Small Spaces Big Journey: The Search For A Smaller Tent For Solo Travel
Great Pick Up From Amazon of same quality and style!!
I have to say that when I first embarked on travel I was prepared to be spending a lot of time in my tent. So much so that I might have overachieved in the amount of space I really needed. I wanted to accommodate all of my friends who were wanting to come along for the fun, only to realize that later sometimes a trip is not populated by quite as many bodies needing shelter.
While my original purchase was phenomenal in way or height for standing and space for multiples, I quickly realized it was a bit to consuming for my solo travels and to tall for windy locations. And while I will not abandon it, it will instead be placed in my gear storage for larger camping excursions and replaced for smaller ones by a smaller tent easier to assemble by a single person.
I went back to the drawing board, taking into account several of the features I enjoyed abut the original tent and finding things I wanted to change for solo or small group travel. I wanted to focus on quality of life in the tent for myself and a single guest and with that I decided to look into dome tents.
Dome tents are usually quick to assemble, lower to the ground and have a removable rain flap for nights you want to shelter yourself from the elements. Dome tents come in a variety of sizes for different amounts of guests, for my purposes I wanted a tent to accommodate 2 to 3. Typically a 3 man tent is the equal of 2 actual persons sleeping on individual bed pads. 3 is the total campers which could fit on sleeping bags alone.
I was pleased with the Ozark Trail brand of the previous tent in way of durability and price point so I wanted to look a bit more into those tents. I quickly found both a 3 and 4 camper option both very similar just one slightly larger. Knowing that before I had bought for size I opted for the 3 man instead knowing that I had the larger tent as a backup when needed.
The tent had been reduced in price because it was nearing the end of the summer season and was around $30 at WalMart. This particular tent has now been replaced with a different color option which is exactly the same tent on shelves or is available online through various other retailers including Amazon. (Click Above Tent For Similar Item)
The snap together posts of the tent were very quick and easy to assemble once removed from the travel bag and the entire assembly of the tent took less than 5 minutes even on the first attempt. The most difficult part of assembly of this tent was the rain flap front which had to be positioned strategically to get the pop out just right. However, I found after just one assembly that if I secured a portion of the tie downs before assembly but not all it would make for a much easier alignment.
It rained one of the first nights of my travels and I faced some progressive winds as well but the tent did not falter or dance around. I remained dry inside despite downpour and no seeping managed to find its way into the electrical plug in flap.
My single recommendation is to purchase different tent stakes for the tent. Much like my previous encounter with tent stakes I discovered that they merely send you with the small aluminum ones for securing. I prefer the larger stakes which have a small plastic hook on a large stake which almost looks like a nail, these are much stronger and secure and on those rainy windy nights will make the difference in your tent standing or faltering.
Overall I camped 7 nights on my initial maiden voyage of the tent and found this to be a suitable travel solution which addressed all of my issues. The cool blue color seemed to shelter some of the sunlight from being so harsh unlike my larger tents bright orange.
The rollback fly on the door allowed for great ventilation when I wanted a gentle breeze to pass through and the mesh roofing did allow for a star gazing night one evening when rain was not predicted.
One feature I did not elect to use is the attachable cargo pocket designed to hold your phone up high so you can watch video while laying down. I prefer not to fasten additional weight to the roof structure and typically I am not watching videos when camping anyway.
I would give this a 5 of 5 bunnies for overall use and practicality. It is a great option for those wanting to travel solo or those looking to load up for a road trip with a single friend. I would not recommend this for more than 2 people however as it would appear cramped. Also for those over 6 feet I could see this tent being a bit uncomfortable if more than one person is traveling as it is a 7’ x 7’ square but the sides to have a slope.