How to kit out a terrific family holiday tent

In this post, we look at the sort of furniture you’ll want to get for creating a great family holiday tent.

But first, let’s make sure we are talking about the right kind of tent.

What is a Holiday Tent?

To us, there are two types of camping.

The first is where you go camping as an adventure, such as when you go to more remote places, and having a ‘camp out’ is the purpose of the trip. You might have to walk to where you camp. You’ll try to cook over a campfire, and be quite self-sufficient. You deliberately travel light.

We love this sort of camping.

Adventure vs Holiday Camping

The other type of camping is where you might use a tent as a base for a family holiday.

Yes, you are still camping. And yes, camping is part of the experience. And yes, you could be somewhere more remote. But the big difference with this sort of camping is that you will be staying for a number of nights. You might stay a week or two for example.

With this type of camping, you’ll want to make things easier for yourself as a parent. For that, a bigger tent, and fitting your tent out, could make all the difference.

Your goal is to make a family holiday home that you can take around different parts of the country. It will be your home from home.

It’s this sort of holiday tent that we are going to look at here.

Oh, and we love this sort of camping too 😉


Fitting out your tent for a family holiday

Watch our video below where I take you through some of the items you might want to consider for your family tent.

So, let’s break it down. Below we’ll cover the items shown in our video, as well as few additional items.

Keeping it Warm Underfoot

The first thing you’ll want to fit into your tent is a tent carpet. This will make a massive transformation to your tent from the normal plastic groundsheet.

It will not only feel different, but it will act as good insulation from the ground, which can still be cool in the summer in the UK.

The carpet we used in the Outwell Montana 6SA that we showed in the video was Outwell 3 Layer Insulate carpet. As the name suggests, this carpet comes with additional insulation. It is also very soft.

Outwell Insulate Carpet Review

Although the Outwell 3 Layer Insulate carpet may be at the more luxury end of the spectrum, you can go one step further, and get a heated carpet.

Outwell Heated Carpet up close

Keeping your tent tidy

One of the first items of furniture we recommend you get is some storage.

Every family goes on holiday with lots of stuff. That’s just what happens.

Your large family holiday tent will soon become cluttered with bags (and the contents of the bags that the kids have turned out). Suddenly, that large living area is less useful.

We thought we didn’t really need a storage unit until we got one. It’s still just something we take for longer camping stays, but it does become really useful at reducing the clutter in the living space.

Outwell Lucia popup cupboard

Plus, if you get one like the Outwell Lucia, there are slide pockets that are so useful for putting little things, from torches to packable rain coats. And don’t forget, it gives you another surface to put things on, which you’ll find useful too.

Feeding your family

Kitchen storage is a separate category all in itself since you’ll want to store kitchen utensils, cups, plates, cutlery, food, and you might also want the storage to be a food prep area and even do the cooking and washing up.

Fortunately, there are some great options.

Now, we normally create our camp kitchen outside under a large tarp. This makes it safe, as you shouldn’t really cook with gas inside your tent. However, if you are on an electric hook-up, a prep area in your tent with a low-wattage camping kettle is ideal.

Plus, even when we have an outdoor kitchen, we’ll still keep some food and items inside the tent.

Creating a Camp Kitchen

Given there are lots of options on the market, I’ll talk about our experience.

One of the first Outwell items we purchased (well over a decade ago), was an Outwell Richmond kitchen table. This has been a fantastic bit of kit. We cooked on it, prepped food on it, and it stored a good amount of kitchen gear and food. What wasn’t so good was its small sink.

Last year we tried using the Outwell Drayton Kitchen unit. This took all that was good with the Richmond, and then took it to a whole new level.

Outwell Drayton Kitchen Table Features

The Drayton excels as a storage unit and food prep area, plus it has a sink for washing up.

This year Outwell have introduced the Outwell Padres XL. This has a striking bamboo top that looks fantastic. It also comes with a windshield so that you can use your gas stove on it. Plus, if you have an Outwell Collaps sink, then the Padres has a pull-out arm that will hold it in place so that you can also wash-up too.

Fits an Outwell Collaps Sink

If you are planning on cooking while camping, then the more surfaces you can have the better. Even a very cheap plastic table can be a help, but if you can stretch to it, getting two different kitchen units would be the best option. You can have one for food prep and washing up, whilst the other is used with a stove. That’s the best combination that we’ve found.

Outwell Padres XL Review

Also in the video, I showed you a few other items, such as the Outwell Collaps Wash Base, Bowls, and also mentioned the Collaps Sink. Plus, I also talked about the Outwell Kitchen Storer, which is a great bit of kit for storing your kitchen items and transporting them to and from the campsite.

Taking the load off your feet

If you have enough space in your tent, having room for some seating is a good idea.

To be honest, this was a low priority on my list of things to get for our tent. However, it has proved very useful.

