In this EXIO 4 Person 3.5 Season Backpacking Tent Review you can read about my new nicely built yet very affordable tent that comes with a footprint included.
Key features & benefits
- Very reliable tent.
- Great price.
- Very good packed size.
- 2 doors.
- 2 vestibules.
- Easy setup.
- Low profile performs well in windy conditions.
- Footprint included.
What kind of tent is this – what is in the name
I have received this tent very recently and I am really impressed with it. So this is my preliminary review before more serious testing in strong rains. This is a new item on the market, it appeared just a few months ago. In the title, I use the name which the manufacturer uses, and in the text below I am going to address the number 3.5 in the name which indicates seasons for its best use.
The tent is a 2-layer type, and it is fully freestanding. A good news for those who dislike sleeves, you do not have them here; the structure becomes freestanding when you fix the intersections of the poles by the Velcro tabs which you have on the inner tent. The fly clips to the inner tent’s corners through 4 buckles which you have at the ends of the two longer poles.
The tent is designed for 4 people and the weight is such that it can indeed be used as a tool for backpackers and hikers, more about this below.
Who is it for
The declared capacity of this tent is 4 people. Now, let’s see how realistic this is. The inner floor area is 55 ft² (5.14 m²) which gives 13.8 ft² (1.3 m²) per person. They describe it as a backpacking tent, and clearly, they have had a backpacking principle in mind with such a declared capacity. Below you see the most important dimensions and how the manufacturer suggests using this tent for four occupants:
I have used my own sleeping pad in this tent, and can tell you that there is just enough space for 4 people when you place them side by side as they suggest in the direction of the two doors (see the picture above). Though 3 people would do much better.
However, this tent has two vestibules. My rough estimate for the covered area is 0.6 m² (6.5 ft²) under each of the vestibules. So you have precious 1.2 square meters extra to put your shoes and gear. With this, the total covered space per person becomes 17 ft² (1.6 m²).
This is not so bad and it is quite typical for backpacking tents. You will see how it compares regarding the area with some other top-notch tents of this size, there is a comparison table below.
They use the word ‘backpacking’ in the name, though the weight is 8.9 lb (4.04 kg). So, there are lighter options on the market, but see the price for one of them here, you will realize it is 4 times more expensive.
In the comparison table below you will be able to compare its weight with some other top brands’ tents. Note that you have the elements of the tent in several different carry bags within the main bag, so the users can share the weight, see the picture below.
About materials – for how many seasons is this tent really
The fly. You have 20D Rip-Stop/Fire-Retardant, Bravura Nylon Shell with 2000 mm hydrostatic head due to its PU coating. The material is durable and tear-resistant. When you see it in real, I can tell you it looks stronger than what these data show you. The ripstop structure is clearly visible in the material.
You also have six guy-line points, plus 3 mm DuraWeave reflective rope and industrial grade aluminum tensioners. The fly is full-coverage of course, and you have 2 large vents equipped with mesh, they are positioned on the sides without the doors.
The inner tent is with large areas built from a mesh, see the pictures. The floor is a strong 40D ripstop nylon PU coated and with 3000 mm waterproof rating, all with PolyPro sealant on the seams. Note that you have a bathtub design, so all is done properly here.
You can compare this with some other tents that are also declared as 3.5-seasons or winter tents. So take the MSR Access 2 Tent as an example – you have 20D and 1200 mm for the fly, and 30D with 3000 mm for the floor. See also the MSR Advance 2 Pro Tent which is a winter tent; here you have 20D 1000 mm for the fly and 30D 3000 mm for the floor.
So I would say that EXIO 4 Tent stands really great when compared with these top quality 3.5 – 4 season tents. But see also the Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 4 Tent in the comparison table below, and there are some other parameters and features to consider, so keep reading.
You have two longer silver color poles and two with the orange color, plus a shorter black ridge pole which raises the doors and makes them vertical. All of them are visible in the picture below.
Now, if you are familiar with winter tents in general, you know that the more intersections the stronger the tent structure. So here you have 4 intersections for the main long poles and these are the most important, plus the other two intersections due to the short cross pole. So this is a rather stable structure, see the picture:
Note also that the tent is relatively low, you have 44.75 in (114 cm) the peak height. So this is both bad and good. The bad is obviously that you cannot walk inside, but you can sit in the bigger part of the tent, and the doors are low in particular on the vestibules. The good is that such a low profile is not a big obstacle for the wind, so this together with the 4 main poles, the 6 guyline points, and its aerodynamic shape makes it rather stable in windy situations.
Note that here you have the length/height ratio equal 2, and the tent is nearly square, so this is indeed a very wide and stable construction.
