The Best Camping Tent for 2023

The best tents available, built for functionality and made for the outdoors.

Some of us are homebodies, while others were made for the outdoors. If you fall in the second category, then this article was made just for you! Camping is second nature to a good old-fashioned outdoorsman, and if you have a family — small or large — you are most likely looking for the perfect way to include them in your lifestyle.

Allow us to introduce a grand solution to your camping needs — a family-sized tent that you can pack up in your car and take anywhere! We have done our research and tests to suggest the best camping tents for families of all sizes.

In this article, you will find options and detailed reasons for why any of our selections would make the perfect camp home. So without further ado, let’s get into why these picks made our list and are the best options out there for you and your loved ones.

 

How We Picked

  • Capacity and size

    Our goal is to find you a camping tent suitable for you and your loved ones, therefore our choices are big enough to fit at least four people without cramping anyone’s style.

  • Shape

    A tent’s shape is one of the integral things that enhance its functionality. It is an important factor that determines how roomy it is, especially when it's time for bed.

  • Type of Material

    Anything can happen in the great outdoors, and likewise, the weather can change at any given moment. Hence, you want a tent made of the best material to withstand ever-changing conditions.

  • Price

    The best outdoor gear provides the best quality and doesn’t come cheap. However, we have found options guaranteed to give you the best value for money in their price ranges for a long time to come.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

REI Co-op Wonderland Tent

A perfectly organized camping tent, big enough to fit your whole family.

This 78-inch tent makes the perfect home away from home for you and your family. It’s REI’s upgraded replacement for their very popular Kingdom tent line. This sturdy, weatherproof shelter is built to withstand strong winds and harsh weather conditions, leaving your family protected and cozy throughout your camping experience. It comes in two size options — four-person and six-person — and has all the right features to make quality family bonding time a breeze.

Buy Now

Where the adventure never ends and the comfort never stops.

Runner Up

Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent

An option for small families, providing a suitable crossover for car camping and backpacking.

If your family includes just you and your spouse, or both of you and two little ones, our runner-up is the perfect pick for you. This 52-inch tall tent is big enough to fit four people and compact enough to pack up and go at any moment. It is easy to put up and is suitable for individuals looking for dual-purpose tents. So whether you’re an avid car camper or love to backpack around cities, the Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent will be a solid companion.

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A dual-purpose choice built with smaller families in mind.

Most cost-effective

Coleman Skydome Camping Tent

Offering you more than enough space, and the right features, at a fair price.

The Coleman Skydome Camping Tent is a 72-inch tall camping tent, with a variety of sizing options. It is roomy enough to fit up to a family of eight and is built with ever-changing weather conditions in mind. Its seemingly small and compact exterior houses a surprising amount of space inside it with a vestibule that gives room for more. Another thing to love about this shelter is its budget-friendly price tag coming in at less than half the price of our top pick.

Buy Now for $149.99

Save costs and get all the right features with this pocket-friendly option.

Almost made the cut

REI Co-op Base Camp Tent

The most protective option, built to shield you from the harshest weather conditions.

REI is a staple name in the outdoor gear industry, and their Base Camp Tent proves why. This tent is 74 inches tall and is constructed with a sturdy rainfly that offers full coverage from storms. Just like our top pick, this shelter also comes in two size options making it suitable for small and large families alike. This choice is packed with functionality and family-oriented features, and has a steep price tag to back that up!

Buy Now

Helping you weather the storms and enjoy cozy quality family time.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

REI Co-op Wonderland Tent

A perfectly organized camping tent, big enough to fit your whole family.

Buy Now

Runner Up

Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent

An option for small families, providing a suitable crossover for car camping and backpacking.

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Coleman Skydome Camping Tent

Offering you more than enough space, and the right features, at a fair price.

$149.99

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

REI Co-op Base Camp Tent

The most protective option, built to shield you from the harshest weather conditions.

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The selected products are fit for the great outdoorsman who loves to create adventure and experience new things with loved ones. Our reviewed camping tents are perfect for quality family bonding time and some of our picks are great for both car camping and backpacking. If you love a good adventure and want to experience camping like you never have before, then these shelters are just for you!

