Choosing tents for camping can be a chore. Most gear guides will elevate ultralight and backpacking tents, and they’re cool, but not all camping adventures benefit from them. If you love camping outdoors but don’t want to haul your supplies into remote areas, you need one of the best cabin tents.
Cabin-style tents are awesome and enormous, trumping dome tents in size thanks to vertical walls and tall center heights. They are heavy, so you won’t be schlepping them far into the mountains, but you can still enjoy nature's bounty with them. Setting up in a roomy tent that fits your group and protects against bad weather sounds pretty ideal.
Below, I review the best cabin tents so you can glamp and camp to your heart's content.
My Review Process
I’ve been camping for decades, and I’ve met a lot of people celebrating nature in a lot of ways. Variety is the spice of life, and not everything is ultralight or mountaineering-oriented. Sometimes, we just want to hang outside with good people, good food, and a gentle breeze. A big cabin tent will help you chase that feeling.
The best way to honor public lands is to remember what they’re for. On most national forest signs in the US, there’s an identifiable phrase, “land of many uses.” These spacious tents won’t help you break speed records on the trail, but they are for those who want to enjoy nature on their own terms.
In this list, I review the best options to bring community and comfort into the outdoors.
The Big Agnes Bunk House 6 is my choice for the best overall cabin tent. It’s got plenty of extra space, 83 square feet to be exact, and a peak height of 6.5 ft. to accommodate tall people. The vestibules are massive and can be built into a quick rain shelter, which is an awesome extra feature. It’s also a durable and weatherproof model that’ll make camping fun.
There are limited interior storage pockets, so you might want to bring some extra storage solutions. However, the gear line is a nice touch as it lets you hang items up, instead of clumping them into tent corners where they may get lost. And, while the tent vents well with the fly-off, getting it on and off takes time. Make sure to move slowly so the fly doesn’t get caught.
As a general rule, tent capacities are also fairly optimistic, and while you can fit 6 in here, it works best with 3-5. If you want a cabin tent with lots of excellent ventilation and weather protection, I recommend the Big Agnes Bunk House 6.
Convenience is king, and the Gazelle T4 is my choice for the best pop-up cabin tent. The ease of setup is notable, with the entire tent deploying in about 90 seconds. It's perfect if you arrive at a campsite after dark. The hub shape also bows out the straight walls, which increases the spacious feel. Speaking of space, the T4 has a tall people-approved center height of 6.5 feet.
Instant cabin tents tend to do well for a handful of trips a year. Heavy use in rugged environments or in adverse weather conditions will lead to durability issues. However, with great rain resistance, an easy setup, and plenty of space (61 sq. ft.), this is a fantastic set it and forget it tent for you and your friends or family. It also comes in an orange version.
The Bushnell Shield 12 is my choice for the best 12-person cabin tent. This huge tent has great weather resistance and employs thick polyester in the tent body. And while the rain fly doesn’t cover everything, it is very effective at shedding moisture. Another cool feature is the heat shield, a reflective treatment that lowers the inside temperature of the tent.
A tent this size will be heavy, and 62 pounds is a lot. Make sure your campsite is close to your car. Having said that, with an instant setup, one person can assemble the tent on their own. If you need a weather-resistant, feature-loaded camping tent with lots of extra space (198 sq. ft.), three rooms, and a 6.5 ft. center height, this one's for you.
My choice for the best 10-person cabin tent is the Core 10. Core makes great and excellent tent solutions, and the Core 10 is no exception. The tent features a monster 7 ft. center height, nearly vertical walls, plenty of space (140 sq. ft.), and offers good weather resistance. Perhaps best of all, it’s an easy setup.
Like other instant cabin tents, durability issues crop up over time. The big one here is the threat of rips in the thin tent walls. With multiple people, animals, and camping gear, it’s tough to keep the tent in tip-top shape if you use it often. However, for the price, this option is hard to overlook for casual recreationists who want an easy and memorable camping experience.
The Marmot Limestone 6 is my choice for the best 6-person cabin tent. It’s a well-constructed and durable cabin tent that operates like a dome backpacking tent. The two vestibules, full-length rainfly and dual doors, and excellent weather protection should look familiar to anyone who's dabbled in the backpacking world.
While the peak height is fantastic for tall people, with the rain fly on, it's pretty dark inside. The top of the tent is a full mesh roof, so you can flip back the rain fly to let the light in, but because the peak height is so big, it’s a bit of a chore. Snagged rainflys can lead to punctures, so be careful when pulling the fly on and off.
If you can live without the windows or convert the vestibules into an awning, the Marmot Limestone 6 is sure to please you and your friends.
Coleman’s Tent Oak Canyon 4 is my choice for the best 4-person cabin tent. This smartly designed space has two rooms for added personal space and a living area where you can set up camp chairs. It also has blackout technology, which absorbs 90% of sunlight, so you can sleep in longer in the morning. On top of all that, the tent is tall, with a center height of 6.5 ft.
Coleman tents are great but with both waterproof and blackout technology on this one, ventilation can be an issue. The tent works best in a mountain or woods environment with some shade. You can open up the doors and vents to get some air in but other tents are more effective here.
However, if you need a waterproof tent with a great layout, privacy, and blackout technology, I’d take a look at the Coleman Tent Oak Canyon 4.
The best family cabin tent is the Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow 8-Person. This tent approximates outdoor living the best. The canvas is rock solid and sturdy, and when set up properly, this thing is next to bulletproof, handling both hot and cold weather easily. The inside is also spacious, with a 6.5 ft. peak height, 140 square feet of space, and a large porch protected by an awning.
