When buying a family tent, consider comfort, protection, and set-up time. Look for a durable, roomy tent with good ventilation and insect protection. Practice setting it up at home and consider extra features like storage pockets and internal walls.
Camping in a family tent can be great fun for both adults and children. However, buying a family tent that is roomy and comfortable enough for everyone is key to a great family camping experience. In addition to comfort and roominess, when buying a family tent you should also consider the protective and set-up aspects of the tent.
The modern family tent is often free standing unlike the ‘old school’ family tents with many poles that need to be driven into the ground. However, there are pros and cons to both styles. A family tent with poles can take a long time to set up, but may be much lighter than a freestanding family tent.
When buying a family tent, it’s a good idea to see the tent put up in the shop if possible so you can examine exactly how the pieces are put together. You should consider that one adult may need to set up the family tent while the other keeps an eye on the children. You also want a tent that older kids can help pitch without too much frustration. Consider getting some practice setting up your tent at home before your family camping trip to make sure all the parts are there and that the tent sets up as it should.
Keep in mind that while a backpacking tent needs to be lightweight, a family tent usually doesn’t need to be as family camping is usually done with a vehicle. However, you still want a family tent that is durable and offers excellent protection from rain, wind, sun and insects. Mesh areas can be a good idea to allow some ventilation in the tent to help prevent dampness, but make sure the mesh is thin enough to keep even the smallest insects like midges out.
Consider buying a large family tent. You’ll need space not only for the family, but also for bedding to climb over and for clothes and other items. Height is also an important consideration for adult comfort. If you see the pitched tent in the shop, you’ll probably be able to get a good idea of how much space you’ll need if you picture your family plus all your stuff in the tent.
In some family tents there is an extra covered section near the door and this adds a little more storage space. Storage pockets are also a convenient addition to a family tent. Some family tents have an extra internal wall or two which are great for changing clothes and dividing the space for a little more privacy.