Best 6 Person Tent For Three-Season Camping

No more stooping down low, crawling in and out, or sleeping head to toe for you. The best 6 person tents are your ticket to standing tall, sleeping good, and beating whatever mother nature throws your way with extra room to spare.
Best 6 person tent - Intro
Photo by Mattias Helge

Look, we love the versatility of small camping tents as much as the next person. They’re fairly small, fairly lightweight, and some even manage to pack in a few luxury features to boot. But if you’re actually going to try to fit four people in your tent… Why not live a little?

That’s where the 6 person tents comes in. These are your classic tent, turned up to 11. 6 person tents are tall enough to stand up in, big enough to sleep four in comfort, and often have a little front porch or gear garage action thrown in the mix as well.

We’ve sifted through all the best 6 person tents currently out there to find the ones that represent the highest quality, most innovative features, and best value currently available. To know more about how we evaluated the tents, don’t forget to check out our buying guide

If you’re looking for the crib notes here, our favorite 6 person tent on the market is easily The North Face Wawona 6. Here’s a tent that lacks nothing, oozes quality, and has an unbelievable amount of premium features baked into an already attractive price. Of course, it’s not the only one we think you should consider though.

Some folks are looking for good quality without spending a ton of money. Others just want an easy-to-pitch and easy to live with tent regardless of the price. Whatever style of camping you’re into, we’re confident your next 6 person tent is listed somewhere below. Ready to pitch a tent yet? Let’s get to it.

TentSummary
The North Face Wawona 6: Best OverallBest overall 6 person tent. Fantastic build quality, an included gear garage, and a price you wouldn’t believe. See Review
Teton Sports Mesa 6: Best Overall QualityAbsolutely bulletproof material. Heavy-duty weatherproof canvas, stainless steel, and quality throughout that’s built to last. See Review
Kelty Wireless 6: Best On A BudgetSpacious, well built, and feature-rich. The Kelty Wireless 6 delivers big tent features on a small tent budget. See Review
Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6A middle-tier tent with fantastic overall quality. The versatile vestibule adds extra livability for family camping. See Review
Nemo Wagontop 6Massive interior space combined with a huge front vestibule. Premium materials with a premium price to match. See Review
Bushnell Shield Instant Cabin 6Solid weatherproofing and convenient “instant tent” construction. An easy to live with tent at a great price. See Review

 

Our Picks For The Best 6 Person Tents

The North Face Wawona 6: Best 6 Person Tent Overall

Specs:
– Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kg)
– Packed size: 27” x 8” x 8” (69cm x 20cm x 20cm)
– Floor size: 118” x 106” (300cm x 269cm)
– Peak height: 124” (315 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: Couples/ Small families
– Price: $

The North Face Wawona takes our pick as the best 6 person tent overall for its combination of space, features, and material quality, all at a price that’s hard to believe.

Seriously, we had a hard time finding anything to complain about here whatsoever.

In terms of interior space, the North Face Wawona is one of the best, with a full 102 square feet of floor and a peak height of six and a half feet. Throw in the vestibule with its attached gear garage, and you’ve got an incredible amount of space to use to your liking, whether you’re parking a few mountain bikes or a few chairs and a cooler underneath its roof.

The really wild part about this tent is that you’d think it would have some serious Achilles heel that forced The North Face to keep it so affordable. Maybe something like fiberglass poles, questionable fabrics, or a single entry/exit. Not the case.

The Wawona 6 actually gets upgraded DAC MX aluminum poles, which are both lighter and stronger than the previous model, and the entire body is made from 150D polyester taffeta. We really had to dig for a complaint on this one, but if there’s one thing we’d point out about the Wawoma, it’s that the size of the fly demands a proper guying/staking to live up to its all-weather reputation. Get the setup wrong, and you’ll get to watch one of the roomiest 6-person tents you’ve ever seen take flight in the wind like a beach umbrella.

Pros:Cons:
– Outstanding value
– Love the included garage
– Durable materials throughout
– Large vestibule design requires attention to function properly



Teton Sports Mesa 6: Highest Quality Overall

Specs:
– Weight: 68 lbs (30.8 kg)
– Packed size: 39” x 15” x 14” (99cm x 38cm x 36cm)
– Floor size: 120” x 120” (305cm x 305cm)
– Peak height: 78” (198cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Cabin
– Best for: Couples
– Price: $$$

If durability is your top priority, you just can’t beat Teton Sport’s line of old-school heavy canvas tents.

Yes, these classic “Springer-style” shelters are heavy and bulky, but that’s what happens when you use stainless steel and thick weatherproof canvas throughout a tent this size.

Teton Sports tents are certainly an investment (the Teton Sports Mesa 6 is actually the most expensive tent in our roundup), but they’re an investment that we expect to last decades.

