Every once and a while I get the opportunity to try and review something that is more about my wife and girls then it is about me. Recently, I was contacted by the good people at Wenzel to give a couple of their family camping tents a whirl. Typically, my gear is small, light, packable and meant for just me. I was extremely excited to try out a bigger, roomier and family oriented piece of gear and so was my family.
We recently gave the Wenzel Great Basin a try during our Labor Day weekend camping trip in Wisconsin. At first look, I will tell you my initial reaction to the tent immediately after setting it up was that it didn't seem as big as I thought it should be. Then, I unzipped the door and went inside. Oh boy! Let me tell you my next thought was I would have driven my Jeep inside and still had room for the family. This tent is YUGE!
Okay, lets to back to the set up. I and Wenzel recommend that you have two people to set this tent up. Tent set-up is quick and easy and can be completed even by the most novice of family campers. Four poles that sit in heavy-duty plastic feet ensure stability of the tent and superior rigidness and strength. In addition to the overall strength of the the, the tent comes with a rain fly to ensure a dry camping experience. (It is recommend prior to use that the tent seams are sprayed with a tent waterproofer prior to use per manufacturers instructions).
Once this tent is set up, staked down, tied down and set up per instructions you are left with nothing but a tent that has the potential to offer you all the comforts of home pending how you set it up on the inside. The space provided in the 10 person tent offers a wide variety of set up options. The tent comes with two privacy screens to take this very large tent and make it into three private spaces if needed.
We decided not to hang the dividers in the tent. Our set up consisted of two queen sized air mattress that we flanked on the left and right side of the tent. I will tell you that we could have easily added a third queen air mattress and still and more then adequate space to move about the mattresses, change clothes as needed, and still had more then enough room for gear.
Part of the reason we set up the tent and our mattresses as mentioned was simply to take advantage of the airflow per the zippered windows at then ends of the tent at night. Unzipping these windows created a great cross breeze which kept us very comfortable in the evenings.
FLOOR SIZE: 18 ft. x 10 ft. | FLOOR AREA: 159 sq. ft. | PEAK HEIGHT: 78 in.
Weight: 28 lbs. 2 oz. | Canopy/Fly: Polyester w/ 600MM PU Coating | Floor: Welded Polyethylene
Packaged Size: 27 in. X 10.75 in. X 10.75 in. | Doors: 1 | Windows: 4
As mentioned, this review and trial run of this tent was more about the reaction of my wife and daughters then it was me. I with a friend set up the tent prior to their arrive, so I got to witness their initial reactions to the tent on first sight of it and experience upon entering it and getting settled. Immediately my wife and girls were in awe of the size, height and just convenience of store pockets loft space and specifically the Tent Light Reflection System.
This system is like nothing I have witnessed before in small or large tents of comparable price on upwards. Simply put, with the placement of a flashlight, small battery operated or solar powered light or powerful headlamp inside the mesh pocket at the middle of the tent, you create a light that is large enough to cover the whole tent. Most tent fabrics absorb the light at night requiring the use of a personal headlamp or a lantern that then casts huge shadows usually when children as searching for clothes or you are looking for gear. The Tent Light Reflection System reflects the light from your light source out and down minimizing shadows and increasing the overall capability for you or you kids to find what they need quicker. Simply put... Happy Happy!
Check out the video below to see how the Tent Light Reflection System works.
No matter if you and your family are novice of experienced campers this tent provided more then enough room for you and your entire family, gear and will fit however you camp. The biggest item to note of this tent is it's value. For the space you get, the capability to tweak the internal set up from one, two or three rooms as well the new feature and ability to light the tent like no other and the overall comfort offered make this the ultimate outdoor value for any camping family.
You have heard me say it time and time again, it should't cost a lot to get outdoors. This is a situation where you don't have to pay a lot to get not just you but all of your family or friends outside. This tent brings all the right stuff you need to manage through even the worst camping weather as well as all the conveniences and strength you be happy you have in these scenarios. When the weather is mild the open air capability will delight with a view if the stars for you and your family.
Bottom line, value, space and the capability to mix and match this tent to our families needs, desires and how you camp make it a great fit for your next camping trip.
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