EMS Star 3 Tent
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $56 USD, on ebay
We all know that a choice in tents is a very personal experience. We all have prefferences that differ as much as our personalities. This is why my 3-person, 3-season pick is the EMS Star 3 tent.
- Easy, multiple choice setup
- Good price
- Great ventilation
- Well made
I love having front and back doors on this tent. Convenience of entry is key, not to mention great ventilation. It can get very sticky here in the East Coast summers.
The Star 3 is roomy, easy to set up, 1 person-5mins. and has plenty of stake out / tie down points to keep it on the ground. After a 40+ mph wind storm it stayed solid.
I anxiously sold my MH Light Wedge 3 and kept the Star 3 to realize every time I use it that I made the right choice. Also a well made, fine constructed good looking tent.
Design: technically 3-season, but suitable for winter too
Ease of Setup: Super easy - 3 min with practice
Weight: 6 lbs. 7 oz.
Price Paid: $230
Awesome tent - I have used it on hot summer canoe trips and frigid winter mountain trips. The fly is bomber against wind and water, and the tent is mostly mesh for total venting.
In summer, having two doors meant a cooling cross draft. In winter, it was never warm inside, but the wind was effectively stopped 100%. I put a large (80'x60') wool blanket on the floor to insulate from the ground and it helped immensely, not to mention protected the tent floor from gear.
The front vestibule is very large, even with the bulk of winter gear, and the rear vestibule is just large enough for cooking with a small pot.
It really should be listed as a 2-person tent. With sleeping pads there is NO WAY 3 people would be comfortable. That's the reason for 4.5 stars.
Also, you MUST get the footprint. The floor is water resistant, but water will eventually seep through if you don't have a 100% waterproof layer. The footprint integrates with the fly with speed clips, allowing you pitch a very fast, bomber shelter so you can raise the tent out of the wind/rain.
Design: three-season modified dome tent
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 6lbs 7oz
Price Paid: *
This is a well built tent that can probably take quite a beating and stand up to lots of rain, however it's kind of an awkward design. It's got the floor space of a three person tent but there's only adequate headroom for 2 to sit up in. The other part that makes me ask why is the rear door. It's too small to be functional and it doesn't even have its own vestibule. Besides that this tent is a great two person palace or a lighter three person. To sum it up it'll sleep 3 fine but I'd hate to spend a rainy day in this tent with three people.
Weight: around 6 lbs
Price Paid: $240 (sale)
Camped out three nights with 100% humidity and no sign of condensation in the inner tent. Roomy for two, snug for three (the occupants were 6', 5'10" and 5'8"). We were able to fit two backpacks in the front vestibule and one in the rear if you can stake it out far enough. Very good value for price.
Where to Buy
The EMS Star 3 Tent is not available from the stores we monitor.
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