Best Four-Person Tents

Updated September 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
84 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best four-person tents

Last Updated September 2019

A four-person tent is a versatile shelter that can be used for backpacking and camping in a variety of conditions. Despite the name, these tents are also ideal for two or three campers — or even a single camper.

Finding the right four-person tent means considering the number of people, what conditions you’ll be camping in, and how much gear you plan to keep inside the tent. Most four-person tents are designed for use in three seasons, but some can keep you warm in cold temperatures and are suitable for use all year. Basic three-season tents are affordable and come with plenty of features for comfortable camping, such as an awning and a gear loft. The shape of the tents and the peak height will vary, so it’s important to find a tent that’s comfortable for you and your fellow campers.

Prices for four-person tents range from low to expensive, so you should be able to find the right tent for your budget. To learn more about the available varieties of these tents and see a few of our favorites, continue reading our shopping guide.

Four-person tents aren’t just for four people. They can also fit several children or two adults plus a canine friend.

Key considerations

Before you begin your hunt for the perfect four-person tent, think about the conditions in which you will camp most often.

Seasons

  • Spring/summer/fall: Three-season tents are the most common choice because they’re cheaper than four-season tents, and most people don’t camp in the winter. These tents have plenty of ventilation to keep the inside cool and may have mesh to further increase airflow and keep out insects.

  • Spring/summer/fall/winter: Four-season tents are sturdier in design, with thicker fabric to withstand snow accumulation and cold winds. These tents have less ventilation in order to keep you warmer at night. You should generally only opt for a four-season tent if you intend to camp in snowy conditions.

Backpacking vs. camping

The design, size, and weight of the four-person tent you choose will depend a great deal on whether you plan to carry it on your back or in the trunk of your car.

  • Backpacking tents are distinguished by their lightweight design and smaller footprint. These tents fold down into a compact form that can easily fit in a backpack. While there are plenty of four-person backpacking tents available, they’re usually much cozier than tents you don’t have to carry.

  • Camping four-person tents are generally larger and may be heavier, but the weight isn’t as much of an issue if you don’t have to carry the tent a long distance.

Spacious and breathable

This cabin tent is tall enough for most adults to stand in comfortably and has a sturdy frame. The mesh windows allow for excellent ventilation, making this a great summer tent.

Four-person tent features

Four-person tents differ in height, weather resistance, and overall design, so try to have a wishlist of features in mind before you buy.

Peak height: The peak height of a tent is its highest point. The taller the tent, the more comfortable it will be, especially if you have several people inside. Some four-person tents are too low to stand up in and only allow room to sit upright, while other allow you to stand.

Rain fly: No matter what season you’re camping in, a rain fly is an important component of any tent. A waterproof rain fly is a fabric layer that goes over your tent to keep water from getting inside. These vary in coverage, which affects airflow and visibility. Some four-person tents may have a built-in rain fly.

Shape: You will find dome-shaped and cabin-style four-person tents. The shape of the tent affects the interior space and how well snow and water run off the rain fly.

  • Dome tents are the most popular option for their easy setup and sturdiness. In addition, the round shape allows water and snow to easily run off the rain fly to prevent the tent from collapsing under the weight. Winter tents are almost always dome tents for this reason. The peak height of a dome tent may be limited because of the inward curve of the walls.

  • Cabin-style tents are less common among backpacking designs. They provide more interior space than dome tents. If you can carry the extra weight and size, these tents work well for camping, especially if you plan to sleep four people in your tent.
     

Vestibule: Some four-person tents offer a vestibule (or awning), which is like a separate room for boots or other gear. It is a welcome feature when sleeping multiple campers in one tent or when you’re trying to minimize the clutter, water, and mud that get inside the tent.

Door: Four-person tents may have one or two doors, an important consideration if your tent will be at maximum capacity. Take note of the shape of the door and the height of the doorway.

Setup: Though most four-person tents are straightforward to pitch and have as few as two poles, you should still consider the overall setup time (important if you’re camping in bad weather) and whether the tent can be assembled by one person. Most tents don’t require stakes, and they have sturdy floors that eliminate the need for a bulky tarp.

Ventilation: If you’re camping in warm weather, you should find a tent with moderate ventilation or windows that can be opened easily to allow moisture and heat to escape during the night. Ceiling panels can also aid with ventilation.

EXPERT TIP

Though fabrics can vary from one tent to the next, most tents are durable enough to withstand wind and regular wear.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Pitch your tent in your living room before you head out. It will help you familiarize yourself with the setup process and give you an idea of how comfortably everyone will fit inside.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Despite the name, four-person tents don’t always fit four adults plus their gear. Take note of the square footage of a tent before you buy.


Staff  | BestReviews

Four-person tent prices

Inexpensive: Most four-person tents that cost less than $100 are dome tents with a smaller footprint. The smaller size means that four people might have trouble fitting comfortably inside with all of their gear. Four-season tents are rare in this price range.

Mid-range: In the $100 to $200 range are a variety of four-person tents that range in size and design. Features like a vestibule and built-in rain fly are more common in this range. Some four-season tents are available at this price.

Expensive: The four-person tents that cost $200 to $300 and up are typically larger in size and may be four-season tents. These sturdy tents are designed for camping or backpacking and will likely last for many years.

Affordable hexagonal tent

This smaller tent has straightforward setup and works well for three or four adults looking for a budget tent. The hexagonal design is easy to pitch and tear down, and it results in a sturdy tent with an unusual shape. Note that you might want a larger rain fly to protect against heavy rainfall.

Tips

  • Pick the right sleeping bag. The most important item when it comes to comfortable rest is your sleeping bag. It should be lightweight and packable and provide sufficient insulation for the conditions in which you camp most often.

  • Pack a sleeping pad. A sleeping pad can prevent roots and rocks from digging into you during the night and add extra cushioning to your sleeping bag.

  • Choose the right area. Where you pitch your tent is an important decision. Find a level area, and brush away any rocks or twigs that could damage the tent or disrupt your sleep.

  • Be prepared for midnight bathroom breaks. Have a flashlight handy and know where your shoes are.

Other products we considered

Though we believe our top recommendations are great picks, there are a few other models worth covering briefly. If you need an affordable four-season tent, the Amagoing Camping Tent is generously sized and comfortably fits four adults. The fabric is durable, and pitching and striking the tent are easy. One luxurious option is the Coleman Cabin Tent, which features a peak height of nearly five feet. Customers love that they can pitch this tent in under two minutes. While its weight and size are too cumbersome for backpacking, this is a great option for comfortable car camping. We also love the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Canvas Tent, which has a tough canvas fabric and a design that handles rain well. While its weight makes it impractical for backpacking, it is a stylish and comfortable tent for car camping.

While backpacking tents are designed to be as compact and lightweight as possible, basic camping tents may be heavier and larger.

FAQ

Q. What defines a four-person tent?

A. Tent sizes are not standard, and, unfortunately, many smaller four-person tents test the limits of comfort. Take careful note of the dimensions of any tent before you buy — many manufacturers list the square footage. From there you should be able to determine whether you can fit four adults along with their gear.

Q. Do I need to stake down my tent?

A. That depends on where you’re camping and the conditions. Many four-person tents don’t need stakes and can stand upright on their own. The gear in your tent can help weigh it down, but strong winds could still toss your tent around.

Q. Is a rain fly essential?

A. It is essential that you have one — whether you put it up every night depends on the weather and your own tolerance for risk. A rain fly can reduce a tent’s breathability, but even warm summer nights can result in a layer of dew that leaves you and your fellow campers a bit damp.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Production Assistant
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey