There’s nothing quite like an evening spent around the campfire with the people you love, especially on a clear night when you can see the stars. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t always so accommodating. When the winds take a turn for the worse, you definitely want to be confident that your tent is going to hold its own against a storm. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best family tents for bad weather, to ensure that you and your family are safe and sound on your next trip – no matter what mother nature has in store for you!
Our Top Picks: Best Family Tents for Bad Weather
In a rush? Here’s a quick overview:
- Best Overall (and Best on a Budget): Coleman Sundome. It’s waterproof, lightweight, flexes against the wind, and sets up in 10 minutes. What more could you want?
- Best Overall (Runner Up): Coleman Elite Montana. With a rigid, hinged door, an 8-person capacity, and added door awnings for additional weather protection, the Montana is second to the Sundome on price alone.
- The “Green” Pick: REI Co-Op Kingdom 6. REI is constantly improving its manufacturing process to be as eco-friendly as possible. Their Kingdom 6 has all the features you need in a bad-weather tent from a company you’ll be proud to support.
- Best for Wind and Rain: Coleman Red Canyon. Coleman is at it again with this incredibly weather-resistant, waterproof, and durable family tent.
- Easiest to Set-Up: CORE Instant. If you’d rather spend your time relaxing than struggling to set up your tent, how about one that sets up in 60 seconds flat?
- Best Heavy-Duty: Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe. This behemoth of a tent features Hydra-Shield canvas material and a Flex-Bow frame built to stand up to whatever mother nature has up her sleeve.
- Best Features: CORE Extended. CORE’s Extended tent has a 9-person capacity and an innovative “gear loft” that stores your stuff up high, keeping it off the floor and out of your way.
1. Coleman Sundome
The best family tent for bad weather overall – and on a budget
Brand: Coleman | Capacity: 4 people | Weight: 8.8 lbs | Center Height: 72 Inches | Price: 💰💰
When it comes to the best family tents for bad weather, you’ll be able to sleep confidently, knowing that everyone is safe and sound under the Coleman Sundome. The polyguard fabric is heavy-duty and both UV and water-resistant, meaning it will stand up to both rain and shine. Thanks to the fiberglass poles, the frame has the perfect mix of durability and flexibility to stand up to wind and rain.
The entire thing weighs in at a mere 8.8 pounds, so you won’t struggle to carry it to and from the car, and it sets up in just 10 minutes, so you can spend less time struggling and more time relaxing. Choose from a 2, 3, 4, or 6 person size, all of which ring up at less than $100, making the Sundomes our best budget family tents for bad weather, as well!
- Easy to assemble and break down
- 6-foot center height so the whole family can stand tall
- WeatherTec welded corners, and covered seams keep water out, while large windows and ground vents keep air flowing
- Craftsmanship discrepancies led to leaking during heavy storms
- Due to the mesh sidings, it is difficult to insulate during the winter months
2. Coleman Elite Montana
The best family tents for bad weather: runner up
Brand: Coleman | Capacity: 8 People | Weight: 22.3 lbs | Center Height: 74 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
Coleman is known worldwide for their top-quality, reliable, durable outdoor equipment, so it’s no wonder they made our list twice! The Coleman Elite Montana loses out to the Sundome based on price alone – but when you remember that this is an 8-person tent (the Sundome’s largest capacity is 6 people), the price is still incredible.
You’ll find all the same amazing features as the Sundome, too, like the welded corners, inverted seams, and built-in E-Port for running in an extension cord. Some features the Montana has over the Sundome include a structured, hinged door for easier access and door awnings for additional weather protection.
- Roomy interior can fit 3 queen-sized air mattresses comfortably
- Hinged door with rigid frame is quick and easy to open and close
- Durable, sturdy frame designed to flex with wind for optimal stability
- All guylines are built into the rainfly rather than the tent itself
- Since the door centers along one tent wall, reviewers recommend using caution to avoid tripping
3. REI Co-Op Kingdom 6 Tent
The best eco-friendly family tent for bad weather
Brand: REI | Capacity: 6 People | Weight: 21.6 lbs | Center Height: 75 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰
If you’re just as interested in protecting the planet as you are staying warm and dry on your next camping trip, consider the REI Co-Op Kingdom 6 Tent. As a company, REI is very transparent about their environmental impact. They are constantly seeking ways to improve their footprint. As a Co-Op, they advocate for protecting and preserving community outdoor and recreation areas, and they actively support a range of eco-friendly endeavors.
- Center wall divider to create two rooms
- Vertical walls and rectangle floor for maximum interior space
- Color-coding on tent, fly, footprint, and poles for quick and easy set-up
- Good waterproofing, but not suitable for +30MPH winds
- Pretty expensive when compared to other 6-person tents
4. Coleman Red Canyon
The best weather resistant family tent for bad weather
Brand: Coleman | Capacity: 8 People | Weight: 21.5 lbs | Center Height: 72 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
Coleman is at it again with their Red Canyon 8-person tent. If you’re expecting severe weather, you can definitely rely on this baby. With Coleman’s WeatherTec welded floors and inverted seams, you’ll stay nice and dry. At the same time, the Wind-Strong frame is specifically reinforced to stand up against storms. Zipper cuffs offer an additional layer of weather protection.
