While group camping is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities out there, its outcome will be largely dependent upon your preparation. And the best 6 person camping tent remains one of the most important prerequisite when you consider venturing out in a group or as a family of six or so.
With an interior space of between 80 to well over 100 square feet, six person tents are ideal for fairly large families.
Again, friends of about 6 people who want to spend fun nights together during camping will find these tents incredible.
Five people will find these tents amazingly large while fairly larger 6 person tents will provide ample sleeping space for up to 7 people, though with limited space to move around.
In this impartial review, we break down the features of some of the finest six person tents we’ve put our hands on. We let you in on what we consider absolute bests as well as what would make an otherwise great tent mediocre.
Besides picking from our top selection, you get to learn the exact factors we use for evaluation while determining which 6P tents fit the bill. Yes, by the time you are through with this guide, you will never buy a mediocre tent again!
|Tent Brand||Pole Material||Tent & Rainfly Fabric||Floor Material||Weight||Size||Packed Size||Seasonality|
|Coleman Montana 6 Person Tent||Fiberglass||68D Polyester Canopy, 75D Polyester Taffeta Fly||140gsm 1000D Polyethylene||19 lbs.||12ft × 7ft × 5.67ft||26.3in × 8.6in × 8.4in||2-season|
|Alps Mountaineering Camp Creek 6-Person Tent||11mm Fiberglass, 19mm Steel uprights||Polyester + Mesh Inner Canopy, 75D 185T Polyester Fly||150D Oxford Polyester||22.69 lbs.||10ft × 10ft × 7ft||28in × 8.5in||2/3-season|
|Marmot Halo 6-Person Tent||DAC DA17 Aluminum||68D Polyester Taffeta + 40D Polyester No-See-Um Mesh Canopy, 68D Polyester Ripstop Fly||150D Oxford Polyester||20.08 lbs.||9.83ft × 9.83ft × 6.33ft||25.5in × 14.5in × 14.5in||3-season|
|Coleman Steel Creek 6-Person Dome Tent w/ Screen Room||Fiberglass||Polyguard 2X Polyester||Polyethylene||19.1 lbs.||Tent: 10ft × 9ft × 5.67ft
Screen: 10ft × 5ft
|26in × 10in × 10in||3-season|
|Kelty Sequoia 6 Person Camping Tent||Steel||68D Polyester Inner + No-See-Um Mesh Canopy, 68D Polyester Fly||68D Polyester||23.88 lbs.||9.33ft × 9.33ft × 6.83ft||26in × 10in × 10in||3-season|
|Coleman Evanston Screened 6-Person Tent||Fiberglass||75D Polyester Taffeta||Polyethylene||20.9 lbs.||Tent: 10ft × 9ft × 5.67ft
Screen: 10ft × 5ft
|28in × 10.25in × 9in||1 to 2-season|
|Eureka! Jade Canyon X6 Camping Tent||Aluminum||68D 190T Polyester Taffeta Inner + 40D Polyester No-See-Um Mesh Canopy, 75D 190T Polyester Taffeta Fly||75D 190T Polyester Taffeta||22.94 lbs.||10ft × 10ft × 7ft||29in × 10in||3-season|
|Coleman Sundome 6 Person Tent||Fiberglass||Polyguard 2X Polyester Fabric||Polyethylene||16.53 lbs.||10ft × 10ft × 6ft||26.18in × 7.48in × 7.48in||3-season|
|Alps Mountaineering Meramac 6 Tent||Fiberglass with Aluminum Ferrules||75D 185T Polyester Inner + Polyester Mesh Canopy, 75D 185T Polyester Fly||75D 185T Polyester Taffeta||16.06 lbs.||10ft × 10ft × 6ft||25in × 8in × 7.5in||3-season|
|Core 6 Person Dome Tent||Fiberglass||68D Polyester||115gsm Polyethylene||16 lbs.||11ft × 9ft × 6ft||26in × 7.5in × 7.5in||3-season|
|BushTec Adventure Alpha Kilo Bow Camping Tent||Spring Steel||550gsm Ripstop Canvas||550gsm Polyvinyl Chloride||90 lbs.||10ft × 10ft × 7ft||50in × 18in × 13in||4-season|
If you look at the Montana 6-person tent from a distance, you’ll be forgiven to think it’s a tunnel-type camping tent when in fact it’s just a modified dome tent. Two of its opposite sides have been extended outwards to provide plenty of overhead clearance and floor space.
The tent has a partial rainfly and a large awning at the front protecting the door and its window from direct sunlight and rain.
The Montana 6 camping tent might be a new take to the “boring” dome design but is the design overhaul worth it?
Well, let’s find out...
The Montana 6P is quite durable owing to its thick water-resistant and fire-retardant fabrics. For instance, its inner tent is made of a 68-denier polyester fabric while the rainfly consists of a 75-denier polyester taffeta fabric.
Additionally, the tent’s flooring is made of a rugged abrasion-resistant 140gsm 1000-denier polyethylene cloth.
However, when it comes to the fiberglass pole frame, there’s nothing much to write home about.
The angled windows on the sides help reduce the impact of stronger winds while the awning helps shield the door and window from light showers. There are no ground vents on the unit thus most of the ventilation will be done solely by the meshed top sections and windows.
Coleman’s WeatherTec system has also been integrated to the Montana 6P tent to deliver the best possible weather protection. The welded corners, inverted seams and waterproofed fabrics do an incredible job in keeping out the moisture.
The rainfly doesn’t cover the tent fully so you can expect water seepage to occur during windy and rainy conditions.
The tent comes with seven shock-corded fiberglass poles to support the main dome structure and the rainfly. That’s too many poles to deal with for each assembly and disassembly. There are also several clips/sleeves and pin/ring systems you must work out every time you set up the tent.
Additionally, the extended dome structure results in a heavier and bulkier unit. The tent weighs about 19 pounds and packs down into a sizable bundle measuring 26.3 inches long by 8.6 inches wide with a depth of 8.4 inches.
It’s disappointing that the design still results in a slightly lesser overall floor area. However, the tent stretches out longer than most comparable dome tents meaning you can lay out your sleeping systems back-to-back.
The tent’s maximum ceiling height is a mere 68 inches, which means lesser headroom. Nevertheless, you get to enjoy slightly less sloped sidewalls.
Affordable, uniquely designed, and well-ventilated, the Montana 6 tent will be a sure head-turner in any campground. However, while the extended dome design might seem like a good idea at first, you’ll need to take a closer look not to miss all the drawbacks the tent suffers.
The Camp Creek camping tent is yet another nice-looking, roomy outdoor shelter from the renowned outdoor gear manufacturer, Alps Mountaineering. Available in gray/red earthy and charcoal/blue hues, the tent is your best pick for most of your camping adventures.
The tent has a freestanding design and features most of what you would expect in a solid six-person tent. These include a robust build, a good ventilation system, and a large door, among others. Further, the model is also available in a smaller four-person size with similar features.
Even though the tent is marketed as a three-season shelter, the partial rainfly, mesh canopy, and large windows might not allow adequate protection against the rain. The rainfly doesn’t cover the windows leave alone going all the way down to the tent’s skirting.
