Best Family Camping Tents – 2021 Review

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The events of last year have certainly sparked a resurgence for local travel with more and more families dipping their toes into the camping scene. Many first time campers are wanting to set themselves up, so if you’re looking to upgrade or you need a little guidance as to what’s hot right now, here’s our best-selling family tents from the past 12-months.

Family camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing, and setting up your campsite should be no exception. It goes without saying that a tent which offers livability, comfort and ease-of-use is imperative to the whole family and has the power to make or break the experience of everyone involved.

We want you to love camping just as much as all of us here at Snowys, so as is always the way with our best-seller lists, it is our customers who have done the talking, not us. We’ve simply crunched the numbers to find out which family tents have come out on top. So, this is purely based on the sales volumes over the last 12 months, both online and instore at Snowys.

This year there’s a few newcomers in the list and a reshuffling of reliable favourites, so let’s get into it. Starting at number 10…

10. Outdoor Connection Resort Tents – versatile family tents

The Outdoor Connection Resort Tent range is comprised of the Bedarra, Brampton and Weekender tents, which have all been mainstays in our range for years. This is most likely on account of the durable fabrics and high-quality construction Outdoor Connection is known for.

The Bedarra is a 2-room dome design so there’s one for living and one for sleeping in, making it great for families. The Brampton, on the other hand, features three rooms with sewn-in dividers and versatile doorways that can turn into awnings around the tent. This makes it a true all-rounder for any, or, every climate. Slightly smaller than the others is the Weekender – which is a single room tent that is perfect for a smaller family on shorter trips.

This range is designed for those who are looking for quality construction with some extra bells and whistles.

A large family tent with it's awnings fully set up on a grassy site.The Brampton is part of Outdoor Connection’s resort range. Image: Outdoor Connection

9. The Malamoo Teepee – fun and practical

We called it in our best-sellers prediction last year and now here it is! The tents in Oztent’s Malamoo Teepee range are a practical and fun option that are perfect for setting up in the backyard for the kids, quick trips away, or festivals with their classic yet modern teepee shape. They come in 9 person and 6 person sized versions, with the 6 featuring a centre pole design and the 9 with poles that run down the sides of the tent.

They’re made from UP50+ protected 190T polyester with a 1500mm waterhead rating to keep you dry. They both have a 120g PE floor to protect you from the ground up and large windows and a door with superfine mesh fly screen for airflow and bug protection.

As an added bonus for all those who love matchy- matchy gear, Oztent brought more to the Malamoo range throughout the year which now includes beach shelters – a 2-Hub and a 4-Hub, plus beach chairs – Coolangatta, Manly and the Byron.

A teepee-style tent set up on grass next to a river.
The Teepee 6 will liven up any campsite. Image: Oztent

8. OZtrail Fast Frame – ideal for a speedy setup

A range that offers something for every kind of camper, OZtrail’s Fast Frame tents represent great value for money. Each tent boasts a fast frame to make setup and pack down quick and easy, plus No-See-Um mesh and a Ripstop polyester fly. The range features 3 series – the original, the BlockOut and the Lumos, with the latter two being the most popular.

The BlockOut is available in 4P, 6P and 10P, and has a heavy-duty hub to provide stability plus ClimaTech™ vents for enhanced airflow. True to its name, it features a BlockOut Technology™ coating which blocks daylight and reduces the temperature inside your tent. The Lumos series includes a 6P, 10P and a whopping 12P, and has all the glory of the BlockOut series, but with OZtrail’s own Lumos Integrated Lighting™ system for the ultimate of convenience at the touch of a button.

New to the market just 6-months ago, the BlockOut and Lumos tents have already shot into the best-seller list. Their popularity is no surprise given all the features on offer and we’re super keen to see where their ranking falls next year.

An OZtrail fast frame tent set up at a campsite.For hassle-free setup and pack down, the Fast Frame BlockOut is ideal. Image: OZtrail

7. EPE Bellbird Glamping Tent – luxurious camping comfort

Easy to pitch, with a reasonable packed size and plenty of interior space for lounging around, the Bellbird Glamping Tent from Explore Planet Earth, was given a facelift last year. Despite moving down the list from its previously higher ranking, the Bellbird continues to be a favourite for those who want to camp in style.

