Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 Person Tent is a truly affordable and versatile option for camping and even for entry-level hiking and backpacking, for families and friends. It comes with a unique rear storage area.
Key features & benefits
- Very affordable price.
- Footprint included.
- Allows for the fast fly variant.
- Very simple structure.
- Great surface/weight ratio.
- Rear panel closet door and storage vestibule.
Who is it for
This tent is ideal for occasional camping at places with a car access. In such a case, the weight is not an issue and it can be used by 1 – 4 people. The same is if you go for kayaking and canoeing, this will be a great tool for such activities.
But its total weight of 8 lb 9 oz (3.89 kg) makes it suitable even for entry-level hikers and backpackers, for scouts, for summer open-air festivals and similar activities.
So if you are a beginner or you need a tool for occasional outdoor trips, and you do not want to spend much, this is the right tool, I have no doubts about it.
This is a simple and reliable tool which will protect you from elements and from insects. The tent is a standard 2-pole double layer structure, so you have the inner tent and the fly. Observe that it comes with its custom-fit footprint which adds a lot of value and protection for the tent floor. You will see the price below.
The tent is free-standing, so this is yet another great feature, you can pitch it on any terrain and you can even move it around when set up. This is due to its 2 poles that fit in the grommets in all corners. The same holes for the poles you have in the footprint and in the fly, so you realize what this means: this tent allows for the fast fly variant, to use it with the footprint and fly only, see the picture:
Note that the structure does not include the brow pole which would normally add some volume in the tent. The guylines and stakes are included in the package, so use them regardless of its freestanding nature, unless you want to have a flying tent.
There is only one door, this may not look so great for such a big tent, but this is bearable in view of the position of the door, see the picture:
The tent is quite high, 142 cm (56 in) and you will realize this also from the comparison table below. It is also large, no less than 6.5 square meters, so you definitely have a lot of space here for 4 people.
The setup is very easy, after you put the footprint on the ground (but you can use it without it of course), you spread the tent, add the poles and then hang the inner tent to the poles with the elegant clips. The canopy is a very breathable mesh, so you surely have a great breathability here, and this is further helped with the vents in the fly.
Rear closet area
The single vestibule does not provide much space for gear, but they have added a nice detail here: you have a rear panel closet door which leads to a storage space. Very clever and quite unique for tents of this type, see it in the picture:
The materials used here are quite good, practically the same as in their other new tent the Morrison EVO 4 tent. So the fabric is 68D for all elements as you will see below in specifications. In view of this, the weight looks reasonable.
They provide waterproofness rating, and it is quite good again, 2000 mm for the fly and 5000 mm for the floor. This is better than what you have in some winter tents, see for example this MSR Elixir 2 tent or this MSR Access 2 tent. Now you can understand their statement that this tent “offers best-in-class waterproof coatings on the floor and fly”. The floor is the bath-tub type, everything is seam taped and reliable.
There are only two press-fit poles here, 7000 series aluminum alloy. In view of its structure and materials, I am not sure why they describe it as a 2-season tent. I do not see the difference between this tent and others in the comparison table below.
Please see this short promotion video by the company, which gives the basic features of this new series that includes tents for 2, 3 and 4 people:
Pros & Cons
My summary looks as follows:
This tent comes with one door only for 4 people, not ideal but you have seen the floor plan above, it is not so bad. The addition of the mentioned rear storage area is perhaps more valuable than an extra door and vestibule.
The price is its best feature, only $145 for such a brand, this is a true bargain. Please check the links for updates, this changes all the time. Note, this is a Prime item,. and you also have the footprint included.
What users think
The Bear Creek 4 tent is a new tool, introduced by the company in 2017, yet it has already received quite a number of reviews by users. On Amazon, the average rating for this tent is really high, 4.3/5. See below how I rate it:
My rating breakdown of the Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 Person Tent
Area per person - 8.2/10
Surface to weight ratio - 9.5/10
Packed size - 9.4/10
Reliability - 9.5/10
Ease of use and features - 9.5/10
Price - 9.7/10
User Review( votes)
- Type: two-season, free standing.
- Capacity: 4-person tent.
- Trail weight: 7 lb 2 oz (3.23 kg).
- Packaged weight: 8 lb 9 oz (3.89 kg).
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 92 x 112 x 56 in (234 x 284 142 cm).
- Packed size: 19 x 8 in (48 x 20 cm).
- Floor area: 70 ft² (6.50 m²).
- Vestibule area: 12 ft² (1.11 m²).
- One door.
- Fast fly set-up.
- Footprint included.
- Bathtub floor construction.
- Taped floor seams.
- Interior mesh storage pockets.
- Tent fly ventilation windows.
- No-See-Um mesh wall panels.
- Clip-pole attachment.
- Reflective guylines with tension-lock cord adjustment.
- Reflective highlights for all stake out points.
– Fly: 68D x 185t Poly PU 2000 mm.
– Tent: 68D x 185T Breathable Poly.
– Floor: 68D x 190td Poly PU 5000 mm.
– Poles: 7000 series aluminum alloy.
– Storage sack: 68d Poly Ripstop.
– J-stakes included.
- Lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 vs Competitors
It is always good to see how a tent compares with similar tents from other brands, so here are a few:
*This is with footprint.
Clearly, the Bear Creek 4 tent offers far more inner space than its competitors, which is certainly great to have, but observe that it has only one vestibule. The total area for the three tents is, respectively 8.1, 7.9, 7.61 m². They do not provide numbers for the effective space in the rear storage area, but you surely have more than 7.61 m².
Its other parameters are great, see the Surface/Weight ratio, it is impressive, remember this is with the footprint included for all the tents.
The prices of the three tents at the moment of writing the text are, respectively, $210, 333, 145. Now you realize why this tent is going to be very popular. Remember, this is a renown brand.
To conclude this Mountainsmith Bear Creek 4 Person Tent review, this is a rather simple tent, yet it still has some unique features which you would not expect in such a design. This is a reliable tool with the great price tag, I trust this brand and I can fully recommend this tent.
If you need something smaller, the series includes also the tents for 2 and 3 people, you can see them here. Note also that this company has launched yet another 4-person tent in 2017, the Morrison EVO 4, you might want to compare the two.
If you still feel you need something different, please visit my page with tents and tarps, there are many great options available.
Thank you for reading. If you have any comment or question, please use the comment box below. Have a nice day.