Choosing the best family tents for bad weather can be a tall order. You have to ensure that what you buy can serve you for a long time.
Many people wonder what comes first. Is it the size, style or fabric? Well, if it is for camping in bad weather, you know it has got to be good, the very best.
Thankfully, there is a camping tent in the market to match almost every need. However, even having said that, it can still be daunting to choose a camping tent for the whole family.
That is why you need to do enough research, just as you are doing reading this article. That way, you will find a good family tent for bad weather.
There is camping, and then there is camping in bad weather. Of course, you can always choose to insulate your regular family tent and use it for camping in bad weather.
You will need to bring the best camping gear for keeping warm. You will also want to cook food to keep you warm.
Remember, you also want to be comfortable when sleeping in the tent. This means you will have to bring your bedding for camping. Thankfully, a good family tent when combined with the use of the best sleeping bags for cold weather can make quite a good home away from home.
Take your time as you pack your camping gear. Take time as you choose the best camping tent for bad weather. If you choose the best one, this will most likely be a one-off buy, and then you will be a long time before you go back to the market to buy another. So, choose your camping tent with the future in mind.
For a quick tip, buy your family tent for camping in winter online. They retail at much better prices online. Besides, if you buy a winter tent on Amazon.com or other online marketplaces, you will find more variety.
Choosing the Best Family Tents for Bad Weather
Your camping venue
As a camping enthusiast, you know very well that there is bad weather for camping and there is seriously bad weather for camping.
So, do your research very well on the location where you are going to camp. A place like Sedona is great for camping in winter. The weather is usually mild, calm and friendly. Thus, you could do with a 3-season tent for family camping.
However, if you are considering going camping in a place such as Alaska… well, you would need a 4-season family tent and then you would still need to insulate it further. You will also need to equip your family with the warmest boots for winter.
If you are going camping at a campground, you would need a different family tent from a family that is going to do some serious dry camping. Regular campgrounds are well regulated, have almost everything you need to make your stay as palatable as possible.
Dry camping sites are a different matter altogether. They require you to do some thorough preparation.
Is the area where you are going camping windy? Does it experience a lot of sleet? Perhaps there is an occasional blizzard? You need to bear all these things in mind as you search for the best family tent.
If rain is in the forecast during the time that you will be camping, then you will need the best waterproof tent for extreme weather.
You cannot skimp on research. It will help you know what items for camping you need to bring with you.
Best family tent style
For camping in bad weather, the tent style is a chief consideration. Family camping tents come in two styles.
Cabin style family tent
The cabin style family tent has vertical walls and it looks like a cabin. It is roomy and has a lot of headroom.
Cabin style allows air to flow inside freely enhancing a good feel. However, this choice of a tent is not a good choice especially if you are camping in bad weather.
These tents are prone to damage from strong winds and storms and this is because of their shape that resembles a box. A cabin style tent is a good option for camping in mild to fair weather. It offers more room than a dome tent.
The airiness of a cabin tent, the ability to share all of the space without wasting none makes this tent a good option for family camping, but only in good weather.
The flat-ish roof will collect snow and water and can collapse on you.
Dome style tent
The dome-style tent looks like a dome, or a cone if you may. It has its advantages, and disadvantages too.
Contrary to what many first-timers think, a dome tent can be quite large. It is the best choice for family camping in bad weather. Because of the dome shape, it lets the wind pass easily, rather than block it.
Dome shaped tents also make the best camping tent for couples. The steep shape makes it easy for sleet and water to flow downwards.
Thus, you do not face the danger of your tent collapsing on you because of the weight of the snow.
Family tent size
Size is not only important for just that – size, but it is important because when camping in bad weather, you may all have to spend a good amount of time indoors.
The last thing you want is to keep getting in each other’s way, treading on one another’s toes and crying ouch all the time. You want to make coffee while camping, tell stories and even read.
On the same note, you do not want to bring a tent that is too large. If it is very cold, it can be quite a task to insulate such a large tent. Thus, the best family tent has to be just the right size.
Remember, your camping tent is your home far from home. The space available should comfortably accommodate everyone including your outdoor gear. Best mattress for camping and everything else that you have brought should fit in.
Just to give you an idea, camping tent for 4 people should be about 60-70 square feet and a 6 people tent about 80-100 square foot. Your room ought to have some extra space to contain your other personal items.
And this, dear friends, is where you are going to have a bone to pick with the manufacturers of the tents.
A camping or backpacking tent that is rated for two people might actually be good for one person. Or for two small people, like in Gulliver’s Travels!
Likewise a family tent rated for 4 people might only be good for 3 people. Considering that you will have your camping items …. You can see what I am driving at.
