Kelty Trail Ridge 3

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



Family sized tent light enough for backpacking without…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180 (on sale)


Family sized tent light enough for backpacking without being crazy expensive. Well designed for easy set up despite the size and handles weather well.


  • Roomy 44 sq ft floor space
  • Double doors
  • Double 9 sq ft vestibules
  • Handles weather well
  • Easy to set up despite size
  • Good ventilation


  • Minium weight 5.75lbs
  • Bulky

Kelty has been in business long enough to have a pretty good idea what they are doing. The Trail Ridge 3 is a great example of a product that takes advantage of that experience. Setting up the TR3 is totally intuitive and surprisingly easy for a tent of this size. Once the poles are assembled and the ends are fitted to the tent corners the body attaches quickly using multiple clips along each pole. 

The fly is easily position based on color coded clips. Kelty uses a clip system to attach the fly to the tent corners and once clipped tension can be easily adjusted via a belt system on the clips. There are multiple guy out points that allow the tent to be well stabilized.  A footprint was not included but was purchased separately and mated easily with the tent during set up.

Being a larger tent, staking and guy line set up were important to getting a good pitch. Having experienced heavy wind and multiple downpours from mountain thunderstorms I was impressed with the TR3's ability to handle it all.  One day saw two major gully washers with big winds while we were away from camp and had left both vestibules half open. I was pleased to see that the interior was completely dry when we returned.  Between the screened door panels on opposing sides and the fly vents on the other two sides there was ample ventilation in the tent even on wet, muggy days.

The interior of the TR3 reaches a height of almost 4 ft at the peak of its dome. Not enough to stand up completely, but lots of room for getting yourself or the kids dressed. We have have only tested it with one child but there was plenty of room so it would likely fit a larger family while the kids are smaller. There was room for some gear inside as well as plenty of room in the vestibules for our packs, boots and wet rain gear. Interior pockets usually seem more of a joke to me, but these actually seemed to be in good spots and functional so unlike most they actually got used.

This is a big tent and so naturally packs big. The weight if distributed among 3 adults would be less than 2lbs per person, but even splitting the fly and tent leaves you with a pretty good sized piece of gear to stow. Carrying the entire package as daddy I lash it externally on my pack rather than try to cram it inside. I don't find the weight an issue, but I do wish it packed smaller.

Even half open for ventilation there is still good covered storage space under the vestibules.


Fully closed each vestibule covers 9 sq ft of ground. The panels have both zip and velcro closures so can be left partly open for ventilation as desired.



Kelty's clip system for attaching the fly is literally a snap to use. Adjusting tension is also easy using the strap that runs through the clip.  Easier than adjusting your hitches with cold fingers in the rain for sure.


The guy lines come equipped with these clips for easy adjustments there too.  The line can be secured at the desired point by snapping it into the clip.  These held up great during wind events.


This isn't the greatest picture but it shows one of  the protected roof vents in the fly. The sort of eave over the vent keeps out rain but catches a breeze to get air moving through the interior.

Over all I can definitely say I recommend this tent for appropriate use and especially if you can find it on sale as we were lucky to do.  If you demand UL gear I'd say look elsewhere but in terms of functionality and performance I find the Trail Ridge 3 to be worth its weight.  As our daughter's trail legs get stronger we expect to spend a lot more time on trail as a family and I see the TR3 getting a lot of trail time as well.


Nice review, LS! (Though I'll stick to my hammock!)

6 months ago
Eric Labanauskas BRAND REP

Nice overview! Are the poles threaded into a grommet, or does this tent use a Jake's Foot?

6 months ago

@G00SE Have you tried family hanging? @Eric Single grommet for the pole on the same strap that holds the clip for the fly

6 months ago

I will hang with one or two of my kids. My wife won't try it. :(

6 months ago

What does the minimum weight consist of? Great review been looking for a little large backpacking tent that does cost a lot.

6 months ago

@Dennis Minimum weight usually means stripping off the stuff sacks and other extraneous items. Kelty lists total package weight as 6lb5oz for this tent if that helps.

6 months ago

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Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

It's all about livable space with the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 tent. This is an affordable, trail-worthy tent designed for performance on your next backpacking adventure.


Free Shipping. Kelty Trail Ridge 3 Person Tent FEATURES of the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 Person Tent Freestanding design Color coded clip construction Taped floor seams Gear-loft included ArcEdge Floor Mesh wall panels Internal storage pockets Noiseless zipper pulls Taped seams Side-release tent/fly connection Fly vents Noiseless zipper pulls Guyout points SPECIFICATIONS of the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 Person Tent Season: 3 Capacity: 3 person Number of Door: 2 Number of Vestibule: 2 Number of Pole: 3 Minimum Weight: 5 lbs 12 oz / 2.61 kg Packaged Weight: 6 lbs 5 oz / 2.86 kg Floor Area: 44 square feet / 4.09 square meter Vestibule Area: 9 + 9 square feet / 0.84 + 0.84 square meter Dimension: 88 x 72 x 47in. / 224 x 183 x 119 cm Packed Dimension: 7 x 24in. / 17.7 x 60.9 cm Pole Type: DAC Pressfit Wall Material: 68D Polyester Floor Material: 68D Polyester, 1800 mm Fly Material: 75D Polyester 1800 mm

- Moosejaw

Enjoy a little extra floor space on your next backpacking trip with the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 Person Tent. Kelty maximizes this tent's usable space with steep side walls that really helps to add a little extra elbow room. There's plenty of room to play cards and change your clothes without requiring exotic yoga moves. Mesh sidewall uppers help to reduce the tent's overall weight while offering excellent venting and, weather permitting, night sky viewing. The dual doors offer generous entry and egress and enable access to the tent's two vestibule areas. A simple three-pole design and color coded fly attachment system make setting the Trail Ridge up a breeze. Built to sleep three, you'll find this Kelty tent also makes a nice, roomy two-person tent, too.

- Altrec Outdoors

Kelty Trail Ridge 3 TentThe Kelty Trail Ridge 3 Tent is great for those who love to spend time in the wilderness or enjoy the occasional camping trip. This tent features a freestanding design, allowing it to be assembled in place almost anywhere. The tent can be quickly assembled with its featured color coded clip construction. This unit is strong and durable for multiple uses, because it has reinforced taped seams around the edges and taped floor seams to guard against ripping. The unit includes a gear loft to store your items, as your rest on the comfortable ArcEdge floor. The mesh wall panels allow you to adjust the amount of ventilation that the tent can have, for maximum comfort. The internal storage pockets allow plenty of room for all of your gear, while the guyout point gives you security if you would tie the tent to a nearby structure or tree. If you have been looking for a great tent, with all of the best features, you should purchase the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 Tent to enjoy the next time you go camping.

- SunnySports

Kelty Trail Ridge 3-Person Camping Tent - The Trail Ridge 3 Tent by Kelty is all about livable space. It has near-vertical wall's which results in increased chill space and dual-doors offers convenient entry/exit without having to climb over your backpacking partner, and two vestibules for convenient gear storage protected from the elements. Sleep, sit up and grab that extra layer, play cards, change your clothes, or plan tomorrows events, the Trail Ridge 3 by Kelty has the space.

- Outdoorplay