Best 4 Person Camping Tents

Winter is on its way out the door, spring is in full swing, and summer’s just around the corner.

You know what that means, right?

Camping season is finally here!

There are few things more relaxing than spending a night (or three) out at your favorite camping site—be it lakeside, at a national park, or out in the middle of nowhere, with just you, nature, and nothing and no one else to bother you.

But if you want to take along a buddy or two, that special someone, or your whole family, you might need a tent sized to accommodate that many people.

A 4-person tent is the perfect “starter size”—spacious for 2 people but roomy for 3-4 people, and usually lightweight enough that you can take it hiking or backpacking.

Below, we’ll take a deep dive into the best 4 person camping tents on the market, look at the pros and cons, explain how to choose the best tent for you, and answer all the frequently asked questions.

I guarantee that by the end of this post, you’ll know exactly which 4 person tent you need to make every camping trip ultra-comfortable!

Quick Answer: The Best 4 Person Camping Tents for You

Don’t have time to read the whole article? Not a problem! Check out our condensed list to find the best choice for your specific needs:

The Ultimate 4 Person Camping Tent Buying Guide: Factors to Consider

How can you know you’ve got the “right” tent for your specific needs?

Simple: factor in all the most important considerations to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Whether you’re solo camping or taking your entire family out for a weekend of fun, there’s a tent that’s right for you. Go through the checklist below and carefully weigh up each factor before pulling the trigger on that tent purchase.

Tent Construction: Cabin, Dome, or Tunnel?

Camping tents come in three basic types:

1) Cabin tents, which have near-vertical walls (like a cabin) and tend to be rectangular in shape. These are built to accommodate more gear and give you more freedom to move around indoors. They’re also longer and thus better for taller occupants (like me!), and offer a more luxurious camping experience with plenty of room to move around and store gear. 

However, they’re not well-suited to heavy winds—their tall shape makes them more prone to blowing away if the wind picks up.

A white and green cabin tent

2) Dome tents, which have inward sloping walls that peak in an arch-shaped dome. These are less spacious because of how the walls cave inward, but their dome makes them far sturdier and more resistant to high winds.

If you’re of average height and plan to spend most of your day outside your tent, you can consider a dome-shaped tent, especially if you expect rough weather.

A grey and blue dome tent

3) Tunnel tents, which feature a long, cylindrical design and walls that slope inward at a steeper angle than dome tents. Not only do they typically offer plenty of leg room and larger floor space, but their taller-than-average peak height makes them ultra-comfortable for taller users. They offer excellent space-to-weight ratio (more space, less weight), and the poles are identical, so you never have to worry about setting up the wrong poles in the wrong place. 

However, they do require guy lines to set up, and if they’re not pitched properly, may sag or even collapse. 

A green tunnel tent

Tent Materials

Tents are typically made out of:

  • Nylon, which weighs less and is more durable than polyester, but lacks breathability and insulating capability. It’s not waterproof in and of itself, so is typically treated with a silicone-based coating that adds a water-repellent layer.
  • Polyester, which is heavier than nylon and requires virtually no maintenance, but is more prone to being damaged. It’s typically treated with polyurethane to make it more water- and UV-resistant.
  • Canvas/cotton, which offer excellent insulation and ventilation, and tend to be more comfortable than nylon or polyester tents. However, they require far more maintenance and weigh significantly more.
  • Poly-cotton, which combines polyester and cotton to produce a semi-synthetic fabric that offers better breathability and insulation than plain polyester, but is sturdier and weighs less than cotton or canvas.
  • Cuben Fiber, a cutting-edge synthetic fabric that is typically used only in ultralight tents. It has a very high tensile strength despite being feather-light, and it’s water-resistant. However, expect to pay a lot more for tents using this fabric.

Frame Materials

For most budget tents, you’ll find the frame (poles) is made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass is inexpensive, durable, requires little maintenance, doesn’t conduct electricity (in a lightning storm) and is mostly sturdy. However, it does have some drawbacks: it’s heavy, lacks flexibility, is more prone to snapping under tension, and may splinter in very cold weather.

