A good tent will keep you warm when it’s cold, cool when it’s hot, dry when it’s raining and won’t blow away in a storm.
For backpacking and solo adventures a small tent is great, but there comes a time when big is best. While most tents are sized by the number of people they can fit in them, the numbers are generally a little exaggerated and assume that people will squeeze in like sardines, with no gear.
With that in mind, a six person tent will be suitable for most family trips, small groups, couples or solo travelers who enjoy space and the luxury of being able to stand while they change, and those traveling with luggage, who may be camping for a prolonged time.
There are many choices available, and finding the best six person tent can be a daunting task, even for experienced campers used to smaller tents. Below we’ll look at some key features of six person tents and review eight of the best on the market at the moment.
Why Choose A Larger Tent?
From prolonged hunting trips in the wilderness to family camping weekends, a larger tent will certainly be preferable to something smaller.
When prepping for a disaster or long term survival situation, if you have a family or will be traveling in a group, a larger tent is an essential piece of kit to have and they are certainly more comfortable over a long time.
When choosing any type of tent it’s important to consider what you want to use it for. The best six man tents will be suitable for the following situations;
- Family camping trips
- Road trips / Car camping
- Hunting trips
- Prolonged temporary accommodation (possibly in a survival situation)
A six person tent ensures that you can stay close to your family at night, thus allowing you to be better able to protect them and keep them safe if needs be. It’s unnerving to be camping in a rough storm in a small tent while your kids are in a separate one several yards away where you can’t make sure they’re ok.
If you’re an avid hunter and spend weeks at a time in the wilderness, a good quality, spacious tent is an essential base. The additional space allows for equipment and a comfortable place to call home while you’re living off the land.
In an emergency situation, such as a natural or manmade disaster that forces you out of your home on short notice, you will find life much easier if you have temporary accommodation sorted out in advance.
Even large tents can pack up small enough to be a great addition to your emergency survival kit, simply grab it and get out of danger, then set up your temporary home for you and your family once you are somewhere safe. The space ensures you can live comfortably, even with your other gear.
Types of Tents to Consider
There are several types of tents to consider when choosing the best tent for your needs. From palatial, multi-roomed luxury tents, to more humble one roomed structures, there is something out there for everyone.
- Quick pitch
Dome tents are your more traditional style of tent, and stand up well to the wind. Being generally shorter than other types, their shape deflects the wind better than cabin style tents for example. The dome shape also reduces the risk of rainwater pooling on the roof.
The downside is that they are generally smaller inside than other tents, as the walls are not straight, rather they curve up to a center point, reducing standing space considerably.
Cabin tents have straighter walls and as such offer more space than dome tents. Often standing quite tall, walking around for most adults is standard. This style offers a far more comfortable and homely experience, especially for those who are not the biggest fans of camping.
The downside is that they suffer more from strong winds that will hit the walls head on rather than being deflected, and rainwater may pool on the roof if not pitched tightly enough.
Quick pitch tents are a blessing for anyone new to the world of camping. For six man tents, there is normally a central hub containing the main framework. Depending on the model, this is normally raised up like an umbrella and secured in place.
Some quick pitch tents can be erected in less than a minute, with others taking up to ten. Bear in mind that the tent may be up, but it will still need to be pegged into the ground. Available in both cabin and dome styles.
Luxury tents are for those who appreciate their comfort and privacy. Such tents will commonly be spacious, with several rooms and as many homely features as possible, such as hinged doors, a covered porch and large windows that can be open or shut to provide light or ventilation.
They are normally made of high quality and durable materials but come with a high price tag.
Budget tents, as you can probably guess don’t use the best materials, aren’t as spacious as other models and are better suited to short term use. With that in mind, there are some good ones out there that will serve you well in fair weather conditions and will hold off the rain, just don’t expect the highest comfort levels.
