OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR THE BEST 12 PERSON TENTS
If you are looking for a 12 person camping tent, it can be hard to determine where to start!
Bear in mind that these tents are always heavy and bulky. If you are part of a large group planning on doing any hiking before pitching up, then you should seriously consider buying a few 3 or 4 person tents instead of the heavier 12 person tent.
This is because it is easier to split the weight of smaller tents among different people’s packs. You can’t divide the heavy poles and huge compartments of a 12 person tent in the same way.
But 12 person tents can be a lot of fun, too!
If you are planning a family trip and can drive right up to your camping spot, 12 man tents can be just right. They are also a good idea for people who want to have more indoor space when camping, even if only a few people are on the trip.
On a rainy day, you will be thankful for the chance to stand up and move around. A 12 person tent also makes getting dressed in the morning a lot more comfortable.
If you are considering purchasing a large tent for up to 12 people, keep on reading!
Best 12 Person Tents Review
Outbound Dome Tent
Both reasonably priced and highly rated, the Outbound Dome Tent is the best value 12 person tent on the market right now.
This tent is an excellent option for a family who enjoys occasional camping in good weather. The Outdoor Dome is lightweight compared to many tents of the same size, and is quick and easy to put up.
However, the poles are not labeled clearly. Make sure you lay them side by side and then separate them by size before attempting to pitch up. This will prevent you from wasting any time putting poles in the wrong places.
The tent’s low weight does mean that the fittings and canvas are not heavy-duty, so you may not find that this tent holds up well over time. The waterproofing will keep you dry in light showers, but you may have some leakage if the weather is awful.
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight (only 21 pounds)
- Doesn’t handle intense weather very well (best for summertime)
- Low-quality stakes
- Tent walls are thin and not very durable
NTK Super Arizona GT
If you are looking for a top-quality tent, you should consider the NTK Super Arizona GT.
This extra-large 12 person camping tent is 100% waterproof. The floor follows a bathtub design to keep the surface bone dry, regardless of the weather.
It also offers UV protection, a fine mosquito mesh, and a heavy-duty antifungal floor. The floor is silver-coated to keep you well insulated, and there is plenty of space for storing your gear in the roomy front porch.
The poles of the NTK Super Arizona GT are color-coded to make assembly as easy as possible.
You may wake up with moisture on the walls and roof of this tent, though it is 100% waterproof. As with all tents, condensation can gather inside from the breath of campers. To avoid this, just make sure the ventilation vents are open and avoid keeping wet clothes inside the tent!
- Excellent waterproofing
- Roomy porch for storing gear
- Fine mosquito mesh
- Windows for ventilation
- Some people report poles breaking (try not to force them too hard!)
- Tiny carry bag – hard to put the tent back in after use
TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
If you want to add a touch of luxury to your camping trip, you could consider getting a canvas bell tent, like the TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent. Some people buy this tent to use as part of a wedding or festival, but it is easy and quick to set up if you are going tent camping, too.
This canvas tent is exceptional and will be sure to make you stand out and strike up conversations with other campers!
The assembly is simple. Unlike with more conventional tents, you will have just two poles.
The breathable canvas will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The seams have also been reinforced, and a heavy-duty welded floor will make sure you stay dry.
Unlike with many similar designs, the TETON canvas tent does not have a problem with low-quality zippers jamming and breaking.
You also have the option of putting up just the canopy if you want to have a sheltered space where people will be coming and going throughout the day.
Like any canvas tent of this quality, the Teton Sports Sierra Tent is expensive.
- Extremely high quality throughout
- Suitable for all weather conditions
- Beautiful craftsmanship
- Easy to put up – just 15 minutes for some users
- Need to have a reasonable level of upper body strength to push up the center pole
Eureka Copper Canyon Tent
In most camping tents, the peak height is found only in a small area where the poles cross. The Eureka! Copper Canyon Tent offers high ceilings throughout. The spaciousness makes standing up and moving around a lot more comfortable.
There is an optional dividing curtain in the center of the tent, so you can create two separate rooms for privacy if you prefer.
The tent is very easy to put up. It has large mesh windows for plenty of insulation and two massive doors. The large openings make it a perfect tent from a social perspective, but the waterproofing suffers.
