Finding a suitable size tent when there are 6 family members will come down to how much privacy you each need as well as the amount of living space you prefer.
But whatever you do, don’t go in thinking that a tent registered as 6 man is going to be big enough for a family of 6, especially if you have older children.
When a tent is labelled as a 6 man, it technically can sleep 6 people. But this is literally 6 people laying next to each other. This doesn’t give you any freedom to roll over, scratch yourself or give the adults any privacy. So I highly recommend you look for a tent which can sleep more than 12 people per the labeling.
This will give you enough room to have your own air mattresses and even have separate rooms for privacy. That is unless you like sleeping like you’re a sardine trapped inside a tin.
Quick 6 Person Tent Comparison Review
|20.6x10.2= 210ft2||Best for staying dry: 2500mm waterproof coating, Full rain-fly to ground, bathtub flooring, 2 rooms||Check Price Amazon|
|268ft2 total including 92ft2 screen room||Massive front screen room, 3 room tent, Solar shield rainfly with 1000mm waterproofing||Check Price Amazon|
|21x10= 210ft2||Budget friendly 3 room tent similar to #1 recommended tent, 6 large windows, 2000mm waterproofing||Check Price Amazon|
|15x16= 240ft2||Largest tent for practical use and space optimization, 2 doors with ample windows for cross breeze, bathtub floors||Check Price Amazon|
|23.5x16.5=240ft2||Unique shape allows children to play at one end of tent without disturbing adults at other end. Awesome covered front entry||Check Price Amazon|
|12x20= 240ft2||7 foot ceilings with 1200mm waterproof coating, extra 2 foot depth creates a larger room for storing gear alongside a queen airbed.||Check Price Amazon|
|18x10= 180ft2||Large pop up tent, 'T' Side Door, Front screen room option, well ventilated via adjustable vents||Check Price Amazon|
Plan For The Future
If you’ve got teenagers that are joining you on your camping trip, there’s always the option of letting them have their own smaller tent or even their own tent cot. This could be asking for trouble, but it does give the adults the best privacy possible.
But if you have younger kids or even toddlers, its a good idea to buy a family tent with the future in mind. If you look after you’re tent, it can last a long time. So it makes sense to buy a larger tent so your smaller children can grow up in.
If you take the opposite route thinking that you only need a medium size tent as your kids are very young, in a few years time your family will outgrow the tent. Then you will have to fork out more money for a more suitable tent to handle 6 older family members. So it makes sense to think ahead now and buy a bigger tent. Provided you look after your asset, it can serve you on many family camping expeditions over the years.
What Size Tent Is Best For 6 People
Before I delve into my recommendations for the best 6 person family tents, I want to make sure you understand how much space you actually need. I’ve touched on the fact a 6 man tent is not suitable for a family of 6 and now I want you to picture the tent in your head with you all laying down.
When allowing enough sleeping space for an adult, you want to make sure there’s enough floor space. So to do this you would work it out as if there were 6 people that were 6 foot tall and 1.5 foot wide. This makes each person require 9ft2 of footprint.
Now times it by 6 people and you get 54ft2. So the tent needs to be at least 54ft2 to cater to just your bodies laying on the floor. Next you need to consider how many people are sleeping together. For example Mom and Dad on 1 queen air mattress while the 2 boys share another queen and the 2 girls share another queen airbed.
Of course you may go a different approach and have 1 queen bed and 4 single airbeds/cots. But in the above approach, you would need a 3 room tent to cater to the 3 queen airbeds. Each air bed measures 80″ x 60″ (6.66′ x 5′) which has a square footage of 33.3ft2. With 3 airbeds you will need a tent that has a footprint big enough to cater to 100ft2.
With that in mind, you can roughly work out what size tent you need just to fit your mattresses in. But don’t forget to allow space for your essential camping gear if you aren’t bringing along a gazebo to store your goods under.
To work out the square footage of a tent you simply multiple the length by the width. For example a tent measuring 10ft x 10ft = 100ft2.
The Best Tent For 2 Adults & 4 Kids
NTK make some of the best tents going around in my opinion. To date they haven’t made a bad one. Of course this is subjective to your needs. They also scored very highly in the list of tents for 5 family members also.
