Camping, Backpacking & Hiking Gear

The Best 6 Person Tent for Groups & Family Camping Trips in 2020

best 6 person tent
Bertie
Written by Bertie

It’s a strange thing about nature that means it can super-charge solitude (if that’s what you’re looking for) or it can super-charge being social.

I love both solo adventuring and group camping experiences, depending on my mood.

One thing I’ve discovered over the years is that not all nights under the stars have to be ultralight, bare-bones affairs. It is OK to have some comfort! And that’s where a larger tent can really pay off. I find the best 6-person tents offer a great balance of space and portability. So whether I’m setting up a base camp in the bush for a week of hunting or camping with my family, I now reach for my favorite 6 man tent.

(And if you don’t want to read the whole article, I’ll tell you know that the Marmot Limestone 6P is my favorite because, although it’s a bit pricey, it’s completely bombproof and extremely versatile).

>> RED ALERT! You can currently buy the Marmot Limestone 6 at Backcountry.com for just $380! That's a massive discount on it's normal retail price!

Marmot Limestone 6P Review

Specs

The Marmot Limestone 6P has a trail weight of 16lbs 5oz (max weight 17lbs 9oz). It provides around 84sq feet of floorspace and packs down into a bag that’s 28" x 10". It has a double door at the front and a D-shaped door at the rear. Both doors provide coverage for gear storage outside and there are corner pockets for internal storage. It’s 6’3” in the centre where you can also hang a light. There are corner vents on the rain fly for air flow. ($$$$)

The Verdict

This tent has superb build quality. It’s extremely hard wearing (honestly, you can use it for weeks, possibly months, at a time and still be able to roll it out year after year).

It’s a really good size. You can fit a couple of twin air mattresses in (or two cots) and most people will easily be able to stand up inside. The freedom to stand and move around really makes a difference if you’re used to camping in smaller tents. It means you can make it feel more like a home and is a much more pleasant way of passing the time if the weather turns on you!

Speaking of which, the near-vertical walls don’t fare as well in high winds as other tents mentioned here (if you’re expecting really high winds, look for more of a dome shaped tent like the Kelty Trail Ridge 6 person tent or the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6). Don’t get me wrong, it’ll stand up to gusts of around 45-50mph, but anything higher than that and the chances are the poles will start to bend a little. Nothing to worry about. Just something to be aware of!

I love the double door setup. I think it’s one of the critical design elements that helps make this one of the best 6-person tents IMO. If there’s just one or two of you it means that you can dedicate one of the vestibules to gear storage, which is extremely handy. If there’s more of you then it means it’s much easier for people to come and go because folk won’t block things up like in a single door tent.

That said he doors aren’t ideal. The back door is solid and the front door is mesh. This inhibits the air flow a bit and also means it’s not possible to get views out the back without exposing yourself to no-see-ums. It’s not a huge deal (and it’s still WAY better than having a single door) but, again, it’s worth noting that for all I love this tent, it’s not 100% perfect.

I would say it’s an amazing tent for a family of 4 (plus/minus a dog) who like to do a lot of camping. It’s also a fantastic tent to use as a base camp in the backcountry (for example if you’re hunting). It’s a hard-wearing beast that will provide endless enjoyment for serious outdoor enthusiasts!

In Summary...

If you want a larger tent and intend to use it a lot, this is the tent to invest in. It’s got everything the other tents on this list have plus exceptional durability. It will flex to your needs through most of the seasons and will last for years and that's why I think it's the best 6 person tent on the market.

Alternatives

If you want a less expensive tent, or only need one for occasional use, check out the Eureka Copper Canyon 6 below as an excellent mid-range option.

For a 4 season option, look at the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6.

For budget, car camping, 6 person options, look at the CORE 6 Instant Tent or the Coleman Sundome 6.

Coleman Sundome 6 person tent review

Specs

This 10’ x 10’ dome tent weighs around 16lbs and (I’ll do the math for you!) provides a whopping 100sq feet of floor space. It’s bang on 6 foot in the center with a small ring to hang a light. There’s a floor vent to maximise airflow while the screened ceiling also helps with good ventilation. There’s another small zippered vent for running a cable into the tent.

The Verdict

This is an immensely popular tent. Perhaps it’s the Coleman brand. Perhaps it’s the price point. Either way, folk buy thousands of Coleman Sundome 6 tents every year and most customers love them.

