Best 12 Person Tents of 2023

Twelve-person tents are some of the largest camping tents on the market – they have lots of headroom, are quite spacious, and are big enough to fit up to four queen size air mattresses. Despite their size, they’re still easy to setup with only two people, and they would be a great option for family and group camping trips.

These large tents would be good for sleeping upwards of 10-12 people, but they would also be great for glamping. We’ve seen lots of people who use them with air mattresses, a couch, tables/chairs, and even with kids who bring along toys, cribs, and more. Whether you’re on a group camping trip or glamping with the family, these tents will have everything you need to get outside.

Best 12 Person Tents

These are our picks for the best 12 person tents:

  1. Editor’s Choice – Coleman Skylodge 12
  2. Zempire EVO TXL V2
  3. Eureka Copper Canyon LX 12
  4. Coleman Skydome XL 12
  5. Bushnell Shield Series 12
  6. White Duck Alpha Canvas Tent

Product

Summary

Coleman Skylodge 12

This quality and affordable tent by Coleman has an oversized screen room.

Editor’s Choice

Zempire EXO TXL V2

The EVO TXL V2 is a castle away from home with all the features you could ever need.

Eureka! Copper Canyon 12

A tent with an easy setup and ideal weatherproofing with a 1200mm waterhead rating.

Coleman Skydome XL 12

A simple tent that’s great for weekend getaways.

Bushnell Shield Series 12

A large instant tent that sets up in as little as 60 seconds.

white duck alpha wall tent

White Duck Outdoors Alpha Tent

A canvas tent that’s built to withstand all four seasons and last a lifetime.

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Editor’s Choice – Coleman Skylodge 12

best 12 person tents

Coleman is easily one of the top brands when it comes to affordable tents, and their Skylodge 12 perfectly balances price with cool features. Our favorite feature is the extended screen room, which measures 5 x 10 feet. It’s weatherproof and has a floor, so it’s perfect for gear storage or even hanging out during a rainy day.

As for other weather-proofing, it uses Coleman’s normal WeatherTec system that keeps water out by using inverted and taped seams, welded corners, and a tub-like floor. The rainfly covers the uppermost part of the tent and ceiling mesh, while the lower windows zipper open for ventilation or closed for weather protection and privacy. This Skylodge has been tested in winds up to 35 mph, so it will be able to handle most weather conditions you encounter on casual camping trips.

Even not including the extended screen room, this tent measures 15.5′ x 11′, which is large enough for four queen air mattresses. It’s even more roomy because of the 7 ft. interior height and oversized front door that allows for easy access. Coleman calls this tent a ‘portable mansion’ that’s perfect for taking large group and family camping trips to the next level.

Despite its size, it’s still easy to setup in just a few minutes when two people work together. Overall, it’s a really good tent that comes with all the essentials you would need for a fun time outdoors. The main downside of this tent is the low waterhead rating on the floor, which is only 600mm. This means we would highly recommend purchasing either a matching footprint or a similarly sized tarp to better protect the floor.

Specifications

  • Weight: 40.6 lbs.
  • Floor size: 19’ x 10’ (15.5′ x 11′ without screen room)
  • Peak height: 7.4’
  • Poles: Fiberglass
  • Number of Rooms: 2
  • Fabric: 65-denier
  • Waterhead Rating: 600mm floor, 1500mm walls and sleeves
  • Highlight: Oversized screen room and affordability
  • Price: $$

Pros

  • One of the more affordable options on this list
  • 1 year warranty
  • Extended screen room for extra space

Cons

  • Low waterhead rating floor

Zempire EVO TXL V2

Zempire just recently started selling on REI’s website, but they’re based in New Zealand so we wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of them before. It’s a smaller company that puts a lot of focus in to quality and details, so you can be sure you’re getting a top notch tent that will last a long time. The first design aspect that stands out is their use of air beams instead of traditional tent poles. You simply use the included dual-action pump to air up the tent in as little as two minutes.

The design is a tunnel style tent that has three distinct areas. In the photo above, you can see that the front of the tent is a covered (but not sealed) over-sized vestibule that would be perfect for gear storage and hanging out in the shade. The second section is a large living space that measures 110 x 171″ (9ft. 2in. x 14ft. 3in.), and the third section is the designated sleeping quarters that measures 89″ x 171″ (7ft. 5in. x 14 ft. 3in.). The sleeping area is intended for six campers, but the living space is even larger and could sleep several more campers. This is why we’ve included it in our 12 person category.

