EMS Nova 4 Tent
Design: Three-season, freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: Easy - instructions on pole bag
Weight: Estimated : 15 to 20 lb.
Price Paid: $365
I am a professional archaeologist and often live in a tent for 2 to 3 months, while on a project .
The Nova 4 has proved to be one of the best, if not the best, tent I have used in over 35 years of fieldwork. This tent has withstood strong winds (has been used in Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota and Utah), heavy rains and other types of "wicked" weather!
The tent is well ventilated and has built-in windows that let in lots of light. My favorite feature of the tent is the attached and roomy screened "porch." This area can be closed on one or both sides ... to allow for rain and wind from all directions . There is room to set up a cooking stove (not recommended in bear country) and room for a small table and chairs. The area of the porch does not have a floor, but I solved this by using a small tarp in that area.
The tent is rated by EMS as a 4-person tent and could accommodate that number, if they all sleep on ground pads. However, I use a cot and still have room for a folding chair and small table.
This tent is made of strong materials and is very well constructed. There are plenty of "tie-downs" on the tent and the rainfly.
I can find no faults with this tent.
Design: Three-Season Freestanding Dome-Like
Ease of Setup: Incredibly Easy, but should be done with 2 people.
Price Paid: $289
My fiance and I just got this tent as a birthday gift and we could not be happier with it. The design of the tent is truly incredible.
The set up was very easy, although I recommend doing it with two people as the poles are very long. The directions were a breeze to follow and it is very handy that they are stitched onto the pole bag instead being a loose piece of paper. The poles are extremely sturdy and with the mesh lining the poles slide in very easily.
The rain fly is very effective. It is a full rain fly but is pulled out around 3 inches from the tent at the bottom to allow for ventilation. It was raining when we first set up the tent but were still able to leave the windows all the way open in the sleeping cabin. The rain fly also have two clear polyurethane windows over where the mesh screens are on the side of the sleeping cabin meaning that at night even with the fly and it raining cats and dogs you can still look out at the night sky. Although it's much more effective on a nice night looking up at the stars. The window at the head of the tent will probably get splashback in a heavy rain if opening all the way but you can zip it halfway up to avoid this.
It says this is designed for four people, and by camping terms they are right in that four people could fit (without gear). On the other hand this tent makes for an incredibly comfy two person with gear (and pets) tent. There are mesh pockets on the inside. There is also a hanging mesh rack for personal belongings which can hang either inside the sleeping compartment or in the vestibule.
The seams on the inside are very heavily reinforced, and the tent also comes with extra sealant and a complete repair package (an added bonus).
The vestibule is a very interesting addition to the tent design. It is open floor, so don't expect the bugs not to get in at all, they will just be alot less. Alternatively one could very easily cut a piece of plastic to fit inside the vestibule to eliminate this problem alltogether. The vestibule has two large screen doors, and small wedge shaped screen in the front. With the rain fly on there are full doors covering the screen which can be unzipped and rolled back to reveal both screen doors and an incredible amount of air movement at night to keep you cool in the summer. The fly also has an opening to reveal the wedge shaped mesh screen in the front.
The vestibule is incredibly roomy, especially compared to most vestibules tents have which are designed for like a pair of shoes. One can easily fit two camping chairs in the vestibule area, hang up a little camping light, and read books or play cards at night before going to bed.
As another added bonus, all of the zipper handles have a glow in the dark tip. Extremely handy when coming back to your tent at night and during the night if you have to go out for something. You don't have to fumble around with the door to find the zippers.
I can't say enough good things about this tent. The design and construction quality are top notch. I imagine that if you are researching a tent this size you aren't looking for a backpacking tent, which is good. With everything in the bag the tent weighs upwards of 25 pounds. This is definitely a tent designed for car camping. It is large and luxurious and shows it in its weight and size. But if you are looking for a good tent for 2-3 people, which will provide with the coziest camping you'll ever have this is the tent for you.
Design: three season-freestanding dome-like
Weight: a lot more than is worth hiking with but good for car camping
Price Paid: $359
Considering we got to our campsite after dark and had to set this tent up for the first time at night, it went up with relative ease, save for the footprint. They should mark the edges to correspond with the tent to assure you have it on right (seems like an easy adjustment for the manufacturer). Tent went up in about 15-20 minutes and it's safe to safe we had plenty of room with two adults and a child.
The screened vestibule in the front is a nice feature and provides lots of room for stuff, but it has no floor which is annoying as dirt can get in the tent and bugs can fly under the wall unless its completely flush with the ground (they did).
My only major complaint is actually minor ... the stakes are dull (actually flat) at the tip so good luck pinning this thing down unless you're camping on grass or soft dirt.
P.S. the mesh sleeves for the poles makes it easy to feed them through.
Design: three-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 18 lbs
Price Paid: $299.99
I bought this tent in September of last year after my tent that I bought at Sears flooded in rain at Fish Creek Pond. Since then it has withstood high wind, heavy rain, a bit of hail, and snow without so much as a drop of water inside.
The fly is amazing. It hugs the tent and keeps the elements out. During the colder months there is a bit of a condensation issue but nothing that can't be fixed by the blanket I lay out on the floor anyway. This tent is easy to set up, easy to put away, and keeps dry in all sorts of weather. I will definitely get another one when this one finally wears out (not any time soon :) )
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