Depending on where you live, summer is not winding down anytime soon. With everything going on in the world, taking a beach vacation may not be what you’re looking to do any time soon. You want to be out in nature, but away from everyone. The solution? Camping!
Camping can be quite fun for a family. Nothing like being in nature for a few days, away from all the problems in the world. The problem? You can’t just go without a good tent. For a family, or a group of roommates or friends, you may want a large tent that can fit several people well. You may need a camp tent that is easy to set up, too.
That’s where these large camp tents come in. These are tents designed as a 3 person, 8 person, 9 person, 10 person, size or more. They are easy to set up, easy to store, and a big family tent can make everyone happy during the family camping trip.
However, it’s difficult to pick the best large camping tent when there appears to be so much choice. That’s why we’ve taken several large camping tents that you may want to consider. So before you pack the s’mores, read this post to learn which camping tent is suitable for your needs.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
What Should I Look for When Buying Large Camping Tents?
In order to make your search for the perfect large camping tent easier, let’s examine at several factors to look for when you’re searching for a tent.
A large tent should be large. What a surprise! Crowding a large family into a 3 person tent may not be the best move. People, understandably, get a little frustrated. We all need our space, especially in the era of social distancing! How many square feet your tent needs depends on what you’re carrying. You may need 20-40 square feet per person depending on your size and how many goods you’re carrying. If you have young children, you probably want a large tent that will last a while, so make sure this tent can grow with your kids.
With a large camping tent, it will tell you how many people it holds. However, it may be wise to buy a tent that’s one or two more than how many people you have. For example, if you have an 8 person party, maybe get a 10 person tent for a little more space.
Some tents are better for poor weather conditions than others. You can find some tents that can handle a rainstorm or some heavy winds. Other tents will blow away or soak the people inside if you’re not careful. Having a tent that can withstand normal bad weather conditions is a smart move.
You may say, “I’ll just camp when the weather conditions are clear,” but you do need to remember how unpredictable weather can be. That “partly cloudy” weather can turn into a downpour. Always be prepared for bad weather conditions, even if the forecast says otherwise.
The Shape of the Tent
There are two types of tent shape. If you’re new to the world of camping tents, let’s talk about them. First, there’s the cabin tent. This tent has walls that are straight up. The cabin tent gives more space, especially if you need a tent where you want to stand up, and a tent that’s friendly to tall people.
A cabin tent isn’t without its flaws, however. Because of how the walls are shaped, they aren’t the best to resist wind. Some are better than others, but when buying a cabin tent, make sure you have some long stakes. Another flaw of the cabin tent is that it does contain more material, which means it can be heavier. If you’re buying a large camping cabin tent, you may have to make sure you have the right transportation.
Then, there’s the dome tent. This is the traditional tent shape you may think of. The roof is a sloped curve, which resists wind quite well. If you’re looking for a 4 season tent, the dome family camping tent may be what you’re looking for. The disadvantage is that unless the tent is big, it’s hard to stand up in. You usually have to get on your knees to get into the family camping tent, even a large family tent.
Easy to Set Up
Another feature to look for in a large camping tent is one that is easy to set up. There does exist an instant tent, which pops out. However, others may require more people and be trickier. If you’re unsure if it’s an instant tent or a large camping tent that needs a little more work, watch some tutorials on YouTube and see how they are set up.
Some large camping tents have vestibules, or at least as an optional addon. These vestibules can be great if you want to be inside the tent, but need some sun. Some do it better than others, with more space, which is important in a large family tent.
Camping in summer has its pros, but one con is that it can get hot. Not to mention, even if a large camping tent has plenty of space, a bunch of people close by can make things hot, even if it’s not summer. A tent with mesh windows and roofs allow you some more ventilation.
When it comes to family camping tents, some of them have separate rooms. This gives people extra privacy and sleeping space. On the other hand, there are family camping tents that are just one giant room. Having separate rooms isn’t something every family needs, but when purchasing a family camping tent, especially for a large family, you may want more rooms.
A tent will be your temporary home when you’re camping, so it’s important you don’t just buy any tent that appears at the store first. Doing a bit of research and finding the tent that’s best suited for your needs will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best large Camping Tents
Since this is an article about the best large camping tents, we looked at tents that could hold a good amount of people. These tents are 8 person, 9 person, 10 person, and even 12 person. In addition, we looked at the reviews. How did the family feel about the family camping tent? Did it provide an extra large space that was comfortable, or were there problems?
#1: Hikergarden Campros (Best Value — All-Purpose)
This tent covers all those bases. It fits 8 people quite well. There are 10 person or beyond tents, which we’ll discuss later, but 8 people is enough for most situations. It’s a spacious tent with plenty of floor space to go around, too. Three queen-sized mattresses should be able to fit in these large tents with ease.
