The 7 Best 4 Person Tents for Camping (2020 Buying Guide)
They say the best things and life are free, and they also go on about how happiness is best shared. Well, I guess the best way to put those two ideas together is to get together the wife (or husband) and the kiddos and hop in the car and head over to the nearest nature spot you know. Enjoying the natural landscape with those you love and know best around you, there’s nothing like breathing in that fresh air and seeing the starry night away from the noise, light, and pollution. A couple laughs around the campfire and a gorgeous hike to share stories from just hours before, and you’ve created a lasting memory for your spouse, yourself, and your loved ones.
So now let’s move onto what to look for when purchasing a larger tent. Often a bigger tent is preferable and offers plenty of upsides. For example, there will be plenty of space to accommodate cots or air mattresses, as well as all your equipment, gear and clothes that need to stay protected by the elements. A smaller tent may be more compact and light, but they can’t offer the same space and features to move around comfortably once inside the tent. Plus if you’re concerned about the safety of the others in your group, it’s easiest to keep them all stowed together under the same nylon ceiling.
Also when choosing a tent, it’s important to choose how often you are hoping to use this product. For a tent able to cover the four seasons of the year, you’re going to have to pay for a heavier tent, made of more durable materials and heavier poles to withstand the four seasons of impact. Another option is a three-season tent, which offers a great degree of protection and reliability. These tents are often fully waterproof and usually come with a rainfly that you can bring with you or leave at home, depending on the weather. But before we delve further into the various four-person tents available, let’s review the various styles and options that are available to you.
The Tent Type
There are several different tent designs, so we thought we’d spend a minute reviewing the different types available. The design and shape usually correspond to a varied level of outdoorsmen’s expertise, so it will be nice to know what aspects of a tent you prefer.
A-Frame tents: A-frame tents are designed primarily to counteract results from rainfall, and come in a super basic and simple style regarding set-up and take-down. Unfortunately, the A-frame style can result in headroom issues, and for holding the user in some cramped quarters once snooped inside. The lower ceilings may mean it’s an easier set-up, but some people would be willing to spend the extra time setting up their space if it comes with more space on the interior.
Dome tents: The dome tents are increasing in popularity amongst campers, and it’s easy to see why. By using only two poles that zigzag across the tent’s peak, they provide generous headroom while staying lightweight. Unfortunately, the roomy comfort comes with weakened stability concerns and can gather water and snow if you don’t pack the rainfly. This style is best for summer months or a drier climate.
A similar cousin of the dome tent is the tunnel, which is basically the design with consideration for only one door. Normally they are slightly longer and with more space versus a dome tent, though this comes with more weight as well. And the third variation of this branch is the geodesic tent, which comes with more poles, stability, and structure. However, these will be the more expensive versions and require more skill and expertise to set up and take down effectively. Perhaps recommended for more experienced outdoorsmen, if you’re bringing the kids we would recommend an easier operation that the geodesic.
The materials used in a tent’s construction will determine the quality, price, and reliability of the product. By using Ripstop technology to improve durability and range across various weather conditions, most tents will be able to handle at least 3 seasons of weather. And for the warmest months, looks for some breathable mesh materials in the form of nylon. This is a great reliable material that keeps you cool and odors out.
When it comes to the poles and the tent’s intrinsic structure, know that there are also a few options. The easiest entry point is aluminum, both lightweight and affordable with solid durability. Some tents even offer aircraft-grade aluminum, which obviously can hold a sturdy structure together. At the higher end of the spectrum, you’ll see fiberglass poles or even carbon fiber. More lightweight and easily replaceable, know that you’re paying more but getting a finer product in return. You get what you pay for as the famous rule goes, and your camping tent’s poles are no exception. And now, onto the tent reviews.
Best 4 Person Tent for Camping – Overview
1. Coleman 4 Person Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
- WEATHERPROOF: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; integrated rainfly offers extra weather protection with better airflow
This is a great tent, really popular and with good reason. With 56 square feet of floor space and weighing around 18 pounds, the cabin-style is a good fit for the whole family inside. Too big to carry in a backpack but still ideal for a car camping trip, it’s an easy tent with great value.
However, the best part of this tent is the instant setup. All the poles are already attached, meaning all you need to do is extend the tent poles and lock them into place. The whole set-up is a one-man job that will be finished in 60 seconds. On the interior, you get a mesh pocket to store valuables, and the special Dark Room technology prevents sunlight from coming in, offering you those much needed moments of rest to recuperate before the sun’s reached its peak.
