Kelty Radiant 3
Price Paid: don't remember for sure, about $280 I think
I have been very happy with the weather beating qualities of this tent, and I think that it is very well made. It has a lot of ability to vent very well. Openings at the bottom and at the top allow great air flow. I am tall and this tent fit very well for out outings.
That being said: The tent is very complex and therefore hard to put up. Color coding helps.
I think that both sides of the tent should have grommets and that the poles should have the ends that fit into the grommets instead of the round end that fits into a pocket. The round end does not stay into the pocket provided very well and the foot print does not either.
Also, the tent has an odd shape floor, great if using only bags and pads, like we used to do when we were young.
Last, the fly does not fit tautly. There will always be slack on one or two of the sides, seems to be a bit too big at the bottom and no matter how I tried, I was unable to get the fly taut.
Price Paid: $284.95
Used this tent in June 2008, measure 1.93 inches is plenty of room for me, my wife and our dog.
I used the tent in different climates where weather changes are too abrupt, I live in Colombia South America, and I'm really happy, warm weather works very well for excellent ventilation and incredible height. Colombian Pacific areas where it rains a lot in the rain incredibly supported.
Two entrances and hallways are pretty good and practical, has several internal pockets that serve to store your stuff.
Generally recommend this tent, which is a bit heavy but has a lot going for it.
Design: 4 Season Freestanding Dome
Ease of Setup: Easy for 1 person
Weight: 11 lbs.
Price Paid: $325
On our most recent outing up to Shenandoah we ended up setting up in the dark in quite a hurry trying to beat a severe thunderstorm that was rolling in. The tent went up quickly and handled the onslaught of rain like a champ. We did have a minor concern when we noticed water on the dome between the rain fly. The spot grew slightly but never actually came into the sleeping area. We were bone dry, well ventilated, and comfortable for the entire night. The storm did not let up until the wee hours of the morning.
I really like the design of the poles which have a plastic rounded end allow for easy threading through the pole selves. 2 doors and and 2 large vestibules on opposite sides of the tent make for great storage space protected from the weather but out of your sleeping area. Multiple vents on all sides of the tent maximize air flow no matter how your tent is oriented allowing you to capitalize on the slightest of breezes.
I highly recommend this tent. We plan on doing some winter camping this year and I will report back with a review of the tent in winter conditions.
Design: Theoretically 4 season stand alone.
Ease of Setup: Fair; very clumsy poles and poor layout of tiedowns
Weight: Heck, this is a car camping tent for me....say ten pounds?
Tent is outclassed by simpler designs; I bought this to replace an ancient REI 4 person dome tent that I had used for years of hunting. Once up, it does provide very usable space and has excellent ventilation as well as good visibility with built in windows.
"But" First season I used it, I found that the fly simply will not pitch tautly and sent it back to the factory. They lapped a seam to take up some slack on one panel, but on even slightly uneven ground it is still impossible to get a truly taut pitch. I can't imagine it surviving a serious "4 season' windstorm under severe conditions. Footprint is way undersized and flimsy. Tiedown loops for the fly are webbing and will slip off the stakes provided and are webbing is too wide to work directly on small MSR tri-section stakes-have to use cord to go from stake to webbing.
The fancy slide-on retainers for the fly have reflective elastic retaining cords that deteriorated rapidly--second season of very mild use and the reflective stuff is falling off. Inserting poles is a trick--the stand-off design, sharp curves, and intersecting poles combine to make it a "feed and shove" process that, again, would be unworkable in severe conditions and a serious annoyance under tranquil conditions.
All in all, the tent's complexity works against it and a good quality dome would be far more practical.
Where to Buy
The Kelty Radiant 3 is not available from the stores we monitor.
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