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Updated: 7 Jun 2022

Best family tents

The family tents put through our tough testing had to survive wind, rain, and even snow
Joel Bates
How to buy the best outdoor clothingtents 441007

The best family tent should be comfortable and spacious, with homely touches and plenty of privacy.

In April 2022 we tested family tents for four, five, six and eight people to find out which ones will keep you dry and happy on your next camping trip, and which is the easiest to put up.

We assessed bestselling tents from Berghaus, Coleman, Eurohike, Quechua, Mountain Warehouse and more, subjecting them to a week of British weather that included rain, wind and snow.

Our results reveal whether it's worth paying extra when shopping for a family tent, what are the must-have features, and whether you can really fit as many people inside as the manufacturers say you can.

Read our full test results and advice below to find out everything you need to know before heading out to pitch your tent.

Prices and availability last checked: 7 June 2022.

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The best family tents

Only logged in Which? members can view the family tents test results below.

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the family tents we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendations below.

Berghaus Air 6.1 Nightfall Tent

Cheapest price: £549 at Go Outdoors, also available at Blacks, Millets.

Sleeps: Six

Dimensions: 215 x 250 x 730cm (pitched), 48 x 48 x 86cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 26.5kg

Stated water resistance: 6,000mm

Other key features: Darkened sleeping compartments, inflatable poles, pump included, power-cord flap, groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, rain hood above side entrance, two bedrooms, four windows, six air vents, porch, 26 storage pockets

The Berghaus Air 6.1 is a large family tent and is by some way the most expensive on our list. It could still be a worthwhile investment if it's comfortable, easy to pitch and keeps out the weather.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Coleman Mosedale 5 BlackOut

Only available at Go Outdoors: £299 (out of stock)

Sleeps: Five

Dimensions: 195 x 335 x 470cm (pitched), 68 x 32 x 32cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 17.2kg

Stated water resistance: 4,500mm

Other key features: Darkened sleeping compartment, power-cord flap, groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, room divider, five windows, five air vents, porch, 12 storage pockets

The 'BlackOut' sleeping compartment in the Coleman Mosedale 5 family tent is designed to keep out sunlight, so it should prevent you from waking up too early as the sun rises. As part of our testing we checked inside the bedroom when the sun was shining to see how dark it really gets.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Eurohike Genus 800 Air Tent

Cheapest price: £279 at Go Outdoors, also available at Millets (out of stock)

Sleeps: Eight

Dimensions: 195 x 335 x 470cm (pitched), 68 x 32 x 32cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 17.2kg

Stated water resistance: 4,500mm

Other key features: Inflatable poles, pump included, loose groundsheet, one entrance, two bedrooms, two windows, two air vents, porch, eight storage pockets

If poking flimsy poles through the canvas of your tent makes you dread camping trips, an inflatable air tent such as the Eurohike Genus 800 might tempt you. We judged how much more convenient the inflatable poles on this tent are compared with standard tent poles.

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Eurohike Teepee Tent

Cheapest price: £100 at Go Outdoors, also available at Blacks, Eurohike, Millets.

Sleeps: Four

Dimensions: 210 x 300 x 300cm (pitched), 62 x 38 x 30cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 4.6kg

Stated water resistance: 2,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, one entrance, no windows, three air vents, no porch, one storage pocket

Festival-goers and campers seeking a novelty experience might be drawn the to eye-catching design of the Eurohike Teepee Tent. It's one of the smallest family tents we tested, though, which is something to bear in mind if you've got a lot of gear with you. 

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Mountain Warehouse Buxton 6 Man Waterproof Tent

Cheapest price: £319.99 at Amazon, Mountain Warehouse.

Sleeps: Six

Dimensions: 195 x 700 x 240cm (pitched), 32 x 32 x 67cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 17kg

Stated water resistance: 4,000mm

Other key features: Power-cord flap, groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, two windows, four air vents, porch, 16 storage pockets

During a week of testing, the Mountain Warehouse Buxton 6 Man Waterproof Tent faced heavy rain, wind and snow. Could this be the family tent you can rely on to keep you dry and comfortable when the weather turns?

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Olpro Apollo 4 Berth Tent

Cheapest price: £249 at Halfords, also available at Amazon, Olpro

Sleeps: Four

Dimensions: 210 x 250 x 460cm (pitched), 70 x 25 x 25cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 16kg

Stated water resistance: 5,000mm

Other key features: Power-cord flap, groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, three windows, three air vents, porch, four storage pockets, awning poles included

The porch in the Olpro Apollo 4 Berth Tent has several large windows, two entrances and an awning to give you plenty of visibility out the sides of the tent. Our tests reveal how easy it is to use and pitch.

