User Review: Northwest Territory Vacation Home 10-Person Tent 14' x 14'
Design: Large freestanding cabin tent
Ease of Setup: Very easy, 15-18 minute setup, less with familiarity
Weight: about 48 pounds
Price Paid: $149
We started our vacation with a Kelty by Ridgeway Sonoma, 18' x 18' dome tent we found at Costco. It looked ideal and was very easy to set up. We spent one night in it in Oregon at our in-laws in the backyard to try it out. Too short inside at 80"(not quite that as we set it up) but nice, easy, and somewhat comfortable.
We went to Tahoe with reservations at D.L. Bliss State park. Arrived with daylight to spare but found our campsite to not be able to accomodate the huge tent footprint. In fact, no tent site at D.L. Bliss wil accomodate an 18' x 18' tent!
Parks Service very kindly moved us to Sugar Pine Point in the group section where they were sure the tent would fit. We set it up under headlights and spent the night.
Next day, we found it hard to place the cross shaped Kelty ANYWHERE with room for an 18' x 18' footprint, which we all know means even larger space is needed for stakes and guys.
At any rate, we went into South Tahoe the next morning and stopped into K-Mart. We needed a few things in the camping section and I ran into the display for the Northwest Territory 14'x14' Vacation Cottage III.
"Wow!" was my first reaction.
After trying so hard to find the best tent with enough comfortable room to change clothes and not have to stoop to move around, we thought the Kelty would be it.
But when we saw the NWT VCIII, it was all over.
We checked the instructions first in the store so I would be sure I could understand them. Simple enough.
Checked the screens, wall fabric, and fly fabrics along with stitching and all looked very good. So we bought one.
Back at camp, took down and packed the Sonoma and set up the NWT VCIII. With help from my 18-year-old daughter we had it all set up in 18 minutes from start to finish while my wife timed us and watched our 3-year-old son.
First impression on entering...VERY ROOMY, lots of headroom, room to move, room to breathe. I particularly like the one solid backwall without vents or windows. A good idea for windy sites. There is a top vent window at the front wall peak, double "D" doors and side windows. Very nice for good airflow.
The first night, temperatures fell to 41 degrees and was chilly, but with the windows all zipped closed it was plenty warm without additional interior heat.
The floor is strong and well made.
The fly is exceptionally good, made of a good quality, tight weave rip-stop nylon and sewn well with double seams. We used seam sealer before mounting the fly, but did not have any rain.
The steel pole framework was very easy to set up and holds the tent very well. It feels sturdy and strong.
We had one day with a few very strong gusts of wind but the tent hardly moved at all, and this was without having the fly staked down or additional guys added anywhere.
The design weight of the poles is more than adequate, yet not too heavy. The shock cords that connect them are joined at the breaks by flat chain, adding strength and minimizing possible breaks during assembly or takedown.
We used long Steel Stakes rather than the plastic ones included with the tent. Probably not necessary, but my personal preference for stakes is steel.
We set it up over a 14' x 16' silver tarp for additional floor protection. I recommend this with any tent, but typically just slightly smaller than the actual tent floor itself, to prevent flooding in the rain.
Taking it down was very simple and easy. The two handled bag has additional expandable zippers and a wheeled, rubber bottom. We rolled it tightly and it all fit in the bag along with the 14'x16 tarp with a room to spare.
Overall, we are very happy with the tent. We considered several others and as I mentioned, and settled on one which was not quite right. We had two Coleman twin air-beds joined as a king size bed and two more twin air beds for my son and daughter. There was probably room for two more twin beds without difficulty.
Without airbeds, the tent can probably sleep 10 people as advertised, but eight would be more comfortable with room to move around inside a bit.
If you want or need height inside, you'll love this tent. I am 6'4" and my wife and daughter are 5'9" and 5'10" and we all enjoyed the "Stand Up" roominess of this tent.
We were in it for four days and nights and each day someone had to ask us about, remark about or compliment it. It is a handsome tent and in my honest opinion an incredible buy at $149 (on sale) regularly around $180.