outdoor revolution airedale 9

The Best Family Tents: Our 2021 Complete Buying Guide

At The Family Tent Shop, we know a thing or two when it comes to family tents!

But we completely understand that, if you don’t, it can be a little nerve-wracking to know if you’re buying the best product for you.
Whether you’re an experienced camping enthusiast, or if you’ve decided 2021 would be a perfect opportunity for your first staycation – we’re here to advise you the best way we can!
We’ve put together a family tent buying guide for 2021, so you know what features you should consider and to help you find the tent that’s right for you:

What Are the Different Types of Family Tents?

There are a wide number of different tents available on the market, so we find it most helpful to break our tents down by berth size, which is the number of people it sleeps.

We also break our tents down into the type of material they’re made from, whether they have any special features, by their brand; or into packages if it’s the full kit that you’re looking for.

You can find out more about all the different types of family tents by following the links on our website below:

Browse by berth:

4 Berth Tents

5 Berth Tents

6 Berth Tents

7-8 Berth Tents

Browse by material:

Sewn-in Groundsheet Tents

Polycotton Tents

Browse by special features:

Tunnel Tents

Blackout Tents

Browse by our top brands:

Outwell Tents

Outdoor Revolution Tents

Coleman Tents

Kampa Tents

Vango Tents

What Are the Different Features of Tents?

There are so many different features to consider when shopping for family tents that it can become quite overwhelming.

However below we’ve broken down the main ones to help you make an informed decision:


Berth is the number of people who will be sleeping inside the tent. It’s also worth thinking about pets and any large luggage/camping equipment you need to store to make sure you allow additional space.


Also look at bedroom size as some tent manufacturers can offer super king-sized bedrooms! Some also offer flexibility so you can add and remove bedrooms as you require. Many of our tents now also provide blackout bedrooms, which can be a great choice – especially if you have young children and want them to sleep in later than the birds do!

Pack Size and Pitch Size

When shopping for family tents, you’ll notice that both pack size and pitch size are mentioned. Pack size is effectively how small the tent is when packaged away, which can be helpful to know when decided if it will fit in your car, and the pitch size referring to its size when erect.

Pitching Time

You’ll notice on our website that we always give you an idea of how long it would take to pitch your tent. This helps give an indication of how complex the tent is to erect.

Poles or Air

The structure of the tent is also an important consideration, they can be made from a number of different materials including steel, alloy, fibreglass and air tubes. Pole tents tend to be less expensive, smaller pack size and lighter weight. Air tents tend to be quicker to set up, stronger in the elements, have superior fabrics and features but are bigger, heavier and more of an investment.


Gone are the days when you had to rough it on the floor in the great outdoors! Now when you purchase a tent you can choose from a selection of different types of flooring. Some even come with carpet for the ultimate in comfort! Choose a tent with a sewn-in groundsheet to further help with protection.


There are a number of different types of waterproofing, so the tent can still perform even in the most challenging weather conditions, just look for the HH rating.


Our tents can be made from polyester or polycotton fabric and therefore you should consider how long you want it to last, how breathable it will be and how comfortable it will be in the elements. Air Tents with a higher denier fabric will generally be stronger and more durable.


Ventilation is an important consideration too, so think about how air will flow through the tent and the features provided. Also tents with plenty of ventilation will help to reduce condensation.


You also need to consider if you’re travelling with lots of luggage or pets that you might want somewhere to store everything. Focusing on the functionality of a tent and where you will store things, keep your kitchen equipment, where you will set up seating space etc will make for a more comfortable trip.

Cable Entry

It’s important to think about the practical aspects such as how you’ll power all your appliances! Tents will offer a number of power access points so it’s worth considering if you’re travelling with a lot of tech.


Some tents come with a built-in awning which is great for providing extra space.

Tent Accessories

Tents also come with a range of different accessories to consider, including canopies and side extensions.


We all have different views on what we are prepared or able to spend on a tent and this can determine what products might suit. Also, consider “value for money” as some more expensive tents last a lot longer and are much more comfortable in the elements throughout this extended lifespan, and therefore they are some of the best value for money products we sell.

