Cabin tents have an iconic style. They capture the old pioneer spirit with a retro design. They offer a great base for your camping expedition thanks to the large amount of space they offer. Known for their vertical style walls and large ground space you will have plenty of headroom, room to rest and store gear.
Cabin tents are ideal for summer weather and also winter camping thanks to the use of quality fabrics. The best cabin tents are made from fabrics that are breathable, reduce condensation and offer longevity.
Find our guide below to the best cabin tents for camping. In this article we will review the following cabin tents:
- CORE Straight Wall Cabin Tent – 10 Person
- Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup – 4, 6 and 10 Person
- CORE Family Cabin Tent with Screen Room – 11 Person
- Wenzel Klondike Tent – 8 Person
- Ozark Trail 3-Room XL Family Cabin Tent – 10 Person
What features to look for when buying a cabin tent?
Make sure that your cabin tent is waterproof and will keep moisture out.
There are a few things you can check to make sure the tent you are purchasing is waterproof:
– The seams of the tent have been sealed
– Zips of the tent are protected from the rain with fabric or a plastic cover
– The Hydrostatic Head is how waterproof the fabric of the tent you are buying is. Most basic tents have a 2000 mm HH (Hydrostatic Head). This may be fine for mild conditions. But, you may be camping in more severe weather. In this case, you will want a tent with a higher HH.
– That there is a bathtub sewn-in groundsheet attached to the tent. It is not essentially but will save you time during setup. The ‘bathtub’ means sides are turned upwards at the side. This will minimize the risk of water coming in.
More considerations that help with waterproofing:
– Quality of the stitching to minimize leaks
– Is there a rain proof entrance?
– Is there a waterproof treatment?
– Does the tent have a skirt
Ventilation of your cabin tent
Ventilation is important for your tent. Not only to keep you cool and comfortable but also keep prevent condensation inside your tent.
The sound of rain when lying down at night can be soothing. But if those drips start coming inside your tent, you will have a very unpleasant place to rest.
Consider ventilation when choosing your tent. Look for a tent with:
– Vents for airflow at top and bottom of tent
– Many windows, doors and openings
During setup of your tent it is recommended to:
– Pick a good place to pitch such as under trees
– Minimize the sources of additional moisture inside your tent
– Keep windows and doors open when possible to keep air flowing
Durability and quality of fabric
Cabin tents are made of a confusing mix of different tent fabrics. From polyester to poly-cotton. It’s definitely hard to know which is best and I’ll try to help clear things up…
Basically each tent fabric has good and bad points. The material of your tent will depend on your needs (easy transport, waterproofing, insulation etc). See an overview of fabrics below.
Nylon and polyester
Most cabin tents are made of polyester. Nylon is typically used for lighter backpacking tents. The benefits of these materials is that they are cheaper, lighter, quick to dry out and also less maintenance.
The cons of nylon and polyester are that compared to cotton they are not good insulators. Also, the material is not as breathable. This causes condensation to build. They will also deteriorate over time in the sun.
Cotton and canvas fabrics
Canvas is a traditional tent fabric. It offers a lot of great properties. The best part about cotton is that it insulates very well. This means you won’t get too hot on a warm day or cold when it’s freezing out.
It is also a breathable fabric. This lessens the chance of having a problem with condensation. Because of its weight it is also quieter in the breeze. The fabric also can last a long time and is more resistant to the sun.
The problem with cotton or canvas is that this fabric is heavy and bulky. This makes transport more difficult.
Also, you need to ‘weather’ this fabric before using it. This involves soaking your tent before using it. This will allow the canvas to expand and fill in the holes in the stitching of the fabric. Without weathering a tent, your canvas could leak. Learn prevent condensation inside your tent
Finally, cotton and canvas generally require more upkeep. This is because the fabric is absorbent and requires you to dry the material before putting it away. They are also more prone to tears and overall more expensive than man-made fabrics.
Screen rooms, porches and awnings
A cabin ten with screen room, porch or awning offers more space. This is a good option if you are camping with more than six people. It gives some more square footage.
Use this extra space for sleeping on a warm night. It is also another place to store your gear It also offers protection from insects and creepy crawlers.
Find reviews of tents with screen rooms and porches here.
Wood stoves and stove jacks
If you are camping in winter, then you might be looking for a cabin tent with a wood stove or stove jacks. A tent heated with a wood-burning stove will also help keep you warm and comfortable. You can make hot drinks, melt the snow to produce water and dry out your gear.
Find reviews of tents with stove jacks here.
Alternatively, you may be looking for the ability to add an air conditioning unit to your tent. There are cabin tents with ac ports available and will help keep you cool during the midday heat and also while sleeping at night.
Find reviews of tents with air conditioning ports here.
What are the benefits of having a cabin tent for camping?
Very high ceilings allow you to move around comfortable
Cabin tents are known to have very high ceilings. Some of these tents offer a peak height of 7 feet which is great for taller campers. They will provide you with comfortable head space to move around.
Many large windows for ventilation in your cabin tent
This is one of the best features of a cabin tent. The large windows offer great views of the natural world and stars at night. Many offer privacy panels so that you can close them completely whenever you like.
A big floor area for more space
This is a great feature if you are camping as a large family with kids. The space is usually for around four to 12 people or more.
Vertical walls for added space
Most cabin tents have vertical walls on each side. There are tunnel-tent types with doors on opposite sides and vertical walls on the shorter sides. There are also classic A-shape tents where there are vertical walls on the two shorter sides and angled A-shape on longer sides.
Vertical walls allow for large windows. They also allow you to utilize your space more effectively.
