Best 4 Person Tent for Camping and Backpacking (2023)

By: Ashley Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023

Based on our camping experience, the Nemo Aurora Highrise is the best 4 person tent. It’s our favorite tent we’ve ever owned because it has a lifetime warranty, high quality materials, and features that other tents just can’t compete with.

best 4 person tent nemo aurora highrise

We understand that this may not be everyone’s top pick, so we’ve assembled our other favorite options below – that way you can pick the perfect 4 person tent that best fits your needs. Since a 4 person capacity is one of the most popular tent sizes, know that there are lots of options to pick from, even after we’ve narrowed them down into the top-rated ones.

Just keep in mind your typical camping trip and how that affects your opinion on key features like ease of assembly, max height, storage options, weather resistance, and more. We’re sure that one of these highly-rated tents will be perfect for you and our guide will surely help you pick the best one for your situation!

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Best 4 Person Tents

IMAGE PRODUCT
Aurora Highrise 4 by NEMO
  • NEMO lifetime warranty
  • Durable fabrics and aluminum poles
  • Two large vestibules
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The North Face Wawona 4
  • Aluminum poles
  • High waterhead rating
  • Lifetime warranty
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Caddis Rapid 4 Tent
  • Tallest max height on this list
  • Second largest sq ft on this list
  • Made of thick denier fabrics
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Eureka! Space Camp
  • Superior waterhead rating for weather protection
  • Aluminum poles
  • More vestibule space than other tents
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Mountain Hardwear Trango 4
  • Superior weather resistance
  • Can be used year-round in all kinds of conditions
  • Quality materials that far out-do anything else on this list
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Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent
  • Built to withstand wind and rain
  • High quality materials
  • Simple setup with color coded poles
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Slumberjack Daybreak 4
  • No-see-um mesh exterior for ample ventilation
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Lightest tent on this list
VIEW ON AMAZON →
REI Co Op Base Camp 4 Person
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Includes gear loft and lots of storage
  • Aluminum poles
VIEW BEST PRICE →

Editor’s Choice: Aurora Highrise 4 by NEMO

The Aurora Highrise 4P by NEMO is the highest quality and most feature rich 4 person tent currently available, making it the best option for most campers. It’s hard to beat this design that offers standing height inside with a simple setup, fun vibrant colors, and a lifetime warranty. Read on to learn about all our favorite features seen in the Aurora Highrise.

Our favorite part of this tent is the tall max height, which is 6 feet 3 inches tall. That’s quite large for a four person tent and it’s one of the tallest ones on this list. We are both 5’8″ and we can stand upright in the tent with plenty of room to spare. As you can see in the picture below, there’s lots of space inside!

Another stand-out feature is the two windows that offer ventilation. Because they’re both weather protected and open/close from the inside, you have a lot of flexibility even though the rainfly is almost full coverage. We’ve spent several nights with the windows open, and love how it provides some air flow without sacrificing protection from rain and dew.

We were also really drawn in by the overall quality of the materials used, which includes aluminum poles and high denier fabrics. The waterhead rating meets or exceeds the 1200mm minimum, so the rainfly is perfectly water resistant. Combine that with the 3/4-coverage rainfly, and you have a tent that’s durable and weather proof for years to come.

This tent also features two large doors with vestibules, nightlight pockets for your headlamp, and multiple gear pockets. NEMO thoughtfully extended the polyester material just above sitting height, so you still have plenty of mesh but can have some privacy while sitting and laying inside the tent.

About The Brand: NEMO

NEMO is easily one of our favorite outdoors brands and we’ve loved every piece of gear we’ve bought from them. This Aurora Highrise tent is new for the 2023 camping season and is one of the best tents currently on the market. NEMO offers a lifetime warranty, so you know you’re getting something super high quality.

