The Best 4-Person Backpacking Tents for 2023

Posted by
Amy Jurries
March 09, 2019
Updated October 02, 2023

4-person backpacking tents
Backpacking with a view. Photo: Will Rochfort

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Weight, packability, and overall spaciousness are crucial factors when considering a 4-person backpacking tent. We researched some of our favorites so you can hit the trail with a comfy place to rest at night.

Exploring the outdoors with friends or family while backpacking makes for a wonderful bonding experience. However, in addition to the extra planning required to ensure everyone has a good time, group adventures present a unique set of challenges when it comes to shelter. 

Should you pack in a big tent and have everyone sleep together? Or does it make more sense to bring two smaller tents and split up the group? And which features do you actually need if you opt for the 4-person tent?

Remember that individual preferences and specific camping scenarios can influence the features you prioritize. We took a look at all of the 4-person backpacking tent options on the market today and chose our favorite. If you’re in the market for a backpacking tent, we’re sure you’ll find one below.

Editor’s note: We updated this article on September 26, 2023 to include updated tent models and buyer’s guide information.

Our Top Picks: Best 4-Person Backpacking Tents


Best Overall 4-Person Backpacking Tent

big agnes 4 person tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4

Winner of the 2017 Backpacker Editor’s Choice Gold Award, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 takes the cake for the best four-person backpacking tent. With premium materials, increased living space, attention to the details, and an ultralight trail weight of 5 lbs 3 oz, it’s no surprise this is the most popular backpacking tent on the trail.

The Copper Spur HV UL4 uses a proprietary patterned double ripstop nylon fabric that’s durable enough to support your grand adventures for years to come. The fly and floor feature a unique weave with a high-tenacity yarn and high filament count that’s lightweight, 25% stronger, and water resistant.

All of the seams are taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (no VOCs or PVC). For extra protection against stormy weather, the fly and floor are treated with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating.

The Copper Spur HV UL4 employs a four-way high-volume hub to maximize strength and increase living space without adding weight. It relies on DAC Featherlite NFL and NSL poles for support, and superlight aluminum J stakes to keep you grounded. It’s easy to pitch with pre-cut guy lines and tensioners attached to the fly, reflective guy lines and webbing on tent corners, and ultralight plastic clips to attach the body to the pole frame.

These features alone are enough to sell us on the Copper Spur HV UL4, but it doesn’t end there. The tent also features large dual-zipper doors with discrete seams, Quick Stash pockets to keep unzipped doors out of the way, and a two-tone mesh ceiling that’s perfect for stargazing on cloudless nights.

There’s plenty of room for your gear between the massive ceiling pocket, two vestibules, eight interior mesh pockets, and four media pockets with earbud routing slots. For additional storage, consider purchasing the Square Gear Loft.

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight: 5 lbs. 3 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 5 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Packed Size: 7 inches x 21 inches
  • Floor Area: 57 square feet
  • Peak Height: 50 inches
  • Footprint: No

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Ultralight for its size
  • Pro: Durable materials that slash weight
  • Pro: Easy to pitch; one person can do it solo
  • Con: More expensive than other tents on this list
Buy at REI


Best 4-Season 4-Person Backpacking Tent

Mountain Hardware Trango 4 tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4

First introduced in 1995, the Mountain Hardwear Trango tent continues to dominate the mountaineering scene to this day. While possibly overkill for your average backpacking adventure, this rugged and highly livable tent is designed to withstand the harshest conditions. 

The tent uses a double-wall construction with a freestanding tent body and separate rainfly, which helps to keep the interior of the tent warm and condensation-free in cold weather. The poles, rainfly, and canopy are also color-coded to make setting up even simpler. 

The tent body uses a 4-pole construction with glove-friendly gated hooks attaching the tent body to the support structure. These clips thread directly through loops on the inside of the rainfly at each guyout point to create a bomber connection between all tent components. 

This Trango 4 tent features two large D-shaped doors with both a mesh and canopy layer. Dual sliding zippers enable you to partially open the door for additional ventilation.

A large vestibule in front provides ample room for gear storage or bad-weather cooking with a smaller vestibule in the back for additional storage. The front vestibule comes with flaps to block out snow in wintry conditions and a sleeved internal pole structure to add extra headroom when entering and exiting the tent. A fully symmetric tent body construction means you can orient the fly in either direction to match the wind. 

A large ceiling vent on the tent body aids in ventilation and also enables you to look out the small window on the fly to check on the weather conditions without leaving the tent. 

