Best Family tent reccs

Hi, our family is brand new to camping but we are hoping to become camping regulars. We are a family of four with a four yr old and a 10 month old. We would love reccs for a good  comfortable, durable all weather family tent. The goal is to camp in California through out the year. Would also appreciate other gear tips! Thanks.

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RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

If you want to be able t camp year-round, you will definitely need a three season tent that can deal with rain.

We have an REI Kingdom 6 that we love (but we only have one teenager). It also comes in an 8 person version. We are very happy with the tent. Rain is not a problem. There is plenty of space and it is high enough that we (average-sized adults) can stand upright. And it is much more durable than the cheap Coleman tents.

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

We got this one last season to start camping with our baby who was 8-11 months old during last summer's season: https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/wawona-6p-nf0a52ce Overall we love it because you can stand up in it and there was plenty of room for us to set up a full pack and play for the baby, and you can stand up in the tent which is nice, and the vestibule is huge. It was a little confusing to set up the first time, but then pretty easy. The one complaint we read about in reviews and would agree with is that the stuff sack is a little annoying/akwward to pack up. We also invested in a 20 degree down sleeping bag for the little guy (https://www.rei.com/product/164474/morrison-outdoors-little-mo-20-down-b...), which kept him warm most of the time except on a colder night in the fall that he joined my sleeping bag partway through the night. l also got a wool mattress for the pack and play to keep him warmer. Also nice to have a portable white noise machine, some sort of little chair for eating. Have so much fun!

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

Our family of 3 likes the North Face Wawona tent. Also a huge fan of Yeti coolers (pricey, but worth it). Have fun! 

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

It really depends on whether you're car camping or backpacking. There is a fantastic facebook group called "backpacking with babies and kids" that I'd suggest joining and has all the answers you might need for gears and destination tips. I learned a lot just by scrolling through the posts. 

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

I recommend speaking with the folks at REI and Sports Basement, and renting tents at first, to get a better idea of what you need before you buy.

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

Are you envisioning car camping in the sense that you'll drive somewhere and set up a tent near the car?  With a four year old and a 10 month old there are a couple ways to do it depending on how well your 10month old sleeps.  I'd recommend a 6 person tent over a 4 person as it will give you more room for all your stuff.  That way you won't be on top of each other as you're trying to move around.  I'm a big fan of the REI tents if you want something nice.  If you want something cheap Coleman makes tents for a fraction of the price.  The quality of the materials is a few tiers below what REI offers and the Coleman tents will be heavier.  Some REI's offer tent rentals so it could be a good opportunity to test some stuff out before you buy it.

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

Hi there,

I would recommend North Face Wawona 6p. I know it is for 6 persons, but it works great for my wife and kids. We have plenty of room and like the layout. 
Hope this helps!

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

When our kids were those ages, and even now in a pinch, we can all fit into a 4 person tent like the REI half dome.  Bigger tents are harder to warm up with body heat, fail in high winds, and are heavy to carry if you decide to start backpacking later on.  When your kids get bigger, you can bring along a separate 2 person tent or some hammocks in good weather.  If anyone in the family has back issues, or wants a mini bounce house, then you'd want a taller tent.  I think that 3 season tents can be used in the winter in a pinch if snow load isn't a concern.  You would layer two sleeping pads and buy/rent warmer sleeping bags.  For car camping it might be nice to bring inexpensive (read: heavier) sleeping bags that can be opened up and shared.  Little kids sleep better with parental swaddling.  We made it through many campouts without crying in the middle of the night from the littles much to other people's amazement.  REI now offers used gear so every last little decision is less critical from a wallet standpoint!  We've had other tents, e.g. Eureka which were fine but maybe heavier.  The easiest way to ruin a good tent is to not wait for the winds to die down (there are online charts time of day forecasts) and to not completely dry out a tent at home after the camping trip (read:  mold/mildew issues).  Other failure modes are usually also unforced user errors like directing/collecting water under the tent during rainfall, not staking the tent under sketchy conditions, pitching a tent on sloped surfaces....  :D

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

The best tent really depends on your style of camping.  Do you anticipate doing any backpacking, or are you strictly car campers?  Will you be camping in the winter?  If so, rain and snow will be issues, so you will need something pretty waterproof.  Also, what's your budget?  The price range is pretty astounding, from under $100 to $450 and up.  Finally, some tents are much easier to put up than others.  I have often camped with just the kids, so need something that is fast and easy to pitch.  

I can personally recommend the Coleman Sundome.  We have one that has lasted for 18 years, and is just now wearing out.  I've been researching tents, and have concluded that I will buy another one.  It sells for under $100, so it's a great bang for the buck.  It's also roomy, easy to put up, and lasted very well.  It's definitely not glamorous, the people with fancy $450 tents probably sniff at me, but who cares?  It's a great, practical, affordable product that has given us lots of fun in the outdoors.  

RE: Best Family tent reccs ()

OP here, we plan on car camping for now thank you so much for the suggestions, this is super helpful.