We’ve looked at so many tents trying to find the best 8 person tent of the year… and here’s our top picks!
If you’re in a hurry check out our top pick: CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
Finding a good 8-person tent doesn’t have to be hard. I can tell you from experience that an easy to set up tent is a godsend and finding a tent that is large enough to accommodate that many people isn’t always easy, especially if you also bring along a lot of gear. Fortunately, many tent companies are making strides when it comes to easy to set up tents and adding little extra conveniences that make a larger capacity tent comfortable for a group of eight. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best 8 person tent and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
In this article, we’re going to review the following 8 person tents:
- CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- Coleman Elite Montana Tent
- NTK Cherokee GT Dome Family Camping Tent
- Browning Camping Big Horn Tent
- Kodiak Flex-Bow Deluxe Tent
Best 8 Person Tent Buying Guide
How Many Can It Hold?
If you are questioning whether a tent can hold eight people, don’t risk it. This isn’t the type of purchase you want to wait until you are at the campsite trying to cram everyone in that you then discover it is not big enough. If you are traveling with kids, you will also tend to bring more gear with you so the tent also needs to have enough space for all that extra stuff. Remember, that the tent dimensions are not necessarily going to help you determine whether your tent will be able to accommodate nine people. You want to assume a close fit any time you evaluate a tent’s capacity rating, and, if you need more room, go up a size.
Conditions You Will Be Using The Tent in
A 2 season tent will likely only be designed for camping in relatively good weather in the warmer and sunnier parts of the year. Most of these tents contain a lot of mesh and ventilation flaps to allow a good airflow to cool down its occupants during hot summer days. It will cope with mild rain and wind, but anything really heavy could push it beyond its design.
I have found that a 3-season tent is a good lightweight shelter to use in pretty mild temperatures like fall, spring, or summer. It will usually come with mesh panels that help to increase airflow and keep out insects which are great features when it gets warm and humid. You can keep out the rain by pitching a rainfly to withstand the rain but be careful using this type of tent in bad weather because it will not withstand violent winds, harsh storms, or heavy snow very well.
3 to 4-Season Tents
The next type is a good choice for use in the summer or even in late fall and early spring when you may have to deal with a little snow. You get a great mix of staying warm with awesome ventilation even though it has fewer mesh panels than the 3-season model. You will need to deal with a couple of poles during set up but that just makes it sturdier. If you do a lot of trips to higher-elevations, this can be a good choice but it won’t be as reinforced for harsh weather like a 4-season tent.
Constructed to be able to handle a substantial amount of snow and withstand strong winds, you can use a 4-Season Tent during any time of the year. The main reason I like to use these tents is that you can use it for really bad weather or if you are camping above the treeline. You do have to deal with even more poles, but again that increases the sturdiness of the tent which you need in winter weather. It also uses heavier fabrics and a round dome design that won’t collect snow. This tent can feel stuffy since it won’t have as many mesh panels like the other two styles but it definitely is a safe place to hunker down during a storm.
What I love about the cabin-style tent are the high peak height and the larger livable area. When you are with a large group, especially if kids are involved, having a family-friendly tent with a decent livable space makes a big difference in how well the trip is going to end. If you get a tent with a room divider, it’s handy to create a sleeping area and an area to hang out in, plus you can also get an awning that you can stake out to create a covered area outside for extra living area or covered storage.
If you are a more serious camper and like to camp out where the wind and weather can be harsh, the dome-style tent has great wind-shedding capabilities. This is the tent to have when you are more concerned about the durability of the tent and if it can withstand a harsher environment. However, if you are taking the family or a large group, you will also get a tall peak height but keep in mind that the walls will slop which will give you less livable area.
What Features Should You Look For in an 8 Person Tent?
Just for added comfort, even if you aren’t very tall, having a high peak height makes it easier to change your clothes and will save your back from having to be slouched over all the time.
Again, even if you aren’t over six feet tall but just like having more space in your tent, having a longer floor length is a nice feature. I have found that a tent with at least ninety inches of floor space will be appreciated by everyone in the tent.
