Tent Deal? Or should I just save my money??

12:11 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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OK, so as some of you know I have been looking at getting or possibly making a new 3 person tent.  Something in the 70" x 90" size.  Well it just so happens.... 

So in the REI OUTLET they have a tent on sell that is just the right size!  But I have never heard of this company and their is no reviews on the tent.  So I was hopping to get some feed back on this and if you all though it was worth it or not.

So this is the tent:  REI has it for $154.93

Velocity 3 Product SKU: AG-TE-T0112 MSRP: CAD $300.00
Velocity_3_4cc713fdc8b49.jpgshow_image_in_imgtag.php?filename=%2Fcom show_image_in_imgtag.php?filename=%2Fcom show_image_in_imgtag.php?filename=%2Fcom

If you like a roomier tent, Velocity 3 is the answer. Still lightweight and compact enough for backpacking, the Velocity 3 and 4 shelter a lot of gear and bodies
in comfort. Extremely stable and surprisingly spacious due to the double ridge pole design.


  • Front and back entrances with large vestibules and venting
  • Lightweight and durable PowerLite® 7000 Aluminum poles
  • Double added ridge pole to create more headroom
  • Easy and fast to pitch quick-clip system
  • Can be pitched freestanding or pegged out
  • Fly only pitching possible
  • High quality and lightweight PowerLite®7000, V-stake pegs
  • Gear loft included


  • Poles: Heavy duty 9.5mm PowerLite® 7000 main and ridge poles
  • Fly: UV treated 210T Polyester rip-stop with 2000 mm watercoating
  • Inner: Breathable Polyester 210T with no see-um mesh panels and windows
  • Floor: 210T Polyester with 5000 mm watercoating.
  • Average minimum weight: 6 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Average packaged weight:  7 lbs. 2 oz.
  • Floor dimensions: 91 x 71 inches
  • Floor area: 44.8 square feet
  • Vestibule: 12.12 + 12.12 square feet
  • Peak height: 44 inches

Now I now this is not a 4 season tent or even really a three season tent, but my kids, or at least my daughter, only go's camping in the summer and really that is what I need the tent for.  It's a little heavy, but not to bad, Min weight 6 lbs 6 oz, average weight 7 lbs 2 oz.  I like the two doors and the vestibules on both sides.    The three of us would sleep side by side with the gear at the bottom of the tent. 

Here is the link to the REI page: Asolo Velocity 3 Tent - Special Buy

We currently are using a Kelly three person tent, same general style, but the rain fly sucks and their is only one door, and the vestibule is... what vestibule we can hardly fit the shoes in it!  It works for summer but I would like something that will hold up to the rain better. 

Any an all comments or opinions are VERY welcome!!   Also I realize this is not a high-end tent, but it would only be a fair weather tent and probably used 4 or 5 times a year.  Besides, with construction so slow...  Well lets just say I won't be buying and great tents this year, unless I go the Ape way and find something on ebay or crags list.  :)


EDIT:  So I guess this company also makes boots, they seem to be fairly well liked, but not much on their other products. :(

1:07 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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So After a little more searching I found another tent!!  Do we all love the internet, more choices then we know what to do with! 

Tent option 2: ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3 Tent 3-Person 3-Season

Amazon has this tent for $135.29.


Retail Price:$259.99


Rain fly, 7000 Series Aluminum Poles, Pole Bag, Stake Bag, 7075 Aluminum Stakes, Guy Ropes, Repair Swatches, Mesh Storage Pocket, and Tent Bag


  • Free Standing Pole System with 7000 Series Aluminum Poles
  • Easy Assembly with Pole Clips that quickly snap over the tent poles
  • 75D 185T Polyester Fly resists UV damage and stays taut
  • Factory Sealed Fly & Floor Seams give best weather protection
  • 75D 185T Taffeta Floor with 2000mm Coating
  • Extra Large #8 Zippers on Doors and Vestibules
  • Easy Entry & Great Ventilation with 2 Doors
  • (both with zippered mesh windows)
  • 2 Vestibules for gear storage and extra weather protection
  • Weatherproof Fly Buckles to tent for maximum adjustability and protection
  • Mesh Roof Vents increase ventilation and improve star gazing
  • Full Coverage Fly offers maximum protection
  • Extra Guy-outs on Fly to stabilize the tent in bad weather


Base Size: 5'6 x 7'6 (66" x 90")
Center Height: 3'8 (44")
Vestibule Depth: 35"
Tent Area: 41 sq. ft.
Vestibule Area: 22 sq. ft.
Tent and Fly Weight: 5 lb. 15 oz.
Total Weight: 6 lb. 4 oz.
Packed Size: 7" x 24"
Pole Diameter: 8.5 mm
Use Rating: 3 Season
Sleeps: Three


Fly: 75D, 185T, Poly Taffeta, 1500mm Multi-pass Urethane coating
Floor: 75D, 185T, Poly Taffeta, 2000mm Multi-pass Urethane coating
Walls: 75D, 185T, Poly Taffeta
Mesh: Nylon No See-um Mesh, 40D
Frame: 8.5mm 7000-series aluminum

So with this tent their are a lot of reviews and I know I can get a ground cover, which would be a nice option.  Again I hope to get some thoughts from you all on these tents.