The four large windows have meshing on the outside to keep out bugs and mosquitoes and can be zippered as needed.
However, when left open, the windows tend to hang too loosely than desired due to a lack of tiebacks. The frame allows for the formation of minimal awnings when the rainfly is installed. Although the awnings might allow for some of the windows to remain open during light showers, it isn’t as effective.
That said, the tent provides plenty of ventilation owing to its large windows, full mesh canopy, and partial fly. Condensation build-up won’t be an issue in the Camp Creek tent. Also, its fabrics have waterproof coatings to keep out any moisture.
With its 1500MM hydrostatic rating and fully taped seams, the tent will suffice for a solid two-season outdoor shelter. Or you may use it as a three-season unit but only in mild weather conditions.
The Camp Creek tent has a cabin-style design with a slightly curved canopy, which provides plenty of interior space and a high ceiling.
The tent has a maximum center height of about 7 feet allowing for freer movement inside for even taller persons. Occupants might also get away with sleeping on low-profile camping cots without much sacrifice to their overhead clearances within the tent.
It is also quite roomy with a floor area of 100 square feet. The near-vertical walls also mean even more usable interior space.
The tent also comes with a series of mesh storage pockets in one of its corners to help maximize space. The pockets are perfect for stashing away your small-sized valuables including books, phone, keys, and headlamp, etc.
However, we would have loved it if the tent came with a vestibule of sorts to store wet gear and boots.
Like most products from Alps Mountaineering, the Camp Creek tent is well built and features good quality materials.
Its fly is made of 75-denier 185-thread-count polyester fabric and features anti-UV properties. Polyester and netting make up the inner tent while 150-denier polyester oxford fabric has been used to make the floor.
The steel reinforcement on the pole frame slightly helped us overlook the fact that the poles are made of fiberglass. You can expect the pole frame to stand strong against high winds and mild rainfall. However, the included steel stakes are only passable for some terrains and might not be ideal for sandy or muddy terrains.
Setting up the tent might need an extra hand but remains relatively simple and quick to accomplish. The nifty hub system and pole clips will have your tent fully assembled in a matter of minutes.
Lastly, the tent only weighs just under 23 pounds and packs down into a manageable carrying bundle measuring 28 inches long and 8.5 inches wide.
The Alps Mountaineering Camp Creek 6-Person Tent is a reliable, roomy, and well-ventilated model perfect for fair-weather camping. It features good quality materials that will be sure to deliver excellent longevity.
However, it could still use a few tweaks here and there to make it a solid three-season option.
The newer 2018 Halo 6 tent follows its earlier 2017 design to the letter except for a few tweaks here and there. While the tent isn’t as roomy or tall as its predecessor, it still features the iconic halo-style pole frame.
Further, the Marmot Halo 6-Person Tent comes in lovely color combos – burnt orange for the rainfly and grey and white hues for the inner tent.
The Marmot Halo 6 Tent offers a good balance of usability, comfort, reliability, and size. It will suffice for most types of camping and outdoor activities including car camping, base camping, and even glamping.
With its 96.7 square feet floor area, the Marmot Halo 6 is already a very roomy tent with enough space to accommodate about three to five people. Its 76-inch-high ceiling is yet another assurance that occupants won’t have to hunch over when moving inside the tent.
Then there’s the halo system from which the tent gets its name.
The tent has five poles including two long ones for the main tent body, one pole for the rainfly, and the other two for the halo system. The last two poles are slightly curved and are installed just overhead the main poles via clips and a sleeve pocket.
The halo system works simply by pulling the walls tautly and vertically while slightly extending the canopy outwards. This leaves plenty of overhead clearance and elbow room inside the tent while creating extra support for the flysheet.
The brow poles tend to bend a little after the first few uses, which the manufacturer assures is by design but you might want to be careful with them. Set-ups might take longer than in most tents given the added complexities but it’s a small price to pay.
In addition, there are two large vestibules with about 32 square feet worth of space on either entrance. You can use them for light cooking or as sheltered exterior storage spaces. Like the 2017 model, the newer Halo 6 comes with interior storage pockets and headlamp holders.
The tent also comes with two large doors for convenient access into the expansive interior from either end of the tent. The fly’s main entrance has a roll-up door that can be set up as an awning, which would be perfect for mealtimes and lounging.
Lastly, Marmot has tossed in extras such as light-reflective points and jingle-free nylon zipper pulls. The reflective points help make the tent more visible at night while the zipper pulls allow for quieter zipper operations during windy nights.
The Marmot Halo 6 is made of a tough wind-responsive frame and strongly stitched tent fabric. We’re talking lightweight, robust aluminum poles from DAC (Dongah Aluminum Co.) and 40-denier polyester mesh with 68-denier polyester taffeta fabrics for the tent canopy.
Additionally, the floor of the tent is made of 150-denier Oxford Polyester while the rainfly features 68-denier ripstop polyester fabric. Hydrostatic ratings for the flooring and fly are about 3000 millimeters and 1800 millimeters, which translates to a longer lifespan for the tent and great protection against the elements.
Moisture is kept out of the tent’s interior by the full-coverage rainfly, taped seams, and water-resistant coatings. Moreover, the tent’s rainproof ventilation system will ensure that the interior remains condensation-free and bone dry during downpours.
Ventilation is always a huge priority with relatively high-capacity camping tents not only for the fresh air but also for the reduced condensation build-up. The Marmot Halo 6 has plenty of zippered and meshed openings to always ensure optimal air circulation.
Furthermore, there are fly vents with small kickstands, an all-mesh inner tent, and screened zippered doorways on the fly and inner tent for bug-free airflow and stargazing opportunities.
Although it isn’t as roomy, tall, or lightweight as the 2017 version, the newer Halo 6 is more reliable, feature-rich, and has larger doorways. It also outperforms other camping tents in terms of ventilation, weather protection, and roominess.
In particular, the tent’s halo pole system is reason enough to consider the Marmot Halo 6 as it means more overhead clearance and ultimately a very cozy interior. That said, assembling the tent might be a little lengthier process than in your typical two-pole tent and further, the Halo 6 tent is slightly costlier than other options.
Yet another gem from Coleman, the Steel Creek 6-Person tent has plenty of space to accommodate up to six people at a time.
During warmer nights, the screened-off area provides just enough sleeping area for one person. The section can also double up as a bug-free lounging area for up to two people. Given its extended dome structuring and the integrated fast-pitch system, the Steel Creek tent offers the most value for the price.
While the tent may not be a fully free-standing version, you can be assured that it will still set up quicker and easier than most six-person camping tents.
Out of the box, the tent comes with the main tent, some stakes, a canopy/flysheet, ropes, and a carrying bag.
Like in most tents with screen rooms, the Steel Creek tent has three shock-corded fiberglass poles. Two of the poles are long and help maintain the tent’s dome shape while the other pole helps support the screened porch.
Looking past its fiberglass poles, the tent’s Fast Pitch system is what makes it stand out above the rest.
Firstly, the shock-corded poles come pre-attached to the hub section thus eliminating the need for sleeves to secure the poles. Next, the color-coded poles can then be easily attached along the tent using clips and at the bottom using the modified pin and hole system (fast fit feet).