Backpacking Tent Vs Camping Tent
So far in this read, you would have seen us using these two terms at different points. If you’re an avid camper, then you probably already know the difference, however, if you’re just getting into the camping game, you will definitely need some pointers.

As the name implies, backpacking tents are the perfect fit for backpackers. These kinds of tents are used when you plan on hiking long distances and camping as well. They are suitable for such activity due to their lightweight construction and materials, with most of them weighing less than 10 pounds. They are usually made of nylon or Dyneema, with the latter being the more durable option, and can double as a regular camping tent. They are also generally the more expensive choice.

On the other hand, camping tents are specifically used for car camping when you either have to drive to the campsite or hike a very short distance before getting to it. These shelters are made with heavier materials, usually polyester, and have larger tent poles and other accessories. They typically weigh more than 10 pounds and can’t easily be carried around.

The line between backpacking tents and camping tents gets blurrier as the capacity of the tent reduces. Tents with a single to four-person capacity often double for both purposes while larger tents are strictly for car camping. So if you love hiking and consider yourself a Wayfinder, then a backpacking tent is your best pick. However, if you only camp every once in a while and often stay at one campsite with multiple people, stick to a car camping tent.

Is It Worth Splurging On?
To answer this question, you have to take a look at your personal interests and preferences. Are you really an outdoor person or just looking for a creative and fun way to bond with loved ones? If you’ve never camped before you might want to try going with a friend who is used to that lifestyle to figure out if it interests you or not, before making a purchasing decision. However, if you love the outdoors and are always looking for a new adventure, getting a camping tent will make a great companion and leeway into that lifestyle.

Why You Should Trust Us

At National Today, we stand for anything fun and are always looking for the next big adventure. Without comfort, you cannot truly sit back, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. We understand this, and that is why we made sure to find the best camping tents that offer premium features and luxurious comfort. With our picks, you forget you’re away from civilization because they give you a sense of home away from home.

How We Picked

We have done all the brainwork, research, and testing so that you don’t have to! Let us explain the factors that led to our well-informed decisions and give you fewer things to worry about. 

 

Capacity

What’s an adventure without having the people that matter the most by your side every step of the way? Camping tents come in various capacities, from single-person to eight-person tents.  One of the things that determine a tent’s capacity is its size. This is measured by both its floor area and maximum height. While some tents are tall enough to stand in, others provide more horizontal room. Another thing that increases the capacity of a tent is vestibules, which are a protected covering that stretches along the sides, front, and rear of your tent and under a rainfly to give you more storage room. The options we have selected are big enough to fit small and large-sized families alike and provide maximum comfort and protection while at it.

 

Type of Material Used

Your future camping tent should be made with durable, weatherproof materials to be able to withstand the ever-changing elements of the great outdoors from strong winds to heavy rains. The most durable camping tents are made with polyester, while eco-friendly options are made with solution-dyed polyester which means that less water and energy were used to manufacture them. Lightweight tents are made with lighter materials like nylon and the more durable Dyneema. 

 

Ease of Use

The majority of people are scared away from camping because they fear the tent’s installation process. Camping tents come with heavy tent poles and accessories that can be quite confusing and difficult to maneuver without proper guidance. The great ones make it look easy thanks to the inclusion of color-coded clips, snapping poles, and even reflective guylines that help you easily find your way around it. Our selected shelters take less than 10 minutes to set up and come with detailed installation instructions to guide you throughout the process.

 

Portability

As we have established, car camping tents are generally the heavier option for camping enthusiasts. However, certain things can make this tiresome factor easier to bear. Heavy-duty stuff sacks and lighter, flexible tent poles allow you to pack up your tent and move them easily without too much of a hassle.

 

Price

Don’t break the bank to get a little taste of adventure. Thanks to our reasonably priced camping tents, you wouldn’t have to! Just as with any other product, the better the tent’s quality and the more features, the higher the price tag. We have however found options that offer the best value within their price range so that you stay satisfied with whatever purchase you decide on for a long time to come.

 

Shape

Camping tents often come in two major shapes — traditional dome-shaped and vertical-shaped tents. While vertical or almost-vertical tents provide more freestanding room and maximum height, dome-shaped tents provide more legroom and horizontal space. Struts and poles also determine the architecture and expansivity of a tent and deciding what shape is right for you depends on your needs and preferences.