Basically, this is the same NTK tent for 5 people, but larger and more suitable for a family of 6. This tent is the Super Arizona by NTK and one of the reasons I highly recommend this tent is for its waterproofing features. But before we look into that, lets take a look at how big this tent really is.
Does It Sleep A Family Of 6 People
I really like the simple rectangle design of the Super Arizona, it means you can keep the kids down one end while the adults get their own space at the opposite end of the tent. In terms of size, its not the biggest tent on this list but still big enough for 6 people.
Classified as a 11 to 12 person tent, the 10’2″ x 20’6″ footprint allows plenty of sleeping space for 6 people. The total square foot rate is 210ft2 and this gives you more than double the sleeping space required for 6 people. Remember a family of 6 will need 54ft2 in just their body size on average.
So there’s plenty of space to line up 4 queen airbeds next to each other which will leave you roughly a 3.3ft walkway down the length of the tent. Now if you were to have 1 queen bed for the parents and 4 x twin airbeds, you would have another 3 or so feet of separation between the queen and the first twin bed. The tent comes with a room divider so you can close of your room from the kids area.
The Waterproof Features
When you’re taking 4 children camping with you, the last thing you want to discover in the middle of the night is that the tent leaks when it rains. Trust me, I’ve been there and it isn’t pretty. Which is why I love the Super Arizona tent, for its outstanding capability to withstand strong wind and heavy rain.
How this tent maintains its ability to not get wet inside are by the following features:
- Bathtub flooring: The thick waterproof flooring runs up the sides of the tent to prevent any water on the ground and under your tent from penetrating through the seams where the polyester meets the polyethylene floor. Without a bathtub floor, ground water can and will come into your tent through the seams down low.
- Full rainfly: Many tents these days half half rainfly, where they cover the ceiling and create an awning type finish. Leaving the inner layer of material exposed to weather. The NTK Super Arizona has a full rainfly that goes all the way down to the ground to prevent any rain getting onto the inner layer of material.
- 2500mm polyurethane waterproof coated laminated polyester material. This is more than double the amount of waterproofing on most waterproof tents. Many tents are 1000mm coated or less. The NTK is more than double the thickness to prevent any rain seeping in.
Overall It’s A Premium Tent
Without even touching on some of the other features of the Super Arizona, its clear that this is a premium line tent. For a family of 6, you need the best waterproof tent you can buy and in my opinion this is it.
Its a good size for a family, it could be a tad bigger or include a third room divider for if you have teenagers coming along. But all in all, a 20 foot long tent is very spacious. For me its the simple design matched with the premium waterproofing features that make this tent one of the best for a family of 6 campers.
Tent For A Family Of 6 With Screen Room
My next recommended tent when you are camping as a family of 6 is by Tahoe Gear. It’s the Carson 3 season 14 person tent. So its a bit bigger than the above NTK but boasts different features.
The thing I love most about this tent is the huge screen room out the front. It’s massive and makes for the perfect area for spending time with the kids outside of the tent while being protected from the sun, rain and annoying mosquitoes.
The front porch zips up and completely shuts out bugs and stray animals from entering your tent. This is why it’s one of my favorite tents with a screen porch. In terms of size, the screened area is an impressive 92ft2. This is heaps of area for entertaining the kids, kicking back with a book and even cooking dinner thanks to the 92 inch high ceilings in the porch area.
3 Spacious Rooms
When you leave the porch area and step inside the tent, you’re presented with 3 spacious rooms. The total area of the living space is 176ft2, almost double that of the porch area. Which does give you an idea of just how big the screen room is. Overall the total size is 268ft2.
Each room has 2 large windows to allow light and air to circulate evenly through the tent. Each room also has a large D shape door big enough to carry the largest camping cots through. Having a door into each room is great when you’re camping with kids.
Especially in this tent as the adults will most likely want the center room which is the largest. So the kids can enter and exit into their rooms through their own doors without having to trample over all your stuff.
While the Carson tent is waterproof, it’s not of the same standard as the Super Arizona tent by NTK. It has a 1000mm polyurethane coating which is less than half of the NTK. But in saying that, you can always apply your own waterproof spray to the tent to beef up the coatings more.