1:51 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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My opiinion which ain't worth sqaut on cheaper end tents.  I've heard of these tents, but  don't go to REI and have never seen either one.   It seems to me that the first one with just a 4 sq ft more is beter suited for a family inside the tent,  but the second one has a bigger vestuible.  I don't myself like open floor vestuanbles to store stuff in and only use them as mudd room's.  For a family tent I'd say the first one the Velocity 3.  And on a side note I'm just not sure I'd buy somthing for a bunch of kids to live/sleep/play in called the Chaos.  But hey I don't have kids.

1:54 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Asolo makes footwear: hiking, backpacking, mountaineering.  Guess they are trying to increase their profitability and break into the tent aspect also.

2:10 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Check here: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/tents~d~228/


I have a Marmot two person for the times the wife and I backpack and I have a good old Eureka Timberline 4 w/vestibule which has never failed me for base camp situations.  Both are 3 season but the timberline can work in light snow because of the steep roof and heavy gauge aluminum poles. It even does fine in windy conditions once I guy it out.  The vestibule is nice because it has a vent tube with drawstring and I can cook in it if necessary.  Plus the bottom of the vestibule has a skirt so you don't get that open vestibule situation Ape was mentioning. 


4:04 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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I've heard of Asolo but I have never seen one. I have the Chaos 3.  I also have a Zephyr 3.



If you aren't going to need the tent until summer keep an eye on geartrade and steepandcheap. 

I've haven't gotten a chance to have them in the rain yet.  The Chaos can be put up and taken down when raining if you have the footprint without getting the inner tent wet, the Zephyr can't.  I can fit my 5200 cubic in back pack in the vestibules on either. The door walls on the chaos are almost vertical make it nice an roomy. 

Both seem to be made well. Straight stitching, seams taped, etc. They're easy to put up. The Zephyr is a sort of a modified dome. I handed the chaos to my daughter and her friend told them where the directions were (they are sewn into the stuff sack) and they set it up in the dark by themselves.

The Chaos can be staked down quite well and it's shape with the fly on shouldn't catch wind too bad. I wouldn't want to sit out a 60 mph storm in it but I don't think it would collapse in a nasty down pour.

As for room me, my wife and our 8 year old were comfortable in the Zephyr.  The Chaos has plenty of room for 2 adults and a smaller child also.

4:18 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Of the two tents the Alps is the bigger of the two. Look at the wall design. The first tent looks to be a simple dome. The slope of the walls make the floor space less useable. The Alps walls look to be more verticle

But IMHO nether tent will be big enough. For 3 ppl and gear. I would be looking at 4 person tents.

4:36 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Some simple math. Lets say the floor measures 74x 90. You must sleep length wise with the 90" That gives you 74" shoulder space. Subtract 4-6 inches on both sides depending on the slope of the walls. I will take off 10" total the shoulder space becomes 64". 64 devided by 3 is 21 1/3 ". Thats going to be very tight. I know that I take up around 24" of shoulder space.

5:31 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Never seen the Asolo tent in person, but for what you want, it should work. With REI, if you don't like it or it breaks, you can send it back.  I would set it up in indoors, like in a garage, if you order it by mail and can't see it in person, so that if you have to return it, it isn't dirty.

I would choose the Asolo over the Alps because it looks easier to set up and it has two doors and vestibules, which you may find handy with three of you.

Here is Asolo's full range of tents-


7:37 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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The ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3 has a Manufacturer Warranty of "lifetime".  I can't find any warranty information on the Asolo, but there company is in Langley, British Columbia and they have a office in Ferndale WA, just north of Bellingham.  I think I will call them on Monday and find out about any warranty info and see if they have any tents there I can see.  It's also part of the The Infinity Sports Group Ltd.  I think this is one of those companies that gobble up other companies, not really sure though.

As for size, remember it's my big but and my two kids, 14 and 10, they don't take up a ton of room so 70" would be fine, 66" is pushing it though.  I have to dig out the tent we are using now and see what it's size is, but I think it's a lot less the that. 

