Mom Goes Camping

The Best Large Family Tents (9P to 12P)

best large family tents

While there aren’t that many options when it comes to large family tents, all of the options are quite different from each other.  They can be dome, tunnel or cabin tents.  Some have multiple rooms and doorways whereas others are simpler designs.  And there are many features to consider, like built-in storage and ventilation.

Because the options for large family tents are so different, it is really important that you consider how you will use the tent.  Do you really need multiple rooms?  Does each room need its own entrance?  Is it more important that you have a tent which is easy to set up and take down?

I’ve chosen the best large tents for family camping and broken them down by their most important features.  There should be a tent for every family’s style of camping.

Quick Picks

 

Comparison Table

Click the arrows to sort the table by type, size, rooms, etc.

TentSleepsTypeRoomsDoorsFootprintHeightWeight
Core 9 Instant9Cabin2214x9'78"30.5lbs
Campros10Tunnel2116x9'72"20.9lbs
Coleman Instant Dark Room10Cabin2214x10'79"35.5lbs
Coleman Skylodge10Cabin2114x10'79"40.5lbs
Ozark Trail10Mod. Dome3320x10'78"27lbs
UNP10Mod. Dome2118x9'78"23.1lbs
Campros12Tunnel3220x9'72"24.3lbs
Coleman Skylodge12Cabin2115x11'84"52.7lbs
Core 12 Instant12Cabin3218x10'80"52lbs
Eureka Copper Canyon LX12Cabin2214x12'84"36.8lbs

 

Best Large Tents for Family Camping

Core Instant Cabin 12P

Best for: A multi-room large tent that can handle bad weather

core 12 instant family cabin tent

Features

  • Type: Cabin
  • Rooms: 3 with removable divider
  • Footprint size: 18×10 feet
  • Max height: 80 inches
  • Weight: 52lbs
  • Buy Here

Review

Even though this tent is very affordable, it is surprisingly well-made and has a great design.   For an instant tent, it is pretty sturdy and handles bad weather very well.  It also has built-in ventilation so you don’t end up with condensation problems in cold weather.

I love the design of this tent.  The entrance doors are in the middle.  You enter to a large room which can be used for hanging out or storage.  There are room dividers on each side, giving you two separate sleeping spaces.  The room dividers zip so are easy to open/close.  You don’t have to unhook them to get in as is the case with some cheap family tents.  A queen size air bed fits in each section of the tent, but with little room around the sides.

The only real downside of this tent is that it is very heavy.  There is also a lot of fabric, so packing it up can be a challenge.  It does withstand bad weather well but you may need to reseal the seams eventually.

Pros

  • Three rooms
  • Great ventilation
  • Handles bad weather well
  • Affordable
  • Instant setup

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Annoying to pack up

Buy Here


Core Instant Cabin Tent 9P

Best for: 3 or 4-person family who wants a hangout room in the tent

core 9 instant cabin family tent

Features

  • Type: Cabin
  • Rooms: 2 with removable divider
  • Footprint size: 14×9 feet
  • Max height: 78 inches
  • Weight: 30.5lbs
  • Buy Here

Review

Core also makes a smaller version of their instant tent.  It is quite different from the 12P tent though.  It has a large front room which has two doors.  While you could theoretically sleep in this room, it is really best for hanging out.  When the windows are all open, you get lots of ventilation and light – and a great place to hide from mosquitoes in the evening.

A divider creates a separate room in the back of the tent.  The divider zips down the middle, so is practical to use. The room is large enough for a queen air mattress. The windows are slightly annoying though because they don’t have tie-ups and might dangle by your face when open.

Note that there is really great ventilation on this tent, including vents on the bottom. It also holds up in thunderstorms well. That makes it one of the best large family tents for camping in bad weather.

Pros

  • Good ventilation
  • Handles bad weather well
  • Instant setup
  • Large front doors
  • Lots of light and air in front room

Cons

  • Windows don’t have tie-ups
  • Too small for large family

Buy Here


Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 12P

Best for: Large families who want a tent with a hangout room

eureka copper canyon LX family camping tent

Features

  • Type: Cabin
  • Rooms: 2
  • Footprint size: 14×12 feet
  • Max height: 84inches
  • Weight: 36.8lbs
  • Buy Here

Review

The Copper Canyon 12P tent is pretty similar to the Core 9P tent above. It also has a front room that you can use for hanging out or storage.  A room divider creates a sleeping room in the back.  There are massive doors and windows so you get lots of light.

The major difference between the Copper Canyon 12P and Core 9P is the size.  The footprint is three feet longer (14×12 feet compared to 14×9 feet) and you also get 84” of headroom.   All this extra room means you can actually fit a big family into the tent.

This isn’t an instant tent but setup is pretty simple.  One person can even set it up alone, though two people will make the job easier.  It is freestanding though you will still want to stake it out completely.  The tent does pretty well in bad weather and windows don’t leak.  There aren’t any vents so condensation will occur in very cold weather.  I’d also recommend getting a groundsheet to use with the tent since the floor material is fairly thin.