Key Features to Look Out for
When buying any tent it is important to know that it will keep you protected from the elements no matter what is thrown at it, but there are other things to take into consideration when choosing a larger tent, ask the following questions;
- Is a rain fly provided, or available for the model you want?
- Is the tent well ventilated?
- Does it breathe well?
- What additional features does it have?
The rain fly is the outer shell of the tent that can be removed to aid in ventilation. When in place it should keep the wind and rain off and out of your tent.
Many tents come with it included, however, some will require you purchase one separately. There are different types, with the most effective covering the tent entirely, while others cover only the top portion of the tent.
Ventilation is very important in any tent and can be controlled with mesh windows, doors, and dedicated roof vents. Look for a tent with several options to effectively control the airflow.
Whether the tent breathes well or not is another important thing to consider for your own comfort. Yours might be the most waterproof tent in the world, but you can still wake up to find wet walls and puddles if it is unable to breathe well.
The wall material can affect this and if a rain fly is being used, this should not be touching the tent material, as this can encourage condensation to gather within the tent.
Additional features such as the number of doors and rooms, whether it has a covered porch area or storage pockets, are all down to personal preference. Many people, for example, enjoy using a covered porch for relaxing, safe from bugs and rain.
With all of this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the most popular six person tents on the market at the moment.
A Review of Eight of The Best Six Person Tents
Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Screened Tent
Footprint: 17 x 9’
Center height: 6’10”
Packed size: 10 x 10 x 41”
Packed weight: 32lb
Specific Features: Two rooms, WeatherTec system, screened porch area, hinged door
Best use: Great for family car camping
Description: Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Screened Tent is designed to hold back the elements, keeping you safe from wind and rain. It undergoes harsh testing to achieve this, being subjected to 35 gallons of rain in ten minutes and winds up to 60mph.
The majority of campers are happy with the results after a rainy week, however, a small minority claim that the tent failed utterly in rainy conditions.
The top of the tent is mostly mesh, to aid ventilation, but a well-fitting, if a little short, rain fly is provided. Using a waterproofing spray is said to aid with leak issues.
The tent is fairly easy to put up after you’ve done it once and can be completed in about 15 – 20mins. It certainly helps if there is someone to lend a hand. The stakes provided can be a bit flimsy so it may be worth investing in some heavier duty ones.
The size is good, you will be able to stand comfortably and it can accommodate six people with little gear. When packed, it’s still fairly large and heavy, so not one for backpacking with.
Lightspeed Outdoors Ample 6-Person Instant Tent
Footprint: 13’ x 6’5”
Center height: 55”
Packed size: 9 x 9 x 36”
Packed weight: 14lb
Specific Features: Quick and easy setup, Large front door and awning, one room
Best use: Short family camping trips, novice campers
Description: Lightspeed Outdoors Ample 6-Person Instant Tent easy to pitch tent is popular with novice campers who are looking for a quick and easy tent to put up. If you can open an umbrella, it’s likely you can put this tent up without any trouble within ten minutes.
The easy pitching system is flawless and receives high praise, however, if it breaks there is little you can do to fix it, so take care of it.
It’s fairly low, so if you’re looking for a tent you can walk around in this isn’t the one for you. It’s a basic, budget option, lacking many of the features of more expensive options.
However, if you are a small group looking to go on a short camping trip, in which you won’t be doing anything other than sleeping in the tent, this is a great option, and with its lower height, fares well against the wind in comparison to taller tents.
A rain fly is included but has received criticism as it doesn’t cover the tent fully, and with the windows open rain will get in. With the windows shut it soon gets very hot inside. It stands up well to light rain, but it is recommended you treat the seals just in case.
Coleman Instant Cabin 6 Tent with Fly
Footprint: 10’ x 10’
Center height: 6’2”
Packed size: 7 x 7 x 42”
Packed weight: 25lb
Specific Features: Ultra-fast setup with preassembled frame, WeatherTec system, rain fly included
Best use: Great for novice campers, family car camping trips, long term camping, and road trips
Description: Coleman Instant Cabin 6 Tent with Fly is very popular with its users and receives very little criticism all around. It is suitable for use in many environments and stands up well to the elements with campers happy with the protection offered.
