However, when you are taking the young kids, toddlers and even babies camping there is always going to be one key factor to consider. For me that is extra room(s) inside the tent.
As a parent, I love my kids to bits. But when it comes to sleeping, we need our own space. This is more relevant to older kids as newborns and babies will need Mommy by there side during the night.
Budget Required For A Family Tent
Naturally this will come down down to your own individual financial status. But speaking on behalf of the average family of 5, I wouldn’t expect to pay more than $500 for a tent. This being the maximum if I knew we were going to go camping multiple times a year.
But even $500 for a tent is still expensive to me. While I know some tents go over $1000, for me personally that is too much. So with that said, my average price range is between $200 and $500. If I know we wont be camping much over the next couple years, I would settle for a mid range $200-$300 tent. This is exactly what I did when I knew that out 3rd Child was on the way. Camping with a baby is never easy, so at the time I knew it would be a couple years between camping trips. So a more affordable option was the way to go.
A Multiple Room Tent Is Best When Camping With Kids
After a long day hiking, fishing, swimming, playing around doing typical camping activities, the last thing I need is to be cramped up into a tiny tent with my 3 kids. Not too mention all my kids have their own kids camping air mattress. So space is limited to say the least.
So for me and my Wife, a multiple room camping tent is the only way to go. This creates the extra space we need while also giving the kids their own privacy. This is important for my Daughter more so, so she just loves having her own room while camping.
There are numerous types of multiple room tents available depending on the size of your family. Additionally if you pack heavy when camping, the extra room can be very handy for storing gear and food etc.
How Many Rooms Do You Need?
- If you have one child or even two if they are both young, you can easily fit into a two room camping tent. These tents are fairly common and quite affordable.
- Family of 6 with 2 to 4 kids?. A three room tent is a great choice. This will pair the kids up into two’s with their own room while giving us parents a room to our own. These rooms can typically fit a queen size air mattress in each.
- Larger Family with 4 plus kids. This can be a real struggle. Finding a tent with multiple rooms to cater to over 6/7 people is not easy. However, I have managed to find two 4 room tents suitable for large families.
Car Camping With Kids?
More Important Than Number Of Rooms!
More often than not, when you go camping with the kids it’s usually car camping. This is when you go to a powered or non powered designated camping ground. You have to pay per night to stay, but it’s a great way to introduce the kids to camping without frightening them by taking them deep into the wilderness.
Tents With Interior Lighting
A sure fire way to keep the kids happy is to have a tent with build in lighting. These tents offer nightlights so the kids can drift off to sleep while the parents get cozy by the fireplace.
They have wall switches too, so the kids can turn the lights on and off as they please. These switches are also illuminated so you can see the switch in the middle of the night when one of the youngsters needs to go to the toilet.
Tents Prepared For The Kids And Mother Nature
So while you have the freedom of electricity, level of safety and access to amenities, you still need to prepare for Mother Nature.
The best thing about car camping is you don’t need to pack light. This includes the tent. So making sure you have enough space is important, but fending off weather is more important.
The biggest concern I have when people buy tents from a big box store or other unknown sources is that the tent is not waterproof or wind resistant. This can ruin your family camping trip faster than any other means.
If staying dry is an absolute essential for you, I have listed the top 3 waterproof family tents so that you can rest easy knowing your protected from whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
Best Family Cabin Style Tent
Keeping under my family friendly budget, the best cabin tent for taking the kids camping from my experience is the Eureka Copper Canyon. For the exact cost, check price on amazon to get the current price.
This tent comes in a number of sizes to cater to different size families. From a smaller 4 person tent to a much larger and child friendly 12 person tent.
This 12 person tent is what I recommend if you have 3 or more children. Or if you like having the extra space in the tent for storage, games etc. The floor space is a nice 12 Ft by 14 Ft. Which equates to 168 Ft2. Which in reality allows for about 8 people to sleep comfortably. This is allowing 20 Ft2 per person.
