What to Look for in a Family Tent
Camping is the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors and create long-lasting memories with your family.
Knowing what makes a family tent can make or break the overall camping experience. With so many great family tents to choose from, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the options at your disposal.
Fear not, since you will learn all about what to look for in a family tent below. Follow this advice, and soon you will be able to pick just the right tent for your needs.
Tents are generally advertised according to the number of people they accommodate. Keep in mind that they can vary wildly in volume and the amount of space they take up on the ground even then.
As a general rule, you’re probably better off ignoring the manufacturer’s suggestions. A four-person tent is rarely big enough for four people. It might be large enough for three to sleep in, but two would be the best fit for a comfortable experience.
If specifications say that a tent is large enough for four people, four people would be a tight fit, with no space for backpacks, etc. Therefore, a family of four should get a six-person tent. This will give you room for bedding and backpacking pillows, and smaller areas to store clothes, cookware and dishes, etc.
In case of bad weather, the extra space will be a godsend with all of you in the tent.
Bedrooms and general layout
When choosing a family tent, consider the number of bedrooms you need, instead of the number of people the tent accommodates.
Tents with a higher number of bedrooms will also have more storage space. That is a crucial aspect of family camping because traveling with children means a lot more gear than you ever imagined coming along on a camping trip with you.
Speaking of crucial things for ideal camping, there is no price one can put on peace and quiet. If you have older children, investing in a tent with bedrooms at opposite ends could help keep things quieter.
On the other hand, parents with younger children or infants will want to be close to their little campers for safety. So, tents with a single master bedroom are a great choice.
You could also invest in a multi-room tent with removable partitions between spaces.
When your kids are young, you can keep the partitions down and put them up when they get older. Multi-room tents also offer separate entrances for each room, giving older kids an opportunity to come and go without disturbing everyone else.
Extra living spaces
You should be able to do more than just sleep in your family tent.
That is why you should buy a tent with a living area and a porch area. That way, you have a rain-proof space outside for cooking and muddy gear and inside a room for wet weather activities.
Family tents with those additional living spaces can be harder to store and carry, and the ultimate choice between extra room and ease of transportation is up to you.
Consider the environment
Different tents are made for different environments.
A summer tent will be made of lightweight material, have a lot of ventilation, and is likely not designed for harsh conditions. A three-season tent will more likely survive heavier rain and winds and protect you and your family from the cold.
Tents made from cotton canvas are waterproof, but they get cumbersome when the water is absorbed. However, they are long-lasting and don’t deteriorate as much as those made of nylon.
Simultaneously, nylon and polyester tents are waterproof, but sunlight will cause deterioration over time. With these tents, you must check if the seams have been sealed to ensure they are waterproof.
If you plan on camping in the snow, your tent needs to be a winter tent and not a three-season tent. When shopping for a family tent, make sure to select the one that suits the weather.
Even during hot summers, perfect weather can change rapidly, so you need to think about your tent and how it would perform should a storm arise unexpectedly.
Ease of use
When choosing a tent, look for one that is easy to setup.
The difficulty depends mainly on how many rods are involved. The fewer the stakes, the easier it is to set up.
While it’s easier to attach poles to the fabric by clips than thread them through fabric sleeves, those sleeves make the structure stronger. Some tents have a combination of pins and sleeves.
Ease of use is imperative.
Find the tent you are interested in or similar to it on YouTube and watch a video of someone setting it up. See how the tent works and if it is a feasible option to set up yourself.
Also, look for independent reviewers instead of the manufacturer video as they tend to be more objective.