Campground tent recommendation
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  1. #1
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    Campground tent recommendation

    I'm guessing a few of youz camp at campgrounds now and then so wondering if anyone has any suggestions for decent roomy 2 person tents that are easy to set up and off course dependably rain proof.


    I actually have several tents and know quite a bit about backpacking tents where I'm concerned with them being light and somewhat small because it's hard to find room to pitch them.
    But I go to campgrounds sometimes now so want to give myself more luxury for that type4 of camping.

    Been researching a bit but keep getting bogged down in looking at it like I would a backpacking tent which is stupid.

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  2. #2
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    We have a nice big Kodiak canvas tent - it's a perfect campground tent if you ask me. Put 2 cots in it, room to stand up and spread out, put a small table and a couple camp chairs, nice awning and plenty of ventilation for the summer. It's heavy but also heavy duty. I wouldn't choose it for cold weather camping because it's just too big to be warm. You can very easily have room to use a jet boil for coffee in the morning if it's raining or cooking small items (although some would flame me for doing that in a tent). I think it's 10x10 and they call it a 6 person tent (that means 2 people very comfortably to me)
    Last edited by Srode; 1 Week Ago at 01:23 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks, Srode.

    I just googled it and the truth is you are definitely correct about that or similar being perfect for car camping (I imagine) but in my mind it's a bridge to far for my backpacking mentality. But I just need to freaking get over it and get something like that for car camping.

    How much of a production is it to set up something like that?
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 1 Week Ago at 01:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Thanks, Srode.

    I just googled it and the truth is you are definitely correct about that or similar being perfect for car camping (I imagine) but in my mind it's a bridge to far for my backpacking mentality. But I just need to freaking get over it and get something like that for car camping.

    How much of a production is it to set up something like that?
    It's a bit of a learning curve the first time you set it up but after that's its really straight forward. It's not as intuitive as your typical backpacking or small easy to carry tent, and while you could put it up solo (I have more than once) it's really more a 2 person job to do it quickly.

    I'm with you on the departure from backpacking and smaller lighter tents, but when you are at a campground for multiple days, something like this Kodiak is the cat's meow - just very very nice. So nice to be able to get up, stretch, and not be stumbling over stuff getting leg cramps and such getting dressed in the morning, and for foul weather it just doesn't get any better.

    You are either car camping or you aren't and if you are my advice is jump in and do it right
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  5. #5
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    Thanks again.


    yup, your advice is sound I know and I'm coming to realize that.

    It really hit home last weekend when I was in my small one man tent and looked around at the massive tents in other sites and I realized I was gaining absolutely nothing at a campground with a light small tent. I wasn't 'uncomfortable' but it finally dawned on me why to heck not be even more comfortable when I'm lugging the stuff by car.

  6. #6
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    You say '2 person tent'. Are you sleeping just 1 people inside? Or do you want room for 2 people and most of their stuff comfortable inside without walking over one another to hit The Head? In the case of the former, a 2 person is jake, in the caxe of the later, I'd reccy a 3 person. They all pack down to close to the same size and the added room is nice.

    In our tent circle, I'm always impressed with Kelty tents. They put up easily, and store easily, and have metal tent rods and not Cheap Chinesium resin rods that break and you cannot replace. My 2nd Coleman died--and it is getting replaced with a Kelty. Was actually replacing it last spring, then COVID hit and promptly cancelled all camping related activities this summer. Buy cheap--you keep buying it again and again.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    You say '2 person tent'. Are you sleeping just 1 people inside? Or do you want room for 2 people and most of their stuff comfortable inside without walking over one another to hit The Head?

    Both actually. I camp solo mostly but the lady friend tags along twice a year or so.

    So for this car camping tent I want to get one that two are comfortable in but I'll still use it alone and be super duper comfortable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Both actually. I camp solo mostly but the lady friend tags along twice a year or so.

