For a family of four, camping can be an unforgettable experience—for better or worse. Often, the determining factors for having an amazing experience boils down to how comfortable the venture is. For most people, having a dry place to rest their head and their belongings is key in deciding whether an camping trip is going well or not.
A tent, the most basic of shelters, is there to provide with just that: a dry place to store things and to sleep. There are several 4 person camping tents that would benefit a myriad of people looking to fulfill their camping adventures, and there is no one perfect tent. In fact, they all come with their own features, pros, and cons, and it is up to the individual to sort through which will suit them the best.
Each of the tents compared in this lineup are under $150. They can be found easily online and in other outdoor or sports stores, and many of them have warranties from defects from the manufacturers. They are all designed with the intent of providing shelter from the elements with relatively hassle-free set ups so that families (and friends) can spend their time together without worrying about instructions, tent stakes, or a leaky rain fly.
So, without further ado, here is a list of the 5 best 4 person camping tents available for beginning campers.
Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent Review
The Sundome 4 Person Tent is a relatively inexpensive shelter option designed to hold 4 people without gear. It comes in two color options—green and navy—and takes about 15 minutes to set up. With a weight of 9.8 lbs and a price tag of $59.99, it is a good option for car camping if you don’t mind getting close with your peers, and might be the best 4 person camping tent overall depending on the needs of the camper.
Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent Features:
- 59” center height
- Fiberglass poles
- Rain fly with awning
- Electric access port
- Storage pockets
- Snag free pole sleeves
- Electric access port
Especially important for charging items like cameras, phones, or GPS devices. Campers who require sleep assistance such as CPAP machines will have an easier time with this opening in comparison to other tents.
- Adequate ventilation
There are two main mesh-only windows and two roof vents that allow condensation to escape so that campers will not wake up wet in the morning. This may differ based on the number of people in the tent, as more sleepers means more condensation. Optimal ventilation is key in finding the best 4 person camping tent.
- Storage pockets/ center loop for organization
The center loop can be used to hold a flashlight in order to go hands-free when getting ready for bed, reading a book, or studying a map for the next day’s adventure. Storage pockets on the sides of the tent are also excellent places to store personal items such as wallets, phones, books, or midnight snacks.
This tent is designed with Coleman’s Weathertec system, which provides rain resistant fabric and weatherproof, inverted seams. These seams keep stitching inside the tent, which reduces the likelihood of leaks from holes in the stitching. The floor of the tent is considered a bathtub style, which means that it is partially wrapped onto the sides of the tent, further preventing leaks as the seams are held well above the ground (where rain tends to pool). This tent has been known to hold up through horrendous storms and downpours with no leaks.
- Center height of 59”
While this is not tall enough for the average person to stand in, one can comfortably kneel when sitting inside, and it is high enough to sit comfortably on a camping chair if one should feel the need.
- Easy and simple to set up
This tent takes an average of 10 to 15 minutes to set up, and less with practice. One of the most frustrating parts of setting up a tent is sliding the poles through the sleeves in order to stand it up; this tent, however, utilizes a snag-free fabric which reduces friction and allows installation in one easy set up.
- Easy to stow storage bag
The storage bag is large enough that everything fits back inside with relative ease, and is small enough to store easily in a trunk with all the other gear necessary for a fun weekend of camping. The best part of the storage bag, though, is that the instructions are sewn to the bag so that even for people that seem to lose everything, it will be hard.
- 1 year warranty
While many of the reviews on this product are incredible, Coleman does offer a one-year warranty on this tent for any defects upon arrival. This does not cover any accidents or damages incurred from misuse. A warranty also shows that the company is willing to stand behind the product, a good indicator of the best 4 person camping tent among any category.
- Cannot hold 4 people and gear comfortably
With a 9 ft x 7 ft floor space, this “4 person tent” cannot comfortably fit 4 people. In fact, a queen size mattress (7 ft x 5 ft) will take up the majority of this area with a few feet for gear. This would mean only 3 average sized people could fit comfortably in this space. For many, especially when taking the family out to a campground, comfort is everything.
- Only has 1 door
With this tent having only 1 door, it may be awkward or uncomfortable to set up for multiple people who may or may not have to exit the tent while others are sleeping.
- No vestibule for additional dry storage area
Because this tent is lacking in overall space for 4 people and gear, a vestibule would have been an awesome option for bag and shoe storage alike—unfortunately, this is not the case with the Sundome 4 person.