I’m used to more technical gear, so I thought I’d probably be a bit snooty about this. It’s definitely not something you’d take backpacking…

BUT

I don’t think most people buy this tent to go backpacking.

I think most people buy this tent to use on a campsite, during the summer, for a long weekend, perhaps up to a week a year.

And for that it’s excellent! (With a few caveats)

I’m actually quite surprised at the build quality given what you pay. In moderate rain and light wind you are likely to stay really dry and well sheltered. But I would say that for anything above, say, 20mph wind, you might start to test that quality.

Similarly, the design is quite cool. The rain fly doesn’t reach all the way to the ground and the body of the tent has two walls that are half mesh. This means you get great ventilation and cool views out of the tent. But, this also means that in certain climates and weather, it comes with downsides. 

Ever experienced horizontal rain? I have! And I’ll tell you right now that you want to be able to batten down the hatches, which you can’t do with the Sundome. Similarly, if you’re in a desert environment and the temperature drops significantly at night, there’s no way you’ll be able to retain any heat inside the tent because you’ll have a constant cold draft coming through.

But so long as you are planning to use it during the summer in moderate weather conditions, you won’t have any of these issues.

Super easy setup, there’s loads of room (enough to fit three twin air mattresses, or two queen sized mattresses or one king size). It’s light so it’s really easy to carry to your pitch. And people love it (seriously, just check out any of more than 8,000 reviews on Amazon!).

In Summary…

This is a 2-season tent for use in late spring/summer/early fall. So long as you don’t expect serious adverse weather conditions, it’s an incredible tent and an absolute bargain. If you’re on a budget and an occasional camper, BUY IT!

Alternatives

If you want an instant tent in a similar price range look at the CORE 6

If you want a tent that’s more hard-wearing then look at the Camp Creek 6

And if you want a similar-style tent that will perform in a full 3 seasons, then check out the Kelty Outback 6

None of these are much more expensive than the Coleman Sundome 6 but they might suit your needs better.

Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 Review - Best 6 Person 4 Season Tent, winter 6 man tent

Specs

The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 has a trail weight of 18lbs 11oz and provides 92sq feet of floor space. At its highest point it is 5’7”. When packed down it measures 10” x 13” x 23”. It has two doors and two vestibules. Inside, a fabric wall can be used to create two rooms. Storage comes in the form of 16 mesh pockets. There are 6 vents in the fly for ventilation. Rated for 4 seasons. ($$$$$)

Note: The Flying Diamond comes in a variety of sizes so you can easily pick up the Flying Diamongd 4 person tent or 8 person tent if they take your fancy!

The Verdict

As you might expect from Big Agnes, the Flying Diamond 6 is a cracking, top-of-the-range, 6 person tent. It is specifically designed for luxury base camping and, as a 4-season tent, is built to withstand most weather. But it’s also one of the lighter 6-person tents on the market and it’s straightforward to split up for thru hiking and backpacking.

Although I don’t have a dog myself, a lot of people tell me it’s a great option for camping with their hounds. And if you’ve got an expanding family, like I do, then it’s a great option for camping with kids. I can also see the benefits of having it for group camping with friends (because there’s something really antisocial about everyone spending time in their own tents once you’ve made camp).

Obviously, a lot of this holds true of most larger tents. 

So what makes the Flying Diamond worth the bucks?

Well, it really comes down to its durability and the fact it can extend your camping season. So while it’s probably not something you want to get for the occasional trip (unless you always like to by the best-of-the-best, no-expense-spared), if you plan on camping several times a year for many years to come, it’s probably a great investment. Similarly, if you plan on having it for a range of environments (mountains, islands, forests, as well as campsites) and a range of different weather, then it’s an extremely flexible bit of kit that’s likely to serve you well.

Getting down to brass tacks, it’s designed for easy setup (partly because everything is helpfully color-coded).  And you can comfortably fit 4 air mattresses.

It’s got an open-vented roof and the large windows allow even more ventilation. The two doors mean you don’t have to clamber over anyone or anything to enter and exit. And while the headroom isn’t the highest, most people should be able to walk in it without stooping too much.

The poles connect to the tent with a bunch of velcro tabs which really make it unshakeable even with strong gusts of wind. I’ve even read reports of it withstanding hailstorms (which is a great endorsement!).

In Summary...

