Best 5-Person Camping Tent: Top Camping Tents of 2023

After some extensive (and expensive) research, we’ve chosen the ALPS Mountaineering Expedition Taurus Outfitter Tent as the best 5 person tent for camping. Read on to find out why.

The weather’s getting warm, and the days are getting longer, so you know what that means: time for camping!

Spring, summer, and even autumn are great camping seasons-heck, you can even camp in winter if you’re daring enough.

If you want to take your little family out on a camping trip or you just want a tent with more space, you’ll find that a 5-person tent is the perfect middle ground between comfort and portability.

With a 5-person tent, you’ll have room enough for 2-3 adults or a family plus two kids, maybe even a pet. But it’s the perfect solution to camp in style with plenty of room for storing extra gear.

Below, we’ve collected a list of the best 5 person tents for your specific needs. Plus, we’ve included a complete guide to choosing the perfect tent, based on all the most important factors.

By the time you reach the end of this page, you’ll know exactly what to look for and how to pick the ideal tent for all your camping trips. 

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Quick Answer: The Best 5-Person Camping Tents for You

Don’t have time to read the whole article? Not a problem! Check out our quick-and-easy list to find the right tent according to your needs:

Best Overall: ALPS Mountaineering Expedition Taurus Outfitter Tent
Best Waterproofing: Vango Apollo 500 Five-Man Tent
Easiest to Set Up: AGLORY Easy Pop-Up Tent  
Best for Backpacking: Gonex Camping Tent 
Most Spacious: NTK Colorado GT 
Best for Tall Campers: Browning Camping Big Horn Tent 
Best for Luxury Camping: Vidalido Dome Camping Tent 
Best for Car Camping: Eureka TETRAGON NX 5
Best for One-Person Set-Up: MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent 

Comparison table: The Best 5-Person Camping Tents for You

ModelSpecsWhere To Buy

ALPS Mountaineering Expedition Taurus Outfitter Tent

Dimensions: 96 x 120 x 72″
Peak Height: 72″
Weight: 13 lbs. 5 oz.

Vango Apollo 500 Five-Man Tent
Dimensions: 114 x 153 x 66″
Peak Height: 66″
Weight: 19.6 lbs

AGLORY Easy Pop-Up Tent  
Dimensions: 118 x 83 x 51″
Peak Height: 51″
Weight: 10.8 lbs

Gonex Camping Tent 
Dimensions: 106 x 116 x 69″
Peak Height: 69”
Weight: 8.8 lbs

NTK Colorado GT 
Dimensions: 116 x 116 x 67”
Peak Height: 67”
Weight: 16.5 lbs

Browning Camping Big Horn Tent 
Dimensions: 96 x 120 x 84”
Peak Height: 84”
Weight: 21 lbs

Vidalido Dome Camping Tent 
Dimensions: 144 x 120 x 96”
Peak Height: 96”
Weight: 14 lbs

Dimensions: 108 x 108 x 72”
Peak Height: 72”
Weight: 12 lb 6.4 oz

MOON LENCE Instant Pop-Up Tent 
Dimensions: 114.2 x 121.3 x 52.4”
Peak Height: 52.4”
Weight: 10.25 lbs.
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Top 5-Person Tents for Camping

Best Overall: ALPS Mountaineering Expedition Taurus Outfitter Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Expedition Taurus Outfitter Tent

Dimensions: 96 x 120 x 72″
Peak Height: 72″
Doors:  2
Weight: 13 lbs. 5 oz.

Take this tent camping with you, and you’ll always be ready for anything. It’s not the most spacious or luxurious tent, but thanks to its dome-shaped design, you can rest easy knowing the tent can withstand heavy rains and high wind.

The tent includes both upper and lower protection: a sturdy polyester rainfly that shrugs off both UV radiation and heavy rainfall, and a heavy-duty 210D nylon oxford floor that is highly resistant to abrasion and puncture damage. With a peak height of 6 feet and up to 8 feet of length to stretch out, it’s comfortable enough even for taller campers.

The freestanding pole system is made for easy setup—you can pitch it easily in under 10 minutes. The lightweight aluminum frame is supremely portable, and the entire tent weighs just over 13 pounds. With 32 square feet of vestibule space, it’s more than roomy enough for all your gear and supplies.

