This tent is amazing! We decided to purchase this tent for several reasons. First, we were looking for a replacement for our old tent. Second, we wanted more space- headroom, sleeping areas, storage areas, a canopy, divided areas, etc. Third, we wanted total enclosure and rain protection. Fourth, the reviews were decent.
Despite some of the reviews which said it took forever to set up with experienced campers, we purchased it anyways! We are very pleased with our purchase! We did a trial set up at home first. It was simple. The directions are clear! Follow them. It makes things much easier. Unroll the tent and lay it out where you'd like it first. I'd recommend laying a tarp down under the tent for added protection from sticks, rocks, roots, branches, grass, etc. We used a 10 x 20 and an 8 x 10. We didn't put one under the awning area becuase it really isn't necessary. Then, set out all the color coded poles in groups. The poles are connected by metal, not cloth bungee material. Great feature!! They assemble quickly and simply. Next, connect the poles to the connectors on the tent. These too are color coded. Tip: Before raising the corner poles, put the rainfly on. It makes it much simpler to put on. The entire tent was up in less than 30 minutes for first time set-up with two people. We staked the tent to the ground, but did not use the strings attached to the rainfly to secure it. We didn't sleep in it during trial set-up in our backyard. Another tip: Waterproof your rainfly before you use it! It took 3 cans to generously spray the rainfly. Walmart sells them in shoe section for $6.75. It was well worth it. It rained lightly after setup but before putting the silicone spray on. The tent stayed dry. The water just beaded on the rainfly and ran off. But, experience has proven that waterproofing tents is always good! Take down of the tent is simple. Remember how you opened it! Fold the three 8 x 8 sections of the tent so it makes one. Then fold that into thirds and roll. It took about 15 minutes to tear down.
So, how did it do camping? Great! The second time, it went up in about 15-20 minutes. This time we even tied out the strings attached to the rainfly for security. Do the same for the awning. This secures it in rain or wind. Another tip: If windy or rainy, tilt the pole that holds up the awning towards the tent so the awning tilts/leans/angles towards the ground. Then stake it tightly. This prevents rain build-up, wind from getting under the awning and raising it like a parachute, and from strain on the seams. Using the tent was amazing!! It has tons of space. 2 zippered entrances- 1 D-door into main room, another T-style door into canopy area. The T-style door entry to the canopy area has a full outside covering with another completely separate T-style zippered mesh lining underneath. This allows for ventilation and light while still being screened in. Once inside, ther are 3 fully separate rooms- each separated by zippered D-doors. This allows for absolute privacy- exclusive of noise, of course. Each room has a hanging corner shelf with 3 shelves each. Each room has two windows that zip down with mesh outside linings. They even appear to have cross bars like real windows. The ceiling is completely mesh, which allows for ventilation, air flow, and breathability. But don't worry, the rainfly completely covers it. You'll stay warm and dry! There are hooks which attach to the roof poles that keep the mesh lining at least 6 inches from the rainfly over the entire tent. Really Nice!! Most rainflys touch the mesh which eventually leads to leakage in those areas. The entire floor, even in the canopy area, has a bathtub style tarp bottom which is connected to the tent. It comes up about 6 inches. This will keep the whole tent dry! Unlike other tents which have a canopy area, this one is actually completely enclosed. The bottom and the sides are attached to the tent. It can be used as a sitting room, a dining area, a sleeping area, a storage area, a pet area, an entrance area so as not to get the rest of the tent dirty.
How did it hold up? Well, one of the nights it got down to the low 40's. We all stayed warm. Another night it rained ALL night. We all stayed dry. Completely dry! Not one drip, not one leak. Every seam is taped. The mesh roof and the rainfly resembles a pitched roof! The water simply ran off the tent. I'm sure the waterproofing spray helped too. Another tip: Keep all bags, clothes, air mattresses, etc. away from the tent walls. This will help keep the tent dry and those areas eventually leaking water. It was also windy the same rainy evening. The straps secured the tent. It didn't waver. The awning stayed up. We did angle it downwards towards the ground for better wind and rain resistance. Headroom was great. I have tall boys- 6'2". They could stand with plenty of space. Even getting in and out of the tent was a breeze. You don't really have to bend. We did put our heavy duty tarps under the tent. Campsites always have debris on the ground or hidden surprises. Not a hole in the floor at all. Each room could comfortably fit a queen size air mattress in it along with luggage. We only used one queen in one room, a twin in another- which left tons of room, and we used the canopy area as an entry way, place for our stuff, a bucket for a toilet, misc. We camped with several families so our coolers, chairs, and table were elsewhere. If wanted, the canopy room has plenty of room for a card table, 4 chairs, coolers, bags, shoes, etc. The options with this tent are limitless!
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