How To Choose The Best Family Tent 2023

family tent view
family tent view

Sometimes taking the time to shop around can make all the difference in the world between enduring your purchase and really believing you got the best family tent on the market. 

If you’re in the market for a quality camping tent, check out this list of considerations to help you decide on the best choice for your family. 

Not All Tents Are Created Equal

It isn’t news to seasoned campers, but for those novices who have yet to experience an evening spent in the great outdoors it bears repeating: Not all tents are created equal, and not all options are the best family tent. While many are quite comparable in terms of construction and quality, the tent that works for one camper would be a disaster for another.

For example, the compact, lightweight tents used for backpackers on their way up the Appalachian Trail would never do for Arctic hunters waiting to spot some muskox on the frigid tundra.

The one-man tent that perfectly served the young soldier on his treks up the slopes of Montana’s Beartooth Mountains is suddenly a bit too cozy when he tries to fit himself and his bride into it on their honeymoon.

That cabin-style tent that held the whole family so well every summer suddenly becomes overkill when the nest is empty and the kids aren’t there to help you set everything up anymore.

Buying a tent is, in many ways, comparable to buying a home, albeit on a much smaller scale. Choose unwisely, and everything about your life during your time spent outdoors will be more uncomfortable and maybe even downright miserable.

According to the Coleman Company’s Sharon Scott, a camping tent isn’t a purchase to approach without careful thought. “Just like you would do when buying a home, make a checklist of ‘must haves’ and the ‘negotiables,’ “she said. “Generally speaking, you pay more for a tent with additional features, advanced materials or one in which you can stand up.”

Here are a few key components to help you determine which tent is right for you.

Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a  Family Tent

1. Purpose – Why do you need a tent? 

The number one consideration when purchasing the best family tent is purpose. Why do you need a tent? Is it so your kids can camp out in the back yard, or are you hoping to avoid spending money on hotels during your vacation? Are you an avid outdoorsman who can stand a bit of discomfort, or are you unable to sleep without a comfortable mattress underneath you?

Before you ever select a tent, think carefully through the following questions to determine the purpose for your tent.

How many seasons will you be using the tent?

Since most people do their camping during somewhat comfortable weather, during late spring, summer, and early fall, the majority of tents on the market are three season tents. That means that they allow moderate airflow to keep things comfortable in the heat while still attempting to provide adequate protection from the elements.

If you plan to do some camping in early spring, late fall, or winter, you will want to consider a four season tent which is made of heavier materials and has a rain fly, or protective covering, that extends to the ground.

Where will you be using your tent?

Are you mainly looking for a tent for the kids to enjoy in your backyard? Do you need a tent that will stand up to desert winds without letting sand blow through the windows?

Will you be camping on the soft forest floor or a rocky mountain outcropping? Do you need privacy from prying eyes in a crowded park campsite, or will you need wide views of the glorious panorama from a remote mountain plateau? Think through where you will be using your tent, and it will greatly help you narrow down your search.

Will you get to your campsite via backpack or vehicle?

Here is a major factor. If you will be carrying your tent for a mile or more, you’ll want to make sure to purchase a lightweight tent and forego the extra bells and whistles. If your vehicle will be doing the heavy lifting, you’ll have much more latitude in selecting a family tent that will comfortably house a group of people.

How frequently will you be using the tent?

Are you looking for a tent to house you once every few years when you get the urge to take off into the outdoors, or will your tent be used every other weekend for the foreseeable future? The more you will be using the tent, the more imperative it becomes to get this purchase right the first time.

2. Sleeping Capacity

The next major consideration is how many people will be using the best family tent you choose. While most tents give a sleeping capacity, it’s important to remember that this number is allowing for very little wiggle room. Many people prefer to choose a tent with the capacity for one extra person, and some even advise to double the capacity to allow for gear. It’s good advice – particularly if your tent mate tosses and turns throughout the night. Check out more tips for camping sleep.

3. Height

While tent height isn’t a big deal to some people, for others – tall folks and those who are claustrophobic – tent height is a serious matter. Cabin-style tents tend to allow for more standing room, while dome style tents typically are tallest only in the center, and even there you’ll probably have to crouch. If you plan to spend much time in your tent, and especially if you have several people sharing your tent, a cabin-style tent will be much more comfortable.

4. Construction

The next thing you’ll want to carefully inspect when searching for the best camping tents is the tent’s construction. Begin by inspecting the floor. Does the seam run around the bottom of the tent, or is it raised a bit off the ground so that water doesn’t seep in through the seam? This “tub floor” construction is a good indicator of the degree of savvy design that went into a tent’s construction.

