As one of the most popular tent sizes available, there’s no shortage of 4 person tents on the market today to consider in your hunt for the perfect car camping companion. After testing and analyzing countless makes and models, we’ve finally settled on the six tents we think have something to offer for every kind of camper.
Our favorite of the test by far was the Big Agnes Bunkhouse 4. It’s got everything that makes a four person tent great (space, materials, storage) but then adds in the most versatile vestibule we’ve seen. All around, it’s a strong performer and a fantastic value to boot.
Of course, it won’t be everyone’s first pick, and that’s where the rest of our list comes in. Believe it or not we’ve got something below for backpackers, families, and festival-goers alike… You name it, we’ve found a 4 person tent that fits the bill. If want to know more about how we evaluated the tents, don’t forget to check out our buying guide!
|Big Agnes Bunkhouse 4: Best Overall||Roomy, durable, well-designed, and reasonably priced. Throw in the added utility of a standalone vestibule, and you’ve got a clear winner. See Review|
|Nemo Wagontop 4: Highest Quality||Combining a 300D floor with a rugged single wall design (and a lifetime warranty) tells us this tent means business. The added comfort of tall ceilings and a massive floor plan is just icing on the cake. See Review|
|Kelty Rumpus 4: Best On A Budget||Easy setup, great weatherproofing, and a fantastic vestibule, all at a price you’ll love. The minor shortcomings of the Rumpus are far outweighed by its tremendous value. See Review|
|MSR Habitude 4||Big floorspace, stand-up ceilings, and simple setup delivered in a no-nonsense package. An extremely durable tent that’s not pulling any punches. See Review|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4||If you want a four person tent that doubles as a legitimate backpacking shelter, there’s no better option. Its high price tag is justified by its spec sheet. See Review|
|The North Face Homestead Super Dome||It’s got a cool shape, comes in cool colors, has three doors, and delivers panoramic views. A unique tent that won’t break the bank. See Review|
– Weight: 14.2 lbs (6.5 kg)
– Packed size: 27” x 16” x 9” (67cm x 41cm x 24cm)
– Floor size: 92” x 90” (233cm x 228cm)
– Peak height: 70” (178cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: 3 season car camping
– Price: $$
The Big Agnes Bunkhouse 4 is a super spacious camping tent with all the livability and quality you’d expect from the folks at Big Agnes. There are some great tents on this list, but there was really no contest for the best tent overall.
With a roomy 58 square feet of floor space and high 70” ceilings, this 4 person tent certainly feels more like a house than a tent, especially if you’re only using it for two people. It’s even got a nice “front porch” built into the extended vestibule, which stretches out over five feet and converts into a breezy awning for when the weather is nice.
Big Agnes also goes a step above with their vestibule by making it pole-supported, rather than just staked-out, which gives you both added space and added headroom when you’re hanging outside the tent. And, because the entire rainfly is also pole supported (the tent body itself clips in underneath), you can actually use it all by itself like a high-tech EZ-Up, bringing some portable shade to your next beach outing or backyard BBQ.
Other premium features of the Bunkhouse include a nice big “welcome mat” attached to the front door that gives you a spot to leave your muddy shoes or any gear you don’t want sitting in the dirt, and tons of internal storage including 8 internal mesh pockets. We also have to mention here that the Big Agnes Bunkhouse’s carry bag is probably our favorite of all time: It’s designed to be worn like a backpack, keeping your hands free while hauling the tent to and from camp. It’s even got adjustable shoulder straps!
|– Fantastic weatherproofing with taped seams throughout, a polyurethane coated fly and floor.|
– Vestibule is top-notch, and doubles as a standalone shelter from the sun
– Great materials + DAC aluminum poles
|– Gear loft options sold separately|
– More expensive than the Big Agnes Big House 4
– Weight: 20 lbs (9.1 kg)
– Packed size: 27” x 10” x 10” (69 cm x 25cm x 25cm)
– Floor size: 100” x 100” (254cm 254cm)
– Peak height: 80” (203 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Cabin/Wagontop
– Best for: Anyone over 6’, campers who want maximum space
– Price: $$$
That’s because it’s got all of the same design features that makes its larger siblings great. Most notably is the “wagontop” design itself, which makes for a tent with near vertical walls and standing height ceilings throughout. That’s great on a big family tent, but nearly unheard of on a four person model. Kudos.
