Camping is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. And, as you know, a reliable tent is the centerpiece of any camping trip. If you’re going on a trip with your family (or a larger group of friends), you should consider getting a tent with plenty of room. For example, 6 person tents are an excellent choice when you want a bit more comfort for everyone.
Before you choose a tent, make sure to look at the overall design, see which materials were used, and consider whether it’s weather-resistant (among other things). Also, you want a tent that is easy to set up so you can enjoy your vacation.
The products we featured offer all of this, and much more. We tried to pick out different types and designs, so you have a larger chance of finding the one you like. In addition, our buying guide below will give you solid tips on how to find the best 6 person tent, so don’t miss out.
How To Choose A 6 Person Tent – Buying Guide
Since providing shelter is a tent’s main task, you should get a tent made of high-quality materials (both the body and the frame). Also, make sure that there is a large enough floor surface and sufficient height, especially since you’re buying a multi-person tent. While these are probably the most important things to think about, there are many more that contribute to making the best 6-person tent. Take a look.
There’s no doubt that all of these tents are pretty spacious. Still, you need to carefully think about the sleeping arrangement, and whether you plan to put air mattresses or cots inside. When manufacturers say that these have a 6-person capacity, they have average-sized individuals in mind. In addition, even if the six of you can fit comfortably in a tent, there won’t be much extra room between you for the gear.
If you want this tent to be comfortable, we’d say it’s the perfect size for a family of four. Most of these can accommodate two queen-sized mattresses inside, and you will still have some room for a small table and space to put your backpack and clothes.
We also want to point out that the floor area is only partly usable, especially if the walls are steep. So, always do careful planning before ordering, because these tents won’t give an abundance of comfort to 6 people, but will be fantastic for smaller groups.
Height is directly related to the usable space we just talked about. Since these are larger tents, they usually have a center height of 6 feet or more, some going up to 7 feet. This is a big plus because it allows you to stand up and move around in your tent without having to bend your back.
If you have an average height, most of the 6-person tents will be tall enough to move freely. If you’re taller, then pay attention to the height specs we listed under each product, and find the one that suits you. We also want to add that cabin-type tents have almost vertical walls, so they allow you to walk through the whole tent. On the other hand, dome tents have curved walls and offer less floor usability.
Freestanding vs Non-Freestanding
You’ve probably heard these terms many times, but maybe you’re not sure what the difference is between the two. A freestanding tent comes with its own set of tent poles that hold the tent upright. They are located on the outside, and you can freely pick the tent up and move it around.
On the other hand, a non-freestanding tent needs to be pitched and staked to the ground. The supporting structure is located on the inside, and you need to spread out the tent and stake it for it to hold the structure. While freestanding tents can also be staked, using tent stakes is necessary with non-freestanding type, and they can’t be moved around.
In addition to these design differences, there are also differences that relate to performance and ease of use. A freestanding tent is much quicker and easier to set up since the poles are usually color-coded and connected, so it’s very easy to put them in place. On the other hand, this type of tent is generally more vulnerable to wind and bad weather.
As for non-freestanding tents, they often perform better in strong winds and heavy rain (as long as you set them up properly). However, you need to stake it out and pitch it, which will require much more time and effort compared to the freestanding type, especially if you don’t have much experience. From our point of view, it’s a much easier path to go with a freestanding tent.
Having air circulate through the tent is very important, regardless of the type of tent you buy. Good ventilation makes you feel more pleasant in the tent and reduces the condensation inside. During the night, the temperature difference inside and outside the tent becomes larger, so the air moisture inside the tent condensates on colder tent walls. As you can probably guess, having your things wet in the morning is not very fun.
We suggest you get a tent with large doors and windows, and preferably a large ceiling mesh panel too. It’s an even bigger plus if the tent comes with additional vents in the floor area. This allows the air to move around freely, and the water vapor to escape instead of condensing. The breeze also helps keep the tent cool, but if you still feel too warm you should think about getting a tent fan or an air conditioner.
Design And Type
All of the tents we featured are either dome or cabin style because these are probably the most convenient for relaxed camping. Since we will focus on dome and cabin tents, you can read our article on different types of tents if you want to learn more about the other types.
Dome tents are easy to set up, and the dome shape works as great weather protection. However, because of the steeper walls, they offer less moving space than cabin tents. On the other hand, cabin tents generally offer more comfort thanks to their upright walls, but are more vulnerable to stronger winds.
When talking about design, the first things you should look at are the doors and windows. We feel it’s a huge plus if a tent has more than one door, so you can get in and out without stepping over the person who is sleeping. Large windows make good ventilation possible and give you a nice view outside.
Furthermore, some tent models have mesh screens on windows (in addition to full fabric flaps), so you can leave the window open and not worry about bugs coming in. You should also think about the number of poles in tent design and how they connect to each other. It’s very helpful if the poles are color-coded and come with clips, so you can match them quickly.
The best 6 person camping tent will come with many additional features that make using the tent easier and more comfortable. Many of the models we reviewed come with mesh pockets on the walls, which allow you to store small items you need close to hand, such as a camping knife of a flashlight.
In addition, some models have a gear loft above your head, which is a great storage space for smaller bags and clothing. Gear lofts usually come with hooks in the middle, designed to attach a lantern and shine a light on your tent. Even though lanterns work on batteries, it’s a plus if the tent comes with a zippered E-port, allowing you to pull through an extension cable and have electricity in the tent.
All of the models we reviewed come with a rain fly that keeps the tent dry, so it’s more of a standard feature. However, some models also have vestibules, which are a covered extension in front of the door where you can stash your gear. To lift it to a higher level, some models have a proper screen room which not only works as a vestibule but can also be used for lounging.
