The Best Kids Tents for Backyard Campouts and More
Being a kid is an adventure. Everything seems new and exciting and represents an exciting challenge to overcome. Part of this is simply due to youth itself – many things are new to them – and part of it is due to their imaginations. Kids can take something small and turn it into a fantastical experience that adults would never think of. Our job as adults is to give kids the tools for these experiences and let their imaginations run wild. One great way to do this is by giving them a kids play tent.
A kids tent is a safe enclosed space kids can have to themselves where they can open up their imagination and have truly amazing experiences. When the tent is moved outside, it opens up even more adventures that they will remember well past their young years. Whether the kids tent is inside or out, children will have a magical time there. It is one toy that will not be quickly cast aside and forgotten like so many others kids receive.
There are many tents on the market that call themselves a kids play tent so where do you start when looking for one? Here is a list of some of the best tents for kids available today. These tents represent some of the best quality and most functional tents available as well as some of the most fun. Here, then, are the best kids tents for backyard campouts and more.
1. Pacific Play Tents 41200 Kids Galaxy Dome Tent with Glow in the Dark Stars
What is the best thing about a backyard campout? Sleeping under the stars! This kids tent from Pacific Play lets kids have that starry night experience whether they are in the backyard or the basement. The stars glow in the dark so the starry night experience even works inside. The tent itself is mid-sized at 48″ by 48″ by 42″ and can comfortably fit two small to medium-sized children.
One other nice feature of this tent is that it comes with a matching tunnel that attaches well to the circular entrance on the side of the tent. If you have several kids who will want to use the tent or if you want to just create a Tent City in your playroom or backyard, this is a nice option to have. The tent is easy to pop up and comes with a carrying case for storage or transport so it is easy to pack up and take to the beach or the grandparents’ house.
2. NARMAY Play Tent Camouflage Dome Tent for Kids Indoor / Outdoor Fun
If you are looking for a kids play tent that was made for outdoor, backyard camping, and for larger or more kids, this camouflage dome tent from NARMAY is exactly what you are looking for. The tent is big and has room for several small or medium-sized kids or even a few bigger ones. It measures 60” by 60” by 44” and has a cool camouflage pattern that adds to the feeling of a true outdoor adventure.
This is a heavy-duty kids tent. It is UV resistant and waterproof in addition to being very strong and durable. It has a breathable mesh roof at the top to promote airflow so it does not get too stuffy. There is a hook too so you hang a flashlight or lantern from the roof for light at night. If the weather does turn bad, the included roof cover will keep everyone dry. This tent is perfect for backyard campouts and is tough enough to be taken on a real camping trip and used by the kids at the family campsite.
3. Leedor Kids Tent Indoor Play Tent for Children Teepee Tent for Kids Camping Pop Up Toy Tent Playground Boy and Girl Tent
When you are looking for a kids play tent for younger children, you want something that is colorful and exciting. This tent from Leedor fits the bill well and at 48″ by 48″ by 42″, it is the perfect sized tent for younger kids. It is also very portable. The tent is easy to set up and is lightweight, so it is easy to transport for distant adventures. You can easily put it in your backyard or bring it to the beach or the park for shade and a clean place to play. The polls are strong and can easily be driven into the grass or sand so the tent does not blow away.
This may not be the best tent for serious, overnight backyard camping, though, because it is so lightweight. However, for inside play or outdoor play during the day, this is a great tent. It is very colorful and comes in two different color schemes so all types of kids will enjoy it. There is a red, green, purple, and yellow version, as well as an orange, green, and purple one.
The tent also comes in a larger size (58” by 58” by 47”) that can fit anywhere from 3 to 6 kids if you have a bigger family or want to hang with cousins or friends.
4. MountRhino Play Tent Playhouse – Indoor Outdoor Kids Play Tent
This is a great kids tent if you want or need to customize the look for your kids and their taste. This comes in two styles: one decorated in a pink rainbow unicorn style, the other in a navy blue rocket ship and outer space style. Both are equally versatile and durable but give you options for different looks depending on what your kid or kids find most attractive. It gives kids a very personalized and special place to play or hang out so they can truly feel that this is a space of their own.
