|Home||Guest - Not logged in|
Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Slumberjack 6 person Trail Tent > Test Report by Dawn LarsenTest Report
Slumberjack Trail Tent 6
Name: Dawn Larsen
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT gmail DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last several years have backpacked private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper and paddler in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my twenty year-old son.
Maker's website: www.slumberjack.com
MSRP: US $219.95
Listed Weight: 18 lbs 6 oz (8.4 kg)
Measured Weight: 19.1 lbs (8.7 kg)
Listed Dimensions: 130 x 110 x 70 in (330 x 279 x 178 cm)
Measured Dimensions Flat: 128 x 107 x 71.5 in (325 x 272 x 182 cm)
Capacity: 6 Person
Seasons: 3 Season
Number of Poles: 4
Number of Doors: 2
Number of Vestibules: 2
Packed Size: 8 x 28 in (20 x 71 cm)
Wall Material: 75D Polyester No-See-Um Mesh
Floor Material: 75D Polyester 1200 mm
Fly Material: 75D Polyester 1200 mm
Pole Type: Fiberglass
Measured Pole Length: tent - 248 in (630 cm); ridge - 77 in (196 cm)
Tent features from the manufacturer:
Color-coded clip construction for a fast and easy setup
Mesh wall panels for ventilation
4 Internal storage pockets
Waterproof, taped seams
Noiseless zipper pulls
Convenient free-standing construction
Ridge pole geometry for maximum interior space
Full-coverage rain fly for a dry overnight experience
Convenient dual-entry design
Quick and easy side-release buckle tent-fly connection
25 September 2013
The tent came packed in a box and is described as "perfect" for backpacking. It came packed in its own handled storage sack with the following parts: tent, rain fly, 2 long poles and 2 ridge poles (in a pole bag), 12 aluminum stakes and 4 guylines with tighteners (in a stake bag), and a set of instructions.
Construction and Materials: I rolled out the tent in my backyard. The seams appear well sealed and straight. It also appears to be constructed well, but the material, especially the nylon, seems a little flimsy to me compared to my other more expensive tents. The mesh is much more sturdy than the nylon. The floor of the tent, which is thicker than the walls, extends up onto the walls of the tent providing protection from the rain.
Setting it Up
I'm bad about not following instructions and so I made sure I looked at them. I would have been better off eyeballing the tent and setting it up by my instincts. First, it was a bear to set up by myself because it is so big and I'm kind of short. The instructions told me to lay the tent out flat and assemble the shock-corded poles. I saw that the tent had pole sleeves, but the instructions show images of the poles being crossed (in what Slumberjack calls, X - frame geometry), but not running through the pole sleeves (see image 2 on the instructions above). I thought, "well, that's weird...," but wanted to follow the instructions. The added instructions for the Trail Tent 6 telling me to use the pole sleeves are in the text at the bottom of the first paragraph. I'm an image person. Yes, I set the poles up by myself, which was difficult, only to realize that I couldn't raise the tent correctly just by using the tent clips. So I went back and read the instructions. Let me just say, some people are visual people and the instructions would have served me better to include the proper images for the correct tent, as well as written instructions.
Once I fed the poles through the pole sleeves, with MUCH difficulty by myself I raised the poles by half standing inside the tent and half out so that I could hold both poles at the same time to keep them from falling over. I secured the ends of the poles into the grommets on the bottom corners of the tent. I then, per instructions, clipped the upper tent clips to the tent poles (see second image above) and worked my way down the tent evenly. I did not, on this initial try out, stake the tent. In hindsight, that may have stabilized it and allowed me to raise, bend, and secure the poles much more easily.
Image 1 above is the tent without the ridge poles. The instructions stated to assemble the ridge poles and insert them into the ridge pole cap (see image 2 above). I am so short that I put one end of the ridgepole into one cap, layed it over the top of the tent and then walked around to secure the other end. Once up, the tent is very large and has convenient pockets inside the two shorter sides of the tent to hold small items, two on each side (see below).
I then tackled the rain fly. Again, because I am short, this proved to be difficult. Plus, though Slumberjack advertised "Color-coded clip construction for a fast and easy setup," the instructions say NOTHING about that. So, of course, after the difficulty of getting the fly on top of the tent, I put the fly on incorrectly. I had to turn it while it was on top of the tent so I wouldn't have to struggle with trying to get it back up on top again. The color coordinated clips for the rain fly is a great idea. I just wish I'd read or seen an indication of it in the instructions. Two straps that the clips are connected to are black and two are brown (see below, the brown). Once I got the fly turned correctly, I clipped the correct colored strap onto the correct colored clip on the corner of the tent.
The fly is well thought out. There are two entrances that correspond with the two side doors. The corner of the fly, where it zips is longer to create vestibules on both sides. The bottom of the zipper closes with a hook and loop closure. There is a double zipper that zips from the top and the bottom for easy access (see image 3 above).
I really like that I can stand up in it. It is going to be a huge tent for just me, but one that will be useful at festivals or in situations where I might camp for longer periods of time in one place. For me, it is way too heavy to backpack with no matter how it is advertised.
What I like
I can stand up in it!
It is a very simple design.
I like that the floor extends beyond the walls of the tent.
What I don't like
The instructions are really not very clear.
It is tall for me to set it up very easily.
This concludes my Initial Report. I will be back in a couple of months with a Field Report. Many thanks to Slumberjack and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test their Trail Tent 6.
Read more reviews of Slumberjack gear
Read more gear reviews by Dawn Larsen
Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Slumberjack 6 person Trail Tent > Test Report by Dawn Larsen
If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.