Best Family Tent for the UK in 2018
When preparing for family camping, there is one item that is indispensable. Your tent. Shelter is essential to survival; a good tent keeps you dry, warm and safe.
Family tents should have enough space for more than three persons and extra space for bags and indoor games.
When considering the best tents to buy, a lot of people get confused because there are a wide range of options available.
Before you purchase any tent, you need to consider your plans and know the features to look out for.
We have outlined the major differences that will guide your decision.
What to look out for in a family tent?
The first feature to look out for when purchasing a family tent is the how big it is. It needs to be able to contain the whole family, and all your gear.
You can look at single-room tents or multi-room tents. There are pros and cons to both.
Single-room tents are good if you are with children so that everyone stays in one place. Multi-room tents, on the other hand, are better for families with teenagers who want a bit more privacy.
Also, think of how many people you are with and how much gear you are taking with you. For a family of five, you’ll need a six-man tent, especially if you are going for a single-room tent.
With a spacious tent, you can have indoor activities and games no matter how bad the weather is outside.
Rain Protection and Vent System
Rain protection is important, especially if you are camping in the spring or winter.
Not every tent is fully water resistant so you need to ensure that the one you purchase is.
Another thing to look out for is a good ventilation outlet as some models have poor openings that let in water in.
Another feature to look out for in a good family tent is durability.
A good tent should have the capacity to resist wear and tear, withstand harsh weather conditions, and still last for a considerable period of time.
Essentially, quality should not be undermined. Canvas tents are usually the most durable, polyester tents are also not bad.
Easy to use
For some campers, erecting a tent is synonymous with work – stressful and energy sapping. But this should not be the case, especially when you have experience with tents, or choose a tent which is easy-to-use.
Families should look out for a tent that’s easy to peg and position.
Sadly, not all tents have a good flooring system.
The flooring should ideally be fire retardant, mostly if you need an indoor camping stove for heat, or a floor that doesn’t tear easily and can withstand unfavourable weather conditions.
We advise that you look out for tents that have an in-built groundsheet with a proper coating. This keeps the floor dry and comfortable.
Depending on how you plan on getting to the camping spot, you have to think about the weight of the tent.
Some tents weigh as little as 16kg and some others – especially canvas tents – weigh up to 50kg. That extra makes a big difference at the start and the end of your adventure!
Tents come in different shapes, we’ve focused on three – umbrella, dome, and A-frame.
An umbrella shape is mostly used in family tents because they have larger standing space, big windows and some have a rain fly. A-frames are also large just not as large as the umbrella.
Dome tents come in different shapes and don’t always have an efficient layout for a crowd, however, they are usually bigger than A-frames.
You also have to think of floor shape – square or round. Square floors are not popular, but if you see one, that’s great because they are more efficient for setting down everyone’s gear or deciding sleeping arrangements.
You probably already have a budget to work with. That’s good, but note that the higher the quality of the fabric, poles, and stitching, the better it will stand against higher winds or heavy rain.
The higher the quality, the higher the price.
If you don’t need a tent that will withstand bad weather – could be that you’re camping during a nice time of the year or in a good place – you can buy any within a low budget.
Now that you know what to look out for in a good camping tent that will serve your purpose, consider your options and look at the tents we have tested below.
Family Tents Reviewed
Best for a Large Family
Kampa Hayling 4 Air Pro
The Kampa Hayling 4 Air Pro 2017 is suitable for a large family because of its spacious design.
Covering a pitch size of 540 cm X 320cm, users can turn it into a comfortable living space with two spacious bedrooms, and a central living area – more like an arena. If you wish, you can let down the partition between the two bedrooms and make it one big room.
There’s also a large built-in front canopy that comes in handy when users want to relax outside without leaving the tent. It also protects the front door and is also designed in a way that it resists unfavourable weather and still giving users ample space for indoor games.
In addition, this tent is well designed with polyester waterproofing and a 150 denier fabric which gives it an exceptional ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.
The spacious living area provided in this tent comes with an in-built groundsheet that has proper layering to always keep the floor dry. It also comes with a mosquito mesh screen panel that is very helpful in keeping insects at bay.
