Best Family Tent Australia 2020 Buying Guide

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When it comes to camping, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Watching the chaotic ‘crazy busy’ city disappear behind you in the rear view mirror, as you head for that favourite camping spot to pitch the family tent and sleep under the stars, is probably the most attractive holiday idea.

But for your camping trip to be an ultimate success, prior planning and acquiring the necessary gear in good time is critical. And one of the most important items, on your packing list, whether you’re a wilderness expert or a novice camper, is choosing the best family tent.

Click here to see the best 2020 family tent

If you’re not a frequent camper, buying a family tent for your next camping trip can be quite intimidating. With the many different sizes, styles, and brands to choose from, you might not know even where to begin.

Choosing the Best Family Tent 2020

Comparison chart for the best Family Tent 2020

Finding the best tent to suit your needs can be difficult. Whether your looking for the best lightweight family tent for hiking Australia, or cold weather family tent, there is a camping tent to suit all outdoor situations.

To help you choose, we’ve listed the best family tents of 2020 available for easy comparison, along with the main features they provide.

BrandImageSizeScorePrice
Vango Skye 400 4-Person4.6Check
Marmot Catalyst 2 Person2-Person4.1Check

Sea To Summit Ultralight

2-Person  4.5 Check
Vango Omega 250 2 Person 2-Person4.5Check
Roman Tracker 6 Person 6-Person4.5Check
Big Agnes Blacktail 3-Person4.4Check
Darche Urban Stealth Lt-1 1-Person4.0Check
Vango ark 300+ 3-Person4.5Check
Darche Nebula 1550 2-Person4.6Check
Vango Sigma 300+ 3-Person4.6Check

The Best Family Tent 2020

Here’s a family tent reference list – check all the detailed reviews below!

    • Vango Skye 400 Tent – 4 Person
    • Marmot Catalyst Lightweight Hiking Tent – 2 Person
    • Sea To Summit Duo Ultralight Hiking Tent – 2 Person
    • Vango Omega 250 Hiking Tent – 2 Person
    • Roman Tracker Geodesic Dome Family Tent – 6 Person
    • Big Agnes Blacktail Hiking Tent – 3 Person
    • Darche Urban Stealth Lt-1 Ultra-Light Tent – 1 Person
    • Vango ark 300+ Adventure Tunnel Tent – 3 Person
    • Darche Nebula 1550 Canvas Swag Tent – 2 Person
    • Vango Sigma 300+ Geodesic Performance Dome tent – 3 Person

To help you in choosing the best family tent. We have put together a comprehensive tent buying guide taking into account all the important aspects such as size, shape, features, and style, to make sure that you get a suitable tent within your budget.

Keep in mind that a tent is an investment, and without careful consideration, your camping trip can turn into a disaster. Having said that, here are things you should consider when buying family camping tents.

Consider tent size when choosing a family tent

Whether it’s a couple’s camping adventure, a massive camping holiday throughout Australia or anything in between, your tent’s size will significantly impact your overall camping trip. Tents are typically measured in ‘person’ to give you an idea of how many people can fit in the tent.

So you will be seeing labels like 2-person tent, 4-person tent, 6-person tent, 8-person tent, and so on.

Now, one very important thing I should quickly point out is that when manufacturers say a 2-person tent will ‘fit’ two people, what they actually mean is ‘squeeze’. Remember, when you head out on a camping trip, you will have some travel gear along with you depending on what other adventurers and activities you’ve attached to your camping trip.

So two people in a 2-person camping tent will be in a rather uncomfortable squeeze considering you have to fit in your gear as well. With that said, always consider upgrading to one or two sizes to accommodate your equipment. 

If you’re heading out on a couples’ camping trip, consider buying at least a 3-person tent which will provide enough space for backpacks, storage, and sleeping areas. But a 4-person tent would be much better. You do not want elbows in your face ruing the fun.

If you’re backpacking, weight and size might be given more priority than comfort, so you might have to make do with an ultra-light, smaller tent for a snug fit. However, if your camping adventure consists of mainly driving to the campsite and unloading your vehicle, size and weight might not be such a problem.

In this case, opt for a large enough tent, as long as it fits in your car. Most large family tents have multi-room compartments that act as separate bedrooms and offer some privacy.

Choosing the best 2 man tent for that couples getaway

Tent capacity rating and Tips

2-3-Person tent: this is popular among couples, and is sometimes used as a secondary camping tent, suitable for guests or teens to have their own private space away from the main larger tent. This tent offers roughly 30-45 square feet of floor area.

