Tested: The 8 Best Family Camping Tents of 2022

The Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise tops our list of best family camping tents

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There are many things to consider when taking the family on a camping trip—choosing a family-friendly destination, the weather, food preparation, and packing all the items necessary for a fun experience. The one thing parents shouldn’t have to worry about is their tent. 

We tested five of the eight tents on this list and did thorough research on the remaining three. You’ll find tents for big and small families, ones at different prices, and others that are very easy to set up. We included tents that are better for warm-weather experiences, a few that are multi-seasonal, and one that is a powerhouse against the cold. 

No matter what your family looks like or how you like to camp, you’ll find a tent to keep you safe, dry, and comfortable on your next trip. Now read on to cross ‘tent’ off your ‘camping trip’ to-do list.

Best Overall: Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise 8-Person Hub Tent

Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise 8-Person Hub Tent

Academy Sports + Outdoor

What We Like
  • Setup takes minutes

  • Two rooms and two doors with a divider

  • 33 side pockets and two gear lofts

  • Built-in battery-powered lighting system

What We Don't Like
  • Very large and heavy when packed

The Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise 8-Person Hub Tent rose to the top of our list for its size, storage, and easy setup (the price isn’t too shabby either!). With a built-in steel and fiber-glass frame, setup time takes less than two minutes—giving families more time together. All you have to do is pull the tent apart and pull or push out the frame's joints before putting in the stakes. If you want to add the fly, you’ll need to place it over the tent before expanding the roof. 

With two rooms—separated by a divider—there’s enough space for parents to have their room and kids to have the other. The center height is 6.5-feet tall, making it easy to move about, open the 15 windows for more airflow, or load gear in the 33 side pockets and two gear lofts. Leave the lanterns at home because Magellan added an integrated lighting system into the tent, which requires batteries to operate. 

We were impressed by how well the Magellan withstood a thunderstorm with 0.5-inch hail during our testing. The only downside? How heavy and oversized this tent is when broken down. You’ll need an SUV, truck, or a means to store it on the roof of your vehicle when taking it on your family camping trip. 

Sleeping Capacity: 8 person | Weight: 36.56 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 14 x 7.8 feet | Peak Height: 6.5 feet

Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise 8-Person Tent
TripSavvy / Alex Temblador.

Best Budget: Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 Tent

Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 Tent

Mountainsmith

What We Like
  • Quick setup

  • Includes a footprint and a fly

What We Don't Like
  • Not very tall inside

The affordable price and versatile design make the Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 an excellent choice for a family of four. Three pieces—a fly, tent, and footprint—are packed tightly in a bag that doesn’t take too much space. You’ll typically use all three items when camping. Two poles and built-in clips help it take less than five minutes to put everything together. Without the fly, you’ll enjoy excellent airflow, as the entire top half of the tent is mesh. If it’s a sweltering summer day, you could only use the fly and floor and keep the tent packed away. We also like the interior storage pockets, the large front vestibule, and the small back closet opening.  

Sleeping Capacity: 4 person | Weight: 8 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 7.6 x 9.3 feet | Peak Height: 4.6 feet

Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4
TripSavvy / Alex Temblador.

Best for Cold Weather: White Duck 10-Inch Regatta Bell Tent

White Duck 10-Inch Regatta Bell Tent

White Duck

What We Like
  • Includes a mallet

  • Fire-retardant opening for a stove

  • Material is sturdy against water, wind, snow, and ground condensation

What We Don't Like
  • Very heavy to carry

  • Center pole can make for an awkward sleeping arrangement

This bell-shaped tent may be a bit heavy and bulky, but it speaks to the quality of materials necessary for a long-term camping session in any weather. Designed to fit a family of four, this tent is 10 feet wide with a 7.5-foot center height. The poles are made of galvanized steel, and the fabric is an 8.5-ounce army duck cotton canvas with a water repellent, mold, and UV-resistant finish. Water runs off the material without soaking through. 

Set up is relatively easy and takes about 15 minutes or less with a partner. We appreciated the included mallet. As mentioned, the tent fabric (including the flooring) is made of heavy-duty cotton canvas, which provides more protection from cold and stormy weather. If you use this tent in warmer weather, you can get more airflow by opening the three windows, ceiling vents, and the large door. 

We must mention two outstanding features: a 5-inch stove jack made of fire-retardant material and an electrical cable sleeve. The stove jack would allow you to put a stove in the tent to keep you warm on chilly camping days. 

Sleeping Capacity: 4 person | Weight: 51 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 10-foot diameter | Peak Height: 7.5 feet

White Duck Regatta Bell Tent
TripSavvy / Alex Temblador.

