THE great outdoors is silently waiting for adventurers to return, and that only means one thing: now is the time to sort out your camping gear.
The most important of which is a tent, of course. Going away with the whole family? We've got your back. Here are the things to consider prior to purchasing a tent, and some options to choose from.
A glamorous all-inclusive beach holiday abroad might be on many people's wish lists, but nothing can beat the great outdoors.
Especially here in the UK, where so many beautiful and picturesque locations throughout the country are waiting to be discovered.
Each camping location also suggests different activities: a stay in the Scottish Highlands calls for breath-taking hikes, and Wales offers relaxing beach strolls and beautiful valleys.
Ready for your next family camping adventure? You'll need a tent. To start, here are some of the best places to find a family tent for camping:
- Go Outdoors
How to choose the right family tent
Ultimately, choosing the right family tent will come down to your family's needs.
The right family tent has to not only correspond to your current demands, but be able to adapt to future ones too: if you're splashing out a hefty sum, you want to make sure that the tent will serve you for years to come.
For example, once the children grow up, you might want to remove internal dividers to create a larger space for you and your partner.
Here are the main things to consider prior to purchasing a family tent.
Budget: a family tent will be an investment and it doesn't come cheap. It's important that you spend your hard-earned money wisely.
More expensive family tents tend to be more durable, due to the better quality materials used, meaning they might serve you for longer.
There are some cheap family tents that can do the job well, but they might be less likely to stand any changing weather conditions.
Prior to your trip, we'd suggest testing out your family tent somewhere local or in a garden if that's possible. This way you'll better see whether the tent is going to serve you well, as sometimes images and descriptions can't portray the full picture.
Sizes and space: if you'll be mostly using your tent just for sleep, you probably won't need a lot of indoor space, but we'd suggest opting for one with a good porch to store your other camping gear or wood for a campfire.
Planning to hang out a lot at a campsite? Choose a light and spacious family tent.
You also need to think about how many bedrooms you might need: everyone wants to have a little bit of privacy.
Generally, the more bedrooms you've got in a tent, the more storage space you have, which will come in very handy when you need to unpack for a few days' stay.
But 'tent palaces' can be bulky: even if you're heading off with a car with a massive tent onboard you need to consider the overall weight.
Some campers tend to get two family tents: one with plenty of separate bedrooms for longer outdoor trips; and one for one-nighters which would be much smaller and compact.
Extras: if you want to create a truly comfortable experience, you might want to get some extras like tent porches, extensions, carpets, and footprints.
Always research whether your chosen tent has handy features – like awnings, storage pockets, hanging points, vents or porches – that can make your camping experience much more enjoyable.
However, the most important thing is to choose the right tent, so here are some of our top choices:
Berghaus Air 6 Tent
- Berghaus Air 6 Tent, £660 from Go Outdoors – buy here
Berghaus has manufacturered outdoor clothing and equipment for over fifty years, with its headquarters located in Sunderland.
The brand's outdoor range has been praised by campers for quality and durability, and this Air 6 tent is no exception.
It's a 2019 model, meaning it's slightly cheaper than the newest versions, but has a great balance of price and quality.
Priced at £660, the Air 6 model features high-performance inflatable beams, ventilated rooms, quick-release air valves, and tunnel construction with pre-attached bedrooms.
The tent weighs a hefty 26.5kg, so if you want someting light this may not be for you.
Vango Icarus 500 Deluxe Family Tent
- Vango Icarus 500 Deluxe Family Tent, £229 from Millets – buy here
Looking for something cheap which will still get the job done? The Vango Icarus 500 might be an option.
This five-person tunnel-style tent is made from waterproof materials, featuring tension straps for extra stability.
The tent should take approximately 12 minutes to pitch, and weighs 12.5kg.
Jack Wolfskin Travel Lodge RT 7
- Jack Wolfskin Travel Lodge RT 7, £637.60 from Outdoor gear – buy here
The Jack Wolfskin Travel Lodge RT 7 is designed to accommodate seven sleepers.
It has two separate bedrooms and one large living space, and each of the three entrances features a double-door.
You'll also find six closable air vents and a porch with veranda awning.
Eurohike Sendero 8XL
- Eurohike Sendero 8XL, £219 from Go Outdoors – buy here
The Freedom Trail Sendero 8XL is a large, easy to pitch, and spacious tent.
It's a great choice for up to eight campers, featuring two bedrooms at each side of a spacious central chamber.
The Sendero tent is a good choice for festivals or a short weekend getaway.
Hi-Gear Zenobia 8 Nightfall Tent
- Hi-Gear Zenobia 8 Nightfall Tent, £385 from Blacks – buy here
The Zenobia Nightfall tent is designed to accommodate up to eight sleepers.
Featuring a fully waterproof design, the tent has two darkened bedrooms at either side of a social living area.
The Zenobia Nightfall weighs around 29kg.
Coleman Octagon Blackout Tent
- Coleman Octagon Blackout Tent, £349 (save £100) from Millets – buy here
The Octagon Blackout tent, as you've probably guessed from the name, blocks out 99 per cent of daylight from entering the sleeping area.
Its climate control design means it should be 5C cooler during the day and 1C warmer at night when comparing to the outside temperature.
The Octagon tent can accommodate up to eight sleepers, featuring plenty of ventilation thanks to 360 degree mesh windows.
Additionally, you can use it as a luxury glamping bedroom.