Users report that the tent does not do very well in wind and rain, and the windows are closed by hooks and loops rather than zippers. These fastenings mean that the windows are not as waterproof as you would hope for a tent of this price.
The floor follows a bathtub design to help keep campers dry, but some users report that the tent floor is relatively thin. Overall, people who use it in fair weather seem to be very happy with their purchase.
- Lots of room to stand and move about
- Privacy curtain to create two rooms
- Easy to set up
- Waterproof curtains can flap loudly in the wind
- Not suitable for heavy wind or rain
- Expensive for the quality
Core Lighted Cabin Tent
The CORE Lighted 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is unique. It has built-in LED lighting, which evenly distributes light throughout the tent. For better or worse, no more huddling around a camping lantern is necessary!
This tent is well ventilated, making it perfect for camping in hot weather. What’s more, it takes only 2 minutes to set up, thanks to its design.
To assemble the tent, all you have to do is unfold it, and then click the legs into place. No complicated system of poles and clips to worry about!
There is plenty of interior space, and two-room dividers make it easy to create three separate rooms for privacy. Don’t forget that the lighting system’s batteries are not included, so you will have to buy these separately.
- Easy to assemble
- LED lighting
- Spacious throughout
- Room divider curtains are thin and rip easily
- Some users report that the tent seams start to fail after a few uses
- Users say you need at least 2 people to put it up
Ozark Trail 12 Person Cabin Tent
If you are looking for an affordable option, the Ozark Trail 12-Person Cabin Tent with Screen Porch may be what you are looking for.
This tent is reasonably priced for its size, and you have a choice between one enormous room or using a dividing curtain to create two rooms.
Out front, there is also a large screen room where you can set up a table and chairs or just keep your gear dry. So long as you have two people, setting up the tent is quick and straightforward. You should be able to do it in 20 minutes! However, you may struggle to put it up alone.
This tent is rather low quality, and it is not designed to withstand extreme weather. If you are expecting heavy rain or wind, a higher quality alternative will protect you much better.
- Very spacious
- Large screen room
- Roof design lets in a lot of air (fine if you are camping in hot weather, but not good at keeping you warm in cold weather)
- Cheap, light-duty fittings may break after little use
Alternatives to 12 Person Tents
Most people who go camping with a 12 person tent aren’t actually going to need the room for 12 people to sleep inside. It’s more likely that you want to invest in a tent like this because you are looking for extra space for your family to spread out.
With that in mind, I would like to recommend some other large tents that you could consider buying.
Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent
There is room to stand up in the center, and three queen mattresses can fit it. Of course, the tent is not as big as the 12 person options we have mentioned before.
However, this can come with some benefits. The tent is easier to put up and lighter than many 12 person tents, and still offers a lot more space than you would get with a 3 person camping tent.
For its price, the Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent offers reasonable quality and plenty of space. We recommend it for a low-budget family camping trip!
- Room to stand
- Taped seams to keep out moisture
- Zips and seams are not heavy-duty (to be expected with a tent of this price)
- Low-quality tent pegs (you can also replace them with better-quality ones)
Wenzel Kodiak Tent
The Wenzel Kodiak is another 9 to 10 person tent that offers plenty of space for a family camping trip.
This tent has two separate rooms, some overhead storage, and a strong frame that is easy to put up. You can either use both sections for sleeping or set up a separate living and sleeping area.
The Wenzel is a bit more expensive than the Core tent mentioned above but has a lot more standing room and lovely picture windows. This will make your camping experience more comfortable and enjoyable!
You can quickly put the rainfly over the tent in two minutes, so you can sleep beneath the stars thanks to the mesh screen ceiling. If you do experience any bad weather, you can protect yourself in no time.
- Standing room throughout
- Large picture windows
- High-quality frame
- Not very easy to set up
- Can be challenging to fold back down
Hiker Garden 10 Person Camping Tent
The Hiker Garden 10 Person Camping Tent is a very spacious camping tent with a dividing wall for privacy.
It is easy to set up and has an excellent waterproofing covering of 1000mm. If there is a chance that you will be camping in the rain, I highly recommend that you go for this large and well-built camping tent.