The tent is a 2-layer type with lots of mesh and such a structure will not keep the warmth so better not to use it at very cold places. But again, such a structure is the same what you have in the mentioned the MSR Access 2 Tent which they describe as a 3.5 – 4 seasons tent.
All in all, the whole structure of the EXIO 4 tent makes it quite suitable for the 3.5 seasons use.
Other features & setup
I really did not read instructions when I set the tent up for the first time, it was all self-evident. Just bear in mind that the tent is not fully squared, so the orange poles are a bit shorter.
As soon as you fix the poles’ intersections by the 4 Velcro straps, you have a fully freestanding structure with 8 poles’ ends on the ground and in the grommets. After you clip the inner tent to the poles, you can rotate the structure and move it around.
Adding the fly is easy and self-evident because of the doors and zippers which you have on the fly. It connects to the tent through 4 buckles and even at this stage, this structure is movable. There are Velcro tabs underneath the fly to attach it to the poles, so do not miss to do this to avoid unnecessary flapping in the wind.
The footprint & fast fly variant
As I mentioned above, the footprint is included in the package. From what I see the material is the same as the tent floor, so this is an extra protection for the tent and I wouldn’t miss using it.
But such a footprint with grommets in the corners allows also for the fast-fly variant. This means using the rain fly, the poles, and the footprint, and you will have a freestanding structure with the weight of 5.25 lb (2.38 kg).
The carry bag
Here you have an interesting and functional “burrito-style” shape. The bag opens wide and it was really easy for me to store the tent back into it. I have seen the same style in the Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 3 Tent and in a few other models from that brand.
The stakes are the aluminum alloy Y-beam type, so this is the best design for the all-around terrain types. The Y-cross section makes them very stiff and difficult to bend, and they have an excellent holding power in a hard and rocky ground and they do not rotate. I have received them 20 in the package, though on Amazon I read that there should be 16, see how they look:
The inner area
There are pockets inside for each occupant, good size, for small items and for clothes. You can see one of them here, plus the reinforcement in the floor design. No other features inside.
I mentioned two vents, so they are on the sides without the doors and they are positioned very low (see the picture at the beginning of the text), and you have Velcro stiffeners to keep them open all the time. So they will create a good cross flow for sure.
But there are no openings on the top, and right now I am not sure how this will perform when the vestibules are closed during the rainy nights. I shall add some thoughts later after using the tent in mountains. From what I see around, nobody complained so far about tent’s sweating.
What is EXIO
EXIO is a new brand, they have a few tents on the market and they all are top-notch items. You can realize this if you see my another review of their 6-person tent which has received my highest rating in the group of family camping tents. So clearly, they have started with a philosophy of building quality tools and at a really affordable price.
At their site they write that their tents building “involves real people, miles of trails, and years of trial and error” and that they are “designed by a team who’s been there-and-back, for whom the outdoor life is life. In short, people just like you.”
Being an active mountaineer myself, I love what they say.
- Weight: 8.9 lb (4.04 kg).
- Dimensions: 93 x 86 in (236 x 218 cm).
- Floor area: 55 ft² (5.14 m²).
- Area per person: 13.8 ft² (1.3 m²).
- Vestibules area: 6.5 + 6.5 ft² (0.6 + 0.6 m²).
- Peak height: 44.75 in (114 cm).
- Packed size: 21 x 7 in (53 x 18 cm).
- Warranty: 3-year limited repair or replace warranty.
EXIO 4 Person Tent vs Competitors
Here is the EXIO 4 Tent side by side with two top-rated tent from renown brands. I give only some basic parameters, so please follow the links in the table for more. The prices for the three tents are respectively, $160, 417, 202, so as you realize the EXIO is without a match.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor size, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Packed size, in (cm)
Payable Every Month
21 x 7 (53 x 18)
Payable Every Year
27.5 x 10 (70 x 26)
Morrison EVO 4
Payable Every Year
20 x 9 (51 x 23)
In the conclusion of this EXIO 4 Person 3.5 Season Backpacking Tent review I would stress its incredible price and the bonus footprint. They have built a really affordable yet quality tent. I am impressed and the same appears to be the case with other users. The tent is lightweight enough for hikers and backpackers, and certainly perfect for any cross country motorbike tour; just see its packed size. So, I can fully recommend this tent for any weather conditions in a 3-season-plus use.
Thank you for reading. If you still need something different regarding the style or the design, please check my page with tents and bivies. You might want also to check this Marmot Halo 4 tent, and also the MSR Elixir 4, both 2018 versions; but if you need a much lighter tent check this Mountainsmith Genesee 4. Need something for all seasons and winter use? If so, check this Snugpak The Cave 4 Person Tent. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.