This is a tent that’s made from high-quality materials as well, being water-resistant and a good 4 season tent for most people. While a downpour may make it a little wet, most light rain showers should be no problem.
Now, as mentioned, this tent is very easy to install. A couple of people should be able to install it – no problem. Two people could install it in about five minutes, allowing you to establish base camp without having to spend hours setting it up. It also has a carrying bag, too, allowing you to transport it with ease. It’s under 20 pounds, allowing most people to transport it without a problem.
This tent also comes with five mesh windows and a top, keeping the breeze in while the bugs stay out. There’s also a curtain, which allows you to create separate rooms if you so wish.
Finally, this tent has a yearlong warranty and has 24/7 customer service, something other large tents (their owners, that is) can only dream about.
Customer reviews have been positive overall, with most people saying that this is one of those large tents that’s well worth it. Most say that this tent is indeed easy to put up, and the tent can handle storms and other weather quite well.
Most negative reviews seem to be from people who got duds, from bad zippers to flimsier tents. However, this doesn’t appear to be the majority whatsoever. For most people, this tent will be one that’s well worth getting.
#2: Bushnell Shield (Most Luxurious Large Tent)
If you’re wanting to go on a camping trip and you want a great tent that will last a long time, why not try the Bushnell Shield? This tent is a little pricier, but it will last you a long time.
First, you can choose the size. You can pick a 6 person, 9 person, or 12 person tent, making it great for most families. Despite its size, it is one of those large tents that is easy to set up, with it going up in a couple of minutes. The poles are already attached and are easy to extend for installation.
This is an excellent large tent if you’re going on a large family camping trip in the heat of summer. For one thing, the rainfly’s underside has reflective material, keeping the tent cooler and darker. This means that late sleepers will have no problem staying asleep. There’s also an area to include an A/C vent for those extremely hot days.
Besides that, this tent is great for harsh, 4 season weather and can handle the wear and tear of life. Whether you’re planning on using the tent for a long time or you have some young children who can be rough with the tent, this can last a long time.
Finally, we should mention that this tent comes with several accessories. You have two room dividers, a flashlight pocket, wall hanger, and more. Having the option to make the tent a multi-room is quite nice, and is great for families who need their space.
What do the reviews say? Reviews of this tent have been overall positive, with most saying it’s a great tent if you’re looking for a higher budget unit. People love the floor space, how many square feet it contains, and its durability. Most reviewers say to go for it.
Most negative reviews centered around people who got a defective unit. Perhaps the biggest criticism of this tent is that you can’t close the mesh roof. This means that if you do have an AC in it, the cold air can escape. However, most reviewers were satisfied, as mentioned.
#3: Ozark Trail (Best Cabin Tent)
If you’re looking for a cabin style tent, the Ozark Trail is perhaps the ultimate tent of the bunch. As you can see when you visit the product page, this tent looks just likes a house. With its dividers, you can have up to three separate rooms, too. This tent is a 12 person, meaning a large family or a big group of friends is perfect for it.
One feature the Ozark Trail includes is that it comes with hung LED lights. You do need batteries for them, but having lighting inside the large tent is quite nice. The Ozark Trail 12 person tent also has two closest that are 2 feet. It’s quite easy to store everything, making it great for a large family camping experience. It comes with hanging corner organizers as well, allowing you to customize everything even more.
One of the dividers is coated in silver, making it great for movies. Bring a projector and use your extra large family camping tent as your theater. It comes with a mud mat and duffel bag too.
Reviews of the Ozark Trail 12 person tent have been positive. In fact, there are no negative reviews as of this posting. People say that the Ozark Trail 12 person tent is indeed extra large, making it the ultimate camping tent for a big family or people who like their space. The only downside, according to reviewers, is that the Ozark Trail is a bit difficult to set up, and you may need around an hour to commit to it. You may not want to put it up and down repeatedly during the trip, so be sure to put the tent in an area that’s shady and away from the sun. This will save you some trouble.
#4: Coleman Sundome (Best Low Cost)
If you’re a casual camper or your budget for a large tent isn’t that…well…large, one solution is the Coleman Sundome Tent.
Despite its cheapness, it’s still a quality unit. This tent has weatherproof features and a rainfly. For those hot days, it includes windows and ground ventilation, allowing you to keep cool. It’s able to take on winds over 35 mph, allowing you to go on a camping trip even if the wind’s blowing a little hard. It even includes an e-port, allowing you to power up your tent with ease. It also includes extra large storage pockets to hold your goodies.
One disadvantage of a cheap large family camping tent is that many of them are hard to set up. However, this tent is an instant tent, with setup being 10 minutes.
Reviews of this tent have been quite positive. Most people say that it’s a great large dome tent for the value, providing adequate protection and being easy to set up. If you want to go camping, it seems to us that you may not have to pay too much.
