4-Person Tents: How to Choose the Right One for You

Published on 02/07/2024 · 10 min readFind the perfect 4-person tent with our guide. Tips on space, durability, and comfort to ensure your group's outdoor adventures are unforgettable.
Hunter Reed, Camping Expert
By Camping Expert Hunter Reed

Photo by Monkey Business Images

TL;DR: When choosing a 4-person tent, consider the tent's intended use, weight, weather resistance, essential features, and cost. Specific features like extended dome structures, room dividers, vestibules, and advanced weatherproofing can make your camping experience all that much better!

I've been a Curated Camping and Hiking Expert for almost three years, and before that I've been an avid camper since I was a little girl. I've tried and tested a lot of different tent options out there, and I know what works and what doesn't. A tent is one of the most important pieces of gear to dial in, so before you go out and buy the first tent you see, it's worth it to do a bit of research as to which tent is the right tent for you! In this guide, I've focused on 4-person tents, and I'll walk you through the ins and outs of everything you need to know prior to purchasing a tent.

Between the information in this guide and the option for a free chat with a Curated Camping and Hiking Expert, you will be all set up to make an informed decision on choosing a shelter for your next outing!

Key Considerations for a 4-Person Tent

Before we get into the specifics of 4-person tents, there are a few things you should ask yourself to hone in on which 4-person tent is right for you.

What kind of camping do you intend to use it for?

The first thing you need to consider is the type of camping you'll be doing. While weight and packability are important if you plan on backpacking, comfort and room will be more important to you if you're more of a car camper.

What kind of weather do you mostly expect to camp in?

Consider the seasons, weather conditions, and locations you generally plan to camp in. Three-season tents are good for spring and fall because they can handle some rough weather but are still well-ventilated to stay cool in the hot summer months. If you also plan to camp in the winter, you'll need to look for a four-season tent, which is specifically made to offer better protection against heavy winds and snow. The downfall of 4 season tents is that they are both heavier and not as well-ventilated, which can be an issue if you're looking for a light backpacking tent or primarily plan to camp in the summer.

How much should a 4-person tent cost?

Tents come in a wide array of price ranges based on features, materials, and brands. Low-end options will cost between $70 and $130. They offer a basic shelter but are pretty limited in durability and weather resistance.

Mid-range tents are available from $130 to $270 and are a great balance between durability and weatherproofing. Mid-range options also typically have extra features like more windows, easier setups, and more storage space. Most campers are going to want to go with a mid-range tent since it will last the longest and give you reliable protection from the elements.

The highest-end four-person tent models ($300+), with their innovative features and top-quality fabrics, are ideal for serious backpackers and campers who use tents all year round. These are going to be your ultralight tents or 4-season tents. They are generally more specialized for campers who are doing more extreme camping trips and, overall, are not as versatile. The amount you should budget for a 4-person tent is going to depend greatly on how often you plan on using the tent and what kind of camping you plan on using it for.

Types of 4-Person Tents

There are a few different categories of four-person tents to suit different types of campers and camping situations. Let’s take a look at the different types and their pros and cons!

Dome Tents

Photo by PHkorsart

A dome tent is a classic, rounded-top, low-to-the-ground tent that you most commonly see in campgrounds. They have a dome-type shape with two crossing tent poles at the top. The shape makes them sturdy in high winds or harsh weather, and the more simple design makes them easier and quicker to set up, making them a great choice for campers who don't want anything too fancy and prioritize ease of use.

Benefits:

  • Stable in wind or rough weather thanks to the shape
  • Easiest setup because they have the simplest design
  • Wide variety of different styles and features. Since this is the most common type of tent, you’ll find tons of different styles of dome tents on the market, all with varying features

Be Aware:

  • Less headroom compared to cabin tents thanks to their low ceiling
  • Not a ton of internal space for storing gear, and not super comfortable to hang out in for long periods of time

Cabin Tents

Photo by Dpongvit

Cabin tents are shaped like an actual cabin, designed with straight walls and high ceilings to maximize space and comfort. This makes them a good choice for large groups or families that prioritize having enough room inside the tent.

Benefits

  • Plenty of room and interior space, thanks to the high ceilings and vertical walls
  • Generally cabin tents have room dividers which allow you to have some privacy inside the tent
  • Won’t get as stuffy as quickly with more people sleeping inside thanks to the ventilation and the extra internal space
  • Large windows and doorways provide excellent ventilation

Be Aware:

  • A lot bulkier and heavier than dome tents
  • A more complicated setup and might require more than one person to setup
  • The taller design of cabin tents makes them more susceptible to being tossed around in the wind.

Backpacking Tents

Photo by Simoly

If you primarily plan on going on more backpacking-style camping trips, or if you want to have the option to take your tent backpacking in the future, a backpacking tent would be the best option. These tents are light and portable, making it easy to carry them long distances and pack them in your backpacking bag along with the rest of your gear. They offer protection from the elements while maintaining a minimalist design.