Attaching the remaining support pole for the screen room is also just as easy.
The assembly is fast and easy, especially when compared to set-up processes in similar camping tents with porches or awnings.
The main tent affords you up to 90 square feet of floor area to spread out your sleeping systems and store some camping gear. The screen room provides an extra 10 by 5 feet worth of space for lounging and sleeping.
While you get lots of floor space to work out your sleeping arrangements, the tent’s peak ceiling height may not be that welcoming for taller persons. Its max center height of 68 inches doesn’t provide as much headroom as other six-person tents.
It’s also a bit disappointing that the tent’s weather protection features can only see it manage one to two-season camping. The tent features an inner tent and flysheet made of Polyguard 2X (polyester) fabrics and flooring made of polyethylene fabrics.
The fabrics will provide some acceptable degree of longevity and their waterproof coating will ensure rainwater stays out. As with most of Coleman’s tents, the Steel Creek tent comes with the WeatherTec weather protection system.
With this tent, you can expect a modest 800 hydrostatic head rating and a few water-resistance features such as inverted seams, welded corners, and a bathtub floor. The partial rainfly will also have to do for protection against light showers but not heavier downpours.
Lastly, the mesh opening at the back and the bug-screened door and side windows should suffice at keeping condensation build-up at the very minimum inside the tent.
With up to 140 square feet of usable space including in the screened area, the Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Tent will easily accommodate four to six people. If you are looking for an outdoor shelter for your summer and shoulder season camping, then this is it.
You’ll enjoy the large interior, Fast Pitch system, beautiful design, and budget-friendly pricing. However, be prepared to manage with its relatively low-profile structure and poor performance during rainy conditions.
The tent also shares most of its features with the Coleman Evanston 6 as you will see below.
With “Sequoia” in its name, we can understand why you’d expect a lot from Kelty’s Sequoia 6 Person camping tent. Judging from its full-coverage rainfly, included mini-vestibule, and noiseless zipper pulls among other features, it has quite a lot to offer.
The tent not only has a dome-cabin design but also has a stunning duo-tone color scheme to finish the look. The Sequoia 6 is available in four- and six-person sizes and in varying colors such as Deep Teal/Canyon Brown and Ponderosa Moss/Smoke.
But how does it perform when it comes to the fundamentals?
With its 82 inches max ceiling height, the Sequoia 6 is a favorite among taller persons. There’s plenty of head/shoulder clearance inside to allow for upright standing and freer movement within the tent. The tent also features a dome-cabin shape that’s characterized by near-vertical walls and a spacious interior.
Speaking of which, the tent has a square floor space measuring 9.33 feet on each side that can comfortably support four to five people. That said, you can maximize the limited space by making use of the included 40-square-feet mini-vestibule and interior storage options.
You get a few storage pockets for your small items, a gear loft for a light jacket, and some loops for hanging a headlamp or other items. Additionally, the tent has an equally tall D-shaped door to allow for easier accessibility.
Notably, the roomy tall interior is mostly achieved by the inclusion of two ridge poles installed in the canopy of the roof. Color coding and a mix of clips and sleeves help you quickly align and attach the steel poles. However, the extra poles also result in a lengthier assembly process and ultimately a heavier tent.
The Sequoia 6 has a waterproof rating of 1800MM on rainfly and flooring making it a highly capable 3-season tent. It has all the features you’d expect to allow for the most effective protection against the elements.
You have your taped seams, water repellent fabrics, and a passable ventilation system.
Its full-coverage rainfly is made of 68-denier polyester fabric while the inner tent has No-See-Um mesh at the top and a 68-denier polyester bottom. The flooring is also made of similar 68-denier polyester fabric. As you can expect, all the fabrics have been waterproof coated to help keep out moisture.
The only area we found lacking was perhaps its overall ventilation system as the tent can get ridiculously hot with the rainfly on especially during the day.
You may give up some privacy by removing the fly entirely to leave the mostly-mesh ceiling unobstructed for optimal airflow. Alternatively, you may want to try guying-out and pegging down the tent tautly and rolling the vestibule to the side to allow for better air circulation.
That said, the vent at the back of the rainfly with its kickstand helps a bit in improving ventilation.
Whether it’s the tall peak height or full-coverage rainfly, the Sequoia 6 camping tent packs quite a few benefits to warrant its premium pricing. In particular, the tent will be a steal for taller campers.
Although setting up and taking down the tent will prove challenging and lengthier during initial uses, the perks it offers are worth the hassle. Plus, you can even work around its minor ventilation and stability issues by making sure it is properly staked and guyed-out before using it.
Taking the extended dome form-factor a notch higher, the Evanston Screened Tent is your go-to affordable 2-season outdoor shelter. Like the Steel Creek tent, it also has a roomy screened porch, partial rainfly, and almost similar dimensions.
The screened porch provides additional living space and can be used as a lounging area whenever the need arises. The Evanston 6 also relies heavily on proper staking and guying-out as it is not a freestanding tent by any measure.
That said, below is a breakdown of exactly what you can expect upon getting the tent.
The Evanston Screened tent is purposefully designed for one- to two-season camping experiences.
Its inner tent and fly are all made of 75 denier polyester taffeta fabric while the flooring is made of a durable polyethylene cloth. The screen room is of course made of mostly mesh to help keep out bugs whilst providing you a front-row seat to unforgettable stargazing or lounging.
Watching sunsets while sipping on a hot beverage will feel divine inside the roomy bug-free porch. However, we were quick to notice that the screened porch doesn’t do too well in strong winds or rainy conditions. The half-coverage rainfly doesn’t cover the screen room at all leaving the space pretty much useless.
Luckily, there are some drain holes included on the room’s floor to help prevent water from pooling. You’ll have to use the tent in relatively mild weather to avoid pushing your luck in case of heavy rains.
The meshed windows situated at the door and screen room help keep the tent ventilated while keeping bugs out. The poles supporting the fly also form extended awnings to help improve air circulation in the tent.
While we hope you’ll use the tent in warm weather, you can still rest assured that the included bathtub-like inner tent flooring, welded floors, and inverted seams will take care of any moisture from outside.
Fiberglass poles seem to be the theme with most entry-level Coleman tents. The Evanston six person tent comes with four poles; two for the main tent, one to support the rainfly, and the last one to hold the screen room.
While the poles aren’t the most durable, we appreciate that the installation process has been made impressively easy. The included continuous sleeves and Insta-Clip attachments work wonders in ensuring quick and painless pole connections.
The fabrics used in the construction of the main tent and screen room also deliver good protection against the elements.
A low-profile, streamlined, and roomy six-person tent, the Enaston 6 will not only fit two queen-sized air mattresses but also be set up in about 15 minutes. This tent is yours for the picking if you’re looking for a 2-season extended dome tent.
It’s well ventilated and includes a screened mini-porch perfect for your bug-free lounging and (maybe) stargazing pastime.
The tent only falls short when it is raining profusely or too windy. Setting the tent might also feel like a tedious chore for many people, plus having that many long guylines on a tent will prove to be a tripping hazard.