If encountering heavy wind, ensure that the guy lines are well secured, and during rain, make sure that the included rain fly is properly attached and tied down. There can be some issues with condensation, but for many this is a small price to pay for the spaciousness of this tent, with the majority of people able to stand up and walk around with no issue.
The ventilation works well, with several windows creating ample air flow. Finally, it’s incredibly easy to put up, and can be up and ready within a minute or two, even in the dark or rain.
Whether you plan to stay in one place for several weeks or spend time moving from place to place, this tent will meet all of your demands and serve you well.
The construction is solid and made to last. One possible flaw is the central hub, in that if it breaks, you will be unable to put the tent up, which could be a huge hindrance if you are out in the wilderness.
Related products: Coleman tent kit
Coleman Evanston Screened Tent
Footprint: 14’ x 10’
Center height: 68”
Packed size: 9 x 10 x 28”
Packed weight: 21lb
Specific Features: Screened front porch, rain fly included, large mesh windows for ventilation
Best use: Fair weather camping
Description: Overall Coleman Evanston Screened Tent is well received, but its drawbacks are acknowledged and for many not a huge problem. It depends on the kind of camping you want to subject it to. For hot, dry weather, the ventilation that this tent offers is great, with large mesh windows providing plenty of airflow.
The drawback is that you sacrifice privacy for this luxury, as unless the rain fly is in place, the large rear window cannot be zipped up.
The dome area, when protected by the included rain fly will keep you dry through most storms, and it holds its own against the wind.
The screened porch, however, is not covered, and in any kind of rain it will inevitably get wet.
This is a drawback in that this is also the entrance and exit, and under very heavy rain it can quickly become a pool. There are drainage features, and measures can be taken to protect the porch from the rain.
On the flip side, when the weather is good the porch can easily accommodate three chairs and a cool box and is a fantastic place to sit and relax, away from the bugs. Due to the nature of this tent, it can get pretty cold in there in lower temperatures, and you may want to consider something a bit more enclosed if you plan to camp in cold conditions.
That said, several users have claimed they have used this tent with good quality sleeping bags and appropriate clothing and have not had a problem.
Coleman Sundome 6 Person Tent
Footprint: 10’ x 10’
Center height: 72”
Packed size: 6 x 10 x 10”
Packed weight: 16lb
Specific Features: Electrical access port, windows and roof vents aid ventilation, budget option
Best use: Great in fair weather, car camping and for those on a budget
Description: Coleman Sundome 6 Person Tent is a fairly popular choice for those who understand that this is a budget tent and aren’t expecting a palace.
The craftsmanship is not to such a high standard as Coleman’s other options, with the poles and material being thinner, and the mesh is of a lower quality than other similar tents.
Some users have had issues with the material ripping while putting the tent up, however, these cases are few. That said, with some looking after this tent can last you and keep you dry in the rain. Using seam sealer is highly recommended, especially on the rain fly.
The rain fly itself is a little short and could do with being a little longer to cover the mesh windows better. This is another tent that offers little in the way of privacy if you’re not using the rain fly, but on the plus side, the ventilation is fantastic.
In colder weather, you may find it difficult to stay warm due to the amount of mesh. Finally, pitching the tent is fairly straight forward, and with two people it can be done within fifteen minutes.
Marmot Unisex Limestone 6P Tent Hatch
Footprint: 120” x 100”
Center height: 76”
Packed size: 30 x 12 x 11”
Packed weight: 17lb
Specific Features: Full coverage rain fly, heavy duty floor, reflective guy out points, two doors
Best use: Foul weather, long camping trips, hunting
Description: If you’re expecting rough weather conditions during your camping trip, Marmot Unisex Limestone 6P Tent Hatch is well worth considering.