The only major concern I can see with the Tahoe Gear Carson tent is that the rainfly includes the huge front porch area. So if you want protection from the rain, but don’t want the porch set up you are left between a rock and a hard place. You can’t have one without the other.
But in saying that, the rainfly does have a solar shield built into it. This is good for hot days as it reflects the sun and keeps the inside of the tent cooler. With the mesh ceiling and the large windows and ample doors, you can get more than enough cross breeze going on to really cool down the tent.
Overall, It’s Hard To Beat
It’s not half obvious that I love this tent. I love the unique design how the 2 side rooms are winged off the main room and the front porch is to die for. If only there was a way to set the front porch up without having to attach the entire rain fly on those nights where you want to gaze up through the mesh ceiling at night.
*Available in either white or black & red.
Extra Large Tent To Suit 6 People
If you have your eyes on the NTK Super Arizona but its a little out of you price range, this is the more budget friendly version. Its draws in some similarities as the Arizona in design and size. Both tents are 21’x10′ and pretty much the same design.
But what I like about this tent, the Americ Empire, is that the interior can be split up into 3 rooms. Which is often required for a family of 6 campers. Everyone needs their own space, even if it is just a thin sheet of polyester diving them. All in all you can squeeze in 4 queen air mattresses due to the longer design.
In total there are 6 windows, the 2 on the ends are a dome shape while the remaining 4 are large squares. All windows can be zippered up to protect the inside from rain while the micro mesh works overtime to keep out bugs and insects.
The middle room has 2 entry points which use the zipper curtain style doors. Where you unzip it down the middle and pull back either side of the door to enter. This is good when you want to transport large items such as inflated air mattresses or camping cots into the tent.
Decent Waterproofing Features
This Americ Empire tent offers a pretty decent waterproof experience. It’s not quite as good as the NTK which is why there is such a price difference. For ultimate protection from the rain, the NTK is the way to go.
But I’m certainly not writing off the Americ Empire tent. It has a waterproof coating of 2000mm, which is about twice the thickness of your standard tent. But in comparison to the NTK’s 2500mm, it falls slightly short.
It also lacks the full rainfly, while the 2000mm coating will do its job under some pretty harsh storms, for the people that want the best protection a full fly is recommended.
The other disappointing thing about this tent is the lack of the bathtub flooring. This does open the tent up to water leakage through the seams, so its especially important you apply some seam sealer to these seams to prevent water leaking in through the tiny holes.
However, for what you get and for the cost, I think the Americ Empire is a good buy. Its very spacious, has decent protection from the rain and has plenty of windows for hot air to to passed up through the mesh ceiling. If you like the design of the NTK but not the price tag, the Americ Empire is certainly worth considering.
Best Cabin Tent For 6 Persons
One of the biggest tents on this list comes from Tahoe Gear. This is a simple yet effective tent due to the octagon style of shape it boasts. It doesn’t lose any of the footprint by being this shape compared to a L shape tent for example. So you can really take advantage of the 240ft2 living space.
Being not as long as the rectangle style tents also means you can fit this tent more often than not on many camping sites without having to book a larger site. The tent actually measures 15’x16′, which is a nice rounded size for a site.
The layout of the tent can be divided into 2 rooms. These are very big rooms because of the octagon style shape. A a family of 6, you can put the kids in one half of the tent while the other half is for the adults and any storage cupboards and other camping gear. Its quite a versatile design, one which I don’t mind at all. It allows you to section the tent into living quarters quite easily making every square foot inside the tent count.
Plenty Of Airflow For 6 People
Some tents can be quite stuffy inside when you have 6 people sharing one tent. This is one of the key features I love about this Tahoe Gear tent. The ample supply of air flow.
The unique cross pattern of french like windows on the ends not only look amazing, but provide so much air flow its incredible. The ceiling is mesh and there are vents on the bottom of the tent which can be left open to help push out the old air and replace it with new fresh air. Making the inside of the tent cooler and less stuffier.
The vents can even be set up to take an air conditioner if you’re planning on camping during a heat wave. There are also 2 entry doors which can let in air while making entering and exiting the tent with 6 people less of a traffic jam.
