Buying a 4m bell tent was probably one of the best purchases I have ever made. I do a lot of camping with my job (running the women’s adventure community Love Her Wild), alongside giving talks at festivals. I’ve got my lightweight tent for when I go on my adventures and need something compactable that I can carry easily….but sometimes I want a bit of luxury!
It was after a weekend glamping, when I forked out nearly £350, that I realised it was time to get my own bell tent. I worked out I’d make my money back in just 2 weekends of use.
I did a lot of research and testing to find the best 4m bell tent on the market and put this guide together to save you from having to do the same groundwork. You might want to also check out my glamping packing list.
NOTE: For the most part this guide is geared towards cotton canvas bell tents. I’ve included a couple of polyester options at the bottom but generally would suggest sticking to canvas if you can as it’s more durable, effective at keeping you warm/cool and will give you that authentic bell tent experience.
ALSO: If you are happy to get a second-hand bell tent saving some money and the planet in the process, check out:
Advantages and disadvantages of camping with a bell tent?
- Space….I’m always so amazed at just how spacious bell tents are. You can stand up and spread out
- Atmosphere….let’s face it, bell tents are seriously cool!
- Seriously durable….they’ll keep the rain out, last for years (as long as you look after it properly) and stay strong in severe winds.
- Easy to put up……this surprised me. I thought it’d be a real faff but honestly, it was one of the easiest tents I’ve ever put up. It has a single central pole and then just pegs to secure it to the ground while keeping its shape
- Can be used as shelters only……the sides of the tents can be rolled up leaving you with an open-sided shelter. We used it like this at my daughter’s bday party providing a shaded play area for the kids without them being cut off from everyone else
- Regulating temperature…..canvas cotton is a great material that will keep you cool in hot temperatures and warm in cold temperatures
- Price…..they certainly aren’t cheap to buy but depending on how regularly you use your tent you’ll be saving pretty quickly when compared to camping prices. I’ve also heard of people hiring out their tent to friends and family at a small cost to help cover the price
- Heavy…..this is the bell tent’s biggest letdown. They weigh a lot! I’m talking around 20-26kg!!! I can only carry my bell tent for short distances so you might want to invest in a hand trolley or a folding festival trolley to help you transport it
- Maintenance…..not one to overlook if you are buying a bell tent! Cotton canvas is not waterproof on the first use and requires constant maintenance. You’ll need to properly dry the tent (open) after each use and ensure it is packed away properly. It takes a bit of investment to keep your tent in good condition so it’s worth bearing this in mind
How many can sleep in a 4 metre tent?
That depends….absolute maximum capacity, if you really squeeze in and are on roll mats (not camp/air beds), is 6-8 adults. With this many squeezed in you really won’t have a lot of space for movement and baggage.
A more comfortable capacity for a 4m bell tent is 4 adults. Or 2 adults and 3 children.
A very spacious capacity would be 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. Anything less than this and it is super luxurious! We usually camp 2 adults on a double airbed and our daughter in the cot and the tent feels huge!
- 8 x single roll mats (absolute capacity!)
- 1 x double and 2 x singles (maximum capacity)
- 2 x double/queen (maximum capacity)
- 4 x singles (maximum capacity)
- 1 x double/queen and 1 x single (more comfortable)
- 3 x singles (more comfortable)
- 1 x double/queen and 2 x children’s singles (more comfortable)
If you are a bigger family or are looking for a tent that can accommodate a larger group then 5m bell tents are designed for a comfortable 4-6 adults. 6m bell tents 5-7 adults.
There are also a few 4.5m bell tents on the market if you just want that little bit extra wiggle room without ending up too huge!
Bell Tent Boutique have put together this helpful video so you can visualise how big the space is:
What thickness tent should I buy?
Generally speaking, cotton canvas tents fall into 2 categories of thickness:
270-300gsm thickness…..designed for lighter use. Perfect for someone intending to use it camping a few times a year but not for long-term use. The fabric is thick and waterproof but is slightly lighter making it easier to dry out after each use and also much lighter to carry.
350+ gsm thickness…..these heavier bell tents are designed for long-term use, such as someone setting up a glamping site or wanting to keep their tent up for several months at a time. They are heavy to carry and take a long time to dry out, but their extra weight means they can withstand wetter conditions and won’t get worn down so quickly.
Best (cotton canvas) 4m bell tents
There are a lot of cotton canvas bell tents on the market so narrowing down your options can feel pretty daunting. Below though, I’ve selected the 8 best 4m bell tents available. At the top you’ll find my *top pick* – the tent I am now the happy owner of, with no regrets. I’ve also included a *best value* tent. If budget is tight, Vevor is a great option. Although you can notice a difference in quality when compared to Bell Tent Boutique, the Vevor bell tent is still surprisingly strong, well-made and at an unbeatable price!
#1 *TOP PICK* Bell Tent Boutique
Bell tent Boutique are perhaps one of the most well-known suppliers of bell tents. Their tents really are top quality and they have a lot of happy customers and great reviews glowing with quality and good customer support. With free next day delivery you won’t have to wait long before having your tent in hand (they also ship to Europe). For these reasons, Bell Tent Boutique are my top pick for 4-metre bell tents and the tent I ultimately went for. I choose their mid-range 285gsm thickness bell tent – if wanting something that will be erected more long-term (ie over all the summer months) then check out their 360gsm tent.
