Are you planning a camping trip with your family but the weather forecast is bad? Anyone would agree that going tent camping with a large family unprepared can ruin the whole experience, especially for kids.
Things can get out of control and one of those things is the weather. Imagine that you are outdoors and a storm surprises you. If you run to your tent that is not water-resistant you could face a big disappointment from your loved ones. That’s why looking for the best family tents for bad weather is something you have to prioritize.
Follow my quick buying guide to make sure you have the right one for harsh weather conditions and also get useful tips for camping with your loved ones.
Best Family Tents For Bad Weather in 2020
Top-rated family tents
There are several things to do before going on a family camping trip but having a decent tent is the first thing to consider. I am sure you want to take your loved ones on a sunny outdoor experience but sometimes this is not possible. However, you can choose one that will offer safety and comfort for your family even in harsh weather.
As there are many of them, I selected the top 5 models that you can use if it is raining already or if the forecast is bad for the next few days. These are all waterproof, meaning that it will resist water from their surface.
I selected these family camping tents regarding durability and harsh weather conditions. The models come in different shapes and with different features so you will need to know your family requirements to pick the right one.
CORE 9-Person Extended Dome Tent
- Sleeps 9 people; Fits three queen air mattresses; Center Height: 72 inches
- CORE H20 Block Technology and adjustable ground vent.Pole Type: Traditional Fiber Glass Poles
- Features gear loft with lantern hook and pockets to keep items organized and off the tent floor
- Electrical cord access port (port is fully closable when not in use)
- Includes tent, tent poles, rain fly, tent stakes, and carry bag. All Core tents are equipped with...
The first on my list is the Core 9-person extended dome tent. Due to its size, it can comfortably fit 3 queen-sized mattresses. It has a center height of 6 feet.
This unit comes with a lantern hook, organizer pockets, and gear loft. It also features a power cord access port that is entirely closable when it’s not in use.
It’s made of 68D polyester fabric that is water-resistant and has H2O block technology which features quick water runoff, and watertight door seams.
Lastly, it has a fully-taped removable rainfly, which makes it also ideal for summertime as it gives proper ventilation.
Coleman Elite Montana 8-person tent
- WEATHERPROOF: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; included rainfly offers...
- HINGED DOOR: Easily swings open and includes an extended awning
- STORAGE POCKETS: Keep small gear organized and off the floor
- CONVENTIONAL PITCH: Sets up in 15 minutes
- ROOMY INTERIOR: 16 x 7 ft. with 6 ft. 2 in. center height; fits 3 queen-size air beds
This Coleman model is made of polyester and is one of the best waterproof camping tents that you can get. It measures 16 x 7 feet and has 6 foot 2-inch center height. It can fit 3 queen size air beds. Its resistant waterproof floor with fully-welded floor seams will stop water from leaking inside.
It is surprisingly lightweight (6.71 lbs) and pretty simple and quick to set up (in about 15 minutes) due to the color-coded pole system. This model features a big hinged door that will make you feel like at home. A room divider provides two rooms inside.
WeatherTec system with patented corner welds and inverted seams makes it one of the best family tents for rain.
Tomount 8-person tent
- ROOMY FOR 8 - HIKERGARDEN 8-person tent is the best family tent you will find. This Tent is very...
- EASY SETUP & SMOOTH ZIP - Easy Install in 10mins. It takes only a few simple steps to set up a...
- PROFESSIONAL WATERPROOF & WINDPROOF - By a professional water testing, HIKERGARDEN family tent’s...
- VENTILATION & LIGHTWEIGHT - Get away from the city lights, and you are able to gaze at the Milky...
- SEPARATED ROOM - Our TOMOUNT provides a curtain which you can hand on inside the tent. Then you can...
This family model can accommodate 8 campers. You can fit 3 queen air mattresses or 8 sleeping bags inside. It is easy to set up and will take 10 minutes to pitch it due to snag-free continuous pole sleeves.
This unit is waterproof and windproof. It is made of polyester and has a waterproof index of 4000mm. It features a wind-responsive frame with re-designed poles which makes it stable in bad weather conditions.
This Tomount creation has 1 large mesh door and 5 mesh windows for optimal air circulation. It has an electrical access port and an interior gear pocket to store your items.
Browning Big Horn Family Tent
- Our Browning Big Horn Series is a free-standing tent with fiberglass poles and steel uprights,...
- Two-room wall divider, extra tall center and straight side walls gives more room for cots, sleeping...
