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Core Lighted 12 Person

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ozark trail 12 person tent
Ozark Trail Instant Cabin

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The Best 12 Person Tents for Family & Group Camping

What better way to get your friends and family together than go camping? I honestly can’t think of one. But before you head into the wilderness to make long-lasting memories there are a few things to research first, and we’re here to help! 

Camping with such a large group is obviously going to be a great time so try not to stress about anything other than what games and beers you should bring before you depart. As far as your tent election goes, reading our reviews before you go will make your selection process a seamless and easy experience.

Your tent is the one thing that will protect you from the elements, so purchasing the right one based on good quality and durability is very important. Below, we have laid out the fundamentals of shopping for large group tents, along with our top choices for the best 12 person tents.

Need a smaller tent? Then check out our articles on: 

Our Best 12 Person Tents

Ozark Trail 12 Person Tents

best 12 person tent
  • Material: Polyester
  • Size: 16 x 16 feet, 6’10 high- 3 rooms 
  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • Price: $

The Ozark Trail 12 person tent is a phenomenal option for big groups and family gatherings. It can sleep up to 12 people and be set up in under 10 minutes – how many tents that big can you say that about? The reason behind this easy setup is that it requires almost no assembly due to the pre-attached poles for the tent. Its unique engineering allows you to unroll, then fold out the tent, pop it up, and stake it down. 

The Ozark Trail 12 has one extra-large single door system for easy entry. With “cabin-style” rooms and large mesh windows on all sides, it creates great cross-ventilation. The two internal room dividers create three rooms with separate sleeping and living spaces so you can camp as a family and sleep separately at night. 

This tent has enough room to stand up with a clearance of 6’10 feet. It can comfortably fit three queen airbeds or up to 12 campers in sleeping bags or small cots on the floor. Additionally, it has great side storage pockets for small items.  

This 12-person tent is ideal for a large outdoor party to use as a shelter to avoid the heat and the pesky bugs as well as have a huge slumber party in the evening. This tent was truly made to make camping outdoors more comfortable – with features such as a large front awning for relaxing in the shade so you can always escape the sun. 

The Ozark Trail has an included rain canopy and a carry bag for convenience. It also comes with cord access, so you can camp in the backyard and use the electricity from your home, or bring an extension cord to drive in camps with electricity sockets. 

PROS

  • Quick set up time
  • Poles pre-attached to tent
  • Includes wheeled carry bag & rain canopy
  • Fully taped factory-sealed seams provide leak protection
  • 7 fully closable windows
  • Ground vents fit air conditioner

CONS

  • Not ideal for extreme wind and rain
  • No footprint included
  • Does not have extra tent stakes- only the standard 25

Ozark Trail 14 Person Cabin Tent

Ozark Trail Base Camp 14
  • Material: Polyester, main poles- steel, roof poles-fiberglass
  • Size: 4 rooms. 20 x 20 ft – 6’10 high
  • Weight: 47.96 lbs
  • Price: $$

This Ozark Trail Cabin Tent is one of the largest “cabin-style” tents on the market. From a birds-eye view, this tent is shaped like a cross with four separate rooms. Each room includes an entry door, a center “communal area”, and three large windows. It’s the true “castle tent” if ever I’ve seen one. 

It sounds like a complex structure with multiple rooms and entrances, but once assembled, it has very clean lines and great privacy for large groups. This structure is a non-freestanding cabin type tent – meaning it needs to be staked down and use guy lines. Considering the size of the tent, you have to stake it’s 8 corners first before full assembly. 

There’s one main caveat with this tent. Indeed, t’s big enough to accommodate five queen size beds, but if you do so, you will not be able to close the dividers.

What I really love about this tent is the overall design that includes mesh on the ceilings. Therefore, with good weather, you can leave off the rain canopy and stargaze freely. A great feature is the windows and doors are double-layered with mesh and with panels for protection, privacy, and cross ventilation.

What I will say is this tent is made for calm conditions only, so if you have anything more than mild rain and wind you could be faced with either a structural or leakage problem. Its mesh ceiling, high structure, and non-aerodynamic area are not built for extreme environments. This is a summer camping tent and nothing more – especially since this tent lacks any heat retention. I would rate this overall as a two-season tent, not three. 