The Best 4 Person Camping Tent?
Overall, this tent has some amazing reviews. The people who have tried it rate it well and report that it holds up in less-than-ideal camping conditions. Negative reviews often stem from defective tents, which Coleman will replace. The best way to discover these defects is to set the tent up prior to needing to use it. Coleman also provides seam sealers which will further waterproof the tent, if that is a major concern. As far as whether this is the best 4 person camping tent: it depends on the situation and the requirements of the individual.back to menu ↑
Pop Up Camping Tent by TSWA Review
If being unique was the sole qualifier for being the best 4 person camping tent, the Pop Up Camping Tent by TSWA would definitely make an impact in the world of casual camping. At $53.49 and 3.4 lbs, this tent is easy to store and set up for those weekends of fun.
Pop Up Camping Tent by TSWA Features:
- Automatic pop up
- Interior pocket
- Double doors
- Screen windows
- Portable bag
- Instant Set-up
The most exciting part about this tent is the almost instantaneous setup. The extent of work and time that goes into setting up this tent is expended by simply taking it out of its carrying case. This is achieved through utilizing two flexible fiberglass rods that are permanently attached to the body of the tent. Releasing the pressure by pulling it out of the carrying case and tossing it in the air is enough to properly align the tent poles and erect the tent.
- Multiple Doors
Unlike the Coleman Sundome 4, which received negative feedback because it only came equipped with one door, this tent has multiple, which allows easier access for setting up and climbing in and out of the tent.
- Lightweight Material
This tent utilizes 180T Polyester fabric and 6mm diameter fiberglass poles to keep this tent as lightweight as possible. At a whopping 3.42lbs, this is the lightest weight choice of these five tents. If that is a must, this might be the best 4 person camping tent of the bunch.
- Flat Storage
The storage option for this tent can be see as both a pro and con (see below). For car camping and storing in the home, it is excellent. It folds flat and in a circle so it is easy to stash under a bed or seat, stick at the bottom of the trunk, or slide on the side of the car between the seat and the door.
- Storage Option
Unfortunately, because of its design as a pop-up tent, and because it stores flat and in a circle, it is would be pretty awful for any kind of backpacking. This is such a shame, because at under 3.5 lbs and $100, this would be the perfect intro to backpacking tent. Unfortunately, with the pop-up feature, there is really no way to work around this design (flaw).
- Not Fit for Four
This tent was made even less for four adults. In fact, many of the reviewers had reported it is best used as a kids’ tent. The center height is low at 56”, and TSWA even advertises it as being “spacious and comfortable interior space for 2 children and 2 adults, Or for 3 common size adults.” This tent might be awesome for three people, but may not make the cut for being the best 4 person camping tent if the goal is to fit four adults comfortably.
- Difficult to Refold
This was the biggest issue for people, it seems, especially when trying to accomplish this alone. Complaints stem from difficulty understanding instructions (or worse, no instructions at all), accidentally damaging tent poles by trying to force the tent back into the bag, or having to use multiple people to accomplish a seemingly innocent task. Thankfully, there are reference videos on methods to put the tent back in one piece. It just requires a little extra digging.
- Thin Material
Unfortunately, where this tent earns great marks from lightweight materials, it comes with a tradeoff in quality waterproofing. The strength of waterproofing in a fabric is determined by applying a set volume of vertical water to a fabric and measuring how long it takes to begin to leak. This tent was rated between 1,000mm and 1,500mm in what is known as its waterproof index. Generally, anywhere from 1,000mm to 5,000mm is considered to be able to withstand the rain as long as it is not under stress. This means a back yard sprinkler might be hindered by this tent, but any downpour or amount of constant dripping will probably mean a wet night.
So, is this the Best 4 Person Camping Tent?
This tent has many really great qualities, and the overall purpose of its use (as with all of these tents) is the most important factor in determining if this is going to be the best tent for your situation. The lightweight aspect is amazing, as is its easy set up and ability to stash it pretty much anywhere. It is definitely the best 4 person camping tent for children. It might even be great to take backpacking, if it weren’t for the awkward shape.