Pros

  • 84 inches of headroom
  • Lots of light and air with windows open
  • Easy setup
  • Massive doors

Cons

  • Needs groundsheet in rain
  • Pricier tent
  • Condensation in bad weather

Buy Here


 

Coleman Instant Dark Room 10P

Best for: Camping in hot, sunny weather

Coleman Instant Dark Room Large Family tent 10P

Features

  • Type: Cabin
  • Rooms: 2 with removable divider
  • Footprint size: 14×10 feet
  • Max height: 79 inches
  • Weight: 35.5lbs
  • Buy Here

Review

The Coleman Dark Room 10P is a large family tent with a lot of nice features.  It’s an instant tent so is very easy to set up.  It also has two rooms. Each room has its own door, so you can actually get in/out of each room without bothering your family members in the other room.  One of the doors is hinged. I love that the room divider zips down the middle so you can easily open it up.

This tent was designed to be used in hot, sunny weather.  The Dark Room feature means it blocks sunlight so you can sleep in (also useful for getting your little kids to nap during the day).  Unlike other dark tents, this one also blocks heat so it doesn’t get insanely hot inside.

The downside is that the tent isn’t great in bad weather.  There are some leakage issues through the windows and some users said the door zippers tend to snag.

Pros

  • Two rooms
  • Each room has its own door
  • Divider zips down middle
  • Instant tent

Cons

  • Not great in heavy rains
  • Door zippers snag

Buy Here


Ozark Trail 10P Tent

Best for:Budget family tent with three rooms and good design

ozark trail 10p large family camping tent

Features

  • Type: Modified dome
  • Rooms: 3 with removable divider
  • Footprint size: 20×10 feet
  • Max height: 78 inches
  • Weight: 27lbs
  • Buy Here

Review

Most large family tents are cabin tents.  This one by Ozark Trail is a modified dome tent.  To set up, you criss-cross two poles in the middle to make the central room.  Then you put another pole on each side to create two more domed rooms.  Set up is a bit trickier and it will take you at least 15 minutes to do by yourself.

If you don’t mind the difficult setup, the Ozark Trail 10P tent has some awesome features – especially its smart design.  It has three separate rooms.  Each room has its own door (there is a door in the middle and a door on each end).  This means people can actually sleep in each room and get in/out without bothering the other campers.  Or you can use the side rooms for sleeping and the middle room for hanging out.

Because it is a dome tent, the headroom isn’t great.  The side rooms are very low and I wouldn’t recommend using a queen mattress.  It’s better for low cots or smaller air mattresses.

As to be expected with such a cheap family tent, the materials aren’t great. The zippers snag and the thin material will start to leak eventually.  It doesn’t do great in heavy rains.  I also hate that the room dividers don’t zip down the middle.  It’s not a big deal since each room has its own door, but annoying if you want to move between rooms from within the tent.

Pros

  • Three rooms
  • Each room has its own door
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Windows may leak in heavy rain
  • Cheap materials
  • Takes time to set up
  • Low headroom in side rooms

Buy Here


 

Coleman Skylodge (10P and 12P)

Best for: Massive windows

coleman skylodge family camping cabin tent

Features

  • Type: Cabin
  • Rooms: 2 with removable divider
  • Footprint size: 14×10 feet (15×11 for 12P)
  • Max height: 79 inches (84″ for 12P)
  • Weight: 40.5lbs (52.7lbs for 12P)
  • Buy Here

Review

The standout feature of the Coleman Skylodge is the massive windows.  The ones in the front room are as big as the entire wall.  When all are unzipped, you feel like you are outside.  This is really great for when you need to hide from mosquitoes in the evening.

The tent comes in two sizes: 10P (14×10 feet) and 12P (15×11 feet).  Both sizes will fit 4 queen size beds, though you won’t have any extra room around the beds to walk around in the 10P version.  Don’t count on actually using both rooms for sleeping though.  There is only one door and the front room is better utilized as a hangout room or for storage.  It’s really too bad they didn’t put another door in the back.

As for weather resistance, the tent does handle rain pretty well.  The bathtub floor is high and thick. Thicker material means the tent is very heavy though and it’s annoying to pack up.  It isn’t great in windy weather though and is really only meant for summer camping because there isn’t much ventilation when the windows are all rolled up.

Pros

  • Massive windows
  • Good ventilation
  • Color-coded poles for easy setup

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Only one door
  • Doesn’t handle wind well
  • Condensation in cold weather

Buy Here


 

UNP 10P Tent

Best for: Affordable two-room family tent

UNP 10P large family tent

Features

  • Type: Modified dome
  • Rooms: 2 with removable divider
  • Footprint size: 18×9 feet
  • Max height: 78 inches
  • Weight: 23.1lbs
  • Buy Here

Review

Here is another modified dome family tent.  There is a divider in the middle to create two rooms.  The front door is divided into two parts, so you can get in/out of the tent without bothering people in the other room.  However, the room divider doesn’t zip down, so you can’t move between two rooms easily when the divider is up.

