The Best Of The Best 4 Person Tents For 2021

If you’re in a hurry and would like to know which is the best 4 person tent we recommend, then check out the Big Agnes or the Kodiak. The Big Agnes is ultralight and will be better if you’re backpacking. But, the Kodiak is a heavy-duty all-season tent that will serve you well for car camping or extended periods without moving your camp.

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How many articles are there telling you they’ve found the next best 4 person tent? 

We’re not here to just create another list.

We went out and actually examined the “best” tents out there and determined for ourselves which are truly the best. 

Now, what we found is that “best” is relative. 

It depends on the situation and what you need the tent to do for you. 

Thus, we narrowed our choices down to the following five options that are the best for their unique purposes. 

Big Agnes Copper Spur High Volume UltraLight 4 Man Tent

Kodiak Flex-Bow 4 Person Canvas Tent Deluxe

Gazelle Portable 4 Person Pop-Up Camping Tent

Smittybilt Overlander XL Roof Top 4 Person Tent With Bedding 

Coleman Cabin Instant Setup 4 Person Tent 

If you want to read our review on each of these options, you can read on. 

However, if you want to learn how to choose which is the best 4 person tent for yourself, you can jump to the information section using the table of contents below.

Our Top Choices Of The Best 4 Person Tents

The Best Ultralight 4 Person Backpacking Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur High Volume UltraLight 4 Man Tent

best 4 person tent Big Agnes

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When you’re going backpacking with your tent, you will want something as light as possible while still giving you as much space as you can get.

Enter the Big Agnes High Volume UltraLight 4 person backpacking tent.

While you won’t have as much space as a box tent that you take car camping, you will need to use the vestibules to keep your gear protected from the elements.

This two-door tent keeps you from having to crawl over your tent mates, as well as giving you extra vestibule space for everyone’s packs. 

With smaller lightweight tents, you may feel smothered with dome profiles that are right up against your face, but this Big Agnes tent has more vertical walls with a pitched ceiling that make for a comfortable living experience.

Inside the tent, there are plenty of pockets for organization and hang points for your lanterns. 

There’s also an ample vent in the fly to let out the heat and reduce condensation. 

For us, it is by far the best ultralight 4 person tent with a ton of space and very lightweight. 

With a total packed weight of just 5lb 11oz, you get 57 sq. ft. and a head height of 50″. While you won’t stand upright, you will have plenty of room to sit up comfortably.

It’s rated as a three-season tent, so you may not trust taking it into a snowstorm. Still, with the heavy-duty ultralight double ripstop denier nylon with 1200mm waterproof coating and pre-bent span pole for increased stability and strength, I wouldn’t be afraid to get caught in some snow with it either. 

We’ve seen it hold up under heavy rains and up to 35 mph winds while keeping the interior completely dry. 

You will need to buy the ground tarp separately to make sure you keep your bum dry. 

But other than that, we’d be hard-pressed to find something else to complain about.

PROs
  • Ultralight weight
  • Vestibule
  • Two doors
  • Higher profile
  • Internal pockets
  • Vent
  • Ample interior space
  • 1200mm double ripstop denier nylon with waterproof coating
  • Satisfaction guarantee
CONs
  • Ground tarp sold separately

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The Best All-Weather 4 Person Tent

Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas 4 Person Tent Deluxe

best 4 person tent kodiak canvas

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An all-weather tent needs to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

You want it to keep you dry in the rain and hold up under drifts of snow. 

It should also stand up against the wind so that you don’t have to. 

A sturdy structure will have some weight to it and may not be the most compact. 

Thus it may not be an ideal choice to take with you if you will be backpack camping.

But if you will be setting up camp for a hunt and won’t be moving around a lot, we would go with the Kodiak 9’x8′ Canvas Flex Bow Tent Deluxe.

We consider it to be the best 4 person tent for bad weather.

Although if you’re using cots, you may not want to squeeze in more than two people. 

Kodiak does have the same tent with larger footprints if you want to get four grown men in and use it more as a cabin tent. 

It has a super thick heavy-duty canvas that will keep the weather out. It also comes with a heavy-duty vinyl flooring that we’ve seen keep a 6″ flood from seeping into the tent. 

The heavy-duty poles and stakes will keep it standing under intense conditions. If the weather gets bad enough to take down this tent, you best be getting out of there anyway. 

This tent comes with a pretty hefty price tag and probably won’t be the best option for those weekend warriors who only do some light car camping a couple of times a year. 

