Kelty Grand Mesa 6
13 lb 2 oz / 5.95 kg
14 lb 8 oz / 6.58 kg
99 sq ft / 9.2 sq m
29 sq ft / 2.7 sq m
Normally I utilize smaller tents, but for a 2 week…
Design: three season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: extremely easy, can be done by 1 person
Price Paid: $134
Normally I utilize smaller tents, but for a 2 week trip with my husband, we wanted a taller tent he would not have to crawl into, and that would accommodate our air mattresses and gear when we were using it as a basecamp.
I bought this tent without having time to read reviews after an online order was back ordered. I found it at the local Sportsman's Warehouse on sale for $134.
The tent goes up in a flash and can be set up by one person without much effort. Putting the rain fly on by yourself is a little trickier just because of the height. The spec's list the tent as 5'10" but it is really about 6' or 6' 1". Also because of the nearly vertical walls it provides a huge amount of usable floor space. We had 2 adults on air mattresses, my teenage daughter on a mat, plus 3 large backpacking packs in it and still had an aisle down the middle to move about.
The rain fly creates a huge vestibule that additional gear can be stored under but we never needed it as everything fit in our tent. Again, because of the height the tent, the vestibule space is tall and could accommodate a bike or other large items.
It rained 9 out of 13 days of our trip, plus hailed / snowed 3 times. On some occasions the rain froze overnight and we had ice on the rainfly in the mornings. The tent stayed perfectly dry, was well ventilated, and did not have condensation issues. It ventilated but not to the point we had heat loss issues. I do not know how it would perform in hot weather.
Our son & friend who were sharing a new Eureka tent stayed dry for the first week but then began having issues with leakage under the same conditions.
Overall we are extremely satisfied with our Kelty Grand Mesa and would recommend it to anyone. The only possible downside we noticed was the lack of windows. Without the rainfly on the mesh panels come down low enough that in a public campground you would not have much privacy, and with the rainfly on you have no visibility except when the rainfly door is fastened half open.
Large size and easy setup are the good things about…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
Large size and easy setup are the good things about this tent. But it does have a few issues that could be easily remedied.
- Large size
- Ease of setup
- Waterproof fly
- Not heavy for a 6-person tent
- No support for vestibule
- Single door
- Zipper snags easily
- VERY cheap stakes included
I bought this as a base camp/car camping tent for trips with my grown kids. There are generally four of us on these trips and the tent has plenty of room for us and gear.
Setup is very straightforward, if you've set up a tent in the last 20 years, you'll figure this one out quickly.
The Acadia uses a standard pole through sleeve design on the top, with the side walls clipping in to the poles. Stake down the corners (I would have appreciated a few more staking loops in the floor), pull the fly over the top and clip it in place. Lastly stake out the bottom edges of the fly and the vestibule and you're new home awaits you.
I've only used the tent on two trips so far and have not had significant rainfall on either trip. First trip was 5 nights in the Abajo / LaSal mountain area of Utah. We did experience some pretty significant winds and moderate rain on this trip and had no issues with the tent leaking or exploding. Temps were quite mild, lows in the low 50's. Did not have any problems with condensation probably because the walls are almost entirely mesh, and the fly stays off the tent if it is pitched correctly.
The second trip was 3 nights in the Guadalupe Mts of west Texas, with unexpectedly cold temps and a few inches of snow. This is where we found one of the downsides of this tent. With only 3-4 inches of dry snow (this is the desert after all) the vestibule drooped in on the front door of the tent. With the vestibule sagging there is nothing keeping snow outside the tent when you unzip the fly.
To be fair, this is really not supposed to be a 4-season tent, but obviously things can happen that are out of the ordinary. I will say that other than the snow which fell in through the door, we have not had issues with any other moisture inside the tent, either from condensation or melting snow.
My other caveat with this tent is you are definitely going to need better stakes than the ones supplied by Kelty. When I first put the tent up in the backyard, I was pushing the stakes in with the palm of my hand and they bent! That is crazy. If the stakes fold over in ground that soft, what would happen if you actually have to pound them in to the ground. Well, you simply won't get them in at all.
In the end I would recommend this tent, but caution people to realize what they're buying. It IS inexpensive and roomy, and will keep you out of the elements. It is not designed for winter (as in snow) camping and needs better stakes.
An update and caveat: This tent still hasn't seen a lot of use, I have other tents for other applications. We used it at a National Forest campground in Colorado this past week, and the zipper on the fly won't hold together. Of course, if the fly won't stay zipped it is essentially useless.
I will be sending it back to Kelty this week for repair, and we'll see how that goes. To my mind, this is a no-brainer warranty repair. We'll see what Kelty thinks.