If you want to enjoy the great outdoors this summer with your family, you’ll need the right tent. And with so many family camping tent options to choose from, how do you know which is best?

What family tent you choose for your next adventure will depend on several factors, including: number of kids, age of family members, and the type of camping trip you’re planning on going on. We’ll go through the large variety of family camping tents so you can choose the best family tent for you.


Before you begin - what are your tent needs?

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a huge range of sizes and styles of tents available today, so finding the right family camping tent can be a bit tricky. The best family tent is durable and well made to withstand lots of use. It’s also comfortable, versatile and fun for kids!

An important consideration is durability - as playful kids can put extensive strain on a tent in unpredictable ways. Both the zips and seams should be well crafted and tripping hazards should be minimised.

Comfort is important too. You’ll want to have plenty of space for both you and your kids to sleep, play and hang out in - because what if it rains all weekend and you need to stay together inside? Some tents even have two or three bedrooms for a little privacy, or even a time-out if things get a little too rowdy.

You’ll also want to consider versatility. Unless you’re going to be pitching up at the same campsite, in the same weather, during the same season every year, you’ll want your tent to be able to handle a variety of situations. Some tents have porch areas that can be fully enclosed or opened up, depending on sun or rain.

Lastly, you’ll want something that’s fun for the kids (and the parents!). It’s nice to pick out a few options and let your kids be part of the decision. Some tents have different colour options, which is a great way to include the little ones.

What sizes of family tents are available?

The first thing you should decide is what size tent you need. Big tents are perfect for family camping because there is plenty of space for you, your family and your gear, but they aren’t perfect. The bigger the tent, the heavier and bulkier it’s likely to be. And it will probably take a lot of time to put up.

Most tents have a suggested sleeping capacity. However, there’s no industry standard for per-person tent dimensions, so they can vary. A classic family tent will usually hold four to ten people, but if you think you’d like a little bit more space for your gear—or just to relax in—consider upping your tent capacity by one person. And don’t forget to make sure you have enough space for the dog too!

What are the different family camping tent styles?

There are two main styles of family camping tents: Dome and tunnel. Dome tents feature sloped walls that meet at an apex, which offers a large standing height due to the straighter walls. They are strong in bad weather, but have less livable space than other tents. Tunnel tents on the other hand, offer larger living spaces with large front opening doors, allowing for lots of light to enter.

If you’re looking for a family tent, think about how much gear you’re going to take with you on your trip. You may find sizing up to be a more comfortable option if you have a couple of kids and a dog. When planning to buy, also think about how your living area will be laid out. Is there enough room for a table, seating, and storage?

Some family camping tents also offer separate bedrooms, with or without easily removed dividing walls. You might consider a separate room so you can let your kids go to sleep earlier than you and not disturb them when you’re going to bed later. Or if you have older kids, they might enjoy the privacy that a pod or bedroom provides. Of course, you could also get your teens their own small tent for more independence.

Inflatable tents are also great for families too, as they’re sturdy, comfortable and super quick to pitch!

Are there different tents for different seasons?

Next you’ll want to consider the tent that’s right for the conditions you’re heading into, as not all tents are suitable for all weathers. Camping tents are often rated by season in order to give campers an idea of what temperature—and sometimes weather—the tent is designed for. There are usually three types of family tents: 3-season, 3-4 season and 4 season tents.

  • 3 Season: Lightweight, these tents are designed for use in spring, summer, and autumn. They will protect you and your family from rain and wind, and there is a lot of mesh used so you get plenty of airflow. However, a 3-season tent is not meant for really strong winds or wintery conditions.
  • 3 - 4 Season: Tents made for year-round use combine ventilation, strength and warmth. They have a few more poles compared to 3-season tents, which makes them more durable and sturdy in harsh weather and stronger storms.
  • 4 Season: Designed for mountaineering, these tents are made with more poles and tougher fabric. They usually have very little mesh, making them uncomfortable in warmer weather, with little ventilation. Though a 4-season tent is strong enough to bear substantial snow loads and powerful winds.

What features should I look for in a family tent?

Tents offer a variety of features that you should consider carefully before purchasing. Picking the right tent features for your family can be a challenge, but it’s important! Here are some of the key things to look out for.

