The Best 12-Person Family Camping Tents offer innovative technologies, features and designs to meet the needs of every type of camper. Whether you have a larger family, or you love camping with a group of friends, there is a 12-person tent to meet your needs.
These are the best 12-person family camping tents that we recommend you take a look at prior to your next family camping trip.
|Core 12-person Instant Cabin Tent|
|Ozark 12-person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent|
|Eureka Copper Canyon 12-person Tent|
|Tahoe Gear Prescott 12-person Tent|
|Tahoe Gear Bighorn XL 12-person Teepee Tent|
If you are new to family camping, we strongly recommend you take a look at our article on the ideal family camping tent requirements. Your requirements and priorities will be different to ours so do take the time to create your own list of requirements before starting your search for tents.
Do I Need a 12-Person Family Camping Tent?
If you have read any of our other articles on tent reviews you will know that we always recommend larger tents than suggested by the manufacturers per person claims. In general, we recommend you look for a tent rated to sleep at least 2, and preferably 4, more people than are in your party.
So, while a 12-person tent may seem enormous, we reckon they are perfect for families or groups of 6 to 8 people.
12-Person tents are great camping options if you expect more comfort while camping in tents. The extra space allows you to sleep in comfort away from the flailing feet and elbows of others in your party. They also allow for more living and family space – something that can be invaluable on cold evenings or on days when the weather just refused to cooperate with your plans.
The Best 12-person Tents on the Market
There is a huge range of options in the family camping tent market. Even at the larger sizes with 12-person tents and more, you are going to have lots of choice.
Note: we are finding instant tents feature more frequently in our reviews. If you are not familiar with instant tents take a look at our best instant tent review too. We look in more detail at how instant tents are designed and operate including providing videos so you can see for yourself.
The Core 12-person Instant Cabin Tent is a favorite among users because of its reliability and easy setup. Like all instant tents, the poles are already attached to the tent. To set up you will only need to unfold it, extend the telescopic poles and click them firmly together into their proper spots. It should take around 2 minutes to set up – that’s astoundingly quick for such a large tent.
The tent comes with two room dividers to convert it into three separate rooms. It has two doors. A rainfly is included to increase waterproofing. The rainfly can be removed in nicer weather to look out the mesh ceiling. Strong ventilation is also incorporated into the design by allowing hot air to easily escape from mesh ceiling vents.
What We Like
- The tent poles are made of steel which means they will be long-lasting and durable for many uses
- Gear loft adds to storage
- 80” height. Even the tallest can stand in this tent.
- Removable rainfly. Stargaze in comfort from the warmth of you own bed
- Freestanding design allows tent to be pitched on any surface for versatile camping trips
What We Don’t
- While the tent includes a waterproof rainfly, it is not the best option for wet or windy conditions and is recommended to use in warmer and milder weather
- Considering the height of the tent, there could be better storage features incorporated into the design
- Like just about all cabin tents we have reviewed, the core doesn’t do very well in windy conditions. Those vertical walls just offer too much surface area which even a moderate wind exploits.
Another instant option for easy setup and breakdown, the Ozark 12-person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent has built-in dividers that allow you to create up to 3 rooms. We love multi-room tents. We find they give a touch of extra privacy and help enormously in organizing the space in the tent.
This tent is spacious on the inside, but for families we recommend sleeping up to 8 for comfort.
The tent includes an awning as part of the rainfly so you can enjoy outdoor shaded space (you will need to accommodate for extra set up space). As far as temperature goes, much of the tent’s ventilation system is made of mesh, making it ideal for keeping you cool during summer camping but not as effective in retaining heat.
What We Like
- Easy set up and take down. It will take longer than 2 mins but it is still very quick for a tent of this size
- Flexible multi-rooms
- Plenty of storage areas are included on the walls of the tent so you can fit more gear
What We Don’t
- Tent weighs 60 pounds, making it difficult to transport without a vehicle.
- Packed size is 52”x15”x14”. At that weight and size it isn’t going to fit in the trunk and leave much space for the rest of your camping gear.
- Dividers don’t reach sides floor and ceiling meaning any privacy is compromised. That may not be too bit an issue when camping with the family but it isn’t so good if you are camping with friends.
The Eureka Copper Canyon 12-person Tent is one of the higher-end tents on our list and provides the quality and features to back it up. This is a cabin-style tent that can be divided into two rooms. While it is designed for summer camping with lots of mesh, it holds up well in rougher conditions, including rain and wind.
The use of mesh for the windows and ceiling allow for adequate ventilation and should help to prevent issues around condensations. All windows can be zipped with high-quality zippers for privacy as well as protection from wind and rain. With no outside protection or coverage, all gear should be kept inside the tent.
What We Like
- The tent is equipped with multiple pockets for storage and charging ports for your electronics
- Standing and moving around inside is easy in all areas of the tent with straight walls and tall ceilings
- Eureka is a trusted branded for camping equipment, offering high quality and reliable products
What We Don’t
- Set up can be a bit difficult and will require two people (make sure you keep the instructions)
- One of the more expensive 12-person tents compared to more affordable and quality options
Now looking at a different style, the Tahoe Gear Prescott 12-person Tent is an extended dome tent, referencing its shape. These are designed to cope with more adverse weather conditions that cabin tents. Being a bit more aerodynamic, wind and rain is more readily diverted around the tent.
The tradeoff is that you lose a little internal space due to the curved walls.
Dome tents are a great option for family camping.
The tent can be divided into two spaces and allow for easy walking throughout with tall ceilings. The ventilation is strong with added floor vents in addition to the ceiling and windows. The rainfly covers the mesh ceiling, offering protection from rain and providing some additional installation for use in spring and late fall..