Mesh storage pockets lining both sides of the tent offer plenty of space for drying wet gear and gear loops in each corner can be used for hanging a clothesline or to create internal guyout points for added stability in high wind conditions. 

At $1200, it’s a significant investment but worth it if you need protection in extreme conditions. And at almost 11.5 pounds, it’s not the lightest 4-person tent on the market but again, this is a spacious and durable tent that can withstand the harshest conditions. 

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight: 11 lbs. 7.5 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 12 lbs. 12.4 oz.
  • Packed Size: 9 x 28 inches
  • Floor Area: 57 square feet
  • Vestibule Area: 16 square feet
  • Peak Height: 50 inches
  • Footprint Included: No 

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Ultra durable for high-alpine terrain
  • Pro: Double-wall construction adds breathability
  • Pro: Easy-to-access window makes it easy to check on inclement weather
  • Con: Bomber durability comes at a cost; this tent is expensive
Buy at Mountain Hardwear


Most Versatile 4-Person Backpacking Tent 

MSR Elixir 4 tent

MSR Elixir 4

The MSR Elixir series of freestanding double-wall backpacking tents are all about livability, comfort and ease of use. The 4-person MSR Elixir 4 features two doors at the front and back with two large vestibules for protecting your gear from the elements, giving you more room inside the tent. 

A built-in gear loft keeps smaller items like headlamps and phones organized and within arm’s reach. Internal glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls make it quick and easy to exit the tent for that middle-of-the-night call of nature without waking your tent mates. 

Color-coded poles, clips, and webbing show you how everything fits together, making for fast and easy setup when you get to camp. Each red pole is even laser-etched with instructions telling you exactly where it goes. The red vestibule doors are easy to identify then align with the tent body doors so that you won’t waste time in the rain figuring out which way to orient the rainfly.

The included footprint means you can leave the inner tent body behind and simply throw the full-coverage rainfly and poles in your backpack. This fastpitch setup shaves almost two pounds off your overall pack weight. 

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight:   9 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 9 lbs.  6 oz.
  • Packed Size:  22 x 7 inches
  • Floor Area: 54 square feet
  • Peak Height: 48 inches
  • Footprint Included: Yes

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Freestanding design and color-coded poles make it easy to pitch
  • Pro: Includes a footprint to cut down on spending
  • Pro: Two doors and vestibules means less tent gymnastics to get out
  • Con: A bit on the heavy side
Buy at REI


Most Affordable 4-Person Backpacking Tent Coleman Skydome 4-Person

Coleman Skydome 4-Person tent

Coleman Skydome 4-Person

At less than $100, the Coleman Skydome is not only an incredibly affordable 4-person backpacking tent, but is crazy easy to set up thanks to a set of pre-attached poles that simply need to be extended and secured into the opposite corners. The tent body latches on to the poles via a series of clips.

The 3/4-coverage rainfly clips to the four corners of the tent body and includes its own pole structure to create a firm awning over the large single-door entryway. The 7 pre-attached guylines help to tension the rainfly and 4 stakeout points keep the tent from flying away in heavy wind. 

With a peak interior height of 56 inches and near vertical sidewalls that open up the internal space, this is a roomy tent that a group of people can easily move around in. The 56-square-foot floor easily fits two double sleeping pads for four adults shoulder to shoulder but without a vestibule, you will have limited leftover internal space for all of your gear. A single internal gear storage pocket means not much room for everyone to store their small essentials although the included gear loft adds a bit of space. 

As the rainfly does not offer full coverage, you will need to be careful when choosing your camping spot as directional rain will hit the front of the tent creating leak potential as the bathtub floor seams are not taped, simply inverted. The large entry door doubles as a mesh window and when fully open, neatly tucks away into a pocket at the base so you don’t have to roll it up and secure it. 

While the tent is on the heavy side at almost 11 pounds, the roomy interior and ease of setup make it ideal for shorter trips into the backcountry. 

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight: 10 lbs.  4 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 11 lbs. 
  • Packed Size: 23.7 inches x 9 inches
  • Floor Area: 56 square feet
  • Peak Height:  56 inches
  • Footprint: No

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Super affordable for most families
  • Pro: Super luxe peak height means there is lots of head space to change clothes
  • Pro: Plenty of guylines add stability in inclement weather
  • Con: Super heavy for backpacking
Buy at Amazon


Best Ultralight 4-Person Backpacking Tent 

Black Diamond Mega Light Tent

Black Diamond Mega Light Tent

The Black Diamond Mega Light Tent sets the standard for lightweight, 4-person group shelters, whether you’re going on a long thru-hike, river trip, or setting up camp for a couple of days. With a single length-adjustable carbon fiber center pole, the single wall tent is quick and simple to set up in a variety of terrain. If you regularly backpack with trekking poles and want to use those as your tent support structure instead of carrying the center pole, Black Diamond offers a Pole Link Converter accessory to make it happen.