  • Sturdy construction and design
  • Portable, nicely lightweight, and easy to pitch
  • Ideal for family use, though five adults will fit in a pinch
  • 3+ season use
  • Limited interior floor space
  • Not suited to very hot temperatures

Best Waterproofing: Vango Apollo 500 5 Person Tent

Vango Apollo 500 Five Man Tent

Dimensions: 114 x 153 x 66″
Peak Height: 66″
Doors: 2
Weight: 19.6 lbs.

This is a tent built to keep off even the heaviest rains. Whether it’s full-on jungle rains or a straight-up monsoon, the built-in 3000mm 70D polyester waterproof flysheet will shrug off any amount of water. There’s even a groundsheet (footprint) built in to add extra protection beneath you—no more waking up on damp, cold floors.

The tent is a camper’s dream, easy to set up and sturdy enough that it will withstand strong winds. The extended dome design combines the sturdiness of a dome tent with the ample space of a tunnel tent, giving you the best of both worlds. With multiple built-in ventilation zones and two mesh-covered doors, you can let in the cool breeze or zip up tight to stave off the chill.

Vango Apollo 500 5 Person Tent
Image: Cotswold Outdoor

The front of the tent serves as a very roomy vestibule, with ample square footage to store your gear, shoes, and supplies.  Inside, you got both lantern hanging points and inner pockets, making organization an absolute delight.

  • Easy to set up—pitch time is ~10 minutes
  • Dry setup; add the poles from the outside for easy pitching even in heavy rain
  • Sturdy, ultra-waterproof polyester fabric
  • Great ventilation
  • Too small for five adults
  • Heavy  

Easiest to Set Up: AGLORY Easy Pop Up Tent

AGLORY Easy Pop Up Tent

Dimensions: 118 x 83 x 51″
Peak Height: 51″
Doors: 2
Weight: 10.8 lbs.

If you’re a camper who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up a tent, you’ll love how much this particular tent streamlines the entire process. It’s designed for “instant pitching”, meaning you can get it all set up in under 2 minutes. The poles will snap together right out of the bag and the tent will basically assemble itself. Disassembly is equally breezy—you’ll be packed up and ready to roll out in minutes.

The dome tent isn’t exactly roomy; it’s sized more for 4 adults, or two adults and two children. The 51-inch roof also forces you to crawl around once inside, and there’s only limited floor space for storing your gear. With no built-in vestibule, you don’t have any extra external storage space, either.

Interior of the AGLORY Easy Pop Up Tent

However, this tent is beautifully lightweight (just over 10 pounds) and uses 3000mm waterproof polyester to ensure that it can withstand even the heaviest downpour. Thanks to the mesh windows and doors, you can let in the cool breeze on a hot summer’s day and enjoy the views around you. It even includes a lantern hook, interior storage pockets, and a two-way zipper to maximize your comfort and convenience.

  • Ultra-convenient tent to take camping; set up and tear down in seconds
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Sturdy materials; good waterproofing
  • Affordable
  • Not very spacious, low peak height
  • Limited storage space and no vestibule included

Best for Hiking Campers: Gonex Camping Tent

Gonex Camping Tent

Dimensions: 106 x 116 x 69″
Peak Height: 69”
Doors: 2
Weight: 8.8 lbs.

If you’re planning on hoofing your gear up to your camping site (rather than driving it in), you’re going to love this tent. At just under 9 pounds, it’s lightweight enough you can haul it along with your other gear for miles at a time without feeling the burden.

The tent is designed for setup in under 5 minutes, thanks to the pre-attached poles and buckle system. The dome shape ensures the tent is sturdy and capable of withstanding heavy winds, though it still has decent peak height (just under 6’). The sturdy 190T polyester taffeta fabric is finished with a 3000mm waterproof polyurethane coating and taped seams that can shrug off even heavy rains.

There is excellent built-in ventilation along the ground on both sides of the tent as well as a breathable window. Plus, it offers ample storage space and two large doors for easy entry and exit.

Gonex Camping Tent
Image: Clark Vistan
  • Sturdy design; solid polyester fabric and iron stakes
  • Excellent waterproofing and wind-resistance
  • Well-ventilated; great for hot-weather use
  • Easy setup and teardown
  • Lightweight, ultra-portable
  • Low peak height—not ideal for very tall campers
  • Quality control issues (product may arrive defective or damaged)

Most Spacious: NTK Colorado GT

NTK Colorado GT tent

Dimensions: 116 x 116 x 67”
Peak Height: 67”
Doors: 2
Weight: 16.5 lbs.

