The Best 4 Person Tent For Camping & Backpacking (2017 Review)

The perfect tent can turn a good camping trip into a great one

The perfect tent can turn a good camping trip into a great one. Photo: thetermitas/flickr

So, you have decided that you want a 4-person tent...

However, there are so many available it is hard to know where to start your search?

Fortunately, we have done the research and are ready to help you find the best 4-person tent.

Let's take a look at what to look for, what to avoid, and how to choose a tent that'll suit your unique needs perfectly. Then, we'll look over some of the top choices and we'll give you our number 1 pick.

Best 4 Person Tent For 2017 - Quick Picks

If you're in a hurry, here are two favorite tents in this review:

Buyers Guide

Who Should Buy a 4-Person Tent?

A 4-person tent is ideal for a small family; whether it be one parent with one or two small children, or two parents with up to two little ones, a 4-person tent will provide enough room for your family and your gear. A 4-person tent works well for a family of four while the kids are small.

Some couples seek a tent that will allow them room to spread out; 4-person tents work well for two people looking for more space than a 2 or 3-person tent offers.

What to Look for When Buying a 4-Man Camping Tent

If you are like us, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the options that are available when it comes to tents. What you should look for in a 4-Man camping tent is going to depend on how you plan to use it.

Let’s talk about some of the key things to think about in your new tent:

Tent Weight

The weight of your tent is an important consideration for backpacking and is much less of an issue should you plan to use your tent for car camping.

If you are looking for a tent that is light enough for backpacking (a good gauge is under 3 pounds per person in tent weight), you will want to stay away from certain amenities like a second door, vestibules and more head room (peak height) as these will add additional weight to your tent.

Amount of Space

How spacious a tent is will include several things; there is floor space, which is how much space inside the tent that allows you to spread out.

Peak height is another consideration; some tents offer enough room for you to stand up straight, which is great for changing clothes and not feeling claustrophobic. Others will offer much less height, causing the tent to feel less spacious.

Vestibules will also add space; these are covered areas that are separate from the main part where you can store your gear. Some tents include these or offer them sold separately.

Tent Materials

Tents are made out of a variety of materials

Tents are made out of a variety of materials. Photo: Princess Kim/flickr

As you are checking into different tents, you will notice that they can be made of different materials. These include polyester, nylon and canvas. The type of material will contribute to its weight and durability.

Polyester is man-made and can be a variety of weights and comes with different coatings. It is similar to nylon but won't stretch or shrink to the same extent. Sunlight has less impact on polyester than nylon, making it a popular choice for tents.

Nylon is often seen in lightweight tents. It is also a man-made fabric and when used for tents it is usually coated with something like acrylic, polyurethane or silicone in order to increase its durability.

Today's canvas is typically made of cotton or linen and comes in two main types: plain and duck. Duck canvas has more tightly woven threads than plain canvas.

When it comes to tent floors, those with seam tape, as well as fabrics made of a higher denier, will be less likely to leak.

Tents poles can be made of fiberglass, aluminum, and carbon fiber. Fiberglass poles are usually seen on less expensive tents and are the least durable. Aluminum poles are what you will typically see in good backpacking tents. These are strong and light. Carbon fiber poles are seen in very high end backpacking tents; they are very light while being very strong, however they are less durable than aluminum.

Setting up a 4 Man Tent

Here's a helpful video that demonstrates how to set up your 4 man tent:

Types of Tents

There are five types of tents:

A-Frame Tents

A frame tents are easy to set up but don't do well in strong wind

A frame tents are easy to set up but don't do well in strong wind. Photo: Taylor B/flickr

Simple and usually inexpensive, the walls of A-frame tents slope downward so you can expect limited head room.

A-frame tents do not do well in high winds, therefore should only be used when you are confident you will be camping in mild conditions.

There are also modified A-frame tents that have a center hoop pole, a ridgeline pole or curved sidewalls. These additions provide more interior space and improve stability over a standard A-frame.

Pyramid Tents

Pyramid tents can be spacious but they don't have a floor

Pyramid tents can be spacious but they don't have a floor. Photo: Joseph/flickr

Pyramid tents have a vertical center pole that supports a rainfly, which is then staked out forming a pyramid or teepee shape.

While these tents are often lightweight, they do not have floors.

In other words, they are not a good choice when any moisture is expected.

Hoop Tents

Tube tents might look a bit unconventional but they do well in strong winds

Tube tents might look a bit unconventional but they do well in strong winds. Photo: evilibby/flickr

Hoop tents, also sometimes called tunnel or tube tents.

