Northwest Territory First Up Tent with Hex Dome
Design: "First Up" Three Season Freestanding Dome
Ease of Setup: 60 Second "First Up" Set Up
Price Paid: $80
This has ended up being the best base camp tent that I have ever owned and I have tried quite a few tent brands including Kelty, REI, Cabelas, Big Five, Sports Authority and Coleman.
For its combination of Price, Set UP, Size (3 to 4 campers) Functionality, Durability and Structural Integrity, this tent is unrivaled.
I have used this tent at two scout outings and got several quizzical and then amazed looks when I set it up in under 60 seconds. I made sure to read the directions for set-up so I properly opened up the self-locking tent poles and made sure to snap down the hub located at the top of the tent. (I suspect that those complaining of the tent breaking down in the middle of the night did not properly lock down the hub.)
Now to the trial by elements. Our last scout weekend had about 30 families with 30 tents. After setting up my tent in 60 seconds, some folks including the scout leader came by to comment on the cool "gimmick" tent. However, many of them doubted its storm worthiness and walked away with smug looks. Within a few hours all 30 tents at the outing were to be tested. These tents ranged from higher end REI tents to cheap Wal-mart specials.
That night we had heavy rains lasting 8 hours and wind gusts up to 50 mph. Prior to the storm, I made sure the tent was staked down and the guyropes were secure. I also did some half-baked seam sealing of the rainfly and tent body. By 9 pm the winds gusts increased and I was wondering if the “first up” structure would hold. To my surprise, it held strong and after a few minutes of constant turbulence, I had confidence that the tent would hold up to the storm. By dawn’s light, the storm subsided and my son and I awoke to a relatively dry tent; only a few drops of water, which I thought was okay for a cheap KMART “gimmick” tent that was not properly seam-sealed.
Upon getting out of the tent I was struck to two telling signs of the storm. First, the group campground had a myriad of pools and deep puddles of water, which evidenced the volume of the downpour. Moreover, I was even more struck by the transformation of our 30 plus tent city to a vestige of 10 tents. I found out that twenty families went to a hotel that night because their tents had either flooded or tent poles snapped under the storm gusts. I also found out that none of the remaining 10 tents ended up bone dry. All of them had some water seepage due to the volume of water associated with the storm.
This tent performed when other more costly tents failed. I suspect that if I had properly seam-sealed the rainfly that I would have had no leakage.
Ease of Setup: super simple
Price Paid: $99
FIRST-UP TENT IS BACK ON SHELVES!!! May 2009
Good news for all of us who love the unique hex dome tent and mourned its apparent extinction from the shelves of K-mart.
It has been reincarnated as a "Mac Kenzie Peak" first-up tent -- same design, same everything as far as I could tell.
Thank goodness NW Territory had the good sense to revive this design-- a real sleeper of a tent. (Yes, pun intended!).
Design: easy up tent
Ease of Setup: Easy
Price Paid: $80
I love the concept of this tent and had thought that I bought the coolest tent in the world.
We put it up to see how it worked and to seal it before we headed off.
Set up seemed simple enough. It is nice and roomy inside with a light and cup holders. The zippers seem great and well made. The rain fly had sealant on it already, but as a precaution we decided to seal the seams that were not covered by the fly.
We left it up over night to allow it to dry and 2 of the poles broke at the joints, just one night in the back yard.
My coolest tent, isn't the coolest tent anymore. Then I struggled with it to take it down and get it back in the bag. Maybe they will improve on the design and we will get one later. I also am not too happy with the size that it folds down to. It takes up 3 times the amount of room as a similar sized tent.
Design: dome first up 10X10
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: $69
We bought the 10X10 First Up version, with 8 arms, a number of years back and LOVE it. Simple, easy up and down, no hassle gear. Nice when in bug country or when you pull in late and just wanna hit the hay. Everyone we know that camps, wants one. Happy to see KMart has the 9X9, wish they had bigger ones too.
Camped at the edge of a badlands canyon. Gale winds picked up in the middle of the night. Thought we'd get blown away. Instead the tent flapped until it finally skinned off the rainfly, but the tent stayed solid. No breakage, no problems! Once the rainfly slid off, the upper wall mesh all around allowed the wind through and all was much quieter for the rest of the night.
Best tent we've had and we are tent poor! Hope they do an update on the 10X10 with the new bells and whistles. Cup holders... GOT to have cupholders!!
I had never been tent camping before and my son had a Boy Scouts campout, so I researched a lot and this looked to be the easiest. I bought mine at K-mart. I absolutely love it!! Soooo easy to put up and take down, even if you have no camping experience at all....can do it all by yourself easily. It poured down the rain the first night we were there and it didn't leak at all!!!! Love love love this tent.
Design: 3 season dome
Ease of Setup: the easiest tent ever
Weight: 20 lbs or less I don't really know
Price Paid: $39
Great tent-- I found three of them buried in a pile of camping equipment at Kmart, maybe the last First Up tents in the universe, for 39.
Too bad they've been discontinued. Probably because the locking mechanism of the frame was "too expensive" compared to the cheapie poles found in 19.99 tents found at Walmart.
I use this for about every outdoor adventure, from my 5 year old son's weekend hide away to my own getaways. You really can set this baby up in minutes and take down isn't that much longer. Comfortable for two inside, airy and plenty of headroom too.
Every once in awhile something comes along that really works and enhances the experience and this is one of those-- too bad they don't make them anymore.