You might not think this dome-shaped tent would be the most spacious around, but wait until you step inside. The deceptively average peak height (5’7”) doesn’t interfere with the immense space within the tent. Stretching 9.8 feet long and 9.8 feet wide, it’s all room to stretch out and lounge in comfort.

The design does sacrifice a vestibule (there’s really nothing more than an exterior rainfly to keep your gear dry), but that means more space inside the tent’s protection. And, thanks to the 190T polyester with its PU coating, your gear will stay absolutely bone-dry no matter how hard it’s coming down outside.

NTK Colorado GT tent pitched in a forest
Image: NTK USA

The tent includes a heat-sealed thermoplastic coating that maximizes UV resistance, as well as a fully waterproof 2500mm rainfly to double your protection. The Nano-flex fiberglass poles are lightweight but surprisingly sturdy. They slide into the pin-and-ring system to make setting the tent up a breeze.

  • Excellent interior room to spread out and relax
  • Fits two queen mattresses side by side
  • Includes mesh pockets, gear loft, and lantern hook
  • Well-ventilated, even with the rain fly in place
  • No vestibule
  • Lower-than-average peak height

Best for Tall Campers: Browning Camping Big Horn Tent

Browning Camping Big Horn Tent

Dimensions: 96 x 120 x 84”
Peak Height: 84”
Doors: 1
Weight: 21 lbs.

If you’re taller than average (like me), then you’re going to love this tent. Built in the cabin design with nearly vertical walls that support a beautifully-tall 7-foot ceiling, this tent has more than enough headroom for you to stand and move around comfortably.

The straight walls allow for more interior space, so you can store your gear and backpacks alongside your mattresses even without the need for a vestibule. Though it only has one door, there are three mesh windows and a mesh roof you can open to let in the cool breeze on those hot summer nights. The combination of steel uprights and fiberglass poles makes this a nicely sturdy structure, one that can handle all but the fiercest winds.

At 21 pounds, it’s a bit on the heavy side, but car campers will embrace the extra weight if it means they get more interior space to move around.

  • Excellent peak height; perfect for taller campers
  • Good interior space, ample legroom
  • Sturdy freestanding design
  • Solid weather protection—2000mm PU coating
  • Heavy
  • One door, no vestibule

Best for Luxury Camping: Vidalido Dome Camping Tent

Vidalido Dome Camping Tent

Dimensions: 144 x 120 x 96”
Peak Height: 96”
Doors: 1
Weight: 14 lbs.

Glampers, take note: this is the luxury tent you’re going to love! Designed in a tepee style (rather than any dome or cabin style), it’s a truly unique tent that will make for a truly comfortable camping experience. Not only do you have an insane amount of floor space (120 square feet), but with an 8-foot peak height, even the tallest campers can stand up inside.

Everything about the tent feels luxe—from the sturdy anti-rust, reinforced steel poles to the 190T 150D Oxford poly-cotton fabric—and it’s reinforced with taped seams, caulking, and a 3000mm coating that will shrug off even heavy rains. Thanks to the mesh built into the door and roof, you can let in the cool night breeze and enjoy the views without the bugs bothering you.

Setup takes 5-10 minutes (depending on your skill level), and it’s designed to pack with ease. It’s not excessively heavy despite its size and includes accessories both useful (like the lantern hook) and decorative (like the colorful tent flags). It’s perfect for a kids’ backyard camping party or a friends’ trip in style!

  • Spacious, ultra-tall tepee style tent
  • Easy to pitch and tear down
  • Sturdy, well-designed
  • Excellent waterproofing and abrasion-resistance
  • Good ventilation
  • Instructions incomprehensible
  • Center pole may make sleeping arrangements challenging

Best for Car Camping: Eureka TETRAGON NX 5


Dimensions: 108 x 108 x 72”
Peak Height: 72”
Doors: 1
Weight: 12 lb 6.4 oz

Keep this tent in the trunk of your car, and you’ll be ready to head out on a camping adventure at the drop of a hat. Though it’s only a 3-season tent (ideal for warm-weather use), it’s sturdy and spacious enough to accommodate small families or friend groups.

Don’t try to sleep five adults—that’s a recipe for annoyance. Really, it’s better suited to 3 or 4 adults, or two parents and 2-3 small children. However, with a 6-foot peak height and 9 by 9 feet of floor surface area, it’s spacious enough to accommodate your gear, packs, and supplies without compromising comfort.

