Family-Sized tents/Kelty Mantra 7

12:18 a.m. on May 8, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Does anyone have any experience with this Kelty tent or other great family-sized tents?

I realize gigantic family-size tents do not fit the bill for most gear review requests here, but I have a good friend who has this need. My buddy loves heading out on more serious expeditions with me, but his wife is finally acquiring some interest in doing the family-camping thing with him and their 4 wonderful kids.

Feedback on the Mantra 7 or any other great recommendations are truly appreciated.

Thanks up front!

Scott

7:34 a.m. on May 8, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Don M, Don Morris, Don P. Morris

Quote:

Does anyone have any experience with this Kelty tent or other great family-sized tents?

I realize gigantic family-size tents do not fit the bill for most gear review requests here, but I have a good friend who has this need. My buddy loves heading out on more serious expeditions with me, but his wife is finally acquiring some interest in doing the family-camping thing with him and their 4 wonderful kids.

Feedback on the Mantra 7 or any other great recommendations are truly appreciated.

Thanks up front!

Scott

My experience in this area would sugest that your friend go with a cheap tent available from your local big box retailer. When my wife got tired of our "real" backpacking tent (insufficient headroom) I bought a $100, but large with standing headroom, type. The first time we used it, it handily survived a really bad thunderstorm that I swore would have shredded it to oblivion. It has worked just fine ever since.

Tents like this are not going to be used in severe weather to any extent. They provide shade, mosquito freedom, and privacy, and you don't need a lot of money to accomplish those ends.

7:43 a.m. on May 8, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Family-Sized tents/Kelty Mantra 7/Eureka Equinox/ Others?

I am also in the market for a sturdy, 3 season tent for our family of five. For the past few years we have been crammed into a 4 persaon Timberline which has performed admirably, but we just need more room (height and square footage). My wife likes the Eureka Lodge because of the screen room but I am wary of any tent without a full rainfly. I have always liked the Eureka Equinox 6 along with the optional vestibule, but the new Kelty Mantra 7 has also caught my eye. We camp in the mountains from April to November for up to a week at a time and really do need a sturdy, weather-proof tent.

Any feedback on the Equinox or Mantra 7 is also greatly appreciated!

10:47 a.m. on May 13, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have..

the Kelty Valhalla 7. Very sturdy, very high quality. However, "sleeps 7" is a bit optomistic. For the type of car camping we do (big rectangular sleeping bags, air matresses, overnight bags, etc...) the Valhalla 7 would only be suitable for a family of four. The Mantra 7 has approximately the same floor area as the Valhalla, but steeper side walls, which might give a bit extra room. For a family of six, you might want to check out the Kelty Grand Canyon 11.

11:49 a.m. on May 13, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Thanks!

Thanks for the reply Dave!

I went ahead and ordered the Mantra 7. It should be in this week and we are planning a trip in early June. I will post my obseravtions afterward.

The Mantra 7 has 116 sq. ft compared to 105 sq. ft of the Valhalla. The Valhalla, like the Eureka Equinox, is hex shaped and while very wind stable, this shape is not the most efficient. The Mantra 7 also has a zip-out divider. We will keep the three kids on one side while the wife and I are on the other. The dog/cage should be fine in the large vestibule.

12:55 p.m. on May 13, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

definitely let us know...

how the Mantra holds up.

3:50 p.m. on July 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: definitely let us know...

My family is in the same search. I have narrowed it down to the three mentioned in earlier scripts (Valhalla, Mantra and Grand Canyon) I think I would like stay with alluminum poles, but want the best fit for our family of 5. The mantra is my first choice should i buy??? How did it go???

12:41 p.m. on August 13, 2002 (EDT)

Quote:

Quote:

Does anyone have any experience with this Kelty tent or other great family-sized tents?


Quote:

Quote:

Feedback on the Mantra 7 or any other great recommendations are truly appreciated.

Thanks up front!

Scott

My experience in this area would sugest that your friend go with a cheap tent available from your local big box retailer. When my wife got tired of our "real" backpacking tent (insufficient headroom) I bought a $100, but large with standing headroom, type. The first time we used it, it handily survived a really bad thunderstorm that I swore would have shredded it to oblivion. It has worked just fine ever since.

We just returned from our third camping trip over the past years on P.E.I., or, as we call it, the Atlantic Wind Tunnel Testing Grounds. My wife and I and three teenaged sons have been camping in one of those department store $150 special tents (Sears Hillary) that you mentioned, and I can NOT recommend it for severely windy or rainy conditions. I'm up all night staking and restaking tarps trying to stay dry, and the fabric is so @#$@# loud when it snaps in the wind that sleeping, at least for my wife, is a virtual impossibility. I don't really mind the challenge, but, well, these tents that you are speaking of are DEFINITELY NOT meant for use in severe weather, regardless of the marketing behind them. If Sir Edmund had indeed been using this tent on his expeditions, he never would have lived through the first night.

We're seriously looking for a better tent now, too. My oldest son and I are avid backpackers, and use a NorthFace Mountain tent. It's an amazing piece of outdoor engineering, and I'd love to find something huge for my family of similar quality. The Kelty Mantra 7, to us, also seems to be the best choice. My father just bought a Eureka Titan, which we're going to check out next week before we make a purchase, but based on the designs I think the Mantra would withstand even more severe weather at the expense of a bit of interior spaciousness.

Glad to find this board.. interesting reading.

Barry

3:27 p.m. on August 21, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I just came back from a weekend camping experience during which I used my new Kelty Mantra 7 for the first time. My wife and I had a great deal of difficulty setting up this tent. Either the poles are too long or the tent was cut too small during the manufacturing process. Forcing the main gold colour poles onto the spring pins at each tent corner actually caused the reinforced corner seams to begin tearing and/or the stitching to break. Subsequently, I moved the metal rings which hold the spring clips, from their original factory position to the end of the tie down straps at each corner (a distance of 4 or 5 inches at each corner). This reduced pole tension enough to prevent further damage to the tent.

I have sent the tent back to Kelty for warranty replacement. Unfortunately, this added another $46.00 to the cost of an already expensive tent (I live in Honolulu and purchased via an internet dealer).

12:25 p.m. on August 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Quote:

I bought the mantra 7 this year I realy like it. Although two of the clips that attach to the poles broke. I have a cabelos alaskan guide 6 man tent and I feel the mantra is a better tent. Your manta withstood some very strong winds and rain and thats what I look for in a tent plus comfort. The mantra 7 is excellent.

Don Annable

Quote:

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8:06 p.m. on September 24, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I just recieved a new tent body from Kelty to replace the defective one I returned to them. Unfortunately, they sent me my old poles which they had cut down to the proper length. However, the problem now is that these original poles were actually for another tent to begin with, and the pre-bent sections are not compatable to the Mantra 7. Now I'm waiting for the correct poles which Kelty has agreed to send to me.

11:36 p.m. on September 3, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

http://www.backcountrystore.com/store/KEL0213.html?CP=CJData

Here is a link that had several reviews on it. I am currently looking at it too. I think that I am going to purchase it after doing some investigating. It does have aluminum poles, has a fullsized rainfly. Sounds like an excellent tent for car camping. If that link doesn't work just copy and paste it into your browser. I did find it for under $400 at www.cabelas.com

July 26, 2014
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