Price is always an objective analysis of your requirements. The fact that a 3 – 4 berth tent may be expensive but caters to your requirements means that it is actually a good tent which you should go ahead and purchase. The other important consideration in the equation is longevity – which probably makes it really important for you to look at price differently. A good quality material tent can almost last a life time, making it a value purchase. The non-synthetic often poorly made materials may not last that long and often is unable to bear the harshness of weather – making them an unsuitable and often useless product.
A simple maths equation will help you understand the impact of price on longevity. Consider a tent that costs £100 and lasts 5 year at maximum considering one outdoor trip at least per year. The intrinsic cost of the tent comes out to be £20 a year. Now take in consideration a tent that costs £400 but can lost for about 25 years or more and will still have some residual value after such a long duration. Now the actual cost of the tent comes to only £16 and it probably still has some re-sale value making it such a better proposition and purchase. The comfort and reliability are also factors that we have not even considered for the comparison – how often would you want to camp in the outdoors with the fear that your tent may actually not hold up. The other issues like manufacturing faults, breakages, weather damage may also result in to a terrible camping experience.
The first step that comes in the purchase is having a clear requirement; once you have established your requirements you can proceed about the impact of price. Reliable and known brands in the market will always have some brand margin over their price making them a bit more expensive. The second hand market is also a good option along with internet sites that you can look to if you are looking for cheaper options. People selling their second hand equipment because they are hoping to upgrade are perfectly reasonable customers and this is a potential of a properly good deal (for both parties).
Considered all else equal, a good 3-4 berth tent can cost anywhere between £250 to £500 with plus minus a few pounds. Off course there are other alternatives available, some of them will be even cheaper but this solely depends on you. If you are wishing to purchase a long term solution, it is better to have good space as you may need extra space over time. The cheaper alternatives often have materials which are not fully reliable but work over a period of time almost perfectly well. If you are brand conscious you can check individual brand sites to see for a tent that perfectly suits your requirement.
Always remember, a compromise in price means that you are letting some of the functionality go – if you can work without the added functionality, rest assured that you can purchase great berth tents for 3 – 4 people for even less than £200.