Family tents for fun family camping trips
Sleeping under the stars with the whole family is a great experience but it requires a suitable family tent. Camping tents come in many different shapes and sizes. The equipment on offer differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, be it Nordisk, Hilleberg or Mountain Hardwear... The following points provide you with information regarding the general characteristics of family tents and will help you choose the most suitable design for your individual needs.
What makes a good family tent?
4-8 man tents (or dining tents) are available in the form of tunnel tents, pyramid tents (dome tents) and geodesic tents. The first two versions are designed for non-alpine use. Tunnel tents are spacious and stable in their shape. Their design is simple and they provide considerable storage space. Dome tents are storm resistant and offer an optimum pack size to space ratio.
All family tents are double-walled and have an inner and outer tent. In good weather you can sleep under the mosquito net alone and the waterproof outer tent can be added when you need protecting from the weather. You can also use footprints as additional ground protection. They prevent abrasion and raise the water resistance. The frame is usually made of lightweight aluminum and the outer material allows the tent to breathe.
A stuff sack, tent pegs and guy ropes come as standard and usually a basic repair kit as well. You can cook for several people in the spacious, breathable vestibule, which can often be pitched like an awning using additional poles. Family tents are designed for four to eight persons and come in beautiful green or blue hues.
Accessories and further information on family tents
Ridge tents include accessories such as different tent pegs for specific situations and ground conditions (sand, dry ground, extra-light, extra-strong) as well as additional stuff sacks, guy ropes and upright poles for vestibules. They also feature nets and storage pockets to keep your equipment organized in the tent and groundsheets for the awnings. Most group tents have several cabins in order to separate sleeping areas and/or common rooms. Make sure you consider the height of the tent, not all models provide a standing height of up to two meters. In the vestibule, some space should be kept free for a camping table and chairs. During bad weather, you can cook in this area and when the sun is shining, you can sit in the shade. Ventilation and number of entrances is also a factor to consider when it comes to group tents.
Weather protection and recommended uses for family tents
Silicone-coated tents are lighter and provide better permanent weather protection than PU-coated tents, since the silicone coating is more resistant to UV radiation and temperature fluctuations meaning you don't have to re-waterproof the tarpaulin. This makes silicone-coated tents suitable for frequent campers, campers who use their tents in all four seasons and frequent camping in sunny regions.
There are a lot of tents out there for 4-8 man, but once you have found the right one, camping with the whole family becomes a real joy!