Which six-person tent is best?

Whether it’s in your backyard or the middle of nowhere, spending the night in a tent is a great way to connect to the simple rhythms of nature. But it’s hard to enjoy the experience if your tent is leaky, cramped or uncomfortable. Experienced campers know that this is a critical piece of gear, and choosing the best six-person tent for your household is important.

If you need a safe, sturdy tent that can withstand a variety of inclement weather, the North Face Wawona Six-Person Camping Tent is the best choice for you.

What to know before you buy a six-person tent

When you’ll camp

A six-person tent can provide comfort in the middle of nowhere, but you’ll need to consider when you’ll camp. Some tents are designed to withstand brutal cold and high winds, while others are best for hotter climates. You’ll have a better camping experience if you choose the one that fits the climate you plan to camp in.

Weight

For backpackers and thru-hikers, weight is always a concern. Most people in search of a six-person tent won’t be looking for a lightweight tent, but weight and durability are linked and important to consider. Tent material and the quality of the poles and frame influence both.

  • Tent materials: Cotton canvas is arguably the most durable option but is also the heaviest. At the other end of the spectrum is nylon, which has a good ratio of strength-to-weight. Polyester falls in the middle and manages to be both durable and lightweight.
  • Poles and frame: Even on a budget, investing in the highest quality poles and frame increases the life span of your tent exponentially. Fiberglass, carbon fiber and alloy frames and poles are the best options. Cheap plastic crumbles quickly, especially in the face of campers with small children.

Size

Not all six-person tents have the same measurements. The range of size is 90-120 square feet, with a footprint that can be anywhere from an 11-foot by 11-foot square to a 12-foot by 8-foot rectangle.

Some also come with a large vestibule that increases your tent’s area. Take a look at who’s camping and choose the best size.

What to look for in a quality six-person tent

Internal pockets

Internal pockets are handy to keep things like flashlights, cellphones and glasses handy. No more searching in the middle of the night for smaller items that can get lost in a large duffel bag.

Included rain fly

No matter how waterproof your tent is, an included rainfly is key to staying dry. These are especially important for tents with mesh ceilings.

Vestibule or porch

A front vestibule or porch improves the quality of life around camp. This is a great place for storing overflow gear. It also offers a sheltered place to remove shoes before entering the tent.

Mesh panels

Mesh panels increase airflow and can help keep a tent cooler during warm weather. They also allow you to fall asleep gazing up at the stars.

How much you can expect to spend on a six-person tent

The price of a six-person tent runs $50-$500. In most cases, this range is due to the quality of the tent and the features that it includes.

Six-person tent FAQ

Do you have to put anything under the tent?

A. Although most tents tout durable, waterproof floors, putting a tarp under the tent is always a good idea. This adds a layer of protection from sharp rocks and sticks. It also prevents dampness from seeping up from the ground.

To prevent puddling under the tent in the case of a sudden downpour, make sure the tarp is a few inches smaller than the tent.

How do you care for a tent?

A. There is no doubt about it: Your tent is going to get dirty. It’s the nature of the activity. However, to preserve the life of your tent, there are a few cleaning tips to keep in mind before storing it for the season.

  • Make sure your tent is completely dry inside and out before storing.
  • Brush dirt from the outside of the tent and sweep out the inside.
  • To remove stubborn dirt, use mild soap and water. Avoid any harsh chemicals that can damage the tent material.
  • To remove sticky sap or pitch, use creamy peanut butter to loosen and then scrub with mild soap.
  • If you notice that your tent seems less waterproof, use a water repellent spray to re-treat it.
  • Seal your tent seams as needed. Clean the seams with rubbing alcohol and allow them to dry before applying more seam sealer. Check with the tent manufacturer to select the best product for this job.

What’s the best six-person tent to buy?

Top six-person tent

North Face Wawona Six-Person Camping Tent

North Face Wawona Six-Person Camping Tent

What you need to know: North Face is a trusted outdoor brand, and this tent has tons of options for camping in comfort.

What you’ll love: It’s waterproof and strong. Ceiling pockets mean small items stay organized inside the tent. It has a secondary area for keeping other gear handy. It’s available with or without flame-retardant coating for additional safety.

What you should consider: It’s a challenge to get it packed back into its stuff sack.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top six-person tent for the money

Coleman Sundome Six-Person Tent

Coleman Sundome Six-Person Tent

What you need to know: Set up is fast and easy enough for the youngest members of your camping party to complete.

What you’ll love: A reasonably tall center means that many adults can stand up. It fits two queen beds. Seams are sealed to prevent leaks, and the tent has clips to keep it locked in place even in windy conditions.

What you should consider: The included stakes are too flimsy for rocky ground. Invest in an extra set.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Kelty Freestanding Rumpus

Kelty Freestanding Rumpus

What you need to know: This simple, three-season tent comfortably fits six people.

What you’ll love: It has mesh panels throughout the tent for better airflow, and the rain fly keeps moisture out. There are four internal storage pockets and a sturdy floor that resists sharp rocks and tearing. Two doors open wide, and the vestibule keeps gear dry.

What you should consider: The mesh panels are great for summer camping, but they make for chilly nights in cold weather.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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