This is a portable pop-up style kids play tent in a 48” by 48” by 42” size which, as you can probably tell from this list, is a pretty standard size for a kids tent. The tent can be used indoors or out and has a mesh top that is great for airflow so the inside of the tent does not get too hot or stuffy. This feature also allows adults to peek in and see what the kids are doing without being invasive. These are great tents that will be loved by young kids and parents alike.
5. To the Least of These: Kids Teepee Tent with Case
If you want to set up a kids tent in the house, you want it to look nice. Depending on where in the house you set it up, rainbows and unicorns or camouflage and army men may not be the right vibe for your décor. If you are interested in a fantastic looking tent that will look cool and classy on the main floor of your home or somewhere else aesthetics are an important consideration, this large, navy and white striped kids teepee tent is for you. The tent is made from thick cotton canvas, has wooden polls, and looks like a quality tent. It is also good-sized for most kids and at 62″ tall, adults can get in too. It comes with a nice matching carrying case as well.
The one warning about this tent is that, as good as it looks, and as durable as the material is, it may not be the best tent for older kids who like to roughhouse in the tent. The polls are wooden so they can break if treated too roughly and the canvas will stretch when treated that way as well. Overall, this kids teepee tent is great looking and will serve you very well for younger kids or as a quiet reading nook for older ones. This is a very colorful and fun kids play tent for younger kids.
6. NARMAY Teepee Tent Fantasia Play Tent for Kids Indoor / Outdoor Play
This tent is from a brand, NARAMAY, you see multiple times on this list. NARMAY specializes in making tents for kids and this kids teepee tent is a great example of why they are one of the best. This model is very light weight, making it easily portable. It is also simple to set up. It is strong for a kids teepee tent too, thanks to the durable fiberglass shock-corded tent poles that are more secure and lighter weight than traditional wooden polls.
This kids teepee tent looks great! It has colorful balloons, clouds, and rainbows and comes in two base color styles of blue and pink. It is a perfect little hangout getaway for one or two smaller children, a child, and a pet, or a single larger child. Although it is heavy-duty enough to be used outdoors, the floor size makes it a better play tent than an overnight backyard campout tent.
7. UTEX 8-in-1 Pop-Up Children’s Play Tent House with 4 Tunnels, for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Why get 1 tent when you can get 8 for roughly the same price? That is the question that UTEX asks with their 8-in-1 pop-up children’s play tent house. This is less a “tent” and more a “Tent City” considering all that comes with it. You get 4 pop-up tents and 4 tunnels that connect the tents so your child will have their very own fort, ship, or city to explore and play in. In this package, you get 4 interchangeable tunnels, 2 square tents, 2 play tents, a zippered carrying case, and spikes to anchor the tent to the ground during outside use.
The pieces can each be used individually or set up in several different configurations. You can even set them up so you can control your child’s movement and keep them in a designated area when they are younger. They will have loads of fun configuring the tents and tunnels as they see fit as they get older. The tents can also double as ball pits because they have raided edges by the doorways. Balls are sold separately but can be an awesome addition to part or all of this wonderful Tent City.
8. NARMAY Kids Dome Tent for Indoor / Outdoor Fun
One more entry on the list from NARMAY, this indoor/ outdoor domed kids tent is great for backyard camping. It is the standard 48” by 48” by 40” size and has a breathable mesh top. What makes this one good for camping is the waterproof floor, so your kids won’t get their sleeping bags wet even with morning dew on the grass. It does not come with a roof cover so it may not be ideal for real camping, but on a warm night when rain won’t be an issue, this tent is great.
It also comes in 3 different styles to fit the interests of kids and families. The Twinkle Zodiac style is royal blue and has 12 real constellations on it for your kids to look for at night. There is also a black, spaceship-style tent known as the Space World tent. Finally, there is a light blue music World style with musical instruments and notes floating by. These are a good value so you can feel comfortable getting one for each child to fit individual interests.
