I researched over twenty tents available to buy on the market and found the Ozark Trail Instant Cabin to be the best 12 person tent available.
I have been a travel guide for over a decade now, which means that I’ve a lot of experience choosing tents for large groups. In particular, I know what works and what doesn’t. I also have the time and means to put every tent through a vigorous testing process.
And, this is exactly what I did with the 12 person tents that I included in this post. So, you can guarantee that they will offer the very best in protection, durability, and comfort. Hopefully, they should make your camping trips a whole lot more pleasant too!
Now, the reason that I chose the Ozark Trail Instant Cabin was because it met some important requirements. The tent was spacious with a layout that made it easy to settle in and move about. The product was also simple to set up and is ideal for beginner campers. Last but not least, it withstood wet weather quite well.
What I learned in all my years camping is that you need a specific tent for each of your requirements. It should have an easy setup, provide privacy, and be built for specific weather conditions. If you keep reading, you will find out which tent ticks all your boxes.[elementor-template id=”396″]
Reviews for the Best 12 Person Tents
Here are the top ten 12 person tents that you should consider investing in:
Ozark Trail Instant Cabin – Best Overall
Spacious Sleeping Area
This is certainly a tent that is capable of housing twelve people with ease. As such, you don’t have to worry about feeling cramped – there is space for everyone to stretch out. At the same time, the roof on this tent is quite high, ensuring that it will accommodate most tall people as well.
The layout of this tent is well thought out. To begin with, it can be set up so that there are up to three rooms. This is great if you are trying to set up a bug-free porch or simply want to create a separate bedroom for your camping experience.
What’s just as great is that there are three separate entry points to choose from. This means that the inhabitants can come and go as they please without having to jostle anyone out of the way.
Easy Set Up
This tent is quite easy to put up and is great for first-time campers. It comes with pre-attached poles which means that no assembly is required. Instead, you can just unfold the pieces and extend them.
Suitable for Wet Weather
Although not completely waterproof, this tent has some excellent water-resistant features. This includes fully taped factory sealed seams that create dry zone camping and prevent leaks. Once closed, the windows don’t let in any water either.
- Very spacious
- Easy to set up
- Great for wet weather
- Sensible layout
- Not the most durable option
CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin– Best for Easy Setup
Simple Set Up
You will be hard-pressed to find a tent that is easier to set up than this one. First of all, the poles are pre-attached to the tent. This means that you don’t have to worry about which pole goes where. To make things even easier, the poles boast a telescoping design.
As such, they can be moved to the right height and position without any effort at all. This is certainly good news considering that it is a rather tall tent.
If you are camping with tall people, then you’ll love how high the roof is. You won’t have to worry about bending over once inside, making it a more comfortable experience for all.
Furthermore, the tent comes with two room dividers, which allows you to create three compartments out of one tent. Similarly, there are two entryways. This means that people can enter and leave with less hassle.
The tent is made of fairly durable polyester. Best of all, both the tent walls and flooring are made of tough material. This means that you don’t have to worry about the flooring wearing out too soon, allowing you to use the tent for even longer.
The walls are actually fire-resistant as well, which is an added bonus. However, keep in mind that they are not completely flame-retardant.
Suitable for Wet Weather
The tent material has a hydrostatic rating of 600mm. This means that it can withstand significant rain without letting water in. To make the tent more watertight, the company has used PU-coated fabric and taped seams to keep all moisture out.
- Easy to set up
- High roof
- Durable material
- Water-resistant properties
- Not suitable for cool weather
Outbound Dome Tent – Best for Rainy Weather
Highly Water Resistant
If you tend to camp in rain-prone areas, then this tent will offer the best protection from wet weather. Firstly, it comes with a heavy-duty 600mm coated rainfly. This means that a significant amount of rain can weigh down on the canopy and it still won’t let the water in.
Then, there are sealed seams that ensure no water can get in from other areas of the tent either. One of the main rainproof benefits of this tent is that it comes equipped with a bathtub floor that prevents the floor from getting wet.
If you want to stay completely upright at all times during your camping trip, this is the tent for you. Even the tallest people will be able to stand inside without having to hunch over. This can make for a far more comfortable excursion for many.
