Dome Tent vs Cabin Tent | Which is the Best for Camping?

When comparing a dome tent vs cabin tent, there are some important aspects to rooftop tents that should be considered before you make your decision! Extra space from cabin tents comes with some tradeoffs that may change your plans.

We’ve broken down the major similarities and differences of common tent types to help you make the right decision for your next outdoor adventure!

Dome Tent vs Cabin Tent

First, let’s break down each type of tent:

Dome Tent

dome tent vs a-frame tent

One of the most common tent types, the dome tent is distinguished by having two crossed poles anchored in the four corners to form the tent frame.

Cabin

dome tent vs cabin tent

Featuring multiple rooms and more space than any dome tent could off, cabin tents ensure there is privacy and room available for everyone.

Major Differences

The biggest difference between a dome tent vs cabin tent is capacity and portability. Cabin tents are built to be able to stand in with many people. They are available in sizes of up to 12 people for large families or groups that want multiple rooms available for increased privacy. Cabin tent rooms are usually made with a piece of tent fabric between portions of the tent that are able to be opened and closed. Dome tents cap out around 8 people in comparison.

Both dome and cabin tents typically employ a two-layer design to repel rain but cabin tent layers don’t go nearly as far as dome tents usually do. As seen in the photos above, Cabin tents use a single layer of rain protection for up to 75% of each side compared to a dome tent only relying on single layers for up to ~25%.

While they should both offer good rain protection, dome tents may be more reliable in harsher storms since their structure allows wind to flow around the tent better and the rain fly offers more coverage.

Cabin tents can be slightly more challenging to set up but if you have the labor to help out (and fill the large capacity tent), it is significantly easier. Dome tents can typically be set up by even just one person with enough patience and are much easier with two or more people.

Best Uses For Dome & Cabin Tents

Each of these types of tents is great for both family and car camping! Small dome tents can be used for backpacking (although there are better options) but cabin tents almost always have too large of a package to reasonably pack and walk miles with.

Dome

Cabin


Family Camping


Car Camping


Backpacking

Feature Comparison | Dome Tent vs Cabin Tent

While cabin tents have the advantage of capacity, dome tents are more versatile and likely to last longer with better rain protection. While you can find dome tents at a wide price range, you can usually find a value brand at similar price and capacity as cabin tents. We’d recommend a dome tent for any type of camper from beginner to expert!

Product

Dome Tent

Cabin

Sturdiness

Capacity

Cost

Portability

Lifespan

Want more?

Check out our infographic and larger article covering the ten most common tent types or use our tent finding tool to quickly find the tents that suit your needs!

About the Author

Photo of author

Robbie

Robbie is a Co-Founder and editor at Midwest Camping. Robbie has backpacked over two hundred miles of the Appalachian trail, visited seventeen national parks, and camped regularly for the last two decades.

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