4-Person tent: this is the smallest tent that can be called a primary family tent. As earlier mentioned, this is a suitable pick for couples who are just getting started with camping. They’re relatively easy to pack and available in dome-style to cabin-style designs. A typical 4-Person dome tent will offer roughly 60 square feet of floor area.

6-Person family tent: This is often available in either dome or cabin design. This is typically the best choice for couples with a child or two. It offers roughly 90-120 square feet of floor area and sufficient standing height.

8-Person family tent: Also available in dome or cabin styles. An 8-person tent is a popular choice for families with several children. Most extra-large, rectangular cabin tents are popular in this category. This is probably the most common largest family-size tent you will readily find with most tent manufacturers. With most 8-person tents, expect about 120-140 square feet of floor space as well as standing/roaming height.

10-Person cabin tent: this size of tents offer roughly 150-180 square feet of floor space and standing/roaming space. Tents in category vary in shape and you should check to see that it fits on the campsite tent-pad or ground that you intend to use it on. Such large tends typically need a sturdy frame that can stand strong against blowing winds.

12-Person cabin tent: this is probably the largest family tent available, suitable for open ground camping. But there’re not many available in the market. The tent offers about 180 square feet of floor space as well as roaming height. These tents can be quite expensive, so if you’re going to buy one, you need to do some research and find out that it performs well and lasts for a long time.

Family Camping Tents

Consider tent weight

Weight is another crucial factor to consider depending on your means of transport and how far you will have to walk from your car or previous location. When it comes to tent weight, manufacturers often label “trail weight” and “package weight”. Trail weight consists of essential kit pieces such as tent body, poles and rainfly only. If you’re planning to carry the bare minimum, this is the weight to keep an eye on.

Packaged weight, on the other hand, covers all the gear that comes with your tent purchase, and this includes tent body, poles, rainfly, gear sack, stakes, pole sack, packaging, instructions and so on. If you’re carrying the complete package, this is the accurate weight you should keep in mind.

If you’re backpacking, keeping the weight to the minimum is probably your number one priority, and choosing a lightweight tent is the best way to minimise your load. You can find a number of lightweight tents on the market suitable for backpacking and they typically weight between 1-2 Kilograms which will easily fit in your backpack.

Ultra-light tents are designed to be as light as possible, but this might compromise durability and space, however, the comfort will still be reasonable. They also might have fewer features such as a smaller interior, one door and fewer zippers, but the overall idea is to keep the weight down.

If you’re driving to your camping site and won’t be walking for a long distance from your car, the tent size might not be such a big deal. Instead, you might want to focus on comfort as you will have more options to choose from.

Many large family-size tents are designed specifically for car camping and tend to be heavier in packaged weight. So if you’re going for one of these, make sure you can transport it from your car to the actual camping spot.

Popular family tent types and shapes

Family camping tents come in different shapes, and one style might be more suitable for you that the next one depending on a number of factors. For instance, larger family tents are usually more spacious and taller for full height access. Here are the main tent styles;

Dome-shaped tent: dome-shaped tents are suitable for camping in windy or snowy conditions because they’re generally stable and easy to install. The dome-shaped design typically has 2, 3 or 4 poles that crisscross and pass through the centre of the roof forming an arched ceiling. They offer lots of headroom which is why they’re popular.

A-frame / Ridge Tent: this design has been used for centuries by scouts, armies, and prospectors.  They typically have an “A” pole at each end and a horizontal ridge that holds the canopy. The slanting ridge limits headroom and might not be the best option for a family holiday camping where people want to move around freely. But it’s quite fine for sleeping in.

Tunnel Tent: tunnel tents are quite popular at camp sites too, probably because they offer a lot of sleeping space and internal storage with good roaming and standing height. It has strong flexible poles which form a semi-circle roof. When pitching these tents, consider positioning them head into the wind.

Tent seasonality

An indication of tent seasonality helps you choose an appropriate family camping tent for the anticipated season. In this regard, tents are classified into three main categories;

1-Season tents: one season tents are generally lightweight and can only cope with mild wind and light showers. If you’re only planning for a summer camping, this type will offer great ventilation and breathability.

3-Season tents: this type of tents are suitable for most climates and will perform well in the three main camping seasons i.e. Autumn, Summer, and Spring. They’re the most popular because they withstand strong downpours, wind and even light snowfall.