While this tent does come with a high roof, the surface area isn’t as large as some other brands. So, while you can fit twelve people in there, it may be a bit of a tight squeeze.
This is arguably the lightest tent on this list. In fact, no other tent really comes close. So, if you need to hike to your campsite, this is the easiest option to lug around. The lightweight features are due to the fiberglass poles.
- Prevents water getting in from all sides
- High roof
- Incredibly light
- Can be a tight fit
Bushnell Shield Series – Best for Warm Weather
Heat Resistant Features
If you are planning a camping trip in the summer, this is definitely the tent that you need. The underside of the rainfly has a UV reflective coating on it. This helps to deflect most of the sun’s rays, keeping your tent cooler. At the same time, it helps to keep the inside of the tent darker too, making it easier to get respite from the sun’s heat.
With a little practice, you can get this tent up and ready in just a few minutes. This is all thanks to the fact that the poles come pre-attached to the fabric. Thus, you won’t waste any time fitting them in place.
The steel poles add an incredible amount of strength and stability to the tent. Still, the 150 denier fabric is a pretty good addition as well. It prevents various rips and tears, allowing you to get more out of your tent for longer. This added strength does make the tent heavier than most, though.
If you miss the creature comforts of home, this tent can help with that. It comes with two AC vents and ports that allow you to plug in a portable air conditioner. Such a feature is greatly appreciated on hot, summer nights.
It is also a lot easier to organize things in this tent. There are plenty of organizers and pockets, allowing you to put things away but still access them when needed.
- Protects against sun and heat
- Durable materials
- Easy set up
- AC ports and vents
Eureka! Copper Canyon LX – Best for Air Mattresses and Cots
Can Set Up Air Mattresses and Cots
Not a big fan of sleeping in sleeping bags? That’s ok, as this tent measures 7 feet when set up! This means that you can easily put up cots or air mattresses without having your movement inhibited. The roof height also makes for a more comfortable camping experience as well.
There is a lot to like about the layout of this tent. To start with, you can set up an entryway during wet weather to ensure that the inside of your tent doesn’t get soaked. It is also possible to divide the tent into another room for a bit more privacy.
There is also overhead storage that allows you to store various belongings so they don’t get in the way. The only issue is that the floor space isn’t as roomy as some other options. Due to this, it will most probably be a tight fit.
The poles for this tent are made from steel and fiberglass. Both materials are quite sturdy, which helps you to set up a truly stable tent. At the same time, the fiberglass helps to offset some of the weight so that the tent is easier to carry and set up.
- Good for cots
- Good layout
- Tighter fit
UNISTRENGH Four Season Bell Tent – Best for Durability
This tent is all about durability. Not only is the cotton canvas strong by itself, but the material has been treated to withstand UV exposure. Thus, there’s no need to be concerned about the material wearing down or fading away anytime soon.
To add to this, the ground material is made from ripstop PVC. This is great for preventing rips from occurring in the first place. If a small hole does form, you can have peace of mind that it will not begin to spread.
It should be noted that all these durable materials can add some serious heft to the tent. This isn’t a design that you can easily lug around to far out locations.
In general, cotton canvas is known for being waterproof. However, this tent takes it one step further with its waterproofing features. The interior stitches have been taped to ensure that no water can get in through the seams either.
The double stitches and strong rope make this tent windproof as well. Once it has been staked into place, you can guarantee that it can withstand some pretty strong winds. This makes it perfect for colder environments.
This is a spacious tent. Not only can it fit the recommended twelve people, but it can do so quite comfortably as well. There is no need for anyone to be squashed together – instead, there is plenty of room to be spaced out.
Good for Elevated Beds
The roof on this tent is incredibly high. As such, it gives you the perfect opportunity to store elevated beds in it. Thus, if you don’t want to take sleeping bags, this tent will accommodate beds.
Suitable for Indoor Heating
One of the reasons that this tent is considered a four season tent is because it comes with a vent for a stove jack. Thus, you can easily heat it during the winter camping season. Best of all, the material around the vent is fire-retardant. If you don’t need the vent, just seal it up.
