Best 8 Person Tent for the Money

8 Person tents are the behemoths of the camping world. Offering unmatched square footage and wide, luxurious spaces, these tents are capable of sleeping more people than any other kind of tent. Or, if you’re going to be spending a few days in the wilderness and you are looking for more comfort, then a bit more space might be the perfect thing for you.

The best 8 person tents for your money are going to be the ones that have the features you need at prices that aren’t going to cut into the snack & travel fund. They are also going to be durable enough to last season after season, and easy enough to set up and break down so you have more time to spend beside the fire.

Our crack team has made a list of the 7 Best 8-Person Tents for the Money. But first, a few words on how exactly we came to our decisions.

Price
Product details
+ Positives
—  Negatives
 
Best Party Tent
Instant Family Tent
Coleman
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 46.85 x 9.84 x 9.84 in
  • Rain Fly Sold Separately
  • Weight 43.8 lbs
  • Big and Tall
  • Quick Setup
  • Not Aerodynamic
  • Not Waterproof
 
Best ‘Home Away from Home’ Tent
Klondike Tent
Wenzel
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 192 x 132 x 78 in
  • Rain Fly Partial (included)
  • Weight 27.3 lbs
  • Screened-In second room
  • Big and comfortable
  • Complicated setup
  • Poorly designed zippers
 
Best Hardcore Tent
Flex-Bow Deluxe
Kodiak Canvas
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 50 x 14.2 x 11.1 in
  • Rain Fly Waterproof Tent
  • Weight 85 lbs
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Warm, Durable, Sturdy
  • Heavy
  • Expensive $$$
 
Best Car Camping Tent
Canyon Tent
Coleman
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 25.25 x 9.5 x 9.5 in
  • Rain Fly Included
  • Weight 21.5 lb
  • Very Affordable
  • Quite Big
  • Open windows can make it cold
  • Rainfly is slightly undersized
 
Best Backcountry Weather Protection
Cherokee GT 8
NTK
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 141 x 120 x 72 in
  • Rain Fly Included
  • Weight 18.7 lbs
  • Good rain fly
  • D-shaped hinged doors
  • Thin dome material
  • Poorly made tent stakes
 
Best Backpacking Tent
T4-Plus Pop-Up
Gazelle
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 63 x 11 x 11 in
  • Rain Fly Included
  • Weight 47 lbs
  • Quick Pop-Up Design
  • Features 2nd Room
  • More expensive than some comparable models
  • Poorly constructed stuff-sack
 
Most Spacious Tent
Octagon 98
Coleman
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$

  • Capacity 8 person
  • Dimensions 34 x 13.5 x 11.75 in
  • Rain Fly Included
  • Weight 40.9 lbs
  • Tall and spacious interior
  • Color-coded frame system
  • No space dividers
  • Doors aren’t rigid

7 Best 8 Person Tents for the Money

Best Party Tent

Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent

Rain Fly:  Sold Separately

Weight:  43.80lbs

The outdoor supply giant Coleman entered the world of quick-set tents with their 60-SECOND series, a groups of tents which feature a fast and easy fold out construction that allows them to be set up in about a minute. They aren’t quite as fast as the pop-up models that basically open on their own, but they are still significantly faster than traditional tests.

Coleman’s 8-Person tent is one of the tallest tents on our list. This means that it is possible to stand up all the way inside it, which can be a huge help when you are living out in the woods for more than a night or two. The whole thing looks and feels like a cabin, and is actually quite spacious.

As is the case with most 8-person tents, this is actually far better suited for six people. With 4 people it is an absolute luxury with plenty of storage space to go around. But yes, if you needed to sleep 8 people in this thing, it would technically be possible.

The big boxy construction of this tent is what allows that additional height, but the result is that it is not very aerodynamic and can act like a wind sail in blustery conditions. For this reason it is absolutely necessary to use all six included guidelines to secure the tent or it could very well blow away if you’re not paying attention.

Pros
  • Big and Tall
  • Quick Setup
Cons
  • Not Aerodynamic
  • Not Waterproof

A rainfly is not included but available for separate purchase. We took a look at the one that fit this model and it was not nearly as waterproof as we would have liked. In fact we have noticed this with Coleman products in general: that they aren’t quite as water resistant as they are made out to be.

