11 Best Family Tents [Top Camping Tents for Family Camping]

Best Family Tent

TL;DR: The best family camping tent is the REI Co-op Wonderland 6 tent with mudroom attachment because of it’s size and durability. The Wonderland provides 83 square feet of sleeping space for 4-6 people, with an additional 56 square feet in the mud room. It’s a little pricey, but good quality and more weather resistant than most tents of this size.

Camping is a classic American tradition based on our enormous national parks system. Some of my family’s most treasured stories came from camping trips, and I’m excited to help you find the best family tent. 

After all, a successful camping trip with your family won’t happen by luck. When it comes to picking the right tent, I recommend choosing carefully. 

A lot of planning goes into a good trip, and whether or not you have a reliable tent shouldn’t be a cause for concern. 

A tent is, after all, your primary shelter on camping trips for years to come. A quality family tent can be pricey, so you should be ready to make a good investment if you want it to last.

Lucky for you, I’ve been camping for years, so I know what I’m looking for in good family tents. 

Below I’ve found the best family tents, regardless of your family size or camping style. Not only have I listed the best car camping, backpacking, beach, and cold weather tents on the market. Read on to find the best family tent for you.

Note: this article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

A blue family tent with a vestibule amongst tall evergreen trees, with sunlight shining through the branches.

#1 NEMO Aurora 2P Tent with Footprint

Best 2-Person Family Tent

Product image for the NEMO Aurora 2P Tent with Footprint in green.


Our Rating: 5/5
Floor Area: 31.8 sq. ft
Weight: 5lbs 7oz
Peak Height: 44″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

There are three reasons why the Nemo Aurora 2P Tent with Footprint is my choice for the best two-person family tent. 

First, the interior space is generous. Camping with the family means you need space for gear and bodies, and although this model sleeps two, it’s a very spacious tent with almost 32 square feet of floor space and nearly vertical walls.

Second, I love how lightweight this two-door tent is. It’s perfect for a car camping adventure or a backcountry foray, making this an all-purpose tent for your little family. 

Third, there is a unique “Pawprint” liner for this tent. The liner snaps onto the tent floor and is soft and durable to protect the tent floor from dog claws (or toddler shenanigans). 

Note that the Pawprint is sold separately but it comes with a standard groundsheet footprint. 

One minor drawback (and I mean tiny) of the Aurora is that the zipper on the door is one-way rather than two-way, and some folks find this annoying.

PROS

  • Very versatile
  • Dog-friendly
  • No fire retardants
  • Footprint included

CONS

  • One-way zipper

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#2 NEMO Aurora Highrise 4P Tent

Best 4-Person Family Tent

Product image for the NEMO Aurora Highrise 4P Tent in blue.


Our Rating: 4.9/5
Floor Area: 62.5
Weight: 15lbs 14oz
Peak Height: 75″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

Like its smaller cousin, the Nemo Aurora Highrighe 4P Tent is a great family tent for four. 

Like the Aurora 2P, the Highrise comes with light-diffusing pockets that limit blue light (which helps you sleep). Similarly, both tents offer excellent weather protection in the form of top-quality materials without flame retardants.  

First, to address the name, it’s called the Highrise because of its immense peak height. This feature is a luxury for parents with back issues. 

Tents are notoriously tricky to get back into their original storage bags, but the Highrise solves this problem with an extra-large tent bag. 

Not only does it have lots of vestibule space outside each door (19.5 sq. ft each), but the tent walls are almost vertical, which increases the sense of interior space. 

If this tent has a downside, the high profile can catch the wind. As with all tents, how you tie it down makes a huge difference.

PROS

  • Large tent bag for easier packing
  • No fire retardants 
  • Easy setup
  • Great waterproofness

CONS

  • High profile catches wind

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#3 REI Co-op Base Camp 6

Best Tent for Family of 6

Product image for the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 in orange.


Our Rating: 4.9/5
Floor Area: 84 sq. ft
Weight: 20lbs 10oz
Peak Height: 74″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

The REI Base-Camp 6 is the perfect family tent for five or six people. First, it’s spacious inside and beneath the vestibule and will comfortably sleep 6. 

While it’s not the lightest tent, at 20 pounds this tent is somewhat lightweight for its size. That said, it’s still heavy enough that its best for car campers. 

This family car camping tent has many features that suit it for a family outing. First, It has lots of storage pockets around the interior–plenty for each person to have a cubby. 

Second, the REI Co-op Base Camp sets up super fast thanks to color-coding on the tent poles. 

