If you’re planning a long hike with your friends or family members and need shelter, you will want to see this selection of the best 4-person backpacking tents, all ultralight and reliable, from the leading brands in the outdoor industry.

Some of the tents below are so light you might think there is a 3-person backpacking tent (you can also view our backpacking 3-person tents).

Note that all the tents here have at least one vestibule; most have two. So you always have at least some storage space for gear.

Our list of the best 4-person backpacking tents

The list is ordered by weight from heaviest to lightest:

We put the weight limit to around 3 kilograms because we didn’t want them to be too heavy. But it may be helpful also to check the weight and space ratio. This is why you will see the balance of the total protected space and the tent’s weight given for each tent in the list.

The term total protected space means the inner floored area plus the area under the vestibules. This ratio is a valuable parameter that shows how effective the tent’s construction really is.

1. Kelty Grand Mesa 4 Tent

  • Packaged weight: 7 lb 7 oz (3.37 kg)
  • Floored area: 54.5 ft² (5.06 m²)
  • Vestibule area: 14 ft² (1.3 m²)
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 98 x 80 x 56 inches (249 x 203 x 142 cm)
  • Packed size: 18 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches (46 x 19 x 19 cm)

The Grand Mesa 4 is from the Kelty series, which has been around for years already.; but this is its latest updated version. This tent proves that lightweight backpacking tents don’t have to be very expensive.

Instead, you find a very affordable tent without all the bells and whistles but with everything you need on the trail. It offers complete protection from the elements and insects.

The Grand Mesa 4 is a simple dome tent with only two poles. The poles are made with a lightweight DAC Pressfit aluminum design. And the fabric is surprisingly durable for such a light tent. The material is 68D polyester used everywhere and provides an 1800 mm waterproof rating, plus a mesh on the canopy.

Best Seller


  • Excellent quick-Corner design
  • Great carry bag design
  • Very easy to use
  • Durable fabric


  • It only has one door
  • Not very well ventilated

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The tent’s best feature is Kelty’s Quick-Corner Technology which includes narrow but deep sleeves in the corners and where you place the ends of the poles. This is instead of the standard grommets or pin-and-ring attachment elements. Making the setup easy; one person can do the job without problems.

The worst feature is its single door and its single vestibule. It means the storage space is pretty limited, considering it’s meant to be for four people.

Note: The tent is very tall, so this compensates for the fact that this is a simple dome. Its ratio of the total protected area and weight is 1.9 m²/kg.

2. Kelty Dirt Motel 4-Person Tent

  • Packaged weight: 6 lb 14 oz (3.12 kg)
  • Floor area: 55.5 ft² (5.15 m²)
  • Vestibules area: 9 + 9 ft² (0.83 + 0.83 m²)
  • Total protected area: 73.5 ft² (6.8 m²)
  • Peak height: 46 inches (116 cm)
  • Packed size: 16 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches (41 x 19 x 19 cm)

If you are familiar with Kelty as a brand, you might have heard they launched this tent as an upgrade from their well-known Kelty TN 4 tent. The structure is the same; a similar dome-style tent with two main X-crossed poles plus a short ridge pole that makes the doors vertical.

Best Ventilation


  • Simple structure, easy to use
  • Lots of ventilation
  • Durable fabric
  • Great packed size


  • Pretty expensive
  • The top collects water

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The tent has two doors and two vestibules created by its full-size fly. The poles are made with top-quality DAC Pressfit aluminum, and the Pressfit system uses 7001 aluminum alloy.

The fly is a 40D siliconized ripstop nylon with a 1500 mm waterproof rating. The canopy is mostly a no-see-um mesh to keep the bugs out. The floor is durable 70D nylon with a 3000 mm PU coating. All seams are sealed. For ventilation, they have added vents on vestibules.

So you realize that here the total protected space and weight ratio is around 2.2 m²/kg.

3. MSR Papa Hubba NX Tent 4 Person

Ultralight tents like MSR Papa Hubba NX Tent 4 are built using the best possible materials. This includes 4 DAC Featherlite NSL poles plus a ridge pole. The main poles create four intersection points, making the structure stable and robust.

You have a 30D ripstop nylon on the floor with 3000 mm rated DuraShield polyurethane. As for the fabric, you have a thin 20D ripstop nylon rain fly with a 1200 mm DuraShield polyurethane & silicone coating. The base is a bathtub-type design, so you are safe from splashes when the weather gets bad.

