Thick, weatherproof material to keep wind and water out. Made with reflective fabric to easily spot in the dark. Includes a room divider for added privacy. Window and door covers effectively block out sunlight. Fast and easy setup.
Water can seep through the window seams and where the tent meets the tarp.
Spacious, roomy interior. Made of polyester with a large, mesh roof. Includes curtain to create 2 rooms. Wind and water-resistant. Very sturdy build and can withstand heavy wind. Simple set up with clear instructions.
The zippers can be difficult to zip and unzip.
Features both hinged door and zippered door for versatility. Easy to pitch and take down. Tall enough for adults to stand inside comfortably. Large enough to fit multiple queen-size air mattresses. Spacious 80-inch center height.
Complaints of leaks in heavy rain if you don't waterproof the tent first.
Bright, reflective fabric for easy visibility at night. Sturdy, mesh windows to let airflow in and keep bugs out. Extra vinylation at the bottom. Built with mesh pockets on the inside to safely store items.
Some had the hinged corners installed upside down. Not as waterproof as other tents.
With a 14 by 10-foot floor size and an 86-inch center height, this tent comfortably fits 2 queen air mattresses or 10 people in sleeping bags. The 68D polyester fabric is water-resistant and should keep the rain out well.
Bottom material is thin enough to get holes in it if the area isn't properly swept.
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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.
However, choosing the perfect ten-person tent isn’t as simple as getting 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?
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.
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, 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 an additional coating.
Polyester: This is the most common tent fabric available 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.
Price: $130 to $270
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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.
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.
Often, the bigger the tent, the more complex the setup. When choosing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on another one.
This is how much ground the tent covers when it’s fully assembled.
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.
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.
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.