A good camping tent should keep you dry, comfortable, and provide protection.
Which camping tent... Dome, family, 4-season, backpacking or cabin is right for you? They don't repel rain, cold, snow, or biting bugs equally.
Camping tents are an important outdoor gear investment. This article will give you information you need to make an informed decision about what kind is best for you.
First determine what type of camping you'll be doing? Do you only go out in summer or are you into 4-season camping? Make sure to prepare yourself for worst possible type of weather you'll encounter. Waking up to a foot of snow inside your summer camping tent because of a late fall blizzard isn't much fun. ;-)
After determining what seasons you'll need your tent for, estimate how many people you will usually camp with...
Sizing It Up
Camping tents are rated by number of people they can accommodate. But these ratings are like getting twenty circus clowns into a Volkswagon Beetle...goofy. :-) When they say it's a 4-person tent, they mean 4 people and nothing else, no hiking gear, no room for boots, just 4 people that hopefully know each other pretty well. Seriously, if you're looking for backpacking tents or hiking tents and weight is a big concern, then get cozy and use rating system, but otherwise I'd think bigger.
Consider going 1-2 sizes bigger than what you need for a smaller camping tent. Better yet divide "person rating" by 2 so you'll have a decent amount of room if you have to stay inside due to nasty weather. If you thought cabin fever was bad wait until you're stuck in a downpour with 5 other people in a small tent for a few days.