The Wagontop 4 also shares the same rugged materials throughout its design, including the bulletproof 300D floor and 75D fly/canopy fabric. Combine that with thick but flexible 14.5mm aluminum poles, and it’s easy to see how Nemo can afford to offer a lifetime warranty on these premium tents. Needless to say the Wagontop was an easy choice for best overall quality.
You’ll also note the Wagontop 4’s large vestibule, which takes full advantage of the Nemo’s single wall design, clipping into the main tent frame to offer standup height and then some for entry/exit. Of course if the four feet of vestibule isn’t quite enough for your needs, the Wagontop 4 is compatible with the same extended gear garage as the rest of the Wagontop line, meaning you can zip on an extra covered outdoor space large enough to park a car inside of if you really want to.
The Wagontop 4 shares the same fundamental downsides as Nemo’s other tents in this line: Its high/vertical walls are prone to catching wind, which means the Wagontop wouldn’t be our first pick in a serious storm. Waterproofing is absolutely top-notch though, so steer clear of hurricane season and you should be fine.
|– Best interior space of the lot|
– Optional garage really ups the ante
– Lifetime warranty!
|– Single wall design means the rainfly stays on|
– Weight:13.1 lbs (5.9 kg)
– Packed size: 25” x 10” x 10” (62cm x25cm x 25cm)
– Floor size: 98” x 88” (249cm x 224cm)
– Peak height: 58” (147 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: 3 season camping on the cheap
– Price: $
If you’re looking for a great tent at a great price, the Kelty Rumpus 4 is hands down the tent to beat. For a modest sum of your hard-earned cash, you get one of the larger floor plans in our list, one of the largest vestibules available, plus solid weather protection, all in a tent that couldn’t be easier to pitch and take down.
I mean just look at that vestibule! Not only is it big as a house, but it’s also pole supported, and actually gives you more headroom than the tent itself. Whether you’re hiding expensive gear from prying eyes or just parking a couple camp chairs and a cooler underneath to hang out, it’s a feature that punches way above its price point.
Truth be told the rest of the tent is fairly simple, but that’s largely a positive. Setup is simple thanks to color coding, pre-attached guylines, and Kelty’s “quick-corners” system. Take down is easy too thanks to the generously sized carry bag, which you’ll never have to struggle to fit everything inside of.
Really the only downsides of the Rumpus 4 are its 58” peak height, which is considerably lower than other tents on our list, and the fact that Kelty uses fiberglass poles rather than aluminum ones to keep the price down. As we’ve noted with other Kelty tents in the past though, as far as fiberglass poles go, these are some of the thickest/strongest we’ve seen, and we’d expect them to last somewhere between a long time and forever.
|– Big ol’ vestibule built for hanging out|
– Simplified setup
– That price!
|– Four person model only has one door|
– Fiberglass poles
– Weight: 12.8 lbs (5,4 kg)
– Packed size: 23” x 9” x 9” (58cm x 23cm x 23cm)
– Floor size: 95” x 95” (241cm x 241cm)
– Peak height: 73” (185cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
-Best for: Camping with small children
– Price: $$$
While many of the best 4 person tents are nice and roomy, most of them aren’t actually tall enough to stand up in. Let’s just say the MSR Habitude 4 doesn’t have that problem. With a peak height of over six feet and over 62 square feet of floor space, it would be fair to call the Habitude “cavernous.”
In addition to its overall size, this MSR also made our list due to its all-around reliable construction. With tough DWR-treated 68D polyester fabric in both the canopy, floor, and rainfly, every square inch of the Habitude is built to last. The same goes for the zippers, which are all YKK branded stainless steel units, as well as the pole set, which is made from 7000 series aluminium.
While there are no real “problems” with the Habitude, it’s worth pointing out that MSR intended its simplicity as a feature, but not everyone will appreciate the lack of premium touches. For example, the Habitude 4 uses a single door/single vestibule construction, which keeps setup fast and straightforward, but limits the tent’s versatility.
