a wet tent and wet gear inside.
How Weatherproof it is
The bottom line when it comes to weatherproofing a tent is the fly.
If you plan to be camping in wet weather conditions, a full coverage one is highly recommended.
It should cover the whole tent wall from peak to floor and extend several inches out from the tent body, keeping the whole tent area dry.
If you know you’ll never be using your tent in wet weather conditions, the half coverage rainfly (common on a basic dome tent) is perfectly fine.
But remember, it’s pretty much impossible to have a good night’s sleep in a wet tent.
If you’re looking for the best tents for a variety of conditions, or you don’t know where you’re going to camp, a full-coverage fly is a good insurance policy.
That takes care of waterproofing from above, so what about keeping the bottom of the tent dry?
Most tents are pitched with a ground cloth underneath to protect the tent floor and keep things extra dry.
Although, annoyingly, many companies have started to sell these separately instead of including them with the tent.
Some tents come with a bathtub bottom made of heavy-duty leak-proof material where a ground cloth isn’t always necessary.
A tent with a bathtub bottom will have the seams connecting the tent floor and walls sitting off the ground (like a little tub), so it’s less likely to leak.
Most of the time, tents leak at their seams.
In addition to design, the fabric and materials used in building a tent are the other main factor that determines how weatherproof it is.
Polyester taffeta, nylon, canvas, vinyl, and polyester oxford are all common materials (with mid-weight, mid-priced polyester taffeta being the most common choice for 6 person tents).
Polyester is cheap and fairly reliable, but it gets its waterproofing from a polyurethane coating.
Make sure to pick a tent rated for at least 1500mm on the rainfly.
This is a measure of how much water seeps through a fabric in a given period and 1500 is the baseline for waterproofing.
If you’re looking for 6 person tents designed for ultralight backpacking, nylon is probably the best fabric.
It’s tougher than polyester, so thinner, lighter nylon can do the same job heavier polyester does.
Just make sure the nylon meets the same waterproofing standards if you want to use it in the rain.
Polyester and nylon are the most common tent fabrics because they’re strong and light, but they have two major disadvantages.
They’re not breathable or insulating.
This is why ventilation is so important in a standard 3-season tent – air will stay trapped inside a normal tent without venting.
Some 4-season tents use other materials like a cotton canvas which provides more insulation and breathability.
It also prevents moisture from forming.
And weatherproofing doesn’t stop at the fabric.
Certain types of tent poles are better suited for more challenging weather.
In high winds, aluminum and steel tent poles are less likely to bend or snap, with steel being the strongest.
Aluminum is flexible and strong for its weight, but more likely to bend in high wind.
Carbon fiber is exceptionally light and strong, but it’s been known to splinter.
Fiberglass tent poles are some of the most common, but they can be problematic in the cold.
They become brittle at low temperatures and can be prone to snapping.
If there’s strong wind at camp, your whole tent could easily be destroyed.
Cheap fiberglass poles are very common in low-end tents and most of the time they’re perfectly fine for camping.
Just be aware they won’t perform the same way in cold weather.
For my money, aluminum poles are the best for a 6 man tent.
They can span wide distances and flex when necessary.
They’ve also been around a long time, so it’s trusted camping technology.
Aluminum is light, strong, and less expensive than fancy carbon fiber.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to weatherproofing is seam sealing.
Most camping tents come seam-sealed nowadays but make sure to check that yours is if you don’t want to mess with tape and glue.
Even if a tent comes seam-sealed, you’ll likely have to reseal it if you keep the tent for more than a few years.
It’s a good piece of preventative maintenance, especially because seams are a common weak spot.
Looking for more ways to protect your tent from the weather? Check out our detailed guide on the best waterproofing sprays for tents.
How Easy it is to Set Up
Compared with tents from the past few decades, modern camping tents of all types are easy to set up.
They frequently come with color-coded components and a simple pole structure that makes it easy for even one person to set up and takedown.
Things to look for in an easy-to-pitch tent are unified poles – these are poles that are all linked together so they can’t be lost.
As well as color coding and clips for the tent poles instead of sleeves (which are easiest to pitch with two people).
Most tents will advertise the time it takes to pitch them and how many people it requires.
Make sure to check this information if you don’t want all six people fighting with the tent every night.
There are also new “fast pitch” tents on the market that can be set up in about a minute.
