Welcome back, campers! Today in Part 2 of our blog series on camping tents, we’ll be examining some of the more family-oriented tent styles that are best suited for large groups of outdoorsmen (and women). Many are offshoots of the standard tent designs such as dome and rigid frame tents, but custom-engineered tents specifically for families exist as well. Let’s take a look!
No, these aren’t temporary storage sheds or car ports! Tunnel tents can use either flexible fiberglass poles or rigid frame poles, but each type acts as a series of curved “ribs” that support the tent fabric in sections. With this design, tunnel tents can arguably be made as large as their owners need them to be, with some sleeping parties as large as 20 or more with individual rooms, doorways, and even windows! These tents are also very stable and great for rain or shine, which is most likely why these tents are largely considered to be the standard type of family tent used in campgrounds today.
If supersized tent-homes is how you’d like to camp, then look no further than the pod-style domed family tent. Much like our own homes, pod-style tents have a large central living area with additional domed rooms that extend outward into personal living spaces. This gives everyone their own space to sleep and dress while still having a single large room for congregation during the day. These tents are probably the best tents for comfortable family camping…if you have the space to put them up. Pod style tents are large and non-linear, so they require a lot of broad open space compared to most other tent styles. Having multiple rooms means a lot more fabric, tent poles and stakes as well, so expect these tents to be more difficult to assemble and bulkier to transport.
The Vis-à-Vis Tent
We’ve shown you tunnel tents and we’ve shown you pod-style tents, but having such distinct styles like that is practically begging for some hybrid of the two, and that’s where the vis-à-vis tent comes in. Beginning as a trend amongst French campers, this tent uses a small main entryway with a lot of headroom that connects two other small tents whose entryways face one another (hence vis-à-vis). Though not as large as a tunnel tent or as elaborate as a pod-style tent, vis-à-vis tents are a nice compromise between size and privacy.