red 4 person tent is standing next to the lake

Best 4 Person Backpacking Tent in 2022

Are you looking for a 4-Person backpacking tent? In this article, I have reviewed 5 of the best options for 4-Person backpacking tents.

However, as an avid camper, I know that it’s not as simple as just picking a tent and going. I have also included some valuable information to help you decide which tent is best for you. Let’s get going!

In this article, we’re going to review the following instant tents for camping:

4-Person Backpacking Tent Buyer’s Guide

Reading reviews is a must when looking for a new tent. But to choose the best one, you need to have some baseline knowledge of what to look for. I have been camping for years, but the industry is always changing and new technologies are developed every day.

So, I thought I would provide you with your baseline to help ensure that you do not forget anything when conducting your search for your perfect tent.

This is the most up-to-date information available for 4-person tents. And the technology that manufacturers are using for them.

Bigger Is Always Better

When looking at any sized tent, this is the best advice anyone can give. Bigger is always better. It is important to understand that how you would judge the size of a tent and how manufacturers advertise a tent’s sleeping capacity are probably a little different.

For instance, when I look at a tent, I want enough space for my entire camping group. I also want extra space for us to keep our gear and equipment safe from the weathering conditions.

However, when manufacturers brand their tents as a particular size, they only make it so that the number of people they recommend can sleep side by side in the tent.

So, a tent that is advertised as a 4-person tent by manufacturer standards means that they laid four sleeping bags inside the tent directly next to each other. However, this doesn’t always mean that it will be reliably big enough for a 4-person camping group.

You should consider this when you are looking at new tents because you wouldn’t want to get a tent that won’t be big enough or hold up to your size expectations.

This being said, there are features that manufacturers add to some of their tents that do provide you with more space for your gear and equipment, while still providing you enough room.

What to Consider when Purchasing a 4-Person Backpacking Tent

There isn’t a universal backpacking tent that is always going to be the best for everyone. If there were, then there wouldn’t be any reason for manufacturers to make different tent models.

However, this can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your needs. I understand that purchasing a new tent is a huge deal because a tent is your home away from home when you are backpack camping. Therefore, you should create a checklist to ensure that you choose a tent that is important to you and your camping group.

To help with this, I have come up with some factors that should make it onto your checklist to help and ensure that the tent you purchase will be best for your needs.

Ventilation

If you are planning on backpacking in warm weather, ventilation is by far one of the most important things that a 4-person tent can have. You should consider looking into a 3-Season tent because this classification is meant for warm weather camping.

Why is ventilation such an important factor?

If you have ever been camping in the summer, you will know how a tent can trap and hold heat. If you never plan on going inside the tent during the day, this might be alright. However, what if a freak thunderstorm happens? If your tent doesn’t have ventilation in these circumstances, the heat can become quickly unbearable.

You want to look for tents that have some sort of mesh material in the mix of the fabrics used for the body. Sometimes these tents will have their entire roof made from mesh.

But sometimes they only have windows or small vents near the floor to allow breezes to pass into the tent. It helps to keep the inside cooler even during the hottest part of the day.

However, if you are planning on going camping during the winter, ventilation could be the downside of your trip. These are usually classified as 4-season tents. And they are meant to insulate to keep you warm rather than cool.

So, for your checklist, you should make sure that you make a timeline of when you will be doing the most of your camping. And if you are planning on times in both summer and winter, you might want to consider purchasing a separate tent for each adventure.

Weight

If we were just talking about camping outside of your car or in your backyard, weight might not be an issue. However, when you are looking for the best 4 person backpacking tent, weight can mean everything. When backpacking, there are a lot of things that you have to pack and take with you to your campsite.

Although 4-person tents are not very large, they can range from as little as 5 pounds to as much as 15 pounds. This might not sound like a lot of weight, but once you add on everything you need to take with you, weight can add up. Therefore, weight is always something you should consider.

It is important to note that higher-quality material generally weighs more, which you should also take into account. If your camping group includes children, it can be a good thing to look at the weight of the tent because it is usually easy to carry.

Dimensions

When looking at dimensions, it is important to figure out if the provided dimensions are when the tent is packed up or when it is pitched. Some manufacturers will provide you with both sets of these dimensions.

But others will only give you dimensions one way or another. It might be difficult to fully judge the dimensions of a tent without it being in front of you. Especially based on if it is a teepee tent, a cabin tent, or a dome tent. But regardless, these numbers are important to make note of before making a final purchasing decision.

