Things to consider before buying the best 6-person tent
So, what do you need to know before purchasing the best tent for a 6-person family? There are several things you’ll want to take into account, including stuff like tent type, season rating and weatherproofing, rainfly fabric, poles and frames, size, spacious interior, number of rooms, windows and ventilation, weight and portability, set-up time.
After reading this article, you should know how to approach purchasing the best 6-person tent for you and your family.
There are different types of tents when it comes to purchasing the best 6-person tent for your family.
Dome tents – have crossed-pole structures with substantial load stability. If you are camping during the wetter, colder months, a dome tent offers plenty of protection against the snow and ice. In addition, most dome tents are freestanding, so they stand-up without extra support. That makes dome tents a great option if you are camping on the rocky area.
Tunnel tents – are provided with a more substantial amount of space with a lightweight design. During some time, as tent products advanced, tunnel tents and dome tents have gotten closer in the weight-to-space ration. Still, most tunnel tents are lighter in weight and more comfortable to pack. So, if you plan to move around often and you need to pack your tent, a tunnel tent might be an excellent product. Tunnel tents are not freestanding and need to be anchored. However, they are faster to pitch and offer a larger vestibule than dome tents.
Cabin tents – are more massive than either a dome or a tunnel tent. Cabin tents provide almost vertical walls, so you can stand up and walk around your tent. Cabin tents are enormous, giving you and your family plenty of space, but they are quite heavy that makes them difficult to pack and transport.
Basecamp tents – are also huge and offer multiple rooms, doggie doors, and many mesh pockets inside. These tents tend to be large enough to allow for plenty of space and comfort for the entire family. Although, like cabin tents, basecamp tents are large and harder to pack, so keep that in mind if you plan to change your camping places quite often.
Season rating and weatherproofing
Before you purchase your tent you must consider the season rating and weatherproofing factors. If you worry about getting wet or can’t stand dealing with the wind when you camp, purchasing something that holds up against wind and rain should be ideal.
If you only camp when the weather is warm outside, you don’t need to purchase a tent capable of protecting you from enormously low temperatures in the winter, like a four-season tent.
Four-season tents are mostly made to hold up against freezing, snowy weather, and won’t ventilate well.
If you camp during the spring and summer, you’ll want something that ventilates well, and a two-season or three-season tent would be much better for you. That’s why we recommend tents like the Big Agnes Tensleep Station and the ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 6-Person Tent.
2-season tents work excellent for the summer months. They provide some light waterproofing against the rain; they have better ventilation than 3-season or 4-season tents since they are built for the warm weather.
3-season tents hold up better against wind and rain when compared to 2-season tents.
So, depending on when you plan to camp, you have to think about the season rating of the tent you purchase.
To have a decent rainfly structure, look for a tent with a polyester rainfly, if possible. Nylon is sometimes used as well, but when nylon gets wet, it expands, which can allow water to get into your tent more easily. Since nylon can expand, that can result in your tent stretching out more quickly when it gets wet. As a result, your tent will wind up not lasting as long, something you probably want to avoid.
Consider picking polyester rainfly that doesn’t stretch or swell when it gets wet so that you won’t experience as many issues with a polyester rainfly.
Poles and frame
Different manufacturers of tents offer diverse types of poles and frameworks with their designs. The best poles and frames are usually made of aluminum.
That’s because aluminum won’t rust, so it’s a better weatherproof metal. Aluminum is also very strong and durable, like steel, but not as expensive. Moreover, aluminum poles and frames are lighter to carry and easier to pack.
Tents that run on the smaller end are typically dome tents and tunnel tents. Tunnel tents have a lightweight design and are simple to pack. Dome tents are also on the smaller end, but they offer a little more space than your tunnel tent. For instance, the most budget-friendly Core 6-Person Dome Tent can be an outstanding choice for a big family.
Both cabin tents and basecamp tents are huge, so those are great options for a bigger party and if you are planning to stay at one campsite throughout your entire trip.
If you want a cabin tent with a lot of headroom, then take into consideration the Kelty Sequoia 6 Person Camping Tent.
If you need a tent that allows a lot of space and you aren’t planning to move around too much, then you’ll want to think about how much room you’ll need not only for the people coming with you but also for your stuff. With that in mind, you’ll need to look into a tent organization as well because not all tents are equally good at it.
Since you probably don’t want to lay your clothes and other essential items everywhere on the floor of your tent, it’s best to find a tent that offers plenty of interior pockets. Several of the tents on our list provide just that. Tents that offer organizational pockets help you to keep your essential items off the ground, so things don’t get wet, trampled on, or destroyed.
Interior pockets make things easier to find. If you do plan to have more than four people in your tent, you will want to get more storage pockets for the items.
One room vs. multiple rooms
If you’re looking to camp with a lot of people, keep in mind that you’ll want a tent that provides plenty of space. You must decide how many rooms, vestibules, and screen rooms you want to have. For example, the Big Agnes Tensleep Station with only one room has a vestibule that gives you more space where you can store extra items.
Other tents have multiple rooms plus a vestibule. That’s why they can be a bit more difficult to set-up or pack.
Some vestibules work to provide shade. Furthermore, there are tents with screen room areas, like the Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room and the Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch 6-Person Dome Tent with Screen Room.
Windows and ventilation
To get as much fresh air inside of your tent, you must think of windows and ventilation system. Windows are also essential, especially if you enjoy looking outside during your camping. Usually, you can find windows with mesh panel screens, giving plenty of ventilation, too.
If you prefer to camp when the weather is warmer, you’ll need more windows and vents. That way, you won’t feel hot inside the tent, and you’ll stay more comfortable. In order to find the best ventilation system we recommend you consider NEMO Wagontop Camping Tent.
Weight and portability
Do you plan on staying in one spot when you camp with your family or do you plan on packing, moving around from place to place, and doing some hiking while exploring? You’ll need to think about the answer to that question because if you want to hike, weight and portability become essential factors. Keeping that in mind, you’ll need to make sure you can get something that is lightweight and packs easily.
If you and your family prefer to stay in the same spot throughout your camping trip, then you really won’t need to worry about weight and portability. In that case, you’ll be able to focus more on space needs.
You don’t want to waste all your free time trying to set the tent up. The tent should be easy for you to pitch or else you’ll have a lot of impatient people around you. Also, if it’s dark and you are all hungry when you arrive at the camping site, you’ll want something you can put up by yourself within a few minutes. So, you’ll want to take a look at how easy or difficult it is to set-up the tent you want to purchase since that can save you a lot of time and nerves when you get to the campsite.
Reasons not to pick a bigger tent
So, how big of a tent do you need? We understand it’s nice to have enough space, privacy, and ample storage space for a large number of people. Plus, it’s nice having multiple rooms in a tent for comfort levels and other opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
If you and your family enjoy hiking, you’ll likely be moving from spot to spot. Packing can become a problem, and you may not want to get a large tent. It’s challenging to carry a large tent around, especially if it’s not made for fast packing.
You do not want to have a less mobile tent as well as you don’t need that much free space. Because if it gets colder in the night, you will face up the difficulties with saving the warmth inside.