 

Design/Style

A tent’s shape, as well as its fabric, color, and accessories, determines how stylish it looks. From essential design decisions like interior mesh organizing pockets and rainfly to extra nice-to-have features like vestibules, footprints and multiple doors, the final complete look of a camping tent is unique to each manufacturer. Therefore, it’s up to you to pick what suits you best and what space you’d love to call your outdoor home.

 

Comfort

Your camping tent should be your home away from home, and certain things can improve your experience and stay in these shelters. Features like organizing pockets and room dividers give you a sense of home and offer you privacy, while things like footprint offer more floor support and cushioning. There are also nice-to-have features like vents and mesh linings that reduce condensation and give you a better view as well.

 

Overall Construction

At the end of the day, your future tent should be made of strong durable materials that are sturdy enough to withstand harsh conditions that can damage your shelter. One of the things that determine this is a tent’s pole strength. Camping tent poles are generally made of two materials — fiberglass, and the more durable aluminum. If your tent comes with the latter option, you are guaranteed a stable tent that provides maximum protection on all sides.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - REI Co-op Wonderland Tent

Best Pick

REI Co-op Wonderland Tent

A perfectly organized camping tent, big enough to fit your whole family.

This 78-inch tent makes the perfect home away from home for you and your family. It’s REI’s upgraded replacement for their very popular Kingdom tent line. This sturdy, weatherproof shelter is built to withstand strong winds and harsh weather conditions, leaving your family protected and cozy throughout your camping experience. It comes in two size options — four-person and six-person — and has all the right features to make quality family bonding time a breeze.

Buy Now

Who it is for

If you love camping in luxury and don’t want to feel too far away from home, the massive REI Co-op Wonderland Tent will provide all you need. This tent is the definition of a ‘home away from home’ and offers ample comfort at every turn.

Why it is great

Have you ever pictured what the mansion version of a camping tent would look like? Well, let our top pick paint you the perfect picture. The tallest shelter makes the top of our list because it offers much more than just its height. From the two rooms to its 360º view this product is what other tents strive to be.

Potential flaws

The REI Co-op Wonderland Tent comes at a high cost but gives useful features for every dollar spent. This option also lacks vestibules and does not include a footprint.

Other features

The generous size and heavy weight of the REI Co-op Wonderland Tent make it the perfect family car camping shelter. Its 83 sq ft floor area is big enough to fit four to six people (depending on your pick) and its 78-inch triangulated center pole makes it possible for a six-foot person to stand in without a hitch. Our top pick is constructed with coated weatherproof polyester awnings, eco-friendly solution-dyed mesh, a roof vent for controlled condensation, and is solidified by two large doors and windows that give you a 360º view. What sets this tent apart is its massive interior divided by a removable wall with a center zip that creates two separate bedrooms and provides privacy.

REI Co-op Wonderland Tent has a solid build fit for strong winds thanks to its freestanding design and five sturdy aluminum poles, one of which includes a creative Y-brace. Color coding on the tent, rainfly, and poles simplifies set-up while pre-attached reflective guylines point you in the right direction. You don’t have to worry about where to stow away your valuables because this shelter offers multiple storage options through interior mesh organizing pockets. It comes with 18 stakes, eight guylines, a pole repair sleeve, and two stuff sacks with handles for the tent itself and poles and stakes respectively.

Runner Up - Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent

Runner Up

Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent

An option for small families, providing a suitable crossover for car camping and backpacking.

If your family includes just you and your spouse, or both of you and two little ones, our runner-up is the perfect pick for you. This 52-inch tall tent is big enough to fit four people and compact enough to pack up and go at any moment. It is easy to put up and is suitable for individuals looking for dual-purpose tents. So whether you’re an avid car camper or love to backpack around cities, the Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent will be a solid companion.

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Who it is for

The Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent makes a suitable option for car camping and backpacking. So, if you often switch between both styles, and need a shelter that can do both jobs effectively, our runner-up is your best bet.

Why it is great

Our second option is compact, lightweight, and a breeze to set up. It includes two vestibules for added storage and comes with a footprint for extra floor padding and comfort. The Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent is perfect in any weather condition and its full-coverage seam-taped rainfly is what’s to thank for this solid protection.

