Best 4-Person Tent For Comfortable Camping

In the market for the best 4-person tent your money can buy? You're in the right place! Our buyer's guide will introduce you to all the top models and provide the info you need to make the right choice for you.

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Marmot Limelight 4 overlooking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park – Photo sk

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 four-person tent
    • How to choose the best shelter for your needs 
    • How to choose between 4-person camping tents & backpacking tents
    • Our unbiased 4-person tent reviews of the best backpacking & camping tents

Camping with friends and family is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for any lover of the great outdoors. It allows you to forget the stresses of home and enjoy each other’s company in peaceful settings, all while enjoying all the many benefits nature has to offer. 

However, without the right tent a less than rosy forecast for your leisure time is sure to be on the cards….

To help you find the right kind of tent for you, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to seven of the best 4-person tents on the market and provide all the info you need to make the right choice for your specific needs.

REI Kingdom 4
The REI Kingdom 4 is our favorite 4-person camping tent © MyOpenCountry

Editors Choice

REI Kingdom 4

REI Kingdom 4 Camping Tent

The REI Kingdom is the best 4-person tent thanks to its great specs across the board, particularly its roomy interior, great ventilation, and plenty of space for your gear. In our opinion, it’s the perfect family camping tent.

The REI Kingdom offers the largest interior of any of the 4-person tents in our review, with a whopping 69.3 square feet and enough room to fit two double air mattresses side by side without cramping anyone’s style. The tunnel design uses a unique pole structure that stretches the mesh roof outward giving a peak height of 6’ 3” and a roomy feel.

Camping enthusiasts can stash all their gear with ease given the 29 square foot vestibule, 4 storage pockets above the doors, and more pockets lined along the mesh walls. All your camping essentials will be protected come rain or shine! If that’s not enough room to store all your equipment then we recommend the additional purchase of the REI Mud Room which adds another 50 square feet of living space.

Bottomline: For overall livability, it’s hard to look past the REI Kingdom which ultimately wins our top choice award.

At a Glance: Best Four Person Tents for Backpacking & Camping

  • Editors Choice:  REI Kingdom 4
    “With a large spacious interior, lots of gear storage, and great ventilation and waterproofing — it’s easy to see why the REI Kingdom is the top choice for car-camping families. “
  • Runner-up:  NEMO Wagontop 4
    “The NEMO Wagontop is the most liveable tent in our line-up with steep cabin walls, tied for the largest overall size and with a peak height of 6’ 6”. “
  • Best budget :  Coleman Sundome 4
    “If you want a simple, cheap four-person tent for the occasional summer camping trip, then it’s hard to knock Coleman’s Sundome. “
  • Best value:  Kelty Wireless 4
    “The Kelty Wireless successfully straddles price and performance making it a great value pick for someone not needing the higher specs of the premium tents. “
  • Best rooftop model:  Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4
    “If you want a mobile tent for the roof or your vehicle, then it is hard to beat the easy setup of the rugged Thule Tepui Explorer Autana.”
  • Best Four Person Tent for Backpacking:  Marmot Limelight 4
    “If you intend to do a little backcountry camping then the lightweight Limelight would be our top pick as the top 4 man tent for backpacking. “
  • Best Tent for Tall People:  Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4
    “For the taller camper looking for a shelter, they can stand up in at an affordable price the Eureka Copper Canyon LX4 would be our recommendation. “

The Best 4 Person Tent in 2021: Our Top 7 Picks

REI Co-op Kingdom 4

Editors Choice

REI Kingdom 4 Camping Tent

The REI Kingdom 4 is the best 4-person tent in our review thanks to its great specs across the board, particularly its spacious interior, great ventilation, and plenty of pockets for storing extra gear. Basically everything you’d want in a fantastic 4 man tent for family camping trips.

The REI Kingdom ties for the most spacious interior of any four-person tent in our review at 69.3 sq ft, this is large enough to fit two double air mattresses with room to spare. The tunnel design, which features several cross poles to help pull the ventilated mesh roof outwards, creates near-vertical walls and makes the 6’ 3” peak height feel even taller.

