User Review: Northwest Territory Olympic Cottage Deluxe Cabin Tent
Design: three season cabin
Ease of Setup: Very easy, one person could do it in less than an hour
Weight: 40 pounds or so
Price Paid: $170
My husband and I are the parents of 2 scouts (7 y.o. and 11 y.o.). He has been camping with the pack for several years, and I just got more involved last summer (2007). We've used a 7 X 12 Ozark Trail tent for years. This summer, we decided to shop for a cabin tent that would fit us, the boys and our Doberman comfortably. My husband is 6'4" and a "big guy", so size was important to us. We fell in love with this tent immediately because of the floor space and the interior height.
I brought it home and put it up all by myself. It took me the better part of an hour, but it wasn't so much difficult as involved. We rainproofed (using Thompson's deck seal, as we had read this worked well) and sealed the seams that first weekend. Then packed it away in preparation for the upcoming weekend camping trip we had planned. He went on ahead of us with friends that were camping with us, and the men had the campsite set up when we got there.
Unfortunately, we had chosen to camp during Tropical Storm Fay, and the winds made hanging our tarp over the tent like we usually do impossible. The first night, we had no problems and perhaps 1/2 - 1 inch of rain, with some wind gusts to 5-10 mph. The interior of the tent stayed dry, and the fly and roof were good.
Saturday morning, it was still raining, and during a calm wind period, we tied off the tarp as well as possible, with plenty of overhang around the tent (16 X 32 tarp). We left the campground and came back to pools of rain caught in the roof of the tent. Unfortunately, in order to make the tent as stable as possible, there are not only three poles/systems running from the front of the tent to the back, but also poles running along the roofline from one pole to the next, and therein seems to lie the design problem. The steady rain (6 inches in all) eventually pooled on the tent side and the fly sagged behind these poles. We emptied the water, and watched it for more issues.
Round about midnight, though, I woke up with my husband calling my name. He's on the floor (on all fours), while the tent roof is on his back, literally 2 feet from the floor. The center roof bracket has broken, the pole has pierced the fabric of the tent, and were it not for the tarp over the whole thing, we would have been very, very wet. We got the water off, and propped up the center roof support with an extra pole on the inside and made it through the rest of the night dry, but sadly, we'll be returning the tent and not buying another like this.
If you plan to tent only in dry conditions, or could possible rig the fly so the water wouldn't have a chance to puddle behind the horizontal poles, you may very well love this tent. We've racked our brains and not been able to think of a way. I really, really wanted to LOVE this tent, but it's just not going to happen.