Family vacations in the wilderness are a source of great memories that last a lifetime. Pitching a tent and experiencing all that nature has to offer provides your family with so much more than fun and joy, it builds character and strengthens bonds. There’s an element of roughing it when camping, but this need not mean that you can’t be at ease and enjoy some creature comforts. A large family tent, will provide you with the space you need and allow you to connect with your environment.
We have an extensive selection of 8 person tents in this review that are ideal for the family camping trip. If you’re looking for the best 8 person tent, there’s a list of basic requirements and, perhaps, some elements that will make your outdoor experience easier and more comfortable. Obviously, you want a tent that’s waterproof and provides a good level of protection from the weather in general. A family tent needs to have adequate storage for all your belongings and essential gear. You also want the space to accommodate the family comfortably. A well-designed cabin tent should give you all of this and be durable enough to last for years to come. That’s what we’ve looked for – large family camping tents that will provide you with years of memorable experiences without compromising on your basic comforts.
This review of 8 person family camping tents has plenty to choose from. I have no doubt that you’ll find the perfect tent for your next vacation. There are options for those who are concerned about budget and others that offer the best of all worlds, if you’re prepared to pay a little more.
1. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8-Person Tent
If anyone understands the rugged requirements of camping gear, it’s Kodiak. This company has earned an unbeatable reputation for making tents that hold up to all conditions. Be prepared to pay for this level of quality though. The top-grade materials and expert workmanship that has gone into the Kodiak Deluxe 8 person canvas tent doesn’t come cheap. Though I’ll certainly say that it’s worth it. Long after your kids have moved on, gone to college and started their own lives, the Kodiak family tent should still be going strong. So this is going to be an investment that will serve you well for many years.
If you use the best materials and focus on quality workmanship and expert design, you can’t go wrong. That’s exactly what Kodiak have done here. The tent walls are made of 8.5-ounce Hydra-shield 100% cotton duck canvas. Not only is this the toughest material for tent manufacture, the silicon Hydra-shield is perfectly waterproof and is still breathable enough to prevent a musty interior. Heavy canvas makes this one of the best 4 season tents that you can get. If you've ever stayed in a luxury Kenyan-style safari tent, you'll have an idea of what kind of quality I'm talking about. In colonial times, a tent like this would have been reserved for the most regal of people.
The ceiling is made from the same waterproof Hydra-shield cotton canvas, it’s just heavier – 10-ounce. So you won’t experience any sagging in a heavy downpour, the rain runs off like water from a duck’s back. This sturdy ceiling supports a generous gear loft, so it needs to be extra-strong. You can store a lot of stuff up there and there are more handy storage organizers in the tent.
To support this sturdy structure, they’ve used a 1-inch galvanized steel tubing frame and 3/8-inch Flex-Bow rods, along with strong pegs. Even in fierce wind, this tent will remain rigid and withstand all types of weather. For me, the true test of quality is in the finer details – the things that are not immediately apparent. So I like to look at the small things, like zippers. In this regard, Kodiak have proven to me that they’re serious about every aspect of this tent. You don’t get better than #10 YKK zippers. That’s what they’ve used for the two D-shaped doors (at the back and front of the tent). So they will open and close effortlessly for the lifetime of tent – and that’s going to be a long time.
It’s not just a tough tent, it’s spacious and well-designed. The walls have a steep angle and are nearly vertical. So you get maximum usage of the 10 x 14 feet floor area. It has a 7 x 4 foot awning that covers the front door. It’s not enclosed, like a vestibule, but provides some protection for gear that can be stored outdoors. This is really meant to provide you with a comfortable shaded area to sit under on those hot summer days. Inside, the tent has a good level of comfort. The doors and two large windows are sealed with a no-see-um mesh that give you privacy and offer protection from bugs. Two funnel-flow vents help keep the tent cool and fresh. The vents are also protected by mesh – so there’s no chance of bugs finding their way into the tent. With a 6’ 6” ceiling, even tall people won’t be stooping. You can walk upright and a high ceiling helps with air circulation, preventing it from getting too hot.