Finally, the large doors make it easy to enter and exit without stumbling over someone, and a breeze to get big sleeping mats inside.  

One complaint about the REI Base-camp tent is that the velcro that holds the vents at the top closed can sometimes fail and may blow open in the wind.

PROS

  • Storage pockets all around interior
  • Colored tent poles for easy setup
  • Wide-mouth doors

CONS

  • Velcro on the fly is inadequate

#4 REI Co-op Wonderland 6 Tent with Mudroom

Best Large Family Tent

Product image for the REI Co-op Wonderland 6 Tent with Mudroom in green and grey.


Our Rating: 4.8/5
Floor Area: 83.3 sq. ft (tent) 56 sq. ft (mudroom)
Weight: 22lbs 15 oz (tent) 3 lbs 14oz (mudroom)
Peak Height: 78″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

The REI Wonderland 6 (with a Mudroom) is the top tent for a large family. Without the mudroom, this is a six-person tent, but with the mudroom attachment, you could sleep three more. 

To begin with, the Wonderland is a well-rated car camping tent. It has a spacious interior with an enormous peak height, tons of floor area, and a durable 150-denier polyester floor. 

The mudroom attachment makes this tent spectacular, as it acts as the rain fly and adds a stunning 56 square feet of usable space to the tent. 

All this extra space is great for sleeping out or having a game table setup. The only downside to the mudroom is that you have to purchase it separately.

PROS

  • Very tall peak height
  • Sturdy tent material
  • Sleeps 9 with the mudroom

CONS

  • Mudroom sold separately

#5 Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6

Best Tent for Families with Toddlers

Product image for the Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6 in blue, orange, and white.


Our Rating: 4.7/5
Floor Area: 88 sq. ft
Weight: 13lbs 14oz
Peak Height: 68″
Doors: 1
Seasons: 3

The Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6 as one of the best family tents for those with a toddler because it’s big enough to fit a portable crib, and it works with a new family’s budget.

Since this tent sleeps six, you should have ample room for two adults and two kids (plus toddler accessories). Plus, as your toddler grows, you’ll still have plenty of space for everyone. 

As a more affordable tent, it’s best suited for warm weather. Additionally, it only has one door. These details aren’t deal-breakers, especially for large camping tents, but it can be nice to have two entries for easy access. 

Kelty is not a budget brand, but this tent is undoubtedly one of the cheapest tents on my list. Ultimately, the Kelty is an excellent bang for your buck and won’t break your toddler-strained budget.

PROS

  • Ample space for a portable crib and room to grow
  • Budget tent
  • Freestanding tent

CONS

  • Not suited for inclement weather
  • Only one door

#6 Gazelle T4 Hub Tent

Easiest Family Tent to Setup

Product image for the Gazelle T4 Hub Tent in green.


Our Rating:
Floor Area: 61 sq. ft
Weight: 30lbs
Peak Height: 78″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

The Gazelle T4 Hub Tent is one of the best family tents for fast setup because of the hubbed pole design. 

Hubbed poles are ones that connect to a central connector piece, like the legs on a spider’s body. 

In addition to the speedy setup, the material for this cabin tent is highly durable. The body and floor are 210 and 300-denier oxford polyester with a 2,000mm waterproof rating. 

The rain fly is made of 210-denier polyester as well. These materials should keep your family snug and dry in all types of rainy weather.

I love to see lots of storage options on family tents, so I was pleased to see a removable gear loft and six gear pockets on the walls. 

Two issues to note with this cabin-style tent: one, it has fiberglass poles, which are not known to be the highest quality, and two, cabin tents are notorious for instability in windy conditions.

PROS

  • Hub design for speedy tent setup
  • Impressively durable tent materials
  • Oversized duffle for storage

CONS

  • Fiberglass poles
  • May not do well in windy weather

#7 The North Face Wawona 4

Best Tent for Beach Camping

Product image for the  North Face Wawona 4 in grey and yellow.


Our Rating: 4.7/5
Floor Area: 58.13 sq. ft
Weight: 13lbs
Peak Height: 68″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

When I’m looking for a beach tent, I look for tents with minimal mesh on the body. Sure– you want a tent that ventilates well, but when the wind kicks up, you’re just inviting sand into your sleeping bags. 

The Wawona is one of North Face’s most popular tent styles, and I chose it as the best beach tent for families because of the limited mesh on the body. 

The Wawona (named after an area in Yosemite, btw) just went through a redesign to make the poles stronger, which I love because they will stand up against beach wind well.

