So you’ve taken your family and friends to the wild outdoors for a leisurely weekend of camping. Maybe you weren’t paying attention. Or the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse. But what you did end up with was damage to your precious shelter, your home away from home, your tent. Maybe a tree branch punctured it, maybe you gashed it when you dragged it over an unassuming piece of glass. Whatever the reason might be, emergencies like these can happen at any moment. That is why we always recommend carrying a basic tent repair kit with you whenever you take your tent out.
What is the point of camping if you cannot take your friends and family with you once in a while? Yes, there are a large number of single camping tents out there in the market. But it is absolutely no fun when every single member of the family has to carry their own separate tent when going camping. Besides, buying a number of single tents is, of course, going to be a lot more expensive than buying multi room tents.
Irrespective of whether you have a new tent at your disposal or simply an old tent that still remains strong and sturdy, one of the basic how -to’s of camping involves knowing how to waterproof a tent. You never know what the weather may have in store for you.
Ozark Trail is an adventure and outdoors oriented products brand. They sell a whole range of products under the Ozark Trail brand including but not limited to flashlights, utensils, portable kitchens, tents, sleeping bags, canopies. Portable furniture like cots, chairs, and stools, drinks coolers, backpacks, inflatables, etc. In this article, we take a look at the Ozark Trail Tents.
Something to look out for
The first thing to note when it comes to Ozark Trail is that it is a brand name and not a company. This means that any tent manufacturer can sell their products under the Ozark Trail branded label. While this is not necessarily bad, it also means that there is no guarantee of the quality remaining constant across different product offerings.
Ozark Trail tents sell for considerably lower prices than products from other manufacturers like Coleman or MSR, and there is a reason for that. This is also why you see that there are almost too many types of Ozark Trail tents available in the market.
However, you might also land a good deal if you do choose to go the Ozark Trail route. If you only occasionally go camping outdoors, an Ozark Trail tent will not fail you. The tents are reasonably good in quality and will satisfy most casual campers.
Because they are a good deal cheaper than the competition, you may not mind that the tent will likely not last as long as a similar product from other manufacturers. Experienced campers and outdoor enthusiasts ought to steer clear though; something higher spec is the way to go for you.
Ozark Trail tents construction
Ozark Trail tents are typically made from nylon or polyester. Nylon is definitely the cheaper material being used in tent walls as it is less durable and more prone to leaking under heavy rainfall. However, the floor is of the bathtub type, which prevents moisture from seeping in through the seams. The poles are made up of fiberglass and not metal. Metal poles provide durability and greater wind resistance. Fiberglass poles are light weight but are not as strong; it is not uncommon for fiberglass tents to get bent out of shape in heavy winds.
The lack of a rainfly is probably the most bothersome aspect of Ozark Trail tents, next to the lack of a ground sheet. Both of these issues result in Ozark Trail tents allowing water to leak inside in case of a very heavy rainfall. While no tent is completely waterproof, a rainfly and a waterproof footprint go a long way in ensuring that the inside remains dry.
So far we have discussed the potential concerns you should keep in mind when looking at Ozarks Trail tents. However, if you have read this far, it means that you are aware of the caveats and are still interested in purchasing one. If that is the case, then let’s get into some of the more general guidelines you should be aware of when looking for a tent.
Sizing & Features
To get started, consider the tent’s size. A 4-person tent should do nicely for four people, right? Not always so. What the manufacturer means by an X person tent is that the floor is large enough for X number of sleeping bags lying side by side. Any reasonable person would agree then if space is a concern, you should buy a tent that is rated for at least one person more than necessary.
Also keep an eye out for the “height” of the tent; ideally, you would want a tent that can accommodate an average adult standing up comfortably without having their head brush the tent ceiling. This not only provides you with greater mobility inside the tent but also goes a long way in preventing you from feeling claustrophobic on long camping trips.
Mesh provides ventilation and transparency while keeping insects and mosquitoes out. A mesh roof is a godsend if there are any stargazing enthusiasts inside. However, they also need waterproofing, so check that any mesh areas on your tent also come with zippers and covers that can seal the ports when needed.
