Best Budget 4 Season Tent Of 2021 (Complete Buyer’s Guide)

Finding a high-quality 4-season tent on a budget is a challenge, but a challenge we were prepared to accept.

We tested a range of budget tents, looking for the perfect combination of quality materials, durable construction, useful features, and price.

And we ended up with 5 tents that we feel fits the bill!

So, check out our reviews of the top five budget 4-season tents below. Plus, we threw together a detailed buying guide that includes some key factors and features you should consider when buying a budget 4-season tent.

Comparison Chart

DescriptionAwardPrice
Editor’s Choice GeerTop 2-Person 4-Season Tent GeerTop 2-Person 4-Season TentBest Overall ChoiceSEE PRICE »
Azarxis 2-Person 4-Season Tent Azarxis 2-Person 4-Season TentBest Ultra-Budget ChoiceSEE PRICE »
Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt Vidalido 5-Person Budget YurtBest Family ChoiceSEE PRICE »
GeerTop Ultralight Backpacking Tent GeerTop Ultralight Backpacking TentBest Ultralight ChoiceSEE PRICE »
High Peak South Col 3-Person 4-Season Tent High Peak South Col 3-Person 4-Season TentBest Choice for Rough WintersSEE PRICE »

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GeerTop 2-Person 4-Season Tent

  • Best Overall Choice

Our top overall choice was a fantastic 2-person 4-season budget tent from GeerTop, which impressed us with features and durable materials comparable to those of far more expensive premium tents. GeerTop has created a quality tent that will always have your back, regardless of environmental conditions.

We are still amazed by the value this double-layer tent offers at such an economical price.

GeerTop’s choice of material—a high-performance, 210T anti-tear polyester—is strong enough to protect against even the worst weather conditions while staying tear- and puncture-free. The outer layer also has a waterproof coating rated at 3,000mm. The 5,000mm Oxford fabric floor cover offers additional waterproofing.

The inner layer is perfect for warmer months, as it provides superior ventilation, an unrestricted view of nature and surroundings, and includes two doors and mesh windows. The outer layer takes just minutes to attach, in case you get caught in an unexpected storm. You can use and pack the layers separately or together, depending on the season and weather.

GeerTop’s tent is lightweight, weighing only 6.4lbs fully packed. You can decrease the weight if you decide to pack only the inner layer in warmer months. While there are certainly lighter tents out there on the market, this one is perfectly suitable for backpackers and easy to carry around. Most budget tents at this weight fail to provide GeerTop’s level of durability and protection.

The tent easily fits two people and includes a modest storage space within its 78” x 55” x 41” dimensions. Freestanding aluminum poles stabilize the tent and provide rugged construction. We found the tent easy to get in and out of, but did feel that more generous storage vestibules would have been a nice feature.

Overall, GeerTop cut no corners when making this tent, making sure to provide outstanding reliability and functionality, along with convenient features. This tent is a perfect example of how a budget product can deliver premium performance.

Key Features

  • Double-layer design for weatherproof experience
  • Outer layer uses 210T anti-tear polyester with 3,000mm waterproof coating
  • Oxford fabric floor with 5,000mm waterproof rating
  • Lightweight construction using freestanding aluminum poles
  • Main chamber fits two people
  • Built-in lantern hook and two storage vestibules
  • Reflective ropes are visible in the dark
  • L-angle shape provides stability in high winds
  • Double-stitched seams for added waterproofing

Specifications

  • (W) 78 inches by (D) 55 inches by (H) 41 inches
  • Packed weight of 6.4lbs
  • Suitable for all seasons
  • Room for two people
  • Two doors for easy entry
Pros
  • Fantastic value at this price point
  • Premium materials and features in a budget product
  • Easy setup
  • Double-layer design provides superior protection from the elements
  • Portable package, ideal for backpackers
Cons
  • Insufficient storage space for longer trips
  • Cannot adjust ventilation flaps from the inside
GeerTop 2-Person 4-Season Tent

GeerTop 2-Person 4-Season Tent

Price:
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Azarxis 2-Person 4-Season Tent

  • Best Ultra-Budget Choice

This unit from Azarxis comes at an incredible price while managing to provide all the necessary features and protection you need from a 4-season tent. The sub-$100 price range is full of cheap, low-quality tents that often perform miserably in harsh weather or do not have the durability to justify the investment. Our ultra-budget choice from Azarxis breaks the mold.

