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Looking for a 6 Person Tent

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Offline brave6

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Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:39:50 AM »
Greetings,

Thinking about rolling a portion of our tax refund into a new tent, preferably one for the family.  I've been looking around and am kinda sorta aware of what's available, but would love to have first hand experience is anyone here can offer it. 

1) I can't try out a tent.  We live here in Midland/Odessa and as far as I know the only places carrying camping goods are the the usual suspects... Walmart, Big 5, Academy, etc.  Our closest real outfitter is a newly opened independent shop in San Angelo and they have nothing big enough for what we are after.  So this will need to be an online purchase.

2) There are 4 of us.  And in my mind that equals a 6 man tent.  Layout/footprint is not important, but something with room to stand would be great.  I don't mind wiggling around on hands and knees to dress/undress.  My wife and 16 year old not so much.  Yes... I'm giving up stability here.  Room for a queen size air mattress and a couple of twin size mattresses would be nice as well.  I'm our biggest family member at 5'10", 175lbs. 

2) This will be a car camping tent so we don't need to be ultralite, but I would love to be able to keep it at 20lbs. or less.  It being a 6 man tent and all I don't plan on hauling it into any kind of zone camping situation.  We will use this maybe 5 to 10 times a year... no more than 3 nights straight at a time.

3)  Vestibules, and lots storage pockets are a huge plus.

4)  Under $400, closer to $250 or $300 is even better.

5)  I'm doing my best to not be gear snobby about this.  I would get laughed outta my camping gang if I showed up in the Bend with an 8 person Coleman Montana, but as this is for my family I can forgo a space age synthetic that'll wad up smaller than a grapefruit.

Not interested in people just throwing up links from campmor.com and saying "this looks like it will work".  While I appreciate that effort, that is something I have been doing myself (a few Keltys are looking promising).  I was actually hoping someone here in this community might have experience with something.

Thanks...

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 10:33:57 AM »
While the former REI Hobitat 6 is AWESOME (new one rates less than 3 stars), unfortunately it is no longer readily available. The 6 had room for two full size cots, a table in the middle, a chair or two, room to walk around inside and stand up, and TONS of pockets for arranging stuff on the inside. Ventilated well, setup is easy, etc.

The next one I'd go for based on actual ownership and experience is the Big Agnes Big House 6 for relative ease of setup, actual usability, and sturdiness. I don't dig the color, but then again the reason I got this was for long term use based on proven results from other products I've got.

Kelty makes a Yellowstone 6 that was MASSIVE, loved it, but sold it at a great loss due to replacing it with the former Hobitat 6. ALL of my tent setups include the footprint. The Big Agnes gives you a duffle bag type system for easy transport/packing and offers a vestibule/awning as an additional purchase.

If you'd asked just a few weeks ago (maybe a month now?), the BEST deal was on http://wearbap.com under their deals section. You can often times find almost new gear from Big Agnes at a steep discount. Of course based on your distance from anything where you can buy stuff, IF you are an REI member and IF you don't like the Big House 6 you buy from them (if that ends up being your choice), you can always return the item to them, no hassle.

Hopefully you'll get a ton of feedback from others who are as passionate as I am about my tent lineup (gotta love people pitching a tent about tents ;) but just so you know, I was compelled to post a response because of how much I love my Big House 4 and how great of a tent it has been for several years now.

IF the Hobitat 6 was not redesigned, I'd probably push that a bit more because of how sweet the former 6 is, but even then it is tough to beat Big Agnes's easily convertible tent where you can roll up the fly to make a wide open vented tent and then simply snap down the buckles to "buckle up" for privacy/weather/etc. Anyway, that's that from me for now.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline perterra

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 11:30:02 AM »
Havent had tent experience in a while so no first hand knowledge. A friend bought a springbar tent a few years back and likes everything but the weight. Not the best vented but they camp in the Colorado mountains in the summer and seem to like it. Havent talked to him in awhile but last I heard it was still in use.
http://www.springbar.com/explore/tentmodels/index.html

I have two compadres who use an LL Bean model. They both have the 4 man version of this one, they swear by the them. One gets pretty steady use, I'd say 12 or 15 times a year for 2 or 3 days at a time.
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/68612?feat=1096-GN2&attrValue_0=Sage/Khaki

Last big tent I used was a cheepy Wenzel, worked fine, didnt leak in a couple of rain storms but I wouldnt consider it more than a 2 year tent then throw it away and buy another.

I wish I had more personal experience to offer but I went to a small tent trailer back in 06 and never looked back.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 11:39:00 AM by perterra »

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Offline brave6

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 04:41:46 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions so far... please keep them coming. 

The link to the Big Agnes website was helpful.  I was not familiar with them.

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Offline jim2

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 05:11:30 PM »
we have a gigatent mt. barren. 18 by 12 sleeps 10. in our case it sleeps two, the front room we use as a screened room. it takes 2/3 people to set up. it's huge!

