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Thread: Best large tent?

  1. #1

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    Best large tent?

    I'm kicking around the idea of buying a large tent. I'm not looking for a backpacking tent or anything back-packable but something I might have set up for a week or two near where I park the car, something I can work in during bad weather. It would be cool to have a foldable writing desk and chair inside.

    There will be one, two, or four people in it. More space is better. It will need to fit into national park car camping sites. Maybe state park sites. Must be good in higher winds. Must not be a hideous color.

    I googled and the brand Big Agnes keeps coming up a lot. Price seems to go up to about $500-$600. I'm willing to pay for for a better tent, if it exists. I cannot use a combo truck/SUV tent arrangement. It must be a freestanding tent. I value ease of use, quality of construction, and stuff that will fit easily back into the storage back it came out of without me having to becoming a master of tent origami.

    What have you guys used?

    --Darin

  2. #2
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Best large tent?

    I used to have a Eureka 6 person tent. It had 6 sturdy aluminum poles and was 6 feet tall, and easy to set up, even in the dark. Very comfortable for 2, with cots, and small foot lockers for storage or side table for an electric lantern. The screen windows could be zipped shut with fabric panels for max warmth. In high winds it was enough to guy it out tightly at each corner. I spent several multi-day periods in it with no complaints, none. I gave it away and now regret it. Unfortunately new ones like it can't be found.

    A couple of years ago I bought a Big Agnes 6 person tent. It is NOT a replacement for the Eureka. It is hard to set up, especially solo, not near as strong, and the mesh near the floor allows constant cold drafts (my wife hated that). It is susceptible to winds, even guyed out. It's also big, almost too big for tent pads in organized campgrounds. I don't have much confidence with it should it ever rain hard. I don't recommend getting one. Maybe others have better opinions than me.

    I have an extensive backpacking and camping history and appreciate a tent for its specific purpose. A good one is a pleasure. Bad designs are no fun. A really good tent keeps you dry and secure for 18 hours of driving rain, whether backpacking or at a base camp.

  3. #3

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    Jan 2012
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    Woodland Park CO
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    Re: Best large tent?

    Google "traditional wall tent". Had a 4 or 6-man to myself when I spent a summer in BC decades ago, where I only moved camp every week or so. Plenty of standing room, and ability to put folding table & chair, cot, etc. close to vertical sides. Front canopy made for a porch. Would have max. room for sharing. Might take a bit longer to erect & take down, but not tent origami by any means. Did it by myself.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    PNW
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    Re: Best large tent?

    I would recommend an Easy-up or comparable. They can be set high enough to stand up in, and you can nail them to the ground (10 penny nails work well). You can get sides as well. I'm sure you've seen these at farmer's markets or art fairs... Pretty heavy and bulky, but maybe OK for the purpose you are describing. I think these would be great for a long term camp, car camping. Only downside is they have no floor, so creepy crawlies can come in...

  5. #5

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    North Dakota
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    Re: Best large tent?

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/CLAM-...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

    http://www.basspro.com/Clam-Jason-Mi...ct/1305061246/

    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/produ...lter?a=1727975



    Take a look at ice fishing tents. Built to withstand sub zero winds on bare ice, they tend to hold up well.
    Links are to show what may be available. One big advantage to many of them is how easy they set up and take down. Subzero temperatures and wind make for miserable times if you can't get the ice tent set up quickly. So the designs tend to go up and take down without problems. They do last with many set up and left on the ice for months at a time once the lakes freeze over.

  6. #6

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    Sep 2014
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    Re: Best large tent?

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/CLAM-...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

    http://www.basspro.com/Clam-Jason-Mi...ct/1305061246/

    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/produ...lter?a=1727975

    http://www.geteskimo.com/pop-up-portable-ice-shelters

    Take a look at ice fishing tents. Built to withstand sub zero winds on bare ice, they tend to hold up well.
    Links are to show what may be available. One big advantage to many of them is how easy they set up and take down. Subzero temperatures and wind make for miserable times if you can't get the ice tent set up quickly. So the designs tend to go up and take down without problems. They do last with many set up and left on the ice for months at a time once the lakes freeze over.

  7. #7
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: Best large tent?

    Can't say this is most reasonable, but you can poke around the store (.com) to see what you prefer.

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/cabel...=%2Fcatalog%2F

    Les

  8. #8

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    Re: Best large tent?

    Thanks for all the links. Sent me in the right directions, I think.

    From what I've seen so far this one catches my eye the most.

    http://www.kodiakcanvas.com/10-x-14-...x-bow-vx-tent/

    Expensive but well-made, I can stand up in it easily, room for small table to work.

    Thoughts on this one?

    Still pondering.

    --Darin

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Best large tent?

    Check Montana Canvas. Get the fittings for the pipe frame and an extended fly for a front porch and you'll be set (in one place) all summer
    http://www.montanacanvas.com/
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #10
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    San Francisco, CA, Flagstaff AZ
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    Re: Best large tent?

    Here's another one to consider, http://www.kirkhams.com/index.php?p=home. My folks bought a "Spring Bar" tent back in 1965 for family camping trips. The tent has served us well over the years and still gets occasional use.

    Roger

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