This graph above illustrates the layout, but it also shows all the different layers on the outside edge of the tent. Notice that there’s mesh vents, mesh doors and windows, three different entry ways, and a designated sleeping area with removable curtains for privacy.

Zempire really thought of everything in this castle away from home, from the inflatable air frame and 6,000mm waterhead rating to the tinted skylights. While this tent is the most expensive option on this list, it’s also the highest quality product and it would blow you away with all its features and weather protection.

Specifications

  • Weight: 76 lbs.
  • Floor size: 21.5′ x 15′
  • Peak height: 84.6″ (7 ft.)
  • Poles: air beams
  • Number of Rooms: 2-5
  • Fabric: 150-denier
  • Waterhead Rating: 6,000mm
  • Highlight: Extensive list of cool features in a castle away from home.
  • Price: $$$$

Pros

  • Uses air beams instead of poles
  • Super quick setup
  • Excessive waterhead rating
  • 3 year guarantee

Cons

  • Most expensive tent on this list

Eureka! Copper Canyon 12

Eureka! has been making tents for over 120 years, and their quality and craftsmanship shows in their car camping tents. They’ve been able to nicely balance price with features, so you are getting a fun tent that will take you on many adventures to come. Their Copper Canyon LX 12 is the largest tent they make, but this style also comes in 4, 6, and 8 person sizes.

The Copper Canyon LX 12 offers near-vertical walls and a 7 foot peak height; combine this with the big windows and you have an airy and spacious tent. There’s lots of standing room, a removable divider curtain to make two rooms, and the two big doors on either side give multiple access points to the interior.

To make this tent more affordable, Eureka! does use fiberglass tent poles, but only on the upper poles across the mesh. The upright poles that provide all the support are made of steel, making this tent a more ideal option than one that uses all fiberglass poles. Some other features include a zippered power port for cord access, plenty of stash pockets and a gear loft, and a simple and quick setup that only requires two people.

The only downside we could find with this tent is that while the materials are all the right numbers for weather resistance (1200mm waterhead and 75-denier), the rainfly offers pretty minimal coverage. In general, users have reported very positive results after rainstorms, but we would like to see it with a more full coverage rainfly that matches the design quality of the other materials.

Specifications

  • Weight: 37 lbs. 14.08 oz.
  • Floor size: 168″ x 144″ (14′ x 12′)
  • Peak height: 7 ft.
  • Poles: steel and fiberglass
  • Number of Rooms: 1-2
  • Fabric: 68D mesh, 75D floor and rainfly
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm
  • Highlight: Quality tent with a quick setup and large windows.
  • Price: $$$

Pros

  • Ideal waterhead rating of 1200mm
  • Generous 75D polyester on floor and rainfly
  • Airy and spacious tent with lots of ventilation

Cons

  • Would prefer the rainfly to have a bit more coverage

Coleman Skydome XL 12

Coleman has been around for a while, and their Skydome tent is one of the most popular tents on the market. The largest size is this 12-person, but it also comes in 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 person capacities. We like that this tent is great for beginner campers or budget-conscious adventures because it’s a simple tent with the basics features you need to get outside.

It’s a very generous size, and the dimensions allow for four queen sized air mattresses. It uses Coleman’s traditional WeatherTec system to withstand winds up to 35 mph while keep out rain using welded corners and other design aspects. The main downside of this tent is that Coleman isn’t very transparent about their waterhead rating, so there’s no way to know how truly waterproof this tent is. That’s why it’s best for simple weekends away or casual campers who aren’t typically exposed to adverse weather conditions.

Otherwise, it has some great features like a quick and easy setup using color coded poles, a more full coverage rainfly than some of the other tents on this list, and vents at ground level to help circulate air more efficiently. The wide doors let you take gear in and out easily, especially if you camp with queen-sized air mattresses.

Specifications

  • Weight: 33.5 lbs.
  • Floor size: 20′ x 9′
  • Peak height: 7 ft.
  • Poles: pre-attached fiberglass
  • Number of Rooms: 1-2
  • Waterhead Rating: Coleman WeatherTec
  • Highlight: A simple and affordable tent for weekend getaways.
  • Price: $$

Pros

  • Most affordable tent on this list
  • 1 year warranty
  • Simple and easy tent for weekend trips

Cons

  • No information on waterhead rating

Bushnell Shield Series 12

Bushnell makes some really great outdoor gear, and our favorite part about their company is their lifetime warranty. There’s no hoops to jump through if you need their help because they don’t require a receipt and the warranty is fully transferrable.