If you’ve got the budget and are looking for a really versatile, durable, large tent this is definitely the tent for you, especially if you are looking to extend your camping season or do backpacking in a group. The only reason it’s not #1 on my list is that the price is definitely on the high side and not everyone will want to invest in a tent that’s as hard-wearing and flexible.

Alternatives

The cheaper alternative in this class that you may wish to consider is the Marmot Limestone 6 (although it’s not really made for 4 season camping).

Eureka Copper Canyon 6 Review

Specs

The Eureka Copper Canyon 6 weighs 25lbs and when unpacked has a footprint of 10’ x 10’ x 7’ with almost vertical walls. It has an E-Power Port to easily run electric cables into the tent (I highly recommend the Honeywell 360 if you're looking for a tent heater). And for storage you're looking at 2 high stash pockets as well as a gear loft. ($$$)

Note: The Copper Canyon comes in a variety of sizes so if you're looking for something bigger, you can easily upgrade to the 8-person or 12-person versions.

The Verdict

The Eureka Copper Canyon has a fantastic amount of space largely due to the walls which practically go straight up and down (unlike most tents whose walls slope inwards). It includes a large door for easy access, large windows and a mesh roof for excellent ventilation. The 7-foot roof means you can stand comfortably inside the tent even if you're quite tall.

It's really waterproof and will withstand some intense weather with minimal water getting in. My only niggle is that all the storage pockets are quite high. There are a few things I like to stow closer to ground level so I can reach them in the night without having to stand up or get out of my sleeping bag. But that's a really minor issue.

The single door isn’t ideal as it means you may have to climb over people to get in and out. It’s not a huge problem, but it is worth noting, especially if you think there’s going to be a lot of coming and going.

In Summary...

For warm and crowded camping conditions, the Eureka Copper Canyon may be a great choice. It provides excellent space and ventilation, making it a good option for hot days during festivals or housing several people.

Alps Mountaineering Camp Creek 6 - Best 6 Person Camping Tent, Awesome for car camping!

Specs

The Alps Mountaineering Camp Creek 6 weighs 23lbs 8oz and offers 100sq feet of floor space (10x10). It’s 7ft tall at the centre with a ring to hang a torch or lantern. There’s a mesh storage shelf, several storage pockets, a mesh roof and 4 large mesh windows with waterproof covers. ($$)

The Verdict

ALPS Mountaineering have a great track record in manufacturing mid-range gear at very competitive prices. In my opinion the Camp Creek is probably the best 6-person tents for anyone who wants a good quality tent at the lower end of the price range. It’s not the cheapest. But it’s a quality build, extremely stable, very comfortable and will withstand some pretty serious weather.

Because it’s got near-vertical walls, it does mean that it will catch the wind a bit. But you should expect too much give in winds up to 25-30mph. And the benefit of the having straight walls is that you can make the most of the space. You can just about fit 2 queen mattresses in here (although you won’t have much space for gear) and you can definitely get cots in if that’s your bag.

It’s got a good amount of floor space, excellent headroom and great options for storage. The amount of mesh in the tent means you’re not going to worry about condensation. And of course, you can roll the windows up if you want to reduce the ventilation! And the mesh roof is particularly ‘cool’ (pardon the pun) because if you leave the rainfly off, you can check out the night sky as you fall asleep!

At nearly 25lbs you’re not going to walk a long way carrying it, even if you split it up. And you’re probably going to want an extra set of hands to put it up, especially when fixing the fly. (A tall person can set it up solo, but it’s much easier with 2).

And like many tents at the lower end of the price spectrum, you may want to purchase an additional tarp to prolong the life of the floor. And you may want some better tent stakes as well.

In Summary...

If you are looking for a large tent that’s going to last a long time whilst not breaking the bank, the Camp Creek 6 strikes a great balance between price, comfort and durability. I wouldn’t recommend it for backpacking and thru hiking (too heavy). But it’s a great choice for campgrounds and festivals.

Alternatives

If you want higher quality specs and have a few more dollars to spend, I’d recommend springing for the Copper Canyon 6

If price is a really serious consideration, then take a closer look at the Core 6 or the Coleman Sundome 6 for budget 6-person tents.

And if you want to go backpacking then consider Big Agnes Flying Diamond (reassuringly expensive) or the Marmot Limestone 6 (good value) or the Kelty Outback 6 as they are the best 6 person backpacking tents I looked at.