Canvas tents are heavy, and this one is no exception. With all parts clocking in at nearly 80 lbs., setup options are a bit limited; you want to be close to your car. However, when you set up this huge tent, you won't want to leave. If you desire durability, waterproof canvas, and 140 square feet of space, the Kodiak Canvas is right for you. It also comes in a 6-person version.
If you’re on a budget, the Coleman 6-Person Instant cabin tent is a breath of fresh air. This affordable instant tent sets up easily, like most instant cabin tents, and is available in multiple sizes (4-p, 8-p, 10-p). The peak height of six feet and waterproof fabric for bad weather protection are also standout highlights.
The entire tent has less ventilation than I expected, which can lead to condensation on the underside of the single-wall tent after rain. With a rainfly (only available for the 10-Person version), you can alleviate a lot of that condensation transfer.
Despite the ventilation issues, if you need a capable, tall, and waterproof cabin tent for a quick camping adventure, this is an affordable and easy solution.
Cabin Tent Buying Guide
Choosing one tent for camping can be tough. But if space is a priority, you’ll want to get a cabin-style tent. With vertical walls, weather protection, and high capacities, they are the perfect shelter for friends and family. To help you zero in on one that fits you and your adventure style, follow the points in my buying guide below.
Price & Value
Cabin tent prices vary quite a bit, but you can find good budget deals for $150-200. Mid-range cabin tents can run from roughly $250-500. And the best of the best can hover between $700 and $1000. The upper end of the range is dominated by canvas tents.
Space & Comfort
Cabin-style tents have a few positives over dome tents.
- Square footage. The type of tent matters and cabin tents have a ton of space, up to nearly 200 square feet! In addition to massive tent floor sizes, features like vertical walls also help to create more space than most dome tents.
- With more space, you can bring cots or queen-size air mattresses. The more comfortable you make your sleeping arrangement, the better chance you have of getting a full night's sleep.
- Tall ceiling heights. Many big cabin tents will have a peak height of over 6 feet, which means tall people can stand up inside it! Most cabin tents have nearly flat ceilings, which helps, but the ceiling height may taper a bit toward the sides.
- Extra features like extra gear storage, mesh windows, and awnings or porches. If your cabin tent has a porch or living space, it’s a great spot for camp chairs, coolers, and camping fans.
- Many cabin tents are instant tents with quick setup times and pre-attached poles.
- Large cabin tents can also come with a room divider or separate rooms, which adds a bit of privacy and personal space as well.
- Cabin-style tents are perfect for setting up long-term basecamps, unlike many smaller dome tents.
- The increased space and height should provide excellent ventilation. Make sure to utilize all floor vents, and peel off the rain fly if you have a mesh roof to help sustain plenty of airflow.
The one common thing with tent space, regardless of the type of tent, is that the capacity numbers are a little optimistic. Yes, with efficient puzzling, you can fit six people in a six-person tent. But higher capacity tents are often more comfortable if filled one below the maximum.
Weight & Packed Size
Most cabin tents are big. While you can certainly take some deeper into the wilderness, it’ll be hard moving something bulky that could weigh up to 80 pounds. Generally, lightweight cabin tents weigh around 20-30 lbs. The heaviest are the canvas tents due to the weight of both the canvas and connecting steel poles. Lighter cabin tents use aluminum poles.
In most scenarios, there are bags that accompany the tent, but they can rip or break. The best idea is to lay out all the gear before you head out and then see if you can repack it into the bag. If you have some trouble, grab a few extra bags or containers. Having a bag break without a backup handy is frustrating at best.
Ease of Setup
Since cabin-style tents are usually larger than dome tents, you want a version that you can assemble relatively quickly. If a tent says it is an instant cabin tent, it means the pre-attached poles are spring-loaded and ready to pop into place. You’ll still need to stake it down and secure guy lines so it stays where it should.
Instant tents are nice, but they don’t offer the protection of other types. If you get a tent with a longer assembly time, make sure you can build it on your own. If it’s a hassle, have a buddy or loved one out there to help you out. As always, I recommend erecting the tent at least once at home so you know how it's all supposed to go together before you get into the outdoors.
Each tent selection on this list has some level of weather protection. When evaluating tents, check for rainflys. If the tent doesn’t have a full-length fly, make sure all mesh walls are covered and the tent base is made from waterproof fabric to provide heavy rain coverage. Full-length rainflys defend against most adverse weather conditions.
As always, remember that weather resistance and waterproof are two different things. Weather resistance means the tent can handle light rain over a longer period or shorter bouts of moderate rain. Waterproof means the tent can handle heavy rains while keeping you dry underneath.
Weather protection and ventilation tend to be at odds with one another. Waterproofing comes from a polyurethane coating and factory-sealed seams. When a tent seam is sealed, air can’t get out. But ventilation requires air to get out.
So, look for options that offer weather protection while still employing mesh walls, a mesh ceiling or well-positioned floor vents, like the North Face Wawona 6 or Big Agnes Bunk House 6.
Keep in mind that while incredibly useful for moderate and light rain, rainflys trap air as well. The best strategy is to take it off when it's not storming; that way, you know you can generate plenty of airflow. You'll have to put the fly back over the tent if it's about to rain, especially for those with mesh roofs or mesh windows.
My choice for the best cabin tent is the Big Agnes Bunk House 6. It’s a waterproof tent with extra space, versatility, and extra features like a rain fly shelter that make it perennially attractive. If you want something with high marks for durability, I'd go for the best family cabin tent winner, the Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow 8-person canvas tent.
If you’re looking for an excellent tent that’ll host a large group of friends or family and doesn’t weigh 80 lbs., the Bushnell 12-Person Instant Cabin is well worth a look. And if you’re on a budget or want something simpler, the Coleman 6p Instant Cabin Tent is a nice option.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.