Best Eight-Person Tents

Updated November 2020
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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.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

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

33 Models Considered
28 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
189 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best eight-person tents

When a standard dome tent gets a little too crowded, your family may be ready for the space of an eight-person tent. This roomy size is for larger camping parties, and may also be preferable for small groups planning to use a lot of gear or camp often.

If you prefer camping with an air mattress – or cot – and want to be able to sit up on your bed, an eight-person tent is a good choice. Additionally, they’re best for longer stays at campsites and if you need a lot of gear with you.

These tents are a little bit more complicated than smaller models, and come with a wide array of options. Before you buy, here are some important things to keep in mind.

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A nice feature in some larger tents is the addition of a second door. This feature can allow you to have separate access to each side of the tent when you are using dividers.

Key considerations

Ease of setup

While a modern style dome tent is very simple to set-up, the larger eight-person tents can be more complicated. Before you buy, consider how many hands it will take to complete the set up. You’ll want to think about the number of poles included and if there are multiple sections of the tent. It is helpful if the poles are color coded to help with correct placement. If you have these concerns, consider looking into an Instant Tent model which comes with the poles attached and pitches very easily.

Material

Most of the eight-person tents on the market are made from some kind of weather resistant lightweight fabric like polyester or nylon. These practical fabrics can help hold back water and pack up small for storage. Flooring will likely be made from a thicker tarp material with a polyurethane coating, which is a good choice to keep the morning dew from making your gear wet.

You can still find tents in a traditional canvas. These are very durable models and will work well in all weather conditions since quality canvas is waterproof. But be aware, they will cost a lot more money than other tents and weigh a lot more, too.

Weight

The size of eight-person tents makes them less than ideal for backpacking. They are a better bet for car camping or for setting up in a campsite that does not require you to haul your gear a long way. Family style tents are a little easier to carry than the cabin style tents. However, even the eight-person tents on the lighter side are likely to weigh at least 20 pounds. Those made from a heavy canvas could weight closer to 90 pounds.

Interior height

One advantage of an eight-person tent is the interior height, which is usually much taller than a dome tent designed for fewer people. If this is important to you, make sure you consider that many of these tents are extended versions of a basic dome tent. The interior height advertised on these models will only be the top point in the center of the tent, not the ceiling height for the entire interior. If you are looking for consistently high headroom throughout the tent, look for a rectangular build. This style can provide that height along the length of the tent, making it easier to walk around inside.

Features

A “front porch”

Some eight-person tents come with an extra covered area, which can extend the usability of your tent, particularly if you end up with rainy weather. There are two types of these “front porch” extensions to the main sleeping area. One is an extended flap, which gives you a dry space to set your gear or to sit outside your tent. These flaps can be helpful to shade from the sun or to keep you dry in the rain. The other type of “front porch” is a screened area which can serve as a room extension of your tent. This style is an advantage if you are going to an area with a lot of bugs or mosquitoes. The screen rooms usually can be included under the rain fly.

Room Dividers

Room dividers can be a nice addition in the large eight-person tents. They are extra pieces of tent which can be attached inside the main living area of the tent as dividers. They can be a great way to provide privacy, but can also help you keep kids or pets contained and safe away from your sleeping space overnight. Room dividers are often removable for times with a larger open space is preferable. Most will also have tie backs to use when you do not need the divider.

Windows and Doors

Check the placement of the tent windows to make sure you can get good cross ventilation. Window placement is particularly important when you are considering a tent with room dividers. An eight-person tent should at least have one large window on each side. Sometimes those windows may be a part of the tent-door. Check to make sure the tent has a closable flap that operates separately from your rain fly. This will allow you temporary privacy and protection from the wind when you need it.

Price

Good quality eight-person tents do not have to be very expensive and can start between $60 to $100. In this price range, you will be able to get a lot of interior space, and may have added features like a front-porch or extra door. These tents will be practical, but likely not as roomy as more expensive models.

Between $100 to $200 you will be able to find a variety of nicer features on an eight-person tent, including a screen porch area, extended rain flap, interior room partitions and relatively simple set up. These tents will likely be made from some kind of a polyester material which folds small for storage.

Instant tents and larger models will cost more and if you are looking for a solid canvas tent, expect to pay $500 to $700.

Tips

  • When buying a tent, consider the number of people in your party. Then add two to get you a more practical idea of how many people can comfortably sleep in the tent with gear.

  • Tents with screen porch additions can provide extra sleeping space if needed. They can also help you keep your sleeping area cleaner by giving you a place to take off your shoes.

  • Some larger tents come with pet doors to allow your pet to come in and out of the tent.

  • Even if your tent has thicker tarp-like material on the floor, it is a wise choice to bring an extra tarp to place beneath your tent. The tarp will give you a clean footprint to help keep sand, dirt and gravel from damaging the underside of your tent.

  • Interior pockets and electrical flaps are very convenient features. The electrical flaps allow you to run an electrical cord through the side of the tent. Interior pockets give you a place to put your glasses, wallet, mobile device or other personal items nearby while you sleep.

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While most tents come pre-waterproofed and seam-sealed, if you are having problems with leaking in the seams you can purchase an aftermarket product to help bolster your seam waterproofing.

FAQ

Q. What is a tent water resistance rating?

A. A tent’s millimeter waterproof rating refers to the amount of water pressure the exterior of a tent can take before it will leak. While a higher number means your tent will perform better in tough conditions you likely do not need the highest ratings available unless you plan to be in very windy-wet conditions. Waterproof ratings may go as high as 10,000 mm on some tents. The minimum waterproof rating for a tent to be considered dry is 1000 mm. For comparison, an umbrella generally has a waterproof rating of between 400 mm to 500 mm.

Q. How often should I replace my tent?

A. There is no set time limit on the lifetime of a tent. The general rule simply has to do with wear and tear. This will depend greatly on how often you use the tent and the kind of weather you encounter while camping. A tent that is cared for properly can last many seasons. Canvas tents tend to last longer than other models.

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