Did I mention the poles have color-coding? Even the kids should be able to set this puppy up. 

Finally, I’m impressed by the denier ratings on it. The canopy, floor, and fly have 75, 150, and 75-denier ratings respectively, each with 1,200mm of polyurethane weatherproofing. 

At 13 pounds, this tent isn’t terribly heavy, but not suited for backpacking. It’s one of the best car camping tents for the beach. 

That said, all tents have drawbacks. The limited mesh on the body may make the tent stuffy (if you have the door closed). 

Additionally, getting the tent back in the original stuff sack takes a lot of work.

PROS

  • Limited mesh on the body keeps sand out
  • Redesigned, stronger, color-coded poles
  • Durable material

CONS

  • The tent can get stuffy when all closed up
  • The tent bag is small

#8 Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

Best Waterproof Family Tent

Product image for the Snow Peak Alpha Breeze tent in white.


Our Rating: 5/5
Floor Area: 77.4 sq. ft
Weight: 24lbs 3.2oz
Peak Height: 73″
Doors: 4
Seasons: 3

Nothing ruins a family vacation like inclement weather, but it can surprise you all year round, so you shouldn’t mess around with tents that can’t stand up to rain.

All the tents on my list are excellent, but the Alpha Breeze stands out when it comes to customer ratings and waterproof quality. 

The Alpha Breeze is a four-person tent from the famous Japanese tent-maker Snow Peak. The canopy, floor, and fly are 68, 300, and 75-denier polyester taffeta, respectively. 

While you’ll typically see me disparaging polyester as a tent material, I must come clean and confess that my personal tent has the same materials and has been serving me fine for years. 

I’m not alone, as people universally love this tent and brag about how well it does in the rain. 

If I had to find one downside to the Alpha Breeze, it’s that it has flame retardants on the fabric, which the tent industry is moving away from.

PROS

  • The excellent overall camping experience
  • Highly waterproof tent fabric

CONS

  • Treated with flame retardants

#9 Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent 10′

Best Cold-Weather Family Tent

Product image for the Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent.


Our Rating: 4.7/5
Floor Area: 78.5 sq. ft
Weight: 51 lbs
Peak Height: 7’5″
Doors:1
Seasons: 4

The Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent is my pick for the best family tent for bad weather because it’s a canvas tent with a stove jack. 

A canvas tent is an excellent choice in winter; it’s durable but naturally breathable and can support infrastructure like a portable stove. Even without the stove, your family will stay warm on cold nights. 

The Regatta sleeps four (although it comes in larger sizes) with a sewn-in polyethylene tent floor and double doors (one mesh, one canvas). 

This four-season family tent for rain and wind has an enormous interior height and makes a perfect glamping tent too. The multiple guy lines help reinforce it’s sturdiness.

The downside of canvas tents is that they aren’t self-standing tents. They’re heavy, expensive, and harder to set up than synthetic tents.

If you’re unfamiliar with the wonders of canvas tents for winter, check out our article on the best tents with a stove jack.

PROS

  • Extremely durable fabric
  • Huge peak height
  • Glamorous aesthetic
  • Stove jack included

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to setup

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#10 Coleman Skydome Darkroom 4-Person

Best Budget Family Tent

Product image for the Coleman Skydome Darkroom 4-Person tent in blue and black with neon green trim.


Our Rating: 4.6/5
Floor Area: 56 sq. ft
Weight: 11 lbs
Peak Height: 55″
Doors: 1
Seasons: 3

Coleman is usually my go-to pick for the best family tents on a budget, and the Coleman Skydome Darkroom 4 fits this bill perfectly. 

This four-man tent is cheaper than some one-person tents I’ve seen, yet the reviews are still excellent. You don’t have to sacrifice quality with this budget camping tent.

I like that this tent is so lightweight. At 11 pounds, the Skydome Darkroom won’t strain anyone’s back. It’s also one of the only family tents I’ve seen with black fabric for the tent’s body.

Coleman says their Darkroom Technology blocks 90% of sunlight, which is terrific for summer camping. You forget how early the sun comes up in the summer until you’re sleeping outside, and I, for one, love to sleep in. 

The downside of this Coleman cabin tent is that it’s a bit on the small side for a four-person tent, and it doesn’t list any fabric specs, which is usually a sign of a lower-quality product.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Blocks 90% of sunlight for better sleep quality

CONS

  • Small for a tent that sleeps four
  • Lacks fabric specs

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#11 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent

Best Backpacking Family Tent

Product image for the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent in orange.


