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Best 12 person tent: top 5 tents

Best Canvas Tent
If you want a tent that’ll last for years, consider the Teton.
Best Overall
Not a fan of canvas, but still after a long-lasting tent? This one’s the way to go.
Best for Families
If you want a tent with an easy setup and a light, the CORE has both.

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Last Updated: April 20, 2021

It’s time to decide the best 12 person tent. Are you ready?

We’ve done the leg work. We’ve hit the shops, read all the reviews and used our shared lifetimes of experience in the great outdoors to bring you the definitive guide to the best 12 person tents for camping.

You don’t need to worry about leaving anyone out of these colossal tents. There’s room for the whole gang.

So stick around as we get into why these tents are the best of the best.

Product

Review

Rating

Price

Best Overall

Not a fan of canvas, but still after a long-lasting tent? This one’s the way to go.

5.0/5.0

Best Canvas Tent

If you want a tent that’ll last for years, consider the Teton.

5.0/5.0

Best for Families

If you want a tent with an easy setup and a light, the CORE has both.

4.5/5.0

Best for Friends

For those who want optimal privacy, the Ozark Trail’s three room setup should work.

4.5/5.0

Best for Wide Doors

If you have lots of gear and struggle to get it into the tent, this one has two wide doors to help.

4.0/5.0
Table of Contents

Our quick recommendation

Too busy to go over why we think these tents are great? That’s fine, here’s our quick takeaway.

Our favorite 12 person tent we reviewed was the Eureka! Copper Canyon LX. It’s a durable and protective cabin-style tent that is spacious enough for plenty of campers. Plus, tall campers need not worry about hitting their heads in this tent thanks to the MASSIVE seven foot ceilling.

the best value for money?

If you’re looking for a tent that will give you the most bang for your buck, we thought the Eureka offered fantastic value for money that should leave you more than satisfied.

The other tent that impressed us when it came to finances was the TETON Sierra. Although the price tag on this tent is a little steep, canvas tents are super tough and durable meaning you will get DECADES of use out of this tent. It’s well worth the cost if you can afford it.

Comparing the best 12 person tents

Best Overall
Eureka! Copper Canyon LX Tent (4/8/12 Person)
Not a fan of canvas, but still after a long-lasting tent? This one’s the way to go.

Capacity: 12 | Weight: 40lbs | Dimensions: 14’ (W) x 12’ (L) x 7’ (H) | Bag Dimensions: 11” x 29” | Doors: 1 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$ 

Overall:

Pros

  • Detachable room divider provides privacy
  • Ample headroom for tall campers
  • Large windows allowing light inside
  • Simple setup means no struggling with poles

Cons

  • Not great for cold weather camping
  • Velcro window covers sometimes allow water into the tent around the window’s edges

If you want a family camping tent that’ll withstand most weather without the bulk and commitment of a canvas one, here’s the tent Eureka! Copper Canyon 12.

This 12 person cabin tent is suitable for 3 season use and will do wonderfully in the rain, but it’s lighter and more like your standard tent. The steel and fiberglass frame stands strong, and it’s easy to assemble if you bring a friend along.

Ensure your friend is tall, because there’s tons of head room in here with a peak height of 7 foot. Consider bringing a stepladder on your trip. You can easily stow it in the corner of one of the two large vestibules separated by a curtain in the center of the Eureka Copper Canyon 12 person tent.

The two spaces allow for excellent liveability and privacy for camping with a group of friends. Set up a table and chairs in one and pile your sleeping bags into the other, giving the place a cabin-like feel.

Its ample floor space ensures there’s plenty of room to sprawl out at night, so long as you’re careful not to punch a fellow camper in the face. Though it’s decently roomy, it’s no queen-mattress-to-yourself type of space.

For smaller parties, you could fit four queen size beds in the tent in total, but you’d have to use both rooms as sleeping areas, and it’d cut the tent’s capacity down to eight. If that’s alright with you, then go right ahead.

You can easily deflate the mattresses by day, set out the chairs, unveil the large windows and relax in your private cabin. 