Perhaps our favorite part of this tent is the instant setup, which takes less than 60 seconds even though the tent is a massive 11 x 18 feet. This gives you more time to focus on the important parts of camping and have more fun with less headache.

Besides the quick setup time, this tent also has some other cool features like heat shield technology that has an inner reflective coating on the tent material. It helps block the sun’s rays, which keeps the tent cooler and darker. The tent fabric is also weather-repellant with fully taped seams while the strong frame stands tough against the wind.

The main issue with this tent is that Bushnell doesn’t provide a waterhead rating. I did reach out via email asking about this, but they just responded with a third party number I would need to call. This tells me they aren’t proud of their water-proofing, so that’s the only feature of this tent we are skeptical about. That being said, we do really like the instant setup and large mesh windows, so this tent would still be a great option for anyone who doesn’t like camping in rainy conditions.

Specifications

  • Weight: 60 lbs.
  • Floor size: 132″ x 216″ (11′ x 18′)
  • Peak height: 80″ (6 ft. 8 in.)
  • Poles: pre-attached for instant setup
  • Number of Rooms: 3
  • Material: 150D canopy, floor, rainfly
  • Highlight: Great instant tent with a warranty that doesn’t require any hoops to jump through.
  • Price: $$$

Pros

  • Instant cabin tent that sets up in only 60 seconds
  • Great warranty from the manufacturer
  • Reflective fabric coating helps block UV rays and keep the tent cooler

Cons

  • No waterhead rating

White Duck Outdoors Alpha Tent 14′ x 16′

white duck alpha wall tent

White Duck is one of our favorite tent brands, but their extensive line of canvas tents is a little outside-the-box from your normal camping tent. Some people may call them a glamping tent, but these canvas tents are built to last a lifetime and withstand anything you may throw at it while camping. They are one of the best options for tents of all sizes, but their over-sized canvas tents are especially great for larger groups and families.

All the bells and whistles you normally see on a traditional camping tent aren’t as important in a canvas tent, as all the quality is put into the materials that are built to last. This will tent will withstand weather conditions much more effectively, and it also has the highest amount of headroom by a longshot.

Their cotton canvas material is 10.10oz. cotton canvas that’s treated to be water repellant, as well as mold and UV resistant. Double-stitched seams and reinforced corners hold tight against the anodized aluminum poles that provide strength and stability. There’s bug mesh on the openings, plus both the doors and windows are storm proof with three-layer protection.

If you were ever interested in winter camping and learning how to hot tent, this would be a great option for something you could use year-round. It has a built-in stove jack, which is the fireproof hole in the ceiling for the chimney of a wood burning stove. For more information on hot tenting, read our full guide here.

If you consider yourself to be more of a three season camper, this tent would still be a great option. The windows allow for lots of air circulation, and the PVC floor is easy to clean. You would be investing in a tent that you could use for many years to come.

Specifications for the 14’x16′

  • Weight: 262-276 lbs.
  • Floor size: 14′ x 16′
  • Peak height: 9’5″
  • Poles: aluminum and steel
  • Number of Rooms: 1
  • Material: 10.10oz Army Duck cotton canvas
  • Highlight: Canvas tent that’s built to last a lifetime.
  • Price: $$$$

Pros

  • Tallest center height on this list
  • Works well in all four seasons
  • Can double as a hot tent

Cons

  • It’s quite heavy

Thing to Consider When Choosing a 12 Person Tent

When shopping for the best 12 person tents, you should take into consideration capacity, waterhead rating, pole materials, fabric, room count, and ease of setup.

Capacity

If you’re buying a tent based on capacity, you should typically size up by at least two campers. That means if you normally camp with ten people or less, these 12 person tents would be a great option.

Even then, we don’t typically see ten people sleeping in an oversized tent like this, and we usually see more of a ‘glamping’ style setup. These tents are spacious options for families who like having extra space for air beds, toys, and extra gear storage. You could even have a table and chairs, and we’ve seen a couch before!

Essentially, these are some of the largest tents available on the market, so they are great for most applications, whether you’re trying to camp with lots of people or are looking for a luxurious setup.

The only exception we could think of is wind. If you are regularly exposed to high wind conditions where a larger tent may not be as effective at staying upright, then you could consider sizing down to a 10-person or 8-person tent that may have a more contoured shape.

