Some adventures require just a bit more luxury than the standard outing, which is perhaps my so many people these days are constantly on the lookout for a the best cabin tent … a shelter that can provide both the comfort and versatility needed for an extended stay in the wilderness. We’ve taken a deep dive into the world of cabin tents, comparing over 36 models side by side until the Top 8 were revealed.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with ultralight tents or 2-person tents … in fact they are the only way to travel great distances with a portable shelter. But if you are with the family, or at a festival, or perhaps planning an extended stay in the wilderness, then a cabin tent is the way to go. These massive box-shaped tents not only offer more space to fit more people, but they are also, on average, significantly taller than traditional camping tents.
Now, we’re presenting you with our pared-down review list of the best 8 cabin tents, including brief descriptions about what made us choose these models above the rest. Afterwards, our Cabin Tent Buying Guide will give you the tools you need to start the shopping journey yourself. Or, if you aren’t in the mood to go shopping for a big tent, you can just click on our Editor’s Pick and have it shipped out today.
Best Cabin Tent – Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent
We’re kicking things off with one of the best-value 6-person tents on our list. The Coleman WeatherMaster is not only affordable for its size, but it is also one of the roomiest and most versatile entry level cabin tents that you can get. The breathable mesh top is an important feature once you have 6 people packed into this thing, and the mesh foyer / sunroom is a great place to watch the sun set while keeping the mosquitos and bugs out. Our biggest qualm is that the “WeatherMaster” is actually not all that weatherproof.
While the rain fly works well enough in regular rain showers, it does not cover enough of the cabin tent itself to provide rain protection in bad storms, which water will be coming in from the sides. However it has a nice thick bathtub-style tarp bottom that will keep rainwater from creeping in from below. There is enough room in here for 2 queen-sized airbeds … not as much space as the CARE 9-Person tent that we are looking at below, but certainly enough to get the job done.
Easy Set-Up on a Cabin Tent – CORE 9-Person Tent
This cabin tent by the lesser-known outdoor company CORE provides about the same amount of square footage as the Coleman WeatherMaster, yet they are advertising it as being able to hold an additional 2 people. This is an important point to make: there is no real standard for how much space a person is being given in these estimates … so with some companies you can safely assume that “9-Person” means that you could theoretically lie 9 people in there, but not enough room for anything else.
Still, the pre-attached telescoping poles allow the CORE tent to setup faster than almost any other model what we looked at, with total setup time averaging about 5 minutes and the closest competitors averaging about 15 minutes. The rain fly here is also similar to the Weather Master, in that it does not cover much of the tent siding but can prevent light rain from soaking through alright. Tents like these are good options for summertime weather after the storms have calmed down anyway. One unique feature is an electrical cord access port, which furthers the assumption that the CORE 9-Person Cabin Tent is more well-suited for daytime events and summertime functions than deep-wilderness camping and hunting.
The Highest Cabin Tent – Standing Room Tent
The folks at Standing Room Tents have come up with a unique way to take advantage of the easy-up shelters that most of us already have. This simplified tent system attaches to slant-leg canopies like Easy-Up brand canopies to create a full-sized box tent that multiple people can stand up in. With 8.5’ of headroom, the Standing Room Tent turns your folding canopy into a portable cabin, office, living room, or shade structure. Setup only takes a couple of minutes (once the canopy itself is setup).
If you were using this as a tent for camping and sleeping, you probably won’t get more than 4 people in there. Truth be told this is a fantastic camping cabin for couples, as it provides ample room for two people to sleep and organize their things, not to mention stand up and stretch their backs, or even have a place to play cards when it’s raining. Speaking of rain, the Standing Room Tent is not quite as waterproof as a Coleman Cabin Tent, but because it utilizes an existing canopy for the roof, you can at least count on the fact that you won’t be dripped on from above. If anything, wind-blown rain might have a chance of saturating one of the side panels and eventually seeping through.
Best Waterproofing on a Cabin Tent – ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek
If weatherproofing is one of the most important things you are looking for in a cabin tent, then the ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek 4 might just be the one for you. It is certainly not as large as the Coleman WeatherMaster or the CORE 9-person, but in terms of waterproofing it has got it where it counts.