They are lightweight and do well in harsh weather conditions, however they are not freestanding.

Staking is necessary for these tents to form their shape.

Dome Tents

Dome tents come a variety of shapes and sizes

Dome tents come a variety of shapes and sizes. Photo: yellowstonehiker/flickr

Offered in a variety of shapes and sizes with different pole configurations, these tents will usually have arched ceilings.

Dome tents offer light protection against wind and decent interior space.

If you're the type who enjoys even more space, and wants their tent to stay put in high winds, then the next type of tent - the canvas tent - is for you.

Canvas Tents

Canvas tents offer the most space, comfort, and wind resistance

Canvas tents offer the most space, comfort, and wind resistance. Photo: Jessica/flickr

As the name implies, these tents are made out of sturdy canvas, rather than the typical nylon material found in most other tents.

Canvas tents are heavier than the previous tent types we mentioned, however, they are the most spacious and the most sturdy.

That makes them perfect for people who want the freedom to stand in a tent - no more sore backs or necks due to hunching over! They also withstand the fiercest winds. It's not uncommon to find other tents thrashed and blown away in heavy wind, while the canvas tents stay perfectly in place.​

Next up: check out these top rated 4-Person tents and learn about what they have to offer, as well as our choice of the best 4-man tent on the market.

Comparison Guide

Reviewing the Top Four-Person Camping Tents

1) Big Agnes - Rattlesnake SL mtnGLO Tent - Best suited for backpacking

Big Agnes - Rattlesnake SL mtnGLO Backpacking Tent - Best suited for backpacking

With a packed weight of 7 lbs 2 oz, the Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL mtnGLO Backpacking Tent offers 57 square feet of floor space. This 4-person tent by Big Agnes offers two doors for easy entry and exit and two vestibules for gear.

Made of breathable nylon and polyester mesh, its included rain fly as well as its floor are made of silicone treated nylon rip-stop with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating.

This 3-season tent offers an easy set up, which will be welcome after trekking all day, including a lightweight symmetrical DAK pole system with press fit connectors, where plastic clips easily attach the tent body to the pole frame. Integrated into the tent's body is mtnGLO Tent Light Technology, which provides ambient light.

Pros

  • The lights inside the tent body offer two settings, low and high and offer the ability to read or relax in your tent at night without scrambling for a flashlight
  • A great option for quick and easy set up and break down so you can spend more time having fun

Cons

  • With a head height of 51 inches, there is not much head room, and people of average height or taller may have trouble standing straight up

2) Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe - Best bang for the buck

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow 4-Person Canvas Tent, Deluxe - Best bang for the buck

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow 4-Person Canvas Tent Deluxe is made with Hydra Shield, 100% duck canvas. In addition to being durable, the material is watertight and breathes well.

The ceiling height is 6’1” offering not only headroom but space to stand up and change your clothes.

Its height, along with its four large windows, make this outdoor shelter feel even more spacious than its 72 square feet of floor space. A front and a back door offer easy access in and out of this 4-man tent and a puncture resistant floor successfully keeps water out.

A Flex-Bow frame that includes tempered, spring steel rods and 1-inch steel tube poles means the tent will be taut and will hold up to harsh winds. This all-season shelter offers two funnel-flow vents that help with both air flow and temperature management. The canvas material will allow water vapor to escape, which will minimize condensation and humidity. A large awning offers shade and and set up will take one person just a few minutes to complete.

Pros

  • This is a spacious tent with plenty of floor space and headroom to ensure your comfort
  • This canvas tent is designed to hold up well in heavy rain and can even handle some snow

Cons

  • At 54 pounds this 4-person tent by Kodiak is not an option for backpacking, however it will work perfect for camping

3) Coleman 4-Person Evanston Tent - For those who want a screened porch

Coleman 4-Person Evanston Tent

The Coleman 4-Person Evanston Tent with Screened Porch Canopy offers 63 square feet of floor space at a weight of 16 pounds. A mesh roof lets you enjoy more sunlight and a separate rainfly with windows will ensure that you stay dry regardless of weather.

The screened porch offers additional space to relax during the time at your campsite without worrying about bugs. Coleman’s WeatherTec system includes patented, welded floors and inverted seams which will keep water from getting into this tent.

The Insta-Clip pole attachments will help this 4-person tent by Coleman remain standing when in windy conditions. Designed with an electrical port, it is easy to bring power inside this outdoor shelter should you desire.