The Family Tent Shop’s Top 5 Picks for 2021!

We have a huge number of family tents available on our website. However, we’ve outlined below for you some of our top picks for 2021 to give you an insight into what you can expect:

Vango Joro 600XL Tent

A tent range that not only includes a fantastic selection of family tents but also helps to save the planet!

The Vango Joro 600XL is the poled version of this 6-berth tent that has bedrooms at the rear, living space in the middle and enclosed front porch at the front.

This tent is a lovely option for a family wanting a bit of space and 3 zones to make living more comfortable without going for a massive tent. It’s easy to pitch and really competitively priced given what you get for your money.

Now more than ever we should be doing what we can to help our planet and fair play to Vango for producing a range that helps us to do this.

Find out more about this tent on our website.

vango joro 600

Coleman Weathermaster 6XL Air Tent

A new exclusive selection for us at the Family Tent Shop, as the Weathermaster Range are sold to a select group of independent retailers only.

These tents have top features such as the original full blackout bedrooms (darker than any other manufacturer we sell), zip-up curtains and bedroom dividers, great ventilation, and a high waterproof standard.

The patented temperature control means that not only are the bedrooms completely blacked out, but they do not get as hot in the morning sun as other tents. Absolutely ideal tent for all families but certainly for those with young children.

There are four tents in the range we sell varying from the compact Weathermaster 4 all the way up to the 8XL.

Find out more about the specification of this specific tent on our website.

coleman weathermaster 6xl

Outwell Sundale 7PA Air Tent

A brand-new tent for 2021! And it is packed with some real neat and innovative features.

All Outwell 3 zone tents (bedrooms at the rear, central living space and enclosed front porch) benefit from the new quick and quiet easy access into the living area.

On top of this the Sundale 7PA has dark bedrooms, huge living space and front porch, a hook track system for easy hanging of lights, tinted windows and storm straps and pre-angled air tubes for increased strength.

This is likely to be one of our best sellers for 2021 as it is a lovely size and can accommodate a large family comfortably.

You can find out more about the full specification here.

outwell sundale 7pa

Outdoor Revolution Airedale 9.0SE Air Tent

Another brand-new tent from Outdoor Revolution for 2021 and one of the biggest family tents we will be selling for the new year!

With a fantastic space in the main area, 3 large dark bedrooms at the rear and an enclosed front porch – it ticks a lot of boxes. But when you then say it has a side annexe on both sides, which can be made into bedrooms or left as storage/toilet areas, the Airedale 9.0SE is a gem.

In terms of functionality and space this is immense and a brilliant tent. Only slight issue could be pitch size as it is over 7m wide but it’s worth every single cm. An awesome tent.

Find out more about the full specification of this tent here.

outdoor revolution airedale 9

Coleman Cortes Octagon 8 Tent

Offering a full 360-degree view of your surroundings – the distinctively styled and eye-catching Cortes Octagon 8 Orange tent can definitely be called a glamping tent!

Six of the eight sides open up completely, allowing lots of air and light into the tent. The two remaining sides feature a doorway with the Coleman patented Hinged Door that functions like an actual door, swinging open and shut, making entering and leaving the tent swift and simple.

This tent is ideal for festivals or quick getaways as the tent is in a fairly compact pack size with a wheeled carry bag. The large single space is also ideal for a couple as the bed can be put centrally with room on either side for both people to be able to get up easily. It’s also available in 3 great colours!

Read our full specification on our website.

coleman cortes octagon 8

We Love Talking Tents!

If you’re not sure which family tent is right for you then please give us a call!

We have over 21 years of experience running The Family Tent Shop and would love to help you choose the tent that’s right for you. Chat with us live, send us an email – or if you’re local to Guildford then pop down to our shop and we’d be more than happy to discuss everything with you (once COVID restrictions are lifted!).

You can also check out some of our glowing Facebook reviews here so you can be sure that you’re in safe hands.

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