Some people may see the title of this category and ask themselves, “How many people does this person think I am planning to bring with me on my camping trip?” The truth of the matter is, however, that a typical 12-person tent will not actually fit 12 people very comfortably.
Of course, if you are planning to bring 12 or more people on your trip and do not mind a very squishy sleeping arrangement, these tents will do just fine. Most people, on the other hand, may actually require multiple tents to house this many people. If you aren’t sure that a 12+ person tent is exactly what you are looking for, take a moment to read our article on tent sizes or our buying guide for family and group tents.
Whether you are planning to use your 12-person tent for four people or twelve people, I have come prepared for all possibilities. This page will not only provide you with a list of some of today’s most popular, top-selling 12+ person tents, it will also bring you a boatload (or tentload, however you want to look at it) of information about each of these tents.
Whereas most of my focus in the reviews for other sizes of tents was focused on the tents’ specifications, I intend to spend considerable time explaining how you could use each of these tents to meet different needs.
Don’t worry, I will still bring you information about all of the important aspects of these tents, such as ventilation and ease of set up. I will simply focus more attention on outlining how you can best use a tent of this size to your advantage. Together, we will explore the various specifications of each of these tents, as well as the variety of ways you can use the tent’s space to your group’s best advantage.
What is the Best Twelve Person Tent
Before I get into the thick of things here, I would like to explain something which I believe to be of vital importance to your navigation of this page. These Top Five Choices are not the only five tents which I feel warrant your attention.
These Top Five Choices are each the top of their own class or category. The categories we will explore here include overall quality, value, versatility, tents with porches, and air conditioner friendly tents.
Each of these tents was selected based on the consumer ratings and reviews they received. My own opinion enters into the review process when I am actually writing the review and judging why these particular tents rose above all the others in their categories to receive the best consumer reviews.
I did not base these selections on my own personal preferences or biases. My goal is to bring you the tents which I believe are the most likely to satisfy your needs based on the percentage of consumers who found themselves satisfied with their purchases.
1. Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent: Overall Best
As with all the other tent sizes discussed on this website, my selection for the Overall Best 12+ Person Tent was based on quality. I selected the popular, top-selling 12+ person tent which received the most overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews and whose reviews most often mentioned superior quality and durability.
The Core 12 Person Instant Cabin features 180 square feet of living space under a six and half foot tall roof. Its large living space extends 18 feet in length and ten feet in depth, making it perfect for laying out three queen-sized air mattresses side by side, with ample walking space at the head and/or foot of each mattress.
Even with three air mattresses set up, this tent can be divided into three rooms using detachable dividers. Each of the three rooms features its own lantern loop for personal lighting purposes. Multiple possibilities exist in terms of how this tent can be set up for sleeping arrangements and entertainment purposes.
I estimate that twelve people could fit snugly inside the Core with only their sleeping bags. Alternatively, six people could fit rather comfortably in one of two or more possible sleeping arrangements. Ultimately, this tent would be best suited for four people if they are traveling with a lot of gear or require ample entertainment space.
For more information about this tent, its various other impressive specifications, and a more in-depth exploration of the possible sleeping arrangements, please read the full review.
2. Tahoe Gear Prescott Family Cabin Tent: Best Value
In case you haven’t already read information about the tents which earned the title of “Best Value” in other size categories, I want to take a quick moment to define what value means to me and how I used it to select a tent for this category.
The world of camping tents is filled with tents of various qualities, from poor quality to top quality. Of course, you will want a tent which is of good quality so that you can avoid having it turn into an indoor swimming pool or a roofless structure at the slightest hint of a storm.
Top quality tents are usually rather expensive. A quick look at my pick for the top quality tent (the Best Overall) will reveal that its price is much different from the price of this tent by Tahoe Gear. Therefore, top quality is out of the question when it comes to value, because the word “value” also implies a budget-friendly price.
Still, I refuse to bring you the lowest priced tent in any category and slap a title like “Best Value” on it, because, without fail, I have found that those tents aren’t even decent quality. Therefore, while this may be the lowest priced 12+ person tent on this website, you can rest assured that there are many much less expensive tents which simply didn’t make the cut.
The Tahoe Gear Prescott Family Cabin exists at the perfect meeting place between quality and price – where you do not have to sacrifice one for the other. Among its many impressive features are a full-mesh roof, six and a half feet of height, plenty of windows, and a room divider.
3. Ozark Trail Base Camp: Best Versatility
I will begin this description by telling you that I will not be able to cover all of this Ozark tent’s wonderful features and qualities right here while also taking the time to explain why I chose it as the most versatile 12+ person tent.
