This single-room dome tent is one of the top-rated family tents for car camping. Reviewers praise its one-person setup, roominess and ventilation -- excellent for camping in warm weather. The rainfly has a clear window for viewing the sky, and testers report that the tent withstands rain and wind exceptionally well as long as it's staked out properly. Twelve internal pockets provide ample storage, and several people can stand up inside (with a ceiling height of 75 inches in the center). It packs compactly and weighs less than 14 pounds, on the light side among family tents. The lifetime warranty is another plus. The main drawback is the cost of important accessories: extra guy lines, the footprint (*Est. $55) and a huge 64-square-foot vestibule (*Est. $110). For backpacking with two adults and two or three kids, reviews recommend the smaller 10.5-pound Big Agnes Big House 4 (*Est. $300).
We found the most useful owner-written reviews of the Big Agnes Big House 6 tent at REI.com, where about a dozen owners report on their experiences with it. We also found useful reviews and ratings at three other sites. The similar (but smaller) Big Agnes Big House 4 tent is reviewed by backpacking experts at Backpacker and Outside magazines, as well as by owners at several online retailers, including Amazon.com.
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Based on about a dozen owner-written reviews, the Big Agnes Big House 6 is one of the top-rated family tents here. Owners say one person can easily set it up, and praise the internal storage, standing room and storm resistance. However, important accessories like extra guy lines, the footprint and the full vestibule cost extra, and one owner reports quality issues.
Review: Big Agnes Big House 6, Contributors to REI.com
The Big Agnes Big House 6 is the top-rated family tent at this retail site, based on reviews by half a dozen or so owners, some of whom also answer specific questions about the tent. Owners praise the tent's wind resistance and roominess (for up to six adults), especially with the optional vestibule.
Review: Big Agnes Big House 6 Tent: 6-Person 3-Season - 2008, Contributors to Backcountry.com
3. Backpacker Magazine
Backpacker magazine doesn't usually review family tents, but this brief article recommends the 10.5-pound Big Agnes Big House 4 for backpacking with two adults and two or three kids. The author praises the relatively light weight, headroom and double doors.
Review: Family Camping: Tips & Stats, Kristin Hostetter, Feb. 2007
4. Outside Magazine
Based on tests by a family of five, this expert review recommends the Big Agnes Big House 4 for family backpacking, but notes that "storing wet gear is a hassle without that add-on vestibule."
Review: 2007 Buyers' Guide: Big Agnes Big House 4, Sam Moulton, 2007
Only a couple of owners review the Big House 6 tent. One user praises it as roomy for four people, but wishes there were better fly coverage over the doors. (The doors zip closed for storm protection, but that limits the ventilation.)
Review: Big Agnes Big House 6 - Six Person Tent, Contributors to Amazon.com
The few owner-written reviews here agree with others that the tent is extremely windproof (when staked out correctly) and provides plenty of space for a queen-size mattress plus kids' beds.
Review: Big Agnes Big House 6, Contributors to Trailspace.com
The handful of owners reviewing the smaller Big Agnes Big House 4 praise it for its easy setup, roominess and storm resistance.
Review: Big Agnes Big House 4-Person Tent, Contributors to Moosejaw.com