What's the Best 3 Season, Waterproof Tent for Family of 3

(BC, Canada)

We live on the West Coast so I am thinking we need a fairly reliable dry tent.

We have never camped with our daughter before, she is 3 years-old and we want to start now.

What should we be looking for? We would like to keep the cost around or under $200...just in case ;)

We love MEC... but we will wait until our daughter decides she likes camping... we are car camping btw.

I am guessing getting a fly with a vestibule is good... A tent with good ventilation.

Aluminum poles are better, from what I have read.

Also, I have read that we should "size up" for family camping... perhaps a 5 person tent?

Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)


Hi Anonymous from Alberta,

Glad that you're getting your daughter out into the great outdoors at an early age! That was the case with me and my parents, and it instilled a love of the outdoors in me forever :)

If you're car camping, then yes, aluminum is better than titanium. Titanium tent poles cost more because they are lighter weight and more durable. But if you're car camping at low elevation, and in an environment that isn't incredibly windy, then aluminum tent poles should meet your needs.

And yes, I'd agree with getting a 5 person tent instead of a 3 person tent for a 3 person family.

However, a 4 person tent would also meet your needs, especially on a budget of around $200.

Here are our top 3 recommendations for a quality tent to meet your needs:

  1. REI Hobitat 4 Tent - REI tents are quality shelters for a reasonable price. This tent in particular offers a large, front entry door, aluminum poles, and a vestibule that extends out and offers a tarp for an outdoor seating area. However, that tent is slightly higher than your budget. Read Ryan's review here!

  2. Coleman WeatherMaster Screened 4 Tent - A comfortable tent with more than enough room for the entire family and then some! With the screened porch, you'll really be able to enjoy any kind of weather. Drawback: Coleman tents are of questionable quality.

  3. Eureka Sunrise 11 - The quintissential family tent. Plenty of room for 4 people, camping equipment, and a dog! The price is right and the tent has a gear loft and loops at the top for hanging a lantern. Read Michelle's review here!

Hope this helps you buy the best, highest quality tent for your family!

~ Allyson, Editorial Staff

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