The 1500mm 75D rainfly and 150D bathtub floor is one of the most durable we came across in our review (only the Wagontop had a more durable floor at 300D) and has sufficient waterproofing to see you through all but the worst fall storms. 

The dark mesh body and roof vents allow great air circulation, and if the weather allows, the rain fly can easily be rolled back to allow stargazing.

With a 29 sq ft vestibule, 4 storage pockets above the doors, and a line of mesh storage pockets along the walls of the bathtub floor you will have plenty of options to store gear. However, if you do need more space then the REI Mud Room (bought separately) adds a further 50 sq ft for extra gear storage or a little more living space if the weather turns nasty. 

The Kingdom is an expensive model, and if you want a cheaper option we would have recommended its little brother the Grand Hut. Unfortunately REI seems to have recently discontinued it. Instead, the Eureka Copper Canyon is a step down in quality but has all the essentials at a lower price.

Specs

  • Type: Tunnel
  • Floor: 69.4 sq ft
  • Height: 6’ 3”
  • Rainfly: 1500 mm
  • Weight: 18 lbs 8 oz
  • PROs

    • Large and roomy interior
    • Ample gear storage
    • Great ventilation
  • CONs

    • Higher price point
    • Takes a little time to pitch
    • Heavy with a large packed size

Bottom-Line: The REI Kingdom is everything you’d want in a high-end four man tent and in our opinion blows away the competition to be the best 4-person tent on the market.

Coleman Sundome 4

Best Budget

Sundome Tent

If you’re looking for a cheap 4 person tent for the occasional camping trip in fair weather then the Coleman Sundome is the best 4 person car camping tent at this price point. 

Weighing in at just under 10 pounds (9.8 lbs) it is one of the lightest tents we reviewed, and could be used for backpacking if you were to distribute the weight amongst your camping mates. Only the Marmot Limelight is lighter, at 8.8 lbs, and comes with a significant performance upgrade (and price to match).

The Sundome affords a pretty reasonable 63 square feet of floor space, but the dome design, and low peak height of 4’ 11” does mean that head and shoulder space is limited. If you want more headroom you’ll need to pay a little more for a cabin model, such as the Eureka Copper Canyon which has 64 square feet and 7 feet of headspace.

While Coleman claims that the Sundome is a 4 person 3-season tent, we are a little pessimistic about its chances of being used in the early spring or late autumn. Its partial coverage rainfly has a 600mm rating making it suitable only for short showers and any slanted (or horizontal rain) can blow into the interior from the sides. 

The Coleman Sundome tent is a great option for its price, but it is limited in terms of performance as compared to other tents in our review and therefore best suited to warm weather camping with few rainy nights. 

Specs

  • Type: Dome
  • Floor: 63 sq ft
  • Height: 4’ 11”
  • Rainfly: 600 mm
  • Weight: 9 lbs 13 oz
  • PROs

    • Affordable
    • Lightweight
  • CONs

    • Not very waterproof
    • Lack of storage
    • Single entry point

Bottom-Line: There are few others that can compete with the Sundome Coleman 4 person dome tent on price.

Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4

Best Rooftop Model

Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4 with Annex, Haze Gray

An interesting option for car camping is to attach a tent to your van or truck’s roof, and in our opinion the best rooftop tent for 4 is the Thule Tepui Explorer Autana. This sturdy shelter is easy to set up and is as mobile as your truck is.

Made from 600D ripstop cotton/polyester blend and welded aluminum poles this is more durable than the other 4-person tents we reviewed. It comes with a high-density foam mattress, removing the need for bringing separate sleeping pads, however this does mean it weighs a whopping 190 lbs and will take a couple of folks to get it attached to your truck. Once attached to the roof however it can single-handedly be taken down again in just a few minutes.

At only 48 square feet the Autana is a tight squeeze for four, and there is little room for gear inside other than for small items to fit into its four large storage pockets. To compensate, a skirt can be wrapped around the overhang to create an awning/vestibule for getting dressed and you always have the inside of your vehicle for gear storage.