Best For Warm Weather: Big Agnes Spicer Peak 4

Big Agnes Spicer Peak 4

Big Agnes

What We Like
  • Two tall doors

  • Lots of airflow with mesh panel top

  • Fly is easy to put on with color-coded webbing and buckles

What We Don't Like
  • Footprint sold separately

  • Stakes aren’t curved on the end

The Big Agnes Spicer Peak 4 is a must-have for families on a summer camping trip. Set up doesn’t take long for this lightweight tent. Unlike other tents that clip to poles, the Spicer Peak 4 requires that you slip the poles through sleeves. Once fully expanded, you’ll notice the top third of the tent mesh, which provides enough privacy to change and plenty of airflow throughout the day and night. The fly is necessary for bad weather, and with a color-coded buckle system, it’s easy to put on. 

With two tall doors and a peak height of over five feet, it’s easy to move in and out of this tent that can fit up to four people. Our nitpick with the Big Agnes Spicer Peak 4 is that the stakes aren’t curved, so it can be somewhat tough to pull them out of the ground when you’re packing up. You’ll also need a footprint—which is sold separately—to protect the thin material of the tent floor from condensation or rips and tears.  

Sleeping Capacity: 4 person | Weight: 11 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 58-square-feet | Peak Height: 5.8 feet

Big Agnes Spicer 4 tent
TripSavvy / Alex Temblador.

Best Six-Person: MSR Habitude 6 Camping Tent

MSR Habitude 6 Camping Tent

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Compact storage

  • Super spacious

What We Don't Like
  • A footprint may be necessary

Even though it’s large enough to fit six people, MSR Habitude 6 Family & Group Camping Tent fits in a compact, easy-to-carry bag, allowing families extra room in the car. Setup is quick, even for one person, though you’ll need a helper when putting on the fly. 

The first thing you’ll notice is how tall and wide the MSR tent is. The center is over 6 feet tall, meaning most people can stand up easily inside. The large vestibule offers a significant amount of storage space, so all six family members won’t feel cramped with gear inside. 

During our testing, the tent held up against high winds and rainwater. However, we suggest using an optional footprint because the tent material is thin, and condensation came through overnight. 

Sleeping Capacity: 6 person | Weight: 13 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 10 x 8.3 feet | Peak Height: 6.3 feet

Best Quick Assembly: EchoSmile Camping Instant Tent

EchoSmile Camping Instant Tent

Amazon

What We Like
  • Instant set-up

  • Compact size

  • Comes in multiple sizes from two to 10-person capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Water resistant, not waterproof

  • Rainfly not included

  • Can only open and close the windows from the outside

There might not be a more accessible tent to set up and break down than the EchoSmile Camping Instant Tent. As the name implies, it has an instant setup design. This pop-up tent looks like one of those folded hampers you had in college. Unstrap the circular package, and it pops open in one second. 

The tent comes in multiple sizes, from a two-person to a 10-person capacity, so families can choose one that works for them. With an eight-person EchoSmile Camping Instant Tent, there are two doors and four mesh windows for airflow. No matter which tent size you choose, you’ll notice that the windows can only be zipped up or down from the outside. This is a very lightweight tent, so you’ll need to use the guy ropes and pegs to keep it in place. 

Warning: it’s not the best tent for heavy rain (or even rain for that matter) as the material is water-resistant, not waterproof. Users report condensation in the mornings and limited rainproof capabilities. An additional rainproof fly may be necessary. 

Sleeping Capacity: 2 to 10 people | Weight: 5.15 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 feet | Peak Height: 3.9 feet

Best for Big Families: Coleman Skydome XL 10-Person Camping Tent

Coleman Skydome XL 10-Person Camping Tent

Amazon

What We Like
  • Quick setup

  • Blocks 90 percent of sunlight

  • Two doors and plenty of storage

What We Don't Like
  • Mesh top doesn’t offer a lot of privacy without the rainfly on

Big families need large, high-quality tents like the Coleman Skydome XL. The peak height is over 6 feet tall, and the tent can fit three queen-size airbeds or ten people. With a color-coded system and built-in tent pole, it takes five minutes for two people to set up the tent and rainfly. 

Two doors make it easy for kids and parents to get in and out of the tent without traffic jams. An optional room divider provides some privacy. Two ground vents and a mesh roof will keep everyone ventilated, while gear pockets and lofts can help your family stay organized. An e-port is a nice touch to bring electrical power inside. 

What makes this tent especially appealing is its weatherproofing capabilities. It can withstand up to 35 mile-per-hour winds, and the fabric is waterproof and equipped with Coleman’s Dark Room Technology. It blocks 90 percent of sunlight, which keeps the inside of the tent much cooler than most. 