I am going to read up some more on the Alps tent and the reviews, I like the design, I am just worried about the 66". 


10:34 a.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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You may want to consider the Zephyr. It held me, my wife and our 8 year old comfortably.  It should hold your crew easily. 

BTW I paid $88 for mine on Geartrade and the price on steap and cheap is a less than $120

In case you haven't seen it here's a factory video of the Chaos 3.

Somebody mentioned it looked complicated to setup.

Here's another tent you might like wolfman.  It's the Tessel 3 by Eureka.

http://www.geartrade.com/item/213636    $123.54



  • Sleeps 3
  • Floor Size 7' x 5' 8"
  • Pack Size 6" x 27"
  • Min Weight 6 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Seasons 3
  • Tent Area 39.67 sq. ft.
  • Center Height 3' 10"


  • Frame 9/10.2/11.1 mm DAC Pressfit™ aluminum, post & grommet
  • Vents 2 plus mesh roof
  • Doors 2 with Hi/Low venting
  • Windows 2
  • Vestibules 2
  • Vestibule Area 14.88 sq ft (front) /14.88 sq ft (back)


  • Gear Loft Optional
  • Gear Loft Loops 2
  • Flashlight Loop 2
  • Storage Pockets 6


  • Wall 68D 190T polyester ripstop
  • Fly 68D 190T polyester ripstop, 2000 mm coated
  • Floor 75D 190T polyester taffeta, 2000 mm coated
  • Mesh 20D no-see-um

It also has a nice feature if you use trekking poles.


10:50 a.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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On a side note Asolo also makes packs as well. When people here Asolo typically first thing they think is "oh, the boot company."

1:03 p.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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I don't know about Gear Trader or Steep and Cheep, I have never used them and not really sure how they work.  One of my worries on a tent like this is if dose not fit the three of us and or I don't like it for some reason being able to return it.  That's one of the great things about REI and their no questions asked return policy. Not that I have to get it at REI, its just another reason I shop there.

I dug out my current tent, Kelty Teton 4, I though it was a 3 person tent but it's a 4 person tent.  This has me re-thinking the whole 3 person tent idea.  :(   Here is the info on our current tent.



  • Area: 54.4 square feet
  • Max Height: 58 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds 8 oz.
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Packaged Size: 8" by 26"
  • Vestibule Area: 12.3 square feet
  • Tent Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Seasons: 3

As you can see this is a lot larger then the two I was looking at, for some reason I thought it was smaller then it is.  This is making me re-think the whole 3 person tent idea.  As Mike said, maybe I need to start looking at 4 person tents.  Well at least now I have the specs of my current tent to use as a comparison. 


1:46 p.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

On a side note Asolo also makes packs as well. When people here Asolo typically first thing they think is "oh, the boot company."

 One of the things I saw at OR this year, and commented on in my articles, was that a lot of companies have now broadened their ranges to encompass  many aspects of outdoor gear. For instance, Wenger, one of the two Swiss Army Knife companies, now makes boots, tents, sleeping bags and packs, in addition to their tools and knives. They believe that these lines will appeal to their customers who have come to know and trust Wenger through their knives.

One thing to be aware of, is how branding and marketing influence the industry. Primaloft, which makes insulation, has their insulation in over two dozen major outdoor brands. The difference between a Patagonia, a Helly Hansen, a RAB, or a Marmot Primaloft jacket, is often little more than the labeling, colors, pockets and zippers. 

In the case of some brands, products are literally being made side by side in factories in the Far East.

Adding to that is how different products perform. With some materials, some manufacturers might use graphs and lab results that skew comparisons to show how their products perform better than others in given conditions. We can all be swayed by these comparisons and may often think, for instance, that one new breathable is better than the other. Practical field testing by the user, in the intended conditions, is also very subjective.

As far as tents, there are really very few truly unique designs, especially among dome tents. Of course, it can be argued that one tent's poles run north-south while the less effective ones run east-west, but this facetious  question lacks meat. Ultimately, listening to others with first hand experience(Trailspace users and others), and understanding that everyone has certain prejudices based on their outdoor style and their history, will help to make an informed decision.

3:25 p.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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Steep and Cheap has the exact same return policy as backcountry.com. You don't like it log-on, pull up your invoice and check the return box next to what you want to return.  I've returned stuff to them with absolutely no hassle. I had a leaky pad and emailed them to see if I could exchange it but they didn't have anymore in stock but they did send me a prepaid UPS label.

If you are interested in trying it you should check out www.sacalerts.com. The SMS (text messaging) is not reliable but the email alerts are. A lot of cell phones have an email to SMS address that you can send alerts to which is what I use.

