Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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Memorial Day and other long weekends in May unofficially mark the start of the summer season for family camping and it’s great news! I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t love sleeping under the stars, running a campfire after sunset or waking up to the sounds of a forest. Of course, family tents for camping are usually the same old design–skeleton frame with crossed poles, solid color cover, guy lines, pegs, done. It works perfectly, but how about having fun for once? What if you had a cool family tent that was so exciting that you’d be inspired to go camping more? I guarantee that any of the tents below will give you serious camping fantasies. I’ve been drooling on a few of these tents for a while now and if I had extra cash, you’d see me set up with one of these tomorrow.
This post is part of an educational Free Unit Studies series and this week’s theme is Memorial Day. My favorite part of Memorial Day weekend being camping, it was logical that I should explore fun tents for the whole family.
The leader in tree tents, Tentsile creates triangular tents that you hang between trees or rocks to sleep in the air. Sleeping 2 or 3 adults per tent, Tentsile Stingrays can be connected above ground with hammocks and you can plop your drinks in custom-designed drink holders. A fun combo for families is kids upstairs and adults on the lower level. Since all tents are completely sealed with an insect mesh, kids will be snug and safe in their floating kingdom. The best part? You climb a rope ladder to go to bed. Seriously cool. (Worldwide)
Designer tent, anyone? FieldCandy sure knows how to have fun. Reinventing the basic A-frame with upbeat designs, FieldCandy brings art and humor to the campsite. From jelly beans to watermelons, circus big tops or sandwiches, their tent covers are super cool and you’ll definitely stand out. Regular tents sleep 2 to 3 so you’ll need a couple of these guys for a family of four. (Worldwide)
If orange nylon and nasty chemicals are not your thing, look no further. Worthy of retro glamping holidays, these tents are like mini-yurts minus the wood structure and hard flooring. From afar, they look right out of a 1940s family movie and if you didn’t know how much new technology comes into their making, they could literally come from your granny’s attic. Made out of waterproofed canvas and cotton, these tents avoid synthetic materials and guarantee a comfortable camping experience. In this tent, kids can literally run in circles, jump up and down, and feel like they are part of a classic Disney movie out in the wild. Best for summer use. (Worldwide)
Clear bubble tents with 360-degree views are the best way to really camp under the stars without a bivouac! For more privacy, you can get a semi-transparent bubble tent and still check where Venus is in the sky or if the sun is setting on the mountains at the back of the valley. (Worldwide)
This would be the grown-up equivalent of playground castles with tunnels, except with real tents in the middle and waterproof tunnels to visit your friends. Great if you’re camping in groups, these pods come in two sizes–small pods sleep four and maxi-pods sleep 8. If you take my daughters’ view on the product, they would would each need one pod to themselves while their parents can share. Given the structure, these tents are very heavy but if you’re going to build a tent city, you’ll have to compromise on something! (Worldwide)
Do you love The Grateful Dead and long hair? Good old VW campervans are the stuff of roadtrip fantasies but now, you don’t even need a driver’s license to own one. Well, that goes for the [easyazon_link identifier=”B011FFN7K8″ locale=”US” tag=”frmo0a-20″]VW Campervan tent[/easyazon_link], obviously, but it’s so realistic that it’s hard to resist. This seriously cool family tent sleeps four and comes with a zipped partition inside for that bedroom/living room or grown-ups/kids space. You can also select any of the three classic colors–blue, yellow, green or red. Note: if you’re a VW Mini lover, a Mini tent is due to be released in June 2016. It only sleeps two, though, but as it’s a 1:1 scale replica, it’s hardly a surprise. (U.K.)
Proper wicked for extremely large families! This London Tube tent is modelled on a Northern Line carriage and brings tubespotting to the countryside. Covering the area of 2 tent pitches, it sleeps 16 adults and costs an arm and a leg but it’s oh so cool. Obviously, you need a lot of kids and parents to fill each of the seven compartments but think of the possibilities. You can cram everybody in one compartment just like in London, and have the rest as open party space. (U.K.)
HeimPlanet’s Cave Tent is gorgeous but it doesn’t look like a cave, unless you know of a geodesic dome-shaped cave. Nevertheless, this completely inflatable tent is uber cool and so it should. One person can inflate this tent with a pump in one minute – who can compete with that apart from pop-up tents? Only downside- the Cave only sleeps 2-3 adults, meaning you might need two of these guys or wait until the manufacturer creates a bigger version. Size aside, technology is pretty big with the Cave. Sturdy, it’s also completely weatherproof, features plenty of nifty pockets and the entrance vestibule allows for cooking or shoe space away from the elements. (Worldwide)
If you can’t afford your own luxury log cabin by the lake, you can still pitch your Igloo log cabin lodge tent on the grass and watch the sunset on the water from the screen porch. Created by Igloo, the ultimate cooler brand, this tent will certainly attract compliments and the kids can use it to play when you’re not sleeping in it. Quite roomy, it’s meant to sleep eight adults but it’s more than likely that kids are going to line up to sleep in it. Perfect for car camping, it comes folded in a wheeled carrier bag. (U.S.)
What makes this big family tent stand out from the crowd? During the day, it looks like a gazillion other large family tents. But at night…there’s interior lighting directly incorporated in the structure! This has got to be a massive selling point if you want to flick the wall light switch (not kidding) after sunset and dim the lights to “nightlight” setting to get the kids to bed. Other than that, it’s Coleman, so expect solid construction and great customer service. (U.S.)