- Six large windows, two doorways and mesh roof offer easy entry and ultimate ventilation
- Fully equipped with mesh storage pockets, polyester fly, guy ropes and steel stakes
- Base Size: 10' x 15', Packed Size: 12" x 30", Center Height: 87", Total Weight: 34 lbs. 11 oz.
One of the best family tents for wet weather is the Browning Big Horn model. It is a 2-room unit that has a durable 150D oxford floor that has a 2000mm layer and a polyester fly perfect for rainy days.
This tent comes with 2 doors and 6 windows and it can accommodate up to 8 people. It has sealed seams and flies for extra wet-weather protection and features a freestanding system.
It has a thick floor tarp and has an entrance for each room. This model is tall enough to make 6 footer campers feel comfortable. This is definitely one of the best investments for growing families.
NTK Arizona GT Tent
- RATED #6 FOR THE BEST FAMILY TENT IN THE USA IN 2016. SPACIOUS 9 to 10 Person (aduls/kids), 2 Rooms,...
- FULL COVERAGE RAINFLY: Double layer 190T polyester laminated with polyurethane 2500 mm water column,...
- FRAME: 100% virgin NANO-FLEX shock corded fiber glass rods with improved diameter and double gold...
- MOSQUITO MESH: Inner tent fully breathable with generous Ultra-thin polyester no-see style mesh...
- FLOOR MATERIAL AND DESIGN: Heavy duty anti-fungus seamless polyethylene with inner silver coated...
Last on this list is the NTK Arizona GT model that can accommodate 9-10 people. This is a well-built and super reliable 3-season family tent with a fully covered fly that will protect you in any weather condition.
It is is a 2-room type tent that has an excellent ventilation system. It is a non-freestanding model with a hybrid construction between a tunnel-type, dome, and extended-dome.
It is designed with two rooms, and it has a full coverage fly, so you can assure that your family will be protected from any type of weather.
Family Tent Buying Guide
It is important for you to answer some questions that will ease your purchase. Don’t skip this section as it will help you to determine which camping tent you need.
Know the Right Size
Companies usually miscalculate the number of campers who can fit cozily in a tent. As a general rule, make sure to always have an extra space that can add another person or two in it. For example, if there are 4 of you in the family, buy one that is advertised as a 5 or 6-person tent.
Choose the Right Type
Tents that are meant to protect you from wet weather come in two types: 3-season and 4-season. Usually, a 3-season unit is enough to keep your family dry as it can handle most weather types you are likely to encounter.
On the other hand, 4-season units are more suitable for colder weather and heavy snowfall. The downside, however, is that they usually don’t have a ventilation system that a 3-season tent can offer.
Pick the Right Shape
It’s also important to pick a tent shape that works best for your loved ones. Dome and cabin types are the most common ones.
A cabin tent looks like the shape of a cabin or a house. They’re normally spacious and will let you stand up straight inside.
On the other hand, a dome resembles an igloo and usually don’t offer the same headroom as a previous type. Both family models usually come with a zip-down divider which will give you privacy. Or you can leave the divider up and have one large, common sleeping place.
If you are planning to camp with your family, nothing can work better than a large tent. Nowadays, its designers are coming up with tad more complex designs that scale up their favorite shapes of small tents into comparatively bigger ones.
These ones are roomy, spacious and comfortable. Before buying it, the first thing that you should consider is space. Your model should be roomy enough to accommodate at least three members.
A decent family tent will have two bedrooms (minimum). They will also have adequate groundsheets that will prevent insects, damp and cold.
These ones are also suitable for camping sessions, where you take your children, as they come with a bedroom divider that can be unzipped by your child when he wants to reach out to you.
Although they are slightly heavier in size, they are perfectly designed to be carried in your car. So weight will never turn out to be an issue. Most of them are available in the most innovative styles that are teamed up with the ultimate comfort level.
Family cabin tents
Families love to get a cabin tent because it represents an outdoor house. These ones are spacious, comfortable and offer multiple rooms for privacy. They feature vertical walls that enable you to walk straight inside, without having to bend or crawl.
These camping tents are also perfect glamping units since they offer a lot of space and privacy. Some also have a porch on which you can enjoy throughout the day and for stargazing at night.
Family pod tents
These are probably one of the largest tents on the market and are perfect for families. They come with a central living area and several other sleeping areas that we know as pods.
These pod tents lead off like small spokes from a wheel’s hub. Their interior is roomy and spacious. They are ideal for family camping where the little ones can have their own private space.
Likewise, this type has a proper area in the tent’s center where campers can enjoy their time.