- Included dividers to create 3 different rooms inside
- Quick and easy to set-up, take down, and pack away
- Incredibly roomy inside with 6-foot center height so you can stand comfortably
- Some reviewers noted that assembly is a little complicated to figure out, but easy to execute once you do
- The door of the tent isn’t as large as it could be, and sits up high enough that it may be a tripping hazard
5. CORE Instant
The best quick set-up family tent for bad weather
Brand: CORE | Capacity: 9 People | Weight: 27.62 lbs | Center Height: 78 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰
With “instant” in the name, it’s no mystery why CORE’s Instant tent is our pick for easiest set-up. According to both CORE’s promotional material and thousands of reviewers, you can set this tent up in an incredible 60 seconds! With a 9-person capacity and a center height of 78 inches, there’s plenty of room for the whole family, no matter how tall. CORE’s H2O Block technology offers watertight weather resistance, while the adjustable ground vent keeps things from getting stuffy.
- Additional side doors with mesh screen doors for plenty of ventilation
- Included room divider can create 2 interior rooms; or remove for an open living area
- Large, T-shaped door offers easy access and has a mesh screen door for air-flow when it isn’t raining
- With all the built-in ventilation (which is great for summer!), the tent can get pretty chilly in colder weather
- Some reviewers found that the stakes included with the tent “flimsy” and recommended buying alternative ones
6. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Box Deluxe
The best heavy-duty family tent for bad weather
Brand: Kodiak | Capacity: 4 People | Weight: 57.78 lbs | Center Height: 73 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰
If you’re still not quite sure, even with all the weatherproofing and waterproofing and windproofing of the other tents we’ve looked at, then consider the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe. This tent is arguably the most durable, heavy-duty family camping tent on the market. The fabric is 100% cotton-duck canvas made with Hydra-Shield, which means it’s not only watertight, but also reinforced for added durability while remaining breathable.
The large windows offer excellent air ventilation with no-see-um mesh to keep out even the tiniest of insects. The titular Flex-Bow frame is galvanized steel, designed to keep the tent taut and stable whether the air is still or blowing fiercely.
- Set-up is simple enough for a single person to do on their own
- Flex-Bow frame design will bend just enough in the wind to stay standing where others would collapse
- Hydra-Shield canvas ceiling and walls, along with polyester-reinforced vinyl flooring and reinforced seams, meaning no water is getting in, no matter what happens
- By far the heaviest, most expensive tent on our list
- Probably overkill unless you’re planning on camping in extreme weather conditions
7. CORE Extended
The best features family tent for bad weather
Brand: CORE | Capacity: 9 People | Weight: 18.21 lbs | Center Height: 72 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
CORE makes our list again with their Extended tent. The name refers to the larger, 9-person capacity than their standard tents. Otherwise, it has all the same great features you’d expect: H2O Block Technology, adjustable ground vent, fiberglass poles, electrical cord access port, rain fly, taped seams, and coated material.
But what makes this tent stand out from all the rest is the small but incredibly useful gear loft. The apex of the tent features both a hook and a mesh sling that can be used to store everything from your phone to your keys to your rucksack. By elevating these things above your head, you can get the most out of every square inch of interior space and be more comfortable on the floor.
- Gear loft offers a way to keep your things up and out of the way
- Additional ridge poles maximize interior space for more room to spread out
- Advanced venting system draws cool air from vents on the ground and lets hot air escape through the mesh ceiling
- Some reviewers struggled to get the tent back into its carry case
- The door zipper sometimes gets caught on the rainfly, which is inconvenient
What to Look For
Not all tents are created equal. Especially when it comes to a tent for the whole family, you want to make sure you’re buying something that will stand up to inclement weather and the test of time to keep you and your family safe for years to come. What does that look like?
This probably sounds like a given, and you’ll probably see this word thrown around by many manufacturers. But what actually makes for a durable tent? The most durable tents will have:
- Sturdy metal poles. Aluminum is a common choice since it’s so lightweight. However, be sure to look for a tent framework that is slightly flexible so it can stand up to strong winds
- Reinforced or double-stitched seams
- Secure or reinforced grommets
- Rust-resistant, heavy-duty zippers
- Substantial stakes that secure the tent to the ground
- Thick, water-resistant material like nylon or polyester
Most tents will come with a rain fly, a fancy name for a tarp that installs over your tent to keep water off it. These should be made of waterproof material and extend over the entire tent to protect it. The best rain flies extend to the ground and secure with stakes similar to the tent itself.
Guylines connect through your rain fly directly to the tent poles, making your tent and rain fly structure more stable in windy weather.
The best tent in the entire world will do you no good if you can’t figure out how to set it up. Check out what the procedure looks like before you buy. Some tents may be simple and lightweight enough for just two people, but some might be more complicated and require the whole family’s help.
Most tents have ventilation pockets or flaps that can help reduce condensation inside the tent and keep things cool. The best tents have mesh panels in these vents that stop bugs but still allow a breeze. Consider how these panels are situated, how easy they are to open/close, and whether or not there are enough of them for your preference.
Another given, but be sure that your tent is made of water-resistant material, that it’s sealed against leaks, and that the tent floor is thick enough to prevent water seepage.
When a tent advertises that it can accommodate 8 people, that usually means 8 people lying side-by-side across the entire tent floor. In practice, that would be uncomfortably close and leave no room for your duffle bag, kitchen equipment, sleeping bags, and air mattresses, let alone enough room for you to relax inside with a good book. Be sure to look at the actual tent dimensions to make sure you and all your family members have enough space.
For this guide on best family tents for bad weather, our team spent 3 hours researching the most popular options from over 6 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about forty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each family tent for bad weather. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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