  • Height: Whether you like standing up when changing or don’t mind being a little cramped to save some weight, the height of a tent can be an important consideration.
  • Length: You need to ensure your tent is long enough for the tallest person to lie down comfortably in. And if you’re planning on keeping your gear in the tent with you, you’ll also want extra space - which could mean additional length.
  • Doors: The number and position of doors can make or break a camping trip. If you’re camping with others, you’ll want multiple doors so you don’t have to crawl over one another for late night bathroom trips.
  • Poles: More poles, generally speaking, mean a harder setup. Poles that use clips are also easier to maneuver than poles that thread through pole sleeves.
  • Rainfly: You need a rainfly for wind, rain and warmth. Roof-only rain flies are good for light and views, but full-coverage rain flies offer the most protection from wind and rain.
  • Materials: Higher-denier fabric tents and rain flies are more durable than lower-denier ones. Also note that seam tape and higher-denier floors make the odds of leakage less likely.
  • Porch: If you have a lot of gear, pick a tent with a large porch area - it makes a difference! Additional shelters that attach to your tent for storage can also be great to have in many situations, but they do add weight.
  • Interior loops/pockets: You can stay organised with interior pockets and loops to hang lanterns. They’re super handy!
  • Groundsheet: A footprint ground cloth goes under your tent floor to protect it from the ground. They are a good investment (if your tent doesn’t come with one), and it’ll make your tent last longer.

You may also want to consider how easy or difficult your tent is to pitch. Some family tents require two adults to get them up. But what if you’re the only adult around? You’ll want to make sure that setup and breakdown requirements meet your needs. Sometimes it’s easier to have two smaller tents, instead of one big one, for this reason.

Also, don’t forget to try setting the tent up at home before you head out on your first trip. It’s really stressful to be attempting to set up a tent for the first time as a storm rolls in after a long day of driving to the campsite!


Buying guide - our picks for the 5 best family tents

1. Arpenaz 4.1 Camping Tent - 4 Person - 1 Bedroom

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Our team of campers designed this Arpenaz 4.1 tent with poles for four campers wanting a bedroom and a spacious, stand-up living area. And it’s easy to pitch, which makes it ideal for camping trips as a couple, with family or friends!

We love it because:

✓ Spacious living area

✓ Quick to pitch

✓ Good wind resistance


2. Inflatable Air Seconds 4.1 Tent - 4 Person - 1 Bedroom

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This inflatable Air Seconds 4.1 F&B tent has been designed for four campers wanting one bedroom and a spacious living room. It features Fresh&Black technology, so it lets less heat and light into your tent. Plus, it’s extremely quick to pitch with its all-in-one inflatable structure and pre-assembled bedroom.

We love it because:

✓ Fresh&Black technology

✓ Inflatable structure

✓ Easy to transport


3. Inflatable Air Seconds 4.2 XL Tent - 4 Person - 2 Bedrooms

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This award winning inflatable tent is designed for four people who want plenty of space, and something that's easy to pitch and pack away. It has two bedrooms, a large living room you can stand up in, a detachable zip-in ground sheet and it’s equipped with blackout technology boasting up to 99% darkness.

We love it because:

✓ Fresh&Black technology

✓ Two bedrooms

✓ Zip-in ground sheet



4. Inflatable Air Seconds 6.3 Tent - 6 Person - 3 Bedrooms

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The inflatable Air Seconds 6.3 F&B tent has been designed for six campers wanting three separate bedrooms and a spacious living area. It’s easy to pitch, features Fresh&Black technology, and can withstand force 7 winds (around 60 km/h).

We love it because:

✓ Three separate bedrooms

✓ Living area for six campers

✓ Excellent wind resistance


5. Inflatable Air Seconds 6.3 Polycotton Tent - 6 Person - 3 Bedrooms

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Our camping experts designed this inflatable Air Seconds 6.3 Polycotton tent for six campers wanting three separate bedrooms and a spacious living room. It’s easy to pitch, and its polycotton component provides greater comfort and durability! It helps to reduce heat inside your tent in the sun, and also reduces noise levels for a peaceful night's sleep. Plus, it also has an insulating mat included.

We love it because:

✓ Polycotton component

✓ Insulating mat included

✓ Three separate bedrooms


Check out our full range of family tents to suit your needs and budget.

At Decathlon, it's our mission to make being active accessible to everyone, so we want to help you choose the ideal family tent for your next adventure. Whether you’re a first time camper looking for the essentials, or a seasoned pro who wants all the latest gear, we’re sure to have what you’re looking for.