Design: first up tent with hex dome - mfr # 83573911
Ease of Setup: easy up
Price Paid: $70
Our Boy Scout troop purchased three of these tents from Kmart. During the first camping trip we used them, during the night while people were sleeping in them they all three caved in. We had to pry the metal bars so that the occupants could get out of the tents (then it started to rain and all gear inside tents got wet).
We took them back to Kmart, and since the receipts were in the tents, the receipts got destroyed by the rain. The manager refused to replace the tents with different dome tents. We were told to contact customer service; they said it up to the manager of the store. We contacted corporate headquarters; they said it was up to the manager of the local store.
So our Boy Scout Troop is stuck with three tents that cannot be used. These tents are unsafe...
Design: three-season freestanding hex-dome
Ease of Setup: a breeze
Weight: 20 pounds
Price Paid: $80
Chris put the tent up on sand and IN THE DARK and it was up in minutes. Never had a second of trouble with it, and we had wind and drizzle. We anchored it in sand, and it stayed put. It kept us dry.
Our problem is that we would love to have another, but WE CAN'T FIND IT ANYWHERE! Just a bunch of so-so tents. Why is it that someone makes something great, and it becomes unavailable so that you can never buy it again?
It's just mental that they stopped making it!
Design: "First-up" w/Hex Dome
Ease of Setup: Excellent
Price Paid: $99
As experienced campers, this tent is the best tent we ever purchased for the price! It is easy to set up, sturdy and the ventilation is superb. We've had 25-50 mile an hour winds and heavy rain and the tent did great.
We did make one modification...we sewed tabs on the bottom of the rain fly, between the seams for extra guylines, improving the ventilation in hot weather and adding even more stability.
Our local Kmart no longer stocks this tent and we have friends looking for one.
Design: 3-season hex dome
Ease of Setup: Easy- no poles to thread
We borrowed this tent from friends to go car camping with our kids. It was the easiest tent to put up and take down compared to the traditional pole tent we also used. Poles are already in place, you lay it out and push/pull on a mechanism on the top to lock all in place. It seemed sturdy with normal use.
The tent had enough space for 2 small kids and 2 large adults.Because of its high ceiling it remained colder inside the tent than our smaller tent.
Design: Tent model 83573911.
Ease of Setup: Easiest on earth
Price Paid: $49.99
My husband and I have been camping for over 25 years. We absolutely love this tent! Goes up in a flash. Stores just as quickly. It was tricky at first to lock the center hub near the ceiling. (I suspect being unfamiliar with this was the reason the cub scout's tents collapsed.) Once you get it, which doesn't take long, it's a piece of cake. So happy with the tent we're looking to purchase a second.
Price Paid: $79
My son bought this tent like 3 yrs ago and loves it. The lady with the Boy Scouts probably didn't lock the mechanism in place, that's why they probably caved in. I just bought another one for myself at KMart. The size is 9x9 and it comes with a light, remote control and cup holder.
Price Paid: don't remember
The tent is great. However, it suffers one major design flaw. The flap keeps getting caught in the zipper. My wife and I have only had it happen to us a couple of times but our 11-year-old constantly gets the zipper stuck. The last time it was stuck so severely the zipper was probably ruined during the unsticking process. If they have fixed the problem I would highly recommend this tent.
Design: northwest territory first up
Ease of Setup: easiest
I love this tent, "best tent I have ever owned" but I now have a problem. I let a friend borrow it and let’s just say he is not good with fire and tent fabric... But now I can't find one anywhere... Can anybody help me find this tent?
Northwest Territory first up tent with hex dome!
Design: hex dome
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: less than 15 Lbs
Price Paid: $80
As the same as the Scouts my tent also fell apart. The fiberglass support cracked under heat (mild 80 degree Hawaii heat?).
Lucky we had a roll of heavy duty tape and had to repair all 5 poles since we had no backup tent. We love the size and style, but poor quality will make me change brands.
Design: freestanding dome with plenty of headroom
Ease of Setup: Extremely easy!
Weight: Not very heavy at all.
Price Paid: $50 +/-
I am a 60-year-old woman who has been camping alone for many years and this is the best tent I've ever owned. I love the ease with which the tent sets up and breaks down. I've never had a leaking problem with it and love the large screen windows for ventilation. Best purchase I ever made and it was on sale!
I bought this tent last year, It is the best tent I have ever owned. I would like to buy a couple more, plus all of my friends would like one. Only problem I am having is that I can't find anymore anywhere. Please help if you know where I can find some.
Design: first up hex dome
Ease of Setup: very easy
The tent was a joy to set up. Everyone i knew wanted it. A suggestion to the manufacturer, install a keyway in the hub to prevent it from turning which causes the strut to break.
Weight: my eight year old can set this tent up by hiself
Price Paid: $79.99
I purchased this tent for my son, and tossed out all the other tents that I had. Now my niece have experienced camping with this tent, I would like to buy her one, but can't find it at that Kmart store. HELP
Design: 1st up hex dome 11 X 9.5
Ease of Setup: terrific--no difficulty at all
Weight: apx 10 lbs
Price Paid: $50
Happened to catch this tent on sale--used it the same night--LOVE IT!!! Literally pops up in seconds--maybe 2 minutes tops. Cool and comfortable--I can stand up in it. Pops back down and I put it away in about 2 mins. Great on-the-move tent.
Marcia Nelson, if you still have those tents I would be interested in taking them off your hands. E-mail me and let me know what you want for them. firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Buy
The Northwest Territory First Up Tent with Hex Dome is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Northwest Territory website.
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