They use pre-locked poles that are easy to pop into place.
If you’re looking for something particularly easy to pitch, but not necessarily a fast pitch tent, (ideal for a family camping or long trips away from home), look for tents with minimal guy lines and fewer tent poles.
Simple freestanding tents (like a dome tent) tend to be the best for easy setup.
Setting guy lines takes time and often requires some knot-tying skills.
If you’re looking for a reliable fast pitch tent, one with a basic design and just a few poles is usually the way to go.
How Much Storage It Has
Storage space is essential in a 6 person tent.
The main storage areas in any tent will be the pockets, gear loft, and the vestibules.
Make sure these areas are sizable enough to keep your camping gear dry and close at hand.
In a six-person tent, I strongly recommend at least two doors.
In addition to making it easy for six people to get in and out, multiple doors usually means at least two vestibules.
Vestibules are ideal for storing things like shoes, jackets, and other muddy or dirty gear that you want out of the elements and close at hand, but not inside the tent with you.
More vestibules around the tent mean less climbing over your fellow campers to get to your gear and more room for storage in general.
This is especially important if you’re camping with your family.
Internal storage pockets are also an important part of your gear system at camp.
They keep your most important items close at hand and prevent them from disappearing into sleeping bags and camp mattresses.
The main types of storage pockets are wall pockets and gear lofts.
Most tents come with at least one or two wall pockets and loops along the seams that can be used to hang a gear loft (or anything else).
The general rule is more storage is always better.
No one ever complained about having too much space at camp.
It’s best if the tent you choose has at least six pockets so all six people can have their own spot to store gear.
Best 6 Person Tents
#1 Marmot Limestone
Best Overall Camping Tent
Floor area: 83.8 ft²
Weight: 17.6 lbs
Height: 76 inches
Vestibule: Yes, 23.8 ft²
What makes the Marmot Limestone so good as 6 person tent is that it’s a little bit of everything.
It’s large and spacious with plenty of standing height.
It’s competitive in terms of weight and size with the other best 6 person camping tents on this list.
And its full-coverage fly makes it a genuine 3-season tent.
The Limestone isn’t the cheapest, lightest, or roomiest tent on this list, but it will satisfy just about everyone’s needs for a 6 man camping tent.
The tent offers more than 6 feet of standing space inside and has some unique features like a main door that can be used as a mini-awning and a vestibule mat to keep your camping gear extra clean and dry.
It also has a lot of storage pockets and a lantern pocket that will diffuse the light from a headlamp or flashlight.
- Comes seam-taped with a full-coverage rainfly
- The D-shaped door makes getting in and out of the tent easier
- Aluminum poles are bent to create vertical walls without adding more weight
- No bathtub bottom
- Doesn’t come with a footprint
#2 Coleman Sundome
Best Tent Under $200
Floor area: 100 ft²
Weight: 16.3 lbs
Height: 72 inches
If you’re looking for a cheap 6 man tent, look no further than the Coleman Sundome 6 person tent.
While this tent is light on fancy features, it’s easily one of the best tents for the money.
The Sundome 6 has plenty of interior space with a 10 x 10 footprint and a standing height of 6 feet.
Coleman tents are a classic that have been around for ages, so you can be sure the Sundome is reliable enough for family camping and other types of light use.
This tent also has a port for an extension cord and a few storage pockets.
However, it’s missing a few key features.
There are no pop-out ventilation ports, no full-length fly, and the mesh windows are completely covered when the fly is on.
While there’s no vestibule, the bathtub bottom and wide overhang above the door keeps things relatively dry.
If you’re looking for weather-resistant tents or an ultra-fast pitch camping tent, I would avoid the Coleman Sundome 6.
The partial coverage fly is fine for summer months and light rain, but it won’t be adequate for winter weather.
The tent also uses cheaper fiberglass poles and old-fashioned pole sleeves instead of clips, which can be difficult to set up without two people.
While it’s cheap, Coleman is no longer the only brand out there making good tents in the $100 – $200 range. If you can spend a bit more, other tents offer more features.
All that being said, Coleman is a trusted name making some of the best camping gear for the price.
As far as a cheap 6 person tent goes, the Coleman Sundome 6 is a great choice.
- Cheap! One of the few 6 person camping tents below $200
- Heavy-duty bathtub bottom means no need for a ground cloth
- Lighter and smaller than some more complicated tents
- Classic dome tent design limits the interior room – peak height is only in a limited area.