Options & Personal Preference
Beyond this, we move into the area of personal preferences. Some people really like a porch, which is a space immediately outside the main entrance of the tent. A porch works really well as additional storage and also for keeping things like umbrellas and shoes (things that you do not want to bring inside) safe. This, however is an optional extra. One additional thing that we like is pouches on the inner wall; they really make a difference.
So now that we have covered most of the possible options, let’s look at some trail tent models.
We are going to look at three tents in this review:
- The Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL family tent
- The Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Room Instant Cabin tent, and just for some context and comparison
- The Wenzel 8 Person Klondike tent
Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL Family Tent
A caveat up front: The Amazon page for this product explicitly states that this product cannot be purchased by residents in the state of California due to state laws.
The tent measures 11.6 in. x 12 in. x 27.5 in. and is dome shaped. The dome shape is important because this design does not let water stagnate on the roof surface and build up leakage pressure. The tent is spacious enough to fit 3 queen sized air mats. Great for comfort on your camping trip.
There are two removable dividers that can be put in place to create 3 separate rooms, each with its own entrance for added privacy. Six windows ensure adequate ventilation and outdoor visibility from inside.
The fly seams are completely taped to prevent outer rainfall or dew entering the tent. The inner walls even have built-in pouches to store toiletries or phones. The center hook is a great place to attach a lamp for indoor illumination.
Currently priced at around the USD 170 mark on Amazon, the Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL family tent has a 4.5 / 5 rating from 184 reviews. People are quite satisfied with this product, and odds are any casual camper will be as well. Unless you are a true enthusiast, this tent will do perfectly.
Separate doors for each room
Rain fly included in price
Seams leak in anything above light rainfall
Setting up the tent requires at least two people
Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent
The Instant Cabin line of tents from Ozark Trail is so named because setting up this tent takes all of 2 minutes. Since all required poles and support are already connected to the tent fabric, there is no assembly needed. You just need to unfold the tent and extend the poles.
The Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent is no exception. Measuring a massive 16 ft. by 16 ft., this tent is certainly one of the more spacious tents you can buy while still calling it a “tent”. Using the removable dividers, you get three rooms each measuring 8 ft. x 8 ft. However, the lamp attachment is present only in the center room. The ceiling is quite high and can comfortably accommodate people above 6 ft. tall. The tent can house 3 queen size beds.
A power outlet is also present that allows you to electrify the exterior of the tent and keep predators like bears away in the wilderness. A front awning allows for easy relaxation under the shade.
The tent is currently priced at around USD 340 on Amazon, and is rated 3.8 / 5 based on 67 reviews. For this price, you cannot complain, especially considering the value you are getting.
3 room design with separate doors for privacy
Rain fly included
Large size makes it more vulnerable to wind blast
Venting with the rain fly is problematic
Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
Wenzel, unlike Ozark Trail, is a company that specializes in outdoor camping gear and accessories. Therefore, you can reasonably expect that Wenzel products will deliver an overall better quality than Ozark Trail, price differences notwithstanding.
The tent houses 8 people and the dome shape helps to keep rain out. The outside is constructed with strong polyester fabric coated with water repellent polyurethane. There is a full mesh roof option available, which is great for warm weather and stargazing. The double staked power corners ensure stability in wind.
Measuring 16 ft. x 6.5 ft. x 11 ft., the tent is quite spacious. The screen room and the main interior are protected from ground moisture by the bathtub style tent floor which keeps the seams raised off the ground.
A weatherproof top is included with the tent, but it does not hold up well in heavy or torrential rain. A coating of waterproof sealer on the rain fly is definitely recommended.
The Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent costs USD 230.08 on Amazon, and has a rating of 4.2 / 5 from 922 reviews, implying almost universal satisfaction. People really like the spacious design and stability in moderate winds.
Great value for money
Stable in moderate winds
Good water resistance
Rain fly is not very functional
Large design reduces wind stability at higher speeds
Hopefully this review sets you on your way to an awesome campaign experience. Remember that it is not always necessary to buy the best one; sometimes, you need only buy enough to get yourself out the door.
