Hiking/Backpacking/Camping/Rain-proof tent

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Question
Hello,

We live in Florida and take trips up to 4 nights long in the Everglades. Can you point me in the direction of the best quality/price "monsoon"-proof 3-4 person tent that will keep sleeping bags dry in heavy rains, for, say, <$200?  Optimally something that wraps up small, probably has a "bathtub" bottom, has good ventilation in the heat, and won't be full of little pin holes within a few years.

Thanks,
Jeff Omans

Answer
Jeff,

If you are looking for a tent that will hold up in monsoon type rain these are my suggestions.

I would look for a tent that is a three to four person tent. If you think you are going to be stuck in the tent for an extended period,  I would probably look at four person tents even if there are only three of you.  I would look for three season tents with bathtub flooring.  The tent should have adequate venting. You want something with a rain fly (no single wall tents) preferably a vented rain fly.  This will allow co2 condensation (from breathing) to escape.  This will help with the heat and also keep everything including the people from being all sticky. Make sure you use a ground tarp.  Most good tents have fitted footprints available.  I would get one.  Also,  no matter what tent you buy.  Before you use it seam seal it (especially the fly), even if the seams are taped.  As far as the pin holes go,  about the only thing you can do is make sure the tent and fly have been UV treated.

There aren’t going to be many tents under $200 that are going to have everything I mentioned.  Although, if you check the internet you can find some good deals.  Suggestion - if you can find a tent at REI – buy it,  they have a lifetime satisfaction policy and will give you a full refund.

Some of the tents I found that fit the specifications above are: Kelty Gunnison 3.1 and the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 (2 doors), REI Quarter Dome T3, North Face Phoenix and the Marmot Astral 3 (2 doors).  

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Oscar

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I can answer questions pertaining to backpacking/day hiking, snowshoeing, and general camping questions. I can also answer questions pertaining to clothing and equipment selection, maintenance, and repair. I will also be able to answer most general recreation/touring kayaking questions.

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I have been very active my whole life; mt biking, running, scuba diving, sailing …etc. I have been an avid hiker for the past 22 years. I have hiked trails in both the national and state park systems in approximately 20 states through out the US. Personally, I enjoy dessert hiking the most and have spent more time in these areas of the country (i.e. Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, South and North Dakota Badlands) I have canoed and kayaked in the Boundary Waters (Minnesota), the Missouri River (Montana) and several areas within Minnesota. I have lived/worked at Mammoth Station (park HQ) in Yellowstone National Park. In addition, I spent three years working for a major camping/mountaineering retailer and have a very good understanding of most gear/clothing used for camping, backpacking and kayaking.

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BA Sociology, Naval OCS, NETC Newport, RI

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