Fortunately, applying a coat of waterproofing agent isn’t all that difficult.

Best ‘Home Away from Home’ Tent

Wenzel 8 Person KLONDIKE Tent

Rain Fly:  Partial (included)

Weight:  27.3 lbs

This was one of our favorite tents on the list and an absolute pleasure to review. That’s because the KLONDIKE tent by Wenzel offers a unique 2-room construction style that allows for ultimate comfort, organization, and privacy.

The extended screen room is necessary sleeping space if you are really looking to get eight people inside this thing, but it really shines when it can be utilized as a sort of mud-room for shoes, gear, and a pair of screened-in porch chairs for when the mosquitos come out.

The tent is big, that’s for sure. It doesn’t pack down very well either, making it a bulky carry. Not that we expected anything else from an eight man tent.

The KLONDIKE features some rain protection, but it is certainly not waterproof. The included rain fly covers the roof of the tent and does a pretty good job repelling the rain, the rest of the tent remains relatively exposed to the elements. If it’s raining for more than a few hours, you are probably going to get wet.

The Achilles heel of the KLONDIKE is its setup and breakdown. While the tent itself is sturdy when it’s set up, getting it to that point can be difficult even with a partner present. Even if you have two people, it can take a solid fifteen minutes to get this thing figured out. We are confident however that we got better at it the second time around.

If we’re being nitpicky, the zipper access is less than ideal. You often need to hold the fabric with one hand in order to operate the zipper.

Pros
  • Screened-In second room
  • Big and comfortable
Cons
  • Complicated setup
  • Poorly designed zippers

Best Hardcore Tent

Kodiak CANVAS FLEX-BOW DELUXE 8-Person Tent

Rain Fly:  N/A (Waterproof Tent)

Weight:  85 lbs

This tent is an absolute beast. It differs from the other 8-person tents on our list in a couple of really interesting ways. KODIAK is one of the only manufacturers out there that is still making tents out of duck canvas, which, while considerably heavier than synthetic materials, offer 100% iron-clad waterproofing that you can place your bets on. Seriously, no water is going to get through this fabric.

Let’s talk about ‘Flex-Bow’. This is Kodiak’s tempered spring-steel frame system. Their goal was to create a pole-based tent frame system that was strong enough to hold up to severe weather while keeping the tent taught and unmoving. We didn’t set it up in a hurricane or anything, but we can say with complete confidence that it would take a near-cosmic event to push this thing over.

We love the old-school two-post awning that comes out over the door. As a shade provider it is quite effective, but as rain protection it only blocks the stuff coming straight down.

Now for the drawbacks. This thing is 85 pounds, which is about as heavy as it gets for recreational tents. The reason is that Kodiak’s duck canvas is a lot thicker than the synthetic materials most tents are made of. That’s the tradeoff when you are getting such reliable water protection and long-lasting sturdiness.

Pros
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Warm, Durable, Sturdy
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive $$$

The setup is not incredibly intuitive, but it was possible to get it figured out without too much trouble. It seems like once you get the hang of it, it’s no problem at all. Just get one of your friends to help you with it. Or, if you really like to be prepared, you can check out the Kodiak Canvas Setup Video on YouTube:

Best Car Camping Tent

Coleman RED CANYON 8-Person Tent

Rain Fly:  Included

Weight:  21.5 lb

The RED CANYON is Coleman’s entry into the super-affordable mega tents, offering an incredible about of space at a price that won’t cut into your adventure funds.

The tent is quite big, and unlike some of the other tents we looked at, this one actually does look like it can fit 8 people. However we think 6 is a more appropriate number, as that’s how many rooms this thing has if you decide to utilize the two built in privacy walls that zip right into place. That’s a nice feature if you are camping with multiple families, or maybe you just want a dedicated room for everyone’s stinky socks.

