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Kelty Green River 4 Tent Review

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by Shahram, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Shahram

    Shahram I ain't got herpes no more.

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    I needed a new base camp tent for camping with my family (me, wife, infant son). My tent needs were: ease of setup, free standing, aluminum poles, full coverage rain fly, and it must be big enough to fit a pack-and-play (portable baby crib), beds, and gear, and be tall enough to stand up in.

    I found the Kelty Green River 4 Tent on sale at a local sporting goods store. Although it does not have aluminum poles, the fiberglas ones were very stout, and so I sprang for it. It looked like a simple free-standing dome with a full fly, and at $200.00 ($50.00 discount), and having a reputable name, I bought it with confidence.

    I should have set it up before I went camping.

    We arrived at our destination, a beach camp, in the middle of the night, cool temps (50º), a light wind (5 mph), and misty.

    Setup was a bitch. The poles were very stout, but the sleeves on the tent were very tight, and the poles snagged at every joint during setup, requiring us to have multiple hands pushing, untangling, and then pushing again. Got the tent together, and noticed it had open windows, with no zippered flaps. The windows were open screens, which constituted the top 1/4 of the tent, the top half of the front door, and two side windows which stretched from the middle of each corner to a few inches off the ground. None of these screens had closable flaps. Without the rainfly, the tent itself had all the privacy and weather protection of a g-string bikini. The only zipper on the whole tent was the door...which itself was only a mesh screen!

    The rain fly was a very complex cover with a large vestibule that needed guying and staking in order to just access the door. The vestibule, however, did not seal either, but had a series of loose curtains that hung in front of screens.

    I closed the tent as best I could, and set up inside. The rain fly covered the entire tent, but as the wind kicked up, cold, wet air creeped up under the rain fly and into the open screens, which were just inches from the ground. I could feel a draft going through the tent, and our bed and gear were dewing up and getting wetter by the second. Leaving my son alone in his crib was not an option, so my wife and I huddled together for warmth and kept him between us. We froze our asses off, and it was only in the 50ºs, with a 5 mile an hour wind! I can only imagine what a really cold, windy night would have felt like! We barely slept the whoe night, and were moist and clammy in our beds by morning.

    If you want a tent for hot, still nights, that will only provide fresh air and bug protection, this is the tent for you. If you may encounter any weather at all, especially wind, cold, dew, or dust, I'd say skip this model altogether.
     
  2. loeky

    loeky

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    man - that sucks. what a way to find out the hard way on that one. i've always bought backpacking style everything for camping gear and trust that it's bulletproof.

    as for when i have a family - i'm going straight for the Mountain Hardware Extreme Basecamp Survival Tent(tm).

    seriously: http://www.rei.com/online/store/Pro...56&parent_category_rn=4500458&vcat=REI_SEARCH

    it's a pricey, but you'll also have it for 30 years.
     
  3. metalonmetal

    metalonmetal Rebuilding

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    that sucks that you weren't happy with it, kelty is a good name, and i agree that you should have set it up before heading out. did nobody help you out at the store to let you know exactly what the tent was for? the latest trend with the 3 season tents is complete mesh on the upper half of the structure. if you want a tent to set up without the fly but want the privacy you might have to look at a 4 season tent. they usually have the windows on just two sides. return it if possible, or keep it if you know you're going to be needing shelter on hot nights.
     
  4. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    I too am looking for a 6-ish person tent (10'x10') that can facilitate a card table, etc. but still quality construction, has decent air flow, good awning and to serve as a refuge from sun, bugs, rain, wind when we're not in the AT tent. I've been searching for awhile now and this is a hard order to fill!

    Haven't found one yet!
     
  5. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    And I have read some relatively bad things about Kelty tents and their total lack of customer service lately...
     
  6. surfpig

    surfpig The Anti-Tech

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    We got that one a year or so ago. I actually like the screen tent function, but totally agree that the rainfly/vestibule sucks. Haven't tried it in the wind/rain, and often as not we take the old tattered Coleman...
     
  7. hoser

    hoser SILVER Star

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    I've been looking for the same thing and this screen tent has caught my attention.

    11'x11'
    2 minute set-up
    Can have 4 awnings or zipped to enclose tent
    35lbs though
     
  8. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    We looked at the Green River and ended up with the REI Base Camp. I got a deal on it. Very happy with it.
     
  9. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    Found a great deal on a Eureka Titan...any of these larger 'family' style tents seem to be a series of compromises the Titan included...we're going to test it out over Labor Day weekend...
     
  10. SunTzuMD

    SunTzuMD

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    I'm using a North Face Bedrock 55 - nice tent and I got a steal on it.
     
  11. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    North Face Himalayan Hotel. Big 4 season dome that's a bitch to set up, but you can relax knowing it will stand up to about anything. On a trip to Moab, it was one of about 10 tents that stayed up when one of those 15 minute windstorms blew the other 90 across the campground. We had a portable crib in ours for many trips - I cut out circles of one of those poly sheet sleds for the crib feet to rest on to avoid floor damage. It's also strong enough to hang a light from the ceiling.

    It's a tough call to get a tent that has enough circulation, yet will protect you in foul weather. When we car camp we also bring along one of those 10X10 shade shelters to keep the tent cool for child napping, etc. Leave it over the tent when you go somewhere and you'll come back to a cool tent even on a scorching day.

    DougM
     
  12. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    That's a good idea using the shade tent to keep the main tent cool: Kudos!:popcorn:
     
  13. fzj80kidpen

    fzj80kidpen

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    4 man means 3
    3 man means 2
    2 man means 1
     
  14. ColoradoCarlisle

    ColoradoCarlisle

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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2006
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