A great family camping holiday surely relies on one thing – the quality of the tent. Choose a poorly manufactured one and your time spent with the kids is doomed to failure.
Pick a good one however, and your holiday will be the stuff of camping heaven.
Tents have evolved greatly from when I was a child; some are now inflatable and many are lightweight and bright.
Here’s our pick of the best to suit your lifestyle:
First to introduce the inflatable tent into the market, Vango’s AirBeam Inspire is large enough for six people and now includes a larger diameter, giving it more stability in the wind and the rain.
Measures at 7.5m x 4.5m, the compartments can be altered within and there’s a spacious living area and a covered entrance which stops rain entering.
Features a sewn-in groundsheet which helps to stop draughts and a pretty decent hydrostatic head of 6000mm (hydrostatic measures how waterproof the material is, the higher the ‘mm’ the better).
Pitches in around 20 minutes.
BEST BUDGET BUY
A lightweight tent weighing just 10kg which means it’s good for backpackers, what this budget tent lacks on features it makes up for it in space and value.
Only two windows but has a sewn in ground sheet and bright, luminous guy ropes means you can see it in the dark. No entrance canopy.
Pitches in around 25 minutes.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
This tent inflates in minutes and sleep five comfortably. There’s a good hydrostatic head of 3000mm and it comes with plenty of storage pockets.
Features nice and bright luminous guy ropes which shine in the dark. Lots of headroom inside, the bedroom has a removable hanging divider. Has a sewn in groundsheet.
Pitches in just 10 minutes.
- Airgo Cirrus 6 – £850
Another inflatable tent here, this one is enormous (5m x 4m) and ideal for a large family who like their individual space.
There’s a great size for the bedroom which can be used as one large room or configured as two smaller rooms. Has one front door with a rain hood and two side doors.
A fabulous 6000mm hydrostatic head, but with all this the weight is a pretty heavy 28kg all in.
Pitches in just 60 seconds but you have to position the guy ropes.
BEST FOR SERIOUS CAMPERS
Yes it is expensive but professional campers will love this Nigor tent. A really impressive hydrostatic head of 10,000mm, there’s not a chance water is getting into this tent.
Very lightweight too at only 6kg and dinky enough to go in a backpack.
It comes with reinforced stress points and assembles using just three poles. It can store bikes and has enough room for two adults and two children (smaller children probably). No sewn in groundsheet.
It pitches in 15 minutes.
BEST FOR GENEROUS LIVING SPACE
If you need space when you are out camping with your family then this is the tent for you. A generous three bedrooms which allows comfortable sleeping for five people.
There’s a super large living area, complete with windows and doors at either side, and you get a canopy area which you can close.
You can even separate these areas off to make two rooms, or pull the divider back for one larger space during the day.
Larger than normal head room and comes with eight windows, making it very light and airy. Pretty good hydrostatic head of 4000mm and a sewn-in groundsheet. Quite heavy though at 45kg so you’ll have to pop it on a trailer.
As you can see, it pitches in under 5 minutes.