The Kodiak 8 person tent weighs 79-pounds – this is the pack weight and includes the stakes (6.5-pounds). It is supplied with a large pack, so you won’t be trying to force the tent into an undersized bag. Pitching this tent is a breeze. Once it’s pegged to the ground, one person can set it up in minutes. Compared to the more common polyester tents, the Kodiak is heavy, but that shows how tough it is. That weight comes from strong poles and ultra-tough all-weather canvas. This is rare to find these days. The Kodiak Canvas 8 person tent is sort of like having a small portable cabin that you can take anywhere you fancy. It’s incredibly spacious and you don’t feel like you’re inside a cramped tent. The royal camping experience. It’s as durable as they come and offers superb protection from the wind and rain. Along with the stellar Kodiak reputation for quality, you get a limited lifetime warranty on the tent.
2. Coleman Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch 8-Person Cabin Tent with Closet
I’ve owned so many Coleman products over the years. They make just about every conceivable camping aid and there’s always a lot of thought that goes into the needs of their customers. They also cater for every sector of the market, from high-end camping gear to very affordable options of a decent quality standard. The Coleman Tenaya 8 person cabin tent falls into the latter category. It’s very affordable and, while it’s not a heavy-duty canvas tent, the Tenaya is a durable item.
I haven’t been able to get any technical details regarding the materials used. From my observation, it seems to be a polyester-type material that’s been used for the walls and fly. The floor is made from a similar, heavier duty material. It would have been nice to give you a Denier spec for this material, but this is not available. It does, however, look like it’s on the higher end of the scale and won’t rip as easily as the cheaper types. This makes the Tenaya lightweight and easy to pitch, whilst remaining tough enough to cope with outdoor living.
The Fast Pitch design makes things even easier with color coded loops and very easy procedures. This is all very convenient and the tent is incredibly well designed with a WeatherTec system that keeps the tent dry, even when the rain is coming down in buckets. It has a separate rainfly which overhangs the walls slightly and this further ensures that you’re always snug and dry inside. Without the rainfly, you have a roof with extensive gauze surfaces. This is perfect for star gazing on warm summer nights and you’re still protected from bugs. The large D-shaped doors and windows are also covered with gauze.
While the materials used are of a good quality. It will rip easier than thick canvas. So you’ll need to take a bit more care than you would with a thick canvas tent. Though this is always the case with polyester tents. This is the most common material used to manufacture tents and is very popular. I would say that a footprint is a must-have item for this type of tent, you want some extra protection for the floor. Of course, these materials do have an advantage. Firstly, the Coleman is amazingly cheap for such a spacious and practical family tent and it weighs only 35.4-pounds.
In true Coleman style, they’ve added a lot of very convenient features. The one that stands out the most is the 2 X 2 foot closet that has hanging space and shelves. It also makes provision for electrical wiring and a hanging loop for a light. A lot of people will appreciate the privacy wall that allows you to turn it into a two room tent if you wish. Another thing I really like is the excellent carrying case that you get. The tent fits into a huge suitcase style bag with a retractable handle and wheels, so it’s a cinch to transport.
It’s a very spacious and airy tent. The steep walls allow you to take full advantage of the generous 13 x 9 foot floor space. Height is also great – 6’8” at the center. The ceiling has a gentle gradient which causes the rain to run off easily, but this does mean you lose a few inches of height at the edges. There’s no awning or vestibule, but it doesn’t really need this. The closet provides ample storage and when it’s hot, you can open the many windows and huge doors, removing the rainfly also lets the heat escape through the roof.
Like so many, I really trust the Coleman brand and their Tenaya Lake Cabin tent is one of the best family tents around. It’s affordable enough for the young family buying their first large tent, yet durable enough to last quite a few years. You’re not getting a lifetime warranty, like the Kodiak (reviewed above), but I wouldn’t expect that from a tent in this price range. Instead, this one has a very standard 1-year warranty.
3. Amazon 8 Person Basics Tent
This is a basic, entry level 8 person family tent. A first look at the price, leads one to believe that it can’t be of a reasonable quality standard. A large tent at this price seems almost too good to be true. However, its design and the materials used contradict this. One needs to be realistic though. At this price, you can’t expect a high-end product. It does the job very well and is likely to last quite a few years if you take good care of it. You certainly won’t find anything close to this at the same price. The Amazon Basics family tent is astoundingly good value for money.
Polyester is used throughout and this is what brings the price down. This is a lightweight material and provides excellent waterproofing. Remember though, this is a lightweight tent and won’t stand up to very rough treatment. It goes without saying, that a footprint for this tent is a very good idea. That being said, people have said that the Amazon Basics tent has stood up to some pretty harsh weather without a drop of water inside or any flexing of the tent. It’s tougher than I would have first presumed.