Negative reviews tend to focus on the fact that the tent didn’t protect them from rain as well as advertised. Another complaint was that the 6-person tent could only hold around 4 people, though several factors can determine the sizing, as we mentioned. That review also made a joke about the tent not coming with horses. (Don’t ask.)
Overall, this is a good value if you’re looking for large tents that don’t cost too much.
#5: Backroadz SUV Tent (Best Tent for a Vehicle)
When you’re going on a camping trip, you sometimes want to protect your SUV or other vehicle from the elements. This tent has the need covered, with a sleeve that should fit most vehicles. The straps then allow you to seal the tent quite well so that bugs and other pests don’t invade. This is also good to connect to your vehicle’s cargo, giving you easy access to the vehicle for stored goods or to charge your devices.
As for the tent part, it’s a 5 person, meaning that it’s not the biggest on this list, but still good for a family. It comes with storm flaps and three mesh windows, along with pockets for your gear.
With its fiberglass poles, this tent is an instant setup. Using the fiberglass poles, you should be able to set up the tent within 10 minutes or so.
So, what do the reviews say? Reviews of this tent are mostly positive, but the score is a little worse than some of the others on this list. Most reviewers say it’s a good tent with plenty of room, but some reviewers couldn’t get the sealing of the car pocket to work, meaning that some bugs and raccoons got into the tent. This is one of those camping tents where it looks like you have to practice a little bit if you want to get it right. Do that in order to reduce your chances of pesky critters possibly getting into your tent.
On a Budget? Try These:
#1 Budget: Ozark 6 Person
This tent offers the basics when camping. It has weather protection, a floor, and is able to hold up to six people. This article has an Ozark product above, so we assume that their cheaper camping tents are also good. Check them out if you want to bring your family on a trip with you.
#2 Bueget: Outdoor 8 Person Tent
This tent looks a little cheap, but it does come with the basics. We would recommend camping out in the backyard before you go camping in the wilderness, as once again, we don’t know its quality. However, for the price, this tent is good enough if you’re on a shoestring budget.
Can a Large Tent Be Too Large?
When choosing a large tent, you may wonder if the size of it can be too large. In some circumstances, some tents can be too large. For instance, you may buy a tent that’s a little big for your needs, when you should have bought a tent that was cheaper. Large tents can be slightly more annoying to carry and set up, too.
However, for most circumstances, bigger is better. This doesn’t mean you have to order a tent the size of a house for a family of three, but having a tent with plenty of room is great.
For one thing, people need extra room. Maybe you have two kids who like to be apart. Perhaps it’s a hot day and being too close to each other can make the weather feel twice as hot.
Either way, most of the time, there’s no such thing as a tent that has too much room. In fact, you should increase the size by a little more than your family size. Say you have a family of five. Instead of getting a five-person tent, you may want to get a tent that’s for seven. This is because tents underestimate the size of the person and how much they are carrying.
Plus, a bigger tent can mean you can divide it into rooms. For example, you can turn a large tent into a 3 room, which means that most people can have their own space and their own privacy. With a 3 room, you can also use another room for something else, such as for movies. Sometimes, you may be able to get more than a 3 room. How about a 5 room? This can make the camping experience so much better. However, a 3 room may be good for most experiences.
What is the Difference Between a 3 Season and a 4 Season Tent?
You may see that some tents go by 3 season and some accommodate all four. So, what’s the difference between these types of tents?
The 3 season tents are much lighter and are especially good for summer. They provide windows and ventilation that make it great for most trips during the spring and fall as well. The only downside is that these tents are typically not good for winter. They don’t provide enough warmth. Unless your winters are mild or you have some thick blankets, don’t go camping in a 3 season during a blizzard.
Meanwhile, a 4 season is thicker and keeps in warmth better. This makes it good for winter as well. These tents tend to have much more room to store winter equipment, too, and they may have windows that keep sun in and don’t let out any heat.
Despite its name, the 4 season may not be the best tent for hot summers. Unless you have proper ventilation, have an AC, or are hot natured, you may find this tent a little too hot. So depending on where you live, there may not be any tents that are truly for all four seasons.
How Do I Bugproof Tents?
Most tents have protection against bugs and other invaders, but don’t expect your tent to be foolproof. You may have to put in some effort into fully bugproofing your tent.
First, inspect the tent before camping. Make sure the tent doesn’t have any holes, especially if you’ve been using the tent for a while. Even if the hole is small, seal it. If the zipper is a little snagged, use some lubrication as well.
Location is important as well. You may not want to pitch the tent near any water, under a tree, or in a place where bugs gather. Obviously being in nature, no spot will be fully bugproof, but some are better than others for your tents.
Make sure not to eat or drink inside the tent. Some bugs are attracted to the crumbs and the smells. Storing food in an airtight container should be fine, but don’t leave the food in the room out in the open. This can attract some bugs.