These are excellent family tents. They are nothing more than flexible pole tents which are suitable for small families. The actual shape of them tends to bend a flexible pole into a semi-circle which has both its ends attached to a durable tape or a webbing strap that runs across the tent’s base. This often acts as the groundsheet.
There are two flexible poles that cross in the middle to develop a square dome, where three poles make a hexagon. The sides of them are slightly vertical so there are more headroom and equally wide floor area.
The stability of dome units is relatively good in the smaller models.
These are one of the rarest but simplest family tents ever. However, an inflatable unit is more suitable for small families. Although they are rare, people like to buy them.
They are slightly more extravagant and relatively heavy. However, one major benefit of them is the installation. All that you have to do is peg out the different corners, turn on the compressor and it will automatically inflate in a couple of minutes.
Although they might not be really roomy and spacious in the bigger models, they can be a good idea, if you are lazy enough to carry out the long-drawn tent installation process.
Family backpacking tents
If you are planning to hike or go for a mountaineering session with your family, then this one is a good option. Backpacking and mountain models let the camper leave the tracks and try his camping sessions in the wilderness.
If you are someone who is looking out to spend some quality time in a desolate location, they are the best option. They are specifically made to be easily installed in desolate locations, far away from the popular camping sites.
Family backpacking tents are made of light materials and are relatively small. This makes it easier to carry it in your bag pack. Most of them are available in the shape of a tunnel which ensures that the tent is rigid and resistant to the cold winds.
They are crafted in a manner to withstand the most extreme weather conditions. They can stand against the roughest or coldest winds, stormy rains, and sudden snowfalls.
Which is the best family tent on the market?
The best tent for a family is the one that has plenty of space, rooms and has a good ventilation system. Moreover, it should protect you from the elements and provide comfort that you need.
If you are looking for a model for bad weather, you should pay attention to the material, hydrostatic head and technologies that its company developed to protect against rain and wind. Rainfly and tarp are recommended as well.
However, if you are going camping in a hot climate, you should get a large one that has enough vents and mesh for the air circulation.
Who makes the best family tents?
There are outdoor companies that specialize in manufacturing the best family tents. These companies developed models that satisfy the customer by providing functionality, space, and comfort. Some of them are using technologies that make their camping units one of the best.
Next manufacturers make one of the best large tents for camping:
- Ozark Trail
- Browning Camping
- Tahoe Gear
What do I need for a family camping trip?
When you are going camping, you should consider the necessities and fun things that will make it safe and enjoyable. Let’s take a look at the essentials that your family needs in bad weather and on sunny days.
Essentials for a bad weather camping
- A waterproof camping tent should be large enough to accommodate all campers comfortably.
- A tarp that you can put above the tent to protect it from possible leakage. It can also protect it from being blown away in the case of the wind.
- Synthetic clothes to protect from the cold and hypothermia. This type of clothes won’t absorb moisture so you will be dry and protected.
- A raincoat for everybody or a waterproof jacket which you will wear when you will be heading for the firewood and going to the toilet.
- A heater will provide warmth inside the tent for the maximum comfort of your family members. If you have the possibility to connect to the electricity source that’s great but you can also bring a heater on batteries.
- A portable stove for cooking meals and preparing hot drinks that will provide you energy and warmth.
Essentials for hot weather camping
- A camping tent with a lot of mesh and vents. On hot days you should consider having one that will provide proper air circulation. This is crucial since the air inside can get stifling if there is not enough ventilation. When buying one, look for the big windows that can be opened, this will help to ventilate it additionally.
- Light clothes. Bring cotton clothes so your skin will breathe and forget synthetic ones. A hat is recommendable as it will protect your head from the hot sun.
- A sun cream may be of no importance but consider it as it will protect you from the UV rays.
- A cooler will keep your food and drinks cold and prevent it from spoiling.
- A camping ventilator can help to cool the hot air in the tent and take care of additional ventilation.
How do you camp with kids?
Do you think camping with kids is impossible? Kids are wonderful companions on an outdoor trip if you know how to distract them. Think of the activities and tasks that you will do with them.
There are numerous games to play so bring some board games, a ball, and their favorite games so they will stay occupied while you are preparing a meal or washing clothes.
I recommend that you don’t take video games because there is so much to discover in nature, your kids will be surprised how exciting it is to explore the greenery and animals.
When you want a helping hand from a kid, think of ways that will entertain him. You can invite him to pick firewood with you. Take binoculars with you and watch the animals on the way to the forest. I am sure he will love it.