The Jade Canyon X tents are available in up to four harmonious color schemes including Oil Blue, Jaffa Orange, Neutral Grey, and Dark Shadow. The tents are the most recent upgrade to the classic Jade Canyon family tents by Johnson Outdoors’ Eureka! Tent Company.
You can buy the tent in either four- or six-person capacities.
Out of the box, you get the tent, flysheet, pole frames, stakes, guylines, set-up instructions, and a carry duffel. When fully set up, the Jade Canyon X6 is a premium cabin-style camping tent that will be sure to cater to most of your camping needs.
With its 100 square feet floor area and high ceiling, the Jade Canyon X6 is a true six-person tent. It has a square floor that measures 10 feet on the sides and a max ceiling height of about 7 feet. The tent has a functional cabin-style design that greatly contributes to the overall roominess and livability of the shelter.
The aptly dubbed CabinMAX architecture provides the Jade Canyon X6 with near-vertical walls, a lower step-in for easier accessibility, and well-ventilated interiors. Taller persons won’t have a hard time walking around or standing upright inside the tent.
However, the lower step-in might be a weak point in terms of weatherproofing as rain splatters can get into the tent. Then again, the tent is primarily meant for use in hot humid conditions.
If you won’t be pushing it beyond its three-season specifications, the tent is your perfect match for your summer, fall, and spring camping. The Jade Canyon X6 features strong quality materials and components that will ensure you are as well-protected from the elements as possible.
The powder-coated steel legs, aluminum roof poles, and 7000-series aluminum fly brim pole are robust enough to withstand extended use and abuse. They will help maintain the tent’s structure against windstorms and sudden downpours – to some extent.
You also get the beefy steel skewer stakes and accompanying guylines for sturdier pitches. However, the metallic pole frame and components result in a weightier and bulkier bundle. When folded down, the tent measures 29 inches long and 20 inches wide with a packed weight of almost 23 pounds.
When it comes to weather resistance, the tent outperforms most three-season units with its excellent ventilation system and effective water-resistance features. There are four floor-to-ceiling windows with 40-denier polyester no-see-um mesh to offer unmatched cross ventilation. Condensation build-up won’t have a chance in the tent.
Furthermore, the included partial rainfly allows for unobstructed air circulation as it doesn’t cover the window openings.
The tent performs very well in hot humid and fair-weather conditions, but chillier nights or days will require you to layer up accordingly or just invest in a more capable shelter.
That said, when there are light showers, you can rely on its many features such as the fly overhang that provides a dry entry porch awning, its waterproof-coated fabrics, and partial rainfly. The door opening also has storm flaps to further help keep rainwater out.
The varying polyester taffeta fabrics used to make the tent have been treated to offer some degree of water repellency. As a result, the rainfly, inner tent fabric, and flooring have impressive hydrostatic ratings of 2000MM, 2000MM, and 3000MM, respectively.
Nevertheless, the zipperless windows and canopy-only rainfly might be the main weak links when it comes to protection against the sudden downpour.
The Jade Canyon X tents use a combination of pole attachment mechanisms and other intuitive features to make the set-up and disassembly that much easier.
The leg poles attach to the tent body via clips while the brim pole and roof poles use both clips and sleeves. The tent also features pin and grommet attachment points and a pre-bent hub to affix the poles and form the cabin form factor.
Color coding on the fly webbing and tent also makes installing the rainfly that much easier and fast.
While it might be overwhelming at first with all the different connections, putting up and disassembling the tent is quite easy and quick to accomplish. Plus, the clearly illustrated instructions are extremely easy to follow.
The Jade Canyon X6 comes with other convenience-focused features to make it even more appealing to use. These include an electricity port, four storage pockets, and a lantern loop. We also loved that the storm guylines can be tucked away into the integrated pockets when not needed.
Our only gripe with the tent in terms of usability is that the windows only use toggles to open/close instead of zippers, which would have been easier to operate. You have to undo the many toggles on each of the four large windows and roll the windows to the side walls every time you need some airflow.
The Eureka! Jade Canyon X6 Tent is a true six-person tent with plenty of interior space and headroom. It fits the bill for a good-quality, three-person camping tent meant for prolonged outings and multiple types of camping.
It will be the ideal option to consider if you plan on camping in hot humid, or fair-weather conditions. However, keep in mind that it fetches a higher price than your typical six-person tent and it also comes with a few minor flaws.
Taking the classic dome form-factor to even greater heights is the Coleman’s Sundome 6 Person camping tent. Standing tall against its smaller 2-, 3-, and 4-person siblings, the tent is the largest in the Sundome series.
Much like the brand, the Sundome 6 camping tent is the go-to option for many avid campers. It features clever solutions such as adjustable and reflective guylines, an electric port, and a large D-shaped door among others to ensure your camping experience is as seamless as possible.
The Sundome tent also outdoes some of our top picks on key elements such as durability, interior space, and so much more. Read on for a further breakdown on the same.
The Sundome 6 has a remarkably effective ventilation that ensures condensation build-up and hot interiors are non-existent.
The tent has a large, meshed window with an adjustable cover at the back that provides spectacular views of your surroundings and lets in lots of fresh air. Ground vents have also been included to help ventilate the interior.
The peaked sections of the rainfly (also known as the awnings) do a great job in enhancing airflow.
Although marketed as a 3-season tent, the Sundome 6 doesn’t do too well in rainy conditions. The partial rainfly with its peaked awnings is the most to blame for this. The flysheet leaves most of the inner tent exposed to the elements.
That said, the tent performs well on warmer days and nights. For instance, its awnings help provide shade on sunny days in addition to shielding you against light showers.
You’ll also get some protection against wetness from its few moisture-repellency features. These features include the 600MM-rated Polyguard 2X fabric, welded corners, inverted seams, and tub-like polyethylene floor.
The various openings have also been meshed to keep out bugs and mosquitos. Muddy boots and camping gear can also be left on the included doormat to ensure the interior stays nice and dry.
Despite being made of fiberglass, the poles used in the Sundome 6 are quite easy to align and secure in place. The three poles – two long poles for the main tent and one shorter one for the awnings – install super easy thanks to the intuitive Insta-Clip pole attachments and continuous sleeves.
The ring and pin system is also quite convenient when securing the poles at the skirting of the tent.
Moreover, the Sundome 6 tent weighs a considerable 16.53 pounds making it one of the most lightweight models you’ll find today. It comes with a handy boxy carrying bag measuring about 26.18 inches long by 7.48 inches wide with a depth of 7.48 inches to help you transport the tent.
The bag has well-situated handles and a full-length zipper system for easier handling and accessibility of the tent.
The Sundome 6 tent can comfortably accommodate four to five people or the advertised six if needed. With its massive 100 square feet of floor area, occupants will have enough wiggle room for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Its max ceiling height of six feet is also high enough for taller persons to stand upright and freely move around inside the tent. However, the walls seem to be heavily slanted and thus will limit usable living space.
Moreover, space can be maximized by using the included mesh storage pockets and lighting loops to store your valuables and hang lighting devices.
The Sundome 6 is a quality entry-level three-season (more appropriately 2-season) camping tent that’s bound to meet most of your needs. If you are in the market for a lightweight, affordable, roomy outdoor shelter with a good ventilation system, you may want to consider this one.