- Only one door, making it tougher to get in and out of the tent without disturbing others at night
#3 Big Agnes Mad House
Best 4 Season Tent
Floor area: 94 ft²
Weight: 21.5 lbs
Height: 68 inches
Vestibule: Yes, 2 (25 ft² and 6 ft²)
The Big Agnes Mad House is a serious mountaineering tent (with a serious price).
It’s a four-season behemoth that can sleep 6 to 8 people comfortably.
This tent can also store plenty of gear in its sizable vestibules, making it a good expedition base for the whole crew.
If you’re looking for a tent that can fix six people and withstand most weather, the Mad House might be the one.
This Big Agnes tent is packed with thoughtful features like large bin pockets (14 total!), a removable divider to create two rooms, closable fly vents and windows, and numerous anchor points inside to customize gear storage.
While it’s certainly more difficult to set up than a classic family camping tent, the good folks at Big Agnes have made it as easy as possible with pre-cut guy lines and tensioners attached directly to the fly.
This means no complicated knot tying.
If you’re looking for an even more rugged 4 season tent, The North Face 2-Meter Dome Tent offers more floor space and higher peak height.
But with its higher price point, it’s only practical for hardcore mountaineers.
- Strong and sturdy – designed for strength in high winds and bad weather
- Removable interior wall makes it flexible for different trips
- High-quality construction- strongest materials with the toughest waterproof polyurethane coating
More complicated system of guy lines and poles makes it more difficult to pitch
Expensive, especially for a tent that doesn’t come with a fly
#4 Coleman Evanston
Best Tent With Screened Porch
Weight: 20.9 lbs
Vestibule: Yes, 10 x 5 ft
If you liked the simplicity and price of the Coleman Sundome 6 but want more space, the Coleman Evanston might be the best bet.
The Coleman Evanston is perfect for luxury family camping and loaded with neat features, but it’s the screen room that really sells it.
If you’ve ever been attacked by midges or blackflies during high summer, you know the value of a screened tent.
It’s hard to enjoy the outdoors when you’re surrounded by insects.
And being stuck inside your tent during a camping trip is a huge bummer.
A screen room solves all these problems.
The interior height of this tent is slightly lower than the Coleman Sundome at 5’8”, but it has a similar square footprint that can accommodate two queen-sized mattresses inside the main tent.
The vestibule is even big enough to sleep inside on a clear night.
The welded bottom and inverted seams also make it more waterproof than the average 6 person tent.
Alternatively, the Coleman WeatherMaster is another one of the best tents with a screen room.
The WeatherMaster would be a good choice for someone who wants multiple doors and more headroom, but it’s almost $100 more expensive than the Evanston.
Screen room makes the tent much more comfortable
Not much more expensive than the Coleman Sundome 6, but has more features
- Only one door
Smaller windows- less ventilation and almost no visibility with the fly on
#5 Marmot Guest House
Best Tent With Vestibule
Floor dimensions: 129 ft²
Weight: 21 lbs
Height: 76 inches
Vestibule: Yes, 3
If you’re looking for a 6 person 3-season tent that does it all, the Marmot Guesthouse is a great pick.
This is a top-rated 6 person tent for good reason.
The Marmot has every feature you need, plus a lot of thoughtful extras.
Four doors, three vestibules, and a full-coverage rainfly with top vents will keep you dry and comfortable at all times.
While this is a dome tent, its boxy shape gives it a decent amount of standing room and a lot of interior space.
This tent is nearly all mesh and the fly rolls up around the windows and doors, giving you plenty of visibility and ventilation when you don’t need weather protection.
The inner tent body is a fully screened tent, which makes it more comfortable in hot weather than a tent with polyester or nylon sides.
As if this wasn’t enough, the Guest House also has a back screen room, a front door that converts to a porch awning, and interior dividers to break up the space inside.
It’s a phenomenally full-featured tent – although that comes at a price.
While the Guest House is expensive, you’re getting Marmot’s superior construction.
This includes strong aluminum poles and easy-to-set-up clips instead of pole sleeves, as well as the company’s gear repair expertise and warranty.
