Tents are essential tools for all lovers of trekking, hiking, adventure and exploration, as well as those families, friends or couples who like to camp in the mountains under the stars. The best family cabin tent will allow you to do all this with the maximum comfort possible.
When you go out to buy a tent, there are many aspects that you need to consider. Which one should you buy? Which one is the best? To tell you the truth, there is not a single tent that fits all the solutions. If you really want to find out which one would be the best family cabin tent, then grab a cup of coffee and read the rest of this buying guide.
In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about tents so you can have the best on your next tour.
As I said before, there are many factors that you need to contemplate when it comes time to purchasing a family camping tent. It’s very rare to find a “one tent fits all” solution.
By rare I mean, if you are the type of person who likes to go camping at the same spot at the same time of the year than you could probably get away with one tent.
I like to explore a lot, so a single tent won’t be suitable for me. Depending on where you live and where you’ll be camping, you’ll need a tent that’s going to be suitable for that specific environment.
Weather conditions, materials, size etc. are some of the most important factors when choosing a camping tent. Rest assured, I have made an entire buying guide just for you.
Spend a few minutes and skim through the buying guide at the end of this article. By the time you are done, you’ll know exactly which one will be the best family camping tent for you.
If you are in a hurry, then pick one from our list of top 10 best cabin tents reviews for your family.
Choosing a tent is no small feat. You could already see in depth what you should look for in a good model of this type and you can appreciate that there are few things. The offer in the market is very large and varied, so it may seem especially difficult to choose the right one.
The following comparative list is intended to help you find the right size, height, design and performance for your adventures.
Number of Doors
Coleman Instant Cabin
Coleman Instant 4
Dream House Glamping 4
Kelty Trail Ridge 4
Kelty Trail Ridge 6
Eureka Copper Canyon 6
Eureka Copper Canyon 4
Coleman Sundome 4
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4
Coleman is the go-to brand when it comes to buying a family camping tent. The Coleman 6-person instant cabin is among their most popular lineup of family tents. There is a good reason why. If you want a hassle-free, simplistic yet comfortably designed tent then by all means, pick this one. In terms of value per cost, this one is our pick for the best 6 person tent. Have a look at its features and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
- Pre-attached poles for quick setup.
- Lightweight aluminum poles significantly reduce the overall weight.
- Plenty of interior space.
- Rugged Polyguard fabric for increased durability.
- Storage pockets and meshed windows.
- Although it does say waterproof, make sure you buy Rain Fly folks. I have heard people complaining about water leakage during heavy rain.
The name says it all. It’s bigger, better and more feature rich than our first tent review. If you want the Coleman Elite WeatherMaster to perform to the best of its ability, make sure you set it up correctly. Put all the stakes in and most importantly, make sure all the lines are set. Takes some time to set up, but what you’ll get finally will be well worth your time.
- Very sturdy poles that can withstand high winds.
- Lots of windows.
- Large screen room.
- The most waterproof tent I’ve seen so far.
- Very durable and long lasting.
- Unfortunately, the seam around the bottom part of the side windows isn’t very waterproof. Make sure you buy a seam sealer.
Another compact and lightweight tent from Coleman. This is a 4 person tent that is perfect for a family of two or three. Just like the 6 person version, it uses the same free-standing features, fiberglass poles, and Polyester/taped seams. If you are planning a trip for two, then this one is for you.
- No-hassle in setup
- Pre-attached poles
- Very affordable
- Compact and lightweight
- Good ventilation
- No integrated rain fly and footprints. You need to buy them separately or else you’ll see water leaking into the tent.
This is a more traditional or should I say “historical” looking tent in this list. This tent brings luxury into camping. This old-school canvas type tent is packed with features that make it very strong and durable. This is by far the best tent for going to the beach or to simply enjoy those falling leaves of autumn.
- A medieval style canvas tent.
- Very sturdy.
- Convenient for a hot summer day.
- Doors and windows have mosquito screen.
- A stove hole on the sidewall to keep you warm in winter.
- It’s water-resistant, not waterproof. Not suitable for rainy seasons.