Several doors in a tent is a must if you are camping with children. Even if you are with a group of adults, more doors mean less climbing over each other in the middle of the night when you need to use the bathroom. It doesn’t hurt to consider where the doors are located and the door’s shape so you know how easy it will be to get in and out of the tent. The zippers on the doors can also be noisy or difficult to shut so if you get a chance to check them out before you purchase the tent it will also give you a good idea of how easily they will snag or possibly even break after some use.
One of my biggest pet peeves when camping is how difficult the tent poles are to assemble. A larger capacity tent will usually be a freestanding tent so it won’t need to be staked down, its strength and structure come from the tent poles. There is an advantage to this design in that you can pick up the tent and move it to a different area if needed, plus it is easier to shake out the dirt before you take it down.
If I can find a tent with fewer tent poles, I know I will have a faster set up. I have also found that attaching poles to clips is easier than threading them through those awful long pole sleeves. Some tent models also use both short poles and clips to balance out set up and even include pole clips and color-coded corners that make set up faster. Another key thing to remember, aluminum poles are stronger than fiberglass.
Even though it seems like a pain to have to deal with, a rainfly is a great extra waterproof cover that fits over the tent’s roof. I know it seems like a pain to have another thing to set up, but it can make the tent warmer and drier. After using it once in a rainstorm, you’ll definitely see what I’m talking about.
Attached awnings are also a favorite feature of mine as they can cover your gear, including dirty boots and shoes, if it rains so you don’t have to bring that type of gear into the cabin.
I found out the hard way that when choosing a tent remember that higher-denier fabric is more durable than a lower-denier one and lessen the possibility of leaks.
Condensation is often my biggest issue to deal with on a camping trip. I have learned to look for tents with lots of mesh in the windows, doors, and ceilings if possible. If you know you will be camping out when it is hot and humid, a tent with large mesh panels is the best, trust me.
Interior Pockets and Loops
Loops and pockets are so important for keeping stuff out of the way. A tent gets cramped enough without having gear everywhere. I like to look for lantern loops that hang from the center of the ceiling, pockets to store items in, and even shelves made of mesh called gear lofts that let you keep items off of the floor. I know they may seem silly, but trust me, you will love them
Top 5 Best 8 Person Tent Reviews
Ok, this one is a 9 person tent but who doesn’t like extra room for all the gear and the dog right? Plus, it’s super easy to setup. I am all about an easy setup and the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent gives you a stress-free sixty-second setup, how cool is that? Poles are pre-attached to the tent so you only need to unfold and set up. This is also a water repellent tent that uses a fabric where water just runs off. Windows and doors also have sealed seams keeping everyone nice and dry.
You also can open up the ceiling of the Core revealing a panoramic mesh window for nice ventilation. Plus, it offers a pretty cool air intake vent system that you can adjust to draw in cooler air when you need it. A large double door allows easy and handy access for the kids as they run in and out of the tent along with windows and doors that have zippered privacy panels.
And to help my need to organize everything, The Core includes hanging storage pockets so you can keep your gear close by. This roomy tent has a peak height of 78 inches and a room divider to create a two-room tent giving you a sleeping space and a living space or at least another room to get away from the kids for a minute.
- Has good ability to keep your things dry inside by venting out damp air
- Easy to put up and take down
- The tent holds up well to wind and rain
- No way to fasten vent flaps beside staking them down
Have I mentioned I like to be comfortable? This cabin-like tent not only can fit three queen size air mattresses, but it has built-in lights and a charging station. I’m not kidding. You get six built-in CPX LED lights that are powered by 4 D batteries, and you get an energy pack that can power pretty much anything using a USB slot.
To keep you nice and dry, the Coleman has a patented welded floor design that uses inverted seams and auto-roll windows that you can easily roll down as they unzip and even open at an angle letting in light but no water during rainy weather. You can also create a dry space outside with an extended door to cover all of that dirty gear you don’t want muddying up the inside of the tent.
Did I talk about the easy assembly? It only takes about fifteen minutes because of its continuous pole sleeves and Insta-Clip suspension that are both snag-free. The rainfly also has clips so you can install that easily as well. Make sure to take advantage of the mesh ceiling for a little star gazing.