A tent that’s easy to set up is always a plus. This tent is easily done by simply pegging it to the ground with its plastic pegs and pumping up the Air Poles. In addition, hanging ropes are added to keep it firm but they do a poor job for a tent of this size. Nevertheless, the tent is still stable.
The primary font door is commensurate with the size of the tent: BIG, to allow for entry and exit. There is also the availability of a side door which can be converted into a canopy when necessary.
Coleman Inflatable Tent Valdes
This Coleman inflatable tent is another great choice for a large family. It has a six-man carrying capacity that contains three bedrooms and one living room (that you can convert into a bedroom).
There’s also a massive expandable front porch with enough space for relaxation and cooking. The expanded porch also serves as a protection from rain, securing the entrance door from unnecessary wetness.
Another good thing about the tent is that the bedrooms are specially designed with a blackout effect that keep the morning sun at bay. So you could be in the room by 12 pm and it will still feel like 6 am. It also has a beautiful beam technology view that is very handy, blocking 99% of daylight sun.
Also, the tent comes with a special ultraviolet ray guard with its special fabrics made with SPF 50 protection. This fabric is made of polyethylene with properly welded seams that are all leak free and fully taped. The windows and doors also are made with special PVC materials and they have an interior shutter.
One major reason why we considered this tent as a good option for huge families is that each of the three sleeping rooms available has enough space to accommodate a double-sized air bed and still leave users with enough space to walk about and carry out other regular activities. In addition, if a larger space is needed, the room divider can be removed converting the tent into a large living room.
Another advantage is the hinged door and three other entry doors. These give easy access and in addition to the large windows, users can regulate air flow easily.
It is also waterproof and has a sewn-in groundsheet to keep the floor dry. The gripe though is that it’s quite heavy and there’s no room for freestanding. Oh, and no mesh so users can’t camp in really bad weather.
Best Family Tent for Luxurious Camping
Boutique Camping The Oxford Canvas Bell Tent
For some campers, camping is an adventure that doesn’t need too much ‘luxury’, for others, it should be one with class and all the accompanying pomp. For such people, this tent is a perfect choice. It’s spacious and has a luxurious design both inside and outside.
The tent comes with the Zipped In Groundsheets (ZIG) that’s popular in most of Boutique’s tents.
It has a heavy duty zipped-in water-treated and extra thick ground of about 540g per square meter. With this, you can relax on a comfortable floor that’s soft and always dry.
The size of this tent is large enough to accommodate a family of six, with enough space for roll-up beds and extra space for bags and walkway. The interior is also designed to fit in an optional inner tent if users need one.
The Oxford Canvas Bell Tent also has a spring loaded centre pole with a considerable 1.2 mm metal thickness that helps it maintain its gravity. This centre pole also comes with a loop that users can use to hang chandeliers and other forms of inner fittings like curtains.
With an extra thick rope and heavy duty pegs, the tent can withstand pressure from the wind. It also has a zipped central door and a secondary mosquito door that keeps rodents away. In addition, it is fire retardant due to its canvas material.
Airflow and ventilation is on the maximum because the central door are zipped windows with a mesh cover that also keep insects away.
One gripe to the tent though is that setting it up is time consuming. While the user guide is easy to understand, the different parts causes users to lose a lot of time in assembling/disassembling it.
Although Boutique claims to have made the tent with well taped seams to prevent any form of leakage whenever it rains heavily, you shouldn’t use it under hours of rain for the first few times; few users complained of leaks.
Nevertheless, the comfort it provides judging by some of the specs and user experience so far, is almost second to none.
Best for Backpacking
MSR Papa Hubba NX Tent Olive 2018 Tube Tent
For families that want to backpack, the MSR Papa Hubba NX tent is an ideal backpacking tent. Users can easily carry it in their knapsack and go on a hiking adventure without any struggle. It is lightweight for easy mobility. It’s also easy to set up/ disassemble and has a carrying capacity of four people.
This tent also comes with a brilliant design which makes it a regular sight at uphill adventurous outings. On the inside, there’s plenty of living space for a moderate family. The exterior is made of a 20D Ripstop nylon with a dual shield coating to reduce the effect of harsh weather.
The water resistance capacity both of the body and floor is exceptional as well; it can resist rain/water of up to 1200mm on the body and 3000mm on the floor.
