Wenzel Great Basin Tent - 9 Person
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- Shockcorded fiberglass poles with pin and ring system for easy set-up
- Hooped fly over front door and rear window for weather protection
- Hanging divider curtain creates two separate rooms
- Two mesh doors, two mesh windows and two mesh roof vents for cross breeze
- Includes stakes, gear loft, two hanging pockets and a storage duffel
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One of our largest, spacious tents if your looking for extra room. The Great Basin base is 18 ft. x 10 ft. x 76" center height. With Back to back dutch "D" style doors, two mesh windows and roof vents for ventilation. Constructed with welded polyethylene floor and fiberglass frame, with steel and plastic stakes to secure this portable home. Shockcorded fiberglass poles with pin and ring system for easy set-up and take down. Hooped fly over the front door and rear window for weather protection.
Spacious and weather-resistant, the Wenzel Great Basin 18-by-10-foot dome tent sleeps up to nine campers in its two rooms, making it ideal for large families or smaller families with lots of gear. The Great Basin is made of rugged, weather-repellent Weather Armor polyester with a polyurethane coating for reliability, helping it keep water out and warmth in. The sonic-sealed polyethylene tub-style floor, meanwhile, is welded and not sewn, eliminating needle holes that might otherwise attract water seepage. And campers will love the variety of ventilation points--including two mesh back-to-back D-style doors and two polyester mesh windows--all of which are aided by an updraft ventilation system that improves the overall airflow.
The Great Basin is also easy to set up, with a shock-corded fiberglass frame and a pin-and-ring system. And when it comes time to hit the sheets, you can either create one huge sleeping room or roll down the divider curtain to create two separate rooms. The rooms can function as individual bedrooms for the campers or as a sleeping room and living room. Other details include two gear lofts for storage, two hanging pockets, a removable fly with a hoop frame over the door, and a storage duffel.
- Base: 18 by 10 feet
- Center height: 76 inches
- Area: 159 square feet
- Capacity: 9 people
- Stakes: Steel and plastic
- Carrying weight: 24 pounds
Amazon.com Tent Guide
Selecting a Tent
Fortunately, there are all kinds of tents for weekend car campers, Everest expeditions, and everything in-between. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Expect the Worst
In general, it's wise to choose a tent that's designed to withstand the worst possible conditions you think you'll face. For instance, if you're a summer car camper in a region where weather is predictable, an inexpensive family or all-purpose tent will likely do the trick--especially if a vehicle is nearby and you can make a mad dash for safety when bad weather swoops in. If you're a backpacker, alpine climber, or bike explorer, or if you like to car camp in all seasons, you'll want to buy something designed to handle more adversity.
Three- and Four-Season Tents
For summer, early fall, and late spring outings, choose a three-season tent. At minimum, a quality three-season tent will have lightweight aluminum poles, a reinforced floor, durable stitching, and a quality rain fly. Some three-season tents offer more open-air netting and are specifically designed for summer backpacking or other activities. Many premium tents will also feature pre-sealed, taped seams and a silicone-impregnated rain fly for enhanced waterproofing.
For winter camping or alpine travel, go with a four-season model. Because they typically feature more durable fabric coatings, as well as more poles, four-season tents are designed to handle heavy snowfall and high winds without collapsing. Of course, four-season tents exact a weight penalty of about 10 to 20 percent in trade for their strength and durability. They also tend to be more expensive.
Domes and Tunnels
Tents are broadly categorized into two types: freestanding, which can stand up on their own, and tents that must be staked down in order to stand upright. Freestanding tents often incorporate a dome-shaped design, and most four-season tents are constructed this way because a dome leaves no flat spots on the outer surface where snow can collect. Domes are also inherently stronger than any other design. Meanwhile, many three-season models employ a modified dome configuration called a tunnel. These are still freestanding, but they require fewer poles than a dome, use less fabric, and typically have a rectangular floorplan that offers less storage space than a dome configuration. Many one and two-person tents are not freestanding, but they make up for it by being lighter. Because they use fewer poles, they can also be quicker to set up than a dome.
