Large families can have a hard time finding a tent that can fit everyone AND their gear. If you’re looking for additional living space or even just a little bit of extra breathing room, the task gets even trickier.
In this roundup, we’ll try to help you find the best 6 person family tent that you can afford.
In A Hurry?
Our Top Pick – Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
- Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
- Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room/Evanston Camping Tent with Screened-In Porch
- Timber Ridge 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent with Rainfly
- Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room
- CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer
- Coleman Montana 6 Person Tent
- CORE 6 Person Dome Tent
- Timber Ridge 6 Person Dome D Door Family Camping Tent and Traveling Tent with Portable Rain Fly
- NTK Cherokee GT 5 to 6 Person Outdoor Dome Family Camping Tent
- Coleman 6-Person Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room
Shopping For A Family Tent: What You Need To Know
Even if you’ve purchased a tent before, you might be in for a surprise or two when it comes to shopping for a larger unit. This section will give you the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family.
How Big Does a Six-Person Tent Have To Be?
Most tents that advertise themselves as six-person tents have about 100 square feet of floor space. If you’re planning on 25 square feet per adult and 15 square feet per child, then this is adequate, but not particularly generous.
Many experts recommend at least 20 square feet per person. If you’d like extra space to store your gear or just extra living space, you should look for a unit that offers at least 120 square feet.
The main rule to follow when it comes to size? Err on the larger side. It’s far better to have more space than you need than to deal with a cramped tent, especially in inclement weather. To that end, your family of six might want to look for a tent that’s large enough to sleep eight.
Is There a Particular Tent Shape I Should Look For?
When it comes to tents for large families, you’ll have two basic options: dome tents or cabin tents. Below, we’ve outlined the pluses and minuses of each style.
These freestanding units have rounded tops and sloping walls. They’re fairly easy to assemble, and comparably lightweight when it comes to packing.
While dome tents are a better choice in inclement weather (particularly in windy conditions), they don’t provide the headroom that you’ll get from a cabin tent.
A cabin tent is constructed like a miniature house, with straight walls and ceilings high enough for an average-sized person to stand comfortably. Some of them even have partitions to allow for privacy when dressing.
If floor space and headroom are major concerns, you’ll probably prefer one of these models. Remember that they don’t offer much protection from wind, so keep a close eye on the weather forecast if you’ll be camping in a cabin tent.
What Materials Should A Family-Style Tent Use In Its Construction?
Again, you’ll have two basic options when it comes to the material: Synthetics such as nylon and polyester, or natural fabrics such as cotton or canvas. Here’s the lowdown on both categories.
Nylon and polyester are lightweight, inexpensive, and quick to dry. They also require less maintenance than natural fabrics and may be more resistant to mold and mildew.
The downside? They aren’t great insulators, meaning you might get too hot or too cool,, depending on the weather. Also, since the fabric isn’t breathable, condensation can form and puddle on the inside of the tent—even more so when it’s raining outside.
Tents constructed out of canvas and cotton are heavy and durable and provide excellent insulation from heat, cold, rain, and wind. Since the fabric retains moisture, you’ll stay nice and dry inside.
As an added bonus, the dense fabric won’t flap around in the wind, the way nylon would. Bear in mind, however, that these tents can be difficult to transport on account of their weight.
They also require more maintenance than their synthetic counterparts and need to be weathered before their first use.
Are There Any Instant Tents Available In These Sizes?
Instant tents are a great option for families. Since they can be assembled in a matter of moments, they’ll free up more time for fun. Also, you won’t have to worry about little ones getting antsy while you’re struggling with poles and ropes.
Since these units are available in a variety of sizes and styles, you should have an easy time finding one that’s large enough to suit your family. For tips on how to set up an instant tent, check out this YouTube tutorial.
Do All Tents Need To Be Waterproofed Before The First Use?
The short answer is yes. Even if your new tent is advertised as being weatherproofed, an additional layer of protection never hurts. Fortunately, the process is fairly simple.
For synthetic fabrics, simply set up the tent in your backyard, and apply whatever brand of waterproofing spray that you prefer, according to the directions. Let it dry thoroughly, then test the fabric by soaking a bit of it with water. If it still leaks, then the process needs to be repeated.
Canvas and cotton tents should be set up and sprayed all over with water (the spray nozzle on your garden hose will work well for this). Then let the tent dry completely before packing it up. This allows the fibers of the tent to expand and then shrink, thereby “seasoning” them for the next onslaught of rain.
Best 6 Person Tent Review: Product Guide
Here’s a detailed look at some of the best 6 person family tent options on the current market.
1. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
This instant tent can be set up in less than two minutes if more than one person is around to help. With 90 square feet of floor space, it’s a tad cramped for six people, but it could work if you don’t mind keeping your gear stored in the car.