Some of the structural integrity comes from the dome design. In terms of making the best of economy materials, I really like this design. The curved roof and flexible poles help to strengthen it. The downside is that you lose some height where the dome slopes downward. Though they’ve done a good job of elongating the shape and it’s surprisingly spacious inside. The floor area measures 13 x 9 feet and the roof is 6 feet at the center. As it slopes downward you lose about ¼ of this height at the furthest point. But for most of the tent area the headroom is reasonable.
Two large D-shaped doors provide very easy access and there are two windows at the opposite ends. With the rainfly removed, you have a huge gauze roof that let’s light in and keeps the tent cool in hot weather. It also has fairly basic, but very useful, storage pockets that help you keep things organized inside the tent.
Personally, this wouldn’t be my first choice, I’d prefer a tent that can handle more rough treatment. Though, 20-years ago, when my budget was more limited, I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy this tent. In fact, I would have been delighted to find such an amazing 8 person tent that I could afford. I’m sure, with the right amount of TLC, you’ll get excellent use from this tent for a long time.
4. Browning Camping Big Horn Family/Hunting Tent
The Browning Big Horn 8 person family tent is similar to the Coleman Tenaya Lake Cabin tent. Both in its price and design. The Browning has a slightly larger floor area than the Coleman, but doesn’t have a closet – so you’re getting about the same amount of space – it’s just used differently. As far as polyester tents go, this is one of the best. The floor is 150D Oxford and has a bath tub design that extends high up the walls. The 75D 185T fly buckles also add a good degree of strength to the tent. The fiberglass poles that support the roof are flexible and join to make a very rigid structure, capable of withstanding heavy wind and rain. These are supported by sturdy steel uprights. It’s a freestanding tent and is very easy to erect. All these factors make it a strong and practical tent.
Large expanses of gauze on the doors and large windows let in plenty of light and allow the air to flow through in hot weather. The roof also has a lot of gauze when the rainfly is removed. The rainfly covers the tent well and extends down the uprights at the corners which helps channel the rain away from the walls. When you step inside the Big Horn, you’re immediately struck by the airy big space – especially with the rainfly removed. The center of the ceiling is 87” high – way taller than most. So even where the roof slopes down to meet the walls, you have well over 6 feet of head room. The walls are almost vertical, providing a lot of usable floor space. With a 10-foot width and 15-foot length, you have more space than your average 8 person tent. It also has a center wall that can be zipped closed to create two rooms.
There are several storage pockets that are conveniently positioned. I like that the doors are not positioned opposite one another. They are on alternate ends of the long walls – one at the front and one at the back. This means that, with the room divider down, each room has its own door providing separate entry and exit points. I read a review that stated the Browning tent has a lifetime warranty, but I cannot confirm this. Their warranty doesn’t stipulate any time period. What I have noticed is that they are excellent at honoring their warranty. Countless customers have mentioned that any part that was defective or damaged was replaced promptly without any hassles. That’s reassuring – these guys care about their customers. When it comes down to it, this is a magnificent family tent. It’s not at all expensive and the quality is really great.
5. Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent
The Coleman Montana 8 person tent is even cheaper than their Tenaya Lake Cabin tent. That is if you’re not buying it in black - at least, this is the case on the Amazon site. You can get in a choice of colors but, for some reason, if you want it in black it’s going to cost a hundred bucks more. However, in any other color it’s a refreshingly cheap tent. In terms of quality materials, it’s every bit as good as the more expensive Tenaya. The dimensions are different and this is a modified dome tent, so you lose some height – particularly along the edges. I suppose one of the reasons why this one is cheaper than the Coleman cabin tent, is that it doesn’t fall into their Fast Pitch range. It still goes up very easily. Coleman advertises 15-minutes to pitch the tent. Though my guess is most people will take a bit longer, at least for the first few attempts. Dome tents with extrusions take some getting used to at first.
Tall people might find the dome design a little inconvenient. At the center, where you enter the doors, it has a height of 6’2”, which is reasonable for most guys. Though as you move out from here, it is going to mean bending a bit if you’re taller than average. The interior space is adequate for 8 people, but not the best. At 16 x 7 feet, it’s not as spacious as most others and the shorter (7-foot) walls come down at a gradient, so this space isn’t the most practical. The longer walls are nearly upright and, in that sense, it makes very good use of the floor area for this type of dome tent. You have the advantage of a very well-designed awning which adds to the space you have for gear storage. Although this awning is open at the front, the curved sides come down almost to ground level and this offers good protection for boots and other gear that doesn’t need to be kept inside the tent.