- Plenty of doors and vestibules for easy entry/exit and gear storage
- Back screen room is a great feature
- Porch awning provides flexible, useful space. Great for hot sun or light rain
- Tent interior is nearly all mesh – perfect for warm, clear nights
- Expensive for a 6 person dome tent
- Slightly heavier than some of the other tents in this range
#6 CORE Instant Cabin
Best Instant Tent
Floor area: 99 ft²
Weight: 24 lbs
Height: 72 inches
Seasons: 2-Season (advertised as 3 but I wouldn’t recommend it)
Vestibule: No. This 6 man pop up tent could be the easiest tent you’ve ever pitched.
While several of the other tents on this list, like the Coleman Sundome and Evanston, advertise a “fast pitch” of 10-15 minutes, the CORE Instant Cabin sets up in just 60 seconds.
This could be a lifesaver if you’re rolling into camp with tired and hungry kids.
Anyone looking for family tents or planning an extended trip should consider the CORE.
The CORE has no real vestibules, but a lot of interior space and a superior organizational pocket system that makes sense for large groups.
The gear organizer is a set of pockets that hang right in the middle of the wall instead of being spread out as single pockets around the tent.
Everything inside is visible and easily accessible.
The CORE’s tent poles are steel, which means they’re heavy but extra durable.
For an affordable 6 person pop up tent, the poles and design are surprisingly good, but the tent fabric could pose some issues.
Be aware – this is one of the few tents on this list rated as “water-resistant,” not waterproof.
CORE doesn’t list the official water resistance rating of their fabric – they just say it uses “H20 block technology.”
While they say it’s seam-sealed, the tent fly is extra small and offers minimal coverage.
The CORE would be best in warm weather.
It has decent top vents and special vents along the bottom of the tent, allowing cold air to enter and hot air to rise out of the tent – keeping the interior well-ventilated.
- Easy setup! Can be pitched in under a minute
- Great gear organizer inside
- Durable tent poles
- Affordable – Close in price to a Coleman
- Good ventilation
- Might be difficult for one person to set up
- Not the best for wet weather
#7 Big Agnes Big House
Best Tent for 6 Person Family
Floor area: 83 ft²
Weight: 14.8 lbs
Height: 81 inches
Vestibule: No (sold separately)
The Big Agnes Big House is one of the top 6 person tents because it excels in so many areas.
It’s flexible, comfortable, super light, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
While it might not be the largest 6 man tent, the Big House has a very high peak height of 81”, meaning it’s comfortable for even the tallest person at camp.
The vertical walls offer plenty of space to move around inside and the rooftop mesh provides good ventilation and lots of stargazing opportunities.
A few features of this tent include a stuff sack with backpack straps for easy carrying and the option to pitch just the fly for shade or minimal weight.
The Big House makes a great 6 person family tent because of its durability and lifetime warranty.
This company makes serious mountaineering gear, so they build even their basic tents to last.
You can rest easy knowing it’s covered for whatever abuse your family can throw at it.
As an alternative pick, the Big Agnes Dog House is classic, simple, and quite a bit cheaper, but it’s a single wall tent (meaning the fly and tent mesh are all one structure).
Read our full guide to the best camping canopies and sunshades.
- Lightweight – At about 15 lbs, this tent could plausibly be used for backcountry camping
- Can be pitched in “shelter mode” with just the fly for shade
- The lifetime warranty makes this moderately priced tent a great investment
- Vestibules are sold separately (and they’re over $100!)
- Smaller footprint than many of the other 6 man tents (less sleeping room per person)
- More expensive than similar tents from lower-end brands like Coleman
#8 KAZOO Family Camping Tent
Best Waterproof Tent
Floor area: 90 ft²
Weight: 17.6 lbs
Height: 73 inches
Vestibule: Yes, 2
While all of the best tents feature some waterproofing, the best tent for rain might be this instant cabin.
The Kazoo Family Camping Tent comes with an extra-weatherproof fly rated for 3000mm (nearly twice the standard for waterproof fabric).
It also has a bathtub floor, which is more effective at keeping out water than a simple ground cloth.
Additionally, the Kazoo has a unique full-coverage rainfly with mesh windows that can be zipped closed in a storm.
This means you can leave the fly on without sacrificing your ventilation or views and still be ready for a sudden storm (waking up in the middle of the night to throw your fly on is the worst).
One downside to this tent is that it has no pop-up vents in the fly, so ventilation will suffer if you have to close everything up.
