Last time we went camping, the day before we came home one of the tent poles in my tent snapped, giving it a weird, half-deflated look. I debated buying another tent pole, but my tent was old. And, quite frankly, I have had my eye on those instant-up tents for a couple of years. I’m going to keep my old tent and try to replace the tent pole; maybe keep it as an emergency tent for guests or something, but right now my new love is the instant tent I bought.
I hadn’t intended to get a ten-man tent. I occupy the space by myself, and a six-man is nice and roomy for one. But when I went to look at instant ups (or easy-ups, as they are also called), I couldn’t find a six man cabin-style. I found eight-man and ten man tents. So okay fine–eight is even better.
I began doing research and comparing prices. I had a choice between a Coleman eight-man (Walmart, Canadian Tire), a Ventura eight-man (Walmart), and an Outbound ten-man (Canadian Tire). There wasn’t a huge choice; I guess the tent rush hasn’t started yet–probably in May you won’t be able to walk and aisle in a store without tripping over one, but in April, no so much. I couldn’t find any instant up cabin tents in Army & Navy in New Westminster or Mountain Equipment in Langley. Anyhoo, I did some research on all three of the tents I did find.
The Ventura was out immediately. Although it seemed good for the price, there was a lot of complaints about water getting in the tent. I don’t mind having to tarp up to avoid that but the comments seemed pretty adamant that this was not the tent to get if there was rain, and hey–this is B.C. –temperate rain forest, and all that. Not a good idea.
The Coleman and the Outbound both had some comments about leaking (it seems no instant up is fully water-proof, just water-resistant), and both also seemed to have the same number of complimentary comments. What made me decide on the Outbound is that the ten-man was $220.00, while the Coleman eight-man was $299.00. So I figured if everything else was even, I might has well save eighty bucks and get a larger tent.
Some details about the tent:
- It weighs 18.7 kg, just under ten pounds, which is pretty light for a ten-man tent.
- It is weather-resistant (not weather-proof, like I was mentioning)
- It has a rainfly but I suspect it’s not terribly effective. It only covers the top, really.
- I suspect also that it only has one door but it does have four windows.
- Inside there are mesh storage pockets but until I set it up I won’t know what they’re like.
I am debating setting it up before the camping trip if I get a nice weekend, to see how easy it is and maybe to give it some waterproof spray; If that does happen I’ll document the whole thing and let you know what it’s like. If not, and I set it up for the first time when I actually go camping, I’ll still document it and tell you about it. Either way I’m taking a tarp for under and a tarp for over. I like my tent dry.
Bless those beautiful blue covers!