Although if you’re willing to invest, you won’t have to worry about replacing it every couple of years as you would with the typical polyester tents you get at Walmart. 

Just a word of warning if you’ve never owned a canvas tent before–be sure to read the instructions. 

You will need to “season” the tent before exposing it to the elements. This isn’t difficult, but you will be sorry if you don’t. 

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PROs
  • Super thick heavy-duty canvas
  • Heavy-duty vinyl flooring
  • Heavy-duty poles and stakes
  • Limited lifetime warranty
CONs
  • Heavy

The Best 4 Person Car Camping Tent

Gazelle Portable 4 Person Pop-Up Camping Tent

best 4 person tent gazelle pop up

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So as we just finished talking about how great the Kodiak is and how you could use it for car camping, you may not want to make such an investment. 

Thus we’ve also found the Gazelle Pop Up 4 person tent. 

It’s half the price and is much more accommodating for weekend warriors and families looking for less hassle getting their camp setup. 

It is heavy, weighing around 30lbs, so again we wouldn’t want to take it backpacking, but it’s a great car camping tent. 

Best of all, when you do get to your favorite spot, you can have it up in just around 90 seconds. 

You may lag a little bit on your first time getting it up, but with a bit of practice, you probably could compete with the best of them. 

The Gazelle stands tall, allowing a full-grown man at 6′ 1″ to stand upright without hitting his head.

With 61 sq. ft. of floor space, you can get four full-grown people comfortably or have an extra spacious tent for two. 

It has two doors for easy entry/exit without disturbing your tent mates. 

Finally, it has a removable floor for easy cleaning. 

In fair weather, you can remove the rain fly and have a fantastic view of the stars. 

When you’re all done, it will collapse and pack up just as quickly as it sets up. 

You really can’t go wrong with this 4 person car camping tent.

If you need even more space, they have a deluxe size bigger than some apartments.

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PROs
  • Sets up in under 90 seconds
  • Stands very tall
  • Ample interior space
  • Two doors for easy entry/exit
  • Removable floor for easy cleaning
  • Skylights
  • Easy breakdown
CONs
  • Comes with lightweight stakes
  • 1-year warranty

The Best 4 Person Rooftop Tent

Smittybilt Overlander XL Rooftop 4 Person Tent – Folder With Bedding – Coyote Tan

best 4 person tent smittybilt rooftop

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These Smittybilt rooftop tents are pretty badass and are known as the ultimate off-road shelter. 

If you’re out over-landing for the weekend in a place that may be particularly rocky or with uneven ground, then a floor tent may be uncomfortable.

With a rooftop tent, you’re up off the rocks, snow, and mud. Your truck still needs to be level even if the ground isn’t, but you can solve that with some leveling blocks or clever maneuvering of the vehicle on some logs and rocks. 

Packing up is also much easier when you’re not on the ground. You don’t have to worry about getting the mud or debris off the tent. 

Just fold it up and go. You may want to air it out if it got rained on when you get home, but clean up is minimal. 

Being off the ground also lets you rest a little sounder knowing there is some distance between you and the critters.

There are hardshell and softshell rooftop tents. This Smittybilt is a softshell. The main difference is that a softshell has a smaller footprint that can fit over your truck bed if you don’t have a full roof for setup or a rack. 

But they do take a little longer to set up. A hardshell can be up in one minute as opposed to five minutes with a softshell. 

We like softshells because when you open them, they hang out over the side of the vehicle to give you some extra shade and the ability to hang gear off it. 

You can also extend additional tarps from it for an extra shaded area near your base camp.

If you’re car camping anyway, why bother taking all your gear out of the car? 

The vehicle becomes the basecamp, and you can have quick access to all your gear without having to hoof it to a separate campsite. 

As long as you stay organized, you can get in and out of a campsite with little headache. 

Just as easy as they are to set up, and they are equally as simple to tear down. Closed, they have a low profile for minimal drag while on the highway. 

The Smittybilt has a heavy-duty frame, 600D ripstop skin, and oversized windows for cross-ventilation, as well as skylights for stargazing or some extra overhead light.

At night, you don’t have to worry about wasting your lantern batteries as Smittybilt includes LED light strips inside to illuminate the tent for you.

And, of course, it comes with a soft mattress pad that sleeps four people. You may fight it a tight fit for four grown adults, but it’s doable. Just be sure to check the max load your roof rack can hold. 

