The Best 4-Person Tents in 2021 – Tested & Reviewed
The Best 4-Person Tents in 2021 – Tested & Reviewed
A 4-person camping tent is always a great investment, no matter if you're a solo camper or a family camper. Whether you need space for your family, your camping gear - or simply want some extra room to stretch out: a 4-person tent has got you covered! Ideal for camping trips with friends or family, this type of tent offers enough floor space to comfortably accommodate 4 sleeping bags - enabling you to enjoy the great outdoors together.
But how do you find the best 4-person tent for camping, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures? Easy: by using our in-depth overview. Our editors have bundled our favorite 4-person tents in one, comprehensive list - instantly navigating you towards products worthy of your time, money, and attention. We've also included a handy 4-person tent Buying Guide at the bottom of this post, listing some of the most important buying factors to considers such as dimensions, materials, portability, and more.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
Best 4 Person Tents - Editor's Top Picks
In this Best 4-person Tents Overview, we've included something for every type of camper and budget. From ultralight backpacking tents that won't weigh down your pack to tents with generous headroom for taller campers: there's a match for any scenario. Plus, by including tents at every price-point, you're guaranteed to find one to fit your budget - no matter if you want to spend a lot, or a little!
To narrow down the selection even further, we've also bundled our 5 favorite tents out of the 15 in this overview in our Editor's Picks comparison chart - which contains the top-rated, best-value options on the market, as judged by our experts.
Our Editors Top Picks are:
- AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent
- Coleman Sundome 4-Person Camping Tent
- Kelty Dirt Motel 4-Person Camping Tent
- CORE Equipment 4-Person Instant Dome Tent
- Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent
So, what are you waiting for? Discover the best deals on 4-person tents below, and upgrade your outdoor gear with this mid-sized camping essential!
1. AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent
The AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent is a budget-friendly 4-person camping tent with 3-season functionality. It may not be the fanciest, most durable, or heavy-duty, but for leisurely fair-weather camping, it offers more than sufficient comfort. This dome tent measures 108" x 84" in floor area, with a peak height of 48".
The affordable AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent comes with a water-resistant polyester shell and a welded 1000D-polyethylene tub-style floor with inverted seams. The design includes a full-coverage rainfly, which creates extra shelter above the tent's large door (D-shaped). The silhouette of the tent includes a cool-air port and adjustable ventilation options, such as a ground vent and mesh vents on the roof. The back window can also be opened, enabling cross-ventilation via the front door and preventing your tent from getting stuffy.
The freestanding AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent is also easy to assemble. Set up can be done in minutes by putting the shock-corded poles together, sliding them through the designated pole sleeve, and lifting the poles into position. This budget-friendly 4-person camping tent comes with a carry bag included, allowing you to keep all the parts securely stored. When placed in the carry bag, the AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent measures roughly 12" x 30" and weighs 8.4 pounds.
For its budget-friendly pricing, you'll have to make some concessions. This dome tent's fiberglass poles can be a bit flimsy and aren't as durable as, for example, aluminum poles. Additionally, the tent floor is reported to be quite thin, which is why we'd recommend added a footprint or floor saver. That said, for the price listed, this tent is simply one of the best deals on Amazon, and we reckon you'll get plenty of usage out of this budget-friendly favorite.
2. Coleman Sundome 4
The Coleman Sundome 4 is an affordable 4-person dome tent. This 3-season tent may not have the fancy features of some high-end tents, but on basic functionality, it ticks all the boxes. As is confirmed by its dozens of 5-star Amazon reviews, in which it receives top-marks for its roomy interior, easy setup, and lightweight appeal.
The Coleman Sundome 4 has a floor space of 9 x 7 ft and a center peak height of 4ft 11 inches. It's spacious 63 square feet interior space can fit 4 adult sleeping bags or 1 queen-sized air mattress. The dome tent comes with handy storage pockets to keep your personal belongings neatly organized and off the floor. The Coleman Sundome 4 weighs approximately 9.75 pounds, which - for a 4-person dome tent - is relatively lightweight.