You also get plenty of extra accessories and features to complement the whole package. However, its weather protection abilities are not the best and a few of its components aren’t as durable as you would expect.
Playing “Standard” to its grander brothers the ALPS Mountaineering’s Meramac 6 ZF and Meramac Outfitter, the Meramac 6-Person tent is still just as reliable and more affordable than the two. This 3-season outdoor shelter comes in two earthy color styles, gray/red and sage/rust.
Like some tents in our selection, the Meramac has a full-coverage rainfly of sorts and peaked awnings at the doors. Its dome shape ensures maximum stability while still managing to provide plenty of interior room and some headroom.
The tent comes with two doors for unrivaled accessibility and ventilation.
While the dreaded fiberglass poles do make a comeback in the Meramac 6P tent, this time it has some aluminum ferrules (connectors). Although the poles are somewhat thicker with a diameter of 11 millimeters, fiberglass just isn’t as reliable or as durable as metallic options.
The tent comes with two poles for setting up the main dome tent and a shorter ridge pole to support the rainfly and form the awnings above the doors. Pole attachments are super easy to accomplish owing to the conveniently placed pole clips, center hooks, and pin/ring system.
On the other end, 75 denier polyester fabric with a thread count of 185 has been used to make the tent canopy, flooring, and rainfly. The fabrics have also been waterproofed to keep out moisture and rainwater.
With such good quality materials and well-built components, you can expect the Meramac 6 tent to serve you for many years to come. Plus, the tent still maintains a relatively feathery weight of 16.06 pounds and with a manageable packed-down size.
When it’s time to pack up, the tent can be collapsed and folded into a compact bundle measuring 25 inches long and 8 inches wide with a depth of 7.5 inches.
The tent’s 10 feet by 10 feet floor area offers plenty of room for up to six occupants. However, the two opposite-facing doors and sloped walls make it more ideal for four to five people. The tent also manages to have a six-foot ceiling height, which will be a delight for tall people.
Weather protection is also at its peak with the Meramac 6 tent due to its aggressive water repellency and ventilation system. The tent has a 1500mm hydrostatic head rating making it a solid three-season outdoor shelter.
Some of its moisture repellency features include a factory-sealed flysheet, floor seams, and water-resistant fabrics. The two awnings above the doors also help shield the sides of the tent from rain.
The tent’s two large, zippered windows (one on each door), and mesh inner tent help prevent condensation build-up in the tent by promoting air circulation. However, we’re not fans of the questionable placement of the meshing on the inner tent as it offers no privacy.
You’ll have to install the rainfly whenever you need some privacy even during warmer nights and days.
Ardent campers will greatly enjoy the Meramac 6P tent’s large interior space, durability, and weather protection. However, we’d have preferred the tent to come with metal poles, vestibules, and perhaps even an included footprint for better value.
Otherwise, its ease of use, robust materials, and the fact that it’s from a renowned brand makes it a good option for anyone looking for a mid-range six-person tent.
Alps Mountaineering also provides variations of the same tent with even roomier interiors and better components. The Meramac Outfitter or Meramac ZF camping tents will be perfect for you if you would rather have heavier and more rugged floors, larger zippers, and slightly better weather protection.
The Core 6 is part of the Core Equipment’s series of dome camping tents. This orange and grey 3-season piece is amongst the most lightweight tents that we could find that doesn’t skimp too much on specs and functionality.
The tent is also quite affordable and spacious enough that it can sleep in five to six people with relative comfort.
Core Equipment got it right in terms of the floor area and overall dimensions. With a length of 11 feet and a width of 9 feet, six occupants are provided with almost 100 square feet of space to utilize.
The Core 6’s max center height is an accommodating 72 inches, which means plenty of overhead clearance even for taller persons.
Additionally, there are included storage options such as the gear loft with its lantern hook and interior pockets to help you maximize on the interior space.
At only 16 pounds, the Core 6 is one of the most lightweight camping tents around. The tent won’t weigh you down over short distances. However, you’ll still need motorized transport to bring it to camp from home.
Additionally, its huge dome structure can be collapsed and folded into a compact bundle that’s about a percent of the tent’s original size. The resulting bundle measures 26 inches long by 7.5 inches wide with a depth of 7.5 inches, is compact and allows for easier handling and portability.
The tent is also quick and painless to set up and disassemble. We loved that the poles easily connect to the tent with the help of the easy-to-use sleeves/clips system. The pin and ring system is also a nice touch for safely securing the poles at the base of the tent.
While we appreciate the ruggedness of the tent’s fabrics, the fiberglass poles greatly undermine the tent’s longevity. Also, its weather protection is somewhat compromised by the partial rainfly that barely covers the meshed windows and base of the tent.
Lastly, the dome shape of the tent also means less usable interior space especially for anyone sleeping near the slanted walls.
A double-walled camping tent that ticks all the boxes is a rarity – the Core 6 tent from Core Equipment comes close to this perfection. It’s lightweight, affordable, quick to set up, and roomy.
However, it still has a few imperfections that could easily disqualify it as a worthy 3-season six-person camping tent. That said, if you don’t go camping too often then you’ll be getting your money’s worth with the Core 6 camping tent.
The Alpha Kilo Bow tent, also known as the Alpha Kilo 4000, is the pride and joy of the BushTec Adventure company. The tent is a result of decades of experience making military-grade canvas tents as has been the case with its South African parent company, the Canvas and Tent Group.
From a company that supplies to the UNICEF, United Nations, WHO, and other A-listers, the expectations for the Alpha Kilo Bow are already set way too high. But is it worth the hype?
The tent is one of the most rugged four-season tents to make it to our best-of-the-best list. In a nutshell, if durability and performance are all you care about in your all-season camping tent then this might just be it.
The Alpha Kilo Bow tent is fit for long-term year-round camping trips even full-on cross-border expeditions. Its rugged components, build, and customizable weather protection will have you camping for longer at almost full occupancy.
The tent comes with a segmented spring steel frame, two upright poles, and one ridge pole. The ridge pole and upright poles help form the awning structure and are also made of steel. Steel is the most durable and economical tent-pole material you can hope for.
On the other hand, the inner tent, flysheet, and awning are all made of 550gsm ripstop cotton canvas fabrics. Aside from providing incredible longevity, canvas tents also tend to be more naturally breathable, and slightly insulative when wet. They are the ideal match for all-season camping.
The floor, made of a strong 550gsm Polyvinyl Chloride fabric, will face off triumphantly against any type of terrain. Its other rugged components include the large superior #10 YKK zipper system, brass grommets, and zinc-coated D-rings for securing the stakes.
However, as expected, the tent is quite heavy and comes with the usual drawbacks of the canvas material. Little wonder then that despite its outstanding performance, we cautiously placed it at the tail-end of our list.
Weighing a whopping 90 pounds, the Alpha Kilo Bow tent might even require two people to carry it over short distances. Its packed-down size, measuring 55 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 13 inches high, is massive enough to warrant hauling it in an RV, car, or truck.
Noteworthy, the canvas fabric used in the tent makes it more expensive, heavy, more susceptible to mildew, and requiring frequent maintenance than other types of fabrics.
