Cabin Tent VS Dome Tent – Which One To Choose?

Which is better for your camping trip, a cabin tent or a dome tent?

A lot of campers have trouble picking out a shelter that is right for them during the camping season and if you are among them read on.

When it comes to camping tents, there are a few different types to choose from. But which one is right for you?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of cabin tents vs dome tents so you’ll be able to decide which type of tent is best for your next camping trip!

cabin vs dome tent

For recreational activities, having the right tent 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.

Check both types and pick the right type of camping tent.

Camping tent features to consider before buying

Consider the next considerations of a new camping tent to make the right buying decision.


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 camping tent that will protect you from the elements through the year (and I’m not thinking only of the rain protection).

But it’s better to have a 3-season tent if you intend to camp in spring, summer, and fall.

Choose quality

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

If you will be camping in harsh weather you must be even more careful when picking your product. It should be a quality unit that won’t tear apart yet on a first adventure (avoid thin material).

If you want to buy a decent tent that will last for years then take a look at the best tent camping brands and choose one of the best camping tents on the market.

Tent size and space

A key difference between dome and cabin models is the space they offer.

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 tent model.

Maybe you have a small family with only one child or a baby or you intend to camp alone.

In this case, you can choose both types because you will fit in both of them. However, a dome unit should weigh 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.


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 longer pitch time, which makes sense, given how very large and spacious they can be.

However, today tent manufacturers make cabin camp tents that can be pitched in minutes! If you are interested in these types of tents then take a look at Ozark Trail instant cabin tent.

cabin shape family tent

The interior comfort

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

If you are not used to the outdoors so much then it can quickly put a damper on the fun, or even spread the misery or anxiety on others that you camp with. In this case, a cabin-style tent will work perfectly.

Having a reliable tent where you can retreat and feel safe is a key happiness management strategy.  

Or, to the contrary, perhaps you want to experience the wildest and rough things that the wilderness has to offer with a minimalist tent solution (dome tent).

Dome VS cabin tent pros & cons

I’ve gathered up many pieces of advice and recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues and compiled them all into one easy, 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 choice for families and groups who need space.

The pros

  • Home away from home
  • Big and spacious
  • Straight walls for more (head)space
  • 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

  • Time consuming assembly
  • Setup 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
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Easy transport
  • Easy to find 4 season (all season) tents for grab and go outdoors any time of the year
  • Appropriate for all kinds of outdoor adventures
  • Good for hiking and backpacking
  • The most versatile tent type
  • Cheap

The cons

  • Less spacious (limited headheight)
  • Just sleeping area
  • No space for walking straight

What is a dome tent?

A dome tent is a common structure that has a curved form, typically semi-circular. It is usually made of a group of poles and a roofing material.

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

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

What is a cabin tent?

A cabin tent is a cabin-shaped tent that is often used for family camping. Cabin tents have one or two doors and are designed to be large enough to stand up in.

instant cabin tent

While cabin tents are usually larger than other types of family tents, they tend to be heavier than other types of car-camping (i.e., drive-in) tents.

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 camping 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-consuming setup.

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 most of them with ease as they haven’t got a complicated design.

Generally speaking, dome camping tents are lightweight and easy to carry in the backpack.

Their lightweight makes them versatile to use as outdoorsmen take them on different adventures such as hiking, camping, backpacking, mountaineering, and so on.

When should you use a dome tent?

Dome tents should be your first choice if you are going wild camping or backpacking. Choose one of them if you want to set up the shelter fast and stay protected from the elements.

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.

Cabin camping tents 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 have glamping expectations.

Which is the right tent for you?

If you are still not sure which tent shape to pick, here is some advice that will help you additionally.

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 will go camping in unknown places where there is a lot of hiking involved then you should opt for a dome structure.

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.

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

Most of these large units have room dividers or curtains to provide privacy for campers. This is great news if you have kids or teenagers in the family who appreciate having their own space.

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

What type of outdoor adventure do you have in mind for your next trip?

Are you more of an adventurous type who likes to explore nature or are you more of a glamping type of person who enjoys staying in a campground and enjoying its luxury?

An adventurer loves to camp with a lot of exploration, hiking, and survival in mind so he will be okay with a dome-style tent.

dome camping 101

However, if you are a camper who loves comfort and is oriented to more relaxing camping then you better choose a cabin tent for camping.

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 another 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 tent that looks like a cabin. It is best for car camping due to its weight.

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


With so many dome and cabin tent benefits, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

But if you take into account what kind of camping trip you’re planning and what features are important to you, it won’t be hard to choose the perfect tent design.

Whichever type of camping tent you decide on, make sure it will add to your enjoyment of the great outdoors and not detract from it.

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.

Leave a Reply