Most tents are built using poles. Fiberglass poles aren’t as sturdy as aluminum, and they can snap much more easily than their metal counterparts. Without poles, your tent is pretty worthless, so be choosy about your poles – especially since replacing them can be difficult. Also, see if the poles attach to the tent through sleeves or clips. Clips are much simpler and can make setup a breeze, so if you will be setting up your tent by yourself keep this in mind.

Accessories are available for tents like vestibules or mudflaps, which keep rain away from the area beyond your tent door. Not only does this allow you to enjoy a rain shower with the door open, but it can also keep your pack and boots dry if there isn’t room for them in the tent. Other accessories include mesh shelves, footprints or tarps that protect the bottom of the tent floor by giving them a smooth surface on which to lay, and tent fans to keep things ventilated. 

One important point: Never use a heater in your tent. Not only is it a major fire hazard in a structure that is inherently flammable, but it also poses the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a noiseless, odorless killer that claims the life of campers every year.

5. Material

The final consideration you should make regards the material of your tent. Most modern tents are made with either nylon or polyester. Nylon tents, which are more expensive, are stronger and much more lightweight, even though they don’t shed water as well as polyester.

To help tents repel water and protect you from UV rays, many are coated with protectants like polyurethane or silicone. Silicone-coated nylon, which is much lighter, tends to be most expensive and the highest quality.

Great Value Family Tents for 2023

Coleman Evanston Dome Tent


Image of Coleman Evanston Dome Tent from

If you are looking for a three-season tent that’s cozy, convenient and affordable, the Coleman Evanston Dome Tent is a great choice.

This is a three-season tent. With breathable fabric and large fly-screen windows, you’ll feel secure without feeling sweltering. The well-ventilated design cuts down on condensation so you don’t wake up clammy. While this tent is great for warmer climates, it’s not designed as a four-season tent. The mesh openings under the rainfly will let in breezes, which is a huge asset in the summer but not so great in the winter. Also, the seams should be sealed before camping in the rain to prevent water seepage.

A great feature of this tent is the screened sunroom at the entry door. This serves as a great spot to store all your gear, especially shoes overnight to avoid bugs moving in! The screened enclosure would also be a great spot for your dog to sleep too! Check out our article on best tents to camp with your dog here. Having a small entry room also reduces the sand/dirt that will be tracked into the tent by the kids! 

Check out the following pros and cons of the Coleman Evanston Dome Tent:


  • Affordable, simple design
  • Spacious with extra sunroom area for gear.
  • Breathable for comfort in warm weather
  • Rainfly offers great waterproof protection
  • Internal pockets for storage
  • CONS
  • Not designed for colder nights
  • Slower setup than some instant tent options
  • Fabric does not block much light, so if you have early risers you may want to look at blackout options in the Coleman range. 


Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent

 If you are looking for a crowd-pleaser, this Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent is it. Spacious and streamlined, this tent offers room for two queen-sized airbeds.

While technically six people can fit inside, it’s a good idea to count on leaving some room for gear, especially if some people don’t especially enjoy cramped sleeping conditions.

One of the huge pluses of this tent is its no-hassle setup. The poles are pre-assembled, requiring the most minimal effort to set up. The luminescent reflective guy lines allow you to step out at night without tripping over the lines and possibly upsetting the entire structure. The built-in rainfly offers excellent storm protection.

The tent is a one-piece design, which actually makes it possible for you to either set it up and take it down in about a minute. The one-piece construction doesn’t skimp on quality, either. The poles are steel, providing excellent strength and stability even when the winds rage strong.

With its spacious horizontal and vertical design, even adults can stand comfortably in the tent. The panoramic views make sure that your time spent in God’s great outdoors is enjoyed to the fullest. When it’s time to go, you’ll appreciate the convenient, generous-sized carrying bag to hold your entire tent. You’ll save so much time with this well-designed tent that you’ll be amazed you ever used another tent.

Check out these pros and cons for the Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent:


    • Quick, one-minute setup

    • All-in-one construction

    • Spacious design

    • Weatherproof fabric resists moisture

    • Illuminated guy lines for safety at night


    • Window coverings flap down inside tent

    • Airflow isn’t best for cold weather

Our Top Pick

The Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent. The combination of value and quality in this tent in we believe is the most likely to suit the needs of most campers.

The all-in-one nature of this tent and easy set up is a major plus for this tent. Add to that the spacious layout, the panoramic views, the weatherproof design, and the reasonable price tag, and we believe you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal for the money. If you are itching to get started on your next adventure into God’s great outdoors, do yourself a favour and check out one of these best family tents soon. You won’t regret it.

Further information can be found at the Coleman website by clicking here 

Best Tents For Camping with Dogs 2023

dog camping in tent

Top Seven Best Tents for Camping with Dogs

Meta: Take your four-legged friend on the road with you comfortably with the right tent. These seven tents are perfect for camping with dogs.

What’s an adventure without friends? More importantly, what good is an adventure without your best friend?