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ProAction 6 Man 3 Room Tunnel Camping Tent

Only available at Argos: £80

Sleeps: 6

Dimensions: 150 x 230 x 530cm (pitched), 56 x 21 x 56cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 8.4kg

Stated water resistance: 1,500mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn into bedrooms (not porch), one entrance, no windows, two air vents, porch, 12 storage pockets, awning poles included

The ProAction 6 Man 3 Room Tunnel Camping Tent is less than a third of the price of the most expensive six-person tent we tested, but it's only good value if it's easy to use and can withstand the elements.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results for our verdict.

Quechua Arpenaz 4.1

Cheapest price: £107 at Next, also available at Decathlon

Sleeps: Four

Dimensions: 190 x 260 x 445cm (pitched), 60 x 24 x 24cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 9.8kg

Stated water resistance: 2,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn into bedroom (not porch), one entrance, one window, two air vents, porch, four storage pockets

Decathlon's own-brand Quechua's tent is one of the cheapest family tents we tested. Our tests reveal whether it's a bargain, or if you'll wish you'd paid more.

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Vango Icarus 500 Deluxe

Cheapest price: £249 at Amazon, Blacks, Millets, also available at Go Outdoors, Vango (out of stock)

Sleeps: Five

Dimensions: 195 x 335 x 465cm (pitched), 70 x 30 x 31cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 14.8kg

Stated water resistance: 4,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, room divider, five windows, three air vents, porch, 15 storage pockets

As well as checking how weather resistant it is, we also compared the Vango Icarus 500 Deluxe with other family tents on how easy it is to pitch, collapse and live in.

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Vango Mokala 450

Cheapest price: £290.50 at Cotswold Outdoor, also available at Outdoor World Direct, Vango

Sleeps: Four

Dimensions: 190 x 300 x 540cm (pitched), 28 x 30 x 66cm (packed) (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 15.9kg

Stated water resistance: 3,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, room divider, four windows, one air vent, porch, nine storage pockets, awning poles included

You're faced with a lot of canvas when opening the front door of the Vango Mokala 450. That's because it has a large awning at the front that you can pitch to give you extra overhead cover outside the tent. Could that extra canvas make it more difficult to get in and out of this tent, though?

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How we tested family tents

We selected and bought 10 bestselling family tents from UK retailers including Argos, Cotswold Outdoor, Decathlon and Halfords, aiming to cover a range of capacities and taking the online search figures for brands and tent sizes into account.

Every tent we tested was bought anonymously and we don't accept free products, so you can be confident in the independence and neutrality of our reviews.

Putting up the tents and taking them down

Your camping trip won't get off to the best start if your tent is difficult to pitch, so our researchers pitched each tent several times to judge how straightforward the process was, how long it took, and any annoyances worth noting.

A week later, once all the other tests were complete, we packed every tent away. We liked tents that could be easily taken down and packed into their bags, and criticised tents that had awkward poles or tricky-to-fold canvas.

Living in the tent

Once the tents were up, we closely inspected the interior of each one and rated them on how likely campers were to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience that met their needs.

We considered how easy it was to get in and out of the main entrances and sleeping compartments, how bright and roomy the living spaces were, and if we considered there to be enough room for the number of people intended to sleep in the tent.

We also took account of extra thoughtful touches, such as useful storage pockets, large windows and vents, darkened sleeping compartments and lamp hooks.

Weather resistance

Every tent we tested was put up in the same week at the Etherley Farm campsite in Surrey. The tents faced strong winds, heavy rain and even snow. 

We inspected the interiors of the tents during and after testing to see how each fared against the elements. Some tents managed to stay firm, but others blew over and even had puddles in the sleeping compartments.

To help you on your way to a comfortable night's sleep in the great outdoors, compare our air bed reviews.

How big a tent do I need for a family of four, five, six or eight?

It's very common for manufacturers to be generous about the number of people they say can fit into their tents.

The number they give will be technically true, but it likely won't account for the room needed for campers' belongings, or the space some people need for a comfortable night's sleep.

A good rule of thumb is to go for a tent that's claimed to sleep one more person than you need. If you're a family of four, for example, we'd recommend going for a five-person tent.

It's not always possible, especially when shopping online, but if you can it's always worth seeing the tent pitched before you buy it, or holding on to the receipt and trial pitching it at home before you go camping for real.

That way you can ensure you've got a tent that's big enough for your group, and avoid unexpected disappointments when you pitch it up at the campsite.

If pitching tents isn't your cup of tea, compare our pop-up tent reviews.

10 things to watch out for when buying a family tent

1) Size and weight

Most family tents are designed to be carried in the car, so are larger and tend to be heavier than smaller pop-up tents or expedition tents. 

Check the packed size of the tent to make sure it will fit in your car boot, and the pitched size to check it will fit on the pitch you've booked at the campsite - don't forget to factor in any awnings or extensions, too.