Though there’s a minor issue with the windows—the waterproof covers hang loose and attach lightly with velcro, allowing cold air through the mesh, so it’s a tent best made for summer camping.

Velcro also isn’t as reliable as a zipper, so some water may leak through around the windows’ edges.

If this is a concern for you, consider a small full coverage tarp to hang over the windows. This will block out light, but you can use the electric cable port to bring in a power supply to fire up an electric lamp you were storing in the overhead storage pockets.


Best Canvas Tent
TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent (10/12/16 Person)
If you want a tent that’ll last for years, consider the Teton.

Capacity: 8–12 | Weight: 79.5lbs | Dimensions: 16’ (W) x 16’ (L) x 9’4” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 2’ x 3’ | Doors: 1 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$$

Overall:

Pros

  • Withstands strong winds and rain
  • Extra-wide door to allow your camping gear to pass through
  • Ventilation and e-cable port are easily accessible
  • Clear door works as a window
  • Lots of headroom for tall campers

Cons

  • Comfort capacity is closer to 8 than 12
  • Lacks privacy without separate rooms

Are you a family of camping lovers who want a 12p tent that’ll last and withstand any season? Consider a canvas tent. They’re not for everyone, but they certainly have their upsides.

This TETON tent advertised for 12 people is a prime example of a canvas tent with its ups and downs. 

Up: The sturdy canvas material can weather any storm, while the extra-wide clear front door lets light in day and night.

Down: It’s a one-room tent, so you won’t get much in the way of privacy. This is definitely a tent for families, and tight-knit ones at that. Perhaps it’s a tent to raise the camping kids in to ensure you remain close enough to use the tent even when the moody teen years hit?

Other downsides include the price and the bulk. This is no tent to take lightly in any sense of the word.

With that aside, you won’t find much wrong with the tent. There are vents built-in, so the thick canvas fabric doesn’t smother you. There is an electric cable port so you can light up the room with brightness and entertainment.

Speaking of entertainment, this tent doubles as a canopy. Zip-off the floor and set up the tent in your backyard for a party rather than a home away from home while camping.

Once you reattach the floor, it goes right back to being durable and weather safe. You’ll find no leaks with this tent, thanks to the heavy-duty welded floor and the reinforced seams.

The floor is barefoot safe so little ones can run around on it all they like.

Speaking of little ones, the 12-person capacity works best if most of the campers are children. Though 12 people fit in the tent, it has an actual capacity of eight.

The last downside is that the tent doesn’t come with a stovepipe, but taking it to a seamstress will enable you to add one yourself. You could also add some mesh windows, a privacy curtain, or a whole host of things the tent is lacking. That’s the great thing about canvas: you can alter it to fit your needs.


Best for Families
CORE Instant Cabin 12 Person Tent
If you want a tent with an easy setup and a light, the CORE has both.

Capacity: 12 | Weight: 48.58lbs | Dimensions: 18’ (W) x 10’ (L) x 6”6’ (H) | Bag Dimensions: 52” x 13” x 13” | Doors: 2 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$

Overall:

Pros

  • Plenty of space for the whole family to spread out
  • Mesh ceiling provides excellent views of the night’s sky
  • Instant setup is super easy for a tent this size
  • Two attachable room dividers

Cons

  • Can be vulnerable in high winds

Family road trips to your camping spot can be exhausting, especially with tons of kids.

All you want to do is get in the tent and relax as soon as you arrive. You dread set up, so for that, you need a 12 person instant cabin tent. Preferably a 2 or 3 room instant cabin tent, so you can have some privacy while your kids play the night away.

This CORE 12 person instant cabin tent has ample room for all of you and fits three queen size air mattresses, fit for up to six people. It fits double that amount if you all sleep on the ground, or many of your group are kids.

The spacious floor plan in the 12 person cabin tent also allows room for gear, accessible at any time of day thanks to the lighting system.

Once you’ve got those set up, you can camp in all weathers and seasons, covering the large mesh windows and doors while still having light. Once it’s dry, rip off the rainfly and let light stream in through the tall ceiling as well as the windows and doors so you can stargaze from the comfort of the tent.

All in all, this cabin tent with a side entrance has several features that kids will benefit from.


