Tents, Tarps & Shelters

Best 12 Person Tents For An Epic Family Getaway

best 12 person tents
Bertie
Written by Bertie

As Hans Christian Andersen said, “Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” This sentiment draws campers into the woods during each warm weather season. There are few things more fun than sharing a group camping experience, so, we’ve pulled together a list of the best 12 person tents; checking them for the most important features like weight, set up and durability.

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Product Name

Weight

Feature

Price

Rating

NTK Super Arizona GT

39lbs

Best in class

$$$

31lbs

Best value

$$

35lbs

Extremely durable

$$$

40lbs

Very spacious

$$$$

50lbs

Easiest set up

$$$

41lbs

Best festival tent

$$

61lbs

Best for privacy

$$

NTK Super Arizona GT

Weight: 39 Pounds

Unpacked size: 20 x 10 x 7 feet

Put up: Easy

Take down: OK

Durability: Excellent

Price: $$$

The Good

As large tents go, this is a really good one! It’s super-spacious and it can be divided into two large rooms using a detachable divider. Two people can set it up fairly quickly (and actually, it’s easy enough that one person can get it up on their own). It’s a great choice for bug protection as the mesh is very tight and the floor is reinforced.

The Less Good

This tent contains one frustrating design flaw. The windows only open and close from the outside. So, you will want to zip or unzip them before you settle for the night. However, that aside, once it is set up, you’re off to the races.

A Great Choice If…

You want something durable that’s going to work for you in a variety of different conditions.

Tahoe Gear Prescott - Best budget 12 person tent

Specs

Weight: 31 Pounds

Unpacked size: 20 x 10 x 7 feet

Put up: Easy

Take down: OK

Durability: OK

Price: $$

The Good

This tent is a great value-buy. It’s nothing fancy but it’s really roomy; you’ll have no bother fitting in numerous blow-up mattresses plus kids plus dogs. You can use it with or without the fly for stargazing. With the fly on the windows don’t make you feel enclosed. It’s perfect for backyard camping.

The Less Good

The simple set up also means that it’s light on features. The kit does not include any special pockets or access ports. It’s also not going to stand up brilliantly in very windy or very wet conditions.

A Great Choice If…

If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for something you can use occasionally in the summer, you could do a lot worse than this tent. But if you think the weather will be against you, or if you are looking for heavy use, you may want to spend a little more.

Browning Camping Big Horn - Most durable 12 man tent

Specs

Weight: 35lbs

Unpacked size: 10 x 15 x 7.5 feet

Put up: Hard

Take down: OK

Durability: Excellent

Price: $$$

The Good

This is a very solid tent that’s backed with a 10-year warranty. You’re going to be able to use this for several years. It’s got a great layout that splits into two rooms by way of a removable divider. Each room has a private entrance and 3 zippered pockets.

The Less Good

It’s quite tricky to put up and definitely needs two people. Like quite a lot of larger tents, you’ll find the floors and zippers feel a bit flimsy. And, OK this is a bit of a weird criticism but it’s still important, the windows on the doors don’t have any toggles to hold them open. (The main doors and windows have toggles; it’s just the windows on the doors).

A Great Choice If...

If you are happy to overlook some small design flaws then this is an excellent choice for car camping in groups over two seasons (I wouldn’t really recommend it for the beginning of spring or end of autumn).

Eureka Copper Canyon - Most spacious 12 Person Tent

Specs

Weight: 40 Pounds

Unpacked size: 14 x 12 x 7 feet

Put up: Easy

Take down: OK

Durability: Good

Price: $$$$

The Good

I like the tub floor, which a lot of larger tents don’t have. It’s also got a skylight in the fly which is a really nice touch. There’s over 165 square feet of sleeping space, so you’re not going to worry about space. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also fantastic overhead storage.

The Less Good

Whilst it does have a porch, it isn’t screened. Now, if you’re like me, that’s not a big problem, because I don’t like feeling enclosed. However, I know some people definitely like to be protected from the no-see-ums when they sit out. So it’s definitely worth noting.

It’s also one of the heavier tents on the market, because of the fiberglass poles and reinforced floor. However, the tent’s weight is an indication of its durability. So, you might prefer this tent if you are planning a longer stay in a rugged camping area.

A Great Choice If…

If space is important to you, then you should definitely consider going with this beast. It’s got enough room that you can hunker down indoors when the weather turns without feeling cramped.