The construction will take an average of 20-40 minutes depending on your “tent building” skills. So, if you do indeed purchase this tent, just have a little patience. With its excellent price point and versatility, it’s a great tent for large groups in warm weather places!

PROS

  • Spacious – big enough for 5 queen air mattresses or 12 singles
  • 4 rooms and 4 doors.
  • 12 large mesh windows with insulation
  • Room dividers
  • Rain Canopy
  • Electric cable port entry

CONS

  • Ideal for 10-12 , not 14 people
  • Not meant for extreme weather
  • Recommend purchasing extra and heftier tent stakes
  • Delicate poles

Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

best 12 person tent - core two room
  • Material: Tent Fabric- Durable 68D Polyester; Floor Material- Durable 125gsm P.E
  • Size: 18 x 10 feet. center height 6’8 feet
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Price: $$$

Unlike some tents I reviewed above with separate “cabin-style” rooms,  this tent is just one cavernous room. However, there are two removable room dividers that can turn this tent into a three-room refuge. It’s perfect for families who want to keep parents and kids separate. 

The two “T” and “D” style doors are in front and on the side make for easy entry and exit. With extra-large tents like these, I like the dual entry system so you aren’t always stepping over one another.

There are plenty of zip-up windows all the way around the tent which helps to create plenty of air circulation and privacy when needed. There are even air intake vents that encourage cool air to flow up from the ground for added ventilation. 

Having a fully taped fly with sealed seams comes in handy in wet conditions. The entire tent is built with water repellent fabrics including rain-resistant doors and window seals. The rainfly creates a canopy over the “T” door and gives some space over the windows to keep any rain from getting inside the tent. Its easy assembly also allows the fly to clip into the mainframe of the tent.

The Core 12 Person Instant Tent is great for spring and summer conditions. I, however, cannot recommend this tent for extreme wind as it just doesn’t have the durability. With that said, it’s a great tent for backyard parties, beach gatherings, or mild weather camping.

PROS

  • Quick and easy setup with a pre-built frame
  • Water repellent fly and body
  • 6’8 feet of headspace
  • Included room dividers
  • Included rainfly

CONS

  • Frame does not perform well in wind
  • Zippers aren't super durable

OZ Trail 12 Person Cabin Tent

OZ Trail 12 Person Cabin Tent
  • Material: 190T Polyester, PU1200mm, Fiberglass, Steel
  • Size: 20 (l) x 9 (w) x 84 (h)
  • Weight: 50lbs
  • Price: $$

If you want a comfortable trip into the wilderness, or even the backyard, look no further – this tent has everything you need!. The Ozark Trail Hazel Creek 12-Person Cabin Tent has a traditional steel cabin design and gable entrance. Staying organized is easy with its two closets with hanging organizers, plus corner pockets, mesh pockets, and even a tablet slot keeping everything in place. This tent has some of the best storage we’ve listed so far! 

A single large front door with an “entry mat” opens up to the expansive interior space. You can relax freely at night with great air ventilation having 6 mesh windows and extra zip-up insulation for cooler nights. An included rain canopy keeps you dry on rainy nights. You can comfortably fit 4 queen air mattresses, 12 single mats or 8-10 cots.

Its wide expansive open floor plan allows for group hangouts and evening card games. If you prefer privacy, there’s room dividers that turn it into a three-room tent, while one divider is made with silver coated fabric and doubles as a movie screen. 

You’ll have evening light with the two included strings of LED lights hanging inside the tent, while an E-port gives you the ability for a hookup. The entry mat is a nice added feature keeping your boots and pack off the muddy ground.

PROS

  • Built in LED lighting
  • 2 closets for storage space
  • Room divider doubles as a screen
  • Tons of inside space
  • Can stand inside

CONS

  • May need extra waterproofing if in bad weather
  • Can take a while to set up

Core Lighted 12 Person Tent

best 12 person tent - core lighted
  • Material: Tent- Durable 68D Polyester; Floor- Durable 125gsm P.E; Telescopic pre-attached poles
  • Size: 18 (w) x 10 (l) x 7 (h) feet
  • Weight: 54lbs 
  • Price: $$

This will truly be a luxury outdoor experience! This tent is massive, lighted, and super fun. With an internal LED lighting system already installed, this wireless cabin tent provides a great new feature with easy setup in less than 5 minutes! 

