Gazelle T4 Hub: Our Test And Review Of The World’s Fastest Tent

Written by

The tent for people who hate pitching tents: The Gazelle T4 sets up faster than anything else on the planet, but does it work in the real world?
Gazelle T4 Hub - Introduction
We put the Gazelle T4 Hub tent to the test this summer during a long campervan trip through Greece.



The Gazelle T4 Hub

– Price: $400
– Weight: 30lbs (13.6 kg)
– Floor size: 94” x 94” (239cm x 239cm)
– Peak height: 78” (198cm)
– Number of compartments: 1
– Capacities: 4 person (3 person also available)
– Shape: Cabin
– What we like: Effortless setup, tough materials, roomy interior, 
– What we don’t: Fiberglass poles, questionable weatherproofing, expensive




The Wise Adventurer’s Verdict

This is our field test and review of the Gazelle T4 Hub tent, a unique car camping tent that uses spring-loaded hubs to go from bag to pitched in mere seconds.

In a market dominated by tried-and-true designs, the Gazelle T4 Hub tent offers a unique proposition: Throw your tent poles out the window, and give each wall its own set of spring-loaded hubs. 

If you’ve ever enjoyed a good nature documentary, you’ll know the gazelle is renowned for its incredible speed, and speed is what the folks at Gazelle Tents are all about. The entire premise of the company is that time spent setting up camp is time that you could be enjoying the outdoors and the people you share it with. The T4 solves that problem by pitching in just 90 seconds with a single person.

Gazelle T4 Hub - TWA Verdict
The T4’s design is unlike anything else on the market, but can its innovative frame survive the elements?

We absolutely agree with this philosophy, and felt the T4 could be the perfect companion for a long car camping holiday. As many of you know, ease of use can be the difference between a pleasantly nomadic vacation and a nightmare of packing and unpacking. 

As luck would have it, we’d been planning a 3-week trip through Greece this summer with 2 kids and a campervan, so we decided to bring the Gazelle T4 Hub along for the ride. We purchased this tent with our own money, then put it through our rigorous testing process here at The Wise Adventurer

We won’t spoil all the details here, but the gist of the T4 is very clear from our experience: This unique design absolutely delivered on its promise of fast setup, and packs a massive amount of living space to boot. It’s a bit of an investment, but that money is further justified by durable materials and excellent attention to detail. 

Gazelle’s innovative approach with the T4 Hub tent does have its drawbacks though, so if you want to know if this is the right shelter for your next trip, keep reading.




Detailed Evaluation: The Gazelle T4 Hub Tent

The goal of our field testing is to evaluate everything a tent has to offer, from its usability and material quality to its ability to keep you dry in inclement weather. We take a systematic approach to this evaluation to bring you detailed information on every aspect of the tent, as well as a more holistic approach to give you a better sense of its overall value for your average camper.

Space and Comfort

With beyond vertical walls and a spacious cabin design, space and comfort were major highlights of our time with the Gazelle T4 Hub. Its impressive peak height of 6.5 feet means almost anyone can comfortably move around the interior of the tent and the large footprint makes it plenty spacious to share with friends and family. 

Gazelle T4 Hub - Space and Comfort
With its unique shape, the T4 offers up to 6.5 feet of headroom inside and allows up to 4 people to share it comfortably.

With only 2 to 3 people sleeping in the T4 during our tests, the generous amount of space gave us plenty of room to stretch out with space left over for extra gear. That’s important to note, because the inside of the tent is the only storage space you’re getting here. 

Gazelle T4 Hub - Space and Comfort 2
Inside the Gazelle T4 Hub tent you’ll find multiple mesh side pockets and a removable gear loft up top. A total of 6 meshed windows provide views and airflow.

With no vestibule included to stash gear outside the tent, pushing the capacity up to four people can feel cramped in short order. Most campers will have a car nearby to stash excess gear, but if you’re planning on using the T4 alone, you’ll definitely want to take this into consideration.

With that being said, we will point out that Gazelle did a commendable job making the most of interior storage. With a large removable gear loft and plentiful side pockets on offer, there are plenty of ways to keep your stuff organized and off the floor. This also comes in handy if you need to clean the removable floor after a particularly wet/muddy day.

Gazelle T4 Hub - Space and Comfort 3
The removable floor makes for quick and convenient cleaning on the go.

