4 person tents are something of an odd size. Usually a bit too big and heavy for backpacking. Often a bit too small for car camping. And for that reason, there aren’t that many 4 person tents on the market (at least compared to other sizes).
But if you have a young family and are looking to upgrade from the 2 person tent from your pre-child years, it’s an excellent size.
Similarly if you want a reasonably large tent but don’t have the space to store anything too big.
In short, although 4 person tents slightly fall between the gaps for the mainstream market. For some people they are the perfect size tent!
The best 4 person tents tend to fall into two “camps” (hoho). Lighter (usually dome) tents that are relatively portable and larger, heavier car camping tents. This article looks at both (as well as a couple of happy mediums):
- Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 – extremely lightweight & great for backpacking
- Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4 – superb small family camping tent
- Browning Camping Glacier 4 – completely bombproof & perfect for car camping
- Coleman Sundome 4 – perfect if you’re on a budget
This 4 person tent measures 98 x 83 x 59 inches fully assembled and 25 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches packed down. The total pack weight is 9.5 pounds. It features two doors, two vestibules, gear loft, tub floor, and a full mesh body.
A 360-degree ventilation system for optimal air circulation keeps you cool. The Mountain Ultra is suitable for three seasons: summer, spring, and fall.
This 4 person tent is all about optimal ventilation, comfort, easy gear storage, and maximizing the view. The full mesh body affords breezy summer nights and front-row stargazing seats.
Because of the tent’s easy setup and lightweight construction, it’s ideal for backpackers and hikers. Pitch, apply the rain fly, and secure it using the provided clips.
You can store all your essentials in the gear loft for even more floor space. When the rain fly is up, two large vestibules give you storage for larger items such as backpacks.
The deep tub floor keeps the inside dry even when it’s wet outside. Vents in the rain fly help keep condensation and humidity down, so you stay comfortable. The tent is waterproofed to 3000 mm.
If you’re a backpacker or hiker who needs a light tent that has excellent weather protection, this will perform really well in wet and windy conditions. Up to four people can sleep in the tent without feeling cramped.
If you need a tent to suit a tight budget, this has a lot to offer at an affordable price point.
Best 4 Person Backpacking Tents
4 person backpacking tents are quite uncommon, mostly because their size starts to make them quite heavy. But if you’re only looking to hike for a few miles or if you’re happy to split the load between members of the party then this isn’t an insurmountable obstacle.
We reckon there are 4 solid options available to you:
- Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 – at 5lbs 11oz it is undoubtedly the lightest 4 person tent on the market
- Kelty Late Start 4 – at 6lbs 14oz it’s probably the best budget 4 person backpacking tent you’re likely to find
- MSR Elixir 4 – it weight 7lbs 14oz and has mixed reviews but it a solid mid-range option
- Marmot Limestone 4 – quite punchy at 10lbs 10oz but boasts a whopping 60sq feet of space and can be used for more than just backpacking
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 – The Lightest 4 Person Tent
This 4 person backpacking tent has a floor area of 57 sq ft and measures 5 by 21.5 inches when packed. The peak height of the tent is 50 inches. The total packed weight is a mere 5lb 11oz. It had two deal-zippered large doors, two vestibules, a large ceiling gear storage area, and eight interior mesh pockets.
The main reason this is probably the best 4 person backpacking tent is because of how unbelievably light it is. It’s the only 4 person tent sub-6lbs. And despite being the lightest 4 person tent on the market, it’s incredibly durable (the nylon material is 25 percent stronger than previous Copper Spur models).
It’s got a great design and there’s not a lot to hate on! The only issues you might have with the Copper Spur 4 are 1) the price tag and 2) it’s a little tight on space (in this reviewer’s opinion). But if portability and compactness are what you want, this is the tent you need to buy.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur 4 should be available from the following stores:
- Check the prices at Campsaver >>
- Check the prices at Sportsman’s Warehouse >>
- Check the prices on Amazon >>
- Check the prices at Campmor >>
- Check the prices at Black Ovis >>
Kelty Late Start 4 – Best Budget 4 Person Backpacking Tent
The Late Start 4 is remarkable for not only being one of the lightest 4 person tents on the market but also one of the cheapest! It weighs 6lbs 14oz and sells for a fraction of the Copper Spur 4. It’s actually even more compact than the Copper Spur 4 , measuring just 18″ x 7.5″ when packed.
It’s a little bit smaller than the Copper Spur, offering just 55.7sq feet of space but a fair bit taller with a peak height of 56″. Most people still won’t be able to stand up in it but it does feel quite roomy.
