Life is best when you’re camping, and we’ve done our fair share of getting out there to reconnect with nature and with ourselves. Not many things beat sleeping under the stars, roasting s’mores before bed, and waking up to the sun coming through your tent, and it’s one of our favorite things to do. When we go car camping, we bring along our four person tent, which is the perfect size for the two of us, plus some clothes and our super comfy mattress.
Four person tents are perfect for car campers such as couples and smaller families that consist of 1-2 people. Even though their capacity says four people, we wouldn’t recommend squeezing in that many campers (but more on capacity later). This size tent is where affordability and quality really peak, since any thing larger will inherently be more expensive, but you’ll also start to see companies start to cut corners to keep prices lower. They offer a decent amount of space, weather resistance, cool features, and a price tag for even the most budget campers.
A four person tent is easily one of the most popular tent sizes, and pretty much every brand makes their own version (or multiple versions in some cases). This leaves you with the paradox of choice, so we’ve assembled the top rated four person tents for you to pick from. We’ve chosen car camping tents with a variety of features, shapes, ventilation options, and price points so you can choose the best 4 person tent for you situation. Make sure you’re taking into consideration factors directly linked to your typical use, like 3 season vs 4 season, max height, number of doors, ease of assembly, storage options, and more!
Best 4 Person Tents
These are the best 4 person tents:
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Editor’s Choice – Coleman Skydome Screen Room Tent
Coleman has been around for a long time, and they make some great camping gear that doesn’t break the bank. It all started in with their gasoline lanterns in the early 1900s, and they have progressed into a reputable outdoor gear brand that we’ve come to love.
Our top pick for the best four person tent for car camping is the Coleman Skydome because of its built-in screen room, affordable price, and easy set up. Our favorite feature on this tent is easily the screen room, which adds an additional 28 sq ft of interior space to the tent. Think of it as the front porch for your home away from home – it’s perfect for morning coffee, storage space, and evening card games. Because it’s weatherproof, you could also use it as extra sleeping room, or you can open the windows to the mesh layer and enjoy a bug-free lounge space.
With near vertical walls, this car camping tent has 20% more headroom than other Coleman tents. The max height is 4ft. 7in., which means you would have to stoop and cannot stand up straight. This is fairly typical in four person dome tents, but there are options below that do allow for standing height if that’s an important feature for you. Having a slightly lower max height can be a good thing in some circumstances, which we will cover below in our ‘things to consider’ section.
We also love the mostly mesh design, which allows for lots of ventilation with the rain fly off. With all that mesh on the tent walls, you need a full coverage rainfly and the Coleman Skydome has just that. The rainfly gives it the optimal weather resistance you need in dome shaped tents, making is a solid tent for future family camping trips. It also uses inverted and taped seams and a tub-like tent floor to keep moisture out.
It’s a budget tent, especially for all its features. Plus, it sets up in only 5 minutes, so you can enjoy more time camping and less time fussing over your gear. This four person tent also made our Editor’s Choice for best tent with a screen room, so you know it’s just overall a well-rounded tent that’s one of the best camping tents on the market.
- Weight: 13.26 lbs.
- Screen Room Size: 28 sq ft
- Packed size: 9″ x 8″ x 23.5″
- Floor size: 8′ x 10’6″ including screen room – 60 ft² (8 x 7 ft. without screen room)
- Peak height: 4ft 7in
- Poles: Fiberglass poles
- Season: 3 Season
Eureka! Space Camp
Eureka! has a long running role in history since their formation in 1895. They answered Uncle Sam’s call-to-action in World War II by devoting all their resources to make large all-purpose field tents to serve as barracks, mess halls, and hospitals for U.S. forces. They also provided the tents for the first all American Everest expedition in 1963, and they continue to make high quality outdoor gear today. Their Space Camp is no exception, as it’s consistently rated very highly by users, and has many desirable qualities for a 4 person tent.