This tent is also slightly shorter than some of the others, do doubt due to its more traditional frame structure. The fact that the weatherproof fly goes all the way over it is really the selling point here, but we would be fold not to mention the fact that this tent is significantly cheaper than the Coleman WeatherWaster, or some of the other more expensive ones that we looked at that didn’t make the Top 8. Ventilation is a 9/10 on this model; big mesh windows and dual access doors keep things nice and cool, and the mesh ceiling takes it a step further by offering some pretty amazing views of the stars on clear nights.
Setup is not particularly simple … it took us about 25 minutes the first time. We recommend setting this one up in your yard before taking it out into the wilderness, and you might save yourself some valuable daylight that could better be used hunting for firewood.
Budget Pick – Ozark Trail
It is pretty obvious that the reason the Ozark Trail 10-person cabin tent is so popular and has so many reviews is because it is one of the most affordable ways to sleep large amounts of people. At just over a hundred bucks this budget-level tent blows much of its competition out of the water, while still managing to provide a safe and moderately weatherproof shelter from the rain or sun. As usual, we would be wary of actually assuming that you could comfortably fit 10 people lying down in this thing … just looking at it setup makes us thing it would be closer to 6 if you included bags, gear, etc.
The rain fly is probably less waterproof than even the Coleman WeatherMaster, not only because of its short, stunted shape, but also because it simply doesn’t provide the same moisture barrier; you might ever get dripped on from above if a big storm finds you. This is the absolute perfect tent to take to a music festival or event where it is likely to get beat up or destroyed; it is cheap enough to replace and you won’t have to be worrying about ripping any expensive fabric.
Best Canvas Cabin Tent – Springbar Highline
If there is one tent on our list that could be considered the polar opposite of the Budget Pick Ozark Trail cabin tent, it would be this awesome canvas hunting tent by Springbar. The Highline 8 is simply the most weatherproof and waterproof tent that we have ever encountered, do doubt due to its water-tight canvas construction. The canvas is made from duck cotton … the same stuff that keeps the birds warm and dry. While duck cotton canvas is one of the most expensive tent fabrics that you can get, there is simply no other material that matches it in terms of weather resistance, tear resistance, and general durability.
Unlike synthetic tent fabrics, cotton canvas also provides a level of insulation that you can’t get anywhere else. Besides the high price point, one of the other reasons that people avoid canvas hunting tents is because they have traditionally taken a lot longer to setup, but that is not the case with the Highline 8. This is a canvas tent that has taken some of its construction cues from more modern tent models, utilizing some of the same telescoping, interconnecting flexible poles as are used in all-synthetic tents. The result is a canvas tent that goes up fast.
Best of the Rest – Coleman 8-Person Tent
Even though it is not very expensive, the Coleman 8-Person tent offers some features that no other tents do, such as a hinged door, hanging shelves, and a built-in closet. Anyone who has been on an extended camping trip knows just how fast a tent can be cluttered with clothing and gear, and having access to immediate storage and organizational solutions like these is a convenience that is worth paying for. Still, at about 200 bucks this is certainly a budget-level tent for its size.
While we think 8 people might be a bit of a stretch, this would be quite comfortable indeed for 4 or 6 people. Setup is not as fast as some of the other pop-up tents, but if you have another person help you, it shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes. Great ventilation, decent weatherproofing, and all-around inverted seams are a few more features that make this a much better tent than the Coleman WeatherMaster that we started our review off with. The only glaring thing that we think could be better is the door design & sippers; as it stands the pole doesn’t fit perfectly and it can cause the zippers to bind up a bit.
Best Cabin Tent with a Screen Room – Wenzel Klondike
While the folks at Wenzel advertise their 8-person Klondike Cabin Tent as being capable of sleeping 8 people, they aren’t technically wrong, but it might be helpful to know that the only way that you are going to fit 8 people in there is if you give up the awesome little screen room area. The “front porch” on the Klondike is perhaps its best feature, as it provides the perfect space for things like shoes, boots, and wet clothing.
