Family tent suggestions

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by tbuss, May 6, 2014.

  1. tbuss

    tbuss Member

    I was hoping someone could recommend a good family tent for car camping. I know the big names (Kelty, REI, etc.) make some good tents, but I just can't see spending $400+ on a family tent that will be used two or three times a year. I am looking for something that is 6 or 8 person tent so I have room for a pack'n play, gear, etc. Also something that I could put up by myself (or with minimal assistance) so my wife can keep the toddler occupied. Also something with good water repellancy since this is Washington State. There are so many options out there that it is hard to choose. Coleman makes a lot tents that seem affordable, but I just don't have experience with them.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

    Coleman is fine and at Costco for <$150 for an 8-person it's a good buy especially if just camping just a few times per year. As your kids get older and if your family gets more interested in going camping (vs soccer, little league, softball, dance,......) you can explore more expensive options. Besides, the more immediate savings allows you to buy everyone a new fly rod!
    rotato likes this.
  3. tbuss

    tbuss Member

    Thanks Tacoma Red. I looked at Costco's website and there are two Coleman 8 man tents that look pretty good. Costco has a good return policy too in the event that I don't like the tent for some reason.

  4. atomic dog

    atomic dog Jive Turkey

    I've never used those Costco Coleman tents, but I thought they always looked like a great deal. We recently ugraded from our little 4-man tent (2 adults and 2 big dogs is a little cozy) and picked up a used REI Kingdom 8 on Craigslist. That thing is a freaking condominium, it's huge. Now the dogs get their own room. :D
  5. Dipnet

    Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    I've had an Eureka Equidome for nearly 12 years and it's served me well.

    Review/pics here:

    It's 9 x 9 and the headroom allows this 5' 10" person a lot of standup room. It also has a full coverage rainfly and lots of guy points. It's also easy to set up solo. IIRC, I paid about $250 for it. Don't know if Eureka still makes this model but they may have something similar.
  6. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

    I have a big Coleman tent that I got several years ago for the same reasons you mentioned. It has worked great, and is a steal at the prices they go for. Get one and don't look back.
  7. tbuss

    tbuss Member

    thank you for the replies everyone. I will be going with the Coleman 8 person Montana or the Bristol. I am leaning to the Montana just because it has the most reviews and I love Montana :)
  8. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    Don't forget to go over the seams with waterproofing and then test them. It is Washington state after all...
  9. Drysuperfly

    Drysuperfly Member

    i have gotten my last few tents at the cabelas, barging cave. you can get s $400 tent for $250, i got a super nice 4 season with aluminum poles. that seems to make the biggest difference in the longevity of the tent. a good thing about ponying up a few extra buck is the parts are replaceable if something gets ripped bent. anything at big5, or costco will be use until broken then start over.
  10. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    I will tell you from experience that isn't always true. Especially with Cabela's brand tents. I need pieces for my guide tent and i am SOL unless it's only the poles I need. Thankfully I found usable replacements with some searching (well lots of searching).
  11. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    This thread kinda reminds me of the Affordable Gear one over on the main forum. I get that the OP is only gonna use his tent 2-3 times a year, so a high price doesn't make sense - on the surface. But after all, this IS Washington, and from personal experience, there is very little worse than being stuck in a tent that also leaks.

    I recently sold off my outstanding Mountain Hardware 4-season tent for the simple reason that the inside was so low that it was nearly impossible to dress or change clothes. After quite a bit of shopping, I ended up with a REI Hobitat 4 ( plus the optional Footprint and Vestibule.

    It's positively luxurious for just me and easily holds my cot, clothes and gear bags, bedside table and chair. Better yet, I can stand up completely to dress. Best of all, it was perfectly watertight right out of the bag with no need to reseal all the seams. The Vestibuleallows me to store miscellaneous gear under cover and out of the elements, yet without bringing it inside the living quarters.

    The Hobitat also comes in a 6 person size. Neither is the most expensive tent available or the cheapest. However, I'd strongly recommend taking a closer look, especially since both are backed by REI's outstanding warranty.

  12. deansie

    deansie Member

    A lot of good suggestions here, we've had a lot of success with the Cabela's Guide Series and I have a 2yr old, 4yr old and a Great Dane and we all fit in here with room to spare. More than you said you want to spend but it will probably be the last family tent we buy and will be good for some of the car camping/ fishing trips I do with friends.;MMcat104795280;cat104779080;cat105590880
  13. WonkyWapiti

    WonkyWapiti Member

    I've got a Ridgeway by Kelty tent that has two rooms. I bought it at Costco. The entryway room is big enough to hold all our gear (four of us) plus two large crates for our golden retrievers. The other room we use for our sleeping area and fits all four of us. My buddies give me a bad time saying it is the Taj Mahal since it is so big. Definitely not for backpacking, it's only a car camping option.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  14. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

    These tents are all so fancy. We've been using a simple REI dome tent for 20 years. The two poles are joined with elastic and my wife and I can put it up in about 90 seconds even in the dark. But, it's getting pretty old and pretty sure it isn't waterproof. I know the rain cover doesn't work great but we rarely get rain when camping here.

    How about those Coleman Instant Tents? Any good?
  15. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    I have a customer who uses one. She absolutely LOVES it. She saw my post on facebook when I had field tested my guide tent. So she told me about her tent. Swears by it. And that's camping here in Washington on the wet side.
  16. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

    Have you seen the "inflatable" tents? Instead of poles there is an air tube that runs along the frame are. They are said to set up in a minute. I have not seen them in >1yr so perhaps taken off market???