Pros

  • While it is too heavy for backpacking, this is a relatively lightweight and affordable option for car camping

Cons

  • While the screened porch is a neat feature, because it does not have a rainfly it can be problematic when you encounter rain, and could potentially lead to flooding if you aren't careful
  • If you are looking for a shelter where you can stand up straight, this will not be the best option for you as it as a center height of 4 feet 11 inches. Unless you're 4 feet 10 inches or less, then you're all set

4) Eureka Assault Outfitter 4 Tent - Feature rich

Eureka Assault Outfitter 4 Tent - Feature rich

Weighing around 15 pounds, the Eureka Assault Outfitter 4 Tent provides almost 64 square feet of floor space and has a peak height of 56 inches, offering a spacious place to spend your nights outdoors.

This tent by Eureka includes two doors for easy access in and out, as well as two large vestibules (19 square feet and 11 square feet). Dome shaped, it has three 13 mm shockcorded aluminum poles, a RipStop Polyester fly (with good UV resistance) and a Polyester 210 Oxford Bathtub floor, all of which are built for durability. The tent’s ruggedness is enhanced by the factory sealed main fly and floor seams.

This shelter offers excellent ventilation; there are adjustable hooded fly vents and even the vestibules have dual zips for venting.

Pros

  • The two large vestibules keep you gear out of your living space, providing you plenty of room to stretch out
  • The two doors have mesh, Storm Flaps and HI-Low Venting to ensure good ventilation

Cons

  • While the 56 inch peak height is higher than some, it still won’t allow average height adults to stand straight up for changing clothes, although it's not far off either
  • Offering less floor space than other four person options, it will be a tighter squeeze for those looking to sleep 3 or 4

5) Black Pine Sports Freestander Turbo Tent

Black Pine Sports Freestander Turbo Tent

Weighing around 30 pounds, the Black Pine Sports Freestander Turbo Tent offers 64 square feet of floor space and a center height of 7 feet. This 4-person tent by Black Pine Sports has two side windows that have zipper storm flaps and the one door is large and D-style. With a wind rating of up to 60 MPH, this shelter also offers an oversize rainfly awning for additional protection from the elements.

Made of ripstop polyester, the tent walls and rainfly have a Thermoguard lining that will keep excessive heat out in the summer while holding in warmth during the winter. This spacious shelter is easy to set up with the Turbo Tent system of jointed tent poles; simply stake out the corners and lock the joints in place.

Pros

  • The 7 foot peak height means that most adults can stand up straight when inside; this helps the tent feel even more spacious than its 64 square feet of floor space
  • Many who have used this tent confirm that it is easy to set up and take down, leaving you more time to do what you love outdoors

Cons

  • While it should perform well in fierce winds, holding up in snow may be more challenging. One user experienced a broken pole during a camping trip where they experienced a heavy snow fall, so if you're in those types of conditions you'll need to make a point to clear the snow off the top before it piles up too much

6) Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent - Lightweight and sturdy

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent - Lightweight

Weighing just under 13 pounds, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent offers 57 square feet of floor space and a peak height of 50 inches. This tent by Mountain Hardwear offers two vestibules (one is 16 square feet and the other 7 square feet), ensuring that your gear does not cause you to feel cramped. The tent body is made of nylon and mesh and offers two dual canopy and mesh doors.

Mesh and canopy zippered thru-vent ensures you have the ventilation that you need while providing a view of the outdoors through the fly window. Color coded webbing at stake out points makes it easy to set up the poles (DAC Feather Light NSL) that support this 4-person shelter by Mountain Hardwear.

Pros

  • This lightweight tent performs well in even the most difficult weather conditions
  • Direct Connection point provides for securing the tent body, frame and fly at each guy out point, making sure that all three components of the tent have a solid connection

Cons

  • Offering less floor space than other 4-person tents, the 50 inch peak height of the shelter does not help it feel more spacious either

WINNER of the Best 4 Person Tent Review 

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow 4-Person Canvas Tent, Deluxe

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow 4-Person Canvas Tent, Deluxe - Best bang for the buck

We love that this tent by Kodiak is made of a durable, watertight material that will breathe well in different weather conditions. With a peak height of 6'1", this home away from home offers most adults the ability to stand up straight. The 72 square feet of floor space is more room than most 4-person tents offer.

This shelter has spring steel rods and steel tube poles making allowing it to handle harsh winds and its puncture resistant floor will make sure that water stays out. Two funnel-flow vents will assist with air flow and temperature management, adding to the tent's overall comfort

All of this, along with the added bonus of being able to set set up the tent in minutes, lead to it being our top choice.