Specs

  • Type: Rooftop
  • Floor: 48 sq ft
  • Height: 4’ 8”
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • PROs

    • Easy to set up (once installed)
    • Extremely durable
    • As mobile as your van
  • CONs

    • Expensive
    • Very tight squeeze for four

Bottom-Line: If you plan on dispersed camping trips with your truck or SUV then the Thule Tepei Explorer Autana rooftop may be a great option.

Marmot Limelight 4P

Best 4-Person Backpacking Tent

MARMOT Limelight 4P

For families that like to adventure together, a family backpacking trip needs a lightweight tent. And if you’re looking for a 4-person model then they don’t come much better than the Marmot Limelight, a versatile tent suitable for car camping or backpacking.

The headline spec of the Limelight is its weight — at just eight and a half pounds it is the lightest option on our list. Using more durable 68D materials than typical lightweight backpacking tents, we would heartily recommend it for either car camping or backpacking.

While the Limelight has one of the lowest peak heights at 4’ 5”, its pole structure does a good job of pulling the tent body outward. This helps create ‘taller’ walls allowing you to sit up comfortably inside. Handy when you’re sitting out a rainstorm.

When it comes to floor area, the 51.7 sq feet is on the cozy side, leaving just enough space for your sleeping pads with a little space left over for backpacks. Handily the gear loft and vestibule will help give you more space for storing your gear. 

If you want more space in a “lightweight” tent then you’ll either have to opt for the less durable and weather-resistant Sundome (63 sq ft – 9lbs 13 oz) or the Kelty Wireless (59 sq ft – 11 lb 14 oz).

Specs

  • Type: Dome
  • Floor: 51.7 sq ft
  • Height: 4’ 5”
  • Rain fly: 1500 mm
  • Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz
  • PROs

    • Lightweight
    • Good weather-resistance
    • Good storage for a backpacking tent
  • CONs

    • Tight squeeze for four
    • Thinnest materials

Bottom-Line: If we were to pick one of the many backpacking tents to take out on a four-person trip, then it would be the lightweight Marmot Limelight.

Kelty Wireless 4

Best Value

Kelty Wireless - Freestanding Camping Tent - 6 Person

This Kelty 4 person tent offers a decent option at an affordable price — while it doesn’t bring the quality of the higher-end 4-person tents, such as the Limelight or the Kingdom, it is a significant upgrade from our bargain basement pick the Coleman Sundome.

The Wireless successfully straddles the bridge between the other two dome tents on our list, the cheap Coleman Sundome, and the premium Marmot Limelight. A step-up from the Coleman Sundome, the Wireless may have a little less living space, but makes up for it by adding 23.7 sq ft of vestibule giving you more room for your gear. The Wireless is also more waterproof than the Sundome, making it capable of handling longer and heavier rainstorms and pushing its usability deeper into the shoulder seasons.

Compared to the higher-end Limelight, the Wireless weighs nearly 3 and a half pounds more making it better suited as a camping tent than for backpacking trips. The other drawbacks are the lower quality materials, such as the fiberglass poles, and the poor ventilation offered by the limited use of mesh on this family tent.

Specs

  • Type: Dome
  • Floor: 59 sq ft
  • Height: 4’ 9”
  • Rain fly: 1200 mm
  • Weight: 11 lbs 14 oz
  • PROs

    • 3-season waterproofing
    • Affordable price
    • Plenty of vestibule space for gear
  • CONs

    • Lower quality fiberglass poles & fabrics
    • Air-circulation is poorer than high-end tents

Bottom-Line: If you’re looking for a reasonably priced 4 person waterproof tent that has adequate sleeping space and enough room for your gear in the outside vestibule, then the Kelty Wireless is a good pick.

Nemo Wagontop 4P

Runner-up

Nemo Wagontop 4P (Granite Grey/Birch Leaf Green) 2020

The NEMO Wagontop was a close runner-up to our overall winner, the Kingdom 4 — this cabin style model has a superb amount of liveable space, good waterproofing, sturdy build, and plenty of storage space.