A full air mattress will fit on each side of the tent.  Or, if you remove the divider, you could get three air mattresses in.   You wouldn’t have much room left for storage or moving around the beds though, so this is better for smaller families who want two rooms.  Also note that the hinge going down the middle of the doors, so you get two small doors instead of one big one.  This makes it annoying to get mattresses inside.

The fly on the tent and dome shape means it handles rain better than most cabin tents.  However, the material is thin and cheap.  Expect some leaking during heavy thunderstorms and you’ll probably want a groundsheet to use with the tent during bad weather.  There aren’t many windows so ventilation is poor.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Handles bad weather okay
  • Two usable sleeping spaces

Cons

  • Hard to fit large mattresses through doors
  • Only one entrance
  • No zipper on room divider
  • Not many windows or ventilation

Buy Here


Campros Tunnel Tent (9P and 12P)

Best for: Budget tent with enough space for a large family

campros 9 person large family camping tent

Features

  • Type: Tunnel
  • Rooms: 2 (9P), 3 (12P)
  • Footprint size: 16×9′ (9P), 20×9′ (12P)
  • Max height: 72 inches
  • Weight: 20.9lbs (9P), 24.3lbs (12P)
  • Buy 9P Here and 12P Here

Review

The Campros is a tunnel tent which comes in 9P and 12P sizes. The entrance door is in the middle of the tent.  With the 9P tent, there one room divider which can be put on either side of the tent.   The 12P version has two room dividers.

The room divider in this tent isn’t the most functional.  Since there is only one door, you have no way of getting into a room when the divider is up.  There’s no zipper on the divider so it’s slightly annoying to unhook the divider to get in/out of the room.

For such a cheap tent, it is surprisingly well-made and seems to hold up to bad weather well.   The curved shape definitely makes it better in windy weather than a cabin tent. There’s adequate ventilation to prevent condensation on cold nights. I personally don’t like tunnel tents very much though.  They have to be completely staked out to stay upright, which is difficult on rocky ground.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Good ventilation

Cons

  • Needs to be stake down very well
  • Only one door
  • Low headroom
  • Room divider doesn’t zip down middle

Buy 9P Here and 12P Here


 

Advice for Buying a Large Family Tent

1. A Large Tent Never Fits As Many As Promised

Tent sizes are listed based on people in sleeping bags.  If you use air mattresses or cots for camping, the tent will fit fewer people than listed.   Depending on the layout, some of the space might be completely useless for sleeping.

 

2. Draw the tent layout

It really helps to make a little drawing of the tent layout.  This will give you a better idea of how you’ll be able to use the tent.

For example, the picture below shows a tent with a 14×9 foot layout and a room divider down the middle. With a queen and twin air mattress in one room, there is absolutely no room around the beds.

example tent floor layout

3. Think how you want to use each room in the tent

Most large family tents have multiple rooms.  However, these rooms often aren’t practical for sleeping.

For example, look at the tent layout picture above.  If you were to put a queen mattress in the front room, it might block the door. One person might have to sleep against a wall and crawl over the other person to get out. Or people in a back room might have to crawl over campers in a front room to get out!

So, even though that tent is large, the front room only makes sense as a storage/hangout room.

 

4. Choose a tent with multiple doors 

Large tents with multiple doors are much more versatile.  Ideally, each sleeping room should have its own door so campers don’t disturb each other when getting in/out of the tent. 

 

5. Ventilation is important

Condensation can be a major problem with large family tents.  Unlike with smaller tents, large tents are usually single-wall and don’t have full flies. You have to zip them up completely when it rains.

With all windows closed up, the tent will trap heat from your bodies. On cold nights, the inside temperature gets much higher than the outside temperature.  Condensation will form on the tent and may drip on your head.

Good tents solve this by creating air vents in the tent. Yes, these vents may create a draft but they are actually necessary to keep you dry.

Read more about tent condensation in this post about How much warmer is it inside a tent?

 

6. Will It Leak?

Large family tents usually perform poorly in bad weather.  They have very small flies which don’t cover windows completely.  With large cabin tents, wind will beat against the vertical walls instead of flowing around them like wthy would with a dome tent.

Keep this in mind when people complain about their large tent leaking.  It’s almost inevitable down the line. To fix this, make sure you pack tent seam sealer in case of leaks.

 

7. Two small tents may be better than one large tent

Large family tents can be very difficult to pitch.  The footprints are so massive that it’s sometimes impossible to find a flat, rock-free site.  This usually isn’t a problem when camping at campgrounds.  But if you want to do any wild camping, it may make more sense to bring two small tents instead of one large one.

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About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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