Our Rating: 4.9/5
Floor Area: 57 sq. ft
Weight: 5lbs 4oz
Peak Height: 50″
Doors: 2
Seasons: 3

While most tents on my list are for car camping, there are superhumans among us who endeavor to take their children backpacking. Hats off to you!

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent is the best family-size tent for the backcountry because it accommodates four and weighs just over five pounds. 

The Copper Spur is an award-winning tent design because of how huge the tent is while still being lightweight. Honestly, this thing is lighter than my two-man tent. 

The ceiling height is exceptionally generous–a foot taller than other tents for backpacking. There is an impressive amount of storage space with 12 interior pockets, including four media pockets.

Another thing to enjoy about the Copper Spur is that it’s freestanding, making it more stable than non-freestanding tents. 

If I had to complain about anything with this tent, it’s the price. You may have to sell your firstborn to purchase this tent (but it will be sooo worth it).

PROS

  • Best camping tents for the backcountry
  • Tall peak height
  • Ultralight
  • Tons of gear storage

CONS

  • Will require selling one child to pay for it

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Camping Tent for Families

A large turquoise and grey tunnel tent pitched in a wooded campsite.


What to Look for in Family Tents for Camping

Number of Sleepers

You need to ensure that you have enough space to fit your whole fam. Tent makers are notorious for exaggerating sleeping numbers. If the tent says it sleeps four, it probably does, but it might be a cramped fit. 

I recommend sizing up when it comes to family camping tents. Not only will you ensure enough room for now, but you’ll still have room when your kids grow up (or you add more to the team). 

Floor Area

It can be tricky to gauge floor area on a camping tent, especially when it’s listed as the length times the width. If this is the case, grab your phone and calculate the total floor area. Then, mark it out with tape in your living room. 

The total floor space needed per person while camping is 14-20 square feet. I would treat little kids like adults for this number, especially if they’re in a playpen. 

Peak Height

The peak height is the highest point on the interior of the tent. 

Some families want to be able to stand inside their tents. For others, this isn’t an issue. Take note of the tallest member of your family to find the best camping tent for your tribe. 

Weight

Most families are car camping, meaning they’re pitching their tent right outside their vehicle. For this reason, weight isn’t usually a huge issue for family tents. 

If you’re planning to backpack with your family, however, you’ll want to pay close attention to your tent’s packed weight.

Porch or Screen Room

When it comes to camping with your family, having a porch (called a vestibule in camp speak) or a screen room attached to the tent is primo. 

This feature gives you more space to spread out or find shelter from the sun and bugs. Plus– they’re just cute and fun. 

Freestanding

The ideal tent for a family should be freestanding. Once the poles are locked in place, the tent holds itself up. 

Freestanding tents are less susceptible to collapse and are easier to set up. 

Seasons

A 4-season family tent will keep families camping in winter warm and cozy. However, a three-season tent will suffice if you prefer summer camping, as most of us do. 

Quality Materials

The top tents for camping use quality materials. Look for tents made of nylon or canvas and avoid polyester, which is a cheaper material. 

For the poles, look for aluminum or carbon fiber over fiberglass. 

Storage Pockets

If you’re anything like me, plentiful storage pockets will enhance your camping experience. 

Most family tents come with *some* storage, but the best ones will have storage galore, including a gear loft on the ceiling. 

Electrical Outlet

While most people go camping to enjoy the outdoors, many modern campers are finding ways to bring technology into their camping experience. Some tents now have electrical outlet ports built into the tent body.

To be totally honest, I mostly see this feature on cheaper tents, but be aware it’s out there, and it might be a feature that comes in handy for you.

Types of Family Tents

Three different types of family tents pitched in an open field, with blue sky and sparse clouds in the background.


Car Camping Tents

What distinguishes a car camping tent is its weight and size. 

Tents for car camping are any that are too big to carry while hiking into the backcountry. Family car camping tents aren’t necessarily backbreakers, but even a 15-pound tent would be considered too large for a backcountry adventure. 

The nice thing about tents for car camping is that you can easily fit creature comforts inside them. 

Backpacking Tents

If your next camping trip is further than a mile into the woods by foot, consider a backpacking tent. 

Most backpacking tents can fit about three people, but if your family is larger, you can take two tents. 

A multi-person backpacking tent should weigh six pounds or less and will have thin, lightweight material. 

Synthetic Tents

Synthetic tents include almost every tent you’ve seen in a campground recently. They’re made of nylon or polyester and usually weigh less than 30 pounds. 

Synthetic materials are excellent on family tents because they’re affordable and easy to set up. 