    So for this car camping tent I want to get one that two are comfortable in but I'll still use it alone and be super duper comfortable.
    then you might want to consider getting something that has room for a queensize air mattress with plenty of room to spare.
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  9. #9
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    We've been Sierra Designs fans for a long time but any of the higher end backpacking companies sell 4 person car camping tents. And probably any of them will be as good as any other.

    Going with a high quality car camping tent pays off well. Reliable and Dry means a lot. So does ease of setup and strength when a storm rolls through. And don't discount the weight and size. Even with a loaded truck or car it makes a difference.

    Our First Sierra designs mondo condo lasted probably 10 years until we bent a pole at a storm with Team Collin. Sierra designs didn't make the tent anymore so they couldn't replace the pole. They sent us a coupon for any 3 items at 75% off. We got our current tent at that time and that was 8 years ago. Customer service means a lot too.

    For 2 people a 4 person tent is about right. That also gets you into the size where you can stand up.
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  10. #10
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    I researched the very same a few years back. I ended up with a 4 person Kelty. A two person is just too small. It really depends on what you plan to do with it. If you're just going to crawl in and sleep and then get out you don't need much. If you're going to use an air mattress and bring a cooler in and maybe a dog then you want more room. More room means it will take more body heat to keep the area warm. Larger means you can actually relax in it and mount a light near the top etc. Our tent has two vestibules which I highly recommend.
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  11. #11
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    I agree with Vaugn, the Sierra's are really good. I also have a North Face I like a lot. A buddy of mine has a newer canvas tent and the issue with it is it requires water prevention treatment and is pretty heavy after it gets wet. Not sure what brand it is but he usually buys really nice stuff.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by majbuzz View Post
    I also have a The North Face I like a lot.
    fify.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Both actually. I camp solo mostly but the lady friend tags along twice a year or so.

    So for this car camping tent I want to get one that two are comfortable in but I'll still use it alone and be super duper comfortable.
    For car camping for two, def a 3 person at a minimum and thermarests or other large inflatable. You'll have room for two people, comfortably, as well as suitcases/gear....and they will still packdown to the size of a lunch bag.

    I have Kelty on my Amazon wish list, for when/if touring is a green light again. I'm so over cheapos like Coleman; crappy tent rods, crappy stakes, unsealed seams in the rain fly, also not that stable in higher winds.
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  14. #14
    xxl
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    Another vote for Kelty tents...and another vote for Sierra Designs. I've used both, and both are excellent tents.

    Look here: https://www.kelty.com/tents-shelters/

    Or here: https://sierradesigns.com/tents/

    I don't own one, but based on what you wrote, I'd give the Sierra Design's "Clearwing 3" a look.
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  15. #15
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    Thanks guys.
    I forgot about Kelty, I'll look into their offerings. They have a really good reputation for good bang for the buck.


    VaughnA, If you still have that old tent that you bent a pole for: FYI I think I've read there is a company or two out that that can make poles of any length. Or if you only bent a segment or two, I think those are standard size so you can probably get just a replacement section(s) from Easton or DAC. Not sure put probably worth googleing if you have the tent and it's otherwise good.

  16. #16
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    The only experience I have with tents is some years ago and very occasional use.

    I will suggest however, based on the mention of North Face that a look at Sierra.com may be in order. I've bought a lot of stuff from them over the years and never been dissapointed in there service.

    see their tents here. https://www.sierra.com/all/tents~d~2...t=HighestPrice

  17. #17
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    Campground tent recommendation

    ďthe catís meowĒ... ?
    ďjakeĒ... ?
    Wowsers, are we camping in the 1930ís??? Oh well. I hope you find a tent thatís the bees knees for you and your lady friend... ya know, so yous can pitch a little woo...and 23 skidoo


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    Last edited by Opus51569; 1 Week Ago at 05:08 AM.
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  18. #18
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    REI has great car camping/family tents, plus a killer warranty and easy service should you need it. Iíve still got my share of ďseriousĒ 3 & 4 season tents, and a fondness for them, but being able to stand up in a tent to change your clothes like a human, is a wonderful change. My gf has a giant rei dome, fits a queen mattress inside with room around it, itís awesome for campground camping.