Specifications

  • Weight:  15 lb. 14 oz.
  • Floor size: 100 x 90 inches (8ft.4in. x 7ft.6in.)
  • Square Feet: 62.5 sq.ft.
  • Peak height: 75 inches (6ft.3in.)
  • # of Doors: 2
  • # of Vestibules: 2
  • Vestibule SqFt: 19.5′ x 2
  • Poles: aluminum
  • Fabric: 150-denier floor, 68-denier canopy and rainfly
  • Water-Proofing: 1200mm rainfly, 1500mm floor
  • Highlight: High quality tent that has great features and a tall max height.

Pros

  • NEMO lifetime warranty
  • Durable fabrics and aluminum poles
  • Two large vestibules
  • Rain protected windows for ventilation
  • Standing height inside

Cons

  • High profile walls make it more susceptible to wind gusts

Runner-Up – The North Face Wawona 4

The North Face is an awesome outdoor gear brand that makes high quality products with a lifetime warranty. We really love their Wawona tent series so we’ve selected their Wawona 4 person as our runner-up for the best four person tent for car camping.

The first thing that stood out to us about the Wawona 4 is that it thrives in every category that we use to rate the quality of any camping tent. The poles are DAC MX aluminum, which are top of the line metal poles that will outlast fiberglass ones any day.

Plus, the structure uses a combination of pole hooks and sleeves so the poles have extra support from the tent fabric. The waterhead rating is 1200mm, which is considered waterproof and makes for a great weather protective barrier. The interior height is 68 inches (5’8″), which is quite tall for a four person tent.

We also really like the oversized vestibule, which is tall enough and large enough for a couple chairs or some dry gear storage. Setup is quick and easy with color-coded poles and trims, and the guylines are pre-attached and ready to go. There are two doors for easy access to the interior space, and the main front door is oversized. There are several large storage pockets inside, as well as a lantern hook in the ceiling.

The only downside we could find is that the rainfly doesn’t extend all the way to the ground on all parts of the tent, but this isn’t really a deal breaker. It still provides an ample amount of coverage to sufficiently protect the entire structure from wind and rain. Something we do like about the rainfly is that the sides can be rolled up to expose mesh, so you can get some extra airflow without having to take the entire rainfly on and off.

Specifications

  • Weight: 13 lbs.
  • Floor size: 8 x 7.5 feet
  • Square Feet: 58.13sq.ft.
  • Peak height: 5’8″ (68 inches)
  • # of Doors: 2
  • Vestibule Space: 27.6 sq.ft.
  • Poles: DAC MX aluminum
  • Fabric: 75-denier canopy and rainfly, 150-denier floor
  • Water-Proofing: 1200mm PU
  • Highlight: Overall super high quality tent that won’t break the bank.

Pros

  • Aluminum poles
  • High waterhead rating
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Oversized vestibule
  • Tall peak height for a four person tent

Cons

  • Would like to see a full coverage rainfly but that’s not a deal breaker

Caddis Rapid 4 Tent

caddis rapid 4 person tent

Caddis is a small company that was founded in 2005 with a focus on float tubes for fishing, but they’ve since expanded their business and product line to include shelters and tents, including this Rapid Instant Tent that’s best 4 person instant tent available.

You’ll love how quick and easy this tent is to set up, which means you’ll have more time enjoying the outdoors. We found that this cabin tent only takes a couple of minutes to set up and it can be done by only one person if needed. Just open it up, unfold the poles, extend the legs, stake out the corners, and throw on the rainfly. Boom, you’re good to go!

This tent’s got tons of great features, like plenty of windows for fresh air, a gear loft and side storage, and a rainfly to keep the weather out.

This cabin tent has the highest peak height on our list at a whopping 6 feet 8 inches, so you can actually stand up straight inside. That kind of height is best for warm weather camping so the hot air can rise, but it shouldn’t be used in cold temperatures because it will be difficult to heat. Either way, if you’re looking for a four person tent that offers a tent body tall enough to stand in, this Caddis is your best bet.

We really love this Caddis Rapid four-person tent – it gets rave reviews and ends up on loads of “best of” lists. We love it too, and it’s a great option if you’re after an easy setup tent for quick weekend trips. Plus, it made our list of best instant tents for car camping, so you know it’s gonna be fast to set up.