Although the D-shaped doors might not be the most convenient to walk through, having 2 of them was another highlight of our field test. Entering and exiting the tent is a breeze, and combined with the plentiful mesh windows, the T4 is never wanting for outstanding views or ample ventilation. 

Gazelle T4 Hub - Space and Comfort 4
The D-shaped doors imposed by the pop-up hub design aren’t the most convenient to walk through, but having two of them helps both circulation and ventilation.

We also noted that in the middle of the 95°F days of a Greek summer, the easily removable rainfly did wonders for keeping the interior comfortable. Overall the sense of space, excellent ventilation, and ample storage options of the Gazelle T4 Hub made for a very livable space, and we rarely found ourselves wishing for an exterior vestibule on clear days.

Weather Resistance

With its boxy shape and minimalist rainfly, weather resistance was one place we had our doubts about the Gazelle T4 Hub tent. A good camping tent should hold up to both rain and wind, so this was a particularly important part of our testing. 

Ultimately we found that the combination of beyond-vertical walls and spring-loaded hubs required a careful setup to hold up to strong wind. The T4’s panels were prone to collapsing under stronger gusts when left unsecured, so you’ll definitely want to utilize every available guyline when setting up the shelter. 

Gazelle T4 Hub - Weather Resistance
Installing the guylines on the hubs is essential to avoid the walls collapsing when exposed to high winds.

As for the rain, the first thing we noted about the Gazelle’s rainfly is that it doesn’t fully cover the windows of the tent. The windows are designed to be fully waterproof, mind you, but they’re also essential to keeping air flowing through the tent in a storm. 

We found that each window could be left partially cracked during light rain to keep things from getting too steamy inside, but in a proper storm with wind-blown rain, expect ventilation to suffer. You can get strategic as to which windows you crack and to what degree, but a full-length fly would have done wonders in this regard. 

Although our own inspection only revealed sturdy seams and quality waterproof materials, we’d be remiss if we didn’t report some users complaining about leaks near the floor before applying an aftermarket sealant. Gazelle does boast some high HH test results with 2000 mm of resistance, but it only feels relevant in a very “vertical” rainfall scenario to us.

Gazelle T4 Hub - Weather Resistance 2
The rainfly is easy to install and Gazelle claims 2000 mm of water resistance in the fabric, but its coverage is limited, which impacts ventilation during wet weather.

At the end of the day, we can report that the Gazelle T4 works best as a fair-weather tent, but also holds its own just fine under lighter rain. When the sun is high and winds are low, this is an outstanding place to spend a weekend around camp. 

If you’re the type of person who camps year round rain-or-shine, however, you’ll definitely get better bad-weather performance in a more traditional design like the North Face Wawona 4. For your average car camper, however, the convenience and livability of the T4 will be a welcome tradeoff to painstaking setups and takedowns. 

Ease of Set Up

Make no mistake: There’s no easier tent to pitch on the market than the Gazelle T4 Hub, and this factor alone can easily justify purchasing one yourself. There aren’t many products out there that can transform what should be a chore into a truly enjoyable experience, yet the T4 handily manages this feat when it comes to setting up camp.

Gazelle T4 Hub - Ease of Setup
Even children require very little assistance to set up the tent and the entire process is a genuinely enjoyable experience.

Even when it came time to pack everything up, taking the tent down was only marginally more complex than setting it up. A major hurdle when going on any nomadic holiday, be it with an RV or simple car camping, is the switch from location to location. With the Gazelle T4 Hub, the process is a breeze from start to finish, which is undeniably this tent’s greatest strength.

Durability

Speaking of strength, the T4’s heavy 210 denier outer shell and solid YKK zippers are among the beefiest materials we’ve seen in a camping tent. Every inch of the T4 feels high quality and built to last, which helped to justify its somewhat spendy price tag for our testers.

Gazelle T4 Hub - Durability
The outer shell is a heavy-duty 210 denier fabric and gives the Gazelle T4 Hub a premium feel that is consistent throughout.

We’ve read some owners’ reports of issues with the mesh windows snagging, but we didn’t experience any issues ourselves during our three weeks on the road with the T4. The same can be said of issues with stitching or overall build quality. Again, the model we used in our test was one we ordered ourselves with our own money, so our shelter should have the same quality standards as anyone else’s in this regard.

Gazelle T4 Hub - Durability 2
Although they aren’t our favorite material, the fiberglass poles feel very sturdy and the simplicity of the hub design feels confidence-inspiring.