Tent material/tent fabric
Bad weather calls for camping tents made of strong materials. There will be rain, sure as God made little green apples.
Now, a bad fabric will absorb a lot of water, become weighty and eventually, it might collapse on you.
That may prompt you to buy a nylon or polyester tent. However, these two materials are man-made and they have poor insulation properties. They can keep you quite hot when it is hot. They also do a poor job of sheltering you from cold.
For good weather, cotton and canvas tent tend to be the best. They are absorbent to moisture so you will not be irked by condensation.
They are also breathable and they insulate your family perfectly. When it is hot, they will keep you cool. When it is cold and you must use a tent heater for camping, they keep all the warmth inside.
However, they are heavy!
A family tent is large. Do not be surprised if the cotton or canvas tent does not fit in the trunk of your car.
So then, what is the best fabric to consider for the best family tent? Well, nylon and polyester are treated and woven closely to make a good tent. However, make sure that it is DWR treated. This simply means that it has durable water repellent coating.
One more thing that people find confusing is whether to buy a 3-season or 4-season family tent. If you are seeking protection from the rain and wind alone, then a 3-season tent will do. However, for winter camping, you need protection from sleet. That is when you need a 4-season family tent.
Thus, if you find all tent jargon confusing, simply look for the best 4-season tents on Amazon.com. That should pretty much assist you buy a good tent for camping in bad weather.
Your selected tent should come with high quality tent poles, tent zippers and rainfly, which we will discuss later.
Most tent buyers overlook the tent zip but with a poor quality tent zip, you might end up having the worst camping experience.
Also consider tent material that dries fast.
There is no doubt that you and your family will use your tent to the maximum during your camping trip.
That could only mean one thing; best family tents for bad weather should have strong flooring. Super quality flooring literally protects your gear and your entire family from poor weather.
The last thing you would want is water and the coldness of the ice finding its way into your tent. This is why it would be wise to use a footprint on your tent.
A tent footprint is a piece of fabric particularly designed to protect a tent from the ground and scratch.
One thing that you have to be careful with when choosing a tent footprint is that if it can keep the water out, it can keep it in. Do not bring any wet gear, clothes of boots into the tent.
The best winter tents should come with waterproof flooring. As well as being waterproof, it also helps in the insulation when you go to sleep.
Anyone who knows how it feels waking in the morning in a tent only to find everything damp can tell you that it’s the worst experience.
Due to inhalation and exhalation, cooking, boiling coffee and so on, there will be a lot of condensation in the tent. That is what happens when steam meets cold air.
This can be quite uncomfortable for your family. If you are not careful, it could be a prelude for respiration problems.
When you are camping in nasty weather, ventilation in the best winter tents is a must-have feature. Waking up in damp bedding is the last thing you want to contend with, especially when the weather is already nasty.
A well-ventilated tent protects your tent from being damp. Condensation issue in a tent triggers infections. You do not want to end your camping trip abruptly after all members of your family get sick.
Does the tent have a window? That helps in preventing condensation. You need airflow in the best winter tents. If you wake up in the morning to find condensation on the walls of your tent, you need some more airflow.
Note that the best family tents for bad weather should be well ventilated. If it is too closed up, the air inside does tend to get a little stale, especially when the tent hosts many people.
Camping tent price
No one plans to go for a family camping trip without considering the amount of money they will spend on the best winter tent.
You don’t want a tent that will break your bank. At the same time, you want a high quality winter tent. So, you definitely can’t go for a low quality cost tent.
A cheap tent may end up failing you especially during bad weather and this will cost you even more. Most high quality tents are usually sold at high prices commensurate to their high quality features.
On the other hand, cheaper winter tents may come with low quality features that cannot withstand stormy or windy weather.
When it comes to protecting your family when you are camping in cold weather, then you know very well that no cost is too high. However, there is life after the camping vacation.
It is better to pay more money and get more features than pay less and get fewer features. For the best winter tent for the whole family, consider spending anything from the $300 mark.
There are cheaper varieties but then, they may not give you everything. It is just like buying the best transparent bubble tent. You can only have the best for the highest price.
The Tent Weight
While a lightweight tent for backpacking could be a great deal during spring, summer and even fall, this may not be the case for family camping trips in the cold of winter.
Take the case of a stormy or windy weather for instance; your tent may be blown away by the wind or the storms. However, a heavy tent will be in a position to withstand bad weather in as much it will be a challenge carrying it from one place to the other.
It might not be possible for you to find a family tent for bad weather that you can carry in your backpack for backpacking. Family tents are large, and heavy. The tent poles, that adds on the weight.