- Good for cold climate
- High roof
TETON Sports Sierra – Best for Glamping
Not everyone enjoys roughing it out. So, if you enjoy a more luxurious form of camping, then this is the tent for you. It has been designed for multiple purposes, making it a good choice for switching out your tent to a canopy during the day. This can be done quickly and easily, to create a chic and useful layout.
It should be noted that it is slightly more compact. So, while you will be able to fit twelve people inside, you will have to sleep closely together.
What is glamping without ensuring that you are comfortable? Well, this tent consists of breathable material that creates a better airflow, helping you to stay nice and cool even in the warmest conditions. The door can also be opened wide to let in more air.
While the tent may look cute, know that it is fully functional. In particular, the canvas cotton is waterproof, preventing moisture from entering. The material has also been treated to be weatherproof and the seams have been further sealed. This means that you can stay dry even during heavy rains.
The material is also surprisingly durable and is not prone to any damage or tears. In fact, the company is so adamant about the quality that they offer a lifetime warranty. This makes the tent excellent value.
- Chic design
- Can get a bit crowded
Tahoe Gear Bighorn XL – Best for Ventilation
Let’s face it – trying to fit twelve people into a tent can make the internal space feel pretty stuffy. This is made even worse on balmy nights. This tent, though, has numerous vents that help to keep the airflow circulating at all times.
The main downside is that the vents don’t have mesh on them. So, you need to figure out another way to keep the bugs at bay if you are keeping the vents open.
There are plenty of features that make this tent weatherproof. For starters, its shape. The slanted sides allow rain and debris to simply roll off. The material is also water-resistant up to 1000mm, which means that it can withstand a heavy rain shower with ease.
Simple to Setup
This tent comes with just one pole. So, while you have to stake the tent into the ground, it is easy to get it up and running. With a little practice, you can get the tent set up within a very short period of time.
- Lots of ventilation
- Weatherproof features
- Easy setup
- No mesh on vents
Guide Gear Deluxe
If you’re expecting rain during your camping trip, this tent can help keep the water at bay. This is because it has a polyurethane coating that is waterproof up to 1200mm. Thus, it will not let any moisture in even if the water builds up on it.
The material is quite durable and can withstand moisture and sun even when continuously exposed to them. The steel pole also does quite a bit to keep the tent sturdy and stable. Despite all this, the tent is rather lightweight, making it easy to carry around.
The airflow in this tent is great. It has numerous vents along with mesh to keep the bugs out. At the same time, the tent has been designed to maximize airflow. The only downside is that it keeps warmth trapped inside.
- Strong and stable
- Good ventilation
- Not good for cool or cold weather
KTT 12 Person Tent
This tent has a good layout. This is largely due to the fact that a portion of it can be zipped up to create separate rooms. Such a feature is great when camping in groups and when you want to make sure each party has their own space.
There are plenty of entrances as well, which allows everyone to move around without getting in each other’s way. The downside is that the floor space isn’t as large as some other options, making it a bit cramped.
The tent is built with double-layered waterproof polyester. Due to this, you can be certain that no water will get in. There is also an additional rainfly to keep the moisture out.
Good for Warm Weather
This tent has plenty of ventilation, which makes it perfect for the summer. You can guarantee plenty of airflow in and out of the tent at all times. The mesh helps to keep the bugs away too.
- Great for privacy
- Great for summer camping
- Can be a crowded space
The Best 12 Person Tent Buying Guide
Here is what you should be looking for when selecting a 12-person tent:
The Surface Area
Just because a tent specifies that it can house 12 people doesn’t mean that this is always the case. Instead of tent capacities, it is more important to consider the usable floor area of the tent. Then, determine if twelve people can sleep there.
Keep in mind that you can’t just calculate its square inches and divide it by twelve. You have to be sure that your party will be able to sleep in the tent comfortably. Thus, you have to take individual heights into consideration. Not to mention, there should be around 6 inches of space between each sleeping bag.
Tents come in all shapes. They can be found in squares, rectangles, ovals, L-shapes, and more. Some have less structured designs. Thus, it is up to you to determine which shape will serve your camping party best.
