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  1. #1
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Slightly OT - 4-person tent

    I'm looking for a freestanding tent for my wife and I to use when car camping. Weight isn't really an issue. My budget is $200-300.

    The shortlist:

    REI Hobitat 4

    Big Agnes Big House 4 (the optional vestibule could be handy if I want to get it later on)

    The Big Agnes has more floorspace, but the REI has a higher ceiling. So far, I'd say the Big Agnes wins, because it has clips instead of tent sleeves, my preference.

    Has anyone used either of these?
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  2. #2
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    For car camping, I've always just gotten tents from Target or Sports Authority. Coleman, or any other sort-of-no-name tent will have the features you want (ventilation, water resistance, durability) and you won't have to pay for super-high tech stuff you don't need when car camping (mainly light-weight). In other words, I can't speak to either tent you listed, but I bet you could set your budget in the 100-200 dollar range and be just fine.

    Vestibules are really nice to have to give you somewhere take off or put your shoes on without tracking mud into the tent or stepping in all that crap in socked feet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Both companies make nice stuff, but I haven't used either tent mentioned. I too would opt for clips.

    I have had good luck with lesser priced tents like the Tetragon 8 for example. We liked it pretty well. it has been canoe camping in the Everglades, car camping numerous times, and it did the whole TA with three of us sleeping in it. It has stood up well to a few hundred days of use and has been pretty comfortable. The current model looks a bit different than ours, but the changes look like improvements (especially the use of more mesh for better ventilation).

    If you don't mind the price, the Big House looks really nice though. If price is a concern the Tetragon 8 can probably be found for about $90

  4. #4
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    If you will be spending a length of time in the tent like weeks and months instead of one night stands, Get the biggest vestibule/tent you can. The wife and I lived in a tent for an entire summer and the extra space made it bearable. Also the vestibule kept the mess of cooking and eating out of the sleeping area.
    This space open

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    I'm looking for a freestanding tent for my wife and I to use when car camping. Weight isn't really an issue. My budget is $200-300.

    The shortlist:

    REI Hobitat 4

    Big Agnes Big House 4 (the optional vestibule could be handy if I want to get it later on)

    The Big Agnes has more floorspace, but the REI has a higher ceiling. So far, I'd say the Big Agnes wins, because it has clips instead of tent sleeves, my preference.

    Has anyone used either of these?
    Isn't car camping what Wal-mart tents are made for? Save some money and get the low end for occasions when weight isn't a problem.

  6. #6
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    eureka. well priced, durable. not much more than a walmart tent. although a walmart or a target tent will be just fine for car camping.

  7. #7
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    We were actually using a borrowed Eureka this past weekend. I found that it retained far too much moisture inside the tent, and ventilation was terrible. My wife is new to camping, and I want to encourage her to keep at it; an air matress and a good tent are both ways to do this.

    I've camped in an REI half dome, and it did a good job of keeping the humidity out and was well ventilated. Would the Big Agnes do as good a job?
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  8. #8
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Why are you on this forum? I don't mean to be rude, honestly, but are there not thousands and thousands of other forums dedicated to car camping tents? I mean, if I wanted to find the best steak house on the West Coast, would I go to the Vegetarian Living forum to ask where that might be? Just a thought...

  9. #9
    Clyde that Rides Aeneas's Avatar
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    I have a Hobbitat 4. Can't say enough good things about it for car camping. There is a ton of vertical space which is nice in the rain/wet so that you can hang a clothes line and not be tucked right under your stinky socks! Immensely open, lots of windows and a very effective top vent that allows moisture to escape. The one thing that I don't like is that the profile is huge so it tends to blow around a bit in the wind. Not that setting it up correctly won't help, just don't expect to take it out when the wind is blowin'
    Set up is easy, as long as you've set up a tent before. The pole sleeves are not full length and the poles don't have the annoying collars that used to get snagged in the sleeves. The fly is sufficient to keep you dry in most circumstances, but again, in a good blow, you'll get wet.
    Overall, I like it, I don't love it. It serves it's purpose for me, and does so with style, comfort and efficiency. Much preferred to any Coleman or generic tent I've seen.

  10. #10
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    I would go with the walmart tent also. Unless... I do some canoe camping so I bought a good tent the strandard 3 poles over the top type from MEC. Very pleased, love the clips, though they probably aren't as good if you use the tent without a fly a lot.

    If you do go the walmart route you have to check that there is some way of sealing the seams or that they come sealed from the factory.

  11. #11
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    If you do go the walmart route you have to check that there is some way of sealing the seams or that they come sealed from the factory.
    That's what I'm worried about. I'd bet money that you can't return a tent to a Wallyworld after using it even once.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I could also get a bigger tent for less money:

    Kelty Yellowstone 6, $190
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  13. #13
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Are you close to an REI that rents equipment? The REI here (Seattle) rents some equipment, including tents. Not sure if it's all locations, though. (edit) If so, you could rent before buying. And, if then tent you are considering buying isn't on their rental list, ask if they would let you rent it anyways. REI is relatively reasonable that way.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    The winner has the huge vestibule and two doors!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    I could also get a bigger tent for less money:

    Kelty Yellowstone 6, $190
    I don't have much experience with that particular Kelty, but my bike touring tent is a lightweight 2-man Kelty (model name alludes me right now) and it served me very well on my tour of the East coast last summer. Kelty tents are nice and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    Why are you on this forum? I don't mean to be rude, honestly, but are there not thousands and thousands of other forums dedicated to car camping tents? I mean, if I wanted to find the best steak house on the West Coast, would I go to the Vegetarian Living forum to ask where that might be? Just a thought...
    He's here because he's a bike tourer. Enough said.

  17. #17
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    He's here because he's a bike tourer. Enough said.
    +1

  18. #18
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    Why are you on this forum? I don't mean to be rude, honestly, but are there not thousands and thousands of other forums dedicated to car camping tents? I mean, if I wanted to find the best steak house on the West Coast, would I go to the Vegetarian Living forum to ask where that might be? Just a thought...
    I posted this here because the people on this forum give good advice. (Well, most of them...) If you want to complain that a post is off topic, there are non-inflammatory ways of doing this.
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