Last updated: August 10, 2021

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The right 4-person tent for you should not be missing on your next camping holiday, festival visit or hike with friends or family. The right choice of weight, tent type, material, waterproofness and handling are particularly important when buying a 4-person tent.

With our big 4 man tent test 2021 we want to help you find the best 4 man tent for you. To make it easier for you to decide which tent to buy, we have compared ridge tents, tunnel tents, dome tents, phram tents and throw tents with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • With 4 man tents you distinguish between different types of tents. Each tent has its advantages and disadvantages. The dome tent, for example, is a tent that is very well suited for difficult ground. Hikers therefore prefer this type of tent. Throw tents, on the other hand, are particularly popular with festival visitors. They are easy to pitch and have a light weight.
  • Before you buy a 4 man tent, you should pay attention to certain purchase and evaluation criteria. These include the type of tent, weight, material, water column and handling.
  • Tents for 4 people can be bought both in online shops and in retail shops. However, the price range is very high.

The Best 4 Man Tent: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for 4 man tents

In the following section you will learn which aspects you should consider when buying a 4 man tent.

In summary, these are:

In the individual paragraphs we explain what is important for the individual criteria.

Tent type

Before buying a 4 man tent, you should be clear about the occasion for which you need the tent. Whether you are planning a camping or family holiday, going on an expedition or just want to pitch it outdoors, you need to get the right tent for the occasion.

The 4 man tent should be chosen to suit your activity.

For example, if you are going to a festival, you will buy an outdoor or camping tent.

If you are going fishing, an outdoor tent will be a better choice. On a mountain trip, you will want to make sure that the tent is not too heavy to lug around.

Of course, the weather also plays an important role in choosing the type of cell. In rain, wind or storms, you should pay attention to the water column of the tent. It should have a density of at least 8,000 mm.

Weight

When it comes to weight, the question is how you can transport the 4-person tent. Will you cycle it, walk it or take it by car? Depending on what options you have for transport, the weight will have a strong influence on your purchase decision.

Material

The material is a very important purchase criterion for 4 man tents. The material is decisive for the weight and water permeability of the tent. For this reason, tents are nowadays made of polyester and polyamide. In addition, some tents have coatings made of silicone, polyurethane or PVC.

Polyamide tents are particularly cheap and light.

Good outer tents made of polyester or polyamide must be tear-resistant, protect against UV rays, be waterproof and protect against heat and cold.

UV rays penetrate more in a tent made of polyamide than in a polyester tent. The polyester tent is also more resistant to travel. The coating of a polyamide tent, on the other hand, is higher.

Polyamide tents stretch easily and therefore need to be re-tensioned more often.

A polyester tent absorbs much less moisture, therefore dries faster and is easier to take down after a rain shower. One disadvantage of polyester is that it rattles loudly in strong winds if the awning is not fastened correctly.

Water column

The water column indicates how waterproof the 4 man tent is. It is measured in mm.

The lower limit of a waterproof tent is a water column of 1300mm. When buying a tent, however, a water column of 3000mm or more is recommended.

Handling

The handling of a 4-man tent plays a major role in pitching. How easy the tent is to carry and how quickly it is erected depends on various factors.

Has the manufacturer made the effort to make the 4 person tent as easy to carry as possible? This means whether the handles on the tent are large enough or whether the tent can be easily grasped on foot when it is closed.

How well zips run and whether they pinch cover strips is also part of a well-tested tent.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a 4 man tent

In the following guide, we want to answer the most important questions about 4 man tents. We have dealt with the most important questions and will answer them shortly. After you have read through the guide, you will be aware of all the most important information about tents for 4 people.

What is special about a 4 man tent and what advantages does it offer?

Tents for four people are suitable for group and family trips. You pitch a 4 man tent after a long hike in the middle of nature, you can put it on a campsite and enjoy the time with your loved ones or take the tent to a festival.

At the same time, a 4 person tent protects you from rain, wind and cold. In summer, certain tents have the advantage of reducing the heat.

Some 4 person tents are lightweight and can be taken anywhere.

What types of 4 man tents are there?

When it comes to tents for four people, many types of tents differ from each other. In the following, the most popular 4 man tents are described in more detail and their advantages and disadvantages are analysed.

Dome Tents

Dome tents

The dome tent, also called an “igloo tent”, is a free-standing tent, which means you do not have to brace it. It is particularly suitable for difficult ground (stones, gravel). This type of tent is particularly popular with hikers.

4 Mann Zelt-1

The dome tent is suitable for any ground and is particularly popular with hikers. It is quick and relatively easy to pitch.
(Image source: baranq/ 123rf.com)

The dome tent consists of two pole arches that cross in the middle. The outer tent is thrown over the inner tent and it is set up. In heavy rain, however, you have to be quick when pitching, otherwise the inner tent may already be wet before you have even thrown the outer tent over it.

Advantages
  • freestanding
  • suitable for difficult ground
  • easy to pitch
  • inexpensive
  • lightweight
  • good ventilation
Disadvantages
  • Space available
  • low height
  • the right pegs, depending on the ground
  • low wind stability

Due to its simple construction, the dome tent is cheaper than, for example, the tunnel tent. The weight of the dome tent is therefore also low, and you can move it around without any problems even when it is pitched.

Because of the sloping walls, you have much less space in the dome tent than in the tunnel tent.

The height of the dome tent is somewhat low. Especially on longer tours, the constant bending can be uncomfortable in the long run.