Assemble and Disassemble Time

For the most part, most manufacturers try to make assembling their tents as easy as possible. Unlike in the past that always took a lot of knowledge and people to pitch a tent properly. There are still tents that require stakes and other guylines if you want a more traditional experience.

However, if you want ease, you should look for a freestanding design that you or you and one other person in your group can easily set up the tent.

After all, there are a lot of times when you will need to assemble or disassemble your tent quickly for one reason or another. Therefore, it is important to add this to your checklist.

One more piece of advice for after you get your new tent. You should go out in your backyard and practice putting up your tent. Familiarize yourself with the setup while you are not miles away from home.

Tent Poles and Stakes

Although all tents should come with the required tent poles and stakes, this is not always true. If the tent you are looking at requires these things, you need to make sure that the tent you choose comes with them. This will help to keep you from having to go out of pocket for these things in the future.

Not to mention, when your tent arrives, you need to open it and make sure that it has everything that it is supposed to have before heading out on your camping trip.

Durability

The durability of a tent can be difficult to judge when you are looking at various models. But there are some ways to tell. Aluminum is one of the most commonly used metals for tent poles.

However, when it comes to the fabrics that are used for tents, you might see the word denier describing the fabric. This is an important number to consider because it will give you an idea of the thickness of the material that is being used.

You can also look through reviews to see what people say about the durability of the tent as a whole. But it is something that you need to look into. After all, there isn’t anything worse than purchasing a tent and then finding out that it doesn’t have a durable construction or is not made from high-quality material.

Storage

As stated before, sometimes the size of a tent might be exaggerated or underestimated. When it comes to storage, you will want to look for a tent that has some sort of available storage. Sometimes it comes in external sections like a porch or vestibule. And then sometimes they might have internal storage areas that can help keep your personal effects safe while camping.

Common Terminology to be Aware Of

When I first started looking for my tents, I found that some of the terminology that I saw I was unfamiliar with. Even if you have been camping for years, it is important to ensure you understand certain terms to make sure you make the right decision.

Here is some of that terminology:

Rainfly – Rainflies are extremely important for all tents. These accessories are designed to help weatherproof your tent, regardless if it is a 3 or 4 season tent. They can be used to keep rain, wind, and snow from penetrating through the tent.

Footprint – Although this is an important accessory for camping, there are a lot of tents that do not come with one. A footprint is designed to be placed on the ground under the tent. It is capable of helping to increase the longevity of the tent flooring fabric.

Denier – When looking at tent descriptions, most manufacturers describe it with a denier strength or “D”. The higher the number the strong the material is, which means that it can withstand a lot of other situations.

Freestanding – If a tent is classified as a freestanding tent, it refers to how the tent is set up. These tents usually only take about a minute to set up, and they are excellent for people who are newer to camping and don’t know how to pitch a traditional tent with stakes and guylines.

E-port This is usually not required for a backpacking tent. But it could be useful if you plan on doing different types of camping and don’t want to have to purchase multiple tents. An e-port is a small area in a tent that is large enough to pull an extension cord from the outside to the inside of the tent to provide you with power when possible inside the tent.

Guylines – These are required to help tie down some traditional non-freestanding tents. But they are more commonly used to tie down your rainfly to ensure that it doesn’t blow away during a bad thunderstorm.

FAQ

Now that I have given you some key information about purchasing your next 4-person tent, here are a few frequently asked questions that I felt might need to be answered to ensure you the best all-around knowledge to purchase your next tent.

Will a 4-person tent always be large enough for 4 people?

As stated above, I like to go with the philosophy that bigger is always better when it comes to purchasing a tent. When manufacturers classify their tents, they do so by the average size of an adult. So, if you have taller or larger people in your group, a 4-person tent might be a snug fit.

However, if some of your campers are smaller children, you will have more room. It is always good to look for a tent that has a place for you to store your care. You should never presume that space was accounted for when classifying the tent you are looking at.

What is the “D” mean when placed in front of a tent fabric?

“D” stands for Denier, which is a common trait of fabrics used for tents. The higher the number in front of the “D” the stronger the material. Therefore, you want a tent with fabric numbers higher to ensure that it will be capable of holding up to various weather conditions that you might run into while on our camping trip.