Potential flaws

The Tungsten 4-Person Tent is not the roomiest shelter on the block and fits three people more comfortably as opposed to its stated four-person capacity. This tent is also completely enclosed, providing no view whatsoever, and has little internal storage space.

Other features

We love this product by Marmot because it offers a one-stop solution for car campers and backpackers alike. Its nine-pound weight makes it light enough to pack up and go but not too light to set up right outside your car with all your precious belongings included. The footprinted floor of this shelter provides soft taffeta cushioning and measures 52 sqft which is boosted by two 36 sq ft vestibules and big enough to house up to four campers sleeping side-by-side.

It is constructed with solution-dyed polyester and a 52-inch overhanging dome scaffolded by two brow poles that keep it shielded from multidirectional winds and rain. The leak-free design of this tent is sealed by a full-coverage rainfly to keep the bad weather out and the warmth in. Two D-shaped doors keep the access easy and free-flow while color-coded, easy-pitch clips, poles, and fly make the setup a breeze. The Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent comes with three aluminum poles and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Most cost-effective - Coleman Skydome Camping Tent

Most cost-effective

Coleman Skydome Camping Tent

Offering you more than enough space, and the right features, at a fair price.

The Coleman Skydome Camping Tent is a 72-inch tall camping tent, with a variety of sizing options. It is roomy enough to fit up to a family of eight and is built with ever-changing weather conditions in mind. Its seemingly small and compact exterior houses a surprising amount of space inside it with a vestibule that gives room for more. Another thing to love about this shelter is its budget-friendly price tag coming in at less than half the price of our top pick.

Buy Now for $149.99

Who it is for

Are you working within a tight budget and in need of a camping tent that is efficient, sturdy, and spacious enough for the family? This pocket-friendly option from Coleman gives you all that and more!

Why it is great

Coleman is known for providing affordable camping gear and their Skydome Camping Tent is no different. This modern functional shelter has sizing options suitable for two to up to eight people. It is weather-worthy, has nearly vertical walls that offer ample interior space, and is compact and lightweight enough to suit car camping and backpacking needs alike.

Potential flaws

The Coleman Skydome Camping Tent has only one door and one window, limiting access points and cross-ventilation routes. It is built with pre-attached fiberglass poles that are proven to be a less durable material than aluminum and also has no vestibule area or footprint attached to it.

Other features

This option is for individuals working with limited cash but who would like to enjoy the best features for less than $200. The Coleman Skydome 6-Person Camping Tent has an 85 sq ft floor area big enough to fit up to six people and 72 inches high almost-vertical walls with pre-bent poles adequate for freestanding. Its wide-door design makes movement easier while its full-coverage rain fly and WeatherTec proofing system with inverted seams create a tub-like floor that keeps everyone, alongside the gear, high and dry.

The pre-attached poles of the Coleman Skydome Camping Tent make it super easy to set up and the included carry bag makes portability one less thing to worry about. This tent comes with interior mesh pockets for storage, in multiple colors, a one-year limited warranty, and is perfect for car camping and backpacking. You also get to opt for a tent with Dark Room technology that blocks out 90% of sunlight.

Almost made the cut - REI Co-op Base Camp Tent

Almost made the cut

REI Co-op Base Camp Tent

The most protective option, built to shield you from the harshest weather conditions.

REI is a staple name in the outdoor gear industry, and their Base Camp Tent proves why. This tent is 74 inches tall and is constructed with a sturdy rainfly that offers full coverage from storms. Just like our top pick, this shelter also comes in two size options making it suitable for small and large families alike. This choice is packed with functionality and family-oriented features, and has a steep price tag to back that up!

Buy Now

Who it is for

The REI Co-op Base Camp Tent offers strength, protection, and privacy in a modern dome-shaped shelter. If you’re looking for a sturdy, highly durable, feature-packed, weather-worthy tent that you and your family will love for years to come, our second REI Co-op option might just be the one for you.

Why it is great

The second option by REI Co-op on our list gives you all the best features you could ever want in a future car camping tent! It takes its cue from mountaineering gear and was built to withstand strong winds and harsh weather changes thanks to a full-coverage polyester rainfly and thoughtfully-designed support poles. This tent offers superior privacy with or without its rainfly, which does not hinder breathability due to mesh underlinings.