Notable features of the Mesa include a simple “top-bar” design that makes for fast pitching and easy setup, tons of gear storage via six internal pockets, and a full-length (5-foot) awning that functions independently of the front door.

We don’t really have any serious complaints with the Mesa outside of its overall “heft” and high price tag. It’s still worth pointing out that 70 pounds of tent is about three times as much weight as anything else on our list, and the packed size of the Mesa is something you might want to confirm your trunk will hold before you commit to owning one.

Pros:Cons:
– Insanely durable construction
– Excellent weatherproofing
– Plenty of storage
– Heavy/bulky
– Expensive



Kelty Wireless 6: Best On A Budget

Specs:
– Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kg)
– Packed size: 27” x 8” x 8” (69cm x 20cm x 20cm)
– Floor size: 118” x 106” (300cm x 269cm)
– Peak height: 124” (315 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: Couples/ Small families
– Price: $

Who does a great tent on a budget better than Kelty?

Enter the Kelty Wireless 6, an affordable tent with plenty of thoughtful features for a few hundred bucks less than the competition.

Kelty covers all the essentials here with a large floor plan, stand-up peak height, a quick and easy setup, and fully seam-taped construction.

The Wireless also throws in a few notable bonus features over your usual budget tent like the translucent diffuser pockets that turn bright headlamps into soft reading lights.

Of course with a tent at this price point, you’ll be making a few sacrifices, but Kelty has a way of keeping costs down without raising any red flags. For instance, the poles are 100% fiberglass, but they’re also some of the thickest, sturdiest fiberglass poles we’ve ever seen. Seriously, they’d make great self-defense poles if your camp were under siege by some sort of raccoon insurgency.

Kelty also goes with a classic backpacking-style rainfly on the wireless rather than one of the big modular designs you’ll see on more expensive 6 person tents. Still, we’ve gotta give it to them for (a) choosing to fit each door with its own vestibule and (b) making them both large enough to shield extra gear from the weather.

Pros:Cons:
– Big tent features at a small tent price
– Roomy interior
– Simplified setup
– Fiberglass poles
– Simple vestibules  



Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6

Specs:
– Weight: 18 lbs (8.2 kg)
– Packed size: 27” x 15” x 5” ( 69cm x 38cm x 13cm)
– Floor size: 120” x 96” ( 305cm x 244cm)
– Peak height: 75” ( 191cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: Couples and small families
– Price: $$

We’re big fans of Big Agnes tents, especially their Copper Spur line of backpacking tents, and are pleased to see that their Tensleep Station camping tent is being offered in a 6 person configuration.

All around the Big Agnes Tensleep 6 is a feature-rich tent, with tons of interior storage pockets, an extra door in the back, and a generous peak height over six feet. Setup is one of the more intuitive designs out there, using a color-coded three-pole design (those are all aluminum poles, by the way) and is more than doable by a single camper in under 10 minutes. The truly standout features of the Tensleep, however, are (a) its super versatile vestibule and (b) its fantastic all-weather performance.

As far as the vestibule goes, the Big Agnes Tensleep 6’s extends to a roughly 5’ x 5’ footprint, giving campers enough space to comfortably seat two camp chairs whether it’s open or closed. Speaking of open, the vestibule can be rolled back for open-air hangs, propped up with poles for an extended awning, or even left closed while still being comfortable and well-ventilated thanks to its two side windows.

In terms of weatherproofing, every seam of the Tensleep is fully taped, and the floor is made from a super-durable polyurethane-coated polyester. The unique three-pole design of this Big Agnes also gives it a more rounded shape than your average dome tent, which adds a degree of wind resistance for more serious storms.

As far as downsides go, two things kept the Tensleep from topping our list. Most importantly was the total floor space, which was below average at 80 square feet. It still feels roomy inside, but your air mattress options are more limited here. The price is also a little higher than we think it should be. Although it isn’t in the running for the most expensive tent on our list, we still think you’d have to place a pretty high value on the feature-rich vestibule to justify the asking price.

Pros:Cons:
– Fantastic extended vestibule
– Great weatherproofing from floor to fly
– Color-coded aluminum poles are high quality and make for easy setup
– Not the most floor space on our list
– A little expensive for what it is



Nemo Wagontop 6

Specs:
– Weight: 20 lbs (9.1 kg)
– Packed size: 27” x 12” x 12” (69cm x 30cm x 30cm)
– Floor size: 140” x 100” (356cm x 254cm)
– Peak height: 80” (203cm)
– Rooms: 2
– Shape: Cabin/Wagon
Best for: Couples/families wanting maximum space
– Price: $$$

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: The Nemo Wagontop 6 is HUGE. Easily the biggest tent in our lineup in pretty much every measure.

With just shy of 100 square feet of floor space and an additional 27 square feet of space inside the massive vestibule, there’s plenty of room for the whole family and their pets to stretch out.