Kelty Outback 6 Review

Specs

The Kelty Outback 6 is a freestanding, 3-season, dome tent with an ‘x’ tent design (the two poles criss-cross on a diagonal). It weighs 14lbs and offers 87sq feet of floor space. It’s 6’3” at the highest point where you will also find a loop to hang a light. There’s 6 mesh pockets and a number of fabric hooks. It packs down into a bag that’s 8” in diameter and a little over 2’ long. The single, large, D-shaped door opens up into a vestibule which provides an extra 22sq feet of space. ($$$)

Note: This is the largest of the Kelty Outback series. It is also available in two other sizes: the Outback 2 and the Outback 4.

The Verdict

This is the lightest tent on the list. Sub-14lbs is pretty good for a 6 person tent which makes the Kelty Outback 6 a good candidate for group backpacking. 

It’s something of a “no-frills” tent, which isn’t to say it’s cheap! As with most Kelty gear, it’s a great mid-range bit of kit. What you’re getting here is excellent build quality without any fancy features.

You’re getting a single dome-shaped room that can be exposed to the night sky if you only use the fly net, or fully enclosed if you attach the rain fly. You’ll just fit two double mattresses in but you won’t manage two cots without laying them sideways (which will block the door).

It is rock solid in most weather, largely because of the dome shape (the vertical walls of other tents on this list will tend to catch the wind more). And it’s fully waterproof. The only niggle I have with the fly is that there’s no vent. It might not be the most comfortable if you’re camping it hot, wet conditions (so probably not great in the jungle!).

I love the vestibule! Not many tents on this list have one. I think they are a good thing because it means you don’t have to drag filthy gear into the tent and it means you can free up space inside. Heck, you can even keep the dog there if you have one!

The single door is a bit of an issue for such a large tent. For a larger group with lots of activity, I’d suggest considering something bigger (maybe an 8-person tent or even a 12-person tent). But if I was a small group of friends or family of 4 looking to hike a few miles to a wilderness pitch, I’d definitely have this on my radar.

In Summary...

It’s a good buy if you are planning to do some gentle backpacking, maybe with the family. It’s a no-frills dome tent but excellent quality. And it’s light enough to split up for a small hike.

Alternatives

If I was car camping or pitching in a campsite, I’d probably opt for the Eureka Copper Canyon 6 person tent because for roughly the same cost you get quite a lot more space, a higher room, slightly better storage and an e-port.

If you like the idea of the Outback 6 and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, make sure to check out its sexy sibling, the Kelty Trail Ridge 6! It’s also a dome tent with two doors and two vestibules. It comes with a footprint included. And it is a very, very, high-quality tent for the price.

Core 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent Review

Specs

The CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent weighs in at 24lbs and boasts 99sq feet of interior space. It’s 6’ tall in the centre and the highest point also has a gear loft. It comes with a funky mesh wall organiser for extra storage. The rainfly has an adjustable vent for air intake and an e-port flap for running a cable into the tent. Fully packed, the carry case measures 4’ x 9” x 9”. CORE claim that you can put it up in 60 seconds. ($)

The Verdict

The Core 6 is the best budget camping tent I reviewed for this piece. It’s spacious and holds up relatively well during wet conditions. 

A full-top mesh screening and air-intake gives good ventilation. This means it’s great for summer but you might find it a bit drafty in colder conditions. It’s got a gear loft with a lantern hook near the top which is always handy. But I love, love, love the mesh wall organiser! It’s a really neat idea meaning you can have super easy access to all your smaller bits if gear and you can use most of the floor space for sleeping (and you should be able to fit two queen sized mattresses in without a problem).

Can you set it up in 60 seconds like the manufacturer claims?

Well, actually, you can definitely get the main tent up in less than a minute. It’s a really simple case of extending each of the 4 telescoping legs until they click in place. Driving in the stakes and getting the rain fly, however, will take longer. So it’s a nice, eye-catching promise that demonstrates the incredibly easy setup but not 100% true (typical marketing!!). As for taking it down, you just do the reverse and pack it into its carry case.

It’s not an expensive tent and that means you can’t expect the best build quality. I definitely wouldn’t want to be using this in really gnarly conditions. And I wouldn’t expect it to survive long-term, heavy use. But for occasional summer camping and festivals, it’s a really great buy.

