The Best Family Instant Camping Tents for 2021

Best Family Instant Camping Tent Reviews

1. Core 9 Person Instant Camping Tent

The Core 9 is one of the larger instant tents out there, being rated to hold up to nine occupants. In reality, it comfortably fits two queen air mattresses in its two-room set up, so more like four to six people will fit. One drawback to its design is that it only has one door, so the occupants of the rear room will need to traipse through the other one to reach their bed.

True to the instant tent designation, the Core 9-Person goes up in about a minute, providing you have someone to help with it. Its poles are made from high-grade steel, which gives the tent a final weight of 30.5 lbs, definitely not something you want to carry more than a few steps from the car, but a great choice for family camping. 

There’s a handy port in the corner of the tent to run an extension cord, making it easier to power your tent fan, air conditioner, sound system, or just charge your phone. 

Like many instant tents, though, the Core lacks a vestibule, as these require more tent poles and make setup difficult. So you’ll need to keep any gear (or a dog) inside the shelter or your vehicle.

It is a little more expensive than some of the other tents on the list, but the price buys a lot of floor space. Furthermore, the setup is intuitive enough that novice campers will have no trouble getting it upright in under two minutes.

2. Ayamaya Pop Up Tent 4-6 Person

Sitting at the smaller end of the camping tent scale is the Ayamaya Pop Up, a half-dome shaped tent that comfortably fits 2-3 people and goes up in seconds. While most of the other tents we’re reviewing here go up in a couple of minutes with a few easy to use poles, the Ayamaya unfolds like a windshield shade and requires almost no effort from your part. 

In addition to its simple setup, it’s a tent with a lot of features. One of the more unexpected ones for a pop-up tent is a double-layer design, which does wonders for preventing condensation on cold nights. 

Single-layer tents are notorious for trapping moisture when fully zipped, but the Ayamaya has excellent ventilation between the two layers to keep you dry throughout the night. 

One of the downsides to the Ayamaya is its half-dome shape, which cuts down on headroom – the highest point in the tent is only 53.5 inches. So you’ll need to stoop while maneuvering around inside. The smaller size keeps the weight down to just over 10 lbs., almost light enough for backcountry adventures.

The Ayamaya is an excellent choice for campers that don’t need a ton of floor space or headroom but appreciate a well-built tent with an idiot-proof setup.

3. Gazelle 26800 T4 4-8 Person 

The Gazelle is a behemoth of an instant tent; with a height of 78 inches and 110 square feet of floor space, it feels like a small apartment with two rooms and two doors.

Like any large living space, though, keeping everything clean can be a challenge. Thankfully, Gazelle gave this tent a removable floor that can be folded up and shaken out – no sweeping required. 

It’s a bathtub-style floor, so leaks aren’t really an issue even with the large Velcro seam attaching it to the tent. You can also pull up the floor in the second room and use it as a vestibule or sitting area if the door is open.

You’d think that getting such a large tent upright would be a hassle, but the Gazelle goes together in a couple of minutes thanks to the innovative hub design that practically assembles the poles for you. The final product is a slightly bulbous shape that does a good job of deflecting the wind, an important with a tent of this size.

At 47 lbs and a packed size of 8 x 8 x 67 inches, this is far and away the largest tent on this list – as well as the most expensive – but if you like being comfortable while enjoying the great outdoors, this will feel like your home away from home.

4. Core 10 Person Straight Wall Camping Tent

The Core 10-Person is quite similar to the previously reviewed 9-person model, and still  only comfortably fits two queen-sized mattresses. However, the addition of a second door makes it a better option for groups of couples or friends camping together, whereas the single door 9-person was better for families. 

The second door and slightly larger floor plan bump up the price tag a little, but the extra privacy and ease of movement are definitely worth it.

This is also a great tent to buy if you’re someone that needs to stay organized, even when you’re in the wilderness. The Core comes with lantern hooks and gear lofts in both of its rooms, so you can keep your stuff separate and even turn in at different times. Light will still come through the room divider, but it’s a lot better than having it shining right on you while you sleep.

Being such a large tent, the setup time is going to be a bit longer, and you will definitely need the help of a fellow camper to get it standing (it comes with 18 stakes!). It also weighs 30 lbs, so even moving it a few feet from the vehicle might require some extra hands.

Overall, this is a solid tent if you’ve got several people sharing it, or two couples who want plenty of space. The double doors and room divider also make it a feasible group camping tent for people that don’t want to sleep right next to each.

5. Oxley Ozent Lite 7 Expedition Family Tent

The Oxley Ozent looks a bit different than some of the other instant tents on this list; rather than a vestibule, it sports an awning. Not just a place for packs and pets, the awning is a hangout area that’s large and airy enough for lounging in at the end of the day.

The tent weighs in at over 41 lbs, so think twice about purchasing it if it needs to be pitched anywhere that’s not immediately adjacent to your vehicle. While it has a stated capacity of five occupants, its 8’ x 8’ floor is much more comfortable with only two or three campers sharing it.

It’s also not the best in bad weather as the extra height makes it susceptible to high winds, and it comes with only a partial rainfly  that only protects the ceiling. Lacking floor vents, the Ozent is also not the best choice when airflow is a priority.

The Oxley Ozent is a big, heavy tent that only holds a couple of people, but if you’re looking to set up a base camp, you can’t go wrong with an instant tent like this.

