Columbia Bugaboo Dome
Design: Bugaboo Dome Tent
Ease of Setup: Easy to set up
Weight: about 10 lbs
Price Paid: $249 ( Canadian)
I bought this tent about two years ago and have used it probably 8 -10 times.
I have enjoyed the tent with my two sons, where the camping has been relatively easy. I think if I was doing something a little more rugged, I would look for a lighter tent.
That said it has performed well with respect to rain protection and ventilation. I like the room inside, especially when it rains and you and all your gear and kids are inside.
As has been noted, we have had some trouble with the main door zipper as well. It does tend to trap fabric lower down in the doorway, but we have been trying to impress on the kids the need to be more careful. Still, you would think that some rough use is expected. Recently the zipper failed, not keeping the teeth together behind the head. It became effectively useless. I have "repaired" the zipper for now, but expect this may be a short term solution. Poor zipper quality reduces the overall rating.
On another note, I tried to contact Columbia, not to complain, simply to inquire about repair locations, special model / style of zipper etc. Well, they could not distance themselves fast enough. They said the tent was manufactured by North Pole and gave me a phone number to call. Why not forward my email to North Pole directly, as part of their customer service. North Poles web site requires a password, so I don't know how they expect to get any visitors.
Add poor customer "on line" service. I decline to call it help as they have not done that yet.
Check it out, the Trailspace website talks about North Pole Gear and the Columbia tent is not even listed as a product, now or in the past? What gives?
Design: 3-season dome
Ease of Setup: Colour coded, easy set-up
I had this tent pitched under evergreen type trees in the summer for some extra shelter. We had quite a thunderstorm that night and we woke up soaking wet. I must admit I didn't seal the tent with anything additional to what the factory did, however this was one of the first times out in the tent, ie. it was brand new and should still have some water resistance!
Anyway, I also found this tent to be really heavy. I don't know what I was thinking buying it. I suppose it would be alright for car-camping or whatever but I would highly recommend hanging up a tarp shelter for extra protection.
This tent is very spacious and comfortable. I find setup is very easy for a tent of this size and can be done by one person if necessary. My wife and I have been using the tent for 3 years in many different weather conditions and have never had any problems with leaking.
As has been noted in previous reviews the door zipper can be a problem and is not isolated to this Columbia model as we had tried 2 other Columbia tents previous to this one and they had problems with the zipper getting stuck and failing as well.
The only real problem that we have had with this tent is the remote light stopped working after our second trip in the tent. Not a huge deal but my wife liked the feature and was disappointed that it broke so easily and doesn't seem to be something we can replace.
Design: Three-season dome
Ease of Setup: Relatively easy
Price Paid: $101.90
I bought the tent and pitched it out in my backyard to make sure everything was right and camp out with my kids. The tent was relatively easy to set up; interior was spacious and had a number of great features (storage, excellent ventilation, remote light). Materials and construction seemed to be first rate. The tent's door zipper caught on the outer flap material several times, and lasted about four hours before the zipper assembly came completely apart and left us with a door that could not be closed.
I really liked the tent, but could not buy another after the return. I just had to pass on a replacement, when the door failed and left us unable to keep out the elements. Columbia needs to address the door zipper issue, otherwise a first rate product. I still really like Columbia and their reputation for making quality items. Maybe I just got that one tent with a bad front door. Otherwise this tent would be a four to five star product.
Ease of Setup: excellent
Price Paid: $299 Canadian
This tent let us down. We were thrilled when we bought it last August and it withstood the elements and met the demands of camping use. However, right off that front door zipper caught in the fabric when the kids, and myself a couple of times, were were closing it from the outside. Last night, just three days before our 1 1/2-week camping vacation while I was at work the zipper caught, broke and split.
I have to check into warranty. However, even if any coverage or if I can locate the receipt we are left without a tent and a new one will dampen our vacation budget greatly.
Lesson learned. I'll check reviews before buying and return anything that gives us grief before it totaly lets us down. Side note, had a pair of Columbia sandals with the swing back heel strap that I had to exchange this season also. Hoping for better luck with the usually sturdy Columbia products in the future.
Design: 3 season free-standing dome
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 21 pounds
Price Paid: $150
I used this tent for a month of high mountain summer camping in Co. and Wy. with my wife and three kids in 2006. We carried other tents but never used them. I am 6'2" and my wife and oldest kid are tall too. We all had plenty of room for sleeping (but did not need vestibule space).
I was very impressed with the quality and durability of this tent. This tent's ventilation was excellent. The first week in the Front Range of Co. it rained every day, sometimes very hard, and we never had any leaks. We never experienced any winds over 40 mph so I can't say how it would fare but for the money ($150 and I've seen it for considerably less since) I would highly recommend it.
We have considerable experience camping and this tent far exceeded my expectations. The only improvement I would recommend is aluminum poles instead of fiberglass.
Price Paid: $250
I have this tent set up in my backyard and sleep in it every night, all summer (late May till Oct). I do the seam sealer and waterproof/uv protector twice a year and have never seen a drop.
This is by far the best tent I have ever owned, spacious and full of amenities. I would rate it 5/5 other than the above mentioned issue with the zipper getting caught in the zipper's rain protector flap.
Design: family dome
Ease of Setup: Don't need an engineering degree
Weight: 20 lbs
Price Paid: $199 (Canadian)
I bought this tent for the purpose of family car camping. As my family has grown, I have had to change from trek camping to car camping and move to a larger tent for myself, my wife, and my small children. I picked up the Bugaboo with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. The tent easily accomodates a family of four and we toughed out some harsh Quebec rainstorms and managed to stay bone dry. I would never recommend this tent for someone into extreme wilderness camping, but for the family camping thing, it does the job quite nicely.
Price Paid: $139
This tent endured a torrential downpour and 20 minutes of intense hail followed by another steady rainfall several hours later with only minor seam leakage. Minor, as in less than a 1/4 cup worth of water drips and I had not yet added any seam sealant beyond what the factory put on. Very spacious. Love the fact that I can stand up straight inside!
The zipper is the problem! If the zipper would work properly, this would be my favorite tent. Very spacious, great canopy, easy to pack and great carry case, super easy to set up. But the zipper makes it almost useless.
Where to Buy
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