4-Season tents: while the name suggests four seasons, this type of tents are actually only suitable for use in winter, but they can survive throughout any of the four seasons. They are designed for cold climates, deep snow, and severe winds, and they tend to have less ventilation and extra insulation. They are generally heavier and more stable compared to the other seasons.

Choose family size tents that are large enough for everyone.

Consider tent material

So, which material should you consider when buying your family tent? Considering the fabric and pole material used is important because it affects water resistance, breathability, stability, and insulation. Here are some of the most popular materials;

Main body

Polyester: polyester is breathable and resistant to water and UV rays and tends to be more durable than nylon.

Nylon: nylon is favoured for being breathable, water-repellent and lightweight. It’s loved by backpackers for being lightweight, but one downside is that the water-repellent coating tends to wear off over time. 

Canvas/Cotton: this traditional material is the best option for those looking for a durable tent over the seasons. It will keep you warm in colder weather and cool in summer. However, it can be quite bulky, especially when rained on.

Tent Poles

Aluminium Alloy: this is quite common in the market, thanks to it being robust, flexible and low-weight

Carbon Fibre: this is common with high-end models and comes with a rather high price tag. But for that, you get a strong, lightweight pole that stands strong against the forces of nature.

Fiberglas: these are cheaper and less common because they tend to be heavy and break easily.

Ease of use

You might find a great large-sized family tent that sleeps 8 people with lots of room and storage space at a fair price. But if it will require a small army to set it up, that it probably not your best option.

You do not want to spend hours upon arrival at your campsite, trying to put a tent up. If possible, try out the tent at the shop before buying, although this might not always be a realistic request. But at least try and do some online research before buying. Generally, the bigger the tent and the more the features, the more ground (and effort) you will need to set it up.

Best Family Tent Australia Reviews

Sea To Summit Specialist Duo Ultralight Hiking Tent Review

Sea To Summit Specialist Duo Ultralight Hiking Tent

If you’re an avid camper, you probably already know about the Sea To Summit brand, thanks to their cool designs and ingenious innovations. This particular tent is extremely lightweight, at only 846g and can comfortably accommodate two people. This is probably the lightest best quality 2-person tent you will find in the market.

True to its name, the Sea To Summit Specialist Duo Ultralight Hiking Tent will stick with you on your paddling expeditions at the sea and trekking and cycling on the trains, all the way to mountain climbing at the mountain peaks. This tent is also fully enclosable and seam-sealed throughout to offer maximum waterproofing capabilities. It comes with six pegs and two poles, which makes setting up quite easy.

Specs and Features in Summary

2-person tent –comfortably accommodates 2 people

2 entrances and vestibules

Ultra-lightweight –only 846g

Packed size: 27cm x 10cm

Body material – Pertex Endurance 20D nylon shell fabric

Fully seam-sealed throughout

Internal storage pocket

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Vango Skye 400 4 Person Family Tent Review

Vango Skye 400 4 Person Family Tent

Vango is another respected and popular outdoor equipment manufacturer with established brands of premium quality tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and other outdoor gear. The Vango Skye 400 4 Person is a three pole tunnel tent that can comfortably accommodate up to 4 people.

The tent features side entrance, standing height in the living area and a light-out bedroom section for sleeping. If you’re camping in adverse weather conditions, you will appreciate the patented TBS system that adds to the stability of the tent. Small families or couples will find the Vango Skye 400 sufficient for their camping, festivals and other expeditions.

Specs and Features in Summary

Accommodates up to 4 people

Weight: 6.66kg

Pack size: 65.0 x 23.0cm

Tunnel tent design

Patented Vango Tension Band System (TBS) for added stability in adverse conditions

Fabric – Highly waterproof Protex 70 denier polyester flysheet

Robust, Waterproof PE groundsheet

Poles: Strong and light Vango PowerFlex fibreglass

Lights-out inner tent for better sleeping

Breathable polyester inner

Large clear PVC windows of maximum visibility

Inner storage pockets

Large clear PVC windows of maximum visibility

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Marmot Catalyst 2p Lightweight Hiking Tent Review

Marmot Catalyst 2p Lightweight Hiking Tent

This conspicuous, yet beautiful 2-person tent from Marmot cannot be mistaken. At just 2.3kg, this family tent is still lightweight enough to be tagged along by any casual camping enthusiasts looking to explore valleys, mountains and everything in between.

It comes with innovative features such as seam-sealing throughout for enhanced waterproof capability, colour-coded poles for intuitive pitching, and a roomy interior along with storage pockets to keep your gear organised.