Besides being mindful of what you leave in the room of your tents, you also need to clean up your campsite. Keep trash away from the site, clean the utensils, and throw away any trash in a distant dumping site.
Also, don’t leave any lights on in the tent. For example, turn off the flashlight until you’re inside, and zip up the doors and windows before you use it. A little light may attract some insects, but if you sealed everything right, they shouldn’t be able to get into the room.
Keeping a campfire going as long as you can will help to repel the bugs as well. Just make sure to keep it attended to at all times. You don’t want to leave a fire burning when there’s no one around to do anything about it.
Finally, you can always use a little bit of insect repellent. If the insect repellent doesn’t smell too bad, spray the sides of the tent with it, and keep some on yourself at all times.
By being mindful, you can have a great trip without bugs invading your tents.
How Do I Keep My Tent Cool?
One disadvantage of camping in tents during the summer is that it can get hot. While some may like it, others miss the coolness of their home. This especially applies when you’re sleeping. Many people have a hard time sleeping while sweating.
You may wonder if there’s any way to keep your tent cool during the summer. Here are some ways you can do so.
Only Assemble It At Night
If you’re camping for a few days, you may pitch the tent and then take it down once you’re done camping. While this is less work, tents that are up all day will absorb sunlight. Instead, keep the tent down during the day so that it doesn’t get any extra sunlight. If the tent is an instant set up, this may not be too inconvenient. However, those tents that take a good hour to pitch may require you to look for other ways to stay cool.
Use a Sunshade That Reflects
If you have a reflective sunshade, you may want to use it. This bounces back sunlight, allowing your tent to stay cool. Some tents come with it already, but for others, you may have to buy one separately. However, you may find that reflective sunshade is indeed worth it.
Pitch It in the Shade
This is common sense, but some campers just pitch their tents in any place that has room. If you can find some shade, make that your permanent spot. You will definitely be glad you did.
Look for Tents with Mesh Windows and Roofs
The mesh tent has a lifesaver if you want a cool place to camp. Some tents have mesh already, be it their doors, windows, or roofs. The more mesh during a hot day, the cooler your tent will be. Look for big mesh windows, and look for mesh that will keep the bugs out.
Use a Portable Fan or Air Conditioner
This can be an investment, but if you manage to find a good one that has enough room to fit into your tents, get it. A portable AC can keep you cool at night. While it feels a little less natural, there’s a reason why we fight against nature all the time.
Go to Bed Cold
Going to bed while cold can allow you to have a good night of sleep. If the camping area has a shower, use that. If there’s water nearby, take a dip in that before retreating to your room. This can guarantee a better night’s sleep.
Don’t bring a giant sleeping bag. Instead, use a sheet whenever you fall asleep. Even if you like thick blankets, you may have to sacrifice a little.
Get a 3 Season Tent
The 4 season tent is good for cold weather, but it may not be the best option for summer. The 3 season is much cooler because it’s thinner. Get that if you want to be cooler.
Camp During the Off Season
Why camp during summer? If the heat bothers you, camp during the autumn or another cooler part of the season. Plus, during the colder seasons, you have to worry less about bugs, so that’s a bonus. This especially applies in areas where the summers are hot.
Early to Bed
Finally, you should readjust your sleep schedule before you camp. If you’re a night owl, you may regret it. Going to bed early at night and waking up early can increase your chances of sleeping in a cool tent. While you may not like the readjustment, your body will thank you for it later.
Verdict: Your Best Large Camping Tents
Now that we’ve camped out and found the best tents that can fit an entire family, let’s summarize them again.
First, there’s the Hikergarden Campros. This is the most balanced tent, giving you an 8-person capacity, plenty of space, and weather protection. This is a tent that’s good for most budgets and needs, providing a balance between quality and value.
Second, we have the Bushnell Shield. This is the most luxurious tent on the list, giving you great protection against the weather, and with space up to 12 people, it’s good for most sizes. With plenty of room and various features, this tent should work well for most needs.
Third, there’s the Ozark Trail. This tent is great if you want a cabin tent that looks like a little house. It has plenty of room and open space, be it for storage or living. While this is not an instant tent, most people find that it’s well worth it once you do get it set up.
Fourth, we have the Coleman Sundome. This is a cheaper tent, but it’s still great, giving you adequate room and weather protection.
Finally, there’s the Backroadz SUV Tent. This tent lets you put your SUV’s trunk inside of it, giving you access to your goods. While some people had trouble closing up the space, it’s overall a great tent for that specific need, offering room for up to five people.
And there you have it. Having a great tent with plenty of room and adequate weather protection can make a good camping trip into a great one. A tent is not something you want to cheap out on, so get yourself a great one that will fit your entire family. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck with your camping adventure!