Image: Natchez Outdoors

The freestanding design makes it easy to select the perfect location for your tent, and the familiar dome shape makes pitching the tent a breeze (though there are no guy lines for the rainfly). However, fair warning: if the wind picks up, the fiberglass poles and clip-on system may not be up for a challenge. Keep this for those calm, warm nights when you want to stargaze in comfort.  

  • Lightweight and user-friendly
  • Pitching time is under 5 minutes
  • Affordable price tag
  • Great for impromptu camping trips
  • Not the sturdiest or roomiest
  • Ventilation isn’t great when the weather turns hot

Best for One Person Set-Up: MOON LENCE Instant Pop Up Tent

MOON LENCE Instant Pop Up Tent

Dimensions: 114.2 x 121.3 x 52.4”
Peak Height: 52.4”
Doors: 1
Weight: 10.25 lbs.

If you’re a solo camper—or get stuck setting up the tent while your family is off doing other activities—this is the tent for you. Thanks to its “instant setup” design, you can pitch it in a matter of minutes on your own, or seconds if you’ve got help from someone else.

The tent is surprisingly roomy, though it’s short enough at its peak you won’t be able to stand comfortably. However, you’ll find it’s well worth the trade-off to get such a lightweight, user-friendly tent that makes setting and packing up camp a breeze.

MOON LENCE Instant Pop Up Tent
Image: Mercury Goods

The 190T PU-coated polyester features UV resistance that will reduce sun damage and increase the tent’s lifespan. The fiberglass poles, iron pegs, and nylon guy ropes will all work together to keep the structure stable even in high winds and fierce rains.

  • Set up solo in a matter of minutes
  • Sturdy, well-designed dome structure
  • Good ventilation; mesh windows let in air
  • Spacious enough to fit up to five adults
  • Waterproofing is iffy; prone to condensation build-up on the interior
  • Thin tent bottom, no footprint or rainfly included

The Ultimate 5-Person Tent Buying Guide: Factors to Consider

Choosing the right camping tent is a bit of an art form, truth be told. You want to find a tent that suits your existing needs, but can be adapted to a variety of environments, groups, and trips. There are a lot of factors that should be considered in order to buy the “perfect” tent.

But here’s an honest answer few people will give you: you’re never going to find a tent that suits every occasion or situation. A light summer tent won’t work for camping and ice fishing. A tent you’d take backpacking won’t work for glamping, and a tent suited for kids will never offer space enough for adults.

All you can do is choose a tent that works for you right now, for this trip or this camping season. You may have to buy another tent down the line for a more unique situation—such as trekking, cycling, kayaking, or winter climbing trips—but at least for your basic, everyday camping trips, you’ve got what you need.

Below, we’ll walk you through all the factors that will help you select the best possible candidate to consider for pretty much any “normal” camping trip. If you need more specialized gear, you can always upgrade later.

Sleeping Capacity

This is probably the most crucial factor to consider when tent shopping.

You might think, “Well, it’s called a five-person tent, so it should sleep five people, right?”

Not always. Sometimes, a five-person tent is designed to be ultra-compact or with just space enough to house two adults and three kids (still technically five people!), rather than five grown adults.

You need to consider the makeup of your group to make sure you’re finding a tent that fits. For two adults and three kids (or two kids and a pet), the average five-person tent should do just fine. But if you’re talking five adults, you might want to consider upgrading to an 8-person tent to make sure you’ve all got room to stretch out at night. 


Tents are rated for:

  • 3-Season, meaning spring, summer, and autumn.
  • 4-Season, meaning you can use them even in winter.
  • 3-to-4 Season (also called 3+ Season), meaning they’re warm enough to use in milder winters, but may not stand up to some serious cold.
A green tent is pitched on a snowy mountain slope

If you’re doing most of your camping when the weather is pleasant and mild, a 3-season tent should be more than enough. If you like to camp from early spring to late autumn, you may want to consider a 3-to-4-Season tent. If you’re the sort of adventurous camper who will pitch their tent even in deep snow (or high on a cold mountain), then you’ll likely need a 4-Season tent to withstand the winter chill.


The height of the tent may not be a factor that kids or short adults need to worry about, but for taller campers (like my 6’ 6″ self), it’s something we have to consider.

