Staying in a large tent is a wonderful way to spend time with the family. It will help to bring you closer together while getting to enjoy the beauty of nature. There are many different options out there, however, so choosing the best family tent is important.

In order to choose the best large tent there are a few features that need to be taken into consideration. Obviously the overall size is important but so are how many rooms it has, the materials it is made from, its waterproofing and its shape, among other factors.

Here we will go through all of these key features to ensure that you are able to be fully informed on how to choose the ideal tent for you. We have also looked through the family tent reviews to show you the best products on the market.

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How To Choose A Family Tent – Buying Guide

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How Many People Will Be Using It

One of the most important considerations you have to have before you buy a tent is how many people are going to be using the tent. You’d think that it is just a simple case of getting an ‘X person’ tent that relates to your family but it can be more complicated than that.

If something is marketed as a 10 person tent, for example, then it means that there will be enough floor space for 10 people to lie down. When advertising this number, they won’t take into account any gear that you might have or stuff you need to take.

A lot of these companies will have a floor plan that will show you how people are meant to fit into the tent. This can be very useful in helping to plan your trip and seeing where everyone is going to sleep when you are camping.

It can often be a good idea to look for a tent that has slightly more people than you are going to be taking on your trip. This will ensure that everyone has a comfortable space to sleep and enough space for your camping gear too.

In terms of family tents, there are going to be a lot of people in the tent. The more people in the tent, the hotter it is going to be so if there are going to be a lot of people on your trip then you want to make sure that you are going to have enough ventilation.

Size

When it comes to the size, a lot of it depends on your individual needs and what features that are going to be the most important too. Having a tent that is too small for your needs can very quickly ruin a trip and leave you very frustrated.

As we mentioned there, the number of people that you need to sleep is going to play the biggest role in the size that you need to get. Even if you have a small family, it may just be your preference to have a large tent in order for everyone to have the most space possible.

Size doesn’t just mean floor space though, as there also other aspects to consider such as how much total space you are going to have in the tent. If you are in a tent with a low roof then this can end up making people feel very claustrophobic.

Having a large height to your tent can make it feel very comfortable. The shape of the tent will also be a big factor for some as there are a few different designs that are out there on the market. Some are longer and lower while others are more square and high.

This will often depend on your own needs and also your personal preference. In terms of tent size though, it’s best to err on the side of caution as it’s a much better idea to get a tent that is a little too big rather than a tent that is a little small.

Sturdiness

The larger a structure, the more it has to work to remain sturdy. The level of rain that family tents can hold and the wind resistance they have to deal with is going to be a lot higher than much smaller tents due to the increase in area size.

Due to this, they have to be very well made to remain stable and well designed to be able to cope with difficult conditions. There are a number of different materials that can be used in tents and in terms of the frame, they have to balance a few different features.

Fiberglass is a popular tent pole choice as it is strong, flexible and light. The setup of fiberglass tents can be very easy and simple. Another option that we see is metal in the form of steel or aluminum. These will be heavier and less flexible than fiberglass but they do tend to be stronger.

The sturdiness of a tent also depends a lot on its design. The guide ropes coming from the tent need to be situated in the right position and using the best tent stakes is important to make sure that the stake stays firmly in the ground at all times.

These tents should be able to cope with rainstorms and winds up to around 30 mph. That way you know you’ll be safe and secure and the tent is going to be able to hold up well and provide you with a great solid structure.

Quality

Unfortunately there can be a big difference in quality from one tent to another. If a company tries to use cheaper materials or it’s not well designed enough then you could find that you might be very disappointed and it could end up ruining your camping trip.

Finding a balance between durability, weight and portability is always difficult and that’s why you need to find a manufacturer which is able to balance those features and be able to make a quality product and one that you can rely on.

A lot of that comes down to the materials that are used but they also have to be used in the right way. As we mentioned before, sturdiness is a key issue and that comes down to design as much as it does anything else.

A lot of people would have been in a tent that ripped, leaked in water or didn’t have any ventilation. It is never a nice experience and it can put some people off camping for good, which is always a huge shame as the right tent can give you a wonderful adventure.

It’s always a good idea to look for reputable brands who have a history of making great products, great user reviews and possibly a company that is offering a strong warranty. Once you have all that, then you know you will be getting a high quality product.

