The market for tents is huge with the biggest part of that market being tents for small groups or families. When looking for the best 4 person tent, you are almost spoiled for choice. It isn’t quite a flooded market but nearly every company makes a tent in this size ranging from the very affordable to the absolute best quality.
In order to find the best options out there, it is going to require some digging. There are tons of different options, accessories, and layouts to pick from. To make the best possible selection, let’s briefly look at some of the possibilities you may be confronted with.
Table of Contents
- Choosing 4 Person Tents - Things to Consider
- Top 10 Best 4 Person Tent on the Market Review
- 1. Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
- 2. Teton Sports Mountain Ultra
- 3. Kelty Grand Mesa Tent
- 4. ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent
- 5. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4 Person Tent
- 6. Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent
- 7. Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
- 8. Toogh Hexagon Dome Automatic Pop-Up Tent
- 9. Coleman Pop-Up Tent
- 10. Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent
Choosing 4 Person Tents - Things to Consider
Climate & Weather
The first consideration when looking at a tent is how it deals with wet weather. It seems like every camping trip has at least a little rain and nothing is worse than staying in a tent where everything is damp or even flooded. At a minimum, you want any tent you get to be able to handle a rainstorm.
The number one method of dealing with this is by treating the fabric with a weather-resistant chemical. The most common option is a silicon impregnated fabric. This is very nearly a standard feature on most tents but you always need to double check.
In addition to sealing the fabric, the seams of the tent need to be sealed to make sure no water sneaks in. This is especially important around the bottom seams where water may stand for hours or days. There are a variety of methods for sealing seams and all are effective. Just make sure your tent has them!
Most tents will also have a rainfly. This top cover may or may not be sold separately with some brands but you need to make sure you have one. Many tents are ventilated on the top and the rainfly covers those in addition to providing an extra layer of protection and providing a little more coverage area.
Speaking of ventilation, if you use your tent in warm weather, this is a very important consideration. The inside of a tent can get very hot during the day and vents let that dissipate. They keep air constantly circulating which can also help to dry out a tent and prevent that musty, lived-in smell from forming.
Tents will usually have a seasonality rating. There are a few that are summer only but most will be 3-season. This usually means they are appropriate for late spring through mid-fall. A 3-4 Season tent will cover most of spring through late fall and a true 4-season or all season tent will work for most any weather.
As you get into the cooler temperatures, a tent needs to offer more protection. Commonly this means vents that can be sealed, thicker fabric, and possible reinforcement against wind and snow. Camping in bad weather should not be taken lightly, get a tent made for the purpose.
Though we are discussing only 4-person tents, size can vary somewhat. Most tents of this size would have a hard time with a full occupancy of adults but can work with a combination of adults, kids, and even pets. Pay attention to the dimensions of the tent, most allow about 2x7 feet for each occupant. This can lead to cramped conditions.
If you have more people, a lot of gear, or are claustrophobic you may want to go with a larger tent. Consider adding an additional half a person if your campers are larger and need the extra space.
Peak height is another important point to consider. Most people can get by with shorter tents without a problem but if you want to be able to stand, get an appropriately sized tent. Most 4 person tents cap at about 5 feet of peak height but some are taller and a few are much shorter.
If you are looking for a tent for hiking or backpacking, you will need to pick something with a weight you can handle carrying over long distance. For car camping, most anything will work but when you need to pack it into your campsite, the smaller and lighter the better.
Most 4-person tents are a bit on the heavy side to consider for backpacking but a few exist and we will be sure to point those out below.
This is an important consideration for those who want to make the most out of their tents. No one wants to leave their gear out for the animals and weather but if you pack 4 people into a tight space, gear storage is going to get tough.
There are a few options common to tents that make gear storage a little easier. For important items, most tents have small gear pockets so you can keep the things you need like your phone and flashlight readily available when you need them. Some will also have a gear loft. This isn’t going to be strong enough to hold a pack but you can keep your spare clothing and other lighter weight items safely tucked away where they will stay dry.