Even those on a very tight budget can enjoy spending time outdoors and feel safe regardless of the season and weather conditions.

It boasts a double-layer design, offering flexibility for both warm and cold weather use. The outer layer is 210T anti-tear polyester with a 3,500mm waterproof coating—enough for protection from rain and snow. The inner layer is breathable 210T polyester and B3 nylon mesh, which provides excellent ventilation. The floor is 210D Oxford fabric with a 4,000mm waterproof rating.

At only 5.7lbs, the tent is lightweight and therefore easy to carry around. Because you can separate the outer and inner tent layers, the package is even more portable in warmer weather. Unfortunately, Azarxis also cut down on weight by using very thin aluminum poles, which are prone to bending and damage when used without care.

It took us just a few minutes to set up the tent, and even most beginners should be able to put it together without much hassle. That said, we should mention that instructions in English were missing. The tent is roomy, standing 82 inches wide, 59 inches deep, and 45 inches tall. These dimensions offer plenty of room to comfortably fit two people inside, along with 19-inch storage vestibules for gear and equipment on each side.

Sure, there are plenty of tents that outperform this Azarxis unit, providing superior portability or features that it lacks, but none of them are available at this price point.

Key Features

  • Weatherproof design with an inner and outer layer
  • Rugged 210T polyester outer layer with 3,500mm waterproof coating
  • 210D Oxford floor with 4,000mm waterproof rating
  • B3 nylon mesh for ventilation in inner layer
  • Aluminum pole construction
  • Dual storage vestibules for gear
  • Double-stitching and tape on all seams for added waterproofing

Specifications

  • (W) 82 inches by (D) 59 inches by (H) 45 inches
  • Packed weight of 5.7lbs
  • Suitable for all seasons
  • Main chamber fits 2 people
  • Single-door design
Pros
  • Super affordable
  • Provides reliable protection from the elements
  • Lightweight and portable at only 5.7lbs
  • Plenty of room for 2 people and gear
  • Comes with 20-month warranty
Cons
  • Aluminum poles are sub-par and bend easily
  • Lack of a second door decreases convenience
Azarxis 2-Person 4-Season Tent

Azarxis 2-Person 4-Season Tent

Price:
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Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt

  • Best Family Choice

Camping for families with children is a unique challenge. The tent has to be large enough to offer room for 4 or more people, yet remain portable to carry around. Families with children also put a premium on comfort and features to provide a pleasant camping experience. This is why most quality 4-season family tents tend to be expensive.

Vidalido managed to put together a product that checks all the boxes for a comfortable family experience in the great outdoors. They also kept the product affordable, as the Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt is under $200. The first thing you will notice is that the Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt has a cone or teepee shape, a departure from the modern dome tent. The yurt provides superior height and vertical clearance for accessories and gear that you won’t find in most tents currently on the market.

The dual-layer design offers plenty of protection from the elements and enough flexibility to make it suitable for all seasons. Vidalido uses 190T patterned polyester for the outer layer of the tent, with 2,000mm waterproof coating. For the floor, Vidalido uses 150D Oxford fabric with a 3,000mm waterproof rating.

The Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt weighs in at 14lbs, a significant burden for anyone needing to carry it on the trail. Still, a family tent of this size cannot be lightweight and easy to carry. Also, Vidalido uses steel pole construction, which weighs significantly more than aluminum but provides better stability and strength.

