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Top Considerations for Choosing the Best Family Camping Tent

Last updated on November 17th, 2016 at 05:56 pm

Whether you’re looking to make camping a family summer tradition or simply need to replace your old camping tent, we understand how difficult it can be to pick one that fits your needs and preferences. After all, no family camping tent is created equal and preferences vary from one family to another.
We get a lot of questions when it comes to choosing the right family camping tent and we’ve narrowed down the following considerations for you to start with.

family camping while enjoying outdoor activities


Obviously, a family camping tent will need to be larger than your traditional backpacking or 2-person tent. However, family tents vary in capacity with some of them being able to sleep 10 or more individuals. Apart from considering the number of people you’ll share your tent with, also consider how much space your gear will take and if you’d be bringing your pets during your camping trip.
Consider whether the campers will be mainly adults or if there will also be kids. Tall adults tend to need more head room so they can stand comfortably inside the tent. We camp out with my 10- and 12-year old kids so we take into consideration how much space the tent has for the kids to play around and do their stuff.
You may also want to consider if the campers are claustrophobic and if they tend to toss and turn while sleeping. Some people also don’t mind sleeping closely, sardines-style with one another, while others like their space.


The type and quality of material the family camping tent is made of will tell you about its sturdiness and durability against the elements. Whenever possible, opt for a tent with dense material as they tend to also be more durable. Most of the camping tents are made of nylon and/or polyester.

winter camping

We always prefer the most durable tents especially as we like to camp out even during winter. So we choose tent material that’s rated as weather-resistant and fire-retardant for extra comfort and safety.
Meanwhile, the type and quality of poles also impact the ease of set-up and pack-up. Most tents nowadays come with either aluminum or fiberglass poles, but aluminum tends to be superior when it comes to durability. Meanwhile, the fewer the number of poles, the faster it is to pitch your tent. Some poles need to be threaded through the sleeves while others come color-coded or pre-assembled for faster set-up.


Tents are often rated as 3-season and 4-season tents, with the former being the more popular option. Families often like to go camping in the summer, spring and fall and tents rated for these seasons encourage better airflow and ventilation. 3-season tents are also composed of lighter materials than 4-season tents. On the other hand, 4-season tents are designed as mountaineering tents that provide campers protection and comfort against snow and other cold
family campers while enjoying outdoor meals

Tent Layout

The layout speaks of not only the design or aesthetics of the tent but also of your convenience when camping in it.
The doors, windows and other key areas of the tent should be strategically positioned to provide maximum comfort and convenience for the campers. Multiple doors provide more entrance and exit points so you don’t have to bother other campers should you need to get up in the middle of the night to do your business. Multiple windows also provide better ventilation, encourage airflow and prevent the risks of condensation.

outdoor play while on a family camping trip

To maximize camping fun, you may also want a tent with a mesh or screened rooftop or even windows. This will give you a better view of the night sky while protecting you from the bugs. This feature just makes camping more exciting most especially on clear nights. Star gazing is something our family looks forward to when camping out.
Since family camping tents tend to be larger in size, they also usually come with dividers so that campers can sleep with better privacy. While personally, this is not a criterion for us because we all like to sleep together when camping, this could be something you may want to look into if privacy is essential to your camping convenience. You’ll also find that some of these tents come with vestibules to accommodate dirty and muddy footwear and keep the interior of the tent clean.

couple relaxing while on camping vacation


It is important to consider your family’s comfort and protection when choosing your camping tent.
There are many different models available, but choose one that is large enough to accommodate you, your family or friends and your gear.
The materials that make up the tent is another aspect you should look into since this will be your shelter for the next few days. It should be durable enough to withstand high winds and heavy rains. A three- season tent is ideal for a family camping trip.
When it comes to other features, a tent with a mesh roof provides better ventilation as well as a great view at night. Room dividers and separate entrances are gaining popularity but having them in your tent is based on your preferences.

Camping is a great bonding activity for your family and this is why choosing the right family tent matters. Go for one that offers comfort and protection so that you’ll worry less and enjoy more.

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