If you previously read the post about selecting my tent, you are aware that it was quite the process selecting the perfect tent for a 12 day venture with potentially 3 travel companions. I settled on the Ozark Trail 12 x 8 6 person tent to allow for ample spacing during the trip only to later find out that there would in fact only be one travel companion on this trip.
Rather than getting a second, smaller tent, I decided to go ahead and use the larger tent and test out its many features, knowing I would have allowance for extra bedding and personal items inside at each campsite.
Upon first assembly, I quickly noticed with the sheer size, it would never be a solo tent. The process of assembly required two people, typical for that of larger tents. The pack itself contained the tent, the roll back fly cover, 2 full size snap together poles and 1 fly snap together pole, a mat for outside and 6 metal stakes. The stakes were flimsy, so I went ahead and purchased more durable ones designed to withstand more rugged terrain.
Inside the tent contained 2 stowing pockets with 4 subdivided shallow mesh pockets each. These we found to be perfect for keeping keys and smaller items during our camping duration. In addition, it had inside hooks, the perfect size to clip a camp light, both on the back window area and the ceiling.
The snap together poles made assembly less than 5 minutes, after the first couple of times putting it together and figuring out exactly where everything fell into place. Upon disassembly it was again simplistic and everything had a stowing bag to organize a quick pack.
The tent being a two season tent, had a mesh top, great for catching night views. Although this was a great feature, due to close quarters on campsites we chose not to use it on this outing and instead always used the roll back flap for privacy.
Inside there was both a window flap on the back side of the tent and a door on the front flap which could be closed entirely or unzipped to form a matching window. On several nights we did utilize these options for ventilation.
The roll back flap served as a very nice rain guard and kept us completely dry on the entire venture despite a couple of light rains. The only negative we found with the flap itself was that it tended to catch wind and trap it easily. We did, however, enjoy the multiple fasteners on the flap which included not only Velcro, 2 for each post but also a hook tie down for each post and also for the middle of the ventilation sides.
We were tested by wind, rain and both cooler and warmer conditions. The wind, because the tent was taller posed the biggest issue as it whipped down on the roof of our shelter forcing it to buckle. Despite being whipped around, it did not break the posts and maintained shape once wind subsided. Obviously the cooler weather, the tent gave minimalistic shelter but as a wind break during this cold it did help a lot.
Overall, a investment in this tent was a great one for the value. At only $59, it was comparable to that of other dome tents of smaller nature. When price matching a 4 person tent would have been the same cost and though it might have been less susceptible to wind, there would not have been the inside feature access not ability to stand comfortably.
I would purchase this tent again if looking for a larger tent because it truly withstood the tests of the weather on this venture. I will probably in fact look for a smaller tent within the same brand because of our satisfaction for those trips which are not requiring such a large space or for solo adventures.
This was an easy 5 of 5 Bunnies for our usage purposes. I would suggest with this tent purchasing different stakes unless camping in lush grassy regions, however that does not pull down its rating because the stakes are standard to many tents now. A quick grab of this tent will not leave you wishing for something different!