I go camping two or three times a year at Renaissance Faires. I hate my tent. It’s one of those dome tents where two of the sides are mesh until half-way down. It’s always drafty and always cold at night. And it’s not quite tall enough for me to stand up in. And it’s small - I’m pretty sure it’s what they call a four-person tent, which anyone who camps knows is really only a two-person tent, unless you’re talking about four children with no stuff who don’t fight.
The last Faire I went to, it rained the whole time. I usually sleep on a cot, but I was sharing the tent with a friend, so we slept on mats on the floor. When I moved the mats the floor was wet (not quite puddles).
I think I found the tent I want to replace it with. It’s here. It’s canvas. It’s 10x10x6.5ft, so tall enough to stand in. The only downside (which everyone brings up) is that it’s 70 pounds, but since I typically only have to carry my tent ten or twenty feet from my car to the camping spot I don’t really thing that’s a problem (plus I’m camping with ten to fifteen people I know, plus a hundred people I don’t). No messing with a rainfly. Packed up it doesn’t look much bigger than my current tent pack. It’s $380, which is a lot, but it should last until I stop doing Faire.
So, why shouldn’t I get this? Or should I shut up and just get it?
That is quite possibly the coolest thing I’ve seen all week. Thank you so much for sharing that website. I now have something to offer my husband to counter his desire for a soulless (IMO, of course) camper trailer.
How big is the tent once it’s all packed up? Because I have a small collapsible luggage cart that I use for occasionally moving boxes of stuff. If you get this tent, you might also get a luggage cart/hand truck for moving it. Here, for instance, is one from Amazon.com meant for moving stuff to the beach (so it handles well on the sand). It has a capacity of 90lb.
Silver, the only thing I’d say negatively about that tent is that if it DOES rain all weekend on you, I don’t think that awning is going to be sufficient to stay under while you’re doing the “wet shoes&skirt shuffle” to keep the nasty muddy crap out of the tent proper.
My husband and I upgraded our tent a few years ago, and we ended up with a tent that doesn’t have as large a main area, but it did have a totally separate “foyer” area in front. You ducked into the front door of the tent like normal, but then there was a tiny space with a little port-hole style entrance between it and the remainder of the tent. It is a PERFECT little space - when it’s not raining, it’s where all of the duffels and the extra bedding go, and when it IS raining, it’s perfect to let you duck in and then strip down so that the real inside of the tent stays free from mud and sopping-wet clothes piled everywhere.
It’s sort of like this tent from Cabela’s, but look at the second picture available, and imagine that that front area had a floor, instead of being bare ground. Heck, that pictured tent would do the same thing - just throw down a dropcloth and you’re good - I think it would actually be easier to clean out that way.
I’ve found that it really is nice to have a front protected-separate area to use. I thought it was a shorter tent, but it actually* is *pretty tall - the 8-person is 6’8" in the center, so that’s pretty nice, and the 6 person is 6’3" which would work for most people.
According to the manufacturer’s page, it’s 30" long and 13" diameter. My car is usually stuffed really full and I don’t want to add something unnecessarily. Like I said, I usually park really close to the campsite and there are lots of burly men around.
The main Faire I go to is in July, so I’m not real worried about rain. The awning on the tent is a lot bigger than the rainflap on my current one and I managed to keep the mud contained to the tarp (although that location really didn’t get very muddy, which was nice. There was one Faire - which is gone now, unfortunately - where it rained and we grew an inch with every step.)
No, I have a pretty good job. I shouldn’t be spending money since I’m trying to get my credit card paid off, but it’s not that large. And I’ll be getting a bonus soon-ish (we apparently get them every quarter. No idea how large it’ll be.) Although I also shouldn’t be spending money on frivolous things since I’m moving next week, but I won’t actually be buying the tent for a couple of months (the next Faire is in July).
And the tent I have is five years old (or older. I’m not sure), but admittedly still more than functional (the poles are showing signs of wearing out in the next year or so).
You should be dry in that tent, just don’t forget to seal it on a sunny day first. Looks like you wouldn’t need a ground tarp for it either. It is heavy but if you’re only walking 20’ that isn’t a problem. As the description says it’s for 6 but sleeps 4 comfortably.
P.S. Sleep with layers on if you don’t want to get cold. I sleep comando at home but camping I layer up with a good goose down bag it’s the only way to stay warm.
Canvas is great. However, as you know, it is heavy. It gets heavier in rain, and you *will *have to take that awning down for anything more than a light drizzle. Otherwise,the water will collect where the awning meets the tent, and the weight will stretch the canvas and it will bow, forming a great cistern on the top of your tent, and eventually it will begin to rain inside your tent. It will never, ever shrink back to its original size, and over time you’ll be unable to stake it out tightly. Ask me how I know this. :smack:
Cabin tents are great when it’s hot, a bit cooler when it’s cold, but probably not so’s you’d notice. In my experience, they’re not particularly warmer than nylon tents, though, at least for summer camping. Maybe when you get into really cold weather or you have a brazier burning inside they are.
Canvas also sucks, in that it mildews and dry rots, and despite many claims to the contrary, there’s just not a lot you can do about that.
Honestly, I couldn’t spend that much. I don’t care who makes it or what material it’s made of, there’s no such thing as “my last tent ever.” If I get another tent (we’re in a pop up camper now) it’ll be a Coleman, which I’ve found to have the best features for far less than the high end lines, and work just as well. My favorite tent ever was a Coleman cabin style, which of course isn’t available anymore. This Instant Tent is the one I’d go with if I was buying today. I’ve helped someone set it up, and it really does go up in under a minute, and comes down in a minute. It’s rather mind-boggling, actually. Everyone I know who has one loves it.
Yeah, WhyNot has it right about canvas tents. I’m not a fan of them at all. They always end up smelling a bit like mildew and wet dogs, in my experience. (They were the default tent in my scouting troop until we all bought our own tents so that we didn’t have to use them.)
Do check out the REI store that Algher linked. They’re a good company, and their return policy is really great if you find out that you don’t like what you get.