Squares and rectangle-shaped tents make it easier to house everyone while sleeping. These shapes are also quite versatile, allowing you to arrange the sleeping bags and other objects easily. Circular tents are great if you want everyone centered in a particular spot or want to set up seats inside.
L-shaped tents can be divided up into “rooms” and are great for privacy purposes. This way, smaller groups can break off and sleep together. This works well for individuals who don’t want to sleep in one communal area.
This is a feature that many people forget to take into account. Nevertheless, it is quite significant. After all, you don’t want to spend your time hunched over inside. This is especially true if you have taller campers in your group.
If you want more standing height, look for tents that have less sloping roofs. These are held up by poles on all four or more sides. This creates a higher roof.
3-Season vs. 4 Season Tent
If you have shopped for tents before, you may have come across some labelled 3-season tents and others that claim to be 4-season. What do these terms mean and which option is the right one for your camping trip?
3-season tents have been designed to be used in summer, spring, and fall. As such, they will protect you from rain and mild winds. Such tents also have the advantage of being more lightweight and easier to carry.
4-season tents, on the other hand, are meant to protect you from extreme climates. Due to this, these tents will hold up better under heavy rains, torrential winds, and even snow. They also work better for scorching or freezing temperatures.
Water Resistant vs. Waterproof
When it comes to tents, the term “waterproof” tends to get thrown around a lot. In reality, not all tents are waterproof. Rather, they are water-resistant.
Water-resistant tents are suitable to be used in light rain. However, when faced with anything stronger, there is a good chance that they will let the water in.
Waterproof tents, on the other hand, consist of truly waterproof material, sealed entrances, and similar components. This ensures that water simply slides off the tent, even with stronger rains.
It goes without saying but you need a durable tent. Remember, it doesn’t need to hold up for one camping trip, but should last for several years at least. Thus, you should always look for tents made of tough and sturdy material.
If you plan on heading to particularly rough terrain, you may want to think about getting tents made from ripstop material. This can help to prevent rips from forming and worsening as well.
If your tent can house multiple people, you will need to make sure it has multiple openings as well. Having just one door to your tent could prove to be rather cumbersome. So, look for several exit points. This way, the inhabitants will not have to trample over everyone as they try to get outside.
Needless to say, larger tents are going to weigh more – this is a fact. Still, it is a good idea to know just how heavy a particular tent is once it is in a more compact form. This is particularly important if you are physically carrying your tent from one place to another.
If you only ever drive to your campsites, this may be less of an issue. On the other hand, you can never really tell what your next camping spot may be like. So, it is always better to err on the side of caution and get one that is easier to carry.
The last thing you want to do on your camping trip is to spend hours trying to set up your tent, especially when you’re exhausted and want to rest. Thus, choosing a tent that is simple to set up can make all the difference in the world. It is also a good idea to buy one that can be set up by two or three people. These are guaranteed to be less complicated.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about 12 person tents:
Can All 12 Person Tents Fit 12 People?
In theory, most 12 person tents have been designed to fit 12 average-sized adults. However, this doesn’t always translate to the most comfortable fit. Thus, you do have to consider the surface area of the tent before purchasing it.
Are All 12 Person Tents Waterproof?
No, not all 12 person tents are waterproof. Many are merely just water-resistant. To find a truly waterproof tent, you have to think about each component of the tent being waterproof, not just the material.
How Long Should My 12 Person Tents Last Me?
Your 12 person tent should last about a 100 camping days at most. High-quality tents should not begin to show wear and tear before this. Camping on less rugged terrain can help to prolong the lifespan of your tent.
Wrapping It All Up
After much deliberation, we have decided to crown the Ozark Trail Instant Cabin the best option from this list. Most importantly, it has more than enough room for a twelve-person group, ensuring that everyone stays comfortable throughout the trip. You can also create smaller compartments for added privacy if necessary. The tent is also highly water-resistant, making it ideal for wet weather camping, and in forests or near bodies of water. Last, but certainly not least, this tent is easy to set up.
If you really want to get the best 12 person tent for your needs, check out these links. They will lead you to a tent that fits all your needs while also minimizing any risks. So go ahead and get matched up with your ideal tent today!
This page was last updated on 2022-08-29. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI