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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some feedback on tents. I own a couple of small dome tents, but I saw something in an Academy ad that made me rethink using my old dome tent this summer. It's called the Cooldome tent and is supposed to have better ventilation and be, well, cooler inside than other tents. The only thing is that it is not small. It is 14' x 10' - a little on the huge side. I'm pretty sure I will have room to haul this thing to the sites. What do you think? Do you favor a smaller tent? Is it worth messing with something this big to sleep a little cooler? I used the search function, but didn't come up with any helpful info.
 

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I just bought the Bugaboo II tent at Sports Authority http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2908305 . I camp on the Texas gulf coast where (as you know) wind and heat are constant. The tent is very stable in wind for a tent this size. The back of the tent is almost all screen, there are "turbo vents" at the bottom on each side (like the cool dome). A big benefit is a full rain fly that still allows window ventallation and the fly is also zippered so that it can be on the tent and un-zipped at the windows (which means open ventallation or full rain protection with a quick zip! The materials used are thicker than most tents in this category. The bottom is tubbed, wraps about 6 inches up to seam with the sides. First trip to Big Bend, it rained for 3 days... we stayed dry, minor drips at a couple of seams and I have applied seam sealer since then. There are two gear storage areas that can be accessed from the outside so you don't have to un-zip the door and let mosquitos in when you grab a cold one from the chest. Please update about your recent run down Padre National Seashore... was Yarborough Pass makeable? I am hoping to make a run to Mansfield Channel.
 

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either one sounds like a good deal. I've got a 8x8 Kelty tent which fills up quickly when you put a queen size airmattress in it. I'll be upsizing before our next big outting.

HOw many people are you sleeping in this tent?
 

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Once you put all your stuff in the tent it won't feel too big. Plus with a bigger tent just makes it more comfortable and less compact.:bigthumb:
 

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take a look at this thread...
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/expedition-camping-equipment/51019-tents.html

be careful with some of those big, inexpensive tents, they are made with fiberglass poles and leak pretty bad. don't be afraid to spend some $$ on a tent, you get what you pay for. one of the best things you could ever do is try to find last years tent, most of the time there is not much difference from the new model and they are often heavily discounted. also only buy used tents in person... go for aluminium poles... feel free to ask some questions, i worked for an outdoor/ camping/ fly-fishing/ rock-climbing store and i still get out pretty often and keep tabs on all the gear...
 

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I am a fan of smaller tents myself. I bought a large dome last year and hate it due to it being a pain to put up. I do alot of hiking and kayak camping so I like the minimalist approach. I don't keep alot of gear in the tent. the truck is right there when offroading, the perfect camp mini storage.
also worth investing in is a good thermarest mattress. Even though they are thin they're more comfortable than a big airmattress.
 

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I am a fan of smaller tents myself. I bought a large dome last year and hate it due to it being a pain to put up. I do alot of hiking and kayak camping so I like the minimalist approach. I don't keep alot of gear in the tent. the truck is right there when offroading, the perfect camp mini storage.
also worth investing in is a good thermarest mattress. Even though they are thin they're more comfortable than a big airmattress.

x2 on the thermarest... they also insulate when its cold... insulation helps retain your body heat in the air gaps... in a sleeping bag when you are laying down your body compresses the insulation of the bag where it can not retain your body heat as well, that's why air mattresses or cots are not great, they are not good insulators, thermarests are great.
 

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After years of small tents (because I used to pack/hike it most of the time) I decided to go with a Sportz tent that hooks onto the back of the FJ. One buddy calls it the Tumor, the other calls it the Kevorkian (because of its proximity to the exhaust). But all of us agree it is nice to be able to us the FJ as part of the tent space.

Right now it's my preferred "larger" tent and I would recommend it to people IF:
1. You have 2 people to set it up (takes about 15 mins)
2. Spray the hell out of it because it can't take much rain out of the box

It's still the butt of a lot of camping jokes (yes you can detach it from the truck and it will act like a regular tent) because all of us are gear-hounds. But it has started to earn some respect. It's seen a lot of use during the storms we've been getting in the Midwest and holding up well (has aluminum poles... always good advice Cannondale!).

Sportz_Tent
 

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I am a fan of smaller tents myself. I bought a large dome last year and hate it due to it being a pain to put up. I do alot of hiking and kayak camping so I like the minimalist approach. I don't keep alot of gear in the tent. the truck is right there when offroading, the perfect camp mini storage.
also worth investing in is a good thermarest mattress. Even though they are thin they're more comfortable than a big airmattress.
x2, I like smaller tents as I have to carry enough other stuff in the truck, including 3 dogs. I have a 3 person Black Diamond Vista tent that weighs 6 lbs. so it is light enough to take backpacking and small enough to keep in the FJ. But it is large enough inside to hold 2 people and 3 50-60 lb. dogs. I like to take camping gear with me every time I go off-roading just incase something happens or I decide to stay somewhere. The tent itself is mostly mesh so it vents well and you can see stars at night inside. It has a waterproof fly (cover) that you can put on if it is cold or raining/snowing. Sets up in about 5 minutes.
 

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I have the MSR Mutha hubba, that we use for car camping, rather then our backpacking tent which is much smaller. It's all mesh, strong, light, water tight and Backpacker magazine has given it their Editor's choice award several times. You won't be sorry you spent money on a good tent the first time you get caught in bad weather.

MSR Mountain Safety Research : Tents : Mutha Hubba™ Fast & Light ® Tent
 

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unless you're a backpacker and have to carry your tent 10+ miles, bigger is better. I have a cheapo from LL bean. Works fine. Keeps me dry and clean if it rains. Fits me and as many friends as I feel like packing in it.
 

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I have and love my small 3 man Eureka tent (Pinnacle Pass 3XTA) . I use it a lot when it is just me sleeping it. It is a great tent and has plenty of room for just me. If the night is going to be a nice and clear you can also take the rain fly off and get a ton of ventalation because of all the mesh.

BUT

My most loved tent is my 6 man canvas tent from Kodiak Canvas tents.

( NEW 6055 10x10 ft Scout Camping Kodiak Canvas Wall Tent - eBay (item 130228405708 end time Jun-14-08 22:45:50 PDT) )

This my friend is a GREAT! tent. It is very easy to set up and take down.Plenty big for myself, 2 boys, and wife along with whatever gear we want to bring inside. It is big enough to walk into so you don't have to crawl. It has great ventalation because of the canvas material. You can stand up in it to get dressed/undressed. It is totally waterproof. Just click on the link above to read all about it.

If you do want to buy this tent through ebay, make an offer for $300.00. Thats what I did and they accepted my offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
either one sounds like a good deal. I've got a 8x8 Kelty tent which fills up quickly when you put a queen size airmattress in it. I'll be upsizing before our next big outting.

HOw many people are you sleeping in this tent?
Only 2 for the Boulder Creek run, but It is possible that it would be used for 5 later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just bought the Bugaboo II tent at Sports Authority Sports Authority - Columbia Bugaboo II Dome Tent . I camp on the Texas gulf coast where (as you know) wind and heat are constant. The tent is very stable in wind for a tent this size. The back of the tent is almost all screen, there are "turbo vents" at the bottom on each side (like the cool dome). A big benefit is a full rain fly that still allows window ventallation and the fly is also zippered so that it can be on the tent and un-zipped at the windows (which means open ventallation or full rain protection with a quick zip! The materials used are thicker than most tents in this category. The bottom is tubbed, wraps about 6 inches up to seam with the sides. First trip to Big Bend, it rained for 3 days... we stayed dry, minor drips at a couple of seams and I have applied seam sealer since then. There are two gear storage areas that can be accessed from the outside so you don't have to un-zip the door and let mosquitos in when you grab a cold one from the chest. Please update about your recent run down Padre National Seashore... was Yarborough Pass makeable? I am hoping to make a run to Mansfield Channel.
I didn't make the PINS run after all. I have some dental issues that put me on some crazy narcotic, so I really wasn't wanting to drive. The local news was reporting that the surf was up in the dunes anyway. I can believe that with the tropical storm in the gulf. Never try try PINS if there is a storm anywhere in the gulf... it pushes the tides in and the there are breakers on the front side of the dunes.
 

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This tent rocks. Super ventilated, excellent quality. The rain fly has many great features for cooking, storage and ventilation. This tent has a double entry/exit.

This is an awesome 4 season tent and REI stands behind its products.

When using the rain fly the setup is a bit of work but well worth the comfort and security.




REI Base Camp 6 Tent from REI.com

I got it on sale for $249.00 :rocker:
Best family tent I've ever owned hands down.
 

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Summer tents are easier to buy, for quality standards, than 4 season tents. Just remember to pitch it in a valley and you will stay the coolest you can be. It is amazing just how much cooler you will stay if you have a bit of topography in the area. You can measure the temperature at the lowest point and then go up in elevation about 100 ft and compare to see for yourself.

Off topic but because I love this stuff:

Buy Parachute 550 Cord - 7 strand at Army Surplus World

This is the only rope any camper ever needs. No need to haul around thick nylon lines or cotton close lines that soak up water and are difficult to untie. This stuff takes up so little room you can fit an even bigger tent in your pack! Just cut it to length and burn the ends. It is nice and cheap too.
:cheers:
 

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I camp as much as I can. Wife, dog, and I, all love it.
I can recommend one thing about tents.
If you don't know where you will have to pitch it, and you have a truck, bring two. One big, and one smaller. Thats been my rule of thumb.
My large (for two people and the dog), is 14x12, and some times it is too big for the spot, so I pull out my smaller dome tent. Got room in your FJ for 2 tents? I bet ya do.
The thought of a cooler tent on those hot summer mornings would be great for me, so I say go for it, and just keep your old tent for the size.

If you do get it, try to remember to post about it. I would like to know if it works.
 

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To me a tent is only too big when you have to carry the sucker on your back or the site is too small. My Uncle and I stay in a Kelty Valhalla seven man tent. If I could afford it I'd get TNF two meter dome, but five thou for a tent is just a leetle too much!
 
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