Out of the five 4-person tents we reviewed, the Coleman 4-Person Dome Tent wins our vote as the best four-person tent overall. Not only does this tent have all the essentials required of a 4-person 3-season tent, but it’s easier to set up than most of its peers and packs a few convenience-enhancing features that make it ideal for group or family camping trips.
While not “bombproof”, all-weather tent, the Sundome tent uses Coleman’s WeatherTec waterproofing technology in combination with welded corners, inverted seams, and a reinforced tent floor to ensure you’ll stay dry inside in all but the worst conditions.
This 4-person dome tent also provides plenty of ventilation courtesy of large windows and ground vents, has an e-port for campsite hookups, and boasts enough storage pockets to let you keep your floor space free for sleepers.
Bottom line: All in all, a reliable, spacious tent that offers outstanding value for money.
The Best Camping Tents for Four People
Looking for the best 4-person camping tent?
You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:
- Why you need a 4 person tent
- How to choose the best tent for our needs
- How to choose between 4-person cabin tents, backpacking tents & a 4-person instant tent
- Reviews of the top tents for four people on the market
- Our unbiased 4-person tent reviews
Camping with friends and family is one of the most fun and rewarding experiences there is for any lover of the great outdoors. It allows you to forget all the stresses of home and enjoy each other’s company in peaceful settings, all while enjoying all the many benefits nature has to offer.
Without the right tent, however, a far less rosy forecast for your friends-and-family time is sure to be one the cards….
To help you find that kinda tent, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to five awesome 4-person tents and provide all the info you need to make the right choice.
How To Choose A Good Car Camping Or Backpacking Tent
There are a lot of features to consider while shopping for a tent will become a true “home away from home”. To choose the right one for your camping trip, you’ll need to know some tent basics. Below, we’ve included all the need-to-know info required to help you find the best tent for your future camping adventures.
Tents come with a seasonality rating which tells you, essentially, what type of weather they meant to be used in. On average, they range from one season to five seasons.
It’s important to remember that the season rating doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality of the tent, but only the conditions in which it’s manufacturers believe it should be used. With that in mind, it’s always best to check the specs before committing to a purchase.
Having said that, season ratings can give you a ballpark idea of how any tent is likely to perform, as demonstrated below:
One and Two-Season Tents
These are usually the most lightweight and inexpensive tents available and are usually designed exclusively for use in fair weather.
If you’re camping in dry conditions in the backyard, on the beach, or at a serviced campsite, then these tents are a decent, cost-saving option. For backcountry camping or trips in less-than-perfect weather, however, we wouldn’t recommend them.
Three-season tents are the most popular because they are suitable for use in a wide variety of conditions and, thus, the most versatile. The three seasons referred to are spring, summer, and fall, though high-end models made even be suitable for use in less harsh winter conditions.
Most three-season shelters will use a double-walled design. The inner “wall”, the tent body, will usually be composed of a combo of mesh and fabric. This can be used alone in dry and warm conditions for added ventilation.
The second wall of the tent will consist of an outer layer, the rainfly, that will provide protection from the elements. In most cases, the rainfly on any three-season tent will have a hydrostatic head rating in excess of 1,000mm and will provide ample protection even in sustained, heavy rainfall.
Four season tents are designed to withstand the harshest weather.
Most models use a geodesic or semi-geodesic design for added stability in high winds and combine a highly waterproof rainfly and flooring with robust, rugged fabrics.
As a general rule, a 4-season tent will be heavier than three-season models, more expensive, and less well ventilated. On the other hand, they retain warmth far better, offer outstanding protection against the elements, and are far more durable.
Most four-season tents will boast hydrostatic head ratings in excess of 2,000mm in the rainfly, 3,000 in the floor, and will also include other features that boost performance in seriously cold or wet conditions, such as snow skirts, storm flaps, sealed seams, and waterproof zippers.
While likely to be overkill for most users, four-season shelters are a must for camping in winter or at high altitudes in most portions of the globe.
Five-season tents are similar to four season tents, but are designed for use in the planet’s most severe environments.
While overkill for a simple cold-weather hiking trip, these are what you’ll need if you ever find yourself setting off for the Arctic or need a basecamp tent for winter ascent of K2.
The most popular range for tent capacities is from two to eight people, or, in tent lingo, 2-person to 8-person. However, when considering the size of the tent that you want to buy, you need to think about more than merely how many people will be in the tent.
For starters, when at full capacity, most tents will be a tight fit. A four-person tent will leave little room to move around if you have four people in it, especially if those people are all fully grown adults. This means you’ll probably be sleeping right on top of each other and have little room left over for moving around inside the tent.
You also need to consider the fact that you’ll need room for gear, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, pets if you have them, and other items you may want to keep in the tent.