The Kelty Trail Ridge 4 is another free-standing type tent that is ideal for the cost-conscious camper. This one is perhaps the best car camping tent at a reasonable price. It’s perfect for a backpack camper. I wouldn’t recommend it for a large family though. If you want incredible breathability and a tent for star gazing, pick this one.
- Ideal for budget-conscious campers.
- Packed with comfortable features.
- Dedicated full coverage rainfly & footprint.
- Has a nice gear loft and lots of pockets.
- Vestibules on both sides.
- Use it for car camping in good conditions, not suitable for bad weather.
The Kelty Trail Ridge 6 Tent is another popular 6 person camping tent on this list. If you want to have the best field of view in your tent, then this is the one. This roomy tent is sure to please everyone in the family on your next camping adventure. Have a look at what features it has to offer.
- A full coverage rain fly.
- Two large vestibules.
- A custom footprint is included.
- Meshed canopy for maximum breathability.
- All the materials are waterproof.
- If high wind is in the forecast, make sure you buy ropes and additional stakes.
The Eureka Copper Canyon 6 Tent is built for recreational camping and car camping. This cabin style free standing tent gives you the best value per cost. If you are not a seasonal camper and affordability is your priority than the Eureka Copper Canyon 6 Tent is for you.
- Huge interior space.
- Good build quality.
- Good for recreational campers.
- Larger than most other 6 person tents.
- Water resistant material.
- No footprints included. Although, you can buy a Eureka footprint. I would just use a cheap tarp instead.
Another popular 4 person tent for Eureka. This is the smaller version of the Eureka Copper Canyon 6. The is a car camping family style tent. As I said before this too is also for recreational campers.
- Roof vent provides maximize ventilation.
- Best car camping tent for two.
- Has external guy points on the rain fly.
- Factory sealed floors.
- Carry bags and stakes are included.
- Not suitable for heavy duty use.
The Sundome 4 Person Tent is another popular dome style tent from Coleman. This tent gives you an optimal balance of strength and stability with a low weight. As for the budget conscious folks, don’t worry! Just because it has a ton of cool features doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break your bank for it.
- Has a lot of useful features.
- Very easy to set up.
- Reasonably priced.
- Available in 4 or 6 person models.
- Fire retardant fabrics.
- If you want to make this tent completely waterproof, I would recommend you use seam sealers.
The ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 Person Tent is another typical dome type tent on this list. Most of the car campers don’t want to spend that much on a tent. If you are a car camper than this one will be well worth your money.
- Two doors with windows.
- Two guy lines on each side.
- Reasonably priced.
- Easy to pitch.
- The only issue I’ve found so far is with the zippers. You need to hold one end for the zippers to slide.
Tents come in a lot of different styles; tents come in a lot of different materials. Those are the big things you are going to have to decide on when you are selecting the best family camping tent.
Speaking of selecting tents, the first thing that comes to my mind is the type of materials. Family camping tents are made from several different materials. The first one is Canvas. Other two popular materials that tents are made out in these days are Nylon and Polyester.
Canvas is typically used in long-term type tents. They have a type of historical look on them. Some people refer to them as prospector tents. The Boy Scout camps throughout America use canvas tents for their summer camps because they last a long time.
These tents are very solid & they’ll accept a lot of abuse. They are also very expensive & very heavy. Compared to the more modern material, canvas tents are extremely heavy.
That’s why you are not going to find any weekend/average camper or backpacker using canvas tents anymore. These are probably not the type you should go for unless you are looking for a more historical looking tent or for a long-term use.
For a family vacation, say less than a week, avoid them.
Nylon is generally more expensive. It is stronger, lighter and coated to make it UV protected and waterproof. On a rainy day, nylon will tend to stretch and sag because it absorbs some water.
Polyester is less expensive compared to nylon tents. It costs less and more resistant to the UV rays of the sun. When it rains, polyester won’t absorb water and stay tight.
These are the pros and cons of different types of tents. Typically, Nylon is going to cost you more because it’s lighter and stronger. In modern gears, you’ll notice that the lighter something is, the more expensive they get. There is basically an inverse relationship between weight and cost.
