Newbie Looking for 4 Person Tent

12:57 a.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
328 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

Greetings to all. I am making my first foray into a tent purchase and would welcome any advice. I am looking for a 4 person tent (for myself, wife, 2 small kids) to be used for light camping for the family and / or some 2 or 3 day hikes for me and another adult w/o kids, so preferably something that's a little versatile, not too heavy to schlep around for a couple of days between 2 adults if desired. I'd like to get the best bang for my buck within a price range of about $200-$250 max - less for a good product would be fine too. I'm in Indiana and am looking for a 3 season tent. No winter Indiana camping for me!

There are so many tents out there that it's overwhelming, but I've been looking at Big Agnes Big House 4 (slightly more than my prefered price but if it's that great I'd spring for it), numerous Kelty models, Eureka Timberline 4, even saw a Grand Trunk Uinta with a unique easy set up design but can't find many reviews.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

1:13 a.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
235 reviewer rep
649 forum posts

Welcome to Trailspace

Eureka tents are reasonably priced with reliable quality.

8:20 a.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
70 reviewer rep
242 forum posts

Well, I started with Eureka (Timberline) tent back in the early 70's camping with kids. They are durable. A four person worked with small people, it was a better 3 person. My wife and I and a my younger daughter were in it one night. My son and middle daughter were another smaller tent. A lightning storm roared in. Our tent suddenly became a 5 person tent. Our kids were probably 10, 8, 6, if not younger. My son is now 30. They all still remember that trip. To distribute the weight divide the tent into its poles fly and body. Let your kids carry the poles and fly. When middle school campers used the tents, the biggest challenge was having them not use the poles in sword fights!

Here is a new 4 person option. Contact Tarptent about the "Hogback".. The three person version the Scrapa 2 has gotten an excellent rating in a review at Backpacking Light.. I like the idea that it can be set up as a 3 season tent with just the fly.

Tarps, too, are an excellent option, because they are roomier than an enclosed tent. They do not have netting unless included as an extra add-on, however. Look at the Golite versions.

9:23 a.m. on June 18, 2009 (EDT)
48 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

Keep in mind that a 4 person tent is usually between 55 & 65 sq. feet or basiclly 8' X 8" (64 sq.feet)

Checkout the following web sites, (NJ), (NY) and

the above sites should help with your selection.

good luck

7:48 p.m. on June 19, 2009 (EDT)
77 reviewer rep
123 forum posts

i have a kelty grand mesa 4 on ebay, that you could get a good deal on.

we up-graded to a larger tent


does that help??????

11:49 p.m. on June 22, 2009 (EDT)
328 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

Thanks to all for your feedback, I really appreciate it. After many more hours of web research, I finally opted for a Big Agnes model (Pine Island 4) - hope I don't seem like an ingrate since this wasn't one anyone suggested:) It was a little above my preferred price range but struck a good balance with size & weight, it and most other Big Agnes tents seem very well reviewed, & it has generous vestibule space which is appealing. Should arrive within a few days, just in time to hopefully try it out this coming weekend while the wife & kids are out of town. Say a prayer for green camper that I don't do anything too stupid on my first outing!

Thanks again for your input, I'm sure I'll be back on the forum boards with more questions once I actually start camping & learning how much I don't know...

11:51 p.m. on June 22, 2009 (EDT)
328 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

By the way Caryernst, I had already ordered my tent before seeing your post. Might have been interested had I not already ordered. Best of luck with it on EBAY!

11:32 p.m. on June 23, 2009 (EDT)
77 reviewer rep
123 forum posts

no worries. just trying to help out.

October 19, 2019
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