We tested three products and found Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak Outfitter Tent to be the best 20-person tent for size, quality, and features.
Shopping for a 20-person tent means preparing for a large-scale event. With so many unknowns, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, with a bit of knowledge and some quality recommendations, you’ll find a more straightforward shopping experience.
To start, most “20-person tents” on the market are not designed for 20 people to inhabit at one time. That makes our top choice easy because not only is it adequately spacious, but it has much more to offer than your average tent.
The Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak Outfitter Tent is your answer to intrepid outdoor getaways with your favorite crew or luxurious weekend camping trips.
Because outdoor events vary, we encourage you not to stop at our best overall option. Instead, we’ve broken this review into other categories wherein other tent options can stand out.
Additionally, below the reviews themselves, you can find our buying guide that may help you get started on what to look for.
If you’re ready to dive in and explore some of the best 20-person tents available, keep reading.
3 Best 20-person Tents Reviewed
Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak Outfitter Tent – Best Overall Jumbo Tent
Material: 250D polyester oxford
Assembled Dimensions: 13 feet x 27 feet x 5 feet (walls) 9 foot 8 inch center height
Installation Type: Non-Freestanding
Setup Time: 40 minutes
Colors and Design:
Weight: 123 pounds
Cabela’s trademarked Alaknak technology refers to a series of tents designed with 250D waterproof polyester oxford fabric for the walls. It’s designed to offer “extreme” outdoor protection from precipitation, wind, and freezing temperatures.
Additionally, there is a 300D polyester oxford 3,000-millimeter coating on the tent’s floor for extra waterproofing.
While the material isn’t porous, hence it doesn’t breathe, it’s created with enough airflow management, utilizing mesh panels and multipanel vinyl windows to control or eliminate condensation. In addition, the high-quality material ensures you’ll get a lot of use out of this 20-person tent.
In terms of stability, the tent is held into place using ten poles that surround the perimeter and two more poles inside the tent located at its center. Because of this framing, the tent stands strong against high winds. In addition, 12-inch steel stakes with guy ropes and clips work to keep the tent rooted and suspended.
The Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak, 13-foot by 27-foot Outfitter Tent, does great just about anywhere but truly shines in rugged terrain far off the beaten path of your normal campsite. An awning for precipitation and the cold helps direct runoff away from the entry door. The tent is also specially designed to combat cold climates and features a panel that zips open for safe and secure stove placement.
Our top pick may not be the lowest cost item on this list, but it comes at a great value and will likely bring you many years of outstanding performance.
Cabelas has long distinguished itself as an excellent brand for outdoor recreational products, and their Alaknak series is no exception.
Customer reviews report a sturdy tent design that keeps very warm when appropriately heated. On the downside, that means only wood heaters should be used. Propane heaters cause build-up condensation due to oxford’s lack of breathability.
- High-quality durable material
- Excellent weather resistance
- Stable against high winds
- Keeps very warm when heated properly
- Higher priced item without warranty
- Does not keep warm with propane heaters due to condensation
Ozark Trail 20-Person 4-Room Cabin Tent – Best Value
Material: Poly Taffeta 185T 600 millimeters (walls), Polyethylene (floor), Poly Mesh (Mesh), Poly Oxford 600D (carry bag), Fiberglass and steel (poles)
Assembled Dimensions: 25 feet x 21 feet 6 inches (floor), 83 inches (center height)
Packed Size: 28 inches x 14.25 inches x 14.25 inches
Installation Type: Non-Freestanding
Setup Time: 25 minutes (2 people)
Weight: 50 pounds
Warranty: 1 year limited
Much of the Ozark Trail 20-Person 4 Room Cabin Tent walls are comprised of mesh with zippered panels to allow for stargazing, sunbathing, increased visibility, or privacy and rain protection when closed.
The design is complete with 20 fiberglass and steel poles, leg poles, three for the roof, six as perimeter poles, longer poles for the side rooms, and one fiberglass pole over the entryway.
The tent comes with 22 steel stakes, four guy ropes, and a fly.
While the tent is advertised as free-standing, it is not and requires stakes to secure the corners as the first step during construction.
Not exactly lightweight, this tent is about as light as it gets for an alleged 20-person tent. More realistically, the tent could comfortably accommodate twelve people packed in tight or six queen mattresses.
The supporting frame allows the tent to offer good stability, and synthetic materials provide adequate durability.
Overall, this is a luxurious and spacious tent for four to ten people who are built to keep cool in warm climates.
