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Should I Buy a 6 Person Tent or a Pop-up Trailer?

by Annette
(Australia)

We are a family of 6 in Australia and are looking into buying a tent or camping trailer tent. What size would be the best to accommodate 2 adults and 4 children?

Answer:

Hello Down Under!

Thanks for writing in! With all of the electronic reasons for kids to stay inside these days, it's always refreshing to hear from folks who want to take their families on camping trips. There's really nothing like it! It's a great opportunity to get exercise, get acquainted with all of Mother Nature's amazing work, and get closer as a family. Family camping can make for an unforgettable time. I sure plan on doing the same when I have kids!

Your question is an important one. One of the considerations that's most significant when choosing a tent is size. You want to make sure that you and your fellow campers have all the room you need, but you also don't want to get a shelter so big it's difficult to carry--or difficult to fund.

Finding the right-sized tent is important and it takes some serious research. I'm glad you're on the case!

Tents vs. Camping Trailers


Camping trailers, or pop-up trailers, have become pretty popular among campers who aren't concerned with hiking into sites. You tow these along with your car, rent a space in a campground, and voila! You're good to go.

Tents, though, are much more portable. You don't need to make sure your car can handle towing, you don't have to limit where you want to set up as much, and you can save a lot of money--pop-up trailers are much more expensive.

The decision on which route you take is entirely dependent on the kind of camping you plan on doing and how much you're willing to spend.

Pop-up trailers are generally more comfortable, but in order to get enough interior acreage to house 6 people comfortably, you'll have to get a fairly large structure. This, obviously, can hurt the checkbook. If you're set on the pop-up trailer, though, you can certainly look into renting one. This will ease a bit of the bank account burden.

I recommend using a regular tent. I think there's much more fun to be had--not to mention a bigger sense of accomplishment--in setting up your own shelter and being able to get into wilderness areas that your car can't reach.

Best 6-Person Tents -- Looking at REI and Marmot


If you agree that a tent is the way to go, take a minute to peruse the following models. These are, in my opinion, the best 6-person tents out there, and they'll suit your needs perfectly. If you were travelling with 6 adults, I might suggest choosing a larger shelter, but with four children, you ought to be able to fit very comfortably into each of these three tents.

A Look at the REI Kingdom 6 Tent


rei kingdom 8 tent

REI Kingdom 6

REI is one of the reigning rulers of tent manufacturing, and their Kingdom model is arguably the crowning achievement in that domain.

This is a spacious 83-square-foot shelter with a peak height of 6'3", making it plenty comfortable for your whole family to rest for the night. Other great features of the Kingdom 6 include:

  • Vertical walls for maximized living space

  • Ability to create 2 private rooms

  • Two huge doors for extra easy access

  • Sealed seams for watertight protection.

Learn more about the REI Kingdom 6 tent at REI.com

A Look at the REI Base Camp 6 Tent


REI Base Camp 6 Tent

Another REI mainstay is the Base Camp tent. This is a roomy shelter--also 83 square feet on the interior with a 6'3" peak height--that will comfortably fit your whole 6-person family. When packed, the Base Camp is slightly heavier than the Kingdom, but it's also a little cheaper, so you have to pick your battles there. Other great features of the Base Camp 6 include:

  • Tough geodesic pole construction that's easy to set up

  • Excellent ventilation with two doors, mesh panels, and windows

  • UV- and water-resistant rainfly

  • Backpack-like carry bag for easy portability

Learn more about the REI Base Camp 6 Tent at REI.com

A Look at the Marmot Limestone 6 Tent

marmot limestone 6
Marmot Limestone 6 Tent

Moving away from the REI monopoly on brilliant camping gear, let's take a look at another giant in the industry: Marmot. The Limestone is one of Marmot's best models--in all its various sizes--and it will easily keep your family comfortable for the night.

This tent also has an 83-square-foot floor area, with a still-quite-tall 6'2" peak height. Other great features of the Marmot Limestone 6 include:

  • DAC Pressfit poles for added strength and stability

  • Two easy-access D-shaped doors

  • Removable pockets in vestibule and door mat for cleanliness and versatility

  • Heavy-duty oxford canopy floor that can take a beating

Learn more about the Marmot Limestone 6 tent at Backcountry.com or check out our full review of the Marmot Limestone 6 tent.

Let me know which you choose! And then let me know how the camping trip went. I've always wanted to spend some time seeing the Outback firsthand, but I'll just have to live vicariously through you until I can find the time and raise the funds!

~ Perry

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