Reviews

2

The Moken 4 is a mammoth and possibly misunderstood…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used

Summary

The Moken 4 is a mammoth and possibly misunderstood tent. It is advertised as a 4-person tent but really, it sleeps upwards of 8 persons.

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Separate sleeping quarters
  • Lots of storage
  • One piece fly, tent, footprint
  • Double awning doors

Cons

  • Stressed seams
  • Windows lose adhesion

Setup

The setup is pretty intuitive, nevertheless, the tent comes in a backpack style carrying case with setup instructions sewn onto the inside wall of the pack.
20180430_221854.jpg

You stake down the corners, add the mega hub cross pole in the center of the tent, add the two auxiliary poles, and then clip it all together.
20180426_195055.jpg

The central pole hub fulfills a big job since six poles all fit into a less than 3" diameter cylinder.
20180426_184202-1-.jpg

It is wise to make sure that the poles are fully inserted. If they are not, the end of the pole receives a large amount of stress and could be damaged. It’s sometimes difficult to keep all six poles fully inserted while raising the tent. The weight of the pole sometimes tends to pull it loose from the hub if it is tilted the wrong way. As long as you keep the hub somewhat level, the poles stay in place.

There is one thing that is somewhat unique about the tent during set up that confused me for a second. The fly, the tent, and the footprint are all permanently affixed to each other. When you throw the tent on the ground it takes a minute to make sure that the footprint is down, the tent up, and the fly on top. It can look like one big jumbled mess at first glance.

Last time I pitched the tent, while bending a pole to insert it into one of the grommets, the nearest corner stake popped out of the ground. It’s a lot of tent for small standard stakes. Once you put your gear in the sleeping areas, it stabilizes the corners and keeps the tent and stakes in place.

The tent pitches quite tautly once staked out. It does a good job in windy situations as well.
20180426_195826.jpg

Weather Resistance

The tent is fully sealed in each sleeping area.
20180426_200025.jpg
20180426_200035.jpgThe main room is open at floor level.
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It’s similar to when you fast pitch a tent with just the fly and the footprint. That one inch gap between the floor and the fly seems to be the tradeoff to eliminating the floor zipper and allowing the tent doors to become effective awnings. I don’t think the design is a bad one, but I would guess that most people would have liked to have a fully sealed center room to keep out bugs and splashback from rain.


20180426_200648.jpg                            Brass grommets where you can add poles to create door awnings

Venting

There are two roof vents
20180426_200455.jpgand the lowest 6 inches of each door roll up.
20180426_200617.jpgThis does allow a good amount of convected air flow to run through the tent. Each sleeping area has two vents in the fly.
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As another venting option, you can roll up both doors and create a fully opened tent.
20180426_200129.jpgEach sleeping quarter has a screened side (outer side) that goes all the way to the top. The door itself is white tinted fabric for privacy.20180426_200307.jpg

 

I did take it on a winter scouting trip where eight boys slept in the tent. The next morning, there was considerable condensation on the interior of the fly—understandable. While folding up the wet mess, the only thing that kept running through my mind was that every time I touched wetness on the fly, it was the equivalent of running my hands through the saliva of eight 12-year-olds—uck!


20171111_083919.jpg                            The tent the morning after eight scouts used it.

Under normal circumstances (with four people) The tent vents quite well.

Room and Storage

There is ample room for storage and stow. The central room has eight pockets and each sleeping area has floor and wall pockets.
20180426_200509.jpgYou can install an optional gear loft. Considering this is a 4P tent and the central room is 45 square feet (4m squared), the room and storage is exceptional.

Both sides fit two people nicely. You can adequately place 2 rectangular pads or a larger blow up mattress in each. I am 5’11” and have room to stand anywhere in the center room.

Packability

The tent comes with a backpack style carrying bag.
20180426_180305.jpgThis is a good idea since the tent weighs north of 20lb (9kg). It packs down to roughly 14 x 22". The backpack bag does have cinch straps to tighten things down.

Features

You are able to remove either of the two inner tents (sleeping areas) to provide more open floor space. You can purchase separate footprints to fill the gap/s. That way you can convert the tent into a 2P model with and enormous open room. Maybe this might be a good idea if camping in a tropical country during the monsoon season and you know you're going to be holed up for a while?

Construction and Durability

There was a material science design flaw in this model. The heat welded windows lose their adhesion after a few years. Both of mine ended up on the floor this past year. I actually had to use two pieces of laminate and sandwich them together over the existing hole to create a new window on each side. I seam sealed them to the tent afterward and they work great.

Also, the floor of the tent was so taut on one campout that when someone stepped in a corner with an attached strap, it stressed the joint so much that it ripped the floor. I have since repaired it.
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Conditions

I bought the tent very gently used and have used it with my family and on several scout trips during the last fall and winter seasons; warm, rain, cold, snow, wind.
20171111_083859.jpg

Conclusion

I think that the engineers who made this tent had some really good ideas in mind. If you know how to use this tent and take advantage of its interesting capabilities, it’s quite a nice tent. The fact that the footprint, tent, and fly are all one piece is really convenient; it cuts out a significant amount of time setting it up.

I am guessing that most people don’t take advantage of the awning option on the doors because the tent doesn’t come with awning poles and most people (like me) don't have a set of four 6-foot poles at their disposal. I would also guess that since this model was a limited run, most purchasers didn’t buy the extra footprint sections that replace the interior tents if removed. That said, I surmise that this option is rarely utilized as well.

For this reason, the Moken may be a tent that has interesting options but is misunderstood by the general public. This works to its disadvantage. In the end, it’s the perception of the purchaser that matters most.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, Jesse! Thanks! I think you could offer a tutorial on how to find good deals on used gear.


23 days ago
rory white

VERY IMPRESSIVE REVIEW and great resource to have online! Thanks to you, and also to Trailspace or hosting this site!


16 days ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thank you, Rory! We're glad you found us.


16 days ago
rory white

Thanks again, Alicia! :)


15 days ago

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Sierra Designs Moken 4

Discontinued

The Moken 4 has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:
$229.95 - $499.00

The Sierra Designs Moken 4 is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen February 12, 2010 at Sierra Trading Post.

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