With 69.4 sq ft of floor space it ties top spot for largest sleeping area, and is second only to the Eureka Copper Canyon for the tallest model we reviewed with a peak height of 6’ 6”. Combined with NEMOs unique pole structure which helps create vertical cabin walls, the Wagontop 4Pjust nudges past the Kingdom in total liveable space.

It also uses a more durable fabric for the floor, a 300D polyester and is easier to set up than the Kingdom due to its single wall design. 

Where it loses out to the Kingdom is in its ventilation — As a single wall tent, the ventilation is pretty much limited to two large screen windows. So if you want privacy, or it’s raining heavily, these will be closed, restricting airflow. The double-wall Kingdom not only has multiple vents, but it is easy to roll back the waterproof rain fly for stargazing during warmer weather.

Overall, it’s a close call for the top prize, and we can see taller campers who want a premium model may prefer the vertical walls and higher peak height that the NEMO Wagontop offers.

Specs

  • Type: Cabin
  • Floor: 69 square feet
  • Height: 6’ 6”
  • Rain fly: 1500 mm
  • Weight: 20 lbs 1 oz
  • PROs

    • Roomy interior
    • Great storage
    • Quality gear & materials
  • CONs

    • Expensive
    • Single-wall restricts ventilation
    • Doesn’t handle wind well

Bottom-Line: A close call for the top prize, the NEMO Wagontop has the most liveable sleeping area of any model we reviewed.

Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4

Best Tent for Tall People

Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4

Literally towering above the rest, the Eureka Copper Canyon can definitely be classed as a tall 4 person tent with a peak height of an incredible 7 feet. It beats out its nearest competitor the NEMO Wagontop by nearly 6 inches, making it the best camping tent for very tall campers and at a small price.

The outward pole frame creates the vertical 7 feet tall cabin walls and mesh roof, which covers the 64 square feet of living space. This makes for one very large, and roomy interior.

For the low price, a cost will be incurred, and for the Copper Canyon it is in it’s weather resistance and ventilation. The rain-fly is partial coverage and acts almost like a hat, covering just the very upper portion of the structure. 

As a result, the walls are solid and have been coated with waterproofing which restricts the tent’s ability to breathe. There is a mesh roof and screened mesh windows but these don’t perform as well as a two-wall model like the REI Kingdom.

Specs

  • Type: Cabin
  • Floor: 64 square feet
  • Height: 7 feet
  • Rain fly: 1200 mm
  • Weight: 20 lbs 4 oz
  • PROs

    • Tallest we reviewed
    • Large liveable space
    • Affordable price
    • 2 x gear loft
  • CONs

    • Partial coverage rainfly
    • Poorer ventilation

Bottom-Line: For taller campers who want to move around inside their tent without hunching, the Eureka Copper Canyon offers just this at a very reasonable price.

How To Choose A Good Four Person Car Camping Or Backpacking Tent

Livability

The livability of a tent is influenced by the floor area, expected number of occupants, peak height, and shape of the pole structure. A backpacking tent will sacrifice some livability to keep the overall weight and packed size down. As a result, a car camping tent will have more floor space, overall higher peak height, and more vertical walls.

Coleman Comfortsmart Cots in REI Basecamp
Inside a REI Basecamp tent at Lassen National Park. Photo by bgwashburn / CC BY 2.0

While all tents give a capacity i.e. the number of intended occupants, the marketing departments of these companies tend to be overly optimistic as to how many folks they can cram inside one of their products. Take a look at the given floor space, and divide it by the number of occupants to work out how much sleeping space each camper would have.

At an absolute minimum, you should expect to require around 13 square feet of floor space per backpacker. This assumes you’re happy being tightly packed in and there’ll be minimal gear with you inside. Car campers who plan to use air mattresses, cots or just want a more spacious, comfortable camping trip should look for something around 15-16 square feet (or higher) per person.