As far as height goes, 56” inches in the center may or may not be enough to comfortably spend a night in the woods. Others have made mention that being over 6 feet tall is less than comfortable for stretching out, but this would be the case with any tent on this list. As with anything, know the purpose of the trip and what features are the most important to the individual. But despite everything, this tent is a very strong contender.back to menu ↑
Alps Mountaineering Meramac 4 Person Tent Review
The Alps Mountaineering Meramac 4 Person Tentcomes with a design style very similar to the Coleman Sundome in that it is a freestanding tent with an awning instead of a vestibule. One incredible feature of this tent, however, is its center height at 60” tall. At $97.59, it is the tallest tent in this lineup, and—as with everything—it has many features that are exciting and still others that need improving. This is definitely one of the best 4 person camping tents out there.
Alps Mountaineering Meramac 4 Person Tent Features:
- Free standing design
- Pole clips
- High center height
- 2 doors
- Rain fly and awning
- Center storage area
- Tall Center Height
This is the tallest tent of the five, at a whopping 60” of height in the center of the tent. This means that there will be less discomfort getting into and out of the tent and sitting up or moving around will be even less of a pain than in a lower tent.
- 2 Doors
As with the above example for why this might be the best 4 person camping tent, a two door tent makes moving around in the tent both easier and more comfortable. It also provides an additional mesh window for improved ventilation, and allows for a diverse view if the rain fly is kept off.
- Full Rain Fly
The Alps Mountaineering Meramac tentcomes with a full rain fly, which means that it extends all the way to the bottom of the tent. A shorter rain fly may be extended to the base of the tent with a strap system, but can otherwise drip water onto the outside of the tent, or worse, onto the seam between the floor and walls of the tent. A full rain fly can prevent this from happening by allowing the rain to flow off of the fly and onto the ground away from the tent.
- Untreated Walls
While untreated walls may seem like a “con” to this tent, it is actually a huge benefit in terms of breath-ability and ventilation for the tent. Because the inner walls are not waterproofed, moisture is able to wick out of them and keep the inhabitants dry. The rainfly provided will do its job in protecting sleepers from the elements.
The Meramac comes with tent poles with an 11mm diameter, which is 2-2.5mm more than that of its competitors in this list. This makes it an excellent shelter during heavy wind and rains, and difficult to knock over should someone accidentally trip over it in the middle of the night.
The Alps Mountaineering Meramac is even heavier than its brother, the Taurus. It weighs in at 12.55 lbs with the carrying case, and 10.5 lbs without. The weight most likely comes from the full rain fly and super solid tent poles, which are both excellent features but ultimately take away from it being the best 4 person camping tent for backpackers.
- Flimsy Tent Stakes
As with previous tents reviewed, the stakes that come with this tent are a bit lacking. New tent stakes or even heavy duty garden stakes can be purchased for under $20 and easily replace any concerning pieces of metal that come with this (or any) tent.
- No Vestibule
While this comes with an awning, which might keep shoes dry if it happens to be raining lightly or have no rain, it is a little lacking when it comes to additional rain protection. Vestibules really are an excellent way to go in terms of storing unnecessary gear in a place that will keep it dry. If four people were to try to squeeze into this tent, packs would have to be stowed in the car or suffer in the rain from lack of room.
Best 4 Person Camping Tent?
It must be said, this tent is a very strong contender and might just be the best 4 person camping tent in this price range. It is sturdy, convenient, easy to put up, and has an excellent design which features a full rain fly and two doors. For those who are travelling for short distances or at a campground right next to their car, this is probably the best tent out there.
It has very little in the way of complaints, except for flimsy tent poles (which are easy to replace), and lack of a vestibule. Again, if this is something to be used as a car camping tent, it is the perfect choice because extra gear can be stashed out of the elements anyway and the distance between the car and the spot to set up will be short.
The benefits are very clear, and many people have highlighted how well this tent has held up in a myriad of diverse conditions. It truly gives a bang for its buck.back to menu ↑
Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent Review
The Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent is yet another tent with a unique layout from the others, and is the only tent in this group which utilizes a vestibule system to save space for campers while also having a spot for gear to stay dry. It is an excellent choice and might possibly be the best 4 person camping tent. It is a little more expensive than previous tents, at $107.69, but is a worthy option if strong design and efficiency are key factors in the search for the best 4 person camping tent.
Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent Features:
- Vestibule system (2)
- Pole clips
- Extra large zippers
- Center storage compartment
- Vestibule system
This is probably the most exciting feature of this tent, since it allows individuals to store additional accessories outside of the tent and under cover from water. This will enable more space for sleeping and less for stashing boots, backpacks, flashlights, etc. and is a common feature in mountaineering tents, and a good quality for the best 4 person camping tent.