Now it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Rooftop tents are especially heavy, ranging from 100 to 300 lbs. 

Thus you will also need a vehicle and a roof rack that can support the weight. 

This Smittybilt roof top tent weighs in at just under 170lbs, so it’s not the lightest or the heaviest. 

Luckily, Smittybilt also makes roof racks. You can check out which one will be best for your vehicle if you don’t already have one. 

Rooftop tents are also quite expensive compared to a ground tent, especially when you include the rack’s price. 

But when you compare it to having to pay for a hotel room, then you’ll be able to see it as a good investment you can recoup within just a few time out on the range. 

You want to keep in mind that you may want a backup ground tent on hand in case of an emergency if you flip your vehicle off-road. 

Don’t be unprepared for any situation!

Smittybilt provides a 1-year warranty. 

PROs
  • Quick and easy to setup and pack
  • Smaller footprint for truck beds
  • Low profile for minimal highway drag
  • Heavy 600D ripstop skin
  • Oversized windows
  • Skylights
  • Interior LED light strip included
  • Includes soft mattress pad
CONs
  • Pricey
  • 1-year warranty

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The Affordable Best 4 Person Tent

Coleman Cabin 4 Person Tent with Instant Setup | Sets Up in 60 Seconds

best 4 person tent Coleman instant tent

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Coleman has been a household name for gear since the 1940s. They make quality products at affordable prices. 

This Coleman Cabin Tent isn’t the most high-tech, lightweight, or fashionable 4 person tent on the market.

But it is affordable. 

Though it isn’t the cheapest either. We won’t recommend a crap tent just because it has the lowest price. 

This Coleman tent comes with a sturdy 150D polyester fabric, welded corners, and inverted taped seams they rigorously tested to keep the rain out. 

It will also stay standing even under 60 mph winds. Just make sure you set your stakes well. 

Coleman has “integrated” the rainfly… We’re not sure what that means, but if you want “extra” protection, you can purchase an actual rain fly separately. 

We suppose that’s just a fancy way for them to get you a more affordable version. 

But hey, why not save some money if you don’t plan on camping in the rain?…

The easy setup design will allow you to get this tent standing in just around 60 seconds. 

You won’t have to fuss around with feeding those flimsy poles through any loops or snapping clips anymore. 

Just take it out of the bag, unfold it, and lift it into position. Extend the legs, and you’re done. 

It weighs around 17lbs, so it’s not so heavy to carry it from the car to the campsite, but you wouldn’t want to take it with you backpacking.

Coleman provides you with a 1-year warranty, so have at it! 

PROs
  • Affordable
  • Roomy
  • Quick and easy to setup and pack
  • Stands up to wind and rain
  • Welded corners
  • Inverted taped seams
CONs

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Why A 4 Person Tent May Be Right For You

Having a shelter is a basic need for human survival. 

If you never intend to leave your house, then a tent may not be of the utmost importance to you. 

But if you’re looking to venture out into old mother nature, then having the right tools to keep you safe is a top priority. 

You may also want to consider having a few tents on hand if you have to abandon your home because an earthquake or a hurricane makes the structure unsafe. 

You never know when a disaster could strike, and scrambling to put together a survival kit at the last minute is not going to end well. 

We recommend families get larger tents. Of course, you could have multiple smaller tents but think about keeping your kit as light as possible if you have kids who would struggle to carry their tents.

If you’re an avid camper and are tired of crawling in and out of smaller tents, you may be interested in upgrading to a larger 4 person tent with some headroom.

This is especially comfortable if you’re going to be camping for an extended period.

Now some tents claim to be 4 person tents, and yes, technically, you could squeeze four sleeping bags in and sleep like a pack of hot dogs. 

Thus you may want to look at getting a bigger tent if you’re going to sleep more than two people comfortably. 

It all depends on the circumstances and what your objective is. 

What To Look For In The Best 4 Person Tent

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good tent.

No matter the price, most tents are all made out of the same material, either nylon, polyester, or canvas. 

But there are times when you will want to pay for a premium tent. 

What you’re usually getting by paying a premium for a tent is performance

Higher-end tents can handle the cold better, have more space with less weight, or use more robust materials with more weight

This could be especially worth the investment if you’re going to be backpacking to your campsite.

But it may not be necessary if you’re just going car camping for the weekend with the family.

If you anticipate having to survive in freezing temperatures, high winds, or extreme rain, you will want to see that the tent has more insulation than a standard tent.