This being so, it’s best to consider getting a tent with a capacity that is at least two more than the number of people that will be sleeping in the tent. This will give you a bit of extra room to spread out and get comfortable. This is especially important if you’re camping for longer periods of time – after a few days, the lack of personal space can really start to irritate most campers.
Also pay close attention to the tent’s square footage, which often gives a more accurate impression of how cozy (or not) the sleeping area of the tent will be. As a general rule, we recommend choosing a tent that offers at least 14 square feet of space per adult sleeper.
Tent fabric is measured in deniers, which is typically abbreviated to a simple ‘D’ in product specifications. Denier is the unit of measurement used to indicate the thickness of the individual fibers that create the material. Microfiber fabrics are less than 1D. By contrast, a human hair is around 20D. The higher the denier, the more durable the fabric is.
Several fabric types are used to make tents. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular tent materials are:
- Cotton Canvas – This old-school fabric is rugged and durable, but requires waterproofing and is far heavier than other materials.
- Polycotton Canvas – The only difference between this and cotton canvas is that this isn’t 100 percent cotton. It’s a mixture of fabrics and tends to be lighter than 100% cotton.
- PVC-Coated Cotton Canvas – This makes a canvas cotton tent waterproof but often causes condensation. That said, it’s also highly durable and suitable for large, car-camping tents.
- Polyester – This is one of the most popular fabric tents and is slightly more durable than nylon. It’s also lightweight and usually combined with a waterproof treatment or coating.
- Nylon – Usually coated with acrylic, silicone, or polyurethane. Used mainly for small tents and cheap tents. Very lightweight.
A Bit More Tent Customization
There are multiple variables that contribute to how comfortable, convenient, and practical a tent will be. Here are some features you’ll want to consider when buying your tent:
- Peak height (aka “center height”) – This refers to the height of the tent at its highest point. The higher the peak height of the tent, the more headroom you’ll have.
- Ventilation – This usually takes the form of mesh panels, mesh windows, and air vents in the tent walls. A must-have feature for camping in humid climates and to stave off condensation in any other conditions.
- Size – Make sure you opt for a tent that will accommodate everyone in your group, plus their gear, comfortably. As mentioned above, go by the tent’s square footage instead of manufacturer-supplied capacity ratings.
- Number of Tent Poles – In general, the more tent poles, the sturdier the tent. Also bear in mind, however, that more poles may make for a more complicated setup. For hassle-free tent pitching, look for models with color-coded or poles that are pre-attached to the fabric.
- Extra Attachments – Things like gearlofts, storage pockets, and loft hooks or loops are a great blessing for those who like to keep things organized.
- Accessories – A functional carry bag, pegs or stakes, and guylines are just a few add-ons you should expect to be included with your tent.
The Best 4-Person Tent in 2021: Our Top 5 Picks
Coleman Sundome Tent
Best Tent Overall
Coleman is one of the outdoor world’s most popular and trusted brands…and with good reason.
Most Coleman products may lack the bells and whistles of those produced by bigger-name brands, but they typically cover their bottom line to a high standard and offer outstanding value for money.
The Sundome tent is no exception. a popular brand when it comes to camping equipment. This 4-person shelter is one of their best two-season tents on the market. Weighing only three pounds, it’s reasonably lightweight, and yet it offers 63 square feet of interior space and an impressive peak height of 4’ 11”.
These measurements make this tent ideal for backcountry camping yet roomy enough for car-camping trips for families of four.
The Sundome tent uses Coleman’s WeatherTec waterproofing technology, which includes a waterproof rainfly, inverted seams, a 1000-denier bathtub-style floor, and welded corners to prevent leaks.
It also uses a freestanding fiberglass pole system that is designed to withstand winds up to 35mph and can be set up in next to no time thanks to its continuous poles sleeves and Insta-Clip pole attachments.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this tent. For starters, there’s no vestibule to speak of, so you’ll have to store gear you want kept dry inside on rainy days. Also, the fly sheet only covers the upper portion of the tent, so it’s not a good option for camping in seriously foul weather.
- Waterproof enough for light rain showers
- Great ventilation makes it ideal for warm-weather camping
- Easy to pitch
- Tent comes with pegs, carry bag, and detachable fly
- No vestibule for storing extra gear
- Not as spacious as most car-camping tents
- Not waterproof enough for heavy rain
Bottom-Line: If you are looking for a good, inexpensive 4 person tent to keep you dry, this is an excellent tent to consider.
ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4 Tent
Best Tent for Bad-Weather
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty 4 person waterproof tent to get you through some severe weather, this Alps Mountaineering 4 person tent is well worth considering.
The Taurus is great for just about any type of weather, including heavy rain or snow. It’s made with tough, high-quality polyester, and uses a 75-denier polyester rainfly with a 1500mm PU coating to provide robust waterproofing. The fabric is also UV-resistant, so won’t fade or wear from sun exposure.