While it might be the best waterproof 6 person tent, the Kazoo has several other features that make it one of the best tents all around.
Most notably, it’s an instant tent with quick set up and it’s made with solid materials like high strength polyester and aluminum.
It also comes with a two-year warranty and it’s less than $200.
If you’re looking for the best 6 man waterproof tent, the Kazoo is a solid option.
One of the most waterproof tents on this list
A lot of mesh in the main tent for good ventilation and visibility
Two-year warranty is excellent for a tent in this price range
Main door can be used as an awning to make an extra-large vestibule
Very little internal storage – a few wall pockets and a small gear loft
- Vestibules are small when the doors are closed
No pop-up vents in the rainfly
#9 Marmot Halo Tent
Best Tent for Muddy Conditions
Floor area: 100 ft²
Weight: 19.4 lbs
Height: 81 inches
The Marmot Halo is a good 6 person tent for a long weekend of hiking or outdoor activities where you might have to store a lot of wet or muddy gear.
While it only has one door, the massive vestibule leaves plenty of space for dirty boots, packs, and whatever else you have at camp.
The fly can also be turned into a front door awning.
Because Marmot makes advanced backpacking gear, this tent features some higher-end materials like aluminum poles and ripstop polyester and nylon fabric.
The Halo is also a good choice for taller folks with an 81” peak height.
Although as a traditional dome style tent it doesn’t have as much interior space as others.
At 19 lbs, it’s better as a weekend camping tent than a backpacking shelter, but the weight could be spread out among group members on a long hike.
- Solid, backpacking-quality construction
- High interior
- Lifetime warranty
- Only one door
- Not as light as the Big House or MSR Habitude – useable for backpacking but not ideal
#10 Coleman Cabin Tent
Best Cabin Tent
Floor area: 90 ft²
Weight: 24.7 lbs
Height: 72 inches
This 6 person cabin tent is more than just a spacious shelter, it’s one of the best for easy set up.
Like the CORE, the Coleman Cabin Tent can be set up in just 60 seconds.
It also features Coleman’s signature UV-blocking fabric, which helps keep the tent cool in hot, sunny weather.
Unfortunately, this camping tent for six uses zip-close panels instead of a real rainfly.
While Coleman advertises this as a “built-in rain fly,” it doesn’t work as well as a traditional rainfly (they sell one of those at an additional cost for this tent).
There’s a reason nearly every tent uses the same type of fly – that’s what works.
Because of this, the Coleman 6 Person Cabin Tent is a better choice for hot weather camping when there’s only light rain in the forecast.
The blackout fabric on this Coleman tent is what makes it an especially good choice for hot and dry weather.
If you want to use this tent in more varied conditions, I would recommend purchasing Coleman’s designated rainfly before you go camping with it.
As an alternative, another quality cabin tent is the CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent.
The Core 6 Tent is for anyone who likes fast pitch shelters.
Just note that it’s a little more expensive than the Coleman tent and has slightly smaller windows.
- Easy setup
- Comes with convenient carry bag
- A lot of space inside
- Darkroom fabric is a lifesaver in hot weather
- No rainfly – not great in wet weather
- No vestibules
#11 MSR Habitude
Best Tent for Backpacking
Floor area: 83 ft²
Weight: 14 lbs
Height: 73 inches
Vestibule: Yes, 1
The tent for backpacking has to be one thing above all else – light.
The MSR Habitude is super light, weighing just around 2.2 lbs per person.
In addition to its lightweight nature, it has several other features that make it backcountry trail-worthy.
The Habitude has an ultra-waterproof floor, which makes it possible to get away without a ground cloth.
It also keeps the weight even lower (minimum trail weight is 13.6 lbs).
Although there’s only one door, the Habitude has an extra-large vestibule and comes with an integrated “porch light,” which makes it much easier to get in and out in the dark.
It’s designed to be easy to set up with just one person and a “small helper,” so it also makes the list of solid family tents.
- Hubbed tent poles and color-coded clips for easy setup
- Super light and trail-ready
- A lot of space considering the low weight
- Doesn’t come with a ground cloth
- Ventilation can be poor with the fly on
- Needs to be guyed out for the fly to work correctly
#12 Teton Sports Mesa
Best Canvas Tent
Floor area: 100 ft²
Weight: 71.5 lbs
Height: 78 inches
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty 6 person camping tent, the Teton Sports Mesa is certainly that.