Camping is fun, there’s no doubt about it. What’s not to like about hanging out with people you like and soaking in the natural beauty of our surroundings like we were meant to? If you’re planning on traveling as a group your gonna need the best 4 person tent for the job.
Camping is also combined on a regular basis with a host of other interesting activities like stargazing, birdwatching, hiking, or even just as a fun way to spend a few days without spending a fortune on a hotel.
What are the options?
While individual tents provide you with privacy and comfort, we believe that a 4 person tent really gives you the space and flexibility you need when it comes to camping. After all, you out there in the outdoors to enjoy each other’s company, so what better way to do so than to snuggle in together under one roof?
Family tents that house four people comfortably are perfect for this. They provide you and your companions or family members with ample space so that everyone can relax and stretch out while at the same time they are small enough to provide a sense of closeness and intimacy that fits perfectly with the overall experience of camping in the great outdoors.
What to look for in the best 4 person tent
There are a number of factors to look at when you are considering the purchase of a four-person tent. A good tent should be light; there is only so far a car can go. Most campers tend to take their gear at least a few hundred feet from their vehicles, so a lightweight tent will tend to tire you out less at the beginning of the day.
Even if you are not planning to venture deep into the wilderness and camp close to your transportation, a lightweight tent is faster to set up as well as collapse and pack up. You do not need a professional quality ultralight tent with high-tech components like carbon fiber or Kevlar; you just need one that is light enough.
Weather & Conditions for 4 man tents
The local weather is also a key thing to keep in mind when you are looking for the best four-person tent on the market. Find something that can withstand moderate winds and rain. These tents are usually pretty affordable. Most tents are waterproof, but look for a product that has a rainfly or covers on mesh areas that can be zipped up as soon as it starts drizzling.
There are products out there that are purpose built for stormy weather and can resist even hailstorms, they are usually intended for professional mountaineers and are typically a lot more expensive. In general, though, any tent that has fairly steep walls and coated zippers would do just fine at keeping you warm and dry in moderate rainfall.
What size is the best 4 person tent
Also keep in mind the size of the tent. Do not just assume that the number is always right. A four-person tent is only a 4 person tent if all four people are tucked inside sleeping bags and lie hip to hip. In reality, that is not really a very comfortable scenario. So consider buying a tent that is marketed for one additional person. If there are four or five people, consider buying a six-person tent.
Also, focus on the tallest dimension; ideally you want a tent that can permit an average adult to stand up comfortably. This is important, especially if you are out with your family and there is a cranky baby who needs to be rocked to sleep.
Other things to look for
Think carefully and consider some other miscellaneous things that you might not always consider when looking for a tent. Some of which can actually make your camping experience a whole lot more enjoyable. If you are camping in warm weather, we really like a mesh roof that not only keeps the tent cool and the mosquitoes out but also does a fabulous job if you and your companions like stargazing and astronomy.
Many tents also have mesh “windows” that provide outward visibility. However, do keep in mind that any section with mesh is also a likely to let water in. So ensure that your tent of choice has zippers and covers that can seal the mesh up for when it is needed.
Budget & Practicality
Beyond all of this though, all that is needed to pick out the perfect tent for you is your budget and basic common sense. For instance, aluminum tent poles are easy to set up and super light. But they will not hold up against strong winds and rain as well as steel poles would. Also keep in mind that not all tents have floors, so you should definitely plan ahead and bring extra covers or ground sheets.
Even if your tent does have a floor, setting up your tent over a ground sheet will do a lot to prolong the life of your tent. Look for small things like pockets on the inside walls and coated zipper flies that will prevent water getting through the seams.
A tent with a porch is also great to have as it will provide you with a nice shelter to keep your gear without having to actually stash them inside the tent. Porches are also great when you want to hang out inside the tent but enjoy a nice breeze and take in the view. Porches are not must-haves though, and they do contribute to a fair bit of weight increase to the whole tent package, so choose wisely.