The tent is best for casual camping occasions, as well as outdoor events such as festivals. The large 12.5-foot-square base provides plenty of room for 5 people. The teepee design offers 7.9 feet of vertical space, making it high enough for even NBA players to stand in comfortably. While there are no separate vestibules for storage, there is plenty of room in the tent to fit any supplies and equipment you would need without getting in your way.

We were particularly impressed with the features of the tent, which allow users to erect the two layers separately. This is an excellent option for locations where weather conditions might change quickly. We did find setup to be lengthy and complicated, though. If there is one real downside to this tent, it is the fact that moving it around is quite challenging due to the tedious setup process.

Overall, Vidalido did a great job offering an affordable option for families that is suitable for all seasons and provides plenty of comfort and features for a pleasant stay outdoors.

Key Features

  • Dual-layer design
  • Layers can be erected separately
  • Reliable protection from the elements with 190T polyester and 150D Oxford fabric
  • Adjustable steel tarp pole construction
  • High-density mesh doors and windows offer plenty of ventilation
  • Rustproof coating on all metal elements

Specifications

  • 12.5’ x 12.5’ tent base with 7.9’ ceiling
  • Packed weight of 14lbs
  • Chamber fits 5 to 6 people
  • Suitable for all seasons
Pros
  • Plenty of room for the whole family
  • Excellent protection against inclement weather
  • Suitable for use in all seasons or occasions
  • Sturdy construction
  • Great value
Cons
  • Challenging to carry on the trail
  • Setup takes time
Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt

Vidalido 5-Person Budget Yurt

Price:
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GeerTop Ultralight Backpacking Tent

  • Best Ultralight Choice

For those who like to aggressively attack the trail, keeping the amount of weight one carries to a minimum is critical. Lightweight gear and equipment are a must, and the tent is one of the largest and heaviest things in any carry. Quality ultralight tents usually have a hefty price tag, leaving little room for budget-conscious outdoors enthusiasts.

Thankfully, this unit from GeerTop is one of the few ultralight models to deliver reliable performance and protection on a budget. GeerTop’s Ultralight Backpacking Tent is a single-person 4-season tent designed for trails and adventure where weight and space are limited. The packed weight of the tent is only 3.9lbs, making it the lightest on our list.

It comes with a dual-layer design that provides flexibility and protection for all seasons. The outer layer provides excellent waterproofing thanks to its 20D tear-resistant nylon fabric with 4,000mm waterproof rating. The floor of the tent is 210D Oxford fabric with an even better 5,000mm waterproof rating. The 210T inner layer provides enough breathability and compensates for the lack of ventilation flaps.

Given that this is a single-person tent, the setup has to be easy and quick. GeerTop delivered here as well, as the tent comes with freestanding construction that a single person can erect in mere minutes. The structure is sturdy and lightweight due to the use of aluminum poles.

The interior of the tent is generous, with a base of 81” x 41”, making it roomy enough for a single person and all the equipment one might carry. The height is 43”, which should be enough to allow its occupant to sit and move around the tent easily. The downside of the tent is that it is too crowded to share with a camping partner and therefore useless for larger groups.

Key Features

  • Two separate layers: outer layer of 20D tear-resistant nylon with 4,000mm waterproof rating and inner layer of 210T breathable polyester and high-density nylon mesh
  • Outer layer is removable for use in warmer months
  • 210D Oxford fabric floor with 5,000mm waterproof rating
  • Aluminum pole construction
  • Easy single-person setup
  • Ultralight materials

Specifications

  • (W) 81 inches by (D) 41 inches by (H) 43 inches
  • Packed weight of just 3.9lbs
  • Single-person capacity
  • Suitable for all seasons
Pros
  • Excellent waterproofing and protection from the elements
  • Ultralight design, ideal for backpackers
  • Single-person setup in minutes
  • Plenty of room for storage
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Lack of ventilation flaps can be an issue in high humidity
  • Fits only one person
GeerTop Ultralight Backpacking Tent

GeerTop Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Price:
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High Peak South Col 3-Person 4-Season Tent

  • Best Choice for Rough Winters

Winter conditions and weather vary significantly from year to year and location to location. Tent manufacturers have the challenge of creating products that are suitable for most common weather conditions. Still, harsh winter conditions, high winds, and heavy snowfall push the limits of tent design to extremes.

