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looking for tent advice

I've been searching for a new tent for awhile and despite spending hours online I am stumped.  Is the tent of my dreams just not out there?  Here are my requirements: I camp by myself but would like the ability to have one other person in the tent so need at least a two person tent, probably a four person, but have been camping in a six person tent lately.  I am 5'1" but I have knee issues and can't kneel so having a tent tall enough to stand most of the way up is key.  I need a tent easy enough to put up by myself if necessary.  I camp both in the desert and at the ocean and both get windy, so something capable of withstanding wind is required.  My ideal tent has covering for the mesh that I can close up when it's cold in the desert but open when it's hot. Finally, I would really love a tent without sleeves for the poles, since my last two tents wore out first there, but I guess this isn't a deal breaker if everything else is there. Price range is ideally under $400 but again, I'm willing to consider more for the ideal tent.  Thanks so much.

17 Replies

oh, I would never have thought that tent was good in wind!  Thanks for suggesting that option to consider.

Springbars are famous for standing up to  ferocious tent-eating dust devils in the Utah desert.   Here's a video the manufacturer uses to demonstrate one standing in hurricane force wind.

I should mention that there is a competing  brand called "Kodiak flexbow" that is similar in design but slightly cheaper. The tents have kind of a cult following and I'm on team Springbar.  You might be perfectly satisfied with a Kodiak.

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A Kirkham's Outdoor Products customer shared this video of his Springbar Tent taking the wind of two tornadoes just a mile away.

I don't have much to add over what's already been said, but expanding on @REI-JohnJ 's mention of the Base Camp 6, our family uses that tent and it is indeed super roomy with plenty of height. It is definitely easier to put up with 2 people, but I have done it alone, it's possible. With practice I'm sure it gets better too. Definitely a car-camping tent though unless you've got a whole backpacking crew where the gear can be spread around so that somebody hauls not much else besides the tent, it's heavy.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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Consider the REI Grand Hut 4. I purchased it for many of the same reasons. I am 5'8" and can set it myself.

aka "Boonerelli"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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Like the person above me, I was persuaded to get a 3 person Springbar by my wife and we love it! It has been an awesome addition for car camping. That said, I also second the vote for the North Face Wawona 4 .

Texas Wanderer

Thank you everyone for the awesome advice.  The poles on my current tent are about ready to give, so I need a new tent asap. Both base camps are sold out.  I think I'm going to take a chance on the Wawona 4 and then start saving and waiting for a Springbar.  I'm so glad I wrote to ask for advice!

So, I looked into this myself. I'm getting into ADV moto camping. After 5hours in a seat, my back doesn't bend as well either, so I need a tent with good vertical clearance.

So far, I'm evaluating the Kelta Tallboy 4, but this one takes about 15min to setup solo.

ALPS Mountaineering Acropolis 4 seems to be easier, and appears a bit more hunkered down for wind. However, the mesh starts pretty low, and may not work as well for wind deflection inside. Although I'm sure it will hold up.

One other thing you should keep in mind is your sleeping setup. If knees don't bend as well, invest in a taller cot and a self inflating mattress. It will make it easier to swing your legs over, when you need that pee break at 4am.

Good luck, and let me know what you go with, I'm always looking for input and good ideas 🙂


zpacks duplex ($$$$), durston xmid-2 ($$)

REI Member Since 1979