The Sundome 4 by Coleman may not be packed with fancy features, but it does cover all the basics. For example, the dome tent comes with an awning, a high-quality rainfly and features Coleman's patented WeatherTec system - ensuring weather-resistance. The Coleman WeatherTec system includes a tub floor with sealed seams, corner welds, and a covered zipper to help keep water out. The camping tent has also been extensively tested on quality and durability. According to test results, this design is proven to withstand 35+ MPH winds. The Coleman Sundome 4 comes with a ground vent and two windows to enable airflow and proper ventilation. We also like the addition of an E-Port in the silhouette of the tent, which makes it easy to bring electrical power inside
Setup in under 10 minutes
The Coleman Sundome 4 has a straightforward setup. The dome tent can be assembled via snag-free, continuous poles sleeves and pin-and-ring system. This system, combined with Coleman's Insta-Clip suspension, enables you to assemble the 4-person camping tent in under 10 minutes.
Any cons? Well, the Coleman Sundome 4 isn't the most heavy-duty or durable tent on the market. Though its frame and WeatherTec construction ensure 3-season usage, we don't recommend it for extreme weather conditions or winter camping. As the rainfly only covers the top portion of the tent, it is not a full-coverage fly. This means some of the tent's shell will be exposed to the elements, which isn't ideal in a heavy downpour. That said, in most moderate weather conditions and for 3-season use in mild climates, the Sundome 4 should be up to the task!
3. Kelty Dirt Motel 4-Person Camping Tent
The Kelty Dirt Motel 4-Person Camping Tent is a spacious, high-quality, great-value option for campers that love stargazing. This tent offers an unrestricted view of the night sky, without having to leave the comfort of your tent. The freestanding tent is an updated version of the popular Kelty TN Tent, with this new release packed with exciting perks. The tent measures 94" x 85" and has a peak height of 46". This premium tent can comfortably fit 4 adult-sized sleeping bags and has an interior space of 55.5 square feet.
The Kelty Dirt Motel 4-Person Camping Tent features 2 vented vestibules, which add almost 18 square feet of storage space. The tent includes a stuff sack, allowing you to pack it down to a neat 16" x 7.5" 7.5" bundle. The tent only weighs 6 lbs 14 oz when fully packed, making it one of the most portable and lightweight options on this list, ideal for backpacking and hiking!
Perfect for stargazing
What makes this product one of the best 4-person tents for stargazing is its patented Kelty Stargazing Fly system. Instead of removing the rainfly, you can roll it up - saving time and effort! This system enables you to roll up specific sections of the rainfly. These can then be secured using a few secure clips, revealing a full vista of the night's sky via the mesh ceiling of the tent shell. The no-see-um mesh walls and ceiling also promote cross-ventilation, preventing your tent from getting stuffy in warm conditions.
The freestanding Kelty Dirt Motel 4-Person Camping Tent is easy to assemble thanks to its 2 hubs/1 ridge pole frame. According to Amazon reviews, the tent can be erected in under 10 minutes. Furthermore, Amazon reviewers praise the tent's quality standard, durability, and value. Though its a bit more pricey, you also get a lot of bang for your buck. Every element of the tent is made of first-class materials. For example, the floor of the tent is PU-coated 70-denier nylon with an impressive 3000 mm water-resistant rating.
The tent's rainfly is equally top-grade. The rainfly is made of 40-dernier siliconized ripstop nylon with a 1500mm water-resistant rating. Additionally, the 4-person tent's seams are all factory tape-sealed to prevent water from entering. The tent also includes reflective guy lines and a carry bag.
4. CORE Equipment 4-Person Instant Dome Tent
This 4 person tent by Core is about as instant as they come! You can set it up in an impressive 30 seconds, due to the clever design of the poles, which are already pre-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.
The CORE Equipment 4-Person Instant Dome Tent measures 9ft x 7ft in floor space, and has a peak height of 54". The total packing weight of the tent is 12.1 pounds.
The tent features 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.
5. Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent
The Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent is a spacious and secure 3-season tent with a great quality standard. Though at the higher end of the price range, the design does score top marks on durability and comes with many heavy-duty design elements to guarantee weather-resistance.
The Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent has a base size of 7'6 x 8'6, and a peak height of 52". The total weight of the tent when packed is 10lbs 8 oz. The design is easy to assemble and comes with a freestanding, fiberglass two-pole frame with shock-corded construction.
The tent offers excellent ventilation and comes with zippered mesh windows in each of its two doors. The tent also features star gazing roof vents, allowing you to peak at the night's sky - without removing the entire rainfly. The Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent also has your storage needs covered. The tent comes with storage pockets and a gear loft, providing more than enough room to keep your camping gear neatly organized.
The Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent is recommended for 3-season usage and has great weather-resistance. The tent comes with factory sealed seams, a 75D 185T polyester rainfly with a 1500mm waterproof coating, and 75D 185T Poly Taffeta tent floor with a 2000mm waterproof rating.
Granted, the Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent is a tad expensive compared to cheaper 4-person models on this list, but for its superior quality standard and great durability, it makes the investment worthwhile.
Best of the Rest
6. Coleman 4-Person Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
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.
7. 3-4 Person Automatic Pop up Camping Tent
The 3-4 Person Automatic Pop up Camping Tent by Overwhelming (yes, that is the name of the company) is a cheap and cheerful instant tent. The design fits 3 to 4 people and measures 80.7" x 78.7" in floor space, and 47" in center height. The total packing weight of the tent is approximately 8.5 lbs.
The 3-4 Person Automatic Pop up Camping Tent features instant setup - just take it out of the carry bag and let it automatically pop-up; it only tasks seconds. The instant tent features four windows: two plastic windows, and two mesh windows for ventilation. The tent comes with front entry and back entry, which means you don't have to crawl over all your camping buddies to reach the nearest exit. The D-shaped front and back doors also allow for cross-ventilation, preventing the tent from getting stuffy.
The 3-4 Person Automatic Pop up Camping Tent features a 7.9mm fiberglass frame, a 190T polyester shell, and a 210-denier floor. The design has a waterproof index of 3000mm-4000mm, which is surprisingly high for a tent this affordable. This instant tent also features handy storage pockets/storage space on the interior, allowing you to keep your personal belongings off the floor.
It's not the most durable or heavy-duty, but it is one of the best tents when it comes to ease of setup. If you want an instant shelter without any assembly from your part (except perhaps attaching a few guylines to secure it in place), this could be your instant match!
8. Eureka Copper Canyon 4 Person Tent
This is a cool cabin-style tent with vertical walls and ample space for gear storage. The vertical walled Eureka Copper Canyon 4-Person Tent measures 8 feet by 8 feet (floor) and stands 7 feet tall; offering ample headroom and space to move around. The tent can be packed down to a 7" x 26" inch bundle and weighs 18 lbs 10 oz in minimum setup. This means it's less suitable for backpacking trips due to its hefty weight. That said, for car campers and RV-enthusiasts, this nearly vertical walled tent offers maximum interior space with a modest footprint.
Other perks of the Eureka Copper Canyon 4-Person Tent include Eureka!'s zippered E! Power Port. This electrical port allows you to bring an outdoor-grade electrical power cord inside the tent to power phone chargers and other electronics. The tent's 2 high-stash storage pockets and a handy gear loft also allow you to keep essentials close at hand and within easy reach.
This cabin-style, 9-pole tent is easy to assemble. It features a fiberglass frame, with clips, pole sleeves, and a ring/pin setup; enabling you to pitch it relatively quickly. The tent's rainfly is large and performs well in heavy rain - according to reviews. Furthermore, the tent has a bathtub floor that wraps up the sides of the tent, keeping the interior warm and dry. This tent by Eureka also comes with guylines included, which 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 - enabling proper ventilation.
9. Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent
If ease of set up is your number one motivation, the Coleman 4 Person Pop-up Tent is another prime contender. This tent sets up in merely 10 seconds! All you need to do is unfold, extend, and secure using tent stakes. The tent measures 9ft 2" x 6 ft 6" in floor space, and has a 40" peak height. The design additionally comes with two storage pockets to organize your gear. It also comes with a multi-position rainfly for the perfect balance of protection and ventilation.
