If you wish to enjoy a camping adventure with your family or friends, you’ll need a tent that can accommodate everybody. For smaller groups, a 4-person tent is an obvious choice – it has plenty of space for sleeping bags and gear, but still packs fairly compact when it’s time to go home.
When choosing your new tent, you should pay attention to factors like ease of setup, weather protection, weight, and packed size. In this article, we’ll present the best 4-person tents on the market and explain all their features, so you’ll have an easier time picking the right one for your camping party.
- Always practice pitching your tent at home the first time and make sure you have help from someone who will be on your camping trip. This means that they will know what to do as well as you do, which will speed up your setup process. You never know when you will want to get your tent pitched as fast as possible in poor weather!
- If you’re walking in a group and pitching a tent of this size along the way, try to split the tent, poles, stakes, fly sheet, inner tent between all members of your team. This means everyone shares the weight of the tent as equally as possible.
- Remember that lighter tents make for easier walking but not always the best weather protection. Keep up to date on weather forecasts during the days leading up to your trip to ensure your tent is going to be up to the challenge if any bad weather comes your way.
How To Choose a 4 Person Tent – Buying Guide
Size and Capacity
While you might think that this is pretty obvious when talking about 4-person tents, not all manufacturers have the same idea of how large people are. These tents are usually made for four average-sized occupants (under 6ft tall), without any extra room for camping gear. If you are taller or have a lot of gear, be sure to check the tent dimensions before ordering.
The total weight depends on the materials used for the body and poles. The usual weight of a 4-person tent is somewhere between 5 and 15 pounds, but the number can vary significantly.
If you’re after hiking or backpacking tents, we advise that you go with an ultralight 4-person tent like the Mountainsmith Genesee. On the other hand, the weight won’t play a significant role if you’re going car camping or can drive straight to the pitch.
Depending on your preferences as a camper, 4-person camp tents offer a large choice when it comes to the weather conditions you can use them in. Most models we’ve featured are 3-season tents, meaning they are ideal for warm to moderately cold weather. However, if you enjoy winter camping, The North Face Bastion is a true 4-season tent that will protect you even in sub-zero temperatures.
Related Review: 4 Season Tent
In addition to providing you with a place to sleep, your new camping tent should also provide weather protection. This is determined by the design, shape, and materials used for the poles and canopy.
When it comes to water protection, manufacturers use a Hydrostatic Head rating to show you how waterproof a fabric is (higher value means better protection). Look for a tent with at least a 1,000mm waterproof rating and preferably a layer of PU coating.
As for wind-resistance, it comes down to the frame quality, design, and how well you secure the tent. The frame should be flexible enough to withstand gusts of wind but solid enough to stay standing. Staking down the tent and running guylines will help keep your tent in one piece during a storm.
Related Review: Waterproof Tent
Manufacturers try to find a balance between strength and weight when choosing tent materials. For this reason, poles are usually made from either fiberglass or aluminum. Fiberglass is cheaper and highly flexible, while aluminum is lighter, less flexible, and comes at a higher cost.
The body is most often made from canvas, nylon, or polyester. Canvas is strong and provides good protection, but it’s also quite heavy. Nylon and polyester are more common nowadays because they’re much lighter, low-maintenance, cheaper to produce, and have great waterproof ratings.
Related Review: Canvas Tent
When it comes to the shape, all products in our 4-person tent reviews are either domes or cabins. The dome shape is best for wind and water resistance, while the cabin style is best in terms of comfort away from home.
Related Review: Cabin Tents
In addition to the shape, you need to pay attention to the doors and windows — they need to be large and ideally have mesh screens for insect protection. It’s always useful to have more than one door so you can enter and leave without disturbing anyone else.
One of the most useful features is mesh pockets on the walls. To be honest, they are so handy that all top-rated 4-person camping tents should have them. Additionally, some models come with gear lofts so you can keep equipment off the floor overhead.
Besides these storage extras, other useful features include hanging loops for lanterns, door vestibules for extra space, and E-ports for electricity hook-up.
Q: Why Should I Get a 4-Person Tent?
You should consider a 4-person tent when you want to camp with your family or friends. It’s a great accommodation for two adults with two kids, a couple of people with pets and gear, or three adults. You can even use it on your own if you want to put a larger bed inside.
Q: What is Most Important to Consider When Buying a 4-Person Tent?
The first thing to consider is the total floor surface you have at your disposal. While they are all marketed as 4-person tents, some of them offer more usable space than others. Another thing to keep in mind is whether protection — the tent needs to keep you dry when it starts raining.
Q: What are the Construction Features I Should Look for?
The most important features to look for are strong pole structure and tough fabric. It all comes down to where and how you’re going to use the tent, so it’s best if it can withstand heavy rain and wind.
Q: How Long Does it Take to Assemble?
Most tents can be set up in 15 minutes or less (even faster if you’re not doing all the work by yourself). However, this generally depends on the tent’s size and design. If you want quick assembly, go for a pop-up model like the Coleman Instant Cabin.
Q: How do I Take Care of My Tent?
Before packing the tent and storing it away, be sure to clean it first. Shake off dirt and debris, and wipe with a moist cloth if there’s mud. Additionally, always let it fully dry before you put it in the bag, or it might get moldy and have a nasty smell the next time you open it.
Globo Surf Overview
When it comes to balancing between portability and sleeping comfort, 4-person tents are as good as it gets. They provide enough space for you and your gear but still fit in your trunk without trouble. We hope that our reviews and guide provided you with enough useful information so you can easily pick the best 4-person tent for your home away from home on any type of camping adventure.
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Have you tried a 4 person camping tent that made it onto our list? Which one? How were you satisfied with build quality and weather protection? Did it have enough space inside? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.