There’s no need to leave your dog behind when you hit the trail. Whether you intend to hike to your campsite or stay near your vehicle, your dog wants to be right there with you. So why not bring your pal along for the ride?

To bring your dog, you’ll need the right tent. We reviewed the seven best tents for camping with dogs guaranteed to aid you both on an adventure that will only bring you closer.

How We Made Our Choice

We created a list based on the tent features that make the most sense when travelling with a pup. Our list reflects a preference for well-ventilated tents with durable materials to withstand both general camping and an excited dog’s energy.

The tents here also generally include large-sized tents, usually four-person and up. The choice means that the tent usually has a vestibule or a separate area for the dog, so everyone has their space.

Seven Best Tents for Camping With Dogs

If your dog loves adventure as much as you do, then you’ll want a tent that meets both your needs.

We included a mix of tents list, and we indicated the category by simply writing “human tent” or “dog tent” before the tent name.

Human Tent: Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent

Are you heading out to a stationary campsite for a week and want to bring along your favorite pup?

Don’t leave home without the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent.

In a market where tents are increasingly smaller and lighter, Wenzel offers a house-size tent suitable for a week-long vacation.

The tent features two primary rooms: the interior and the vestibule. The vestibule is perfect for dogs because it accommodates as many as three people sleeping. You can easily set up a dog bed, store your gear, and still have room to maneuver your way around the tent.

The vestibule features a screen, so it’s well ventilated even on hot days. It also features roll-up windows in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

We recommend the tent for small families with one or more dogs who need extra space. You can’t buy the peace that comes from having so much space. However, we don’t recommend it for severe weather or in exposed conditions. It weighs 27.3 pounds, and its large size means it catches in the wind.

Human Tent: Kodiak Flexbow

The Kodiak Flexbow brings dog-friendliness to the table in a new way: with canvas walls.

Dog nails tear through nylon and lighter materials that keep tents easy to carry, construct, and sleep in. Canvas tents are water-tight, sturdy, and incredibly durable, making them a multi-season purchase.

The Flexbow is an eight-person tent put up with steel poles and warm in both summer and winter. There’s no vestibule or screen, so your dog will sleep inside the tent with you. However, given that it’s an eight-person tent, you have more than enough space for everyone.

Are you worried about ventilation? Kodiak built air vents into the tent to prevent everyone from overheating. However, the company also considered ventilation in its construction of the material. The Kodiak Flexbow’s canvas repels not only water but snow and wind, and the treatment keeps you warm and dry without suffocating you.

Human Tent: Coleman Instant Darkroom Tent

The Coleman Instant Darkroom Tent is a four-person, three-season tent that’s perfect for summer hiking. Its primary selling point is Coleman’s “darkroom technology,” which blocks the sun’s rays and heat from the sun.

We would choose this tent if you tend to camp in places with a high heat index or you need to pitch up in an exposed area without tree cover. It’s also ideal for big, hairy dogs that might be prone to overheating in a tent that traps heat during the day or overnight. Even if you are not camping, it could serve as a shelter for dogs when you’re out on an adventure.

Is the tent big enough for camping with dogs? Even though it is a four-person tent, it runs smaller than other tents. It also features a low ceiling, and only your dog will succeed in standing up once inside. However, you can fit a queen size mattress, so it should be comfortable enough for two people plus a dog.

Again, we would stress that the tent is best for car camping or camping in an exposed campsite. These are where the darkroom technology shines, and the tent weights 17 pounds, so it’s not suitable for hiking unless one of you dedicates your pack to the tent.

Human Tent: Coleman 6-Person WeatherMaster Tent

While most of the tents on our list include some weather-proofing features, the Coleman 6-Person WeatherMaster Tent is the one that takes severe weather seriously.

The tent is huge and offers a 6-foot 8-inch ceiling that almost anyone can stand up in. You can fit four people inside without a problem and a further two people in the screened vestibule.

Unlike other tents, the vestibule included on the Coleman WeatherMaster doesn’t include a floor. There are pros and cons associated with going floor-less. On the one hand, losing the floor means the tent is lighter, and your dog is less likely to make a mess when there’s no floor to track mud on. However, you also need to make sure you stake the tent securely because wily pups can squeeze under the tent to escape.

Finally, while Coleman’s WeatherTec system protects against storms, the floorless vestibule could present problems if the ground gets very wet. However, if you choose your spot well, you shouldn’t see too many issues. And it’s worth noting that although it is weather-proof, it is still a three-season tent and isn’t ideal for cold weather camping.

Dog Tent: The ABO Dog Haus

Our first dog tent offers the gold standard in dog tents, and other campers will know right away that you like to treat your dog to the finest things in life.

The ABO Dog Haus is a dog tent suitable for dogs up to 85 pounds.