In terms of features, the Ozark includes two gear hammocks, a media pocket, four storage pockets, a power cable E-port, and four bottle holder pockets.
This is both our most affordable option and the one that gives the most bang for your buck. As a bonus, it includes a 1-year limited warranty when purchased from Walmart.
Ozark is a celebrated brand that can be found in major retailers, including online through Amazon. Customer reviews of the Ozark Trail 20 Person 4 Room Cabin Tent show four out of five stars and focus mainly on the spacious design and accommodating of extra features that make it ideal for family camping trips.
Regarding how it holds up against inclement weather, reviews vary, with some reporting no issues during thunderstorms and others indicating leaky windows.
- Excellent price for floor space and quality
- Windows provide good airflow as well as excellent visibility
- Compact when disassembled for easy transport
- Unique build that gives the feeling of different rooms
- Multiple entrances
- Very comfortable
- Lack of floor ventilation
- No able to realistically accommodate 20 people
- Lacking in weather resistance
PE Party Tent White – Best Capacity
Material: Polyethylene, Galvanized steel (frame)
Assembled Dimensions: 32 feet x 16 feet x 9 feet 2 inches(peak height) x 6 feet 4 inches (side height)
Packed Size: 72 inches x 32 inches x 16 inches
Installation Type: Non-Freestanding
Setup Time: 2-3 hours (3 or more people)
Weight: 267 pounds
The Polyethylene (PE) Party Tent wins as the truest 20-person tent on this list in terms of capacity. It comfortably holds about 40!
The quality of the materials, precisely the galvanized steel frame, means that while the price point is high, you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years to come.
Perfect for spring and summer weather, this high-capacity tent protects well against rain. On the downside, this is not a small or lightweight tent and requires more than one person to help transport it and even more to help erect it.
The PE Party tent comes in white and is ideal for weddings, formal outdoor gatherings, and holiday events year-round.
Customer reviews report a well-made product that’s time-intensive to set up but not complicated. Furthermore, happy customers have reported the product as a good investment that lasts. However, lower-rated reviews complain of experiencing low construction quality of the steel during the setup process.
- Extremely durable
- 100% waterproof
- Added UV protection
- Aesthetically pleasing window design
- Versatile doors and sidewall design
- Considerable setup in terms of time and hands needed
- Does not include all materials needed to set up on hard surfaces
- Susceptible to heavy gusts if not thoroughly secured
When searching for a 20-person tent, a few things to consider will help narrow your search—discovering what “important” means, asking yourself some questions, and knowing where to focus your attention when evaluating a product.
Without starting with a solid foundation of knowledge, a big purchase for a big event can spell disaster.
A hunting expedition in Alaska calls for something that can survive the elements, whereas a wedding or special occasion requires something completely different. For those planning on something a bit different, such as attending the Burning Man festival, you may want something big enough to accommodate plenty of guests or something small enough to keep them out.
This buying guide will cover all the basic categories you need to get you started, including event type, season, setup time and difficulty, weight, materials used, access, ventilation, weather resistance and durability, affordability, and usage.
Event Type and Season
Are you planning on creating a shelter for people in need in an urban area or natural disaster? What about a wedding or formal outdoor event?
You probably already have an idea of what you plan to use your 20-person tent for. However, the cost is considerable as compared to smaller-sized tents. So, what other events and adventures do you plan on taking your new tent on?
Campsites are often full of families and groups who aren’t familiar with each other but are there for a common interest: fun. Having a 20-person tent that’s attention-grabbing as well as accommodating is a great way to bring people together.
Tents are often rated for seasons, meaning some are built for year-round use while others are more specialized for certain weather types. What kind of climates, as well as seasons, do you plan on taking your new tent into? Question how well the materials work as insulation. Does it feature many windows or mesh fabric?
Setup Time and Difficulty
Again, don’t just think about your next excursion. Consider having to set up your tent repeatedly. Are you comfortable asking for help from strangers? Do you always roll with a crew? Does your crew actually help you with things like setting up the tent?
Depending on how many people you’ll have around to help you set up your tent, time and difficulty vary dramatically. That said, some large tents are relatively quick and easy for even one person to handle, while others are a chore for a small team.
One advantage of shopping online is that you can research your tent more than you could at the store. Many retailers offer videos that demonstrate the steps to set up their tent. This is especially true of those who’ve created a product with ease of setup in mind.
Weight brings up a few questions. Such as how are you planning to transport your tent to the site in question? Once you’ve arrived, how do you plan on unloading it?
