The best four-person tents for camping in the UK

For small groups, families, or couples wanting extra space, this is your ultimate buyer's guide to four-person tents for UK camping.

Looking out of a tent while camping

by Chris Williams |

Four-person tents are almost as varied as four-bedroom houses in terms of design. Like residential architecture, tents are designed to blend function and form, but perhaps with a larger emphasis on function.

As such, when hunting around for a new tent it’s important to understand the features of individual tents. For example, some are designed to give as much space as possible; some to be as light as possible; some go the extra length in having extra dark bedrooms; some put easy pitching first. There are so many options it can get overwhelming. It can start as an exciting undertaking, but tent shopping can often become tiresome and laborious.

That is why we have created the ultimate buyer’s guide to four-person tents. Here, all your questions will be answered, from which four-man tents are best, to what waterproof ratings mean. Our comprehensive shortlist of the best four-person tents includes budget-friendly options, spacious designs, and more rugged options designed for harsher conditions.

The best four-man tents

Coleman Coastline 4 Deluxe

Coleman Coastline 4 Deluxe
©Coleman

Coleman Coastline 4 Deluxe

Coleman Coastline 4 Deluxe
Amazon

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Summary: A simple tunnel tent with two bedrooms and a front room. It is easy to pitch and casual campers will adore the generous headroom.

Specs:

Tunnel style

Two bedrooms and front room

Waterproof: 3000mm HH fly, continuous welded polyethylene tarpaulin floor

Outer dimensions: 420cm (L), 290cm (W), 200cm (H)

Weight: 13.5kg

Verdict:

This is a well-priced tent with lots of space and will stand the test of time because the Coleman brand has proven itself over the years. We like that it provides SPF50+ sun protection too.

Trail Outdoor Leisure Hartland 4 Man

Trail Outdoor Leisure Hartland 4 Man
©Trail Outdoor Leisure

Trail Outdoor Leisure Hartland 4 Man

Trail Outdoor Leisure Hartland 4 Man

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Tried and Tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "Trying new things as a family can be tricky - you don't want to spend hundreds of pounds on an activity when you're not 100% sure the kids will enjoy it, but if you budget too little and end up with something flimsy and unsubstantial, then you can guarantee nobody will have a good time.

"Much like its Portofino stand-up paddleboard that we reviewed, Trail Outdoor Leisure's Hartland four man tent is everything you need to get started without compromising on price or quality.

"My wife, two kids and I went camping in this tent during the summer - it was easy to pitch, spacious enough inside for all our kit, and felt like it was constructed to last for more than one holiday. Tents at the lower end of the price spectrum can often feel like they are disposable items but the Hartman's seams and zips are robust.

"The groundsheet isn't sewn in and space-wise the rooms are a little tight for taller campers (I'm 6 foot 2 and just about fit) but otherwise we got on just fine, the kids and both parents enjoying a decent night's sleep in a warm and dry tent.

"It takes up a fair bit of room when packed away but on the flip side of this it's not a total pain in the neck to put back in the bag. Everything fits neatly without having to be installed in a specific order. A bit basic compared to some of the fancier items on this list but rock-solid and dependable nonetheless."

Specs:

Tunnel style

2 two-person bedrooms and living room

Waterproof: 3000mm HH fly

Outer dimensions: 420cm (L), 210cm (W), 140/115cm (H)

Weight: 6.5kg

Verdict

Buy if you're unsure camping is the holiday of choice for you and want to test the waters before committing to a more expensive model, or you need something no-frills for occasional use.

Vango Icarus 500DLX

Vango Icarus 500DLX
©Vango

Vango Icarus 500DLX

Vango Icarus 500DLX

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Summary: A similar design to the Coleman Coastline, but a bit bigger. Thanks to its higher waterproof rating, there is extra piece of mind if the heavens open on your camping trip.

Specs:

Tunnel style

2 bedrooms (one 3-person, one 2-person) and front room

Waterproof: 4000mm HH fly, 10,000mm HH groundsheet

Outer dimensions: 465cm (L), 315cm (W), 195cm (H)

Weight: 14.8kg

Verdict:

Classed as a five-person, the Icarus 500 has an extra bit of space for people who want it. It’s good value and the lighter shade of green on the roof is an excellent touch to reduce heat absorption.

Vango Cosmos 400

Vango Cosmos 400
©Vango

Vango Cosmos 400

Vango Cosmos 400

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Summary: A geodesic tent that has extra stability to deal with bad weather thanks to its extra poles. Itu2019s the ideal four-person tent for groups or families who camp in places prone to slightly more enthusiastic weather, or exploring couples who desire extra space. The Vango Cosmos is currently out of stock, but you can find the Vango Carron 400 here as an alternative****.

