When planning a family camping trip, you need the right tent in terms of capacity and comfort, among other features that give you a better experience. Making an order online without much thought might make your camping trip a nightmare. Imagine having to squeeze together all night long? Where will you get the energy to engage in intended activities the next day?
That is why you should not take the issue of getting the right tent for your family lightly. Anyway, I know you aren’t, and that is precisely the reason you are here to look for info.
I will help you get the right tent for your family by highlighting important considerations.
Things to consider when choosing a family tent
Here are the considerations that will help you choose the right tent for your family:
Tent capacity and storage space
The first thing to look at when choosing a tent is the capacity and storage space. You will want a tent that fits your family comfortably. So, check the number of people as indicated by the manufacturer.
If there is a ‘+” sign after the figure is stated, it means that the tent has some extra space to be utilized. The space can be used to store some belongings or accommodate small kids.
Apart from the tent’s capacity, check all other tent areas. Is there a kitchen or recreational and other utilizable spaces provided? Or is it only room to sleep?
Besides sleeping, having enough storage space for camping trip essentials and playing games or eating is essential.
When it comes to family camping, you want some fun even inside the tent. Additional provisions are, therefore, a plus!
Note that sometimes when you fill the tent, it can be cramped. So, check the bedrooms as well to avoid the issue. A higher number of bedrooms means more storage space desirable for family camping.
Your family size and structure dictates the best tent layout for you. If you have young children, get a tent where your bedroom is next to theirs. The divider between the bedrooms should also unzip with ease.
This way, you can always unzip to assure them whenever they wake up without necessarily leaving your bedroom. Again, a separate bedroom is a plus as you can put the young ones to sleep early without being distracted by others.
For a growing family, a side-by-side layout is the best. You will sleep in the middle, and the children will sleep by your side. Double-check to ensure all bedrooms are of the ideal size based on how large your family is. Girls can sleep in one bedroom and boys in the other.
However, if you have older children, i.e., teenage girls and boys, you need a tent layout that provides more independence to all. A tent with easy-to-remove dividing walls may not be ideal.
Consider tents where the middle space is the common room, and the extreme ends are the bedrooms. The walls should also not be easy to remove. You can as well consider buying separate tents for the older kids. But, sometimes additional tents attract an extra charge.
As much as you want a tent that accommodates all your family members, think of its weight. Is it too bulky to carry along? This is especially so if you plan to engage in activities such as biking, backpacking, or hiking.
Consider ultra-light tents that are easily transportable yet, accommodate your family comfortably.
Conversely, if you travel by car and intend to camp for several days, the tent weight might not be of utmost concern. You may not want to compromise your comfort for a lighter or smaller tent. In this case, check the volume of the folded tent. When folded, the tent should fit in your car’s trunk and be easy to store at home.
Standing upright and moving around easily inside the tent gives you the ultimate comfort. Most family tents are normally at least 1 meter (40 inches) high. But, if you are tall, you might want to consider a height of about 1.80-2 meters (70-78 inches) to stand upright and move easily in the tent.
The best tent type for your family depends on how you intend to use it. Here are the different types to consider:
Dome, also known as igloo tents, sleeps typically 2-4 people and thus is excellent for a family weekend camping trip. The tents are self-supporting even without guy lines. Meaning they are stable and easy to assemble.
The poles of a tunnel tent loop from one side to the other, creating a large tunnel or a circle. They are therefore quite high and more spacious. The tent is suitable for large groups as it has more bedrooms, large apses for keeping camping essentials, and its interior is much more comfortable.
Hybrid types strike a balance between the dome and tunnel tents. You can combine the advantages of the two by buying hybrid tents.
If you want a 5-star hotel experience while camping, go for cabin tents. They have upright poles to make straight walls, providing plenty of space with inner partitions to create smaller rooms inside. They also have many windows and multiple doors, giving your family enough ventilation.
The material dictates the comfort and durability of your tent. It would help if you struck a balance between the two. Look for a solid and protective tent by focusing on the quality of the material used.
Most tents are made of polyester materials but with varying grades; the higher the grade, the better the tent’s waterproofness. Check the value of the hydrostatic head; a higher number means the material is more waterproof.
Some tents are made of poly-cotton– a mix of polyester and cotton. These options are cooler in hot weather and warmer when cold. However, they tend to be more expensive than their polyester counterparts.
Consider also using a footprint to protect the surface of your tent.
Price and quality
Price and quality go hand in hand when buying a tent. Buying a tent is an investment, especially if you intend to use it daily for week or months trips or under challenging regions.
Do a market study based on how you intend to use the tent and other desired features, and give a budget that meets your family’s needs.
However, if you intend to use the tent once in a while, a low-priced tent might serve you just right.
Other things to consider:
- Ease of assembly
- A ‘no trip’ entrance
- Entrance for electric cord if you intend to use electric hook up
- Stowage pockets
- Hooks for lanterns
- Mud valance to redirect the rains away from the tent’s bottom.
- Guyline tidies
- Tent windows: Should provide plenty of lights but with easy to close blinds for privacy
- Tent porches and extensions
- Tent carpets
- Weather resistance; waterproof, wind-resistant, and anti-UV protection
Key Insights & Takeaway!
By now, we hope that you have a good understanding of the ideal tent for your family. Be sure to read the features of any family tent you set your mind on so that you end up with the right one!
About the author:
Name: Ally Mash
Bio: Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.