Made from a 30-denier polyester fabric, the tent is not only lightweight but also comes seam-sealed to ensure no rain gets through and won’t sag in wet environments. With 8 adjustable stakeout points and 4 mid-level guyout points featuring adjustable and reflective guylines, you can ensure the shelter remains secure even in the worst conditions. 

Apart from the single-door entry, one of the downsides of tarp-based shelters is that you need to be extremely careful when choosing your site. If you pitch the tent in a low spot, water can run underneath and pool inside your shelter. And if you plan to backpack someplace with plenty of insects, you might want to consider adding Black Diamond’s Mega Bug non-seem mesh inner tent to your setup.

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight:  2 lbs.  7 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 2 lbs. 13 oz.
  • Packed Size: 5 inches x 12 inches
  • Floor Area: 50.7 square feet
  • Peak Height: 65 inches
  • Footprint: No

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Ultralight minimalist design for fastpackers and thruhikers
  • Pro: One pole makes for a quick-and-snappy pitch
  • Pro: 30-denier polyester is super durable, and no floor means it’s less likely to tear
  • Con: Sleeping on the actual dirt isn’t for everyone
Buy at Backcountry


Most Spacious 4-Person Backpacking Tent 

MountainSmith Bear Creek 4 tent

Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4

With a whopping 70 square-feet of floor space, the Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 will keep you and all your friends dry on your next backcountry adventures. Bonus: it’s highly affordable, too. 

The two-pole freestanding double wall design makes for simple setup and includes a footprint which not only adds an extra level of ground protection when pitching your tent, but means you can ditch the tent body in favor of a fastpitch setup for use as a sunshade on hot summer days or as an ultralight backpacking option. 

The waterproof, fully-seam-taped fly offers ventilation windows to increase breathability and the bathtub tent body floor helps to keep you and your gear dry when it starts to rain heavily. 

The large front vestibule at the single entry door keeps your gear safe from mother nature, while a rear panel closet door offers up additional space for storing out of the way items such as backpacks. Stretch mesh gear pockets in each corner keep smaller items organized and within reach all campers. 

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight: 7 lbs. 2 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 8 lbs. 9 oz.
  • Packed Size: 8 inches x 19 inches
  • Floor Area: 70 square feet
  • Peak Height: 56 inches
  • Footprint: Yes

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Ample space for four adults
  • Pro: Bathtub-style floor keeps moisture out during the biggest rainstorms
  • Pro: You can use the rainfly with the included footprint for a fast-and-light pitch if you want to ditch the main tent body
  • Con: A single door and vestibule is a pain with four adults
Buy at Backcountry


Most Durable 4-Person Backpacking Tent 

Marmot Tungsten 4P tent

Marmot Tungsten 4P

The Marmot Tungsten 4P is one of the most popular four-person backpacking tents on the market, and for good reason. The tent casts a wide net of comforts with ample interior space, dependable weather protection, and quality construction.

Using sleeping zone pre-bends and vertical walls, the Tungsten 4P delivers a roomy sleeping area with plenty of headroom. You’ll enjoy more movable space thanks to Marmot’s strategic clip placement that amplifies the interior volume. The dual D-shaped doors provide easy access, and accompanying twin vestibules offer additional space to keep your gear outside.

Speaking of gear, the Tungsten 4P provides interior pockets for small gear organization. There’s also a lamp shade pocket where you can place your headlamp to create ambient light inside the tent.

To protect against wet and windy weather, the Tungsten 4P features a seam-taped catenary-cut floor and a seam-taped fly. Both the tent and fly are vented to prevent condensation buildup.

The Tungsten 4P is easy to assemble with color-coded “easy pitch” poles, clips, and fly. Everything is built to last, from the durable fabrics to the HD Velocity 7000 Series aluminum poles. Keep in mind there are no guyout stakes included so you’ll have to bring your own. 

