Cabin style tents are tall and spacious - the perfect home-away-from-home for the whole family.
When I started researching cabin tents, I was confused. Just what distinguishes a cabin tent from a dome tent anyway? There are so many styles of both cabin tents and dome tents, and they have many of the same features. To further add to my confusion, I discovered a number of cabin-dome hybrids, with vertical walls but curved poles.
After puzzling it over for a while, I've come to a conclusion:
Most of the canvas tents from my youth were cabin tents. Some of them are still around. They last forever!
Today, there are many styles of modern nylon cabin tents.
The near-vertical walls mean that every square inch of floor space is usable.
You can put your folding camping cot right beside the wall.
There might even be enough room for a baby's playpen or child's bed. (I didn't ever use those. I just tucked my babies and toddlers in with us in our sleeping bags that zip together.)
A person of average height can stand upright and walk around in one of these tents.
If you need room for a
full size air mattress,
or if you plan to bring your nightstand and comfy chairs, a large cabin style tent is for you!
Cabin style tents do have some significant drawbacks.
These are definitely not backpacking tents!
If you'd prefer not to lug a heavy load from the vehicle to the tent site, you may prefer a smaller dome camping tent.
A near-vertical wall doesn't deflect the wind as a dome shape does.
The owners of this tent left their campsite for a few days. When they came back after a huge storm, they had an unpleasant surprise.
Because of their height and weight, large family cabin tents can be trickier to put up than a small dome tent.
You probably won't be able to assign this job to the kids! You won't want to move from campground to campground very often, either.
You can use the dome tent for sleeping, and the screen tent for eating, playing and hanging out.
If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for you, it's time to look for just the right cabin tent for your family. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Would you prefer separate bedrooms, or would one large space work better? Or perhaps you'd like a tent with removable inner walls so you can customize the space yourself.
Once you have found a tent that suits your needs, do some further investigation. Quality varies widely from one manufacturer to another, and even from one model to another. As when making any major purchase, do your research before making your choice. Read tent reviews. Hearing about real people's experiences with a product is invaluable.
Choosing a tent from a reputable, high end manufacturer usually - but not always - guarantees that you'll get good quality. Some dependable tent manufacturers include
You'll still need to do your research, though. Here are some things to think about:
If you are going to set up at one campsite for a considerable length of time, and if you want a large and roomy "home away from home", a cabin tent may be the best choice for you.