Benefits:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry long distances
  • Compact design for easy packing in your backpacking bag

Be Aware:

  • Since these tents are as light and compact as possible, they are not as spacious or comfortable inside
  • More expensive since they tend to use higher-tech, pricier materials

Features to Look for in 4-Person Tents

Different brands and models of 4-person tents come with a variety of different feature options. Some of these might be important to you, while others on this list might not be relevant to your camping situation, but regardless, it's helpful to understand the different options in 4-person tents!

  • Vestibules: Vestibules are areas outside the tent, usually under the rain fly and right outside the door, that allow you to store your gear away from the sleeping area but still in a covered space. Internal Storage: Most tents have some sort of internal storage inside the tent, which can range from pockets to gear lofts. These are helpful for keeping the inside of your tent organized and keeping track of important items such as headlamps, car keys, or bear spray.
  • Extra Waterproofing Features: If you expect to camp in mostly rainy conditions, look for a tent that has extra waterproofing capabilities, such as waterproof coatings or bathtub floors. These features will keep the tent dry even in heavy rain by preventing water from entering at weak points.
  • Easy Setup Features: Some tents come with poles that are already attached or have a color-coded setup. This makes it simpler and faster to set up your tent, maximizing the time you have to explore outdoors.
  • Multiple Doors: Getting a tent that has more than just one door will improve ventilation and save you the trouble of needing to jump over your tent mates when taking a midnight bathroom break. Some tents have doors on either side of the structure, while others have just a front door on one side, making it a bit trickier to get in and out.
  • Ventilation Systems: Adequate ventilation is key to avoiding condensation. Tents with mesh windows and vents on the walls and ceilings are ideal to ensure good airflow and reduce moisture inside.
  • Reflective Details: Some tents have reflective zipper pulls and guy lines for safety and convenience. This makes it easier to navigate and find your tent at night and avoid tripping on a guy line when walking around your tent in the dark.

How to Choose the Right 4-Person Tent for You

If you’re still feeling a little unsure as to which tent is right for you, keep reading! Below are three Curated customers I have helped to find the right 4-person tent for their needs. I've listed a bit about their camping style and what specific needs they have in a 4-person tent, as well as some examples of great tents for their specific situations!

Amy: The Backpacker

Amy is primarily a backpacking enthusiast, though she does take car camping trips here and there. She lives in Idaho and does a lot of camping around there, as well as traveling to nearby states such as Washington, Montana, and Colorado. With that range of different areas, she needs a tent that can handle all kinds of different weather and terrain but is still light enough to fit in her backpacking bag. Most of her trips are with a friend or her partner, and she always brings her 50 lb dog, who sleeps in the tent with her.

Features to look for:

  • Compact with a low weight for easy packing
  • High-quality and durable enough to handle frequent use
  • Extra waterproofing capabilities since some of her camping trips are to areas around Washington, which get a lot of rain.

4-person tents that would be a good fit for Amy: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 4-Person Tent, MSR Elixir 4-Person Tent, Coleman Peak1 Tent 4-Person Tent

Brian: The Family Camper

Brian loves taking his family on camping trips in the summer when the kids are on vacation. He has two young kids, and his wife typically joins them on their trips as well. They stick to established campgrounds that can be accessed by car with amenities and like to have space in the tent for playing games during the evening or on rainy days. An easy setup is also important to them so they have more time to spend hanging out around camp and less time to spend fighting with tent poles.

Features to look for:

  • Cabin-style tent with a peak height tall enough to stand up in so Brian and his family have more space to hang out inside
  • Room dividers in case the kids need to go to bed earlier than Brian and his wife, or so they can have one room as a sleeping area and one room as a living room
  • Easy setup features
  • High-quality materials to handle wear and tear from kids going in and out

4-person tents that would be a good fit for Brian: Nemo Wagontop 4P Tent, Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 4-Person Tent, Big Agnes Big House 4-Person Tent

Chloe: The Festival Goer

Chloe and her friends love attending music festivals where they camp out for several days. They need a tent that's easy to transport and has an awning, large vestibule, or screened room attachment so they can sit outside in the shade after a long day. She only goes to 2 or 3 festivals a year, so overall quality isn't quite as important to her as getting something that's not too pricey.

Features to look for:

  • Great ventilation since it'll mostly be used in the summer
  • Awning or area outside to hangout
  • Not over-the-top expensive

4-person tents that would be a good fit for Chloe: Coleman Skydome™ 4-Person Camping Tent with Full-Fly Vestibule, Eureka! Timberline SQ 4XT 4-Person Tent, Kelty Rumpus 4

Talk to an Expert

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand the ins and outs of 4-person tents. If you're still a little unsure as to how to choose the right gear for you, reach out to a Hiking and Camping Expert here on Curated! We can chat with you, get some more information about your exact situation, and recommend the best tent for your needs.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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Written by:
Hunter Reed, Camping Expert
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Hunter Reed
Camping Expert
10 Reviews
103 Customers helped

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