Rated 4 out of
Quirky but GoodI got this shelter for use with a Scout Troop. We wanted a shelter we could meet and cook under. I have previously used the Kelty Hula Shade House which I love and still have for personal use.
I first tried the REI InCamp Shelter but returned it. It didn’t have enough head room or steep enough walls to give good clearance on the hot objects we would be cooking with. Inside was a bit claustrophobic with a number of people. Looking at the specs of a couple of other brands they would have the same issue (6” ceiling).
The Kelty is unique in that it has a taller (close to 7”) ceiling. Also the shelter is more dome like vs pyramidal which gives more head room, clearance and a better feeling. You also have space to hang a lantern from a loop in the top and not whack into it. With the better space I had the clearance for the stoves and large pots without worrying about melting the fabric. With these in mind this shelter is really the only one of its kind that will fit me needs on the market. I could have used a traditional “pop up” but they are much heavier to haul and don’t offer the side protection from wind and rain that I wanted.
The price of this size and flexibility is a querky setup. Same could be said for its Hula Shade House ancestor. You really need two people and a fair amount of open space to set this thing up. You COULD do it with one, but the scouts would learn some interesting new words.
The key to getting this set up is to lay the fabric out on the ground first. Assemble the support poles and get them in proper position. This shelter is NOT symmetrical so you have to get the poles in the right direction. Two of the poles are color coded orange and you need to line them up with the orange straps. The shock corded poles are permantly attached at the center with rotating fixture that you attach the top strap to.
On a big plus you don’t have to thread the poles through sleeves, they clip on. This makes assembly easier, and more importantly takedown. No more poles coming apart as you try and pull them out of the sleeves.
There is a cross brace on one side of the tent which goes through a short sleeve. It’s important to get this installed ON TOP of the existing poles so that they push it out. After you deploy there are two straps that attach to the cross bar to give you more room.
Once you have it all laid out on the ground get a person on either side, push and clip the bottom into the poles, stake down and your good. You just have to get it right before you do final assembly because you’re not going to be able to correct anything without taking it down.
I can’t comment on the strength or wind resistance. We set it up next to a regular Shade house (which has a lot of durability complaints) and both withstood wind gusts and a thunderstorm. Compared to the original shade house it was certainly bigger and better.
The layout is interesting. You have the “front” wall which has enough clearance to walk through. The side walls are more open but have large awning like sides supported by the cross beam. The back has the lowest wall you need to duck under. Gives you some interesting options.
If you want a shelter with good clearance this is really the best of its class. Its got an unusual layout which I’m still exploring. I’ve had pretty good luck with Kelty’s so I’m optimistic about this one as well.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 3 out of
Not as advertisedThe published specs for this shelter that indicate that the covered area is 100 square feet are incorrect! This shelter when erected covers only 80 square "useful" feet. Wind walls are not available for this shelter but would help to increase the covered area. We found that it did not block the suns heat. Erected over a picnic table it was annoying to duck in and out under the low walls.
On the positive side this shelter is easy for two people to erect and once up is stable and easy to mover around according to changing weather conditions. The snap system that attached the base of the poles to the ground tape is innovative, making set-up easy. In addition it packs in a small convenient bag with a carry strap and is well adapted to car-camping. It is well made of durable materials but not is not waterproof.
Date published: 2016-08-20
Rated 5 out of
So Worth It!My wife and I were camping on the coast in Northern California and our neighbors had one of these. The first night it rained lightly. The second day was very windy. We watched our neighbors in envy, then bought one as soon as we got home. Besides being a great shelter from sun and light rain, it is designed very well to hold up to high winds. The carry sack has backpack straps making it even easier to take anywhere. We have sat under it on summer beach trips and less-than-favorable-weather camping trips and every time have some conversation about how great it is to have such an easy shelter.