Whether tents are made using Nylon or Polyester, they must stay dry in the rain. To make them waterproof, these tents are treated with polyurethane or silicone. Polyurethane is the cheaper option, which means it’ll weigh more. On the other hand, Silicone does a better job of reducing the overall weight.
If you are looking for the best family cabin tents, then the material has to be Nylon coated with silicone which is Silnylon. It’ll be strong, lightweight and waterproof.
You may have heard of the term “Denier or Tex”. It is used to measure textile fibers, yarns, threads and fabrics in a multiplicity of units. To put it simply, it means the weight. The bigger the number, the heavier or stronger the material is. For example, 500 denier nylon is going to be stronger than 200 denier nylon.
Ever noticed those little checkerboard patterns, especially on a lot of nylon fabrics? Those are called Ripstop. These are the little reinforcing strand, woven through the fabric in a grid pattern to prevent it from tearing. It strengthens the fabric.
Okay, so that’s the end of the Material section. Next thing you should look for is the tent construction.
In this section, I’m going to talk about tent floors, free-standing versus non-freestanding tents, poles and most importantly – the way those poles connect to the tent. I’ll also cover rain fly, these are some important features that you should look for when buying a tent. So, sit back and read the rest of this buying guide.
There are couples of different kinds of tent floors. Depending on your budget you may get a polyethylene floor (lower cost) or a nylon floor (more expensive). Tents basically come with two different floors.
First one is the cheaper option, which is the woven polyethylene. It looks a lot like those cheap tarps. It uses the same type of materials as the tarps. These floors have a woven pattern in them and coating on it to make it waterproof.
Notwithstanding the affordability of the floors, the tendency of the floor to deteriorate over time is a major drawback. The coating starts to flake off. These types of floors are generally used in the cheap tents.
This can be a very good way to make a floor, but probably not going to last as long as a nylon floor. The advantage of this is that it’s going to be a little tougher. As far as puncture resistance and scrapes are concerned, it’ll do just fine.
The second one is the Nylon floor. The floor material uses the same components as the side of the tent. The unique feature of this floor is that there is no seam at the edge. This is also known as bathtub floor. The edge is shaped like a bathtub to prevent water from getting on the tent floor.
I would prefer the bathtub floor because it prevents water from coming in.
Typically in a larger tent, you won’t find any free standing. Sometimes you won’t find any free standing in a small tent. To put it simply, a free-standing tent doesn’t require you to stay down. You can lift it up and move it.
Freestanding tents are basically self-supporting. The good thing about the free-standing tent is if the tents get dirty, you can just zip the door and shake the tent to remove the dirt and set it back down.
It makes these tents very portable. You’ll probably need to stag them down anyway because in high wind they’ll get blown away.
Non-Free Standing tent needs to be firmly placed on the ground. It’s like solving a little puzzle. You need to put the poles in order. You’ll find these in a larger tent. It requires the corners to be stacked down to the ground to provide support. Like freestanding tents, you can’t just pick them up and move them.
Some tents come with more older and traditional style pole configuration. Like steel poles, for example, they stretch out and provide the structure for the tent. Modern tents use fiberglass poles. They have shock cord inside them. You can fold them up into a very small package and yet stay together. You don’t have to figure out which piece goes where. Save you a lot of time.
Speaking of poles, notice how the poles connect to the tent. Some tents allow you to set your poles up and connect them using pole clips. Some of them use fabric sleeve that you have to slide the poles through. Both work pretty well.
Aluminum poles will give you more durability than fiberglass poles. Make sure you get the stronger ones because these poles are pretty difficult to replace.
Even if the tent you bought says “waterproof”, always take a rain-fly. Rain-fly comes in several different configurations. It’s pretty easy to set up and you can remove them on a sunny day.
Most models of rain-fly come with additional accessories like vestibules or mud flaps. These are there to provide extra space for keeping your boots outside without getting them wet. The best part of having a vestibule is that you can enjoy rain shower with the door open.