Best for Friends
Ozark Trail 3 Room Instant Cabin 12-Person Tent
For those who want optimal privacy, the Ozark Trail’s three room setup should work.

Capacity: 12 | Weight: 61lbs | Dimensions: 16’ (W) x 16’ (L) x 6’8” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 52.36” x 14.17” x 12.60” | Doors: 2 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$ 

Overall:

Pros

  • Three separate rooms for privacy or storage space
  • Excellent, large awning to spend time under
  • Many windows flood the tent with light

Cons

  • Won’t withstand wind
  • Tent fabric tears easily

This 12 person tent Ozark Trail is excellent for liveability and privacy. It has three rooms so you can sleep kids and parents apart, or create closer-knit subgroups of the friend gang.

The instant setup is super easy thanks to the pre-attached poles.

With each room you get ample space, enough for four sleepers in sleeping bags or two on air mattresses, so there’s no arguing over who gets the larger vestibule.

Once day comes, you can all huddle outside under the awning and relax, free of the sun’s harshest rays or the light drizzle of the wetter seasons. This awning space is included in the overall dimension specifications of the tent.

If it’s too rainy to use the awning, you can still create a communal experience inside. Open all the doors so the room feels like one, and have your fun. If you’re worried it’ll be too stuffy when hanging out indoors, there’s a ground vent in each vestibule to mitigate your fears.

You can also keep the windows open to let the outside in, although if you worry the rain will leak in, all seven windows are closeable, and you can roll fabric over the main door.

Unfortunately, you can’t pull fabric over the outer doors that lead to the outside. Plus, it’ll do well and won’t leak in rain, but when it comes to wind it’s a little weak. The fiberglass poles are prone to buckling and any blowing debris may rip through the tent fabric.

Stay on low ground and avoid storm-prone areas and you can’t go wrong when using this tent.


Capacity: 12 | Weight: 40.11lbs | Dimensions: Unspecified | Bag Dimensions: 27.5” x 12.5” x 12.5”  | Doors: 2 | Power Cord Vent: Unknown | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$ 

Overall:

Pros

  • Lots of headroom for taller people
  • Two wide doors makes getting in and out easy
  • Several handy mesh storage pockets for personal belongings

Cons

  • Some minor issues with waterproofing from Coleman
  • Limited customer feedback at the time of review

Coleman is a classic brand for high-quality, low-cost tents and this newer release is no exception. Released less than a month before the time of reviewing, the model so far seems to live up to the hype of the rest of the Skydome range.

This dome tent is an upgrade on some of the smaller models released in early 2020 and appears to share their simple construction. It’s a simple setup with poles attaching to fabric via clips instead of poles, and it’s quite tall for a dome tent giving you space to walk around.

Coleman’s 8-person model is tall enough at its peak to accommodate a grown man at peak height—it’s safe to assume the 12 person tent is even larger.

Unfortunately, Coleman hasn’t released its exact dimensions but states you can fit three queen size air beds inside. This gives it a comfort capacity of at least six, but you’ll be able to fit more people in if you utilize sleeping bags instead.

As most Coleman tents have a comfort capacity of two fewer than their max capacity, we can assume 10 people in sleeping bags will work well in this tent.

If things get too crowded, utilize one of the two wide doors to let some air in or escape from the tent. Before you go, you can store your personal items in one of the storage pockets around the tent to keep them safe while you’re out. There are mesh pockets on every wall.

During rain and warm weather, you can also get some relief from a stuffy sensation in the tent. There are two ground vents low down, so you can let air in that way while you’re protected by the hefty rainfly. The fly covers one of the doors and has an awning over the other to stop rain dripping down the mesh.

Unfortunately, you may still have a few issues in the rain. Though customers haven’t given much feedback yet, they almost always find issues with Coleman tents and leaks along the seams, even when they’re inverted.

It’d be a wise move to invest in some seam seal and waterproofing spray when using this tent. It’ll add to the cost, but customers tend to report excellent durability in Coleman tents, so it’s worth it in the long run.

They also speak openly about how if any of the tent’s components fail, Coleman is quick to send you a replacement free of charge. So, theoretically, this tent could last years and is worth the investment.


