A home from home – choose your family tent wisely!

Choosing a tent for a family holiday is not as straight forward as is often anticipated. You have to consider how many rooms you need, how much living space is necessary and what kind of weather conditions you expect to be camping in. Clear as the mud you will no doubt encounter? BCH Camping has your tent buying conundrums all pitched up…
What size of tent does my family need?
Size does matter. A tent that is too big or too small can potentially cause issues whilst on holiday. This doesn’t just relate to the number of bedrooms, but also to the size of living area. Things to consider when deciding on the right size of tent for you are:

  • Do you want a large living area so that you have somewhere to sit and play games when it is raining, and/or store belongings that don’t fit in the bedrooms?
  • If you’re camping somewhere that has a hot climate, do you still need to have that living area? It may not be so crucial if you expect to spend most of your time outside of the tent.
  • Are you carrying the tent during your holiday? If you are, then you would need to prioritise the practicality of carrying it over having the luxury of extra space.
  • How big/small is your vehicle? Obviously, the bigger the tent, the more room it takes up in the car. How much room can you realistically spare?
  • With the exception of the inflatable Airbeam range, larger tents can be more difficult to put up, so make sure you’re comfortable with the level of challenge ahead of you.


Are family tents available with different berth options?
Yes, they are. “Berth” refers to the number of people that can comfortably sleep in a tent. BCH Camping stock a range of 4, 5, 6 and 8 berth tents.

  • The Kampa Brean 4 AIR Advantage Tent 2017 is a 4 berth inflatable tent, With a pack size of 70cm x 34cm x 34cm, it’s ideal for storing in small spaces, yet still has the space needed to sleep smaller families of up to 4 in one bedroom, or couples who want a bit more sleeping room. There is a built in front canopy, ideal for use as a wet weather entrance.
  • The Vango AirBeam Capri 500 2017 is an inflatable 5 berth tent with the same layout as the Kampa Brean. Its pack size is 70cm x 33cm x 36cm so, again, is ideal for packing into tight spaces. There is a front extension to create a multifunctional outside area.
  • The Vango AirBeam Edoras 600XL accommodates larger families with its 6 berth capacity across two bedrooms. It is an inflatable tent with a large open front canopy for family living. It packs down to 75cm x 44cm x 43cm.
  • The Coleman Cortes Octagon 8 Person Tent offers something a little different from standard family tents. It won’t surprise you to learn that it is octagon shaped, but that’s not its only unique feature. It provides a full 360° view of your surroundings with ample space, comfortably accommodating 8 people. It comes with a wheeled carry bag and packs down to 85cm x 30cm x 30cm.

What denier of fabric should I look for in a family tent?
BCH Camping sell tents in 70, 150 and 420 denier fabric. Don’t naturally assume that the higher the denier, the better the tent. Whilst it’s true that the higher the density, the longer the tent will last, you must consider the practicalities that come with your choice of denier.

  • The thicker the denier, the more you will pay.
  • The weight of the tent increases in line with the increase in denier of fabric.
  • If you sacrifice denier to have a lighter tent, you should check that the stress points are reinforced to avoid it being easily damaged.

What do I look for if I’m concerned about how waterproof the tent is?
To measure how waterproof your tent is, you need to know its Hydrostatic Head measurement. The higher the Hydrostatic Head value, the more water pressure the tent can withstand. For example, a Hydrostatic Head of 3000 means the tent can withstand water pressure of 3000ml of water.
A Hydrostatic Head rating of 1000 is the legal requirement to call a tent waterproof so the majority of tents have a Hydrostatic Head rating of 2000 and above. It is expected that a Hydrostatic Head of 2000-3000 should mean it can withstand the delights of British rainfall.
Most of the tents supplied by BCH Camping have a Hydrostatic Head rating of 5000mm or more. The hydrostatic head of each tent can be found in the description.

Should I buy a poled or an inflatable tent?
With the rise in popularity of inflatable tents, this has become an increasingly regular dilemma with the tent buying fraternity! BCH Camping supply both inflatable and poled tents. Inflatable tents are lighter and easier to put up, but poled tents are more sturdy. Please see our inflatable tent guide for more detailed information to help you decide which is best for you. For a brief comparison:

  • The Vango AirBeam Edoras 500XL 2017 is an inflatable 5 berth tent with a double section living area. It’s quick to inflate and pitch, and provides very spacious accommodation.
  • The Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus is a spacious poled 5 berth family tunnel tent with a living area large enough to house a table and chairs. For easy access, the tent has a full-height door with a drop-down section providing a flat entrance, perfect for buggies and wheelchairs.

Can I buy canopies or awnings for my family tent?
If you want to extend your living space, a canopy or awning is a great way to do this, giving you the flexibility to use it or not, depending on conditions and how many people are camping with you. Some tents come with a porch canopy, whilst others can be purchased as a valuable extra.

  • Vango Exclusive Sun Canopy – this easy to pitch canopy is made to fit perfectly onto the front of a Vango Edoras or Rivendale tent. It’s ideal for providing shelter from the sun or rain.
  • Vango AirBeam Elite Awning 800 – this awning is fully enclosed to create additional living space. The panoramic windows maximise the light and keep you connected with the nature around you.

Buying a family tent is a smart investment. It provides you with the flexibility to up sticks and take spontaneous holidays, long or short. To make the most of your breaks away, it is worth investing your time in making the right choice of tent for you.
If we can offer any additional advice or information to make your decision easier, please do get in touch. Our staff are all seasoned campers and would be delighted to share information to help you.