Back in the day, we camped in canvas tents that were designed like army tents. Through the years we started using different tents. When we were married our first tent was a small 2 man tent. Then we moved to a family tent with fiberglass poles. The elastic bands in the poles broke and we had to number the poles to remember how to put all the pieces together each time we went camping. The tent took us about 25 to 45 minutes for put up and take down.
When we started searching for a new tent here are some of the things we took into consideration:
1. Since we sometimes arrive late at campsites, we wanted a tent that went up super fast so we had less work to do in the dark when the kids were tired.
2. We wanted a tent that was dry in heavy storms.
a) We looked for one that had a "bathtub" bottom made from something waterproof not just made from normal tent material.
3. Because our family lives in Oklahoma we like to camp anywhere between March and October. We wanted a tent that could be used in 3 seasons. a) On Cold Nights, we needed a tent that we could zip up during cold nights to hold in the heat, so we could take along a safe electric heater.
b) During nice weather, we wanted a tent that would open up all the way to the floor to allow the nice breezes in as we are sleeping closer to the ground.
c) On Hot Summer nights, way wanted a tent that we could zip up so that we can bring along a portable air conditioner to cool the tent.
4. We wanted a tent that was sturdy and had plenty of room for luggage and sleeping. We like to keep our clothes in our tent so we can find it at night, change easily, and keep bugs out. We also need a tent that sleeps 5 people.
5. We wanted a tent that was in our budget.
The Coleman instant tent was a great choice. We picked the larger tent the footprint is 14 x 10 so it holds 2 queen mattresses and still gives us room for luggage. If your family is considering your first camping tent I would strongly recommend this one! The tent goes up in a minute, really! and if your have self inflating queen mattress it takes about another 15 minutes to put your beds in and you are all set.