In terms of protecting you and you family from the rain, the polyester material has been coated to 1200mm thick. Which is slightly above standard. What this basically means is the tent can handle up to 1200mm of rain before any water will start penetrating. So not bad at all.
Thankfully, Tahoe Gear have included a bathtub flooring system in this tent where the floor comes up the sides of the tent about 6 inches. Keeping all the ground water outside where it belongs.
Overall, It’s Practical
I say practical because its a very spacious tent for 6 people. The design of the tent really allows you to maximize floor space, which any family of 6 will love. The waterproof features are quite good and there’s plenty of air flow going on.
One thing that lets this tent down is the instructions. They can be a bit jaded to follow. So be sure to read them twice and set up your tent in the backyard first and foremost. Last thing you want it to travel for hours to set up the tent for the first time in the middle of a storm. It’s asking for trouble.
Tunnel Design Family Tent
Being 23.5×18.5 you would think this tent by Ozark is going to be massive. While it is quite big, its a bit of a deception. This is because of the unique layout of the tent. Its quite like no other tent I have seen before.
In terms of living space, Ozark Trail offers 240ft2, the same as the above Tahoe Gear. But when you look at this tent you would swear its much bigger. Which is why I kind of prefer the simple yet practice approach offered by Tahoe Gear.
But in saying that, in this tent all 6 family members don’t feel like they are sleeping in the same room so to speak. The design of this tent means you can have the noise, I mean your kids down one end of the tent separated by the central living space and then the parents room.
I do like the layout of this Ozark for that reason, yes I have very noise kids. They just get so excited when we go camping, they can’t control their volume. However, the layout can do you some damage when it comes to looking for camp spots.
It’s maximum length is just under 24 feet, so when you include guy ropes and so forth, on some camping sites you’re not left with much room at all. Some, this tent will be simply too big. So do keep this in mind if you’re tempted by the unique design on offer here by Ozark Trail.
Love The Entry On This Tent
How many times have you ran to the tent because it’s starting to rain only to end up drenched as a result of unzipping the entry door. Its quite surprising how wet and muddy you can get in such a short amount of time.
Fortunately Ozark Trails have though about this and built in a little porch area in the main entry. Its big enough so 2 adults can stand at the front door without getting wet. The awning from the rainfly comes out and covers the front door by a fair bit. Many tents only offer a foot of coverage, but this tent offers enough coverage and space for 2 people to comfortably stand and open the door to the tent while staying dry.
Overall Ozark Trail have made quite a nice tent for larger families here. It’s been described as ‘a camper without wheels’ and for very good reason. It’s so spacious and offers an array of storage solutions including an e-port. The unique design certainly has its appeal, just be sure the camp spot you are going to travel to can cater to 24 foot long sites.
A Great 6 Person Tent Perfect For Summer
Many of the tents on this list have been suitable candidates for camping in summer, but this Tahoe Gear in my opinion has the best air flow features due to the unique window design.
This is the 14 person 3 season option available in it utilizes a similar window design as their octagon type tent. One end of the tent is so open allowing sunlight in and fresh air, while still maintaining the fight against no-see-ums and mosquitoes.
Pretty much the floor to the ceiling is a mesh wall with window cutouts for when you have the rainfly on to protect you from the rain. Its a very open tent in terms of how much air you can let blow through on a hot summers day. At the very top on the end of the tent is also a vent. This encourages the hot air to escape from inside the tent as the fresh air blows in through the windows and the floor vents, pushing out the stale old air.
How Big Is It, Can It Handle 6 Campers?
This is yet another tent with a 240ft2 rating. However, this one is slightly different to the NTK and Americ Empire tents.This tent by Tahoe Gear is slightly deeper with a depth of 12 feet and a length of 20 feet. So you get 2 extra feet of walking space up and down the side of the tent.
This is good for allowing every room to have a section dedicated to their storage rather than everything being plonked in the one room. So with a queen bed inside, you will have just over 5 feet of walkway along the tent should you line up queen beds side by side. This is quite the handy bit of space to have.
The Key Features
- Very tall 7 foot ceilings ideal for families with tall people.
- Comes with a e-port portal so you can bring in extension cords without having to go through the front door.
