Whether you’re backpacking or family campers, in the backcountry or car-camping with your troop, your tent is your home away from home (so called best family tent). But a flimsy, leaky, sauna-hot tent isn’t much of a home. is it? That’s why Gear Guy is here to help you pick just the right tent for the kind of camping you want to do.
REI PASSAGE 2 ($159) At just under 5 pounds with two side doors and vestibules, along with lightweight aluminum poles, the Passage is a great two-man backpacking option. It’s freestanding with lots of ceiling mesh for ventilation, and color-coded poles and clips make it super easy to pitch. 4 lbs. 14 oz./ 33.75 sq. ft.
KELTY SALIBA 2 ($159) This is the most well-rounded backpacking tent here. It’s a simple freestanding, classic dome design with tons of mesh, and a single door and vestibule. Although it has slightly less interior space than the other two-man tents, the Salida weighs in at less than 4 pounds! 3 lbs. 12 oz. / 30.5 sq. ft.
BSA MOUNTAINEER ($139) New from our pals at Scoutstuff.org, the Mountaineer has the most living space of the two-man tents here. It comes with lightweight aluminum poles, organizer pockets and a gear loft inside. It has a single door and a vestibule that’s roomy enough for two packs and two pairs of boots. 5 lbs. 7oz. / 36.25 sq. ft.
GROUP OR BEST FAMILY TENTS
SLUMBERJACK TRAIL TENT 2 ($79) This simple two-man free-standing dome is the most affordable option here–we even saw it online for $66! It’s heavier than others, and has just a single door and vestibule, but the price makes it worth a took. 5 lbs. 9 oz. / 33.3 sq. ft.
REI CAMP DOME 4 ($219) Ideal for car-camping outings, this freestanding dome tent has ample space for you and three buddies, with two doors so you won’t have to crawl over everyone else to get outside. It’s easy to pitch with just two aluminum poles and easy clips. There are no vestibules, so you’ll have to store your packs and boots inside. 9 lbs. 7 oz. / 62.5 sq. ft.
COLEMAN 6 MAN TENT (INSTANT TENT 6) ($219) While some tents can be a bear to pitch, the poles of this six-man tent are preattached so it takes only around 60 seconds to set up. There’s room for four cots or two big airbeds inside, but six big guys might be a little cramped. The tent is highly water-resistant, so there’s no rainfly, but for heavy rains you’ll probably still want to string out a tarp above it or buy the rainfly for $35. We’ve seen this tent priced as low as $147 online. 24.6 lbs. / 90 sq. ft.
EUREKA COPPER CANYON 8 ($399) By far the most spacious tent here, you might be able to pack your entire patrol inside this thing. Its walls are nearly vertical, so there s lots of floor room for cots and air mattresses. Plus it comes with a pair of gear lofts, several organizer pockets and a drop-down wall that’ll give you two rooms. This tent does come with a small rainfly, but as with the Coleman, you may want to string up a tarp for heavy rains. 34 lbs. 2 oz. / 130 sq. ft.