- Shelf at the Center of the Tent
This is an improved design compared to the center look of the Coleman Sundome 4, in that it allows more items to be stashed in one central location. This can include keys, wallets, flashlights, or watches that might need to be quickly accessed by multiple inhabitants. Having a central storage area can reduce the risk of having to crawl over each other to hit the snooze on an alarm.
- Improved Water Resistance
The Alps Mountaineering Taurus comes with poly-Urethane coated floor and walls with additional sealed seams to keep out unwanted water. This product has stood through tests against heavy snow and rain and puddles forming on the underside with no complaints of leaks anywhere. Additional protection against puddling water can be gained by using a tarp or tent footprint as a barrier between the ground and tent.
- Pole Clips Instead of Sleeves
This is yet another incredibly handy feature and plays a huge factor in determining the best 4 person camping tent. Tent poles tend to snag and get stuck when forced inside long sleeves; this tent, however, utilizes clips instead to keep the body of the tent to the tent poles. This also makes set up and take down time significantly faster: people have been known to set this tent up in anywhere from five to ten minutes.
The Taurus comes in at a total weight of 10 lbs, 13 oz, more than double that of most moderate backpacking tents. Even without a focus of backpacking, it is still consistently heavier than the previous tents in this comparison. This, coupled with a reduction of head room and space in the tent, makes it for an overall less comfortable tent for both packing and sleeping.
- Low Center Height
The Alps Mountaineering Taurus has a 52” center height, which means it may be difficult to climb in and out. Adding on a vestibule is going to make pulling up and down that series of zippers frustrating after the fourteenth time of forgetting to put something away. Furthermore, those who are claustrophobic might want to spring for something a little bit larger in case they should find themselves waking up in the middle of the night.
- Flimsy Tent Stakes
An problem easy to fix, but still worth mentioning, are tent stakes that are incredibly easy to bend. If the tent is going to be used on nights with significant wind, it might be ideal to buy new stakes from a third party in order to keep the tent grounded.
Best 4 Person Camping Tent?
While this tent follows the design of many other backpacking tents, it lacks in overall follow through when it comes to specifics: namely, weight. With a smaller sleeping space and delicate tent stakes, it begs the question as to what makes up the brunt of this bulk. Still, with heavier materials often comes improved durability, and this tent seems to have a lot of that. With many people commenting that it has stood through heavy wind, rain, and snow, this tent my have what it takes to be the best 4 person camping tent, if the weight does not scare people away first.
Overall, this tent is a very good option for those who are a) not concerned with weight and b) not concerned with headroom in a tent. Otherwise, issues such as tent poles are easily fixed, and waterproofing can be even further solidified with the use of a tarp/footprint and by applying aftermarket seam sealer (which should probably be applied every few years anyway, as it does wear off).
The vestibule design and tent clips are by far the highlights of this tent, providing easy access and setup/take down, so that campers can focus on more festive activities.back to menu ↑
Coleman 4-Person Instant Cabin Review
The Coleman 4-Person Instant Cabin is yet another unique design that has provided an excellent camping experience for some. It can be erected within minutes with very clear instructions, and makes the list for the best 4 person camping tent due to its speedy set up and take down. It is listed at $127.01 on Amazon.
Coleman 4-Person Instant Cabin Features:
- 58” center height
- Pre assembled poles
- Welded floors and inverted seams
- Reflective guy lines
- Built-in rainfly
- Fast and easy set up
This is one of the huge selling points for this tent, as it is marketed to be able to set up in less than a This is done using a series of four poles which can be extended and locked into place. Guy lines are optional and are typically recommended with higher wind scenarios, but utilizing them will probably push this time to more than a minute.
Instructions are also sewn to the bag, as they had been with the Sundome 4, which makes them difficult to lose or destroy. Even if they were lost, the tent is so simple to pitch that one could easily figure it out without written instructions.
According to users of this tent, ventilation is excellent and reduces condensation buildup significantly. This means that there is very little chance of waking up in the morning wet just from sleeping. Having adequate ventilation is key for the best 4 person camping tent.
This tent is constructed using 16mm and 20mm steel poles, which means that if they are staked down correctly, they will hold up during heavy wind and rains. Additional reflective guy lines are provided, which further improve the stability and upright position of the tent poles. With tent stakes well in place, this shelter should not be going anywhere.