For the “average” casual camper, a fiberglass frame will more than suffice for the occasional weekend trip to the national park or backyard camping. However, if you intend to take your camping trips more seriously, you may want to consider the alternatives:

  • Aluminum frames, which are stronger and lighter than fiberglass, won’t snap under tension, and can easily be repaired. They are pricier than fiberglass, however, and may be dangerous in a lightning storm.
  • Composite material frames, which weigh about the same as aluminum but have higher flexibility and can actually be bent back into shape.
  • Carbon fiber frames, which are extremely strong and lightweight, but cost exponentially more. They’re typically used for tents built for backpacking, trekking, and mountain climbing.
  • Steel frames, which are very heavy and thus are usually used chiefly for car/truck camping. They’re incredibly tough, however, and can withstand heavy winds, rains, and snowfall.

Freestanding vs. Non-Freestanding

Some tents are freestanding and some are not. Let me explain.

A white and blue tent stands on a hill

A freestanding tent can hold its shape on its own without the need for stakes. The tent poles provide enough support to hold the tent upright—so much support, in fact, that you can actually pick the tent up and move it around without causing it to collapse. They’re typically easy to set up, offer good weather protection, and tend to be the easiest to live in.

Most dome tents and cabin tents are freestanding. 

A non-freestanding tent has to be staked out in order to hold its shape. The stakes are driven into the ground first, then the poles (often trekking poles) are used to prop up the simple, often single-walled tent fabric. Ropes are often needed for additional support and to maintain the proper structure. 

These tents are built for compactness, light weight, and portability—usually used by hikers, backpackers, and mountaineers who want to minimize gear. Tunnel tents are typically non-freestanding. 

For the average camper, a freestanding tent is the go-to choice. However, if you’re planning on lugging your tent around through the mountains, forests, canyons, or highlands all day long, a non-freestanding tent may be a decent option.

Size and Space

Size refers to the actual dimensions of the tent (length x width x height), but space is probably the better factor to consider.

Why is that? Simple: a dome-shaped tent can be the same dimensions as a cabin tent, but because of the design (vertical vs. inward sloping walls), the interior space of a cabin tent is much greater than a dome-shaped tent.

If you’re trying to travel as light as possible, you’ll like go with an ultralight tent that rolls up really small and weighs next to nothing—easy to haul on a trek or climb all day long. These tend to be very small and offer just space enough to sleep.

However, if you’re looking for a bit more interior room—not only to sleep comfortably (stretching those long legs of yours!) but also to move around and store your gear, you’ll definitely need to consider the space offered by your tent.

Don’t look just at the assembled dimensions, but at the square footage and the peak height.

  • Square footage tells you how much floor space you get
  • Peak height tells you how much headroom you’ll get at the tent’s tallest point.

These are the two best indicators of the interior space.

Setup

Do you really want to spend half of your day struggling to pitch the tent, then another half-day at the end of your trip breaking down and stowing the tent? Of course you don’t!

You want to use as much time as possible for hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, eating, and drinking—that’s really what camping is all about.

When tent-shopping, look for a tent that touts its easy setup. Some, like the Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup, are designed to literally assemble in a matter of seconds (or minutes, until you get the knack of it). Others will require a bit more setup time, but will feature an easy-to-assemble frame and tent fabric.

A woman and a man are setting up a tent

Always pay attention to user reviews, too. You want to make sure the tent is as easy to set up, take down, and pack/unpack so you don’t spend too much of your precious camping time wrestling with your gear.

Packed Size and Weight

If you’re car or RV camping (driving to your campsite), you don’t really have to worry about how much the tent weighs or how large the tent bag is.

However, for those who plan on hoofing it—hiking their tent a few miles away from the car to their designated campsite or chosen parking spot—the weight and size becomes very important.

Think about it: you’re already going to be carrying other gear (supplies, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc.), so adding a heavy, bulky tent bag on top of all that is going to be a PAIN. IN. THE. BUTT!

Note: Consider buying TWO tents—a heavier, sturdier tent for car/RV camping, and a lighter, more compact tent for when you need to keep your gear to a minimum.

Weatherproofing

Tents come with a weatherproofing (or waterproofing) rating—determined not by the fabric used (see the “Tent Materials” section above), but by the seams and the water-repellent coating used to treat the fabric.

  • A tent with a 1000 mm waterproof rating will typically be able to handle light rain showers and the occasional sprinkle, but not a proper downpour.
  • A tent with a waterproof rating between 1500 and 3000 mm will handle most rain and wind with ease, making them perfect for 3-season use.
  • A tent with a rating above 3000 mm will handle even heavy rains and serious snowfall. Typically, 4-season tents will have a higher rating.

