In my experience in terms of simplicity, I would probably opt for some kind of instant set up tent, preferably an instant tent or a pop-up tent.
Now which one of those you choose then depends on what size group you’re camping with and where you’re camping.
Let’s pick a traditional scenario, family of 5 at a reasonably busy campsite with some natural surroundings, like trees, walls and foliage. In this case I would probably go for the instant tent model for a number of reasons.
Pop up tents aren’t bad at all, they set up insanely quick and some of the Quechua and Gazelle models, like the T4 are very good. But that is a rare example, generally across the field pop up tents are much more fragile and smaller.
Indeed, they are cheaper, but that’s not always a pro when it comes to buying quality materials and designs. Looking over to instant tents, thetenthub.com tells us that the pre-attached frames are much more stable and stronger than a coiled spring for starters. Secondly, they can support extra awnings, canopies and meshed screened areas as attachments. This provides even more sheltered and shaded areas for the family to chill in, providing space for camping tables and chairs.
Size wise a pop up may only rise to 8 man maximum, but instant tents do get up to 12 man with Ozark Trail and CORE brands, so that does help to support larger groups.
Not only this but they have many ‘cabins’ models which contain straight walls, creating much larger head space and internal room. They often come with dividers which help to separate the rooms up allowing you to designate one side specifically for storage, or perhaps the kids sleeping area away from the parents.
You may be wondering why we haven’t mentioned traditional tents, that’s simply because I’ve had too many bad experiences with arriving in storms and battling with tent poles, never again. You may now be a bit confused as to what kind of instant tent to go for exactly, what with all the sizes and shapes etc. Well as we mentioned before, thetenthub team have produced an excellent source for us today and provide the best instant tent reviews on the internet, thorough and insightful, explaining pros and cons and useful techniques in instant tent camping.
The core things we need for a family tent is simplicity of pitch and packing, waterproof, durable and spacious enough for all the many things we take. Instant tents above an 8-man size have all this and more, so give it a try on your next trip.