Our next choice is a budget tent from High Peak that excels in precisely those conditions: the South Col.

South Col is a proper 4-season tent that provides superior protection from high winds and heavy snowfall.

The quality of the materials and durability of the tent floored us, especially when taking into account that it is a sub-$200 product.

Though officially listed as a 3-person tent, South Col is more of a 2-person tent if you plan on using the storage space for gear. While it would be possible to fit three people inside, there would be very little space left for storage. It has a base of 84.6 inches by 76.7 inches with a 53-inch ceiling, which offers plenty of headroom in the tent.

The fabric used in the construction of the tent is durable Rip-Stop polyester, which has a 3,000mm waterproof rating for the outer layer and a 5,000mm waterproof rating for the tent floor. High Peak included sealed and double-stitched seams for added waterproofing and the rainfly creates two large vestibules for dry storage of gear.

Setup is a breeze, and while the South Col is a 2-person tent, a single person can erect it without any problems. Unfortunately, the premium build quality and materials used to weatherproof the tent do increase the overall weight. This is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but a packed weight of 9.7lbs makes the South Col the heaviest 2-person option in this guide.

Key Features

  • A true 4-season tent suitable even for harsh winters
  • Rip-Stop polyester outer layer with 3,000mm waterproof rating
  • Floor PU with 5,000mm waterproof rating
  • Aluminum pole construction
  • Two large storage vestibules
  • Single-person setup

Specifications

  • Packed weight of 9.7lbs
  • (W) 84.6 inches by (D) 76.7 inches by (H) 53.1 inches
  • Suitable for 2 people with gear or 3 people without
Pros
  • Premium weather protection and waterproofing
  • Easy to set up and disassemble
  • Durable and stable construction
  • Consistently high customer feedback
Cons
  • Heavy at 9.7lbs packed
High Peak South Col 3-Person 4-Season Tent

High Peak South Col 3-Person 4-Season Tent

Price:
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4 Season Tent Buyer’s Guide

In this section, we will elaborate on the most important factors you should consider when choosing the right tent for your needs. If you’re still unsure what sets a 4-season tent apart from others, first check out our handy informational guide to what a 4 season tent is and how it compares to a 3 season tent.

Capacity

The first decision you will need to make is whether you are someone who hits the trail alone or whether you enjoy engaging in outdoor activities with a partner or family. Manufacturers do their best to design and market tents for all kinds of needs, and there are plenty of options from which to choose, from 1-person ultralight tents to fully-featured tents that can fit a family of 5 or 6 people.

Manufacturers rate the capacity of a tent by how many people it fits. It is still crucial that you check out the dimensions of the tent, as well as the base on which people sleep. Sometimes, the capacity does not include room for equipment and accessories. Pick a tent that fits your needs, offers interior comfort, and has plenty of storage for gear. Pay attention to vertical clearance in the tents. The height of the tent should allow easy access and enough room to sit comfortably.

Design

Tent design has undergone an evolution over the years, from the traditional A-Frames, pup tents, teepees, and yurts to modern dome models. Each development of the tent has introduced unique features and provided a better camping experience for nature lovers.

Dome tents are the current standard. They provide excellent stability and protection from the elements, are easy to set up, and are portable enough to carry around. The introduction of modern materials such as nylon, polyester, and aluminum drastically reduced the weight of modern tents, making them easy to pitch just about anywhere.

When choosing a tent design, you should keep in mind that each type has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Dome tents are very stable and easy to set up but lack vertical clearance. Teepees and yurts allow occupants to stand inside but require a lengthy and complicated setup. A-frames are usually very heavy but provide excellent protection from the elements.