It has just one vestibule providing 9 sq feet of gear storage. That’s a bit of a downside given than most 4 person tents with vestibules tend to range from 15-30 sq feet of vestibule space. But if you’re on a budget you have to make compromises. And this could be a fairly easy compromise to make.
All in all, you get some pretty awesome specs for not very much money. If I was in the market for a budget 4 person backpacking tent, it would be a toss up between this or the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4. But this would probably win because it’s almost a pound lighter.
You should be able to find a Kelty Late Start 4 in the following stores:
- Check the prices on Amazon >>
- Check the prices at the Kelty website >>
- Check the prices at Campmor >>
- Check the prices at Scheels >>
- Check prices at Moosejaw >>
The Eureka Copper Canyon 4 person tent has a floor dimensions of 8 by 8 feet and measures 7 by 26 inches packed down. The highest point is 7 feet and it weighs 18.10 pounds.
The tent features one large door and three windows as well as mesh cover to increase ventilation. A gear loft, multiple mesh pockets, and an e-port offer storage solutions.
Best reserved for summer, spring, and fall.
The Eureka Copper Canyon is an ideal small family tent for a car camping trip. Four nearly vertical tent walls increase the center height of the tent and mean even the tallest campers are accommodated. You can easily fit a cot and multiple sleeping bags comfortably.
In terms of storage, a large gear loft and two mesh pockets keep your luggage off the floor and organized. The zippered e-pocket enables you to easily charge your phone or other electrical devices in the tent. It can also be used to power lights to help make your tent a little homelier.
The durable steel and fiberglass frame is designed to withstand wind and rain. Moreover, the tub floor and rainfly will help to keep you dry and safe in wet conditions.
It’s simple to set up thanks to the pole sleeves that help guide you while you pitch the tent. Afterward, simply secure the canopy in place using the clips provided.
If you need a large 4 person tent for camping with your family, this is ideal. The tall walls increase interior space and make the tent feel spacious.
This a budget-friendly car camping tent that still offers luxury features such as the clever addition of an e-port and multiple storage options.
Browning’s 4 person tent has a floor space of 8 by 9 feet (72 sq ft of floor space) and weighs a total of 19.4 pounds. The center height of the tent is 6 feet.
It features two large doors, roof vents, a rain fly, and mesh windows for increased ventilation and to keep you cool in summer. This tent is suitable for all weather.
Inside the tent you’ll find storage pockets, vestibules, and a gear loft.
For me, Browning make some of the best camping tents period. The Glacier is no exception. It’s tall, spacious, extremely sturdy, exceptionally durable and very easy to assemble.
A full-coverage rainfly creates two large vestibules for equipment storage. The rainfly also helps protect the tent from rain and UV damage. In short weather resistance is hard-coded into the design.
With ample headspace thanks to the straight tent walls, you can relax without worrying about banging your head. The large gear loft and multiple storage pockets help you to keep the inside organized.
The mesh roof and windows create a cool breeze throughout the tent so if you’re camping in the heat, you can stay cool and comfortable.
It makes an awesome base camp tent and is popular with hunters who like to spend a few days in the backcountry. But even if you’re planning gentler camping trips, its sturdiness translates into longevity. It’s a tent you can count on season after season after season.
If you’re on the hunt for a car camping tent that can withstand rough conditions, this is one of the the best tents on the market. It’s equipped with an extra-strong rainfly as well as a tub floor to keep the inside dry.
The tent is quick to set up, the freestanding feature is really handy. Move it to where you need and the tent holds its shape with no need to take it apart and reassemble.
If you’re on a budget then you may want to have a look at the Eureka Copper Canyon 4 person tent as an alternative. It’s not as sturdy or durable as the Glacier tent, but especially if you’re just looking at an occasional car camping trip in the summer, it might be up your street.
Or if you want something jazzier, look at the Big Agnes tent.
This 4 person tent offers a floor area of 56 sq ft and an area of 96 x 84 x 52 inches when assembled. It weighs 6.9 pounds when assembled and 6.15 pounds when packed. The center height is 52 inches.
It features two doors, two vestibules, a rain fly, ventilation windows with loft storage and storage pockets inside the tent. Suitable for spring, summer, and fall, this three-season tent should sit out the winter months.
A freestanding tent, it can be moved without needing to be disassembled. Setup is also fast thanks to the clip-pole attachment.
The Genesee might look quite simple, however, as 3 season tents go it has a lot to offer including lots of storage with two large vestibules and a gear loft. Additionally, multiple storage pockets help keep smaller things off the floor and organized. All this makes it a very respectable choice for car camping and backpacking if you’re looking for that flexibility.