The rating is determined A) by the reinforcement at the tent’s seams, and B) the number of coats of waterproof treating (silicone for nylon, PU for polyester) applied to the tent fabric.

Water repellent layer of a tent

Ventilation

If a tent isn’t well-ventilated, you could run into A LOT of problems!

Let’s say you’re camping in the dead of summer, when the nights are hot and so are you. You want a well-ventilated tent that will allow the heat built up during the day to escape so the interior of the tent is nice and cool at night. Even better, you might want ventilation that allows the pleasant evening breeze to blow through the tent.

Or what about camping during heavy rains? If your tent isn’t well-ventilated, condensation could actually form on the inside of the tent (a common problem during hot and humid weather), and end up soaking you, your gear, and supplies.

No, ventilation is absolutely critical for a good tent.

Typically, tents will feature a double-walled construction that uses a waterproof exterior layer and breathable interior layer. Some will also have mesh vents that allow air to escape and prevents the build-up up moisture, but the vents are strategically placed so that the exterior layer will protect them in case of heavy rains.

Always read the user reviews to make sure you’re getting a properly ventilated tent!

Other Features to Consider

  • Rain Fly – This is essentially a large tarp that stretches over the top of the tent to provide an added layer of protection against the rain. Some tents come with a built-in rain fly, while others will provide an optional rain fly included in the bag. However, if your tent doesn’t have a rain fly, it’s worth buying one for additional weatherproofing.
  • Interior storage pockets – This is a convenient addition but not an absolute must-have. These pockets give you an easily accessible place to store your most important gear off the ground (i.e. not in your way as you sleep), so they’re great for more delicate items like electronics.
  • Vestibule – A vestibule is basically a covered entryway outside the tent that gives you a dry place to stand/sit without having to take off your shoes/boots to get in the tent. It’s sort of like the “living room” on top of the main tent’s “bedroom”. It’s a very useful addition to the tent and makes it feel more comfortable for people who like to sit and relax under the shelter of their rain fly.
  • Doors – All tents always include one door, but some will feature multiple doors to provide convenient access points to the tent. These are particularly useful for larger-sized tents—6 to 12-person camping tents. The most you’ll likely need for a 4 person tent is two doors. It does make it easier for people to leave the tent without stumbling over their fellow sleepers.

Price

The price of a tent will be determined by a number of factors, including size, the materials used, and durability.

There are plenty of budget options for campers who want an inexpensive tent, though be warned that the lower-priced tents won’t be as sturdy or reliable against heavy winds or inclement weather. The higher-quality and sturdier the tent, the more you’ll expect to pay.

You can start off with a cheap tent to get used to the camping lifestyle, and you may find that you don’t need anything more complex if you’re only a casual camper. However, if you’re going to take camping seriously, expect to pay upwards of $500 for a sturdy, tough-as-nails 4 person tent.

Top 4-Person Camping Tents:

Best Overall: MSR Habitude 4

MSR Habitude 4
  • Floor area: 62.6 square feet
  • Peak height: 73 inches
  • Weight: ‎3 Kilograms
  • Dimensions: 95 x 95 x 73 inches

You won’t find more durable than this beautiful tent by MSR! It’s built using top-quality materials—including coated polyester and aluminum frames—that can withstand even heavy rains and high wind speeds. The hubbed poles are easily assembled and the tent itself will take just a few minutes to set up (though be prepared for a bit of a learning curve at first).

The 73-inch peak height is excellent for tall campers, and the 95×95 floor space gives you ample room for comfortable sleeping and storing plenty of gear. Plus, the addition of a vestibule makes it easy to keep your shoes and supplies out of the way when entering and exiting the tent.

Thanks to the sturdy walls and added rainfly, you’ve got a truly weather-resistant tent, but the built-in mesh ensures ample ventilation to keep you cool on those hot summer nights. Though it’s on the higher end of the middling price range, it’s still a very affordable tent!