However, there are repercussions to the double-sided lining and steel poles that are used to create this backpacking tent. And that is, at 18 pounds of total weight, it is by far one of the heaviest options available, even twice as heavy as some of the other options.
- Easy set-up to be completed by anyone in little time
- Great paneling and mesh pockets for added storage
- The heaviest tent we reviewed
2. AmazonBasics dome 4 person tent
- Dome-style, free-standing tent accommodates up to 4 people; works well for 3-season camping
This camping tent from amazon really stands out for its simplicity and effective design. We think this is a solid choice for either car camping or backpacking trips and can be used from spring until fall. It’s a pretty durable tent due to its 1000D polyethylene floor fabric, and the dome shape atop improves stability and wind resistance. The tent materials provide a strong hold that creates full coverage of protection instantly. The floor area of the tent a plentiful 9 x 7 feet area, with 59 inches of height.
We also appreciate this tent for the well-designed accessories, particularly the rainfly, which comes included. When in place, the rainfly creates a hood over the large doors for better protection, so you’ll stay dry no matter the worry. With a large D-shaped door for entering and exiting, you’ll be in and out in no time. And when the weather clears up, just remove the rainfly for some fresh air and good views alongside the tent wall’s mesh windows. The set-up isn’t as easy as the previously listed tent, but with the instructions provided it’s still a pretty easy option.
- Shock-corded poles with stakes included
- Good sized vestibules for gear storage
- Can’t be used in winter
3. Coleman Sundome 4 person tent
- WEATHERPROOF: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in; included rainfly offers extra weather protection
The Coleman sundome is a popular entry-level tent and it’s easy to see why. With a simple set up and 63 square feet of tent floor space, you may even forget to go out and see the campsite. The four-person camping tent can hold all your sleeping bags without a problem, ensuring you’ll have enough room to sleep comfortably. Whether as friends or as a family tent, you will enjoy this affordable option from Coleman.
There are some handy knick-knacks in here as well, including the zippered e-port in one corner if you need to bring an extension cord inside. And the ventilation is great thanks to the mesh surfaces on the door and windows.
In regards to tent set-up, it’s a bit slower than their instant competitors, but still not such a burdensome problem. With continuous pole sleeves for easier setup and double thickness polyester to improve durability, it’s a thoughtful pole design to offer easy entry into the main compartment. With plenty of interior space, it’s a great option that doesn’t break the bank.
- Easy 10-minute set-up
- Large windows and great ventilation
- Not well insulated for cooler weather
- Not built to withstand strong winds
4. Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person tent
- There's no assembly frustration with our Taurus Tent series; this free-standing, fiberglass two-pole design can be setup in no time
This is a great tent that provides all the essentials at a superb price. With fantastic weather protection and high-quality development from the zippers to the aluminum stakes, we love this tent. It’s easy to set up and features two generously sized doors for moving in and out of the tent. The storage pockets provide ample space to stow your camping gear, so you can spend your time outside stargazing at the night moon. This 3-season tent is more water-resistant than some of the previously listed but still isn’t rugged enough for all four seasons and climates. However heavy rain shouldn’t be a problem and its weatherproof doors offer solid weather resistance to the elements
- Easy to set up
- 2 vestibules to stay organized within
- Windows are made from a thin plastic
- Unable to survive harsh winter conditions
5. Eureka Copper Canyon 4 Person Tent
This is a cool cabin-style tent with tall vertical walls that provide ample space for storage pockets and backpackers. One of the best 4 person tents for the price, this quality tent from Eureka is well designed, with an ingenious gear loft for storage and added organizational comfort. The top of the tent is around 7 feet, so you can invite the whole basketball team next time you need a team bonding trip.
To create such an ample-sized tent, there are six poles made from powder-coated steel and fiberglass, giving it plenty to support. The rainfly tarp is large and performs well in heavy rain. It comes with guylines that you can store in the provided pockets when not in use. Plus the full mesh roof means you’ll have a comfortable night’s sleep and stay cool during the daytime heat.
- The peak height of 7 feet means ample space for individuals
- The mesh roof keeps you cool
- The rain fly runs a bit small
- With all that space comes a heavier bag to lug around
6. CORE Equipment 4 Person Instant Dome Tent – 9′ x 7′, Green
- Instant 30 second setup; sleeps 4 people; fits one queen air mattress; center height: 54
This 4 person tent by Core is about as instant as they come! With this tent, you can set it up in an impressive 30 seconds, due to the clever design of the poles, which are already assembled. Core do the hard work, so you don’t have to. With a pre-assembled steel pole system and easy-to-follow directions, you can arrive at your campsite and almost instantly set up camp for the night. Seeing as this tent comfortably sleeps 4, that’s an impressive amount of comfort provided in almost no time at all. However, this tent fits one queen-sized mattress, so for optimum comfort we would recommend this tent for couples, or two people.