The RED CANYON utilizes a fairly traditional frame system, so anyone who has even a little bit of experience in setting up tents should be able to figure it out without too much difficulty. We can say however that it is far easier a process if you have a partner present; some of those poles can be quite long and unwieldy. Fortunately if you are buying an 8-person tent it is likely that you will have at least one ally in the direct area.

This tent features mesh-screen windows on both sides, which is a wonderful way of keeping the thing cool and aired out. It makes napping quite easy on warm sunny days. However, as you might be able to imagine, it is also quite good and letting the cold wind in on a chilly night. That’s because there is actually no way to close these mesh windows, so the airflow in near-constant. All this really means is that the RED CANYON is more of a mid-summer, weekend-at-the-lake kind of tent, as opposed to the ice fishing in January kind of tent. But we bet you already knew that.

The rainfly on this model is simple and effective as long as you put it on properly and cinch it tight. Our only complain with it is that it doesn’t extend quite as far as should in order to fully shield the two side quarters. Extreme weather might introduce some water into the sides of this tent, but not a large amount.

Considering the price, waterproofing, and ease of use, the RED CANYON is easily one of the best deals on our list.

Pros
  • Very Affordable
  • Quite Big
Cons
  • Open windows can make it cold
  • Rainfly is slightly undersized

Best Backcountry Weather Protection

NTK CHEROKEE GT 8 to 9 Person Outdoor Dome Tent

Rain Fly:  Included

Weight:  18.7 lbs

Let’s get this out of the way before anything else: calling the CHEROKEE GT by NTK an 8 to 9 person tent is beyond a stretch. It simply isn’t feasible. Now the floor of this thing is a generous 10 feet by 12 feet, so it is by no means a ‘small’ tent. It’s just not big enough for 8 people, but less 9.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can tell you why our team was actually pleasantly surprised by the performance of this lesser known brand in the face of more experienced industry giants like Coleman.

Firstly, this tent has quite a few features that are both light and functional, the two most important tenants of camping gear. Our favorite of these features was a heavy duty seamless polyethylene floor panel that is ridiculously sturdy and waterproof. Having a strong floor to the tent is very important if you are going to have a group of dirty, boot-wearing mountain folk clambering in and out of the thing dozens of times a day.

Our favorite thing about this tent is that it is perhaps the only one on the list that provides a full-coverage rainfly that is truly full-coverage. It’s also double layered, and from what we could tell was not going to let any moisture through its barrier if it’s setup properly.

The hinge-style door is a somewhat new addition to the tent world, but one that is welcome by many as it allows the door to retain its rigidity and shape when it’s not zipped up. This means that it will swing back into place if you let go of it, just like a screen door. The result of this is that fewer mosquitos will be able to get into the tent when you’re not paying attention, and for us, that’s huge.

Big drawback here is the tent stakes that come with the tent itself. They are simply not strong enough to be driven into anything but the softest of ground. Our recommendation is to pick up a pack of titanium tent stakes before you take this thing out into the wild.

Pros
  • Good rain fly
  • D-shaped hinged doors
Cons
  • Thin dome material
  • Poorly made tent stakes

Best 8-Person Backpacking Tent

Gazelle T4 PLUS Pop-Up Camping Tent

Rain Fly:  Included

Weight:  47 lbs

We aren’t entirely sure how the engineers over at Gazelle were able to come up with the necessary technology to make an 8-person tent that sets up with little more than a few flicks of the wrist. But they did it, and our team is all thrilled about it.

Gazelle’s T4 series of tents were well received by the camping community when they hit the market over the previous decade, because they offered unmatched pop-up performance without sacrificing structural integrity. The T4 PLUS is the newest addition to this series, and doubles the occupancy limit of the series from 4 to 9. It does this by offering an attached screen room on the front side of the tent.

Very much like the Wenzel KLONDIKE, this extra space is included in the 8-9 person capacity suggestion, which means that it will be hard to take advantage of its ‘front porch feel’ if you are really trying to push the occupants.

Obviously the greatest strength here is the pop-up construction. We set it up and took it down several times to see if it always worked that well, and yes indeed, they simply seemed to have figured it out with this one. Setup is a breeze, and breakdown is only slightly more complicated.

