In this Big Agnes Tensleep Station 4 review you can read about one of the best 4-person camping tents on the market, an incredibly versatile tool with unmatched features. So keep reading, I am sure you will be impressed.
Key features & benefits
- Incredibly versatile camping tent.
- Very stable structure with 4 poles.
- Two vestibules.
- A lot of storage areas under vestibules and in pockets.
- Very high tent.
- A multitude of variants with the front vestibule.
- Awning variants.
- Variants with the rolled up fly on the sides.
- Ground flaps on the vestibule to keep out rain or snow.
What type is it
I would like to start by stressing how impressed I am with this tent, such a versatile tool is rarely seen and you will realize this from all its features below.
So, this is a freestanding tent, which means you can pitch it on any surface, no need (in principle) to stake it to the ground. But this is a very tall tent, no less than 68 in (173 cm), and as such it is an obstacle for the wind, so it is good to stake it down whenever possible. Note that you have no less than 19 stakes included, and all guylines are in place.
This is a camping tent, which implies a lot of versatility and many features, but this also implies extra weight. So this is not a lightweight tent.
The Big Agnes Tensleep Station 4 is also in the group of 3-season tents. This would imply that it is not for winter camping. To see more about winter tents, it is best to check my separate text. But you will see below that this tent has 4 strong poles, rip-stop materials, flaps on the vestibule. With all these features it looks like a tool that is able to withstand a lot of pressure and force. It looks stronger to me than some tents that are officially declared as 4-season tents.
This is a two-layer structure, with the inner tent and a full coverage fly, and with this it looks like a typical 3-season tent; but note that there are winter tents as well that are with the same two-layer structure.
Who is it for
This is a very reliable tool suitable for camping at places with a car or motorbike access, practically anywhere if you do not have to carry it in the backpack. The packed size is reasonable, 27 x 15 x 5 inches (68 x 38 x 12 cm) and it can indeed be transported on a motorbike. In general, this is a strong tool for frequent use, ideal for families and groups.
As the name suggests, the Tensleep Station 4 is a tent for four people. Indeed, you have 65 square feet (6 square meters) of the floor area, which means 1.5 square meters per person. But you also have two large vestibules (more below), and it is rare for me to say that this tent really provides enough space for the declared number of users. You know well that with many other tents on the market this is not so.
In the specifications, they give the trail weight and packed weight, see below, the terminology is described in my separate text. But realistically, you will use it in its full package, 14 lb 11 oz (6.66 kg), so this is not a backpacking tool. If used by a group of adults, the elements can be shared and it can be used as a hiking tool or mountaineering tool, it offers so much comfort that this can be worth the effort, but I would not carry it to very long distances.
The tent is with two doors on the opposite sides, so this is an optimal design. They are with both mesh and polyester layers, so you can keep the mesh for ventilation and protection from insects and the flap in the case of strong winds and rain.
Inside the tent you have a lot of options for storage of small items, there are many mesh pockets directly above the floor fabric, and also several overhead pockets. Even in the vestibule, you have mesh pockets. You also have gear loops on the ceiling where you can attach gear lofts (the Big Agnes has them in several shapes and sizes).
You have really good materials used in the construction. So the poles are 11 millimeters aluminum, and you have 4 of them. Three poles are used for the main body, and the fourth is used for the front vestibule. Those are press-fit type poles and they are connected to the main tent through sleeves and plastic clips.
The tent body is a combination of the breathable polyester rip-stop and polyester mesh, and the floor is waterproof polyester with a polyurethane coating. The floor is the bath-tub style for extra protection from groundwater. A lot of mesh windows around allow for an optimal air circulation and for comfort. Note that on the top you have sleeves for poles, which is good for stability in the case of wind.
The fly is a waterproof rip-stop polyester and it is equipped with a vent. More about it below.
The fly and vestibules
The vestibules are the best part of this tent. They are the part of the fly of course, and you have two of them. The rear vestibule is quite standard, similar to what you have in many tents, and it offers 8 square feet (0.7 sq m) of covered space. Here, you would probably want to keep boots and shoes and similar stuff, they will be fully protected from the rain.
But the front vestibule is where this tent shines. It is so versatile and with so many features which you will hardly find anywhere else. You can set it up in various configurations, and it is best to see them in the pictures around. Even some awning configurations are there, with open or closed sides, etc., see the pictures.
This vestibule is also with dual layers on its windows, so you have mesh and polyester and you will use it as you wish, dependent on weather conditions. Below you see the closed vestibule but one window is open, with mesh only, for ventilation. Simply ingenious.
