If you are planning a family outing, it’s time to start getting things in order. There may be a lot of decisions on what you will need but getting the best 8 person tent will take care of shelter. With that sorted out, you can move on to more important decisions like food and keeping everyone entertained.
One thing that will be immediately noticeable in the big tent market is the overall lack of brands. Tents larger than 6 people are a highly specialized market that most brands don’t produce. Coleman is one of the biggest and most prolific when it comes to large shelters but there are a few other brands that pop up from time to time.
Table of Contents
- 8 Person Tent Considerations
- Top 10 Best 8 Person Tent on the Market Reviews
8 Person Tent Considerations
Who Needs an 8 Person Tent?
If you have a large family, you will need a large tent. That is just sense but you may need to get an 8 person tent even if you have less than 8 people. Similarly, if you have a family of 8 you may want to reach higher and get something a little bit bigger just to have the added space. Cramped conditions just lead to problems.
Most tents are sized based on a 2x6 space per person. For adults, this can be a tight fit but if you have children, you may get away with a tent measuring 14x10 range which is a common measurement for an 8 person tent. If you have pets, this will just take up more space as will any additional inside room you want for recreation.
If you are going on an extended trip, you may also want to consider a larger tent even if you don’t have a family of 8. This allows extra room for activities and gear storage. For a week, an 8 person tent becomes more of a 6 person tent unless you have other ways of storing gear.
Occasionally, you may see even a 2 person group with an 8 person tent. There is no such thing as enough space unless you are trying to hike your tent in. If so, you will always have problems with an 8 person tent. They are very large and heavy. Two smaller tents may make more sense for you.
Weather & Season Rating
Where smaller tents have a variety of weather ratings, larger tents will not even make a mention of what seasons they are good for. Regulating temperatures and controlling drafts in a large tent is much more difficult than it would be in a smaller tent. For this reason, very few large tents are designed to go much past mid-fall. They are warmer weather only.
The one exception to this is the canvas tent. These can often be taken into much colder temperatures as they retain heat much better. These tents are also better in the summer where the thicker fabric keeps the tent from heating too much. If you are in the market for a canvas tent, be ready to shell out some serious money. They are not cheap by any means.
There are a few additional considerations where weather is concerned when you have a large tent. Most will come with a rainfly to cover the top so that takes care of the large vents most tents have. However, the higher walls often have larger windows that will not be covered by a rainfly. Make sure these have good zip closures that are protected from the elements. Nothing is worse than a wet tent.
Weight & Size
You aren’t going to get a tent of this capacity down to a small size or at least a size small enough for backpacking. For car camping, you will do just fine. Most of these tents are made to be transportable even if they are not transportable in a backpack.
Weight on an 8 person tent will generally come in around 20 to 30 pounds. If you were to carry this in a pack, it would be all you could carry. For most people, these tents are carried only a short distance from a car to a camp site. If you have a shorter distance, the weight is easily manageable.
Size will have a similar issue with some of these tents being a foot square and almost 3 feet long. This will not fit in a pack but may come with shoulder straps or other features that make them easy to carry. Regardless, they are specifically designed to fit in even a compact car. If you are in the market for an 8 person tent, you probably have a vehicle large enough to haul it.
No matter how much space you have, people tend to fill it up. This is simple human nature. Having any additional storage areas like pockets or gear lofts in the tent will make organization easier. They may not save much space but they will be a huge help when it comes time to find the small, important pieces of your kit amongst all of the other clutter that is inevitable.
Other additional spaces include porches and screen rooms. These may or may not have a floor but regardless they make great places to store dirty shoes and other gear that can remain outside. The only difference between the two is that a screen room provides protection from bugs. Both can be used for storage but the screen room is the most versatile.
Top 10 Best 8 Person Tent on the Market Reviews
1. Eureka! Copper Canyon
Eureka is a subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors and like all of their brands, it is held to a very high standard. Even before that Eureka was producing high-end tents that were well known for their durability and quality. They even make tents for the military.
The Copper Canyon 8 person tent specifically is a 14x12 tent that has a 7-foot roof. This is a ton of space to fit your family and is larger than most other 8 person tents. This is a good blend between a cabin tent and a dome style that maximizes space. Packed down it comes in at a manageable 10x28 inches and weighs only 12 pounds. It isn’t a backpacking tent by any means but it is lighter than most any other tent in this size.
All of the seams are sealed and the bottom seams are welded. This prevents any moisture intrusion. There are large top vents under the rainfly, 2 mesh doors, and 4 mesh windows to maximize airflow. Most of these are closable for cold weather or privacy making this a three season tent.
The Copper Canyon has a ton of storage with six pockets for essentials and two gear lofts. It even comes with a divider for privacy and a zippered power port if you want to run an extension cord. The quality is impeccable with very clean seams. This is easily among the best on the market and will last you for years to come with a little care.