Specifications

  • Weight: 20lbs 8oz
  • Packed size: 9″ x 50″
  • # of Doors: 1
  • Tent Material: 190-denier canopy and rainfly, 210-denier floor
  • Floor size: 96″ x 96″ x 72″ (64 sq ft)
  • # of Doors: 1
  • Peak height: 6ft 8in (80 inches)
  • Tent Poles: Steel
  • Highlight: Durable instant tent that has the tallest max height on this list.

Pros

  • Tallest max height on this list
  • Second largest sq ft on this list
  • Made of thick denier fabrics
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Roomy interior space

Cons

  • Smaller rainfly offers less coverage

Eureka! Space Camp

eureka space camp tent review

Eureka! has a long running role in history since their formation in 1895. They even made tents for the U.S. forces in World War II and the first American Everest expedition in 1963. They continue to make high quality outdoor gear today, like the Space Camp – a popular tent that’s got everything you need.

The Space Camp is pretty tall and has near vertical walls with a peak height of 5’8″, so you can almost stand up straight in it. The shape is almost similar to larger cabin tents, but it could also look like some dome tents depending on who you’re talking to. This larger frame is supported by sturdy aluminum poles that stand strong against wind and weather, and are built to last.

One of our favorite features is the two huge doors with vestibules, which means you’ve got tons of space to stash your gear outside the tent walls. One of the coolest things about this tent is the strong fabric and generous waterhead rating, both of which are higher than most tents. The polyester material is 68-denier and the waterhead rating is 1500mm for the rainfly and 1800mm for the floor.

On a clear night during warm summer camping trips, we take off the rainfly and enjoy the 360-degree mesh ceiling for stargazing and fresh air. When we’re expecting rain, we use the rainfly but open the multiple upper vents, which allows for air circulation even in inclement weather.

With plenty of floor space and superior weather protection, the Space Camp would be a great car camping tent for 3-season camping.

Specifications

  • Weight: 13lb 14.4oz
  • Packed size: 8″ x 25″
  • Floor size: 96″ x 90″ (60 sq ft)
  • # of Doors: 2
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm rainfly, 1800mm floor
  • Fabrics: 68-denier 185T polyester taffeta
  • Peak height: 5’8″ (68 inches)
  • Tent Poles: 7000-series Aluminum
  • Highlight: Great three season car camping tent with superior weather protection.

Pros

  • Superior waterhead rating for weather protection
  • Aluminum poles
  • More vestibule space than other tents
  • High Low ventilation even with the rainfly on
  • Modified dome design
  • 10 pockets for gear storage

Cons

  • Taller frame isn’t good for windy conditions

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4

msr trango camping tent reivew

Mountain Hardwear is an amazing gear brand and they make some seriously high quality products. Their gear does tend to be more expensive, but you get what you pay for for sure. They are also one of the most sustainable companies on this list, and they don’t use flame retardant materials since there’s growing concerns about the impacts of chemical flame retardants in consumer products.

Their Trango is a 4 person, 4-season, high quality tent that is one of the most premium tents you could get. Where other tents fall short in weather resistance or quality, the Trango blows them all out of the water. It was even tested in a rain room where it was subjected to 1200 inches of rain over the course of 24 hours. And it passed the test. We hope you’ll never find a storm that bad, but you can be sure that this tent will protect you in any kind of adverse weather.

The waterhead rating on the rainfly is 2000mm, and the tent floor is a whopping 10,000mm. Cheaper tents will usually be 1200-1500mm (or even less), so you can see how these numbers are much higher. It uses DAC Featherlight poles for a stable tent frame, and it has plenty of air flow with mesh windows at the roof and two mesh doors. There’s 16 sq ft of vestibule for storage space, and it even has a fifth tent pole to support the vestibule, so you have plenty of weatherproof space for gearing up or down.

This Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 person is seriously one of the most well-thought out, high quality tents we’ve seen not only from Mountain Hardwear, but from the market in general. If you’re willing to spend the extra money, this tent is well worth it for its thought-out design, rugged 4-season materials, and all weather capabilities.

It would be perfect for serious campers who want a tent that can handle anything you could possibly throw at it including high winds, torrential rain, heavy snow, and years of wear and tear. It’s the ultimate tent for for winter camping, car camping, and can even be used as a backpacking tent for extreme weather.

Specifications

  • Weight: 12lbs 1oz
  • Packed size: 9″ x 28″
  • # of Doors: 2
  • Floor size: 96″ x 94/71″ (57 sq ft)
  • Peak height: 50″
  • Waterhead Rating: 2,000mm fly, 10,000mm tent floor
  • Tent Poles: DAC Featherlight NSL aluminum poles
  • Highlight: Top of the line tent for superior weather resistance.

Pros

  • Superior weather resistance
  • Can be used year-round in all kinds of conditions
  • Quality materials that far out-do anything else on this list
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • This level of quality comes with a higher price tag

Best 4 Person Tent for Rain – Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent

snow peak alpha breeze camping tent review

Snow Peak was founded in 1958 after Yukio Yamai realized he was dissatisfied with the available gear on the market at the time. His company started making products in his hometown and has grown into the company we know today as Snow Peak. This tent (and all their products) are super high quality and we’ve added this Alpha Breeze car camping tent to our list because of it’s accessibility and strong construction.

The feature that immediately stood out to us was the 4 doors, which give access to the tent from every side. There are two main doors that are so wide that they practically take up the whole side of the tent. They both have large vestibule areas for storage, and one of them can be converted into an awning using longer poles. There are two other doors that are smaller corner doors which provide access on the sides and mesh for ventilation.

The second best feature is its sturdiness and stability, since it’s built to withstand rain and wind. Once the rain fly is on, you can see how it would be extremely waterproof and able to stand up to harsher conditions compared to a more square-shaped tent. Even with its ergonomic shape, it still has a generous max height of 6ft 1 inch and the largest floor space (square feet) of all the four person tents on this list.

One of the best signs of a quality camping tent is that it has a thicker fabric on the floor of the tent, since this part takes some of the most wear and tear during long term use. Not only is the floor a 300-denier fabric that’s way higher than most tents, but this fabric is paired with a 5,000mm waterhead rating. Between these specs and the heavy duty poles, the Alpha Breeze is a quality car camping tent that would be great for campers who want superior weather protection and quality.

This Snow Peak Alpha Breeze is the best waterproof 4 person tent if you want to spend a little extra money for something high quality, functional, and accessible.

Specifications

  • Weight: 24lbs 3.2oz
  • Packed size: 14.9 x 8.1 x 6.1″
  • # of Doors: 4
  • Floor size: 9.1 x 8.5 ft
  • Square Feet: 77.35 sq ft
  • Peak height: 6ft 1in
  • Poles: Duralumin A6061
  • Fabric: 68-denier canopy, 75-denier rainfly, 300-denier floor
  • Waterhead Rating: 1800mm fly, 5000mm floor
  • Highlight: High quality camping tent that’s great for serious campers who want weather protection and a cool design.

Pros

  • Built to withstand wind and rain
  • High quality materials
  • Simple setup with color coded poles
  • Generous peak height
  • Most floor space (sq ft) on this list

Cons

  • Heaviest tent on this list

Best Budget 4 Person Tent -Slumberjack Daybreak 4

The Slumberjack Daybreak 4 person is one of the tents on this list that we have used for a long time and have recently retired it. It lasted a solid 8 years before we decided to purchase a new tent, and we highly recommend it. We’ve done a full write up if you want more information about the Slumberjack Daybreak 4, but here’s a little breakdown of the best features.

