Finding a quality 4 man tent to sleep in as a family is important.
But first, you need to decide if you want to have a bit more space? Is cost a factor? Do you want a 4 person tent that will also double as a backcountry tent for your family? Does the early morning light or late sunset mess up the whole families sleep?
Before I dive in, some people just want to know our tent recommendations. So here you go.
Just need our recommendation
We used to recommend the Camper 4 Person Tent for Backcountry camping because it meets the ideal balance between being affordable, lightweight, and durable. Unfortunately it is discontinued.
We now recommend the MEC OHM 4 Man Tent. Please note that is is 1 to 3 pounds heavier than top of the line backcountry tents but with the weight per cost ratio, it is a pretty darn good option. It is also less weight than many other more expensive backcountry options which makes it a great buy.
Purchase the MEC OHM 4 MAN TENT here.
The foot print is sold separately here.
Not technically a 4 person tent, but if you want something bigger than the Camper 4-person, then we recommend the Big Agnes House 6 for car camping.
You can stand up in the tent and it is durable. It also fits a queen size mattress with a bassinet and chair for breastfeeding if needed! Yes, we put all that in our tent.
Purchase the Big Agnes House 6 here.
(If the Big Agnes House 6 is out of stock (which is happening with a lot of gear these days), consider the 4-person Big Agnes Bunk House or the Big Agnes House 4. The Bunk House option offers more protection from the elements but is $100 more expensive.
- More about our current backcountry and car camping tents
- Budget friendly 4 man car camping tent
- Budget friendly 6 person tent that blocks light
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Our Backcountry and Car Camping Tents
Camper 4 Person Tent – Budget Friendly Backcountry and car camping tent
We really like the Camper 4 Person Tent. It is lightweight, durable, and was less expensive than many other backcountry tents while still using high quality materials.
The aluminum poles strike the perfect balance between being strong but still managing to be lightweight!
Two doors allows for outdoor access from either side of the tent.
DryBase waterproof floor prevents water from coming in. The structure of the poles and the rainfly provide a strong resistance against the worst elements.
We use the Camper 4 Person Tent for backcountry tenting only, but it is actually known for being a good car camping tent as well!
With two adults, and two little kids we are able to sleep comfortably. When we backcountry camp with our dog along it will be a little bit cozier but we will all stay warm.
I actually almost never found the Camper 4 Person tent because it did not appear when I searched for the 4 person backcountry tent on the MEC website. It only appeared as a car camping tent.
However, as you read the description, reviews, and check out the size/weight of the tent, you realize that it is rivals other “designated” backcountry tents.
Many top quality backcountry 4 person tents are 7 pounds but the Camper 4 Person is just over 8 pounds. The extra weight is not that significant especially since the tent is $100-400 cheaper.
Unfortunately the Camper 4 Person Tent has been discontinued. We now recommend the MEC OHM 4 Man Tent instead. The foot print is sold separately here.
Big Agnes House 6 – Best Car Camping Tent
Our go-to car camping tent is the Big Agnes House 6. I love that you can stand up in the tent, it is durable, and spacious! It is also easy to set up and take down.
We are not the only ones that love the Big Agnes House 6. This tent now shows up in most Top Tents in 2020 posts.
Our experience with the tent.
We have owned two older models of the Big Agnes 6. I ended up selling the one we had for 5 years to a friend that was having a baby because we were gifted a special edition Big Agnes House 6 tent during one of our collaborations with Burton.
We used our Big Agnes House 6 for all our camping trips last year. Over the 6 weeks of car camping we did in 2020, the tent held up during rain, wind, thunderstorms, and even a little bit of hail.
Other interesting facts about the Big Agnes House 6.
I enjoyed camping while sleeping on a queen sized blow up mattress when I was 36 weeks pregnant! I had my daughter a week later. After she was born, we fit in a camp chair for breastfeeding and a bassinet and/or play pen!
The downside is that the Big Agnes is expensive. If you need something a little less expensive then check out our budget friendly options!
Purchase the Big Agnes House 6 Tent here.
If the Big Agnes House 6 is out of stock (which is happening with a lot of gear these days), consider the 4-person Big Agnes Bunk House or the Big Agnes House 4. The Bunk House option offers more protection from the elements but is $100 more expensive.
Coleman Skydome – Budget friendly 4 man car camping tent
Do not let the need to have the best tent on the market keep you from camping.
The Coleman Skydome is a budget friendly tent.
The 4 person Coleman tent runs at $102.00 CAD. If you want a little bit more room then choose the 6 man tent that runs at $166.09.
The tent withstands winds up to 35 mph and will keep you dry. It is easy to set up as the poles are attached to the tent fabric and clip into place. The attachment of the poles to the tent fabric can be seen as a downside.
Since the poles are attached to the tent, you will need to replace the whole tent if a single pole breaks. The tent is also heavy. Do not expect to enjoy using this tent on a backcountry trip.
Purchase the Coleman Skydome here.
Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6-Person Dark Room Tent – Budget friendly 6 person tent that blocks light
Sleep while camping can be a huge issue for families. Kids can become used to the light, but in some areas where there are no trees, the light can make it feel like daytime at 5 am!
When we did our 6-weeks of camping last summer, we had to clip in some darkening curtains inside of our Big Agnes House 6 tent to keep it dark. I just was not sleeping well and the light coming in was strong where we were camping. The prairies in Saskatchewan do not always have an abundance of trees.
With the Colemen Carlsbad Fast Pitch, you don’t need to worry so much about the light coming in!
Coleman made this tent that blocks out 98% of the light.
I did kind of think to myself “why has no one ever done this before?” because having a tent that blocks out the light is an amazing idea. Honestly, it sucks when kids wake up at 6 am or cannot go to sleep until 11 pm because it is light as day outside.
Someone up to 5″8 can stand up in the centre of the tent. Also, the tent can fit about one queen size blow up mattress and a double bed blow up mattress. This configuration would be a very very tight fit.
The tent is rainproof and bug proof when zipped up. However, the extra bug area that is attached to the front entrance is not rainproof do don’t leave anything in that middle area overnight. Also, if the bugs are really bad then expect some bugs to sneak into the bug area. The tent will not allow any bugs in if it is zipped up properly.
Purchase the Coleman Carlsbad Pitch 6 here.
Improving the Family Camping Experience
Some families may enjoy having a camping bed for their baby to use while sleeping in the tent.
To stay warm during those colder nights consider one of these tent heaters.
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