Also, the doors ensure easy access and all round dryness even when it rains because of the attached rain gutter. The windows are made to allow sufficient ventilation. It also has a zipper to the ground, which ensures full coverage.
There’s also integrated anchor loops that are done in a way that makes the tent less weighty. Still on it’s lightweight and easy-to-set up mechanism, first-time campers can set it up in just about four to eight minutes.
The downside to the tent that we noticed is that it can’t resist seriously windy climate. Also, if you are more than four campers, you’d have to look at other options because it may be a tight fit.
Best Family Tent for Budget
Coleman Sundrome 6
The Coleman tent is the cheapest tent on our list, going for just £100. While it is the cheapest, it still contend with some of the other tents that we’ve reviewed.
This tent can comfortably contain up to six people with extra space for moving around. It also has a privacy vent window giving users intimacy when they wish. In addition, there’s an adjustable airflow ventilation system using variflo technology. Not only does it circulate air well, it also has a vented cool-air port that cools down the air coming in making the tent cool even during summer.
In addition, it comes with a carry bag and other storage bags for the poles and stakes for easy transporting. Users also have the electrical access port.
Sadly, the rainfly doesn’t fully cover the tent when it pours so it’s not advisable to use when it rains. Asides this, the tent is tempting for any family looking for a spacious and comfortable camping experience.
Coleman Tent Cortes Octagon Tent
This spaceship tent is specially built to fit and accommodate large families. Most good tents are around £300 and above, but this one provides a good start with its relatively cheap price, which right now is £190.
While this is not the lowest priced tent on the market, it’s more than the best value you’d get at that price.
This octagon shaped tent has tons of space that can contain up to eight persons. Users can either set it up as a one room tent or two rooms. This is sort of a downside because there are only two partitioning points in the tent partition divider so users have limited options for how many rooms they can have despite the huge space.
With windows everywhere, ventilation and exposure won’t be a problem. The open space also gives users a view of outside the tent and if you erect the inner mesh tent at night, you’ll get a beautiful view of the stars or the sky. There’s also a flysheet and when removed, the tent is transformed into a bug-proof screen room.
The colour-coded standing steel poles are made to ensure a full head height throughout the eight side tent. This means that you can be on the inside of it and stand fully. The poles also help users set it up in just about 15 minutes because the colour codes tell you where to place each part.
In addition, the front door is reinforced and fully hinged. With this, you can walk in while standing and can close it without going on both hands and knees to catch a flapping tent door. It also has a peaked shelter against rain when users are entering and leaving.
This tent can resist water of up to 2000mm; this makes it appropriate for our UK rainy moments. It also has well sewn in groundsheets.
Another downside here is that the tent looks like your traditional one-man tent on the outside so there’s no porch area. It’s also quite heavy at 20 kg but the storage bag that comes with it has wheels so it’s manageable.
Best Family Tent for Rain
AmazonBasics Water Resistant Unisex Outdoor Dome Tent
Rain can be so unpredictable and if not properly prepared for, it disrupts a good time. This dome-structured tent has a reputation for being the best bet for camping when it rains.
The AmazonBasics Water Resistant Unisex Outdoor Dome Tent is a good choice for a moderate family of four.
It tent measures 274 X 213 cm (length and width), with 150 cm height, providing an ample space to move around. It also comes with a storage bag for easy mobility, hence suitable for backpacking weekends.
The major advantage this tent has over so many others is its water resistance capability. It was designed to fit this purpose; with a coated – polyester fabric and welded 1000D polyethylene floor that has inverted seams. This has been subjected to various test and other users have testified to how good it is under the rain.
Some family camping tents available are single layered, which means that the walls and roof has limitations as to how well they protect users from heavy rainfall. The case here is pretty different, because this tent comes with a rainfly. Another beauty in it is that the rainfly is detachable which means that in a situation where it is not needed, it can be removed.
In addition to the aforementioned, the tent has an interior mesh storage pocket, which is great if you need a place to keep some of your items.
There’s also a window and door for ventilation and a cool air port that allows for fresh air flow. The only gripe so far – which isn’t really a serious problem – is that it comes only in orange colour. If this isn’t a problem for you, then go for this tent.
Family Tents – Amazon BEST Sellers
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