Peak height is nearly seven feet, and due to the “covered wagon” design of the Nemo’s construction, the entire tent is walk-around friendly.

Materials are rock-solid throughout, with special emphasis on the 300D polyester floor, which is right up there with the Teton Sports canvas tent above in terms of durability. Of course we’re also huge fans of the massive extended rainfly hanging off the main door of the Wagontop 6, which is just as tall as the rest of the tent and feels more like a third room (there are two inside thanks to the privacy divider) than an outside space.

If you’re looking for the most space possible for your family and gear, the Nemo Wagontop is the tent to beat, but you’ll want to consider a few of its pain points before pulling the trigger.

The first and most obvious is the price, which at over $600 is an awful lot of money. The second is the wagon top design, which adds a ton of interior space but at a cost. Because it uses two extra-long, extra-tall poles in its main construction, this approach to tent pitching can be a pain, especially for shorter campers. It’s also worth mentioning that once you manage to get the Wagontop pitched, it’s much more prone to catching heavy wind than any other shape we’ve seen.

Pros:Cons:
– Huge
– Huge vestibule
– High-quality materials
– Expensive
– Rainfly cannot be detached
– Not a great shape for strong winds



Bushnell Shield Series 6 Instant Cabin

Specs:
– Weight: 27 lbs (12.2 kg)
– Packed size: 32” x 15” x 15” (81 x 38cm x 38cm)
– Floor size: 132” x 108” (335cm x 274cm)
– Peak height: 72” (183cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Cabin
– Best for: Families looking for convenience and quality
– Price: $

We’ve been fans of the Bushnell Shield Instant Cabin series for a while, and their 9 and 12 person sizes have found their way into our previous tent roundups before.

So it should come as no surprise that the “smallest” of the series, the Bushnell Shield Series 6, has found its way onto our best 6 person tent roundup for the same reasons: It’s got tons of floor space, rugged materials, great weather protection, and that “instant tent” setup that just can’t be beaten for convenience.

Highlights of the Bushnell Shield include its Weather Shield treatment, which uses both fully-taped seams and water-repellent fabric to handle even the worst downpours, as well as the same Heat Shield technology you’ll find on the larger tents that uses reflective backing to keep the inside of the tent darker and cooler when you need it to be.

You’ll also find the same rugged 150D polyester construction throughout the body of the tent, which adds a little weight to the overall package, but promises to last for season after season. Best in class internal storage rounds out this attractive package, and a surprisingly low price sweetens the deal even further.

As far as the negatives go, we’ve got two we’ll point out. First, the pre-attached/hubbed pole design of these instant cabins has been a known point of failure in the past. We haven’t heard any major concerns out of the Bushnell Shield, but other tents have had problems with these hubs failing. Second would be the floor of the Shield. Obviously how and where you set up your tent makes a huge difference in its performance, but we’ve seen a few reports of the floors of these dents developing small holes over time. We recommend being smart about where you pitch the Shield, and recommend always using a good footprint as well to get the most life possible out of the floor.

Pros:Cons:
– Fantastic weather protection
– “Instant Tent” setup is a breeze
– Durable materials
– 6 foot even ceiling isn’t the tallest
– Heavier and bulkier than most
– Hubbed pole design = questionable durability



6 Person Tents Buying Guide

Best 6 person tent - Buying Guide
Photo by Josh Hild

We like to think of the best 6 person tents being your average camping tent on steroids. 6 person tents take that step up from being extra room for you and a partner to being legitimate family tents with enough space to comfortably sleep four campers.

6 person tents are also the first size where having some extended outdoor space/shelter really comes into play.

You’ll notice many of the tents on our list above included some combination of extended vestibules, awnings, or outright gear garages like we saw on the North Face Wawona. If you’re currently in the market for a six person tent but aren’t sure which features to focus on, here are the main metrics we look for when deciding which tents make the list.

Floor Size

Best 6 person tent - Floor size
Photo by Steve Halama

As stated above, 6 person tents make the leap from sleeping one couple comfortably to sleeping either two couples or one couple with kids. For that reason, we put extra importance on outright floor space, because an extra five square feet can really make the difference between being cramped and being comfortable.

Center Height

6 person tents are also the first step up in size where a center height over six feet starts to make sense. As anyone who has ever shared an average-sized dome tent with an energetic child will tell you, the easier it is for everyone to stand up and move around, the more likely your tent is to survive the trip.

Of course we also prefer a high center height for ourselves, as having over six feet of ceiling inside a tent makes things like changing clothes or organizing sleeping arrangements that much easier for adults. Taller is generally better here, but just keep in mind that if you go too tall, you might risk catching more wind than you bargained for.

Shape

Best 6 person tent - Shape
Photo by Philipp Jairsh

Most 6 person tents sport a dome or extended-dome design, and that’s really not a bad thing so long as the floor space and peak height are generous enough.