Finally, we can’t say we didn’t initially have concerns about the fiberglass poles. Fiberglass is necessary to deliver the “spring” effect that gives the tent its unique pop-out ability, but it’s never been our favorite material in terms of durability. 

With that being said, our time with the T4 alleviated any concerns we might have had with material quality. The poles themselves feel extremely strong and the hubs feel very sturdy. We’ll also note that the design of the whole system seems much simpler than your typical “instant tent,” which should translate to better long-term value as well.

Weight and Packed Size

Let’s get this out of the way now: The Gazelle T4 is a big tent. Due to its unique hub design, the tent packs down to an above-average size in terms of length, with our test model measuring in at a whopping 68 inches.  This means you’ll likely want either a truck, SUV, or station wagon to transport it, so keep that in mind.

We managed to fit it under the seats of our campervan during our trip, but it would definitely be a concern for your average compact car. With that being said, Gazelle does claim that the tent’s carry bag is weather-resistant, and designed for transport on a roof if need be. 

Gazelle T4 Hub - Weight and Packed Size
The odd size of the packed-up tent means it will require a bigger vehicle to transport it. The 30lbs weight is above average, but by no means difficult to carry.

Weighing in at 30 lbs, the Gazelle T4 Hub tent is not light, but still plenty serviceable for car-camping duty. We had no complaints toting the T4 from car to camp using the shoulder strap or carry handles, so we couldn’t consider this a real drawback for 99% of users.

Value

The Gazelle has some serious competition out there for its asking price. This shelter rings in at the same cost as the outstanding Northface Wawona 4 and Nemo Aurora Highrise we recently reviewed in our car camping field test, both of which are more or less flawless camping tents.

With that being said, it’s the Gazelle’s unique design that makes it special. Rather than opting for a “jack of all trades” approach, the T4 doubles down on space and simplicity, and we can’t say enough about just how enjoyable and stress-free this shelter is to set up.

Gazelle T4 Hub - Value
The Gazelle is definitely a master of one: convenience. If you value your time, the T4 Hub tent is worth every cent.

It may not have the exterior storage or poorer weather performance compared to some of its competitors, we feel it still deserves recognition as a properly premium camping tent. With its bulletproof materials and incredible ease of use, the Gazelle makes its own case for your hard-earned dollars, and we enjoyed every minute of our time with this tent.  

What We Like

The entire premise of the Gazelle T4 Hub tent is its ease of use and convenience, and it is an unequivocal highlight. There’s simply nothing else like it, and that can justify the purchase alone. The fact that it also offers vast interior space, complete with ample storage options, two doors, and tons of windows, then wraps it all in incredibly durable materials makes it worth the money in our view.

Gazelle T4 Hub - What We Like
How often can you say that setting up or packing down is one of the more enjoyable moments of your camping trip?

Once again, this is a great value if convenience is your main focus. If you’re the type of person who sets up camp once and stays there for a week at a time, the Gazelle may not be your first choice, but if you move around frequently or simply despise setting up or taking down a shelter, it’s a clear winner.

What We Don’t Like

Our main issue with the Gazelle is weather performance. Again, the tent can hold up to wind and rain just fine when properly secured, but its minimal rainfly coverage and lack of an external vestibule wouldn’t be our first choice in a proper storm. 

Gazelle T4 Hub - What We Dont Like
The Gazelle T4 shines as a fair-weather tent. Forget to install guylines on a gusty day, however, and you risk having one or more walls collapse.

We’ll also note that the packed size and shape could also be a limiting factor for some users, as it does require quite a lot of space for transport. This is a non-issue if you’re driving a truck, SUV, van, or large wagon, but your typical compact car or sedan will have to get creative in getting the tent from A to B. 

Alternatives

  • Caddis Rapid 4: Similarly easy pitching with above-average interior space for less money. Reliable rain protection, but less durable materials. Check at REI

The Bottom Line

We’ve all been there: arriving at nightfall to our camp, having to set everything up while hungry, tired, and grumpy. In those moments, how much would you give to have your tent completely deployed in under two minutes? That’s the entire value proposition of the Gazelle T4 Hub tent. And, let’s face it, it’s a serious value.

Add to this the massive interior space, the practical features for everyday livability, the premium feel, and the abundance of windows, and the T4 becomes a tough proposition to ignore. It won’t be the best option for folks camping in constantly wet areas like the Pacific Northwest, but for your average car camper, it’s a great place to relax. 

Leave a Comment