Most people prefer tents with vestibule or porch areas that are covered and out of the weather. This gives them a little space for storing gear, cooking, or just a place to sit. These are invaluable if you can get them. The added space and versatility is unbeatable.
If your tent has the option, you may also want to pick up a tent footprint or groundcloth. These are simply a thicker covering to prevent rocks and other debris from damaging the underside of your tent. If you camp on manicured turf at a campground, these are probably unnecessary but if you like the backwoods, having a groundcloth can save you a lot of expense.
Top 10 Best 4 Person Tent on the Market Review
1. Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
There are few names in outdoor gear as well respected as Kelty. They are best known for their amazing backpacks but are quickly gaining a following for their equally amazing tents. Everywhere you look, their products are coming top rated in quality and ease of use. If you want the best, this is what you go for.
Kelty makes their tents out of a lightweight, waterproof polyester to keep the weight as low as possible. For a tent measuring almost 9x6.5 feet, you get away with just over 6 pounds, everything included. For the adamant backpacker that needs the extra space, this is one of the few and probably the best you can get.
In addition to the inside space, you also get a huge 11 square foot vestibule as a part of the rainfly. For weather protection, this is the first line of defense but not the last. All of the seams are taped and sealed to keep water out while a full mesh upper allows all the moisture and heat to naturally dissipate. The Salida is a 3 season tent but one you could easily use for cold weather with proper gear.
As for the extras, you do get plenty of internal storage pockets and even some clips for a gear loft. Everything goes up quick and easy using Kelty’s patented Hug Clips rather than the pole sleeves used by cheaper brands. All of this packs down to a 13x17 inch package that can be easily transported. For a tent this size, this is one of the best you can get.
2. Teton Sports Mountain Ultra
Teton is another brand well known and respected in the outdoor community but they have always been known for their superior tents. Beyond all else, they are rugged, nearly indestructible for when you are in the toughest environments. There are tradeoffs to getting durability but they are often worth it when you need a tent that will function without fail.
Size wise, this about on par with any good 4 person tent at very close to 9x6. This tent actually gives you room for four, if you have a lot of gear you may need to cut back on people but the space is there however you want to use it. It does weight more than some of its higher-end competitors at 9.5 pounds but that is how you get durability.
The construction of the Mountain Ultra is the usually sealed poly with taped seams which is completely waterproof. Where it differs is in the rugged oxford cloth footprint that will protect against the sharpest rocks. The full clip on rainfly offers great protection for rain or windy conditions and provides a sizable vestibule for additional storage, cooking, or whatever you need.
For the money, this is one of the best value tents on the market. For well under $200.00 you get a tent that will last for years even if you treat it rough. It has plenty of space but folds down to about 24x8 inches. It may be a bit big in a pack but it will fit. Teton is a piece of gear well worth the investment. It will take you places and give you that home away from home.
3. Kelty Grand Mesa Tent
Before we move on down the list, we are going to come back to Kelty for just a moment. In many ways, this tent resembles the Salida above but is a little better option for warm weather camping. It will also save you a few bucks and still give you all of the quality Kelty is known for. Depending on where and when you camp, this may be your first choice.
Size wise, the Grand Mesa and Salida are pretty comparable with the Grand Mesa coming in just under a half a foot shorter in length. Weight is only a few ounces difference with the Salida being the lighter of the two. In total, you gain 3 ounces and loose about a foot of overall floor space. You do still get the sizable vestibule for extra space with the Grand Mesa.
Materials and construction are very similar between the two. The main difference is the amount of mesh in the Grand Mesa which allows it to vent much better. The dome is also a little smaller which keeps condensation from running back down into your tent. You still get the sealed seams and reinforced bottom in both tents.
Gear storage pockets are identical in both tents but the Grand Mesa does not have the option of a gear loft. This concludes the differences really. You save a bit of money but lose a little in space and features. Whether this is a good tradeoff is up to you and your needs. Both are very high-quality tents.
4. ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent
The one truth of camping gear is that the more you pay the less it weighs. That fact alone is the only reason why the Taurus comes in so low on this list. In many ways, this is the superior tent but not when it comes to packing it in. For those who car camp or even those looking for kayaking or canoe tent options, this is an outstanding tent!
Size does go down with the Taurus but you still get 8.5x7.5 feet which will fit 4 people and some gear. It does have two vestibules for extra storage which greatly expands your storage space so you can use the internal space for people. In total, the Taurus does weigh almost 11 pounds which is quite a bit heavier than most of its closest competitors.
Feature-wise, you get two entryways for this tent which works great when you have it full of people and someone needs out. This is a feature sorely missing from most tents. It also has plenty of mesh storage pockets and a gear loft to get your stuff out of your sleeping space.
One of the main strengths of this tent is its weather resistance. It has all the normal waterproofing with sealed seams and a full cover rain-fly but it also has closable vents, mesh windows, and a thick, waterproof floor. The Taurus is easy to set up, much easier than all but the best tents. It has a ton of great features if you can deal with the weight.
5. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4 Person Tent
To follow up with a second tent from Alps Mountaineering, their Lynx is a slightly older model that may be a bit less durable long term but will save you some money. The quality is still there without a doubt but you aren’t going to get that rock solid construction that you did with the Taurus.
On the inside, this tent is the same size as the Taurus, 8.5x7.5 feet, and will fit people and gear the same way. It does come in a bit lighter at only 8.7 pounds. The combination of weight and size has made this Alps best-selling tent for years. I am sure the supreme quality helps with this as well. It may be a bit heavy for backpacking but should do fine for most other situations.
It comes complete with a rainfly that is waterproof and UV resistant. With this attached, you get two sizable vestibule areas to store gear or use however you need. This combines with a tougher bottom, sealed seams, and closable vents to give you a fully weatherproof tent. It is only suitable for 3 season use unless you really have the gear to deal with extreme cold.
Part of the weight savings is the addition of more mesh on the Lynx to provide better ventilation making it a good choice for warm weather. You do get a few mesh pockets for storage but not a lot else. This tent was designed to be bare bones but with high quality. This saves packing space, weight, and money all in one go. If you don’t need a lot of extras, this is the tent you want!
6. Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent
One of the most exciting things about the growth of the camping market is the intrusion of smaller brands. Many of these are made overseas and are of questionable quality at best. Not so for the Weanas. This tent is of reasonable quality and offers some unique features and all for a price under $100. That is better than most any good tent.
Let’s start off with size, this is a sizable 4 person tent at 88x80 inches. It is a little smaller than standard but enough to fit 4 or go with fewer people and more gear. The truly amazing thing is the weight which is just 6 and a half pounds. Packed down, this is a great, affordable tent for backpacking. Maybe a little small if you really want 4 people but it will work.
You still get all the weather resistance you need with a full-cover rainfly. The seams are sealed and all the normal stuff but there are two features worth noting. The first is that the inner tent is almost completely mesh for supreme ventilation. The second is the vestibule which can be zipped out to provide a huge rainproof awning. You really want this tent more for warm weather as it sleeps a little cold.
Tents that have two doors are rare in this size but very worth it. No crawling over everyone just to get out when nature calls. It goes up very easy with just two poles that snap in rather than with sleeves which is the norm on cheaper tents. For the money, this is a great choice for the budget minded camper.
7. Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
On any list of tents, you will eventually come to Coleman. They have been making tents for longer and in more models than pretty much any other company out there. Sure, they may not be the absolute top of the line but they are amazingly versatile, affordable, and quite good quality.
They sell their instant cabin tent in a few different sized but for the 4-person, it is 8x7 feet making it on the large side for 4 person tents. This means more space and more comfort but also more weight and a larger pack size. You aren’t going to be taking this backpacking with a weight of nearly 20 pounds and a pack down size of nearly 4 feet long.