Instead of delving deep into the information I have to share with you, I will give you a brief synopsis of that information here and encourage you to continue reading about this tent on the page I designed specifically for it, if you are still curious.
Although Ozark advertises this tent as a 14-person tent, I have actually calculated that up to 20 people can sleep snugly inside the Trail Base Camp. Of course, the ability to do so would require that you leave many of your belongings outside of the tent.
It is this tent’s unique design and layout which make it the most versatile. Not only is it much larger than all of the other tents on this list, its rooms are arranged in such a way as to offer you endless possibilities for arranging the people and belongings with which you are traveling.
In addition to its wonderful versatility, this tent also boasts a great many other impressive features including a mesh roof, built-in zippered dividers, multiple entrances/exits, and 12 windows.
4. Ozark Trail 3 Room Instant Cabin: Best with Porch
Although this tent boasts many great features, I would like to spend some time here focusing on its porch. After all, its porch was the biggest reason it came to be featured in this Top Five position. I will explore some of its other great qualities and features on a separate page designed specifically for this tent.
Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a porch. Many people believe that screens are necessary to classify as a porch. To those people, I pose this question: are there usually screens on the porch of a house?
The quick answer is No. Screens around your tent’s porch may place a barrier between you and mosquitoes, but it does remove you from the elements. If you are worried about mosquitoes, I suggest you look into investing in some bug repellent – there are many different types on today’s market which may surprise you in terms of effectiveness and safety.
This tent’s porch area is created by its incredibly large awning. In fact, it is about one third the size of the rest of the tent. Without the awning raised, this tent is an L-shape. Once you raise the awning and count it into the structure, it becomes a square.
This large, covered space allows you to sit outdoors on rainy mornings, enjoying a freshly percolated coffee or sipping on some sweet tea. It is also a great place to hang out and play a game of cards when the afternoon sun is too strong for your skin. You won’t be forced to spend rainy or overly sunny times inside your tent, away from the cool breeze. You will be able to sit outside, one with nature, without worrying about getting wet or burnt.
5. Ozark Trail Instant 20×10 Cabin: Most Air Conditioner Friendly Tent
I am a firm believer that camping is not supposed to be a luxury escape. To me, camping is about getting back to basics and getting in touch with nature. However, I also understand that for some people it simply isn’t possible.
Some people need to feel comfortable to enjoy themselves. Some people have heat-activated illnesses and require cool sleeping conditions. Whatever the reason is that you may find yourself drawn toward an air conditioner friendly tent, I want you to know that I am not here to judge. Instead, I am here to bring you exactly what you are looking for.
This Ozark Trail Instant is one of very few tents I have come across that is openly advertised as being air conditioner friendly. Ozark designed this particular tent so that its ground vents are the perfect size to accommodate most small air conditioners, allowing you to secure the vent around the air conditioner and pump cool, fresh air into your tent with ease.
No longer will you need to rely on some sort of a breeze to push air through the tent. Of course, it should go without saying that your campsite must be located where electricity is readily available and where there are no major noise restrictions.
I will get into more detail about the air condition friendly nature of this tent on the page I designed specifically to highlight its many wonderful qualities.
There simply isn’t enough room here to tell you all that I believe you should know if you are contemplating purchasing this tent. I would like to say quickly, however, that the Ozark Trail Instant boasts more than the fact that it is air conditioner friendly. It is also a large, versatile, well-built tent.
Runners Up 12 Person Camping Tents
It’s impossible for five tents to meet the needs of every individual or group in search of a new 12+ person tent. Unique groups of people have unique needs. Of course, I do believe that if you are looking for the top quality 12+ person tent or the one with the best value, best versatility, best porch, or the best 12+ person tent which is air conditioner friendly, the Top Five Choices are most likely to satisfy your needs.
However, you may have different needs. Maybe you are looking for something which exists somewhere in between what each of those tents has to offer. Perhaps you are looking for something with a special feature I did not choose to highlight in our Top Five Choices section. Maybe you would be happy with one of the Top Five Choices, but would like to spend some time comparing those tents against other popular, top-selling tents.
If any of the above descriptions sounds like you, rest assured that I have created this “Runners Up” section just for you. Here you will find a list of four impressive 12+ person tents which didn’t quite make the cut into our Top Five Choices section, but which have each received plenty of positive consumer reviews.
6. Eureka Copper Canyon 12 Person Tent
The Eureka Copper Canyon 12 Person Tent measures 14 feet by 12 feet, creating 168 square feet of living space.
Theoretically, you should be able to set up four queen-sized mattresses inside this tent so that even when people are sleeping shoulder to shoulder they will be able to sleep atop something comfortable.
