Humans are social animals. Camping with a lot of friends or with your own family always feels much happier. A 12 person tent is designed for this kind of scenario that is large enough to give you a comfortable journey. It is spacious and has two or more rooms that provide privacy.
In the last two weeks we devoted all our time to researching and comparing the 12 person tents that existed on the market, and finally came up with this review.
If you are in a hurry, here are our recommendations.
well designed, excellent tent with reasonable price
easy setup in two minutes
Table of Contents
- 1 How to choose a 12 person tent
- 1.1 Dimensions and Space
- 1.2 Weather Performance
- 1.3 Easy to set up
- 1.4 Durability
- 1.5 Other Utilities
- 2 Best 12 person tents compared
- 2.1 Ozark Trail 16x16-Feet 12-Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent with Pre-Attached Poles
- 2.2 CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- 2.3 TETON Sports Sierra 12 Canvas Tent; Waterproof Bell Tent for Family Camping in All Seasons
- 2.4 Eureka! Copper Canyon LX, 3 Season, Camping Tent
- 2.5 CAMPROS 12 Person Camping Tent
- 2.6 Bushnell Shield Series 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- 2.7 KTT Extra Large 12 Person Family Cabin Tents
- 3 Final Thoughts
How to choose a 12 person tent
Before we start, the following metrics, concepts or features you should take into consideration for a better understanding of the product.
Dimensions and Space
You should have noticed that many vendors claim their tent to be 12 person, however, don’t take it too seriously, the actual capacity may not be as spacious. This is a marketing term, sometimes they just count it by the number of sleeping pads that they can put in.
The actual size may vary. Sometimes the tent is only suited for 6 people if you want space and convenience.
So we use the real floor area as a metric for spaces, you should note that as reading through.
All of the 12 person tents are large, which means they are relatively heavy (~44lbs/20kg and more). Those are car camping tents, we can’t imagine that someone can take it for a backpacking trip.
A freestanding tent means it is taller than an adult that you can stand up without bending. You will always feel much more comfortable inside. For a 12 person tent many of them have a height that exceeds 6’3”(2 meter).
You may ask why we should care about this if we are going out with cars. The answer is quite simple, you are always carrying a lot of stuff when camping out, so a small package size can give you more space for other things. Also note if the package is too long that you may not put it in the trunk.
Good air circulation makes you more comfortable. Big mesh windows can give a good ventilation that avoids the damp air when you are sleeping inside. However, the windows are very vulnerable on rainy days, good design and a rainfly can help.
Winter / cold weather camping
Theoretically you can use any tent in winter, but for a warm inner space the tent must be thick, mesh windows are a fault in this situation.
You can protect yourself by proper layering of clothes, good sleeping bags.
We have a guide on winter camping here if you want more information.
Rain and wind
Every tent has a waterproofing level, you can deduce the max rain it endures by this value. But it is just a rough number, moistures can seep in from any sew. For example, windows and doors are vulnerable in heavy rains. Good tents have some deliberate design in those places. Rain fly is an important factor too.
Easy to set up
Some tents come with the poles pre-attached,so you just unfold and extend the leg poles to set it up, within a few minutes. This is called instant setup design. Many people like it as it saves a lot of time.
A durable tent can last for many years before breaking. In many cases, canvas tents perform better because they are thick. Steel poles are always better than plastic ones.
Those are small features for convenience, sometimes it makes a huge difference.
Hooks for lantern
At the top of the tent it comes with a hook so you can hang a lantern to light up at night. This is often useful because the camping sites are in the wild area away from civilization.
Room dividers for privacy
It depends on who you are camping with, sometimes parents need to separate themselves from their children, or you want boys and girls to have their own individual room.
An opening allows for power cord coming through, it is designed to avoid water and bugs.
You can put the small accessories here, such as phones and glasses. If you put it on the ground it is hard to find and has a probability of stepping on.
Best 12 person tents compared
Ozark Trail 16x16-Feet 12-Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent with Pre-Attached Poles
- Instant setup
- L-shaped 3 room design
- Good ventilation
- Big space
- Ground vents and E-cable port
- Only one room has hook for lantern
Don’t be confused with the complex structure, This is a quick setup tent as the poles are pre-attached, you can pitch it up in a few minutes.