And although the single vestibule stretches out to a generous 23 square feet of space, it doesn’t have any cool tricks up its sleeve like an extendable awning or retractable center, so it’s limited to standard vestibule duties like keeping your gear out of the weather and the weather out of your tent. All things considered the MSR Habitude 4 is a great tent that’s tough as nails, but we’re a little hesitant to spend this much money on a tent with a single door.
|– Standup indoor height|
– Rugged construction will go the distance
– It’s got a front porch light!
|– A little expensive for what it is|
– Vestibule is large but basic
– Single door design
– Weight: 5.7 lbs (2.4 kg)
– Packed size: 22” x 7” x 7” (56cm x 18cm x 18cm)
– Floor size: 96” x 86” (244cm x 218cm)
– Peak height: 50” (127cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: Three season backpacking
– Price: $$$
Although most folks buying 4 person tents will be shopping for car camping duty alone, there are actually a few options at this size that can handle legit backpacking trips. If you’re one of those who wants to explore the backcountry but also wants the roomiest tent possible, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 is our favorite option on the market.
It’s got all the premium tent essentials like DAC aluminum poles (it comes with DAC stakes as well!), double doors, double vestibules, and fantastic weatherproofing thanks to fully taped seams throughout and a silicone-treated rainfly and tent floor.
Storage on the Copper Spur is great, especially for a backpacking tent, and includes a large pocket Big Agnes calls the “mezzanine”, which is cleverly placed at the foot of the tent so as not to take up anymore living space than necessary. You’ll also find a nice big gear loft and additional side pockets made for electronics that allow you to hang your phone/tablet/power bank up off the ground with a little slot to run any wires or headphones through.
Just like its smaller siblings in the Copper Spur lineup, the HV UL4 gets two large vestibules that both convert to awnings with the addition of a couple trekking poles when desired. And, like all Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL models, the four-person variety includes the option of “Fast Fly” setup for folks who want to keep it as light as possible. This basically converts the Copper Spur HV UL4 into a “tarp-tent” style shelter, foregoing the tent body entirely and simply using the rainfly, poles, and a footprint to create a simple shelter. This approach to shelters obviously isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth noting that the fast-fly configuration cuts tent weight down by a full pound and a half to just 4.2 pounds.
|– A 4 person tent built for backpacking|
– Dual awning vestibules
– Fast-fly setup option for ultralight versatility
|– Less durable than dedicated camping tents|
– Very expensive for a four person tent
– Weight: 11.8 lbs (4.9kg)
– Packed size: 25” x 12” x 8” (64cm x 30cm x 20cm)
– Floor size: 96” x 84” (244cm x 213cm)
– Peak height: 80” (203 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Best for: Three adults
– Price: $$
Let us start by saying, The North Face Homestead Super Dome is easily the coolest 4 person tent we’ve seen. Not only does it come in a sweet dome shape, but it’s also available in some cool-looking prints (cloud camouflage and cactus flowers, to name a few), AND comes with a bottle opener. It’s basically a tent that knows how to party.
Specifically, the Super Dome is a party for three. We say three because the unique hexagonal layout of the Homestead has plenty of floor space for three adults (not just two adults and a child), and has the truly unique feature of having three doors in a triangle arrangement.
Ventilation is another high point of the Super Dome thanks to the giant mesh front wall and 360-degree mesh on the ceiling. It’s a great star-gazer in good weather and breathes surprisingly well with the rainfly on to boot.
We will point out that although technically the peak height of this tent is 80”, that measurement is taken at the main entry door, so don’t expect that height throughout the tent. The good news, however, is that the ceiling is just over six feet pretty much everywhere, so the Homestead Super Dome still gets serious points for interior space.
We’ve really only got two minor complaints with the North Face Homestead Super Dome that kept it from topping our list: First, setup is a little more involved than average. Although the poles are color-coded, their intersecting design has a steeper learning curve than anything else on our list, so you’ll want to take a few practice runs in the backyard before setting it up in, say, a rainstorm. And speaking of rainstorms, weather protection is our other concern here. Because the rainfly doesn’t fully extend over the rear of the tent, the tent body itself is the only line of protection for the back half of the body. Granted, it’s made from a PU-coated, heavy-duty 75D polyester, but we’d still prefer to have the fly extend all the way around.
|– Ceilings over six feet tall throughout|
– Three doors!
