Walrus is no longer in business, and the Cascade Condo has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best 3-4 season convertible tents for 2019.

photo: Walrus Cascade Condo 3-4 season convertible tent

Specs

Price Reviewers Paid: $65.00

Reviews

Walrus Cascade Condo Limited Edition Family Tent 4…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: received it as a personal gift

Summary

Walrus Cascade Condo Limited Edition Family Tent 4 + Person. (circa 1999)

Pros

  • BIG.
  • Can set up fly first in rain, then inner tent while keeping it dry under fly
  • prototypically unique concept of Walrus/Moss quality in Campground Family Tent
  • Huge front vestibule "Screen Porch"
  • Specialized nylon, and other integrity fabrics.

Cons

  • Too soon to evaluate cons
  • Surprised it has MOSTLY fiberglass poles.

Hello,

The Cascade Condo was made by WALRUS, a high respected tent maker, like MOSS.

Both are no longer in business, but were acquired by MSR for their very highly rated tent designs. They are only available as pre-owned and with no replacement parts, although I assume somewhere there is a fabricator or artisan or repair tentmaker, or skilled DIY types, that could fabricate or repair existing tent components to some degree.

I am including many images of the tent, plus data, instructions, and "definitive care for [at least this] Walrus tent".

I have encountered data online saying it is four-season, and "built to 4 Season Base Camp Specs," but am doubtful due to big porch with mesh and fiberglass poles for most of tent? (It does have skirting around entire perimeter, but instructions say that is folded under and inward, as opposed to snow-skirting.)

The data included with my tent from Walrus does NOT specify how many seasons. I'll strongly assume it's a THREE SEASON at best, and as specified in instruction pamphlet, "CAMPGROUND STYLE," and on the tent itself: "family series limited edition," tent.

I think the point of this Walrus Cascade Condo (and related Walrus Armadillo) is that WALRUS and MOSS were making VERY high quality tents, but they, ultimately, wanted to offer their idea of a Campground Family Tent, and yet with their signature high quality fabrics, seamwork, zippers, and design, but nevertheless still be CAMPGROUND TENTS. While they brought in much higher quality materials than standard campground tents they still chose, as they felt it was strong enough for campground use, mostly fiberglass poles throughout this model tent (with aluminum or steel couplers).  The front porch is supported by two large diameter beefy steel poles vertically (actually slanting forward), and then a multi segment fiberglass cross piece at top.

NOTE: Since there is controversy on how to wash tents, it's interesting that Walrus gives its clear opinion of how to wash and dry tent, as well as pole care, etc. Notice what instructions say on the option of washing with commercial front loading machine (It explains it as a definite option and the details.  it CLEARLY SAYS YOU CAN NOT USE HOME "AGITATOR" TYPE WASHING MACHINES!!  NO, NOT, NADA!  That vertical agitator in a top loading washing machine even tears up (my) clothes, and would certainly seriously risk injuring or destroying a tent).

Being a novice, i would worry a machine washing would risk important coatings? I would assume one would use exceedingly mild soap or none.

AGAIN, THE FIRST GROUP OF IMAGES ARE OF FLY AND EXOSKELETON ONLY.

First two shoots show tent quickly jury rigged into place with only Outer Tent (Fly) Up.

Next (NOCTURNAL) shots further below will show ENTIRE TENT WITH INNER & OUTER TENTS.

_Walrus_first_setup_FLY-ONLY-BACKLIT___D

_FIRST_trial_set_up_FLY-ONLY_DSC06240-we

_Walrus_title_on_tent_limited_edition_IM

_walrus_cascade_condo_intructions_pg1.jp

_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions-pg2.j

_walrus_alley_side_DSC06349.jpg

NOTE: NEITHER THE DIAGRAM, BELOW, OR THE INSTRUCTIONS, SPECIFY THE ADDITIONAL segmented Pole that arcs across the tent from one side to the other and does NOT go into the top hub, but arcs underneath that hub and goes through a sleeve on top of the tent, and is secured by clips on the sides.  You can see this additional pole in the photo of my tent directly above, and two images above in their diagram of the whole tent in a line drawing, but not in diagram below.

_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_pg7.j


_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_pg6.j

THE DIAGRAM ABOVE DOES NOT SHOW REAR VESTIBULE.


Ultra-wide angle lens distortion in interior images.

_walrus_alley_front_porch_DSC06324.jpg
_walrus_alley_interior_of_flysetup_towar

ABOVE 2 IMAGES SHOW INTERIOR LOOKING TOWARDS FRONT VESTIBULE (SCREEN PORCH)

BELOW IMAGES NOW HAVE "INTERIOR TENT INSTALLED" which hangs by clips from the outer tent which is the Rain Fly.  The Outer Tent MUST be installed FIRST, then interior tent is hung from it form the inside. 

FIRST IMAGE BELOW IS FROM INNER TENT LOOKING TOWARD, AND THROUGH, FRONT SCREEN PORCH (an elaborate large front vestibule, big enough for a couple small camp or beach chairs.... can sit and read, or paint, etc., in front screen porch, or store gear).

_INTERIOR_after_sunset_Inner_Tent_lookinBELOW:  YOU SEE WHOLE TENT UP WITH OUTER AND INNER TENTS VISIBLE.

___Tent_by_Moonlight_full_set_up_Point_F



_MOONLIGHT-SONATA_TENT_SETUP_point_fermi
_Tent_at_Moonlight_REAR-VESTIBULE_WALRUSABOVE: VIEW FROM INNER TENT LOOKING TOWARD AND THROUGH REAR VESTIBULE AND DOOR.  (Rear vestibule is substantial, but smaller than large front porch vestibule).