4-Person Backpacking Tents – Our Top Picks

Now that you have the most important information about what to look for, you will have a better understanding of the following reviews. I have compiled these five models of lightweight 4-person tents to help narrow down your search.

1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent

The Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent model is designed by Big Agnes. And this model is larger than their previous 4-person tents. Plus, it comes with several features inside and outside of the tent that will provide you with a comfortable home away from home on your backpacking trip.

For instance, it has two doors each having a vestibule outside of them. One of the vestibules is an awning style, which will provide you with a lot of extra living space that is covered. This means you can put your gear there keeping it safe from the sun or a drizzle without compromising the amount of interior space you have to work with.

The tent is made with a lightweight double ripstop nylon material that will make it easy to carry. But it is still strong enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 86 x 96 x 50 inches
  • Design Type: Freestanding
  • Season: 3 season
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 people
  • Accessories: Rainfly

It does come with a rainfly, which will help to protect you and your group from rain, but it doesn’t come with a footprint. You will have to purchase this part separately if it is something that you want.

And I do recommend using one because it will help to increase the longevity of the tent you purchase. On the inside of the tent, you will find 12 interior pockets that will help provide you with different areas for your electronics and other personal items organized.

It also comes with quality stakes and guylines for the awning setup. And there are several hook loop closure tabs to help keep the pole structure together, unlike with some other tent models.

Finally, this model uses a dual-zipper system for the doors that have easy-grip pulls, which makes it easier for everyone to get in and out of the tent. Regardless of the size of their hands.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • Has a high-fly and low-vent vestibule
  • Has multiple pockets for storing personal items
  • Has an awning-style vestibule for extra living space
  • Made from high-quality material

Cons:

  • Could include footprint
  • Can take around 20 minutes to set up


2. Marmot Limestone Camping Tent

Marmot Limestone Camping Tent

Marmot is one of the top tent brands available on the market. And this is one of their most popular 4-person tent models. The Limestone camping tent has a lot of excellent features that make it suitable for various types of camping trips, including backpacking trips. This tent comes with a rainfly, which makes it excellent for camping even if it rains.

Unlike many tents, this model comes with color-coded poles and clips, which are meant to provide you with a guide to set up. And once it is up, it has a D-shaped door that makes it easier to open, regardless of how big or small someone might be.

The provided rainfly is 100% seam-taped, which helps to ensure that the entire tent with being weatherproofed. It is important for backpacking trips. Because when backpacking, you can’t just pick up and wait out bad weather inside of your car or head home.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Dimensions: 60 sq ft x 63 inchest
  • Design Type: Easy setup
  • Season: 3-Season
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 people
  • Accessories: Rainfly

With the way the tent is designed, this model is capable of providing you with more headroom. It is important because many tent models force taller people to crouch uncomfortably.

The rear door of the tent also has a vestibule that allows you to have somewhere safe to put your gear, without having to take up internal space that is used for sleeping.

This tent does come with a stuff bag, but some people say that this bag is difficult to put everything in. However, they have fixed this by using a duffle bag or a backpack to make the weight easier to carry.

Finally, even though the pieces are color-coded, this tent should still be put together by at least two people to ensure a stress-free pitch setup process.

Pros:

  • Has color-coded poles and clips for stress-free set up
  • Has a d-shaped door for easy entry
  • Has 100% seam-taped weatherproof rainfly
  • Provides campers with more head room
  • Has a vestibule at the rear door

Cons:

  • Needs two people to make set up process easy
  • Minor issues with the provided stuff bag


3. REI Co-op Trail Hut 4 Tent with Footprint

REI Co-op Trail Hut 4 Tent with Footprint

When it comes to tents, REI is one of the top manufacturers. And this particular tent model was designed for 4 people. It only weighs about 8 pounds, and it has a freestanding design that makes setting up the tent in a hurry simple.

However, it is important to note that the provided rainfly does require guylines and stakes to be anchored properly. If it isn’t done properly, you will risk the tent being damaged during strong wind or rainstorms.

This tent has integrated door venting that can help keep your group cool regardless of the summer heat. Plus, this tent also has 2 large vestibules, which helps to provide you with plenty of room for all of your gear without having to worry about taking up any internal sleeping space that might be required.

Unlike many other tents, this one not only comes with a rainfly. But also includes a footprint to help increase the longevity of the tent.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 90 x 88 x 48 inches
  • Design Type: Freestanding
  • Season: 3 Season
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 people
  • Accessories: Rainfly, footprint, stakes, guylines, stuff sack

Unlike other tents, this one only requires three poles to set it up properly. And it has a lot of excellent internal pockets for extra space for organizing, which can be an issue when backpacking.

