How to Pick the Perfect Family-Sized Tent

Go big or go home.

Two guys hanging out at a campsite by a tent
Camping can be intense, but it’s more fun in tents like these.Unsplash/Rafzin P

While some campers truly enjoy taking camping to its extreme—we’re talking chopping off toothbrush handles to minimize backpacking weight—that’s definitely not for everyone. Whether you want a tent spacious enough to have separate living and sleeping areas or you just have a passel of kids and pets to pack in, here’s what to look for when shopping for a family-sized tent.

Coleman Sundome Tent
Can be assembled in 10 minutes and has a watertight design that can fit two queen air beds.Coleman

There are few things worse than spending the night in a tent that leaks or collapses during an unexpected storm, so the first consideration is always tent quality. Look for features like welded floors and inverted seams designed to keep the interior dry. Tents with clips that attach to poles also help with wind resistance.

Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Tent
This option fits three queen air beds and includes an LED light and hinged door for easy access.Coleman

When it comes to size, check out the manufacturer’s floor measurements, as well as the center height. You can also estimate floor size by picturing how many queen air beds (each 60 inches wide) will fit inside. Center height looks at the height of the ceiling at the tallest point in the tent, ensuring tall campers don’t need to stoop.

Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent
Designed to fit three queen air beds, this model includes a gear loft to keep your valuables off the floor and within reach.Core

Extra features make a huge difference in comfort. Some tents include lantern hooks and pockets—or a gear loft for stashing important items like keys and phones that you don’t want to lose in the dark. If you’re camping with a bunch of people, good ventilation—like windows and ground vents—will keep air flowing so you don’t feel stuffy.

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