The 14 Best Basecamp Tents for Family Camping
Sleeping to the mountain sounds while snuggling with your precious den of children and a lovely inamorata has few rivals for time well spent. Some summer nights I’d much rather go without the shelter and toss a bag on good ol’ terra firma plus nature’s own pine needles, but those opportunities are so few when camping as a family. So a tent it is. But which tent is the best for family camping? It’s a harder question to answer than you might think. What’s the criteria? Standing room? Waterproofiness? One-person pitch? Bang-for-buck? Space for adult hanky-panky? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Right?
So, I think I’ve found them. Here are 14 sweet basecamp family tents you might want to consider for your tribe, each with several important elements that aim for comfortable family camping. Alas, some have standing room, built-in shade awnings, privacy areas, speedy pitch, one-person set up . . . Still, the tents you’ll find here house between 4 and 14 people. All tents come in several sizes. So if one catches your eye but seems too big or small, your size is available. I do include data on square footage, maximum interior height, and price to help guide your hunt, but I just didn’t include every size available for every family tent — this list would be endless. Weight is not much of a consideration here because we’re talking about basecamping, but some of these would work for backpacking.
There are four undeniable facts about family tents:
- Good standing room, ability to hold up to significant wind, and ease of set-up are a trifecta of magic that’s hard to come by. To gain in one category you give up in another. Unless you’re willing to pay for it all.
- All tents are either dome style or cabin style. Domes, of course, handle the wind much better than cabins, but the wall slope reduces your livable space, and frequently reduces the maximum height in a tent. Cabin style tents have steeper walls, therefore improved use of square footage, but worse durability in wind, snow, and heavy weather.
- Family tents are big and require a big, flat space
- You get what you pay for.