Or, throw a few camping chairs in there are you have a nice little shelter from bad weather and bad bugs. The rain fly is really just a rain ‘cap’, kind of like the Coleman tents that we reviewed above, but even shorter. This means that the Klondike is certainly not the right tent for really bad weather; the walls and floor are likely to soak through if it is absolutely dumping outside. The Klondike is the second-most affordable cabin tent on our list, and something that we particularly recommend if you are looking for a comfortable 2-person camping trip.
Buyer’s Guide – The Best Cabin Tents and Standup Tents in 2020
Remember: the cabin tents and 8-person tents on our list are not for backpacking, or really for travel of any kind. These jumbo shelters are perfect for the weekend music festival, a Saturday by the lake, or an overnight camping trip with the whole family. Either buy one tent and fill it to the brim with as many campers as you can, or, buy an 8-person cabin tent like the Wenzel Klondike and use it as a 2-person luxury camping experience.
Our list of the Top 8 Cabin Tents features the makes and models that we thought were standing a ways out from the competition, mostly in terms of price and size. But it is not a comprehensive list of what is currently available online, which includes hundreds of different models made by over a dozen reputable gear manufacturers.
The key to choosing a new tent is stacking up all its features against both the amount that you want to spend and the activity that you are going to be using it for. But in case you need a little bit of help making a decision, we’re going to share some of the tips, tricks, and recommendations that picked up during the process of crafting this article.
What to Look For in a Cabin Tent
As we set out to catalog the se massive tents, we did so by breaking down each tent into the following category of review criteria:
The first question that you need to ask yourself when shopping for a new tent, cabin-size or otherwise, is how many people you are going to need to fit in there. You might think that this would be simple considering the fact that every tent is sold with its capacity listed front and center.
The problem is twofold. First, there is no standard metric that will determine how many persons a specific tent is rated for. Therefore, every manufacturer is going to be using a different standard. The second problem is that these numbers are clearly used to determine the market price of the tent itself, which makes us wary of their claims.
Anyone who has tried to sleep 8 people in an 8-person tent can tell you that a tight fit is a kind way to describe it. This is especially true of all 8 persons were full-grown adults.
When shopping for a tent, the general rule is to reduce the capacity number a bit in order to account for the space that is needed for all the clothing and gear, not to mention a bit of space to make it possible to maneuver. Alternatively, getting a tent that is rated at double your desired capacity is a great way to turn a regular camping trip into a premium “glamping” experience.
Because of the big and boxy way that cabin tents and 10-person tents are shaped, it is impossible to add a traditional rain fly without significantly compromising the waterproofing through the addition of seams, pole supports, and windows / doors.
Here’s the straight skinny: with the exception of the Highline 2 canvas tent, none of the models featured on this review offer very good weatherproofing. While each model does come with a rain fly, none of them offer the kind of complete coverage that a traditional tent does. In general, they are capable of deflecting light rain and snow, but if the weather picks up at all, you might be getting wet.
There are some 3rd party rain fly systems that are designed to work with these large cabin-style tents, but they can be costly. If you are planning on camping in really bad weather, or if you just want to know that you are prepared, then the best option by far would be to shell out the extra few bucks for a canvas tent and know that you are protected.
As the anecdote goes: the bigger the tent, the longer the setup time. Our team has certainly found this to be true over the years, which is why it comes as no surprise that cabin tents and 9-person tents take a little bit longer to setup. There are some pop-up models out there that go up a bit faster, but good luck trying to fold them down within an hour if you are working by yourself.
The traditional interconnected tent poles are what hold most of these structures up, so anyone who has setup a tent before should have no particular issue. Still, it helps a lot to have another set of hands … in fact it can cut down setup time almost in half.
Fabric / Material
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and Nylon are really popular for tent-making for a number of reasons. The biggest one is probably the price; it simply does not get more affordable than synthetics, both for the manufacturers and the consumers.