Link: Bell Tent Boutique
Useful features: This bell tent includes a stove hole so you can self-cater, and it has been treated with PROBAN fire retardancy so you can be sure you’re safe even when cooking or heating up your space. With a waterproof groundsheet included you’ll be sure to keep a clean and tidy living space whatever the weather! Wraps up into a tight bag so it only takes up a very small amount of space in your vehicle!
Bell Boutique also offer a superlightweight polycotton tent. It won’t be as sturdy as their thicker versions but should still withstand light rain and is a good option if carrying a heavy folded-down bell tent is going to be a problem.
#2 *BEST VALUE* Vevor Teepee Tent
If you have the funds, I’d suggest going for a top-end brand like Bell Tent Boutique for better quality and a tent that will last. However, if you are on a tighter budget, Vevor (the outdoor and hardware store) has come out with their very own affordable 4m bell tent. This really is one of the best priced 4m bell tents available at just over £300 – it’s hard to beat. With over 400 mostly positive reviews and a great returns policy, you can make the purchase with peace of mind!
Website: VEVOR Family Camping Bell Tent
Useful features: This tent are it sleeps 5-8 people which is perfect if you have a large family or are travelling with friends or a large amount of luggage. This tent is waterproof, windproof, lightweight, and flat-packed so doesn’t take up much room in your vehicle. It can be set up within 30 minutes and is suitable for all seasons and weather. It has a stove jack in the tent so you can heat it up in the winter. Comes with a waterproof floor sheet so you know you’ll be covered even if you spill or have wet boots from hiking!
#3 4M Canopy Bell Tent
Link: Canopy Bell Tent
Useful features: This unique looking bell tent comes with a detachable canopy, with waterproof and rotproof material, this is a perfect bell tent for people who camp all year round. It is super easy to assemble and can be achieved by one person alone! There are 5 mesh windows, and 4 mesh air vents in the roof. As well as the waterproof ground sheet, this tent even comes with free bunting for the glamping aesthetic feel!
#4 TentHome 4-Season Bell Tent
Link: TentHome 4-Season Bell Tent
Useful features: An all-year tewnt with a waterproof interior and exterior. They claim that one person can set up within 15 minutes. Compact and easy to pack away and takes up only a small amount of space in the car. The material is water-resistant, fire-resistant and bug proof. The stove jack is another additional pro to this tent, making it a safe way to self-cater on your holiday.
#5 Latourreg Pyramid Round
Link: Latourreg Pyramid Round Bell Tent
Useful features: Made with waterproof treated canvas exterior and a waterproof groundsheet for year-round protection. This tent does include a stove jack which is situated on the side of this tent rather than the roof. There is lots of ventilation to keep airflow in your tent at a maximum and like the others can be compact into a small carry case for easy transport.
#6 BTV 4 XL
Link: BTV 4 XL Cotton Canvas Bell Tent
Useful features: This tent is made with waterproof, UV resistant fabric making it suitable for year-round camping and fun. It is also fire retardant, comes with a stove hole for self-catering and heating purposes. It is lightweight and compact, easy to assemble and the sturdy ground fixtures can give you peace of mind that your tent will stay put for the duration of your camping holiday!
#7 Kokoon Deluxe
Link: 4M Kokoon Bell Tent Deluxe
Useful features: This tent is made with breathable, waterproof and rotproof fabric for all yar round glamping. Fits a family of 4 very comfortably and can be assembled by a single person quickly and easily. With options of a stove hole and an inner tent, this is definitely a considerable glamping tent. Comes with the waterproof flooring and 4 mesh windows for bugproof air flow on hot days!
Best (polyester) 4m bell tents
As I mentioned previously, I’d advise against polyester bell tents if you have the capacity for a cotton canvas one. If budget or weight is a big consideration though, they may be your best choice. There aren’t a lot of polyester 4m bell tents but these are the best 2 on the market:
#1 *TOP PICK* Boutique Camping Weekender
Link: Weekender polyester Bell Tent
Useful features: Boutique Camping offers the perfect polyester bell tent designed for festivals and camping trips. Names the ‘Weekender’ bell tent, you have a choice of 7 different funky designs giving your tent a unique, stand out vibe (although there are sandstone and brown available if you’re looking for something a bit gentler!). The tent comes with a zipped-in groundsheet, thick central poles and extra-durable guy ropes and pegs. There’s no doubt that this is the best polyester bell tent on the market!
#2 CABLO: 4-Season
Details: The Cablo bell tent is lightweight and stable, quick to erect and spacious. At 10.5kg when packed down, this tent is half the weight when compared to its cotton canvas rivals.
If you have any questions or suggestions for brands I’ve missed for 4m bell tents, let me know in the comments box below!
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*Any women reading this?* I founded a women’s adventure community called Love Her Wild. Check out our private Facebook page and see what adventures we have coming up. You can sign up to my newsletter here. Also check out my recently published book Three Stripes South, all about my life-changing adventure hiking the length of Israel.