Unlike most tents made with polyester or nylon, the Mesa is made with canvas and pitched with carbon steel poles for extra durability.
While it’s big and bulky, it’s one of the toughest tents on this list.
It would make a strong, stable shelter in high winds or rain.
At 70 pounds, it’s way too big for any sort of backpacking trip.
Instead, this tent would be best suited for extended family camping or festival camping.
Its most impressive features include highly waterproof fabric and the ability to withstand high winds.
As a bonus, the canvas seems to also have a filtering effect that keeps out smoky air better than other tents.
Its durability, two extra-wide doors, awning, and heavy vinyl floor are the other main draws to the Mesa.
Lastly, there’s also a port for an extension cord and special gear organizers included.
- Super strong! One of the toughest tents on this list
- Modular internal gear storage
- Easy enough to set up, even with one person
- Extremely big and heavy – sizable even when packed down
- Too heavy to be carried by some people
- Limited vestibule space
#13 Eureka Space Camp
Best Tent for Hot Weather
Floor area: 83 ft²
Weight: 16 lbs
Height: 76 inches
Vestibule: Yes, 2
The Eureka Space Camp is ideal for hot weather because it has wide mesh windows and a high-low venting system that promotes airflow through the tent.
This tent has vertical walls and a lot of standing room even at the corners, but the floor space is a bit smaller than other tents on this list.
This might make for more crowded sleeping if you’re camping with six people.
The Space Camp has two doors that open wide for easy entry/exit and large vestibules by both doors.
At 16 lbs, it’s one of the lightest tents on this list and affordable for a tent built with quality poles and fabric.
One of the few downsides to the tent is that the mesh paneling doesn’t entirely cover the roof, so it’s not quite as well suited for stargazing.
However, it does have a well-designed fly that can roll up out of the way when it’s dry for better ventilation.
- Good ventilation built into the fly – ideal for hot weather
- Two doors with very big vestibules
- Tall enough for most campers to stand
- Doesn’t come with a ground cloth
- Doesn’t have blackout fabric (like some Coleman tents) which is nice to have in hot weather
#14 Unistrength Canvas Bell Tent
Best Luxury Tent
Floor area: 305 ft²
Weight: 101.4 lbs
Height: 137 inches (11 feet)
The Unistrength Canvas Bell Tent is not really playing in the same league as the other tents on this list.
With 300 square feet of floor space, a peak height of 12 feet, and a total weight of more than 100 lbs, the Unistrength tent is more of a semi-permanent yurt than a simple regular tent.
It’s larger, harder to move, and more difficult to set up than the other tents on this list.
But, if you’re looking for a luxury home away from home, the Unistrength will likely be the best camping experience you’ll have.
There’s enough room inside to sleep up to 10 people and still have space left over for camping furniture and a tent stove.
The tent can hold 25 seated adults!
If you like to be comfortable in cold weather, the thick canvas walls and the designated fireproofed hole for a stovepipe set this tent apart from the rest.
The company advertises it as “heavy-duty enough to withstand major sustained winds, heavy rain, and even snow.”
It’s pitched with rust-treated carbon steel poles and the floor is made from ultra-thick PVC.
Two of the Unistrength’s main draws are how waterproof it is and its overall sturdiness for all sorts of uses.
The only downside to this tent are the stakes.
They don’t hold up well in high winds and should probably be replaced with stronger stakes upon purchase.
This tent would make a great set-piece at large events like weddings, or it could be used as a glamping tent with a group of friends.
Lastly, while the design is simple and classic, the Unistrength has a few unexpected features.
First, it has four windows and pop-up vents high up on the fly.
Second, the bathtub-style groundsheet can be zipped off, creating an airy open space.
- Extremely strong and winter-ready
- The only tent with a port for a wood stove
- Tall and spacious as a yurt
- Zip-off bottom makes the tent more flexible
- Will probably need stronger stakes
- Takes about 20 minutes to set up
- Weighs 300 pounds! Tough to transport frequently
More Questions and Tips for Buying a 6 Person Tent
What is the Best Family Tent on the Market?
The best family tent is different for every family.
With that said, when looking for a family camping tent, I would prioritize interior space, ease of set up, and livability.
This means a tent with at least two vestibules and doors, good storage features, and a lot of space (at least 10 x 9 or 10 x 10).