6. Coleman Cabin 6-Person Tent

The Coleman Cabin is the classic car camping tent – spacious, easy-to-use, and downright durable for its price. With a floor space of 10’ x 9’, it’s big enough for two queen-sized mattresses, and it’s 6’ high center is large enough for all but the tallest individuals to move around in without stooping. 

The integrated rainfly ensures an uncomplicated setup, but it’s not the most weatherproof design. If you live in regions like the Pacific Northwest where precipitation is not a question of if but rather of when, you’ll want an instant tent with a little more protection from the elements.

While it’s not leakproof, the 150-denier fabric is incredibly strong, standing up to the elements and careless campers. A footprint is always a good idea to keep your tent floor in pristine condition, but it’s not a necessity with the Coleman Cabin.

One of the cooler features (literally) on this tent is the “darkroom” fabric. It blocks 90% of sunlight, making it easier to sleep through the morning while also stopping it from heating up like an oven.

This is one of the best family instant camping tents that checks all the necessary boxes but is still geared towards budget-minded consumers.

7. Bushnell Shield 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent

Bushnell used steel poles instead of aluminum or fiberglass on this model, making this one of the most durable instant tents around. At 26 lbs weight, it’s none too shabby for a 10’ x 10’ tent, and with a relatively low price point, the Bushnell is a versatile contender for the best instant tent for budget campers.

Setup is very easy, coming together in about a minute if you don’t include the rainfly setup, which only takes another minute or two. Accessibility is also not an issue on this tent, with a massive door on the front that utilizes an easy to use T-shaped zipper.

The Shield’s rainfly actually goes all the way to the floor, definitely earning its name in protecting you from moisture. In high winds, though, the fly is somewhat unstable and prone to getting pulled off. The Shield name actually comes from the UV reflective coating applied to its exterior, which keeps its a bit cooler and blocks any dangerous radiation from reaching the interior.

The Shield is a very affordable cabin-style tent with a good amount of space, easy entry, and solid weatherproofing except in strong winds. It’s sure to be a favorite with families camping in inclement weather.

8. Timber Ridge 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent with Rainfly

Those wanting a simple cabin-style will appreciate the robust nature of the Timber Ridge 6-Person. The 10’ x 10’ floor will fit two double mattresses side by side and a twin mattress at their feet. With sleeping pads, you could consider it a five-person tent, or a comfortable four-person with plenty of room for luggage.

The Timber Ridge’s rainfly comes about halfway down the tent, providing decent coverage from the elements. The three zippered mesh windows give it excellent ventilation, even on very hot or humid afternoons.

It’s also equipped with a bathtub floor design (the floor fabric comes off the ground a few inches) to make it one of the most waterproof instant tents out there. Packed up, its 52”x10”x10”, which is not an easy to carry bundle. Fortunately, it only weighs 26 lbs, which is a little more manageable than some of the larger tents we’ve reviewed.

The Timber Ridge 6-Person is quite similar to the Coleman Cabin and the Bushnell Shield, but it does have a slightly higher ceiling at 78”, making it a good option for taller campers. It costs slightly more than its competitors, which can perhaps be justified by the slightly larger rainfly.

9. Coleman Weathermaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room

Remember how the Coleman Cabin was the quintessential car camping tent in all aspects except weatherproofing? This version of their instant tent fills in the gaps with a large and protective rainfly that provides ample coverage to the 11’x9’ tent.

The tent’s floor plan is actually based on Coleman’s 10-Person tent model, but instead of extra sleeping space, the 6-Person model includes a screened-in room adjacent to the sleeping quarters where you can set up a couple of camp chairs and enjoy the afternoon breeze with no mosquitoes or biting flies. 

If the weather cooperates, this could also serve as a sleeping area with a fantastic view of the night sky. 

One of the biggest downsides of this tent is that it’s not free-standing – you need to stake it out for it to remain upright. It takes about fifteen minutes to get it together, which is far longer than the other tents on this list. You also can’t leave the screen room collapsed if you’re not going to use it; the room is an integral part of the structure, and it won’t stay upright with it being assembled.

If you’re looking for a roomy tent with some extra living space, the Coleman Weathermaster will make an excellent addition to your camping kit. But if you want something that’s quick and easy to set up, this is not the right model for you.

10. Mobihome 6-Person Camping Tent

Mobihome’s 6-Person Tent uses a slightly different design than most of the other instant tents out there, looking like a medium-sized dome tent flanked by two smaller half domes. The side sections add a little extra floor space, totaling 75 square feet, while also providing vestibule space for packs and four-legged pals. 

With a 55” center height, it’s not as spacious as some of the cabin-style tents, but you probably won’t need to stoop over too much to move around inside it.

The center section goes together easily, similar to any other domed camping tent. However, the side sections add complexity and extra poles that stretch the limits of the instant tent term. If you’re a regular camper that’s set up a few different styles of tents, this one won’t be a problem, but novices should give it a pass in favor of something simpler.

That being said, the Mobihome is one of the lightest six-person tents on the market, weighing just fifteen pounds. They were able to shave ounces by swapping out aluminum and stainless steel poles for fiberglass, which require a bit more care and are difficult to repair in the field if one should snap.

The Mobihome is very lightweight and affordable, but its shorter stature, more difficult setup, and fragile poles make it a poor choice for beginner campers looking for a big and comfortable tent.