Saying Good-bye to A Trusty Friend

Spring is finally poking out her beautiful little head, and summer is peeking out just around the corner.  In our house that means it's time to pack away the comforters and long johns and pull out all the camping gear.  Truth be told, we've already been camping once this year ( a few weeks ago when we went to Goblin Valley) and we're ready to do it again soon.  We only have one problem...

This is the tent my husband and I bought shortly after getting married.  We barely had enough money to put rice and beans on the table, but we knew a good tent and sleeping bags would come in handy.  We were right and this tent has been to a lot of places...

Denali Park, Alaska
Green River, UT
Maybe this trip was a little too early in the season?
It's been a great tent, but we especially love that one entire side of it is a mesh wall.  Whenever possible we leave the rainfly off and we feel like we're just camping straight under the stars.  It's helped us feel free while still keeping us out of range of the mosquitoes and wind and other expected (or unexpected) things in nature. Unfortunately, this is a 3-person tent (which really means it sleeps 2 comfortably) and we are now a growing family of 6.

It's time to get a new tent.  And it's turning out to be a life-changing experience for me.

We've loved having our small tent that puts together with one person in about 3 minutes.  It fits really easy in the trunk and is light enough to carry on a backpack if we get an inkling to do such a thing.  And it will fit in any space we want it to with ease.  My research into new tents that will fit our whole entire family is finding that we are going to have to leave almost all of that behind.

Here are the few tent styles we've narrowed it down too:
Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6
This would be my ultimate, no-cares-in-the-world choice.  I love that it has two rooms so the adults and children can sleep separated.  And with the babies starting to become mobile, this screened-in area would be perfect for letting them move around, but keeping them out of the fire or the road or whatever else they tried to get in to.  The down fall of this tent is that it is GIGANTIC compared to what we have been using.  I have real doubts whether it would even fit in a standard campground camping spot.  And we definitely would not be slinging that on our backs!
Eureka Copper Canyon 2-Room Tent
This, then, would be the logical next step-down from that King of all Tents.  Still, two rooms, but without the screened porch.  The benefit of this over that would be a slightly smaller footprint, but still I'm not so sure about the size.
Coleman 6 Instant Tent
Ultimately, I think this is what we are going to get.  It makes me sad to look at it with barely any windows and know that we'll be sacrificing the great view we've become so accustomed to.  But, for our purposes right now I think it's going to work the best.  The biggest selling point?  This summer I'm taking our 4 boys on a 6-week road trip without my husband.  We're going to be camping 5 of those weeks and I need a tent I can put up quickly all by myself.  This tent promises a 60-second set-up because of the telescoping poles that are permanently attached to the tent itself.  No unfolding and snapping together poles that you then have to shove through little holes and then somehow manage to get it stood upright without falling on it or having it collapse on you.

Like I said, for ease of putting it up by myself, this tent will probably work the best for me this summer. The earlier models were sold without a rainfly but all the information says it should be water-tight anyway.  The latest version does have a rainfly, but makes it considerably more expensive than buying one without.  Knowing we'll be camping in places that have floods more rain compared to Utah, I'm having trouble deciding which one we should go with.  And we might turn out to really really love it, but if this is the one I go with, I hope we decide in good time to buy one of the examples above with much more opportunity to feel free out in nature again.

Do you have a tent you would recommend?

This post was in no way sponsored or affiliated with the listed tent brands.  
Just my own opinions on tents I've researched for my family.


  1. I've looked at the Coleman Instant Tent. As I understand it, the reason for the rain fly would be so that you can still get some air circulation when it is raining. Otherwise, you have to zip everything up and be smothered. I also want to be able to set it up myself. A RAGBRAI team mater has the 4 person version and it goes up in seconds. At least it seems like the rest of us are still putting poles together and he's already relaxing!

  2. Another idea would be two smaller tents. I have friends who have camped that way. They set them up door to door, I think.

  3. Cabella's is a dangerous place :) I love taking my kids there to see the fish tank and look at all the animals. Camping is so much fun, especially with kids. Let me know if you need any encouragement!

  4. We upgraded our tent this last year too! But we kept the old faithful! Can't quite part with it! What fun!


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