Which tent is right for you?

The TETON Sierra tent

Which tent is best for 12 Campers? 

Winner: Ozark Trail 3-Room Tent

For the most part, 12-person tents can be relatively comfortable for campers, but they’re better with fewer people

Much of the time, tents are more comfortable with two fewer people than their max capacity states. With that logic in mind, 12 person tents are best for 10 people but can work for 12.

The Ozark Trail is the most comfortable option for 12 people as the three rooms provide some extra privacy. Splitting the tent into separate rooms means you don’t all have to sleep together, which might be handy for trips with bigger groups.

What Is the Best 12-Person Tent for a Family? 

Winner: CORE 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent

The best 12 person tent for a family is the CORE 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent, thanks to its lighting system, which is great for young kids. It’s also incredibly spacious, so you can store all the extra gear that comes with having kids.

What Is the Best 12-Person Tent for a Group of Friends?

Winner: Ozark Trail 12-Person 3-Room Tent

The best 12 person tent for a group of friends is the Ozark Trail 12-Person 3-Room Tent, which is down to its evenly sized and wholly private three rooms. The awning to hang out under by day also makes it fantastic for friends who want to kick back in nature but not necessarily explore it that much.

Which tent offers you the most comfortable experience?

Winner: Ozark Trail 12-Person 3-Room Tent

If you have less than 12 campers with you on your trip, you can use two of the bedrooms in the Ozark Trail for sleeping and the other as a room for extra storage or socializing if the weather is poor.

The covered area created by the awning is also excellent for cooking outside or sheltering from the sun.

Which tent has the best storage options?

Winner: Ozark Trail 12-Person 3-Room Tent & CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin

The three rooms wins it again for the Ozark Trail.

You can use one room entirely for storage if you aren’t bringing 12 campers. You can also use the covered outdoor area to store some gear as well if the weather is mild.

The CORE 12 person instant cabin tent has the largest floor space, so it’s naturally a winner here as well. There is plenty of storage space in the tent.

That said, the TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent has an incredible center height, so if you were to pile your gear up, the tent would also have ample room to store it.

It’s true the bulk of the peak height is in the middle, but that doesn’t seem like a bad place to store your stuff. If anything, a clump of gear at the center could serve as a small privacy barrier as privacy is where the TETON falls flat.

How easy was set up?

Two campers setting up the Eureka Copper Canyon

Can These Tents Be Set up by One Person? 

It depends on the tent, but for the most part, yes, 12 person camping tents can be set up by one person.

Setup time will be faster with more people involved in the process, though. Plus, popups and instant cabin tents make the setup a breeze.

The most difficult part of the process will be tackling the center height.  Ensure you’re tall if you’re tackling this alone.

Also, be sure to read any instructions that come with the tent. Some will specify that they’re best set up with two or more people. That enormous center pole in the TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent will likely be a nightmare to set up alone.

Is It Quick to Set Up?

Winner: CORE 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent

The 12 person instant cabin aspect of the CORE tent makes it the clear winner for setup. The instant pitch technology means this tent can be set up in a matter of minutes.

With that in mind, the TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent is pretty easy to set up, too. Its setup centers around the tall pole in the middle, so once you’ve got that up, the rest of it is a breeze.

Are these tents easy to carry?

Although the TETON might be heavier than the other tents, it is still easy enough to carry for car camping trips. All of these tents are great car camping tents. However, they are too heavy and bulky to carry as backpacking tents.

Holding up in harsh weather

Will these tents offer enough weather protection to keep you and your fellow campers dry and warm? Which tent will stand strong in windy weather and which tent is only suited to warmer weather camping?

Rain droplets on pine needles

will these tents keep you dry in bad weather?

Winner: TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent

The clear winner in terms of waterproofing, this canvas tent will keep you dry even in heavy rains. Other models have large mesh windows which are great for air circulation but can cause issues in wet weather.

The CORE Instant Cabin and Ozark Trail Instant Cabin have a shorter rain fly which means that water can sometimes leak into the tent even in light rain. They offer pretty minimal protection from rain.

