Tent suggestions

Buckshot88

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
Im planning on getting on a club that is extremely family friendly. It's a little far to drive so I'm thinking we could get a tent and spend some weekends riding the four wheeler, fishing in the creek and letting the kids enjoy the outdoors. Then in the fall, use the same tent as a hunting camp. What would be the best tent to be this versatile?
 

Buckshot88

Senior Member
Thread starter #3
4 people. And I would like to stay under $200, but if it's a good tent (and I can talk the wife into it) I could do more.
 

Miguel Cervantes

GON Severe Weatherman
#4
I know it sounds crazy, but the best setup for the money I've seen was when we were camping at Black Rock Mtn State Park this past fall. There was an Amish family that had taken a 10 x 10' Ozark Trail canopy (quick setup) with anchor stakes and added the wall kit to it ($35?). They had bunk cots for their two kids and single cots for the two adults. A small table for a coleman stove and hung an electric lantern from the center structure.

Don't know what their all in was with the cots, but they couldn't have had more than $150 in the tent / walls setup based on prices from WalMart.

I have owned many different tents (still do :banginghe ) over the years and in my experience if you want to house 4 people comfortably you will need at least a 6 man tent and for real comfort more likely an 8 man.

I like a full rain fly, not just a top fly, but those usually only come on 3 season tents with a full screen ventilation top. Contrary to some manufacturers advice, I use a good silicone waterproofing spray on all of the fabric surfaces of my tents and rain flys.

On a recent outing this winter I failed to waterproof two new smaller tents and paid a heavy price assuming the factory waterproofing was sufficient.

With the canopy setup you can use a tarp as the floor / ground cloth and will have at least a 7 foot ceiling giving plenty of room for standing up.

My current tent collection is:

1- Eureka Solitaire one man backpacking tent.
1 - REI Half dome (by far the best waterproofing and ease of set up from the factory) but pricy
1 - Kelty 4 man, again pricy but high quality
1 - Field and Stream 6 man (great for three people with large air mattresses and gear) at a great price, but needs extensive waterproofing. This one is now on sale at Dicks, and I believe there is even an 8 man version. The large vestibule on the front is very handy on this tent also.

I have owned a Swiss Gear 10 man that had tons of room in it, but it was a colossal pain to set up and took up too much space, plus it weighed a ton.

I already have the 10x10 canopy with walls and am considering using it for my next outing just to see how comfy it is. It should be comparable to using a safari expedition setup, but staking out at every possible guy point is a must due to low wind resistance with this setup. As well as thorough waterproofing.

There isn't a single tent of any type I would setup and leave in the elements for extended periods of time, but instead would be a per trip setup.

Good luck and I will be monitoring this thread to see what others recommend.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
#5
A 16 foot tipi would be nice, but it will set you back a lot more than your listed budget.
 
#7
Get a tent larger than you think you need, and use a tarp for a
ground cloth under the tent....I prefer square sided tents because they have more headroom over dome tents....
use seam sealer on seams, spray silicone waterproof for the sides , and extra large tarp to supplement the rain fly in wet weather...
 

normaldave

Senior Member
#8
Not exactly what you asked for, but maybe just what you need... We used to camp with two tents and 6 people, plus mountain bikes and/or kayaks.

I found a guy online that built a small cargo trailer conversion, and was hooked. As a matter of fact, sitting in it right now in a "monsoon" in NE Alabama...

Anyway, we use it as a toy hauler and convert it to a camper when we get there. It also stores our gear when we aren't camping. Now it will cost more than a tent, but in the long run, ours has proved really handy, I don't think we'll go back. In your case, unload the four wheeler, setup the cots, and ready to camp. No wet stuff to pack up later, all gear is secured while you travel.

Here's a post that explains the idea:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=48345

Here it is setup for sleeping:


Eureka tents often at a good sale price at Academy Sports or CSP outdoors (online)

http://www.cspoutdoors.com/sales-specials/eureka-tetragon-5-family-recreational-camping-tent/

Good Luck.
 

transfixer

Senior Member
#9
If you want your wife to enjoy tent camping and continue to go, I suggest buying the biggest one you can afford and setup comfortably, the canopies with sides is a good idea, but in summertime you're going to need air flow, so keep that in mind.

Oh yeah,, don't fall for the camping air mattresses, no one will be comfortable, search the internet for some mattress sized foam, at least 3in thick , 4in is better, they can be rolled up can secured with straps for transportation. There are places online you can order foam wholesale.
 

cjones

Senior Member
#10
I just bought a Coleman Weathermaster 6 last week based on reviews I saw online. Haven't set it up yet, but I watched several YouTube videos of people that I'm not sure how they get out of bed in the morning without breaking something being able to put it together, so I figure I'll be able to piece it together. Price ($176) seemed reasonable, too.
 

660griz

Senior Member
#11
I have used the canopy option but, you will probably need a tarp over the canopy. Most are for shade and are not waterproof.
 
#12
Don't skimp on a tent. Skimp on something else and buy a good tent that doesn't leak, or you will be miserable. Cabela's branded tents are really good for the money. Get one that has a rain fly that goes all the way to the ground.
 

3ringer

Senior Member
#13
I have a waterproof Coleman Instant Tent. I used it up at Sara's Creek when we went for a trout fishing trip. It was raining really hard one night. That tent leaked so bad , I just moved my sleeping bag outside . I got less wet than inside the tent. I have never been so wet and miserable. Don't skimp on a quality tent.
 

660griz

Senior Member
#14
Check out REI's Kingdome series. I was going to get one of these as a base camp for Colorado. Ended up doing something different but, if I had to get a tent for more than 2 folks, it would probably be The Kingdome 6 or 8.
 

drmajor

Senior Member
#15
Bigger is better.!

Do you want to stand?

Many tents tilt in so the floor size at the floor isn't the size 1' up...

Better quality usually means dryer, better venting, design.

I have Cabelas four man. It works for wife and I...no more!
Also have umbrella six man. Nice for longer time. Easy standing, plenty of room...for two+.

Try looking at https://www.campmor.com/c/s/gear/tents/family-tents

++++ on rain fly!
 
#16
Here is a thread on tents. I like the REI in the first photo. I also like some type of awning over the front door. Some tents have smaller awnings over the windows.
It's almost like you need one tent for summer with lots of windows and another for winter camping. We have one of those dining canopies. It always holds water in pockets above. We have to dump them every once in awhile when it's raining.
We have hung a tarp between the tent and dining canopy.

http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=866254&highlight=tent
 
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