- Works well in rain and wind
- Easily sets up with just one person
- High enough you can stand up in it
- Ventilation is not great on humid and hot days
I don’t know about you, but I like to be as comfortable as possible when I am camping. Along with my first loves, easy assembly and waterproofing, having a lot of storage and sleeping space is a necessity. Featuring a dome design, you also get a detachable room divider and a peak height of 73 inches. This tent uses the not as strong fiberglass tent poles, but they do offer a lifetime warranty on them so that makes me feel a little better about their durability.
And, that easy assembly I mentioned? The Cherokee basically just uses two poles that build out the inner tent plus a small pole that extends out the awning, how awesome is that? Plus, the doors that have a full layer of mosquito mesh and a full layer of fabric. The mosquito mesh is a breathable polyester that keeps out even the smallest bug but lets you have plenty of fresh air.
I also love the bathtub-style construction of the heavy-duty floor that makes sure you won’t wake up wet. It’s made of a seamless anti-fungus polyethylene material that has a special silver-coated inner layer that stops a leak. Anything that makes sure I stay dry while I sleep is an amazing feature if you ask me.
- Holds up well in the wind and rain
- Nice and roomy when using air mattresses
- Convenient flaps over zippers so rain doesn’t leak in
- If you are shorter, it is hard to set up with the rain fly
- Some condensation problems
I’m not that into camping in extreme conditions, but, if I were, the Browning Big Horn would be high on my list to try out. Not only is it easy to set up, but it also has a ton of features with an extra tall height that is easy to stand up in. If I’m going to be stuck inside during bad weather conditions, I definitely want to be comfortable and a wall divider gives you those two living areas if you need it.
Did I mention its durability which you need in extreme conditions? A 150D oxford floor that is double the weight of a typical nylon material makes certain it won’t fall apart easily, although the fiberglass poles made me a little nervous. It was good to see that it also includes steel uprights for added strength. You also get two large doors that give you easy entry into either room. Adjustability and extra strength are found in the polyester fly buckles that will safely keep you protected from the weather.
Factory sealed floor and fly seams help to provide the best protection from the weather polyester fly buckles that will safely keep you protected from the weather. Two large doors help your group enter either room and prevent everyone having to crawl over each other when they move around. Even though this is a tent for bad weather, it does come with six windows and a mesh roof that gives you great ventilation and the opportunity to do a little stargazing, because let’s face it, that’s why you are out camping!
- Great size tent to use with air mattresses
- Comes with four huge windows
- Easy to assemble as long as you read the directions
- Assembly is not intuitive, must read the directions
What I like about the Kodiak Flex-Box is that you can use in any type of weather conditions. The tight weave and silicone finish on the duck canvas actually lets this tent breathe but still maintains its watertight features that reduce both mugginess and condensation. It also holds up well in a high wind with tempered steel rods. Another feature I love is the floor. Not only is it seamless, but it is heavy-duty and puncture resistant.
And did I mention that you only need one person to set this baby up? With a 78-inch height and steep walls, you have an area that you can easily walk around in. Large doors make it easy for the kids to run in and out as well as keep you from killing your back when you bend over to go through them. I also love the included organization system and a customizable gear loft that give you plenty of space to store your gear, plus there is a large awning that lets you store dirty stuff outside.
- A large tent that you can stand up in
- Easy assembly and disassembly
- Sturdy floor and tent material
- Leaks at each stake loop
- Won’t fit eight people comfortably
The clear winner of the best 8 person tent roundup is the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent. I LOVE the quick and stress-free sixty-second setup. I am a sucker for a tent that you only need to unpack, unfold, and extend out the poles that are actually pre-attached to the tent. Mix in some water repellent features and sealed windows and doors, and I am sold. I also love the hanging storage pockets that keep your stuff off the floor leaving you the ability to create a two-room tent with both a sleeping space and a living space. Sleeping nine people comfortably, the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is the definite winner of the 8 person tent roundup.