An especially heavy tent can also be tricky to move from the car to the pitch, so it's worth checking the pack weight of the tent so you can think about whether you'll need a hand moving it.

2) Tent poles

Not all tents are put up the same way, so it's a good idea to think about what you prefer.

Most tents have thin, collapsible poles made from fibreglass. They often fold up into a compact size and are connected by an elastic cord. They're usually flexible, and for tunnel tents in particular you'll usually need to bend them to fit the shape of the tent canvas during pitching.

Tents with rigid poles made of stainless steel or aluminium are for building a rigid frame that will keep your tent sturdy in the wind. They can be heavier and more cumbersome to pitch, though, with several parts that need to be fitted together to construct the frame.

If you'd rather do away with poles altogether, there are also tents with inflatable poles. You'll need to pump up each pole individually, so it can take a bit of effort, but you can avoid trying to feed the poles through the tent canvas. You'll also need to take extra care to make sure each pole is fully deflated before packing the tent away, otherwise it won't fit in the bag.

3) Ventilation and insect protection

Ventilation is an important factor when choosing a family tent. A well-ventilated tent will make for a more comfortable, condensation-free camping experience, and well-positioned vent panels allow for the free flow of air throughout.

Vent panels should have a mesh covering so that air can enter the tent but bugs are kept out.

Doors with fly screens attached are also appealing, as they allow fresh air to enter the tent but prevent bugs and flying insects from getting inside.

Family sat in tent foyer
A roomy porch gives you a communal space that's protected from the elements.

4) Indoor space and flexible sleeping compartments

It's important to have a decent amount of living space in your family tent, both to avoid feeling cramped and to make sure there's room for everyone inside if the weather turns. 

Your tent should offer enough head height so you don’t need to stoop down too much once inside, and you should be able to fit a small table and chairs inside the porch area, both for eating at and for playing card or board games with the family.

If you have children, their age is likely to affect your preferred sleeping arrangements within your tent. Choosing a tent with a zip-up divider that separates one large room into two smaller ones means that campers with young children can sleep in one large compartment, and then separate the rooms when the kids get a little older. We tested three family tents with this feature: two Vango tents and a Coleman.

Tunnel tents, with a central porch area and two separate bedrooms either side, might appeal to families with older children.

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5) Light in the sleeping compartments

Brightly coloured and thin tents are likely to wake you up earlier than you'd like, unless you bring an eye mask camping with you.

Some sleeping compartments have a darker layer on the inside that helps to block the sunlight.

Most tents don't have this feature, though, and it's often not nearly as effective as your curtains are at home.

Storage pockets in a tent
Vertical storage pockets such as these can stop you losing smaller items.

6) Storage

Tents with ample storage are a real bonus for family campers. Your tent should have enough storage space for your camping equipment, helping to keep the main living and sleeping areas of the tent clutter-free.

Storage pockets are handy for freeing up floor space and preventing you losing smaller items. Pockets of varying sizes are even better, as they give you extra flexibility in choosing what you store and where.

7) Number of doors

A family tent with more than one door can help with airflow through the tent, assisting with ventilation. It can also allow for a welcoming through-breeze in warmer weather.

Having two doors gives you more flexibility to enter and leave the tent through the most convenient doorway – especially handy for night-time trips to the toilet blocks.

In poor weather, doorways can get muddy, so having more than one entrance can also reduce the foot traffic through a single door.

8) Number and size of windows

Large windows can help to make the interior of your tent lighter and increase the sense of space. Pre-attached curtains can also block out light and give you extra privacy when you want it.

Having at least one or two windows can also help a smaller porch area to feel bigger. If there are no windows at all, sitting inside the communal space of your tent can feel extra cramped.

Vango Mokala 450 with awning up
The large awning of the Vango Mokala 450 gives you plenty of extra space with overhead cover.

9) Awnings and canopies

An optional awning or canopy can provide protection from the sun and rain, creating a shaded area from which to enjoy the outdoors. Many tents come with awnings pre-attached. Extensions are also available for some tents, although they aren't quite as common.

These aren't necessarily must-haves, as you can always buy a cheap awning or shelter and pitch it separately.

10) Extra features

Many tent features are designed to make your camping experience as simple and comfortable as possible. Features such as lantern hooks make lighting the tent at night easier, and entry points for electric hook-ups benefit campers who need to charge their mobile phone or power other electricals.

A tent carpet is not a camping essential but will make your family tent feel more homely, while also acting as an insulator. Custom tent carpets are designed to fit specific tent models, and often need to be bought separately.

Sewn-in grounds sheets are a fairly common feature of family-style tents and are seen as an effective way of keeping out water, drafts and insects.

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