The Perfect Family Tent

My old family tent had gone through the ringer. After eight years of use, one pole was broken, the zippers barely worked and I'm not sure it ever was waterproof. Then on our final camping trip of the season last fall the dog got spooked and ran right at the tent. When she found the door zipped shut she clawed at the fabric until she ripped a hole in it. That was the final straw. We needed a new tent.

ripped tent Rip in the tent. Don't worry we still love the dog.

At the first sign of spring I began looking for the perfect family camping tent. We camp a lot, like to be comfortable and really didn't plan on roughing it so the tent needed these features:

  • Size - While it only had to sleep 4 people and a dog, we wanted room. Lots of room.

  • Vestibule - Even with a ton of room we wanted to be able to kick our boots off outside the tent and to place camp chairs in a dry safe place at night.

  • Waterproof - We aren't fair weather campers. We need to be dry and warm during summer storms.

  • Pockets - We're particular about having little pockets for car keys, headlamps, sunglasses and other small items that are so easy to lose in a tent.

  • Size - Did I mention it had to be BIG? We want to stand up in it comfortably and be able to change our clothes easily.

  • Set up - While I'm not worried about the weight of the tent, it's important that it's relatively easy to set up.

After researching many different options, The Kelty Parthenon 6 became available on Sierra Trading Post. With an 80 inch head height, nearly vertical walls, 101.5 square feet of space plus an additional 28 square feet in the vestibule I knew we'd be camping like kings.

Our first camping trip with the new tent was a three night trip near Colorado Springs, Colorado. It rained the first two nights. When the rain started to put a damper on hanging out outside we rushing into our Kelty tent. That's when we got out the playing cards and 8 people comfortably hung out inside this tent. We were able to keep the party going and we stayed totally dry.

Picking a Family Tent

Two weekends later we took the tent to Great Sand Dunes National Park. We blew up two queen sized air mattress and had plenty of space for clothing bags and the dog had her space for a comfortable blanket between the beds. Again, it rained in the evening and we never saw any sign of wetness inside the tent.

I could never carry this behemoth of a tent in a backpack but that isn't the point. This huge family tent is about comfort and safety from the elements. Instead of being crammed into a tiny tent together, fighting about how to put the dang thing up and being cold or wet, The Kelty Parthenon 6 is a comfortable home away from home. We've already created some great memories and we're sure to continue to so so for years to come.

The Kelty Parthenon is available in a 4-person at Sierra Trading Post but the 6-person tent I have is currently sold out. Check out all the great family tents currently available: Family Tents.

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Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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