When buying a large camping tent, you may also see some footprints advertised. It’s a piece of material that is designed to sit under a tent, the same size as the tent to protect the floor from wear and tear. It’s a good idea to buy one.
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to pick the ideal tent for your family. Not all tents will be ideal for you. I have my own requirements, you have yours. It’s a no-brainier folk.
For example, I might require a compact and lightweight tent if I went camping alone. If you have a family of four, you’ll need the best 4 person tent or the best 6 person tent.
From my personal experience, 4 person tents are for “Four extremely close friends”. You can barely fit 4 people. If you are looking for a four-person tent, I would suggest you buy a 6 person tent.
Don’t cram a family of six in a tent that is built for four people. Size matters, don’t sacrifice size for value. Apart from family members, you need extra space for your gears as well. Nothing beats having a comfortable sleep outdoors. Make sure you have plenty of space in your tent to stretch out.
Look at the center heights; those are at the specs at every tent. Bear in mind, you want to at least be able to sit up if it’s a smaller tent. You want to be able to sit up comfortably without having to bend over. The peak height should accommodate even the tallest member of your party.
You have the option to buy 3 season tents, 3-4 season tents and even 4 season tents. Just by looking at a tent, it’s literally impossible to tell whether that tent will be good for all weather.
If you are planning to camp in mild conditions like summer, fall or spring than go for 3 season tents. They are quite popular among campers because these tents provide good air ventilation system, mesh panels to keep insect out and can also withstand rains and mild snow.
3-4 season tents are warmer and sturdier but not suited for harsh winters. For extreme weather condition like harsh winds and heavy snow, go for the 4-season tents.
Some tents have 1 door; some have 2-3 doors. Everything you add to it is going to increase the cost of it. You get what you pay for. If you want to get a really good tent that’s going to last you a long time, I would prefer to stick with a name brand. Some of the best camping tent brands are Coleman, Eureka, Dream House, Kelty, etc. There are also other popular brands out there. I’m just naming a few of them.
Other features are sunroofs, ventilation, windows, interior loops, carry bags and internal pockets and so on. More features mean increased cost.
So far, I’ve covered pretty much everything you need to know before you buy the best family camping tent. Another crucial point I would like to mention is the safety. It isn’t part of this buying guide but you should read this.
I want to talk about a couple of safety things real quick, because I think it’s important. As sad as it is to talk about… hardly a year goes by without hearing somebody died from asphyxiation or carbon monoxide poisoning.
It’s really important that you don’t burn any kind of fuel appliance in the tent. Tents are made out of Nylon and polyester. These are synthetic materials that burn. They’ll catch fire just like that. They’ll burn, you could really die if your tent catches fire or have a big problem with burning.
Most common mistake people make while camping is they use tent heaters. If you want to fight the cold, buy better sleeping bags. When you burn charcoal outside or gas type heaters like propane inside the tent, you can go to sleep but not wake up.
I’m not joking. It happens way too often for people that should know better. No matter how cold or how tempting it is, I repeat don’t use tent heaters. Buy better gears to keep yourself warm. It’s not worth the risk to use tent heaters.
Always have adequate insulation and be careful around campfires. Don’t put your campfire too close to a synthetic tent because of trees like pine, when burned they pop. And you don’t want that ember burning your entire tent.
I know what you guys are thinking. It has been a long guide and so many points to keep in mind. I tried to make it short, but there were so many key points that I couldn’t afford to miss any one of them.
If you don’t want to bother researching and experimenting with different types of tents, just pick one from this list. Rest assured, they are handpicked by our team of experts at camping. If you are a first-time camper and going out with your wife and kiddos then pick the Coleman 4 person tent.
If you have a large party then go for the Dream House Four Season Family Camping Tent. That’s the most feature-rich family camping tent on this list.
I’ve said everything I know about picking the best family cabin tents. It’s all up to you to decide which one should be the ideal choice for you. Let me know which one you picked in the comments below. Happy camping and stay safe!
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Hello, I'm Donna; A traveler addicted to adventure, diving, and mountain. I've been touring the world for six years and I hope to inspire you to travel with fascinating stories, photographs, and mountain routes.
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