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It’s little wonder camping is attracting the interest of so many: allowing people to get away, reconnect with nature, and rediscover the simple joys of being outside. A tent is a fabulous investment purchase - just make sure to buy one that will last, and fit your purposes.
What tent should I buy?
Depending on the kind of holiday you’re planning, there are a number of different tent sizes and configurations to consider. Family-style tents are usually bigger, with multiple compartments for convenience, storage and privacy.
Backpacking two-man or one-man tents are made with weight in mind - they tend to be lighter, less cumbersome and more appropriate for hiking, backpacking and covering large distances over multi-day hikes, for example.
Four man tents, which we will be looking at in this article, are a happy medium-ground; perfect for two with ample room and storage space, or additionally suitable for a small family or friends if you’re looking to go away in a slightly larger group.
What to look for in a four man tent
It’s worth looking into waterproof ability, especially when it comes to the outer ‘fly’ sheet which will protect you from the elements.
Pay attention to quality of attachments and zips too, as well as the amount of guy ropes and security ability the tent has. Additionally, we’d recommend doing some research in terms of inside the tent too - are there storage compartments?
Does it have a loop to hook up a torch or a lantern? Is there anywhere to stow away luggage or store other various bits of camping equipment? If you can, see if you can set up or try out a demonstration model and practice erecting the tent before you travel.
Here are our picks of the best four man tents on the market.
Best for: a reasonably-priced option
Key Specs: Weight: 11.7kg, Bedrooms: 2, Pitching: 2 people and 4 poles
This Decathlon tent features 2 Bedrooms in a relatively small package that we found easy to put up. It has an impressively sized standing area, and although the carry case weighs 11kg, we found it was easy to transport.
Coloured markings on the poles made it easy to put up in no time. We thought this tent was good value for money, and provided ample space for family and friends when camping. A simple affair, but a lot of tent for the money.
Best for: backpackers
Key Specs: Weight: 3.3kg, Bedrooms: 1, Pitching: 1 person with 3 poles
This offering from MSR was created for backpackers in mind. Although this 4-man tent is slightly heavier than some others that MSR create, it’s still perfectly small enough and light enough to take into the backcountry or on longer trips.
The tent itself can easily sleep 4 people, and we were also impressed with the amount of headroom. MSR tents often come with a breathable mesh fabric underneath the fly, but such is the speed of putting it up we would be very happy erecting this tent in stormy or inclement weather.
MSR tents don’t compromise on the quality of materials, design or construction - this model is an updated version with larger porch areas, built-in gear lofts and handy glow in the dark zippers.
Best for: a family tent
Key Specs: Weight: 9.8kg, Bedrooms: 1 with one porch room, Pitching: 2 people
A slightly more affordable option from Outwell, the Dash 4 sleeps four in one large, blacked-out inner.
The space is versatile and we really liked the standing room height in what is a relatively easy and straight-forward package to put up and get down again.
Like the Robens option on this list, it works well as a base for a family, and is a good option for a longer stay, working well as a tent that has a fixed position for a whole.
Best for: value for money
Key Specs: Weight: 7.7kg, Bedrooms: 1 with one small porch room for storage, Pitching: 1 person, 3-pole setup
We thought this option from Vango was very well-priced for what you get, albeit being slightly smaller than some of the other larger 4-man tents on this list.
Although you can stretch out, it doesn’t necessarily have bags of standing room, but we liked the cosier porch area, which is still ample enough space to sit in good shelter. In the sleeping compartment, ‘nightfall’ fabric has been installed, which limits the light into the tent when day breaks.
The compartments themselves are generous in terms of sleeping and living space, despite the tent’s relatively small size and weight.
Best for: handy storage space
Key Specs: Weight: 5.4kg, Bedrooms: 1, Pitching: 1 person with 3 poles with press-fit connectors
This is a ‘fly first’ tent, which means that you erect the outer sheet first before attaching the bedroom compartments to the fly. We were impressed by the waterproof taped seams, double entrance points and the two scooped mesh vents that allow more air in to circulate and ventilate the tent.
It also comes with an extended living compartment so you can store your belongings in the porch area safely. At only 5.4 kg weight, this tent would be suitable for longer trips and backpacking adventures on multi Day pitches and mountainous terrain.
Best for: comfort
Key Specs: Weight: 15.7kg, Bedrooms: 2 with one porch room, Pitching: 2 people, erect flysheet first
A tent designed with comfort in mind, the Coleman Meadowood 4 sleeps four with ease - there’s space in either of the two bedrooms for large airbeds, and the sleeping areas are equipped with blackout technology to help you rest easy.
There’s plenty of ventilation however, and we were especially impressed with the porch hood, which covers the outside portion of the ground sheet and enables you to stay opened up in the rain, as well as keeping it largely dry inside the tent itself.
It gives the impression of a tent that’s bigger than it actually is. Slightly more expensive than some similar tents on this list, however.
Best for: families looking to stay comfortable and dry
Key Specs: Weight: 11.6kg, Bedrooms: 1 with one porch room, Pitching: 2 people, 1 person possible
Robens advertise the Double Dreamer 4 as having ‘base tent’ comfort, and with its all-weather performance, rugged build and standing height, it makes a great option for campers looking to spend a little longer out into the wild, or families who need a slightly larger tent to act as a base.
We liked the ‘water-free’ access - a side door that can be opened and closed without getting wet, and the mesh-panelled doors allow sitting in the porch area away from the bedroom compartments whilst still protected from the elements and the bugs outside.
Best for: plenty of spots to hang lights
Key Specs: Weight: 2.7kg, Bedrooms: 1, Pitching: 1 person with 2 poles
Another tent towards the quality end of the spectrum, this Sierra Designs Meteor 3000 4-person tent is perfectly suited for those looking for a higher quality example. Well made, sturdy and dependable, this particular tent has been developed specifically for Northern European conditions.
The tent features two doors, and plenty of storage room. The poles are color-coded for quick setup, and the ridge poles create square angles, ensuring that when we were testing we could get comfortable lying down.
We also like the fact that inside the tent there are 6 hanging loop points for lamps or stringing up headtorches or lanterns. The stargazing rollback fly sheet makes it easier to get fresh air and on good, clear days, gaze at the stars from the tent.