The large wall panels can be opened to reveal a mesh panel that conveniently increases ventilation inside. Along with the durable rainfly, the tent features a deep tub floor to keep any rain outside where it belongs.
For increased waterproofing, the tent seams are taped to ensure no moisture gets in.
If you need a camping tent that can handle the heat of the summer and the changing conditions of fall, the Genesee is an excellent option. The large mesh wall panels and two large doors improve air circulation even on hot days. In the rain, the tent performs well and keeps you dry and cozy.
And it also works as a budget 4 person backpacking tent because it’s so light.
If you’re trying to research pure play car camping tents then you probably want to check out some of the bigger options in this article, because one of the things you’re paying for with the Genesee is the flexible use.
- Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4
- Kelty Wireless 4
This Big Agnes 4 person tent measures 6 by 15 by 27 inches when packed and weighs 11.4 pounds. It has a center height of 68 inches. The tent features two large doors, windows, a rain fly, storage bag and mesh for ventilation. Your storage inside the tent is sorted with gear loops, storage pockets, bin pockets, and media pockets.
As Big Agnes puts it, this is a helluva 4 person car camping tent, with ample space inside and a height of 68 inches. The two large doors open smoothly with the option of closing it completely or leave a mesh layer for ventilation. There are also additional mesh side panels as well as ceiling mesh panels to increase air circulation within the tent.
You get a number of storage options, including side-wall pockets for iPads, bin pockets that double as bedside tables. You also get gear loops to keep your equipment off the floor and well-organized.
The velcro tabs connect the rainfly to the poles, helping you to get a perfect pitch each time. Furthermore, the velcro tabs provide additional stability.
If you need a 4 person tent for car camping, the Big House is ideal. It features nearly vertical walls, large door and lots of storage options to increase interior space.
If you want a tent that’s easy to set up, the velcro tabs will help you to get the right pitch when setting up the tent.
This 4 person tent has a floor area of 59 square feet and has a minimum weight of 11lbs 2oz. It has two doors, two vestibules. a rain fly, storage bag and boasts a peak height of almost 5ft. Use this tent during spring, summer, and fall.
The Wireless tent is probably the best 4 person tent for the money, partly because it’s so flexible. You can take it car camping or to music festivals. At just over 11lbs you can probably take it into the back country (provided you split it up and don’t hike too far up the trail). Kelty make really good kit, so you know it’s going to last a good few seasons, even with moderate to heavy use.
It consists of a mesh layer covered by a rainfly, so it’s well-ventilated even on hot days. A two doors makes it easy to get in and out of the tent without climbing over one another. Additionally, you get a number of storage options, including two large vestibules so you can stash all your gear without having it crowd you out. Inside the smaller storage pockets mean you can organise your essentials without having to constantly rummage through your pack.
The noiseless zipper is an excellent addition for anyone who likes to wake up early without disturbing others.
If you’re on a budget but still want a quality camping tent, this freestanding 4 person tent is ideal. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, and can be moved around.
A good option for car camping, festivals, a few nights by the lake or even some backcountry camping.
Measuring 7 by 5 feet (35 sq ft) when assembled and with a peak height of 4 feet, the Coleman Sundome tent isn’t the biggest tent on our list. It features one large door, large mesh windows and ground vents for improved air circulation.
Multiple mesh storage pockets, a rain fly and e-port keep your small stuff and electronics organized.
For a budget-friendly camping tent, Coleman is a reasonable choice. It’s honestly not one of the best camping tents on the market. But if you’re on a budget and want something to sleep in occasionally in fair weather then this tent is a great buy.
This 4 person dome tent features welded corners as well as inverted seams that prevent water from making its way into the tent. That said, most people would consider the Sundome to be a one or two season tent. You definitely wouldn’t want to take it out in early spring or late fall.
It’s quick and easy to set up using the two shock-corded poles configuration. In fact, Coleman states it can be set up in less than ten minutes. Insta-clip attachments make for an even easier assembly. Multiple storage pockets keep you organized and an e-port enables you to easily power lights or chargers.
You’ll probably notice that the 35sq feet of space is much smaller than any of the other tents on the list. It’s not something that’s gone unnoticed by Sundome owners, many of whom suggest that Coleman’s rating system is flawed. So in fact, if you want to a four person tent for camping and you’ve settled on the Sundome, you probably want to spring for the 6P version to get the space you need.
The Coleman Sundome tent is ideal for campers on a strict budget who don’t expect to use a tent heavily. The weather resistance leaves something to be desired. But as a summer tent for backyards or festivals or a few nights close to home, it’s a perfectly acceptable beginner tent.