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. With an 8.8-pound packing weight, the tent is also relatively lightweight and easy to carry to and from your campsite.
With Coleman, you know getting a quality outdoors kit. This trusted brand has been used by outdoor 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.
10. Toogh Hexagon 4-Person Camping Tent
The Toogh Hexagon 4-Person Camping Tent is an affordable 3-season tent with a hexagon-shaped footprint. Do note that though listed as a 4-person tent, the design only has enough space for 2 adults and 2 kids, not 4 regular-sized adult sleeping bags. This means that for a four-person tent, it's quite cramped. That said, if you're a family camper, this may just be the perfect family tent for you and your children!
The Toogh Hexagon 4-Person Camping Tent is easy to assemble and only takes about a minute to fully erect. To pitch, simply lift the top of the tent and let it automatically snap into shape. To take-down, press on the poles with yellow labels and voila: the tent automatically folds in seconds.
The Toogh Hexagon 4-Person Camping Tent has a 100% polyester shell with a waterproof level of 3000mm. The tent floor has a waterproof level of 10.000mm - offering superb protection against wet undergrounds. The hexagon-shaped tent is also equipped with 2 T-style doors for quick access/exit, and mesh windows to promote cross-ventilation.
11. KAZOO Uranus 4-Person Family Tent
The KAZOO Uranus 4-Person Family Tent is a budget-friendly, great-value tent with a generous peak height and handy vestibule storage space. The design consists of 2 functional layers. An inner liner made of B3 mesh with great breathability and 190T waterproof polyester rainfly. The rainfly has a waterproof rating of 3000mm, which should be sufficient protection on bad weather days.
The KAZOO Uranus 4-Person Family Tent measures 95 x 86 inches in floor space and has a 57" peak height. The frame of the tent is made of ultralight 9.5mm fiberglass. The total weight of the tent is 10.71lb. This family tent includes a carry bag and measures approximately 22 x 6 x 6 inches when packed. This means that though it's not the lightest or most compact camping tent on the market, it's still easily portable to and from your campsite.
The KAZOO Uranus 4-Person Family Tent comes with 2 doors and 2 windows for proper cross-ventilation. Additionally, the tent comes with a vestibule with a footprint, offering more storage space for your gear. On the interior, the tent is also equipped with mesh storage pockets, ideal for keeping your smaller belongings securely organized. The front door of the tent can also be suspended, transforming it into a handy sunshade.
12. Gonex Lightweight Backpacking Tent
The Gonex Lightweight Backpacking Tent is a lightweight, basic but functional tent with big backpacking appeal. This 4-person tent weighs 6.9 pounds, which should be manageable to carry over long distances. The tent offers ample space for 4 campers with its 102" x 90.5" footprint and 53" peak height. The tent includes a stuff sack and can be packed down to a compact 17.3" x 7.5" bundle.
The Gonex Lightweight Backpacking Tent is made of 75-denier 210T polyester taffeta and comes with a waterproof 150-denier oxford tent floor with a 2000mm waterproof rating. The tent is equipped with various design elements to offer plenty of weather protection, including heavy-duty YKK zippers and strengthened seams.
The interior of this lightweight backpacking tent is enhanced with multiple storage pockets, allowing you to keep your belongings close at hand. Assembly of the tent is also easy thanks to the pre-attached poles system - enabling you to erect it in minutes.
13. Pacific Pass Family Tent with Removable Rain Fly
A relatively new product on the market, this 4-Person Family Tent by Pacific Pass is a budget-friendly choice for campers with a limited budget. The spacious tent offers ample sleeping and storage room, measuring 108.3" x 82.7" in footprint. It's generous 60" center height also offers plenty of headroom to move around. This family tent is also quite lightweight and weighs 8.05 pounds when packed.
Do note that this tent is not the most weatherproof, and we'd only recommend it for usage in fair weather conditions. The trade-off for its budget-friendly pricing is a rainfly with a waterproof rating of 1500mm - which is a bit low. Though it should keep you dry and comfy during a moderate rain shower, it may be a bit too flimsy to deal with heavy downpours. However, if you only camp in dry and warm climates, weather-resistance may not even be a buying factor on your list - which is exactly. why we chose to include this affordable style.
