10 best family tents
Accommodate parents, kids and the rest of the clan in comfort on your next trip
There’s nothing more summery than packing up the car, rounding up the kids and heading for a sunny campsite for a week of family camping. And while you don’t need much for a happy family holiday under canvas, a good quality tent is a definite essential.
There are some key features to look for when buying a new model: make sure your tent has a completely waterproof rain fly (the outer layer) and a coated nylon floor, so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle.
The more guy-ropes a tent comes with the better for stability. Groundsheets are essential – they protect the tent’s floor from rocks and stop condensation forming if you’re camping somewhere chilly (like, say, Britain).
Be wary of the number of people a tent claims to sleep (a two- or six-person) – for some, you have to halve that number unless you fancy sleeping like a sardine. Two adults and two or three children will usually find a six-man tent a good fit, with plenty of space for cooking gear and clothing. Look out for multiple bedrooms and a roomy porch, also helpful for ensuring you all have plenty of space.
Big family tents are traditionally a heavy, complicated nightmare to erect – some brands are addressing this with “air” tents, structures you inflate with a pump. These are also lighter and more portable, although if you’re planning a week-long trip with the car it makes sense to pick something really spacious without worrying too much about weight, as you’ll only have to erect it once.
We’ve tested out a range of sizes and found 10 great quality tent options to suit most budgets. Fancy sleeping in something little different? A canvas bell tent is great fun, and children will adore sleeping suspended in a tree tent.
Vango Edoras 600 XL Air six-person: £1,000, Vango
Our best on test ticks all our boxes for family camping. Inside there’s tons of living space and a roomy porch that’s perfect if you’re bringing cooking kit, plenty of standing height throughout even for tall dads and three large bedrooms that can all fit double airbeds. We love the tough built-in groundsheet, large windows and storage pockets.
If you detest the idea of spending hours trying to erect a fiddly tent an inflatable model will be right up your street, and the Vango Edoras was one of the easiest to inflate we tested. All that space does mean it’s a large, heavy tent – best used for week-long summer camping trips.
Zempire Aero TXL Pro series Air six-person: £1,259, Camping World
“Tent” seems like too humble a moniker for this veritable palace. Zempire’s Aero TXL may be the most expensive family tent on our list, but it’s also the best for quality and spaciousness. Inside this light and airy beast of a tent there’s a really roomy communal living space, plus a huge bedroom that can be split into two or three separate bedrooms with dividing walls.
We like the huge windows, and the porch is perfect for cooking and hanging out in in bad weather. The whole thing is easy to erect, with a pump provided to inflate the main structure. Worth investing in if you’re planning years of summer camping holidays – looked after, it’ll last you forever.
Robens Klondike six-person bell tent: £408, Cotswold Outdoor
Smaller and more portable family tents don’t tend to score highly on the looks front, but the very handsome Robens Klondike is a stunner. It may look and feel like a bell tent but unlike traditional, heavy canvas glamping tents it’s easy to erect and dismantle, and is light and compact once dismantled, weighing 16kg. Inside there’s standing space and room to sleep six adults.
We also found the Klondike one of the coolest tents to sleep in during hot weather, which coupled with an integrated mosquito net makes it great for camping abroad. It’s also stove-compatible. Ideal for festivals or if you fancy a spot of glamping.
Luna six-person bell: £789, Boutique Glamping
After a bit of posh? If you want to invest in a traditional bell tent for summer adventures, we think the very best is the beautiful Luna from Boutique Camping. Rounded walls mean there’s lots of space inside for a big family plus all your kit, with a huge front door, cute circular windows and plenty of standing space.
Traditional canvas is perfect for keeping cool in hot weather but can be prone to damp – not so the walls of the Luna, which are mildew-resistant and withstand rain with no issues or leaks. There’s also a rugged zip-in groundsheet. Take the Luna to family festivals and weddings, or just create the ultimate den in the back garden. Worth the spend.