The REI Kingdom 4 and the NEMO Wagontop are the roomiest 4-person tents on our list at a spacious 69.4 square feet, big enough to fit two double air mattresses in with a few square feet left over. The Thule Tepui Explorer Autana is the smallest at 48 square feet (12 sq ft/person), although it does get some leeway, since it’s a rooftop model you can store most of your gear in your SUV or truck.

For taller campers, peak height is one specification you’ll want to pay attention to. The peak height is the distance between the floor and the highest point of the tent. This will affect your ability to sit up straight in dome tents such as the Coleman Sundome (peak height of 4 feet 11 inches), and in a larger tunnel or cabin style tent such as the Eureka Copper Canyon (peak height of 7 feet), your ability to comfortably stand up and walk around inside.

Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4 in Harold Parker State Forest
The tallest tent on our list, the Eureka copper Canyon and screen tent in Harold Parker State Forest – Photo by Eric Savage / CC BY-SA 2.0

Peak height doesn’t tell the full story though, as the overall shape will also affect the liveability. The structure of cabin tents is designed to create vertical or near-vertical walls which gives more head and shoulder space. Dome-shaped tents will arch towards the floor, meaning a rapid reduction in the height away from the apex.

The number of doors also impact on livability — if there is only a single door, then this could mean you need to clamber over your sleeping mates to exit for the bathroom. Multiple doors will allow you to get in and out of the shelter with greater ease.

Weather Protection

How weatherproof you need your shelter to be will depend on the locations and the time of year you expect to do the majority of your camping. For your own safety, always use a structure that is made for the prevailing weather conditions i.e. don’t use a two-season option like the Coleman Sundome for cold weather camping.

Weather protection is determined by the tent’s shape, the strength of the poles, and the waterproofing used. More expensive tents have better weather resistance because they are made of more advanced materials, have full-coverage rainfly, and stronger poles. Be extremely wary of the weather protection offered by cheap tents unless you plan on fair-weather camping.

reinforced and seam sealed seams
Reinforced and seam sealed seams are one method of ensuring a weather proof tent © MyOpenCountry

To determine how waterproof a tent is, take a look at the hydrostatic head (HH) of the rain fly and on the floor. Hydrostatic head is recorded in millimeters and is a measurement of the amount of water pressure a fabric can hold before it begins to seep through. 

We’d recommend a rainfly with a HH value of 1000mm or above if you plan on camping in inclement weather during shoulder season, but many car-camping tents with a lower HH rating like the Coleman Sundome (600mm) or CORE Instant Dome (600mm) will be fine in short summer showers. 

The shape of the shelter, the number of guy out points and the strength of the poles will all determine how wind resistant it is. Cabin tents with their straight vertical walls are the most vulnerable to wind — the roof can also gather water in heavy rain. Dome tents with their lower profile and more rounded tent walls are more aerodynamic and thus hold up in high winds better.

Warm Weather Ventilation

How well your tent breathes will depend on whether it’s a single-wall or a double-wall model, along with the fabrics used and the number and placement of vents in the rain fly. Waterproof coatings applied to a rainfly will significantly decrease the breathability of the fabric trapping warm and humid air inside.

Single-body tents, such as the NEMO Wagontop, have a single layer of fabric which separates the interior from the outer environment. If there is a significant temperature difference between the two, and a lack of ventilation, a build up of condensation can occur inside. The Wagontop gets around this by having large screened windows, although this reduces it’s weather resistance.

Inner tent being clipped onto poles
Clipping the inner mesh tent body onto the pole structure

Many 4-person tents will be built with a double-wall body consisting of the inner tent and the rain fly. This design helps to prevent a humid interior and condensation build up by improving the air flow throughout.

The inner part will be partially made of mesh which allows air to circulate through it — the more mesh, the better the structure will breathe. The rain fly will also have several vents to allow warm and moist air to escape.

Some tents, like the REI Kingdom 4, have rainfly designs that can be easily rolled back in better weather conditions allowing for even better air flow.