Overlooking the obvious weight and cost concerns, you’ll be getting one of the most spacious six-person tents yet. The tent provides a large 100 square feet floor area perfect for five to six people.
There’s also an extended awning with an oversized floor to help you maximize interior space usage. The section can be used as a meal station, lounging area, or stargazing porch if the weather allows.
The tent also has an impressive peak height of up to 7 feet, which means standing upright inside the it is fully supported for most tall people.
Admittedly, the Alpha Kilo Bow tent might be overkill for most campers given its hefty weight and premium pricing. However, if you’re looking for a good quality family tent for your long-term camping trips then this will do just fine.
It’s super durable, roomy, and could easily fit in with your typical family-size cabin tents, glamping shelters, and bell tents.
According to the Kampgrounds of America (KOA)’s 2019 North American Camping Report, over 56 percent of all new campers in 2018 were Millennials, while up to 25 percent were Gen Xers. Increasingly, camping has also been taken over by larger camping groups and families with kids resulting in a higher demand for roomier and comfier tents than in yesteryears. Hence the increased demand for the six-person tents.
A 6-person camping tent is meant to shelter up to six persons against the elements. It will comprise of a couple of different components and materials, all of which will mostly dictate what environmental conditions the tent is best suited for.
The tents typically have a floor area of about 80 square feet to well over 100 square feet ensuring that there’s enough wiggle room for all occupants. You also get a peak height of 5 to 7 feet in this tent size option.
While they may have a textbook max capacity of six people, the consensus amongst avid campers is to consider them to be of a person-less capacity i.e., a 5-person tent.
The tent size is perfect for campers looking for lots of space, families with children looking to explore the great outdoors, and a group of friends seeking to engage in recreational camping.
Why not go for two- or four-person tents you ask? Well, if you prefer a larger sleeping/living space, more comfort, and a relatively sturdier build then a six-person tent is worthy of your consideration.
A six-person tent will make it that much easier to camp-out with your children, family pets, and buddies including some of your homey creature comforts. Else, you would be forced to carry multiple tents to accommodate your camping crew.
This category of tents provides you with three key benefits: affordability, comfort and spaciousness, and more longevity.
Firstly, six-person tents are more affordable than having to invest in multiple smaller tents for your family or friends. They are also way cheaper than slightly larger sizes like the eight-person variants without losing too much space.
Speaking of which, these tents offer more space than your typical five-person and four-person tents allowing you and your friends as much comfort as is possible. You also get to enjoy more features to make your trip even more enjoyable.
Most 6P tents provide large vestibule access and interiors to pack in larger coolers, comfier sleeping systems, and so much more. The large space also allows for freer movement within the tent, hosting of more people, and packing in more camping gear.
Some might even come with room dividers allowing for better privacy and customization, especially when sharing the tent with your kids. The separated rooms can also be utilized for different functions such as sitting rooms and sleeping spaces to get the most out of your tent.
Lastly, a bump up in size usually results in lesser compromises in build quality and weather resistance. Six-person tents will most likely be more sturdily built, wind-resistant, and weatherproof than their smaller-sized counterparts.
Justifiably, the increase in size means that you’ll have to pay a little extra than you would for smaller units. The price might go even higher if you opt for more bells and whistles in your dream camping tent.
Setting up the six-person tent will also take a little longer than in other smaller size categories. Disassembly of the tent may also be more confusing and longer to achieve owing to the larger footprint you’ll have to deal with.
However, this will vary from tent to tent as it’s mostly influenced by the design of the tent and pole frame.
These tents also tend to be bulkier and heavier to handle, store or transport when compared to smaller units. Therefore, if you’re looking for something lightweight and highly portable then downsizing is the way to go.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, read on for a blow-by-blow breakdown of the best six-person tents you can find in the market today. We’ve also included a helpful buying guide at the very tail end of the article for your indulgence.
As we earlier pointed, there’s a lot that goes into making a good quality camping tent – from the overall craftsmanship to intricate components such as the type of pole connectors used. With our extensive experience of testing and reviewing camping tents, we’ve zeroed down on the below key factors.
Factoring in the elements below will not only ensure you get the most bang for your buck but also ultimately improve your camping experience.
How comfortable or livable will the tent be? Can six people be easily accommodated in the camping tent? While the tent’s interior space will most likely influence the overall comfort of the outdoor shelter, there are still other aspects that you need to look out for.
Aside from the tent’s listed capacity, you’ll need to scrutinize the tent’s actual floor dimensions, peak center height, and wall height among other metrics before committing to a buy.
First off, there’s no standard size for a six-person camping tent so always go with the slightly larger option whenever possible. The floor dimensions will dictate how liberal you can get with your floor plan therefore take your time studying the listed measurements.
A larger interior floor space means you can pack more camping gear inside the tent and even better sleeping systems for everyone sharing the tent. Else, you’ll be tripping over your loved ones when getting in and out of the tent.
As we mentioned earlier, a floor area of about 80 to 100 square feet should suffice in accommodating four to six people including some of their gear. If you have plenty of gear to haul then a larger tent only makes sense.
Headroom and shoulder room should be well addressed in your dream tent. Occupants should be able to move freely inside the tent or at least not have the canopy touching their head when sitting upright.
Taller persons may want to go for tents with peak center heights well-over six feet for passable maneuverability in and out of the tent. The importance of adequate overhead clearance will mostly come into play when hunkered down in the tent due to bad weather.
In summary, taller ceiling height allows for easier dressing up while seated, standing upright inside the tent, and moving around the tent freely. However, the tent shape and sloping of the walls can easily eat into the overhead clearance and comfort as explained below.
While some six-person tents may come with tapered designs, that characteristic is usually most common in lower capacity outdoor shelters. The narrower head section helps trim down some of the weight whereas the wider foot section ensures there’s enough clearance for easier movement.
The only caveat with tapered tents is that they may eat up some of the interior space, meaning even fewer occupants for the tent.
The tent walls on the other hand should ideally be near-vertical and have a considerable height before flowing into the roof. The last thing you want is to keep touching the tent fabric while trying to catch some sleep.
Your typical teepee and A-frame just won’t cut it here as the walls slope too inwards. Instead, go for dome-shaped and cabin type tents as they tend to have near- 90-degree walls. Tunnel-type tents may also be ideal but only if you don’t mind the extra weight and longer assembly process.
To recap, always go for tents with taller and near-vertical walls as well as those with slightly tapered ends. Even then, keep in mind that near-vertical walls will be more likely to catch the wind so be sure to stake and guy-out the tent tautly.
Packing in four to six people including their camping gear and sleeping systems is a lot to ask from the space-constrained six-person tent. Luckily, most manufacturers include nifty storage and organization features in the tent for your convenience.
They could be as simple as interior storage pockets and gear lofts to full-on shaded awnings, screen rooms, and vestibules. Gear loops, lantern hooks, and wall hangers can also come in handy not only for hanging your lighting but also for other smaller items.
Such options will come in handy by freeing your interior space hence ensuring a more relaxed camping experience. Further, components such as vestibules can help improve weather protection as you can wait out bad weather or leave your wet gear in the space.