Specs:

Geodesic style

One bedroom (with a toggled divider) and front room

Waterproof: 5000mm HH fly, 6000mm HH groundsheet

Outer dimensions: 420cm (L), 265cm (W), 190cm (H)

Weight: 9.2kg

Verdict:

We recommend this tent to groups who camp beyond a sheltered camping ground. It’s impressively light for a four-man tent and is able to maintain very respectable interior space.

Robens Vista 400

Robens Vista 400
©Robens

Robens Vista 400

Robens Vista 400

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Summary: A luxurious feel to the quality of this tent makes it very attractive for longer camping trips. The poles/tubes are inflated with air for easy pitching. Large windows in the front room help aid the feeling of space.

Specs:

Inflatable tunnel style

One bedroom and front room

Waterproof: HydroTex® Polycotton, 10,000mm HH groundsheet

Outer dimensions: 480cm (L), 230cm (W), 195cm (H)

Weight: 18.6kg

Verdict:

A heavy but a thoroughly comfortable tent. It’s a generous size for four people and it has the best front room of all the tents here.

Vango Beta 450XL

Vango Beta 450XL
©Vango

Vango Beta 450XL

Vango Beta 450XL
Amazon

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Summary: The go-to four-person tent for anyone wishing to stick to a budget. It has impressive space and a good waterproof rating. Itu2019s light too which makes it great for quick weekends away.

Specs:

Tunnel style

One bedroom and front room

Waterproof: 3000mm HH fly, waterproof polyethylene groundsheet

Outer dimensions: 480cm (L), 265 cm (W), 155cm (H)

Weight: 7.9kg

Verdict:

For anyone breaking into the world of camping, this is a great option. It’s quite low which may put some people off but it means it doesn’t catch the wind so much. We love how light it is, its value, and its darkened bedroom.

Eurohike Air 400

Eurohike Air 400
©Eurohike

Eurohike Air 400

Eurohike Air 400

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Summary: An inflatable tent that has an attractive price tag. Super easy to put up with some exertion from a pump. A light and spacious front room when opened up and a dark bedroom for uninterrupted sleep.

Specs:

Tunnel style

One bedroom (with a divider) and front room

Waterproof: 4000mm HH fly, 3000mm HH groundsheet

Outer dimensions: 465cm (L), 265cm (W), 195cm (H)

Weight: 14.7kg

Verdict:

If you desire an inflatable tent but baulk at the price of many, this option gives you savings without compromising too much on specs. Though we definitely recommend using this tent with a tarpaulin under the floor for extra waterproofing.

Coleman FastPitch Air Valdes 4

Coleman FastPitch Air Valdes 4
©Coleman

Coleman FastPitch Air Valdes 4

Coleman FastPitch Air Valdes 4

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Summary: A full-size family tent for the annual summer camping trip. Ample space, horizontal and vertical; blackout bedrooms; and easy to pitch.

Specs:

Large tunnel style

Two bedrooms, one front room, and a porch

Waterproof: 4500mm HH fly, waterproof polyethylene groundsheet

Outer dimensions: 610cm (L), 300cm (W), 200cm (H)

Weight: 20.8kg

Verdict:

If, above all else, you want space for the family, this is your best option. For the size, you get great value for money. Its best features are the darkened bedrooms, side door on the front room, and excellent liveability for long camps.

Fjallraven Abisko Endurance 4

Fjallraven Abisko Endurance 4
©Fjallraven

Fjallraven Abisko Endurance 4

Fjallraven Abisko Endurance 4

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Summary: A different beast from the rest. A large but ultralight technical tent built to deal with surly weather. For a group of hikers wanting a single tent for space-saving purposes. Itu2019s much lower than the other tunnel tents and uses two fly fabrics in the lower section of the tent to improve abrasion resistance.

Specs:

Low-profile tunnel style

One bedroom and front room

Waterproof: 3000mm HH fly, 6000mm HH floor

Outer dimensions: 540cm (L), 240cm (W), 125cm (H)

Weight: 4.4kg

Verdict:

Packed down, this tent is 21cm x 44cm making it amazingly compact for its size. We only recommend this to folks keen on camping in rugged places off the beaten track. We love how easy it is to pitch, how durable it is, and is well worth the investment for those who would suit it.

FAQs and tent buying advice

Waterproof ratings explained

Like fill power with down insulation, waterproof ratings are very simple but widely misunderstood – or not known at all. All the tents you see here use hydrostatic head as a means of showing how waterproof the fabric is. Hydrostatic head is the industry standard for measuring waterproof fabrics; the waterproof fabrics used for tents, or waterproof jackets, and so on.