We originally picked out this tent because of the full mesh canopy, which has the most ventilation possible for warm weather and summer camping. We used this tent many times, but the mesh really came into play during a trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, where we slept without the rain fly on and watched the Milky Way rise above us through the no-see-um mesh. Fast forward to fall camping trips in Arkansas and Oklahoma, where we slept with the rain fly on and we were plenty warm.

Even through all the different places this tent has been, it stood well against the test of time. We never had issues with holes in the mesh or tent floor, and the rainfly performed perfectly when we were exposed to rain and wind.

Plus, this tent is super easy to set up and only takes a few minutes, and the large front vestibule is plenty of space for gear storage like packs and dirty shoes. The rain fly is full coverage, which provided ample protection during rain storms and windy nights. As a bonus, the Daybreak 4 is the best budget tent on this list.

Specifications

  • Weight: 11lbs 2oz
  • Packed size: 7″ x 26″
  • # of Doors: 1
  • Floor size: 99″ x 84″ (8ft.3in. x 7ft.)
  • Sqaure Feet: 57.75 sq.ft.
  • Vestibule Square Feet: 22.2 sq.ft.
  • Peak height: 4ft 10in (58″)
  • Poles: Fiberglass poles
  • Highlight: Most affordable tent on this list – simple design that’s effective and easy to use.

Pros

  • Most affordable tent on this list
  • No-see-um mesh exterior for ample ventilation
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Lightest tent on this list
  • Large vestibule for storage space

Cons

  • Fiberglass poles

REI Co Op Base Camp 4 Person

rei base camp camping tent

REI knows outdoor gear, and they’re one of our favorite companies for sure. Their wealth of knowledge has led them to create this 4 person car camping tent that’s perfect for your next camping trip, whether it’s in ideal weather or adverse conditions. The Base Camp is rated as a 3 to 4 season tent because it can withstand wind and rain more than some of the other options on this list with its 1500mm waterhead rating and full coverage rainfly. It also uses aluminum poles for stability, and has a large, pole-supported vestibule (and an additional smaller one) plus two doors.

The Base Camp’s dome shape provides the weather protection you need, but this also keeps the max height slightly lower at only 60 inches. This is ‘stooping height’ for most people, so it has a little bit less of a spacious interior than some of the other family tents on this list, but it’s still fairly average for a tent of this size.

On the interior of the tent, there’s several pockets and a large gear loft built into the ceiling. There’s two upper vents in the roof to create a chimney effect, which lets hot air rise up and out of the tent. This also helps with condensation, so whether you’re in warm or cooler weather, this tent has features that help keep you comfortable.

This same style and shape does come in a six person tent (84 square feet), which is a slightly larger family camping tent than this four person Base Camp. REI also makes the REI Co Op Wonderland 4, which has a more spacious interior and taller max height, but is slightly larger at 69.4 square feet. Any of these tents would be great for family camping trips.

Specifications

  • Weight: 16lbs 14oz
  • Packed size: 10″ x 20″
  • Floor size: 100″ x 86″ (8ft.4in. x 7ft.2in.)
  • Square Footage: 59.7 sq.ft.
  • Vestibule Square Feet: 27 + 17 sq.ft.
  • Peak height: 60″
  • Poles: aluminum
  • Fabric: 150-denier polyester
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm
  • Highlight: An REI brand tent that has all the best features of a quality car camping tent.

Pros

  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Includes gear loft and lots of storage
  • Aluminum poles
  • Two roof vents

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side

How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated These Tents

We love outdoor gear, and we love recommending gear that adds value to our outdoor adventure. We know and understand the importance of having gear that’s worth every penny, so we thoroughly research and test every product we recommend. No matter how we procure an item, our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible, and we put it to the test against its competitors to find the best and worst features.

We also understand that each adventurer is different, and our favorite may not be yours. That’s why we rate and review a wide variety of products currently available, so you can see a breakdown of all the features and pick what’s best for you and your situation.

We don’t recommend anything we wouldn’t personally use, so whether you’re looking for highest quality, an affordable price, superior weather resistance, a certain brand, or any other desirable feature, there’s sure to be a tent on our list that’s perfect for you.