Awnings also double up as prime spaces for stargazing during quieter nights and lounging with your camping buddies on lazy afternoons.
Bad weather can put a damper on any outdoor activity. Whether it’s the sudden downpour or gusty winds, a cozy and dry camping tent will be the most ideal shelter to retreat to when outdoors. Your ideal tent should be able to keep out any moisture and prevent condensation build-up inside.
Weatherproofing in these outdoor abodes is usually done by implementing specific wall designs, ensuring the tent has a proper ventilation system, and waterproofing tent components among others.
Four-season tents are the most suitable units for year-round campers or winter adventurers. They can withstand snowy conditions, heavy constant rains, and gales owing to their rugged construction, superb ventilation, and robust materials.
They also tend to have thicker fabric to fight off abrasion and most importantly, to trap more heat inside the tent.
Perhaps the most popular tent you’ll stumble upon are the 3-season camping tents. They are ideal for spring, summer, and fall seasons and can withstand considerably heavy rains and strong winds.
A six-person tent with a 3-season rating is the ideal option to consider, especially, for your weekender camping lifestyle. They offer the best value for money as most will have removable fly sheets for quick transitions into summer shades.
If you strictly camp during summer or in warm temps with low/mild precipitation, then a 1-season or 2-season camping tent is all that you need. They are built to offer plenty of ventilation usually at the expense of proper weather resistance.
The ratings are industry standards to help you gauge which tent would be ideal for specific seasons and climatic conditions. However, they don’t always tell the whole story so be sure to look into other weatherproofing features on the tent’s components.
The tent fabric, seams, flooring, and rainfly do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping water out. Preferably, your dream six-person camping tent should have a full-coverage rainfly, factory-sealed seams, a “bathtub” flooring, and waterproof-coated fabrics.
The rainfly should go all the way to the bottom to ensure rain splatters don’t get into the tent. Sealing off the seams with a strong factory tape or a silicone-based sealer helps prevent water from seeping into the tent’s interior through the tiny needle perforations.
Some manufacturers will use inverted seams on all the joints to keep out water, but we’ve found the taped and sealed versions to be most effective.
When it comes to the floor of the tent, you’ll want it to have a tub-like shape to prevent groundwater from getting inside the tent from underneath or through the skirting. This means that the floor joins the walls at a higher level instead of being flush with the ground.
The tent fabrics should also be coated with waterproof treatments such as polyurethane, silicone, or a combination of both. You’ll also want to look out for any indicated waterproof ratings on the various tent fabrics.
The ratings indicate the intended level of “waterproofness”, which can be given in PSI (pounds per square inch) measurements or more commonly in hydrostatic head (HH) ratings. The higher the PSI or HH, the better the fabric is at water repellency.
Lastly, storm flaps on the vents and zipper openings should also perform well at keeping out rainwater.
The next issue you’ll want well-addressed in your dream tent is airflow regulation. Proper ventilation easily complements the waterproofing on the fabrics as excess moisture inside the tent can get out and cooldowns are just easy to accomplish.Moisture build-up inside the tent is inevitable mainly due to two reasons.
Moisture build-up inside the tent is inevitable mainly due to two reasons.
First, part of what we exhale is moisture and having up to six people inside such a small space only makes the matter worse. Second, condensation build-up will also occur if there’s a temperature imbalance between the outside and inside of the tent. Perspiration and having wet clothing in the tent may also cause condensation build-up.
The result is water droplets beading up on the interior surface of the tent fabric.
So, you should always opt for tents with larger windows and doors that you can easily open and close as needed. Actual vents, whether placed at the base of the tent or in the roof will also do a good job at maintaining proper air circulation.
However, always ensure that the tent you’re getting has screened openings including on windows, doors, and vents. The screens help keep bugs out so you can rest easy and bite-free.
No-see-um meshes are usually the go-to for bug screens as they not only keep out bugs and mosquitos but also allow for stargazing during clear nights.
The last piece of the puzzle regarding weather protection is how the walls are built. Does the tent have a single-wall or a double-wall design? The rainfly is what makes the difference between the two.
Two-layer or double-wall tents have an inner tent and a rainfly while single-wall shelters only have the main tent. You want to go with the double-wall versions as they tend to be more versatile and weatherproof.
The rainfly can be easily removed for cooler warm-weather camping. Or you can leave it on for better water resistance and reduced impact of condensation. The moisture build-up will mostly occur in between the walls leaving the interior of the tent nice and dry.
Next up, you want your swanky new tent to be exceptionally durable for as many camping trips to come. Some things to look out for in this regard include the tent fabric, pole or frame material, and smaller components such as stakes and connectors.
Out of the box, you’ll want to have rugged components to avoid expensive aftermarket upgrades. Also, you should get spare components just in case replacements are needed while you’re out in the boonies.
The fabric making up the inner tent, rainfly, and tent flooring should ideally be rugged enough to withstand the elements and harsh terrains. It should also feature water repellency qualities to ensure the interior stays nice and dry.
Additionally, you’ll also want the tent fabric to achieve all this while maintaining a relatively feathery weight and passable portability. Polyester and nylon are the most common fabrics that you’re likely to encounter in your tent shopping spree.
Since the materials don’t do too well when it comes to durability as say cotton canvas, they feature strongly stitched patterns for better endurance. A waterproof coating is also added to the surface to allow for better weather protection.
Oxford and Ripstop stitching styles are typically applied in most tents to make the fabric stronger and more resistant to ripping or tearing.
You’ll also notice other metrics in your dream tent’s specs such as the denier rating and thread count. The denier rating indicates the thickness of the fibers while the thread-count or threads per inch (TPI) measures the fineness or coarseness of the tent fabric.
In summary, if you’re looking for a tent with a softer, finer fabric then a higher thread count is what you want. On the other hand, a higher denier rating translates to a stronger and thicker tent fabric.
Stones, sticks, and rough terrains will always be in contact with the tent footprint and flooring. Therefore, the flooring should preferably be made of thick, tear-resistant, and durable materials to be able to withstand the inevitable abrasion.
High-denier Polyethylene (PE), Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or Nylon fabrics should suffice for the tent floor.
Poles give the tent its structure and shape. However, they are usually long and awkward to handle, easily bendable and breakable. Thus, you’ll want your dream tent to come with strong, durable options that are also easy to handle.
That said, you will still want the poles to be slightly lightweight to allow for easier hauling.
The poles are mostly made of either steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. You may also find some tents with ultra-lightweight and durable carbon fiber poles but that comes at a premium. Steel poles might be on the heavy side but tend to be exceptionally durable.
Fiberglass is also lightweight and cheap, but it fails at being durable due to its brittle nature. Which leaves us with aluminum. Affordable, slightly more durable than carbon fiber and fiberglass, aluminum poles are the way to go for your next six-person camping tent.
Besides longevity, the tent poles also greatly influence how fast or easy it is to assemble the tent. Useful features such as pre-attached pole segments, color-coding, and fewer poles among others should do a great job of cutting down pitching time.
Probably the Achilles’ heel of one too many popular camping tent brands, tent stakes can make or break a top-notch tent. You either get thin pegs that easily bend when being driven into the ground or very brittle pieces.
