User Review: Cabela's Alaskan Guide
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $700
Absolutely bombproof family camping tent.
- Bombproof construction
- Easy to set up for its size
- Very quiet in strong winds
- Ventilates very well
- Large vestibule
- Pitches very tight
- Another door would be nice but not necessary
- Stakes should be upgraded
I have been using this tent every year for myself, wife, and two kids since 2007. I have to say that it is the most solid, wind and weather resistant tent I have ever owned and I have owned more than a few. We purchased the 8-man version with aluminum poles (fiberglass poles are heavy and a waste of money), and floor liner.
It comes with steel stakes, but we replaced them with more robust solid 12 inch solid spike stakes. It has a gear loft, cup holders, roof vents and a large vestibule. The entrance door is D shaped and it also has two large D shaped windows for ventilation. The tent uses No. 8 for the windows & No.10 ykk zippers for the door and vestibule.
The tent and rain fly are supported with six very strong aluminum poles, one of which is used to support the vestibule. It has numerous guy out points all over for windy conditions and inclement weather.
Pitching the tent the first couple of times is a little slow if you are unfamiliar with dome tents. Once you are used to it though, it goes up and comes down quick. The rain fly is coated with 2,000 mm rated polyurethane while the floor is coated with 3,000 mm rated polyurethane.
Once it is set up, you will notice that this tent pitches extremely tight and solid. I weigh 170 lbs. and can literally lean against the side of the tent with no give whatever. Last year we set this tent up near a lake along with a tipi we own. The winds were a constant 35- 45 mph. The tipi was a beast to set up in the wind due to its height, and the fabric flapped all of the time. The Alaskan Guide 8 man set up much quicker and easier. Even in 45 mph winds it was as quiet as a church inside.
The interior is large and will easily accommodate a queen size mattress and box springs if you feel inclined to bring that sort of equipment with you. The rain fly unzips over the windows so it can be rolled back and with the windows open provides very nice cross ventilation. We have used this in cold weather and never experienced condensation inside due to the windows and roof vents.
The vestibule is large enough to cook in and allows enough room to store an ice chest and dirty shoes/boots. We also purchased the floor liner for it and though it is added weight it is good protection for this kind of investment.
The tent with everything that comes with it weighs 31 lbs. Not light weight by any means. However, it is a very good strength-to-weight ratio when you consider the performance this tent delivers. It is really hard to say anything negative about this tent. We upgraded the stakes and that was all we changed. All the zippers are covered with storm flaps secured by velcro.
One drawback is that when you are exiting the tent, you have to be careful to not zip the door to the vestibule in the zipper and the velcro which secures storm flap on the vestibule can catch, but this is no biggie and certainly not a deal breaker.
I have also used the MSR Storm King tent. Frankly, at $1000 it doesn't offer any performance or construction bonuses over the Alaskan Guide model exept that the Storm King is rated as a 5-man and is lighter by 16 lbs., more expensive by almost $400, and nowhere nearly as strong. You do pay $$$ to save weight.
This is a tent I would not hesitate to use in any sort of weather or any spot on planet earth. We intend to purchase another Alaskan Guide 8 man when finances allow.
If weight is not an issue, you will be hard pressed to find a stronger, more bombproof tent in this size and weight class. Incidentally, this tent, while not a backpacking tent, gets five star reviews from other backpacking sites that have reviewed it as well. Its reputation is well deserved.