It features one entrance but also includes three windows for proper ventilation. All vents also include a roll-down window to keep your dog warm and dry in poor weather. We also like the domed roof that encourages water run-off and prevents the tent from becoming soaked right away.

Human Tent: Nemo Wagontop 4P Camping Tent

The Nemo Wagontop 4P Camping Tent is a family tent that suitable sleeps four people. We chose it because it features large screen windows on every side, which provides superior ventilation.

We wouldn’t recommend the tent for hiking or difficult weather conditions. Nemo creates its materials to feature the right combination of durability, weight, and performance, but the tent is heavy, around 26.5 pounds.

It is also better suited to sheltered campsites because it comes with standing height ceilings in each part of the tent. Standing height is always great when you’re changing or trying to move around other people, but it also makes it more susceptible to the wind.

Nemo tried to create a compromise by introducing stronger poles. The poles include intersection hub locks that connect each pole right to the body, which should stop the wind from impact the structural integrity of the shelter. At the same time, it still has to compensate for the consistent pitch of the tent.

Overall, we think the tent is great for families plus a dog or two near a campsite. However, the tent does not have a rainfly and set-up is not as intuitive as other tents on the market. So, you’ll want to make sure you set up this tent somewhere where you have the time and space to handle both the size and shape of the tent.

Human Tent: NTK Indy GT XL FT Outdoor Dome Family Camping Tent

The NTK Indy GT is another six-person tent that’s suitable for housing four people and a canine.

A few of the features we like are the 8 x 8-foot sleeping area and the 6.2-foot ceiling height. However, the porch allows the tent to shine. The screened-in area can be a vestibule in the evening or become an awning during the day for a tent that’s versatile for every member of the family.

We also like the weather features added to the tent. The fabric is 190T polyester, which makes it waterproof. A waterproof tent is relatively standard today, but NTK went further and added a 2500mm rainfly to keep you dry all night. It also features a bathtub design to stop water from pooling, and the floor material is anti-fungal, which extends the life of your tent.

Don’t forget that high ceiling heights add convenience and comfort inside the tent, but you’ll need to stake it like a pro. You may need more stakes and guys to keep it tethered in the wind, particularly because the tent features vast side panels.

Human Tent: Coleman Cold Springs with Front Porch Dome Tent

Coleman tents are economical choices, which makes them ideal for camping with dogs and why we include so many on our list.

The Cold Springs model is a basic tent that includes no frills, and as such, it is a good choice for setting up a temporary shelter or giving your dog a place to sleep while you sleep in your RV or another tent. It protects your pal from the elements including the sun, but it is vulnerable to bad weather, so prepare to invite your dog into your space if a storm rolls in.

When you buy this tent, you’ll get the WeatherTec system with protected seams, a tub floor, and a rainfly for keeping water out. Ventilation comes from the ground up via the ground vent, which Coleman says allows air to circulate. However, the tent can get stuffy, and does better in moderate weather.

The big sell is the front porch. Most manufacturers add the front porch as a fixed-position annex. Coleman allows you to retract or expand it on either side of the tent, which gives you more options in places where space is a concern. How does it work? Coleman made the front porch removable.

Although it might sound more complicated than other tents, it allows you to choose the side of the tent offers the most shade to help keep your pup cool.

Our big concern is ventilation. More ventilation is better when you camp with a dog, and we recommend it for smaller dogs unless you keep them in the porch.

How to Buy a Dog-Friendly Tent

Unless you intend to move into a tent with your dog for the next six months, you’ll find that not much differs between buying a tent for humans or finding one to share with your dog.

There are only three things you both need to be happy campers:

  • Ventilation
  • Thick floor material
  • Easy maintenance

A well-ventilated tent is important for both of you, but you’ll truly notice the difference once you try to share your tent with a dog. Neither your nor your dog wants to smell anyone’s morning breath, and if either of you entered the tent wet and smelly, it could easily keep you up at night.

Instead of good ventilation, you might also consider a tent with a vestibule or a screened porch. It gives both of you more room to roll around and solves two of the other three problems dog-owning adventurers face: floor punctures and mud.

The thick floor material is essential for housing your dog because you won’t notice you have a hole in your tent floor until you stand in a puddle of water. You don’t need army-style tent thickness, and you will mitigate most of the problem if you trim your dog’s nails before hitting the trail.

Even still, dogs require more durability, so pull out a tent with a strong floor if you intend to invite your pup into the sleeping area.

Finally, you want a tent that’s easy to clean. Dogs track mud, shed, and can occasionally be a bit too playful and knock over drinks or food. It’s not only neat freaks who want this feature. Put away a dirty tent, and it will quickly become an unpleasant place to sleep thanks to mold and a very strong musty smell.

Beyond these three musts, the tent you choose largely comes down to who you intend to bring camping, where and when you go, and how you prefer to sleep.