Cabin Tent VS Dome Tent – Which One To Choose?

Cabin tent VS dome tent, which one to pick for the great outdoors? A lot of campers have trouble picking out a shelter that is right for them during the camping season.

cabin vs dome tent

For recreational activities, having the right model will influence your family’s spirit and attitude. Maybe you think that these two differ only in shape but they don’t.

Families like to choose cabin units because they are big and with a high ceiling to move around freely. However, dome models are lighter and very popular among outdoor enthusiasts.

Which one will you choose to have a great time in nature?

Cabin tent or a dome tent?

This article is meant for families or groups of campers who are planning to go and spend quality time in nature.

There are differences between these two types which you should consider to have a pleasant outdoor experience. Consider the next considerations for both types of units that we focus on today.

Get a 4-season unit

When it comes to tents of all shapes, sizes, and purposes, you want a model that you can use on multiple occasions.

Whether you are going camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, or anything else, and no matter whether you change your mind once you get there or even if the weather changes its forecast, you want a unit that you can buy and not worry about it.

Choose quality

You also want a unit that will provide you safety for many years. Consider the material, poles, and features.

If you will be camping in harsh weather you must be especially careful when picking one. It should be a quality unit that won’t tear apart yet on a first adventure.

Family tent size and space

A key difference between dome and cabin models is what kind of family you have. Do you have a large family with many members and pets who will go with you?

And how big are your family members, do they require extra space, say, perhaps because they like to bring a lot of things.

Perhaps they are claustrophobic? How is everyone with being in close quarters? If you want more space you should definitely get a cabin model.

Maybe you have a small family with only one child or a baby. In this case, you can choose both types because you will fit in both of them. However, a dome unit is lighter and weighs less so you won’t carry extra weight to your campsite.

Get a closer look at a dome tent and see if this type can fit your outdoor needs.

Family values

No matter how big your family might be, you have your own values. How important is a vestibule? Ventilation? Privacy? Divided rooms?

Storage areas? For example, is it important to you that every camper has his own inflatable single size bed mattress?


Knowing how many people will be with you can make a huge difference. Setting up a cabin tent can be difficult if there is only you doing the job. In this case, it is better to take a dome unit that you will set fast and easy.

Another factor is how long it takes to erect it. If the weather is volatile, fast-moving, or already inclement, a shelter is needed as soon as possible, and cabin ones can’t really meet that need due to pitch time, which makes sense, given how very large and spacious they can be.

cabin shape family tent

I give you a hint on how to pitch it with no hassle.

The unit’s comfort

Similar to family values, but not quite the same, some campers may not be acclimated to the outdoors and all of the challenges that aren’t present in everyday life in an urban city center.

Pushing a camper too far can quickly put a damper on the fun, or even spread their misery or anxiety on others.

Having a place where they can retreat and feel safe is a key happiness management strategy.  

Or, to the contrary, perhaps a camper really wants to experience the wildest and rough things that the wilderness has to offer with a minimalist tent solution.

Pros & cons of both shapes

I’ve gathered up many pieces of advice and recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues and compiled them all into one easy, at a glance list to help you decide which one is right for you.

Cabin tents

Here are the pros of these units that are a good choise for families and groups.

The pros

  • Home away from home
  • Very large and spacious
  • Straight walls for more space than other types
  • Homely features like windows, curtains, privacy dividers, doors
  • Room dividers for privacy
  • You will be able to put furniture inside
  • Move freely without kneeling and bending

The cons

  • Difficult and slower to assemble
  • Assembly typically requires more than one person
  • A collapsed unit is heavy
  • Bulky
  • Not appropriate for backpacking and hiking

Dome tents

These are advantages and disadvantages of dome units that are the most versatile models that outdoorsmen use.

dome camping unit

The pros

  • Lightweight
  • Assemble quick and easy
  • Easy transport
  • Easy to find 4 seasons (all season) tents for grab and go any time of the year
  • Appropriate for all kinds of outdoor adventures
  • Good for hiking and backpacking
  • The most versatile tent type
  • Cheap

Here are all-season models that you should consider if you are an avid camper.

