Inexpensive Tents

I went shopping locally and online for camping gear. I did not want to spend a lot of money on an expensive backpacking tent. I looked at Target, Walmart, and a sporting goods store. I liked the Coleman at the sporting goods store but it was only sold as part of a package.

When I got home I decided to order the Coleman from Target. After ordering it, I researched it more and it was just too complicated with 4 poles for the tent and 2 for the awning. They had no number to call them and by the time they got to my email it was too late to cancel so I will have to return it.

I then researched the Coleman site and saw several tents like the one I liked in different sizes. They have 2 poles for the tent and 1 for the awning. I decided to go to a larger size for more height. They had it online at the sporting goods store. I ordered it.

Before I open it, when it arrives, does anyone have any ideas?

You might want to look at for both the tent and sleeping pad (from your other post). They usually have good deals on both.

Your decisions should be based on when and where you’re going camping. Summer versus three-season versus winter camping are all different equipment requirements.

How much did you want to spend?
You can get some great buys on tents from either Sierra Trading Post or Northern Mountain Supply. I would look there first. They have some great prices on quality tents from Sierra Designs and many others. Not sure what you want to spend but figure about $130 and you’ll wind up with a first rate 3 season tent.

the site is great.

We got our car amping tent at Dick’s.

– Last Updated: Jun-22-04 10:36 AM EST –

It's a 4-6 person dome that's tall enough to stand in. We have room for our airbed and gear It has a gear loft and gear pockets. The rainfly comes down almost to the ground and it has a bathtub floor. Screen is on the outside of the door, so you can let air in without letting bugs in. The rain fly has plastic windows which may deteriorate eventually. Not a privacy problem because it has window covers on the inside. The tent stayed dry and is well ventilated so no condensation. It withstood a severe storm with 60-70mph wind gusts before we left on our trip. The tent cost $65. It's the Dick's brand. It looks like the new Eureka tents and might be made for this chain by Eureka.

I saw the car camping tent of my dreams at REI 2 weeks ago. Their brand, 4 man Base Camp tent. Has everything ours has, but rainfly comes to the ground and it has 2 doors and 2 vestibules. It was $249 on sale. Normally $299. I'll be happy with ours and spend the extra money on gas to get to the river.

Coleman makes durable, functional products. But if you want something else, send it back.

Kind of tent?
I presume you’re looking for say a car camping tent, not something you’d want to pack in your kayak or backpack?

If you are looking for lightweight and relatively cheap backpacking/kayak touring tents, look at the REI brand, they have some excellent value priced tents that would be cheaper than any SD, MSR, MH, Eureke quality like tent would cost.

You can checkout the discount places like sierratradingpost, overstock, REI-Outlet, but you’ll still not beat the walmart like tents for car camping, price wise. Just be prepared for anything, have duct tape, etc…


I have several tents, but I like my Coleman 7’X 7’ for a short weekend trip. If it is a longer trip I take a bigger tent.

The Coleman 7X7 only has two poles.

I got
a Ozark Trail tent for about $70 at Walmart. Frame is folding and attached to the tent. 2 poles for the rain fly only. takes about 3 min. to set up or take down. 4 man size.

which one? see link
is this the one?

Two sites to check… &

Tents ranging from $20-$269. All styles shapes & sizes, from “one man bivy’s” to “10 person cabin tents”.

Good luck!!

Paddle easy,


I have 2 coleman tents
I have had the 7X7 for eight years-it is in excellent shape and great for myself- I put it up alone-2 poles. An excellent tent!

I got the 14X17 2 years ago for when I go with the family - its a weathermaster and I love it.

go coleman-the 7X7 can be found for 40 and under- but my friend picked that one up at a yard sale for $5.00 in brand new shape.

good luck


Kayak & Coleman Tents
I am getting a tent for Kayak camping. This is the Coleman website that has the tents of interest:

The one from Target and made just for Target is the Eagle Rock for $69 (at Target). It looks almost identical to the Crestline. When I looked at the directions it was just too complicated with too many poles.

The one that I saw at DicksSportingGoods was the Sundome 9x7. It was simple and very well ventilated.

I ordered the Sundome 10x8 because it is taller.

The Sundome tents look really nice for SC because there is so much ventilation. I was surprised that there was not a way to cover the huge side vents. Perhaps this can be done with the rainfly.

I really liked the look of this tent set up. I do not think I would just want to order from a catalog. Have I gone wrong with Coleman? Do they leak or something?

The 10 X 8 is a huge tent:

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If you need the room that looks like a great tent for the price. The downsides of lower priced tents:
fiberglass poles, seams not taped, stitch count is lower. Fabric may be lighter weight and not UV protected. Zippers are cheaper. In short, They are heavier and will not hold up as well. You should seal the seams with sealer on the fly and all the coated parts of the tent.

Make sure you really need all that room. The tent will be really large and heavy. Don't forget that you will need a big ground cloth too. Finding a good spot to pitch is harder with a big tent. Staking is important too as it will catch a lot of wind. My wife and I and our dog (65 pounds) all sleep very well in a three man tent that is half that size. Big vestibule protects our gear.

I should mention that looking at the pic on the web it does not look like that tent has all that much ventilation. Maybe the pic is bad. If you want to see how many tents are vented nowadays go to any of the camping sites and look how much netting is on the roof of most tents today 40 to 60% netting on many roofs and doors

Thanks for the tips.
The tent is not much bigger on the ground but is higher. I am remebering my backpacking days when everything had to be so light and small. When I went solo I slept in a tent hardly bigger than my sleeping bag. I want a little room.

The picture is deceiving with the rain fly on. Almost the entire sides are mesh (from my visit to the store). I did buy some sealent to use as needed. If I do a lot of camping next year I could always go for a different tent. I will put my camping money into the matress.

While we’re on the subject…
I have done quite a bit of checking and I can’t seem to find an economically priced tent with those snap-thingys (excuse the highly technical terminology) for easy set-up, instead of those annoying poles, some of which I think are used as a test by Mensa to determine membership eligibility. (I’d fail.)

My daughter has a really cheap tent she bought long ago at Wal-Mart (made by Great Land), but now I can’t find that manufacturer anywhere. I’ve used it once and it performed quite well even in rain. I do like those snap-thingys!!! Suggestions? (Keep in mind, I must be frugal.) Thanks!


I think

– Last Updated: Jun-22-04 6:04 PM EST –

you found it cyberhynaiku. Maybe I didn't pay $70 for it after all. Only problem was I had to buy a larger carry/ storage bag. I couldn't get the tent or fly in the original bag.

check out the link above to the walmart tents. Love mine, easy set up/ tear down.

For pure research…
…you can’t beat the comparative section of

They’ve reviewed everything and tested it in backpack, canoe and kayak. It’s the best site I’ve found when tryin’ to figure out what I want and then cheaperthandirt to buy it.


buy 2
tents are light and cheap these days. buy 2 small ones and chuck all your crap in one, stretch out in the other. none of your gear will be damp in the morning and you won’t wake up with someone’s sock in your mouth.