You will also be bringing other things for camping. Thus, you do not want to make the tent too heavy.
Insects and nasty bugs want to share your tent with you. They too have a right to the campsite. What they do not have a right to is your skin.
Some of these insects bite and can really make you and your family have the worst camping experience.
Since you will be camping in bad weather, these insects love to go to the tents for shelter. If your tent has no insect protection, your camping experience may turn out to be your worst nightmare.
The best tent should have a mesh covering the window and door panels. This helps to keep the insects and the bugs from your family camping tent.
Alternatively, there are camping tents that come with door fly screens, designed to prevent the insects from entering. You may also want to carry some insect repellent with you.
For a tent to withstand a stormy or windy weather, then it must be firmly anchored to the ground.
Stakes are a great deal when it comes to holding a tent tightly against the storm and winds. A family tent should be of a bigger size.
Big-sized winter tents are likely to be struck by the wind as a result of the large surface area.
In particular, you need to get the best storm stakes. These are particularly designed to anchor the tent. If you are expecting blizzards, well, you need to stake the tent firmly.
Your tent ill most likely come with metal stakes. These are good. However, find out the kind of ground that you will be pitching your tent on. You can get tent stakes for hard or soft ground.
Choosing the best winter tents is not hard, but it does require that you choose every accessory carefully.
Porch and extension
You may want to look for a camping tent that comes with integral porch. Such an addition is ideal as your family can find a place to keep your outdoor boots and clothing before entering the tent.
It also creates more space for your family. A porch or other extension feature is worth considering especially if you are going for a long family camping trip. This is a great idea particularly for families who would prefer separate cooking space.
Because most tents come with vestibules, which you can use to store your gear, you might not need to get a tent with a porch.
Some extensions and awnings for the camping tent are just zipped on to the main tent, thereby creating some good extra space.
The best family tent should not require you to be a rocket scientist to assemble it. The best family tent is one that do not require complex construction.
Thankfully, many tents today come in an almost ready to use design. That means that just minimal assemblage is needed to have the tent erected. However, for a first-timer, it can still be hard to assemble a tent. Check out videos for assemblage as provided by the manufacturer of the tent.
Note that complex tents will need a lot of assembling but the right tent is one that can be set up with ease.
Consider the rainfly is the umbrella of your tent. For cold weather camping tent, make this one bg. The best rainfly for the best winter tent is one that stretches from the top all the way to the ground.
Today, you will find that most family tents for camping in cold weather are sold with a rainfly. Thus, you do not have to buy one separately. However, in some case, you may have to buy one separately.
Even though you will have brought waterproof sleeping bags, waterproof hiking shoes, waterproof outdoor jacket or whatever else you have… you will still need to have this rainfly, even if the tent is waterproof.
A rainfly helps break the wind, helps keep the tent as waterproof as possible. It also protected you from snow and other nasty elements.
Consider it as dressing up to go to work, and then having a nice raincoat on top of your power suit to protect it.
Tent Warranty and after sale service
No one loves the idea of investing their hard earned cash on the best winter tent, only to find that it is faulty.
Thus, you should only buy your tent from manufacturers that offer reasonable warranties on their products. For example, the Core Family Tent For 10 People is sold with a limited warranty of 12 months. You are assured that the tent will be fixed or replaced should it have manufacturer defects.
Warranty shows that the manufacturer is confident in their product. However, there are other ways of knowing whether outdoor items are good. One of them is to read reviews left by other users before buying.
At least make sure the family tent has a warranty of one year.
Consider the Extra features
There so many other features that you should consider when looking for a family camping tent. This includes the number of windows in the tent and doors too. The best winter tent should have at least 2 doors to prevent your family members from colliding with each other all the time.
2 windows are good for ventilation. There should also be internal storage pockets for personal items, which prevent the tent from being cluttered. The tent should always stay clean and up to standard.
While camping, you will have many things with you including food and good water for the whole family and all these should be kept in your tent.
You may also bring a camping stove, or a means to chop wood and make a good fire to keep you warm.
After cutting up your firewood, you will want to keep it inside the tent to keep it dry. So, do remember to bring your hatchet for camping.
The joints of the ten should be sealed and welded to keep water out.
Keeping your family warm when camping is quite a big, and important deal. You have to have one of the best family tents for bad weather. Thankfully, there are many in the market for you to consider buying. You can click here to buy the best winter tents on Amazon.com. If the camping bug is in your blood, you know that not even the most serious weather will keep you indoors. Remember to dress for the weather rather than for looks. Layers are important, even when sleeping.