This tent comes in just one size and is accessed through the single gable shaped entrance which leads to a single room. It’s comprised of a 300D roof, 150D sidewalls, a 2000mm waterhead rating and a heavy-duty PE floor to protect you from the elements as well.

Whether you’re at home in the backyard or at the campsite, this tent offers luxurious camping comfort for families or groups.

A teepee-style tent set up on grass with trees behind it.
The Bellbird offers something different at the campsite. Image: Explore Planet Earth

6. Black Wolf Touring Tent – quick pitch & livable

The sheer number of models in the Black Wolf Turbo Tent range – over a dozen in total – is partially what contributes to them consistently being in our top 10 best-sellers list.

The real reason they are popular though is that they are tough, easy to put up, and very livable. They come in both canvas and synthetic versions and in multiple configurations to suit any size family or camping style.

The Turbo Tents can also be equipped with a range of optional accessories that allow you to add to the front awning. These include multiple wall options and a fully enclosed screen room. So, you can completely close-in the awning of your Turbo for maximum weather protection if you wish.

The Black Wolf Turbo Plus tent with it's large awning, set up on grass at a caravan park.
Easy to pitch and adaptable – the Turbos are a consistent best seller. Image: Black Wolf

5. Oztent RX-5 Combo & SV-5 Max – an all-in-one solution

Oztent has been working hard to refine their range and the past 6-months has seen some models phase-out to allow room for exciting new designs. Their newest innovation, the SV-5 Max, debuted last October and very quickly attracted the attention of RX fans, which is why we’re mentioning these two tents together.

The design of the RX-5 tent is based on Oztent’s popular RV series only they have a new flame retardant construction. They are also UV resistant and have waterproof Modcan fabric but what makes this tent super versatile, is that it comes complete with its accessories. The front awning can be fully enclosed to create extra weatherproof space for living or to expand the sleeping capacity from five up to ten people. Oztent also added a sunroof in the main section of the tent, plus a flysheet to make this tent an all-in-one solution.

The SV-5 Max brings together the favourite bells and whistles from both the RV range and the RX range and then adds a few extras. Features like the zip-in tarp extension for 5m of frontage and the rain cover integrated into the carry bag are details sure to impress. You will need a roof rack or trailer for transport, as the RX tents and SV-5 Max weigh in at over 30kg and have a 2-metre packed length, but they are the perfect balance for those combining family camping with outback touring.

An Oztent SV5MAX tent set up, with it's large tarp awning extension, at a grassy campsite by the river.
Oztent’s SV-5 Max Canvas Touring tent is a great choice for tourers. Image: Oztent

4. OZtrail Bungalow 9 – for warm weather camping

Jumping a whole 6 spots up the list this year and proving to be more popular than ever, is the Bungalow 9! Featuring a colour refresh from its green predecessor, the current version still has 3-rooms with near-vertical walls and a breezy mesh interior.

With large oversized D doors in the middle and at both ends, plus multiple large awnings for relaxing in the shade but also serving as entry awnings, the OZtrail Bungalow 9 is ideal for hot tropical climates.

There are four more windows on the flysheet for ample ventilation and the whole thing packs up into a tidy bundle that’s surprisingly small for such a roomy tent. The Bungalow is perfect for small vehicles and comes with an affordable price tag.

A large multiple-room tent with it's awnings fully set up, on a grassy field.
For warm conditions, the Bungalow 9 is ideal. Image: OZtrail

3. Oztent RV Tents– shelter in 30 seconds

Another reliable favourite series of tents that are consistently one of our best sellers are the Oztent RV tents. The RV tent range is synonymous with outback touring but equally as popular for family camping and weekend getaways.