In Summary...

If you are on a budget and planning to camp in a sheltered site or during forgiving weather, this tent is a good choice for you. It will withstand light-to-moderate rain and it is spacious enough for a comfortable night’s sleep. So it is very good value for money; just don’t expect it to set the world on fire!

If you are on a budget, buy it!

Alternatives

If you can push the boat out on budget a bit and don’t mind a normal tent setup up, I think the Camp Creek 6 person tent is better quality and will last longer (though it doesn’t have the wall storage!).

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Review - Best Canvas 6 Person Tent

Specs

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow has a pack weight of 68lbs and measures 10’ x 10’ (which is 100sq feet of interior space). It’s 6’6” high. It breaks down into two bundles; the tent bundle measures 30” x 13” while the pole bundle measures 50” x 6”. ($$$$$)

The Verdict

This is an absolute beast of a camping tent! And weighing in at nearly 70lbs you’d damn well want it to be a beast! So why would you want something that heavy?

Well, because it’s canvas, it keeps you cool when it’s warm. It retains heat when it’s cold. And it keeps the noise out for a quieter time indoors. It’s also pretty much bombproof and outrageously durable. It’s a tent for a lifetime.

I love the oversized zippers! Yes, yes. I know that sounds weird. But zippers are something every tent manufacturer scrimps on. So to find a great quality zipper is something a gear geek finds very exciting!

It’s a bit disappointing it doesn’t have a vestibule but the awning is nice and it means you do have a canopy to cook under in the rain.

In Summary

If you’re looking for an old school tent as a base camp, or to last a lifetime, or to really keep the elements out, this is an absolute winner!

Buying Guide to Get the Best 6 Person Tent for You

Type

Depending on the type of weather you’ll be staying in and the length of time, you may need to closely consider what type of camping tent design you need. For instance, if you plan on camping for a festival or at a campground for an extended period of time, you may need a tent that will be comfortable enough to house you and your gear. In this case, cabin style tents with good headroom, storage capacity, and weather resistance would be suitable. If you are backpacking or only hunkering down for the night, you may rely less on extra space and prefer something easier to set up.

Size

Two tents may be rated for up to six people, but this does not mean that they will meet your expectations. If you are purchasing the tent for quick setup as a simple place to rest, it's okay to go for a tent with less space (like a 3 person tent) and work involved in setting it up. However, if you are planning to camp as comfortably as you can for an extended stay, you may want to get a tent with extra space for storage or headroom.

Weight

If you have a lot of gear you need to manage and carry, you may want a tent that is lightweight to carry. Backpackers are a good example of someone who would not want to purchase a tent that is very heavy, as they will be carrying their tent and gear for long periods of time. A tent that has more weight with better material may be a good sign of weather resistance and durability for those who will be settling down in one spot.

Quality

The quality of a tent is especially important for those staying in potentially dangerous weather conditions of the backcountry or for an extended period of time. Rogue winds and heavy rainstorms can cause support poles to topple over or tent stakes to come out of the ground or rain to come in. Shooting for a tent with waterproof seams, strong support poles and heavy materials may be the best signs of a quality tent.

Dome Tents vs Cabin Tents

Cabin tents are different from dome tents in that they have near-vertical walls. They also tend to have more than one ‘room’. This makes them quite a nice choice if you don’t want to constantly share the same space. However, it does mean that they catch the wind more and may not be as stable as a dome tent in poor weather. 

A dome tent usually has two criss-cross poles that help form a dome shape. They tend to be less tall and their walls are more sloped. This tends to make them more robust in poor weather, but it does make for a more cramped interior space.

So whether a cabin tent will be the best 6 person tent for you or a dome tent will be the best 6 person tent for you will depend on where you take it and what weather you expect to encounter. Also, are you looking for a camping tent? Or a backpacking tent?

Attractive Features in The Best 6 Person Tents

Look out for the following features to make sure you get all the bells and whistles!

  • Gear loft for gear storage
  • Mesh side pockets
  • Two doors (it can't be the best 6 person tent with only one door)
  • Vestibule(s) for stowing gear
  • Rooftop hook to hang a light
  • Multiple “rooms” 

And if, after all this, you've decided that a 6-person tent isn't quite big enough, be sure to check out my reviews of bigger tents! 

- The Best 8 Person Tents

- The Best 10 Person Tents

- 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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