2. Browning Camping Big Horn Tent
Browning started out in the world of shelters by making hunting blinds. This was carried over into making tents that have the same hard-wearing features and superb quality. While they only claim a small portion of the camping market, their tents are consistently among the best rated you will ever find.
Measuring 10x15, you should easily be able to fit 8 people or two queen size air mattresses. The peak height of this cabin tent is just over 7.5 feet for added headroom. Packed down it comes in at 12x30 inches and weighs a whopping 34 pounds. You won’t want to carry it far but for car camping or even a base camp for hunting, this is a solid choice.
There are plenty of windows and mesh for airflow on warm nights of for bad weather, you can close them all off. The Big Horn comes with an all season rainfly but this is realistically only a three season tent. It works well for rain and cool weather but it won’t keep you warm enough to go down to winter temps.
With a full height divider, you can separate your sleeping area or divide up the family for some privacy. It may lack gear lofts but there are pockets around the tent for keeping your important gear close to hand. For a tent under $300.00, this has most everything you will need. For the money, this is a solid tent that will get you outdoors in comfort.
3. NTK Laredo GT
NTK started out as a South American company with a passion for producing family-oriented camping equipment. When most other companies were still producing small tents for young campers, NTK went big, producing their first full-sized family tent way back in 1975. There have been a few innovations since then and NTK has never failed to keep up.
Measuring a full 15x10 feet, you could probably fit more than 8 people in this tent but with gear and everything, 7 to 8 people is probably a more comfortable number. It does weigh in at just over 23 pounds which aren’t light but is far from being the heaviest tent out there. For that weight, you get a lot of space.
The floor of this tent is a solid piece and treated to be water resistant and anti-fungal. There are tons of mesh vents and windows for when you want airflow but it comes with a full coverage rainfly that will keep out the worst conditions. It is only a 3 season tent but with a capability of going colder if necessary.
This could be considered an easy set up tent when taking the size into consideration. Most 8 person tents are complicated and use as many as 8 rods to keep them up. The Laredo only uses 4. This clever design and the overall floor layout make assembly quick and maximize the space you can use. Whether it’s for a lot of gear or extra people, you will have space for what you need.
4. Coleman Instant Tent
Coleman is king when it comes to big tents. They produce and sell more than all other companies combined and have still manage to keep a solid reputation for quality and dependability. Their tents are hard-wearing, durable and well known to survive for many camping seasons before you will need to consider a replacement.
This tent falls more into the standard size for an eight-person tent measuring 14x10 feet with a roof height of just over 6 feet. This is still a good amount of space and can easily fit a whole family plus some or just a ton of gear depending on what you need. Overall weight is a staggering 42 pounds.
The Coleman Instant Tent features Coleman’s universal WeatherTec system to keep you dry. This includes a seam welded, tub style floor. You can set this tent up in water and it will still keep you dry. It has 2 mesh doors and 2 mesh windows but a solid top. This means no rainfly but it has a solid top to prevent you from getting soaked.
When they say easy up, they really mean it. One reason this tent weighs so much is because it comes as a single piece. It sets up like a breeze and can be fully assembled in under a minute. This does mean it is larger to pack around but it can be worth it if you don’t have to carry it so far.
5. Coleman Montana
Continuing with Coleman, this is a more conventional tent design and will save you a little cash. The Montana has been one of the bestselling larger tents year after year since its release. The combination of size, features, and affordability make it a very hard to beat option and perhaps the best budget 8 person tent you can get.
Rather than the conventional setup, Coleman has stretched out the length of this tent to a 16-foot long footprint that is 7 feet wide. This does allow more room for gear storage but can make it hard to fit in 8 adults. If you have some children, the size works out very well. Packed size is 27x8x8 inches and weight is around 20 pounds making it among the best lightweight options.
All of what makes a Coleman such a great weather resistant tents is included in the Montana. This means their WeatherTec system, welded and inverted seams, and all of the rest. It still has a ton of mesh for great circulation in hot weather but a fill length rainfly can help when the weather cools off.
For scout leaders, long trips, or anyone who has a desire to spend a lot of time outdoors, this is a great investment. These can be found consistently for under $200.00 and are well worth the price. With a little care you can use this tent for years to come and if anything happens, Coleman is well known for their customer service and warranty.
6. Wenzel Klondike
Currently, Wenzel is probably the number one competitor for Coleman. They don’t sell nearly as many but they have been making tents for much longer. They started making recreational outdoor gear about the same time that it became a big business in the late 1800s. They are one of the oldest companies around that is still making gear today.
You will have to decide for yourself if this is a good fit for your family. The measurements are a total of 16x11 feet but 6 of that 16 is in a screen room. The screens are all closable but this area will sleep a little cooler than the main tent as it cannot be sealed off quite as well. It does feel a little pinched with 8 people but not out of the question.
