Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent
Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent (Courtesy of Sierra Designs)

What’s the best tent for backpacking with dogs?

What's the best tent for backpacking with my 75-pound dog who likes his space? Kelly Boulder, Colorado

Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent

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The best tent for backpacking with your rather large pooch is one that will give you plenty of space—you’re paying for the tent, after all. You’ll also want one that’s relatively lightweight, has ample ventilation, a floor thick enough to handle sharp doggie nails, and one that can be easily washed when the adventure is over.

Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent

Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent

Sierra Designs’ Zolo 3 ($290; three-season tent is designed for big bodies, with an eight-foot long footprint and total floor area of 48 square feet, but it weighs only 6 lbs, 5 oz, so it won’t break your back on the way in. The two-pole design with an added “brow pole” gives it additional headroom and interior space—it’s 45 inches at its peak. And with two doors and two vestibules, you can store your gear on one side and the dog on the other. Or if you prefer to snuggle with your furry friend, the floor is made from relatively tough 70-denier nylon, but you still might want to give the pooch a pedicure before you let him in.

If you’re car camping, Eureka’s Timberline SQ Outfitter ($300; four-person, four-season tent has a traditional frame design with an “SQ” twist, giving the center height 24 percent more space. It also has a super-durable bathtub floor made from 210-denier nylon, which not only prevents claw punctures; it will also help keep you dry in the event of a flash flood. With a total footprint of 60.8 square feet, the Timberline is as big as my living room, but it has only one door, a drawback if you need to make a quick exit. Also, at 9 lbs, 14 oz., you won’t want to schlep this into the backcountry.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: Courtesy of Sierra Designs

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