Most User-Friendly: Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup

Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup
  • Floor area: 56 square feet
  • Peak height: 59 inches
  • Weight: 18 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 37.5 x 9.7 x 8.2 inches

If you’re looking for a tent you can pitch in a matter of seconds—LITERALLY—you’ll love the Instant Setup design of this Coleman tent. The poles are all pre-attached so all you have to do is unfold the tent, extend the poles, and secure them in place. With a bit of practice, you can get the assembly down to about 45 seconds, making it easier than ever to get your camp set-up and running.

The patented welded floors and reinforced seams offer excellent weatherproofing, and the vented rainfly provides both added rain-resistance and supremely breathable ventilation. In this tent, you’ll stay cool even when the weather is muggy or scorching, but it’s warm enough for 3-season use. The double-thick Polyguard fabric is sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of trekking and backpacking, though the tent is a bit on the heavier side at 18 pounds.

It doesn’t offer quite as much headroom as you might like (just short of 5 feet) and the frame isn’t sturdy enough to withstand heavy rains or high winds. However, for the insanely affordable price tag, you’re absolutely getting well above your money’s worth.


Best Summer Tent: The North Face Sequoia 4

The North Face Sequoia 4
  • Floor area: 58.1 square feet
  • Peak height: 75 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs. 11 oz.
  • Dimensions: 96 x 90 x 75

The North Face is a brand we’re all familiar with, renowned for its hard-wearing, highly durable athletic clothing and equipment—including this epic 4-person, 3-season tent. Thanks to its built-in ventilation and convenient double-door design, you’ll never have to worry about overheating even during the peak of summer. And on the nights the weather turns cold, it’s well-insulated enough that you can zip up tight and sleep snug as a bug.

The tent is fairly roomy—just over 58 square feet of space, with an added 27.6 square feet of vestibule space, and tall enough anyone up to 6’ 3” can stand comfortably. It’s not excessively heavy compared to some of the other tents on our list, thanks to the sturdy aluminum used for the poles. The nylon fabric has been treated for weather-resistance and the seams are fully reinforced, making it one of the most waterproof tents you’ll ever sleep in.

Assembly is made easier thanks to the color-coding used for the trims and poles. For those blustery days, you’ll find the external guylines make staking out the tent just that much easier. It’s squarely middle-of-the-pack in terms of pricing, but it’s top-quality, long-lasting comfort and convenience you’ll be glad you purchased.


Most Reliable:  Marmot Limestone 4

Marmot Limestone 4
  • Floor area: 59.2 sq ft
  • Peak height: 63 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs 3.4 oz
  • Dimensions: 100 x 86 x 63 inches

Though not an ultralight tent (just your standard dome-shaped freestanding tent), the Marmot Limestone 4 is beautifully lightweight and easy to move around once fully assembled. It offers excellent weatherproofing, durability nearly on par with our top pick, and a very reasonable price tag.

The “Zone Pre-Bend” construction shifts the wall angles to be more vertical, making it feel more roomy on the inside despite the low peak height. The interior comes with 59 square feet of space, with an additional 30.1 square feet of rainfly-covered vestibule space to store your gear and shoes. The taped seams and full-coverage rainfly ensure that your tent will stay bone-dry even in a downpour.

The tent does feature nifty interior pockets to maximize storage space, and easily fits four adults comfortably. Thanks to the color-coded clips and poles, setup will be a breeze and you can quickly get to relaxing and enjoying your time at the campsite.


Best Budget: Coleman Sundome Dome 4

Coleman Sundome Dome 4
  • Floor area: 63 square feet
  • Peak height: 59 inches
  • Weight: ‎4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎108 x 84 x 59 inches

You won’t find a good-quality tent cheaper than the Coleman Sundome. For just under $90, you get a user-friendly, reliable tent that’s designed to facilitate easy assembly and make your camping trip a whole lot less stressful. Sure, it’s not the sturdiest or more versatile tent on our list, but for the price, it just can’t be beat.

The tent offers decent clearance (just under 5 feet at the peak height) and excellent interior space, though sadly no vestibule. There is only one door (not quite as convenient as the two-door tents on our list) but a well-ventilated roof and a user-friendly pitching structure (Insta-Clip pole attachments). Yet for all its convenience, it’s capable of withstanding up to 35+ MPH winds and moderate rainfall.

For “glampers” who want to run power to their tent, this particular model comes with a built-in “E-port” that provides a protected entry point to connect an extension cord to your generator, RV, or battery pack without having to leave a zipper open. Plus, the storage pockets make organizing everything inside your tent a breeze.