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 07:19:50 PM »
brave6,

no prob on the link... But that is not the main link to Big Agnes's products. Make sure to hit http://www.bigagnes.com to see THEIR site. WearBAP is related to 'em in that this is their overstock type site from what I gather, so it is good to look to first for deals as time goes by. eBay is great too, but again don't forget REI's easy return policy.

I have pics of at least three Big Agnes tents including the BH4 (smaller than the 6 I'm recommending) on our Gear/Places to Stay page:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.175181062493240.45553.124123460932334&type=3

The REI is pictured, too. When it comes down to it, the BH6 (and BH4) are easy enough to set up by one person. You may want to also consider those hurdles while considering larger tents. Some can sleep up to 6 in various contorted configurations, but some of those same tents are hard to set up by one person if needed.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline kevint

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 07:52:33 PM »
I own a Kelty Mantra 7, also no longer sold new, which I love.   If you came across a used one from a trusted seller, I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.  You can read the reviews all over the internet.  It sleeps 4 very comfortably.  W/O the fly it is very ventilated and with the fly it can withstand very high winds.  We were in a couple of dooseys.  We were at Ink's Lake one time and a bad storm blew through.  In the morning there were tents, and shelters and pieces and parts of tents and shelters blown all over the place and our tent had hardly wiggled.  It is also very well sealed.  We were at Crater of Diamonds in Arkansas during heavy rains and the tent pad didn't have a way to drain.  We woke up one morning to find the tent sitting in a pool of water about 4 inches deep.  We got a little wicking in the corners where the webbing was sewn in but no real leaks.  We stuffed towels in the corners and were fine.







If this tent is representative of Kelty quality maybe that is helpful, although I reviewed their current offerings and they no longer have anything of similar design.  The mantra was a nice compromise between stability and ease of setup.



Sorry I can't speak to something that is still on the market but, again, if you find a mantra 7 (or even a 5) I'd recommend you consider it.


Good luck.
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Offline stingrey

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Offline brave6

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 10:29:54 PM »
I had actually considered the Big House, but we decided to go another direction with a tent that allows us to partition into rooms.  This gives our oldest an opportunity to invite friends along on our trips and will provide a bit of privacy.  We sacrificed 'cool' name and weight, instead going after size and price and were able to go ahead and purchase other necessaries like a stove and lantern, things I always relied on members of the camping gang to bring along.  It's nice to now have them as part of my own supply.

We plan to do a test run over the latter half of the holiday weekend before a longer trip at South Llano River State Park in early June.

We'll see how it works and then I'll post up a review...

Thanks for the tips everybody.

Now... to start saving up for my next purchase:
http://www.mhmgear.com/products/packs/hiking/salute-34/
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 08:30:25 AM by brave6 »

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Offline jim2

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 11:16:51 AM »
brave6, how was south llano river state park? that is a great park.

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Offline brave6

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 09:03:05 AM »
brave6, how was south llano river state park? that is a great park.

Everything seemed to work against us... Ford, weather, finances, extra work summertime work duties, family...  We just did not make it this summer.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 09:39:24 AM »
Since we're on the subject of descent size tents for car camping, what do you guys think of this link below as an option?

Rey and I had this discussion the other night.  Of course, he is championing the Big Agnus Big House 6, which I'm interested in, but I like the idea of attaching it to me Jeep for added functionality.  I can put my five year old up in the truck.  Plenty of room.

This is the best one of these I've seen....


http://www.rightlinegear.com/suv-tent.html

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Offline perterra

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 10:15:12 AM »
Since we're on the subject of descent size tents for car camping, what do you guys think of this link below as an option?

Rey and I had this discussion the other night.  Of course, he is championing the Big Agnus Big House 6, which I'm interested in, but I like the idea of attaching it to me Jeep for added functionality.  I can put my five year old up in the truck.  Plenty of room.

This is the best one of these I've seen....


http://www.rightlinegear.com/suv-tent.html


Looks pretty handy but what do you do when you need to disconnect the vehicle? Does it leave a opening or is there a way to close it off. And I wonder if it matters if it's a side opening door?

I actually spent 4 days in our cheap Wentzel back in June and it still works great, good enough that I'm thinking of devoting more time to a tent and less to dragging a trailer.
Anybody looked at the Coleman Intant tents? http://www.coleman.com/Products/11020  Get bad reviews but after looking it seems to be from folks who dont buy the rain fly.

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 10:23:00 AM »
When you disconnect the vehicle, you actually zip up a wall from inside the tent to close it off again. Pretty cool setup!

David, I JUST got that Big Agnes Big House 6 today... $215 shipped on http://wearbap.com. Didn't need it yet since my other gear covers the "big tent" niche, but at that price, I couldn't pass it up.

Brave6, what did you end up getting? Would you recommend it again if someone were asking the same question you originally posted? Sorry if you already answered this question... Either way, definitely a great thread for info!
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Looking for a 6 Person Tent
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 11:16:08 AM »
I thought you might Rey!  You were chomping at the bit.

 


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