One of the worst things possible is losing something personal and important, like a wallet or cellphone, while you are out on a trail. With these pockets, you can keep these items safe at your base camp, which will allow you to enjoy your time with your friends and family without worrying.

Although this model does come with a rainfly and a footprint, it is important to note that the provided poles are made from aluminum. Under normal circumstances, these poles are sturdy enough for most backpacking weather.

But it is important to ensure that everything is properly tied down to make sure that damage does occur in the offset of bad winds that could be strong enough to bed the poles without support.

Pros:

  • Has 2 large vestibules
  • Has integrated door venting
  • Has a freestanding dome style structure
  • Only has 3 poles for easy setup
  • Has plenty of internal pockets for organizing

Cons:

  • Could use stronger pole materials


4. KAZOO Waterproof 4 Person Backpacking Tent

KAZOO Waterproof 4 Person Backpacking Tent

When looking for a 4-person tent, this waterproof backpacking tent has a lot of excellent features that make this one of the best models, on the market. This tent only weighs about 14 pounds, which is a little heavy for backpacking if you have kids that aren’t capable of carrying a lot of weight.

However, this tent has a freestanding dome design, which makes it easy to set up even for people who are new to backpack camping.

KAZOO is one of the best manufacturers of tents and other camping gear. And this is classified as a 3-season tent, which means that it works best in hot to warm weather camping because it is designed to provide extra ventilation.

Kazoo also provides you with a rainfly for this tent. It means that you will not have to worry about purchasing one separately from your tent, which is better in the long run.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 8 x 8 inches
  • Design Type: Freestanding
  • Season: 3-Season
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 people
  • Accessories: Rainfly

This tent uses five premium aluminum poles that are not only lightweight but provide a sturdy frame for the tent to ensure it won’t blow away or get damaged in a thunderstorm under heavy winds.

This tent comes with two separate porch areas that will provide you with plenty of space for storing your gear or relaxing in the shade on a hot summer day.

Pros:

  • Has 2 doors to make getting in and out easy
  • Uses waterproof fabric material
  • Has ceiling vents for better ventilation
  • Has two porch areas
  • Designed to be easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Designed more for car camping


5. Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Mountain Hardwear is one of the best tent manufacturers in the industry. And the Trango 4 tent is one of their top freestanding tent designs. It only weighs approximately 12 pounds, which is excellent.

It also comes with an easy-to-carry back that makes backpacking easier. However, this tent can still easily be used on a car camping trip, as well.

Unlike the other tents in this article, this 4-person tent is designed to be a 4-season tent, which means it was designed more for cold weather due to its insulation properties. As opposed to a 3 season tent that provides more ventilation properties.

This tent is made from high-quality denier nylon taffeta. And it also includes a rainfly to help provide extra weather protection.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Dimensions: 96 x 94 x 50 inches
  • Design Type: Freestanding
  • Season: 4 Season
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 people
  • Accessories: Rainfly

One extra feature that sets this tent apart from other models in this article is that it uses fabrics that are free of flame-retardant materials, which makes it safer than other tents, especially for those who have kids with them.

This tent also has triple-reinforced UVX windows that not only help to keep the tent insulated. But they will also allow more light to illuminate the inside of the tent.

Finally, this tent has two separate doorways, which makes it more convenient for people to get in and out without having to bother the other people inside the tent that might be sleeping or resting.

Pros:

  • Made from high-quality 70-Denier nylon taffeta
  • Has 2 doors for convenience
  • Includes a quality rainfly
  • Free of flame-retardant
  • Has triple reinforced UVX windows

Cons:

  • Minor issues with warranty service on product


Final Thoughts and Takeaways

I hope that I have helped you in your journey to finding the best 4-person backpacking tent for your needs.

I know that I said there isn’t a universal tent that will be the best for everyone. But after reviewing the top five tents above, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 Tent is worth mentioning again as the best. It not only provides you with plenty of space for four people to go camping. But it also has plenty of internal and external storage space.

It is easy to set up. And it can easily be set up by a single person, which means that everyone else can handle dealing with setting up the rest of the campsite. Plus, it is extremely lightweight, which means that it is excellent for backpack camping. It will allow you to carry everything with you.

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