The L-shaped design is very useful, the main part of the tent consists of 3 small rooms, the out ¼ corner is protected by the canopy that makes a porch. As of a total area of 256ft²(23.8m²), it is quite big. Each room is 64ft²(~6m²), which is enough for a queen size airbed. You can put 4 sleeping pads in each room that get a total 12 as they claimed.
It comes with 7 closable big windows, and 2 vents in the bottom, so no need to worry about airflow.
With the canopy(durable 68D polyester, 600mm waterproof rating), it performs well on rainy days. The wall fabric is durable and thick, keeps the inside warm, however,for air circulation the ceiling is made of mesh that can’t hold heat in a cold environment.
There are pockets on the wall for small accessories, and an e-cable port for power cord.
All in all, This is an excellent tent with reasonable price. We recommend it as our best overall 12 person tent.
We have a dedicated review here for this tent if you want to learn more.
CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- Instant setup as it claimed
- Big space
- Great ventilation with 7 big mesh windows
- 3 rooms for privacy (detachable)
- Can’t withstand extreme weather conditions
The most noticeable feature is instant setup. CORE claims that you can set it up in two minutes or less. However, according to our experience, for the first time it took two of us about 6 minutes from opening the bag until we were completely done with stakes and all. Still it is quite impressive. Two minutes is achievable if you are more familiar with it.
If you want a quick camping trip and don’t want to hassle with the tedious pitching process this is a good choice.
It has two attachable dividers that splits the inner space into three rooms, which is very useful if you want more privacy when camping out with groups of friends.
This is a cabin tent which means it’s very tall with straight and steep walls. With a height of 6’8’’(2.03 meters) that most adults can stand up in freely.
There are 7 mesh windows that provide very good ventilation. However, this makes it much more vulnerable in extreme rainy days and you’d better avoid it.
The inner space has a total of 180 square feet (16.7 m²), which literally means you can put 3 queen size beds in. It is large enough to hold big families.
It is a good choice for warm seasons with moderate rain conditions.
There are also a few variants of this tent, like the built-in LED lighting version, extra large strait wall version, and side entrance version. We have given the link below, you can choose as you need.
Core Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Side Entrance
Core 6 Person / 9 Person / 10 Person / 12 Person Lighted Instant Cabin Tents
CORE 12 Person Extra Large Straight Wall Cabin Tent – 16′ x 11′
TETON Sports Sierra 12 Canvas Tent; Waterproof Bell Tent for Family Camping in All Seasons
- Extra wide door
- Suitable for all seasons
- Good weather performance
- Built-in e-ports
- No separate room
- A little expensive
- Ventilation is not so good
This is a teepee style canvas tent.
Canvas is a fantastic insulator, which keeps you cool in the summer and warm in cold seasons. It performs well under different weather conditions than other synthetic materials. The tent is durable, which means it has a much longer life time.
The wide open door design makes it easy to move gears in and out.
The inner space is 144 ft2(13.4m2), it is relatively small for a 12 person tent. Actually you can put 6 adults in comfortably instead of 12. There is also no separate room, if you care more about privacy, please pick other ones.
The ventilation is a problem because of the lack of mesh windows, but you can zip-away the floor and roll up the walls which turns the tent into a canopy, this is an interesting feature that you can use in the hot season.
Also note there is a built-in e-ports let you run electricity right into the tent to support lights and electronics.
You can set this tent up in your backyard as a permanent space for family time and parties. Children always love sleeping in a tent because it’s fun and much closer to nature.
Eureka! Copper Canyon LX, 3 Season, Camping Tent
- Free standing
- Large windows and good ventilation
- Room divider for privacy
- Convenience design
- Small packed size
- Can’t withstand extreme weather
Copper Canyon is a popular series of eureka. This 12 person one is a cabin style free standing tent with 2 doors and 2 rooms.
The steep wall design gives you lots of standing room, as the height is 7 feet(2.13meter) which is enough for most people, allowing you to stand up in almost every corner of the tent. It also means you can use air mattresses and cots that fit well against the wall.
There are huge mesh windows distributed on all sides that make excellent ventilation. It offers a good view inside.
The floor area is 168 ft2(15.6m2), that is to say, you can fit 8 adults comfortably. A detachable room divider splits the inner space into 2, giving you some privacy space, which is ideal when camping out with your children or friends.