Specs and Features in Summary

Weight –5lbs 3oz (2360g)

Canopy fabric –40d 100% Polyester

Floor and Tent Fly fabric –68d Polyester

Tent dimensions –44 x 53 x 88in, 109 x 135 x 224cm

Two D Shaped Doors/Two Vestibules

Colour-Coded clips and poles

Footprint Included

Seam Taped Full Coverage Fly

Interior storage pockets

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Vango Omega 250 2 Person Hiking Tent Review

Vango Omega 250 2 Person Hiking Tent

Yet another creative construction from Vango. If you’re looking for a true 2-person option, the Vango Omega 250 2 Person Hiking Tent offers enough space for campers heading out on long expeditions. Most 2-person tents won’t actually provide enough room for comfortable sleeping and storage of gear –this model is meant to address this issue.

The Vango Omega 250 also feature the Vango’s patented TBS for added stability in adverse conditions. You will also appreciate the O-shaped, Part mesh inner doors and Flysheet door vent for ease of access and improved ventilation.

Specs and Features in Summary

Capacity -2-person tunnel tent

Weight –4.05kg

Pack size –48.0 x 18.0cm

Flysheet – highly waterproof Protex®70D 5,000mm HH Polyester

Groundsheet – highly waterproof 70 denier, 6000mm lightweight polyester

Poles – color-coded PowerLite 7001-T6 alloy

Breathable polyester inner

Tested fire retardant fabrics

Rain stop flysheet doors

Factory taped seams on flysheet and groundsheet

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Roman Tracker 6 Person Geodesic Dome Family Tent Review

Roman Tracker 6 Person Geodesic Dome

If you’re looking for a little more room and flexibility or coming along with a larger group of family or friends, then the Roman tracker 6 person geodesic dome family tent is what you need. It comfortably accommodates 6 people and has been touted as the best option for beach camping and high wind areas.

This 3-season dome-shaped tent features a sun-room extension and a standing internal height of 200cm. The Reinforced Durawrap tent frame poles and Geodesic offer enhanced strength, stability, and spaciousness, making this one of the most versatile 3-season tent models out there.

Specs and Features in Summary

Capacity –6 people

Weight –17 kg

Dimensions –240 x 480 x 200 cm

Heat taped seams throughout

Floor –heavy duty 12×12 PE waterproof

Breathable Polyester inner

Inner divided into 2 rooms

Fly-sheet door covers that also function as awnings

Multiple access doors and windows Roof vent for better ventilation

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Big Agnes Blacktail Hiking Tent Review

Big Agnes Blacktail Hiking Tent

Big Agnes will definitely sound familiar whether you’re a novice camper or a wilderness expert. The company manufactures award-winning, high-quality camping and other outdoor products with comfort and durability as their baseline. The Big Agnes Blacktail Hiking 3 Person Tent is a 3-season free standing tent that offers spacious sleeping space for 2 campers and plenty of space for gear storage.

If you hate climbing over your mate just to get access the door, you will appreciate the two side entry doors and vestibules which makes accessibility a breeze. If you’re looking for a lightweight, spacious, easily accessible and comfortable tent for a couple’s camping trip, this could be it. But it can also be used as a secondary family camping tent.

Specs and Features in Summary

Weight –2.72kg

Floor Area  4.1 m²

Two doors and two vestibules

Media pockets at the sleeping area

Flysheet – waterproof polyester rip-stop

Groundsheet – waterproof polyester

Canopy fabric – polyester rip-stop and polyester mesh.

Lightweight aluminium poles and hooks

Four interior mesh pockets and two internal media pockets

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Darche Urban Stealth Lt-1 Ultra-Light 1-Person Hiking Tent Review

Darche Urban Stealth Lt-1 Ultra-Light Tent

We thought we should throw in a 1-person tent for those looking to add an extra side tent to their primary family tent. But it can still be used independently by individual persons heading out on a minimalist camping expedition.

This model comes with a single skin shell and a 2 pole setup system which makes it extremely portable and compact for campers who mind their grams. It might be compact and even look small, but you still get internal storage pockets and sufficient room left to store your gear. Ventilation and accessibility are well taken care of too.