Ask yourself how many people you'd like to fit in your fabric hotel now and in the future. For soloists and minimalists, check out one-person tents. If you're a mega-minimalist, or if you have your eye on doing some big wall climbs, a waterproof-breathable bivy sack is the ticket. Some bivy sacks feature poles and stake points to give you a little more breathing room. Also, if you don't need bug protection and you want to save weight, check out open-air shelters.
Families who plan on car camping in good weather can choose from a wide range of jumbo-sized tents that will accommodate all your little ones with room to spare. A wide range of capacities is available for three- and four-season backpacking and expedition tents. Remember, though, the bigger the tent you buy, the heavier it will be, although it's easy to break up the tent components among several people in your group. It's also helpful to compare the volume and floor-space measurements of models you're considering.
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My kids slept in it one of those nights and it was rained on several different days and subjected to high winds (30-40 mph gusts) a couple of days with no problems but some slight leakage in the staked corners and where the pouches were stitched on the inside. These leaks occurred BEFORE I sealed the seams. Once the tent's seams were sealed, my wife and I inspected it thoroughly from inside during one of the steady rains we had while it was set up in the backyard and found no leakage at all. (See the last paragraph for information about seam sealing.)
My only concerns about this tent are:
1. The fly doesn't extend out quite far enough over the ends to cover the windows. If you left those windows open during a rain, you'd get water in the tent. (Fortunately the fly does cover the doors and back window pretty well).
2. The room divider hooks were not well sewn on and one pulled out right away. I reinforced all of them on my sewing machine and had no more problems. (All other seams on the tent seemed fine).
3. For high wind situations, I'd recommend better stakes around the base than the wire J-hooks provided.
Other than these minor issues, the tent seems very well made and is easy to set up by one person and even easier with two. This takes about 10-20 minutes depending on how meticulous you are.
One other suggestion I would make for the user is to purchase a large tarp for under the tent and cut it to down to fit the shape of the tent bottom. This ground cover should of course be slightly smaller than the size of the footprint to prevent water from funneling under the tent floor during rain.
I HIGHLY recommend seam-sealing ANY tent before using it in the rain. Stitching almost always leaves holes in the fabric through which rain can enter. Even taped seams can leak. Instead of purchasing the very expensive tent seam sealer you'll see advertised on camping gear sites, I recommend using clear elastomeric acrylic roof sealer (I used Henry #212 brand available at Home Depot in the roofing Dept) thinned 30% -50% with mineral spirits to make it brush-able. The roof sealer is crystal clear, very adhesive, dries quickly and will even adhere to slightly wet surfaces. Stretch the seams slightly when applying to get it deep into the needle holes. Brush the sealer in and on both sides of all seams, especially around the floor pan and stake straps (be careful around the zippers). Even though the fly seams are taped, I recommend sealing them as well. Sealing will take some hours and several $10.00 caulking-style tubes of the sealer (this is a BIG tent), but is well worth it and it should last the life of the tent. Plan on leaving the tent up for a dry day or so to let the sealer cure thoroughly.
Upon our first time using it, the area near the door ripped slightly upon zipping it up. In all fairness, it could have been our fault for staking it too taut in the first place. However, I've never had this issue with any other tent before.
My wife reached out to their customer service department about the issue. With very little hesitation and a great deal of humility, they immediately replaced our tent. The replacement process was very easy and the customer service department was beyond amazing. We didn't have to mail a single thing back to them. We were even allowed to keep the old poles and accessories to use as spare parts in the future.
It's not easy to find a company that stands by their product in such a complete and impressive way these days. So the fact that within a couple of days of us submitting our claim form and photos we had a brand new tent delivered to our front door was something that really floored us.
The new tent is holding up excellently by the way. I can't say enough good things about the product and Wenzel as a company.
Buy this one, you won't be sorry and you will get taken care of it anything should happen.