If you and five others plan on camping out sometime, you have choices in how you divide up sleeping arrangements. Many wind up putting up a trio of 2-person tents, or a pair of 3-person tents. However, if you want to keep everyone together and conserve space, then finding a 6-person tent can be a great way to go.
Should you decide to start shopping for the best 6-person tent for your situation, ask yourself the following 6 questions to narrow down through the selections to find the right one.
1) Is everyone sleeping in one chamber? Having one large tent that can house all six people in one ‘room’ can mean everyone stays together in a cozy environment. There’s a lack of privacy here, but the set-up is usually a simple affair, and having everyone grouped together means that conserving body heat helps everyone stay a little warmer.
2) How many ‘rooms’ can I have? If you want a multiple compartment tent, you’re likely going to find a number of options. Many multi-segment tents rated for six people have a large central chamber with smaller compartments to the left and right, for three total sections. However, there are also two-section designs, and some arrangements with four or five different components of varying sizes. Of course the more compartments a tent has, the more complicated it is to put up.
3) Will there be a lot of wind where you intend to camp? 6-person tents are considerably larger than 2-person tents often used for hiking. Those smaller tents are rather aerodynamic so that they maintain form and structure in high wind or a storm. 6-person tents have quite a bit more surface area and are often taller from the ground, so they take more wind. Make sure you get something that can withstand the elements you need it to protect you from. If you are setting up among a patch of trees or near your vehicles, the wind might be broken enough not to matter.
4) Are you going backpacking or just tailgating? Most 6-person tents are simply not designed for backpacking, although individual components might be distributed among multiple packs. They are far more useful for tailgating though, whether you are driving into a base camp or setting up at a festival grounds. If you’re just carrying it in the back of a vehicle, then you’re not going to be as concerned about weight.
5) What seasons is it rated for? Many outdoor tents are designed for spring and summer camping, and perhaps early fall if the temperatures are not too cold. However, winter ratings usually require very heavy and durable tents that come at premium price points. Keep in mind though that one region’s winter is another’s fall. Learn the specific temperature range it’s rated for and compare that to the weather you expect.
6) How hard is it to repair? Tents are very durable these days, but tears and rips do happen. If you’re going to spend a lot, see how hard it is to patch to keep it going.
Using these six questions, you can find the best 6-person tent for your camping adventures and trips.