How do you keep kids warm when camping?
Comfortability is first when it comes to camping, especially for kids. Take care that your kids will have enough warm cotton clothes from socks, sweaters, and pants. If you will be winter camping, take a warm hat and gloves as well. A blanket will help them fall to sleep.
A campfire is going to warm them as you cook or have a pleasant evening. Also, allow them to be active; activities on the fresh air will speed up their blood circulation so they won’t be cold.
How do I get my kids to sleep while camping?
There are ways to make your kid fall asleep in no time.
- Tell them stories and read to them. Take your time and read their favorite bedtime story. You can also turn on your imagination and tell them stories that will calm them and make them fall to sleep. You can tell them how it was when you were a kid, I am sure they will pay attention to every word you say.
- Lay with them and talk to them till they fall to sleep. Kids want to be safe and secured so lay with them and talk to them. Ask your kids what they want to do the next day, what are their worries and which camping activity excites them the most.
- Play games. Playing a board game or cards over a campfire will make your children relaxed and prepared for good night sleep.
How do you make camping fun for kids?
The best way to make camping fun for your kids is to explore nature. Consider a hiking day and tell the idea to your loved ones. When you wake up the next morning, make yourselves a rich breakfast and head to the trail.
Make sure you have good hiking shoes on and a backpack full of necessities like foods and water, a blanket, and a stove. Consider taking a camera and binoculars which will make your trip exciting as you will watch and take photos of the animals and nature’s beauties.
How do you camp with a baby?
Camping with a baby requires some extra preparation. The main consideration is to make your baby feel comfortable all the time. Here are some of the things that you should consider taking on a family camping adventure with a baby.
- A baby carrier. It will help you to carry your baby when you will be heading towards your campground or when you will be hiking around. Make sure you choose the one that will make your baby feel comfortable and secure.
- A camping chair. A baby camping chair is a must if you want to have your baby on the eyes all the time. It will make sure that he is safe while you make breakfast or a campfire.
- A changing mat. A foldable and waterproof changing mat is perfect for a baby camping. It doesn’t take much space in your backpack and is functional when you must change the baby’s diaper.
- A portable activity center. This item is an alternative to a baby chair but it makes a lot of fun for the baby. Make sure that you get one that folds up and is easy to carry. Moreover, if you will be outdoors in summer, take one that has a canopy over so it will protect your child from UV rays.
- A sleeping sack is perfect to make your baby warm and cozy while he sleeps.
Don’t forget about his favorite toy, food, and clothes so you will have a pleasant outdoor experience.
What age can you take baby camping?
There is no age defined for a baby camping however you should make sure that he feels comfortable. You can take your newborn outdoors after a few months of taking birth if you consider his needs.
A baby needs food, clothes and a place to sleep. Also, pay attention to the dangers of the wild and always keep him close to you so you can see him.
Camp and make memories
You don’t have a tent for bad weather yet? If you are planning an outdoor vacation with your loved ones in the part of the world where rain is common, then you should think about getting one.
Remember, you are going camping with kids and they are not so tolerating as you might be, especially if you have younger children. So you shouldn’t let circumstances to overcome your family’s enjoyment time.
A good tent should be a priority to any camper, no matter where he is going camping, with whom or what are his goals at a camping site.
What does it have to make sure your family members stay dry and satisfied? Well, I mentioned some of the factors such as space, type, and shape but there are other factors to consider as well.
Your tent should have a high hydrostatic head (HH) and this means how water resistant your unit actually is. However, you should also know that a tent has to be stitched well so you won’t experience a leakage.
The most common problem in bad weather conditions are zippers where the rain can easily enter inside. I suggest you choose a model that has zippers with a cover.
What about a waterproof tent? Tents are made from different fabrics that have a waterproof coat that protects from the rain and snow.
How can you secure it even more from the rain? This task is easy as you can get a large tarp and put it over your tent and surroundings. It is an easy solution that will double your protection and make your tent surroundings drier.
Pitching it in the right place is a basic rule when you are camping where it rains a lot. My suggestion is that you don’t pitch it on soft grounds, on slopes, and in depressions.
Don’t forget to pack a raincoat for your loved ones and also other clothes like jackets, socks, shirts, etc. You should have a synthetic jacket or coat that will not absorb the water (forget about cotton clothes in rainy conditions).
Hopefully, this article helped you to find the best family tents for bad weather so you will spend your vacation dry and happy. Before you spend your hard-earned money on any model, make sure it suits your needs.
I wish you a happy camping that you will remember for years.