Tips on Choosing a Kids Tent
The list above has a number of great tents, but not every tent will be right for the needs of your child or family. As you begin considering what kind of tent will be best for you, there are a few points you want to consider. Kids tents for the child or children in your life.
Dome or Teepee?
Kids tents come in two basic styles: teepee style and dome style. Neither one is inherently better than the other but each provides unique features that may work better for your needs. One or the other style might make a lot more sense for you depending on what you want. In some cases, either would work just fine. In that case, it simply comes down to which style you prefer.
The main difference between the two is shape. A dome-style tent has a low-profile and an arching roof. The ceilings here will be lower but the style also has a larger footprint. A teepee tent has a tall triangle shape. The footprint is usually smaller, so it can accommodate fewer children, but there will be more headroom so the children can stand up inside. Adults may be able to easily maneuver in a teepee tent but will have more room to sit or lay down in a dome.
What Does “Outdoor” Mean?
Both teepee and dome tents can be found in styles that are for both indoor and outdoor use but be aware of what the term “outdoor” means for each individual tent. Just because the tent description says it is for outdoor use does not mean it is suitable for outdoor overnights and camping trips. Some are best for outdoor use in specific circumstances and during daylight hours.
If a tent is for indoor use only, you should definitely listen to that recommendation. Outdoor tents should include certain features to make them suitable for camping and overnight sleeping. If a tent does not have these features, it should only be used as an outdoor play tent at the house, beach, or park.
One important feature to look for in a sleepover tent is its level of waterproofness. Even on dry nights, there will usually be moisture in the air and, in the morning, on the ground. If your tent is not waterproof, you will have some wet campers. You also want to look for tightly closing doors so bugs don’t get in, breathable material and vents so it doesn’t get too hot and stuffy. If you find these elements, a great sleep out can await your kids.
A tent is composed of the tent itself, the fabric that makes up the covering, and the rods. The rods create the frame that holds the covering up and gives the tent its shape. Tent poles or rods are very important to the shape, strength, and overall integrity of the tent. There are a few different materials used to make rods and, depending on your specific needs, one material might be better than another.
Some rods are made of wood. These look rustic and can be solid and strong. There is little to no give in wood, though, so if something hits them hard, wooden rods are prone to snapping. Fiberglass is another common material. Rods made of this material are flexible and make tents easy to set up. They are also lightweight so you can more easily move and store the tent. Some fiberglass can be brittle, though, so the rods can snap if you work them too much.
There are also other types of composite materials used for rods. Usually, these are very strong yet light and flexible. The best composite material can be the best of both worlds. However, it may be more expensive than wood or fiberglass.
Portability and Storage
Most tents are meant to be set up and taken down multiple times over the course of their lifetime but some are meant to be more permanent structures. Depending on your needs, you want to make sure you get a tent to match. If you want your tent to be up, most likely inside, all or most of the time, this is less critical than if you plan on frequently taking the tent up and down.
If you plan on transporting it, you want a strong, durable tent that is also lightweight. This balance is critical. If the rods or tent material is too heavy, you may have a hard time taking it on trips or even from indoors to outside. You also want to observe how it folds up. Some tents, even when folded, will take up a great deal of space. Others fold down into a very small package and can even be carried in a small case.
The Look of the Tent
The last point you want to consider is the tent’s appearance. This is not so much a stylistic choice, such as dome versus teepee, as the appearance of the covering itself. Basically, you get two styles, with many subsets of each. Some tents are geared towards kids and have bright, fun colors, graphics, and designs or you can get a more adult looking tent. These tents are still colorful and fun but are more appropriate for mixed settings with fewer colors and nicer prints.
If you want the tent to be on the main floor of your house or in a nursery, it may be best to get an adult-oriented design. It will better complement your décor and still be a great space for kids. If the tent is in a kid’s playroom or will be set up outside in the backyard, you can opt for the kid-friendly designs so it really feels like the kid’s own special place.