The cons

  • Less spacious
  • Just sleeping area
  • No space for walking straight

What is a dome tent?

It is a dome-shaped unit that has a rectangular floor and two poles that cross one over another to make a shelter.

It is a versatile unit that most outdoorsmen use for their excursions. The unit is pitched fast, offers good weather protection, and handles wind very well.

What is a cabin tent?

It has a shape that resembles a cabin. With the vertical walls, it offers a lot of sleeping and living space. You are able to put furniture inside and do lots of activities inside.

This is a model that is perfect for base camping as you won’t be moving it due to its weight, bulkiness, and time to set it up. It is an outdoor home away from home.

Are dome tents good?

These ones are the most versatile units of all. Those who love to spend their free time in nature choose it no matter the terrain and weather.

These models offer a sleeping area and a shelter. You will pitch it with ease as it hasn’t got a complicated design.

They are lightweight and easy to carry in the backpack. This feature makes them versatile as outdoorsmen use them for different adventures as hiking, camping, backpacking, mountaineering, and so on.

Dome tents should be your first choice if you are going camping or backpacking. Choose one of them if you want to set up the shelter fast and if you will use it for spending the night in the secure structure.

Are cabin tents good?

A cabin tent should be your first choice if you will stay outdoors for some time and base camp with your loved ones. They are spacious units where you will be able to sleep comfortably, cook, play, and move while standing up.

cabin base tents

Due to the straight walls, you will be able to put outdoor furniture inside like chairs, beds, tables, and store all the gear you have. They are perfect for families and friends who want to have glamping expectations.

Which is the right tent for you?

If you are still not sure which shape to pick, here is some advice that will help you in your buying decision.

Camping location

Ask yourself where will you camp. Will you stay somewhere in the backcountry, in the wild, or will you enjoy yourself in the comfort of the campground with the facilities available?

If you said yes to camping in the unknown places where there is a lot of hiking involved then you should opt to a dome model.

On the opposite, pick a cabin tent if you will stay in the campground or somewhere in nature for a long period of time.

The number of occupants

Dome units are smaller than cabin ones so if you intend to spend time with a bunch of people it is best to pick a cabin model.

However, this isn’t a good option if you are going backpacking. If this is the case, it is better that you buy several dome models.

Still, the cabin ones offer more center height and space, in general, to move and do activities without limitations, while this is not possible in a dome tent.

These large units have room dividers or curtains to divide rooms to have privacy. So, if you want to stay in one shelter, not to squeeze inside and have some privacy then this tent shape is right for you.

Camping purpose

This paragraph involves what type of outdoor adventure will you have. There are two types of camping; adventurer one and comfortable one.

First includes camping with a lot of exploration, hiking, and survival in mind. The second is oriented to more comfortable camping in a camping place where all in ready to have a luxurious adventure.

When to choose a dome tent?

So, if you will go wild camping then take a dome tent with you. It will provide a fast-pitching shelter that you will be able to dismantle and transport with ease when you want to change camping location and explore other area.

When to choose a cabin tent?

If you and your friends like comfort and luxury when staying outdoors and won’t use survival techniques and hike a lot then it is best to choose a unit that looks like a cabin. It is best for car camping as you will be able to transport it with ease.

With it, you will also take furniture and other equipment in your car as they will make your expedition even more pleasurable.

Cabin tents are perfect for families, older campers, and groups of friends who will camp under the roof of one shelter.


I hope that you have been able to figure out which kind of tent is right for you and your fellow adventurers in the debate of cabin tent vs dome tent.

Hopefully, the model you pick will stay with you for many years, fending off the cold, wet, and annoying that the untamed wilderness tends to wield upon the unsuspecting in particular.

Remember, even if you purchase a model that doesn’t hold up well to your future expectations, there are still plenty of things that you can do with it, so don’t get rid of it.

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