Overall, the tent is quite weatherproof with a full cover rainfly that forms awnings over the large mesh windows and covers the top mesh. All of the seams are sealed and the tent bottom is an extra-high, seamless tub. It will keep out the worst weather if you seal it up tight.
With screen room and all, this is a very large tent. It does take a little time to set up but most people can have it up in less than 10 minutes and under 5 with practice. It does have a ton of space. For those who just want a larger tent to have more room and don’t need 8 people, this tent is near perfect.
7. Coleman Octagon 98
Getting back to Coleman yet again, this is a novel shaped tent that can work out quite well for 8 people. It is highly weather resistant, compact in design, and ultra-durable. If you are looking for a solid tent, this is about as solid as they come and a good value to boot.
Because it is an octagon, measurements are a little strange but it comes out to about 13x13 and depending on how much gear you have this is a lot of sleeping space. The shape maximizes how much room you have. The height is almost 7 feet and it weighs in around 40 pounds.
The shape of this tent with no broad sides means it stands up to wind better than most any other design. It was actually tested up to 35mph and performed flawlessly. It still has the Coleman WeatherTec system with all the sealed seams and comes with an outstanding rainfly that will keep you dry.
If you want a novel design or just a damn rugged tent, this is a very good option. The styling is great, it is spacious as can be and works well for car camping or any time you aren’t going to be packing your tent long distances. It may not be perfect but it is one of the best tents Coleman has ever made.
8. Coleman Sundome
Continuing with Coleman, their Sundome series of tents, which are available from 2 person all the way up to 8 person, are their budget line and probably their overall most popular tent. While they are not perfect, they are a solid tent that has everything most people will need to get out in the woods.
For the 8 person model, the overall measurements are 15x12 but a portion of that is in the screen room at the front. Fitting 6 inside the tent with a little gear isn’t that tough but that means 2 are stuck out in the porch area and it isn’t quite as weather resistant.
Most of the tent is completely rainproof with Coleman’s WeatherTec system. There is plenty of ventilation from windows, doors, and roof vents. All of which can be covered by a rainfly. It’s the front that can get a little rough. Because of the shape, rain can easily get into the front area. For clear weather, you can fit 8 but if it looks a little sketchy, this becomes a 6 person tent.
Overall the tent has plenty of storage and works very well for a 3 season tent. It can be a little cool but that is expected. It really shines in warm weather where there will be a constant breeze to keep you cooled off. All in all, this is a good tent if it fits your needs and works with the locations you camp.
9. Coleman Red Canyon
And for one last Coleman, we will go with a model that was highly popular but has been replaced. You can still find these tents and they are exceptional if somewhat rare. They are also a fraction of the cost of the more recent tents, sometimes even selling under $100.00.
This is a massive tent, probably the biggest in terms of square footage on this list. It measures a whopping 17x11 feet and has a height of 6 feet. Packed down it measures about 2 feet long and 9 inches square. Weight is just a bit over 20 pounds. Considering the overall size of this tent, that isn’t bad at all.
Weather resistance is spot on with all of the Coleman standards. It does have a little less mesh and can be talked down to colder temps than many other tents on this list. It still isn’t a 4 season model but it is about as close as you can get without spending a fortune.
The rainfly is unique in the way it provides coverage, forming more of an awning around the tent than is usual for a rainfly. This allows more air to flow under the awning and to the vents to keep the tent from overheating but 100% prevents rain. If you are looking for a deal on a great tent, this is a good way to go.
10. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow
For something a little different, how about an 8 person canvas tent. Made by Kodiak, this is a tent that will last you a lifetime if you care for it. There is little you could ever do to destroy this tent. It is close to bombproof in construction and will still fit 8 people.
The dimensions are a standard 10x14 feet with a 6.5-foot roof height. Packed down there are two components, the poles are 48 inches long and about 5 inches. The second canvas pack is about 30x16 inches. The total weight is almost 80 pounds. This is by no means intended for the backpacker. When they carried these things for distance, they used a horse.
For weatherproofing, it starts with a cotton duck that uses a hydra-shield technology to keep it water resistant but still breathable. All of the seams are sealed with vinyl which may not be traditional but is effective. The door zippers seal and use a #10 YKK zipper for the added durability. There is even a porch area that is covered for a little added space.
If you have never been in a canvas tent, you should consider one. For car camping, horse camping or any other time you won’t have to carry this far, it is the most durable tent you can get. They may not be cheap but considering they will last you a lifetime and be passed on to your kids, they are still a value.
The best 8 person tent is out there and ready for your next adventure. While there are a few options and companies not listed above, most will fall short of the standards we set for our gear. Above all else, a tent should be able to keep you dry and provide protection from the elements. Keep your eye on this as you begin your search. There are enough options that you should be able to get something that will serve you for years but making sure it is everything you want is included.