You’ll want the tent to come with steel stakes right out of the box and NEVER plastic or wood options. However, be sure to buy some extra ones for emergencies or replace the original ones with stronger and more durable options.
Leveling up from the compact and highly portable solo and two-person tents, six-person tents will take up slightly more space and feel a little heavier. They are not suitable for backpackers and hikers by any means.
So, if you’re thinking of getting one then some means of transportation will be required. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t look up a few features that might help in making it easier to haul and store the tent.
Most six-person tents weigh just under 20 pounds, which admittedly is not very lightweight. However, it’s still a comfortable weight to haul over short distances such as from the campsite to the car.
Sure, you might find tents under 10 pounds with a similar capacity but that’s mostly at the expense of quality. You might also get around the weight issue by only considering the trail weight of the tent, which refers to the total weight of only the tent, rainfly, and poles.
Going for tents with lightweight but durable materials also means a lesser payload to deal with. For instance, the preference for aluminum poles to steel ones and polyester/nylon tent fabrics to cotton canvas options.
It’s also highly recommended that you go for a tent that packs compactly and occupies minimal trunk space. Pay close attention to the listed packed dimensions of the tent to avoid having to deal with a bulky unit further down the road.
Notably, most tents that come with a pre-attached frame or pole hub don’t usually pack down into compact bundles. An included ergonomic carrying bag or stuff sack should also make it easier to transport or store the tent.
In addition, a rugged bag with a shoulder sling and cinch should make the exercise super breezy. Compression straps on the sack also do a great job of compacting the whole bundle into a smaller form factor.
Camping should be about having fun outdoors, bonding with your family and friends, and exploring nature. Such quality time shouldn’t be disrupted by fumbling with camping gear or even trying to pitch the tent in the right way.
Your ideal six-person tent should be easy to set up and take down as well as require as little manpower as possible. A couple of factors will determine how grueling of a task it will be to put up the tent, so do read on for better understanding.
Freestanding camping tents in whichever size category are perhaps the easiest to set-up and move around. They hold their form factor without needing to be guyed out or staked down. Freestanding camping tents are a godsend, especially when camping in good weather.
The set-up process is as easy as taking them out of the bag, laying them on the ground, and extending the pole frame. You can choose to peg them down but most preferably when it starts getting windy.
In some models, the setup is almost instantaneous owing to the “pop-up” design of the tents. However, the pop-up design is most effective and more common in lower-capacity units such as two- and four-person tents.
However, most stand-out downsides to freestanding tents include bulkiness, hefty weights, poor wind resistance, and higher cost of pole replacement if they break. There’s also the fact that you’ll still have to stake down the tent during rainy and windy weather.
Speaking of which, non-freestanding tents rely on stakes and guylines to form and maintain their structure. They edge out the freestanding tents in terms of being lightweight, compact, easily repairable, and more weather resistant (wind responsive).
Plus, having the poles easily accessible means you can use them as trekking poles or any creative way you might think of.
You won’t however be able to pitch them in as many places as the freestanding options and it might take some time learning how to set-up everything correctly. The set-up process is lengthier and can be very tedious for some people.
How do the poles attach to the main tent? How many poles do you have to deal with? After all, the set-up and tear down process is half attaching and detaching the poles than anything else. Tents either come with pre-assembled pole frames or everything apart.
In freestanding/pre-assembled tents, it’s pretty much straightforward as the pole connections and fasteners barely affect the quick setup processes. Push-button fasteners, screw-in knobs, or twist-and-lock mechanisms on the telescoping poles should be just fine.
If your dream six-person tent isn’t freestanding, then buckle up for a primer on tent poles; how they link together and how they can be attached to the main tent.
The poles usually link together via a combination of shock cord and male/female profiles. In most freestanding/pre-assembled tents, you might get poles with spring-loaded buttons for easier pole extension.
Further, the poles are attached to the main tent via hooks/clips, sleeves, or both with the pole ends safely secured by either a ring and pin system or a pin and grommet mechanism.
Pole hooks or clips allow for easier attachment unlike the sleeves which you must put the entire pole through to secure it in place. However, you’ll find that most good quality tents have pole sleeves and clips to give you the best of both worlds i.e., quick clip-on action and secure attachments.
We found the pin and ring system to be easier to work with as it provides a bigger target for pole attachment than the pin/grommet pairing.
Other elements that might speed up your pitch time include color-coding on the components and pole hubs. The hubs allow for quicker pole alignment and in some cases roomier and sturdier structures.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to practice pitching the tent at home before setting out. The exercise not only improves your set-up or tear-down time but also helps you identify failing components that need replacing.
To ensure you get the most out of your investment, be on the lookout for extra features and components in the tent of your choice. Some features will not only add value to your purchase but also prove to be lifesavers as you continue to use the tent.
The shape and design of a tent may affect issues such as wind resistance, comfort and livability of the tent, set-up process, and so much more. The most common designs you’re likely to encounter in this size category include dome, tunnel, and cabin shapes.
With their distinct arched ceilings and slightly curved walls, dome tents offer the best weather resistance and form relatively sturdy structures. They are also quick to set-up and mostly use a combo of pole sleeves and clips.
However, that’s often at the expense of interior space and headroom.
Tunnel tents on the other hand offer a good ratio between weight and weather protection. Plus, they have plenty of interior space to accommodate lots of people including their gear. The major downside to these types of tents is that they require more staking and guying-out for effective anchorage and weather protection.
So, you can expect your typical tunnel or igloo six-person tent to take longer to set up and even tear down.
Lastly, cabin-style tents tend to have freestanding designs and offer plenty of headroom and interior space. Their near-vertical walls mean more livable space and head clearance for most people’s heights.
Cabin tents are also more likely to come with room dividers, awnings, and vestibules for even more livable space and comfort. They, too, are quick to set up. However, fitting them back into a travel-size bundle is almost always insurmountable.
Cabin tents are also heavier and bulky.
Sneaking out for that late-night tinkle should never involve waking up everyone or worse still, stepping over your tent mates. Having multiple doors on the tent ensures better accessibility for all parties involved and can help improve ventilation.
Always ensure that the tent you settle for has at least two doors with bug screens and storm flaps.
Noiseless two-way zippers with nylon pull tabs should do the trick for quieter door operations.
If you want to nitpick a little more, then consider going for brighter colors for the main tent and reflective guylines. The extra flair helps improve visibility and might be helpful during search and rescue missions.
Vanity components such as built-in closets, screened room separators, and welcome mats on your tent should make it feel like a home away from home. However, be prepared to search longer for those premium rarities.
Electrical ports can also be lifesavers when camping out on EHU-supported campgrounds. An included footprint will also save you time looking for compatible aftermarket tarps and footprints for your tent.
Lastly, if you plan on camping with a dog then tents with mini-vestibules or “tent dog houses” might be worthy of your consideration.
So, there you have it; the finest selection of six-person camping tents to choose from and plenty of information on how to narrow down your options.
Camping with friends and family shouldn’t be about compromising on living space or comfort. Therefore, feel free to size up even more if necessary. Investing in a decent 6P tent will have you more focused on the actual camping experience, having fun outdoors, and bonding with family and friends.