This year, we’ve been trying the Easy Camp Movie Seat. There are many inflatable seats like this you can get. We found that having the double Movie Seat in the tent really good. It helped keep some of the kids from lying about on the floor when in the tent. Plus, it’s lightweight to take outside the tent, and it has meant we’ve needed to take fewer chairs with us.

Using the Double Movie Seat outside

Somewhere to rest your head

We’ve discussed before on how to best set-up your sleeping area, but I want to just pull out a few items I showed in the bedrooms.

In the first bedroom was the Outwell Dreamboat Double SIM. I bought this SIM last year from Camping World (UK) and have been very pleased with it. It is our best self-inflating mat.

The two sleeping bags shown are the Easy Camp Image kids sleeping bag. Our little boy loves the Aquarium print. There are lots of fun prints available. Our little boy loves the Aquarium print. There are lots of fun prints available. Also, check out the Vango Starwalker Dragon kids sleeping bag.

The other kids sleeping bag is an Outwell Convertible Kids Sleeping Bag. This sleeping bag can grow as your child does, saving having to buy another sleeping bag as they get a bit bigger.

Outwell Convertible Sleeping Bag Features

In the second bedroom is the Outwell Posadas Camp Bed with the Centuple mattress. I have heard such great things about this camp bed but have only just had a chance to use it myself.

Having tried a few other camp beds in the past, I found some too saggy, and not as comfortable as a decent SIM. The Outwell Posadas though is a very comfortable. Though, I did try it with the Outwell Centuple mattress. Together, this made it feel much more like a bed at home. However, note that it isn’t exactly the same as a bed at home as getting a sprung mattress to the campsite is a little impractical 😉

Centuple and Posadas Bed

The sleeping bag is the new Outwell Conqueror sleeping bag. This is by far the best adult sleeping bag we have tried (except for Winter camping, where the Snugpak Sleeper Extreme is specifically designed for colder weather).

Conqueror on the Centuple

I don’t particularly like sleeping in tight sleeping bags. The Conqueror is a hybrid sleeping bag and duvet. It is both comfortable and warm. Plus, you can unzip your feet and go and get a brew first thing in the morning, or sit in the Easy Camp Movie Seat Double before bed and warm up your sleeping bag 😉

The table in the video was the Robens Wayfarer, which collapses down very small for transport. It is a bit expensive to just use as a side table, but since I had it with me in the tent, that’s where I put it.

Keeping it Light

Although I didn’t mention them, there were a few different lights in the tent.

The lantern on the table in the bedroom was an Outwell Amethyst lantern, which is rechargeable, so you don’t need any power cords in your bedroom.

It doesn’t have a hanging hook, but our daughter came up with this ingenious way of hanging it in the tent bedroom.

Hanging the Amethyst Lantern

Hanging in front of the bedrooms was the Outwell Corvus light. This is a flexible LED strip light that you can place in different places around your tent thanks to its hooks and variety of Velcro attachments. It puts out a lot of light and is also dimmable.

Outwell Corvus Light

The lamp hanging from the centre of the tent was the Outwell Sargas lamp. This is a collapsible lantern that folds flat for transport. Unlike many camping lanterns, this looks like the sort of thing you might find at home.

Outwell Sargas Lamp

Disclaimer, thanks, and credit: Why all the Outwell kit? Is this an Outwell Sponsored Post?

No, this is not an Outwell sponsored post, though I admit it might look like one 😉

I am a bit of an Outwell fanboy, ever since we bought our first Outwell items. But we do like stuff from other brands too.

When I discussed with brands that I wanted to create this guide, Outwell, Easy Camp, and Robens were kind enough to provide us with many of the items that we asked for to make this guide. Without their support, I couldn’t afford to buy all the latest items to create an up-to-date guide.

So, yes, much of the kit here has been provided to us by brands, but they are items I had seen, thought good, and then asked them for. They are items I would have bought for my family. This is very different to a brand sending an item of their choice and then paying us to write about it. That happens on a few other blogs and websites. But not here. We don’t take sponsored posts.

I hope that clears things up 🙂



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Gav Grayston
Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.
Gav Grayston


Family adventures, activities, camping, holidays, OS #GetOutSide champions 2017 & 2018 #DofE brand ambassador @Craghoppers Partnership @campandcarvan @_elddis_
Need some inspiration to get out there exploring - check out the new issue of @GAOmagazine You might even spot us… - 6 hours ago
Gav Grayston
Gav Grayston

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  1. Wow you really are a camping pro. I’d love a tent with carpet and underfloor heating! Home from home!

    8:54 pm on August 3, 2016
  2. How do you travel with all this gear? I have a estate car with a roof box but wouldnt be able to fit all the items you have in it. Do you use a trailer?

    12:29 pm on August 3, 2016

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