For convenience, it has 6 pockets and 2 gear lofts, providing enough space for tiny accessories.Also there is an opening for a power cord.
The packed size is 28 x 10 inches (71 x 25 cm), which is very small for a 12 person tent, you can put it in your car with more spare space for other equipment.
This is a well designed tent for moderate weather conditions in the warm season.
- Low price
- Good ventilation
- Room divider for privacy
- Small packed size and lightweight
- E-cable port and side wall pockets
- Fiberglass poles
- Poor performance in heavy rain
This is a budget friendly tunnel-type tent that provides comparable features.
It is quite big, with a floor area of 180 ft2(16.7m2), you can put 3 queen air mattresses or 12 sleeping bags inside. However the tent is not so high(6 feet/1.82m) that tall people may need to bend.
It comes with two detachable curtain divider that separate the inner into 3 small rooms, which provides certain privacy. Note the curtain is flat so that you can project videos on it at night.
Due to the four large mesh windows, ventilation is good, you don’t need to worry about fresh air.
There are some mesh pockets on the side wall, which is useful for small things. At the top of the tent is a S-hook for hanging lanterns. It also has a E-cable port allows access to an extension electric cord without worrying water leaking in or bugs.
This tent is declared to be 4 season, but due to the thin material and big mesh window, you’d better not take it out in colder seasons. It can survive light rain, but don’t expect too much in moderate or stormy weather.
The lower price makes it a good choice if you are budget sensitive.
- Instant pole tech for quick setup
- Heat shield / dark room technology
- Large space and big windows
- Free standing
- 2 removable divider for privacy
- Gear pockets on walls
- Ground vents and A/C PORTS(E-cable port)
- A litter expensive
- One door
This is an instant setup cabin style tent, it offers a large floor area(198 ft² / 18.4 m²), actually it is quite big compared to other 12 person tents. With a peak height of 6’8”(203cm) and cabin design, you can stand up almost everywhere inside the tent.
The poles are made of aluminum and are pre attached to the tent so you can set it up quickly.
6 big windows gives it good ventilation and better view. It also provides 2 ground vents if the windows are zipped off in bad weather conditions.
The heat shield technology features a special reflective coating on the underside of the rainfly that blocks the sun’s UV rays that keeps the tent darker and cooler, which is good for you to sleep late in the morning or a nap in the mid of day. This is a similar technology like coleman’s dark-rest tent.
For convenience, it comes with gear pockets on the wall and A/C ports for the power cords. And 2 removable room dividers for privacy. Reflective piping and guylines is very eye-catching at night that stops you tripping over.
This is a good tent for warm seasons, it offers great features, however, the price is a little high.
KTT Extra Large 12 Person Family Cabin Tents
- Two separated room for privacy
- Simple porch protected by the rainfly
- Excellent ventilation
- 3 big doors
- Straight wall gives large inner space
- Affordable price
- Not instant setup
This is a large tent with 2 rooms, it is 7.05 ft long and 5 ft wide, unlike other tents with a tunnel like shape, this is much like a square room. With a height of 6’7’’, it is tall enough for almost any person standing up freely inside.
To give you a rough impression of the space, it is big enough to put 4 full air mattresses inside.
There is a rainfly you can set up in the front to make a porch that is protected from rain, it is very useful to store your gears, or as a place for dinner.
There are 3 doors located in the front room that are very convenient to get in and out. It is protected by a mesh layer so you don’t need to worry about flies. With 3 additional mesh windows, the ventilation is excellent, you should never worry about the air flow.
The top of the tent is full of mesh, it gives additional air flow too. It is also good to enjoy the starry sky at night when you remove the rainfly.
This is a solid tent with good quality and friendly design, with the separated two rooms it should be a good choice for families, one for kids and the other one for the adults.
However, you should keep in mind that this is not an instant setup tent, which means it takes some time to put it up, and you should carefully follow the instructions. You’d better try it at home first to get acquainted.
Big tent is a great choice for families with kids or large groups, the 12 person tent we carefully selected in this review are all good for different purposes. You can pick the favorite one that meets your own requirements.
As for your reference, here is our pick and recommendations:
Best Budget: CAMPROS 12 Person Camping Tent
Also Good: CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent