How To Choose The

Best 8 Person Tent

Table of Contents
  1. 01. What You Must Know
  2. 02. The Tents
  3. 03. Top Pick
Table of Contents
  1. 01. What You Must Know
  2. 02. The Tents
  3. 03. Top Pick
1

What You Must Know

1

What You Must Know

I feel more at home than ever when immersed in nature and about to explore uncharted territory. However, as a seasoned camper, trekker and explorer, there are things I have come to learn, and sometimes the hard way! Suffice to say that I’m a true advocate of physical comfort when camping out… otherwise the whole trip becomes hard work. Who wants to hike through unfamiliar terrain with heavy eyelids and minimal energy?

Over time I have developed equal parts fascination and fondness for tents, and I scrutinize every detail before purchase. If you are not quite sure where to start, I am here to help you find the best 8-man tent for your needs and budget.

What are the most important features of a tent?

Let’s take a look at some of the important features of an 8-person tent:

What are the poles made from?

There are many tents out there with fiberglass poles, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one. It really depends on how careful you are. Fiberglass is breakable, and the last thing you need is to start setting up only to find that your tent isn’t playing ball. Aluminum is a safer bet, but as long as you think you can be careful (and maybe carry a replacement pole or two in your vehicle), you might be fine with fiberglass. Just in case, learn how to repair fiberglass poles before you head out.

Are the seams and stitching top quality?

One of the first things to pay attention to is seam and stitching – both the method and the quality. The right kind of tent is going to have folded steams with double stitching. You should never be able pull both sides of a seam and see through it. One way to be absolutely sure your seams are totally air and waterproof is by using a seam sealer. This basically means coating the seams with silicon via a little brush.

Is the rainfly up to the job?

There is nothing less comfort-friendly than a rainstorm. Beautiful as they can be, it’s probably safe to say that most want them to happen outside the tent. If that applies to you, you will want your 8-person then to come with an adequate rainfly. For camping newbies, the rainfly equates to an umbrella for your tent.

In this case, size is everything. You will want to check that it reaches over the sides of your tent, as if it barely covers the top, you can expect the sides to get hammered with rain. This probably goes without saying, but it should be waterproof – and your tent should be too, of course.

How sturdy are the guy lines and stake loops?

The stake loops (in case you weren’t aware) are the loops sewn onto the tent in various places, and they enable you to secure your guy lines. The latter are the lengths of cord that loop through so that you can pull your tent sides tight and secure it to the floor with the stakes.

Look out for reasonable sized loops, ensuring there are some on the rainfly and some near the middle of the tent. There should also be loops made from material around the base of the tent; plastic loops break easily. Securing your tent fully with the stakes means that even when winds are high, you should still get a decent night’s sleep.

Does it have a sown in ground mat and heavy-duty zips?

Like the rest of the tent, the floor should be waterproof. Ideally it will be attached to the tent walls via the kind of seams I mentioned above. The seams should be a few inches higher than floor level for best possible waterproofing. In terms of zips, the stronger these are the better. They should be able to withstand plenty of use.

Does it have quality ventilation?

Lastly, you will want to pick a tent that has proper insect meshing. It isn’t a whole lot of fun sharing your tent with insects – especially the biting kind. This also ensures adequate ventilation. Look out for tents with roof vents too, as these can be opened to minimize condensation.

2

The Tents

2

The Tents

Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Lighted Tent

This tent has an It has a WeatherTec system that includes patented welded floors and inverted seams, so dryness is pretty much guaranteed. The snag-free, continuous pole sleeves and patented pin-and-ring system make it very easy to set up, and the inside is pretty spacious; tall people can stand up inside.

The tent dimensions are 16 x 7ft and 6ft 2 tall in the middle. It has an awning for storage and comes with a carry bag that you can easily pack the tent back into. This tent will set you back between $155 and $220, which makes it affordable for its quality.

PROS
  • The tent has self rolling windows, plus a built in light and switch
  • It comes in pleasant green, black and blue colors in various shades and combinations
  • The rainfly and angled windows mean you can keep them open even if it rains
  • It can comfortably fit 3 queen size airbeds
  • Good ventilation
  • Storage pockets mean you can store valuables easily
  • The hinged door makes it quick and easy to get in and out
  • It sets up quickly. You should have it done within 15 minutes
  • It is a good tent for colder seasons
  • It’s lightweight at just over 11kg
CONS
  • The awning is not large or enclosed, so storage or sitting in the rain isn’t so viable
  • Stakes could be stronger, so you would be wise to bring stronger spares
  • 8 people would be a squeeze, especially with bags. 5 to 6 is more realistic
  • The two windows are on the small side, so cross breeze is minimal
  • If you’re camping in warm weather, you might be hot inside
Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent

Made from Weather Armor polyester fabric with a polyurethane water resistant coating, the Wenzel Klondike is a very efficient tent. It is truly spacious, at 16 x 11ft and can fit 8 people inside, with 5 in the interior and another 3 in the screen room, which has a zip-up wall. Even the tallest of people can stand up in it without issue – provided they aren’t over 6ft 5”. The screen room is also useful for storing luggage or getting out of the sun for a while.

The tent comes in tan or blue, and has a mesh roof and two mesh windows for adequate circulation while keeping out the critters. There’s also a rear mesh vent to circulate air around the floor area. All seams are sturdy (double-stitched and lap-felled), it has a tub bottom, and everything including the zips is treated with water repellent, so there is no fear of water getting in. It is reasonably priced at around $140, but shop around as it can cost over $200.

PROS
  • The tent is super-spacious so can accommodate larger groups comfortably
  • The attached screen room allows for a bit of privacy if needed
  • Circulation is highly efficient, so you’re unlikely to overheat
  • There are double-staked power corners
  • It is a manageable weight for its size, at around 12kg
  • The screen room can be zipped up to prevent rain coming in
  • The bottom is tub shaped
  • It only takes between 10 and 20 minutes to set up
CONS
  • It’s tougher to assemble if you don’t have more than two in your group
  • There is no zipper on the top of the side windows
  • The rainfly is on the small side
  • It would be better if had doors on both sides given its size and double room set up
  • It sometimes has a tendency to sag a little
  • It is not always the sturdiest tent in high winds
Coleman - Tenaya Lake Tent (8 Person)

The Tenaya Lake Lighted Tent has a built-in LED system with a fabric cover, and it gives a pleasant overhead light that makes in-tent activities much easier. The tent also has a built-in closet to keep your things organized throughout your trip, and it is dry and comfortable thanks to the WeatherTec system, protected seams and rainfly.

This tent looks the part with an aesthetically pleasing colour scheme, and it’s incredibly easy to assemble thanks to pre-attached, color-coded poles and hub, fast-fit feet, and snag-free Insta-Clip suspension. Priced at between $140 and $260, it can be affordable!

PROS
  • Built-in lighting gives an even light throughout – it’s great for activities
  • Set up is quicker and easier than other tents (takes half the time of similar tents)
  • It has a built-in closet with shelves and a hanger bar to organize your belongings
  • It withstands high winds well
  • It is well ventilated
  • The hinged door makes access easy
  • It comes in a wheeled carry bag to save effort in transporting it
  • There are storage pockets for your valuables
CONS
  • It is a little smaller than some comparable tents, but fits 2 queen sized airbeds with space left
  • Poles may be less sturdy than comparable tents
  • It takes more than 2 people to set it up easily
  • It only comes in one color
  • It’s heavier than other tents at 15kg
NTK Cherokee 8-9 Person Camping Tent

The NTK Cherokee tent is made from seamless, anti-fungal polyethylene with a silver-coated inner layer to prevent leaks. The 2500mm water column rainfly provides full coverage, and the tub floor ensures you’re always dry. Extra thick Nano-flex fiberglass poles make for a study construction, and the inner tent has a large two-way zipper D-style door with full mosquito mesh protection. The door is protected from vertical rain with an extension on the rain fly, plus zip covers. There is a spacious utility pocket and gear loft for storage, as well as a ventilated mesh roof. It looks good and is priced at around $145-165.

PROS
  • It comes with a 6-month manufacturer warranty
  • Company customer service is friendly and helpful
  • It is very easy to set up, even alone
  • It has a detachable room divider for extra privacy
  • It packs away quickly and easily
  • It has 4 guy lines in orange color for visibility, each at around 10ft in length
  • It is lightweight at 8.5kg
  • The center height is 6ft 1 so you should be able to stand up inside
CONS
  • It is ‘no frills’ compared to other 8 person tents
  • It is pretty dark inside (however, that is great when you need shade!)
  • The mesh on the doors doesn’t zip to the outer door to open at the same time
  • 8 single adults would be a tight squeeze inside
Eureka Copper Canyon 3-Season Tent

This cabin-like tent looks the part and has two separate rooms thanks to a detachable divider curtain; you have the choice of one large tent or two equally sized compartments. The walls are almost vertical so the tent feels pretty spacious inside. Six large zippered windows give panoramic views and plenty of air. There are two doors and two gear lofts. It comes in an orange and cream color and costs a minimum of $320.

PROS
  • It is very lightweight at 4kg
  • A power port means you can use an electrical power cord inside to charge phone and electronics
  • The tent has plenty of storage options for gear and valuables
  • The tent is exceptionally tall at 7 feet so anyone can stand up inside
  • It weathers storms very well
CONS
  • At around $320, it’s pricier than other 8 person tents.
  • The colors are not particularly vibrant
  • The design of the rain fly puts it close to the tent with no projection to clear the rain from over the door
  • The tent wouldn’t be so great outside of late spring and early fall
  • With 10ft of floor space, it’s not ideal for 8 people to sleep comfortably
3

Top Pick

3

Top Pick

OUR CHOICE
NTK Cherokee 8-9 Person Camping Tent

To conclude, I personally really like the NTK Cherokee tent best. Although it is fairly simplistic compared to the other tents, it is very sturdy, lightweight and easy to construct. If anything were to go wrong with it, the manufacturers are very helpful.

The rainfly does the job perfectly, the guy lines are sturdy, and the Nano-flex fiberglass poles are cutting edge tech. The tent is also seamless, waterproof and has perfectly adequate ventilation and storage. All things considered, this tent has you covered for a comfortable and convenient camping trip.