    Id recommend the biggest tent your wallet can stand if youíre just summer camping.

  19. #19
    pmf
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    I'd second, or third the advice of buying the biggest tent you can afford. I bought a 8 person Kelty for my family of 4. Looking back on it, I should have gotten a 10 person one. If your just car camping, why not. Get some big REI cots too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I'd second, or third the advice of buying the biggest tent you can afford. I bought a 8 person Kelty for my family of 4. Looking back on it, I should have gotten a 10 person one. If your just car camping, why not. Get some big REI cots too.

    That's a good question. And I think the answer, for me, is that I really enjoy camping but once I got to a certain level of luxury I'd just say to myself I may as well just get a hotel. And a 10 person tent with cot(s) would be past that level for me.

    I still enjoy backcountry stealth camping a lot more than campgrounds......but I'm finding myself more and more often wanting to go to a new area of the country where I don't have the knowledge of where to legally stealth camp so I'll get a campground and do day hikes. Or I'll want to concentrate more on the fishing than hiking so I'll get a campground so I can drive around and check out multiple fishing spots.


    Another factor which I haven't mentioned is I also have a specific one-time use in mind.
    I hope to take a trip to Idaho next year where we plan to take ATVs about 30 miles into the backcountry and set up a basecamp type situation then hike in and out of there daily. So because I'd be getting there by ATV I can afford to carry much more than my small backpacking tents........but it will require a lot of supplies and ATVs are small so there is a limit on what size tent I could bring.

    I've been giving it a lot of thought before and after posting this question and I think I'm staring to conclude that a 3 person basic dome style tent will be the ticket.
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 1 Week Ago at 01:32 PM.

  21. #21
    pmf
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    I hate camping and only did it when my kids were in Cub Scouts. To me, the more like home, the better. I had two cots and a huge inflatable mattress in mine. I'd have bought an air conditioned tent if they made them.

    And space was no issue because I've got a big van.

  22. #22
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    If you want stand up head room and cots, then the REI Kingdom fills the bill. It goes in a good size stuff sack though, so the size of car you're using for camping matters in this equation. The REI Half Dome is smaller, but fits 2 people well with thick Thermarest mattresses for comfort. I would also consider an 8x10 tarp or pop up shelter to cover the picnic table area, either for rain protection or shade when it's hot.

    I have a 6-man 8x10 stand up Eureaka that was great when we camped with the kids. We never use that tent any more. It's either a backpacking tent when hiking or 4-man dome tent for car camping. Can't quite stand up in it, but it's plenty roomy and packs up more compactly. The 8x8 pop up has really come in handy for both rain protection and shade.

  23. #23
    hfc
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    I have a big 4 person Kelty that was cheap at Dicks Sporting Goods. Pretty easy set up, free standing. I also have an almost 30 year old REI half dome two person that is still going strong, although it hasnít been in any rain in a while. Itís fairly roomy inside with 4 inside pockets and a ceiling loop for a light. Iíve been shopping for a lighter 1 or 2 person for bike packing and Iíll likely go with REI again. Most REI tents also come with footprints.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Thanks guys.
    I forgot about Kelty, I'll look into their offerings. They have a really good reputation for good bang for the buck.


    VaughnA, If you still have that old tent that you bent a pole for: FYI I think I've read there is a company or two out that that can make poles of any length. Or if you only bent a segment or two, I think those are standard size so you can probably get just a replacement section(s) from Easton or DAC. Not sure put probably worth googleing if you have the tent and it's otherwise good.
    Sold the damaged tent to a friend who got poles for it. He's still using it. We couldn't pass up the deal from SD so we got one a bit roomier.

    And yes Kelty's are great tents as well. I think that SD is a bit better but were talking a 9 vs an 8. Walmart crap is < 1.
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