Looking for a Quality Family Tent

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By Aeritus on 02/27/2011  19:33

I'm looking for a good mid-range family tent (4+ people) that will be used for car-camping in shoulder-season weather and could use some suggestions.

To start with, I'm looking for the following in a tent:

*Waterproof - Must be able to hold up to puget sound shoulder-season camping.
*No, or very little condensation! Wife's biggest complaint about camping is waking up feeling damp and cold, so definitely looking for a double-wall to get her out there (camping) more.
*4+ person size.
*Preference on minimal amount of required staking. Some is of course needed, but I dont expect the family to want to stick around with much more than 15mph+ winds. So anything beyond a few guy-lines would be unneccesary. Reason for not wanting many tie-downs is toddlers tripping on them, playing with them, etc.
*Fairly stout design, again, toddlers, must be able to stand up to a little abnormal abuse.
*Price range - Would like to find something in the $200-$300 range.

I basically want to find a family-size tent thats able to stand up to the typical surprise overnight rain shower in the puget sound without soaking us inside and is kid-survivable.

Something like Big Agnes Big House 6 caught my eye, though it's flexing my budget up a bit.

Anyway, car-camping isn't really my thing, but I would love to get my family involved even if it's right next to the truck lol.

Any suggestions/experiences on any particular tent that any of you can recommend? It would be highly appreciated! Thanks for reading!



Total Posts: 8

By Aeritus on 03/03/2011  07:46

Hum... Guess this site isn't as active as I thought. o.O Ah well, was still able to find the info I need.


Total Posts: 8

By erlall on 03/04/2011  18:35

Kelty makes great tents designed for families - I had a Kelty Villa and we loved it.  We went to a GoLite Shangra-La 6+ person tent and it was one of the best purchases I have made for family camping.  Definately will keep you condensation free, weighs about 12 lbs total and has tons of space for a family, dog, packs etc.

Good luck.


Total Posts: 50

By Aeritus on 03/05/2011  07:34

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll have to check them out. Would you recommend the GoLite over the Kelty?


Total Posts: 8

By erlall on 03/06/2011  07:42

I suppose that answer depends upon what type of camping you are doing.  I have 3 daughters and when all 5 of us go hiking, we are putting on our packs and leaving for 3+ days.  So, in regarding to hauling it around, there is NO contest as the GoLite weighs 11-12 lbs and has tons of room.  However, it may not be as sturdy or waterproof as a Kelty or a NorthFace tent.  However, when I am camping/hiking with my kids, we typically do not go when the weather is poor.  The GoLite Shangra-La tents, when they frist came out were a head of the bell-curve regarding light weight tents.  My 2-person tent is a GoLite Eden.  My 3-person is a Big Agnus Parkview (older tent, but has 2 vestibles and was around $100 when I bought it). 

My point is, do a little reseach and check out the weights, determine what type of needs/requirements you are going to want with a tent and then factor in cost.  You are not going to care about saving the $50 if the tent does not meet your needs.  Most tent makers NEVER want a tent returned.  So, they are going to use a little heavier materials, but if you are just car camping, then you might as well go for luxury.  If you are going to haul it around for 10-20+ miles, the $50 will become irrelavent if you can cut 5-10 lbs off the weight.  Trust me, at that milage or higher, you would pay 10 times that to cut the weight...

Good luck and let me know what you decide upon.  If you want a picture of my GoLite, I might be able to dig one up.  Offer me your email address and I will look later and see what I can find...




Total Posts: 50