Thing to Consider When Choosing a 4 Person Tent

When trying to narrow down tents to the best choice for you, make sure you’re taking into consideration your typical camping trip and how it relates to the features below:

Tent ModelMax HeightSquare FeetWeightPole MaterialVestibule Square FeetWaterhead RatingFavorite Feature
North Face Wawona 468″58.13 sq.ft.13 lbs.DAC MX Aluminum27.6 sq.ft.1200mmOversized vesitbule
NEMO Aurora Highrise 475″62.5 sq.ft.15lbs. 14oz.Aluminum19.5 sq.ft. x21200mm, 1500mmHead space
Caddis Rapid 480″64 sq.ft.20lbs. 8oz.Steel01200mmEasy Setup
Eureka Space Camp 468″60 sq.ft.13lbs. 14.4oz.7000-series Aluminum16.5 + 12 sq.ft.1500mm, 1800mmSpacious
Mountain Hardwear Trango 450″57 sq.ft.12 lbs. 12.4 oz.DAC Featherlite Aluminum16 sq.ft.2,000mm, 10,000mm4 Season Weather Resistance
Snow Peak Alpha Breeze 473″77.4 sq.ft.24lbs. 3.2oz.Duralumin A6061~33 sq.ft.1800mm, 5000mm4 Doors for Accessibility
Slumberjack Daybreak 458″57.75 sq.ft.11lbs. 2oz.Fiberglass22.2 sq.ft.1200mmBudget
REI Co-Op Base Camp 460″59.7 sq.ft.16lbs. 14oz.Aluminum27 + 17 sq.ft.1200mmREI Brand
A table comparing the features of these four person tents.

Capacity

All of these tents are rated to sleep four people, but that number is for campers who sleep in close quarters shoulder to shoulder. While it’s possible to sleep four people, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

There’s a lot that goes into calculating how much space you need in a tent, but as a general rule of thumb you should decrease the recommended capacity by at least two campers. This means that a four person tent would comfortably sleep two people or less, and we find this to be pretty accurate because it’s the best size for the two of us.

You could also look at the square feet of floor space in a tent, and use that to calculate capacity. We’ve included the square feet measurement in the specifications in each tent above, and they range from about 57-64 square feet. This averages out to about 14-16 square feet per person, but we would recommend somewhere closer to 28-35 per person depending on your sleeping setup. Even though these tents are all a 4 person capacity, you can see on the table above that they vary in square footage.

Max Height & Shape

Max height is the maximum height of the tent and it’s typically located in the center or apex of the tent. Because 4-person tents are typically smaller and shorter, there’s not usually much to talk about when it comes to headroom.

That being said, several of the tents on our list actually have a height that allows standing, especially the Caddis Rapid 4 that stands at 6 feet 8 inches. It’s a cabin tent, and that kind of shape typically allows for a taller max height, as well as more space overall because of the near vertical walls. The NEMO Aurora Highrise (6ft. 7in.) and Snow Peak Alpha Breeze (6ft.5in.) are both worth mentioning for a tall max height as well.

Related Post: Dome vs. Cabin Tents

On the reverse side of a cabin tent is the dome style, such as the Slumberjack Daybreak, Eureka Space Camp, and several other tents above. They’re going to have more curved walls, which limits the amount of interior space. They’re also usually quite a bit shorter, so you’re more likely to have to stoop instead of stand upright.

If being able to stand in your tent is a big priority, then make sure you’re picking something at least an inch or two more than the tallest person in your party.

Weather Resistance

The max height involves more than just being able to stand up straight. You must also take into consideration that taller tents are harder to keep warm because warm air rises. If the tent is too tall, the warm air will rise and leave the cooler air on the bottom. This could be a benefit if you only camp in warm temperatures, but could be a major downfall if you enjoy winter, fall, and/or spring camping.