On the plus side, the ceiling measures six feet high at the center, so it is tall enough to allow you some room to maneuver.
The construction of the Coleman Cabin Tent is impressive, with extra-thick polyester walls, a vented rainfly, and taped seams. The interior has two storage pockets for sunglasses and cell phones.
We’ve found that the weatherproofing can be hit or miss, so be sure to take this extra step before taking the tent on the road.
2. Coleman Dome Tent with Screen Room/Evanston Camping Tent with Screened-In Porch
While the interior of this dome tent is slightly cramped at 90 square feet, it includes a nice bonus—a built-in screen room that’s large enough to hold a small table and two chairs. You can also use it as a “mudroom” if you don’t want to wear your shoes inside the tent, or as a storage vestibule for your gear.
The polyester construction of this Coleman tent stands up well against heavy winds, and the tub floor has guarded seams to keep out moisture.
Note that the center height of the dome measures only 5 feet 8 inches, so the adults in the family will probably be in for a lot of bending and scooting.
3. Timber Ridge 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent with Rainfly
Here we have another instant tent, one that can be assembled within five minutes. The floor space covers 100 square feet, with a generous center height of 78 inches.
We also like the fact that the door is O-shaped, which makes it easier for more than one person to enter and/or exit at once. Three windows and a full mesh ceiling provide excellent ventilation, while the included fly will keep you dry in the rain.
We’ve noticed that the zippers tend to stick and break frequently, which is something of a disappointment. However, Timber Ridge offers a one-year warranty with the purchase of the 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent.
4. Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room
The WeatherMaster comes billed as a dome tent, but it resembles a cabin tent with its rectangular structure and additional floorless screen room.
The interior offers 99 square feet of floor space with a center height of 80 inches, while the screen room provides 54 square feet. A rainfly and carry bag are included in the purchase price.
5. CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer
CORE’s flagship entry into the instant-tent race comes equipped with a lantern hook and a wall organizer to keep your space neat and tidy. With 99 square feet of living space and a center height of six feet, it’s roomier than many of the options listed here.
CORE offers a one-year warranty with the purchase of this model. A rainfly and carry bag are also included.
6. Coleman Montana 6 Person Tent
The Montana is a dome tent with an oblong design, offering just 84 square feet of living space. The fly comes with a broad awning that helps keep gear and shoes dry when stored underneath.
The center height measures just 5 feet 8 inches, so it’s not ideal for taller people (or any people of size, really). That said, the polyester walls do a superb job at keeping out moisture.
7. CORE 6 Person Dome Tent
This polyester dome tent offers maximum wind protection and an adjustable ground vent for airflow. There’s also a gear loft with pockets and a lantern hook, so you won’t have to fiddle with your lamp when you’re trying to read.
Be forewarned that if you’re camping with older children, you can anticipate a tight fit. While the center height measures an even six feet, the sloping walls make the 99 square feet of living space seem smaller than it is.
8. Timber Ridge 6 Person Dome D Door Family Camping Tent and Traveling Tent with Portable Rain Fly and Carry Bag
This unit resembles the CORE 6 Person Dome Tent, with an interior offering 99 square feet of living space and six-foot center height. It feels slightly roomier than CORE’s version, perhaps because the sloping of the walls is more gradual. It can easily fit two queen air mattresses, but space will be a bit cramped if you try to store your gear as well.
The material offers good water and wind resistance, and side windows give you a nice cross-breeze. Other amenities include an LED lantern hook, a cable port, and side pockets for storage.
9. NTK Cherokee GT 5 to 6 Person Outdoor Dome Family Camping Tent
With just 96 square feet of living space and tight dome construction, this is one of the coziest tents on our list. It measures 5 feet 9 inches tall in the center, but the rest of the ceiling is fairly low.
Still, the material features a polyurethane coating for waterproofing, and the rain fly stretches all the way to the ground. For added protection against the elements, the tub-style floor is constructed of an anti-fungus material.
10. Coleman 6-Person Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room
Coleman’s Steel Creek Dome Tent takes a bit longer to set up than most “instant” tents, but it can usually be assembled in under 10 minutes. The main living area offers 90 square feet, with an additional 50 square feet available in the screen area.
You can fit two camp chairs in the screen room, or use it for extra sleeping space. The included rainfly and durable weatherproof construction help keep the interior dry and comfortable in all kinds of weather. Be aware that the ceiling on this unit is quite low.
If we had to invest in just one of these tents, we would go with the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup. Although it could do with a bit more floor space, the high ceilings give it a spacious feel.
We also love the fact that it can be set up in mere minutes, allowing for more family time. The durable construction means that it’s a bit cumbersome to transport, but this issue can be offset if more than one person pitches in to help.
We hope our Best 6 Person Tent Review has given you the information you need, and that your tent provides you with many years of great memories.
Best of luck, and happy trails!