Compare Family Tents and their Features for 2023
Welcome to our Family tents range where we try to help you understand the challenge that comes with choosing the best tent for your family to make the most of their outdoor activities.
Your choice of family tent can make or break your experience so please bear in mind the following points when choosing the right one to suit your family and holiday: robustness in construction, Ease of Set Up, Headroom, space for the family if indoors in wet weather and Vents & Windows.
These points will give you a sound base to start from but hopefully our range below will cover the whole spectrum.
How to Compare Family Tent Features:
We're keeping these points as brief as possible to give you the most concise guide to refer to for choosing the family tent that you need. It may be a useful document to print off if you need.
Start with the available space
In choosing a large family tent, don't focus simply on the number of people that it will sleep, rather consider the space available. It will be rather unfortunate to buy a bigger tent only to find out that the space on your campsite can only take a slightly smaller one.
Whether it is 4-man, 6-man, or 8-man tent what matters is space management and some campers prefer to buy an 8-man tent for 6 or fewer people because they want it to be spacious. Do keep in mind that most camping activities are done outside and so it may only be when the weather turns that you need to consider what the options are inside, i.e. will you use the tent as a base for the day and play games or find a venue off-site as entertainment and only retire to the tent in the evening? Remember that size and space are factors that play a big role in the prices of tents, especially if you need zipped room dividers for privacy.
Compare weight balanced with space
People want a lighter family tent that can be easily moved around but they also want space. Unfortunately, one counters the other. If you are bent on having space, then you should carry the weight because the roomier a tent is, the heavier it'll likely be. Select the tent that strikes the best balance between both features, or example the last decade has seen a huge growth in the popularity of Bell tents which offer very easy set up and lots of great space for a family but can extremely heavy to carry when packed. The idea is to look for a large family tent that offers you a middle ground.
Headroom - a critical comparison point
Large living space will be welcomed when there's a few of you. You'll want a nice, spacious central area where you can all congregate that doesn't make you feel like you're all on top of one another.
Shape Comparison and Benefits of each
The most common shape family tent is the tunnel tent. The poles will generally arch over as oppose to cross over like the usual dome shape. This means that more often than not you are able to stand up in them as they are generally taller than dome tents.
A Vis-à-vis tent is a trend that started in France, hence the name which literally translates to ‘face-to-face’. A large central part of the tent offers headroom with two room compartments off of it that are used for sleeping. These two compartments directly face each other thus the name.
Recently ‘Pod-style’ tents have become increasingly popular with families, with one main central area and several sleeping pods off of it, like spokes on a wheel. These give a lot of privacy and everyone can have their own personal space as well as the fact they are very airy. However, they cover a lot of space and are large in size, so many campsites will charge you for an extra pitch and that’s if they allow them at all. Of course due to their size they are also made with a lot more fabric and will therefore make the process of transporting and pitching more difficult.
Consider the availability of vents
Depending on the weather, it is necessary to select the tent with several vents for proper ventilation. This allows fresh air to push out the afternoon heat. Vents reduce condensation and they will keep you cooler on hot nights.
Choose aluminum tent poles over fiberglass
Family tents with fiberglass poles are usually less expensive so you may be tempted to opt for it. It is important that we let you know that aluminum poles are lighter and they last much longer. Affordability is the only edge fiberglass has over aluminum.
Consider the strength of the wind
If your camping location often encounters strong wind, you need to select a tent with strong anchor. The higher the number of poles your tent has, the more it'll be able to resist the wind. This goes back to the pole material where aluminum poles are lighter but they can't resist the wind as much as fiberglass poles. While the wind can only bend aluminum poles, fiberglass is breakable and so aluminum poles tend to last longer.
For wind resistance, there is another factor that you should consider apart from the poles. No matter the kind of poles your tent has, sleeves can provide additional strength and stability. Tie-downs and clips can help to resist the wind but not as much as sleeved poles. People generally avoid sleeves because sleeved poles are much more difficult to set up.
