Unforgettable Camping: The Best Car & Family Camping Tents

Social distancing, sanitizing as many times as we breathe, figuring out online tech we never bothered about in order to retain some form of normal, and, the dreaded, “don't go anywhere unless it's really important.” These rules are enough to send you camping for weeks. But camping with improper family camping tents is worse than COVID-19 rules.

You're allowed to keep a garage full of camping gear. But it's somewhat an indication that you're not getting the right quality and you're trying to cure it by buying more equipment.

So, what do you really need in a camping tent? It should have enough space, durability, be easy to set-up, comfortable, and water and windproof. We've been up and about finding the best car and family camping tents to help you forget your nights of camping horror. Keep scrolling to find out.

1. Eureka Boondocker Hotel 6 Tent: Large and Spacious

If you plan to go camping in a group of 6, this tent offers you an 82 sq. ft. floor space and 36sq. ft. vestibule front space and 22 sq. ft. vestibule rear space.  That's just about the same space you'd get with a camper van, with half the maintenance and only a small percentage of the cost (about $650) The Eureka Bondocker Hotel 6 fits 6 persons.

Should it rain, like it does when you least expect it, this tent's rainfly covers every inch of the tent. Its build can withstand heavy rain and a small to moderate storm. The vestibule space is large enough to keep your bike and other camping gear you bring, including chairs. Plus, you can roll up the vestibule sides and use it as a sunshade. You also get 2 large doors, a 6 ft. peak, and near-vertical walls.

As for drawbacks, this tent is not made for winter but is good for summer, spring and fall.

2. Eureka Space Camp 4: Affordable and Quick Set up

The Eureka Space Camp 4 is made for campers who want a little luxury but don't want to spend a fortune on it.  It goes for about $350, offers luxurious comfort for two and is comfortable enough for 3 people. The floor space is 96 inches in length, 90 inches in width and 68 inches high. It comes with 2 vestibules, plenty of ventilation from the 3 high kickstand vents, and 1 vent on the door to promote airflow in the summer heat.

The biggest con about it is the height. The average American man in the US stands at 5ft 10 inches, while the average woman stands at 5ft 4inches . This tent is less than 5ft 7 inches so there's a high chance you can't stand inside.  If the height doesn't work at all for you, go for the 6 ft. 4 inches Space Camp 6P.

A view from the inside of an open tent facing a pine forest
Camping with an improper tent can be uncomfortable and inconvenient.

3. Kelty Night Owl 4: Fast Pitching and Spacious

These family camping tents make an excellent shield for an outdoor camping experience for two couples. It's a much more reliable shield against strong winds and rain compared to other fast-pitch tents -thanks to its quick corner color-coded set-up system. Two people only need 5 minutes to set it up.

It also comes with a double door, which makes it much easier to come in and out. The Kelty Night Owl 4 offers a 54.75 sq. ft. floor space and 26 sq. ft. vestibule space (13 sq. ft. for each vestibule). It is luxuriously comfortable for two people with 2 large bags, 3 people can fit comfortably with their clothing, and 4 can have decent space.

There's a storage pouch in every corner, 4 more on the headwall, plus a gear locker. However, you can't pack up the storage when it's pouring. You'll just help the rain to knock off your shelter or make it hard to move about.

4. Kelty Grand Mesa 4: Best Summer Car Camping for Couples

Although this tent is made for the comfort of 4, in case you're planning to head to the desert or backcountry next summer, the Kelty Grand Mesa 4 is perfect for a couple with a dog. The 55 ft. floor space is quite spacious for just under $200.

The set-up is fast, and it's easy to pack in a large backpack. The meshed walls are perfect for 360-degree stargazing and clean, sufficient airflow.

However, the mesh makes this tent less durable than a high-walled tent -which makes it a poor choice for stormy climates. The rainfly is sufficient to shield against rain or just when you want some privacy.

5. REI Co-op Base Camp 4: Car Camping in Poor Weather

If you're a car camper who plans to camp amid miserable weather, the REI Co-op Base Camp 4 tent comes with 4 instead of just 2 aluminum poles for extra strength.  There are two large doors, which you can tuck into the roof or open midway from inside or outside. You'll part with about $399 for this tent.

If you're more worried about car camping in an area with gusts of wind, the large vestibule for storing wet clothing and a full rain fly, the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 has you covered. The vestibule alone is about 45 feet.  Poles run throughout the tent for extra stability.

However, you should be ready to pay about $470 for the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 tent. But it's worthwhile if you'll be camping in rainstorms.

6. Coleman Sundome 6: Budget Family Tent

According to Forbes, this tent is ideal for the budget camper with about $125 to spend on a tent. It fits 6 people –if your camping crew is not fussy about space. Although cheaper than every other tent on this list, it will serve you for years to come. The Coleman Sundome 6 is also easy to set up, and you can choose from a wide array of colors. However, this dome design tent is smaller compared to other family camping tents.

Still looking for easier family camping tents set up? The Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin comes with pre-attached poles so you don't have to struggle with that. It doesn't have a standalone fly either. You'll have it up in 2 minutes. It is spacious too and only goes for just under $140.

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