Canvas Tents

Canvas tents are great family tents because they’re durable, highly waterproof, and often have a spacious interior. 

The drawbacks of canvas camping tents are that they’re more expensive and challenging to set up than synthetic tents, but the tradeoff may be worth it if you enjoy winter camping. 

Dome Tents

Dome and tunnel tents are exactly what they sound like. Both are popular styles for tents, and they almost exclusively have synthetic materials.

The benefit of dome and tunnel styles for family tents is that they shed wind and rain well. The drawback of sloped walls is that they eat into your livable space. 

Cabin Tents

Cabin-style tents look like square cabins, and I’ve seen them in synthetic and canvas varieties. The benefit of a cabin tent is that the near-vertical walls give you more interior space to enjoy. You usually find a taller peak height in a cabin tent.

One drawback of cabin tents is that they can easily catch the wind when not anchored down correctly. 

Tents with Screen Rooms or Porches

The final type of family-friendly tent on my list is a tent with a screen room or porch. 

A separate floorless screen room provides a space for the family to leave wet and muddy gear and space to shelter from rain, sun, or bugs (or all three!).

FAQs About Family Tents

A large grey family tent pitched in a grassy campsite.


What makes a good family tent?

The best tents for families should have around 14 square feet per person, children included. 

If the peak height is tall enough to fit your tallest camping while standing, you should have plenty of space. Finally, always pick a freestanding tent for an easier camping trip.

What size tent should I get for a family of four? How about five or six?

The tent you purchase depends on your family members’ size, age, and camping style. If you are using large air mattresses for each person, I recommend that a family with four people sizes up to a tent that sleeps six. 

If your family likes to camp with the bare necessities, a four-person tent will be just fine for four people. 

If you are camping with five or six people, I recommend a tent that sleeps at least six. 

Should we share one tent or use multiple tents when camping with a family?

If your family members are comfortable sleeping in their own tents, having private tents for each family member can make the trip more enjoyable. If you have young children who would be scared to sleep by themselves, everyone should use one tent. 

Some campsites have a limit on the number of tents allowed per site. Always check to make sure your campsite will fit separate tents. 

Are expensive family tents worth it?

While price doesn’t always translate into quality, an expensive family tent is worth it if it’s made from high-quality materials and comes with a generous return policy. 

Sometimes, a more expensive tent may have luxe features that make your trip more enjoyable. 

What should I think about before camping with young kids?

Consider these tips before camping with young kids

  1. Practice camping at home by setting up your tent in the backyard or living room. 
  2. Pack familiar foods and lots of snacks. If you have a picky eater, plan the meals they’ll eat. 
  3. Stay close to home. Find a campsite within driving distance of your home if you need to bail. 
  4. Pick a campground with amenities. Showers, playgrounds, and junior ranger programs may make all the difference to your trip. 
  5. Bring favorite toys. 
  6. Create a cozy sleeping space. Getting kids excited to sleep in a new environment will be easier if everyone is comfortable. 
  7. Bring layers and clothing for cold, wet weather, even in summer. 
  8. Plan activities. Whether it’s a hike, s’mores, swimming, or crafts, have some structure in the day so kids can know what to expect. 
  9. Organize all the camping gear in tubs (clear plastic works great) so that setup and take down are easier. 
  10. Make a safety plan. Ensure your kids know what to do if they get lost or see a new animal. 

You could also check out the REI Kids Adventure Journal:

Which company makes the best family tents?

The companies that make the best family tent options are the same companies that make good tents across the board. 

Big Agnes, Marmot, The North Face, REI Co-op, and Mountain Hardwear are great companies. 

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Family Tent

A dark green tunnel tent in a wooded campsite overlooking the ocean.


All the tents on this list are excellent. However, if I had to choose one, I would pick the REI Co-op Wonderland 6 with the Mudroom

My current camping setup has a very warm, well-protected shelter. I love, love, love, love this feature because I’m a baby in mildly lousy weather, and I know nothing makes little kids grumpier faster than being uncomfortable.  

For this reason, the mudroom attachment appeals to me, and I know it will be a game-changer for families who need to chill away from the elements. 

I also like that the Mudroom is compatible with the REI Co-op Wonderland 4.

REI allows customers to return their purchases, even if they’re used, open, torn, etc., up to a year after purchase with no questions asked. 

Their generous return policy will be excellent for families who decide they need a different product after the maiden voyage.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author bio - Meredith Dennis

Meredith Dennis

Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in 6 states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is chef’s kiss next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!


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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.

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