Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
chasineyes

Tent Help

26 posts in this topic

Looking to buy a tent for the family, 4 of us total. Anyone have any recommendations. We looked at Gander and Mills so far.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would check out gear finder on Backpacker.com They have great reviews of family tents.

I bought a Kelty Green River 6 last spring for a larger tent for my non-backcountry tent. I'm very happy with. Plenty of space for a family of 4. The front screen porch is great. I'm 6' and I can stand up and move around inside without hunching over. Kelty is known for high quality tents.

A few brands to look at are: Kelty, Sierra Designs, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot and the REI tents. Rei store brand tents have always received awesome reviews but you won't be able to find great internet deals for them.

Don't worry about price too much when looking at tents. Decide on 2-4, then shop around on the internet. You will be amazed at the tent deals you can usually find just by spending some time searching around online retailers. Most will have free shipping and will give you the footprint for the tent free. I saved around $200 doing this when I purchased my tent.

Email me and I'll give you some inside info on tents and the local retailers- mikelandscapeguru@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also tents tend to be one of those items where you get what you pay for. If you go cheap your then usually will have issues. If you spend a bit more money on a quality brand you will have better camping trips.

Nothing worse then taking the family camping only to be stuck in a leaky tent during a rainy weekend. Makes everyone wet and miserable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget to check out the line of tents Cabelas offers and you can do it on their HSOforum. When spring comes they will have an outdoor camping expo when they set up most of the models so you can "Try them on for size". They only sell quality tents. Some are more pricy but you won't have to buy a new one every 3 years because of cheap materials and workmanship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Santa brought the kids a Eureka Copper Canyon 1512 this year. Have not set it up yet but it has more of a straight wall to give us more head room being I am 6'3" it will also give us more usable floor space. Hopefully this gives us plenty of room inside for the 4 of us. We also wanted a larger tent incase it rains and we need to go inside to play games until the rain stops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of camping are you going to be doing? BWCA trips where weight is a factor? Late fall or winter when you need to worry about the snowload capabilities? Car camping at a state park? Price range? Lot's of good tents out there but need to narrow your needs down a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Camping will be just from our vehicle with the kids. No hiking or backpacking or winter trips. One thing I noticed was some of them have an "enclosed" outdoor area connected to the tent. This would be nice for taking shoes off etc.,. I'm sure I'll have to spend about 250-300 for a decent tent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, make sure you get one with enough room. for a family of 4 get one that sleeps 6. been down that road. you wont regret it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the kind of money your looking to spend and the type of camping you'll be doing, I'd suggest looking into Eureka tents. No need for a ton of extra room in the tent if you have a car nearby to store things that you don't want to get wet. To be honest, I've not used any of the large six person tents, just the smaller pup style ones. I've been pretty happy with them for trips to the BWCA in the snowfree season and state parks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tents,

If you have 4 people, then look for a 6 person tent at a minimum. Yes, you will appreciate the "extra room", tho most likely you'll wonder how they could fit 6 people in one rated for 6.

Even tho you will have an auto nearby, i would suggest getting one with a vestibule out front. They are great for wet sandals/shoes, and for a few other items that need to stay dry. plus, its nice to have an area between the tent, and the outdoors, to buffer the weather

I have a cabelas xwt tent, indestuctable except for the zippers(replaced all of them after 7 years of use). I have a family of 3 and a husky and have a 9x9 footprint, and wish i had a 10x10 so use that as a guide. I have spent over 150 nights camping on the island sites of VNP with this tent, and it's still going strong.

If in doubt go bigger, and spend a bit more now for a good tent that will last.

PS: If they offer a floor tarp, get one (or 2), they are a good investment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Xplorer said if you want a 4 person tent thats got room to spare go with a 6. They set tent person ratings based on the number of 78"x24" rectangles they can fit inside. They do not account for gear storage inside. Go look for a 6.

For $250-300 you can get a lot of tent if you search the internet for deals. The Kelty I bought last spring had a suggested retail of $400 for the tent and $75 for the foot print. I paid $250 for the tent and $50 for the foot print. Both came with free shipping.

You will be hard pressed to find deals on store brand tents. REI brand tents are the only ones that are worth paying full price for.

Avoid any tent that has a woven tarp style floor. Those will leak guaranteed. Go with a tent that has a nylon tarp floor and like Xplorer said get the floor tarp(foot print).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to go out to stores, check out tents and talk to knowledgeable people there are a few places I'd recommend. There are also a few I'd say don't buy any of the tents from some places because they don't carry any brands that are worth the money.