So now that you know what to look for, read on for our comprehensive review of some of the best 4 person tents available right now:
- The Coleman Hooligan 4
- Coleman Sundome 4 Person
- The Coleman 4 Person Instant Cabin
Coleman Hooligan 4 Person Tent
The Coleman Hooligan is a great budget tent that offers a ton of features without costing a ton of money. It has Coleman’s patented WeatherTec system that features welded floors and inverted seams for superior water resistance.
The outer covering is made with polyester tested to withstand up to 450 mm of water pressure, ensuring that rain never gets inside the tent. The floor is made with 1000 D polyethylene, giving it superior strength and weather protection.
The fiberglass poles are specially designed to be sag free and can be set up within minutes. The tent is quite spacious, measuring 9 ft. by 7 ft. floor area, with the maximum center height at 4 ft. 10 in.
There is even a porch in the front that gives you additional storage space. The porch can also be zipped up for protection from the elements. The tent is made of fire retardant materials and comes with a standard 1-year warranty.
For the list price of USD 115 on Amazon, you really cannot complain about the Hooligan 4. The tent has a 4.1 / 5 rating on Amazon from 683 reviews, most of them positive. People dislike the fact that the side vents cannot be closed off, making it impractical in cold weather. Additionally, the low height means that you cannot stand up straight inside the tent. For the price though, some trade-offs are to be expected.
- Affordably priced
- Has a porch
- Good construction and water resistance
- Zippers cover porch opening
- Fiberglass poles cannot resist heavy winds
- Not tall enough for the average adult to stand up inside
Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent
The Coleman Sundome 4-person tent is another budget offering from Coleman if you are looking for slightly easier setup than traditional cabin style tents. Domes have better water resistance thanks to their sloping sides, but this does mean that inner spaciousness takes a hit.
The Sundome 4 has Coleman’s WeatherTec system that comes with welded floors and factory inverted seams, which reinforces the joints. This means better wind resistance and a lower change of water seepage.
The outer layer is made of polyester, tested for up to 450 mm of water pressure. An electric access port makes it easy to route power inside your tent from a car or other power source. The bathtub style floor is made of 1000 D polyethylene that is extremely durable.
The tent measures 9 ft. by 7 ft. by area and has a center height of 4 ft. 11 inches. 8.5 mm diameter fiberglass poles offer adequate rigidity without being heavy.
Depending on the color option you choose, the Coleman Sundome 4 starts from USD 59 on Amazon with a 1 year limited warranty. It has an excellent rating of 4.5 / 5 from 1592 reviews, so suffice to say that buyers are more than satisfied with this product.
- Easy to setup without help
- Good construction and water resistance
- Spacious enough to fit an air mattress
- Sloping sides reduces inner space
- No porch
Coleman 4 Person Instant Cabin Tent
Another Coleman product, the 4 Person Instant Cabin is a cabin style tent that is perfect for casual outdoors camping.
An integrated rainfly provides you with protection against rain without compromising on ventilation. The 150 D polyester taffeta gives this tent extremely sturdy construction. Along with the WeatherTec system that features welded floors and inverted seams, this tent is completely protected against the elements. Steel poles offer excellent wind resistance.
Measuring 8 ft. by 7 ft. and a center height of 4 ft. 11 inches, this tent is smaller than the competition, which is why we recommend this only on solo expeditions or with a maximum of two people.
Coming in at an extremely affordable USD 99 on Amazon, the Coleman 4 Person Instant Cabin is a great buy, provided you do not take the product at its description of being a 4 person tent. Rated 4.6 / 5 stars on 496 reviews, this product offers great functionality but loses out on spaciousness.
- Steel poles give rigidity and wind resistance
- WeatherTec offers great protection against water seepage
- Easy to set up design with pre-attached poles
- Not spacious enough for 4 people
- Heavier than similar dome tents
Hopefully this guide helped you in your quest to find the best 4-person tent. Any purchase will bring compromise. You need to ask yourself about your camping habits and intentions in order to make an informed purchase. Happy shopping and happy camping.