The Core Lighted 12 Person Cabin Tent has privacy panels on doors and windows and has a double-sided door design for easy entry and exit to the tent. The two room dividers can be utilized to create a three-room tent for separate living and sleeping areas, specifically great for families. 

This Core tent combines water repellent materials (H2O Block Era) with active bead Era for quicker rain runoff paired with sealed seams and rain-resistant seals. The rain canopy is detachable in warmer climates to stargaze at night through the mesh windows and ceiling. The seams are sealed and taped for extra durability. However, this tent did not earn a high rating for rain protection – best for mild weather. It’s rain resistant, not rainproof. 

The cutting-edge wall mount controls the three brightness settings for the LED lighting system. With a specially designed diffusion panel, the light will be evenly dispersed throughout the tent –  super cool! This makes it feel as if you’re in the comfort of your own home. You will find the detailed LED overview in the full tent description on the website.

Overall, this is the best 12 man tent for the “luxury” camping experience. Its easy set up and aerodynamic structure combined with an extra sturdy body with multiple guy lines will keep you sleeping well each night if the wind or light rain shows up. The E-Port gives you the option for an electrical hook up at camp or from your home.

PROS

  • Built in LED lighting
  • 5-minute setup
  • High ceiling (7 feet)
  • 2 huge dual-sided doors and 7 insulated windows
  • Fits 3 queen size beds

CONS

  • Not great in very wet weather
  • Footprint not included

NTK Super Arizona

best 12 person tent
  • Material: No-see-um mesh windows; Heavy duty anti-fungus seamless polyethylene (body); outer shell is made with 100% Waterproof 190T polyester laminated with polyurethane (2500mm water column)
  • Size: 6.9 (H) x 10.2 (W) x 20.6 (L) 
  • Weight: 39.77 lbs
  • Price: $$

I think this might be on top of my list for larger size tents. Although on the higher end of pricing, this tent’s durability, body structure, and extra features are highly attractive to buyers. The NTK Super Arizona GT Camping Tent is a robust tent that is perfect for a family, groups of friends, a festival, and beach camping  – or a solo glamper out camping for extended time who wants lots and lots of space!

This tent includes dual-sided doors which makes getting in and out very easy. A detachable room divider comes in handy especially if you’re traveling with kids or couples. There are three windows that are made from ultra-thin polyester and micro no see um mesh to protect you from mosquitoes and other small bugs. Additionally the outer windows on the fly have a roll-up/down layer for privacy and insulation.  

The frame is extra durable with fiberglass rods connecting the internal elastic which helps keep the poles flexible and from breaking (especially in adverse weather). The outer body is made with 100% Waterproof 190T polyester, heat-welded & seam-sealed engineering with UV protection.

This rainfly is particularly effective at keeping everyone and everything inside the tent dry. The floor is designed with NTK’s bathtub-style construction, made from a durable anti-fungus seamless polyethylene-coated layer to ensure you stay dry and protected. This helps keep any puddles or condensation from getting inside.

What I really love about this tent is that it has a full rainfly – not just a canopy – which is great for variable weather. It has a detachable large gear loft, lantern hook, and big storage pockets on every side of the tent for some of the best storage I have seen so far in the larger tents.

PROS

  • Included carry bag
  • Optional front canopy
  • Dual sided doors
  • Full size rainfly- waterproof
  • Great inside storage/loft

CONS

  • Pricey
  • No included footprint

Bushnell Shield Series

  • Material: Mesh windows, Polyester tent/floor
  • Size: 18 (l) x 11 (w) x 7 (h) feet
  • Weight: 45 lbs 
  • Price: $$$$

Enjoy your camping adventure with the new ‘Era’ technology created by Bushnell. The Bushnell Shield Series is on the top of our price point, due to this cutting edge technology that features reflective coating on the underbelly of the rainfly to block solar UV rays and keep the tent darker and cooler. 