Most families won’t be camping in harsh weather or going on long excursions, so durability and weatherproof design are less of a concern.
A basic Coleman tent or something similar will likely get the job done.
Focus on a tent with vertical walls for more interior space, standing room, multiple doors/vestibules, and good ventilation.
Features that divide the space and increase privacy, like removable walls and screen rooms, are nice to have when you have a lot of people in one space.
Wide mesh panels on the roof for stargazing are a luxury that can make for a very memorable trip.
How Big is a 6 Person Tent?
Most six-person tents have a square floor plan and measure about 10 x 10 feet.
Floor areas are typically about 70 – 120 ft2.
Make sure you check interior volume when tent shopping.
Two tents with the same footprint will feel very different if one is a dome tent and one is a cabin-style tent.
Another consideration is the packed size and weight of a 6 person tent.
Most weigh about 15 – 20 pounds, which is easy enough to move around camp.
Think about how far you have to move the tent if you opt for a heavier one.
How Much Should I Spend on a Tent? Are Expensive Tents Worth It?
How often are you going camping?
How much are you asking of your tent?
If you plan on driving up to a campsite and pitching your tent once or twice in the summer, nearly any tent will do.
More expensive tents come with specific features designed to make them extra durable, comfortable, or portable.
If you don’t need your tent to be any of those things, save your money for other gear.
A tent in the $200 range will easily satisfy your needs.
If you’re concerned about durability, have more of a budget, or plan to be using your tent regularly, go with a tent from a reputable outdoor brand, like MSR, Marmot, or Big Agnes.
It will cost more (likely around $400 – $700), but tents made by an outdoor gear company are built with higher quality materials and generally come with a warranty.
A name brand will stand behind their products and repair them when necessary, which is more sustainable than buying a new $100-$200 tent every year or two.
After determining the typical amount and type of usage your tent will be getting, you’ll want to figure out if there are any special features you’d like.
If you plan to be camping frequently or taking an extended trip, you might want to invest in a fast pitch tent or something particularly spacious.
If you’re camping in the desert, a 6 person tent with an awning might come in handy.
Is it always buggy where you live?
Spend a little extra for a screen room.
Tents fitting all of these needs can be had in the $200-$400 range.
When it comes hiking and backpacking, you’re going to have to shell out a bit more money for a trail-capable six-person tent.
The materials required to create a tent that’s both light and tough enough for long expeditions are much, much more expensive.
Good, ultralight backpacking tents can be found starting at around $300 (barring sales), but for a 6 person, you’re likely looking at entry prices around $400 and potentially much higher.
A cheaper and more practical option might be two smaller tents.
You’ll be able to break up the tent weight more easily between your hiking partners and have the flexibility of opting for a smaller setup on certain trips.
A 4-season tent will be the most costly – don’t be surprised if you have to spend close to $1,000 for a winterized 6 person tent.
Remember, you don’t have to spend this kind of money to get a good tent.
A classic 6 person dome tent is adequate if you don’t need all sorts of bells and whistles.
When it comes to durability, every tent can rip or break, even a $2,000 one.
Always bring a patch kit and be ready to fix issues on the fly.
If you opt for an inexpensive tent, examine everything extra thoroughly before hitting the trail (it’s always a good idea to pitch any new tent at home first anyway).
Make sure all the poles, stakes, clips, and zippers work correctly and that everything fits together well.
Check the waterproofing along the seams as well.
Nearly every tent comes seam-sealed nowadays, but on a cheaper tent, you could find subpar waterproofing you’ll want to reinforce.
When’s the Best Time to Buy a Tent?
As a general rule, you can expect outdoor gear to be cheapest at the end of its season.
For good tent deals, shop in the late fall and early winter.
Every store is different though, so keep an eye out for special sales and deals in your area.
There are usually big outdoor gear sales around Father’s Day in June and REI also holds its largest annual sale in May.
If you’re looking for rock bottom clearance prices, however, the end of the season is your best bet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristi Allen is a freelance journalist and travel writer from the US specializing in all things outdoors. She grew up hiking and backcountry skiing in the North East and has driven 15,000 miles across the US and Canada in an ongoing quest to visit every national park. Kristi covered politics before moving abroad and lived in Peru, Italy, and China. She is currently exploring the US by van with plans to return to Asia in 2021.
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