The high-quality fiberglass poles are lightweight. Despite the better waterproofing and design of this tent as compared to similar models, it weighs only 20.5 pounds.
The reviews speak for themselves. If we had a people’s choice award, the Hiker Garden tent would probably win it!
- Very waterproof
- Dividing wall for privacy
- Easy to set up
- More expensive than the budget options (but we think it is worth every cent!)
Instant Qomotop Tent
If you are set on getting an instant pop-up tent, then the 10 Person Qomotop Tent offers a good balance between quality and value.
You can set it up in just 60 seconds, and it’s an excellent tent to put up if you don’t have anyone else to help you. There is plenty of room inside for two queen mattresses as well as all your camping gear.
There is also room for most people to stand up, though only in the center of the tent.
The tent is well ventilated, which you will appreciate in a warm climate. However, this means that you will be less insulated in colder weather. The waterproofing also suffers somewhat.
If your priority is convenience, this is a great tent for a family camping trip. It is spacious and easy to set up, but it won’t stand up to severe weather.
- Quick to set up
- Easy to set up with one person
- Great ventilation (less condensation!)
- Not brilliantly waterproof
- Zips and fittings are not heavy-duty
Best 12 Person Tent Buying Guide
The exact tent that you should buy will depend on your needs. Here are some things to consider when purchasing your 12 person tent:
12 man tents can be really heavy. They regularly weight up to 50 lbs (22.7 kilograms) or even heavier!
A large canvas bell tent can easily weigh 114 lbs (51.7 kilograms). With that in mind, make sure you choose a tent that you can comfortably lift out of the car and set up.
You also need to consider how easy the tent will be to set up. If you will be working alone, certain tents are going to be much harder to put up than others.
An instant pop up tent is much quicker and easier to put up than a conventional tent, though it can be more challenging to pack back down. Some of them are not particularly waterproof, either, so by gaining in one area, you may be losing out in another.
Depending on the climate in which you plan to camp, waterproofing will be more or less important. The tents that we mentioned above started with a 600mm cover and went up to a maximum of 3000mm. More on this in the FAQs!
In addition to waterproofing, you will want to know how well your tent will withstand some wind. The best way to find out is to check the reviews of previous users. Most tents claim to be sturdy and windproof in the description, but the proof is in the owner's feedback!
Sometimes the top range of tents will be out of our budget, and that’s OK! Camping trips are a great family adventure, no matter what your price range is.
However, the cheapest tents are unlikely to be the best quality. In particular, they may be less waterproof, so you should be careful about camping in bad weather with them.
You should also bear in mind that they break down faster than more expensive tents. If you plan to camp a lot, it will often be cheaper in the long term to buy the more expensive tent in the first place (rather than going for ultra-budget and then having to keep replacing it).
If you need to be able to stand up and move around in the tent, make sure you check that the peak height is taller than you are!
Also, remember that the peak height is often just at the very center of the tent, where the poles cross. The eaves are usually a lot lower. Cabin tents sometimes have high ceilings throughout, so check these out if spaciousness is a priority.
You’re good to go!
If you have carefully thought about all these different aspects, then you can’t go too far wrong!
Frequently Asked Questions
How big is a 12 person tent?
The exact size of a 12 person tent will vary depending on the model. They normally weigh around 20 kilograms (45 pounds).
20 kilograms is drastically more than a three-person tent, which can weigh as little as 1 kilogram!
This means that 12 people sleeping in 3 person tents can expect to carry a combined weight of 4 kilograms. That’s a lot lighter than 20 kilograms for the same number of people in a larger tent.
So, 12 person tents are too big to go hiking with. However, unlike in a smaller tent, you can stand up and move around in them. In 3 man tents, you don’t even have enough space to sit on a chair.
Because of this, many families choose 12 person tents even if only a few people are camping. It is a lot more comfortable to get changed while standing up! So long as you can drive right up to your camping spot, 12 man tents are a great option for tent camping!
Are Coleman tents good?
Coleman tents are very highly rated. The company’s WeatherTec™ system keeps tents dry in heavy rain, and they can withstand winds of 35 miles an hour.
The company doesn’t have any tents specifically designed for 12 people, but it does have some brilliant 10-person tents that we highly recommend. For example, the Coleman WeatherMaster 10 Person Outdoor Tent is a brilliant option.