The CORE 10 Person Straight Wall Cabin Ten is 14’ x 10’ and has a 7 ft center ceiling. This tent has a straight wall design which gives it a spacious interior. There is also a divider to create two separate rooms for living and sleeping spaces.
Windows and doors have zippered privacy panels. The fully-taped rainfly is removable for warmer weather. This exposes the panoramic mesh ceiling. There is also a gear loft with lantern hook. Organizer pockets allow you to keep your gear off the tent floor.
- Sleeps 10 People
- 86 inch center height for room to walk around
- Secure electrical port
- FIts 2 air beds
- H2O block fabric
- Water resistantPU coated fabric
- Taped seams to keep moisture out
- Adjustable ventilation on each side
- Material could be more durable
- Not for extreme weather conditions
The Coleman Cabin Tent offers pre attached poles for a quicker, simpler setup. Just extend and secure in place. The tent sets up in just one minute and comes in versions for 4, 6 or 10 people.
It also has a WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep moisture out. The rugged polyguard 2x double thick fabric offers long lasting use. Also, integrated vented rainflow improves airflow without any extra assembly required.
- Quick and easy setup
- Fire retardant characteristic of material
- UV guard sun protection
- Dark room technology
- WeatherTec system
- Convenient storage
- Good standing room in the center
- Smaller sized tent (may want to go a size up)
- Not for very rainy conditions
The CORE 11 Person Cabin Tent with Screen has a spacious front screen porch with fully closeable window panels. It has a full coverage tent floor to house you and your gear. THe 7 ft center ceiling height and straight wall design offer plenty of space.
The windows and doors have zippered privacy panels. The fully-taped rainfly is removable in warmer weather. This exposes the mesh ceiling. There is also a gear loft with lantern hook and organizer pockets. Manager smaller gear and keep it off the tent floor.
- Sleeps 11 people
- 86 inch center height
- Electrical port
- FIts 3 air beds
- H2O block fabric
- Water resistant PU coated fabric
- Taped seams to keep moisture out
- Adjustable ventilation
- Material could be better quality
- Not for extreme weather
The Wenzel Klondike Tent fits 8 people, five in its 98 square feet of interior space with room for sleeping three more in the 60 square foot screen room with its zip up wall. The measurements are 16-feet by 11-feet with a 6.5 feet of head room which lets you stand up straight.
The attached screen room is also great for a sun shelter, gear room or picnicking space. The full mesh room and two mesh windows keep the bugs out and let the breeze in. There is also a rear mesh vent for a ground breeze.
The polyester fabric with polyurethane water resistant coating helps protect from top to bottom. There are also double-stitched, lap-felled seams throughout the body of this tent. They provide a shingle effect against water. All zippers and threads have been treated with water repellent applications as well.
- Weather protected fabric
- Double-stitched, lap-felled seams for shingle effect
- Full mesh roof and two mesh windows (bugs out + breeze in)
- Accessory pockets for items
- Spacious interior – peak height of 6.5 feet
- Hi-low ventilation
- Not for severe weather
- Porch area is not tall
- Rainfly could extend further
- Zippers difficult to use
The Ozark Trail 3-Room XL Family Cabin Tent sleeps 10 people. This tent has one center door and two side doors with separate entrances for added privacy. There are also six windows and two side doors for increased ventilation. You can also enjoy panoramic views.
The taped fly seams prevent leakage and help to keep moisture out. You can also fit 3 queen air mattresses with room to spare.
- Multiple entrances. One center door and two side doors.
- Enhanced ventilation. Six windows and two side doors.
- Natural views through windows.
- Weather protection. Taped fly seams.
- Fits 3 queen air mattresses
- Not for purchase by California residents due to state restrictions
- Material could be more durable
- Not for very rainy conditions
Are cabin tents weaker than dome tents?
There are a few considerations to make when comparing cabin tents to dome tents:
– For example, cabin tents tend to come with strong vertical poles. These supports help create a bigger obstacle to the side winds compared to dome tents.
– Cabin tents also have a weaker roof compared to a dome tent. There is a larger space between supports creating instability. However, this is not much of a problem since cabin tents are usually 3-season.
– Finally, cabin tents are usually heavier than dome tents.
What are the similarities between dome tents and cabin tents?
– They are both freestanding tents
– Both have instant setup options available
– Price point is similar. In my personal opinion, cabin tents are more affordable.
Why are cabin tents heavier than dome tents?
Cabin tents are heavier because they are built for purpose. They are made for car camping and not backpacking. Also, sometimes there is steel used for the main poles.
A dome structure is more efficient for supporting the tent’s weight. This is why materials in dome tents can be lighter in general.
Finally, the walls on cabin tents are large and use a lot of fabric. This is even true when there are large windows and doors. Most have a double layer structure, a mesh plus panel for privacy and also for rain protection.
What is an instant cabin tent?
An instant cabin tent is one that is easy to set up. It has a frame that is pre-assembled and attached to the tent. All you need to do is spread it and extend the telescopic poles. These tents can be setup in a matter of minutes.
The cabin tent you choose will depend on the size of your group and also the nature of your trip. There are cabin tents for summer that will keep you cool and comfortable. There are also tents for more extreme winter conditions that will help you lock in the heat and have a cosy, homely feel.
If I had to pick my favorite from the cabin tents reviewed, I would go with the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup. I like the convenience offered with this tent as it makes camp set up quick and easy. With the pre-attached poles, you just need to unfold, extend and secure into place. The entire process takes about one minute and then you can start your adventure.
As mentioned, you can enjoy plenty of space and comfort in a cabin tent. You can also find spacious options for large groups so that everyone can camp together.