If the tent isn’t tall enough, we spend all of our time indoors either hunched/bent over or sitting down. It’s just not ideal for comfort!

Tent height will vary based on several factors, chief among them the tent design.

Tent Design

There are three basic designs most campers will choose from:

Dome Tents

Dome tents tend to rise in a gently inward curving arch/dome shape, with the peak located at the highest point of the arch—typically dead center of the tent. At the peak point, you may be able to stand up comfortably, but the sloped walls may make it difficult for taller campers to stand up in the rest of the tent. Dome tents tend to be sturdier by design and typically offer more floor space, through less headroom.

Cabin Tents

Cabin tents are shaped like a cabin: (nearly) vertical walls with a higher ceiling. They tend to be far more spacious vertically, and you’ll likely be able to stand up comfortably throughout the entire tent. However, they’re more likely to get blown over by strong winds because of their vertical construction. They’re also less sturdy than dome tents and may be a bit trickier to set up.

Tunnel Tents

Tunnel tents aim for the best of both worlds. They’re longer and narrower than dome tents, but still use the same arched shape to maximize sturdiness. However, the peak of the tunnel will rise higher than a dome tent’s peak, and you’ve got plenty of headroom along the entire length of the tent’s center.

Floor Length

Tent floors are typically measured in terms of surface area—i.e. length vs width. For people of average height, the general surface area is what matters most. As long as there is space enough for all their sleeping pads, mattresses, or bedrolls, they’re comfortable enough.

However, taller sleepers like me have to worry about either the length or width of the tent. For example, I stand 6’ 6” tall—or, translated into inches (which most tent measurements are), 78 inches tall.

If the tent is neither longer nor wider than 78 inches, I can’t stretch out my legs, which makes for very uncomfortable sleeping. If the tent is just longer than 78 inches (say, 80 or 82), my pillow, blankets, mattress, or sleeping pad may touch one end of the tent. When this happens, it allows water on the outside of the tent to leak through (due to the water’s surface tension being broken). You end up with a wet head/wet feet, or maybe even a tent filled with water after heavy rain.

Ideally, you want at least 6 inches of extra floor space—that way, your tallest campers can sleep in comfort and the inside of your tent will stay dry and warm.


If you’re car/RV camping (i.e. transporting all your gear using your vehicle), the weight of the tent doesn’t matter too much. You can just unload it right onto your camping spot, set it up, and enjoy.

Eureka TETRAGON NX 5 tent packed

However, some people like to hike their camping gear up to a secluded spot where they can have some privacy on a lake shore or by the beach. Or, maybe you want to take your tent on a kayaking trip, biking trip, or hiking trip.

When you have to carry the tent yourself, the weight becomes a very important factor. You’re going to be lugging around a lot of other gear—packs, food and water, electronics, etc.—so a heavy tent is going to be a pain in the butt!

Tent Material

Most of the tents you’ll find on the market use one of the following materials:

  • Polyester, a low-maintenance fabric that can be very sturdy, waterproof (when finished with a polyurethane coating), inexpensive, and well-ventilated. On the downside, it offers little insulation, allows for greater buildup of condensation, and will flap noisily in the wind. The higher the denier (thickness), the sturdier the polyester will be.
  • Nylon, a synthetic fabric that is as low-maintenance as polyester, but is sturdier, lighter, and more waterproof (when silicone-treated). Nylon doesn’t breathe as well as polyester, so it won’t be as well-ventilated in the summer. Also, it tends to be a more expensive fabric.
  • Canvas, a cotton-based fabric treated to be waterproof. Many luxury “glamping” tents use canvas, and it offers excellent insulation and temperature regulation compared to synthetic fabrics. However, it’s high-maintenance and much heavier than the lightweight polyester and nylon.

You can find some other fabric options (poly-cotton, a blend of polyester and cotton, or cuben fiber), but they’re far less common.

One important factor to consider when choosing the fabric of your tent is waterproofing.

Most tents will include a waterproofing rating:

  • Below 1000mm, it’s not waterproof at all, merely water-resistant.
  • 1000mm is the lowest-level waterproofing, rated mainly for light summer sprinkles and rain showers.
  • 1500 to 3000mm steps it up a notch, offering waterproofing capable of handling heavier rainfall and strong winds.
  • 3000mm and above is usually used for 3+ and 4-season tents because it’s waterproof enough to keep out serious rainstorms and even snow.

