Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best five-person tents

It's important to choose the right size tent when camping, one that fits everyone but isn't so large that it's unnecessarily heavy or bulky. For small groups, a five-person tent might be the perfect choice, though we'd always suggest double-checking the dimensions to ensure it's a good fit.

You'll find plenty to consider when choosing the best tent for you. First of all, you need to decide what type of tent is right for you, weighing up the pros and cons of each. Other important factors include whether you want a single- or double-walled tent, what type of weather a tent can withstand, how much storage space your chosen tent offers, and how well ventilated it is.

We've done our research to bring you all the information you need to know about five-person tents to make your purchasing decision simpler. You can also check out our top five-person tents for some recommendations.

Although a single compartment is more common, you can find a handful of five-person tents with separate compartments for sleeping and living, which is great for long camping trips.

Key considerations

Tent type

Dome: These tents have a simple domed shape that's generally made using just two crossing poles, so they're easy to pitch. These tents tend to have just one compartment, so they're not necessarily the most comfortable for long camping trips.

Tunnel: These tents get their shape from several poles bent in an upside-down U over the top of the tent. They're often tall enough so you can stand upright, or almost upright, plus they tend to be spacious, with separate living and sleeping compartments. These tents can be a little tricky to pitch if you're inexperienced, especially if you're attempting to do it solo.

Standing-height: These are tall tents with enough headroom inside for the average person to stand up straight. This category includes conical, pyramid, and bell tents, as well as octagonal tents and any other designs that allow for standing. Standing-height tents generally offer a comfortable camping experience, though they can feel a little chilly on cold nights due to the extra space inside.

Instant: If you don't want to spend a lot of time pitching your tent, try an instant tent. These consist of both pop-up tents and tents that have their poles already in place so all you have to do is snap them together. Although extremely easy to set up, instant tents are rarely suitable for camping in extremely cold or wet weather.

Inflatable: Sometimes known as AirBeam tents, inflatable tents have thick inflatable "beams" instead of poles. Just hook it up to an electric or battery-powered air pump and it will be ready to use within 30 minutes. Inflatable tents might seem perfect, but they're generally pricey and there's a slight risk of puncturing the beams.

Single-wall vs. double-wall tents

Single-wall tents are made from a single waterproof layer. Though generally waterproof, these tents can get slightly damp on the inside after heavy rain or a night of campers' breath causing condensation. Therefore, if you press up against it, you'll get a little wet. The plus side to a single-wall tent is that it’s extremely easy to pitch.

Double-wall tents have an inner layer and an outer waterproof rainfly. These tents are slightly trickier to put together, but the inner layer tends to stay dry, while the inside of the outer layer may get slightly damp from rain or condensation. In addition, the extra layer improves insulation, keeping you warmer in cold weather.

Did You Know?
Most tents are sized to fit an even number of people, so if you're after a five-person tent, you'll have more options if you search for four-person or six-person tents.



You'll want enough space inside your tent to store your gear, unless you can park right next to your campsite and store it in the car. Some five-person tents have internal storage pockets for keeping small items, such as phones, close at hand.


It's important that your chosen five-person tent has adequate ventilation to keep you cool when camping in warm weather. Tents can get quite hot inside, especially fairly compact models.

Season ratings

Tents are rated according to the seasons they're suitable for use in. One- and two-season tents are suitable for summer and possibly the warmer, drier parts of spring and fall. Three-season tents can stand up to the weather conditions in spring, summer, and fall. Four-season tents are suitable for year-round use.

If you’ll be camping at a festival or large campground, consider that a tent with a distinctive design will be easier to spot.



Air mattress: If you're used to roughing it, you'll be amazed at how much more comfortable camping is when you sleep on an air mattress.

LanternA lantern is very useful after dark for lighting your tent, the outdoor area in front of your tent, and helping you find your way to the facilities. 

Camping chairThere's no need to sit on the ground when relaxing at the campsite. 

Survival machete: Depending on where you camp, you may need to clear brush before setting up your tent. 

Did You Know?
A tent with a sewn-in groundsheet is better at keeping out bugs and drafts, but a separate groundsheet is far easier to replace if it gets damaged or worn.

Five-person tent prices

Inexpensive: These five-person tents cost around $50 to $100. Although some cheap tents aren't worth buying, you can find a few decent models in this price range, especially at the higher end. That said, they're often best for summer camping only.

Mid-range: These five-person tents cost between $100 and $200. You can find some excellent tents in this price range, including quality instant tents, dome tents, and tunnel tents, many of which are suitable for three- or four-season use.

Expensive: High-end five-person tents are priced from $200 to $500. At this price, you'll find those tents with a little something extra, such as tents with a separate living area, inflatable tents, and spacious bell and pyramid tents.


  • Consider the weather. If you expect rain, your tent should have a high level of waterproofing. This is vital because it's pretty unpleasant to spend days in a soggy tent!
  • Consider how often you'll use your five-person tent. For those who will only use their tent once every couple of years, a basic model will do just fine. On the other hand, it's worth splurging on a high-end model if you're an avid camper who will use your tent a few times a year.
  • Consider how easy the tent is to pitch. You’ll want a tent that's simple to pitch if you'll be completing the task alone. We know how it is on family camping trips — one person tends to end up pitching the tent while everyone else runs wild. If this sounds like a likely scenario, choose an instant tent, inflatable tent, or even a simple dome tent to make your life easier.
  • Consider the tent’s size and weight when packed. You don't want a tent that's too heavy or bulky to carry to your camping spot, especially if you have a bit of a hike to get there.
An extendable porch area gives you some shelter from the sun when you're hanging out at the campsite.


Q. Will a five-person tent fit five people comfortably?

A. You're going camping with five people, so it makes sense you'd need a five-person tent, right? Not necessarily. A five-person tent will fit five people sleeping shoulder to shoulder on pads with little to no room for personal items and camping gear. If you're okay sleeping this way, that's fine, but if you want extra storage space plus enough room for everyone to sleep comfortably, we'd recommend buying a tent that’s double the size you think you need. If you want to sleep five people with plenty of room, choose a ten-person tent or a large eight-person tent. A five-person tent is better suited to sleeping two or three people. 

Q. How long does it take to pitch a five-person tent?

A. The amount of time it takes to pitch your tent will vary widely depending on the type of tent, the number of people helping, and your level of tent-pitching experience. Of course, even one inexperienced person can pitch an instant tent in a couple of minutes, while complex tents can take 30 minutes or so.

Q. Do I really need to peg out my guylines?

A. We know how frustrating it is when you've spent ages wrestling with your tent, finally pitched it and staked it down, and then you remember about the guylines. They might not seem that important, but guylines add an extra level of stability, especially in windy conditions. In double-wall tents, they also help keep the rainfly from touching the inner layer so that rain and condensation don't come through. In short, it's worth spending an extra few minutes to peg out your guylines.

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