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Best 10-Person Tents

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 43 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 117 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best ten-person tents

    Last Updated November 2018

    The joys of family camping – sitting by the fire, playing outdoor games, going for hikes – don’t include setting up multiple small tents to hold everyone. But thanks to less expensive materials and lots of competition in the industry, you can enjoy a simpler, easier sleeping system: the ten-person tent.

    A larger tent has the benefit of being much roomier, with added features that smaller tents just don’t have – like screened vestibules and separate rooms. Today’s lightweight materials make big tents easier than ever to set up, take down, and store.

    But choosing the perfect ten-person tent isn’t as simple as buying the first one you see. There are several factors to consider beyond price. How big is the tent, really? Will it be easy to set up? Do you want everyone to sleep in one big space, or do the kids want their own sleeping quarters?

    BestReviews is ready to help. Our shopping guide is designed to familiarize you with the many types of available ten-person tents and help you find one that’s perfect for your camping needs. When you’re ready to buy, check out our top tent picks in the chart above.

    Use a groundsheet or tarp underneath your tent to provide additional waterproofing and extend the life of the tent floor.

    Today’s ten-person tents: ancient technology with a modern twist

    Humans have been using tents for centuries. Armies pitched simple, single-pole tents made of animal skins or cotton fabric when they stopped to rest. Hikers and campers from the 1930s to the 1960s carried heavy canvas tents. Putting up a tent that could shelter several people was quite a production involving heavy wooden poles, sturdy ropes, and huge tent stakes hammered into the ground with mallets.

    Modern tents are still made of fabric, now usually polyester or nylon, and the technology is  miles beyond that of tents of the past. Here are some of the materials you’ll find on ten-person tents today.

    EXPERT TIP

    Treat your new tent’s seams with a seam sealer to provide added protection from the rain.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Is the tent zipper difficult to use? Try rubbing beeswax onto the zipper teeth to reduce resistance.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Ten-person tent materials

    • Cotton canvas: This is the oldest type of fabric tent. These tents are heavy, but canvas is effective at keeping out rain. Canvas tents require “weathering” so that the cotton weave will swell and closing any gaps. The result is a nicely insulated tent that is less prone to condensation than synthetic materials.

    • PVC canvas: This is cotton canvas that is coated on the outside (usually the tent top/roof) with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to provide additional waterproofing. PVC canvas is prone to condensation because it’s less breathable, but when it’s correctly ventilated, these sturdy ten-person tents can be very comfortable on hot or cold nights.

    • Polycotton canvas: This type of tent fabric is a blend of cotton and polyester, which helps make the tent lighter while remaining quite strong. Like all-cotton canvas, it doesn’t need an exterior waterproofing coat, but some tent brands provide additional coating.

    • Polyester: This is the most common tent fabric on the market today. Polyester makes it possible to build ten-person tents that are light enough for one person to lift. The fabric doesn’t absorb water the way cotton does. It repels water while still being somewhat breathable. Polyester fabric doesn’t shrink like cotton, doesn’t get baggy when it’s soaking wet, and holds up well in bright sunlight.

    • Nylon: Like polyester, nylon is lightweight, repels water, and is somewhat breathable. However, nylon is quite vulnerable to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) light. The fabric is used in both the most expensive and the least expensive tents on the market – the difference is in the details, like reinforced seams and the coatings used on the exterior.

    Customizable camping

    This vis-à-vis-style tent offers separate sleeping spaces and multiple entrances, with the ability to remove the room dividers, if desired, and ample headroom in the center. There’s plenty of room for cots, air mattresses, or sleeping bags, too.

    Ten-person tent types

    • Teepee or Bell: These single-pole tents have a high peak and are staked down with a circular footprint. Traditionally, these were made of heavy cotton, but as the teepee-style tent regains popularity, manufacturers are beginning to offer lighter-weight versions. This category includes yurt-style tents.


    Price: $130 to $270

    • Dome: These tents use two or three flexible poles threaded through webbing straps and bent in a half-circle to support the fabric. The larger the dome tent, the less stable it becomes, so you will see dome tents that are a combination of flexible poles and the rigid poles typically seen in frame tents.
       

    Price: $96 to $400

    • Frame: These tents have a rigid framework of straight steel poles, sometimes attached to joints. Despite weighing more, these are sturdy and popular ten-person tents.


    Price: $170 to $900

    • Vis-à-vis: This type of multiroom tent has at least two compartments (“face to face”). These large tents offer enough headroom for a person to stand up inside.


    Price: $155 to $732

    • Pods: This is a multiroom tent that has a central section with sleeping areas, or pods, attached to the center like spokes in a wheel. These can take up a huge footprint, limiting space on the campsite.