The figure given (for example, 3000mm), indicates how high a column of water sitting on the fabric would need to be before water begins seeping through. It’s perhaps a slightly odd thing, but it’s an effective means of measurement. It’s all to do with pressure. Obviously, testing labs don’t actually use such volumes of water, they use machines that apply downward pressure. Thus, a tent with a hydrostatic head rating of 3000mm can withstand a three-metre column of water before it leaks through. Sounds like a lot, but see below for our guide to waterproof ratings:

1000mm: Will keep out light rain – more water resistant than waterproof

2000mm: Waterproof. Will keep out rain.

4000mm: Will withstand fairly heavy rain.

10,000mm+: Is what you should expect in hiking and ski jackets. They have to deal with rain and snow but also the extra pressure applied by backpack straps and so on.

For tents, a minimum of 2000mm is what you want. And don’t forget that the floor should have a higher rating because it has the extra pressure of you and your gear pressing down on it.

Tent shapes explained

Tunnel tents are very popular with weekend and summer campers because they are easy to pitch and provide a lot of space inside (vertical and horizontal). Most of our picks are tunnel-style tents and you can distinguish which these are by their half-cylinder shape. Whether using traditional poles or an inflatable design, tunnel tents are easy to split into multiple rooms and are very popular with families for this reason. They are fast replacing dome-type tents because tunnel tents are a bit more weather-resistant too.

Features of tunnel tents:

Easy pitching

Spacious

Heavy when packed down

More weather resistant than dome tents but aren’t too happy in drenching rain either.

Dome tents are very popular with causal campers too. However, none have made it to our shortlist because we have found that the new tunnel tents edge them out in terms of performance.

Features of dome tents:

Cheap

Fairly light

Unstable in bad weather

Have single zones only and no entrance/porch

Geodesic tents are kind of like upgraded dome tents. They have extra criss-crossing support poles which makes them much more adept at dealing with high winds. Because they are designed to cope with harsher weather, geodesic tents sacrifice space, are a little more complex to pitch than other styles. They are wonderful for those camping in more extreme environments but less suitable for casual campers and families.

Features of geodesic tents:

Capable in harsh weather

Lightweight

Generally unsuitable for casual camping

Often a pricier option

Tipi/pyramid tents are defined by their tall central pole. They come in big range of sizes and are used lightweight hiking tents, but more recently have found favour with those seeking the glamping experience. They are fairly easy to put up and even stand up well against the elements, but inside space cannot compete with that of tunnel tents.

Tipi/pyramid tent features:

Easy to pitch

Vast range of sizes

Deal well with bad weather

Sloped walls rob interior space

Some come without a floor

Useful extras for tents and camping

High-Strength Steel Tent Pegs

High-Strength Steel Tent Pegs
Amazon

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Frequent campers often run into trouble with supplied tent pegs pulling from the ground when the wind gets up or bending out of shape over time. These ribbed steel pegs will solve these issues and hold your tent down like a magnet. They are 10mm thick and 290mm long with a sharp pointed end for piercing hard ground or stones.

Silverline Waterproof Tarpaulin

Silverline Tarpaulin
Amazon

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A tarpaulin is a must for campers pitching for a decent length of time. Put underneath the floor of your tent, a tarpaulin gives extra underfloor waterproofing and keeps the underside of the tent cleaner.

Goal Zero Crush Light

Goal Zero Crush Light
Amazon

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Goal Zero is an innovative and growing American company that strives to deliver amazing power solutions in far flung corners of the world. The companyu2019s vision began in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008 where it developed power products to rural communities with no access to electricity or power.

Goal Zero’s Crush Light is affordable and brilliant. It’s collapsible with several brightness settings up to 60 lumens. You can get up to 35 hours of run time and the lamp is easily rechargeable, either from the solar panel on top or by plugging in a micro USB (supplied).

Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern & USB Power Hub

Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern & USB Power Hub
Amazon

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This is both a lantern and a power bank. It has a brightness up to 400 lumens u2013 hang it up or put it on a surface with its adjustable legs. You can have one side lit, or both giving all-round 360-degree light. Depending on settings, you can get up to 48 hours run time.

There is also a 4,400mAh battery and a USB output that allows you to charge devices too. The lantern itself can be recharged via USB or by using the crank handle on top.

powkey 60W 12-18V Portable Solar Panel, Solar Charger with USB C

powkey 60W 12-18V Portable Solar Pane
Amazon

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If you are heading somewhere where mains electricity is not available, a portable solar panel is a great essential. At about 300g, this Powkey one is lightweight and charges devices via a USB output.

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Chris Williams is a Commercial Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in autos and the outdoors. He also writes for Live For The Outdoors, Car and Parkers.

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