If you are looking for a tent that performs better in tough weather conditions, check out any of the three season tents on this list.
It’s also not the biggest or most spacious tent we looked at. So families who want plenty of room should definitely look elsewhere.
And it’s also not a backpacking tent.
If I was looking for a budget four person tent that was easier to set up and had more space for not much more money, I’d definitely have a good look at the CORE 4 Instant Dome Tent. It’s a pop up tent with pre attached poles and 63 sq feet of floor space. It’s probably more durable and sturdy than the Sundome (it certainly has a better rain fly). And it’s not much more expensive in the grand scheme of things. So something to think about.
How to Choose the Best 4 Person Tent
4P tents aren’t the most common size and so there aren’t nearly as many tents to choose from compared with other tents. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is: are you looking for a car camping tent or a backpacking tent or perhaps a more versatile tent that works for both activities?
After that your main considerations are like to be around size, storage options and price. So without further ado, here’s a few handy tips for how to choose a four-person tent:
Determine Your Camping Style
Are you going hiking for a few days or backpacking long distances? Maybe you’re going car camping and just need a comfortable place to sleep. You need to answer these questions to figure out the tent best suited to you.
If you’re in the former group, consider a lightweight tent that’s easy to pack up and fits in a backpack. A good “rule” to follow is two pounds per person for short hiking trips.
However, if you’re going on longer backpacking or hiking trips, get a tent as light as possible. The Mountainsmith Genesee 4 weighs just short of seven pounds when packed, making it the lightest option on our list.
If you’re going car camping, weight isn’t a determining factor since you’ll only carry the tent to and from the car. In this case, pick a tent that features more bells and whistles, such as the Big Agnes Big House 4.
Basically, the best four man tent is one that brings the right balance of features for your needs.
Four person tents usually come in three and four-season varieties. A three-season tent is suited for summer, fall, and spring. A four-season tent is rated for all seasons and generally features more insulation to help protect you against the cold. After all, hypothermia is no joke! So choose the tent best suited to the weather conditions (but be aware it’s most likely to be a 3 season tent).
Before you go out and buy a four-season tent, thinking it’s a good investment since you can use it all year, think again. Most experienced campers have a three-season tent for summer use and a separate tent for winter use.
Furthermore, all-season tents are heavier, due to added insulation, making them less ideal for backpackers or hikers.
If you’re going to use your tent in the summer, spring or fall, go for three-season.
Although the tents on this list are all categorized as four person tents, that doesn’t mean they all measure the same. Most of the tents reviewed are less than 60 sq ft.
Another helpful “rule” is to give every person in the tent 20 sq ft if you like it to be roomy. If you’re backpacking and don’t mind sacrificing personal space for weight and size, 15 sq ft per person is enough.
The peak height of the tent is important for some whereas other campers don’t mind low ceilings. If you want extra headspace, go for a tent with near-vertical walls, such as the Eureka Copper Canyon 4. Basically, a dome tent will feel more cramped than a cabin tent. But a dome tent will also usually be lighter than a cabin tent. So when it comes to dome tens vs cabin tents it’s a trade off.
However, these tents won’t pack as lightly or compactly, making them less suitable for backpacking. But for car camping, it’s not a problem at all!
Before choosing a 4 man tent, consider if there’s enough room for you to comfortably get dressed without contorting your body.
Storage Space & Organization
A tent is a compromised living space so it’s important to prioritize organization. Having different storage including gear lofts, mesh pockets and, most importantly, vestibules, is ideal.
A vestibule is an additional space (not a living space) you get outside the tent underneath the fly. It’s usually floorless, but you can lay a tarp to protect your things.
I find small storage pockets must-haves inside the tent. They don’t take up extra space or add weight, but they give you areas to store your essentials and keep your electronics and glasses from getting lost.
The best 4P tent will definitely have lots of storage options. As you get cheaper, the design will tend to be less thought through. I’m not saying that the best 4 man tent will naturally be the most expensive. Nor am I saying that the more features a four person tent has, the better it will be. But there is a correlation between price and quality, especially when it comes to storage and organisation.
Good Ventilation Is Key
Condensation is likely to occur within the tent along the walls and even ceiling. This can be reduced if the tent is fitted with good ventilation options. Mesh wall panels, mesh windows, and doors mean fresh air can circulate throughout the tent.
A ground vent in a tent is a great feature to further improve the air circulation without having to open up the tent’s doors and walls.
Clip-On or Sleeves
Attaching the canopy to the poles requires sleeves or clip-ons. Clip-ons allow better airflow and they’re also easier to set up but sleeves are more durable.