Squishing four air mattresses inside the tent will not leave much, if any, room for your belongings. Backpacks, clothing, and other outdoor gear will have to be kept elsewhere, such as outside the tent or inside your car.
Still, if you think about it, many other tents force you to do the same when attempting to squish 12 people inside of them. It is actually a bonus that the Copper Canyon has been constructed to allow four queen-sized mattresses to fit inside so that those 12 people do not need to sleep on the ground.
Nine poles are used to hold this tent erect. Seven hubs have been built into the tent so that you can attach short poles to the hubs, thus limiting the number of long poles used in the construction of the tent.
Long poles are more susceptible to bending and snapping under pressure than short poles, so the short poles and multiple hubs mean that this tent will better handle wind and rainstorms than tents with long poles. The poles are held in place with both clips and sleeves.
Some people aren’t fans of sleeves, because they make the setup and teardown processes take much longer than tents constructed with only clips. Personally, I prefer a mixture of the two, because sleeves offer extra strength and stability to the structure of the tent. Clearly, it has been built to handle the elements.
7. Tahoe Gear Ozark Large Family Cabin
For me, ventilation and proper airflow are very important considerations when camping. I camp in the summer and it can get very hot where I live.
It is extremely important that I use a tent which promotes cool air to come into the tent and hot air to rise out of the tent. Airflow is also important to continually move foul smells out of a tent.
Hot, humid summer days lead to sweaty, sticky people. A breeze moving through a tent keeps those smells moving along and away from my nose. This is why I am excited about the excellent ventilation and airflow offered by this Tahoe Gear tent’s ten windows, two floor vents, and fully mesh roof. A 1200mm rainfly secured over the mesh roof and a 1200mm body ensure that this tent should handle most rain showers and even a few rainstorms.
A division panel allows you to separate this enormous 250 square foot tent into two separate living spaces. Though the company claims that 16 people could sleep inside the Tahoe Gear Ozark, I have a difficult time trying to picture it.
It could be possible if they slept shoulder to shoulder, but I believe that 12 people or less would fit much more comfortably for a decent night’s sleep. In fact, I believe that 8 to 12 people could fit comfortably inside this tent atop four queen-sized air mattresses with a little room to spare for walking space or gear storage.
8. Tahoe Gear Gateway 12 Person Deluxe Family Cabin
This large L-shaped tent features two large D-shaped doors which both open to the same area. The meeting of these doors in one outdoor space will allow you to set up only one mat for wet shoes while managing to service both entrances.
Despite opening up to the same outdoor area, the two doors exit from different wings of this L-shaped tent. Whether you are sleeping in the middle square of the tent or one of the wings, you will have access to a door without having to disturb anyone else as they sleep.
The dome-like structure of this tent’s roof and the tent’s length make it feel somewhat like sleeping in a bent tube. It also allows for optimal headroom throughout the tent. Walking from side to side or one end to another shouldn’t pose any sort of a problem, even for rather tall individuals, because this tent’s roof is a whopping 7 feet tall.
Lying atop your sleeping bag, air mattress, or cot, you will be able to gaze up at the night sky from beneath this tent’s fully mesh roof. Warm air will escape through the mesh at night and will be replaced by cool, fresh air. On nights that are too cold or filled with rainclouds, you can pull the partial fly over the roof and secure yourself into a cozy, dry sleeping cocoon.
9. Ozark Trail 12 Person Cabin with Screen Room
Measuring 18 feet by 16 feet, this massive 288 square foot tent features 6.5 feet of headroom, incredible ventilation, a screen porch, and a removable division panel; it’s capable of housing 3 queen-sized air mattresses.
I realize that, at this point, I may be beginning to sound like a broken record when it comes to certain things. For instance, I seem to go on and on about ventilation and airflow.
I promise you that there is a very good reason for this. Many of the other tents on today’s market simply do not feature ventilation which even begins to compare with that of the tents I have chosen to include on this website.
I make things such as ground vents, mesh roofs, and multiple exits sound standard issue, but they are not. These are the things which most make these particular tents stand separate from all of the other tents on today’s market. It is things such as ground vents and mesh roofs which bumped these tents above all the others in terms of consumer satisfaction.
Seeing as I have given so much attention to each of these topics throughout the rest of this page and a large section of this website, I will choose to focus on this tent’s screened-in porch for a moment.
Though the fly covers the porch’s roof, it does not cover the mesh sides which means that this area is really only safe from water if rain is falling straight down. That being said, unlike many other screened-in porches, this one actually has a floor. This means that, if it is not raining, you can actually use this as an extra sleeping area.