Few Of The Features Of The Eureka Copper Canyon
- 7 foot high ceiling which will be adequate clearance for even tall campers. Love the head room on this tent.
- Tub style floor for keeping any surface water out of the tent. Polyester taffeta is the material used.
- Large windows for increased air flow.
- Includes a rainfly for wet weather protection.
- Has a zippered partition for separating into a two room tent if need be.
- The kids loved the fact there’s two doors. They felt as if they had there own special tent with their own entry. Plus it helps at night for toilet breaks having two entry doors.
- Lots of storage which is crucial when camping with kids. Storage on the walls and even pockets overhead for keeping things out of reach of children.
Why Children Love Camping In This Tent
Overall, I do find that the Eureka Copper Canyon tent is very well suited to camping with children. Besides what us adults love about the tent (Extra height), the kids adore having their own space with their own entry way.
The tent is huge (12×14) however smaller versions are available. So plenty of space for the kids to play while also offering enough storage for the kids toys and camping gear.
Keeping dry during wet weather is of utmost importance when camping with kids, so I am glad that this tent holds up to some harsh conditions. However, like on all tents. I recommend spending a few bucks and spending 10 minutes to apply seam sealer to the seams for extra water protection. For what it costs and takes, I do this to all tents regardless.
Most Affordable Tent When Bringing The Children Camping
To my surprise, I found this awesome tent by Coleman. The masters of camping. It’s an instantly recognizable name in the camping world. But how good is the Elite Weathermaster 6 person cabin tent. That’s what really matters. But having the name Coleman behind it means its very easy to find replacement or extra parts and has customer support if need be.
Why I Love This Tent
Besides it being very affordable, I also find it great value for money. So the tent has two rooms capable of fitting a queen air mattress in each. But whats even cooler is the additional screen room.
This screen room is a great ‘getaway’ from the inside of the tent. It is completely bug proof thanks to the contained netting. This room makes a great kids play room, breakfast area, shaded book reading zone and great place to sit and embrace rain without getting wet. So if you start feeling claustrophobic or the kids are driving you nuts, slip out into the screen room for some fresh air while still protected from rain and bugs.
If the idea of a screened patio is enticing, you should check out more tents with screen porches.
What Makes The Elite A Standout Tent
- My favorite reason for using this tent with the kids is that it comes with a built in light system. Yes crazy I know, especially at this price. (find current price on amazon). There’s even a conveniently placed light switch on the inside walls so you don’t even have to get out of bed to turn the lights on. Now this is why I love this tent while camping with my kids. They are forever getting up during the night for a drink or toilet break. Having this built in light system is an amazing idea for families.
- Cpx 6 compatible. Which is a rechargeable battery system used for Coleman products. So if you currently own a battery like this, you can use it for the light system. Otherwise the light takes 4 x D batteries and can last up to 81 hours used only as a nightlight. Shorter periods during ‘high’ light settings.
- Self rolling windows are a dream. Very surprised to see them on a budget tent like this. Basically means when you unzip the windows, the flap automatically rolls into a tight roll.
- The Door!. Kids going in and out of a tent can be super frustrating when dealing with conventional zippered doors. But with the Elite WeatherMaster, the door is a large ‘D’ shape and is an actual door. Not a loose flappy piece of flyscreen. So the kids can swing it open and close it just as easy without twisting up the zippers and catching part of the netting in the zippers etc. Just makes camping with kids so much easier.
- 6’8″ high ceiling. Perfect for my family and the majority of people.
Yes, There’s More I Love!
I sound like an infomercial I know, but yes wait there is more. It blows me away how well thought out this tent was when being designed. Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than a unexpected storm or hours of relentless rain. The extra thought behind this unexpected occurrence can go unnoticed quite easily.
That is the amount of protection this tent offers from wet weather. The tent has a rain-fly and all the windows are protected as you would expect. It has a tub style waterproof tent bottom which comes up the side of the tent, so that’s another box ticked off.
