Best 6 Person Tent for Casual Family Car Camping: Columbia vs Eureka
I'm looking for a tent for our family of 5. 3 little ones that ar 5 years and under.
We are/would be casual campers, I would say if we went 6x a yr it would be a lot, probably more like 2-3.
I'm not sure how often my wife and our youngest girl will go with us boys, so not sure if I need something larger than a 6 person tent.
We don't need a lot of features, but am looking for something with decent quality for an affordable price (around $200). I'm currently entertaining the Kelty Buttress 6 (on sale $169) and the Columbia Cougar Flats 2 for ($279).
My questions are should I be looking at anything else in this price/size range?
Should I steer away from either of these?
Thanks for your great, detailed question. It always helps when a visitor points out exactly what they are looking for in terms of size, price range and usage.
OK, onto the answer...
Best 6 Person Tent for Casual CampingThere are five qualities you need to consider here:
- Size - How big do you need your tent to really be?
- Luxury - How luxurious do you want your camping experience to be? Would an extra room or screened porch add much to your experieince?
- Durability - The last thing you want is your tent to wear down too fast or to leak and ruin camping for your kids
- Price - Based on the two tents your entertaining, your range seems to be $200-300 (you did state that you want to keep the price around $200, but the Columbia Cougar Flats 2 is $279).
- Number of Doors - If your camping with your entire family, you will be kicking yourself later if you get a tent with one door. Trust us--it makes life much easier.
Before getting into our recommendations though--steer clear of the Kelty Buttress 6. It's a tight tent for 6 people and doesn't offer any additional luxuries that tents slightly more expensive offer. Plus, it's durability is questionable.Here are some of our recommendations on the best 6 person tents for your family (brief reviews following):
- Columbia Cougar Flats II Tent
- Eureka Suite V6 Tent
- REI Camp Dome 6
Columbia Cougar Flats II Tent Review
This is one killer tent. No way around it.It's tough to find a tent at less than $300 that offers all of these amazing features:
- Large enough to sleep 6 to 10 people
- 2 rooms, 2 windows, 2 doors means ultra convenient and excellent ventillation
- Plenty of internal storage for gear
- Did we mention 2 rooms? That means your kids can sleep in one, and you and your wife in the other
- An easy to pitch awning
- Over 100 square feet
are built to last and to be fully enjoyed. The Columbia Cougar Flats II will meet all your needs and more!Learn more about the Columbia Cougar Flats II...
Or read our more detailed Columba Cougar Flats Tent review
Eureka Suite V6 Tent Review
The Eureka Suite V6 tent is very similar to the Columbia Cougar Flats II tent. It is slightly smaller though (81 square feet). Don't get us wrong though--81 square feet is still plenty
of room for you and your family.One great addition of the Eureka Suite V6
over the Cougar Flats is that you get 4 windows instead of 2, which really helps for circulation.
In terms of standing height: the Cougar Flats is 7 feet while the Suite V6 is 6 feet, 9 inches. Unless you're a professional basketball player, you should be fine.You also save 20 bucks
by going with the Eureka Suite V6 and still get a great tent that will last you and your family a lifetime.Learn more about the Eureka Suite V6 tent here.
We're big fans of Eureka Tents
and know you will be, too!
REI Camp Dome 6 Tent Review
Since you suggested the Kelty Buttress, we figured we should give you a generic 6 person tent without any bells and whistles: The REI Camp Dome 6 is just that.Here's what you get with the Camp Dome:
- 86.7 square feet
- 1 door
- Easy to pitch thanks to a hub/pole design
- Plenty of storage for gear
- A mesh front door, rear window, and side panels to provide ventilation
Compared to the other tents we just recommended, we don't think that the Camp Dome would be your best choice for casual camping. It's a little too casual with a family.However, it is reliable, and REI offers a lifetime warranty on all products.Learn more about the REI Camp Dome 6P.S.
- If you can stomach the cost, the REI Kingom 6 tent
is our personal favorite 6 person tent.
Be sure to stop by and tell us what tent you went with!