Perks of a Freestanding Tent
There are quite a few freestanding tents on the list above, and there’s a good reason why these make good backpacking tents. Freestanding tents don’t need to be pitched down during set-up, meaning you can move it around as you want.
Another perk of freestanding 4 person tents is that you can set it up anywhere, even on hard ground.
Pros & Cons of 4 Person Tents
The best 4 person tents have a lot to offer. First off, they’re an excellent size for a small family or couples who like more room.
- Light: the bigger the tent, the heavier it tends to get so 4P tents can be a happy medium between space and weight. Bear in mind that a pop up tent will typically be heavier than a traditional tent.
- Require less space: When setting up your tent at a campsite, you won’t feel like you’re taking up too much space. And you’ll still have plenty of room for you and your family. This is unlike the larger cabin tents or car camping tents that require a significant amount of space.
- Easy assembly: 4 person tents can have a few more tent poles (and a more complicated pole structure) compared to smaller tents but they’re still easy to pitch. Most campers can get their 4P tent up in less than 10 minutes.
As with any good thing, there’s bound to be a few flaws:
- Sizes differ: As we saw in the reviews above, 4P family tents come in a range of sizes. This does mean it’s important to look closely at dimensions before purchase.
- Might not suit four people: If you or your camping mates prefer a specific amount of personal space, 4 person tents might be too snug, in which case choose a bigger tent with a bigger floor area.
What Is a Good 4 Person Tent?
A good 4 person tent for car camping is the Nemo Wagontop 4. It’s really spacious, great quality and not too expensive. A good 4 person tent for backpacking is the Kelty Late Start 4. It weighs less than 7lbs, has a good amount of space and is extremely good value.
What Is the Best 4 Person Tent?
The best 4 person tent for backpacking must surely be the Big Agnes Copper Spur 4. It’s expensive but gives you 57 sq ft of space while weighing less than 6lbs and packs down pretty small too. The best 4 person tent for car camping is probably the Browning Glacier 4 because of the sheer amount of space on offer (72 sq ft of floor space & 35 sq ft of vestibule space).
How Big of a Tent Do I Need for 4 People?
For 4 people you probably need a tent that measures at least 7′ x 8′. Overall you’re looking at needing between 55 and 75 sq ft of space. Backpacking tents will have a peak height of 50″ – 60″ while four person car camping tents will have heights of 70″ – 85″.
Is a 4 Person Tent Good for 2 People?
A four person tent is great for 2 people if you want a bit of extra space! However, they are a bit of an odd size; a bit too big for backpacking and a bit too small for car camping. Which means you choices are a bit restricted. You might be better off with a 3 person tent for backpacking or a 6 person tent for car camping.
What Is the Best 4 Person Tent With Vestibule?
The best 4 person tent with a vestibule for backpacking is probably the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4 because it offers 25 sq ft of vestibule space. The best car camping tents with vestibules are probably the Nemo Wagontop 4 or the Browning Glacier 4 (27 sq ft and 35 sq ft of vestibule space respectively).
How Much Is a 4 Person Tent?
4 person tents can run you anywhere from $150 all the way up to more than $1,600 (budget tents can be found at less than $100, but don’t set your expectations too high). How much a 4 person tent costs depends on a few factors including brand, size, and how technical it is (eg. ultralight 4 person tents and mountaineering tents can be very expensive).
What Is the Best Tent for a Family of 4?
When camping as a family of four, you’ll need enough space for everyone to live and sleep comfortably. Good 4P camping tents for family camping include the Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4 (this tent is a great buy) as well as the Big Agnes Big House 4.
Both of these tents have a great center height as well as plenty of room to fit parents and children. Car campers love them.
When camping in groups of more than two, a four-person tent is ideal. You have ample room and the tent stills pack easily and is lightweight
Of the options we reviewed, the best 4 person tent is the Teton Sports Mountain Ultra 4. It’s light, features multiple ventilation options, and several gear storage compartments. Additionally, it’s very affordable and will fit most budgets.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 is a great backpacking tent; compact, light, and durable. It’s not a cheap tent but it’s ideal for thru hiking. If you’re on a budget then consider either the Kelty Late Start 4 (6lb 14oz) or the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4 (8lb 7oz). Both are cheaper. Both a little on the heavy side. But still brilliant four person tents.
For cold weather camping then you you’re going to need deeper pockets and to look at premium tents. Both the Hilleberg Keron 4 and the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 are excellent 4P tents for winter camping.
Haven’t found what you’re looking for? If you want something smaller, do check out my reviews of 3 person tents! Or if you need a bigger tent, click through to read about my best 6 person tents and 12 person tents.