But Coleman go the extra mile on the Elite WeatherMaster tent. The zippered door has a extra layer of material to keep water from seeping in through the tiny zipper holes. Wow. But the seams (joints in the tent) are inverted. Meaning instead of seeing the actually seems on the outside of the tent, they are folded inwards so that water cant penetrate through the seams. This is a game changer if you want to be completely protected from getting wet. Period.
Is This Tent Worth Buying For You And Your Kids?
In my honest opinion absolutely. The total size of the tent is 17 x 9 and the sleeping area is 11 x 9. So the total square footage is 99. Basically enough room for 2 adults and 3 kids, plus the screen area which can be turned into a sleeping room.
With all the positives, there are just a couple issues for me. They are the screen area doesn’t have a floor. So a tarp or some sort of flooring is required if you plan to sit or even sleep in the screen room.
The second is that it only has one entry door and the tent pegs could be more heavy duty. However, tent pegs are not expensive so that’s an easy fix. But I would love to see this tent with an additional D hinged door. Otherwise, I find this tent perfect for camping with the kids.
Things To Remember When Tent Camping With Your Kids
Taking the kids camping is certainly a bonding experience as well as a great way to unwind. But as I’m sure every parent knows, children just know how to push our buttons. So to ensure that you and your kids get along while camping, here are some tips for a more rewarding trip.
Sometimes Avoiding Camping Is The Best Plan
Huh, what am I talking about?. In particular camping in Winter with kids. It can be a horrendous time as I find my kids don’t like the cold, wet and snow as much as I remember I did as a kid. Plus camping in winter can limit how much ‘outside’ activities you can partake in.
So I much prefer the warmer conditions and even treat my kids to beach camping on the occasion. However, for beach camping I like to have a different style of tent. A tent that’s designed to withstand strong winds and gushes of sand. Plus a mud room is in order!. These beach tents I found to be the best.
Tents With Storage Are A Must For Kids
Taking the whole family camping can mean packing the car to the brim. Where is all this gear and clothing going to go once you arrive at camp?. Sure some tents come with a storage pocket or two. But some also come with greater storage areas.
Whats even better is to buy additional storage compartments to put inside your tent. This is especially handy if you are camping for longer than 2 nights.
Tents With Electrical Ports & Windows
If you are car camping on a powered site, its best to find a tent that has a electrical port in the tent. What this does is allows an extension cable to run from the power source safely inside your tent. The E port will have a cover to prevent bugs and water from entering the tent versus trying to run a lead through the front zippered door.
Having a tent with low to the ground windows and also larger windows is great for camping with kids. Having them lower to the ground not only encourages air circulation, but also is a better height for the kids to look out the window from inside the tent. This keeps them from being so ‘tied down’, especially if is raining outside.
Be Prepared, Plan Activities
It’s no secret that kids can get bored very quickly. Especially these days with iPads and gaming consoles taking center stage during normal life. So when you rip the Children from the fun filled environment at home and plant them in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees, they are going to get seriously bored very quickly.
So don’t just assume they are going to have fun. Because it will wear off. We as parents need to keep them entertained in order to have fun ourselves. So plan ahead and take fishing gear, playing cards, stick games do some research on things to do while camping with kids.
One great activity is taking the kids up stream on a kayak. If you can afford to buy a camping Kayak, or even see if you can hire one. Make sure to bring it along with you. It will entertain the kids for days. Especially if you get a fishing capable kayak.
Kids Will Be Kids, Regardless Of Where They Are
This one relates to safety. Camping safely with your kids is a big issue that should be addressed by the parents before going on a trip. It doesn’t matter where you are, kids will simply be kids. They may see a tree they like and wonder off. Next thing you know your calling in a search patrol to find them.
Or a flower may interest them. Is this flower poisonous. Could it make you kids sick. Having some first hand knowledge on the dangers of wild life and the surroundings is essential.
Certain kids have no fear. So walking on a cliff edge or playing with a deadly snake is like playing in the back yard at home. So it’s important to always keep an eye on your kids when out in unknown locations. Do some scouting before you set up camp to ensure you and your kids are safe. For more tips, read this camping safely with kids guide.