Strongest Structure


  • The frame is solid
  • Plenty of vestibule space.
  • Compression stuff sack with a pull handle.


  • Not great for tall people

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The picture above shows that the tent is low profile and has a full-coverage fly that creates two vestibules. The structure is aerodynamic, and it will perform great in windy places. The walls where the doors are located are pretty steep for extra volume. The peak height is 44 inches (112 cm).

The packed weight is 6 lb 8 oz (2.96 kg), and the floor area is 55 ft² (5.14 m²). The two vestibules add 11 + 11 ft² (1.02 + 1.02 m²). So the total protected area/weight ratio here is 2.07 m²/kg. The packed size is (L x D) 21 x 7 inches (53 x 17 cm).

4. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 4 Tent

  • Packed weight: 5 lb 10 oz (2.55 kg)
  • Dimensions: 96 x 86 inches (244 x 218 cm)
  • Peak height: 50 inches (127 cm)
  • Floor area: 57 ft² (5.3 m²)
  • Vestibule area: 14 + 14 ft² (1.3 m² + 1.3 m²)
  • Packed size (L x D): 21.5 x 5 inches (55 x 13 cm)

This tent is the largest in the series of three Copper Spur HV UL tents, including a solo tent and a 2-person tent. So you have a few options if you like the tent but think it’s too big.

The total protected area here is 85 ft² (7.9 m²). This gives the total protected space and weight ratio of 3.1 m²/kg. Such a value is hard to match.

Top Pick


  • Light and compact, perfect for hiking
  • Excellent features
  • Provides awnings for sun and rain protection


  • On the pricey side
  • The built-in lights are hit and miss

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X-crossed hubbed DAC Featherlite NFL and NSL poles support the dome tent. One extra brow pole pulls the side walls up and creates extra volume. This is behind the letter HV in the name of the tent.

Both the fly and floor are silicone-treated (SilNylon) proprietary patterned random ripstop nylon. This treatment is stronger and more durable than PU-coated materials, and they claim it is stable against UV radiation.

5. Klymit Maxfield 4-Person Tent

  • Packed weight: 5.6 lb (2.5 kg)
  • Dimensions: 86″ x 96″ x 45″ (218 x 243 x 114 cm)
  • Peak height: 45 inches (114 cm)
  • Floor area: 53 ft² (4.9 m²)
  • Vestibule area: 16 + 9.5 ft² (1.5 + 0.9 m²)
  • Packed size (L x D): 20 x 6.5 inches (51 x 17 cm)

Klymit, as a brand, is best known for its excellent backpacking pads, but recently they have started building tents. This Maxfield 4 is a perfect example of a backpacking tent. It is ultralight with its 5.6 lb (2.5 kg) weight. You can use it as a 3-person tent, which will still be ultralight even in this group.

It is a bit unusual by design because of the tunnel-shaped tent. It is supported by two loops that are connected by a ridge pole. The poles are Yunan aluminum 7001 alloy hubbed structures.

Best Backpaing Tent


  • Super lightweight
  • Great ventilation
  • Great packed size


  • Not a very large floor area

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The fabric includes a thin 20D nylon mesh on the canopy and a 15D nylon ripstop fly with a silicone/polyurethane coating with a 1200 mm waterproof rating. The floor is a bathtub-type 40D PU-coated nylon ripstop with a 3000 mm waterproof rating.

The tent has two doors and two vestibules. The tent’s base is irregular and tapered. The two vestibules are of very different shapes and sizes.

The tent is low profile and has a peak height of 45 inches (114 cm). The packed size (L x D) is 20 x 6.5 inches (51 x 17 cm).

This is a tremendous 3-season backpacking tent. The tent is also nicely ventilated, and its carry bag is simply perfect. You might want to know that they also have its smaller version Maxfield 2 tent; they sell them at the same place on Amazon, so follow the link below.

Final thoughts

In our selections of the best 4-person backpacking tents, you can see t the best options in this capacity group and from the top brands. There are differences in the weight; from the heaviest to the lightest tents here, you have a bit more than 800 grams difference.

But there are also differences in the inner floor area and, more importantly, in the total protected area with vestibules included. This is why you might want to consider the ratio of the total protected space and the weight it is given for every tent here.

You can see more about this series in the following video:

Fun Outdoors Team

The FunOutdoors team is comprised of seasoned writers and editors with a passion for outdoor living. 

Happy trails!

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