Tent Materials

High-quality materials are a good indicator of a good tent. You want to make sure that the materials that are used are going to be of the highest quality to ensure that it’s a tent that doesn’t tear easily, stays fixed to the ground and is going to be weatherproof.

The tent poles need to be both light and durable and there are three main materials that will be able to do this and they are aluminum, steel and fiberglass. They will be able to give you those desired elements, fiberglass will be lighter but the metals will be stronger.

The tent stakes play a vital role in the strength of your tent setup too. It isn’t just a case of driving them into the ground as they need to hold a lot of weight and tension. That’s the reason that metal stakes are going to be a lot better than plastic ones in getting your tent secure.

If your tent doesn’t come with high-quality stakes then it is a good idea to buy quality ones yourself as it is going to help with the weather resistance. Also the actual material of the tent is going to be important too as they need to be lightweight, durable and waterproof.

The tent materials will generally be made out of either nylon or polyester as these are two materials that tick those boxes. The material should be thin enough to be lightweight but thick enough that is won’t tear easily.

Tent Rain Flys

A rain fly is an essential part of a large tent. They are the layer of material that will sit on the outside, over the wall and floor of your tent. They are needed for a few key reasons with the overall intention of making sure that you stay dry.

With larger tents, ventilation is required for a number of reasons. It will reduce any condensation that will happen in the tent and it will also help to keep you cool and comfortable while you are trying to sleep, as all those bodies will generate a lot of heat.

In order to provide that ventilation, larger tents tend to have a lot of mesh and can often have a mesh roof. This obviously isn’t going to be waterproof and therefore you are going to need a rain fly in order to protect yourself from this.

Being in a large tent without any mesh and without a rain fly would be very uncomfortable as rain could well seep into the tent and condensation would quickly build up and make the inside of the tent wet. If you are any gear came into contact with that then it would be a horrible experience.

You want to make sure that the rain fly is big enough to cover the entire tent and also that rain wouldn’t be getting in through any windows or doors. The rain fly is an essential part of a big tent and you want a quality product that will be able to do the job effectively.

Ventilation

As we discussed there, ventilation is a vital part of a large tent as without enough ventilation it is going to be very uncomfortable. The more people there are in a tent, the more important it is going to be to let air through into the tent.

This generally will be done in up to three ways depending on the style and size of your tent. The most obvious way is to have mesh on the windows and doors which will work to not only let that air in but also keep the insects out.

Another place where there can be mesh is on the roof. This will let the heat dissipate out of the tent and into the air. The roof of the tent will then be covered by a rain fly to ensure that you are going to be able to stay dry at all times as well as being comfortable.

Air vents can also be used to increase the air circulation in the tent and these will be placed along the ground with a large cover to keep out water. All these systems can work together to keep the inside of the tent a nice place to be.

Without ventilation the inside of the tent is going to get very hot, very quickly. That will make it a very unpleasant place to be, making it difficult to sleep. Also that heat will increase the chance of condensation in the tent too.

Waterproofing

It’s an obvious statement to say that waterproofing is going to be important to your tent but some companies are going to be a lot better than it than others. It’s vital to ensure that you are going to be able to keep the water out.

As we discussed earlier, a rain fly is a vital aspect of keeping any water out of your tent. This is going to be absolutely essential, of course, if you have a tent that has a mesh roof for an increased level of ventilation. The tent fly is going to be the most important part of keeping your tent waterproof.

Having a bathtub floor will also be a good way of keeping the rain out. This is where the bottom, thicker canvas of the floor of the tent extends up a few inches to the sides. This effectively gives you a completely waterproof barrier on the floor for times when water is sitting on the ground.

You also want to make sure those windows and doors are adequately covered too, this can be done in a number of ways but you simply need to ensure that rainfall isn’t going to be able to directly land on the mesh.

Tent Poles

Tent poles need to be strong and durable in order to make sure that your tent is going to remain stable once it is set up. Tent poles also need to be lightweight and easy to install to make sure that you are not spending too long trying to put it up and also that the tent is highly portable.

Due to those factors, tent poles will be made out of a few different materials. They will either be made out of fiberglass or a lightweight metal such as steel or aluminum. These are the best materials when it comes to those required qualities.

Fiberglass is a common choice due to its flexibility and its low weight. This means that it becomes very easy to install without the overall product weighing too much. It is also a strong material too and will be able to hold up in most conditions.

