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5/30/2018 9:15 am  #1

Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

I go camping about twice a year, always in the spring/summer time, Algonquin or Killarney. I try to go once in May and once in September, avoiding the months in between because of bugs (I'm allergic to black flies and on a not-so-friendly term with mosquitos). So usually it tends to rain a bit when I go camping, thus any tent I take has to be great at keeping the water out and in ventilating the air inside. Also easy installation (let's say under 15 mins), but I think they're all easy installation now.

I want a tent with vestibule, but I don't get the point of having a vestibule that is not rainproof. And it seems a lot of tents out there have great protection from the train, but none for the vestibule. It's nothing a tarp can't fix, but ideally...

Anyways, I found the Coleman Evanstone on Amazon:
The 6-person version has good reviews, but I can't find the 4-person one.

There's also the Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4, but seems to be on the smaller side:

If anyone has any recommendations, I would appreciate it. It doesn't have to be super small; in fact, I'm looking for something that's comfortable for 3-people with some space to fit another person or backpacks/etc.

Thank you

Last edited by Sepandee (5/30/2018 4:45 pm)


5/30/2018 10:10 am  #2

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

Vestibules are generally (if not always?) the tent fly extending beyond the tent itself to create that space. And a tent is fly is of course designed to be rainproof or you'd be in a great deal of trouble. So I'm not really clear on the distinction you're making there, unless you want the vestibule to be completely enclosed with a floor, at which point it's just part of the tent. Or maybe you're used to vestibules with poor quality, leaky zippers? 

I've never seen a Coleman tent of decent build quality and wouldn't trust one in the backcountry. What's your budget? If you want comfortable for 4 people, you're probably looking at a 6-man tent... but then you have other problems. Finding level ground for a tent that large can be a real problem in the backcountry. 


5/30/2018 10:38 am  #3

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

I'm not sure that you'll find too many 4 man tents with vestibules, but the easy workaround is to buy a small sheet of Tyvek for $20 and have that outside your tent to wrap/cover your gear.  Those Coleman tents might actually work OK based upon your demands (other than the vestibule).  I've used one lightly for 15 years and, while it is no super-construction-lightweight-workhorse, it did provide dry living space for minimal investment but I was careful with it and set my expectations of performance accordingly. 

I just know that most four man tents sleep 3 comfortably...that's more of a sticking point for me and what you mentioned at the end with "comfortable for 4 people".  Personally, I'd lean towards a cheap six man version and have ample space inside (and it minimizes your need for a vestibule with the extra space in the tent).

I'd estimate 60% of campsites in the interior have adequate tenting space for a 6 man - so it's just one thing you'll have to look at to either choose or eliminate a site when you arrive.  Since you camp in the shoulder seasons you shouldn't run into to much competition so getting the pick of sites isn't a big concern.  Something like the links below could also be an option; while they are heavy beasts, you could divide the materials between packs if needed.


5/30/2018 4:44 pm  #4

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

OK, let's forget about the 'comfortable enough for 4 people.' 

Comfortable enough for 3-people would do.

And I just need a small entrance space outside of the tent to keep shoes there. Doesn't ahve to be more than 1.5 ft. When I say vestibule, people imagine this 4ft x 4ft area where you can sit down. No, just somewhere to leave some shoes and maybe hang an item of clothing perhaps?

Canadian tire has this:

It's all mesh, apparently, which might not be great for colder nights. But I actually love sleeping in the cold, and frankly, the cold in May through september/Oct is not that bothersome.

     Thread Starter

5/30/2018 10:13 pm  #5

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

The woods cascade tent looks good. Light. Alum poles. Another worth a look would be the mec camper 4. About the same size. Don’t worry about the mesh sides. As long as your bag is rated cold enough.

I think that original Coleman will be heavy.


5/31/2018 6:06 am  #6

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

I recently purchased a TNF Talus 3 for $250.79 from Altitude-Sports. That's 20% off + 5% Membership bonus.
I haven't actually used it yet (or even opened it up; that's the plan for this weekend), but I had an older Roadrunner 3 tent from TNF that I used from 2003 up until last year. It had similar size specs as the Talus (I believe the Talus is slightly larger).  While there's not a TONNE of room with 3 people, the 3 of us typically fit just fine and sleep head to toe, I don't recall ever being kicked or rolled on or anything like that...
The tent also includes a footprint and a gear loft.

I know they make a Talus 4, but Altitude-Sports doesn't have stock of them.  If SAIL has stock of the Talus 4, you could wait for one of their (Quarterly?) 15-20% off everything storewide sales and pick one up then (Regular price is $399.99).

I should note that Altitude-Sports currently have a 2 day sale on and you could pickup the Talus 3 for the same price that I did by using promo code SURPRISE20.  Best part is, if you're a member, you have free returns (they provide a prepaid return shipping label). 

I'm not saying this is THE BEST, but I did have one of very similar design and it lasted me years and would have likely lasted me a few more if I hadn't let an irresponsible friend borrow it. It's also made by a reputable outdoor brand.



5/31/2018 6:51 am  #7

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

breed85 wrote:

It's also made by a reputable outdoor brand.

This is a worthy consideration- it won't cost much more than Canadian Tire pricing to get into a tent from a real outdoor brand, and that will almost certainly prove rewarding.


5/31/2018 7:30 am  #8

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

re: all mesh sides. 

This is great for ventilation. We have a tent with all mesh and another with just windows and we notice a big difference in ventilation and condensation build up. The all mesh will be a smidge colder but it's barely a difference between the 2. 


5/31/2018 12:30 pm  #9

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

     Thread Starter

5/31/2018 12:38 pm  #10

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

Always better than Woods, IMO.


5/31/2018 1:13 pm  #11

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

Eureka El Capitan 4 may suit your needs. I got rid of mine but only because it was too heavy for my purposes. Very solid tent.

Last edited by ShawnD (5/31/2018 7:57 pm)

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears

5/31/2018 6:49 pm  #12

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

Would second the eureka.  My 4 man is a eureka but a 18 year old model. Beefy,  I think it’s 15 pounds. And that’s with a skimpy fly.  El Capitan has a nice fly.  All the way down to ground.


5/31/2018 10:36 pm  #13

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

+1 on el capitan.  Not light, not the coolest design, but it's durable and bombproof.  Never wet.  Ever.


6/01/2018 6:41 am  #14

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

El Capitan 4 is pretty hard to beat for 3 adults, or a family of 4.  2 doors, 2 vestibules, heavy duty fly.  fbeauregard called it - bombproof and dry - also, 12lbs or so isn't terrible for 3 adults if you average it out.


6/03/2018 8:09 am  #15

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

I know what he means about rainproof fly.  I have an rei 2 man tent that the fly doesn’t go close enough to the ground, thus lots of splash back in heavy rain. Roof doesn’t leak, but the splash back is enough to get moisture in the tent some times.


6/16/2018 5:52 pm  #16

     Thread Starter

6/17/2018 9:29 am  #17

Re: Recommend 4-person tent for backcountry camping

The El Capitan has a higher water proofness on the fly and bottom of the tent.
In my eyes waterproofness means how long do I stay dry in the tent in pounding rain, or, in say 3 days in a row steady rain.  It's my experience that tents with high waterproofness ratings ( 5000-10.000mm) give that protection.
That may not be what you need, and in that case I'd pick the talus northface. Had a northface for many many years and loved it, although it was at that time only used lightly but it withstood showers just fine.


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