Q:

Which durable tent is tall enough for me to stand up inside?

Can you recommend a durable tent with room for me to stand up inside (I’m five feet, six inches tall)? I work at Renaissance Festivals around the country and live in a tent ten months out of the year. I have a car, so weight is not an issue. Craig Edinburg, Virginia

Dec 21, 2006
Outside
Outside Magazine
Kelty Pavilion 4 tent

Kelty Pavilion 4 tent

A:

What I recommend is a camper conversion of the Dodge Sprinter van. Winnebago makes a nice one called the View which sells for $80,000. Shower, TV, and everything else. But maybe it would not be in keeping with the spirit of a Renaissance Festival to show up with a Sprinter. And perhaps there are budget issues. The latter is why I don’t have one (Note to editor: can this be fixed? Thanks, GG).

What you need to do, I think, is simply bite a small bullet and invest in a quality family-size tent. I can’t promise infinite durability—Mr. Sun, who is very hard on fabric, will take care of that—but you should get at least two or three years of use out of it.

For example, you might get a Kelty Pavilion 4 ($450; www.kelty.com). It’s a big tent—80 square feet, nearly six feet tall at the center—so you’d have a big, comfortable space for you and any knights and maidens you choose to invite in for a friendly mug of mead. The fly and canopy are made out of durable, coated polyester and nylon, and the poles are tough aluminum. It’s not cheap, though. The Eureka! Equinox ($350; www.eurekatent.com) offers similar construction and size for a little less gold. Both tents should offer excellent durability and weatherproofness.

If you want to get really fancy, Sierra Designs ($700; www.sierradesigns.com) makes a giant family tent called the Benjari 6. It has three rooms so you can really turn your tent into a little Renaissance Fair Nerve Center. Its peak height is seven feet, and it’s made of the same durable materials that Sierra Designs uses in its expedition tents. The price, though, is steep.

Get more advice from the Gear Guy as he picks this season’s top gifts in Away.com’s Holiday Gift Guide. You’ll probably find a few things to put on your own wish list, too.

Filed To: Tents

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