Outwell Penticton 5AC Air five-person tent: £899, Outdoor World Direct
We couldn’t find a better all-rounder for a family of four than the Outwell Penticton. It’s ideal if you’re a camping beginner, and want a brilliant tent with standing space you can rely on in any weather, all with change from £1,000. The Penticton is an air tent, so the beams are inflatable and quick to erect, and inside there’s a large porch, a roomy living area and two decent bedrooms big enough to fit double air mattresses.
Coated walls and ceilings keep common areas cool and bedrooms dark – good if you struggle to sleep in light tents – and we like the huge windows and doors which can be tied away to let light and air in during the day.
Arpenaz 6.3 family tent: £200, Decathlon
Our top pick if you’re on a budget, for a smidge under £200, Decathlon’s pocket-friendly Arpenaz 6.3 still packs in three well-sized bedrooms and a central living area with an insulated roof to keep you cool when it’s hot outside. There’s no standing space, which is a pity, but the compact size makes it a lighter option at 16kg, good for smaller car boots or camping trips to multiple sites.
The bedrooms are nicely sized – a family of four will have plenty of space. It’s also quick and simple to erect and dismantle. The 6.3 is fully waterproof but if you’re camping in bad weather you might want a roomier option.
Hi Gear Voyager Elite six-man tent: £295, GO Outdoors
The Hi Gear Voyager Elite is an easy, fuss-free family option. Combining a generous size with a decent price, this blue beauty lets plenty of light into its spacious, high-ceiling main room, making organising the masses of gear involved in camping with kids a lot less hassle.
The tent is easy and quick to erect, with a waterproof, wind-resistant outer and two roomy bedrooms best suited to two adults and two children. The sleeping pods are designed to stay dark even when dawn breaks, too, so you’re less likely to be woken up at 5am by excited small campers.
Tentsile Connect two-person tree tent: £336, Cotswold Outdoor
Who wants a boring old tent when you can sleep in your own portable treehouse? These hugely fun Tentsile tents hang suspended above the ground between tree trunks and are far comfier than sleeping on cold hard ground. On really balmy nights, you can sleep under the inner mesh layer and watch the stars, and in less lovely weather the outer fly is fully waterproof.
They only sleep two, so you’ll need one tent for the grown-ups and one for the kids, but it’s worth buying a pair for such an innovative and downright fun way to camp. Tentsiles are also brilliant strung up in the back garden at home as an instant den.
Mountain Warehouse Holiday six-person tent: £120, Mountain Warehouse
Feeling strapped for cash? This simple, spacious tent will do a family of four proud for just under £120. The Holiday tent boasts three bedrooms, a central living space and useful covered porch and is fully waterproof, with a built-in groundsheet.
It’s a bit of a faff to put up, despite the colour-coded poles – try it in the garden first, so you’ve got the knack before you venture outdoors. That said, you won’t find a bigger, better quality family-sized tent for less than £150.
Clas Ohlson Asaklitt eight-person: £250, Clas Ohlson
Pretend you’ve landed on Mars by bedding down in this funky, futuristic dome tent. It’s a simple, one-room design that can fit up to eight campers, making it perfect for children’s camping parties and sleepovers or for cosying up at festivals.
There’s plenty of standing room in the middle, too, which helps when getting things organised. The outer fly is wind and rain resistant and the inner mesh layer keeps everything breathable.
Spend as much as you can afford on your next family tent – you definitely get what you pay for. Our best on test is the Vango Edoras, a brilliant all-rounder perfect if you’re new to camping and want a reliable, roomy family tent with change from £1,000.
The fantastic Zempire Aero TXL Pro from Winfield Outdoors is also worth the splurge. On a budget? We rate the Arpenaz 6.3 from Decathlon, and if you fancy a smart bell tent for glamping trips the gorgeous Luna from Boutique Camping will do you proud.
Sian Lewis is a travel and outdoors writer and editor of The Girl Outdoors blog
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