With its full-length rain fly and sturdy structure it will keep you and your gear bone dry through nights of torrential rain and won’t bend or break under heavy winds.
On top of that the tent breathes well and the ventilation is good. It will keep you cool in hot weather and warm when it’s cold. It’s spacious and will allow you to stand easily, and with two doors feels like a small palace.
Pitching is fairly straight forward with excellent color-coded instructions, but you’ll certainly benefit from an extra pair of hands if possible.
Being free standing, it’s easy to move to a better location if one presents itself. For a tent of this size, it packs up quite small and isn’t too heavy, with some campers using it on hiking trips into the mountains.
Finally, it’s a durable tent, with several users happy that it has kept them protected from the elements year after year. The price tag is quite high, but this is a top quality tent that can be used throughout most the year.
Related products: Marmot underlay
The North Face Kaiju 6 Tent
Footprint: 240” x 120”
Center height: 80”
Packed size: 9 x 14 x 30”
Packed weight: 19lb
Specific Features: Full rain fly, easy pitch, covered porch area
Best use: Car camping, family camping
Description: The North Face Kaiju 6 Tent with a proven track record of staying dry and holding up against the wind, as long as it’s correctly set up.
The instructions seem fairly simple, but there are key areas in which the instructions are somewhat lacking, such as attaching the rain fly correctly so that it doesn’t touch the tent material.
Another area is securing the guy lines correctly, in order to get the most out of the tents excellent wind resistance. It may be worth checking a YouTube video to get full instructions.
Once correctly set up however, this is an excellent tent to take with you on a car camping trip, and it will keep you warm and dry. The ventilation works well, and the fly can be adjusted without removing it to control the airflow better.
The large porch area, complete with a doormat, is popular and a nice place to relax in bad weather or if the mosquitoes are out. One complaint is that the wind can get in under the rain fly and blow through the front vestibule and out of the back one. However, all in all this tent receives high praise.
Related products: Kaiju 4
Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
Footprint: 10’ x 9’
Center height: 6’2”
Packed size: 10 x 10 x 48”
Packed weight: 25lb
Specific Features: Pre-assembled poles allow ultra-fast and easy pitching, well vented, WeatherTec system
Best use: Fair weather camping, novice campers, family camping
Description: Coleman Instant Cabin Tent goes up in less than a minute and the mechanism is highly praised for its simplicity and ease of use, making it a fantastic choice for novice campers. Of course, additional time is required to secure the guy lines and peg it in place.
Taking it down for the majority of people is as quick and easy as putting it up, however, there are some complaints that the mechanism can become stiff and difficult to use, especially in bad weather.
As with other similar mechanisms, while it works all is good, but if it breaks you may be in trouble.
While it’s a spacious tent, and most people can stand and dress with no issue, it’s a bit of a stretch to imagine six people sleeping in it, rather, groups of three or four would be more comfortable.
It is highly recommended that the tent is treated with seam sealer inside and out before use and that the separate rain fly is purchased if expecting rain, as without these precautions, many people have woken up in puddles.
In warmer weather, the tent doesn’t breathe too well, regardless of the several ventilation options, and many campers recommend a fan is bought to aid with air circulation.
Summing Up and Pegging Down The Finer Points
Having discussed why a six man tent might be the best choice for you and your family on your next camping trip or a great addition to your survival kit, it’s time to get out there and get yours, you never know when you might need it.
Just remember to get the tent that best suits yours and your family’s needs. If you expect to need it for a prolonged time, in a variety of conditions, it’s probably worth investing a little more in a tent that you can be certain will keep you comfortable, as well as safe from the elements.
If you plan to take it out once or twice a year for short camping trips, you probably won’t need something too elaborate. Work out what’s important to you and choose a tent accordingly.
What’s your favorite six man camping tent? Let us know in the comments section.