Waterproofing is determined not only by the coatings used to treat the fabrics (silicone for nylon, polyurethane for polyester) but also by the reinforcement at the seams to prevent leakage.

Frame Material

Tent poles are usually made from either fiberglass or aluminum, though some utilize steel, carbon fiber, or composite materials.

Fiberglass poles

Fiberglass poles are cheap and won’t conduct electricity, meaning they’re safe in a lightning storm. They’re typically used for mild-weather or summer tents. On the downside, they’re heavier to carry and less flexible, so they may snap or shatter in strong winds or heavy rains.

Aluminum poles

Aluminum poles are lightweight enough that they’re typically used for backpacking tents, though some car camping tents use them because they’re as strong as fiberglass but weigh significantly less. They will bend instead of snapping and can be repaired. However, they’re pricier than fiberglass, will corrode (even anodized aluminum), and can be dangerous in a thunderstorm.

Carbon fiber poles

Carbon fiber poles are strong and lightweight, but very expensive. Typically, they’re used in high-end trekking and backpacking tents.

Steel poles

Steel poles are expensive and very heavy but offer a lot of structural strength. They’re often used for car-top/truck-bed tents, or for canvas tents that need a frame capable of supporting their weight.

Composite materials weigh as little as aluminum but offer significantly more flexibility. You can often bend them back into shape yourself—no repairs necessary. No surprise, then, that they’re also significantly more expensive.


A picturesque forest view from inside of an orange tent

Every tent features at least one door, but for convenience’s sake, you might want two or even more.

Think about it: it’s the dead of night, everyone’s sleeping, but you’ve got to use the bathroom. With one exit, you have to crawl or step over all the people sleeping between you and the door. With two or more exits, it’s easy to let yourself out without waking anyone up.

Multiple doors also mean multiple entry points, so your kids or pets can come in and out of your tent without disturbing you. You may also have a vestibule where all your gear is stored, but having quick access to the tent itself makes it easy to grab something (say, a change of clothes or an item you left in bed) without having to remove your shoes and wade through your packs.


A rainfly is an absolute must-have!

Most tents feature “inner walls”, typically fabric that offers decent breathability but isn’t very waterproof. If rain hits those inner walls, the same fabric that allows air to flow through and heat to escape will also allow water to get in.

A rainfly is, simply put, a waterproof “outer wall” that keeps your tent from getting wet. When you set up your tent, you spread out the rainfly and tie it to trees/stake it out, basically using it like an umbrella to keep the rain off your tent’s inner walls. But, because the rainfly isn’t directly touching the tent body, the inner walls still have good ventilation.

Most tents will feature an incorporated rainfly—or, at the very least, an outer waterproof layer that keeps out the rain. However, if you want to maximize your protection and comfort, you can buy a separate (even extra-large) rainfly to keep off the rain.

Gonex water and wind resistant durability tent


The tent “footprint” is a tarp (or similar fabric) that is spread out on the ground beneath the tent. It serves three purposes:

1)      It shields the underside of the tent from damage by rocks, roots, or anything abrasive or sharp.

2)      It provides a measure of insulation to stop body heat from escaping through the tent floor into the ground.

3)      It keeps moisture from being absorbed from the ground and up through the floor of your tent.

Not all tents will include footprints, so it’s worth buying one separately. It will both increase the longevity of your tent and make sure you never wake up with damp floors.


Vestibules are the “front entrance” to your tent, providing you a place to store your gear, take off your shoes, leave wet clothes, eat your meals, and generally make a mess without bringing that mess into your sleeping space.

On some tents, the vestibule is nothing more than an awning that provides shade from the sun and shelters your gear/clothing/shoes from rain. For these tents, you may need to buy a tarp or footprint separately.

However, many tents come with a built-in vestibule, complete with walls and a well-covered roof to keep your gear dry. If you’re the sort of camper who has a lot of gear (and pets and small kids), you’ll definitely want a vestibule!


Ventilation is a factor to consider in any season.

  • During the summer, the days and nights are both hot, so you want to make sure your body heat escapes and the night breeze can get in.
  • During the spring and autumn, you want the heat to escape during the day but stay trapped inside at night.
  • During the winter, a well-ventilated tent will prevent condensation building up on the interior walls of your tent.