What the Pacific Pass Family Tent with Removable Rain Fly lacks in weather-resistance, it makes up for in generous storage space and interior space. The tent comes with two mesh storage pockets and a netted loft, giving you plenty of options to keep personal belongings off the floor. The tent also comes with a lantern hook and an E-port for easy access to electrical cords.
14. ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4-Person Tent
If you're looking for a 4-person tent that should last you many years, and don't mind spending a bit more, the ALPS Mountaineering Meramac could be your match. This high-quality tent is highly-rated for its durability, generous sizing, and easy assembly.
The ALPS Mountaineering Meramac is a free-standing tent with a two-pole, shock-corded fiberglass frame. The tent measures 7'6 x 8'6 in floor space, with a roomy center height of 60". When packed, the total weight of the tent is 11 lbs.
The tent adheres to a superior quality standard and is made by an expert brand in outdoor gear. This means all the materials used are top-notch and less prone to wear and tear. The tent comes with factory sealed seams, a 75D 185T polyester rainfly with 1500 mm coating and a 75D 185T Poly Taffeta tent floor with 1500 mm coating to keep you dry. The rainfly also provides a handy awning over the tent's doors, allowing for cross ventilation even in rainy conditions. The sidewalls of the tent's shell are uncoated, allowing the tent to "breathe", even when covered by the waterproof rainfly.
Other perks of the ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4-Person Tent include multiple storage pockets, a gear loft, two zippered windows, large mesh side-panels, and the including of steel tent stakes and guy ropes. The tent has dual doors - one of each side - which eliminates the need to crawl over your family or friends to enter/exit the tent.
15. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL
If you're looking for a 4-person beach tent, the best-selling Pacific Breeze Easy Up shelter is one of the best options you'll find. Do note that this tent is only recommended for beach camping/as a wind-breaker, and is not ideal for regular backpacking trips. That said, for a 4-person beach tent, this is a superb deal.
The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL is ideal for beach excursions with friends and/or family. The design measures 95" x 52" x 51", and is marketed as a 4-person tent. The Deluxe XL is made of premium waterproof polyester with UPF50+ sun protection, has a fiberglass frame, and comes with a water-resistant PE floor.
The affordable Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL comes with 3 mesh windows for maximum ventilation. The design has multiple storage pockets to keep your sunscreen, or other personal belongings, firmly secured and within reach. The spacious beach tent also includes 5 sand pockets and 4 stakes to help you stabilize the shelter.
Though the 4-person Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL is generous in size, the tent packs down to a surprisingly compact 38" x 6" x 6" bundle, weighing in at just over 6 pounds. Granted, it's not the most lightweight of tents. But for its roomy dimensions, we think 6 pounds is very manageable - and this should still be portable for most beach campers.
Every product in this Best 4-Person Tent Overview could be 'the best', depending on what buying factors are most important to you. For example, if you plan to take the tent backpacking, packing weight and packing dimensions could be leading factors. However, if you're a car camper or RV-camper, weight and portability may not matter at all. The same goes for weather-resistance. If you often camp in bad weather conditions and often encounter heavy-rain on camping trips, finding a tent that's fully waterproof and weatherproof are key. That said, for campers who only venture our in fair weather conditions or mild climates and summertime, the waterproof rating of a tent won't have the same importance. That is why we're unable to pin-point a clear winner, as each tent has its specific pros and cons.
Rest assured: every 4-person camping tent in this overview is worthy of your time and money. We've ensured all products included in the overview are given top marks in Amazon reviews, guaranteeing their real value - as judged by other campers and experts. Whether you want to spend a lot, or a little, there a 5-star tent for you!
If we had to pick a winner from this 4-person camping tent line-up, we'd probably settle on the AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent - purely because of its outstanding value-for-money. Yes, this tent is relatively basic compared to high-end designs, but it offers all the comfort and functionality you need.
The AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent is budget-friendly, highly-rated by other campers, and ticks all the most important boxes. The style measures108" x 84" in floor area, with a peak height of 48": which can accommodate up to 4 adults in regular-sized sleeping bags. The tent includes a carry bag and can be packed down to a neat 12" x 30" bundle with great portability. The total weight of the tent is a modest 8.4 pounds, which already includes the full-coverage rain fly.
Easy to set up, easy to carry, easy to enjoy: the AmazonBasics 4-Person Dome Tent may not be the fanciest option on this list, but when it comes to value-for-money, it's absolutely one of the best-value 4-person tents you can get. For the price listed, you simply can't go wrong.
Best 4 Person Tent – Buying Guide
With so many options, styles, and brands on the market, it can be difficult to determine which four-person tent is your perfect match. Fortunately, we can make it a bit easier: by informing you about the most important buying factors when shopping for a 4-person tent. These buying factors, such as size, material, and branding, can help you narrow down your search selection. This makes it easier to find the perfect tent for your needs. We've listed these factors below, and advise you to carefully consider each one before you buy - as this helps ensure that your final selection is the very best four-person tent for your camping adventures...
You may assume that every four-person tent is similar in size/dimensions, but there is a surprising difference between products. Why is this? Because there isn't a universal standard for the exact size of a 4-person tent. Some manufacturers market their tents as '4-person' - yet in reality, the floor space may only work for 2 regular-sized adults and 2 kids. Yes, that's 4 people, but not 4 adults. Additionally, 4-person tents can vary in height. Even if the floor space of two different products is the same, a difference in peak height can also make a big difference to your comfort. For example, extra peak height means more headroom for taller campers, and it makes it easier to move around in your tent without cupping a face full of nylon at every turn. Also, if you plan on sleeping on an air mattress, make sure the floor space of a 4-person tent has the right dimensions - as '4-person' in a tent's description refers to 4 people in sleeping bags, not 4 people on airbeds.
Floor space versus interior space
Besides the floor space, also check if the manufacturer mentions anything about the interior space of the tent. Floor space is important to calculate how many sleeping bags or air mattresses will fit, but it's not the only dimension to take into account. For example, a tent with vertical walls can have the same floor space as a dome tent but feel much more spacious on the inside - due to the extra inches gained from vertical walls versus sloped walls. Though floor space is leading, we do recommend checking the details on interior space to make sure you won't feel cramped when sitting up.
Another thing to consider is whether you want a tent with an additional vestibule for gear storage. A regular 4-person tent can be a bit of a squeeze when fitting both 4 campers, and camping gear. A great solution is a 4-person tent with additional vestibule storage; which comes in very handy for storing your backpack and other hiking/backpacking/camping gear.
The total weight of a 4-person tent may also be an important buying factor, depending on if you intend to use it for backpacking/will need to carry it over longer distances. The weight of the tent can depend on various factors, including size and materials. Four-person tents can weigh anything from 3 lbs to 30 lbs, which is why it's always recommended to check the actual product weight before you buy. Though heavier tents are often more heavy-duty and durable, there are plenty of lightweight options that are still sturdy enough for comfy camping. In our Best 4 Person Tent comparison chart, we've indicated the weight of each product, giving you an instant overview of how many pounds you would be required to carry.
Besides the total packing weight, also check the packing dimensions. Some tents (especially backpacking tents) can be compressed down to super-compact dimensions. Whilst other tents are less packable/foldable, resulting in bulkier packing dimensions. For car campers and RV-campers, packing weight and dimensions may not be as important, as you normally have sufficient space to store the tent on the go. However, for backpackers and hikers, both weights and packed size can be a deciding factor when shopping for 4-person tents.
The lighter and smaller the packed tent, the less strain it will put on your back/arms/etc. when carrying it from camping spot to camping spot. We know this sounds very basic and will be common knowledge to nearly all campers, but it's worth repeating - as often packed size/weight are overlooked when you get tempted by an affordably-priced tent with lots of fancy features.