Specs and Features in Summary

Capacity – 1 person

Weight –1.59kg

External Dimensions – 235cm L x 140cm W x 100cm H

Pack Size – 38cm L x 13cm diameter

Seam sealed throughout

3 season use

Shell and floor – waterproofed Polyester 70D/190T

Head and foot ventilation

Internal storage pockets

Poles –Lightweight aluminium

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Vango ark 300+ 3 person adventure tunnel tent Review

Vango ark 300+ 3 person adventure tunnel tent

Who said the wilderness doesn’t appreciate style and fashion? This 3rd Vango tent on our list is designed in an ark-style and offers a range of colours to compliment your favourite outdoor fashion items. But most importantly, this Gothic arch tunnel tent offers more than enough internal space for three people and it’s extremely easy to pitch –it takes just 7 minutes to be exact.

It also comes with extra storage pockets to store your gear, leaving you with ample sleeping space. Enhanced ventilation and breathable polyester inner tent fabric allow condensation to pass through at night.

Specs and Features in Summary

Capacity –3 people tent

Weight –5.6kg

Flysheet – highly waterproof and durable ProTex 70 Denier polyester

Robust and hardwearing PE groundsheets

Breathable polyester inner tent

Colour-coded Poles and pegs

Inner pockets – Conveniently positioned for storing camping essentials

Fully fire-retardant fabrics

Large Clear PVC windows for maximum light and visibility. Part mesh inner door for improved ventilation

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Darche Nebula 1550 Canvas Swag Hybrid Tent Review

Darche Nebula 1550 Canvas Swag Hybrid Tent

The Darche nebula 1550 canvas swag hybrid tent is built for campers and outdoor adventurers looking for an all-weather, 4-season tent. It’s a robust tent designed to accommodate 1 or 2 people. This model combines the durability of a canvas swag and the comfort of a regular tent to offer a hybrid shelter.

Setting up the Nebula 1550 requires less than 5 minutes and comes with a fitted mattress for enhanced comfort. In colder winter months, you can enjoy fully enclosed and warm sleeping environment and insect-free panoramic views during warm summer nights. The single-skin canvas design also means that you get the maximum inner space possible.

Specs and Features in Summary

Capacity –up to 2 people

Weight –22kg

Dimensions: 2300mm L, 1550mm W, 1000mm H 

Canopy –Single skin poly/cotton rip-stop canvas

4-season with 360° panoramic views

Fully seam-sealed

50mm hi-density foam mattress

Excellent cross-ventilation

2 storage pockets Anodised alloy poles

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Vango Sigma 300+ 3 Person Geodesic Performance Dome Tent Review

Vango Sigma 300+ 3 Person Geodesic Performance Dome Tent

By now you probably know that Vango is one of our biggest favourite tent manufacturers, primarily due to their long line of experience in outdoor equipment, and the research and development they invest in their products to come up with innovative concepts every day. The Vango Sigma 300+ 3 Person Geodesic Performance Dome tent is a premium model ideal for 2-3 people and offers enhanced stability.

The tent features large front windows for clear views, and higher porch poles for stability. At 6kg, I would say this is a decent tent for couples heading out on a casual outdoor adventure or as a secondary family tent beside a huge primary family tent.

Specs and Features in Summary

Capacity –3 people

Weight –6.3 kg

Size:360 x200 x 130cm height

Floor and inner tent fabric –Polyethylene 10,000HH

Power Flex fibreglass poles

Versatile –Fully wind & rain tested

Inner tent pockets for storage and organisation

Colour-coded poles and pegs

Large windows for a clear view

Part mesh inner door for improved ventilation

Click here for the current price, reviews and more information

Other things to consider

Other than the size, weight, and material, make sure you choose a tent that has good ventilation, made using breathable material, and has double walls in case of a rainy season. If your tent floor is likely to receive heavy foot traffic, you should consider getting a strong footprint, which will also act as a barrier between you and the ground.

How many doors do you want on your tent? Family tents that have more than one door are more convenient because you can be able to exit and enter without having to climb over other people.

But more doors may mean more cost and more weight, so keep that in mind. Also, if you can get models with interior storage, they will be really useful in storing convenient items like gloves, lip balm, sunscreen, keys, and headlamps.

The bottom line when choosing the best camping tent

Our home state of Queensland has many popular camping grounds and is an economical way to travel throughout this vast state. We have over the years had many enjoyable camping holidays and packing a good quality tent can make all the difference.

Therefore, I hope this guide makes it easier for you to find the best family tent you’re looking for at your price. This might sound like a lot of features to keep up with, but once you spell out your needs and preferences, with a little research, everything else will fall into place.

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