- Has 2 doors but do note that the doors are not screened, so you will need to keep them closed in order to stop bugs entering the tent.
- Fairly heavy duty floor which can withstand some tough terrains. Also incorporates a 6 inch bathtub style flooring to keep out ground water.
- 1200mm coated waterproofing
The Taj Mahal Of Tents
Overall the Tahoe Gear tent is another quality choice, its like the Taj Mahal of tents due to its big open spaces. The extra 2 feet of depth really gives you the impression this thing is huge, because it is.
While its a great tent, I’ve noticed a couple small areas which may be of concern to some folks. The first is that the doors don’t have a screen option. So you cant leave the doors open, but this is not a huge deal because there are so many windows and ground and ceiling vents to allow plenty of air to circulate.
Secondly, in the event of rain you need to have the windows up, so it can get a bit stuffy inside during rain periods. This is because the canopy that overhangs the windows is not big enough in comparison to the sloped walls. Only a minor issue, but one that may be a deciding factor for you.
Best Pop Up Tent For 6 Persons
The last tent I recommend for a family of 6 is by CORE, one of my favorite outdoor gear companies. They produce high quality gear consistently which is what I’m all about.
I was a little hesitant putting this tent on the list as its a bit smaller, but because its a CORE, I just had too. Plus its a good choice for a family of 6 that consists of 2 adults and 4 younger children, even toddlers or babies.
In total, this 12 man tent is 18’x10′ which gives it a smaller square footage of 180. Which is doable if you have young kids. Another reason I included this tent is because of the side entry door and because its probably the easiest tent you will ever have to assemble.. I love this idea on this particular style of tent.
The way the tent is designed, you can separate the tent into two areas, one end for sleeping and the other as the living area. This is where thee big ‘T’ shaped door on the end comes into its own. Having this door here means you don’t need to trample over all your sleeping gear to get to the living area. Especially good if you have young toddlers or babies sleeping down the other end of the tent.
I also love the fact the end with the T door can be turned into a screen room if you like. This allows you to really open up the tent on a hot day while staying out of reach of mosquitoes. This is achieved by the massive square shaped windows on this end of the tent. The windows are almost as big as the walls.
Of course you can roll up the windows for privacy and when it rains, but having the option to open the tent up like this is huge. Especially if you like to just see everything while sitting on your camp chair, without being eaten alive by bugs.
- Basically a huge pop up tent. If tent assembly is what is holding you back from going camping with your family, this is the tent to seriously consider. The poles are already attached to the frame and just need to be telescoped out to set up the frame. It doesn’t come any easier than this.
- Heat sealed seams means the seams are less penetrable than just regular seam sealing. Blocking out any water gushing down the sides of your tent.
- Comes with mud mats on both the entry ways to limit the amount of grass, dirt and sand entering the tent.
- Extremely well ventilated with mesh ceilings, walls and additional air vents.
- Comes with a E-port.
- Classy looking tent.
Take The CORE Tour
If you want to see just how easy the 12 man CORE tent is to set up as well as take a tour of the inside, this is the video review for you. But do note that this version doesn’t have the T style door on the side.
6 People Need Space & They’ve Got It!
Congratulations if you have read this far, quite an in depth look into the best tents for a family of 6. The key takeaway from all these tent reviews is that you need enough space to camp comfortably. No point in buying an undersized tent and you have a miserable time as a direct result.
But at the same time, bigger is not always better. You need to think about your unique lifestyle and what exactly you need from a tent. Is it purely size and nothing else matters?. Awesome, any one of the above tents is suitable for you.
Most families will be looking to protect their children and their belongings from unexpected rainfall. If waterproofing is your main priority, the NTK Super Arizona is the tent I highly recommend.
But if you have 4 young kids, you don’t want to be spending an hour to set up the tent. Children can’t hold their attention long enough, or find it fascinating enough to watch Mom and Dad putting up a tent for an hour. If this is the case, a simply set up tent is a must. Something like the CORE will do the job nicely in this situation.
But for the most part, all of these tents are quite suitable for a family of 6, regardless their size or age. They are big enough to camp comfortably in and create memories that last a lifetime.