The rain fly is truly immersive, and can be setup in multiple ways depending on the conditions of your trip. That’s impressive considering that the T4 PLUS is a full 78” tall. That means that this is a tent that can handle more than just a sunny weekend at the lake. It can handle some truly inclement weather situations with ease and class.

We had a hard time getting this thing back into its carrying bag. It helped to use a few rubber tie-downs to hold it compacted and then slide it into the bag. If we were going to use this thing more often, we would consider replacing the bag altogether with something a little bit more functional.

Pros
  • Quick Pop-Up Design
  • Features 2nd Room
Cons
  • More expensive than some comparable models
  • Poorly constructed stuff-sack

Most Spacious Tent

Coleman OCTAGON 8-Person Outdoor Tent

Rain Fly:  Included

Weight:  40.9 lbs

There is something about the Coleman OCTAGON 8-person tent that just makes us feel happy. Maybe it is the classic carnival-style look that it has when it’s fully setup. Or maybe it’s that there is so much standing room on the inside. Whatever the reason, we simply agreed that this was perhaps the most exciting tent on our review list.

The OCTAGON sets up in about 10 to 15 minutes, which is not very fast compared to the new pop-up style tents, but fairly standard  for the more traditional frame systems like the one is use here. Someone over at Coleman had the bright idea of color-coding the tent poles, which at least takes the confusion out of the process. Either way, setting up the OCTAGON is a lot easier if you’ve got another person present to help out.

Measuring one side to the other, you will come up with 13 feet, which is a nice large space that can actually fit 8 campers in sleeping bags. However it can also fit two fully inflated queen size air mattresses, so other sleeping configurations are of course possible.

The wide open layout of this tent is perhaps its greatest strength, in that it provides a yurt-like feel to the space that is quite comfortable. If you aren’t packing it with people, then it is entirely possible to outfit the interior with folding tables and chairs for a full homey effect.

Of course this layout is also somewhat of a drawback when you are talking about camping with large groups of people. Because of the unique 8-sided shape of this tent there is no logical way to add a room divider, so the one room is all you’ve got.

Pros
  • Tall and spacious interior
  • Color-coded frame system
Cons
  • No space dividers
  • Doors aren’t rigid
Being completely honest, I wouldn’t share this tent with anyone. I would keep it to myself and camp like a real king for once!
WATCH: The Coleman OCTAGON 8 YouTube Instructional Video:

What Makes a Great 8-Person tent?

Construction Material

8-person tent

Which tent material is best? Well, that all depends …

  • Polyester

Tents made from polyester are a popular option because it is a versatile and inexpensive fabric that is slightly more durable than nylon and has the added benefit of retaining its shape even after being fully immersed with water.

  • Nylon

Nylon is a durable and inexpensive fabric that is also remarkably lightweight, making it a popular option for campers and backpackers who are keen on keeping their pack weight low. The majority of nylon tents are coated in a secondary substance to make it both more durable and water resistant. These coatings can be polyurethane, silicone, or acrylic, and the price can vary depending on the type of coating.

  • Cotton / Canvas

Cotton canvas tents are particularly popular amongst hunters and serious outdoors enthusiasts who need a material that is both very strong and very water resistant. In fact, a good canvas tent with a treated surface is perhaps one of the most water-repellant surfaces that you can get. Cotton is also quite breathable compared to some of the other fabrics, where synthetic coatings can prevent moisture from escaping the tent.

Size & Weight

8 man tent size

It might not be surprising to you to hear that 8-person tents are not the smallest or lightest tents on the market. In fact, they are some of the bulkiest and heaviest that you can get. And what else would you expect from a tent that is larger than some New York City apartments?

However there is still a significant variance in just how heavy one of these tents is going to be. We take a look at one tent that is a light and breezy 17 pounds. If you are going to put 8 people in it, that comes to 2.1 pounds Per Person, which is light enough to make the average ultralighter nod in approval. (Just make sure if you’re the one carrying it, someone else is hauling up the sausages).

On the other end of the spectrum is a tent we looked at that weighed in at a whopping 85 pounds. This is likely going to be too heavy for a group traveling by foot, but the added water repelling ability and warmth would be worth it to the hunter, car camper, or long term camper.