Just be careful because more insulation is going to be heavier and thus weigh more.

It will also cost more.

Ironically, the lighter you want the tent to be will also cost you more.

Extra poles will help a tent keep it standing if it’s getting snowed on or under extreme wind conditions.

Tent stakes that are much more rigid and won’t bend as much as your standard tent stakes. They may also be worth the investment if you will often use your tent or expect to be in extreme conditions.

Again, just because a tent description says it fits four doesn’t mean it will be a comfortable fit.

You should look at the internal dimensions and calculate if it will be enough based on the occupants you expect to use it.

You will also want to consider the tent height. If you’re hunting elk or ice fishing off the shoreline for ten days or more, you’re not going to want to be standing hunched over for extended periods.

Thus, getting a tent that is tall enough for you to stand upright will be essential. 

However, if you need a place to sleep at night in between hikes then, having just enough height to sit upright in your sleeping bag may be enough, and you’re willing to sacrifice the headspace for less weight.

Next, you should ensure your tent comes with a rain fly. A rain fly is a tarp made from a thicker material that goes over your tent to keep the rain out.

You may not want to use this in hotter weather conditions to keep the tent cooler, although it may help protect you from the direct sunlight. 

The further down the rain fly goes, the better it will hold up in cold and wet conditions. 

The material on the bottom of the tent should not be the same as the tent’s sides. 

It should be a thicker, more durable material to hold up from friction against the ground. 

If the tent bottom material is not thick enough, you will need to get a ground tarp to keep the moisture from coming in from the tent’s base. 

Ideally, the tent will have a power-port hole near the tent’s bottom where you can run a power cord from your generator into the tent without having to leave the front of the tent open. 

Next, you will want to see if the interior roof has a place to hang things or comes with loops to hang a lantern or other gear you want to keep off the ground.

Most tents will come with side pouches to hold the loose items that you want to access quickly and avoid rolling over during the night. 

Windows are always a plus.

Some tents come with windows. More of the budget tents won’t. 

If you know you’re going to be camping in the heat, you’re going to want to make sure you can get proper ventilation into the interior of the tent. 

There should be vents on the top of the tent you can open and close if it’s too warm. This will also help prevent a build-up of condensation in colder temperatures.

Smaller tents are warmer tents. 

You may want a tent that’s cozier than some of the more spacious tents when camping in colder temperatures.

If you are squeezing four people into a 4 man tent, you may want to consider getting a tent with a vestibule to protect your backpacks, shoes, etc., because there won’t be enough storage space to put them inside the tent. 

We like tents with doors on two sides for easier entry and exit. This is especially helpful if you’re sleeping more than one person in a tent to avoid having to crawl over each other. 

For hotter days and nights, you will want to be sure the door has a screen to let the air in and keep the critters out.

Some tents made for the cold will also come with a transparent tarp window/door so you can keep an eye out the front without having to let the warm air escape.

Large tents may come with a room divider if you want to have some privacy. 

Tent awnings provide extra shelter from the sun without having to sit in the tent. But they may collect rain, so be sure to angle them down or drop them entirely in a storm. 

Speaking of storms, a low profile tent dome-shaped will perform better in wind and rain than other tall standing box tents.

Thus we recommend investing in a premium tent with thicker material and structure with enough ventilation to use as an all-season tent if you know you will be braving the elements often. 

If not, a fair-weather three season tent will be more than enough.

How Do You Set Up A 4 Person Tent

If you’re not using a pop-up tent, then mounting your 4 person tent for the first time can be a bit confusing.

After you get your system down the first time, the good news is that all the following times will be much easier.

We’ll walk you through a basic system here that you can use as a reference.

Every tent is different and will have its nuances. 

But these steps should apply to setting up most standard 4 man tents.

First, separate and organize the pieces.

Find a clear and level patch of ground. 

Clear any rocks or hard debris before placing the ground cloth/tarp.

The ground cloth goes under the tent. It will keep the inside of your tent dry from any rain puddling or dew that gathers in the morning.

Roll out the tent over the ground cloth.

Find the door of the tent and orient it in the direction you want to enter and exit. 

Also, keep in mind the view you want from the door and the windows if you have any. 

In the event that it is particularly windy out, you can orient the tent so that the vent will let the wind pass through and keep it from getting blown over.

You can now stake your tent into the ground using the stakes. This will prevent the tent from blowing out of position while you try to erect the poles.