CORE - Best 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

​Specs

Weight: 50 Pounds

Unpacked size: 18 x 10 x 7 feet

Put up: OK

Take down: Hard

Durability: Good

Price: $$$

The Good

It is an absolute breeze to set up! And it’s large. It divides into three rooms with wall storage and a gear loft. It can fit three queen size air mattresses or 12 sleeping bags. You’ll appreciate some of the thoughtful features like an electrical cord access port.

The Less Good

It’s really heavy. Heavier than it should be in my opinion. And despite that, it doesn’t stand up to wind as well as you might think.

A Great Choice If...

This tent works best for warm weather camping and for sheltered sites. It’s size and easy set up count in its favor but I think, for the price, you can find better alternatives.

Tahoe Gear Gateway - best 12 person festival tent

Specs

Weight: 41 Pounds

Unpacked size: 20 x 15 x 7 feet

Put up: Hard

Take down: OK

Durability: OK

Price: $$

The Good

The windows on the top are fun for stargazing. Overall, the tent has an open feel that will keep you dry and keep out bugs. Simple set up and a huge interior space. The open L-shaped layout gives you privacy while keeping you in the same space.

The Less Good

This tent is not easy to set up and the stakes have a habit of popping out.

A Great Choice If...

If you prefer an easy camp in a warm climate, this tent works well. If you are travelling in the desert with your family or going to a festival with friends it’s a decent budget buy.

Ozark Trail 12 Person Instant Tent - great for privacy

Specs

Weight: 61 Pounds

Unpacked size: 16 x 16 x 7 feet

Put up: Easy

Take down: OK

Durability: Great for warm weather but, needs a tarp for rainy days.

Price: $$

The Good

This tent is easy to set up because the poles are pre-attached to the tend. You can just unfold the tent and extend the poles. Once assembled, this tent creates three rooms, including a front awning. Each room has large windows and can fit a queen size airbed. Overall, you could fit 12 sleeping bags inside.

The Less Good

Setting up this tent takes two people. It may take a little while to stretch out the tent to its full length due to the large size. Also, the rain fly is fairly thin. You may want to swap it for a camping tarp in case of moderate rain.

A Great Choice If…

It’s not going to pour with rain or be too windy.


Why would anyone need a 12 person tent?

Big camping trips require a lot of sleeping space. While you can pack several smaller tents to house your many guests, there are several advantages to bringing one large tent. First, you get to keep everyone together. If you are camping with kids, it’s convenient to keep them in the same space. They won’t need to move from tent to tent during the night if they need assistance. Second, you end up packing less. While one large tent takes up a lot of space, it’s actually less material than several small tents. Also, you may have less weight overall. Third, a single tent simplifies set up. You don’t need to coordinate the packing, placement and set up of several tents.

Instead, you just bring one kit and set it up. If you are traveling with as a family or a group of friends, a 12-person tent saves you set up time and packing weight while keeping everyone together.

What to consider when buying a 12 person tent?

When you buy a 12 person tent, several factors play into your purchasing process. First, the size and weight of the tent impact your ability to travel. Second, the durability and tent material influence when and where you can camp. Third, the layout of the tent impacts how many people can sleep inside. Although you may play a late night card game inside the tent, you’ll probably just lay out sleeping bags for bedtime use.

Size and Weight

Ideally, your tent will be large enough to accommodate 12 people while being light enough to manouver into a campsite. Most of the time, a 12 person tent will be about 150- 200 square feet. Manufacturers typically divide these into several rooms for privacy. Each room may easily fit between 2-4 sleeping bags.


Also, your tent should be light enough for two people to carry and set up. Most tents of this size weigh between 30-50 pounds. That’s a lot heavier than a 2-4 person tent. As you are setting it up, the folded portions of the tent can be difficult to manouver. So, you’ll want to look for a tent that is easy to fold and unfold. Otherwise, the large size and heavy weight combined with an awkward design will make set up and take down unpleasant.

Durability and Tent Material

For recreational campers, nylon or polyester tents will last them several, moderate weather seasons. Typically, these tents have mesh windows and air vents meant for warm weather and light rain. Although they can be sealed using toggles and zippers, these coverings only keep out bugs. They won’t keep you warm in a harsh environment.

Layout

Large tents come with room dividers making several spaces. Some even have a room with mesh walls that can act like a porch. As you consider tents, think about how you will use the space. For example, if you are travelling as a family, the parents may want their own room separate from the kids. Also, if you travel with friends, you may just want one large space that fits a long row of sleeping bags. Whatever your preference, you can find a tent that works well for your camping needs.

the best 12 person tents


About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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