You will start to see a few cabin-shaped options in this category however, and just like larger 10 person and 12 person styles, you’ll always get more living area out of the vertical walls of a cabin than any dome shape can provide. Again, keep in mind that domes do have their advantages over cabins though, most notably being that they fair better in heavy winds and are generally better suited for bad weather.

Weight And Packed Size

While weight and packed size aren’t really a factor for larger tents (think 8 person and above), it can start to factor into the buying decision for 6 person models.

Granted, you likely won’t be planning on hiking your six person tent into the backcountry as these are primarily still car/family camping tents, but at around 20 pounds, a six person tent is the only large car camping tent you might consider hiking a couple hundred yards further down the trail to get some privacy. They also tend to be lighter and more compact than 8 person models while serving much the same purpose, so if you’re on the fence between the two but prefer a more portable shelter, 6 person tents might be the ticket.

Seasonality/Weather Protection

Best 6 person tent - Weather Protection
Photo by Maria Inge

The best 6 person tents have a way of finding that sweet spot between being huge and roomy but still being extremely capable in even the worst weather. A well-designed and properly staked 6 person tent holds up to 50 mph winds and heavy rains without breaking a sweat.

Of course some are made better than others, and you should always be mindful of other buyers’ reviews for real-world feedback on any tent you buy. Generally speaking though, a good 6 person dome from a reputable brand should always come with all-weather peace of mind baked into the price.

The key indicators you want to look out for are the same as other camping tents: Fully-taped waterproof seams (preferably on both the rainfly and the tent body) and a thick waterproof tent floor (tub-style floors are tough to beat for reliability) take care of protection from the wet. If you’re planning on using your tent in seriously rough weather, remember rounded shapes fair better in strong winds, and aluminum poles are generally more reliable than fiberglass ones.

Storage Space And Compartments

Floor space is great, but once you start sharing it with three other people, storage and organization become more important. Ideally, a good 6 person tent has a convenient and separate pocket for each camper to stash essentials like their phones, headlamps, and keys.

In addition to personal storage, any extra pockets or gear loft space you can get comes in handy for tents this size. Remember, these tents are big, but since you’re sleeping extra bodies, floor space can be a precious commodity. Any opportunity you have to get extra gear off the floor and out of the way adds livability to the tent.

Ease Of Set-up

Best 6 person tent - Ease of Setup
Photo by Steve Halama

Most tents in the 6 person range use traditional collapsible poles like your standard backpacking tent. You’ll see a few “instant cabin” pop-up designs in this category like the Bushnell above, but they’re the exception rather than the rule here.

The easiest 6 person tent setups use intuitive designs like color-coded poles and attachment points to take as much pain out of the pitching process as possible. Tent manufacturers regularly claim their tents can be set up in “under 5 minutes”  but again, we recommend comparing feedback from multiple owners of any tent you’re considering to get a real idea of how quickly one or two people can pitch a tent.

Durability/Materials

Similar to other family-friendly tents, 6 person tents are expected to endure more foot traffic than backpacking tents or even large 4 person varieties.

For that reason, we recommend paying special attention to high-wear items (especially the floor material) to make sure the tent you buy can withstand that abuse.

High denier fabrics (like the incredible 300D polyester floors of the Nemo Wagontop) are a good indicator that your tent will go the distance. The same goes for the poles of a 6 person tent. Our preference is always aluminum poles over fiberglass ones, as aluminum poles can bend and even dent without breaking, and tend to stand up better to serious winds.

If you do choose a tent with fiberglass pole construction, pay close attention to the quality of the fiberglass. Tents like the Kelty Wireless above have incredibly thick fiberglass construction which shouldn’t raise any serious red flags. Your typical department store tent on the other hand… We’ll just say those are “camp at your risk” poles and leave it at that.

Conclusion

For all the reasons above, we found that The North Face Wawona 6 was hands-down the best 6 person tent currently in the market.

Its massive floor plan, high ceilings, excellent weatherproofing, and sturdy materials all make it a stand-out tent at any price. The fact that the Wawona isn’t even close to the most expensive tent on our list (and the fact that it includes a sweet gear garage at no extra cost) easily earns it the number one spot in our book. In fact the only metric it doesn’t absolutely excel at here is ease of setup, but that’s only because it takes extra time and energy to get the gear garage properly pitched and staked out. Personally, we would rather have the gear garage included and spend a little more time getting it right than living without it.

If you’re looking for a tent that’s a little easier to own and pitch, we’re big fans of the outright simplicity and budget-friendliness of the Kelty Wireless. If you’ve got a little more cash to spend and want the added utility of an extended vestibule, check out the Big Agnes Tensleep Station. If you want the longest-lasting, burliest tent money can buy (and you’ve got money to spend) the Teton Sports Mesa is a fantastic long-term investment in quality materials.

Leave a Comment