- 1 door
As with previous complaints for the Coleman Sundome Tent, this tent has only 1 door. This makes it difficult to get in and out of the tent without disturbing another sleeper, and even makes organization and more difficult by having to crawl from end to end instead of having the freedom to stand up and walk around to the other side of the tent.
This tent, at 9.8lbs, is bulky to store and carry. Stashed in its carrying case, the tent is over 3 feet long, so even packed away it will take up a significant space in the trunk or in a closet. However, utilizing the poles and system it does allows the tent to be set up and taken down quickly and efficiently; but the novelty comes with a price.
- Not waterproof without the additional rain fly
There are conflicting reports for this concept. Coleman markets this tent as having a built-in rain fly. Personal experiences from those who have used this tent refute this statement. With adequate ventilation provided for this tent, there is an incredible opportunity for leaks to arise, even with inverted seams and waterproof floors. Many also reported that there is a tendency for water to collect on the top of the tent, which causes additional pressure and forces water through much easier.
- Limited space
This tent is not a comfortable 4 person tent. It can fit one full queen mattress, or three people comfortably in its 8′ x 7′ base. However, it is long enough to manage to squeeze in a cot, which may be a plus for some. Furthermore, without the presence of a vestibule or an awning, there is nowhere to store additional supplies if the tent is full.
Best 4 Person Camping Tent?
This one is probably a no, unless one were to also purchase the additional rain fly (at an extra $20.97), which might actually solve a few of these blatant problems. The overall reviews for this tent were on the lower end, as many people felt it was not sturdy or waterproof, and too costly for the problems that had accompanied it. The bathtub floor, which is ordinarily a selling feature, ended up retaining water for some and ruining more than just their fun time.
The tent has one door which makes setting up a sleep system difficult, and lacks comfort when trying to cram four people into it. Although the poles are very sturdy and make this tent easy to pitch, it is also bulky and can take up valuable packing space.
Even so, for casual car camping during fair weather, this tent may be a good fit due to its ease of use, quick set up, and excellent ventilation.back to menu ↑
Best 4 Person Camping Tent Summary
Overall, there are some very strong contenders in this list of the best 4 person camping tents. Tents like the TSWA Pop Up Camping Tent, the Coleman Instant Cabin, and the ALPS Taurus tents all came with unique designs that set them apart from other products. However, that does not make them a better fit for camping. This is determined by individual needs.
The Coleman Sundome 4, for instance, has excellent ventilation, water repellency, and easy set up with built in instructions to the carrying bag. A major selling point that sets it apart from the other tents is that it also has an electrical outlet port, which allows campers easy access to power strips or extension cords for charging phones, GPS units, or even plugging in medical equipment like CPAP machines. As a tech-centered camper, this tent may be an excellent fit.
The Pop Up and Instant Cabin are both convenient, but lack in waterproofing. This is a very blatant example of trade-offs that may occur when companies design tents. Generally, lighter weight tents or tents with less moving pieces (the Instant Cabin’s “built in rain fly”) may not be as durable or hold up against heavier weather. However, there are further waterproofing techniques that can be applied, such as sealing seams to reduce leaks and utilizing a footprint or tarp to keep the tent away from the ground. These may help make even poorly designed tents hold up better in the elements.
The ALPS Taurus is a great choice for those who don’t mind minimal sleeping room, but additional dry storage for bags and other gear with the use of a vestibule. This vestibule system, however, does come with a concession that the tent will be heavier to carry, which may or may not impact campers looking to also get into backpacking. The ALPS Meramac is additionally an excellent choice, as it is stable and roomy inside, but comes with clunky materials and also weighs more than the other tents in this category.
Many of these best 4 person camping tents further lacked the space to house four people comfortably, let alone with gear. My advice for one not concerned with weight would be to go up to the next size tent, which is often a six person tent. Otherwise, be prepared to get cozy with three additional full-size humans.
Still, for casual camping with a small family, any of these tents would be an excellent choice. The Pop Up is probably the best choice for children, since it is so easy to set up but is a little small on the inside. The ALPS Taurus might be the best for more rugged terrain; campers reported it holding up very well in snow and heavy rain. The Instant Cabin is excellent for those who want to set up a tent quickly and who will most likely be camping in fair weather (unless they spring for the additional rain fly). The Sundome, again, is probably the best decision for a more tech-centered or gadget friendly crew, and finally the ALPS Meramac is a good all-around tent that can stand up against heavy wind and rain.