You may assume every tent will keep you sheltered and dry, even on bad weather days. However, not every design has the same level of weather resistance. This means that while some tents are fully equipped to deal with heavy rain and strong winds than others, others may lack the weather resistance needed for use on rainy or windy days.
How to determine the weather resistance of a four-person tent? Firstly, check whether the tent comes with a rainfly: an extra layer that attaches to the exterior of the shell. Secondly, check if the rainfly fabric and/or tent fabric is waterproof, and - if possible - what the waterproof rating is. The waterproof rating, also known as the hydrostatic rating, indicates how much water the tent's fabric can handle before it starts seeping through. For example, a nylon fabric with a waterproof rating of 500mm is only moderately water-resistant, whilst nylon with a 1500mm rating is far more capable of handling heavy rains.
Sealed or factory-taped seams
Thirdly, a tent's weather-resistance also depends on whether or not it comes with sealed/taped seams. Even if the fabric of the rainfly/tent shell is 100% waterproof, the seams of the tent can still let moisture in. This is why we'd recommend choosing a tent that comes with factory-sealed or welded seams. That said, it is also possible to seal the seams of the tent yourself, but this does require a bit of handiwork at home. If you want to save yourself the hassle of sealing a tent's seams at home, a factory-sealed silhouette is a ready-to-use, weatherproof solution.
Additionally, the weather resistance of a tent is also influenced by its construction and durability. A 4-person tent with a heavy-duty stainless steel frame is more equiped to deal with strong winds than a tent with a fiberglass frame. Though the advantage of fiberglass is that it's lightweight, it's also more prone to shattering. High-quality steel, on the other hand, is shatterproof, though there's always the risk of its bending in heavy winds. That said, if you plan to camp in challenging weather conditions, and want to be prepped for anything, choosing a tent with high-grade, heavy-duty materials is always recommended. Yes, this means you will often need to compromise a bit on packing weight, but this trade-off is worth it if a stable shelter from the elements is a top priority.
We've briefly touched upon materials in the previous section of this buying guide, as they are relevant to nearly all aspects of your tent's performance. Picking the right type of materials will ensure you get the most enjoyment out of a tent, and which are 'the best' depends on where and when you plan to camp. For example, for backpacking trips or hiking adventures, a tent frame made of lightweight materials is recommended. These include fiberglass, aluminum, and plastic. That said, these materials do require you to compromise a bit on durability and stability - as they are more prone to wear and tear than heavy-duty materials such as stainless steel and titanium.
Tent shell and rainfly
For the tent shell, the most commonly used materials are canvas, nylon, and polyester. Canvas is known for its outstanding durability, but it's also relatively heavy - making it less convenient for backpacking. Nylon and polyester are quite similar in standard and performance. That said, there are gradations of quality of both - which is why we'd advise picking first-class nylon or polyester shell. How do you recognize this? There are two ways to check. Firstly, if a fabric is listed as ripstop, it means its construction is more tear-resistance and less prone to punctures. Secondly, see what consumers are saying in the review section - as other campers are often once of the best indications if the tent's materials are up to the task. If you don't want to bother with the hassle of combing through user reviews on Amazon, simply use our Best 4-Person Tent Overview, because this only contains top-rated designs made of high-quality materials!
Tip: Whichever type of shell material you choose, we always recommend a waterproofed fabric - as this has a higher weather-resistance and is less prone to letting moisture, rain, and/or condensation from seeping in.
Another buying factor to consider is how easy you want the assembly to be. Whilst some 4-person tents only take minutes, others can take a lot longer - depending on the type of frame and construction. For the quickest setup, an instant tent is a way to go. An instant tent is constructed with a continuous frame, ensuring that the right parts instantly connect into place - making setup a breeze. If you plan to take a tent backpacking, a design with setup in minutes ensures you can quickly bunker down after a long day on the trails. Plus, an instant tent enables you to pitch shelter quickly when bad weather strikes.
That said, there's nothing wrong with regular dome tent and cabin tents that do require some assembly - especially not if you plan to camp at the same spot multiple nights in a row. We simply advise you to consider this buying factor, as it means you won't be disappointed when setup takes longer than desired - and you have a better understanding of what to expect when pitching camp.