Since I can't name store names on here you'll have to email me from my address above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

chasineyes:

[Note from admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

It's a pretty good spot to look for camping gear and tents especially. It offers descriptions on the product,reviews from people that have tested the product in the outdoors and most of all, it does the digging around for you to find the on-line stores offering the best price at the time for the gear you are looking for.

Hope it helps you and your family out finding that "perfect" tent for this summers escapes.

Farmer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eureka Sunrise 12

Great tent and easy to setup.

I also have the Sunrise 9, but it is to small for 4, but perfect for 2.

Consider where you will be camping. Big tents require a bigger space for them.

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eureka Sunrise 12 is also GREAT in the rain! Nice big awnings over the large windows so you can have them open, even in the rain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing wrong with mentioning stores on this site. What isn't allowed is providing links to other sites.

I'm sure quetico is talking about REI and or midwest mountaineering. Both stores have a huge selection of tents and they have space for you to set them up and try them on "for size".

I have 3 REI-brand tents. The price is right and the quality is fantastic. I've got a 2, 3 and a 4 man tent. Our family likes to be pretty minimalist when we camp. Personally I would prefer to bring a screenhouse for camping when I'm worried about weather. That way the tent is for sleeping and relaxing. You reduce the amount of traffic, wet and dirty/sandy clothes.

If you are planning on getting one tent for the whole purpose, then look for tents with full coverage fly's. Your tent will be drier and it will allow you to have ventilation in your tent even if its raining. A vestibule allows you space to store shoes outside. I don't store gear in the tent because there is never enough room. If 4 people brought in 4 backpacks or duffel bags then you'd need an 8person tent.

I sleep 2 adults (both 6ft tall), 2 daughters and a 40lb springer in our 4person tent. We're only in there at night and we sleep comfortably. Its the REI halfdome 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking to buy a tent for the family, 4 of us total. Anyone have any recommendations. We looked at Gander and Mills so far.

Thanks

I agree with what everyone else has stated so far, go bigger...its nice to have the extra room.

My wife and I bought a new tent a couple of years ago. We normally spend a week to ten days each year camping at Lake Vermilion. I would recommend that you at least check out the Columbia Cougar Flats II. It has a lot of nice features..... two rooms and some pretty unique venting that makes it a very comfortable tent. We have been thru some good rain and wind storms and never had a problem. Cabelas sells them...and that is where you could read a bunch of reviews.

This isn't the front...the main entry is on the other side and it goes directly into the main screen room area.

IMG_0082.jpg

Like I said, The front of the tent is all screened in and we used it to kick off our shoes and had a couple of lawn chairs and a fridge...nice place to sit and hang out when it was raining or whatever. The back room was big enough for us to have a queen size bed and all our cloths and another lawn chair to sit in while getting ready in the mornings. We had a few days of very heavy wind and rain and we stayed dry.

IMG_0140.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking Midwest and REI. When it comes to REI tents everyone I've talked to says the same thing as Powerstroke. All the reports on them match what Powerstroke says. High quality and awesome value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought a cabelas alaskan guide series 6 person for the family a few years ago. It is a great tent. Last year it slept my wife and I on a queen size cot and two pack and plays for kids. Also, a nice entry to put the dog and his crate to keep him out of the elements. This tent is built for bad weather and is still easy to put up. However, I should have gone with the 8 person. We only use it when the car is no more than 50ft away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check Target, I have heard they are really thinning out their sporting goods, esp camping stuff. The sell Eddie Bauer and Coleman tents, both decent brands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is target going to stop selling tents all together? I know they've always carried a good selection of tents. When it comes to the both brands making decent tents I'll hold my tongue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is target going to stop selling tents all together? I know they've always carried a good selection of tents. When it comes to the both brands making decent tents I'll hold my tongue.

Selling out to make more room for "girlie things" I suppose. That seems to be there main focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you buy a tent, a inflatable mattress is a must. They're cheap, are waaay more comfy than the ground and will keep you much warmer when the ground is cold. If you buy one that's all plastic, you will need to have a warmer blanket or sleeping bag on top of it, otherwise they are cold. Mine has a felt-like top to it which helps with the warmth. I think I paid 25 bucks for mine and it's queen size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0