If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best 12 person tent is, then we recommend the Ozark Trail 16×16 Feet 12-Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent as the best one.
Camping with a lot of people (plus pets and gear) can often mean crowded and uncomfortable conditions. But fortunately, there are some great tents that can handle your whole family and their stuff. Here are the best 12 person tents we could find, ideal for your next trip with the extended family!
In this article, we’re going to review the following 12 person camping tents:
- Tahoe Gear Prescott 12 Person 3-Season Family Cabin Tent
- Tahoe Gear Gateway 12-Person Deluxe Cabin Tent
- Ozark Trail 16×16 Feet 12-Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent
- Alpha Camp 12 Person Tent
- NTK Super Arizona 12 Person XL Camping Tent
Benefits of a 12-Person Tent
Beyond the occupancy level, there are other positives to buying a 12-person tent, even if you don’t have that many people coming along. It can be daunting to upgrade to a larger size tent- but there are plenty of benefits that make it worthwhile.
Space for Gear
While many smaller tents have screened “awnings” or “porches,” if you have a lot of gear to pack, that might not be enough room. With a tent that’s more spacious inside, you can stow away your stuff but still have plenty of space for sleeping and unwinding.
After all, if the weather turns sour, you don’t want to be scrambling around in the dark trying to get everything together. Sizing up to fit your gear and goods means no worries about what the weather is doing outside.
A Little Elbow Room
Sure, your old tent may have a rating for six occupants, but can you really fit six sleeping bags comfortably? And what about air mattresses, if you prefer to camp in comfort?
If you’re looking to expand into a bigger tent, a 12-person style is one of the biggest available. It will have way more space for everyone to stretch out, even if you have ten or so people with you. Many can fit as many as three queen size air mattresses so that everyone can sleep comfortably.
With this big of a floor plan, there are usually a few added features. For example, screened porches are common, as are more interior pockets. After all, there’s more wall and floor space than many other size tents.
Also, the larger the tent, the more likely it is to have separate rooms, privacy flaps, multiple entrances, and more windows. Most campers won’t protest the inclusion of a few extra doors- after all, accessibility is key, especially in the middle of the night when nature calls.
What to Look for in a 12-Person Tent
Of course, the most important thing you’ll want to look at is the occupancy rating. But beyond numbers, what should you look for to find the best 12-person tent?
Ease of Setup
Any tent that can hold 12 people will be a bit of a beast. The more poles and material you have, the heavier the overall package will be. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be more difficult to set up than a standard (or smaller) tent.
That said, setting up a larger tent tends to take longer, but consider the fact that if you didn’t buy a more spacious tent, you’d be setting up multiple smaller ones, which takes more time, too!
In general, looking for lightweight materials can help cut the weight of the tent package down. Some manufacturers brag on their “fast pitch” technology, so many larger tents still pop up in a few minutes at most.
Still, you may want to plan on having a few free hands to help with setup at your campsite. The higher center height of a 12-person tent can also make setup difficult, particularly for those of below average height.
If you’re going to take this massive of a tent on a trip, you want to be as comfortable as possible. That means having added features like separate rooms with zipper dividers, enough floor space for air mattresses, and plenty of windows.
The best tent will have plenty of mesh windows for ventilation and visibility. Multiple doors are also helpful, especially with many people coming and going throughout the day. After all, you don’t want to have to climb over any other occupants to get outside- especially if not everyone in the group is as close as you’d hope.
The larger the tent, the more likely it is that you’ll need a means of either heating or cooling. Therefore, a power cord port is an ideal gear feature. Consider whether you’ll need a heater, fan, generator power, or other corded items inside.
Adjustable interior space is another perk- most larger tents have zipper-separated sleeping areas. This way, you can create separate gear storage areas and sleeping spots, depending on how many people and how much stuff you have.
Also, consider lighting- it’s a good idea to look for a means of hanging your fixtures from the ceiling or poles of the tent. At the same time, many tents may prove too tall to easily hang fixtures or utilize any gear lofts that are present. Often, it pays to consider the height of the occupants and plan accordingly.
12-Person Tent Reviews
Two doors and nearly surround windows make the Tahoe Gear Prescott 12 Person 3-Season Family Cabin Tent a breezy option for big groups. The mesh windows on the roof are a plus for warm nights.The tent should be relatively simple to set up, thanks to fiberglass poles, but a lack of detailed instructions may hamper things. The center height is an impressive six and a half feet, but that might mean tough assembly for some.