You should initially spray your canvas with water and let it dry so that the durable material shrinks to close needle holes in your tent before you take it camping. Treating it like this will mean it will keep you dry during your camping trip.

Is condensation an issue?

Winner: Eureka! Copper Canyon LX

This tent has huge mesh windows which help keep condensation from forming. Alongside the mesh ceiling, the windows help in bringing cool air into the tent and pushing warm, damp air out. This excellent ventilation design stops condensation from forming.

The CORE Instant Cabin tent also has lots of mesh which helps keep the tent cool.

Does wind cause any of these tents to crumble?

Winner: TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent

Just as this tent can stand up to the rain, it can stand up to heavy winds. It will stay steady in gusts of wind, especially when compared to some of the other cabin-style tents. The cabin tents have straight walls which can get caught in the wind.

The tall structure of the cabin-style tents can catch in the wind. This can be especially damaging for instant tents like the Ozark Trail with telescopic poles which once broken are very difficult to replace.

The teepee shape provides a stable structure to the TETON which is better suited for harsh weather.

Keeping cool in the summer

Winner: Eureka! Copper Canyon LX

Once again those huge windows and mesh roof work together in this tent to help circulate the air and keep the tent cool, even in summer. There’s ample ventilation to stop the tent getting too stuffy.

Are these tents suitable for winter camping?

Winner: TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent

The only tent we would be comfortable camping in during Winter is the TETON Sports Sierra. It is made from canvas, a high-quality material, which is a better insulator during cold temperatures than synthetic materials.

Will It Last?

Winner: TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent

Canvas is far sturdier than your average polyester tent material, letting this tent last a decade or beyond if you treat it right. It’s thick and heavy, which is a downer when you’re traveling, but for a group who can’t get enough of camping, you can’t do much better than a canvas tent.

FAQs: What else should you know?

Will Campgrounds Accept Large 12-Person Tents? 

Some campgrounds may not accept large 12 person tents, but others will. Some will accept them if you rent two spots.

It’s best to ask the campground in advance to make sure you’re not turned away when you show up for your trip.

Large group around a campfire by sunset

Do 12 person tents offer more privacy?

Privacy isn’t a concern for everyone; some families prefer an open space that allows for family bonding time.

But if you’re camping with a group of friends, then privacy is a must. That’s why we consider the Ozark Trail 12 person tent the best 12 person tent for friend-group camping.

The three rooms in the Ozark Trail 12 person tent that allow for two to four in a room let you stay apart by night, but crack open the doors by day and bond as a unit. You can also spend your bonding time outside under the large awning, giving you plenty of options when spending time with your friends.

Other tents like the CORE and Eureka come with a removable divider for privacy in the tent.

How To Decide if You Need a 12-Person Tent

Consider the following things when deciding if you need a 12 person tent:

  • How large is your party?
  • Do you need multiple rooms/vestibules?
  • Is livability a concern?
  • How much privacy do you desire?
  • Are you going glamping instead of camping?

Your answers to the questions above will help you determine if you need a 12 person tent. A yes to one or more of them points towards yes, you need a 12 person tent.

Can you fit a queen air bed in these tents?

These tents are DEFINITELY large enough for a queen sized air mattress. In fact, you can fit two or three queen size airbeds in each of these tents. The Ozark Trail lets you put an air mattress in each room with space to spare.

Wanting something larger or smaller?

We’ve got you covered. See our reviews of the best tents for other capacities here:

Perfect Pitch

As canvas tents are durable, long-lasting beasts of all weathers, we consider the TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent to be the best 12 person camping tent among this bunch. It’s sturdy, long-lasting and versatile, with a large capacity of 8–12 people for even the most packed of families.

However, if canvas isn’t your thing and you need more privacy, then the Eureka! Copper Canyon LX Tent  is one of the best 12 person tents. The two vestibules allow for separate sleeping spaces, or alternatively, a sleeping and living space. It may not be as tough as canvas, but it’s still a 3-season tent that’ll last a while if you treat it right.

All in all, both tents will suit different needs but will fulfill them equally well aside from the durability factor.

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website
James Black

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.