Potential flaws

REI spared no costs when it came to building this tent, and it is priced as such, making it quite an expensive option. It also isn’t as tall or wide as our top pick.

Other features

If there’s one thing REI is going to do, it’s to give you the best features any outdoor equipment has to offer, and the Co-op Base Camp Tent doesn’t miss the bill! This shelter was built with a mountaineering vision in mind and is the most protective option on our list with a 3+ season-use rating. Its dome architecture is traditional, but its clean design and aesthetics alongside four full-size woven aluminum struts add a solid structure and modern style. The six-person version of this camping tent is 74 inches tall with an 84 sq ft floor area which is roomy enough for freestanding and comfortable sleeping alike. You get an additional 45 feet of space thanks to the large front and rear vestibules, as well as ample organizing and storage space provided by multiple pockets and hanging loops.

The REI Co-op Base Camp Tent has two wide doors with solid fabric covers for privacy that can be easily tucked away into roof pockets to reveal mesh underlinings suitable for ventilation. Two roof vents help control condensation while solution-dyed polyester fabric reduces water and energy used during manufacturing. At night, reflective trims and detailing guide the way and the color-coded poles and sleeves make setting it up a joy. This tent comes with five aluminum poles, stakes, guylines, tighteners, a pole-repair tube, a pole bag, a stake bag, and a heavy-duty storage sack with a shoulder sling.

Care and maintenance

Just like your home, your tent deserves utmost care and attention to keep it functional for years to come. The basic rules of thumb are to always read the manufacturer’s instructions, never store a wet tent, be gentle with poles, zippers, and other accessories, never wash your tent in a machine, and do routine cleaning from time to time.

 

After a long camping trip or multiple seasonal short trips, it’s important to carry out some routine cleaning and maintenance before using your shelter again. This helps get rid of dust, animal gunk, and other dirt trapped in your tent. When cleaning your tent, ensure you avoid harsh household cleaners and agents that contain bleach, perfumed soap, and detergent as this can wear out its durable water-repellent (D.W.R.) coating and attract pests. Here’s how you can go about your routine cleaning:

 

  1. Gather your cleaning equipment. You would need cold to lukewarm water, mild fragrance-free dish soap, an outdoor gear cleaner like Nikwax Tech Wash, and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth.
  2. Spot clean dirty areas with the sponge and a small amount of soap.
  3. Fill a tub or basin with water and add the cleaner product.
  4. Unzip your tent and rainfly and turn them inside out.
  5. Soak your tent for the amount of time specified on the cleaner’s bottle.
  6. Empty the tub and refill it with clean water to thoroughly rinse out your tent. Repeat this step as many times as necessary.
  7. Hang your tent in a cool, shaded area until it is completely dry.
  8. For mildew, odors, and mold, use an enzyme cleaner such as MiraZyme, and follow its detailed instructions on how to soak and clean. 
  9. Refresh waterproof coatings and reseal leaking seams if need be.
  10. Store in an airy location, away from humidity. For longer storage, take your tent out of its sack and store it in an airy material such as a pillow case or a mesh bag.

 

In the great outdoors, your tent is bound to experience a few rips and tears every now and then from twigs, stones, or even branches. Here’s how you can patch those right up and get your shelter looking good as new.

 

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol on a rag and clean the affected area around the tear, then wait for it to dry out.
  2. Cut a piece of repair tape (usually sold in outdoor gear shops) in a way that leaves at least an inch of tape away from the tear.
  3. Lay the tent on a flat surface, and position the repair tape in place on the tear.
  4. Apply an interior patch if need be. This step mostly applies to high-tension areas like around your tent poles.
  5. For mesh rips, work the strands together again, or in the case of more severe rips, repeat the same steps using a mesh patch.
  6. Let the patches cure for a day before storing your tent.

 

Although the best tents are made with the most durable materials, as with everything, they don’t last forever. Once you have too many rips and tears or faulty poles and accessories, your shelter needs to be replaced. Also, if your tent’s floor is failing and soaking up water, or the body’s fabric coating is gooey with a foul odor, it’s about time to swap it out for something new.