Tent sizes do not always indicate how many people can sleep comfortably in them. In this review, we’ll take a look at the 4 person tent vs 6 person tent and common misconceptions about both.
Nothing is more frustrating than having a tent that is too small. When considering a 4 person tent vs a 6 person tent, always assume 2 people can fit comfortably in a 4 person tent, while 4 people can barely fit in a 6 person tent. Why is there so much discrepancy involved? Because it is a marketing tactic and technically you can fit the listed amount of people in them, but it will not be comfortable. Typically we like to assume an average adult needs 25 square feet of space to be comfortable in a tent. Let’s compare the 4 person tent vs 6 person tent and see which one will fit your needs the best.
How big is a 4 Person Tent?
A typical 4 person tent dimensions average around 55-70 square feet. They often come in sizes of 8’x7’ or similar. If we know that 25 square feet is the ideal space for an adult, a 4 person tent can barely fit 2 adults on average.
While you shouldn’t count on a 4 person tent to house 4 adults, a family of 2 adults and 2 small kids is doable. However, we highly recommend sticking to a 4 person tent for 2 people or less only.
How big is a 6 Person Tent?
A 6 person tent dimensions are typically 100 square feet or 10’x10’. Using our standard of 25 square feet per adult, this equals a minimum of 100 square feet needed to be comfortable for 4 adults (25 sq ft x 4 Adults = 100 sq ft).
As you can see, a 6 person tent is a tight fit for 4 adults. It can fit 2 queen size air mattresses, but there won’t be any room to spare. A 6 person tent is perfect for 3 adults or a family of 2 adults and 2 kids.
4 Person Tent vs 6 Person Tent – What You Should Know
When considering a 4 person tent vs a 6 person tent, take into consideration the following:
- 4 person tents can comfortably sleep 2 adults
- 6 person tents can comfortably sleep 3 adults
- 4 or more adults should use an 8 person tent
- An average adult needs 25 square feet of tent space
- The manufacturer recommended capacity is usually not realistic
- Always choose a tent that is large than you need
Best 4 Person Tent for Camping
Camping in the back country of Montana, we’ve had good luck with the Coleman Sundown 4 Person Tent. It measures in at 9’x7’ with a center dome height close to 5 feet.
Coleman Sundown 4 Person Tent
It sets up in 10 minutes and with Coleman’s WeatherTec system it is high on the list for one of the best tents for heavy rain. We’ve installed heavy duty tarps both below and above for added weather protection and have yet to have any issues.
It comfortably sleeps 2 adults with room to spare for gear and clothes. You can never have too much extra room in a tent.
Best 6 Person Tent for Camping
A 6 person tent we’ve been really impressed with is the Core 6 Person Dome Tent. It measures in at 11’x9’ with a 6 foot dome height. Being able to stand up a tent is a luxury and the Core tent provides it.
Core 6 Person Dome Tent
Like Coleman, Core has incorporated its own weather technology called CORE H20. We still recommend using standalone tarps for added weather protection since you can never be too dry.
The Core Tent sleeps 3 adults comfortably. It’s the perfect tent for a family of 4.
What Sized Tent Do I Need?
Need vs Capacity
1 Adult – 1 Person Tent
2 Adults – 4 Person Tent
3 Adults – 6 Person Tent
4 or More People – 8+ Person Tent or Family Tent
A good rule of thumb for determining how many adults can fit comfortably in a tent is to divide the capacity by two. As you can see above, 1 person tents are truly meant for 1 person, 4 person tents will sleep 2 adults comfortably, 6 person tents will fit 3 adults, and 8 person tents will hold 4 adults.
We recommend using a tent that exceeds the occupancy requirements you may need. Having more space is a luxury when camping and you’ll likely find it extremely useful for gear or extra space to move around in.
When deciding between a 4 person tent vs a 6 person tent, divide by two to get the amount of adults that will be able to sleep comfortably. 4 person tents can sleep 2 adults and 6 person tents can sleep 3 adults. Always lean toward a tent with more space since it can easily be used to accommodate gear and other items should you need it.
The general rule is 25 square feet per adult. The average 4 person tent is 60 square feet and the average 6 person tent is 100 square feet. Always choose a larger tent than you need. The added space will come in handy.
Our top pick for the best 4 person tent is the Coleman Sundown. We’ve had really good luck with the CORE 6 Person Tent as well.
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John is our resident expert on the outdoors. He writes about outdoor gear, camping, traveling, and anything outdoors related. He has over 20 years experience camping and hiking the backwoods of Montana and has traveled extensively all over the world.