If your tent uses pole construction, then put together the poles into a single piece.

At this point, if you haven’t enlisted the help of your fellow campers, it’s time to do so. 

We’re assuming you’re not alone; otherwise, why would you need a 4 person tent?

It will be much easier to feed the poles through the tent loops with a second set of hands if the poles have to run through the inside of the tent loops.

You will usually have two poles for the supporting structure of the tent. 

The remaining pole is for the rain fly. The rain fly is the tarp that goes over the tent’s top to keep the rain from entering any of the vents or windows.

If your tent has external hooks to mount to the poles, you can lay the poles in an X-shape over the tent and clip on the tent hooks to the poles. 

Try not to step on your tent to prevent tearing it or breaking any of the zippers or snaps.

Once you have your poles in position, take each pole and bend it up to mount it to the stake on either end of each pole.

Finally, if you have a rain fly, lay it over the tent and feed the last pole through it. You can then mount it to the stakes or however it fastens on your tent design. 

You can use paracord to tie down the tent to the stakes or a nearby tree to prevent it from blowing away in the wind and maximizing the internal floor space.

More Questions About 4 Person Tents

What’s The Difference Between A Three-Season And An All-Season Tent?

A three-season tent is what you would classify as most tents. 

They’re strong enough to hold up against some wind and thick enough material to keep you dry. 

But they may not be solid enough to hold up under a drift of snow or keep you warm enough with below freezing temperature. 

In this case, you will want to go with a heavy-duty all-season tent. 

Essentially the all-season tent will allow you to camp in whatever weather condition. 

So why bother with a three-season tent? 

If you know you will not need something so strong to survive in a snowstorm, you may not want to carry the extra weight or pay the additional price…

What Is A Tent Vestibule?

A tent “vestibule” is a fancy term for the space between the tent’s interior and the outer covering that stakes into the ground. 

Some tents have rain flies that slope over the tent to the ground and create a second tent over the main tent. 

Other tents have flaps covering the tent’s outside that you can either pull down and use as a vestibule or raise and use as an awning.

This extra coverage is beneficial if you fill the tent with bodies and you don’t want to leave your gear out in the elements unprotected.

Other Considerations

We mentioned it a few times, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s better to size up not to be cramped if you can afford a larger tent’s price, weight, and space.

Some 4 person tents are just comfortable tents for two people, or two adults and two children. 

best 4 person tent sleeping pad

If you’re going to be sleeping with four grown people, be sure to check the dimensions and do your best to judge whether it will be enough for your group.

You should also invest in sleeping pads or a full air mattress if you’re car camping for an extended period. 

The novelty of sleeping on rocks and dirt wears off after the first couple of days.

best 4 person tent cot

You may even want to invest in cots if you will be camping for more than a week and not moving camp often. 

On the hot summer days, you would do well to have some box fans to keep the air circulating.

The tent hopefully has an awning you can put up. Otherwise, you may want to place your tent in the shade or buy a tent awning as an add-on piece.

best 4 person tent awning

You can also use your car and a car-shade to provide some extra protection from the sun if you’re able to park near the campsite.

During the night, you will want a tent light or some lanterns, or both. 

best 4 person tent lantern

It’s inevitable someone will always grab the lantern to take a wee in the night and then wake everyone up trying to hang up the lantern again in the dark. 

Again, be sure to get a ground tarp if one doesn’t come with the tent to keep the water and moisture from seeping into the tent. 

The ground tarp should be smaller than the tent’s footprint to keep from trapping water beneath the tent.

You can also dig a trench around the tent to divert water away from the bottom of the tent.

best 4 person tent ground tarp

Debrief

Well, there you have it, folks–our complete rundown on the best 4 person tents on the market today. 

This is continually changing, but we’ll do our best to keep an eye out for the next hot thing to arrive and let you know about it. 

If you’re still having trouble deciding which is the right tent for you, then we would recommend either the Big Agnes or the Kodiak

It depends on how you intend to use it. If you are backpacking, then go with the Big Agnes. If you’re car camping or setting camp and not moving it, then go with the Kodiak. 

The Big Agnes is ultra-light and will be much easier for hiking. 

The Kodiak is extra durable and will give you the space and comfort you need to camp for extended periods in any weather condition. 

If you have experience with any of our recommendations and want to share your thoughts with the class, please your comments below. 

We appreciate any additional value you can provide to the community. 

Until next time, campers.

–Team AppliedSurvial

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