When a strong wind strikes, you'll wish you had opted for sleeves instead of clips. No matter how difficult they are to drive into the ground, Y-shaped and V-shaped stakes have the ability to withstand strong winds and you should go for either of them in a strong wind location.
More height gives more headroom
Headroom gives you far more comfort and practicality and also makes it possible to hang a lantern or other items around the tent for easy, useful storage. We would have called it a more preferred choice if not for the wind again - You'll have observed that tall buildings are more prone to wind attack than low ones and so it is with tents - the taller the tent is, the more prone it will be to strong wind attack.
A good tent should have a Vestibule
A vestibule is an enclosure attached to a tent and is a necessary option for you to keep your bits and pieces, boots, and wet coats to free more space inside. Vestibules cover and protect these items to allow them to dry or prevent them getting damp in the first instance.
A good sized canopy is very useful when going camping with the family. Acting almost like your own porch for your tent, this will not only provide extra cover from the elements but also allows you to sit under it. It will also give some extra shelter to the main inner tent and doorway and keep that dry.
Decide on the number of doors
All tents come with either 1 or 2 doors and 2 is better so that more people can crawl and stay half-inside and half-outside at the same time. This is great especially when the camping is a form of getaway between you and your spouse. Both of you can lie beside each other at the doorway.
However, Multiple entrances are very handy, particularly for large families BUT - they do give the wind more room for attack. So, if you're concerned about the wind, you could go with a sleeker-designed, single entrance tent. At night if anyone needs to pop to the toilet, multiple entrances mean you can get out of the tent with out disturbing anyone.
Number of windows is important too
The larger the tent, the more the number of windows it is likely to have. For cross-ventilation, you need at least 2 windows. You must also ensure that the windows can be covered completely to retain the internal warm air in case of cold weather. In cold weather, you are likely to exhale moisture as you sleep and this can lead to condensation. So, you need either mesh windows or panels to allow you to roll up your windows and increase air flow.
Think of seasonality
Hitherto, you could get tents that are only good for summer. Now, things have improved. You can get 3-season tents and even 4-season tents. The former is suitable for summer, fall, and spring while the latter adds winter to the package. It is needless to remind you that cost of tents increases with the number of seasons. If you engage in mountain climbing or hiking, it is better to get a 4-season tent. Yes, you are not likely to set out during winter but different locations have different weather situations. What if you run into a sudden heavy hail of snow?
In case of rain, you'll need a rainfly that covers the whole part of the tent to the ground. Most tents have a rainfly but not all rainfly provides full coverage. You need to consider the coverage level too. You may also consider the color of the rainfly. Lighter colors allow more light to penetrate and this makes the interior of your tent brighter. So, don't just pick any tent with a rainfly. Check the coverage of the rainfly and its color.
Ease of set up
Setting up a camping tent is a major part of the fun especially when it is a group affair. However, when it becomes too difficult or it takes too much time, the fun can snowball into frustration. You need a tent that is not so difficult to set up and does not require a lot of technical knowledge. We'll advise you to stick to a free standing design if you're so concerned about ease of set up. They don't require the use of stakes and they can be repositioned easily.
We also need to suggest that it is almost impossible to see a particular model that beats all other models in every aspect. They all have their highs and lows, i.e. a large family tent with much headroom and a full-coverage fly sheet may not come with a vestibule. So, you'll need to prioritize your personal requirements.
You need to compare as many tents as possible to see the various types of tents and their prices and this is where Planet Camping save you a lot of work. Whether it is a 4, 6 or 8-man tent, they are all available in different designs and at different prices. You're probably wondering how much effort and time it will consume, right?
We have done all the heavy lifting for you and understand how tiring and cumbersome it can be to check a series of websites for tents. This is why we have gone through all the websites so you don't have to - We have brought most of the necessary information together onto our website. We also continuously scout around for new models that are hitting the market so we could update our website accordingly.