A family camping tent is the most critical piece of equipment required by any family who intend to venture on a camping vacation.
Before choosing a family camping tent at a minimum the points outlined below need to be considered.
Size of your family group and the type of camping vacation you intend to undertake.
Transport method to get to your camping destination.
Season you are going camping in and possible exposure to adverse weather.
Budget available for your camping experience.
Duration of camping experience, facilities available and your preferences.
I will elaborate on all these points below.
Size of your family group and the type of camping vacation you intend to undertake
Family Camping tents are generally classed as four person tents, 5 person tents and so on. But this is only part of the consideration as you need to think about the sleeping arrangement. If you have young children you may need a family tent that has just one sleeping compartment, so that you can keep an eye on your toddlers and ensure they are ok. If they have got plenty of fresh air they will sleep like logs.
If you have older children you possibly need a two compartment tent so that they have their own space, depending on the chilrens age and gender, you may decide you need a family tent with three sleeping compartments.
If you feel you need four sleeping compartments in the tent, then in my mind the whole experience is getting a bit complicated, so the options would be to get two camping tents or stay at home. Buy a tent that sleeps at least two more than the size of your group if at all possible.
The next issue which will affect the size of your family tent will be the use you intend to make of the tent, will it be just a sleeping and meeting facility where you use the facilities of a serviced camp site for all your cooking etc or are you going to be totally self sufficient and do all your own cooking. If so you need a tent with a reasonable reception area where the family can sit and eat especially if it is unsuitable for outside dining. This decision may be affected by the type of holiday you are undertaking, some people love to be free of the pots and pans for the duration of the holiday and enjoy camping and eating out also. others may be on activity holidays that see them away from the camp all day.
A camp that is used just for sleeping will be lower, smaller lighter and possibly more able to withstand the elements.
How do you intend to get to your camping location.
If you are a SUV owner, then generally you have no constrains as regards the size of your family camping tent , especially if you also have roof trunk fitted. On the other hand if you are a backpacking family, serious consideration will have to be given to the size and weight of the tent and how it is going to be carried along with all the other gear between the family members. These are the two extremes and regardless of how you intend getting to your camp site, I would suggest that you keep your family camping tent as light and easy to assemble as possible. Remember that the basic camping equipment should perform the same function regardless of its size or cost.
Season you intend family camping in.
Camps are usually classified by seasons they can be used, camps used for summer camping are usually two season camping tents, whereas tents uded for winter camping are usually designated 4 season tents. Most families will only participate in Summer camping, so the cheaper and generally lighter 2 season camping tent will be sufficient. 4 season tents will generally be heavier, more expensive and better able to withstand the elements. Some peole like to invest in a four season camp as it will enable them to camp in more exposed sights without worrying about possible water ingress, gusting winds etc.
Budget you have available for a family camping tent.
From the above you will have a better understanding of some of the issues that need to be considered before purchasing a family tent. If you have decided on the right type of tent, size of camping tent, how you are going to transport tent, where and when you are going to take your camping vacation. You have now narrowed down your choices somewhat. I have more detailed information on the types of family camping tent in a that particular article.
Personally I like tents that have a fairly quick set up time and I like quality U shaped by AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker under CC BY tents using fiber glass/ carbon fibre rods as the support.
They are relatively robust, able to with stand reasonably poor weather conditions if set up properly. The larger ones are family friendly and can have multiple sleeping compartments. Quality discounted family camping tents can be sourced online.
If you intend leaving your family camp in the one location for a long period or perhaps all summer, then the more robust fixed frame tent is more appropiate. The tent frames will generally be aluminium or light zinc coated steel bars. Set up times are longer and obviously overall tent is heavier.
A good tip when choosing a family camping tent is to read reviews of products on sites such as Amazon, only choose a tent with mainly good reviews. Read both the positive and negative reviews and form your own opinion based on your own hopefully enhanced knowledge.