Waterhead Rating

Rain is usually part of camping, and it can show up even if it’s not in the forecast. We would prefer to always be prepared for moisture, which is why we recommend picking a tent with a waterhead rating that meets or exceeds 1200mm. While researching these tents, we found that a couple of them didn’t provide a waterhead rating, which makes us a bit suspicious. If they were proud of their rating, there wouldn’t be any reason to exclude it from the specifications. But the fact that they purposefully left it out tells us that they aren’t proud of it.

That’s why we would pick something like the Zempire EVO, any White Duck tent, Eureka! Copper Canyon, or the Coleman Skylodge over something that wasn’t transparent about the waterhead rating.

That being said, the other tents on this list have been thoroughly tested to withstand moisture, and they have features like taped seams that help keep rain out. They would still be great options for casual campers who aren’t typically camping in wind and rain.

Pole Materials

Tent poles are typically either aluminum or fiberglass, with fiberglass being the less preferred (but still viable) option. The main difference is that fiberglass poles aren’t as strong, and can easily splinter under stress and in colder temperatures. Aluminum poles offer more strength without sacrificing weight, but they do tend to be more expensive.

If you’re looking for just a casual camping tent for fun weekends away, then you’ll probably be fine with fiberglass poles. If you plan on camping for week long trips in a variety of weather conditions, or if you want a tent that will last you a long time, then a product with more durable poles would be preferred.

There’s a third type of pole ‘material’ that you don’t typically see, and that’s the air beam technology in the Zempire EVO TXL V2. This is a super cool alternative to traditional tent poles, and it’s still super quick and easy to setup. Plus, the spacious interior and well thought-out features on this tent are very desirable, so it could be a great option for your next tent.

Fabric

Tents should be built to withstand the rigors of camping, and therefore the fabric they’re made of should be strong and durable. Denier is a rating you’ll often see, and the higher the number the better.

For example, our Editor’s Choice Coleman Skylodge has 65-denier fabrics, and we wouldn’t recommend going any lower than this. Sixty-five and up is a great starting point for a fabric that’s going to last longer. To give another example, the Zempire EVO TXL V2 has 150-denier fabrics, which shows that they’re more serious about making the fabrics durable.

While a higher denier may seem like the more obvious option, the price difference between these two products is quite large, so it would also be based on what price range you’re in.

Room Count

As part of the specifications on each tent listed above, we’ve included the amount of rooms you could possibly have with that design. Most of these tents include removable room dividers, which provide some separation and personal space in the large interior space. They could also provide some privacy for changing and sleeping. This option is particularly great for families, where kids could find more adventure in having their ‘own room’.

Ease of Setup

We’ve purposely only included tents that are easy to setup, and have even pointed out an awesome ‘instant tent’ that sets up in only 60 seconds. There’s also other options that only take a couple of minutes, but keep in mind that these numbers are with two people and not a lone camper.

The only tent on this list that would take longer to setup is the White Duck canvas tent, but that’s because the construction is stronger and there’s more pieces, so it just generally takes longer but isn’t necessarily complicated. This tent wouldn’t be ideal for moving around a lot or quick weekends away, but it would be perfect for week long trips where you need weather protection and durability.

FAQ

How many people does a 12-person tent sleep?

While a 12-person tent is rated to sleep up to twelve campers, this would be in very close quarters laying shoulder to shoulder. We normally recommend sizing down by at least two people, so a 12-person tent would be better suited for 10 people or less.

How many air mattresses fit inside a 12-person tent?

Several of the tents on our list for best 12-person tents allow for three to four queen sized air mattresses. If you do use four, they would take up almost every square inch of the tent floor, so we wouldn’t recommend using more than 2-3 even though it can technically fit more.

What is the best 12-person tent?

Our favorite 12-person tent is the Coleman SkyLodge because we really like its oversized screen room and affordable price.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for an affordable tent for a quick weekend away or a palace full of cool features, we’ve got the right tent for you and everything in between. The tents we’ve selected range in price, features, materials, and quality, so it’s up to you to decide what would be the best selection for your typical camping conditions. Whether you go with our Editor’s Choice Coleman Skylodge 12, or any of these other tents, we hope you have many great adventures in the future!

Our #1 Recommendation: Coleman Skylodge 12

With an extended weather-protected vestibule and enough space for four queen sized air mattresses, we love the Coleman Skylodge 12 and have selected it for our Editor’s Choice Best 12 Person Tent.

About the Author

Derek Vitiello

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers. Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me. When I’m not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley

Know Nothing Nomads