    Price: $180 to $1,700

    • Instant, pop-up, or quick-pitch: Instant tents have a spring-loaded, coil, or jointed frame built into the fabric and can be set up in less than a minute. Early on, these tents housed fewer than six people, but several larger models are now on the market from major brands.


    Price: $177 to $400

    • Tunnel: This is another sturdy design for large tents. These tents use several flexible poles set up in a line and arching over and around the tent fabric.


    Price: $170 to $600

    • Inflatable: This type of tent is less common for large tents. These can be set up and taken down quickly. While gaining ground as affordable options for six-person tents, inflatable tents are still rare in larger sizes, and prices are still very high.


    Price: $2,000 to $5,500

    • Geodesic: These expedition tents use several intersecting poles to provide a rugged, stable structure to withstand extreme weather conditions like those found at Mount Everest base camps.


    Price: $2,800 to $5,500

    Spacious comfort

    Removable room dividers, media pockets, electrical access port, and hinged entry door are just a few of the features in this roomy tent. And the color-coded poles make setup easy.

    Ten-person tent features to consider

    Sturdiness

    You want a tent that can hold up through multiple camping seasons with little to no maintenance required. The tent fabric should not tear at the seams after a few uses, and the zippers should hold up to opening and closing frequently.

    Minimal/no leaks

    While tents can get a little moisture inside during heavy rainstorms, they shouldn’t leak at the seams without seam sealer, nor should water pool inside.

    Simplicity

    Often, the bigger the tent, the more complex the setup. When purchasing a tent, consider where and when you’ll be setting it up. It can be frustrating to pitch a complicated tent in the dark – a situation made worse if it’s raining.

    Weight

    Today’s ten-person tents are much lighter and easier to put up than the heavy army surplus canvas tents of the 1960s. But manufacturers are always working to make these tents easier to lug from the garage to the car to the campsite, using lighter alloy or composite tent poles, lighter fabric, and fewer seams.

    Airflow

    The inside of a tent can get stuffy if air doesn’t flow freely through it, and over time the constant humidity can shorten the tent’s serviceable life. A ten-person tent should have screened openings and vents on all sides for good cross ventilation.

    Headroom

    The more people inside a tent, the more crowded it feels. Not being able to stand up straight inside a large tent can make things even more claustrophobic, so consider the tent’s height when shopping.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    All tents, regardless of fabric or protective coating, can catch fire. Do not use a stove or use an open flame in or near any tent, and keep a bucket of sand or water nearby in case of fire.

    “Outer” tent or fly

    Many lightweight tents really have two layers: the “inner” tent, or the part in which campers sleep, and the “outer” tent, which covers the inner tent and provides additional protection from the elements. Tents often have a separate piece of material called a fly to accomplish this. In either case, make sure that there is at least a fist-sized distance between the inner layer and fly to improve airflow, reduce condensation, and prevent leaks.

    Groundsheet

    A few tents include a separate groundsheet, but you might need to purchase one separately. Check to see if the groundsheet is included so you don’t spend extra money buying another one.

    Footprint

    This is how much ground the tent covers when it’s fully assembled.

    Capacity

    How many people will actually fit in a ten-person tent? Measurements vary among manufacturers, so a tent rated for ten may only comfortably sleep half that number, while another brand’s tent will be nice and roomy. Set up the tent before your first trip to make sure it has enough room for everyone.

    Replacement parts

    Over time, even the best tents will get damaged. Small tears in the seams and broken poles are common problems. Find out if repair and patch kits and replacement parts, especially poles, are available for your tent.

    Avoid using detergents to clean the tent because these will break down the water-resistant coating on the outside. Spot-clean stains with a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, and rinse immediately.

    FAQ

    Q. Should I return my tent if it leaks?
    A.
    That depends on the severity of the leak and whether the problem can be fixed by adjusting the tent setup. For example, if the fly is positioned too close to the tent so that the fabric touches the screen or tent fabric, water can leak into the tent during a rainstorm. A simple repositioning of the fly to allow for more space between it and the tent can solve the leak problem. Also, sealing the seams before a trip using liquid seam sealer or seam tape can reduce or prevent problems. The tent’s age can be a factor, too. After several seasons, a tent can develop small holes at the seams. Ultraviolet light can damage nylon and even polyester fabrics, too.

    Q. I plan to arrive and set up our ten-person tent before everyone else. Can I do this on my own?
    A.
    Check the tent manufacturer’s website for instructions on setting up your specific tent. Even with an instant tent, you probably should bring a second person along if possible to help brace the tent while it’s being staked down. To make the process easier, practice setting up the tent in your backyard before the trip.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Kailey
      Kailey
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Samantha
      Samantha
      Writer

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