Kelty Sage 3
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $170
Nice 2+ person tent.
- Roomy size for 2 (and enough for a small kid too)
- It's discontinued
This is one of the few 3-person tents out there. We wanted it to have a little extra room with a kid on the way. It sleeps 2.5 just fine and is very comfortable with just 2. It's easy to pitch and easy to pack. Stays solid in light-med wind (but have not tested it in really high winds).
Great ventilation without the fly and okay with it in place. No moisture issues (used in rain twice). It's got good headroom and it packs to a reasonable size. We didn't get a footprint for it until a couple of years later — luckily, no problems.
There are much more expensive tents (this was $169 on clearance) that are a couple of pounds lighter, but this has served well for a 6 pounder. It's the only non-lightweight item in our setup. We've had it 6 years and are very happy with it.
Design: three-season freestanding
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 6 lbs.
Price Paid: $230
Great tent. I work in outdoor education and have used and seen many. This one is designed well for 3 season use.
It is light weight but also is more roomy than similar style tents of other brands. I'm always pleasantly surprised at the space I have when I crawl inside, even with another person there is still space for small bags and things without being pushed up against the walls of the tent (I wouldn't use it to sleep 3 like the description suggests, unless they were small or very comfortable with each other).
It also is easy to put up with 3 well crafted aluminum poles of the SAME length and also doesn't require pushing them through little sleeves as all the connections to the tent are secured with clips. Those last two points can be appreciated by anyone who has tried putting a tent up in low visibility.
It also has a lot of screen in the ceiling to give it a nice airy feel and to keep the breeze flowing on hot nights or to let you fall asleep with the stars. The rain fly can be used on cooler nights or for more privacy. As long as the fly is competently staked out where it is designed to be, you won't have any rain enter even on some pretty stormy nights. I've never had any leaks what-so-ever.
However, like many light weight tents, the floor is thin. I would highly recommend getting "footprint" that Kelty makes custom for this tent to protect it from punctures and to keep you from getting damp if you have to pitch your tent on already wet ground.
Design: three-season freestanding backpacking
Ease of Setup: Very easy setup
Weight: 6.5 lbs
Price Paid: $160
Bought the Sage 3 based on its lesser sibling's favorable review by Outside's 2004 Buyer's Guide. Setup was quick and was accomplished solo. During my initial outing with this tent, the weather was dry so I have no comments on its ability to withstand rain. However, overnight temperature dropped to about 21°F and condensation was not an issue. The tent is lightweight and compact. Fitting three adults in the Sage 3 might be a bit tight, but it makes for a very spacious den for two and gear.
Where to Buy
The Kelty Sage 3 is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The Kelty Sage 3 is a great 3-person backpacking tent, though it sleeps two people and gear quite nicely, or two people and a dog.
- Backcountry Outlet