Best for Backpacking: Pacific Pass 4

Pacific Pass 4
  • Floor area: 63 square feet
  • Peak height: 60 inches
  • Weight: 8.05 lbs
  • Dimensions: 108.3 x 82.7 x 60

If you’re looking for a lightweight tent to take backpacking, trekking, or mountaineering, you’ll love the Pacific Pass 4. The four-person tent weighs just over 8 pounds—light enough you’ll barely feel it added onto your gear—but provides truly reliable, comfortable shelter for up to four people.

The tent is roomy with 63 square feet of space, and the 5-foot roof clearance is adequate for a comfortable night at the end of a long day of hiking or walking. The 190T polyester fabric is sturdy enough to withstand heavy rains and high winds, and is rated at 1500mm waterproofing. Though it’s only a one-door tent, you’ll find you have plenty of space to move and shift around inside.

Thanks to the provided rainfly and water-resistant floor, you can stay dry no matter how hard it’s pouring outside. For the budget-friendly price, it’s definitely a tent you’ll love to use season after season.


Most Waterproof: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent
  • Floor area: 63.75 square feet
  • Peak height: 52 inches
  • Weight: 8 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Dimensions: 102 x 90 x 52

For those who plan on camping throughout a soaking wet rainy season, you’ll need a tent that can stand up to even the fiercest wind and heaviest rainfall. That’s precisely what the Lynx offers: industry-leading waterproofing and excellent durability!

The double-walled tent is able to shrug off even a monsoon, and the polyester rainfly adds another layer of water and UV-resistance that will both extend the tent’s lifespan and keep you bone-dry no matter how much rain is falling. The tent is fairly easy to assemble, and comes equipped with a built-in gear loft to provide extra interior storage space. It’s also a double-doored tent that offers convenient entry and exit for bathroom runs in the middle of the night, as well as two vestibules.

The price tag is definitely on the more affordable side, and thanks to its aluminum pole frame, you can rest easy in this tent knowing it’ll handle the worst spring, summer, and autumn weather you’ll face.


Best Tunnel Tent: Coleman Tent Vail 4

Coleman Tent Vail 4
  • Floor area: 117.3 sq ft
  • Peak height: 78 inches
  • Weight: 33.7 lb
  • Dimensions: 185 x 118 x 78

Get ready to camp in style and comfort with this Coleman tent! Though it’s only built for 4 campers, the tunnel design makes it incredibly spacious: over 117 square feet of space, with a peak height tall enough for even a 6′ 6″ camper like me. 

It’s certainly a heavier and pricier tent than most of the others on our list, and you can expect to spend 15-20 minutes pitching it–stakes, fiberglass poles, guy ropes, and all. However, it’s so worth it thanks to the roominess of the interior and added vestibule.

The tent is also incredibly waterproof (4,000 mm rating), with taped seams and an integrated groundsheet that protects against ground condensation and damage. The PVC windows have a blackout option so you can sleep comfortably even when the sun is high, and with 2 entrances, you’ll never have trouble getting in and out of this tent. 


4-Person Camping Tents FAQs

How do you pick a tent size?

You pick a size

A) based on how many people you’re taking camping

B) based on your comfort needs

C) based on your gear carrying capacity.

If you’re RV/car camping, you can pack a 12-person tent for 2 people without issue. However, if you’re backpacking or mountaineering, you’ve got to trim down your load—which means buying a tent sized exactly for the number of people you’ll need to sleep.

A good rule of thumb for “comfort camping” is to allot 20 square feet of space for each occupant. That’ll give you enough space not only for the sleeping pads/sleeping bags/sleepers, but also the gear they’re bringing.

Is a 4 person tent too big for 2 people?

Absolutely not! A 4-person tent will be spacious for two people, with plenty of storage room for all the gear and supplies you’re bringing. But if you, like me, are slightly on the larger size (my 6’ 6” frame isn’t going to fit in some 2-person tent!), you may want to additional room.

Do campsites charge more for bigger tents?

Campsites typically have a flat rate for the allocated space, which is usually a plot roughly 8 meters x 5 meters (large enough to accommodate an RV or motorhome). Unless you buy a very large tent, you’ll never have to worry about stretching beyond the boundaries of your plot.

Alex
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