Buying a tent can be a similar experience to purchasing a bottle of wine, myriads of choices and only a few options that are worth your penny.
That being said, making your selection just based on some reviews on an e-commerce website isn’t likely to help you. With so many options and different types of tents to choose from, knowing the kind of tent that is tailored to compliment your hiking journey is highly imperative.
The final choice can also be altered by factors like budget, arch-support, design etcetera.
Good news for all the gear junkies! We have an offering for everyone.
We tested three of the best-selling products and found the Marmot Tungsten 4P Tent to be the best freestanding tent for someone on the lookout of highly versatile and durable tents.
Keep on reading to find out more about what these 4 person hiking tents have to offer and how you can avoid some of the mistakes that novices make when making their purchase.
Best Products at a Glance
|Marmot Tungsten 4P Tent
Seam-taped catenary cut floor
Easy-pitch clips for faster setup
|ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent
Aluminum two-pole design
|Kelty Late Start Tent
Robust build, water-resistant
Comes with plenty of accessory pockets
Marmot Tungsten 4P Tent – Best Overall
- 52 x 82 x 93 in
- 2 Doors
- Comes with a footprint
- 4.9m Sq area
- Tightly seamed polyester build
This tent checks off all the boxes in terms of functionality while offering generous floor area. Weighing in at 3.96kg, it’s 4.9 sq meter carpet can lodge upto four people easily.
As for the build, his tent is manufactured using an amalgamation of 68D fabric for the canopy and 40D for the mesh. Setting up the Tungsten 4P is no less than a cakewalk. It comes with 4 poles which form an X -shaped structure along with vertical sidewalls.
The color coded clips and per-bent pole sections at the bottom allow you to set this up in less than 5 minutes. Furthermore, the rain fly has some vents aiding easy ventilation coupled with a lamp shade pocket and some minimalistic interior pockets.
Even though this tent is rated to be waterproof, it is crucial to note that it is only a three season tent and can handle all your short backpacking ventures with ease.
Additionally, if you happen to have a car nearby while camping, its custom fit footprint may also come quite handy.
- Easy installation
- Reputable brand
- On the heavy side
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent – Best Economy
- 3.91 kg weight
- Double walled tent for ample airflow
- 2 doors
- 23.5 x 7 inches
This roomy tent could be the ideal pick for someone who doesn’t want to burn a hole in their pocket. It comes with plenty of clips which help the user to put the poles together. All you need to do is just lay out the tent and connect the poles using the clips provided.
It’s dome structure holds up quite well during strong winds and has enough room for 3-4 people. Strong seams, 75D185T material and premium quality zippers add to the longevity of the product.
- Poles made up of 7000 series aluminum
- 2 mesh pockets and vestibules
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Affordable pricing
- It has a maximum height of just 132cm
- The guy cord wires are complex
There’s no assembly frustration with our Lynx Tent series; this free-standing, aluminum two-pole design is a breeze to setup.
Polyester tent fly resists water and UV damage while adding two vestibules for extra storage space.
Fully equipped with #8 zippers, storage pockets, gear loft, stakes, guy ropes and two doorways.
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent is on our best sellers list; it’s a must-have for your next adventure.
Base Size: 7’6 x 8’6, Center Height: 52″, Total Weight: 8lbs 7oz., Minimum Weight: 7 lbs. 15 oz., Color: Clay/Rust.
Kelty Late Start Tent – Best Lightweight
- 2.9 kg weight
- Easy setup with quick corner technology
- One door
- Available colours: Grey, Blue
- Aluminum Stakes
For backpackers who are seeking a small, lightweight tent that is appropriate for long periods of time in the wilderness, the Kelty Late Start Tent could be the perfect option. In addition to having a centre height of 48 inches, and 56 sq. feet of area, this one door tent can easily accommodate your family.
This tent also comes with pre-bent aluminum poles that increase the room inside it. The wall is made up of No-see-um mesh coupled with 68 denier fabric floor.
To keep all the dirt and insects at bay, all the seams have also been raised. The color coded fly-attachment supported by their quick-corner technology makes setting it up a breeze.
- Capable of standing on any type of surface handling its own weight
- Includes an extra space to store shoes and other important stuff
- Affordable and available in different sizes
- Made of mesh fabric which allows maximum air movement
- Only consists on one door
- Not suitable for camping in winters
Updated Version of Kelty Salida Tent.
The tent measures 99” x 81”, giving you an interior area of 55. 7 square feet. The peak height is 56 inches. There is a single vestibule protecting 9. 14 square feet of storage space.
The two aluminum poles are pre-bent to create extra room inside the tent. Pockets at each corner of the tent keep one end of the pole secure as you move around to deal with the other end.
The tent has a single door. The walls are No-see-um mesh and the floor is tough 68 denier fabric, water resistant to 1800 mm. Internal storage includes a ceiling pocket.
The tent body is protected by a waterproof 68 denier rainfly. All seams are sealed to keep the water out. The freestanding design means you can pitch the tent and then move it around to find the best site.
Most tents can easily fit upto three people while also granting some stretching space in the morning without any fuss. However, the tents that are marketed as 4-branded tents usually do not weigh in factors like keeping additional gear, comfortable breathing room etc.
If you are a group of four people, then going for a 6 person tent would be a safer choice if you can’t do with the snug space.
While most of the tents we reviewed were 3-season or all-rounders, you can also get something which is tailored to suit your surroundings better. For instance, getting a summer tent that comes with lightweight and breathable material will be good for you if you plan on hiking in hotter climates.
Winter tents on the other hand, are made of different material to keep the inner temperature up by a few degrees.
Here are some common terminologies which you should know about in order to identify the kind of materials used. The most popular finishes for fly sheets are polyester and nylon. Nylon is better than the former in most cases but also comes at a higher price.
You can also opt for a silicon coaching to protect your material from water damage. As for the poles and the zips, you should ensure that they are made out of non-rusty material.
This factor will affect you if based on where you might want to camp. In order to commune with your tents on the roof of your car, you should also be able to pick it up without causing too much strain to your body.
A flooring will prohibit any kind of moisture or dirt to seep into your tent. This material fits right beneath your tent and protects it against abrasions.
While many manufacturers offer a free flooring along with their tent, you should always look out for the durability of its materials.
Features like dual doors, aluminum pegs and poles, the number of windows and storage pockets also add up to making a robust and long-lasting tent. On the aesthetic front, going for something with a bright look might be the safer choice as then it can be distinguished easily from a distance in case of any emergencies.
Now that you know the tidbits of the selection process, there’s nothing that can stop you from wandering onto the beautiful 5-billion star hotels around the world.
To sum up, if you are on a budget then the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx should be your go-to option. However, if you want a tent that is best in terms of functionality, then we would recommend purchasing the Marmot Tungsten 4P Tent without a doubt.
After you have brought the tent home, we recommend setting it up once in the backyard so that you get a better idea of the basics, rainfly fitting, assembling/disassembling etc so that you have no problems when you hit the trail later.
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