With a water repellent body and fly along with entirely taped, water-resistant seam seals you can rest assured that this tent will protect you from the elements. The robust body and heavy nylon guy lines stand firm towards the wind. But to enjoy this benefit, you must secure your tent with stakes and guy lines.

With a spacious interior and high ceiling, it allows you to move freely. You have the ability for an open floor plan or you can separate the tent into three rooms with the included dividers. There’s space for 3 queen air mattresses or 10-12 single mats. I personally think this tent is better suited for a maximum of 8-10 people, not 12. 

Reflective inner and exterior organizers, tie-downs, zipper-pulls, and piping around the doorways provide excellent nighttime visibility – that’s a really cool feature! Speaking of organizing, this tent has amazing space for your camping gear. Lots of interior pockets, a huge gear loft, exterior pockets, and an E-port.

PROS

  • Different room set ups
  • Fast minute set up time
  • Protective and insulating
  • Goof amount of accessories
  • Decent head space (6.6ft)

CONS

  • No air condintioner port
  • Pretty expensive

Tahoe Gear Prescott

  • Material: Polyester. Nylon
  • Size: (L x W): 20 x 10 feet, 6.7 feet height
  • Weight: 31 lbs
  • Price: $$

The Tahoe Gear Prescott tent is a great option if you are looking for that “open and airy tent”. With dual-sided doors and near floor to ceiling windows, you have a tent with a constant breeze – a great option for big groups! The mesh windows on the ceiling are a plus for stargazing and warm, muggy nights.

This tent should be relatively simple to set up with a “pop up” function and fiberglass poles, but a lack of detailed instructions with only pictures can make things challenging. Staking down this tent securely with pulled out corners is key as guy lines are not attached. I would recommend giving it a go in your backyard so you don’t get too frustrated on your first attempt with an audience of friends. 

While the mesh windows are great for maintaining cross ventilation, there’s also a rain canopy for rainy nights made with extra durable polyester and waterproof coating. 

There’s plenty of square footage for interior space, air mattresses and sleeping bags with more than enough pockets for small gear items. However, if you zip the divider shut, it blocks the doors for whoever’s on the other side.

PROS

  • 6.5foot ceiling
  • Included Footprint
  • Great ventilation
  • Vented windows with insulation layer
  • Zip curtain to split the tent in two

CONS

  • Tent divides into unequal parts
  • Can be difficult to assemble
  • No guy lines
  • Not ideal for extreme weather

Ozark Trail 12 Person Base Camp Tent

ozark trail base camp tent for 12 people
  • Material: Polyester
  • Size: 16 x 16 x 8 (h) feet
  • Weight: 49 lbs
  • Price: $$

With the Ozark Trail Base Camp Tent being the only Geodesic Dome-shaped structure of this size on the market – it’s truly unique. This tent is a fairly simple build but also has some bells and whistles that make it great for the adventurer wanting a little more for their camping experience. A fun tent for families or groups of friends all wanting to share the same space. This tent also has built-in LED lights and has a very high ceiling – due to its dome shape – maximizing interior space! 

The extra high ceiling, eight mesh windows and ground vents provide amazing views and offer good ventilation, perfect for a large group. The windows have interior panels for extra privacy and great air circulation. If you remember the batteries, the LED string lights provide evening light and can be adjusted with low, medium, and high settings. I love this feature! 

I don’t recommend this tent for multi-season use, I would say this is a two-season tent at maximum for spring and summer. The main reason for this is that there is no rain fly and the tent’s overall shape tends to let in more rain if it’s very windy and wet out. 

It does, however, withstand wind well, due to its geodesic shape. My recommendation is to bring a large tarp to hang over the tent and secure to trees or seal your tent with silicone before use.

PROS

  • Sleeps 12 and has an extra high ceiling
  • LED string lights powered by battery pack
  • Good for withstanding low/medium winds
  • Included carry bag
  • Color-coded poles for set-up

CONS

  • Can be complicated to set up (try it at home first)
  • No rain fly included
  • Not great for heavy rain

How to Find the Best Tent for 12 People

Wading through the best 12 person tents can be tough, but I hope these reviews helped to narrow down your choices. But we’re not yet done! Let’s take a few minutes to look at the most crucial aspects and features to consider when sifting through all your tent options. 