And although the mesh windows are welcome for maintaining cross ventilation, there’s also a rain fly made with polyester and a waterproof coating. For interior space, there’s plenty of square footage, but if you opt to zip the divider shut, that blocks the doors for whoever’s on the other side.
- Six-and-a-half-foot high ceiling
- Two doors
- Zip curtain to split the tent in two
- Mesh ceiling
- Zipper “room” cuts tent into unequal parts
- Can be difficult to assemble
In a departure from the standard ‘tent’ shape, the Tahoe Gear Gateway 12-Person Deluxe Cabin Tent takes on an L-shape with plenty of space inside. The center height is a massive seven feet, and the interior divider helps separate the spaces.Two entry doors mean you can zip off one room and still have access from both sides to get outdoors. In total, there are essentially three separate rooms, but with all that floor space, there’s enough for at least two queen size air mattresses if not a third- depending on how much gear you’re packing.
The only drawback to this tent is that with so many windows, it lacks interior storage in the form of pockets. Of course, the perks of the L-shaped design and the amount of floor space outweigh those concerns.
- Seven-foot ceiling
- Mesh ceiling
- Solar shield to reflect sunlight
- Can fit two or more air mattresses
- Room divider
- Two doors
- L-shaped tent can fit where other tents can’t
- Limited “storage”
Pre-attached poles make things a bit more manageable with the Ozark Trail 16×16 Feet 12-Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent, but you can still expect a bit of hard work to get it set up.The three-room space fits three queen size airbeds and has a center height of 82 inches- that’s almost seven feet. There are two doors, though one set is a larger main-entrance type setup and one is a bit more work to get through.
You can separate the tent into different rooms or leave it as one big cabin area. With a full mesh ceiling, you may wind up needing the rain fly depending on the weather- but the openness lends itself to stargazing on warm nights.
- Three rooms
- Fits three queen size beds
- Seven windows
- Two internal room dividers
- Pre-attached poles
- Front awning
- Ground vent (fits an AC unit)
- Electrical cord port
- Interior pockets
- One-piece assembly means no pole replacements
If you like to enjoy the outdoors even while in your tent, the Alpha Camp 12 Person Tent might fit the bill. It’s a square-shaped tent with an awning and screen room on the front. This allows you to enjoy the view and the breeze without inviting the bugs in.For the interior space, you can leave the cabin room as-is or separate it down the middle with the divider panel. And while the roof is almost completely mesh, the heavy-duty steel poles help hold everything together.
The interior height measures 80 inches with a total of 19 x 12 feet of floor space. The screen room adds another seven feet onto the structure for storage or relaxation.
- Separate screen room with awning
- “D” style door
- Five windows
- Large side pockets
- Room divider
- Fits three queen size air beds
- Carry bag has wheels
- Electrical cord port
- Reflective guy lines
- Steel poles make the overall package heavy
If weather conditions are a concern where you camp, the NKT Super Arizona 12 Person XL Camping Tent offers the protection you need. The polyethylene construction uses anti-fungal and silver coating to keep everything dry, plus the bathtub style floor ensures you won’t be swimming in the morning.The mesh windows offer plenty of breathability, although, for true watertight function, you’ll need to close them from the outside. That said, with the rain fly on, you won’t have to worry about moisture getting inside the tent and ruining your trip.
And with a center height that’s close to seven feet, there’s plenty of space to stay dry inside. At least three queen size mattresses can fit with room to spare, and the lantern hanging hardware is welcome in a tent of this size.
- Lantern “O” ring and storage
- Interior utility pocket
- Nearly seven feet high in the center
- Fits three queen size mattresses with room to spare
- Room divider
- Tub floor design
- “D” shaped door
- Protected rain entrance
- Color coded poles for easy assembly
- Anti-fungus and silver coated floor
- Windows close from the outside
If you need a comfortable and feature-packed tent for the family, the Ozark Trail 16×16 Feet 12-Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent is our top pick. With “Instant” in its name, you can bet this tent is easy to set up, and with enough space inside for three queen air beds, we can’t complain.
Another feature that makes this one our pick for the best 12 person tent is the fact that it allows for creature comforts. There’s a slot to fit an AC unit, plus that electrical cord port, so you know you’ll have all the comforts of home on your trip.