Typically, ventilation comes in the form of doors, windows, and mesh panels built in strategic locations around the tent. Some are designed to be zipped up so you can trap the warmth inside your tent, but many summer and 3-season tents will have mesh panels that are always open to counteract the hot weather.

Bonus: Mesh panels, doors, and windows all offer excellent views while still keeping out bugs and unfriendly animals. 

Interior Pockets and Loops

Many tents will incorporate an inner pocket (or three) to provide you with a convenient place to store your most important items. You can also purchase mesh pockets separately and hang them around the tent (provided the tent has the right loops). Some tents will even have a lantern loop built into the ceiling so you have someplace to hang your lantern.

Guyout Loops

Guyout loops are a very useful additional feature to look for in a tent. Simply put, they’re loops incorporated into the tent, rainfly, or footprint that are used to secure guy lines (the ropes that help to support your tent). They will offer not only better structural integrity and support for your tent, but they will protect against rips or tears in cases of heavy winds. Because they’re integrated into the fabric, they’re sturdier than stitched-on loops or eyelets.

Gear Loft

A gear loft is a specific “shelf” made of mesh that allows you to store your gear off the ground. Some will come built-in, but you can buy them separately. They’re useful to have if you want to keep important or delicate items off the ground while you sleep—that way, you won’t accidentally kick or roll over them in the middle of the night. 

Pitch Time

The tent’s pitch time isn’t exactly concrete; instead, it’s sort of a “general average” based on the experience of all the users who’ve pitched the tents.

Typically, you can read reviews and find out how long it took people to set up the tent.

  • “Instant” tents typically take 1-2 minutes to pitch.
  • Fast-pitch tents will usually take you under 5 minutes to set up.
  • Average tents may require 5-10 minutes
  • Complex tents can take up to 15 or 20 minutes

Don’t worry: even if it takes you a long time to pitch the tent initially, setup will go faster once you’ve used the tent a few times and you get the hang of its assembly and disassembly.

How to Care for Your 5 Person Tent

If you’re going to invest good money into a tent, you must take good care of it. Not only is it a way to protect your investment, but it’ll also extend the lifespan of the tent and make sure it continues to serve as a functional shelter capable of keeping the rain and elements off you while you sleep (which is exactly what tents are built to do!).

To care for your tent:

  • Before you take it camping, practice setting it up in your backyard or on your driveway. Figure out the step-by-step process to pitch it. Once it’s set up, check it thoroughly to make sure there are no holes, rips, tears, or flaws. Pay special attention to the seams—at the slightest sign of damage or fraying, apply seam sealer.
  • After you’re done camping, set up the tent once more and make sure it’s both dry and clean. You may have to pack the tent while it’s still damp, or certain elements (like the rainfly or footprint) haven’t had time to dry. Let your tent dry completely before packing it.
  • Store it loose. Only roll the tent up tightly at the end of the camping season, when it’s going to sit for months in storage. Over the camping season, store it loose so the fabric can breathe and mold won’t build up.
  • Wash the tent with tent shampoo at least once per season—usually at the end, just before you store it for months at a time. A good shampooing will get rid of any dust, dirt, debris, algae, or bacteria.
  • Check over your poles, stakes, guy lines, rainfly, footprint, and other components with every use. Replace worn-out, broken, or missing parts as soon as possible.

A well-cared for tent is a tent that will last for years of regular use!

5 Person Camping Tent FAQs

How big of a tent do I need for 5 people?

If you’re sleeping five adults, you may want a 6- or 8-person tent. If you’re sleeping two adults and three children (or two children and a pet), a 5-person tent will more than suffice.

How can I reinforce a 5-person tent?

Use extra guy ropes and tent pegs to secure the tent against the wind, and apply seam sealer to reinforce the seams. A footprint will provide extra protection against rough or uneven terrain and a rainfly will add extra protection against rain.

Can a tent be too big?

Yes and no. If the tent is very large and roomy, it’s more prone to being carried away by the wind. Tents are basically giant box kites that, if not staked down properly and closed against the wind, can easily fly away.
Also, if you’re hauling the tent in yourself (rather than driving it in), a bigger tent will be a much heavier burden.
However, in terms of comfort, there’s no such thing as “too big”.

Alex Buchnev

Alex Buchnev

Alex loves kayaking, fishing, and all things outdoors. When he's not out there in the wild, he's probably typing away at his laptop or trying to be the world's best father for his two lovely daughters.

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