Taller options like the cabin tent above are also more likely to catch wind, whereas a smaller and dome-shaped tent would be contoured enough that most of the wind would fly over and around the tent body. In addition, shorter tents will usually have a more full coverage rainfly, which is essential if you are exposed to rain and wind. It will do a better job of keeping moisture out than a small rainfly paired with zippered windows.

If height isn’t a priority, or if you consistently camp in windy conditions, then perhaps consider purchasing a smaller, dome style tent that would be better equipped for adverse weather (like these tents for high winds, which has the Snow Peak Alpha Breeze from above as our Editor’s Choice).

Side window on the Editor’s Choice NEMO Aurora Highrise 4P. The two side windows are weather protected and open/close from the inside so you can still get a breeze with the rainfly on.

Ventilation

Because the sun’s rays can go through the tent material but the resulting heat can’t escape, a warm sunny day will make your tent more of an oven than anything else. Ventilation allows the warm air to escape, keeping you more comfortable – this is especially important for getting your tent cool enough to sleep in at night.

Ventilation is not as important for cold weather camping, and can actually hurt you by making your tent too cold. This is why a 4 season tent will have less ventilation and less mesh than a 3 season tent.

If you typically camp in spring, summer, and fall, you’ll want to make sure your tent has ventilation options like a mesh ceiling, mesh windows, mesh on the doors, and some even have vents in the rainfly.

One of our favorite tents when it comes to ventilation is the Editor’s Choice Aurora Highrise. It has rain protected windows that open/close from the inside, so you can have some air flow even during rainy weather.

Weather Protection

Some tent companies put a lot of effort into weatherproofing their tents, while others include it as an after thought. If you are someone who typically gets exposed to adverse conditions like wind and rain, you should put more emphasis on picking a tent that can withstand these conditions. This means a more robust rain fly and sturdier poles like aluminum instead of fiberglass. If you only camp on perfect sunny days, this will be less of a factor for you.

When it comes to weather protection, there’s no doubt in our minds that the top pick on this list is the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4. It has a higher price tag, but the quality materials, full coverage rainfly, and high waterhead rating make it ready for any kind of adverse weather you can throw at it.

Ease of Setup

Some tents on this list take only a few minutes to set up, while others can take upwards of 10+ minutes depending on construction. Generally a quicker set up time is preferred, unless the tent takes longer to set up because of a desirable feature like being a larger, taller tent or having extra vestibules or multiple rooms.

The Caddis Rapid 4 is one of our favorite instant tents and it has the quickest setup time on this list. All the other tents will still set up quickly enough, and will probably take 10-15 minutes depending on how many adults can help out.

Weight and Packed Size

Since people rarely carry 4 person tents for backpacking trips, the weight and packed size isn’t necessarily a factor. If you do see any ultralight backpacking tents for 4 people, you can pretty much guess that they will be quite expensive. The materials needed to make something so large so lightweight are high quality, so most backpacking tents will be smaller than a 4 person capacity to keep cost down.

That being said, the Mountain Hardwear Trango above can be used as a backpacking tent, but it’s more intended for mountaineering expeditions where weight isn’t quite as much of a factor as it would be for a regular lightweight backpacking tent.

We have included the weight and packed size measurements for your reference, but we wouldn’t think of them a major consideration for many family car camping tents, especially since they’re all fairly similar and you don’t need to carry them long distances when you’re car camping.

Vestibules & Porches

Not all tents have a vestibule, which is a small area of space under the rain fly but outside the main tent, typically located outside a door. This area is mostly used for gear storage such as muddy shoes and backpacks, or anything else that doesn’t need to be in the main tent space. Some vestibules can be converted to awnings, as seen in the Slumberjack Daybreak and Snow Peak Alpha Breeze.

A larger vestibule like this allows for storing boots and backpacks outside your tent while still keeping them protected from the elements.

Related Post: What is a Tent Vestibule? Why Do You Need One?