The RV tents also have a range of optional accessories that enable you to add, join, enclose, protect and enhance your setup to suit your style. What’s even better is that they are super simple to set up. Made with 8oz polycotton canvas and featuring a durable aluminium frame, the Oztent RV tents will keep you dry in the worst of weather while integrated vents and windows help you stay cool in the heat.

Like the RXs, the only downside to the Oztent series of RV tents is their pack size. At around 2 metres in length and 25kg in weight, you’ll need a roof rack or trailer for transport. But, if you can manage this then you’ll have a tent for life.

An Oztent RV5 set up at a campsite in the forest.
Oztent RV tents are reliable, rugged and ready for outback touring. Image: Oztent

2. Coleman Chalet 9CV Family Dome Tent – a trusted choice

This tent is an excellent choice for any camping family and has not only been a staple part of the family tent range for many years but has also repeatedly found its way into our top 10 list. The Coleman Chalet 9 is one of the best value tents in our range and has a 3-room traditional dome-style that is constructed with tried and tested fabrics and reliable poles. With so many new families venturing into the camping scene and given its accessible price-point, it’s no wonder the Chalet has leapt a whole six places up the list to secure its position at number 2.

Loads of ventilation teamed up with good stability and just the right amount of livability makes it a go-to model for any family wanting a reliable and affordable shelter for their weekend getaways.

The interior features zippered room dividers and lots of storage pockets, all accessed by one of two doorways that can be set up as entry awnings in fine weather. It all packs away into a wheeled carry bag with dimensions that are friendly to families with medium-sized vehicles.

A large Coleman Chalet dome tent set up at a bush campsite.The Chalet 9CV is perfect for traditionalists who want lots of space. Image: Coleman Australia.

1. Coleman Instant Up Quick Pitch Family Tents – our best sellers

Our best-selling tents… again for the fourth year in a row! The Coleman Instant Up range consists of 12 models which cater to camping families of all sizes and to every budget. Their quick pitch frame makes setting up your camp an absolute breeze and just in case their #1 position wasn’t enough, new to 2021 Coleman has released a custom Ground Mesh Footprint for each size of instant up, so now you can truly give your tent the royal treatment it deserves!

The Silver Series does offer affordable functionality, but those looking for a little more will benefit from the Gold and Gold Evo series with its upgraded fabrics, increased ventilation and awning options. Or if you like a sleep-in there’s the Lighted Northstar Darkroom Series which now includes an 8P. These tents feature a light-blocking coating on the inside to keep it dark, flexible LED strip lighting for illumination and an extended front vestibule for weather-protected storage.

If impromptu weekend getaways are your thing, then you’ll appreciate their quick setup. In just under a few minutes, you can have the main part of the tent set up and then all you need to do is whack a few pegs in the ground before you start relaxing.

The 8 person Coleman Northstar with it's awnings fully set up, near a river.
Three years in a row – the Instant Up range has topped the list once again! Image: Coleman Australia

Next year’s prediction? Zempire Evo Air Tents

Fresh across the ditch from New Zealand, we reckon Zempire’s all-new Evo series will be a player in the top 10 family tents we sell here at Snowys next year.

With four tents in the range – TXL V2, TL V2, TM V2 and TS – the Evo series is the… ultimate in portability, flexibility and connectivity. The Evo takes the concept of Zempire’s original air tent and redesigns it from the ground up to cater to the mid-range family tent market.

This series features a tunnel design with SeroLink™ beam technology to cut down on weight and pack size, plus generous windows and ventilation points to increase airflow. The polyester fabrics have been treated with flame retardant, UV protection, and are light diffusing. The Evo series also includes a bunch of optional accessories and the two larger models have a zip-out multi-room inner to create the ultimate versatile sleeping arrangement.

A large inflatable-pole tunnel-style tent from Zempire, set up on grass with chairs and a table at the awning entrance.
Zempire’s Evo range takes the technology of an air tent into the future and it could be our best-seller next year.

We’re pretty excited about the Evo and can’t wait to see if it finds its way into next year’s list!

Are you new to the camping scene and looking to get yourself set up? 

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Joined back in March, 2013

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