Camping is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. As you know, a reliable tent is the centerpiece of any camping trip, so 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. 6-person tents are an excellent choice when you want a bit more room and 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). You should also look for a tent that is easy to set up so you can enjoy your vacation without too much stress.
The products we feature in this read offer all of this and much more. We have selected several different types and designs, so you have a larger chance of finding the perfect tent for you. In addition, our buying guide below provides you with all the information you need to find the best 6-person tent, so don’t miss out.
6-Person tents are probably at the upper end of tents realistically useable by backpackers, and you will definitely want a tent where the poles and fly sheet can be separated if this is your aim. If, however, your plan is to drive to your campsite of choice then a “pre attached poles” model will certainly shorten pitching time.
There is a huge variation of models and, in particular, weights of tent within this category. Careful consideration should be given to your aims and goals when selecting a 6-person tent and you should most definitely take into account the amount of time you’re intending to stay within the tent - if there is poor weather on the forecast then you are going to want enough space for your group to be able to shelter inside for prolonged periods - not just enough space to sleep.
Tents employing blackout technology are becoming more common and these can be an excellent choice if you are camping with young children whose bedtime is significantly earlier than sundown - especially in the height of summer, when they also offer a cooler sleeping environment.
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 for your needs, 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 and expect you to sleep side-by-side in a row. Even if the six of you can fit comfortably in a tent, there may not be much extra room between you for your gear so make sure you check the dimensions.
We would say that most of the tents on our list are 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 sloped. So, always do careful planning before ordering, because some 6-person tents are more comfortable for larger groups than others.
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 are under 6 foot, 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 utilize the whole tent. On the other hand, dome tents have curved walls and offer less floor usable floor space.
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 usually located on the inside in the form of an A-frame. You will need to spread out the tent and stake it for it to hold the structure. While freestanding tents should also be staked, using tent stakes is necessary with non-freestanding type, and they can’t be moved around as easily.
In addition to these design differences, there are also differences that relate to performance and ease of use. A freestanding tent tends to be much quicker and easier to set up since the poles are usually color-coded and pre-connected, so it’s very easy to put them in place.
As for non-freestanding tents, they tend to be much lighter and perform better in strong winds (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 if you are the family that is heading out to a typical campsite.
Related Review: 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 featured in our list are either dome or cabin-style because these are the most convenient types for casual camping. Since we have focused 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 and wind protection. However, because of the curved 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.
Related Review: Cabin Tents
When talking about design, the first things you should look at are the doors and windows. If the tent has one room, it’s a huge plus if it has more than one door, so you can get in and out without stepping over the person who is sleeping next to you. Large mesh windows make for good ventilation and they give you a nice view of the outdoors.
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 or close it up entirely. 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.
Related Post: Types of Tents
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 storage pockets on the walls, which allow you to store small items you need close to hand, such as a camping knife, flashlight, and mobile phone.
Some models have a gear loft on the ceiling, 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 rainfly that keeps the tent dry while keeping breathability. However, some models also have vestibules, which are a covered extension in front of the door where you can stash your gear inside. 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 and sleeping on warmer nights.
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.
Related Review: Canvas Tent
Since poles are a vital part of your tent’s structure, you shouldn’t overlook them. They are usually made of fiberglass, aluminum, or steel. Fiberglass is the lightest but are more difficult to repair when damaged. Aluminum is lighter still but poles do have a tendency to bend and create a “memory” over-time. 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. Most products have fully welded floors made of thick polyethylene, which is puncture -resistant and fully water-tight. Still, we would advise that you always place a tent footprint underneath your tent if you want to fully protect it and prolong the life of your tent.
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 rainfly is your main protection from the rain. Depending on the tent model, the rainfly covers a larger or smaller portion of the tent (the roof is always covered, but sometimes the walls are too). The rainfly should be fully waterproof and not allow any water to leak through.
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.
The wind is also an important factor, especially if you’re camping in a clear area without much windbreak. If you’re expecting strong winds, a dome tent is a much better choice because of its reduced surface area and streamlined design. Always make sure to stake down the tent and tie the guylines so it holds up in high winds.
Related Review: Waterproof Tent
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 large 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? Well, a 6-person 3-season tent is designed to withstand heavier rainfall and winds but doesn’t offer much insulation from the cold.
Although less common, 4-season 6-person tents also exist. They are tough and able to withstand cold. Wet weather while keeping you warm and dry inside. Our guess is that you won’t need a winter tent if you are heading out as a family or group of friends, but if you are, a canvas tent is a great option.
Related Review: 4 Season Tent
Ease of Set-Up
Once you’ve reached the campsite, nobody wants to spend a couple of hours setting up their 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 that are already pre-connected and color-coding that shows you which part of the tent goes where makes life much easier. 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, this is enough room 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 6-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. Always make sure it’s fully dry before storing it, otherwise, mold and unpleasant smell will develop which will eventually degrade the tent fabric. 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 some help carrying. 6-person tents 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, 6-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!
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