Assess your outdoor needs and the kind of weather you will face before deciding on a tent design.

Double-Layer or Single-Layer

Traditionally, single-layer tents were the norm, and the choice and thickness of fabric used for body construction determined the usability of the tent in question.

Since then, most 4-season tents have evolved to feature a double-layer design, while the single-layer design, used in most 3-season tents, has become a staple for warm-weather camping.

Related: Do you need a 4 season tent for winter camping?

The double-layer design provides flexibility, which is necessary when using a tent in all seasons. The outer layer of the tent is protective and must be able to withstand harsh weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, and snowfall. Usually, the only way for air and humidity to penetrate the outer layer is through ventilation flaps. The outer layer is often removable, leaving the inner layer as an option for warm weather use.

The inner layer defines the tent’s interior, including the floor, storage areas, and connections for accessories, as well as windows and doors used for easy access and breathability. When used as a warm-weather tent, the inner layer also offers unobstructed views of nature.

Taking into account that you will be using the tent in all seasons, a double-layer design is the most logical choice.

Fabrics and Materials

Traditionally, tents were made of canvas, wood, and steel/iron. Manufacturers used canvas for tent bodies to protect from the sun and the elements. Wood and steel made their way into tent infrastructures, particularly in the manufacture of poles. The use of traditional materials declined over the years due to their weight and sub-par performance in more extreme weather conditions.

Nowadays, synthetic fabrics and lightweight metal alloys are the materials of choice when it comes to tent construction. Nylon and polyester have come to replace canvas as primary tent body materials. They are lightweight and offer various levels of waterproofing. Also, aluminum has become the material of choice over steel and wood for frames.

When shopping around for a tent, be sure to pay close attention to specifications and note the materials used. All polyester and nylon materials come with a waterproof rating: the higher the rating, the better waterproofing protection the tent will offer. These materials have various levels of ruggedness and anti-tear properties. Aluminum poles used in tent frames will also vary in strength according to their thickness and type of alloy.

Weight

Weight is one of the most critical factors you will need to consider when choosing the right tent for you. If you plan to spend a lot of time on the trail and in motion, a lightweight tent is a must. On the other hand, if you need a tent with plenty of features and accessories that provide unparalleled stability in harsh elements, be prepared to compromise on weight.

The use of modern synthetic materials has drastically decreased average tent weight. Even the heaviest tents today would have been considered a lightweight option several decades back.

Tents under 4lbs are considered ultralight, made for backpackers and those who move their shelter all the time. Some models weigh as little as 2lbs. Most tents will weigh anywhere between 4lbs and 8lbs. Anything above that is either a large, family option or a heavy-duty tent intended more for strength and durability than mobility.

Portability

We have already discussed the weight of the tent, which is vital for portability, but we have not mentioned the amount of space a tent takes up when packed. Tent designers put extra emphasis on creating foldable and collapsible structures that minimize the footprint of a tent once packed. The goal is to pack a tent into a transport bag that can easily fit into or attach to a hiking backpack.

To achieve this, it is necessary to use innovative design and thin/lightweight materials that still perform well outdoors. Carefully measure the size of your carry and plan how you are going to add a tent to your gear. Then check out the specs from various tent models before choosing a suitable one.

Setup

Finally, erecting a tent can be either incredibly rewarding or an agonizingly frustrating experience. Some tents, like instant tents, just need a few minutes and a single person to pitch, while others require a team effort to ensure that the tent does not collapse in the process.

Modern tents emphasize quick setup and modular design. The fewer parts that need to be secured and mounted, the easier it is to pitch a tent. Unless you require a huge 4-season tent to house your entire family along with plenty of gear, it is best to go with tents that have freestanding poles and require a single person to set up.

A quick setup is essential for those who spend a lot of time on the trail, as the weather might change when one least expects it, and pitching a tent in a few minutes will make a huge difference in staying dry and safe from whatever nature has in store.

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