Gear trade is similar to cragslist but for outdoor gear. Backcountry.com sells their returns and open boxes there.  The link I gave was to a tent for sale by them.  There is a place at the bottom of the listing to ask questions. 


As for the tent size dilemma...

Does your daughter have a friend she would like to bring along?  If she does, go with the a 3 person tent and let them have their own tent. You will probably have to buy a spare backpack for her friend to use but you won't have to carry their tent. 

Don't know about your daughter but at that age mine didn't want to spend as much time with her parents and being able to bring a friend along on trips really increased her enjoyment of our family trips. 

12:24 a.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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I have had fantastic customer return policy experiences with both Steap and Cheap and Sierra Trading Post. Try worry free from these online companies.

As for the tents, I have no experience with Asolo's tent line. I do have some of their footwear, and they are top notch. I will say that they owned Lowe Alpine packs USA before purchased by RAB/Outdoor Equip, and they were incredible in their customer service (see my Lowe Alpine Appalachian XL review). I would expect for that excellence to continue should you purchase a tent and experience an issue.

I have extensive experience with Alps Mountaineering Tents, owning a Zephyr 2 and an Aztec 2 (no longer made, but the Aztec 3 is available and would meet your requirements). My Zephyr 2 is oustanding, with suprising quality given the low prices available at the aforementioned sites. I believe that the Aztec 3 has even greater interior space, given its design. It is heavier and the vestibules are smaller, but has more interior room and significantly more headroom. Best of luck on your purchase.

3:48 a.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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What a coincidence...I was just looking at that Asolo tent a few weeks back.  The price was good, but I ended up buying a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 for $190. 

Either of those 2 tents would work for your intended purpose.  You might continue to surf the net and look for a better deal, as those are good prices, but not spectacular.  Besides, if you're considering shelling out $135-$155, you're $135-$155 closer to buying a better quality and proven tent.  I'd continue to look around, especially with the off-season and Christmas specials that are sure to pop up.

Have fun shopping!

4:49 a.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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ocalacomputerguy said:

Does your daughter have a friend she would like to bring along?  If she does, go with the a 3 person tent and let them have their own tent. You will probably have to buy a spare backpack for her friend to use but you won't have to carry their tent. 

Don't know about your daughter but at that age mine didn't want to spend as much time with her parents and being able to bring a friend along on trips really increased her enjoyment of our family trips. 

 +1 on John's observations about daughters, camping. and a second tent.


9:37 a.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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If you only plan to use it in the summer 4-5 times. Keep the Kelty. Save your money. Its nice to get a new tent. But in this case, buying a new tent for $150 would be a sideward step. Not a step up.

11:52 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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ocalacomputerguy said:

Don't know about your daughter but at that age mine didn't want to spend as much time with her parents and being able to bring a friend along on trips really increased her enjoyment of our family trips. 


BINGO!!  That is if I can even get her to Go!  :)

I think at this point I am going to just wait and see what happens.  Like Mike said, no real use buying a tent the same or smaller then the one we are ready have.  Funny how I though that tent was a lot smaller then that.  I also like how they fit the 4 people in the tent, how many people do you know (Not counting kids) have a bag less then 80"!  Ha Ha.  We usually sleep with the three of us the long way with the kids packs at there feet.  Mine is usually out side.  

The tent works OK, not great on ventilation and some condensation issues, but it dose what we need it to do.  Besides I still have my Walrus Arch and several tarps if I really want to split up the group.   I was mainly thinking about next summer and the Wonderland trail, 11 nights in the same tent as the kids, Man is that going to be FUN!! 

Thanks everyone with this, lots of great info, and lots of things to think about.  I am going to check out Steep and Cheep just to see what they have for gear, thanks John. 


7:06 a.m. on December 6, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman said:

I was mainly thinking about next summer and the Wonderland trail, 11 nights in the same tent as the kids, Man is that going to be FUN!!

Save yourself.  By the second tent.  Your daughter will think the same thing. She'll want some privacy. You'll want some peace and quite. Find a tent and pull the trigger.

www.sacalerts.com has a past deals tab which goes back a year or two.

7:08 a.m. on December 6, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman, I just saw this on ebay. Thought you might be interested.


I think it has a 3000mm HH with a 10000mm floor. But its a car camper tent.

7:43 a.m. on December 6, 2011 (EST)
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21 Lbs!!  What Mike, Are You trying to Kill me!  LOL :D

Yea, I think I'll pass on that, besides he has a no return policy.  As for getting another tent, will I have a lot of work lined up after the start of the new year, so maybe I will be able to get a nice tent at that point.  Besides, I don't think the kids will be to happy with a new tent for their Christmas presents!  LOL  I probably won't make it through the morning with that one!   :D


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