This tent is also really easy to get in and out of, and the entrance is durable. A front “D” style door makes for easy entry and exit while a tough polyethylene floor can handle the high traffic of people going in and out of the tent. Another great feature of this tent is that you can keep items off the tent floor with storage pockets and a gear loft. You could even consider hanging a small battery lantern, or maybe some fairy lights, from the gear loft hook for nighttime lighting. This will not only help you to find your tent when dusk falls, and locate your items and kit inside the tent, it will also provide some lovely mood lighting for you to hang out under or read a book after a long hike.
This tent is protected for all the elements. With water repellent fabrics, sealed seams and fully taped rainfly, and rain-resistant double doors and window seals, you’ll be able to survive even a heavy downpour and stay nice and dry. And in the summer months, there are adjustable air intake vents which draw in cool air from the ground, and a mesh ceiling which allows hot air to escape, giving you a refreshing breeze. However the center height of this tent is only 54 inches, so we wouldn’t recommend this tent for taller campers.
- Durable, weather-resistant tent
- Mesh ceiling which offers panoramic views
- Ventilation system for summer months
- Rainfly and sealed seams
- Fast pitch 30 seconds set up and take down time
- Only 54 inches high, so not great for tall campers
- More comfortably sleeps 2, with space for 1 queen air mattress
7. Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent
- 4-Person Pop-Up Tent
If ease of set up is your number one motivation, then look no further than Coleman’s pop-up tent. This tent sets up in crazy-short time: 10 seconds! All you need to do is unfold, extend and secure using tent stakes. This is the easiest tent to set up and take down on the market. It also easily folds down flat, so you can store it away in a matter of seconds. This is a perfect option for hikers who want to save some weight: it’s a really lightweight option and comes with a carry bag for easy transportation along with windows and doors with zippers that are big and surprisingly sturdy.
Although Coleman says this is a 4 person tent, we would say that it only real comfortably sleeps two. It’s a fantastic option for you if you’re on the move, or perhaps going to a music festival, and you want a super easy and light tent just to pop up, and leave. It’s perhaps not the best option if you’re wanting more of a luxury sleep, or you get claustrophobic easily. With a 3 ft. 4 in. center height, this isn’t a good option for tall campers or people who want to spend much time hanging out in their tent. If you’re just using your tent for convenience and sleeping, then this could be the perfect option for you.
With Coleman, you know you’re going to be getting really quality outdoors kit. This trusted brand has been used by outdoors enthusiasts throughout the generations and has been trusted for years to be reliable, durable, and suitable for all weather conditions. Even though this is a cheap, easy, convenient tent, Coleman hasn’t sacrificed on the durability of their materials. With this model, the multi-position rainfly offers you both protection from rain, and ventilation in the summer months. It also has taped floor seams that help keep you dry, even if you’re sleeping in a muddy festival field.
- Sets up in 10 seconds
- Super lightweight, good portability
- Ventilation in the summer, protection from rain and sudden downpours
- Durable materials and trusted brand
- Perfect for backpacking
- 3 ft. 4 in. center height
- No rain tarp
There are some really nice four-person tents on the market, and it all comes down to personal preferences and the scope of your outdoor intentions. Are you planning on doing some car camping, and just want something big to open up space, and aren’t addled by a potentially burdensome amount of weight? Then look no further than the Coleman 4 person tent with instant setup. One person can queue it up while the others play, and the weight won’t matter if you aren’t moving it more than 100 yards from the camping grounds to the parking area.
Mid-weight, mid-budget options ar either the Coleman Sundome or the AmazonBasics 4 person dome tent. Similarly priced and offering similar amenities, it will get you out in nature without breaking your wallet. Both offer fantastic coverage and inventive technological offerings.
In essence, you should be considerate of what your camping expectations are on the trails, and how to choose from there. From something lighter and more expensive to the simpler options at the affordable end of the market, there’s something listed for every type of camper. As long as you can get outdoors and enjoy a sunset with your friends and family, we’re sure you’re making a great choice, buying the best tent for you.
Bonus tip: Now that you’ve got your 4-person tent and you’re ready to hit the trail, you should check out this video on how to trip for beginners. Advanced backpackers can move onto the next article!