So you already know you want a 4-person tent to take car camping, but don’t know where to drop your money?
The tent market, particularly for car camping, has grown exponentially over the years. And while it gives you more options, it can also be a daunting task.
Tents range from relatively cheap to several hundred and even thousands of dollars, and no matter what your budget is, you want something that is ultimately going to keep you safe and dry.
We’ve tried and tested numerous tents over the years, from budget to premium and we know which ones are worth it and which ones to avoid.
So whether you’re after something basic to get your head down in at the end of a night, or something a little more home away from home, we’ve picked out the best of the bunch for you.
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for the best 4 person car camping tent.
7 best 4 person car camping tents
Built with convenience, durability, and livability at the forefront
The Gazelle T4 pop-up tent is both super durable and super easy to set up. Often times you will find that pop-up tents can be on the flimsy side. But the T4 is built to last.
Right out of the box the quality of the tent is apparent. The materials used are all top-notch, from the heavy-duty nylon floor to the beefy YKK zippers.
Many, if not most, car camping tents aren’t built with the quality materials often found in backpacking or other specialist tents (hence our need to write THIS article).
And one of the main giveaways is the quality of the zippers.
After only a couple uses the zippers break, and who needs a tent that doesn’t close up during that random bout of rain?
Speaking of rain. This tent DOES. NOT. LEAK. Not even in torrential downpour kind of rain.
The tent also features tonnes of windows for ample air movement and the removable floor means it’s easy to keep your tent clean and free from dirt and debris.
It can fit a queen-sized air mattress inside with plenty of room for bags at the end and enough room on either side to get in and out.
A high-quality car camping tent for cost-conscious campers
The Kelty Tallboy is one of the more traditionally shaped 4-person car camping tents to make the list.
However, as with all Kelty tents, the quality is unrivaled at the price point offered.
And despite its dome structure, with a peak height of 70″ (5′ 7), it’s substantially roomier than you might think.
With the rainfly off, the mesh ceiling provides stunning sky views for stargazing on a clear evening or just some extra airflow on a humid day. And just in case the rain does come out nowhere, the fly goes on and off quickly and easily.
The wide opening door is also perfect for allowing maximum airflow on a hot day, plus makes fitting (if you wish) a queen sized air mattress inside easy and hassle free.
Weighing in at just over 11 lbs, the tent can be put up quite easily alone, and in a flash with 2.
The 3 supplied fiberglass poles are strong and durable without adding lots of weight, and the integrated sleeves make set up and tear down a breeze.
“Stand up and enjoy the adventure” – Nemo Equipment
The Nemo Wagontop is a premium 4-person car camping tent.
So if you are looking for something that you can take on multiple trips per year, for many years to come, the Wagontop is as safe a bet as the Gazelle T4.
It also comes with a little extra room than the T4, but also costs more.
The tent features generous panoramic windows and doors for unrivaled views and superior ventilation. However, on cold and rainy nights everything shuts up tight to protect you from the elements.
One major advantage of the Wagontop over (too) many tents currently on the market, is that the windows can be opened and closed from the inside of the tent.
The tent is single-walled making it super easy to set up, but less suitable for any harsh weather such as long-lasting, torrential rain. It can handle intermittent bad weather no problem though.
It can fit a queen sized air bed in no problem, with decent space around all sides for storing items and getting in and out easily.
Cheap and (in the right weather) cheerful
The Coleman Instant Cabin is probably one of the best-selling tents of all time. If you go camping even semi-regularly you have probably seen one at your camp or festival site.
While it’s by no means the best 4 person car camping tent in the world, it’s popular for its price, ease of setup, and the well-known Coleman name.
If you are planning to go camping in good weather, the tent won’t steer you wrong, but if you think you may experience some bad weather including downpours and heavy winds, we’d definitely recommend other tents on this list.
But if budget and easiness are your main priority, and you aren’t looking for a tent to last you a lifetime, you won’t really find anything better than this at this price point (though if you can spend just a smidge more, we’d always recommend the Kelty Tallboy above this).
The tent just about fits a queen-sized air mattress inside, but leaves no floor space for belongings and walking around.
The tent literally does go up within 60 seconds, so massive props to Coleman for not over exaggerating the ease of setup.
The cheapest vertical walled tent on our list, with the highest peak height of any 4-person tent on the market
The Alps Mountaineering Camp Creek is the cheapest vertical walled tent on our list. But that doesn’t mean that the quality is subpar.
While the materials used aren’t quite to the standard of the likes of the Nemo Wagontop or Gazelle T4, for the price, it’s outstanding.
And will definitely last a good few years of multiple trips per year.
The fully removable rainfly is great for those rainy days and will ensure the inside of your tent stays dry as a bone and is as equally as useful on warm, clear nights where you can stargaze through the full mesh roof.
The four windows, mesh roof and large door give fantastic ventilation for allowing some much needed air flow on stifling days.
The tent actually features the tallest peak height of any 4-person tent we have tested at 84″ (7 feet). No more cricked necks for taller campers!
The tents’ hub design with pole clips makes for a super simple setup and can be up in as little as 8 minutes, even when working alone.
That’s pretty good going for such a large and unwieldy looking tent.
It can easily fit a queen-sized air bed, with tonnes of room on both sides and front for storage and getting in and out. Speaking of getting in and out, the large door makes coming and going a breeze.
For campers that appreciate a good nights sleep
The Coleman Dark Room Skydome is one of Coleman’s newer tents, first made available in 2020. Their newer range of tents appear to be of better quality than some that have been released over the years.
The Skydome offers fantastic weather protection and can withstand some decently strong winds and rain without collapsing or filling your tent with water.
But, let’s get to the main event – the dark room technology.
We’re gonna guess you want a darker tent for one of two reasons – you either have kids who need to sleep in or you enjoy late-night activities around the campfire that require a little head soothing the next day.
While there are a tonne of dark room tents available on the market, we really like the light balance of the Skydome.
It ensures complete darkness overnight but does allow in some light in the morning. So you won’t be completely oblivious about the time like in some tents, but it’s dark enough to allow you to sleep way past sunrise.
The tent can fit a queen sized air bed inside, but there won’t be any left over floor space for bags or getting in and out.
The pre-attached poles ensure set up and tear down is fast and easy and can be up in as little as 5 minutes once you get the hang of it.
A large, home from home tent with exceptional ceiling height and floor space
The Eureka! Jade Canyon X4 is the perfect home from home option for campers who like a bit of extra comfort.
Similar to the T4 and Wagontop, the materials on the Jade Canyon are second to none. From the thick, high-quality fly and outer to the strong and sturdy frame, this tent will see you through years of camping trips.
The rainfly extends out over the door to create a mini awning to create a dry entry porch, helping you keep the inside of your new tent clean.
Its open rainfly design ensures you will stay dry during rainstorms while allowing for maximum ventilation.
Speaking of ventilation the mesh floor-to-ceiling windows and door allow for constant airflow through your tent. Not to mention the stunning views.
The floor-to-ceiling door is also great for taller campers to easily get in and out of the tent without having to bend or crouch.
The Eureka! Jade Canyon is also one of the only tents to feature an e-port for feeding through your electrical cables. Not only that but it can be zippered closed if you are not using it and want to keep bugs or rain out.
Footprints are a must-have for any new tent purchase if you want to prolong the life of your tent. This is especially important for higher-end tents where you want them to last for years to come.
A footprint basically protects the floor of your tent from sharp and rough objects to avoid tears and punctures.