Getting the most from the great outdoors

Best family tent for a camping holiday

best family tent for a camping holiday

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If you are look for the best family tent for a camping holiday then there are a few things to consider in your search.

Things such as the size of the tent, what it is made from, where you will be camping and the weather, how portable the tent is and a few other considerations.

We’ll take a look at some of the main things to help you to find the best family tent for your holiday.

Best Selling Family Tents

Sale
Coleman Montana Camping Tent, 6/8 Person Family Tent with Included Rainfly, Carry Bag, and Spacious Interior, Fits Multiple Queen Airbeds and Sets Up in 15 Minutes
  • Durable, Polyguard tent fabric is made to last season after season with included rainfly for extra weather protection
  • Spacious interior has room for 3 queen airbeds and has a 6 ft. 2 in. center height
  • Snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for easy setup in about 15 minutes
  • WeatherTec system – patented welded floors and inverted seams help keep water out
  • Extended door awning creates a dry area for entry and storage
Sale
UNP Camping Tent 10-Person-Family Tents, Parties, Music Festival Tent, Big, Easy Up, 5 Large Mesh Windows, Double Layer, 2 Room, Waterproof, Weather Resistant, 18ft x 9ft x78in (Gray)
  • 100-percent-polyester
  • 【Spacious for 10 Person】Unique 18ft x 9ft x78in, well fitting 10 sleeping bags or 3 queen air mattresses, ideal for family camping.
  • 【Easy up Tent】Attach FRP poles onto the cabinet tent completely by J hooks, no trouble of inserting poles through sleeves. Patented foot sleeves make it conveniently to set up this family tent more securely and windproof. No particular skills are needed. Two persons can set it up in 8 minutes. Bigger carry bag size at 25.6×10.2×10.2 inches will let you feel relaxed and easy to repack the tent.
  • 【Good Ventilation, Large View】Top Large Mesh Roof makes it available to watch stars with a wide view at night; three sides of big mesh windows and the other two on each doors boost air ventilation. The camping tent weighs 23.1 pounds, which makes you feel no burden and easy to carry the tent to the trunk of car.
  • 【2 Room Tents, Outdoor Cinema】Hang one Privacy Divider Curtain from the ceiling, the tent becomes two room cabinet tent with 2 doors, which improves privacy. With a projector, the tent can also become an outdoor cinema by projecting videos on the divider screen.
CORE Instant Cabin Tent | Multi Room Tent for Family with Storage Pockets for Camping Accessories | Portable Large Pop Up Tent for 2 Minute Camp Setup | Sleeps 9 People, 14′ x 9′
  • INSTANT SETUP: The tent body with pre-attached poles that lock into place creates a setup time as short as 2 minutes.
  • WEATHER PROTECTION: H20 Block Technology combines water-repellent fabrics with a fully taped rainfly and sealed seams to resist rain.
  • ADJUSTABLE VENTILATION: Lower air intake vents draw in cool air from the ground while the mesh ceiling allows hot air to escape.
  • MULTIPLE ROOM CAPABILITY: An included room divider can be used to create 2 rooms.
  • INTERIOR ORGANIZATION: Keep small items off the floor with the conveniently located storage pockets.
Sale
Coleman Evanston Screened Camping Tent, 6/8 Person Weatherproof Tent with Roomy Interior Includes Rainfly, Carry Bag, Easy Setup and Screened-in Porch
  • Made in the USA or Imported premium polyester taffeta 75D material
  • Weatherproof: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; Included rainfly offers extra weather protection
  • Roomy interior: 10 x 9 feet with 5 feet 11 inch center height; Fits 2 queen-size air beds
  • Conventional Pitch: Sets up in 15 minutes
  • Bug-free lounging: 10 x 5 feet full-floor screen room for an enclosed space
Sale
Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Camping Tent, Large Weatherproof Family Tent with Room Divider and Included Rainfly, Strong Frame can Withstand Winds up to 35MPH
  • Cabin-like 10-person tent has enough room for 3 queen size air beds
  • WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
  • Hinged front door for easy entry and room divider for extra privacy
  • Sets up easily in 20 minutes
  • Measures 17 x 9 feet with 6-foot 8-inch center height

Size of the tent

One of the most important things to think about is the size of the tent. Will it be big enough for your family and all of your stuff?

It is best to get a tent that is larger than you need, add an extra person or two to the size, and maybe more if you have young children.

By doing this you give everyone more personal space, will have more storage for your gear and, importantly, if the weather is bad then you have room to lay about and for your children to play.

Our family tent is actually a 9 man tent. It has three sleeping pods and a large central area where you can stand up and which can be used for dining and other purposes.

You can see an example of the tent here.

Backpacking or not

Tents can get heavy and the bigger they get the heavier they get. 

This is not a problem if you are driving to a campsite and putting the tent up when you arrive, but, if you are backpacking then the thought of carrying a tent around that can weigh up to 30 Kg, might be a bit off putting.