What We Like
- 2 bedrooms and large family area.
- 2 large doors to aid ventilation
- Includes cable ports for charging electronic devices easily
- The tent has additional security ropes and features for fastening in windy conditions
- Excellent features and construction for a budget-friendly tent option with high quality and numerous zippers
What We Don’t
- Fiberglass poles are less durable than other materials and should be handled with more care
- Will not hold up incredibly well in rain and wind, so plan to use only in pleasant weather conditions
The Tahoe Gear Bighorn XL 12-person Teepee Tent is the only one like it on our list because of its cone-like design. While it is recommended for 12 people, you can snuggly fit even more with the same measurements that are used for capacity guidelines in the others. This gives you much more room and comfort for groups that fall under 12 people.
These tents are designed with one major pole in the center of the tent, and this newer model comes with a sewn-in floor for convenience and protection. This is also not a freestanding tent, so you will need to properly secure the base to the floor before pitching. One of the most attractive features is its size to weight ratio, being easily transportable.
What We Like
- Very little setup is required, and it can be completed by one person quite quickly
- The teepee design is well-equipped for handling cold weather and retaining heat
- For the size of the tent, it is incredibly lightweight at 27 pounds compared to others of similar sizing
What We Don’t
- Doors do not include a bottom zipper for full closure and there is no mesh
- The single-pole design may not be best for incredibly windy conditions
- Windows are a little small so ventilation is not perfect.
What To Look For in a 12-person Family Camping Tent
Choosing a 12-person family camping tent is little different from choosing any other family tent. If you would like some detailed guidance take a look at our post on Choosing a Tent That is Right for Your Family.
Here are a few of the factors you need to take into consideration before making a purchase:
- Tent type and design
- Weather capabilities and restrictions
- Quality of details and features
12-person tents are often measured based on fitting standard sized camping cots into the floor plan. In many tents, this will create a tight squeeze that may not leave much room for any camping gear or extra space. We recommend looking at the dimensions of the tent beyond looking at the recommended sleeping capacity if you want a more spacious experience.
Tent Type and Design
Your 12-person tent can come in a variety of designs and layouts, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice will depend on the type of camping trip you plan to have, how many people are in your group, and the overall preference for comfort and convenience. We recommended each type on our list, and here is a little more info about each variety.
The primary types of 12-person tents include:
- Cabin tent: These tents are characterized by having tall ceilings for large and open space. Their construction is meant to be durable and long-lasting, attempting to model after a cabin or small home. Usually, they have multiple doors and lots of windows as a home would (increases ventilation).
- Dome tent: Curved sides created by stressed fiberglass poles. This is a popular option for family tents as they are very spacious, easy to setup (though all larger tents need 2 people to erect) and tolerate wind and rain well. Great tents, great features and a good price.
- Teepee style: These are based on original tent designs and improving technology has made them more comfortable and durable. Teepees are typically designed for warmer weather, but those with attached bottoms are excellent at retaining heat.
- Instant tents: As the name implies, instant tents require very little set up and can be pitched in minutes. These are great if you want an easy and convenient option. The poles are built into the tent, which means you don’t want to worry about losing them. The major downside is the poles can be difficult to replace if broken, but they are typically constructed of steel or other heavy-duty material.
These styles will be very dependent on your ideal camping experience. Cabin style tents tend to be the most popular, and companies offer this type in the largest quantities and varieties. Tunnel tents are becoming more popular due to their spacious design.
Weather Capabilities and Restrictions
Weather protection is an important consideration when purchasing a 12-person tent. If you plan to only camp in the summertime when rain is not a significant factor, this issue may be less important to you. If your family enjoys camping during the entire year, looking into durability and weatherproof tents is important.
Quality of Details and Features
You’ll want to look closely at the details and features included in your 12-person tent because these can add up to make a big difference. Having quality construction and attention to detail will save you in making early replacements to parts or the need for an entirely new tent.
These are some of the details you should be looking at in a great 12-person tent:
- Quality zippers: Because you will be opening and closing doors and windows often while using your tent, make sure that the zippers are of high quality. Breaking these can be quite a pain to replace. Reading reviews about zipper quality and other users’ experiences is a great place to start.
- Technology-equipped: While not necessary, having easy charging ports may be a feature that is really beneficial. This makes your electronics, heating, and light sources much easier to use.
- Quality rainfly: On all tents, this is your protection from rain, and having a larger and more durable one will serve you best. Unlike most tent walls, these are waterproof and will keep everything under it dry.
- Seams and stitching: Quality construction of the walls, windows, and the attached floor are important in a good tent. This will allow it to last longer and keep water out, both rain and condensation.
- Adequate roof vents: You will want to make sure there are proper vents, most importantly on the roof, to allow for proper ventilation. The tent may also come with other vents, but this one will allow for the release of hot air towards the top.
While you want the tent to have great features, we also recommend taking the time to prepare the tent for outdoor use. This could include waterproofing a tent for extended use or sealing seams to increase the life of your tent.
Best 12-person Family Camping Tent Recommendation
There are some great tents on this list. It is very difficult to choose an outright winner. However, we have 2 recommendations – which one you go for may well depend on:
- How much room you have in your truck or car for you camping gear
- How much you are willing to spend
Our top choice is a traditional tent that will fit in any car and is pretty cheap for the tent you get:
CampingSage – Highly Recommended 12-Person Family Camping Tent
If only is wasn’t so expensive
We have provided you with a variety of tent types with different features so you can best decide your camping tent needs. With all the tents, they offer great quality and will serve you well on your camping trips. These larger 12-person tents can make a camping experience more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family.