BELOW: fully set up tent with outer and inner tents.  View from back looking through rear vesibule through tent and out through front porch/vestibule.   
_Walrus_Tent_full_setup_Moonlight_point_

_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_pg5.j


_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_pg3.j

_INNER_HANGS_BY_CLIPS_FROM_OUTER-DSC0681

_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_pg4.j

FORGIVE MY PERHAPS TOO CLUTTERED PHOTO BELOW, WITH MY OWN EXPLANATIONS ON INSTALLING THE INNER TENT, BY HANGING FROM THE OUTER TENT.

MY REASON:  I ultimately encountered postings on various very random forums, with some people saying they loved the tent, but that the set-up was complicated and painful, hence these added notes i put on my own photos of the tent.

Personally, and being very unskilled in all this, I have nevertheless learned that after practicing a few times, the entire set up goes very easy, whereas in my first attempt I was totally humbled. 

____simpler_mockup_on_interior_clips_to_
Above, I photographed this from inside the front vestibule (screen porch) to show how the dome of the inner tent is hung by clips to the outer tent.  

_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_VENTI


_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_PROPE
_v_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_PRO
_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_AFTER


_walrus_cascade_condo_instructions_AFTER
_walrus_FIRST_trial_set_up_FLY-ONLY_DSC0

My Walrus Cascade Condo is above, but I just found that the Armadillo model is apparently nearly identical except for size. One smaller than mine simply called the Walrus Armadillo and a unique HUGE Walrus Armadillo "Big Sur Model" below.

__Walrus_Armadillo_BIG_SUR_NOTES-BEST.jp

 

BELOW: MY WALRUS CASCADE CONDO, PRACTICE SET UP THIS EVENING ON MESA ACROSS THE STREET FROM WHERE I LIVE NEAR CLIFFS OVER PACIFIC OCEAN, A "CAMPGROUND", "MODERATE 3 SEASON BASECAMP" OR I GUESS "FESTIVAL" APPLICABILITY OF THE TENT BUT, AGAIN, WITH WALRUS/MOSS LEVEL CONCEPTUAL AND SKILL LEVELS.   Within these parameters, and given the tentative nature of this early review and very limited practice set-up trials with it, i like it very much. 

____Walrus_barking_at_the_Moon_tent_set_

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Rory! That's a nice gift of a Walrus tent from your friend. Any idea what year it was made?


2 years ago
rory white

Thanks for the greeting Alicia!!! I am narrowing in on probably date made... When i began researching the tent, over a month ago, I simply could not find one image of the tent or more than a few "requoted" spec description texts that sellers on ebay etc. had quoted. So it's been a real Sherlock Holmes (with zero experience) odyssey. AS OF LAST NIGHT, once I found the connection to this very tent (basically) being referred to (or smaller size editions and bigger sizes) as "Armadillo" which i knew was somehow related to the Moss, Walrus, early pre-Sierra-Designs days, and acquisition by MSR), then i found you had, here on Trailspace, two or more reviews on "Armadillo" models... So this tip leading me back here to Trailspace, then sent me off and found more... I just now this second, went and found a "Catalogue", similar forms of which i had seen, but this one lists Moss, Walrus, Msr, and "Armadillo by Walrus" and Walrus Gear... and has the Cascade Condo and huge "Armadillo Big Sur". It's a 1999 Catalogue, so the WALRUS CASCADE CONDO 4-6 Person was, at minimum, offered and thus seemingly manufactured in or near 1999. (long answer to your question, but researched as i wrote). so, while my tent could have been made 5 years before that or 5 years after, as far as I know, I bet 1999 is an excellent approximation. Thanks for your amazing resource site, Trailspace!


2 years ago
rory white

Alicia, i thus just added circa 1999 to description. Thanks again!!!


2 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing all of that, Rory! I'm glad that your research into the rabbit hole of the internet led you to Trailspace. Enjoy the new/old tent.


2 years ago
Go Time! (Jesse Maloney) BRAND REP

Sweet review. Never knew that Walrus had a family (fiberglass pole) line of tents. I sold a solo Walrus tent a few years back. One of my very few gear regrets. They made some amazing products. FYI, a few years ago, MSR still honored Walruses so if there was a prob, they'd still cover them!


2 years ago
rory white

Thanks Go Time/Jesse! Because it took me so long to learn ANYTHING about this tent, doing massive google searches etc., I felt compelled to attempt to put up something useful for anyone in a similar situation, and i believe in ARCHIVES, and for all the internet's problems, it has provided an amazing way to access archival info on otherwise rare subjects. Yes, I found that bit about MSR honoring the warranties, thanks!!!, but I think that expired although I wonder if they offer a paid repair service on the tents of the past?


2 years ago

I just picked one of these up in new condition. Can't…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $65

Summary

I just picked one of these up in new condition. Can't wait to use it!

Pros

  • Just awesome! A design ahead of its time

This tent like all Walrus products are the best. Best made and best designed.

The Cascade Condo is very spacious. Grab one if you can!

I now have four Walrus tents. I'm looking for a Heatwave, or at minimum the rain fly for a Heatwave.  I have one, but I bought it incomplete and would love to have a full setup.

Experience

Walrus tents are the best. I have four—looking for a Heatwave it anyone has one for sale.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Lou. I hope you'll share some pictures and update us on your experience with your Cascade Condo.


1 year ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

You may want to try posting in the Classifieds for the Heatwave: https://www.trailspace.com/forums/classifieds/


1 year ago