A similar versatility is in the main part of the fly which is over the tent, so you can roll it up and fix in place and keep that way for better views and air circulations, and you can quickly pull it down if it starts raining. See some possibilities in the pictures below. Did I already say it is ingenious?
You have very clear instructions on the attached tag, so all steps are self-evident. Everything is color coded and you will not have problems to find what goes where, see more in the video below.
You are fully protected here, both floor and the fly are with 1500 mm rating, which is good enough even for hurricane-type rains. All seams are taped of course.
Here is a short video by Big Agnes, so please have a look:
Pros & Cons
Here is my summary:
|Good & Cool||Less good|
It is hard to find any objection to this tent, and this is rare for me. But see the price below.
The tent is without a footprint; it is not compulsory but it may be very useful and it protects this expensive tent from the ground. It can be ordered separately. Note that its weight is 1 lb (454 g).
The price is clearly not the best feature of this tent, it is expensive but worth the investment. At the moment of writing the text, the Amazon price is around $450.
So this is not a tent for everybody’s pocket, but this is a tool equally great for professionals as well as for beginners.
What users think
From what I have seen so far, the Tensleep Station 4 tent has received only the highest rating by users, simply incredible. On Amazon, you will see its perfect score 5.0/5. See below how I rate it:
My rating of the Big Agnes Tensleep Station 4 Tent
My relatively low mean value for the rate of this tent is due to its price and weight. But see the other criteria.
You can disregard the weight, the tent is not designed to be carried long distances. As for the price, disregard it if you can.
Specifications & summary of features
- Trail weight: 13 lb 6 oz (6.07 kg).
- Packed weight: 14 lb 11 oz (6.66 kg).
- Floor area: 65 sq ft (6.0 sq m).
- Floor dimensions: 100 x 96/82 in (254 x 244/208 cm) – different front and rear size.
- Peak height: 68 in (173 cm).
- Packed size: 27 x 15 x 5 in (68 x 38 x 12 cm).
– front vestibule area: 31 sq ft (2.9 sq m).
– rear vestibule: 8 sq ft (0.7 sq m).
- 4 interior mesh pockets, 2 cargo pockets, 2 media pockets.
- 2 large doors.
- 2 vestibules.
- 19 lightweight aluminum hook stakes included.
- Poles: 4, lightweight aluminum.
- Poles diameter: 11 mm.
- Fly: polyester rip-stop, 1500 mm.
- Floor: polyester, 1500 mm.
- All seams taped.
- Two mesh windows in the front vestibule.
- Front vestibule with awning style.
- Fly walls can be rolled up.
- Color-coded webbing and buckles for an easy setup.
- Storm flaps on the vestibule for extra fortification from the elements.
- One fly vent.
- Velcro tabs connect fly to pole structure.
- Reflective guylines and reflective webbing.
- Gear loft loops included.
- Briefcase style carry bag with shoulder straps and organizational pockets.
Big Agnes Tensleep 4 vs Competitors
I think it is good to compare this tent with some other top tools on the market. So here are two of them, both camping-type tents, see how they compare:
*This is without vestibules area. For the Tensleep 4 this would give 1.45 m²/kg with the two vestibules.
Clearly, the two Kelty’s tents are not a match. But see the prices. At the moment of writing this text they are, respectively, $450, 230, and 147. The differences are drastic.
Big Agnes Tensleep Series
This great series by Big Agnes includes the tent presented here, and the larger version Tensleep 6 Tent presented in another text.
In the conclusion of this Big Agnes Tensleep Station 4 Review, it is not enough to say that I am just impressed. As you know, various tents are with different purpose, some are for backpacking, some for camping, so there can be no the best tent in an absolute sense. But in my view, this is the best one for camping presented in this site so far.
All variants shown above are to demonstrate how much comfort this tent can offer. But this all aside, you realize that it offers almost 10 square meters of covered space in the main part and under the two vestibules. Fully recommended, if you can afford it, of course, you have seen the price. You might want to check also this Browning Glacier 4 tent.
But if you are in search of a tent for a different purpose, like strictly backpacking and hiking, or a winter tent, or just a tarp, please see my page with tents and shelters. You will find something for you, I am sure about it. For example, check also this Coleman Instant Cabin Tent 4 or the Marmot Limestone 4 tent.
Thank you for reading. Please note that there is a comment box below, so let me know what you think, and use it if you have any question. I wish you a pleasant day.