The Space Camp is a tall tent that has near vertical walls and a peak height of 5’8″, which lets shorter people stand up straight and taller people get pretty close to upright. 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 aluminum poles that stand strong against wind and weather, and are built to last.
The two oversized doors both have vestibules, so there’s plenty of vestibule space to store gear outside the tent walls. One of the best features of 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.
If it’s a clear night, you could take off the rainfly and expose the 360 degree mesh ceiling, which is great for star-gazing and ventilation during warm weather on summer camping trips. If you’re expecting rain, you can use the rainfly but open the multiple upper vents, which allow 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.
- Weight: 13lb 14.4oz
- Packed size: 8″ x 25″
- Floor size: 96″ x 90″ (60 sq ft)
- Waterhead Rating: 1500mm rainfly, 1800mm floor
- Peak height: 5’8″
- Tent Poles: 7000-series Aluminum
- Season: 3 Season
MSR Trango 4
MSR started in 1969 as ‘Mountain Research Company’ with the intention of testing mountaineering gear. Over time, founder Larry Penberthy realized that the gear he was testing wasn’t high enough quality for his needs or the needs of the climbing community, so he sought out to create gear that was safe, effective, and high quality. MSR has grown into an industry-leading brand for some of the best outdoor gear ever made.
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. 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 MSR Trango 4 person is seriously one of the most well-thought out, high quality tents we’ve seen not only from MSR, 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 4 person 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.
- Weight: 12lbs 1oz
- Packed size: 9″ x 28″
- Floor size: 96″ x 94/71″ (57 sq ft)
- Peak height: 50″
- Waterhead Rating: 2000mm fly, 10,000mm tent floor
- Tent Poles: DAC Featherlight NSL aluminum poles
- Occupancy: 4
- Season: 4 Season
Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent
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 a great option if you want to spend a little extra money for something high quality, functional, and accessible.
- Weight: 24lbs 3.2oz
- Packed size: 14.9 x 8.1 x 6.1″
- Floor size: 9.1 x 8.5 ft (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
- Season: 3-4
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 frame, which was 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 4 person 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 our most affordable and one of the lightest tents on this list.
- Weight: 11lbs 2oz
- Packed size: 7″ x 26″
- Floor size: 99″ x 84″ (57.75 sq ft)
- Peak height: 4ft 10in
- Poles: Fiberglass poles
- Occupancy: 4
- Season: 3 Season
REI Co Op Base Camp 4 Person
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 4 person tent.
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 family tents for your next adventure.
- Weight: 16lbs 14oz
- Packed size: 10″ x 20″
- Floor size: 100″ x 86″ (59.7 square feet)
- Peak height: 60″
- Poles: aluminum
- Fabric: 150-denier polyester
- Waterhead Rating: 1500mm
- Occupancy: 4
- Season: 3-4
Thing to Consider When Choosing The Best 4 Person Tent
When trying to narrow down 4 person 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:
All of these 4 person 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 a 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 15-16 square feet per person, but we would recommend somewhere closer to 28-35 per person depending on your sleeping setup.
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 head space. 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.
On the reverse side of a cabin tent is the dome style, like the Coleman Skydome (our Editor’s Choice), 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.
That being said, 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).
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.
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.
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.
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 MSR 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.
Another option is a screen porch, as seen in our Editor’s Choice Coleman tent. This allows for a bit more usable space since it’s bug free and large enough for a couple camping chairs. Think of it as a front porch versus a vestibule is more like shoe rack outside your door.
The 4 person 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.
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.
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.
What are the best 4 person tents?
We’ve selected the Coleman Skydome as our top pick for the best 4 person tent, but some other great 4 person tents for car campers include the Eureka Space Camp, Caddis Rapid 4, Coleman PEAK1, 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 Coleman, 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 MSR Trango and Snow Peak Alpha Breeze.
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 of all the 4 person tents is the Coleman Skydome because of its screen porch, classic design, 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!
About the Author
Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, hiking, wildflowers, and mushrooms. If she isn’t writing content for Know Nothing Nomads, she’s probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.