The craftsmanship of this tent is very impressive – from taped seams to a welded floor for excellent waterproofing and color-coded poles that enable you to put up the tent as quickly as possible.
The Coleman WeatherMaster weighs 31.0 pounds and is designed to withstand some serious wind and rain.
Did we mention it looks great, too?
Coleman tents are fantastic, but they might not be big enough if you really do plan on camping with 12 people in the same tent!
Are instant tents worth it?
In my opinion, instant tents aren’t worth it.
Sure, they can be put up in 1 to 5 minutes, compared to around 20 to 30 minutes for a more conventional tent. If you are camping in the rain, then I’m sure you will appreciate that speed!
However, some cons are associated with instant tents.
For example, instant tents are usually less waterproof than the alternative. They are often heavier and difficult to fold away when you are leaving camp.
Personally, I have yet to find an instant tent that offers better protection and value than a conventional tent. After a bit of practice, you will get much quicker at putting up your tent. This is a skill that you will have for life, and it will provide you with a more comfortable night’s sleep if the weather isn’t great.
If you really like the idea of buying a large instant tent, I recommend that you purchase either the CORE 10 Person Instant Cabin Tent or the OT QOMOTOP 10 Person 60 Seconds Set Up Camping Tent.
Both of the options above are of good quality and can be put up in 2 minutes. They are spacious, but they are designed for a maximum of 10 people.
It is very difficult to find a quality pop-up option for more than 10 people, so it may not be the best idea if you are set on finding a 12 person tent.
What is the biggest tent you can buy?
The largest tent that I have come across in my camping adventures is the Tahoe Gear 16 Person Cabin Tent. At 97 pounds (44 kilograms), you definitely don’t want to be walking far before pitching this tent!
This 3 season tent has a 7-foot roof height at its center, so it’s a great option for taller people. The tent can easily fit 16 people, but it is also a good option for a family group that wants to go camping with their big, energetic dogs!
The tent’s quality is fantastic, and it is not difficult to put up once you’ve had practice in the garden.
However, the instructions that come with the tent are quite vague, so you may be better off looking for user instructions on Google rather than following the instructions provided with the tent itself.
What are the best waterproof tents?
If you want a waterproof tent, make sure you buy one that is at least a 3 season. You can also improve the waterproofing by spraying the tent with a product like this before use.
To learn more about the best waterproof tents, you can check out this helpful article that we have written on exactly that subject!
Why is my tent wet on the inside?
Sometimes your tent will be wet because it is leaking, mainly through the seams if they are not taped and sealed.
However, you will also find that the best quality tents have moisture inside them on a cold night. This is just condensation, which comes from your breath or wet clothes.
The best way to avoid this is to open a vent and allow plenty of air to flow through your tent when you are sleeping. You can also leave wet clothes in the porch area, as they contribute to condensation, too.
Can you cook inside a big tent?
Cooking inside a tent is extremely dangerous.
The tent walls, roof, and floor can quickly ignite, making it nearly impossible to escape without life-changing burns. Having camped for many years around the world, I have unfortunately seen the grim reality of this up close and personal.
The fumes can also be hazardous, as carbon monoxide continues to be released long after it seems that your fire or BBQ has gone out.
Keep all cooking outside of your tent and tent porch, and well away from your tent doors. That includes if it's raining outside; getting wet is part of the adventure!
If you really want to have a cover for cooking whilst camping, you should consider purchasing a pop-up canopy without walls, like this. These are much safer than cooking inside a tent because they don’t have walls or a floor that could catch fire. Plenty of air can flow throughout.
They are UV protected and waterproof, so you will be safe and dry no matter the weather.
There is a range of 12 person tents on the market today. They are suitable only for camping with a car, as they are just too heavy to carry across the hills!
It is worth considering whether you really need a 12 person tent at all, as there are many lovely 10-person alternatives you might be overlooking.
Don’t forget to practice putting up the tent before you set off on your trip, as every tent is a bit different. It’s better to work through any doubts on a sunny day at home than on a rainy day outside!
We hope you found this article helpful, and we wish you many happy camping adventures with your loved ones!
About the author
Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.