The Taurus boasts an all-mesh roof and has several mesh windows for added ventilation, meaning it’s also a solid performer in warmer conditions too. It also uses a double-door design that provides easy access and lets you boost airflow on clammy days.
Weighing in at 10.5 pounds, the Taurus tent is a bit on the heavy side, but if that weight is shared between two carries it’s still a great option for backpacking or overnighters in the backcountry.
While a little pricier than other tents on our list, this tent still represents excellent value for money compared to tents with similar specs from big-name brands like Big Agnes or MSR.
- Large gear storage area that saves valuable interior space
- Floor area is made from tough, 75D poly taffeta materials
- Large, glove-friendly zippers
- Waterproof (1500mm HH rainfly)
- 64 sq. ft. interior; 25 sq. ft. vestibule
- Fiberglass poles aren’t the most durable
- Heavy (10lbs 8 oz)
Bottom-Line: A great option for campers and backpackers who plan on doing their camping in all weathers.
AmazonBasics Tent 4-Person
Best Budget Tent
Amazon makes tents? They sure do! And with this tent they’ve entered the market with a bang!
This 3-season, 4-person tent is made with 100% polyester-coated, water-resistant fabric and uses inverted seams and a welded 1000D-polyethylene tub-style floor to ensure you spring no leaks caused by groundwater.
Although there’s no vestibule, one cool feature in this tent is that the rain fly extends over the entrance, thereby creating an awning, of sorts, for gear storage and rain protection when entering and exiting the tent.
Other nice features in this tent include a large rear window, a cool-air port for added airflow, an interior mesh storage pocket, and snag-free continuous pole sleeves for an easy setup.
- 1000D polyethylene flooring
- Nicely priced
- Ample mesh panels let you stay cool while keeping out the bugs
- It’s water-resistant, not waterproof.
- Not as durable or rugged as other tents in our review
- Low center height (48”) and smaller size makes it more of a 3/4-person tent
Bottom-Line: A frill-free tent for 4 that lacks features but is a great budget choice for 2-season adventures nonetheless.
CORE Equipment Instant Dome Tent
Best Instant Tent
Looking for a cheap 4 person tent that packs as much performance as it’s pricier peers? If so, this tidy little number from Core might be the ideal tent for you!
This 4-person family tent ticks all the boxes that need ticking: it’s relatively lightweight, easy to pitch, boasts above-average living space, and offers decent weather-resistance to boot.
What we really love about this tent is how easy it is to pitch. As the name suggests, it can be set up in next to no time thanks to its pre-assembled frame and pre-attached poles.
This four-man tent also measures a respectable 64 sq. ft. and has an impressive peak height of 64 inches, while its near-vertical walls ensure you don’t lose too much headroom around the edges of the tent.
The other features that make this, in our opinion, one of the best family tents out there include a handy gear loft that lets you save floor space for humans, a lantern hook for hands-free illumination, and a wealth of storage pockets that help you keep things nice and tidy inside.
While not the most waterproof tent in our review, this tent uses Core’s H2O Block weather-protection technology, which is more than capable of fending off even sustained light showers.
And the downsides? Well, this tent is a little heavier than other models in our review and also doesn’t have any vestibules. However, given the price and the ease with which it can be set up, this seems a fairly fair trade-off.
- Only takes about 30 seconds to set up
- H2O Block weatherproof technology
- Plenty of mesh panels for ventilation
- Gear loft and ample storage pockets
- Ample room for four inside the tent
- No vestibule
- Slightly heavy
Bottom-Line: If you’re looking for the best 4-person car camping tent that is quick to set up and take down, this is an excellent choice.
Here is another option that is easy to set up. If you’re looking for a lightweight, inexpensive two-season backpacking tent, then you may be interested in this one. While it isn’t the most durable, it is good for the occasional camping trip in fair weather and light rain weather. It’s also super affordable, so if you’re on a budget, this might be the right product for you.
With the rainfly and mud mat, you have a lot of different types of protection to keep you comfy, and dry. The mud mat is one feature that sets this tent apart from the others. It will help to prevent you from tracking dirt and mud inside.
The Alpha Camp is unique in the amount of mesh material it has. Having so much mesh makes it highly ventilated, so it’s excellent for use in the summer when temperatures are high. It is also perfect for stargazing.
- Stylish and comes in different colors.
- Has a PU coating to repel water.
- The PU coating is anti-UV to help protect from fading.
- Fiberglass poles won’t hold up well to wind.
- The only mesh is on the door, so doesn’t have good ventilation.
Bottom-Line: If you are looking for a 4-person tent that holds up in warm weather, then this is an excellent choice due to all the mesh on this tent.
Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API