Durability and Sturdiness

A nylon or polyester tent will last several, moderate weather seasons for multi-seasonal use. Typically, a tent-like this will have mesh windows and air vents meant for warm weather and light rain.

These tents are ideal for the campers using it for recreation, beach and backyard camping. 

Purchasing a tent with sealed seams, toggles, and zippers, will help to keep out the rain and bugs. However, a tent with a lot of ventilation will not keep you warm in cooler temps.

Looking for a tent with a rain fly that is truly waterproof is going to be ideal. Your price point will go up, but staying dry is the goal.

A ground tarp will also sustain the durability of your tent as it protects the bottom from small rocks, weeds, roots and overall wear for longer use.

Number of Rooms

Tent engineering has come a long way, creating tents with multiple rooms so grateful parents can get a little separation from their kids when it’s most needed.

With larger tents, you have the option of purchasing one with multiple rooms and dividers for several individual spaces, which I beleive is an excellent choice over huge single-room options. Certain tents even have an entry foyer made of mesh that can act like a porch and be a barrier for the bugs.

When you consider a tent, think about how you will use the space. If you are traveling as a family, parents may want their own space separate from the kids.

Looking for a tent with a detachable divider gives you the option of having it open or taking it down to maximize space. This is great if you are traveling with your friends as you can have one large space that fits a long row of sleeping bags or air mattresses.

Whatever your preference, finding a tent that works well for your needs won’t be a problem!

Ease of Set-Up

Setting up a tent can be the more rewarding or stressful time of your day – so let’s break down the fundamentals of what to look for.

If you are a novice camper, I highly recommend purchasing a tent with a “two-pole” system or using a tent that is color-coded. With such great technology these days, certain tents have a “spider” system set up with poles already pre-attached for easy pop-up.

Just because a tent has a complicated set up doesn’t mean that it’s more reliable. Often tents with the more basic set-up construction are more sturdy, dynamic, and adjustable.

What I recommend is making sure the tent you purchase has good instructions, not just pictures. Additionally, watch a few YouTube videos before you purchase the tent in order to watch others set it up.

When you get your tent, give it a shot in the backyard first before heading out on your adventure, this will give you a leg up once you are there.

Lastly, keep in mind that some tents are designed to be set up by at least two people. So remember that you may need an assistant for setting up your wilderness refuge.

Additional Comfort Features

With larger tents, you have more “comfort features” available. Once again, what’s most important to you when you head out for your adventure?

If comfort is the top priority, then looking out for a tent with lots of bells and whistles will be the ticket! Glamping might be the way to go – lookout for a tent with lots of features to benefit you and your group.

Inside LED lighting, high ceilings, gear lofts, large storage pockets, room dividers, outside porches, E-ports are just some of the high-tech add-ons you can have in the wild now.
Price
The best way to give your budget some perspective is by considering your intended frequency of use. If you plan on using your tent multiple times a year, invest in something that will deliver.

The worst feeling is getting into your tent and having something go wrong or have discomfort because you opted for a “cheaper” option. Our recommendation is knowing what your bottom line is.

What features are most important and which ones can be sacrificed before a purchase? Then, you can break down your options and not break the bank either!

Final Thoughts

So many brands and manufacturers have a reputation for “being the best of the best” because they have been tested and used on hundreds of trips. However, it doesn’t mean that brand is producing exactly what you want.

Don’t let one category be the only deciding factor. Being honest with your budget, frequency of use, type of terrain, and preferred style are all factors that should be looked at while purchasing a large group tent.

Consider all these points, and the best 12 person tents for your needs will become obvious in no time.

One last tip; It’s always great to travel with an “emergency” tent repair kit.

What I like to put in mine is; a few extra durable tent stakes (these seem to disappear more often that you think), a sewing kit (small tears), electrical/tent tape (if you spring a leak), a reel of thin nylon string (to make extra guy lines if needed) and zip ties (if your zipper splits/busts).

These items will especially be a lifesaver for you if you are somewhere more remote.

I hope this helps and happy shopping!

Helpful Reading:

  1. Tent Buyers Guide 
  2. Family Camping Guide
  3. Tent Set Up Guide

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