I loved my Joe's Outdoor 5-6 person tent; it's the only tent I've owned in my adult life, that I bought myself. YES it is about two decades old, but what does that matter? Well, when my outdoorsy mom heard of it leaking just a wee bit after a VERY rainy trip, that was all it took. My mom, who you know from "The Important Things" I unexpectedly lost last fall to pancreatic cancer, was my biggest supporter and fan, especially with my camping ventures. So a check arrived in the mail "for a TENT! Get one you LIKE! That doesn't LEAK!!!" Well, who am I to argue?
Pictured: My Kelty Wireless 4, All set up!
Pictured: My brand new tent! (well, this is an after shot - I was too excited to set it up to take a pic *before* I set it up. But now you know it DOES pack back into it's handy zippered case!
It was Covid times, so I looked at a LOT of tents - online. I wanted to be sure a new tent had all the features I wanted: Nice and roomy (so a minimum of a 3-person tent); Tall, lots of headroom, can walk in it, albeit stooped a bit; a partial height opaque bottom, as I often like to go rainfly-less if I am sure of the weather, so I can fall asleep and wake up to the trees; and I need a BIT of cover for privacy in these cases :) a FULL rainfly, so that no bottom corners of my tent are exposed in heavy rain - which is where my Joe's tent was leaking; and a "bucket" floor, with welded seams, again, very waterproof.
And easy set-up. Now, here's where Kelty as a brand really shines, in addition to quality.
It took several months to get this tent after I chose it - it tested my resolve, for sure! It was Kelty's 25th anniversary sale, so 25% off everything; I kept ordering it successfully, and then receiving a message that my order was cancelled. The footprint I'd ordered at the same time went through - but with no assurance that I'd get the tent, and after many failed attempts to do so, I sent the footprint back. Over the course of weeks, during the sale, I ordered it. Yes! Hurray! Order Cancelled. Boooo!!! Finally the website said "out of stock," which had apparently been the case all along. I reached out to customer service, and was told it wouldn't be back in until January!!! This was AUGUST! AGHH!! They were very kind though; signed me up for an alert so I could order immediately when it was in, and gave me a special code so that I could have the sale price that was integral to my affording to buy it, when it did come in. Happy Camper!
This tent ticked all the boxes! I wish it had just a BIT higher opaque portion, and a slightly lower bucket (I have to be conscious for awhile not to trip on my way in and out. These are tiny wishes, though. It really had everything I wanted.
Features that I LOVE:
The 4 corner pockets that instantly raise the poles:
The twist-one way clips, which are fast AND very sturdy:
The rigid over-center-head pole, which clips into this strap over each entrance side, and easily adds to headroom and sturdy build:
Set up is simple and straightforward. I began with my Wireless 4 Footprint (yes I re-ordered it and am glad I did!) which fits perfectly and is a great base layer, not extending beyond the tent and funneling rain underneath as my previous tarp could.
The tent has dual entrances, so I can enter/exit or face with options!
I lay it out in the center, unfold to the sides and stake, then I pop in my poles to the corner pockets, and I'm ready to clip up!
Add the horizontal center pole... and voila! Tent is really for filling!
You know I like my tent roomy - so much so that my Joe's Outdoor tent was a 5-6 person tent! For just-me! This is a 3-person tent, and it fits me and my gear with just the amount of roominess I like. I was worried before I put it up that it would feel small to me. Nope!
Pictured: My little nest has lots of room! (My gear is already stowed in here, in that near left corner!)
But - does the new ceiling (sans rainfly - which is a REALLY beefy rainfly I might add, with color coded ribbons that will make it easy to set up if a downpour is looming) pass the Kathy Wants Waking and Sleeping Tree View Test??!! Take a look for yourself...
Kelty Wireless 4 Tent - $180-$190; Kelty Wireless 4 Footprint $45. GoSoloCamp highly recommends for the solo camper with a penchant for room with a view!
So where did I take it on its maiden voyage? Rainbow Falls State Park, Site #23. I feel my next Camp Journal coming on...