You should always check the weight of a tent that you are thinking of buying, particularly if you are hiking or travelling around by train or bus.

Sometimes it can be better to buy more than one tent and spread the responsibility of carrying the tents across the family.

4 man tents are often a good choice for a family of four, they are relatively light weight, making them suitable for backpacking, but you get the added benefit of extra room.

The Coleman Octagon Tent, shown here, is a good sized tent, that only weighs 11 Kg.

Style of a family tent

As well as the size, you’ll see that family tents come in lots of different shapes.

This makes some tents more practical than others and this can be important, particularly if you have young or teenage children.

Many tents are long, almost sausage shaped, like this one from Skandika

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ir?t=campingtent01 21&language=en GB&l=li3&o=2&a=B000K9DO1IThese can be a good choice depending on your personal preference, they have separate sleeping areas but the main disadvantage is the communal area which can be a bit small and can get cluttered.

You also have the option of more radical and fun styled tents such as this Teepee Tent from SAFACUS.

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Our preferred option is the triangular shaped family tent that has individual sleeping pods which can be zipped up for privacy. These are ideal for adolescents who can hide away and enjoy their own space. 

They also have the benefit of large, central communal areas

Materials

Modern family tents come in a variety of materials and the type of material used will affect things such as cost, warmth, weather resistance and durability.

Nylon is the most popular as it is tough and lightweight. Tents made from Nylon will need to be waterproofed annually and it tends not to be the warmest option.

Nylon will not decompose if it is stored wet, but will begin to mildew and this can erode the polyurethane that is coated on the nylon material to make it waterproof.

Another fabric frequently used in the manufacturing of the family tent is Rip-Stone Nylon.

It has all the characteristics of the nylon tent. The only difference between them is that about every 12 or so stitches, there is a heavier fabric woven in to prevent the spread of a tear.

If you are planning to camp out in the woods, rather than in an open clearing or campsite you may want to purchase a rip stone nylon tent instead of a regular nylon one.

If you do purchase a rip-stone nylon tent you might want to ensure that it is polyurethane coated.

The next commonly used fabric for tent making is almost identical to nylon and is called polyester.

Resistance to ultraviolet damage is the main difference between polyester and nylon.

It is always recommended that you set up your tent in a shaded area instead of an area exposed to direct sunlight, because all materials exposed to ultraviolet light are subject to damage.

Another fabric which was first used in the manufacture of a tent, but is not as prevalent now, is the cotton canvas tent. 100% cotton fabric is a great material for making a superior tent but they are rare today, mostly because of their weight compared to modern-day fabrics.

The cotton material naturally breathes and is less prone to condensation than modern fabrics, making inner tents in the sleeping area unnecessary.

One oddity that can catch new beginners, is that brand new cotton tents usually leak, due to drips coming through the cotton fibers.

As the drips come through the cotton fibers they cause the fibers to swell into each other creating a waterproof tent. This is called weathering.

A simple solution to the problem, is to set up the tent before you actually make a camping trip, when rain is expected.

Weathering a tent can also be done by thoroughly soaking the tent with a water hose then letting it dry. You may have to repeat this procedure 2 or 3 times before you have waterproofed your tent. It must be noted that some cotton tents have a waterproof coating put on and do not need weathering.

Cotton tents are often the warmest of all the tents once they have been weatherproofed.

Groundsheet – fixed or not?

ir?t=campingtent01 21&language=en GB&l=li3&o=2&a=B01EBM5R2SFamily tents come with either fixed or stitched in groundsheets, or ones that are separate.

Our advice would be to always try and get a family tent with a fixed groundsheet particularly if you are camping somewhere where the weather could be wet or windy.

If you use a separate groundsheet then there will be a gap between the tent body and the ground, this is fine when the weather is warm and dry, but, as soon as it rains or gets windy, you get damp and draughts.

So a fixed groundsheet should be your aim unless you are camping where it will be dry and hot.

Ease of use

We’ve left the best bit till last.  Putting up and taking down a family sized tent can be a challenge, particularly if the weather has turned against you.

For most family tents you should allow at least an hour to put them up, and it will normally need more than one person to do it.

If you are buying online then read the reviews and ask questions about ease of use.

You should also do a test run of any family tent that you buy, either in your back garden or somewhere else, before you go on your camping holiday.

This will help you to understand how to put the tent up and it will also provide an opportunity to see if there are any problems, defects or missing parts.

We have had tents that have been delivered without tent poles in the past and if we hadn’t done a ‘test run’ beforehand then we would have been stuck when we arrived at our holiday destination.

Final Words

Camping can be great fun and, for children it is a great adventure, adults often enjoy it too.

When you are looking for the best family tent for a camping holiday you should remember that it will be your home while you are on holiday, and you should take your time so that you make the right choice for your family.

There are lots available and, with camping becoming more and more desirable and affordable you’ll have great fun.

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