Having lightweight steel is also a good option to have. This won’t be quite as light as fiberglass but it does have the added advantage of being stronger, and therefore more resistant to the conditions that a tent might have to go through.

Shape

The overall shape of the tent is going to be important in terms of your overall enjoyment of it. This will be dictated by how many people the tent is going to be sleeping and also what you plan on doing with the space available.

While a company will tell you how many people are going to be able to sleep on the floor of the tent, it’s a good idea to look at any floor plan to see how everyone is meant to fit in there. Some will be more cramped than others and you want to make sure that you have enough space.

Seeing where any room dividers are going to be is also a good idea as this will show you how you are going to separate the space inside the tent. In a family tent many people would often want separate parts for both the adults of children and a lot of tents will allow for that.

Height

The height of the tent is going to be an important feature for your overall comfort. A lot of people would want to have as such space as possible within the tent and also the ability to be able to stand up inside of it.

A common figure that you need to look out for with these tents is the central height of it. This will be the point where the tent is highest and is generally going to be able to give you a very good idea of how much space you are going to have inside the tent.

There is a note of caution with this, however, as the central height won’t let you know the height in the other parts of the tent. If there is a large amount of drop off from that central height then you might find that it can quickly become more claustrophobic.

Due to this reason, it’s a good idea to look for a tent that is going to be able to carry its height to the edges of the tent and stay tall all the way through. This will ensure that the tent will remain spacious and also that it is not going to heat up too quickly.

Doors And Windows

The door is going to play a large part in your overall comfort in the tent as it plays a large role in the tent being easy to use. Having large doors is really going to help you easily get in and out of the tent without being too cramped.

One great feature that we see on some doors is the ability for them to have a hinge, which will make entering and exiting very easy. If it doesn’t have a hinge though, you just want to make sure that the door is big enough to get in and out easily.

In regards to the windows, you want to make sure that they are large too as that way they will be able to let in as much air and sunlight as possible. Being able to cover them can also be important too, especially if you are in an area where sunrise is very early.

FAQs

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Q: How Big Should The Tent Be?

A: If you have ever slept in a tent and found that there are too many people inside then you know how frustrating it can be as elbows and knees start hitting each other as you try and sleep. You always want to make sure that you have enough internal space.

A lot of companies will have a floor plan showing how people are meant to sleep but often this doesn’t take into account any gear or supplies. It’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and look for a tent that can technically sleep a couple of more people than you have.

Q: What Layout Should I Look For?

A: The layout that you need is going to be a personal choice based on how many people that you are going to be sleeping inside of the tent and also the split between adults and children on the trip, among other factors.

Being able to have a drying porch at the front of the tent or having room dividers are a great way of being able to make the most out of the space that you have. Looking for these options and planning where everyone will sleep will give you the best layout.

Q: Should I Be Able To Stand Up Inside?

A: When we are talking about family tents, these are tents that are going to be large and spacious, and able to sleep a large number of people inside of them. Their central height is often more than six feet and therefore enough space for most people to stand up.

Making sure that height carries towards the edges of the tent will be able to give you enough space to be able to walk around freely while you are in your tent.

Q: How Long Will It Take Me To Put Up The Tent?

A: Often the larger the tent, the more difficult they are going to be to set up. That being said, these tents are very well designed and installation of them can often be very fast.

The set up time can often vary from one product to the next but should never take more than half an hour. Some tents offer a much faster experience than this though and can be installed in a matter of minutes.

Globo Surf Overview

A family tent can be a wonderful way of getting to experience the outdoors with your family or friends. They will provide you with a dry and comfortable space in which to sleep and socialize while you are out there on your break.

As we have seen here, there are many different features that these tents can have which can separate them from the rest. It’s important to work out what is going to be important to you and your situation so that you can best choose the tent for you.

Making sure that it is going to be big enough will be your main concern then after that you need to check that it’s of high enough quality, it’s highly waterproof and will provide enough ventilation along with the other features we have mentioned here. Getting a tent that is spacious and comfortable will be able to make your trip a great one.

Hopefully this guide has given you all the information that you need in order to choose the perfect tent for you and your family. Once you have then you will be able to set off on your adventure knowing that your tent is going to be able to give you a safe and comfortable place to sleep every night

More Camping Reviews:

Globo Surf Family Tents Reviews

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Great guide. Thank you for all the info. I will come back when I am ready to buy a new tent.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!