The materials used are directly responsible for the performance and durability of your new tent. The body of the tent is usually made of either canvas (more common in the past) or some type of synthetic (nylon or polyester). While canvas is very strong and gives excellent protection, it is also pretty heavy. Synthetics, on the other hand, are much lighter and work great too. Rip-stop nylon offers excellent durability, while polyester often has some type of UV protection and is resistant to fire.
Since poles are a vital part of your tent structure, you shouldn’t overlook them. They are usually made of fiberglass, aluminum, or steel. Fiberglass is the lightest but can’t be repaired when damaged. Aluminum is in the goldilocks zone, slightly heavier but still light enough and with a decent amount of strength. Steel poles are the heaviest, but you don’t have to worry about them bending or breaking in strong winds.
The last thing we want to talk about is the floor. It’s normally made of stronger materials than the walls since it shouldn’t be punctured or torn by anything sharp underneath. Some products even have fully welded floors made of polyethylene, which is excellent in terms of durability. Still, we would advise that you always place a tent footprint underneath your tent if you want to fully protect it.
Weather isn’t always going to be nice, and you will most likely get caught in a surprise shower at one point or another. This is why you need to think about how your tent is going to perform in wet and windy conditions. If you’re camping in an area known for sudden weather changes, this becomes even more significant.
Logically, the rain fly is your main protection from the rain. Depending on the tent model, the rain fly covers a larger or smaller portion of the tent (the roof is always covered, but sometimes the walls are too). The rain fly should be fully waterproof and not allow any water to leak through.
Also, the seams on your tent should be fully sealed to prevent the water from finding its way inside. If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises, make sure to learn how to waterproof your tent and read more about seam sealing.
As you’ll see, the wind is also an important factor, especially if you’re camping in a clear area without much tree protection. If you’re expecting strong winds, a dome tent is a much better choice because of its reduced surface area. Always make sure to stake down the tent and tie the guylines so it doesn’t get blown away.
Weight and Portability
Considering the capacity of these tents, you can’t expect them to be featherlight. Still, there are significant weight differences between them, ranging from around 15 pounds to more than 70 pounds. Some models can be too heavy for one person, so think about the distance you’ll need to carry the tent, and whether you’ll need some help.
If you’re going with your car and can park right next to the campsite, this won’t be a problem. On the other hand, if you need to hike to the camping site, consider buying a lighter tent. You will also be hauling other camping gear, so don’t forget to take that into account.
In terms of portability, don’t forget to check the packed size of the tent because it should fit easily in the trunk of your car. It’s great when a tent comes in a good carry bag with handles because it makes transportation much easier.
While browsing through different tents, you’ve probably noticed that some of them are labeled as 3-season and 4-season tents. What does this mean exactly? For example, a 6 person 3 season tent is designed to withstand heavier rainfall and winds, at a level that you can’t expect from a 1-2 season tent.
Even though we haven’t featured them (as they really aren’t for large group camping), 4 season tents also exist. They are tough and able to withstand snow while keeping you warm and dry. This is only one of many differences between 4 season and 3 season tents. Our guess is that you won’t need a winter tent, but it’s always good to know.
The downside of these “multiseason” tents is that they are heavy and have worse ventilation. This causes more condensation and makes the stay inside uncomfortable in warm weather. If you’re a summer camper and want the most comfort, a breathable 1-2 season tent will do the best job.
Ease Of Set-Up
Once you’ve reached the camping site, nobody wants to spend a couple of hours setting up the tent. In our opinion, the best 6-person tent (or any other for that matter) is a tent that can be fully set up in 10-20 minutes. If you’re an experienced camper or have someone to help you, the process can go even faster. If you want to learn how to do it, read our article on how to set up a tent.
As we mentioned earlier, some design features can help you significantly during the setup. Poles with shock cords are already pre-connected, and the color-coding shows you which part of the tent goes where. Manufacturers are continuously trying to make everything easier, so it’s fairly simple to put it together even if you don’t have much experience. We also want to add that a large tent like this one is going to need a large area to set up too.
Q: How Big Should a 6 Person Tent Be?
These tents have an average sleeping area of 100 square feet. As we discussed earlier in the text, this is enough to sleep 6 average-sized people without much spare space left. This is why you should carefully consider the number of occupants and beds you’re going to put inside.
Even the best six person tents won’t give you much extra space, so they will be most comfortable for 4 people. If your group is larger and you need more space, we suggest you take a look at 10 person tents. On the other hand, if there’s only two or three of you, then something smaller like a 4 person tent would be more useful.
Q: How To Clean And Store A Tent?
Before putting the tent in the bag, make sure you remove all the dirt and debris, both inside and outside. If the tent is dirty, you can wipe it down with a wet cloth to remove the stains. However, always make sure it’s fully dry before storing it, otherwise, mold and unpleasant smell will develop. If you take care of it properly, a good tent will last for many years. If you need a more in-depth guide, check out our posts on tent cleaning and tent storage.
Q: Are These Tents Heavy?
The weight varies significantly from one tent to the next. Some of them are light enough to carry on your own, while others are pretty heavy and you’ll require help. On average, they are significantly heavier than smaller tents for 2 or 4 people, which is why you shouldn’t buy a tent like this for backpacking and hiking long distances.
Globo Surf Overview
All things considered, six person tents are a great solution for families and large groups, and offer a significant improvement in comfort compared to smaller models. They give plenty of different options when organizing space, so you can use them in different scenarios with more or fewer people.
Like any other tent, these also need to meet some criteria in terms of quality, design, and extra features. We hope that our guide has helped you find the one you like, and we have no doubts that you and your family are going to enjoy it!