Swooping nylon and linked poles, zippered doors, screened windows, and stakes in the dirt holding it down — the humble formula for a tent has long prevailed as an ultimate outdoors habitat for humans in need of a temporary home. But today’s campground cabanas are far from the basic designs of decades past. Indeed, leaky roofs, clammy quarters, and complex setups that take away from your fireside time are not a trait to any quality tent today.
This article highlights seven new tents made for families of four or more. Be it in the backcountry, on a canoe trip, or car camping at an area state park, one of these shelters is sure to fit your family’s preference for sleeping outside under the summer stars.
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 — This top-end shelter accommodates eight adults and is marketed as the “grand daddy of all base camp-style tents.” Made for year-round use — winter camping included — the Flying Diamond features a zippered partition wall to create a two-room suite. The tent body is a breathable polyester with nylon mesh windows. Its rain fly and floor are made of polyester rip-stop nylon with a waterproof polyurethane coating. There are 10 mesh storage pockets and a vestibule off the main room. For setup, the behemoth comes with a total of 20 lightweight aluminum stakes. Price: $599.95. Contact: www.bigagnes.com
Kelty Yellowstone 4 — A budget buy from Kelty, the Yellowstone 4 (available for $144.95 on sites like REI.com) is a freestanding four-person shelter good for car camping or canoe trips. It packs for transport to a manageable 10 pounds, 14 ounces, and its nylon walls are watertight, as expected. A mesh ceiling promotes breathability on hot nights. Put on the rain fly and this three-season tent will ensconce you and your little campers even if gray skies and rain drops try and ruin your weekend away. www.kelty.com