Another advantage of the dome tent is the ventilation. In summer it keeps you cool and protects you from mosquitoes. In contrast to the tunnel tent, however, the dome tent is not particularly wind-resistant.

Tunnel Tents

Tunnel tents

As the name suggests, this tent is shaped like a tunnel. This type of tent is particularly popular for trekking. Tunnel tents have their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • wind-stable when pitched correctly
  • large space
  • light weight
  • easy to pitch
  • pleasant comfort
Disadvantages
  • not free-standing
  • correct tensioning, otherwise the cross-roof sags
  • lots of space
  • stuffy air

In principle, you should always pitch a tunnel tent in the direction of the wind so that the wind does not hit the wider surface. However, if you pitch the tunnel tent so that it faces the cross side, it could fly away in strong winds. If you pitch it correctly, a tunnel tent is known to be wind-resistant.

One disadvantage is that this type of tent is not free-standing. To give the tunnel tent the necessary stability, you have to brace it both lengthwise and crosswise. Otherwise the tent roof could sag. However, tensioning has a disadvantage, because you need a lot of space for the guy ropes.

Unlike a dome tent, a tunnel tent tends to get stuffy in summer when temperatures are high.

One advantage of the tunnel tent is its spaciousness. Unlike the dome tent, for example, you have far more space in the tunnel tent.

In relation to the spaciousness or space, the tunnel tent is known for its light weight. So if you want to carry less, you are on the right side with a tunnel tent.

The inner and outer tents of a tunnel tent are usually joined together. This makes it easier to pitch. A 4-man tunnel tent is very comfortable because you can both sit and stand in it. Tunnel tents have a spacious vestibule so that you can safely stow your luggage in the rain and keep it dry.

Throw Tents

Throw tents

If you don’t like to waste too much time camping, a throw tent is the perfect choice for you. Throw tents are self-erecting tents. They are also very popular at festivals.

Advantages
  • easy to pitch
  • lightweight construction
  • cheap
Disadvantages
  • complicated to take down
  • unwieldy to transport
  • compressed interior

Setting up a 4 man roll tent is relatively easy. All you have to do is unpack it, loosen the safety straps and throw it into the air. Due to the constant tension, the tent will pitch itself. In addition, you should secure a throw tent with pegs and guy ropes to keep it as stable as possible.

However, taking down a roll-up tent is anything but easy. You have to pay attention to the correct folding technique.

Every roll tent has its own way of folding. It is important that you follow the instructions.

Due to the ceiling height of approx. 105 centimetres, the interior of the roll tent is quite compressed. Throw tents are inexpensive compared to other tents. In the online shop you can find tents for as little as €35. The more qualitative ones do not exceed 50 €.

Ridge Tents

Ridge tents

The ridge tent (colloquially: “dachshund garage”) is a very old type of tent and is well suited to retro camping fans and minimalists. The braced triangular tent is held up lengthwise with two vertical tent poles.

Advantages
  • quick to set up
  • very light
  • easy
Disadvantages
  • small space capacity
  • susceptible to wind
  • not freestanding

Ridge tents are susceptible to wind, so not advisable for windy places. Ridge tents are not free-standing.

Unlike the tunnel tent, the ridge tent has poor space utilisation. This is because the tent roof is pitched at a 45 degree angle to the ground.

Due to its design, the ridge tent is very light and easy to carry.

Phram Tents

Phram tents

The brag tent is very popular among night anglers. The small fishing tent has a semi-circular shape. In angling parlance, the bog tent is called a “bivy”.

Advantages
  • free-standing
  • easy to set up and take down
  • wind and rain safe
  • stable and tear-resistant material
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for hiking, trekking tours
  • heavy weight

The Phram tent is free-standing. It has 3 poles and is therefore easy to set up and take down.

4 Mann Zelt-2

Due to its ease of pitching and dismantling, the phram tent is very popular with night fishermen. This type of tent is not suitable for longer trips, such as hiking, because it is relatively heavy.
(Image source: soloway/ 123rf.com)

4 man phram tents are protected from wind and rain. Overall, the material of the phram tent is very strong and tear-resistant. Phram tents are not recommended for hiking or trekking tours. Because the weight of this 4 man tent is relatively heavy, it is not suitable for long tours.

Who are 4 man tents suitable for?

4 man tents are particularly suitable for people who like to go to festivals, plan a camping holiday or attend group events.

What does a 4 man tent cost?

There is no general price for a 4 man tent. You have to consider various factors when choosing a tent. Depending on the duration, occasion of the tour and ground/weather situation, you will come to a shortlist of choices for the tent. Basically, 4-person tents cost from €45 to around €1200.

Type Price (from- to)
Pop Up Tent 130 € - 600 €
Throw tent 60 € - 150 €

How big are 4 man tents as a rule?

The size of a 4 man tent depends on the type of tent. Depending on which type you choose, there will be a suitable size. Examples of tent sizes for 4 people, which can vary, are:

Type Size (from- to)
Dome tent 375 cm x 250 cm x 110 cm
Ridge tent 195 cm x 205 cm x 130 cm
Tunnel tent 480 cm x 230 cm x 170 cm
Phama tent 505 cm x 300 cm x 190 cm

What kind of water column should a 4 man tent have?

The water column for a 4 man tent indicates how watertight a tent should be. A tent with a water column of 1,500 mm or more is considered waterproof for a short period of time.

However, it is recommended to buy a 4 man tent with a water column of 3,000 mm on the outer walls and 8,000 mm on the floor.

Image source: bbbar/ 123rf.com

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