– Sweet prints!
|– Setup takes some practice|
– “Single-wall” waterproofing on rear portion
Well there you have it, those were all our favorite 4 person tents on the market today. Of course there are others out there, each with their own pros and cons, and you may very well find a tent that didn’t make our list that suits you just fine.
Below we’ll list all the criteria that we consider when evaluating the best 4 person tents for our list. Any tent that performs well in the following metrics is a good investment in our book.
Your average four person tent is used to sleep two adults comfortably, with or without the addition of a small child or two and/or the family dog.
Depending on the number of occupants/species you’re planning on sleeping in your 4 person tent, you’ll likely have one of two sleeping options: One big ol’ queen mattress for you and your partner, or multiple sleeping bag/sleeping pad setups on the floor. Every tent on this list will hold your average queen camping mattress, but some will do it better than others (the Alps Engineering Queen, for example, measures 80”x56”).
Consider your sleeping arrangements carefully (along with any gear you plan on storing inside the tent) and select your floor plan accordingly. You really can’t go wrong with a 100” x 100” monster like the Nemo Wagontop 4 above, but whether or not you’re willing to spend the extra money for those precious inches may be another story.
Obviously we prefer a stand-up height ceiling whenever we can get it, but it’s definitely not as important in this category as it would be for dedicated “family size” camping tents. With a few notable exceptions, most of these tents are dome-shaped, meaning even the highest ceilings tend to taper down quickly from the center of the tent towards the sides.
Still, it’s a useful spot to be able to stand up and change clothes, and a feature taller folks will especially appreciate. No one enjoys pulling on a pair of pants all hunched over and precariously balanced. Just saying.
Pretty much every tent in this category is a large dome, but not all domes are created equal.
Look closely and you’ll see a few of the dome-style tents on our list look a little (or a lot, in the case of the Agnes Big House) less round than the others.
That’s because some tents use a pre-curved pole design, which allows them to have straighter walls and more gently sloping ceilings. Even without a stand-up height ceiling, this can be an important comfort feature, because it creates more space near the ground where you do things like sleep, sit up and chat, or play a game of cards while you wait on rain to pass.
Ok, so here’s the deal: Most backpackers aren’t interested in hauling around a four-person tent, even if they’re splitting it between two packs. With that being said, four-person tents are technically the largest size tent you can buy specifically for backpacking.
If you have zero interest in backpacking, or already have a good backpacking tent, congratulations: You have no real reason to care how big or how heavy your 4 person tent is, because you won’t be carrying it very far.
If you are interested in backpacking, however, and you don’t already have a backpacking tent, you may want to consider killing two birds with one stone and buying a 4 person backpacking tent. If you do decide to go this route, just remember (as with all things backpacking) the lighter it weighs and the smaller it packs down, the better. At the time of this writing, there’s really no tent out there that compares to the Big Agnes 4P backpacking tent above, but it’s also very expensive. There are a few alternatives out there for less money though (the Marmot Tungsten, for example), but we’re talking backpacking equipment here so don’t confuse “less money” with “inexpensive.”
Four person tents are a nice step up in space and comfort from your typical two person tent, but they aren’t the same bottomless pit of gear storage you get with larger camping tents. For that reason, internal storage options play a big role in getting the most out of your interior space.
The sheer volume of storage is the first thing you’ll want to consider here. The best 4 person tents have room for each sleeper to stash their essentials like a phone, keys, headlamp, and powerbank. In addition to the total number of pockets, you’ll also want to consider both the type and location of your storage space.
An overhead gear loft, for example, is a go-to storage option for many backpacking tents, because it gets a few crucial items up off the ground, and doubles as an easy spot to hang a headlamp for a little interior lighting as well. If you value a tent with high ceilings, however, a gear loft might not be the storage solution you need.
Personally we prefer a tent with well designed pockets along the walls, preferably in places that don’t impact the day-to-day livability of the tent. So pockets that hang in front of windows or encroach on your sleeping area, for instance, could be more trouble than they’re worth.