Sleeping Capacity: 10 person | Weight: 30.51 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 16 x 9 feet | Peak Height: 6.6 feet

Best Backpacking Tent: Eureka! Tetragon NX5 Person Tent

Eureka! Tetragon NX5 Person Tent

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Lightweight and compact

  • Hooded rain fly allows for max air flow

What We Don't Like
  • Primarily suited for warm weather areas

The Eureka! Tertragon NX5 Person Tent is for adventurous families who love backpacking. This lightweight tent is only 12 pounds and fits into a small tube-like bag that should be easy to strap to your back. It won’t take long to put this dome-shaped tent together as it has a subtle design: two crisscrossing fiberglass poles to clip to the tent. Inside, it’s spacious enough to fit five. Thanks to the gear hammock and two storage pockets, you'll enjoy some storage space.

This tent comes with a hooded rain fly that connects to two small fly rods at the top. The fly sits above the tent (rather than on it). You’ll enjoy plenty of airflow through the top mesh panel and protection from the rain. Because of its size and materials, this tent is well-suited for backpacking families headed to warm destinations. Pro-tip: Because of the weight and size of this tent, we recommend splitting up the different parts of it among your group while backpacking.

Sleeping Capacity: 5 people | Weight: 12 pounds | Floor Dimensions: 9 x 9 feet | Peak Height: 6 feet

Final Verdict

We like the Pro SwiftRise 8-Person from Magellan Outdoors (view at Academy Sports) for an all-around solid family camping tent. It checks the boxes of easy setup and has enough room to fit an average-sized family comfortably. For a smaller, budget two-season tent, we recommend the Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 (view at Backcountry). And for an excellent quality tent that could double for car camping and backpacking with a family of up to six, we recommend MSR's Habitude 6 (view at Backcountry).

What to Look for in Family Tents 

Materials

Nylon and polyester are the two most common tent materials, though cotton and canvas tents exist. Nylon and polyester tents are lightweight, durable, and thin, so they’re so commonly used for tents. But that’s not to say that cotton and canvas tents aren’t worth considering. These tents provide more insulation in colder environments and are sturdier to boot. These materials are used for safari, yurt, and glamping-style tents. Unfortunately, cotton and canvas tents are bulky and heavy, so keep that in mind. 

Weatherproofing

When buying a tent for your family, you must investigate its ability to protect you from the elements. The most important thing to look for is whether the tent materials are waterproof or water-resistant. You want a waterproof tent as it will better prevent rain from entering the tent. On the other hand, a water-resistant tent can only handle very light elements and will not really protect you from rain. It’s not a bad idea to look for tents with waterproof reinforcements around the seams. 

If the tent does not include a rain fly (a waterproof covering) or a footprint (a thicker layer to put under the tent), you may want to purchase them. Footprints can protect the tent material and block condensation or rain from entering the tent. Rainflies (that are waterproof) offer protection from rain and sun and provide privacy. 

Price

Tents aren’t the cheapest buys, especially for families who need something larger. Most quality tents cost over $100. The larger the tent, the better the materials, and the more innovative the design, the more expensive. If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. You can usually find a great tent that costs between $100 to $200. Trust us; you don’t want to skimp on a quality tent. It can make or break a camping vacation. And, if it literally breaks, you'll likely need to purchase a new one.

Additional Features 

While you may be interested in techy tent elements like integrated lighting systems, you want to ensure that any tent you buy has the basics, like reflective guylines that stabilize the structure. 

Many tents are outfitted with storage pockets, and some even have gear lofts, which are hammocks attached to the ceiling where you can store items off the ground. If this type of storage doesn’t seem sufficient, look for tents with vestibules. A rainfly can be designed so that the areas around the door have large overhangs that go to the ground. This is a vestibule. You can store your belongings in this space, thereby freeing more room inside. Tents with integrated canopies can also provide a similar type of protection for gear and shaded sitting space.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I know what size tent will work for my family?

    Tents are generally measured in size by the number of people they're designed to sleep inside. We recommend sizing up one size. So, if you have a family of four, we suggest a five- or six-person tent. If you're a family of four and pick a tent with vestibule space, you might be comfortable in a four-person tent. Or, if you’re comfortable sleeping closer together, it can work. But when in doubt, size up.

  • How do I care for and clean my tent?

    Kids are messy. So is camping. Caring for and cleaning your tent is crucial for the longevity of your tent. The best way to go about caring for and cleaning your specific tent is to look at the manufacturer's instructions either on the tent's packaging or on the company's website. A general rule is not to store your tent dirty or wet. We recommend cleaning your tent and letting it dry out after every trip.

Why Trust Tripsavvy

Alex Temblador is an outdoor and travel journalist who lives in Texas. In addition to working out—running, lifting, hiking, kayaking, and more—at least five days a week, Alex seeks out adventurous travels worldwide. As an outdoor and travel journalist, she has rappelled in Jalisco, kayaked in Puerto Rico, skied in Telluride, hiked in Thailand, surfed in Zihuatanejo, scuba dived in Bonaire, and completed a one-day, 100-mile cycling event in 100-degree weather in North Texas.

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