Price

The tents on this list were selected for their quality, and they’re all tents that we would personally consider buying. They have a decent waterhead rating, thick fabrics, cool features, and much more. If price is a main factor for your purchase decision, then we have some options for you. If price isn’t as much of a concern, then we have several tents that offer more features and durability in exchange for a little more money.

The best budget option on this list is the Slumberjack Daybreak 4. It’s quite affordable but still has cool features like a full coverage rainfly and lots of mesh. If you’re willing to spend a little more to get more, then most of the other tents on this list are pretty fairly priced.

While there are some super cheap tents on the market, we would typically recommend avoiding them. There are options out there that balance affordability with quality, but purchasing something too cheap will just lead to broken poles, stuck zippers, torn fabric, and lots of frustration.

‘Cry Once’

We have a saying when it comes to camping gear, and that’s ‘cry once.’ If you’re shopping around for your next favorite piece of equipment, and you choose a cheap or low rated option, you’ll probably just end up circling around in the future to purchase the option you really wanted.

Skip the circle and just purchase a product that’s high quality – something that’s actually built to last. In a tent that means, aluminum or steel poles, high waterhead ratings, thick fabrics, and a full coverage rainfly.

That’s not to say you won’t be happy with something more affordable, especially if you are a budget outdoor enthusiast or a beginner, but there’s a balance that’s worth finding before picking out your perfect tent.

FAQ

What is the Best tent for 4 people?

We’ve selected The North Face Wawona 4 as our top pick for the best 4 person tent, but some other great tents for car campers include the North Face Wawona, NEMO Aurora Highrise, Eureka Space Camp, Caddis Rapid 4, the Alpha Breeze by SnowPeak, and the Slumberjack Daybreak. These tents are all extremely highly rated by users, and offer their own specifications and best uses.

Who makes the best high quality camping tents?

Some of the top brands for a quality camping tent include The North Face, NEMO, SnowPeak, REI brand, Erueka!, and Slumberjack.

Who makes the toughest tent?

There are lots of tents out there that are built for rugged and extreme conditions. Keep an eye out for features like aluminum or steel poles, a robust rain fly, and a contoured shape to let the wind fly by. Some examples would be the Mountain Hardwear Trango and Snow Peak Alpha Breeze.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of factors that go into picking the perfect tent for your situation, but it really comes down to your typical camping trip and what features you enjoy having. Our top pick is the North Face Wawona 4 because of its classic design, quality materials, and affordable price, but all tents on this list could be a “top pick” for someone depending on their desires. That’s why we have included a large variety of shapes and prices, so you can pick what’s best for you!

Our #1 Recommendation: The North Face Wawona 4

The North Face makes this feature-rich tent that balances affordability with quality, and it would be a great addition to your car camping gear.

Why Trust Know Nothing Nomads?

Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

We don’t just know a few things about the outdoors — WE EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE IT.

We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

We are not a “gear lab” that runs tests on gear in life-like conditions. We are the seasoned, “trial-by-fire” experts who have taken the gear into the wilderness and USED IT. Read about our gear testing process here

We started Know Nothing Nomads to share our passion and expertise with our readers to inspire, educate, and enable you to explore the outdoors in the way that we have. And you will be more equipped and capable than ever before with the knowledge you gain here guiding you along the way.

And the best part? We are real people that LOVE our readers and this community. If you need anything or have a question about any of the things we have to write about, just reach out. Normally, one of us can respond within 24 hours, sometimes within minutes. THAT is the approachable expert.

You should also know that advertising does not influence our gear reviews in any way, shape, or form, and it never will.

While we always focus our attention on gear that stands out to us—sometimes we discover that things aren’t up to our standards. This is exactly why we will always talk about the downfalls and compromises that we find while we are testing anything (If we find any).

About The Author

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, wildflowers, scenic snacking, and mushrooms. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent years enjoying time outside doing things like hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Her goal with Know Nothing Nomads is to make these hobbies easily accessible through knowledgeable content and how-to's based on all the stuff she's learned on her journey. If she isn't writing an article, she's probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

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Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

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