In the world of 4 person tents, there are essentially two types of vestibules: The first is your tried-and-true classic vestibule, which keeps bad weather away from the door(s) of your tent and provides a space to store wet/dirty gear outside your living space. Those are great, but they aren’t exciting, ya know? Then, you’ve got those other vestibules.
While premium vestibules come in a few different flavors, you know one when you see one. We find the best are pole supported (like the Nemo, North Face, Kelty etc.) rather than simply guylined out. That might mean they’re supported by a pole in the tent frame, that they’re supported by trekking or utility poles, or that they’re some combination of the two. Either way, these extended/supported vestibules create a better/larger living space overall, and offer more versatility (and often more head space) than the basic design on tents like the MSR above.
Most 4 person tents are primarily intended for car camping, but that doesn’t mean they don’t mean business when it comes to weather resistance. Because their comparatively compact designs tend to handle wind and rain better than larger models, we pay particularly close attention to the weather features of these tents.
As always, tents with fully-taped seams throughout their construction (not just in the rainfly) are better than those without. Tub-style floors are a bonus, of course, as they help keep splashing and runoff at bay.
Beyond that, we like seeing materials in the tent body that are water repellent/resistant themselves, as this adds another layer of weather protection to the shelter overall. Technically polyester is more water resistant than nylon, but both materials improve more overall resistance as their thickness increases. Fabrics that are treated for water resistance are always better than those that aren’t. Look for materials labeled as DWR, PU, PE, or silicone treated for extra peace of mind.
On warm, clear days and nights, ventilation is easy: Pull the rainfly off and bask inside your mesh palace. Done & done.
On those other days, however, ventilation really becomes an art form, and your rainfly/vestibule setup is the pièce de résistance. Remember, the main goal of ventilation is to keep condensation from forming inside the tent. Even if your rainfly is 100% waterproof, ambient humidity, moisture from your breath, and any wet gear inside the tent all contribute to condensation. So whether you’ve got your fly on because it’s raining outside or just plain cold, you want to give all that warm, moist air somewhere to escape.
We look for tents that have (a) as much space as possible between the tent body and the vestibule (another reason why staking a tent out properly is important) and (b) as much cross-ventilation as possible (having two vents directly opposed to each other gives air an easier path to enter/exit).
Unlike backpacking tents, which tend to use lighter materials to save space and weight, most 4 person tents have the luxury of being exclusively for car camping. This makes their overall size and weight negligible and clears the way for the manufacturers to splurge on more durable materials. This plays a huge factor in deciding whether or not a tent is “worth the money” or just overpriced due to a brand name.
We look for all the usual markers of quality here: For fabrics, we prefer a higher denier material to a lower one (75D polyester is stronger than 50D polyester and so on). Keep in mind this is a good measure for comparing apples to apples, but there’s a difference between 75D nylon and 75D polyester (nylon tends to be stronger, for instance).
While pitching most 4 person dome tents is pretty straightforward, some models do it better than others.
The easiest tents to setup have a freestanding pole design with a tent body that clips onto the poles rather than having to do that awkward “feed the pole through the sleeve” thing. As simple as this may seem, it’s hugely convenient and shortens setup time a good bit. Not a huge deal if they don’t, but definitely a perk nonetheless.
There are some other innovative features out there that further simplify things, and for many campers they’re worth spending a little extra on. Big Agnes, for example, uses a single piece stake and clip buckle system that acts as both a mounting point for tent poles and a clip-in point for the rainfly. Bonus points to Big Agnes. Same goes for Kelty and their “quick corners” system. These added features aren’t essential, but are always appreciated.
Clearly there’s a lot that goes into making the best 4 person tents. No tent is perfect, but for our money, the Big Agnes Bunkhouse 4 comes awfully close.
Its roomy floor plan, generous ceilings, fantastic materials, and reliable weatherproofing all combine to deliver the best camping experience we’ve seen in this category. The fact that it (a) packs into its own backpack and (b) doubles as a standalone sun shade is almost too good to be true. If you’re looking for a little more headroom, the Nemo Wagontop, North Face Super Dome, and MSR Habitude are all great choices. If you’re just looking for a reliable all-rounder that won’t break the bank, you just can’t go wrong with a Kelty Rumpus.