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  1. #1
    Snap Happy CaraRose's Avatar
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    Things I don't need in a tent

    We're looking at getting a new tent. Our old one, an old model Eureka Tetragon (8 or 9 I think) is getting a bit worn out. And with my air mattress and my dad now wanting a cot, we figure it'd be nice to get a little bit more room in the next one.

    So I've been looking online at different tents and good lord (and you know it's bad when the agnostic starts invoking the lord's name) what the hell are they putting in these things?? It's a frigging tent, not a second home.

    With that, my list of things I don't need or want int a tent.

    1. Electrical system-- seriously? Outlets? In a tent? From what I've seen the two main electrical tent system are either a battery system, where you need to buy the 'power pak' separate from the tent, or a connector for an extension cable. Yep, the one thing more reassuring than sitting out a bad storm in a tent is knowing that that tent is hooked up to some voltage.

    2. Dividers/rooms- Yes, I need the four room 'condo' because that tiny piece of nylon will definitely give me some privacy.

    3. Cup holders- I'm all for gear pockets. It's hard to find a place to put things in a tent. Gear loft will keep things off the floor. Nice pocket I can stick my wallet and glasses in at night. But cup holders? Yeah, no one's going to accidently jar the tent when getting out and spill that sucker all over.

    4. To go with cup holders-- water bottle holder-- they may be a bit more useful, but do I really need them?

    5. Corner organizer and mirror- Am I now going to be doing my grooming in a tiny tent mirror? Hell, I can't even get dressed easily in a tent.

    What I do want--

    1. Waterproof with a good rainfly
    2. Windows and ventilation
    3. Good zippers that won't jam or break
    4. Easy and fast to set up and take down.
    5. Decent tent stakes (we nearly had our tent blow away in a storm once since the ground was loose sand/gravel and the stakes wouldn't hold)

  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    How about this one? http://www.rei.com/product/777759
    REI makes it easy to find the tent you want by dividint them into family, hiking, mountain tents and has a lot of choices in each.
    I'm like you..just want something simple and easy to set up.
    You didn't say how big you wanted so I posted the 4 man one.

    I haven't heard of those tents with electric and mirrors and such but I'm like you and want to leave the distraction at home when I go camping. Never understood those who wanted to bring it all with them when they camped. I want to get away from it all.
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  3. #3
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    REI is a good deal, and if you're looking at buying something in in the price range of a tent you'd be best to sign up as a member. That way you'd pay the one-time fee but then get an annual dividend. That's a happy day for me because I take advantage of the 1% back on all purchases with their Visa card (non-REI purchases, for anything/anywhere).

    What do you plan to do with the tent? Car camping and backpacking tents are going to be a lot different of course. I've had REI gear (but not tents) and been happy with it. Sierra Designs has always seemed bulky to me (sleeping bags and tents) but well made. I'm currently using one of their tents for kayak camping but there's a lot of "stuff" with it so I think I'd look for something else if backpacking.

    Quick and easy setup is probably the most important thing to me - even if it's not dark and raining when you're doing it, you're probably at least tired. I have one of those gear loft things for mine but I rarely use it.

  4. #4
    Snap Happy CaraRose's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    We're strictly in the 'family tent' category, we stick to day hiking .

    Our current tent is a 4-5 sleeper (my dad has grumbled that if it sleeps five it has to be five rail thin people). I'm thinking it's probably 8'x8' or 9'x9'. We're looking in the range of 11'x11', to make it easier for my dad to get out to run the bathroom in the middle of the night without tripping on my mom and I.

    The thing I dislike the most about most tents I look at are the rainfly designs on some of the more elaborate tents. They look more like they're design accessory rather than something that's actually going to keep you dry in a downpour.

    Thanks for the link! I've looked at Campmor and Dicks Sporting Goods, but didn't look at REI. Going to check them out.

  5. #5
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    I found out after buying my first two man tent that you need to be really friendly with the second person and have always bought at least one person more than required. With four, you might want to go six.
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  6. #6
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    I've had an REI Trail Dome tent for several years now, and it has never let me down. I think it's the 3 man version, but really it's about perfect for just me. I can fit an air mattress in the middle, and have room for gear on both sides.

    My wife likes to go camping, and we like to take the dogs (black lab & golden retriever) with us, so we were in the market for a bigger tent. We opted for the Columbia Squall Ridge. This was a couple years ago, so I don't know if this model is still available. It does have a divider in the middle, but we don't use it. There is room for 2 queen size air mattresses so your air mattress and a cot for your dad should fit just fine. We put one on one end of the tent, and two dog begs on the other end. There are doors on both ends, so your dad wouldn't have to climb over you when nature calls. It's tall enough for me to almost stand up (I'm 6' tall). We haven't had it out in any real bad weather yet so I don't know how it would hold up in heave wind. I have never been a big fan of big "family" style tents, but this one seems to be OK. The rain fly covers the entire tent witch was a requirement for me because then the dew collects on the fly, not the tent. I can't stand the little fly's that only cover the top of the tent. There are lots of windows for ventilation, as well as some some vents near the bottom. I have set it up by myself, but it's a bit of a challenge. Two people make it much easier.

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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    REI Member Here!

    Another REI member here. I've been a member for a long, long time. And one of the best thing about being a member is being able to return stuff any time, for any reason. I bought some ski boots a couple of seasons ago and they were packed-out by mid-season. REI took them back no questions asked and I got a full refund. That's even though they were well-used. So being a member is like an insurance policy. I almost always buy shoes there for that reason - I know I can return them if I find out they don't fit. That's something that's really difficult to test in the store.
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  8. #8
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    And besides my son has worked for them for several years

    Does that make this spam?
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  9. #9
    Snap Happy CaraRose's Avatar
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    Re: Things I don't need in a tent

    Well, we went to Dick's to look at tents and all they had were Colemans. And the Coleman tents have two sides that are all mesh, no way to close the tent up. I asked the sales guy in that section and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said "there's a rainfly". Ugh, yeah, but a rainfly allows airflow, or it's a bad rainfly. So a three season tent that can't be closed up when its cold out? Ridiculous. In August in Michigan last year, it was in the 40's at night. Being able to block air coming in kept me from freezing my behind off.

    Anyway, we're going to check out Sports Authority and REI next. New addition to what I want in a tent-- solid sides with mesh windows that can be CLOSED!

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