Big tents can mean plenty of extra gear like grills, cots, and generators that add plenty of pounds. But, if you’re using a vehicle or trailer as transportation, what are the stated weight limits? This is often overlooked until campers hit the road only to hear some disconcerting noises from the tires, suspension, or trailer itself.
Weight is always a consideration in camping, both in terms of transportation and the effort required. Fortunately, it’s relatively ascertained simply by looking into the product details. Just make sure to add up more than the tent fabric itself. The stakes, framing, and other supporting materials should be factored in, too.
Materials include the tent fabric itself as well as the accompanying support. Overall, lightweight materials that hold up are recommended. Additionally, it is the opinion of this review that synthetic materials are always superior.
Natural fibers such as cotton may be more aesthetically pleasing or comfortable. However, these materials more readily attract dirt and oil. Fortunately, most products on the market come from companies that understand no one wants to spend time washing and drying a 20-person tent.
In addition to maintenance, the fabric of your tent affects its durability, weight, appearance, insulating ability, weather resistance, and ventilation.
Metal, plastic, rope, and bungee are all employed as supporting materials like stakes and load-bearing poles. Does it look like cheap plastic, or is it made from heavy steel? The key is to keep in mind what you plan to use your 20-person tent for and whether or not you foresee further use.
Access and Ventilation
Does your tent feature mesh windows with covers? If needed, how well insulated or ventilated can you make your tent? What about multiple entry points?
Creating an air flow while camping in hotter climates can make all the difference for you and your guests, especially at night.
Some tent manufacturers invest significant attention in their product’s ventilation. Condensation creates an unpleasant humid interior space and gives way to mold. Airflow also determines how your tent will behave in high winds. A structure that allows the air to pass through it is less likely to pitch and collapse on you and your guests.
Accessibility refers to your guest as well as the surrounding environment’s inhabitants. For example, mosquitos are at the forefront of most people’s minds when camping. Is your tent built to keep bloodsuckers, insects, and other small creatures out?
Weather Resistance and Durability
Rain, snow, high wind, and hail constitute the types of inclement weather you’ll want to be prepared for. In terms of rain and mosquitoes, it’s better to choose a tent with at least two doors per entry. A mesh door can help allow wind to pass but not rain.
Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon vary in terms of water resistance. Some tents offer water-tight seams and heavy-duty flooring typically constructed from nylon. Fabric and materials offer different grades, such as 40D and 70D. Mainly this refers to the stitch-work and has a significant bearing on how weather resistant your tent is.
Focusing on the quality of fabric and materials is your best bet at discerning weather resistance. Synthetic fabric like polyester, nylon, and polycotton typically hold up better than cotton or canvas. However, oxford fabrics take the cake in terms of strength. Because oxford is rare, prospective buyers can look to the thread-count and stitch-work for added protection.
Now that you have an idea of what makes for a quality tent and what your needs are, you can better determine value. As mentioned above, our winner for value and the most affordable option is the Ozark Trail 20-Person 4-Room Cabin Tent. However, you can easily spend upwards of $1000 on a 20-person tent.
If you want something that checks all the boxes for your needs and will last you for many occasions, it may be worth spending more.
Additionally, retailers like Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops offer in-house financing that can reduce your down payment and open you up to more options than you may have previously considered as affordable.
Last in our buying guide is how you plan to use your 20-person camping tent. If you’re taking it on a camping trip, what kind of camping trip? Do you plan on hiking up a mountain? If so, size and weight become more prominent considerations.
Usage also determines the features you’ll want to look for. For example, a weekend trip may not require anything fancy, but spending a week or longer in the great outdoors may call for additional comfort and compatibility with things like gear that requires electricity.
Are you and your troop going to be spending a lot of time inside the tent because the outside temperature is below freezing? If so, then a spacious design may be worth investing in. Conversely, you may just need a place to crash that has a little more than a roof over your head.
To conclude this review, we reiterate that Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak Outfitter Tent is the best all-around 20-person tent that we could find anywhere.
While the price is steep for a tent, the manufacturers knew what they were doing. Namely, making a statement and providing adventurers with an option in a class outside standard camping tents.
Important to note is that you are not likely to find this option on Amazon. However, if you’ve got a big trip coming up and you’re looking to spare no expense, don’t hesitate to order your Ultimate Alaknak tent while supplies last. Click the link, add your new 20-person tent to the shopping cart, and place your order today.