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Old 06-12-2012, 10:54 AM
 
Location: NY
9,004 posts, read 14,215,663 times
Reputation: 11355

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We are planning on doing a little recreational camping this summer, and I am looking for a decent tent that will accomodate. Basically, it is my family (my wife, and toddler age daughter).

I was looking to get either a 2 or 3 room tent, probably 8+ person, so we have room for ourselves, stuff, space to sleep, and won't be claustrophobic if it rains and we are inside.

Since we do not know how it is going to go with our young one, I was hoping to avoid the most expensive of the lot of tents too. That said, I don't want to be fighting a horriblly made tent 2 days into the trip.

Any good suggestions from experience on a quality, summertime tent which will stay dry if it rains, and not fall to pieces the first outing?

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,878 posts, read 57,960,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkered24 View Post
We are planning on doing a little recreational camping this summer, and I am looking for a decent tent that will accommodate... my wife, and toddler age daughter.

I was looking to get either a 2 or 3 room tent, probably 8+ person...
A big tent like that is really the wrong direction to go in...
(unless you're planning to be set up in ONE location for at least a whole week).

The idea of "rooms" makes sense but do that with separate smaller tents.
One 3-4 person for sleeping and ONLY for sleeping and another small tent for storage.
Less expensive and FAR less hassle to set up and breakdown.

As for brand... Eureka is still the benchmark.
You can spend more (coughREIcough) but you won't really get more.
hth
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:16 PM
 
10,873 posts, read 41,191,303 times
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How much is "a little" recreational camping?

If you are thinking about a couple of weekends for this size group, then you may find it feasible to rent equipment from your local outfitters (or rental companies) for your infrequent use. This gives you options for tent choices and to see how they work out for you.

If you must buy, then the post above is good advice ... buy a couple smaller tents and pitch them close by for your purposes. Also, consider that in many camping areas that it is easier to find suitable sites for a number of smaller tents together than for one large tent.

OTOH, if you must have all within one tent, take a look at Cabela's Outfitter series tents. Larger inside, dividable interiors, with room for all your requirements.

FWIW, I have camped for extended times in an 8' x 10' Diamond brand canvas wall tent. Simplicity to set up, durable and quiet in windy conditions, and dry in wet conditions without the need for an extra rainfly. For three people, it's more than adequate ... although if you really wanted a lot of elbow room, wall tents are made in larger sizes. The advantage to them is the straight vertical walls which give functional headroom to the edges of the floor space. Unfortunately, Diamond isn't making retail trade tents anymore due to other contracts, but there is new old stock around ... as well, other brands in this market segment. Worth looking into.

IMO, there's a lot of advantages in car camping with a canvas tent rather than a dacron/nylon tent. Every one of the synthetic fiber tents I've camped in always "wet through" in rainy weather wherever an item inside the tent was up against the exterior wall ... even with rainflys on the tents. Canvas tents don't, and they are breathable ... which makes for a more pleasant environment for me. Disadvantages to canvas are the bulkier fabric and heavier weight. But I camp in a lot of very windy locations, and I've watched every other brand/type/style of tent get blown away except for my canvas wall tents or my (now-retired) dome "Pop" Tents (which were also canvas fabric tents). The canvas tent will need to be dried out before stowing from wet weather, or spread out and allowed to dry when you get home ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 06-13-2012 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,189 posts, read 14,087,122 times
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We have had Eureka and LLBean and both are nice and have a range of prices. We have a large one for 3 adults because we like the room. I always shop the clearance at LLBean and noticed they do have this one on clearance right now: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/73483...uctId=1141922y I could not believe the difference between the better ones and the cheaper ones especially as far as us getting sweaty inside the tent. LLBean has excellent customer service and a good online source for tents where we have made purchases also is Camping Gear & Outdoor Gear - Outerwear & Outdoor Clothing from Campmor.com and although we have not gotten camping equipment from them, Cabela's: Cabela's Official Website - Quality Hunting, Fishing, Camping and Outdoor Gear at competitive prices. has a lot of styles of tents to look at. I find those little drawings of the tent with "people" in sleeping bags all lined up in a row rather silly as I am sure we have all slept with someone that did not sleep in a straight line! Good luck in your choice.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:22 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,745,541 times
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My best tent is one that pops out like an umbrella, you press a button and it's pretty much set up except for putting in a few stakes.

I've always liked the smaller, easy to put up, and easy to put down tents and using more than one -- one for food and/or clothes and then one just for sleeping. If there are any chance of bears, I think it's a very good idea to keep food, leather shoes, in a separate tent or keep it in the vehicle.

I had a two room tent once which worked out pretty well and wasn't too difficult to put up and take down.

If you aren't sure about camping -- I think you can get a cheap one, if you're worried about rain, you can get one that has the outer cover with a gap that would help keep rain out but if you go cheap, make sure it's an easy kind to deal with.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: NY
9,004 posts, read 14,215,663 times
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Thanks for all the tips so far!
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Oregon
1,379 posts, read 2,562,283 times
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We use one of the less expensive "two room" tent. Comfortably sleeps two adults and a child. We keep all bedding/clothing in a large plastic hinged container that stays in the tent. It serves as a table and helps weigh it down in windy situations.
We have another large hinged container that has all food and kitchen stuff. That stays in the vehicle. It keeps ants, raccoons and bears? out. We have an Expedition, so the hatch back gives easy access.
On a side note....the first time we took our grandson (then about 3 yrs. old), I woke up and he wasn't there!! Scared the crap out of me. He had slipped off the air mattress and was wedged between the mattress and the outside wall of the tent. After that, he always just slept on piles of soft blankets!!!
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,170 posts, read 10,489,634 times
Reputation: 3969
If you have a Sam's Club near you ...

They have one of these, *put it up in less than 5 minutes* one where all the supports are on the outside, the poles are not separated, but are hinged, and when you are done, it folds up like one of those chairs you can buy for less then 10 bucks.
It has two rooms and can sleep almost 8.

I almost bought one, until the boss (wife) says, Who are you going to camp with ???

Check here for the brand name and how it sets up
LightSpeed Tents : Tent Details - Ample 6 person tent
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:11 PM
 
Location: NY
9,004 posts, read 14,215,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
If you have a Sam's Club near you ...

They have one of these, *put it up in less than 5 minutes* one where all the supports are on the outside, the poles are not separated, but are hinged, and when you are done, it folds up like one of those chairs you can buy for less then 10 bucks.
It has two rooms and can sleep almost 8.

I almost bought one, until the boss (wife) says, Who are you going to camp with ???

Check here for the brand name and how it sets up
LightSpeed Tents : Tent Details - Ample 6 person tent
You don't remember how much Sams was charging for it, do you? I do have a Sams in the neighborhood.

Customers on Amazon gives it good reviews.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,170 posts, read 10,489,634 times
Reputation: 3969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkered24 View Post
You don't remember how much Sams was charging for it, do you? I do have a Sams in the neighborhood.

Customers on Amazon gives it good reviews.
Just spoke to my better half ...
She said, it was about 150 dollars.
She also said, *are you sure it was *light speed* ??

It was a while back and I only remember that when halfway closed,
it looked like a giant spider sitting there ...

Last edited by irman; 06-17-2012 at 09:28 AM..
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