Quality and Durability

The thickness of a tents fabric is measured in denier (D), which is proportional to the durability. Denier rating of the fabric is a measurement of yarn weight and is often given by the manufacturer. The denier information of the tent floor, rainfly, and canopy is often listed as 40-150 denier (sometimes referred to as 40D-150D) and is typical for car camping tents. 

tent on top of suv truck intext

Tent floors are most susceptible to punctures and tears, especially without a footprint, and are normally made with thicker materials than the rainfly.

As well as the fabrics, take a look at the tent poles used. A budget tent will use fiberglass poles which are more prone to breaking than the lighter and more expensive aluminum poles used for manufacturing more premium tents.

The level of durability you require comes down to how often you’ll use it, and in what conditions. However, if you have kids then a family tent probably needs a little bit of toughness and the NEMO Wagontop and REI Kingdom are the toughest 4-person tents in our test.

Setting Up & Taking Down

Due to their larger size, setting up and taking down a 4 man tent can be tricky. However, thanks to color-coded or pre-attached poles, clip-on mesh roof, and other design features, the majority of 4-person tents can be quickly pitched. While not the most important consideration, if you’d rather have a structure that was easy to assemble you should opt for an instant tent.

Pitching the REI Kingdom
Pitching the REI Kingdom 4 took our reviewer less than 10 minutes single-handed © MyOpenCountry

Instant tents such as the Coleman Cabin tent are designed so that they can be set up by one person with relative ease in just a couple of minutes.  They’re the easiest to pitch because they have pre-attached poles connected directly to the fabric. These tents however can be heavier and are harder to repair should a component break.

At the other end of the spectrum, the REI Kingdom 4 is the largest, and most difficult, to assemble in our test but with a few practice attempts, it could be assembled by our reviewer on their own in less than 10 minutes.

Weight and Packed Size

Weight considerations are more important when hiking since backpackers have to carry the tent in their pack. Therefore the best 4 person tents for backpackers will be the ones with lower weight and packed size. 

Weight can be affected by factors such as the size and capacity, materials used, and the type and shape of the shelter (freestanding vs non-freestanding, A-frame vs Dome).

Marmot Limelight in Coopers Rock State Forest
Our top backpacking option, the Marmot Limelight in Coopers Rock State Forest, WV – Photo by sk / CC BY-ND 2.0

If you’re planning on backpacking then a lightweight option such as the Marmot Limelight (8 lbs 8 oz) is a good option or if you can split the components amongst the occupants then the Kelty Wireless (11 lbs 14 oz) could be a good idea.

Car campers usually use larger, more durable and therefore heavier 4-person tents. However, this extra weight is not much of an issue since you are unlikely to be carrying your gear far from your car to the pitch. 

Most of the more comfortable tents such as the REI Kingdom 4 or the NEMO Wagontop are closer to 20 lbs and have a packed size similar to a day hiking rucksack.

Storage Space: Pockets, Vestibules, and Gear Loft

Most tents (but not all) allow for outer storage in vestibules that are extensions of the rainfly. These will be for storing shoes, bags, cooking equipment, and other gear that can be stacked outside the inner tent. Depending on their size they can also be useful for sitting in, cooking etc when it’s raining.

Backpacking tent vestibule space
With sleeping space at a premium, having enough room in your vestibules for gear is important.

If you need more space then 4-person tents like the REI Kingdom have separate aftermarket add-on vestibules to extend the amount of storage and living space.

Interior storage options such as a gear loft and mesh pockets are useful for storing items such as headlamps, phones, maps or spare clothing so they’re handy when we need them.

If you’re the type that takes a lot of gear then the NEMO Wagontop or REI Kingdom have great storage options. At the other end of the scale is the Coleman Sundome which only has a couple of pockets and no vestibules.

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Brian has been an avid hiker and backpacker since he was a small kid, often being taken out into the wilderness on trips with his father. His dad knew everything about nature and the wilderness (or at least that's how it seemed to a ten year old Brian).

After high school, he went to university to read for both a BS and MS in Geology (primarily so he could spend his time outside rather than in a classroom). He's now hiked, camped, skied, backpacked or mapped on five continents (still need to bag Antartica) & 30 of the US states.

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