The second reason that synthetic fabrics are dominating tent construction is because of how lightweight they are. Because most campers appreciate tents and gear that aren’t going to throw their back out just by carrying it across a field, gear brands have made an effort to keep things as light as possible.
The lesser known advantage of new-age synthetic tent fabric is that it is often treated with fire-resistant chemical processes that make them safer for camping, where there is usually a campfire nearby.
Without question, the biggest advantage that cabin tents offer is how tall they are compared to more traditional, dome-shaped tents. This extra space in some cases is enough for a person to stand up completely, which can make the difference between a cramped, uncomfortable experience and a fun, carefree camping weekend.
Some of the tents on our list are bringing some new features to the table that we are excited to see, and that we can only hope to see in more models in the months and years to come.
The Coleman 8-Person tent has a built-in closet and clothes hanger, for instance. Anyone who is camping for more than a day or two will appreciate the extra organizational power offered by Coleman here.
The Wenzel Klondike offers another unexpected delight with the front-end screen room. While this space is counted under the 8-person capacity suggestion, it can just as easily be reserved for a set of camping chairs and a cooler … turning a rainy or big-filled evening into a perfect front-porch style experience.
Conclusion: The Best Cabin Tent for Comfortable Camping
Choosing the best cabin tent is certainly going to be a different process based on what you’re looking for. A week at Burning Man might be an easier trip, weather-wise, than a week in the Wind River Range on the hunt for trout. The amount of rain, wind, and general abuse that a cabin tent can take is somewhat limited because of their general design, but that does not make them inappropriate for all occasions.
For our money, the best all-around value for a cabin-style tent would be the Coleman 8-Person Tent. It is roomy enough, affordable enough, and easy enough to set up to reach the number one position on our list, though we do have to quality it by saying that the remarkably low price was perhaps the biggest factor in our decision.
If we had a few more bucks to spend and we wanted to get something with a little more ruggedness and durability, there is no question that we would have gone with the Springbar Highline. As a canvas tent its quality is simply unmatched, but at the moment it is just a little too far out of our price range.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is one of those easy questions that we don’t see that often. If you are on the lookout for a waterproof cabin tent that is guaranteed to keep you and all your things dry, then there is no better option than the Springbar Highline. Its duck cotton construction provides an incredibly strong weave that will protect against even copious amounts of condensation, while also offering a level of insulation that is impossible to match with a traditional synthetic tent.
If you are going to be camping in a windy area, or if you are going to be doing some more serious-level backpacking, then a cabin tent is really not the way to go. The big boxy design makes then particularly sensitive to high winds. The least that you can do is order a few extra guy lines to tie the tent of in a more secure fashion.
While waterproofing sprays and waterproofing wash solutions can be quite effective in certain situations, it is important to know what situations actually call for it and what situations are not appropriate for it.
For instance, waterproofing spray is not designed to make any material waterproof; they are commonly formulates specifically for synthetic or synthetic blend fabrics, like those used for tent rainflies. They work by forcing water repellent solutions and chemicals into the threads of the fabric, which is what causes the water to simply bead off instead of being absorbed.
However, waterproofing spray is really only good for clothing and rain flies. You can’t really use it on the body of the tent, mostly because of all the mesh windows, zippers, and openings.
When it comes to the type of cabin tents that we feature here, it is even more important to know that a can or two of waterproofing spray is going to have very little effect on a tent that doesn’t even have a full rain fly. Most of the models that we features here have very short rain flies which are not designed to repel much more than the occasional light shower. If there is even the slightest bit of wind, the rain and/or snow could very well get in through the windows or soak the walls until they start dripping.
The reason that canvas tents like the Springbar Highline are so expensive is because they are made from natural materials. In the case of the Springbar Highline, the company has to source natural cotton and then weave it tightly into a dense material. That is what provides the unmatched weatherproof qualities, but it also makes it thicker and much heavier.
Synthetic fabrics are usually used in tents because they are so much more affordable to produce, cut, and sew. They have the added benefit of being significantly lighter, which tends to be a big thing for campers, backpackers, and hunters who have to carry the tent far out into the wilderness.