Rain Fly

When shopping for an 8 person camping tent, it is very important to remember that not all tents come with a rain fly. This means that not every tent is going to be able to deflect large amounts of water, so be sure to check the product specifications before purchase.

In addition, not all rain flys provide 100% coverage over the tent, meaning that strong wind may be capable of sending rain into the sides of your tent and wetting your things if you are not careful.

Unsure how to Properly Use a Rain Fly?

Conclusion

The best way for us to decide what is truly the best 8 person tent would be to spend a few weeks camping in each one, taking careful notes how the different materials and construction methods help up to continued use in real wilderness conditions. If only we had the time!

Our selections are based on what we think are the coolest features for an 8 person tent to have and compare that with price and durability.

Using these standards we are able to make a confident recommendation for the Gazelle T4 PLUS when it comes to a choosing a tent that is big, portable, & waterproof. No matter what the adventure calls for, the T4 is the perfect all-around option.

However there is no beating the Kodiak CANVAS FLEX-BOW DELUXE if you are looking for an absolute top-of-the-line product that is made by a company with uncompromising standards for quality and design.

Choosing the best 8 person tent for you is all about deciding how much protection you are going to need against the elements and selecting a tent that will be able to get the job done.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How long does it take to set up an 8 person tent?

A: This can vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer and even product to product. Some tents these days are labeled “Pop-Up” or “Quick-Set”. These designations indicate that the tent can be setup in only a minute or so thanks to specially designed folding internal frames.

More complicated tents on the other hand can take up to 15 minutes to set up, even if you have another person helping out. This can be due to more traditional forms of interlocking fiberglass poles that, while being very light and sturdy, can be somewhat complicated if you are staring at a tent you have never set up before.

Our official recommendation is it set up your tent at home, before you take it outside for its first adventure. This way you will be able to see how it works under good light, so when you get out in the woods you will look like a pro.

  • Q: Can 8 person tents actually fit 8 people?

A: You know what? Not really. While it is possible to fit 8 people inside one of these tents, they will be shoulder to shoulder and there will be very little room for anyone’s gear. While technically possible, filling one of these tents to capacity is functional, but hardly comfortable.

The real strength of an 8 person tent is its ability to turn a camping experience into a more convenient and comfortable time through the addition of extra space, whether it’s for mattresses, tables, chairs, or backpacks.

  • Q: What kind of tent poles are used with big tents?

A: For the most part, they are the very same fiberglass tent poles that have been used in tent manufacturing for decades and decades. The only difference would be the way that some of the frames fit together with one another. 8 person tents however are quite a bit bigger than their smaller siblings, so you can expect that there will be more poles, and therefore more weight.

  • Q:  How durable are the floor panels?

A: This varies depending on the model. Many tents are designed to work in tandem with a separate “footprint”, which protects the base of the tent from rocks and tears while also provides a layer of much needed insulation between the tent and the cold ground.

However some of these larger tents have some pretty durable floors. The same kind of material they make tarps with, so it’s both waterproof and tear resistant. When you consider what kind of damage a pair of hiking boots with rocks in the soles can do to a tent floor, you realize how important it is to have a nice strong floor.

  • Q:  Can you hang gear from the ceiling?

A: Gear hanging hooks and rings are becoming a more and more common feature with tents of all sizes. However not all tents will have this feature, so check the product specs and see. Most of the time, manufacturers will advertise this feature so it can be quite easy to tell.

  • Q: Are 8 person tents too big to stand up to high winds?

A: 8 person tents are a lot taller than traditional camping tents, and for this reason it is difficult to design one that can retain the aerodynamic properties of a 2 or 3 person tent. 8 person tents tent to have big rectangular walls, which act as wind sails and can pull the tent out of the ground if it is not staked down properly.

However, it is still very much possible to use the included guidelines to increase the tension on the tent’s frame, therefore making it that much more resilient against high winds. The larger the tent, the more guylines it might have, so inspect your tent before you use it to make sure that you aren’t forgetting any of them.

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