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight: 7 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 8 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Packed Size: 9.5 inches x 24.5 inches
  • Floor Area: 58.3 square feet
  • Peak Height: 52 inches
  • Footprint: Yes

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Near-vertical walls at the base adds to the roomy interior feeling
  • Pro: Lots of mesh walls for ventilation and breathability
  • Pro: Color-coded poles make pitching the tent easy and intuitive
  • Con: Not a ton of storage
Buy at Backcountry


Best Beginner 4-Person Backpacking Tent

Big Agnes Blacktail 4 tent

Big Agnes Blacktail 4

With a 60-square-foot floor, the Big Agnes Blacktail 4 offers a spacious sleeping arrangement for two couples or a family of backpackers. The freestanding double wall tent uses a lightweight aluminum support structure to cut down on weight, including a cross pole and two pre-bent tent poles to create more interior space. Plastic clips easily secure the inner tent body to the frame, while color-coded webbing and buckles ensure you align the rainfly in the correct position on the first go. 

Dual side entry doors and vestibules make easy work of getting gear in and out of the tent as well as for discreet middle-of-the-night exits. The dual door setup helps with cross ventilation and double vents on the rainfly add an extra level of breathability. 

When used without the rainfly, the polyester/mesh construction of the tent body provides enough privacy for changing while keeping the sightlines open on top for epic star gazing opportunities. 

Media pockets directly above the sleep area with clean routing for headphones enable each individual to listen to or watch their own entertainment separately if so desired. 

Tech Specs

  • Trail Weight: 7 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Packed Weight: 7 lbs. 13 oz.
  • Packed Size: 8 inches x 22 inches
  • Floor Area: 60 square feet
  • Peak Height: 50 inches
  • Footprint: No

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Double doors and vestibules make the just-enough square footage feel roomier than it actually is
  • Pro: Solid breathability, even when packed with four adults
  • Pro: Decent trail weight. It’s not ultralight but it’s certainly manageable while hiking
  • Con: A little awkward to pack
Buy at Moosejaw

Best Brands for 4-Person Backpacking Tents

After more than 20 years backpacking and nearly 15 years covering backpacking gear reviews, I can promise that there are a lot of high-quality tent manufacturers out there who make solid 4-person backpacking tents. Big Agnes is known for ultralight and durable backpacking tents with the Copper Spur HV UL4 being one of the best options out there. Mountain Hardwear makes expedition-quality tents and the Trango 4 is one that I’ve personally taken on mountaineering trips for the past five years. MSR makes both backcountry and frontcountry tents highlighting ultralight and durable materials. 

On the affordable end, both Coleman and Mountainsmith are known for their lower prices and durable tents, although they do come with a bit of a weight penalty. Both the Mountainsmith Bear Creek and the Coleman Skydome will save you a lot of money, but they will be heavier on the trail.

What to Consider When Buying a 4-Person Backpacking Tent

  • Durable materials
  • Spaciousness on the interior
  • Peak height: will everyone be able to sit up inside or only those in the middle?
  • Number of vestibules
  • Are there any added features like interior pockets?
  • Does the tent breathe well?
  • Can it be easily pitched by yourself?

Should you opt for a single 4-person backpacking tent or two separate 2-person tents? The best 4-person backpacking tents not only protect everyone from the elements, but also help create a sense of camaraderie and provide enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably.

In some circumstances, you may opt for a pair of two-person tents to gain a bit of privacy and a sense of personal space in a group setting. This will also add flexibility when setting up camp and in situations where weight and size are crucial. It’s often easier to do this since each tent can be divided among all the backpacks, distributing the load more evenly.

A 4-person backpacking tent can excel in base camp situations. If you’re embarking on a multi-day hike, climb or even paddling adventure and plan to stay in one location for an extended period or don’t need to physically carry your tent each day, a 4-person tent can offer more comfort and space for relaxation. The same is true if your group is smaller than four people but you want some more room inside your tent each night. 

When choosing a 4-person backpacking tent, several key features should be considered to ensure you get a tent that meets your needs for protection, comfort, durability, and functionality. Some general features to look for are: seasonality, overall capacity, interior volume and headroom, number of doors and vestibules, level of weather resistance and adequate ventilation, ease of setup, long term durability, storage and organization, and of course price.

Why Trust Us

Amy Jurries is a longtime outdoor industry journalist with a specialty in outdoor gear. As a digital nomad, you can often find Jurries exploring the world on two feet or two wheels while spending her evenings perched in a tent somewhere. Some of her most epic adventures include bikepacking across Central Asia and the length of Jordan and backpacking the southernmost trek in the world on Navarino Island in Chile. Her work has been published in publications such as Outside, Backpacker, Red Bulletin, Afar, TripSavvy and more.


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