If you really want to feel the great outdoors all around you, this is the perfect tent. It’s full head height throughout the whole tent and the mesh windows on all sides give a 360-degree view from inside. While it can sleep up to eight people, this is a perfect family choice with multiple configuration options, and still plenty of room after sleeping four or five.
The sun has finally started to shine and there are plenty of bank holidays to look forward to. If this has made you want to plan a family camping trip and enjoy some time in the great outdoors, a tent that can sleep the whole clan is, of course, a must-have.
But where to start? What you want will depend on how you’re going to use it. If you’re looking for somewhere to lay your head after long walks or a day at a festival, head height won’t be such an issue for you. But if you’re heading to Eurocamp for a fortnight, the last thing you want to do is spend hours on your hands and knees because the model you chose was more for overnight and wild camping than a home-away-from-home.
Next, think about how far you’re going to have to travel with it. If you’re taking the kids to Glasto, for example, wheels on the bag or a lightweight tent are going to be a bigger priority than mosquito netting on the windows. If it’s glamping trips you want to go on, you may need a tent that has space and a hole for a wood-burning stove chimney. While if you’re bikepacking, then lightweight and inflatable might be more up your street.
Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work (and a lot of pitching) so you’ll know when you get your tent pegs out that you’ve made the right choice for you and the kids.
How we tested
We pitched each tent for four nights in as varied weather as we were able to. If it didn’t rain, we used a sprinkler to see how the tents coped in wet conditions and how they dried out afterwards. We considered weight, head height, storage capabilities and ease of pitching, thinking about how each tent would fare both in a festival scenario – where it might be pitched among others and overlooked for a few days – and wild camping or on emptier campsites.
The best family tents for 2023 are:
- Best overall – Coleman octagon 8 shelter tent 2023: £ Skcamping.com
- Best glamping tent – Life Under Canvas 6m bell tent: £675, Lifeundercanvas.co.uk
- Best in bad weather – Robens Kiowa tipi tent: £1289.99, Outdoorworlddirect.co.uk
- Best for wild camping – Kelty rumpus 4 person tent: £185.22, Outdoorgb.com
- Best lightweight tent – Heimplanet backdoor classic: £1,099, Heimplanet.com