Hauling it on your back was never the intent with this particular choice. This was meant to go up quick and hassle-free. With a few practice sessions under your belt, you can get this up in under a minute with 1 person. Starting out, getting it up in under 2 minutes is fairly easy.
The seams are taped and the bottom is a slight tub style with double thick fabric. Those parts should do well at keeping out water. It has plenty of ventilation for warm weather with 2 large windows. Here is the downside: This tent does not come with a rainfly. If you choose to get this easy-up cabin tent, make sure you add one. They run about $25.00.
8. Toogh Hexagon Dome Automatic Pop-Up Tent
Toogh is another one of those one-off tents from a new brand. While most of these are lackluster, this particular tent brings some novel features to the market. The quality is fair and the price is excellent. It earns a place on this list for its overall value and is definitely worth checking out.
The inside of this tent is quite large at 82x104 inches but since it is a hexagon, it does have a little less space than a rectangle tent offering the same measurements. For 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids, there is plenty of space. For 4 adults it will be a little cramped.
The most amazing feature by far is the easy setup. It takes literally seconds, just raise the center section and everything pops into shape. A few tweaks and you are set up and ready. This does make the tent a little heavier and larger when packed down, about 10 pounds total and 3.5 feet long. And with the natural colors available, this is actually quite a good tent for stealth camping or for bug out scenarios.
Ventilation is really good in this tent with its chimney-like opening at the top and smaller rainfly. It still keeps the weather out well and is treated polyester oxford for further waterproofing. Still, if you are looking for a tent for warmer weather, this is a fun choice that will turn a few heads!
9. Coleman Pop-Up Tent
Sticking with the theme of easy up tents, Coleman has an incredibly quick option that turns out to be a simply amazing tent for an unbelievable price. If you don’t want to fiddle with your gear when you get to your campsite, this is the tent you want for sure! There is no easier to set up option on the market.
Before we get into how easy it is, let's look at size. At 9x6 feet, this is one of the largest 4 person tents out there and will sleep 4 adults without being too cramped. It is a little short at just 3.5 feet high but that doesn’t diminish the large, open feeling you get in this tent. Packed size is a 2-inch thick disk measuring 3 feet across and weighing just 7.5 pounds.
To set up, you simply remove the bag and a single strap then let go. The tent will do its own thing in about half a second. Clip on your rainfly and stake it down and you are done. With a little practice, less than 30 seconds till you are done.
This has everything you need for a waterproof night just like all Colman tents. One additional feature it has is customizable ventilation. This is the best tent on the market when it comes to controlling how much air you get simply by adjusting the door zippers and rainfly. It can be nearly completely open or sealed up tight. For a 3 season tent, this is a superb choice for those who hate setting up a tent.
10. Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent
We are going to do one more Coleman tent which turns out to be about the best value you can ever get on a 4 person tent. I personally own 3 of these and use them as loaner tents because they simply work and cost so little they can be replaced if damaged. You won’t get more value anywhere.
These are a sizable little tent at 9x7 feet making them larger than most 4 person tents. They pack down to just over 24x6x6 inches and weigh about 8 pounds. They aren’t what you are going to want for backpacking long distance but for short walks or car camping, they are near perfect.
They hold up to wind very well, are completely waterproof with a large rainfly, and do decent in cooler weather. All of the seams are sealed and the floor is a tub style with welded seams to completely prevent water intrusion. I have had this tent in storms, wind, and rain by the buckets and stayed safe and dry. There may be better weatherproofing but not at anywhere near this price.
There is no vestibule and storage options are a little slim. There are a few mesh pockets which help. There is an additional bottom vent and a cord port for running power into the tent if you need it. All in all, this is a solid little tent that can be had for very cheap. Pick one up as a spare or a loaner tent. Also perfect for the kids in the back yard.
Getting the best 4 person tent isn’t hard. There are tons of options on the market. It is figuring out which 4-person tent is right for you that is tough. Hopefully, with our brief guide and a few options, you have a better idea of what is out there and what to look for. Good luck, and good camping!