The Coleman WeatherTec system, used on this and most other Coleman tents, provides a great barrier from water and damp. The seams, rainfly, doors and window surrounds don’t let any moisture in. It’s also great for hot weather, the large gauze windows are placed high for very good ventilation. When you remove the rainfly, the roof is opened up to a large gauze surface which is light and breezy. The perfectly engineered dome structure is as ridged as a tent needs to be and will withstand harsh wind, rain and even some snow. This design also gives it a very impressive weight for such a weather-hardy tent – it weighs only 24.5-pounds. Another practicality that Coleman usually takes care of is that they’ve made it easy to run electric wiring inside the tent.
This is a Coleman tent, which already counts for a lot in my book. It strikes a perfect balance between affordability, practicality and durability. Making it a very worthwhile family tent. It’s hard to beat a combination like this.
6. Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
To my mind this is the ideal family tent. If it were a heavy-duty 4 season canvas tent, I’d call it the ultimate family tent. Though polyester 3 season tents are better in hot weather, they have more gauze openings. Since camping is mostly a summertime activity, a lightweight polyester tent isn’t such an issue. It’s just that you always need to take a little extra care with this material. Thick canvas is very difficult to damage, whereas even the best polyester will never be as strong.
The reason why I absolutely love the tent is in the perfect space layout. It’s huge – 16 x 11 feet. The space is divided into a large 98 square foot main room and a 60 square foot screened porch. The bath tub floor extends through both the sleeping room and the porch or “living room”, but these remain completely separate areas. The porch can be opened up completely with only gauze walls and a roof, this is great for a daytime relaxation area. It can also be closed to protect it from rain and wind. This makes it a dual purpose area – the kids can sleep in this area, while mom and dad have a separate bedroom. In this way, they’ve made perfect use of every square inch.
The height is great throughout – 6’ 5”, with only a slight decrease in height where the ceiling slopes toward the walls. The roof has a gradual dome shape which makes it seem bigger inside. The walls are nearly vertical on two sides with a slight slope on the other two. Windows are really big and, with the rainfly removed, it’s a wonderfully cool tent in hot weather. It only has one door though. This means that if you have people sleeping in the porch area, you’ll be disturbing them if you need go out during the night. A door at the back of the main room would have been nice. Other than this, I can’t find fault with the great design. It also has very practical storage pockets.
It’s a perfectly simple and logical tent to pitch. One adult can easily erect it in 20-minutes or less. It’s also very light at 27.3-pounds. Despite this lightweight design, it’s a sturdy tent and the waterproofing is great. An all-round winner. The Wenzel Klondike is a truly remarkable 8 person cabin-style tent. It’s designed with the needs of the family camper in mind and will add value to your outdoor vacation experience. I like the general quality of this tent and they offer a great 10-year warranty.
7. CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
I think they’re being a little optimistic calling this a 9 person tent. It’s smaller than many 8 person tents. Though the cabin design makes excellent use of the floor space, so you’ll be able to fully utilize the 14 x 9 feet floorplan. The main party trick of the Core is its pre-assembled frame. It pops up, instantly taking shape, and can be ready for use in about 1-minute. Hence the name instant cabin tent. So if you and your family are not great with assembling poles and figuring out where everything goes, this is the tent for you. The only thing with these instant pitching tents, is that you need to handle them with some care when erecting. You can get the kids to help - they love it. But keep an eye on them, making sure they don’t handle it too roughly when unpacking and repacking the tent.
The 6’ 6” ceiling is wonderful for tall people. Together with almost vertical walls, the tent not only has a great sense of roominess, the space is practical and usable right up to the walls. Huge gauze covered windows, a large T-door (the full width of the tent), and a gauze roof help cool the tent and let a lot of light in. It really is a beautiful tent inside, especially when you remove the rainfly. They’ve also included an adjustable ground vent that helps you regulate the airflow for maximum cooling in summer. It’s perfectly waterproof and the rainfly is designed for good water runoff. In terms practical family living, they’ve done a great job. It has a room divider that separates the tent into two areas and there’s provision for electric wiring. It also has a number of useful storage pocket to keep things well organized.
The Core 9 person family tent has everything one could hope for. It’s a very well-designed tent with the added bonus of effortless pitching. It’s made of quality polyester and has a 1-year warranty.