Camping can be a fantastic family adventure, and what’s more, there are plenty of tools and accessories you can buy to help make your travels that little bit more enjoyable.
1. Best Family Tent: January 2020
2. Also A Great Option
The most basic essential you’re going to need when it comes to camping, of course, is a tent! But what should you be looking for in a family tent?
In this guide, we will explore all the factors and features you should be keeping in mind when you shop for a family tent for the first time. Not sure what to look for, or how much to spend? Don’t worry. We have you covered!
This is likely going to be the first thing you’ll need to consider when shopping for a family tent. Depending on the size of your family, you may need to find a tent which houses separate rooms and living spaces.
Consider how much space you have available to carry and transport a tent, too. The bigger the tent is, the more awkward it will be to transport. Do you have a roof rack or trailer which can support you?
Family tents are generally developed for families of four, but this will be at the absolute minimum. Many families prefer to have their own separate spaces and rooms, in which case, you may do best looking for a tent with one more room than your number of family members.
Do also think about communal space, too. Many family tents will have wide spaces for you to congregate in, both inside and outside.
Think About Individual Needs
If you have a baby or very young children, it may be advisable that you look for smaller tents, and not necessarily those which house 3-4.
The trick to buying a tent based on size is to overcompensate. This is because you will often find tents to be much more ‘cosy’ than you are expecting!
For families with teenagers, you may want to look for models which offer zip-up rooms and spaces. Teenagers, naturally, prefer their own space sometimes, and so do plenty of younger children. It’s always worth respecting privacy, for your sake as well as for your kids!
While it’s essential that there is some form of bedroom at the very least, family tents should also be designed to offer ease of movement.
As mentioned, some models may be more cramped than you are expecting. Therefore, always over-measure. Take into account the size and weight of a tent for portability, but never measure down if you can help it.
You should think carefully about how you want to approach natural light with a family tent. While some tents are completely blacked-out, others will have windows which will let light seep through.
If you’re the sort of family who wants to sleep in as opposed to seizing the day, however, you should look for a model with blind or zip-up window facilities.
People love to camp in all weathers. If you’re camping in the UK, you should especially look out for a tent which will protect your inner from getting too much in the way of downpour. A great family tent protecting against rain will have a porch or awning that can be easily popped up.
What’s more, most tents will also be readily waterproof, meaning you can take the family away throughout the year and always be protected against the wet and cold.
Some advanced family tents even have facilities for you to store items and to organise your camping gear. This isn’t so much an essential, but may help to organise things a little better for those families with plenty to cart around.
However, in most cases, a basic tent with plenty of space should offer more than enough for you to stack items up in.
Plenty of Height
Of course, you should also consider buying a family tent with enough height to accommodate everyone. Many people make do with tents that they have to duck into to walk inside.
However, with modern, expansive tent designs, you no longer have to go out of your way. Just make sure that the tent you buy is tall enough for the tallest member of your family to stand up in!
Ease of Setup
One of the biggest factors to consider when buying a family tent is how easy assembly is. While most tents will advise that there is ‘some assembly required’, you need to pay attention to how many people are needed to set everything up.
If you need three or four people to get everything up and running, it’s likely doing so will take plenty of time and effort.
You may wish to look for pop-up tents. These, as their names suggest, will simply pop-up and out, meaning that setup is as simple as pegging down a few ropes. The most awkward family tents are those which require extensive poles and ground sheets.
Ultimately, the more advanced a tent you buy, the more work is likely going to be needed in getting it up and running. However, you may find some models pop-up easily and give you plenty of features.
This may add a little more onto the cost than you expect, so do shop around. We’ll discuss pricing and budgets in a little more detail below. In the meantime, if you’re keen to get your tent up and running as soon as possible, looking for pop-up or easy assembly options are obviously going to be on your radar.
Frequently Asked Questions
As always, there are likely to be more than a few additional questions you’ll want to ask when buying a family tent. Here are the most common queries people ask while shopping around.
How Much Will a Good Family Tent Cost?
The market for tents is very broad. The more features and more space you need, the more you’ll pay. The most extensive and comfortable tents, and those which are easiest to put up and pack away, are likely going to cost you the most.
You may be looking at paying several hundred pounds for top-end models. However, many people will likely say that doing so is worthwhile. There are plenty of budget tents, however, when retail for a couple of hundred pounds at most.
Is It Worth Paying More for a Tent?
This question really depends on how often you’re going to use it. If you’re likely to use a tent several times a year, or on an annual basis, it’s probably going to be a good investment, regardless of how much you pay.
If you’re only going to use it once or twice, or aren’t sure about when you’ll go camping next, consider paying less. However, do make sure you still look for the essential features listed in our guide above.
Why Should I Buy a Tent?
Buying a tent means always having your accommodation arranged and paid for! People who love the great outdoors and families who are interested in outdoor activities will likely get plenty of mileage out of a tent. For people looking to save money on holidays for years to come will also see a tent purchase as a wise investment.
What Other Essentials Will I Need?
If you are going to use your tent regularly in all weathers, it makes sense to be prepared with reasonable groundsheets and protection. Not all tents have groundsheets sewn in, which means you may have to source one for yourself.
It’s always important to look for a tent with a high waterproofing rating in any case.
You should also consider buying sleeping equipment to go in your tent! While family tents provide plenty of sleeping space, it will be up to you to work out how to arrange for creature comforts. Blow up airbeds, sleeping bags, pop up tables and chairs will all be worth taking into consideration.
If you are likely to be sitting outside and congregating a lot, you may also want to purchase a family tent with an exterior gazebo or awning, which will shelter you from light storms and keep you out and away from the inner. This is a perfect option for families of people who are likely to smoke while on holiday.
Camping can be a lot of fun, but it also makes sense to go prepared. There are more family tents on the market now than ever before, but that doesn’t mean buying the right model has to be difficult.
The three key points you need to consider are waterproofing, space and ease of setup.
Budgeting will follow – as the amount you pay will really depend on how much use you intend to get out of your tent over the years.
Buy a small pop-up tent for young families, or large models for bigger groups – the choice is always yours!