Most 4-season tents come in 2-person sizes, and nothing bigger.
And because family camping tents are usually in at least a 6-person capacity, I found strictly 4-season family tents extremely difficult to find.
Nevertheless, here are a few to spark some ideas for you. I’ll continue updating this round-up when I have more info and more real pictures.
Best 4-Season Family Tents – Quick Summary
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Here’s a quick summary of all the 4-season family camping tents that I recommend (some I tested, some I had the chance to see live, and some were recommended to me by friends):
|White Duck Regatta Bell Tent
|The North Face 2-Meter Dome Tent
|REI Base Camp 6
And now, let’s get into the more detailed recommendations.
RELATED: Best Family-Sized Camping Tents (includes all types of tents, from large to largest, cheap to expensive, 3-seasons and 3+ seasons family tents)
1. White Duck Regatta 16′ Bell Tent (Best Overall 4-Season Family Tent)
Peak height: 116 inches
Interior base area: 211.7 square feet
Vestibule area: None
Materials: 8.5 oz. army duck cotton canvas
Pros and Cons
When it comes to winter camping, canvas tents perform much better than regular polyester tents. Canvas is one heck of a heavy duty fabric that will help you block out strong winds, keeping warmth in your tent at the same time.
And the White Duck Regatta is one of the best canvas tents in the market, complete with 8.5 oz army duck cotton canvas, excellent double-stitching, galvanized steel poles, and even a shock-absorbing system. (Talk about overkill, in a good way!)
I love that the 16′ Regatta fits a family of 6-8 comfortably, and if you need something even bigger (this 16′ isn’t the biggest), you can even upsize to a 20′ Regatta, which will be able to fit a huge family of 10 comfortably.
On top of that, it even comes with a silicone-coated stove jack for additional heating during your winter family camping trip.
However, easily its biggest con is that it’s extremely heavy (as with all other canvas tents too). Just the 16′ Regatta weighs between 85 to 90lbs. Definitely not something that you can lug very far.
Check out the White Duck Regatta:
2. The North Face 2-Meter Dome Tent (Best Family Expedition Tent)
Peak height: 83 inches
Interior floor area: 166.84 square feet
Vestibule area: None
Materials: 210D nylon oxford (canopy), 420D nylon taffeta (floor)
Pros and Cons
The North Face 2-Meter Dome Tent is one of the only family expedition tents out there, in case your family is thinking of taking a trip to Everest Base Camp (or any other base camps, like Annapurna).
While it fits 8 campers in a sardine-like configuration (side by side), it will be able to fit your family of 4 extremely comfortably, or your family of 6 decently comfortably (albeit with a little less space for each person).
I’m amazed by the number of poles crisscrossing over the entire tent, giving you peace of mind even in the strongest of winds and heavy snow loads.
The pole configuration also helps to pull the tent body outwards, giving you pretty steep walls for a dome tent, and as much livable space on the inside as possible.
But even with the many poles on this tent, it’s nice to know that all the poles and their pole sleeves are color-coded for a relatively easy setup, even on the first try.
Its geodesic-dome shape is actually built to survive Everest Base Camp, and it was tested thoroughly over a period of a month by a couple of mountaineering experts at The North Face.
However, coming in at a steep $6,000, this is the most expensive tent in this review, and not many families will be able to afford it. (Me included, but it’s something I want to test out in the future!)
Check out The North Face Dome:
3. REI Co-Op Base Camp 6 (Best Family Tent for Light Snow Camping)
Peak height: 73 inches
Interior space: 82.5 square feet
Number of vestibules: 2
Total vestibule space: 52.4 square feet
Materials: 75D polyester (tent body and rainfly), 150D polyester (tent floor)
Pros and Cons
The REI Co-Op Base Camp 6 is one of the rare few 3+ seasons family tents in the market, so while it is not strictly a 4-season family tent, I still think it’ll make a great tent for light snow camping, for a number of reasons.
First, it has a nice, long, full-coverage rainfly that extends almost all the way to the ground. This is especially important for keeping heat inside the tent, instead of having it dissipate into the surrounding air.
Second, there’s very little mesh on the main tent, and way more fabric. This also helps to keep the heat inside the tent for light winter camping. Here’s what the Base Camp looks like without its rainfly:
Third, I absolutely love its mountaineering-inspired pole configuration, with 4 main body tent poles crisscrossing over each other, forming a simple geodesic dome shape. (Not quite as geodesic as The North Face above, but better than any other regular family dome tents in the market.)
And like The North Face 2-Meter Dome Tent, I love how each tent pole pulls the tent body outwards, giving me way more livable space on the inside than just a simple dome tent.
And if you’re not able to afford the White Duck and The North Face above (don’t worry, I wasn’t able to afford them either), this Base Camp 6 makes for a great bang for your buck alternative in light snow.
It also fits a family of 3-4 fairly comfortably (and not 6 people like its maximum marketed capacity), but just bear in mind that this tent is a little too small to fit 2 actual queen beds. You could fit 1 queen, 1 twin, and 1 sleeping bag though.
And of course, since this isn’t a true 4-season family tent, I would not recommend using this in a heavy snow storm, strong winds, and other extreme conditions.
Note: While a few other family tents have full-length rainflies, like this one here, they have too much mesh for even light snow. So, I found that most double wall tents in a family-size just couldn’t cut it for any kind of cold weather. The REI Base Camp 6 is one of the rare few double wall tents that does.
Check out the Base Camp:
While it’s hard to find true 4-season family tents, I hope this round-up review has managed to spark a few ideas for you, and feel free to reach out to me on YouTube if you have any questions about these camping tents.
Alternatively, you can check out my article here on how to choose a family tent for your family. It has loads of photos and great tips.
In summary, here are the tents that I recommend:
Best Overall 4-Season Family Tent: White Duck Regatta 16′ Bell Tent (or any other canvas tents that you may prefer to buy instead)
Best Family Expedition Tent: The North Face 2-Meter Dome Tent (MSR used to have a huge expedition tent too, but somehow I wasn’t able to find it 🙁 sad face)
Best Family Tent for Light Snow: REI Co-Op Base Camp 6
Alternatively, if you’re looking for the best 3-season family camping tents that you can use in summer, I have the perfect review for you in that link right above.